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The new distribution channel consisting in offering downloadable movies over the Internet is consolidating. Seems to begin to overcome the fears that the producers have had to this way of distributing content, in part, thanks to new anti-piracy systems (DRM), and partly I guess because of the successes already harvested by the Apple i-Tunes , through which has been offering legal downloads of music and later TV series. i-Tunes has demonstrated that this new form of distribution is not only a cost effective solution, but is destined to become the way to provide content for the future.In the United States already offers the service of Internet movie downloads such as Movielink and CinemaNow. The latter recently has added to its services from that after you download the movie burned to DVD for viewing on any player (even the titles offered are mediocre).

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Mouse:

Apparently Cool J and Toby Keith disagree, they're the ones who called Fox out for lying and using their images to market Palin's special. The promos I saw said these two were "guests". Being a guest generally means they are going to be on the show in person, but in Fox world it seems being a guest can mean whatever Fox wants it to mean. At least they did remove Cool J from the special when he objected.

Take it up with the two celebrities. I'm just sharing the message.

WT?

I couldn't care less about Fox or CNN or ABC or any of the other so called news agencies. However, to call the Fox "marketing" lies is a bit harsh. Is it misleading - yes - is it stupid - with out a doubt. But lets be fair here, I don't think it said she was going to personally interview those people - the ads i saw and heard said she was going to host the show. God knows there is no shortage of hyperbole in advertising. As for the two celebs making those statements - hmmm a bit of free publicity for them as well - carried by news outlets all over the dial.

Personally, I don't care for Ms Palin - thought she was a terrible choice for VP and am completely mystified as to why she was picked over others. However, Mr Biden isn't much of a choice either

gr8d84f8:

Fox promoted this special by saying Toby Keith and LL Cool J were among the "guests" Palin was having on the show (see the first link). That's what these guys are calling a lie. Their stories, taken from old interviews, were aired, but they were not "guests", nor did Palin interview them herself. They felt the promos misleadingly suggested this as well.

All of the usual Fox defenders on this blog have kept quiet so far, which indicates to me that there is nothing defensible about this one. This time the charge of lying to and misleading viewers is coming directly from the celebrities involved, not other news sources.

Wt,

I don't get it ---- why is this lying by Fox News?

The show is called (per your post) "Real American Stories".

Are you saying LL and Toby are not real Americans?

Again, per your post, the there will be included interviews --- it does not say live or with Palin. I am guessing that the viewer will note both when the interviews would have aired.

You are a bit rabid on this Fox thing, that's for sure..

Chilax.

T.B.:

Wow, talk about timely. I've got a prime example of typical Fox falsifying, and this one implicates Sarah Palin! Check it out:

"Sarah Palin will host "Real American Stories," a Fox News special debuting on Thursday.

For the premiere episode, which will air at 10PM, the show will include guests ranging from entertainers LL Cool J and Toby Keith to former GE CEO Jack Welch and a Marine Medal of Honor recipient."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/03/30/sarah-palin-hosting-fox-n_n_519082.html

Notice the released statement says "the show will include guests such-and-such". Come to find out, two of the "guests" listed had no clue they were going to be on the show--because they weren't! Interview footage from previous interviews, in LL Cool J's case, from 2008, were being used instead. And they weren't even notified old interview footage or their images were going to be used in this way. Both Cool J and Toby Keith claim that Fox News is lying to promote Palin's show:

After the network announced that Sarah Palin would host a special Thursday called "Real American Stories" -- featuring interviews with LL Cool J, Toby Keith and other celebrities -- the rapper and country singer both hit back claiming they were lying.

"Fox lifted an old interview I gave in 2008 to someone else & are misrepresenting to the public in order to promote Sarah Palins Show. WOW," he tweeted.

Likewise, Toby Keith never sat down with Sarah Palin, Keith's spokesman told HifFix. "We were never contacted by Fox," Keith's spokesman said. "I have no idea what interview it's taken from. They're promoting this like it's a brand new interview."

Fox News responded Wednesday morning, saying they would cut the footage of LL Cool J (aka James Todd Smith) from the special. Keith's old interview is still slated to run.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/03/31/ll-cool-j-vs-fox-news-sar_n_520035.html

Like I said, a culture of news falsification. And here two celebrities are saying it too.

T.B.:

See what I mean? I rest my case.

"They put up the wrong picture behind their commentators a couple of times, and explained it was accidental. Anyone who watches any news show has seen the wrong graphic appear before; in this case the whack jobs are using an honest mistake to promote their conspiracy theories."

Oh sure, the same "honest mistake" made a COUPLE OF TIMES! And Fox had to be busted by other sources before they admitted the "mistakes"! They're either idiots or liars, your choice.

When the MSM makes a mistake, they're lying. When Fox does it, it's an "honest mistake". The same old biased BS from the usual source.

An outright lie from wt:

"The MSM didn't drive her in there, give her talking points, bus in people for a crowd and gin them up. That's what Fox does. When actual events are fabricated or falsified to fit a particular agenda, this ceases to be news and becomes propaganda.

Fox never did what you just claimed. They put up the wrong picture behind their commentators a couple of times, and explained it was accidental. Anyone who watches any news show has seen the wrong graphic appear before; in this case the whack jobs are using an honest mistake to promote their conspiracy theories.

You claim that a google search of Fox new's lies and the hits it produce is proof of it's many lies. Do the same for main stream media lies, and you get the same type of results. All you can point to is an intern's mistake, when the Rather lie is a deliberate lie backed by the network. Just because it happened years ago does not diminish the fact that a major network tried push false documents on the American public to try and influence an election.

T.B.:

Yeah, all news sources have their biases, but to me, bias is a lot different than outright falsification. To report on a specific event from a biased angle is much different from actually falsifying that event with fake "live coverage", which is precisely why much of the MSM doesn't consider Fox a legitimate news organization. The MSM may have given Sheehan more coverage than she deserved, but she did what she did under her own steam. The MSM didn't drive her in there, give her talking points, bus in people for a crowd and gin them up. That's what Fox does. When actual events are fabricated or falsified to fit a particular agenda, this ceases to be news and becomes propaganda.

So we can continue to disagree about Fox, but I do recognize that all networks have their biases. That's why people have to be discriminating consumers of what they hear and read and look at many sources, not just one TV program or talk station.

I know, wrong is wrong, but sometimes fighting fire with fire is effective. It attaches social consequences to bad behavior. If these people can't take it, then they better think twice before dishing it out. Without any consequences, these kind of people just endlessly dish. So sometimes it is necessary. But since your position is the morally correct one, I'll knock it off from now on. =(

Re Sheehan, it was heart-wrenching to watch her do what she did. I could understand her position if her son had been drafted. But he VOLUNTEERED. It was a volunteer army, he choose to be a soldier. And soldiers get put in harm's way. At some point she must have supported his decision. So that lady didn't need news coverage, she needed grief counseling. I hope eventually she got it.

WT? –

I’m confused. Two wrongs don’t make a right, but then you justify why you write what you write? No – wrong is wrong. Period.

Regarding Rather, to say he was fired for what he did is very…generous. CBS continued to defend him and said he retired (check their web site). It doesn’t sound like he was fired to me. It was completely shameless. Rather may have been forced to resign (or whatever) but the network never repudiated his work and let him leave with grace when he was really a Dem shill (as is the entire network). They hoped he would go away quietly which he refused to do in a quest for cash (the lawsuit).

You may bring more examples here, but I still find the MSM to be completely one-sidedly for the Dems. The networks shamelessly fawned over BHO and continue to do so. I doubt even you can deny that. I strongly disagree with your comparisons between Fox and CBS. No one network is worse then the other. The all suck.

T.B.

T.B.:

No, of course two wrongs don't make a right. But many times the only way to get through to knuckleheads is by giving them a taste of their own crap. And I've found that a lot of these folks can't take what they dish out. So it's either push back or be victimized by the endless nonsense. I don't do victim well.

You're right about how cameras can be used to make groups appear a lot larger, we've all seen this done. But with both the Fox examples I mentioned regarding tea party rallies, it was a bit different. Remember that huge tea party rally in D.C., one of the first? There were lots of panoramic and aerial pics of people jamming the Washington mall? Fox used different pics from this event for two more tea parties later in the year that were much smaller. It was a silly thing to try to get away with, because the close up pics of one much smaller rally showed a bright, sunny fall day with trees dropping their leaves in the background. However, the panoramic views of this "live event" showed hundreds of people on an overcast day with green trees. Duh. After blaming this first occurance on their interns, they did the same thing again later. The interns got blamed again. This kind of stuff is juvenile behavior for a "news" organization.

The funny thing about the Rather incident is that this is usually the only thing brought up by conservatives when I talk about Fox's falsifications. I'd forgotten and the Sheehan thing, you're the first to remind me. Fox falsifies repeatedly, yet the Rather interview, which happened many years ago, is the only example the conservatives use to prove a liberal bias in the MSM. What you seem to forget is that Dan was ultimately fired, sued and the suit was dismissed. So he got his. To my knowledge, no one has ever been fired from Fox for doing this. A culture of news falsification is tolerated (if not openly encouraged) at Fox. Not so with CBS.

WT? --

Hmm…so on the Hitler comparisons if someone else is doing it that makes it OK? No, it’s bad any time it’s done. If you think the other side is doing it, might I suggest you not stoop to their level? I’m sure you’d agree that there are knuckleheads on both sides.

Thanks for the Fox examples. I try not to watch much TV news as I find it too biased one way or the other. I get most of my news on-line and in print. But I may suggest that the crowd issues are done daily by all network news media. Ever see one of those a protests or speeches downtown on the news? They look jam-packed but if the cameras would just pan back you’d see there were a whopping 12 people there. This isn’t limited to one network and isn’t just Tea Party stuff. It’s the same for Jesse, Fr Pfleger and others, too.

However, that being said I have to disagree that Dan Rather wasn’t just one person. Even after he was shown to be a buffoon, CBS defended his work with the lame excuse that even if the documents weren’t true, the essence of the story still was. It was laughable.

Then you have stories like Cindy Sheehan. She was the media’s poster child until BHO got elected. Then they (and the Dems) just wanted her to go away even though she continues her protests. She was useful when the media wanted to rail against Bush, but a nuisance ever since the election. That’s the epitome of bias.

T.B.

T.B.:

I think the way most of the bloggers here compare Obama to Hitler diminishes the past also, but this doesn't seem to bother anyone. I see these comments as inflammatory and unwarranted also. These things go both ways. If people object so much to this, then I suggest they stop doing it themselves.

I remember seeing coverage on the tea parties on the MSM channels last summer--the ones in Chicago and D.C. A Chicago one was given quite a bit of time by the local news stations, I remember an on-site interview with a woman from Naperville and two other participants there. But the tea parties certainly weren't promoted 24/7 like they were on Fox. I don't think the Tea Party was ignored by the MSM, they just weren't treated as the top story of the day.

You need an example of where Fox fabricated something? How can you watch Fox and not be aware of this? The list is long and time consuming. I suggest you google it, there are many sites, many clips on youtube about this, have been since I can remember. They're easy to find if you're really interested in knowing about this, you don't need me. The opinionists do the majority of it, and they're also the most blatant, so they're easy to spot. It happened a lot during the tea party stuff, clips of larger rallies during one season were repeated to promote a much smaller rally months later. Fox did this twice and when busted both times, blamed their "interns". Right. When Obama made a speech about health care and said "insurance companies don't do this because they're bad", this got reported as "Obama said insurance companies are bad!" and on and on ad nauseum. Seriously, this stuff is so frequent and common place it's boring. Dan Rather was one person. Fox News is an entire station. I think Fox trumps Dan.

WT? –

Thanks. I’ve been busy.

You may want to tone down the Nazi comparisons. I don’t think it’s warranted and also think it diminishes the past. Some people would see such comments as inflammatory.

My biggest beef with the local TV news is that they don’t seem to realize that promoting their own shows is now “news”. Channel 32 should stop the non-stop Idol crap and channel 7 should stop talking about the Bachelor (did I leave any out?). If we wanted to watch those shows we would, but it’s not news.

But since you brought up the Tea Party issue…part of the problem was the major networks and their conscience decision to not cover them as a non-issue. That made what was a marginal protest a larger issue. The fact that the major networks wanted to ignore them, was in of itself news. This is just another example of how the media is their own worst enemy. If they would just cover things objectively, there would be no “gotcha” moment for someone to exploit.

I wish you’d provide some examples of where you think Fox fabricated something. I don’t recall any “Dan Rather moments” in Fox’s history, but I’d be willing to listen.

T.B.

Tea Parties are comparable to Hitler? Who looks and acts more like Hitler, Barak Obama or the Tea Party movement?

Obama jammed a pile of crap down people's throats that objected to it. No shame. How about those Republican ideas? Purchase insurance accross borders? No way, now only "approved" plans. Control on tort? Nowhere.

Thank goodness that much of this does not go into effect until 2013 and 2014, it can be stopped.

T.B.:

This is an awesome opinion piece by David Frum (Canadian American conservative journalist and former economic speechwriter for W. Bush) that's making the rounds right now:

http://www.frumforum.com/waterloo

"A huge part of the blame for today’s disaster attaches to conservatives and Republicans ourselves.

At the beginning of this process we made a strategic decision: we would make no deal with the administration. No negotiations, no compromise, nothing. We were going for all the marbles. This would be Obama’s Waterloo – just as healthcare was Clinton’s in 1994.

This time, when we went for all the marbles, we ended with none.

Could a deal have been reached? Who knows? But we do know that the gap between this plan and traditional Republican ideas is not very big. Barack Obama badly wanted Republican votes for his plan. Could we have leveraged his desire to align the plan more closely with conservative views? Too late now.

We followed the most radical voices in the party and the movement, and they led us to abject and irreversible defeat.

There were leaders who knew better, who would have liked to deal. But they were trapped. Conservative talkers on Fox and talk radio had whipped the Republican voting base into such a frenzy that deal-making was rendered impossible. How do you negotiate with somebody who wants to murder your grandmother? Or – more exactly – with somebody whom your voters have been persuaded to believe wants to murder their grandmother?

I’ve been on a soapbox for months now about the harm that our overheated talk is doing to us. Yes it mobilizes supporters – but by mobilizing them with hysterical accusations and pseudo-information, overheated talk has made it impossible for representatives to represent and elected leaders to lead. The real leaders are on TV and radio, and they have very different imperatives from people in government.

So today’s defeat for free-market economics and Republican values is a huge win for the conservative entertainment industry. Their listeners and viewers will now be even more enraged, even more frustrated, even more disappointed in everybody except the responsibility-free talkers on television and radio. For them, it’s mission accomplished. For the cause they purport to represent, it’s Waterloo all right: ours."

Aside from the reference to Fox, this article also makes an admission on something we have discussed before. I felt the Dems had invested too much time and energy in trying to bring Reps to the negotiating table; you insist the Reps weren't invited to begin with. But here Frum says "At the beginning of this process we made a strategic decision: we would make no deal with the administration. No negotiations, no compromise, nothing."

Wow. This sounds like a mea culpa, doesn't it? The Reps simultaneously refused to negotiate while complaining about being left out of negotiations. Looks like Frum and I both saw this the same way.

Have any proof of those accusations, wt? I can think of two instances that the msm pointed out, both of which were explained by Fox. You obviously don't believe the explanations, which is fine. However, you claim that the stations we grew up with are not biased even though CBS had to fire Dan Rather for airing false documents used to attack President Bush. The dichotomy of your thought process is amusing, to say the least.

T.B.:

Hey, welcome back.

I grew up also with just channels 2, 5, 7, etc. Everyone says there is a liberal bias to the MSM. I personally don't see it, perhaps because I've spent most of my time there, grew up with it, so I'm used to it and don't see it as such. Your biased is my "normal". So I'll concede this point. If conservatives see the MSM as having a liberal bias, then ok, to you it definitely does.

And I don't mind having a network with a conservative bias either. This obviously, as you point out, is filling a void and reflecting the points of view of many like-minded Americans. That's perfectly fine too.

This is my only problem with Fox: the deliberate falsification and manipulation of news. I've personally seen them do this many, many times and other networks have outed them for doing this many, many times. Falsifying news to promote a particular agenda, whether liberal or conservative, is propaganda, not "news".

I watched Fox hit it's peak with this during last year's Tea Party summer. Actively promoting and encouraging Tea Party participation, sending their opinionists out into the field to "report" and allowing them to call themselves journalists for a few weeks out of the year, and falsifying all manner of "facts" about these events from the number and political makeup of the participants to calling the Tea Party Express a "grassroots movement", which even the original Tea Party movement denounced.

Watching all this unfold on Fox last summer, I was reminded of the propaganda videos the Nazis released during WWII in response to reports that Jews were being mistreated in the internment camps. These were lovely "news" clips, showing older adults sitting outside leisurely playing chess while well-dressed, healthy children skipped rope and played in the sunshine. I'm sure this kind of news reporting worked well for the Germans at that time too.

And please don't defend Fox's behavior based on its ratings. Crap sells in our culture, we all know this. But when it markets itself as legitimate "news", all Americans lose. Just like the Germans did.

TB, here is a little hint on how much your taxes will go up, courtesy of the Chicago Trib:

That dubious conclusion rests on a Congressional Budget Office guesstimate that Washington can spend nearly $1 trillion more on health care over 10 years — and also cut the deficit by $138 billion. Writing in Sunday's New York Times, former CBO director Douglas Holtz-Eakin profoundly disagreed: "(T)he budget office is required to take written legislation at face value and not second-guess the plausibility of what it is handed. So fantasy in, fantasy out. In reality, if you strip out all the gimmicks and budgetary games and rework the calculus, a wholly different picture emerges: The health care reform legislation would raise, not lower, federal deficits, by $562 billion."

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/editorials/ct-edit-health0322-20100321,0,7727464.story


I not only fear for my taxes but am petrified at how much my employer is going to raise my contribution to my run of the mill policy premium. I guess I could be paying up to 40 percent and I do not see sufficient safeguards in place to prevent their costs from continuing to skyrocket. Not only have I taken a pay cut, but add these items to State and local tax increases and the future looks bleak.

WT? –

Do you really think that Fox has managed to overturn “…standards of fairness and objectivity that have guided American print and broadcast journalists since World War II”? Really?? All that since 1986?

No, don’t think I’m here to defend Fox as being completely neutral. I think they lean right, but not as far as you think they do. I don’t see any of the news programs or networks as being completely neutral and I think most of them support a liberal agenda. Isn’t it strange how most journalists can identify themselves as liberal but say that doesn’t affect their work, but a Supreme Court justice nominee doesn’t get to claim their views don’t affect their opinions? I think journalism as a whole has lost its way.

Sadly, what the Libs don’t seem to realize is that if the news media had been truly free of bias, something like the Fox Network would never have been possible. In fact, it was because of the left-leaning media that made Fox not just possible, but necessary. If the networks had truly been neutral (no Dan Rather moments) Fox would have folded in its infancy due to the competitiveness of “original” national networks.

Remember how crazy it sounded back then that someone wanted to start another network? Especially to those of us who grew up in the era of just channels 2, 5, 7, 9 and maybe 32.

Have a good week. I can’t wait to see how much my taxes and fees go up after tonight.

T.B.

It was interesting to read the article on Mr Huber's encounter with the doctor in Naperville. I am surprised that Mr Huber was not charged with assault for his actions. It appears that his actions would certainly justify the charges.

§ 720 ILCS 5/12-1. Assault

Sec. 12-1. Assault. (a) A person commits an assault when, without lawful authority, he engages in conduct which places another in reasonable apprehension of receiving a battery.

Dude:

That youtube link was great. Too fun!

A lighter view of all of this:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Tcahn7PwQU&feature=player_embedded

Ken on March 13, 2010 12:41 AM
Found at the end of the opinion piece:

Howell Raines is a former executive editor of the New York Times...

Funny how Raines forgets about ABC, CBS, and NBC trying to destroy President Bush the same way. I guess he still believes Dan Rather's stories...

___________

Now Ken, I happen to think that Howell Raines and the NYT are ...Reliably Accurate!....

I saw the following OPINION / BLOG (not claiming this is News, but is just opinion) about Howell Raines. The snipped that I found most interesting is the following: Anyhow, it is obvious that — like most Fox News haters — Raines doesn’t actually bother to watch Fox News. A snippet here and there, cut out of context and published on HuffPo, is usually all FN Haters bother to check out. http://news-political.com/2010/03/13/howell-raines-horses-rump/comment-page-1/

Just to be clear again, it's just an opinion piece and I'm not claiming it to be News - but I'll have to say the comment about Fox News Haters is (IMO) accurate.

Found at the end of the opinion piece:

Howell Raines is a former executive editor of the New York Times...

Funny how Raines forgets about ABC, CBS, and NBC trying to destroy President Bush the same way. I guess he still believes Dan Rather's stories...

1.

Q
Does the passport the hotel takes get scanned and fed directly to the local police department?

A
Yes, everywhere in Europe that I know of this is standard practice.

Q 2
Do our U.S. driver's licenses get scanned and sent to the local PD in the U.S.?

A 2
Short answer, never. To the best of my knowledge if this happened in a USA hotel they would get their pants sued off.

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

2.

What, the act of accepting a bribe or anything close is the act. I don't think that the official actually has to deliver anything.
Who knows maybe you can have a bribe and a fraud all in the same transaction.

In my experience, I have been offered every kind of bribe you can think of. Some of them cleverly disguised, some sold so gently they sounded natural. In the end, I turned them all down without hesitation. Unless the highly vaunted Law Professor is an imbecile he knew he was taking a bribe, and $100K is a little more than a free cheeseburger at some restaurant.

I don't even think the cops can accept a free meal any longer because of appearances let alone $100K.

Hey, Peeps!

Look what I found in today's Washington Post. I don't know if the WP is considered liberal or conservative, and if some of you consider it liberal I know you'll just dismiss it. But I thought it was worth a post anyway.

And Psyche, before you chastise me about repeating "left-wing talking points", keep in mind that I've been saying this here for MONTHS. I think in this case, the left is repeating ME.

Howell Raines: Why don't honest journalists take on Roger Ailes and Fox News?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/11/AR2010031102523.html

Some of my favs:

"Through clever use of the Fox News Channel and its cadre of raucous commentators, Ailes has overturned standards of fairness and objectivity that have guided American print and broadcast journalists since World War II. Yet, many members of my profession seem to stand by in silence as Ailes tears up the rulebook that served this country well as we covered the major stories of the past three generations, from the civil rights revolution to Watergate to the Wall Street scandals. This is not a liberal-versus-conservative issue."

"This is not a liberal-versus-conservative issue." Psyche, doesn't that sound like a comment I made to you not too long ago?

"Along the way, the network has sold a falsified image of the professional standards that developed in American newsrooms and university journalism departments in the last half of the 20th century. Why has our profession, through its general silence -- or only spasmodic protest -- helped Fox legitimize a style of journalism that is dishonest in its intellectual process, untrustworthy in its conclusions and biased in its gestalt? The standard answer is economics . . .

For the first time since the yellow journalism of a century ago, the United States has a major news organization devoted to the promotion of one political party . . . Its news operation can, in fact, be called many things, but reporters of my generation, with memories and keyboards, dare not call it journalism."

Anonymous:

Ok, now you're making a little more sense. When you say "papers" you mean a simple passport or national ID card. Let's use the term passport or ID then, "papers" conjures up images of Nazi Germany, which is what I think you were intending to do for emotional impact. For better understanding, let's reduce the high-voltage verbiage a bit, ok?

Yes, when you check into a hotel, they ask for two things: a form of identification and a credit card. Just like in the U.S., they ask for a form of identification and a credit card. In the U.S., we present our driver's licenses for I.D. But U.S. driver's licenses aren't valid forms of I.D. in the EU, so we present our passports instead. So what's the problem with this? We have to present ID in U.S. hotels, why should hotels in the EU be any different?

Does the passport the hotel takes get scanned and fed directly to the local police department? In all honesty, I have no idea. I've never seen anything that suggests this was done. Do our U.S. driver's licenses get scanned and sent to the local PD in the U.S.? I have no idea either. I simply don't care about this stuff. I'm not a terrorist or a criminal, so they can scan and report to their heart's content in the U.S. or the EU. Do you know for a fact that hotels and car rental agencies in the EU do this, or are you just assuming that they do because it fits in with your "police state" theory?

"Within three days of having an unregistered house guest, we had the police at our front door asking questions. So they do pay attention."

I've been traveling to Europe since the late 80s and I have never ever had anything like this happen, nor have any of our visits been "registered". My bro has traveled all over the EU for years, we've visited numerous times, he's never been required to "register" our visits with anyone. We've rented cars in one country and driven them to others, the car rental place didn't even care much where the car ended up, as long as we gave them a general idea. Nor have I even so much as spoken to any police officer in any country.

You haven't said what country you were in when this happened or the year, this may help explain it. You say you've been traveling there for 40 years, your experience in that country may have predated it's joining the EU community. In fact, that country still may not be a member of the EU. The ‘Schengen’ agreement of 1995 allowed for the free movement of people between countries without having so much as their passports checked at a border. In 2002 we drove from the Netherlands to Germany to France without ever stopping at a "border", there are no border stops, just signs saying "you are now entering such-and-such". We drove from one country to another just like we drive between states here in the U.S. This isn't how police states usually do things.

My brainiac globe-trotting eldest is in Amsterdam again this weekend staying with cousins of a school mate. They were picked up at the airport by family members, their presence there has not been "reported" to anyone or "registered" anywhere. I have to keep close track of where she goes and who she is with because no one else does. The movie "Taken" kind of freaked me out.

"What, you need to turn the TV back on, this is moving back onto the front burner in DC. Those new welfare dependent voters are needed by 2012 or the progressives will lose power and won't be able to Rahm their far left agenda down everyone's throats. 2 million instant voters put Hugo Chavez over the top in Venezuelan elections, a fact I am sure is not lost on the progressives."

Conservatives have ALWAYS claimed that the liberals and progressives want welfare as a way of buying votes among the poor. Big deal, this is nothing new, I've heard this for years. Just like a lot of liberals claim Ronald Reagan gave blanket amnesty to all those illegal aliens back in 1986 as a way of securing millions of new Republican votes. Who knows, maybe he did. If you want to see a conspiracy in everything, go right ahead. I don't view the world this way.

"1 : money or favor given or promised in order to influence the judgment or conduct of a person in a position of trust

2 : something that serves to induce or influence"

Dude, you have no proof that Obama's judgment or behavior was influenced in any way by Northwestern Trust. All that is fact is that he received a courtesy interest rate, you're assuming everything else naturally followed from this. O and Northwestern both were upfront about his loan, it and many other loans like it were scrutinized, no wrongdoing or any influence peddling was found. I'm positive if there had been even a hint of this type of thing, the opposition would have been all over it and it would have meant the end of Obama's campaign.

That's the beauty of conspiracy theories--they're not based in much fact. Conspiracy theories are belief systems that persist even in the face of hard evidence to the contrary. You are entitled to believe whatever you want, but this doesn't make it true.

What,

1.

Actually, I have lived in Europe, and traveled there many times including about 30 trips to Germany. This is over a 40 year period. Not to mention a lot of family members that are citizens of the EU countries.

You either have to show the National ID card (a holdover from the Fascist days that remains popular with European Governments) or a Passport or you can't rent lodging of any kind. Your information is provided to the police within a few hours of your renting the lodging. What does your family think they are doing with your identity papers when they check into the hotel? I'm almost certain the vehicle rental places feed your info to the police real time. Apparently, ignorance really is bliss.

If your brother is able to reside in Germany without a "residence or sojourn permit" he is unique indeed. The permits are tightly controlled and actively enforced. Within three days of having an unregistered house guest, we had the police at our front door asking questions. So they do pay attention.


"1) I have traveled to Europe many times over many years, to several different countries, and have NEVER seen this. My eldest child currently is living there and has been traveling all over Europe for months without a speck of trouble. All she has is her passport and student visa. And finally, my brother has been living in Heidelberg, Germany for over 20 years and doesn't know what the hell you are talking about. A police state? You need to inform on yourself to the local PD and give them the papers for everyone living or visiting your home for more than a day or two? I've been there FOR WEEKS without ever doing anything of the kind, I travel freely ANYWHERE with just a passport, I don't have any "papers", neither does my brother. From what alternate universe do you get this stuff?! Hogan's Heroes reruns?!"

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2.

What, you need to turn the TV back on, this is moving back onto the front burner in DC. Those new welfare dependent voters are needed by 2012 or the progressives will lose power and won't be able to Rahm their far left agenda down everyone's throats. 2 million instant voters put Hugo Chavez over the top in Venezuelan elections, a fact I am sure is not lost on the progressives.


"2) "The real agenda is to ram 20-30 million illegals down the throats of the American people 75-80% of whom don't want it." Says WHO? Certainly not Obama. The only U.S. President who ever did that was Ronald Reagan. What REAL agenda? The one your imaginary friends are showing you?"


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3.

Websters:

Main Entry: 1bribe
Pronunciation: \ˈbrīb\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, morsel given to a beggar, bribe, from Anglo-French, morsel
Date: 15th century

1 : money or favor given or promised in order to influence the judgment or conduct of a person in a position of trust

2 : something that serves to induce or influence

Obama (and others in the Senate, House and IL legislature) took a bribe of $100,000 from N. Trust Bank. Obama is a crook.

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

"3) Look in a mirror and say "Obama's mortgage paperwork was NOT burned, it still exists at Northwestern Trust and has been scrutinized and no wrongdoing was found. The accusations I present are baseless." I know reality is very hard to accept, especially when fantasy is so much more fun!"

Forgot:

I stand by my statement that the HP is "reliably accurate". The content of commentaries and comedy aren't held to the same standards as news reporting is; see the moderator's explanation above. If this is the best you can do, then you're also wasting your time. I don't talk to dining room tables either.

Anon ONE:

I knew you two would connect. I was going to suggest Ken, but I'm reluctant to push him on ANYONE. Call it a liberal failing, we tend to care about the welfare of others, even if we don't know them.

It was apparent from the sound of your first posts to me that you were spoiling for a fight about something, but I decided to give you the benefit of the doubt anyway. I'm done doing that.

My criteria is very simple: If you want to have an honest, straight-forward adult discussion, then you'll have to act like an adult. If you prefer to play childish little games, then waste someone else's time. Like Ken's. But a word of advice: you'd better carry a big pooper-scooper. You're gonna need it.

Note to Ken: SQUIRREL!!! :-)

Ken on March 11, 2010 11:20 AM

___

Hi Ken, I agree, well put. especially after the latest screed posted by the affable (not) liberal WT (1:11 PM). I knew there was a reason that WT ends up in battles with just about everyone - she gets too emotional and resorts to personal insults when it's pointed out that her arguments don't hold water - or god forbid someone challenges HER, the almighty enlightened one, forever on her noble and courageous fight to rid the world of conservatives.

WT wrote: (You and this discussion are a waste of my time. I suggest you find an age appropriate playmate, perhaps someone in the third grade?). Oh Please WT? At least in the past you would tell your opponent (and yes, you seem to view everyone as an opponent) that they were "too stupid" or so far beneath you that it wasn't worth your time, but 3rd grader??? You can do better than that you big sissy meany!

I better get going as my work release van is here to pick me up - I have a job at McDonald's serving coffee to world traveling brainiacs who will soon be making six figures! (Hey WT, Perhaps she can be a News Reporter for the Huffington Post?)

Anon ONE:

It sounds like you're parsing words now simply to salvage what remains of your dignity. I think you clearly couldn't tell the difference between a comedy article, a blog commentary and legitimate news, all of which are present in EVERY newspaper, online or otherwise, which indicates you have a comprehension problem. But it's a problem that probably works to your advantage given the sources you prefer.

And no, I don't see my comment comparing the HP and Fox News as a double standard at all. Fox News has been caught numerous times intentionally falsifying news. I would ask you to show me ONE instance where the Huffington Post has done this, except you'd probably pull up the comics section and advertisements to make your case. After all, advertisements and comics are in a newspaper, they MUST be news too!

You and this discussion are a waste of my time. I suggest you find an age appropriate playmate, perhaps someone in the third grade?

And I KNEW the dog would want out when Fox News was mentioned. I gotta get the pooper-scooper, he left another pile on the lawn!

I think wt protests too much. Far more liberal news sources have been caught in lies than Fox, yet she continues to claim the opposite. I've pretty much given up on getting an unbiased, non Democrat talking points opinion from her, especially considering that she thinks HP is a reliably accurate news source. Not to mention the fact that every time she is proven wrong, she has to resort to personal attacks, which is the typical liberal pattern.

Anon One, even though I'm sure it makes wt think she has won something, I have almost quit pointing out her double standards and out and out lies. She is a liberal zealot, blinded by her adoration for President Obama. As such, trying to show her the error of her ways is as useless as trying to show a right wing fanatic the error of their way. As the old saying goes, it's like a normal person competing in the special olympics. You'll win, but who have you beaten, and do they even realize how badly they have lost?

WT?,

OK, let's just say I view the HP the same way you view Fox News. This is certainly just my opinion, however, and if you disagree (which you seem to), that's ok too. You were the one that made the statement that the HP was "reliably accurate". I challenged you, only to find out that what you really meant was that the news portions of the HP are what you were talking about. Your original statement made no such claim.

And regarding your double standard comment, that's a little of the pot calling the kettle black isn't it? When was the last time you commented favorably on anything from Fox News, the WSJ or any other "conservative" leaning outlet? You obviously don't like them, and belittle those who do.

Anon ONE:

No, still not right. I think the HP is reliably accurate. If you don't, fine, that's your opinion. But if you choose to bring forth articles challenging my opinion, then bring forth NEWS ARTICLES, not blog commentaries and comedy writings. Opinions and nonsense are not subject to accuracy tests, facts are. If you can't tell the difference, then it's best you not have an opinion until you do.

And there certainly does seem to be a double standard when it comes to what you perceive as "liberal" and "conservative" news sources. You cut the liberal ones no slack, keeping a mental check list of missteps and mistakes. The conservative ones, no big, lie about this, falsify that, get caught, retract, rinse and repeat and round and round we go on an endless cycle of broadcasting BS. Call yourself a journalist one day, an opinionist another, be a field "reporter" the following week, hey, whatever works. As long as you're getting what you want to hear, no prob.

You have me convinced, you really DON'T know the difference.

What the? on March 10, 2010 5:55 PM
Don't you think this is a silly discussion?

____________

Yes I do.

I guess you win, I give up. Let's make sure I have it right: the huffington post is news presented in a way that makes it "reliably accurate". The NYT is also accurate, and their little matter with 2 discredited reporters isn't a big deal.

Fox News is not accurate and their reporting is completely blurred because they seem to have such a hard time differentiating news from commentary?

Do I have it right now? Your irony isn't lost on me either, I do know the difference.


Chris:

Yes, you understood my question perfectly. Thanks for the response. This is how I understood newspapers to work, but I just wanted to make sure.

Anon ONE:

"I'm simply pointing out that Huffington says nothing about "News" anywhere. I'm not interested in restarting that debate, but my reasoning to comment about Huffington's News is that IMO they make no attempt at distinguishing between commentary and news."

I'm not really interested in restarting that debate, either, but dear, Huffington Post is a NEWSpaper. It says what it is at the top: The Internet Newspaper: News Blogs and Video Commentary. Do you also pick up the Chicago Tribune, look at the front page and think "but where is the news?" The Trib doesn't say "news" anywhere on it either, do you find this confusing? Don't you think it's safe to assume a newspaper prints news? And I think the Huff Post makes a very clear distinction in what is commentary and what isn't. If it's called blog, blogger, commentary, editorials and the like, it's not news, it's people holding forth about news events. If a section is called "Good Eating" does it also have to say "food" for you to know what that section is about? Don't you think this is a silly discussion?

Like I said, if you pull articles up from the archives it doesn't say which section they originally appeared in, so I can see how that isn't made clear. But if you go directly to the newspaper itself, there's absolutely no doubt.

And this isn't a good comparison to Fox News, Fox isn't a newspaper. If Fox were to print it's content and keep strictly to a newspaper format, I'd think the majority of it would be in the editorial or commentary section. What remains would be definitely slanted to the right news reporting. You'd also have their editorial staff going out into the field acting as reporters and journalists and putting their commentary on the front page as the leading "news" story. Are there any newspapers that actually do this? Maybe the moderator would know, he's a newspaper guy. (Chris?) You'd also have Fox Newspaper running current stories along side pictures of different events, which I don't think newspapers do either without identifying them as such. Fox has been caught doing this more times than I can remember, especially during this past Tea Party summer. My problem with Fox isn't that it's a conservative network. My problem with it is that they fabricate and misrepresent news, and the majority of the time never bother to correct or retract anything unless they get caught. That and the fact that they blend their commentary programs in with the news programs and don't distinguish between the two. Fox News ALWAYS says Fox News, does the word "commentary" appear on the screen with Beck and Hannity? No it doesn't. I think it should, I've seen other programs do this and newspapers always do. If Fox where the Huffington Post, Hannity and Beck would be in The Blogs.

It surprises me you are so mistrustful of the NYT because of two discredited reporters and yet you don't seem to have a problem with a network that has been discredited numerous times for falsifying news. Why do you think this is?

WT?, thanks. I believe we are on the same page although we use different "semantics" and means to get there.

I see your point about my use of the phrase regarding the NYT. It was given as a tongue in cheek manner, and came right after I referenced an opinion piece by Maureen Dowd of the NYT of all places. My response was to you, but the comment is, as I mentioned before, a dig to the NYT and not you - sorry for the mixed metaphor.

I discussed the NYT reference further here:

Anonymous ONE on February 25, 2010 11:07 AM
Hey WT?, My NYT reference almost always is used with a "tongue in cheek" type inference, but I haven't figured out how to convey this in writing! but yes, I know what you mean. I like the NYT, but often find myself disagreeing with what I view as a liberal slant.

I used the Huffington Post as a link just like you pointed out. But just like your previous explanation about sources, I found this source on a conservative site first and then found it on Huffington Post primarily to make you happier??:) Had I sourced Fox, or Drudge or something conservative I believe the liberals would immediately discount the credibility.


I made such a big deal about the NEWS on the Huffington Post because you previously made quite a deal out of Fox News and your opinion that they cross the line between news and opinion. If I recall you drew quite a distinction between news and comment classifications. I'm simply pointing out that Huffington says nothing about "News" anywhere, apparently they rely on loyal readers like you to educate the rest of us:). I'm not interested in restarting that debate, but my reasoning to comment about Huffington's News is that IMO they make no attempt at distinguishing between commentary and news. Thanks for the Huffington 201 lesson. I clicked on the "politics" topic and see the layout is similar (blogs on one side, ads and comedy on the other). and the "News" must be the center strip?

Anon:

1) I have traveled to Europe many times over many years, to several different countries, and have NEVER seen this. My eldest child currently is living there and has been traveling all over Europe for months without a speck of trouble. All she has is her passport and student visa. And finally, my brother has been living in Heidelberg, Germany for over 20 years and doesn't know what the hell you are talking about. A police state? You need to inform on yourself to the local PD and give them the papers for everyone living or visiting your home for more than a day or two? I've been there FOR WEEKS without ever doing anything of the kind, I travel freely ANYWHERE with just a passport, I don't have any "papers", neither does my brother. From what alternate universe do you get this stuff?! Hogan's Heroes reruns?!

2) "The real agenda is to ram 20-30 million illegals down the throats of the American people 75-80% of whom don't want it." Says WHO? Certainly not Obama. The only U.S. President who ever did that was Ronald Reagan. What REAL agenda? The one your imaginary friends are showing you?

3) Look in a mirror and say "Obama's mortgage paperwork was NOT burned, it still exists at Northwestern Trust and has been scrutinized and no wrongdoing was found. The accusations I present are baseless." I know reality is very hard to accept, especially when fantasy is so much more fun!

I'm willing to tolerate different points of view, but now you're too far down the yellow brick road for my comfort. You're on your own.

Anon ONE:

Ok, so you see the problem as me not being clear as to what is actually news rather than you not being able to tell the difference between blogging, comedy and news? Well, since you now recognize there is a difference, I think this means you're ready to move on to Huff Post 201:

Click on the home page here:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/

Since this is an internet newspaper, the home page is like a front page. There is a menu bar at the top listing the different "sections": politics, media, sports, business, etc etc. Clicking on these will take you to sports news, political news, entertainment news, business news, and so forth. In addition, if you scroll down the home page you'll see some of the content is tagged with the section in which the full article appears.

Now look on the left, you'll see a column that says "The Blog". Click on any one. Does the format look familiar? It should, this is where your three blog links came from. Your links didn't say "The Blog" when you pulled them from the archives, so I can see how you wouldn't know this (except for the Sean Penn one, that should have been obvious). But if you had been familiar with the Huff Post, you would have recognized the format. I did.

Now click on Comedy. This is where your "Retarded" article came from. Most of what's here is just silliness. There are limits to helping someone recognize comedy and satire. A sense of humor is a prerequisite. If you don't have one, you'll never get it. You're better off changing your major.

So the format is fairly easy to understand. The Naperville Sun's home page is similar. But it concerns me that you feel you have to have something clearly labeled "news" to recognize it as such. After all, you are reading an internet NEWSpaper, right?

Re: "For this reason I frequently will write, "It must be true because it's written in the NYT". Sorry to burst your bubble, but this comment was never directed toward you. If I did criticize you for using the NYT I apologize, but again I don't think I ever did."

Here it is:

By Anonymous ONE on February 18, 2010 5:03 PM

"WT?, the anti clinton rhetoric and "anyone but Clinton" rhetoric was prevalent during the primaries. In 2007 Maureen Down wrote an article about Hollywood mogul David Geffen and his beliefs about the Clintons: "Everybody in politics lies, but they do it with such ease, it’s troubling" http://select.nytimes.com/2007/02/21/opinion/21dowd.html?_r=1

Of course it must be true because it's in the NYT."

Yes, I thought your comment was directed at me because you were specifically addressing me in your response. Look what else I found in this same post:

"In the new book "Game Change" Obama is quoted as saying that Harry Reid had a meeting with him early on and expressed his desire to have Obama run. Obama's comments after the meeting were, "Harry wants me to run for president." http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/01/12/game-change-harry-reid-wa_n_420017.html"

You're citing the Huff Post? No way! Sure this is news? (couldn't resist! ;-)

"As I've written time and time again, people need to read from a variety of sources in order to form an opinion."

And as I have written on this blog time and time again, I am all over the place with sources. Yes, even Fox News. I don't have much use for them as I consider the majority of their content to be extremely biased and too often intentionally falsified. I do watch them from time to time, like the Beck/Massa interview tonight (what in the hell was THAT all about, anyway?) and I like watching O'Reilly skewer the likes of Laura Ingraham et al., but I've only cited Fox ONCE, and that was many months ago. I personally think Fox plays it's viewers for fools and succeeds very well, so I'm not interested in being one.

What,

1.
Have you ever lived in Europe, most of the countries are police states where you need a passport or internal ID to check into a hotel, the hotel feeds your info into a police data base.

The same goes for rental units and the house you own and live in. Yes you need to inform on yourself to the local PD and give them the papers for everyone living or visiting your home for more than a day or two.

No thanks.

2.
The real agenda is to ram 20-30 million illegals down the throats of the American people 75-80% of whom don't want it. So who does the government represent if not the people?

This begs the question, if the government does not represent the people, is the government a legitimate government?

3.
Look in the mirror and say "Obama took a $100,000 bribe from a bank" and a shady land deal from a now convicted felon who went to jail for corruption involving Illinois Politicians. I know its hard to accept, but Obama is a crook.

Anon 5678:

Hey, you're back! Yeah, still going. What can I say?

I see nothing wrong with HP's reporting. They have a progressive slant, but all newspapers are said to have this. I just don't read the commentary or blogs, not interested. But I LOVE their comedy section. And just because something appears in HP doesn't mean it didn't happen.

Here's what I do often because this blog is overwhelmingly conservative: I'll read about something in HP but know if I post it's link, it will be summarily dismissed out of hand because of the source. So using HP's links and google, I find the exact same thing in another source and post that instead, and most of the time there's no problem. It's not the information that folks here object to so much as the source they see it come from. But my root source is often HP, and their info checks out. It's only recently I haven't been bothering to do that so much, because for some reason I've quit caring. But if you all object to HP so much I can go back to playing the "find the same thing in a different source" game, it's easy enough to do.

Is health care going to pass? I think the Dems have been waiting to grow spines first, which may happen eventually. I think they're more pathetic than desperate.

Anon:

Ok, so you believe there WOULD HAVE BEEN a bribes scandal if the "evidence" hadn't been burned (most likely shredded and thrown out, a bonfire would have been too incriminating). Whatever. Maybe. Who knows? There probably was some of this going on, I'm not naive enough to totally dismiss it, esp with Countrywide. But I don't believe in lumping everyone who ever got a lower than market rate mortgage into a McCarthy/Cheney/Third Reich guilt by association pile. O got his when he became a senator and wasn't even a blip on the presidential radar screen. So Northwestern Trust would have had to have looked into their crystal ball and see his presidency, the financial meltdown and the subsequent TARP payouts coming and decided to give him a bribe for their share years in advance. Riiiight.

But I liked your links. Usually folks who are hard core conspiracists post links to all sorts of weird underground websites that produce their own amateur choppy spliced videos that look like they were made on some malcontent's home computer, which they were. So I read your links, and they're good articles. I just took away a completely different meaning from them. I don't think our own government is out to "get" us, so I don't care about this stuff. The ID cards have been talked about for a long time as a way of controlling the hiring of illegals, since social security cards and numbers are so easily counterfeited. Your own links said the EU uses them, and the UK held out for a time but are now going that direction too because they have proven to be effective as a counter terrorism measure and in combating identity theft and other crimes. These are real world issues, I don't believe the cards are simply a front for insidious government control over our lives. But you do, and you're entitled to that. 'Nuff said.

Chris,

topic idea - how is the economy affecting you, your community and the city as a whole?

you guys are still going?????? WOW!!!!!

WT. I have to call you out on sourcing anything from HP. There is rarely anything factually accurate on that site. It makes Fox News look middle of the road. Talk about a bunch of non-thinking, America-hating robots, that is the site of all sites. Let's not forget Dailykos and media matters too. Three of the most fictional sites in America.

More importantly...........is health care going to pass? Will dems in a desparate attempt to do anything (right or wrong) use a reconciliation (a budgetary tool, not major legislation tool) to pass healthcare in the senate? I think they will. I think they are about as desparate of a party as there is. They know they are going to lose in October if they do nothing and lose if they do something. So, they have nothing to lose. They are also going to bank on putting the pressure on the republicans to repeal any or all of it as nothing goes into affect until Obama is finally kicked out after his first term.

What,

A bribe is a bribe, Countrywide did this with Dodd, the department at either Chase, Citi or BA (I can't remember which) had a bunch of these, the CEO testified that all of the records were lost and intentionally destroyed after the post TARP mergers; so no legislators could be identified or prosecuted since the evidence was burned.

Lets see, give me TARP money and I'll burn the records?

100,000 sounds like a good bribe to me, compare this to the Governor or NY that Obama want to get rid of who is now being hounded over Yankees tickets valued at what, $200.

Obama and others took bribes from the banks that they were responsible for regulating. In Mexico, they do just stick the gun in your face and tell you their cut.

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Bribes? Where? From whom? To whom? How much? What bribes scandal? Obama took a $100K payoff in the form of a discounted loan from N. Trust? Dude, Obama got a courtesy discount on his mortgage interest rate in 2005 when he bought his house in Chicago. Lots of lenders do this with people they deem important or celebrities, this is nothing new and is a common practice. Northwestern disclosed that Obama got a courtesy rate in addition to many other clients. This amounts to $100K OVER THE 30-YEAR LIFE OF THE LOAN. Not a very lucrative pay-off, is it? He's got to wait 30 years to get it! Sounds more like far-right fringe speak.

WT?, thanks for the tutorial, but I already knew what the Huffington Post was about. I linked 4 articles from Huffington in direct response to your previous comment that, "I got the information from an online paper--the Huff Post. Huff Post might be left-leaning, but it ain't Fox News. It's actually quite reliably accurate."

I was educating you that the Huffington Post is a far cry from "reliably accurate". Now you come back and say you only meant the NEWS portions of the Huffington Post are reliably accurate? It would have been nice if you would have pointed this out sooner. Perhaps you should have written that the Huffington Post is Reliably Accurate as long as you are viewing the news portion of the web site and not the blog, opinion or comedy (Onion type) section? As long as you are in to tutorials perhaps you can educate us on exactly where the "News" section is? When I click on the Huffington Post http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ I don't see any headings for News. I see celebrities, commentators, opinion writers and an article about women getting caulk injected into their butts! This is News? http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/03/09/butt-implant-scandal-caul_n_491550.html


You proceeded to end with the following: "But keep in mind I cited the New York Times previously and you suggested they were unreliable and ridiculed me for citing them as well. So do you object to all my sources or is your problem really with something else?
I'll admit my memory isn't what it used to be, but for the life of me I don't recall ever ridiculing you for using the NYT? In fact I use the NYT quite frequently as a citation. I am extremely critical toward the NYT because I believe they had/have a real problem with "made up" and plageuristic stories that I feel are a result of lax standards. For this reason I frequently will write, "It must be true because it's written in the NYT". Sorry to burst your bubble, but this comment was never directed toward you. If I did criticize you for using the NYT I apologize, but again I don't think I ever did.

As I've written time and time again, people need to read from a variety of sources in order to form an opinion. I read the NYT, Wall Street journal as well as the Naperville Sun (plug for Chris) on a daily basis. I squeeze in others as time permits. You have made it quite clear that you have no use for Fox News yet you seem to comment on it frequently, I have noticed that when you do cite sources you cite the Huffington Post frequently. I was simply pointing out that while you don't seem to think so, many people view Arianna Huffington as a Liberal.

And as for links to the NYT: Here are 2 of my issues with the "Grey Lady",
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/07/opinion/07pubed.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2003/05/11/national/11PAPE.html?ex=1367985600&en=d6f511319c259463&ei=5007&partner=USERLAND

What,

A bribe is a bribe, Countrywide did this with Dodd, the department at either Chase, Citi or BA (I can't remember which) had a bunch of these, the CEO testified that all of the records were lost and intentionally destroyed after the post TARP mergers; so no legislators could be identified or prosecuted since the evidence was burned.

Lets see, give me TARP money and I'll burn the records?

100,000 sounds like a good bribe to me, compare this to the Governor or NY that Obama want to get rid of who is now being hounded over Yankees tickets valued at what, $200.

Obama and others took bribes from the banks that they were responsible for regulating. In Mexico, they do just stick the gun in your face and tell you their cut.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Bribes? Where? From whom? To whom? How much? What bribes scandal? Obama took a $100K payoff in the form of a discounted loan from N. Trust? Dude, Obama got a courtesy discount on his mortgage interest rate in 2005 when he bought his house in Chicago. Lots of lenders do this with people they deem important or celebrities, this is nothing new and is a common practice. Northwestern disclosed that Obama got a courtesy rate in addition to many other clients. This amounts to $100K OVER THE 30-YEAR LIFE OF THE LOAN. Not a very lucrative pay-off, is it? He's got to wait 30 years to get it! Sounds more like far-right fringe speak.

What,

1.
Wall Street Journal two days ago, also reported in CNET news. Reading all e-mails using NSA.

2.
According to video footage of Eric Holder speaking, "progressives now control the executive branch and need to bring in other progressives to help them realize their progressive vision of America". This is the Attorney General Speaking, #3 in line after the Pres and VP.

3.
Apparently, some of the Democrats want to get re-elected more than they want to implement Obama's progressive vision for "fundamentally transforming America".

The Republicans, who aren't much use on a good day, have little to nothing to say about which legislation moves since they don't have the votes to block anything. Dems control the legislative and executive branch from top to bottom, the republicans are along for the ride.

4.
Bush was a moron, he could have gotten all the wire taps he wanted rubber stamped by the courts after 9-11, he had all the legal authority he needed and didn't use it.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

The progressives are in power? Then you had better let them know, they're about as miserable as the Reps these days because they're not getting anything they want either. And where are you getting this reading every e-mail thing? Is that the flip side of the illegal wiretapping the Bush administration did? Yeah, big difference.

Did you see the latest poll from the Democracy Corp-3rd way group?
They are a left-winge polling group.

Results:
51% of Americans think the U.S. is held in less esteem, and liked less, than 2 years ago.

41% tink it is more.

So much for Obama making us more liked in the world! This was certainly change we did not want! Sounds a lot like the health care bill.

What a difference a year makes.


Obama's next Orwellian program:

Last week WSJ and CNET news reported the DHS Napolitano in the Obama administration is pushing to implement the reading all e-mails in the USA using NSA to do the work, no search warrants required;

This week, its a National ID Card with your fingerprints and other information collected into a Federal Data Base so you can prove you have the right to work in the US, aka if you don't let us fingerprint you, you can't eat.

How Hitleresque

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703954904575110124037066854.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_MIDDLENexttoWhatsNewsThird

WSJ ID Card for Workers Is at Center of Immigration Plan


....................Lawmakers working to craft a new comprehensive immigration bill have settled on a way to prevent employers from hiring illegal immigrants: a national biometric identification card all American workers would eventually be required to obtain.

Under the potentially controversial plan still taking shape in the Senate, all legal U.S. workers, including citizens and immigrants, would be issued an ID card with embedded information, such as fingerprints, to tie the card to the worker................

Anon:

Conspiracy-theoryish? These have nothing to do with TARP. How about:

"Now that the progressives are in power, they have announced plans to read every e-mail in the US without getting search warrants, what a difference a year makes."

The progressives are in power? Then you had better let them know, they're about as miserable as the Reps these days because they're not getting anything they want either. And where are you getting this reading every e-mail thing? Is that the flip side of the illegal wiretapping the Bush administration did? Yeah, big difference.

"Citi and BA and the rest of them had the bribes turned on full speed with the Senate and I am sure key house members. They would have spent a hundred trillion to keep their names out of the bribes scandal. Obama took a $100K pay off in the form of a discounted loan from N. Trust, they all did."

Bribes? Where? From whom? To whom? How much? What bribes scandal? Obama took a $100K payoff in the form of a discounted loan from N. Trust? Dude, Obama got a courtesy discount on his mortgage interest rate in 2005 when he bought his house in Chicago. Lots of lenders do this with people they deem important or celebrities, this is nothing new and is a common practice. Northwestern disclosed that Obama got a courtesy rate in addition to many other clients. This amounts to $100K OVER THE 30-YEAR LIFE OF THE LOAN. Not a very lucrative pay-off, is it? He's got to wait 30 years to get it! Sounds more like far-right fringe speak.

"The US govt is as corrupt as Mexico, at least the Mexican government officials have the integrity take the money at gun point. They don't pretend to be honest."

This extreme exaggeration sounds paranoid. Again, far-right fringe speak.

Three of the four "articles" you listed are political BLOG POSTS. So this isn't news reporting, this is opining. You may not agree with their opinions...

Funny, when people used the same reasoning with Fox's opinion shows, wt bent over backwards to try and prove them wrong. Seems like the typical liberal double standard is being used again.

Anon ONE:

Ok, I see you need a tutorial. Here is Huff Post 101:

Three of the four "articles" you listed are political BLOG POSTS. If you go to the posts by Peter Mehlman, Randall Robinson, and Senn Penn, you will see a Blogger's Index link, where you can view all their previous blog entries. Sean Penn should have been a major clue, you knew he was a celebrity contributor. So this isn't news reporting, this is opining. You may not agree with their opinions, and that's fine, but many newspapers allow them.

This link was definitely the best:

"American voters to world:"WE'RE NOT RETARDED!"
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/archive/236/news/2008/11
/05/american_voters_were_not_retar_10076.html

This article is hysterical! I missed it when it first appeared. But I really think this demonstrates a fundamental problem with many conservatives: you guys seriously need to get a sense of humor! Please, buy one if you have to. You mistake satire for actual reporting. 23/6 is COMEDY NEWS! You pulled up an article from the comedy section as a example of unreliable news reporting. OK, here's a clue for future reference: when a source uses the tagline "the sluttiest news team on the internet" in addition politically incorrect usage of the "R" word and other unnecessary expletives, that usually suggests it's COMEDY, not NEWS!

So I will excuse you because you're unfamiliar with the Huff Post. But keep in mind I cited the New York Times previously and you suggested they were unreliable and ridiculed me for citing them as well. So do you object to all my sources or is your problem really with something else?

What

1.

Agree that Bush implemented it, perhaps just getting Obama off to a running start on his fix to the problem.

Agree Bush was a disaster at many levels, starting with insane spending.

2.

You have to help me, which part is conspiracy theory? Summers was reported as the author or TARP. This was never disputed.

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By What the? on March 8, 2010 12:50 AM

Anon

1.
Who cares who wrote TARP? Bush approved it, Bush enacted the bill. Bush bailed out both Wall Street and the car industry before he left office. So again, make up your mind, if these decisions were a disaster, like invading Iraq was in hindsight, how can you say Bush was a leadership success? Because he led us into several disasters?

2.
Your comments are an interesting mix of reality-based reasoning and fringe-sounding conspiracy theory.

"Obama is much more respected by other countries and has a better relationship with them than Bush ever did. We'll see how far this takes him."

That's so untrue that it's not even funny. Other leaders don't respect President Obama. They know that they can push him around and expect him to bow down to them in servitude.

As to how far this will take him, one only needs to look at the bellicose statements coming from Iran and North Korea to see how President Obama's foreign policy is working.

What the? on March 8, 2010 12:50 AM
Anon

Your comments are an interesting mix of reality-based reasoning and fringe-sounding conspiracy theory. I agree with some of your comments and think others are totally off-the-wall. I agree that big monied interests own our government, whether it be banks, the health insurance industry, trial lawyers, whoever. We the people are pretty well screwed.

______________________

WT, your response to Anon listed above is true - provided you include yourself in the description?


And as for your earlier reference to the Huffington Post, you wrote: "I got the information from an online paper--the Huff Post. Huff Post might be left-leaning, but it ain't Fox News. It's actually quite reliably accurate."

I found the following statements in the Huffington Post - does it fall under the "Reliably Accurate" heading?

You could argue that even the world's worst fascist dictators at least meant well. They honestly thought were doing good things for their countries by suppressing blacks/eliminating Jews/eradicating free enterprise/repressing individual thought/killing off rivals/invading neighbors, etc.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-mehlman/at-least-they-didnt-mean-_b_53094.html


How about this one, (since retracted by the author) that was in the Huffington Post?
It is reported that black hurricane victims in New Orleans have begun eating corpses to survive.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/randall-robinson/new-orleans_b_6643.html


Here was an article written and posted on Huffington titled, "American voters to world:"WE'RE NOT RETARDED!"
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/archive/236/news/2008/11/05/american_voters_were_not_retar_10076.html


And who can forget frequent Huffington Post contributor Sean Penn?
I know President Chavez well. Whether or not one agrees with all his policies, what is certainly true of Chavez is that he is a warm and friendly man with a robust sense of humor (who daily risks his own life for his country in ways Dick Cheney could never imagine).
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-penn/smiles-for-smirks_b_189801.html


So please excuse me if I don't share your view that the Huffington Post is a "reliably accurate" source of news. It is certainly ONE source, definately left leaning. But hardly one worth citing so frequently.

Anon

"My recollection is that Bush was the foreign policy president until Obama was inaugurated and Obama was the domestic policy president the day after he won the election."

Matter of opinion. Obama is much more respected by other countries and has a better relationship with them than Bush ever did. We'll see how far this takes him. O's first term isn't done yet, his history is still being written.

Who cares who wrote TARP? Bush approved it, Bush enacted the bill. Bush bailed out both Wall Street and the car industry before he left office. So again, make up your mind, if these decisions were a disaster, like invading Iraq was in hindsight, how can you say Bush was a leadership success? Because he led us into several disasters?

Your comments are an interesting mix of reality-based reasoning and fringe-sounding conspiracy theory. I agree with some of your comments and think others are totally off-the-wall. I agree that big monied interests own our government, whether it be banks, the health insurance industry, trial lawyers, whoever. We the people are pretty well screwed.

What,

My recollection is that Bush was the foreign policy president until Obama was inaugurated and Obama was the domestic policy president the day after he won the election.

Didn't Larry Summers write the TARP plan along with Gietner and Bernanke? While Bush was still in office?

The person most responsible for the meltdown is Greenspan, Greenspan Greenspan. Bernanke was his co-pilot. Geitner ran the NY Fed. They should be tarred and feathered.

The Fed didn't cause the meltdown, they enabled the companies and politicians that created the conditions for the meltdown. Best case; the police were asleep on the job, they also prevented anyone else from doing anything about the problem until the lid blew off.

My two cents: what the bankers want, the bankers get; doesn't matter which republicrat talking head is on the TV screen. Different Head, same policies.

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By What the? on March 7, 2010 1:49 PM

To Anonymous on March 6, 2010 11:44 AM:

"it may be a little early to pop the cork on Obama's Bush like leadership successes."

Bush-like leadership successes!?! Anon, TARP was Bush's! It can't be both a disaster and a leadership "success", you gotta make up your mind!

Re: TARP, see Psyche's reply to Dan above. I'm with him on this. TARP is one of the things we agree one.

Psyche,

As to the Fed, I think we were both right. Your focus is on the Fed policy that allowed the housing bubble to occur. I think the monetary policy was correct, imagine if the Fed would have tightened rates to more 6.25% in 2006? We had low inflation, there would have been a major economic upheaval.

Now if you are referring to their regulation of the banking industry, maybe. But remember, all of these mortgage securities were Triple A, high grade yields. Nobody understood the lack of liquidity underlying the security.

And the reduction of real estate values that started in Michigan and have spread to Nevada, California, Illinois and Florida. That was an unknown.

I am at a loss how the Fed could have recognized let alone addressed any of this. Just like Greenspan's comment on equities.

But flooding the market with liquidity starting in the fall of 2006 saved the economy. Totally unrelated to the above factor. And it has offset the false stimulus plan of Obama.

To Anonymous on March 6, 2010 11:44 AM:

"it may be a little early to pop the cork on Obama's Bush like leadership successes."

Bush-like leadership successes!?! Anon, TARP was Bush's! It can't be both a disaster and a leadership "success", you gotta make up your mind!

Re: TARP, see Psyche's reply to Dan above. I'm with him on this. TARP is one of the things we agree one.

If they had changed/elimonated the mark-to-market rule for banks earlier, they would not have needed TARP. The collapse was caused by a run which was caused by accounting rules making companies with cash look bankrupt!

I do agree with your 1,2, & 3, above.

I disagree with your statemnt the Fed saved the economy --- they caused it, and continue top perpetuate it with free money to the banks (who effectively "arbitrage" it by lending to others or buying the toxic assets they were supposed to shed!).

Psyche:

"And yes, you are making her rich by keeping her in the news. Sorry you cannot fathom or grok it. Her 15 minutes continues to get extended by folks like you, and every extra minute is extra moolah!"

Nope, a good laugh doesn't cost me a thing or put a dime in her pocket. I see this as a very lame talking point used by some on the right to try to get others to "leave Sarah alone!" As you can tell by a lot of the media response, no one's buying this. Least of all me.

And I know the reality show format is suppose to be something like a docudrama about Alaska. I got the information from an online paper--the Huff Post. Huff Post might be left-leaning, but it ain't Fox News. It's actually quite reliably accurate.

www.huffingtonpost.com/.../sarah-palin-reality-show_n_485055.html - Cached

Like McCain was told recently, you guys need to get a sense of humor. You take everything having to do with Palin too seriously. You take HER to seriously. Which is why you can't tolerate any kind of joking about her.

I'll take your word on what's on the left-wing blogs; I don't read any others but Potluck, and I'd hardly call this left. I don't consider blogs to be an information source, they're opinion sites, that's all.

A docudrama about Alaska hardly sounds like riveting viewing, more like a major snoozer. Unless they throw in some juicy conflict stuff from somewhere. A book of her favorite poems and inspirational quotes? More zzzzzzz's. But to each their own. I've already said that you're wasting your time with me on this, so for the second time, let's move on.

I don't think American nature is all that different from human nature around the world. Even my eldest who is studying abroad this year has noticed this. She's been from Amsterdam to Lisbon to Paris to Venice, Florence, Madrid, Rome and more cities in Spain than I can think of right now. And what has she concluded from her experiences? That people are basically the same EVERYWHERE, it's the cultures that are different. I know some full grown adults who talk about people from other countries like they are a different species altogether. I think it's incorrect to talk about Americans like there's nobody else like us on earth. Our system of government, perhaps. But there's a lot of people like us on the globe. They just live in different circumstances.

"Because as Americans, and given our nature, we are bred to believe we can overcome such obstacles and eventually re-emerge and succeed."

People in other countries do this too, it's just not a part of their national narrative. I don't think Americans can claim exclusive rights to these traits. Europeans have had to recover from things Americans have never had to, such as two devastating World Wars on their own soil. Germany's been destroyed this way twice in the last century, and they're still the third largest economy in the world today. I think a lot of those people picked themselves up, re-emerged and succeeded pretty well. I know Europeans resent Americans for a lot of stuff, but I haven't heard this is one of them. But I can certainly email my bro in Germany about this and see what he says. After living abroad for over 20 years, if this is true, he'll definitely know about it.

And I think BOTH of us have to be more careful in our reading. I didn't say Bush was a conservative, my quote was "Republican free market, rugged individualism, personal responsibility, yada yada." Not conservative. "As far as being against the wall, uh, no. He was in the last few weeks of an 8 year run . . ." Uh yes, he was up against the wall in the last few weeks when the economy tanked. That's when he passed TARP. Bush also knew he had to stave off disaster just long enough to get the hell out of Dodge, which is why no one in his administration cared about following the money. Accountability wasn't going to be HIS problem.

"As far as being a media whore and a leader, why do you not include Obama in this comment?"

Ok, I can do that. Obama is the leader of our country, Palin is the media whore. She quit her job to cash in on her media appeal before it faded and she's willing to do anything that pays well. This is what media whores do. Obama is in the media DOING HIS JOB. Big difference. But I fully expect you to disagree.

Psyche,

I agree something had to be done when Lehman collapsed. But let's focus on what happened. The Fed pumped huge liquidity into the market and opened the discount windows to the investment banks. TARP did none of this.

The three subsequent actions taken by the Treasury were mishandled. They are:

1. Paying 100% of the AIG credit default swaps in cash. Instead, they should have "loaned" the counterparites their claims in return for an interest in AIG Financial Products and AIG. In this case,, Goldman and the french banks would be holding $40 billion of AIG liabilities with uncertainty as to ultimate collection, rather than the Federal government and us as taxpayers.

2. Forcing Bank of American to comlete the Merrill purchase. Merrill could have gone into bankruptcy like Lehman and Drexel Burnham before them. By the way, any major long term problems from the Lehman and Drexel bankruptcies?

3. Citicorp was insolvent. Acknowledge such and regulate the restructuring. Interesting, this WAS achieved through TARP. The previous shareholders have been substantially wiped out. The same could have happened through a reorganization without trampling on other institutions.

Wachovia is gone with no taxpayer support.

But ultimately, history will tell us that the Fed saved the economy and promoted the recovery. The TARP and stimulus packages did absolutely nothing.

One last point. I noted that Fannie is looking to start up their "affordable housing initiative" again. More sub prime loans!!!!

What,

The only thing that TARP has achieved is to shift the private debt from the banks to the public via Fannie and Freddie and to keep our masters at Goldman Sachs running the US. It also kept the political class out of prison or worse if the books had been opened and more of the bribes had become public. With the coming financial collapse of the US due to national bankruptcy.............it may be a little early to pop the cork on Obama's Bush like leadership successes.

Different Ivy League hack, same policies and masters.

PS Now that the progressives are in power, they have announced plans to read every e-mail in the US without getting search warrants, what a difference a year makes.

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I only brought up the speaking fee paid to Palin by Tea Party Nation as an example of irony: if Bush and Obama had not implemented TARP and a second great depression had ensued, there probably wouldn't have been as many buyers of a $500+/a plate dinner or as many donors contributing to a $100,000 speaking fee. Which means there may not have been a conference able to pay a speaker a hefty fee to trash, among other things, the outrageous spending by our government on things like TARP. That's irony. Anything else you're reading into this you've put there, not me.

Dan D.:

The 4.5% loans would have been a stellar idea for the American closed economy..

Another would have been the government buying loans and reloaning them back to the original debtors at a much lower rate and a contractual pices of future profits at sale.

As I said --- there are many, many (hundreds?) of good ideas. The only BAD idea would have been to do absolutely nothing and watch Rome burn.

You don't like TARP, and the implementation has not achieved all goals (or maybe even many gols). But it did achive one major goal: we made it through that week-end and prevented sheer panic and the disolution of the world's credit system.

Good enough for me, for now!

I would rather discuss American nature. Save your generalities for a better match.

You do sound PO’d (see your 3/3 2:15 am & 3/4 3:54 am posts)– that is why I responded.

Again, I think you need to read a little closer to the words and not what you want them to read. I never took such a personal stand for others as you write in your responses. Read!

It is amusing the way you try to paint Bush as such a conservative (unless you did not mean that by calling him a Republican). He was a free-spender and by the end represented much of what is wrong with our 2-party system (not a big fiscal diff twixt the two!) As far as being against the wall, uh, no. He was in the last few weeks of an 8 year run and was a complete lame duck (by any definition). Again, you keep using the word “integrity” in the wrong places and in the wrong context.

Now, to your point (which I do not disagree with): Of course, if one is CERTAIN of the future (ie 100% foresight, which outside of Hollywood does not exist), I fully believe most people, especially Americans, would stand up and protect family over strangers. That is my point, too! Why? Because as Americans, and given our nature, we are bred to believe we can overcome such obstacles and eventually re-emerge and succeed. That is one of the traits that makes us Americans (talk to your European friends --- they admit it and can’t stand it in us). THAT is why I disagree with you when you harp that there is no integrity involved in certain (not all ) such decisions.

People spending money on odd things (such as to hear Palin, or Clinton, or Bush, or M Moore, etc) speak will always be there for many. We are a huge, diverse country with a lotta money (remember, there are still 130 million Americans working despite all the bad news we hear) to spend on odd ventures.

To get your facts straight, by the way, your take on the “reality” show is right off the left blogs. The truth is that the guy from SURVIVOR has approached her about helping create a show about Wasilla and Alaska, the way of life up there, etc. It is not a show about Palin. His words: Perhaps she will narrate some. but it will not be about her.

As far as being a media whore and a leader, why do you not include Obama in this comment? I mean, really ---- think it through. Audacity of Hope? Audacity of Hypocrisy?

And yes, you are making her rich by keeping her in the news. Sorry you cannot fathom or grok it. Her 15 minutes continues to get extended by folks like you, and every extra minute is extra moolah!

Dan,

The only rational explanation for the panic in the Senate, house and white house is that if the banks had been taken over by FDIC, the books would have been thrown open to the public. The failure at Countrywide exposed Dodd and some other corrupt hack in the Senate for taking bribes.

Citi and BA and the rest of them had the bribes turned on full speed with the Senate and I am sure key house members. They would have spent a hundred trillion to keep their names out of the bribes scandal. Obama took a $100K pay off in the form of a discounted loan from N. Trust, they all did.

The US govt is a corrupt as Mexico, at least the Mexican government officials have the integrity take the money at gun point. They don't pretend to be honest.


By Dan D on March 5, 2010 3:42 PM

Psyche:

Sorry. Definitely sounding PO'd. That really was not my intent.

You talk about "historical American nature". I'm referring to "historical HUMAN nature", and Americans fall into this category too. Human behavior shows us that ethics are very often situational, certainly not for everyone in every situation, but definitely enough to keep our media buzzing with news of the latest celebrity, politician, religious leader, etc., caught in yet another scandal generally involving some major form of hypocrisy. That's because it's much easier to talk it than walk it. Public figures do it, I've watched people I know do it. I even remember one major instance many years ago when I did it. Nothing racy, it involved a broken catalytic converter when I was a student, and I didn't feel great about my decision. But it was a choice between ideology or paying the rent. The rent got paid. We've all been there.

So this is why I roll my eyes when you say that many of the people you know who think our financial system should have been allowed to tank would have stuck by that even if they knew their lives were going to tank along with it. We have enough of a problem getting people in our society to accept the consequences of their OWN actions, much less expecting people to offer themselves as sacrificial lambs for the actions of others, in this case Wall Street. Which is why Bush jumped to pass TARP and Obama kept it going. I would have expected this from Obama because TARP did not conflict with his ideology. But when W. Bush was up against that wall, did he show integrity by sticking to his Republican free market, rugged individualism, personal responsibility, government should not meddle in the private sector ideology? It wasn't exactly raining integrity then, was it?

So all this talk about high-minded integrity aside, I definitely believe that most of these people, if put to the test, would have chosen their welfare and that of their families over the "integrity" of their ideology. Survival would have trumped ideology. In fact, isn't the assumption that people generally act in their own best interests one of the tenets of free market economics? So I don't think this is a new idea.

Regarding (again!) Palin, I don't know where this idea came from: "Your implication that this group would somehow begrudge Palin (or anyone else, Like Clinton or Bush) for making money that we are willing to pay them is way off center (perhaps far left?"

I only brought up the speaking fee paid to Palin by Tea Party Nation as an example of irony: if Bush and Obama had not implemented TARP and a second great depression had ensued, there probably wouldn't have been as many buyers of a $500+/a plate dinner or as many donors contributing to a $100,000 speaking fee. Which means there may not have been a conference able to pay a speaker a hefty fee to trash, among other things, the outrageous spending by our government on things like TARP. That's irony. Anything else you're reading into this you've put there, not me.

Besides, I'm not worried at all about Palin getting into office. She would have to make a HARD RIGHT TURN (pun intended) back into politics before then to be taken seriously as a candidate, and by the sound of it she's more focused on a second book--a collection of her favorite poems and quotes--and shopping around the idea of a reality show. What, like the Real Housewives of Wasilla? Everyone knows she quit the governorship to cash in on her media appeal and that's precisely what she's been doing, so good for her! But one can't be a media whore and a serious leader at the same time, most people realize these are incompatible roles. It's clear which role Palin has chosen. And of course I don't buy into the manipulative argument that I am making her rich by poking fun at her. It's the people who take her seriously by attending her dinners and buying her books who are doing that. People like me are just having a good laugh.

Been on the other post watching our school board giving away our money.

TARP. What a disaster-first for Bush and second for Obama.

What was the original purpose of TARP? To purchase toxic assets from US financial institutions to clean up their balance sheets and restore lending money and operating.

How many assets were purchased? NONE. What was wrong? The banks did not want to sell the assets at a loss, they thought the government would buy the assets at inflated values. Fortunately, wrong.

Think about it. How does one entity (the government, no less) bid to buy specific assets for the lowest price possible? I discussed this with traders on major floors and all agree, it was an unproven process.

Think about this. The centerpiece proposal to save the country was a pre school project.

The ensuing actions were questionable in saving the financial system. The key has been the Fed putting $4 TRILLION in assets on its balance sheet. The liquidity has saved the economy, the mistake that was made in 1930 and later in 1937 that plummetted the nation into the Great Depression and kept the economy there.

Paulson's alternative bailouts were foolish. All major banks had to take the funds so the weak parties would not be outed. The governement blinked when Goldman rattled (and probably was talking to Paulson on the other line). We should have let Citicorp and Merrill Lynch fail and Goldman should have taken subordinate debt for their AIG exposure (subordinate to the Federal Government).

We would have shown that no financial institution would have been too big to fail and the rest of the economy would have prevailed. We do have a Citicorp whose shareholders have lost most of their investments, same for Bank of America in buying Merrill. Goldman has escaped.

Those who know me, know that I e-mailed McCain to disavow the TARP program. Not that I am a major confidant. He might have won.

The other step that we should have taken would have been a 4.5% mortgage loan for all Americans. If a bank did not refinance with this loan, then the borrower would be free to walk away from the real estate and turn it over to the bank with no ramifications. These mortgages would have paid off the ENTIRE toxic assets and we would be much further to recovery.

Both Bush and Obama have failed. Obama more, he is following bufoons like Richard Reich who proposed that our economy will grow by "giving" money to the poor and middle class. The last guy who said that was Lenin.

So 18 months later, we are still floundering as an economy with not one dollar of TARP being spent for its original purpose!!!!

Chris,

The increasing length and frequency of the repetitive poster above reminds me of another poster that killed off this board almost completely with the never ending repetitive tit for tat posts.

Are we doing it again?

Scooby:

Here's another good news story you shouldn't miss:

McCain's Letter Supporting Gay Military Ban Signed by Dead People

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/03/05/mccains-dadt-support-lett_n_487226.html

This is why I don't trust the Republican Party (along with their WMDs, death panels, pulling the plug on grandma, re-education camps, etc etc). I don't trust people who try to manipulate me with fear. I'm smart enough to know how insulting this is.

And I liked and respected McCain, or at least I did before all his DADT crap started chipping away at that. I'm really disappointed in him over this, I thought he had integrity. Shoulda known better.

Notice how quiet those 95% become when these stories appear.


Now, WT?, there you go again!

No defensiveness at all --- I was only pointing out that as you somewhat carelessly throw out a comment of “ideology over all else”, it even more appropriately applied to the progressives such as Pelosi/Obama/Reid who are pushing an almost 70 year-old ideology. As I stated, THAT is the definition of inflexibility and an inability to adapt!

Hopefully, you now understand why I include the progressives in my discussion. If not, so be it.

I think I clearly addressed the TEAs as I know them. To be a tad more clear, I am not some kind of dues-paying member (as I understand it, there is no such thing at this point in the movement). I have/do attend the rallies, along with many indees, GOPs, & Dems I know who are fiscally conservative and very disappointed with the current direction of our country’s finances.

Your description of “inflexible and thoughtless adherence to ideology” is indicative of your own ideology and at times intolerance! Your analogy, and your comment, are non-applicable.

You really do need to read a little closer and better, WT?. If you do, you will see that I wrote from my perspective of what you described as certain TEA behavior. Therefore, I write that THEY think they are on the side of integrity, so I do not fault them (unlike the inference that you do). It is a belief system, and that is what makes the many faces of the earth different. Though I believe something had to be done TARP) to prevent a collapse, and though I believe I am right, others disagree. Also, there is really no proof I am right (perhaps there were 100 right answers and the only wrong one was to sit and do nothing?). The simple fact that many disagreed with TARP, like many TEAs, and many Dems, and many of probably every other segment of society, does not mean thery are fundamentally flawed, ideological, etc.

Sometimes WT?, you need to sit down, take a stiff drink, and realize you just might be wrong! The fact that both of us think TARP was the right course does NOT mean we are the only right ones!

Now, you seem hung up on believing others always think they are immune to what happens around them. You may or may not be right. I will say that there are many who probably believe that shit may happen, yet through their own hard work and belief system they will eventually overcome it and still thrive. Newsflash on this: THAT IS THE HISTORICAKL AMERICAN NATURE!

Note that my posts NEVER referred to me ---- you asked about a view of TEAs and I tried to answer. Your little insults and innuendos lack grace, WT?. YOU and your little peers of leftist thinkers think you have the only answers and look down on the other 99% who don’t see it your way. THAT is the very description of arrogant and closed-minded.

Please do not put words in my mouth ---- I certainly do NOT think the government knows better than the people.

In fact, if you want to fixate on TARP, let’s remember that it was a person from the private sector who came up with it, who stuck with it despite the fact that politician’s verbally raped him for coming up with it, that the press did their best to ruin his reputation, that it was passed partially on blood & guts, partially on fear, and partially on the Dems knowing they could use it to hammer the GOP in the elections. Note as I posted above, there probably were a lot of answers to the problem (as there are to just about every problem), and doing nothing was the only sure loser in my mind.

See, you again fixate on Palin --- Let’s call it Sarah Fixation Syndrome (or SFS). You, again, polarize on extremes (adore vs disgust? Love vs. hate?) YOU are the one who can’t get her out of your mind, who constantly has to bring her up in conversation, who can’t let it go. Note here that the Left in this country have the same syndrome --- they can’t get her out of their mind (pick up any paper, watch any newscast, read any blog ---- they will all eventually get to some Palin story). The result? They are making her rich!

Let me if I have this straight You think someone saying “she ain’t my girl” means anything more than that? She ain’t mine, either. And that means what, exactly? Does it make either of us “brave” as opposed to afraid? Nope! it just means we have an opinion. Now, if someone keeps bringing another person up in conversations, it DOES usually mean something. Infatuation is often a good reason. So is fear. You pick!

Speaking of Palin getting rich--- you seem irrationally concerned for the TEAs as they paid Palin her speaking fee. I have some disturbing news for oyu WT?---- there are demographics on the TEAs, and guess what? They are as likely to be making $50k or more as any other political demographic! There is more, but you get my innuendo.

The TEAs are, I’m afraid to tell you, normal Americans like you or I . They work, have jobs, and as any large, growing group I’m sure there are some nutsos in it (just like the nutsos in the GOP, the Democrat party, the progressive left, Green Bay fans, etc.

I have further disturbing news for you, WT?: TEAs that I know, and fiscal conservatives that I know, fully endorse the American dream of working hard and getting ahead. We love success stories of the self-made person even more so. Your implication that this group would somehow begrudge Palin (or anyone else, Like Clinton or Bush) for making money that we are willing to pay them is way off center (perhaps far left?). We like people who get ahead! Perhaps that is why you are only a pseudo-fiscal conservative?


Done for now. As a closing note, let me say that because you either do not agree with, or do not understand, an opposing view you move to an attack. Thus, our discussions again erode southward quickly! There was no need for it as I felt we were having a fairly civil discourse over most of this thread.

[Hey, have you notices all the cartoons, jokes, etc. lately showing Obama as a buffoon? Does this mean since they are out there, you will start thinking the same? Or is your point on Bush just another example of your dogmatic view on the world?

Just asking.]

In case you missed this news story:
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0310/33866.html

This is why I don't call myself a dem or republican.

"The small donors who are the targets of direct marketing are described under the heading “Visceral Giving.” Their motivations are listed as “fear;” “Extreme negative feelings toward existing Administration;” and “Reactionary.”

Basically, Tea Party members and 95% of the people blogging on the Potluck. Good times.

Like her or not, Palin is an alternative to the twin candidates that the DEMs and REPs have been serving up lately.

Liberal, big spending, Ivy leaguers that have bankrupted the Country with little to nothing to show in the way of results.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
By Ken on March 4, 2010 1:31 AM

Wt shows the irony of those against Palin. If they did not fixate so much on her, she would slowly fade away. Instead, they continue to attack her, and keep her in the spotlight. People like wt have made Sarah Palin rich.

Not clear what you are asking, RU referring to the recent quake? Or something else? AKA Hollywood style end of the world stuff?

If you are worried about the end of the world, lose sleep over the deterioration of the earth's magnetic field that keeps the sun from frying us. Its going fast.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


By Gina on March 4, 2010 9:35 AM

Anyone else hypersensitive about their house trembling in the early morning? or loud unexplainable noises in the night?

Anyone else hypersensitive about their house trembling in the early morning? or loud unexplainable noises in the night?

Psyche:

Uh-oh, I appear to have hit a nerve. You're sounding defensive. Don't get PO'd, I was asking a direct and honest question.

Why do you keep trying to deflect our discussion to the progressive left? I don't care what the progressives think. You are a self-professed member of the tea party movement, so I'm asking you about them. If tea party ideology stands on it's own merits, why do you need to drag in these other groups for comparison?

If I understand your response, then, you're defending what can be inflexible and thoughtless adherence to ideology as "integrity". Well, that's a novel approach. When my 93-year-old father-in-law stubbornly refuses to adapt to his changing circumstances, instead demanding that the world and everyone in it adapt to HIM, I thought he was just being a rigid old fart. Integrity never entered the picture.

Another phrase for this could be "having the courage of your convictions", right? I know this sounds high-brow and honorable and all, but I believe you're overestimating integrity and underestimating the fact that people generally act in their own best interests. I seriously doubt that these people, whether they be TEAs, Dems, Independents or whatever, who insisted the meltdown should have been left to run its course, actually thought THEY would be casualties of this process in any significant way. I think if you had gotten a hundred of these folks together in a room and said, "OK, we've got another 1929-style depression coming and you folks believe the government should not intervene to stop it. Fine by me, but that means you 25 over here will lose your jobs and not be able to find another for the next two to three years; the rest of you lucky enough to keep your jobs will probably have to take an indefinite pay and benefit cut; you 20 over there will lose your homes; you two there in the back, your small businesses will fold when no bank will issue you a line of credit; a bunch of you retirees will lose nearly all of your retirement savings and a bunch others your kid's college tuition when the stock market tanks and doesn't recover. Oh, and this depression will likely far outlast your government paid unemployment and COBRA benefits, so the unemployed will likely be destitute within a year, wholly dependent on the "charity" of others. So if this is fine with y'all, then let's do this!" How many takers do you think there would have been?

You can't put ideology on a dinner table. It won't keep the rain off your head or buy medicine for your child. But since the government DID intervene, none of you had to make this choice, did you? So while it sounds real good to say that you and your peers possess "integrity" in regards to your ideology, this theory remains untested, so we'll never really know, will we?

And since you agree that the government was right in saving the economy with TARP, it appears this is another situation where THE GOVERNMENT DID KNOW BETTER THAN THE PEOPLE. Thank God our elected officials didn't listen to their constituents and those opinion polls last year! If they had, we'd all be eating cat food now.

So now I'm "afraid" of Palin? Those are the only two choices, you either adore her or you're afraid of her? Couldn't possibly be anything else? Your fellow conservatives here don't like her but they certainly don't sound afraid of her. Anon 5678 said Palin is a complete and total moron, he didn't sound afraid to me. T.B. said that as a candidate, he found her to be lacking. I don't hear any fear in this, either. Even The Dude Abides admitted "she ain't my girl". Hey, Dude, you afraid of Palin? I don't think so.

Here's a clue--did you see Palin's stand-up routine on Leno last night? That was cute, I do admit. And she was GOOD, I think she's found her true niche. Her public appearances are simply FUN. She's like a female George Bush. The media pokes fun at her and she provides them with a steady stream of fresh material. Joe Biden can be buffoonish, but he keeps a much lower profile. Palin puts herself out there CONSTANTLY, so relax and enjoy the show. If we're lucky, she'll make a run for the White House in 2012. Just think how much fun THAT will be!

Wt shows the irony of those against Palin. If they did not fixate so much on her, she would slowly fade away. Instead, they continue to attack her, and keep her in the spotlight. People like wt have made Sarah Palin rich.

Under the category of "ideology above all else", think of the progressive left: They are pyushing a social agenda, healthcare, that dates back to FDR!

Talk about not adapting and ideology above all else!

Many libertarians are well-known for their belief that ramifications do not change ethics --- in oter words, ethics are not situational. Thus, they seem willing to live with the effects. Note here that I know many Dems that also strongly disagreed with TARP. so it is not TEA, libertarian thing.

I sometimes thik oyu mix/confuse ideology with integrity. I am sure the Libs think they are on the side of integrity when they take a stand against, say, TARP. You call it ideology, but to them it is integrity. As such, I cannot fault them. Integrity is key to many/most endeavors.

You DO seem fixated on Palin --- why are you guys so afraid of her? I stand by my comment: using logic, she is either astute OR the progressives are pretty stupid!

Psyche:

"Palin is either astute or the progressive left is amazingly unintelligent! She says the obvious, yet they still do not know how to grok the TEAs, so........"

Oh no, I'm not gonna let you deflect this onto the progressives or any other group! Palin and the tea party movement are two separate things, Palin latched onto the movement and appointed herself a leader there. And she is doing well in that capacity; the tea party folks don't expect much from her so it's an easy gig. Palin is an average person, which is fine for that kind of thing, but she's a below-average thinker, which is not if one aspires to higher office. I have no interest in getting into a discussion with you like I did with Dan. Suffice it to say that if you can't persuade your fellow conservatives on this blog that Palin is fabulous, then you are really, REALLY wasting your time trying to persuade me. So let's move on.

Thanks for taking the time with summarizing the meltdown, it is a good synopsis. I already know all that, however. I brought up Wall Street greed (and I didn't say "greedy rich", this implies that all rich people are greedy) because it's this part that really resonates with the tea party people. Average Americans resent having to rescue the very rich whose short-sighted greed, and that's what it was, caused so much grief. Especially when they continue to live high on the hog and are not experiencing any of the pain they have caused others. Galls the hell out of me too, but Wall Street has our country by the short hairs and knows it.

"Many (not all ) TEAs disagree with any Gov’t intervention. That is just the way it is. The ones I taljk to understand it, they just think it should have been allowed to run its course."

And this is what I mean by any kind of extreme position being dangerous. I don't know which is more disturbing, that these people opposed TARP because they didn't understand the situation we were in, or did understand the situation but opposed TARP anyway because it conflicted with their ideology. The former is simple ignorance, the latter willful ignorance. I don't know which is more dangerous, but both are.

And I really do believe that many of these people who think the meltdown should have been allowed to run its course don't believe THEY would have been that hurt if it had. Because if you had told them that THEY would lose their businesses or jobs or homes or savings, I'm certain they would have changed their minds about this. In fact, I bet they would have marched on Washington and DEMANDED the government take action. I don't think too many of those TEAs would have volunteered to lose everything they had just for the sake of sticking to their ideology. Someone else, fine, but they probably felt and still do feel they are relatively "safe". But like I said before, "hurt" is a very different thing when you have to bear it.

I also doubt there would have been that $500+/plate dinner at the recent tea party convention. Because if the economy had been allowed to run it's course, I don't think there would have been many TEAs that could have afforded it, much less Tea Party Nation being able to pay Palin $100,000 to speak, if the government they so strongly object to hadn't intervened to rescue the economy. That's the irony of all this.

Also, do you know that every major civilization that once existed and then vanished from the face of the earth had one thing in common: their people refused to change their belief systems when faced with a major change impacting their society or environment. They would not adapt, so they and their civilizations died. Sounds a lot like your "ideology above all else" friends above. By the time it became apparent how devastating "letting it run its course" was, it would have been too late.

Knowing what you know, how do you reconcile this with what you hear from a lot of the TEAs? How do you respond to people who tell you no matter how damaging the consequences, that ideology is more important than the integrity of our country and the welfare of our citizens? As an intelligent, thinking person, how does this NOT drive you crazy?

WT?,

First: Palin is either astute or the progressive left is amazingly unintelligent! She says the obvious, yet they still do not know how to grok the TEAs, so........

Second: As far as opening state lines (and trampling State sovereignty) for insurance, I am for it because I see the healthcare bills now in play as not addressing the actual problems.

Why? Well, I do not see access as the issue at all (we can go to any ER, etc., etc., etc.,). I see the issues, in order of importance, as:

--> the Cost Curve (and make absolutely no mistake --- neither bill improves the cost curve! It is only with trickery that they get the budget office to say it does slightly, and remember that the budget office is mandated by law to ONLY address the assumptions provided by Congress.

Two GOP items actually address the cost curve: First, tort reform (which includes defensive testing, which has been estimated as high as 25% of all test, along with actual court awards, settlements, and the actual cost of running the court system), and Second, insurance available across state lines. I will add as additional comment that "making" healthy youngsters be covered is a huge cost saving).

-->insurance issues: Cost, pre-existing conditions (none!),coverage (everyone should have it available, there should be allowable steps of coverage from catastrophic to everything including cafeteria-style selecting), dropped coverage (s/n be allowed)

-->The supply of doctors. The laws of supply & demand will become a huge factor in al of this if we don't figure out how to efficiently increase the supply of doctors in this country (CVS and Walgreens can only do so much!). No Healthcare bill required to fix this.

-->Fraud ---no explanation needed. Again, no Healthcare bill required to fix this.

Everything else is secondary in my opinion. Doesn't mean they are not important, just not as imperative as these items. The fact that there is so much pork and items unrelated to healthcare in the bills, such as tax laws and government boards, makes them useless to me.

Third: I understand why the TEAs, libertarians, and conservative GOPs do not like the bailout of the financial system (TARP). A government intervention of such sorts is in stark contrast to the general way Americans see the world, especially those particular Americans. The old risk/reward ration, etc. I, as a FiscCOn, usually agree. However, in this case I made a very large concession in that the world’s entire financial system was about to collapse over what was somewhat of a tempest in a teacup combined with some real issues.

We in the U.S. often make an analytical mistake on the financial crisis in that we often think of it as a U.S. problem – it wasn’t! It was worldwide (see “Iceland” for example), and in contrast with SOME of the harping from some of the European countries, it was not caused by the U.S (again, see Iceland). It was caused by the entire world system, and the U.S. contribution was imperative in that the finance world is still a bit imbedded in NYC (though London is catching up fast since Sarbannes-Oxley).

Now, to your comments on the “greedy rich”, etc. let me build a tutorial narrative:

Step one, I will first defend the bankers in that at first they were actually doing what they were being forced to do, which is lend money for mortgages to either;

A)people that shouldn’t have ownership yet based on financial weakness, or
B) people buying homes way to big and expensive for their finances.

This all started with the Community Reinvestment act, was really slammed to banks by Dodd/Frank, and was highly encouraged by the Bush admin. In fact, many banks were threatened with all sorts of government penalties (including IRS stuff) if they didn’t escalate the lending (see Dodd/Frank, above). When you add “free money” from the Fed into that equation (yes, Greenspan makes mistakes, too), you had a system set up to eventually fail somewhere.

I am sure there were some mortgage brokers of questionable ethics here and there, but let’s all face it: A person making $50k a year getting a $600k mortgage with no money down cannot really be that stupid (otherwise, how did they get a job making the $50k?). What I am saying is that though so many want to blame the lenders on the original mortgage lending, any sense of personal accountability mandates the primary blame go to the person taking out the mortgage. I really don’t care if the lender did a lousy job of verifying the applicants data, the applicant still provided the data AND understood their own finances!

The next step was for the “brilliant” bankers (and they were at first) to realize they were sitting on a potential goldmine of assets ---- mortgages on homes in great places like San Francisco, Naperville, NYC, Vegas (baby!) and other places where real estate prices could only go up, up, up! This idea of theirs was validated by investors from across the world lining up to buy the collateralized, or secured, investment vehicles that were backed (collateralized) by these good-as-gold mortgages in these wonderful Oz-like communities (hopefully you catch my sarcasm?). At this point, it was a somewhat brilliant investment strategy they came up with for certain types of investors. I will also add that every single one of these secured investments included a pretty routine prospectus that highlighted there was risk. Again, at this point, this is basic business & investments 101 ----- no issues outside normal risk.

Now, the following step got dicey. It was not enough that these new investments were selling like snowcones at a July picnic in Mississippi. They decided they could, gasp! Leverage them!

Danger, danger, Will Robinson! Leverage is a very, very bad word to all but the sophisticated investor. It means that the clever bankers figured out a way to bundle the mortgages (still flying high) as synthetics and such into, say, $250 million dollar investments. They then went to the banks themselves, and insurance companies (AIG, anyone?) and laid out a scenario where the banks would lend them money against the collateralized assets thus allowing them to have more money to buy more of the mortgages, then leverage them, and so on. The net result? Investors could put in $250 million, and own (really, have access) say, $400 million in investments. The interest on $400 mil is a lot! All sounds good as long as the underlying security (the mortgage) is worth what was lended for it.

Uh oh --- starting to sound ominous. Things started to shake a little. Talking heads began to wring their hands. San Fran, we have a problem! Home values started to quake. The old nemesis of reason, momentum, stepped in and escalated all that was questionable and/or bad about these vehicles. Home values dropped some more, then again, and again.

Who cares? Well all of these investments based on leverage now tumbled without mercy (remember, a leveraged item drops in value greater than the market itself). The effect? Investors from all over the world invested in vehicles like these (and no, it was not just in the U.S ---- this was happening all over the world. We DID happen to be the originator of it and, due to the “safe haven” view of the U.S, was considered the safest so the sales were higher of U.S. based mortgages). ALL of these investors took a very big hit!

Now, the next item is huge as it relates to the meltdown: there is an inane accounting rule called mark-to-market that had recently been made to include investments by banks. This odd rule mandates that all investments, including 30 YR MORTGAGES, be adjusted in their entirety every 90 days as if they were being sold on that 90th day! As these 30 yr mortgages lost value, the banks had to mark them down, and as they marked them down many of them fell out of meeting their legal requirements for reserves, asset bulk, etc. Thus, they overnight became “insolvent” regardless of how much cash they had or the estimated true value of these assets 30 years from now (let me add there was no general, easy way to PV these assets AND the bankers were warned up front that any non-conservative view of these assets would result in lawsuits).. The meltdown is in full swing. Chaos, bad info, etc. all followed.

As all of this continued to escalate, banks redefined the meaning of the word “conservative” and stopped all lending. More chaos, more escalation, more trouble. Eventually, banks worldwide refused to grant credit of any kind, even to each other, unless something happened. In steps Paulsen with TARP. The rest is history (so far).

You can see that it was caused by much more than greed by bankers --- it included greed, partisanship, and stupidity by politicians, individuals avoiding responsibility for their actions, an investment community that took risks in investments they probably did not spend enough time analyzing (hey, it's Naperville --- what can go wrong?), outright panic by professionals and amateurs alike, bad accounting rules and appplications, and general dangers of a global economy (chaos theory --- a butterfly flaps its wings....).

Now, I do not pretend to think what I wrote above is the end-all on the subject or that it covers everything, but it is an accurate view of most of the major events leading to the need for TARP.

Notice no need for stimulus in the above. Also note that true libertarians and many (not all ) TEAs disagree with any Gov’t intervention. That is just the way it is. The ones I taljk to understand it, they just think it should have been allowed to run its course. I guess that is why people have different philosophies.

Psyche:

Mod Gopper; that's great! Love that.

I really do try to approach Palin with an open mind, but if I open it any further it will fall out completely, and I think that's precisely what has happened with a lot of her supporters.

You even said, "I think I was pretty clear in saying the TEA party movement is a movement, and not a party, and that it would be a kingmaker. That is all pretty obvious." Exactly! It is ALL PRETTY OBVIOUS. But when Palin says it, this makes her "astute"? Like I said, the Tea Party folks have lowered the bar so low for Palin that down looks like up for her. Sorry, Psyche, I'm not this easily impressed.

Yep, we should probably challenge the 10th amendment defenders on that. Like tort reform and ending the health industry's antitrust exemption, just because there is not much to be gained by changing it is no reason for allowing these inequities to exist. But that's us. I think the current administration has limited time and manpower and needs to carefully pick their battles. I can see not pursuing marginally beneficial issues in a time of economic crisis; one would want to focus energy on those things which would reap the biggest benefits. We'll see what, if anything, happens down the road.

"Bailouts ---- the savings of the banks was imperative."

I believe so too. Then why have so many people, esp. the tea party folks, insist this was such a mistake? Isn't it specifically TARP--the Wall Street bailout, the saving and continued enriching of the very people whose recklessness and greed caused so many Americans to lose jobs and money--isn't this the thing that the tea party people are angriest about? I know the stimulus and car industry bailouts are a source of anger too, but it seems TARP is the biggest source of resentment by far for them. Why do so many tea party people not understand that no matter how distasteful TARP was, it was still necessary?

ModGopper = Moderate GOP

Opening state lines on insurance – I think it would be challenged (possibly on the grounds you mention). More likely on State rights in the republic issues. However, that is not a reason to avoid doing it AND I would do it using Roe v Wade as the precedent (how ironic would THAT be).

Anon - the fear of China is a little irrational at this point (Japan is actually our largest holder of debt, and England is a close 3rd). It would also devastate China’s economy for three reasons: 1) they have pegged their currency to the dollar 2)they would lose exports to the U.S almost immediately (nothing Americans like more than a good (screw) You!), and 3)It would represent a huge decrease in their purchasing power.

Palin ---She was! Ya gotta listen with an open mind! I think I was pretty clear in saying the TEA party movement is a movement, and not a party, and that it would be a kingmaker. That is al pretty obvious. Watching the Dems fight with trying to understand the TEAs and their power, I would say that I, as a fiscal conservative, am still waiting for the Dems to get with it. Thus, my bar is only as low as the Dems take it! The TEAs are about one thing: Fiscal Common Sense (everything else falls into that general category) Are some more conservative than others? Well, are progressives more left than vanilla Dems (say, Pelosi v. Lieberman)? Of course. But the base structure is at the Fiscal level. That is why so many Dems and Indees are at the TEA parties.

I don’t see any bias in my comments on Brown (I don’t even think it can grammatically be called bias, in fact). I am stating that there are as many “sources” NOT P.O.d at Brown as those that are. See statement above about many kinds of TEAs & Dems, and GOPs for that matter. As I stated earlier, I also think the GOP fails to fully grasp what the TEAs are, what they can do, and what they WILL do if the two parties don’t pull their heads out of their rears.

You are, of course, wrong on your assumptions on what I mean by “hurt”. I fully expect it to affect everyone. We all have families, friends, etc. That is not a reason to correct now before it all becomes not correctable. I have been hurt for years by the exorbitant taxes I have paid (by exorbitant, I actually mean breathtaking). I have played by the rules, others didn’t, now they again want me to bail them out. It is actually time to stop, adjust, change, and move on.

You know the Einstein saying about insanity, right? If so, I hope we are not stupid enough to think we can do it all again and expect a different result.

Yes, I believe the reckless should be stopped before they do it again (think not? Just look at Fannie Mae activity this year), and as such I would fully expect them to get “hit” first. I refer to that as accountability (no free lunch, etc.)

Bailouts ---- the savings of the banks was imperative. We had no choice whether we liked it or not. If things hadn’t progressed that one weekend (September?), we would have woken up Monday morning with no credit cards and no ability to write checks ---- period. That is EXACTLY the point we were at. Both CCs and checks are forms of credit between banks, and they were going to open their doors that Monday acknowledging zero credit between banks. As we all know, if that happened we would have been at Armageddon.

However, as you say saving GM & Chrysler was a mistake. I also strongly believe the Stimulus has been a mistake (it is basic Keynesian crap and the funds will be used throughout summer in an attempt to buy votes --- period!

Psyche:

What in the world is a Mod Gopper?

Sounds like gobstoppers and googoo clusters, but both of those are types of candy.

"Palin was very clear (and very astute)." Psyche, please, come up for air!

I am not Palin and I've known this for months; anyone paying attention has. Only Palin can be called "astute" for stating the blatantly obvious! You guys set the bar pretty low for her, don't you?

The tea party movement is too splintered to form a third party. If you are as closely involved as you say you are, you should be aware that there are really a couple different tea party organizations. Tea Party Patriots, Tea Party Express, the "elitist" Tea Party Nation, maybe more. The only things all these different groups agree on is that 1) government is too big, and 2) it is spending too much. Oh, and that Obama is to blame for most if not all of it, of course. But that's where the agreement between these groups end.

I understand your point about the Brown "traitor" stuff, but don't you think you're cherry-picking what you think is and isn't significant? After all, the tea party movement got started and gained momentum on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and various blog sites and op eds. And look at that now. Yet you're casually dismissing tons of criticism directed towards Scott Brown on these exact same outlets? Sorry, Psyche, I think your bias is showing on this one.

"Given how broken we are (and believe me, we are completely broken right now) fiscaally, we are going to require extreme fiscal conservatism to get it righted. People will hurt, anger will flow, we will need to take a step backwards to take two forward."

I agree, things are really jacked up fiscally right now. But extreme measures can also be dangerous. I don't believe an extreme response is the ONLY appropriate response. Folks who say people will have to hurt to set things right don't think of themselves as being among those "hurt". I bet you don't. Neither does Dan. You expect others will pay the price, those who were irresponsible or reckless to begin with and probably deserve it, but not yourselves. You think you're safe from this kind of fallout, don't you? And I think you're seriously fooling yourselves. Once the dominoes start falling, you have no way of knowing if they'll stop at YOUR door. "Hurt" takes on a totally different meaning when you're the one bearing it.

This is what both W. Bush and Obama understood when they bailed out Wall Street--the interconnectedness of our whole system--that a lot of average Americans don't. I do agree that Bush and Obama should have let the car industry die a natural death, that had so many terminal problems anyway, and our economy could have survived that. But Wall Street going down, no. And what's so ironic is that many of these people criticizing Bush and Obama for the Wall Street bail out are probably the very same people who would have been hurt the most if it had not been done. People can be very irrational that way.

Translation: The banks and financial systems are getting ready for another gigantic economic blow off.

Keynesian economics recommends that governments spend their way out of economic collapses even if they have to print money, this also avoids wage and asset deflation while allowing the government to implement a giant stealth tax on people that save. If your party consists of the Unions and Welfare mob, this is the way to go since you are taxing those who save and invest.

Apparently, the Chinese may have told Bernanke and Obama that if they try to print their way out of the Deficits, the Chinese will dump their US bonds and stop buying debt thus triggering a 1931 like collapse of the bankrupt US economy. This would be far worse for the USA than China which maintains huge budget and trade surpluses.

China has already started selling their US Treasury bonds to minimize their exposure should they decide to pull the trigger and put the bankrupt US out of its misery.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/ambroseevans_pritchard/7338857/Dont-go-wobbly-on-us-now-Ben-Bernanke.html

By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
Published: 8:45PM GMT 28 Feb 2010

Barack Obama's home state of Illinois is near the point of fiscal disintegration. "The state is in utter crisis," said Representative Suzie Bassi. "We are next to bankruptcy. We have a $13bn hole in a $28bn budget."

The state has been paying bills with unfunded vouchers since October. A fifth of buses have stopped. Libraries, owed $400m (£263m), are closing one day a week. Schools are owed $725m. Unable to pay teachers, they are preparing mass lay-offs. "It's a catastrophe", said the Schools Superintedent.

In Alexander County, the sheriff's patrol cars have been repossessed; three-quarters of his officers are laid off; the local prison has refused to take county inmates until debts are paid.

Florida, Arizona, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York are all facing crises. California has cut teachers salaries by 5pc, and imposed a 5pc levy on pension fees.

The Economic Policy Institute says states face a shortfall of $156bn in fiscal 2010. Most are banned by law from running deficits, so they must retrench. Washington has provided $68bn in federal aid, but that depletes the Obama stimulus package. ...............


......................Bank loans in the US have fallen at a 14pc rate this year, caused in part by Basel III rules pushing banks to raise capital ratios. ......................


.........................These are epic warning signals, with echoes of 1931. Yet the Fed has just raised the Discount Rate. It is winding up liquidity operations, and preparing to reverse QE, even though the housing market has tipped over again. New home sales fell 11pc in January to 309,000 units, the lowest since data began, and 24pc of mortgages are in negative equity.

What?,

You may have it backwards, the commerce clause was designed to keep states from discriminating against out of state products; to promote trade between the states by eliminating barriers. An internal free market while the FEDs regulate foreign competition to protect our "infant industries" via tariffs and quotas (now eliminated along with 5 million manufacturing jobs by "free trade aka foreign slave workers").

The FEDs, like they always do, perverted the commerce clause to give the FEDS the right to regulate everything; even if only one molecule crossed a state line. This is where the FEDs walk all over states rights. A lot of this happened under President for Life FDR with all of his power grabs.

As long as the FEDs can buy-off the State governments and legislators with loans from China and Japan or printed fiat money from the Federal Reserve, the game continues. The States are willing partners in the commerce clause power-play. When the FEDs finally get turned off by China and Japan; the game is over. And, the leverage over the States with highway and water works money channeled to the connected contractors and unions will end; a percentage of which ultimately finds its way to the state and local politicians. Lets call this a positive feedback loop, the more money you put into politicians, they more they give back via the legislative process.

My guess is that the insurance commissioner system; present in all of the states I know about, probably resulted from out of state scammers selling policies to suckers who didn't know the insurance company was only a PO box or a store front. I'm sure there are cases of the insurance industry in various states capturing the legislative process and slanting the table their way. A good example of what happens when the FEDs regulate is the current mortgage-real-estate melt-down with the FEDs passing the legislation at the request of the NY bankers (Obama took $500K in contributions from Bankers while in the Senate and voted for this) to make it happen. It may be TEXAS who was the only state that didn't allow the sub prime and no money down loans and equity loans who escaped the FED created disaster.

The question in my mind is how to prevent the return of scammers if out of state competition is opened up?


xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
What?
I don't know the answer to this for certain, but here's an educated guess from what I know: a federal mandate opening state lines on insurance could be unconstitutional as well. A federal mandate would immediately be challenged by the 10th Amendment and probably would not survive. And you can bet the health insurance lobby would be the first to champion the 10th Amendment in this case! However, my understanding is states can choose to do this ON THEIR OWN, and some are currently looking at doing so. Just like some states have already passed or are looking at passing legislation to prohibit the federal government from forcing their citizens to buy health insurance, the 10th Amendment probably gives the power of whether or not to open state lines to insurance competition to the individual states as well.

Psyche:

I have some time now to address this:

"I am all for opening the state lines on insurance. I have read studies (in fact, I worked on one) that show the price of insurance coverage, overnight, would drop an avergae of almost 15% (with the warning that some areas of very cheap insurance coverage would probably rise a bit, but would be greatly offset by the drops elsewhere). . . . so WHY OH WHY is Obama so apathetic at best, and dug in against it at worst?"

I don't know the answer to this for certain, but here's an educated guess from what I know: a federal mandate opening state lines on insurance could be unconstitutional as well. A federal mandate would immediately be challenged by the 10th Amendment and probably would not survive. And you can bet the health insurance lobby would be the first to champion the 10th Amendment in this case! However, my understanding is states can choose to do this ON THEIR OWN, and some are currently looking at doing so. Just like some states have already passed or are looking at passing legislation to prohibit the federal government from forcing their citizens to buy health insurance, the 10th Amendment probably gives the power of whether or not to open state lines to insurance competition to the individual states as well.

Yep! It was me. I don't know if I missed the sign-in or the server assigned me as anonymous.

WT?, on articles: there are thousands (tens of thousands) a day given to trying to cover events (hell, some make it up, like the NYT writers often did in the past), others phone it in from watching television, and others got o the action. On top of that, you have provocateaurs on both sides making stuff up.

So finding 3. or even 100, articles crying about Brown means little. I can fins 3, or 300, that point out he is exactly what he is --- a Mod Gopper! Just like I have posted earlier that the far left progressive idiots that jump on Prez Obama for basically not declaring the U.S. the Untied Federation Of Cmmunist States represent a frings, the same applies to the nut right that jumps on anyone who does not worship the furthest right of their dogma 100% of the time.

What does it all mean? Simply that I attend TEA parties (and am pretty close to the events and sponsorships of it), so I have at least a slight grasp of it's meanings and stances. Palin was very clear (and very astute): the TEA party MOVEMENT is just that --- a movement --- and not an actual party. There are no boots on teh ground, no committeemen, etc. Her point to them was that they can be spoilers and kingmakers, and to do so they would have to either support (or NOT support) candidates that run under the party system.

On fiscal conservatism, I issue you this thought: If you think about it, applying very fiscal conservatism, getting it in place and as the ruling dogma, would eventually lead to fixing most if not all the other issues that surround us. The trick is to fix it fiscally first (just look at the 220 year history of the U.S. for proof).
Given how broken we are (and believe me, we are completely broken right now) fiscaally, we are going to require extreme fiscal conservatism to get it righted. People will hurt, anger will flow, we will need to take a step backwards to take two forward.

The only given, at this point, is that we are completely broken as we speak & write!

{Note tp anonymous, above: why not a trillion dollar tax on all implements that are pointed and can be used to penetrate the earth? Then, we can create credits for these implements that can be traded. Thus, people like myself who never do any construction-type work would have extra credits for penetration & drilling implements that I could "Sell" to others, even corporations, and make $$$!
It could be called the Poke, Penetrate, and Probe Act. This IS how the cap & trade stuff works!}

Man made Global Plate Shifting

I think Al Gore needs to lead the charge in addressing man made global plate shifting.

All of the holes humans are drilling in the earth and pumping out oil, gas and water are causing the earth to implode as humans deflate it.

The recent earth quakes in Chile and Haiti are all the scientific proof anyone needs, the discussion is settled, the scientific evidence is irrefutable.

To address Global Plate Shifting, we need a Trillion Dollar tax on carbon emissions caused by extracting oil, gas and coal from the earth, and the money should be spent on technologies that don't address the problem but are produced by companies in which Al Gore and prominent liberals have and equity stake for no money down.

Al Gore needs to produce a movie showing mining in Chili and the earthquake that was a direct result of the holes in the ground. "Holes", I like the sound of it!

Anonymous (Psyche, is that you?):

It was probably Cantor I was talking about, another youngish-looking fellow with dark hair.

I've heard that tons of GOPers, especially the fiscal conservatives and tea party folks, are upset with Brown, calling him a traitor, turncoat, yada yada. I don't know any of them personally, but I've been reading about it all over the place:

BOSTON - A month after being crowned the darling of American conservatives, Republican Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts is being branded a traitor for siding with Democrats in favour of a jobs bill endorsed by the Obama Administration.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10628306

http://www.mediaite.com/online/facebook-blogosphere-take-on-traitor-scott-brown/

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/opinion/views/os-ed-kathleen-parker-scott-brown-022410-20100224,0,6692222.column

These are just three to get you started. Google "Scott Brown traitor" and you'll get PAGES of links from blog sites and op eds in newspapers around the U.S. and the world, all ranting about Brown's vote on the jobs bill. Like I've said before, Psyche, some of you guys really need to branch out and read up on what's going on in the wider world. Just because it is not happening in your neck of the woods doesn't mean it's not happening period.

The Palin interview I heard about recently was Palin TELLING the Tea Party people they would have to choose either Dem or Rep when the time came:

"Which party will best fit you? And then because the Tea Party movement is not a party, and we have a two-party system, they’re going to have to pick a party and run one or the other: ‘R’ or ‘D’."

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/02/17/politics/main6215033.shtml

Given that we do currently have a two party system, I don't think Palin is showing some kind of exceptional foresight in coming to this conclusion. This is really a no-brainer, don't you think?

I would vote for a candidate with a FISCALLY conservative platform, but it would have to be conditional on two things:

1) that they were not an EXTREME fiscal conservative; anything extreme on either side I won't support.
2) that no other stuff I strongly object to is attached to it. Fiscal conservatism alone is not so important to me that I'd accept other things I don't like in a candidate to get it.

Ryan is the one with all the data & numbers --- no one from either party wants to get caught up in an argument of substance with himn as he is the only Congress member who admits to reading it all himself and doing the analysis (younger, really dark hair).

He may have had the copy of teh bill there, but the one who got in a little spat with some Dem on it was Kantor (Cantor?).

I know of no GOPs who are upset with Brown ---- really & truly.

I saty well abreast of the TEA movement, and so far they have held as their "own men & women". Example? In an interview this week, Palin was asked if they will go third party or GOP, and she said they will NOT go third party (no machanism, no troops, etc.) and will do their own thing and will try to support either GOP or DEMS running who have a clear, FISCALLY conservative platform.

Let me know how that gentleman's club idea comes along. There is plenty of "strip" mall space available all up and down 59.

With Nville being fairly land locked, where would they put it?

It would undoubtedly make for some good conersations, boost the divorce rate and detract from Nville's golden status on Money magazine's list.

Psyche:

Just a few thoughts before I join the youngest for a movie:

Yep, nothing got accomplished but everyone did well. Mostly the same talking points from both sides that we've heard ad naseum for months, but heck, it was fun anyway. The buffalo dip and brewskis helped; we made the health care summit into our own beer summit. My personal favorites:

>On the Rep side, Tom Coburn. He actually made suggestions, just not talking points. I don't know about Ryan--was he one of the ones who sat with the House or Senate version piled up in front of him, saying it was too big, then held up Obama's 11-page plan and said it was too small? This talking point reminded me of The Tree Bears: the first is too big, the second too small, if we start completely over the third will be just right!!

>I didn't get Reid's reconciliation comment either. EVERYONE'S been talking about it for months, just not the Reps! So unless there's something I'm missing, I agree with you on that. All the same, Cheney blatantly fudged the truth about his administration's handling of the shoebomber too, but you weren't receptive to seeing that. Just sayin'.

>The little spat with the Prez and McCain that ended with "The election is over". Awkward! But I think McCain redeemed himself by making a point about something later. Can't remember precisely what the topic was, but McCain said if X is true, then why are we doing Y? And Obama said, "you have a point" with the kind of finality that implied, "you're right, we should change that". McCain and the other Reps were so surprised there were several seconds of stunned silence. Wish there had been a lot more of these kind of productive exchanges. But it seemed whenever a true dialogue got started, someone ended it with another long-winded foray into talking points. Which brings me to my absolute favorite:

>Am I the only one who saw this? I've looked in several places for this afterward but none of my sources seem to have caught it. Towards the end, Boehner gave a long statement that contained nothing but all the old redundant talking points that had already been presented several times that day. Obama had already mentioned many times that he wanted the discussion to go beyond this same old same old, so when Boehner started in again with the "government takeover of health care" stuff, there was a camera shot of the room from behind Boehner, and over Boehner's shoulder you could see Obama pull his head down and pinch the bridge of his nose between two fingers in a classic "have I got a headache" pose. I literally laughed out loud! It only lasted a second or two, O must have caught himself. But the caption under a still pic of this definitely could have read "Barney was right; I AM talking to a dining room table". Too funny!

Regarding this statement: "Final note on Brown --- I really don't think Dan D. ever said or indicated he thought Brown was not a moderate, but only that on fiscal issues he was a conservative. That is a true statement."

You're over-intellectualizing my comment far too much. I don't care what Dan thought of Brown, I was only referring to the celebration that he posted on the Top Stories of the Year thread when Brown was elected:

By Dan D on January 19, 2010 8:47 PM

"SCOTT HEARD AROUND THE WORLD!!!

THE BACKLASH IS COMING!! THE BACKLASH IS COMING!!!!

THIS LOSS HAD TO BE GEORGE BUSH’S FAULT!!!!!

LET’S FIGURE OUT HOW TO DO THIS IN ILLINOIS!!!!!!!

I remember being bummed out when Jimmy Carter won. Obama is dead. We do not have to endure four years. Keep it coming!!!!!!!"

And after all this, on Brown's second senate vote, he joins 4 other Republicans and votes WITH the Democrats. This has PO'd a lot of Republicans. It doesn't seem to me that putting Brown in the Senate is contributing to the Obama death rattle that Dan hoped for. At least not yet. So yes, it appears Dan's "Scott heard round the world" misfired this time.

And as far as FISCAL CONSERVATISM goes, I'm all for it. In fact, we've already established I'm a quasi-fiscal conservative, remember? It's all the other crap the far right Republicans attach to it that I object to. I don't mind the original grass roots Tea Party movement so much. It's the Republican, big money hijacking of this movement into the Tea Party Express that I object to. This is something else altogether. The original tea party people think so too. But that's another discussion for another day.

Sorry to get off topic, but I was just wondering what naperville would think of a Gentalman's Club opening within the city limits but away from residences, schools, churches or wherever children might be.

Guys:

More fun palin' around with Palin:

Those notes Sarah Palin wrote on her hand to help her remember her core beliefs were "a poor man's version of a teleprompter," Palin told Sean Hannity Thursday night.

"I write on my hand 'energy,' 'tax cuts,' 'lifting American spirits.' Those are the things that candidates need to embrace in order to get elected and get this country back on the right track," Palin said.

"It's quite simple," she added, although not simple enough for her to memorize, apparently.

Dan said here in a previous post that Palin was making about $1 million/year in her new gigs. With that kind of income she's not a true "poor man" and can afford the real thing, but clearly doesn't want to get blasted for hypocrisy if she did. Marco Rubio may have gotten away with this in the cloistered world of CPAC, but it will be fun to see what happens if he attempts this in the real world. We'll be watching!

To Dave Dapkus:

Does your offer extend to blog addicts and political junkies too? ;-)

I am all for opening the state lines on insurance. I have read studies (in fact, I worked on one) that show the price of insurance coverage, overnight, would drop an avergae of almost 15% (with the warning that some areas of very cheap insurance coverage would probably rise a bit, but would be greatly offset by the drops elsewhere).

Another tidbit: Though many are aghast at forcing coverage on people (ie the invincibles that make up the healthier, youger portion of the population), the same studies show an immediate overnight savings of 20% or higher!

Of course, though I would like to see both, I fear the latter is unconstitutional and would easily be overturned in the courts over time. The former? A no brainer, so WHY OH WHY is Obama so apathetic at best, and dug in against it at worst?

This is my segway to the summit. Short answer: Nothing got accomplished.

->The Dems helped themselves a little bit with other Dems, maybe some indees,
-> The GOP really helped themselves by finally showing they had ideas, understood the issue, and had reasons for saying No.
->Prez Obama made a mistake, I believe. He should have had Biden run most of it and set himself up as the guy who occasionally steps in to right the tipped arguments (like the chairman on a 7 person committee --- gets to break all ties)

My fav highlights?
Reid showing he is a blatant liar ("We nefver have talked of a reconciliation, so why do you keep bringing it up?")

Ryan knows his shit --- period! Notice not even the Prez interupted him mush

The little spat with the Prez and McCain that ended with "The election is over".

Final note on Brown --- I really don't think Dan D. ever said or indicated he thought Brown was not a moderate, but only that on fiscal issues he was a conservative. That is a true statement.

I think this is the Brown issue highlights how the national media and the "liberal nation" are misseing on the TEA party movement --- it is NOT about extreme conservatism, it is about extreme FISCAL conservatism. If course, others try to hijack them to provide cover on social issues, but if you look at their "platforms", you will find it is heavily set in the fiscal arena. However, the left and media keep it up with the bagger comments and trying to pass them off as a wing of the GOP --- it ain't! Until they understand this, they are at a disadvantage.

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Anon ONE and Psyche:

Anon ONE, I can see that. I was surprised you'd let something that obvious slip through. I wish there were a tongue-in-cheek icon too. The closest I've found is the wink ;-)

It's true that in some publications we get a liberal slant, in others a conservative one. I've linked political ticker before. I don't favor just those publications that support my point of view. I'm looking for the best solution, not validation of my beliefs. In the post you linked, there was the following statement:

"– In a 2009 analysis, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office reported that removing the exemption for health insurance would allow the federal government "to pursue cases it otherwise would not be able to prosecute." But the report concluded that existing state laws already prohibit those activities, such as price-fixing, bid rigging and market allocations. . . . David Balto says he studied 33 states, and "none had taken an antitrust enforcement action in the past five years."

So removing the anti-trust exemption shouldn't hurt then, should it? It's kind of like tort reform. Maybe capping lawsuit awards would only save less than 2% of the total health care budget a year, but that doesn't mean it's not worth doing, is it? Just because it doesn't cost us that much doesn't mean it's right.

Psyche, you'll especially like this reference:

"We should listen to our constituents. I did town halls in August and they were attended by over 8,000 people. And there was one item of agreement between the extremes in the debate between those representing the Tea Party and those representing single-payer. And that was consensus, that this industry, the health insurance industry, should not enjoy a special exemption under the law. They should not be able to collude to drive up prices. Limit competition. Price gouge consumers. They should play by the same rules as every other industry in America. And this archaic exemption from anti-trust law should go to the dustbin of history. There was consensus on that."

http://www.examiner.com/x-26735-Cable-News-Examiner~y2010m2d24-Rep-DeFazio-speech-about-Republican-support-for-health-insurance-antitrust-exemption

I realized the CNN article was less than concise. If you have a House vote of 406-19, OF COURSE that means most Republicans voted for it as well. I thought about taking out the line that stated that the 19 abstaining votes were Republican, as that did seem a bit slanted, but it still was fact if an incomplete fact and I was hesitant to start editing my links. I figure if I'm going to link them, I'll let them stand as is. Anyway, my whole point of mentioning the article was not to try to make a point on Republican "obstructionism" as there obviously wasn't much in this vote, but to rejoice that the House had voted to remove this exemption. It may sit in the Senate until hell freezes over, but it's a nod in the right direction.

And my comment on Scott Brown was more of a dig to Dan and other conservatives on this blog who were popping champagne corks when he was elected as if this was the beginning of a Republican resurgence. I didn't see it as such at the time, because I saw Brown as a moderate Republican. But it was a surprise to see Brown confirm this so early in the game (sorry, Dan!).

On to more interesting topics: Sooo, what did you all think of the Blair House summit?

Having supported Scott Brown I expected him to support the jobs bil. There is no break of ranks there --- in fact, I think 5-6 GOPtypes voted for it.

As a voter, I always rate a Senator on how they balance overall Country goals with those of their home sttate.

Kudos for Scott Brown ---- again we can all see why he took away teh coveted "Kennedy" seat (tongue in cheek reference to the Brown debate)!

WT?,

You say "Yay" to the House vote because "they said it would open comeptition" --- Have you actually looked into it to see if it DOES do so, or are you taking their word for it?

Hey WT?, My NYT reference almost always is used with a "tongue in cheek" type inference, but I haven't figured out how to convey this in writing! but yes, I know what you mean. I like the NYT, but often find myself disagreeing with what I view as a liberal slant.

You referenced a CNN article that I looked up about antitrust exemptions. I also need to add (and point out) that while 19 Republicans voted against the exemption bill, 153 Republicans voted for it. Yet again proof that the Republicans will support a cause.


along with the article, CNN has what they call a "CNN Fact Check" which I have posted below.

Bottom Line eliminating the health insurance industry's exemption from federal antitrust law could open the door to more scrutiny of the health insurance industry, but there's no hard evidence it would reduce premiums.
http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2010/02/24/cnn-fact-check-would-exemption-repeal-lower-premiums/?fbid=aeKop7grXZe

Anon ONE:

"Of course it must be true because it's in the NYT."

Sorry, couldn't resist turning the tables on you for that! All I can say is it's about time!

Love this news too:

Washington (CNN) - "The House voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to repeal the antitrust exemption currently granted to health insurance companies.

The vote was 406-19 to repeal the exemption, which has been in place since the end of World War II. The 19 who voted against the repeal are all Republicans.

Liberal Democrats have said a repeal would help inject new competition into the health care industry while reducing consumer costs."

Yayyyy!

Today's NYT has an article about the jobs bill. 13 Senate Republicans voted along with democrats to advance the bill. So it appears that Republicans aren't obstructing Obama at every turn. It's too bad Obama couldn't garner this kind of support from his own party or he would of had the health care bill passed quite some time ago.
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/25/us/politics/25jobs.html?hp


On a second note: Listening to the radio today I heard a comment that Alexi Giannoulis is running to fill the "Obama Seat". Maybe I missed something, but isn't he running for the "Burris Seat"?? After all, Senator Durbin first promised, then broke his promise, to hold an open election on the Obama Seat. Since Democratic Governor B put Burris in position it now makes it an election for the Burris Seat - NO?

Psyche:

It just happened again--twice! I was almost done with my reply to you when I inadvertently X'd out again! This time no Skype interruption, just me. And I was half-way through a repeat when my computer inexplicitly freaked out, erasing not only most of my screen but all the text from linked sources. I had to shut down and restart. So I'm done. I think this is the universe's way of telling me to drop it. You weren't understanding me anyway so it's no loss.

By the way, two days until the superbowl of health care debates. I can hardly wait! I'm gonna make buffalo dip again!

Scott Brown breaks rank with GOP on Jobs Bill!?!

Looks like the Scott heard round the world just misfired!

Anon ONE:

In my last usage of "you guys", I was specifically referring to Dan and Psyche, the two bloggers I referenced in that post. I was not referring to you or any other blogger besides those two.

"And in this case, the devil really is in the details.

Once again, I completely agree with wt. The devil really is in the details...the details she keeps ignoring to make her fanciful stories seem real.

WT?,

I still don't see why we are debating teh Reid/Mass issue!

I have said repeatedly I would have handled it differently.

I have oconsistently heard conservative-types say the same (examples? Krauthammer (sp?),O'Reilly, Beck, IBD, etc)

It is a fact that the tribunals were NOT set-up yet.(again, I still would have held them as opposed to what Bush did)

I would have hoped that ALL the politicians would learn from mistakes of those who came before them. Simply put: I TOTALLY DISAGREE WITH PREZ OBAMA GOING THE CIVILIAN/MIRANDA ROUTE, JUST LIKE I DISAGREED WITH BUSH!

It is just wrong. Back to one of my earlier comments, just because Bush did it (or any previus Prez) doesn't make it right for the next one to do it!

Is Cheney a hypocrite, or is he defending the actions of his boss, or is he just softening the waterws for his daughter's inevitable run for office? I don't know.

I DO know, though, that he was a very powerful VP and a guy with a long history of service to his country.

Your comments on dog doddle are uncalled for, very partisan, and part of why I say your GOP-hate realy does cloud your thinking (or, at least from my observable angle, your postingsFurhter point/proof? Your ending, where you again take ONLY cGOPs to task for the evils of being a pol, when they ALL, both parties, are as a group unworthy of our votes and support!

Dan:

In regards to your previous comment that Obama "restarted the war on terror". I'm making the logical leap here that this means you think Obama stopped the war on terror first. You might find these comments made by Colin Powell on Face the Nation this past Sunday interesting:

(CBS) Claims that the United States is less safe under President Obama are not credible, former Secretary of State Colin Powell said on "Face the Nation" Sunday.

"The Transportation Security Administration created by George Bush is still in action working in our airports; they take care of me every day that I go to an airport," Powell told moderator Bob Schieffer.

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence was also created under President Bush, "and it is still under President Obama working hard," he said. "Our counterterrorism authorities and forces are hard at work. Our law enforcement officials are hard at work. We have gone after the enemy in Afghanistan with 50,000 more troops, more predators are striking al Qaeda and Taliban leaders in Pakistan. We have continued the policies that President Bush put in place with respect to Iraq.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/02/21/ftn/main6228795.shtml?tag=pop

Psyche:

"I think we can also all agree that Moussaoui's dick was not on fire at the time of his capture so a modicom of decor was probably called for!"

LOL! Be as loud as you wanna be!

You used the term "ramrodding" in a post on February 12, 2010 3:54 PM to Who Do near the beginning of this thread: ". . . it is clear this is about NOT hearing the opposition and ramrodding his own agenda into law, desopite the protests of the American people. No cigar."

I think there's some confusion here between Moussaoui and Reid. Moussaoui WAS mirandized once, DID go to trial in a civilian court and was sentenced by a jury to life in prison. He pled guilty initially, but changed his plea a couple times during his trial, the last time trying to withdraw his guilty plea AFTER he was sentenced. Moussaoui was tried in Alexandria, Virginia in March 2006. Here is a link to the trial transcripts:

http://cryptome.quintessenz.at/mirror/usa-v-zm-dt2.htm

Or if that's too long and dry, there is a synopsis of Moussaoui's trial on Wikipedia:

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

Richard Reid WAS mirandized--four times within 2 days, the first being within 5 minutes of his arrest--and was scheduled to go to trial in civilian court but entered a guilty plea one month before his scheduled trial date, thereby skipping a trial and going straight to the sentencing phase. He received a life sentence by the judge.

"I don’t get your fixation on Cheney 5 years after. I just don’t see that as an honest debate at this point."

I see this as a VERY honest debate at this point, especially since Cheney is still very much in the political picture and has become Obama's most vocal critic on matters of homeland security. On the days when Cheney can't make it, his daughter Liz fills in. So Cheney's continued presence and criticism makes this a more than honest debate. There is nothing hypocritical in anything you laid out about the war. It's Cheney and many of his fellow Rep politicians who are showing the hypocrisy.

If you look at the time line as it occurred in the shoebomber incident--the Factcheck link does this very well--you will see that Cheney is fudging his description of events to support the Bush administration's handling of Reid and to make an argument for criticizing Obama's handling of the underwear bomber by claiming the circumstances under which these two events occurred were different. Aside from the fact that the Christmas Day bomber was trying to light his dick, as you say, and Reid his foot, there is no difference. A close examination of the facts shows this:

President Bush’s order establishing military commissions to try any non-U.S.-citizen was issued on Nov. 13, 2001. Richard Reid was arrested the following month. At that time, the apparatus for actually trying anyone before a military commission wasn’t yet operational, this is true. HOWEVER, and this is a big however, Bush's Nov. 13 order gave the secretary of defense authority to take suspects such as Reid into custody, even if he was already in the custody of another part of the government. Cheney acknowledged this, but said this wasn't done with Reid because he pled guilty.

This is where Cheney is not being honest. Reid was in custody 11 months BEFORE he pled guilty and could have been transferred over to the military at any point during that time. The Bush administration decided to allow Reid to proceed in the civilian system anyway instead of transferring him into military custody. If Reid had not changed his plea to guilty one month before his scheduled trial date, he would have had a jury trial just like Moussaoui did.

Then-Attorney General John Ashcroft is on record as having discussed the idea of transferring Reid over to the military with the Department of Defense early on, but the decision was made to keep Reid in the civilian system, according to Ashcroft, who was asked about the possibility at a press conference on Jan. 16, 2002, a little more than a month after Reid’s arrest. Ashcroft said "I did confer with the Department of Defense and with their general counsel, and they had no objective [sic] to our proceeding in this manner." Meaning proceeding with trying Reid in the civilian system rather than transferring him into military custody at a later time to be tried before a tribunal.

In addition, Cheney has publicly criticized the Obama administration for allowing law enforcement to read Miranda rights to the underwear bomber, when HIS ADMINISTRATION DID THE EXACT SAME THING WITH THEIR TERRORISTS. Both Reid and Moussaoui were given miranda warnings and allowed to "lawyer up" when they wanted, just like the Christmas Day bomber was.

Now, if you want to have a discussion about whether this was the right way for both the Bush and Obama administration to handle these people, that is a different discussion entirely. But this is not the narrative that Cheney and many other Republican politicians are putting out. Cheney's narrative is "Obama is wrong and we were right because the circumstances were different when we did it". This is total and unmitigated BS, Psyche. In addition to making Cheney a hypocrite and a lying sack of dog doddle.

But this is why Cheney and other Reps get away with this sort of thing, because the majority of Americans don't know the complete details. And in this case, the devil really is in the details.

So much for that whole bipartisan thing that one poster keeps insisting President Obama is working towards:

http://www.swamppolitics.com/news/politics/blog/2010/02/obamas_new_healthcare_plan_con.html

As suspected and posted here by many, it is obvious that President Obama and his fellow Democrats have no intention of actually giving the Republicans any input on healthcare. Only a fool or a liar would say there is anything bipartisan in this new effort by the Democrats.

WT?,

RE: Your first response:
I don’t get your fixation on Cheney 5 years after. I just don’t see that as an honest debate at this point. I took your post on “polls saying we were not behind the war” as referring to originally going to war as once you start a war, it is pretty darn hard to just stop it! Note here that because of this little factoid I, personally, see a major difference between staying with a war we started versus trying to force an unwanted healthcare bill, representing 17% of the total economy costing trillions of dollars whose source is undefined, that does not fix undefined problems and trying to label it reform, upon the entire citizenry when they are against it by about a 2:1 ratio!

So, NO, Bush/Cheney did not ramroding (I still don’t remember using that term anywhere, though it is a good one here) the war against an American public that was en masse against it, because they were not. As already stated, at the time the American people strongly supported the war and grew weary of it over time as the Bush admin pretty much screwed up everything about the war up until the point of Petraeus and the surge. For the period in-between, yes, there was a certain amount of either arrogance or incompetence (or both) involved as we languished in Iran and soldiers died while under odd restrictions of ROE and the such. I never have denied that. There is nothing hypocritical about anything I have laid out.

Thank you, by the way, for adding the Dems are hypocrits, too. You may not realize this, but you often make statements condemning the GOP, giving the Dems a silent pass, and assume you know what we all think or meant instead of reading our exact words. You finally include the Dems in your condemnation. Kudos! I will add that the Dems are every bit the hypocrites as the other side. I think you do need to re-look your definition of the word.

In short, pointing out Prez Obama is screwing up is not the same as saying Bush did everything right. You oft assume that is our (or my) meaning, when that is an illogical leap.

Now, as far as your example ---- I do not think the normal use of something qualifies as addiction. There is a reason all comedians make fun of Obama and his use of teleprompters ---- he has shown a propensity to overuse them. I think you need to open the mind a bit and understand the issue is NOT that he uses on(again, go to some meetings ----- teleprompters are used by practically everyone up to a point). Our Prez has had major issues when his broke a few times, thus he is open to the fun. As for Rubio (who he?), there is no hypocrisy in making fun of someone who depends on something versus using something (again, think addiction versus use). You do not need to agree (nor do I expect you to), but there is a major difference. Now, on Palin ---- as was posted earlier in the threads (Dude?), the hand thing was NOT in a speech and did not consist of answers --- they were concepts (ie talking points --- make sure each answer somehow hits on one of 5 concepts, or more). Note that after seeing the posts, I did find many examples of pols using them, one of them being a very famous and powerful Dem Senator from Ca.

As far as the hate comment, I will only encourage you to see your comments and stances form the outside looking in. You do take an idealogues point on almost all issues, you read things into the posts of at least some of us that do not exist, you tend to assume the worst in posts that disagree with you (or even appear to), and whether you truly mean to your postings give the impression of blind obedience/ambition to the liberal causes all.

Having said that, I agree with your general comments on the behavior of politicians --- the difference is I see and state that both sides are the same and are in the same boat together, while, right or wrong, you seem to argue it is just the GOP (it’s not --- it’s all the slugs!) And, yes, I agree that if you let them keep getting away with it, they will eventually turn on you, too (and they often have in the past). Term limits, baby! term limits!

RE: Your second response:
It is hypocrisy when the activity in question is considered aberrant. Prez Obama campaigned on his being different (as an example, transparency, etc) Also, if you hated something that was done a certain way (all things Bush), then to support the new guy while he does it the same way and say he is right ---- that defines hypocrisy, yes?

I did not defend Cheney on the shoe bomber ---- I do think some facts were laid out to show the examples had at least one big difference and also that I disagreed with it at the time.

Now here is the question for you: If there are no tribunals, how do you use them to prosecute? (I would have waited, by the way). As I stated already, I think it was handled incorrectly just like Prez Obama is handling it incorrectly now.

As far as Moussaoui, he pleaded guilty. No tribunal, no court. If he had gone to court, I would also say it was wrong. Simple stance from me ---- I DO NOT WANT TERRORISTS AND ENEMY COMBATANS GETTING THE SAME RIGHTS AS A CITIZEN I GET---- THEY BELONG IN MILITARY COURT!! I don’t care who is trying to give it to them, it’s wrong!

I think we can also all agree that Moussaoui's dick was not on fire at the time of his capture so a modicom of decor was probably called for!

Loud enough?

As far as wonks, I have YET to hear a conservative say it was handled right --- I have heard some liberals say so (of course, they are trying to defend Prez Obama’s handling when they do so).

Dan:

I was just giving you the information I thought you asked for plus responding to a previous comment you made. Too much info is better than too little, I guess.

I think all this focus on when Obama used the term "terrorist" or didn't is all just linguistics. You said "AFTER he restarted the war on terror". Obama never "stopped" the war on terror, he just changed the verbiage that was being used to talk about it. Critics are using this change in verbiage to accuse Obama of a change in ACTIONS, this hasn't happened, Dan, never did. And this is my whole point about all this hypocritical posturing by the Reps. Obama is following the same course that was set by the Bush administration and is getting blasted for it by one of the very people who approved that course--Cheney!

And I said Cheney wasn't eloquent in his response, but he did answer the question directly. He meant what he said, and what he said was one doesn't allow fluctuations in opinion polls to influence governing decisions. And that holds true whether those governing decisions are finishing a war that has grown unpopular or implementing a change in our health care system that has grown unpopular. It is hypocritical to say it was responsible and right for Cheney to ignore opinion polls and stay the course on the war but it is arrogant and wrong for Obama to do the same on health care. Doesn't matter what the issue is, the governing strategy remains the same. Just because you agreed with Cheney but don't agree with Obama doesn't mean this strategy is now flawed.

This is why our founding fathers made us a representative democracy rather than a true democracy. We elect representatives to make decisions on our behalf, the American people don't have a vote on every single bit of legislation, whether to invade another country or change our health care system. And opinion polls are not de facto methods of vote casting for the American people, but you seem to regard them as such and appear to think they should carry the same weight. Opinion polls have never and should never be treated as "votes" by the American people on policy. They are opinions, and that is all.

TMI again probably, sorry. I got on a roll.

Just to make sure there isn't confusion, I responded (1:08 PM) to a line that WT? had written to "Psyche". I'm not "Psyche", but I realize that my response could look like I am. In re-reading my posting it came across as confusing.

I'll admit to being an occasional unintentional anonymous, but I post as Anonymous ONE. Didn't mean to step on "Psyche's" toes, and don't want WT? to think I'm anybody else.

Sam, intersting comments. I've come to the conclusion that the Smart meter project is designed to pump $22M into the economy, not actually provide any benefit whatsoever. Isn't that what Federal money is for these days?

WT? wrote: I think you guys get more of your information directly from Fox than I do any one source like MSNBC.

_______________

One of the reasons I gave 5 sources for my previous comments (Anonymous ONE on February 18, 2010 5:03 PM) was because I feel that you label "us" ("You Guys") as somehow Fox News robots. My links included the NYT, Huffington, and Politico. I may have, but I'm pretty sure I've never referenced Fox News directly in a link - perhaps by inference though. I read a variety of news sources, and use a variety of links in my postings. I realize that a Fox News link, while accurate in my view, will be ridiculed not on content, but simply because it is Fox. To be fair, I would view an MSNBC reference probably in the same light.

You scolded me previously for jumping into an argument when you claimed Republicans were "less than smart" (I believe you said Stupid, but I don't have the time to go back and check). I believe you said your comments were directed at a certain group of bloggers who were ganging up on you - fair enough, but I feel you sometimes lump all opposing your viewpoint a little too broadly.

So when you paint a broad brush like "you guys" in your statements about Fox News I wanted to jump in. I realize this could be nit picking, but I don't believe your statement was accurate.

As for the continued debate about liberals/conservatives, Obama/Bush, etc. I'll say it again. I do not believe you are going to change your liberal views based on anything written on this blog, just like I probably won't change my conservative views based on anything you write. The stalemate continues, we agree to disagree, etc. etc. Doesn't mean I don't enjoy reading potluck, but it does seem to discourage a lot of postings as our discussion tends to be circuitous.

WT

Too much information. I really did not focus on the December 28th press conference. Instead, I was more focused on Obama's general attitude before Christmas versus after (when he got back from vacation).

Before "underpants", he dropped the term terrorist. This was just a bunch of isolated actions.

AFTER he restarted the war of terror. He is now on a better track.

AS to the opinion poll in 2008. It was easy to change your mind five years later, but you cannot undo five years worth of history. Cheney should have responded, "People do not like the war, but that does not mean we abandon the effort." Notice the subtlety of the polls, do you favor the war? Rather, Should be abandon the war?

And if you look at the timeline I outlined, you will notice a concentrated effort by the left to disparage the war. They worked hard to change the outcome.

If Obama and Biden were so opposed to the war, why didn't they call all the troops home from Iraq on January 21, 2009? Because it would have been the wrong thing to do. Same as Cheney. And Obama was steadfastly opposed to the war (although he did not have a vote when that mattered) and he opposed the surge.

So I think Cheney was right. People's attitude to the war, even a President's, does not matter if you are trying to finish the process.

And I get my input from the Wall Street Journal, owned by Fox News.

On an entirely different subject, the Wall Street Journal had an interesting report about smart electric meters in today's edition. In short, it discusses the difficulty in getting consumers to cut usage at peak hours -- unless the rates charged are very high. In one example, the off peak rate was $.11/khw while the peak rate was $.75/kwh. In other examples, the peak rates were increased to as much as $1.60/kwh in order to cut usage. The article failed to offer information about rates prior to the smart meters. For comparison, my cost ( from the city) is $.084/kwh today. ($.104/kwh after adding in tax and customer charges)

As I indicated in an earlier posting, it's going to be hard to save money if my peak rates increase by a factor of 7 to 15 times. I admit that I don't know what the rates will be, no one seems willing to tell me -- only to assure me that we'll all save money with smart meters....I doubt any of us will save any money in total.

Dan:

I should have linked the source for the Cheney comments and poll, so here it is:

http://www.alternet.org/blogs/peek/80244/

This interview was done on the 5-year anniversary of the Iraq invasion, March 19, 2008. The 2/3 figure that Raddatz referred to was the result of a CNN Opinion Research Corporation Poll:

http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/05/01/bush.poll/

This poll measured W. Bush's approval rating at that time and public approval on the war in Iraq.

"This poll also indicates that support for the war in Iraq has never been lower. Thirty percent of those questioned favored the war, while 68 percent opposed it."

These are the kind of polls, are they not, that you and many other bloggers here consider very relevant? And Cheney didn't challenge this 2/3 figure, either.

"The people should have voted no to the war BEFORE we went there. They did not and they needed to live with the change."

I don't understand this comment. The American people were not allowed to "vote" on whether or not to go to war. Are you talking about opinion polls, then? Americans were not against invading Iraq, but even if we had been, do you think it would have reduced Bush's push for the war? I don't. Our representatives made that decision for us. Even if opinion polls had shown most Americans to be opposed to the war, this wouldn't have changed anything. Cheney would probably have said "so?" then too.

You're right that Obama POd the left by not withdrawing troops from Iraq immediately. But he also POd the right by setting a withdrawal date in the future. The guy can't win.

Also, the Factcheck article on the Biden/Cheney war of words that I posted for Psyche addresses a statement you made in a previous post. On February 18, 2010 8:15 AM you posted:

1. I see two problems with Obama's approach on terrorism. First, until AFTER the December underpants bomber, he tried to characterize the war on terror as isolated and independent thugs. While Al Quada is not an organized nation like Nazi Germany, its existence and operations threaten world peace. You have to treat all "terrorists" as if they have a larger agenda.

Here's the entire statement Obama made:

"Cheney criticized President Obama’s use of the phrase "isolated extremist" during his first address to the nation following the failed Christmas Day bombing attempt:

It is true that Obama did refer to the would-be bomber as an "isolated extremist" in comments to the press on Dec. 28:

Obama: "This incident, like several that have preceded it, demonstrates that an alert and courageous citizenry are far more resilient than an isolated extremist."

However, Obama made clear in his remarks – the same remarks in which he used the word "isolated" – that officials were still seeking possible co-conspirators:

Obama: "A full investigation has been launched into this attempted act of terrorism, and we will not rest until we find all who were involved and hold them accountable."

And he also said that "[w]e do not yet have all the answers," and he promised to "continue to use every element of our national power" against terrorists — "whether they are from Afghanistan or Pakistan, Yemen or Somalia, or anywhere where they are plotting attacks."

The fact is that federal officials already had linked the suspect publicly to al Qaeda at the time the president spoke. Unnamed law enforcement officials were quoted by the New York Times and others as saying that the suspect had claimed to have gotten explosives from an al Qaeda bomb expert in Yemen, and that the officials had no reason to doubt the claim.

We can’t say what Obama meant when he said "isolated," and Cheney is entitled to criticize Obama’s choice of words. But we can say as a matter of fact that the Obama administration was pursuing an alleged al Qaeda connection even before Obama spoke."

My guess is you got your information on this from Fox News, right? Sounds like them, they do this kind of thing a lot, separating one sentence from it's context and presenting it as something else. You really should check out things you hear there against the original source.

**And an additional note to Psyche: notice that none of my sources include Rachel Maddow. I check a lot of this stuff out myself before accepting it as fact. I think you guys get more of your information directly from Fox than I do any one source like MSNBC.


The difference between the war support and healtcare support was that at the very beginning, and for at least a year, the war had almost full support in congress. Healthcare reform didn't even have the full support from the Democrats in congress. To ignore this simple difference is...you guessed it, another example of rampant hypocrisy.

Psyche:

Oops, I meant pull the WOOL over your eyes, not wood, but you probably figured that out.

Moving on:

"Now, to your second response ----- I am afraid I still hear you saying since Bush did it, it’s alright with you for Obama to do it! Your words ---“..what’s okay for one Prez is okay for another!” As you can guess, I do see this stance of yours as the rampant hypocrisy you describe (don’t get P.Od at me, but read it through for some irony)! For some reason you think every conservative was behind Bush --- they weren’t! I know many, many of them --- they weren’t! As I already said, between O’Reilly & Beck, they skewered Bush for years."

Don't worry, not POd! But I don't see saying what is okay for one Prez is okay for another as hypocrisy. The opposite of this--saying it's ok when we did it but not for you--is. And yeah, most conservatives do defend Bush. Maybe they didn't when he was in office but they sure do now; look at this blog for example. Look at the excuses you're offering for the Cheney comment and the shoe bomber incident. (Please, don't get POd at ME now; I'm not being rude, just direct.) Most conservatives I hear do this as well, they bring up tiny variances in circumstances, minutiae really, that is supposed to make all the difference, but we know it really doesn't. And for every O'Reilly there are thousands of Hannitys, these types are the norm.

"Since you are on the usual talking points, lets also bring up Massasoui (or however you spell it!). He is in a U.S. jail because he pleaded guilty, thus no need for mirandizing or anything else (like tribunals)."

Ok, let's talk about Moussaoui first. Moussaoui, a French citizen, WAS mirandized 4 1/2 hours after his arrest according to the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA V. ZACARIAS MOUSSAOUI:

Upon arrival at the detention facility, Mr. Moussaoui was processed and, at 9:24 p.m., he was interviewed by INS Special Agent Weess and at least one other agent. Immediately before the interview, at 9:23 p.m., Mr. Moussaoui was provided with an INS advice of rights and waiver form, informing him of his rights under Miranda v. Arizona. Mr. Moussaoui allegedly signed that form indicating that he had been advised of and was waiving his rights. . . . Upon information and belief, the advice of rights that Mr. Moussaoui received at 9:23 p.m. on August 16, 2001, was the first and only time that Mr. Moussaoui was advised of his Miranda rights.

http://capitaldefenseweekly.com/library/moussaoui/1_01-cr-00455/docs/65876/0.pdf

Not a talking point, a much overlooked fact. People are not mirandized because they're arrested, they're mirandized before they are interrogated. Moussaoui was interrogated, therefore he was mirandized. This had nothing to do with the fact that he admitted guilt. In fact, if he had not been mirandized, his admission of guilt would most likely not have been inadmissible in court, right?

"To wit, he was caught trying to bomb the plane abut 3 months after 9-11. The military tribunals were approved at that time, but their formation had not even begun yet. Thus, they did what they did.

Regarding Richard Reid, this is what my favorite nonpartisan source, Factcheck.org, says about that:

President Bush’s order establishing military commissions to try any non-U.S.-citizen who "has engaged in, aided or abetted, or conspired to commit, acts of international terrorism" was issued on Nov. 13, 2001. Cheney is correct to say that the apparatus for actually trying anyone before a military commission wasn’t yet operational, but the Nov. 13 order also gave the secretary of defense authority to take suspects such as Reid into custody, even if he was already in the custody of another part of the government. Cheney acknowledged this, but said that "all of that was never worked out, primarily because he pled guilty."

But Reid didn’t plead guilty until Oct. 4, 2002 – nearly 11 months after his arrest. Events suggest the guilty plea was a surprise to prosecutors — Reid had been scheduled for trial in November. For nearly a year, then, the Bush administration had the option of transferring Reid into military custody, but didn’t. Then-Attorney General John Ashcroft even discussed the idea with DoD early on, but the decision was made to proceed in the civilian system, according to Ashcroft, who was asked about the possibility at a press conference a little more than a month after Reid’s arrest."

http://www.factcheck.org/2010/02/dick-cheney-vs-joe-biden/

So the Bush administration DID have the option of moving Reid to a military court before Reid pled guilty, but didn't bother. And all worked out just fine, didn't it? But Obama makes the same decision and Cheney blasts him for it? Do I have to spell out h-y-p-o-c-r-i-s-y again?

Also, I said Bush HANDLED Richard Reid the exact same way one year after 9/11, which is true. I think you took this to mean I was saying Reid's attempt occurred one year after 9/11 which of course it didn't, it occurred in December of 2001, similar to the underwear bomber's attempt on Christmas Day. I can see how my phrasing of this was confusing.

And, finally, I know of no one who thought handling him that was correct AND, if you watch the wonks on tv, you will understand that few of them agree with that handling.

I haven't heard this, in fact, I've heard the exact opposite from the wonks on CNN and the Sunday talking heads. That civilian court worked just fine during the Bush admin, justice was served and none of these critics freaked out then. It's only that Obama is now following the same course that the Republicans have a problem with it. That H-word again.

WT

I know you are going to say more. But first, I have NEVER seen a poll where 67% were opposed to the war.

Here are some posts from Wikapedia

2002

Most polls showed that support for the invasion, depending on how the question is phrased, was at between 55-65% (58% according to CNN/USA Today, 57% according to the LA Times, and 67% according to Fox).

2003

Only 27% opposed military action, the smallest percentage since the polls began in April 2002. The percentage of Americans supporting an invasion without UN support jumped eight points to 37%.

A Gallup poll made on behalf of CNN and the newspaper USA Today concluded that 79% of Americans thought the Iraq War was justified, with or without conclusive evidence of illegal weapons. 19% thought weapons were needed to justify the war.

2004

An August 2004 poll showed that two-thirds (67%) of the American public believe the U.S. went to war based on incorrect assumptions.

Note: It does not say they were opposed to the war.

Bush then won the election.

Then people started railing on the war.

I do not know when Cheney's question was asked, but he is right. We were there, we had to finish the job. The people should have voted no to the war BEFORE we went there. They did not and they needed to live with the change.

The same thing that Obama did right. The radical world was waiting for us to wilt and thankfully he changed his mind. Kudo's on that action. It was the right thing to do. He did turn his back on the liberal left and they are upset.

He needs to do the same thing with the economy. Kudlow outlines a great plan to increase growh to 7% instead of 3%. Implement a flat tax, eliminate all deductions, eliminate the corporate tax, and implement a Value Added Tax to Replace the corporate tax.

Liberals oppose most of these ideas. But productive effort and results will be rewarded and people will invest to make our economy grow. They will even open plants in the US to employ Americans rather than purchase foreigh.

I look forward to your additional comments.

Psyche:

Busy weekend! I'd like to address your last comment first, the one regarding Cheney's "so?" comment.

Your comment: "Again, a little data check for you on the war! At the time of the war, the majority WERE for it."

Yes, dear, I know this. But Cheney's "so?" comment was made YEARS AFTER the invasion, long after "mission accomplished" had become Mission Impossible:

This morning, on the fifth anniversary of the Iraq invasion, ABC's Good Morning America aired an interview with Vice President Cheney on the war. During the segment, Cheney flatly told White House correspondent Martha Raddatz that he doesn't care about the American public's views on the war:

CHENEY: On the security front, I think there's a general consensus that we've made major progress, that the surge has worked. That's been a major success.

RADDATZ: Two-third of Americans say it's not worth fighting.

CHENEY: So?

RADDATZ: So? You don't care what the American people think?

CHENEY: No. I think you cannot be blown off course by the fluctuations in the public opinion polls.

So you can see why everyone's complaints here about Obama "not listening to his constituents" and "not heeding opinion polls" rings very hollow. NO ONE governs by popular opinion, I'm assuming you all know this. Cheney was correct if not eloquent: one stays the course and does what is thought to be right no matter how unpopular. Yet Dan has repeatedly called the Obama administration "arrogant" for doing this; you have called it "ramrodding his agenda through" against the wishes of the American people. By this standard, weren't Bush and Cheney just as arrogant during their tenure? What I see here is many of you bringing forth excuses defending B&C for this while condemning Obama. That's my definition of hypocrisy.

And this takes us to my overall comment about rampant hypocrisy in the Republican party, and it certainly does look like that to those of us with intact long-term memory. Of course Democrats do this too, ALL politicians do to some degree, but it's certainly not as prevalent in the Dem party. The Reps have risen hypocrisy to new levels since Obama's election. At first I thought it was just a reflection of how threatened the Rep party was by Obama, but it's gone on so long and has remained so persistent that it's become a part of the Republican's standard narrative. I hear it whenever Republicans speak regardless of venue--TV, newspapers, opt eds. And yes, especially Fox. The "liberal" media doesn't make this stuff up, Psyche, they are simply exposing it. If Rep politicians didn't put this crap out there in the first place, we wouldn't be having this discussion.

Here's another fun one. This is small stuff compared to most, but it's illustrative of how institutionalized hypocrisy is becoming in the Republican party. They have gone beyond just talking it, they are now DOING it. And it's so accepted they don't even bat an eye when it happens.

I was watching a speech by Marco Rubio at CPAC, who Ann Coulter calls a rising star in the Tea Party movement. At one point he made a joke about Obama's use of teleprompters (of course). I can't remember how it went word for word, but it was something like Washington was shut down by the snow storm because Obama couldn't find a place to set up his teleprompter. This would have been fine, except that Rubio WAS READING HIS SPEECH FROM A TELEPROMPTER HIMSELF! And everyone in attendance saw this, but nobody cared! Even Palin was savvy enough not to make THAT mistake, which is why she wrote her notes on her hand. But at CPAC the usual rules obviously don't apply, you can be as hypocritical as you want and that's fine. Whatever works, right?

Which brings me to why I hate this behavior so much. You're wrong in saying I hate Republicans, I don't. I hate the mindset that makes this kind of behavior okay. Any politician that blatantly does this kind of thing is either a fool himself or playing his constituents for fools. And I find the latter option insulting. I lose respect and trust for people who do this; respect because it shows a lack of honesty, trust because I have learned that if people will do this FOR you, they have the capacity to do it TO you and eventually do. So if you give these guys a pass now because their hypocrisy serves your agenda and gets you what you want, it's just a matter of time until they use these same tactics to pull the wood over YOUR eyes.

More later when I find the time.

Straight from the District 203 operating budget

Page 8 of the PDF (no number on document)

Title on page

2009-10
Naperville CUSD #203
All Funds Summary

Look in the middle of the page. It has a row called "Operating Funds Total"

Ending balance $39,840,721
increase in 2010 $12,372,592

Contingencies (not meant to be spent) $2.8 million

After all of the transfers for capital projects, there is still $40 million EXTRA. Looks like again the Taxpayers Ticket was correct.

Why are they whining about the $6 million? Mitrovich should keep looking for $6 million in savings. We, as taxpayers in 203, would be better off if 203 lost $6 million and the state did not raise incomce taxes. In fact, make it $12 million and cut our high property taxes as well.

I would add Dick Cheney to the list. Everyone knows that Bush was an idiot. It was Cheney calling the shots.

I wonder if Cheney had full authority, how much better the Country would be?

And now Biden and Obama are taking credit for the Cheney policies in Iraq and Afghanistan. Imagine if they joined the effort five years ago.

They, along with all of their liberal allies, are responsible for extending the war and the additional deaths to soldiers.

What a shame they were not on Board five years ago.

They are worst than O"Reilly's pinheads!!!!

An overall take on Palin

Do you really think that an individual restricted to Alaska can be elected? Look at Mitt Romney or Mike Huckabee, they had the same problem. Great local image, awful national image. (This might be hard for us to concieve since we do not have any good leaders in Illinois, just brutal, self interested politicians on both sides. And look at the result, a state that is now being compared on national talk shows as being as poor as Greece!!).

We all focus on the best thing that happened in the last 40 years as being Reagan. And I agree. In fact, I do not think the full benefit of Reagan's policies came about until ten years after he left office. Those surpluses that came about during Clinton were in some part due to the full "benefit" of the Reagan tax cuts. We are all deluding ourselves if we thing any action (including government action) can have an immediate impact.

But after Reagan, who is next. I have a tie right now. Clinton and Gingrich. Wow, you are surprised. Clinton came into office knowing that he was elected because Ross Perot spoiled the reelection of Bush 41. Clinton was a smart man, he knew he had his work cut out in the next election. Remember, he did not get a majority of the votes.

Knowing his fragile win, he did not capitulate to the far left wing of his party. He wanted to make change, but knew he did not have a blank check.

The election of Gingrich created a balanced government. The joint Clinton/Gingrich years were the most prosperous. Neither one of them took actions that would knock the train off the tracks.

So my question is where does the next Gingrich come from in 2010? Is it Paul Ryan? Or do we need another bull to offset the poor governance by Obama?

And after 2010, where does the next presidential candidate come from? That is where Romney, Huckabee, Palin, Pence, etc. come into play. We need a leader to emerge to change the course. The Republicans missed in 1964 and 1996. We don't need McCain again, a good senator, but not a presidential candidates.

And I do not want a flash in the pan like Obama is in the Democratic Party. We need to be better than them, like Reagan was in 1980. Who lost recently that was promising? Remember, Reagan came back after losing to Nixon in 1968. Nixon came back in 1968 after being written off in 1960.

I hope Steele has changed his attitude and looks how to win.

One of the first really acute, accurate, relevant things I have ever read form whatthe?:

"Palin is being allowed to talk, and she's getting paid very well for it I might add. But she does not have the "right" to be taken seriously. This is earned, not bestowed. And as far being taken seriously for the presidency is concerned, she's yet to earn it."


I also agree with TBs earlier comment:

"As for Palin, I hope her only role in 2012 is campaigning and fund-raising. She can sure incite the right (no pun intended) crowd, but as a candidate I find her to be lacking."

At this point both are true comments.

As I said, she ain't my girl. But I encourage all of us to take these comments to heart and, moving forward, to have the same open mind we had for Obama (my mistake -- won't happen a second time) and IF she grows, give her the due she desrves (like we would for any other human). If we don't, then it is clear this is al rhetoric and we are just partisan hacks.


Dan:

"I am amazed at your lack of confidence. I am not use to being aroudnd a self confessed weak woman."

Oh, puh-lease, Dan!! This is such a clearly manipulative statement that there's no way I'd fall for it. A suggestion on how to be manipulative: it works best when no one KNOWS you're doing it.

There's a difference between self-confidence and arrogance, believing in yourself and hubris. When it comes to Palin, you clearly can't make the distinction.

"I feel, like most others on this post, that if we set out to take a leadership post, we could handle it. In fact, most people feel Washington is out of touch and they could do better."

And I think you all are deluding yourselves about this. See my reply to The Dude Abides above.

"Sarah Palin is playing it very right. She dropped an dead end job making $80,000 for a series of positions that allow her to do the same thing you are for at least a $1 million per year."

This was a good PERSONAL choice, not a good POLITICAL one.

"She does not lose in any case."

She already has. Why don't you take up this discussion with some of your fellow conservatives here, I'm sure they can lead you towards enlightenment a lot better than I.

whatthe?,

As I said, nasty piece of work.

This is a blog and my original post in no way was an attack on you, yet here you are attacking still! My point was not that you were jumping in, but that you were using blind obedience. Reality check: there was nothing for you to react to.

Have all the fun you want with Palin --- she ain’t my girl. I was only adding some objective data to the points being made by many, and that is all. No fear, though, as whatthe? is here to jump in and turn it into a partisan attack.

I didn’t even post on Obama, yet there you were to assume it was an attack on him. Woe is whatthe? in her struggle to overly-defend all that is Obama and the liberal way. There was no reality in your post, just a knee-jerk defense on something that didn’t even exist. How progressive of you. Create a non-event, then build that non-event up as an issue of the utmost importance. Uh, isn’t that the description for astro-turfing?

You are right that things look easier form the outside looking in. I would suggest you take that to heart next time you make things up about other bloggers or see zebras when there are only horses.

WT?,

Don’t you hate when that happens? All that typing for nothing!

Now, to your second response ----- I am afraid I still hear you saying since Bush did it, it’s alright with you for Obama to do it! Your words ---“..what’s okay for one Prez is okay for another!” As you can guess, I do see this stance of yours as the rampant hypocrisy you describe (don’t get P.Od at me, but read it through for some irony)! For some reason you think every conservative was behind Bush --- they weren’t! I know many, many of them --- they weren’t! As I already said, between O’Reilly & Beck, they skewered Bush for years (and much stronger and data driven then the inadequate XXNBC coverage)

Again, your conservative hatred does, as an outside observer, seem to cloud your judgement on some items. The simple truth is that Obama IS trying to jam his agenda through (though I don’t remember posting it as ram rodding --- I might have). His problem is that such a large portion of the country disagrees with his solutions that is it causing his own party to not support his agenda! And, yes, he is eager to make the recess appt or he wouldn’t have threatened it (that is called a “weather balloon” in political parlance).

Your comments on the GOPsters is partly true:
YES ---- they talk down on pork than partake in it ---- this is why I dislike all politicians, want term limits, and am constantly on the look for good alternatives to incumbents (as an example: I backed Brown in Mass.) As I have oft-posted, I generally find politicians to be hypocrites.

Quick data check --- you might want to check your data on Reid (the shoebomber)!

To wit, he was caught trying to bomb the plane abut 3 months after 9-11. The military tribunals were approved at that time, but their formation had not even begun yet. Thus, they did what they did. And, finally, I know of no one who thought handling him that was correct AND, if you watch the wonks on tv, you will understand that few of them agree with that handling.

Since you are on the usual talking points, lets also bring up Massasoui (or however you spell it!). He is in a U.S. jail because he pleaded guilty, thus no need for mirandizing or anything else (like tribunals).

JOMO --- the handling of the Christmas bomber was a blow by the administration and that is why he has subtly separated himself a bit from Holder and why so many Dems also disagree with it.

As for Newt, he just blew it. it happens. Of course, he is not an elected official.

I knew about Shelby, and all the others (in short, every politician from both sides)- -- that is why I like my solution as outlined earlier.

You are right -- We definitely disagree on Obama! There has been no action on bipartisanship. There has been a lot of talk, which he is good at, but little to no action. You already know we disagree on the healthcare bills.

Though you oft try to paint disagreement as not wanting reform, the truth from my viewpoint is that pretending to solve a problem that has not been defined by jamming a 60 year old solution born of failed liberal dreams of the past based on past-century ideals is not reform!

And yes, that is exactly what an objective view of these bills comes up with (by Reid & Pelosi’s own words, and all of their actions including the attempt, as we speak, to play procedural games to directly derange over 16% of our economy with a procedural trick). It is arrogant to believe a small coterie of individuals know so much more than such a large portion of the U.S. population.

IF they start over, break the bills down into smaller pieces, etc. we will have reform (and some hope for our elected jerks). IF they jam it through with tricks, we will have neither, an even more broken economy, and a bloodbath in November of epic proportions.

Now, your view of Bush is so distorted that I just know you are watching Rachel Maddow! Outside of the tax cuts (a very good thing for a recession economy) and the war, Bush got little from Congress. In fact, it is fair to say the Dems had a jihad to break any domestic plans & policies Bush had (as I wrote earlier, the S.S. change would have been the single greatest change to social innovation since S.S. was instituted)

Again, a little data check for you on the war! At the time of the war, the majority WERE for it.

T.B.:

Easy to talk about putting talks on CSPAN, more difficult to do.”

But did he even try? Even the head of C-Span took him to task for this.

BHO answered this during his Q&A with the Republicans. He admitted that the logistics of putting all the individual meetings that took place on the Hill about health care were more of a challenge than he anticipated, so he just blew it off (my words) rather than making the effort. He said he took full responsibility for not having done this. He either needs to start doing this now or tell the American people why he can't. We'll see what happens.

“I see a lot of potential conflicts between the Mormon belief system and the presidency”

Isn’t that what they said about JFK and Catholicism?

Definitely, and this immediately came to my mind also. I don't think Kennedy was a devout Catholic--maybe a CINO?--so this wasn't a problem for him. The Mormons have a name for this also; they're called Jack Mormons. But my impression of Mormonism is that it's a lot more of a lifestyle than Catholicism. One can't be an active Mormon and a Jack Mormon at the same time, these are incompatible positions. It's easier to be a Sunday Christian in a lot of other religions. If Romney can check his Mormonism at the door of the White House before going in, no problem. But he's going to have a hard time convincing southern voters that he can do that.

WT I am surprised.

I feel, like most others on this post, that if we set out to take a leadership post, we could handle it. In fact, most people feel Washington is out of touch and they could do better.

Sarah Palin is playing it very right. She dropped an dead end job making $80,000 for a series of positions that allow her to do the same thing you are for at least a $1 million per year.

AND

If there is no one qualified standing, she is ready to be drafted. Just like BO. Nobody has embraced a conservative leader. When the music stops, it might be her and Ron Paul. She will get the nod.

She does not lose in any case.

If I could cut a similar deal, I would do it in a heart beat.

I am amazed at your lack of confidence. I am not use to being aroudnd a self confessed weak woman.

Anonymous on February 19, 2010 9:26 AM

It's a long shot but help get the word out about Paul Ryan.

Elitest...

Please don't use the term Elitist to identify yourself. That's creepy. Especially if you are admitting it.

Dan makes a great point. Emanuel is smart, but a lot of them are. Emanuel's smarts don't outnumber the amount of filth and scum that resides in that body and brain. And he is nothing more than a priveledged Kennedey. And thankfully, the Kennedey politicking is ending. We need no more people like that. People who truly are Elitists.

Do you really think Barney Frank and Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are better than you? All they are good at doing is selling a bill of goods to constituents. I'd argue that those three right there are three of the worst political figures this country has ever seen. I'd also argue that if it wasn't for the political cirles in which they run, they would have a hard time getting a normal, mid to upper management white collar job, Harvard educated or not. They are no better than you. And that's the problem. Byah couldn't have said it better when he chose to step down. You have joe (the plumber) average morons who are so blinded by ideology or elitest snobs who have no sense of reality running the show.

No disrespect because I don't know you, but Clinton is better than you. Reagan is better than you. Byah is probably better than you. But your day to day moron blinded solely by ideology??? They are just backed by a bunch of brain washed people who are using them as puppets.

I'm not a Biden fan, but we do need more people like him involved in politics. Or Reagan or Clinton. People who actually worked their was up to achieve something. Where is Ronnie when you need him???????????????????

Dan D:

"My point is that Palin has done all that you have done and more. I will assume you feel you are a qualified individual for any setting. If you had an issue, you would expect to be allowed to talk. And be taken seriously. Palin should have more credibility by doing more."

No, I DO NOT feel I am a qualified individual for ANY setting. The biggest difference between me and Palin: I'm smart enough to know I'm NOT president material.

Palin is being allowed to talk, and she's getting paid very well for it I might add. But she does not have the "right" to be taken seriously. This is earned, not bestowed. And as far being taken seriously for the presidency is concerned, she's yet to earn it.

Anon ONE:

Thanks for the post with all the links, but this really wasn't necessary. I'm familiar with everything you mentioned and would have taken your word on it. I think you have me confused with another blogger here who bellicously demands a "link of proof" for every single comment (we all know who this is). I'm not into defensive blogging, so you can relax.

I remember a lot along these lines. Like comments about how the Clintons were "more vindictive than most" if they were crossed, how Hillary in the WH would really be tantamount to a 3rd term for Bill (remember, this is why Obama didn't offer Hillary the VP position on his ticket like she had offered him. Obama was concerned this would have put 3 people in the White House!) and so forth.

But my impression was that a lot of this stuff was going on behind the scenes with Washington insiders when O and H were rivals. Some of it went to the the MSM, like endorsements and such, but a lot of it didn't really come out until after Obama had become the Democratic candidate. So yeah, I think Washington was sick of the Clintons, but the voters not so much. And a lot of people liked and preferred Hillary until they got more exposure to Obama, then we saw the switch.

Besides, isn't every single presidential winner a beneficiary of some kind of lucky timing? We ping pong between the two parties; the bigger the perceived failures of the incumbent, the luckier this is for the challenger. Would W. Bush have won in 2000 if it hadn't been for all those hanging chads? Talk about LUCK! And would he have gotten a second term if the Dems had had a better candidate than douchey John Kerry? What do you think would have been the outcome if Obama had run against Bush in 2004 instead? I think lucky timing plays a part in ALL elections, just not Obamas.

I'll let you make up your own mind about the New York Times.

To Elitist

Leadership is a quality. It is a force to get get people to do something they would not otherwise try to do.

But Leaders should share ideals. I think that is the missing link. Many people did not share George Bush's ideals. Same for Obama. It has only been Clinton and Reagan over the past 60 years.

Think about how dangerous this is. Who have been the best leaders in the world. Mao, Hitler, Stalin. In our society, it has been the wealthy. Do they really know what you want? Ever interacted with a trust fund baby? Amazing, no concept at all of reality.

Maybe that is why Reagan and Clinton survived. And notice how George W was an everyday Joe. He was able to win a repeat election.

You are right, they need your characteristics. But Rambo Rahm has your characteristics. Do you want him to succeed Obama? He does.

"We need political leaders that are more down to earth. Like all of us."

I respectfully disagree, and I mean that not in reference to Palin specifically, but in a general non-partisan way. I don't want politicians who are "like all of us" or seem like "someone you'd like to have a beer with." In short, I don't want someone who is like me- I want someone who is _better_ than me.

This country's problems are numerous, complex, and pervasive. We need the smartest, most thoughtful, independent thinkers we can get instead of a popularity contest to see who is more identifiable to Americans.

Anon5678 - Great question on 2012 prospects! Thanks for putting it out there.

I still really like Mitt. I'd like to think we're above the Mormon thing, but you may be right about that hurting him. He has run a business, he's run a state, and he saved an Olympics from disaster. He's my choice for the top spot on the ticket right now.

I also relly like Paul Ryan from Wisconsin. Working his backside off getting his message out. Go to his web site to see his roadmap to recovery. Awfully good stuff. Young, sharp, and not afraid to get his positions out there. Future "player".

Still love Bobby Jindal. An up-and-comer until the Republican "handlers" got ahold of him for the SOTU response two years ago. He's still one of my favorites. Keep Steele and his boys away from him and let him run. He's universally loved in Louisiana (not necessarily a hotbed of conservative Republicans) and has turned that state around after the disasterous Kathleen Blanco. Strong conservative voice.

My opinion would be that it is too soon for Scott Brown. Give him some time in the ring and let him get his feet under him. He could be a strong candidate in 2016 or 2020.

My point is that Palin has done all that you have done and more. I will assume you feel you are a qualified individual for any setting. If you had an issue, you would expect to be allowed to talk. And be taken seriously.

Palin should have more credibility by doing more.

WT? –

“Easy to talk about putting talks on CSPAN, more difficult to do.”

But did he even try? Even the head of C-Span took him to task for this.

“I see a lot of potential conflicts between the Mormon belief system and the presidency”

Isn’t that what they said about JFK and Catholicism?

I suspect it may be too soon to start handicapping the horses in the 2012 race. There’s always someone “unknown” who jumps in and captures allot of attention.

As for Palin, I hope her only role in 2012 is campaigning and fund-raising. She can sure incite the right (no pun intended) crowd, but as a candidate I find her to be lacking.

T.B.

Congratulations to Evan Lysacek! Way to show Plushenko he is NOT ALL THAT! You should have won by so many more points! The judges were WRONG! :-) Scott Hamilton was right it is about EVERYTHING not just one stupid jump. And Plushenko already whining about scoring...what a baby. So Evan get your much deserved rest & enjoy the glory & then I hope you plan to beat him by tons of points 4 yrs from now! :-) Shut him up completely!

I hope Naperville is going to have a parade for you. PFFT the economy...charge everyone a few bucks to buy some confetti or something! :-)

My deepest sympathy's to Sgt. John Burghardt's family. I did get to watch Sgt. Lisa Burghardt on Female Forces and she seemed like a lovely spirit and no doubt then he was as well. My prayers are with the family that your hearts will heal with time...because Love NEVER dies!

Anon 5678:

LOL!! In fact, FOMCL!! Your honesty is a hoot! I'm interested too in hearing who you guys think could run in 2012. Since I just found out I'm a quasi-fiscal conservative, can I play? Please please pleeeeeease?

Mitt Romney: the Mormon thing will probably kill him. I lived in Salt Lake City, Utah for 15 years, so I have a lot of experience with Latter Day Saints. Mormonism is not just a religion, it is a LIFESTYLE. Knowing what I know, I see a lot of potential conflicts between the Mormon belief system and the presidency, even tho I'm sure all this would be played down if he were to run. A plus: the LDS Church has millions of members who would undoubtedly support him. A minus: the southern Baptists and other like-minded conservatives consider Mormonism to be a cult. They have millions of members too.

Paul Ryan: don't know him, which is exactly your point. I don't think Jeb Bush is interested either. And Jindahl was great until he spoke. That leaves Scott Brown. I've heard he's somewhat moderate, pro choice and all, but that could change if the far right nuts get a hold of him. And being easy on the eyes never hurts ;-)

WT

You have a point. I did call her a complete and total moron because she is a complete and total moron. And I caught nothing for it. I suspect there are a lot of people on my side who want her nowhere near this campaign if there is any hope of getting rid of BHO. And probably most agree that she is a complete and total moron. If that is the best the conservatives can do, then we have more problems than I thought.

These tea party folks and the following she has just makes me shake my head and go, huh???????? She made a good govenor of Alaska. And every now and then she makes sense when she knows what she is talking about. But when she has to BS her way through something..........well she ain't no Bill Clinton. That's for sure. At least you can read thru Obama's BS. That is pretty much every word that comes out of his mouth. Clinton, you never quite knew. And Palin. Well she just looks like a deer in the headlights. "What news papers do you read?" A: "I'm sorry. I thought there would be no math involved."

Are any of my fellow conservs Palin fans or Tea party fans? If so, why???????? At least stop with the Palin stuff. Tea party is fine I guess.

Go ahead What the? Make fun of her all you want. I'll help you.

Speaking of Republican/Conservative candidates for 2012 (cuz it can't come fast enough), who does everyone like?

Here is my handful off the top of my head.

Romney - mormon thing will kill him, but he would make BHO look silly just by talking about these little things called facts.

Paul Ryan is the guy who could really make Obama look silly. Especially on numbers. Not sure if anyone has ever gone right from the House to the President. But he has 12 years. He is young. He is a real fiscal conservative. His name is just not big enough.

I would love Jeb Bush, but I don't think he has an interest. And that would be tough to follow George. Jeb should have came first before George put the nail in that coffin. But then again BHO is president right now. That might be all it would take for Jeb to get in.

Jindal would have been great until he opened his mouth. Smart move on the Republicans not having him talked nationally since that disaster.

Scott Brown - obvious reasons....momentum

What do the rest of the conservatives think?

Dan D.:

"Why are you better than her (Palin)?"

I haven't said I was. You're implying that, not me.

Besides, I'm a mom and raised a learning disabled child who is now a successful and independent adult, husband and father.
I speak up.
I am college educated.
I have been a leader, tho not in politics.

So what exactly is your point?

Now here was an interesting comment on one of the threads. We need political leaders that are more down to earth. Like all of us.

So here is a question to Ms. WT. How are you different than Sarah Palin?

She has been a mother even raising a special needs child.
She spoke up (you blog) and was drafted for election.
She is college educated.
She has been a leader.

Why are you better than her?

Hey, Dude, you paraphrased ME with "I know better than those entrusted with doing the job on healthcare". I wasn't addressing YOU in that post but that didn't stop you from jumping in, did it? If you don't want me commenting on your posts, then don't comment on mine. Simple remedy.

And why can't I have fun with Palin? Anon 5678 calls her a complete and total moron and everyone yawns, I poke fun at her over something that is common knowledge and this bugs you? What I described about Palin was "just a note of fact" also. My point being that Palin could write over every inch of her body and she still wouldn't come close to doing as well as Obama did in his noteless and teleprompterless Q&A with the Republicans. O has already proved himself very skillful in handling an off-the-cuff debate situation, yet most of the bloggers here, like Palin, ignore this inconvenient fact and keep the focus on his use of telepromters, because THAT supports the anti-Obama narrative.

So yes, I jump in with a dose of reality. I know how annoying this must be, but I do feel compelled to right a wrong. Call me an idealist. Or in your case, an idealistic nasty little piece of work. That's ok too.

My point with the second little riff is that everything always looks easier from the outside looking in. I don't have an over-zealous belief in our politicians, I just know that this is usually the case. Obama himself has discovered this in many areas, hasn't he? Easy to talk about putting talks on CSPAN, more difficult to do. Easy to talk about changing the ways of Washington, extremely difficult to do. Easy to talk about health care reform, nearly impossible (so far) to do. I don't think it would be much different for any of us. If these problems have such easy solutions as you all say, they wouldn't continue to be problems. I think there's more involved in this than many of us realize.

Mant saw the Kennedy backing as the beginning of teh end for Clinton --- it was actually the end of the end.

It certainly didn't help Clinton when HER campaign came out with the birther talk (yes, Virginia, it started with Clinton and NOT the GOP!)

Then, when the trustworthy John Edwards, vying for a cabinet job, flipped to Obama and the dike burst forth!

WT?, the anti clinton rhetoric and "anyone but Clinton" rhetoric was prevalent during the primaries. In 2007 Maureen Down wrote an article about Hollywood mogul David Geffen and his beliefs about the Clintons: "Everybody in politics lies, but they do it with such ease, it’s troubling" http://select.nytimes.com/2007/02/21/opinion/21dowd.html?_r=1

Of course it must be true because it's in the NYT.

In the new book "Game Change" Obama is quoted as saying that Harry Reid had a meeting with him early on and expressed his desire to have Obama run. Obama's comments after the meeting were, "Harry wants me to run for president." http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/01/12/game-change-harry-reid-wa_n_420017.html

Ted Kennedy endorsed Obama during the primary season: "Ted Kennedy has thrown the substantial weight of his last name behind Democratic front-runner Barack Obama" http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/568783/ted_kennedys_endorsement_of_barack.html
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0108/8134.html

Patrick Leahy endorsed him: http://www.boston.com/news/politics/politicalintelligence/2008/01/senator_leahy_e.html


So while Hillary may have been ahead in the polls, there is evidence that the Democrats had grown tired of the Clintons. You may not have been aware of it, but more and more evidence is being presented that Hillary (and Bill) were not as well liked as everyone thought. I don't disagree with your daughters impressions, but I believe that my comment about his "lucky timing" is more accurate than you wish to believe.

T.B.:

Thanks for the explanation--and the fun movie mentions. I know Pelosi never liked the bipartisan idea so you're right about her, I don't follow Reid much (don't know why, he just doesn't interest me) so you could be right about him as well. But I disagree that BHO gave bipartisanship lip service but didn't follow through. On the contrary, I think he's focused too much time and effort on this and allowed it to slow down progress. O may have the patience of Job, but the American people sure don't. The environment in Congress is too hostile and the country has too many urgent problems right now to make "playing nice" a priority. Odd, isn't it, how you're frustrated because you think BHO hasn't tried to be bipartisan enough and I'm frustrated because I think he's spent too much time trying to be?

And I agree about nixing Stimulus II, I think it should stop at I as well. I like your comparison of the stimulus to a sugar high, it is. And once it wears off, we will come crashing down once again if there is nothing more substantial in the system to replace it. But my impression is that the stimulus WAS only intended as a sugar high; it was a quick fix to keep the economy from totally bottoming out. It's focus was not to create sustained growth, sustained job creation, and job training; it was an emergency measure, a great big Snickers bar. It would be nice if it did sustain growth and job creation, but this wasn't it's primary purpose. The Snickers was just intended to hold us over until the economy recovered to the point where hopefully some of those jobs created by the stimulus will be replaced by the private sector again. So I don't fault the stimulus for not being a long-term solution, my understanding is it was never intended to be.

Anon ONE:

"WT?, I never said Obama won "solely" for any reason. But it did make it much easier to be the default candidate. And you are correct when you say, "The simplest answer is often the correct one." Mine is both simple and correct."

I agree that Obama benefited from anti-Bush/McSame attitudes and was the default candidate there, but this is the first time I've heard that Obama also benefited from an "anything but Clinton sentiment". Clinton was in the lead in the beginning and so confident of success that she offered Obama a spot on her ticket, remember? O turned it down and later took the lead from Clinton. So I was never aware of any anti-Clinton attitudes from which O benefited; it appeared to me that people switched because they decided they liked him better. My eldest, who also followed the campaign, said her impression was that Americans were more ready for an African-American president than they were a woman president. I think there's a lot of truth to that.

wgatthe?,

In reading your posts over time, I see you can be a nasty little piece of work at times. Why is it you so often attack other bloggers, even when they aren't addressing you? Is it a compulsion?


I posted only about Palin and not about Obama, yet you feel a need to butt in and defend Obama. This is termed "blind obedience" in the pol field. You should try going to t few polactivities --- you will find that the notes-on-the-hand are very, very common, as are written notes. Teleprompters? Not so much. These preceeding comments are neither an attack on Obama or a support for Palin, just a note of fact.

Your second little riff was even worse in that you took exception to me beliefs in myself (and you, and other posters, and other Americans, by the way) that we all know as much about this as the elected dolts we have. Appaerently you have a over-zealouos belief in our lawyers and politicians which I do not have.

Again, you were compelled to blindly jump in and protect them! Why? What is this fetish of yours?

"No, my position is what is ok for one president is ok for another. I have issues with ALL politicians as well, they can all be smarmy. It's the rampant hypocrisy that makes me very distrusting of the Republican party."

So you want the President to do as past presidents, but don't want the minority party to do as past minority parties did? I guess you would know rampant hypocrisy when you see it, as that statement shows how much you practice it.

"I think Obama is trying too hard to be accountable to all of us and is getting bogged down in the process. He has too many masters and as a result is satisfying none. He does need to get it together, but in different ways. I think he needs to get tough with the GOP--like in "be a part of the solution or get lost, and I'm not telling you twice."

Have you been living with your child in Portugal until recently? Because it is quite obvious that you have no clue on what is going on in Washington. President Obama made it very clear from the beginning with his "I won" comment that he would not work with the Republicans. It has been widely known that the Democrats locked the Republicans out of all health care discussions for the past year. Once again, you revise the events of the past year to support your points. Problem is, most people here have better news sources than TPDCM and don't buy your fanciful claims. I am glad, however, to see a kind of public acknowledgment of what you consider to be a good news source. It explains a lot...

Interesting article in todays Sun Times about former Governor George Ryan's wife. She asked Obama to pardon her husband.

http://www.suntimes.com/news/sneed/2056287,CST-NWS-ryan18.article

I seem to remember our illustrious Senator Durbin (Democrat) lobbying President Bush quite heavily to pardon Ryan shortly before he left office. And while President's traditionally grant pardons just before they leave office (Marc Rich), a sitting president can grant a pardon at any time.

So I'm wondering if Durbin is continuing to lobby Obama, as he did Bush, to grant the pardon? If not why not? Why would it be good to pardon Ryan during Bush's last days, yet apparently not good to do it now?


WT?, I never said Obama won "solely" for any reason. But it did make it much easier to be the default candidate. And you are correct when you say, "The simplest answer is often the correct one." Mine is both simple and correct.

Some random thoughts.

1. I see two problems with Obama's approach on terrorism. First, until AFTER the December underpants bomber, he tried to characterize the war on terror as isolated and independent thugs. While Al Quada is not an organized nation like Nazi Germany, its existence and operations threaten world peace. You have to treat all "terrorists" as if they have a larger agenda.

Obama has corrected his approach, hopefully it is not too late. He is learning that people really hate Americans and America and he can't talk them out of it. Remember that much of the middle east was barren deserts and only after American and European oil companies came in did they rise to real economies. They hate us for that. IRONIC!!

2. Dealing with Richard Reid versus the Christmas guy. In retrospect, Reid should have been treated as an enemy combatant. Bush made a mistake, hind sight being 20/20 vision. But you learn from your mistakes and you work to improve them. In fact, Obama noted a deficiency and was setting up a formal organization to address the matter. Only problem, it did not get done in the 8 months after he announced it. Ok, that was also a mistake. Do what you said, it would have addressed this situation and people would feel more secure.

3. I always ask, why haven't the 300 Guantanimo detainees been tried and sentenced. This is Bush's fault. However, his operatives claim that it was the Congress. Again, in hindsigth, he should have stopped government until they passed the needed legislation to complete the process. Look at FDR, he found the four german spys in Long Island, he secretly went to the supreme court to establish the military tribunal, tried them and executed them. All in secret, all in accordance with a rule of law, and all within months.

Here is an example of Bush's ineptness. He wanted to get along with the Congress, be bipartisan. So he let this matter drag out. In this case, a minority of the Democrats, the extreme left wing legislators (including Obama and Biden) objected to ANY SOLUTION and the Democrats used their power to delay this process and supported the radical wing of their party. Bush should have called them on this. Sixty days, a program. Be done.

Now Obama is in office. He is going to close Guantanimo to appease the Norway monarchy that awarded the Nobel Peace Prize (just kidding). The best way to do that? Try all of the convicts and then deal with them. If guilty, then build a prison on one of the outpost Marinia Islands deep in the pacific. Or Thomson if that is a lower cost. But finish the process.

4. WT keeps up the falsehoods. Obama could not get his healthcare bill through because his own party did not support it. He had to "waste time" because DEMOCRATS did not support it. The only delay that Republicans really did was the week of Christmas. And yes, that was done on purpose, so the bill would be on peoples minds during Christmas and they would oppose it.

5. Imagine if Obama supported the war effort when he was a junior senator as he is now as a junior president. We would be pulling out of both Iraq and Afghanistan already. But his defiance partially caused Bush to back down. You also have to wonder how the Taliban can be controlling any part of Afghanistan almost 8 years after beginning the fight. I understand that there are many tribal areas, but it appears the military concentrated on the "easy ones" and put the hard ones (the entrenched Taliban) to the end.

Two other takes. After steadfastly opposing the surge, now Obama and Biden are taking full credit for the Iraq success. We are able to begin the pull out ONLY becuase of BUSH'S SURGE. They should say SECOND MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!! This illustrates why partisanship should end with the final vote in Congress.

And the liberals are infuriated. They wanted the US to fail in Iraq and Afghanistan. They have to be irritate that their liberal leader is continuing, expanding, and thereby finishing the plan that could have been done at least three years earlier had they not opposed.

6. IF Obama also abandons his liberal ideas on the economy like he did for the Middle East conflicts, he could fix the economy. Permantly extend the Bush tax cuts.

Here is an interesting one I heard on Kudlow last night. Eliminate corporate income taxes, replace the tax with a 10 to 15% VAT tax. The VAT would include credits for investment in plant and equipment when paid, eliminate all depreciation. This also becomes the capital gains rate. It becomes the rate on imports (need to work out credit for VAT paid to a foreign country).

Not a Pelosi, European liberal VAT tax on top of everything, but a VAT tax to replace the corporate tax with a built in incentive to invest.

His prediction. Seven (7) percent growth versus Obama planned 3% growth. This reduces deficits in early years and pays off debt.

And we need to cut government spending by 25%.

WT? –

Don’t think that my opinions regarding the “mandate” (sounds like a bad movie staring Will Farrell) only apply to BHO. It works for both parties. Unless the candidate is running on a single issue, which is rare, there’s no such thing as a mandate for anything. It just means your candidate is the lesser of two evils.

As for BHO’s alleged mandate…even Dem. Rep. Quigley thinks that Obamacare went “A Bridge Too Far” (a fine movie) and that BHO should focus on the aspects of healthcare reform we all agree on and implement them one by one. Sounds reasonable to me, but I highly doubt Pelosi et al will even bother to pay him lip service.

You said nobody’s happy compromising. You’re right. BHO, Pelosi, and Reid have had a “it’s my way or the highway” approach to this from the start. Hardly a good way to start when you’re allegedly looking for a bipartisan plan.

No, no endorsement for Stimulous II. In fact, what BHO should have been doing is going over Stimulous I “line by line” like he said he would go over the budget and eliminate the pork. What he should have been doing is making sure the Stimulous bill contained programs that would create sustained growth, sustained job creation, and job training. Instead, we have a bill which creates short-term spending, short-term jobs (and not many of them evidently), and long-term debt. This puts the economy on a sugar high. When the money runs out, so do the jobs.

T.B.

Actually, wt, the problems are not solved by easy solutions because neither party wants to give up the 'gotcha' game and work together for the good of the people that elected them. Just once, I would like to vote for a qualified candidate, not the lesser of two evils. This will never happen because qualified candidates either don't have enough money, or don't want the politics of personal destruction applied to them.

"Could it be that some group has orchestrated a letter writing campaign . . .?"

Yet another conspiracy! Somebody better call Bachman and let her know she missed one.

Psyche:

I had a great reply post prepared for you, and right before hitting submit, my eldest Skyped me from Portugal and I carelessly X'd out instead of minimizing and all was lost! Argggghhhhh! I hate it when that happens. I'll try to recap:

1) Looks like I'm a quasi-fiscal conservative. Who knew.

2)So my question is, “Is your standard now only that a guy you hated did it, so it is alright?”

No, my position is what is ok for one president is ok for another. I have issues with ALL politicians as well, they can all be smarmy. It's the rampant hypocrisy that makes me very distrusting of the Republican party. Like your comment saying that Obama is "eager to make recess appointments so soon in his term" and "is ramrodding his agenda through", when he hasn't done either yet. Bush 43 did BOTH before the end of his first year, but no one said he was extreme. And aside from you and O'Reilly and Beck, most of the people saying this about Obama now DIDN'T have a problem when Bush did it. Like the Republicans complaining publicly about earmarks increasing the deficit and then privately shoving all the earmarks they could into the stimulus bill. Like Shelby putting a blanket hold on all senate confirmations to extort $41 billion in earmarks for his state while complaining publicly about the burden of debt on future generations. Like numerous Republican officials like Steele, Rove, Cheney, Graham, Bachman and a half dozen others condemning Obama for his handling of the Christmas Day bomber when W. Bush handled the shoe bomber Richard Reid the EXACT SAME WAY one year after 9/11. And despite what Newt Gingrich said to Jon Stewart on the Daily Show the other night, Richard Reid was NOT mirandized because he was an American citizen. Richard Reid was a British citizen and therefore just as unAmerican as the Nigerian bomber. There was NO DIFFERENCE between how these two incidences were handled under Bush and Obama. So these Republican politicians are condemning Obama for this because they either 1) don't know this, 2) know this but hope the American people don't so they can score points, or 3) both the politicians and their constituents know but are doing it anyway because it's just too good to pass up. Maybe you can tell me.

I'm surprised you didn't know about the Shelby incident, but I missed Obama's agnostic comment, so it happens. Here are two links:

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/02/report-shelby-blocks-all-obama-nominations-in-the-senate-over-al-earmarks.php

http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/05/white-house-blasts-shelby-hold-on-nominees/

If you don't like these, just google "shelby blanket holds" and take your pick. It's all over the net.

"Face it: We all expected a lot, lot, lot MORE from Prez Obama, and we are not getting it." The only areas where Obama has disappointed me is in not pushing through health care reform already and wasting too much time on bipartisanship. We're just going to have to disagree on this. I think he extended an open hand to the Reps and has largely been met with a closed fist. Obama has the patience of Job. I would have just given them the finger and moved on. And the world leaders pushing him around comment is the kind of reckless, testosterone-driven attitude that got our country stuck in two endless wars. Maybe W. Bush had to prove he had a set by sending our military into Iraq. Obama clearly doesn't have to.

"He needs to get it together, and fast. Just trying to get “tougher” with the GOP is not the answer. I again direct you to polls (of all sorts) that indicate he is on the wrong track. You like to use the idea that the won the election so he can do what he wants ----- Not true! He is accountable to all of us."

I think Obama is trying too hard to be accountable to all of us and is getting bogged down in the process. He has too many masters and as a result is satisfying none. He does need to get it together, but in different ways. I think he needs to get tough with the GOP--like in "be a part of the solution or get lost, and I'm not telling you twice." I watched Bush 43 do exactly what he wanted for 8 years, being accountable only to the inside circle of people who were important to him. Someone should have told Cheney he was accountable to all Americans when he was told the majority of us didn't approve of being in Iraq and he said, "So?" I think Obama could benefit from a bit of this attitude.

"Make no mistake: his promise on NOT taxing that group garnered a lot of votes and to believe otherwise would mean one is missing a large piece of analysis of the last election." Definitely true. Reversing this position would cost Obama dearly.

Dude:

Forgot:

By the by, I feel "I know better than those entrusted with doing the job on healthcare".

Then perhaps you should stop being an armchair politician and run for office. Share your wisdom and abilities with the country, don't keep them to yourself! I just love how everyone here with a gripe is SO CERTAIN they have all the correct answers and know exactly how to solve all these problems. I seriously doubt it. If solutions were that easy, these problems wouldn't be so persistent, would they?

Anon ONE:

So Obama won solely on default? Default first because of "anyone but Clinton", then default again because of "anyone but Bush/McCain?" But that still made Obama the best candidate out of the bunch, didn't it?

The more we talk about this the stranger it gets. I think he won just because the majority liked him best. The simplest answer is often the correct one.

Dude:

"She had the concept points on her hand during a Q&A, NOT during the speech she gave. Like most, she used notes in the speech but NOT a teleprompter."

I agree that Obama is more teleprompter dependent than most, but it's not like no other president has used one before. If Palin had used a teleprompter during her speech, the media would have pounced on her for hypocrisy. Even she's aware of this, so she used notes instead. It still wasn't "off-the-cuff" which conservatives claim is SO important to them. And for her Q&A she wrote REMINDERS ON HER HAND like a middle schooler. Obama spoke completely extemporaneously during his Q&A, no reminders written anywhere. And he kicked butt. But none of you will admit this because it doesn't support your Obama-bashing narrative.

We've seen Palin do "off-the-cuff" before with Couric and others and it was not pretty. She's a lot of fun when someone asks her a tough question she doesn't have an answer for like "what do you read?" and "who is your favorite founding father?" and she BS's her way through it anyway. I cringe when I watch but can't stop. It's like a slow-mo train wreck: horrifying yet fascinating. I'll take Obama with or without a teleprompter any day.

5678

Your point is interesting. I noted on the news tonight that these "government stimulus jobs" were only good until June 31, 2011. Interesting, an attempt to employ people through the election.

But all of these people have been put out there. They are NOT creating economic value, the stimulus bill should be called the Welfare Bill. It is primarily wealth transfer since it relies so heavily on government jobs.

The only interesting point is that the economy has probably hit the bottom. The numbers of unemployed will not increase. BUT the number of people looking for job will drop. Therefore, the unemployment rate will fall.

But people do not feel good about the economy. That is what will carry the day.

They are now complaining about insurance costs. As I said on this blog (or earlier version), half of the increase I was given related to "impact of pending government policies" OBAMACARE.

We are really get change. Believe it!!

I agree AONE. I said this before. Michael Vick could have beat McCain. As long as it wasn't Bush or McSame as he was painted.

In my opinion, perhaps Obama is more a President of "lucky timing" than he was the chosen candidate based on his own personal beliefs and ideas?

This is speculation on my part, but I believe that Democrats / Liberals were more interested in voting against Hillary and Bill than they were interested in voting for Obama, hence Obama becomes the nominee because of a democratic rally cry, "Anyone but Clinton"!

Once Obama became the Democratic nominee it became a referendum to vote not so much for Obama, but against the Republican Bush legacy where the rally became "Anyone but(Bush)McCain"!

I must jump in here. Does anyone really believe BHO and his puppets while they are giving themselves a big ole' pat on the back for this stiumlus thing? I don't. It is a joke. Foreign countries don't even want to by our debt anymore because we keep borrowing at these astonomical paces. BHO is just like Clinton except more polarizing. This stimulus hasn't done anything too awfully good at all. Here is what will happen. The liberals will have more of this stimulus come out from now until summer time. The unemployment (which is a falacy of a number in its own right) will appear to be heading down by late September/early October. Anyone with a brain will understand that it is a falsehood. The libs will be patting themselves on the back even more about the stimulus and how many jobs it saved (eventhough that number is unmeasurable). And there will be people/voters who will go to the polls and vote for awful candidtes like the liberals and some republicans too who have no business "serving" us. Mark my words.

TB is right. This was a mandate moreso against Bush than it was for change. McCain got painted as more Bush and then picked a complete and total moron for his running mate and still only lost by 7%. A mandate is a much larger % win than 7%. Bush tried that same terminology after 2004 and it bugged me then.

RE: the Palin/hand thing:

She had the concept points on her hand during a Q&A, NOT during the speech she gave. Like most, she used notes in the speech but NOT a teleprompter.

For those who believe there is nothing Obama doesn't do better than everyone else, you might get a giggle out of the website put out by his teleprompter!

By the by, I feel "I know better than those entrusted with doing the job on healthcare" ----- they are a bunch of careeer politicians with your basic dime-a-dozen law degrees. Wow! Am I impressed. Their bills are a bust because they try to do too much, too fast, without adequate research into the actual problems, and appear to many to just be an attempt to implement the 60 year old policies and wants of Roosevelt. Maybe they should try actually listening to their constituency.

By sam on February 12, 2010 7:39 AM
Does anyone else think it's quite a "coincidence" that the vast majority of recent letters to the editor published in the Sun are supporting health care reform?

I know it's an issue still in the news, but I never noticed the concentrated volume of pro reform emails when the story was really at its peak.

Could it be that some group has orchestrated a letter writing campaign, or could it be that in Naperville, our demographics differ with the rest of the nation?

...I thought the same thing Sam! It's too unbelieveable with the polls saying that the vast majority of Americans are AGAINST obomacare. I think they are the same little group of socialists and I would be interested to find out if any of them live in DuPage county. Let's face it, you can call yourself anything you want in a blog environment.

T.B.:

True, there was never a mandate during the campaign what health care reform would look like, just that the status quo needed to change. But I don't fancy myself an expert on formulating policy, I have my opinions but don't for a minute think I know better than those entrusted with doing the job. And I'm not afraid to take a chance on something new. "BHO’s election wasn’t a mandate for anything, except to be someone other than Bush." That's your opinion. My experience was much different.

"the liberal left can’t believe they’re not getting what they want in healthcare and other social issues; conservatives can’t believe the government is so close to such a huge new entitlement program; and plenty of people are wondering why so much time has been wasted on this stalemate while jobs are still scarce."

Yes! This is why NOBODY'S HAPPY. Everyone wants a full loaf instead of just a piece. Both the left and the right want Obama to pick a side, but he's trying to remain centrist. Nobody's happy compromising.

And jobs will be scarce for awhile, that would be the case no matter who were in office. Jobs would be a lot more scarce without the stimulus, are you suggesting Obama should do Stimulus Part II to create more jobs and increase employment? Can't have it both ways, T.B. You can only rush recovery so much, the meltdown was a wound that's going to need time to heal on it's own no matter what we do.

And I'd believe you when you say "I sound “angry and resentful” is laughable" if you sounded like you were laughing. You don't, you still sound angry. Suit yourself.

It is amazing that liberals, including Gibbs, cannot tell the difference between having to read every speech off a teleprompter and giving a whole speech from a few bullet points written on ones hand, or a note card. Wt proudly proclaims that President Obama did not use a teleprompter at his meeting with the Republicans, but this is an out and out lie. Teleprompters were clearly visible at the meeting for his opening speech. Why did he need them in an informal meeting? Because he wanted to make the Republicans look bad with an admonishing speech, but couldn't pull it off without his beloved teleprompter.

While I am not a supporter of Palin running for president, I do find it amusing the the Democrats are so afraid of her that they have to grasp at every little thing to try and destroy her. It is sad that they don't realize that they are the ones propping her up. Without their constant attacks, she would be nothing more than a charismatic speaker at political events.

WT? –

Yes, we wrote of this in the past and yes, you’re again missing the point.

What I said was people voted for a myriad of “change” and healthcare was but one part. Healthcare was important to some, but not all. BHO’s election wasn’t a mandate for anything, except to be someone other than Bush. While many people can agree that healthcare needs change, not everyone buys BHO’s vision of what that change should look like. There was never a mandate on that.

You want to blame the conservative media for people thinking the country’s not going in the right direction? Sorry, but I think like your earlier poll comment, this is a widely held belief not confined to one section of the media. There are many reasons for this belief: the liberal left can’t believe they’re not getting what they want in healthcare and other social issues; conservatives can’t believe the government is so close to such a huge new entitlement program; and plenty of people are wondering why so much time has been wasted on this stalemate while jobs are still scarce.

The country is heading in the wrong direction because BHO has ignored the phrase that Clinton made famous – “It’s the economy, stupid”. If BHO would just focus on jobs and increase employment, he’d find it much easier to pass his agenda.

Your comment that I sound “angry and resentful” is laughable. I think you’re just projecting your impression of that onto my comments because it fits your bias and stereotype of some angry conservative. That’s pretty sad, actually.

T.B.

La Cucaracha:

Yes, there is a chance he will snap at some point and go over the line, possibility harming someone. In a lot of the mentally ill, their illness progresses and worsens with age. You can offer him a cubicle in City Hall and health insurance, but I doubt he'd take it. It sounds like he's somewhat paranoid, probably believing there are conspiracies against him by the government or the city or the police, that's usually how these things are. He won't accept any kind of help from people who he believes are out to get him, which is generally just about everyone. So we have no choice but to watch and keep our fingers crossed that those 4 cops won't be needed in the future. Frustrating, but that's how the law is.

I am not saying that the problem is that Huber should be helped and cannot be forced to do so. However, I think it is a matter of time before he does something crazy and harms someone. He is a threat. Give him an empty cubicle in City Hall and health insurance. It would be cheaper than employing 4 cops to deal with him full time.

La Cucaracha:

The problem has nothing to do with no one wanting to help Huber. He has the law on his side. Huber has the legal right to be as crazy as he wants to be. He can live on the sidewalk, eat out of garbage cans, argue with his imaginary buddies, whatever, all in public view and be perfectly free to do so AS LONG AS HE IS NOT A THREAT TO HIMSELF OR ANYONE ELSE. That's why he was tolerated on the sidewalk for 8 years. He didn't bother anyone, so there was nothing Naperville could do until they passed a city ordinance against it. The law also states that someone cannot be forced into mental health treatment against their will unless they're a threat to themselves or others. At this point, all Huber has to do is decline and there's nothing anyone can do, unless he commits a crime or something beyond just being a nuisance, then once he's put in the system this changes. I think Huber must be crazy like a fox, he probably knows this. That's why he's been able to remain so successfully homeless for so long.

DIHTR:

Attempt to redirect away from Obama? Hardly. I was just stating the obvious. Some of you guys love to dish it out but you can't take it worth a fig. If Palin is going to make a big deal of someone else's use of a teleprompter, no matter who it is, then she's going to have to watch herself as well, her criticisms make her fair game in return. And that's exactly what happened.

And the leader of the free world is able to articulate his position(s) on important issues in off-the-cuff situations. You must not have watched the Q&A with the Republican caucus, which was a slam dunk win for him. All off-the-cuff. All extemporaneous, not a teleprompter in sight for a continuous 70-80 minutes. There's another one planned for 2/25. You may want to tune in this time.

Did I Hear right ... etc.... etc....

You missed Obama being able to speak directly to issues without a teleprompter when meeting with the Republican delegation then? OH wait, that wouldn't work to your viewpoint, so we'll just ignore it right? I get tired of the Republican talking point on that one - along with at least a dozen other talking points dragged out again and again on here - which is why I stay away most times. It's obvious that minds are made up, and quotes from Fox News get incredibly frustrating to anyone who thinks there might be more than one way to approach a problem.

WT?

Oh come now. Your attempt to redirect this away from Obama is insulting. Unless however, you're referring to Gibbs' classless attempt to mock Palin at his press briefing. Please understand, WT? that Mr. Obama is the President of the United States and not a citizen of the state of Alaska. I would have hoped that the leader of the free world would at least be able to articulate his position(s) on important issues in off-the-cuff situations.

Sadly and clearly, that is not the case. Why do you suppose that is???

I'd love to hear everyones thoughts on this. Even you, WT? This should be good!

By What the? on February 16, 2010 2:03 AM
Did I hear this right:

"Is this a case of somebodys teleprompter breaking down and then having to try to speak extemporaneously?"

I think it's a case of somebody misreading what they had written on their hand.

WT?,

As a clarification, I include natural disasters that are big enough to qualify as “security” per my first paragraph, above.

Also, if w ever got to a point of mass starvation, I COULD see a case where it becomes a case of security. However, I grew up in a very “not Naperville” environment. I remember cheese wheels from the Gov, I remember long union strikes for apparently nothing that families never caught up on, etc. I also remember that the “poor” families I knew did NOT have color tv (or tv!), or air conditioning, or IPODS, video games, cars, etc. By this I mean that when one looks at the poverty level today, and, say, 40 years ago, you need to look at more than the definition but also the “practice” of poverty. Simply put, I do NOT want my tax dollars going for A/C, TVs, etc. I actually think this is one of the things that makes us different from Haiti, along with the unbelievable amount of charity work in the U.S. (especially the religious-based stuff). So yes, you just might be a quasi-fiscal conservative!

On recess appts, I was just qualifying that they are made, and most of them or big yawns. Kinda like voting in Congress ---- whenever you see a political add that says “So and so voted in line with his/her party 97% of the time” you need to look closely at the votes. Why? Well, there are so many procedural votes on a daily basis (In favor of recess, in favor of lunch, in favor of recognizing firefighter Smith for bravery in the fire in Providence, etc), that they make it so anyone who actually shows up to work regularly in Congress (I know, that IS a stretch) can be made to look like anything!. So, a politician votes 100 times in a month, 95 are procedural, the other 5 are against Healthcare, against Cap and trade, against closing Gitmo, against mirandizing terrorists, and for drilling for gas and oil “in country”, but they can be painted as a closet liberal by someone on the far right (“Sen Smith voted with Prez Obama 95% of the time!) By the way, both sides do this a lot.

I firmly believe there s/b a website from the Gov’t that highlights all current holds, who is doing it, and why. I also think there should be a limit on holds (like time outs per half) per politician. As we know from the Dodd holds for 8 years on anything South or Central American, without exposure and a limit, anarchy rules.

I don’t remember anything on Shelby to the extent you describe above, so I am in the dark there.

Again, you misread me --- I have issues with ALL the politicians. As a rule, my responses to you are such that I first interpret your writings as only against GOPs, as you often do talk to the GOP actions as somehow stand-alone (or I read it that way, anyway). My issue with liberal voters right now (whether it is you, or the talking heads on TV, etc), is that the excuse for anything Prez Obama is doing often ends up with a comment like (well Bush did it and I didn’t hear you harp then”)

Well, you did hear me harp then, just like you heard O’Reilly & Beck harp about it.

So my question is, “Is your standard now only that a guy you hated did it, so it is alright?”

Face it: We all expected a lot, lot, lot MORE from Prez Obama, and we re not getting it. He is too far left for most of America, to far from the left for the progressives, he appears to be caught in campaign mode and can’t get out of it, he definitely did NOT embrace bipartisanship, and other world leaders push him around.

He needs to get it together, and fast. Just trying to get “tougher” with the GOP is not the answer. I again direct you to polls (of all sorts) that indicate he is on the wrong track. You like to use the idea that the won the election so he can do what he wants ----- Not true! He is accountable to all of us. Also, his saying that he “sold it wrong” is narcisstic and demeaning to al of us. It implies we are all so dumb that he talked over our head, so HE needs to save us again by dumbing it down for our understanding? Please!

Actually, my comment on the recon process is not really that biased , is simple, and has a base (see following quote as to how it all works):

“The House Dems would pass a series of “fixes” to the Senate bill. The Senate would then pass the House reconciliation bill, sending amendments to Prez Obama to a bill that --strictly speaking -- did not does not exist, because it hadn’t yet emerged from the House. The Senate would then retroactively pass the Senate bill as it is. Democrats say this will be kosher as long as Prez Obama signs the Senate bill before he signs the reconciliation bill”

The “strictly speaking” part is what I describe as a slick form of lying. I don’t care who does it, if done this way I see more than a tad of lying involved. Perhaps my standards are too high for our Congress? I do not know exactly how the recon process worked back when RR used it.

I will step in here on the agnostic thing: He said it!

Prez Obam, while running for Prez, was adamant that he would NOT increase taxes for anyone making over 4250k per year. He mentioned this about 300 times on the campaign stump. In fact, he was called on it several times, at least twice by McCain, and he responded the same: He won’t do it!
Then last week or so in an interview (yes, I saw the interview and the words leave his mouth), he says he is “agnostic” on the idea of increasing taxes in the income frame described.

Agnostic is a word used to essentially mean one does not care either way on an issue ---- to wit: Doubtful or noncommittal. A great example is an arms dealer who sells to both sides of a war --- they are agnostic on the disagreement! In the case of taxes and Prez Obama, he was once passionate about no taxes on that income group, got elected. Now he is agnostic (ie does not care either way). Make no mistake: his promise on NOT taxing that group garnered a lot of votes and to believe otherwise would mean one is missing a large piece of analysis of the last election.

I have a guess...

CIJ, et al = Pro Huber = Dan Lauing?

You don't have to answer, we know it's you.

I'm not anti-Huber. I just don't think he should be taking up an entire sidewalk, to live, where residents that pay taxes have to walk around him. I actually agree with Pro Huber that he seems to have a problem. I'm not a Doctor, so I can't diagnose people. Maybe the CC can help him with his medical condition? Offer him medical benefits, like they get, or get a Doctor to volunteer their time, diagnose him, and help him off the sidewalk.

Pro Huber and La Cucaracha:

I think someone needs to beam up Scotty. Poor guy.

Torment - to cause severe physical or mental suffering.

It is highly doubtful that Scott Huber has either the physical or mental strength to cause severe suffering in anyone much less a child. With all things considered I'm willing to bet Scott Huber can actually relate better to most children than he can to any adult.

By his most recently reported escapade it sounds like he is finally doing his best to help demonstrate and document that he does have some psych issues and maybe he will finally end up in a treatment facility where a competent professional can do him some good. Goodness knows the Naperville Police Department and the Naperville City Council couldn't/wouldn't recognize someone with a mental disability even if solving the budget deficit was on the line for them.

T.B.:

I think we've talked about our ideas of why BHO won the election, or maybe I've had a similar discussion with another blogger on another thread. BHO ran on "change". You claim all "change" meant was that he wasn't Bush. I agree that's part of it. I think that's why McCain, a very decent candidate, didn't have a chance.

But during the campaign, I heard a lot more than "I'm not Bush" from Obama. I heard a lot of ideas about fixing dysfunction in our society and government. I heard a lot said about the need for change in how health care is delivered in our country. I KNEW what I was voting for, and it was a hell of a lot more than just getting rid of Bush. Are you implying the "dumb masses", as you call them, weren't really listening to the message, they were just following a charismatic messenger? Such bitterness in action--when Americans vote against conservatism, they can't possibly really know what they're doing? Americans voted FOR changing our health care system then shortly afterward, all on their own, flip-flopped and went on a rampage AGAINST implementing this change? Doesn't add up, T.B., it's completely illogical. Even more illogical is the conservative media's claim that started shortly after BHO was sworn in, that the "American people" believed O was taking the country "in the wrong direction", so soon after having voted for that course. I'm just not buying into it.

Like I mentioned earlier, let's get some AUTHENTIC information out there to replace the fear-speak on rationing and pulling-the-plug-on-Grandma so Americans can make an INFORMED decision, then we'll see where we are.

And you sound angry and resentful. What's really the problem here?

By La Cucaracha on February 16, 2010 8:15 AM
This just in... Scott Huber is tormenting children going to the dentist at Washington and Benton. CM Bob, please extend the "no-bum" zone to Spring St. so he can be closer to the Jr. High, and Children's Museum.

------

Not true. Police are tormenting Mr. Scott Huber. They may be contemplating framing him....let us hope they come to their senses.

WT? –

Your justification for the health care debate has always been that “the American people spoke loud and clear when they elected Obama”.

People voted for BHO for a myriad of reasons and not necessarily because of any one single issue. You continue to ignore the fact that many people voted for BHO because they wanted to break away from Bush and the Republicans. Although health care reform was part of BHO’s platform, it wasn’t what he ran on. He ran on “Change”. He ran on the fact that he wasn’t Bush. He ran on the fact that he was a blank canvas people could project their hopes and aspirations onto. Winning an election, even handily, is not a mandate on any one particular topic.

Also, your flip-flopping on the poll issue belies your complete bias. First the polls were all Fox and Republican polls. Then you admitted there were numerous polls, but you still chose to ignore them because the dumb masses have been poisoned by opposition scare tactics. Such liberalism in action – the government should do what the people are too dumb to see is in their own best interest.

T.B.

This just in... Scott Huber is tormenting children going to the dentist at Washington and Benton. CM Bob, please extend the "no-bum" zone to Spring St. so he can be closer to the Jr. High, and Children's Museum.

I hope this name calling ends, get a room.

There are real problems with health care. But let's solve them. Another take, seniors. I remember sitting at the kitchen table as a 12 year old helping my grandparents figure out if they needed to buy supplemental Medicare insurance, not too far after the program initially started. I remember that the only time it was worthwhile is if they were hospitalized for more than 21 days in a given year. So for a total of 40 years, they bought this insurance and they were hospitalized more that 20 days three times, two of which when they both passed away.

I really do not know what the value of that insurance was.

Going forward, I saw that a senior citizen who had supplemental insurance coverage from a major Illinois employer paid $3,000 for supplemental insurance plus another $1,900 for Part B. When you factor the "imputed insurance cost" for Medicare, we have a Cadillac plan.

So the cost issue is not confined to any group. We need economies in our health care and we need them now. We do not need more costs that 2,000 pages will bring us.

And lastly, it looks like Republicans are getting the government back in January. Besides electing new representatives, we need to get this Country back on conservative tracks. If that means shutting it down for six months, then let's do it. (By the way, that would cure the deficit.)

Did I hear this right:

I was waiting for Dan to jump in and explain what he meant by "agnostic" in that post as well. I don't know what this means in this context either. But I think I know the situation he's referring to.

This happened once before, shortly after Obama took office. BHO or Gibbs or somebody in the White House made the comment that when it came to balancing the budget, nothing would be left off the table. The media made the mental leap that this meant Obama was planning to renege on his campaign pledge of not increasing taxes for Americans making under $250K/year. The conservatives and the progressives, basically Fox and MSNBC, went off their nuts for awhile, then it faded away with nothing happening. Maybe someone has resurrected this statement or made another one like it, because it sounds like Dan is talking about the same thing. I haven't heard about it, but I haven't been plugged into the media in the last few days like I usually am because of the three-day weekend.

"Is this a case of somebodys teleprompter breaking down and then having to try to speak extemporaneously?"

I think it's a case of somebody misreading what they had written on their hand.

Psyche:

Regarding the recess appointments, I was referring to these types of appointments in general, not one specific appointment or whether appointments were deemed important or not. But I appreciate the explanation just the same. I especially took note of your first paragraph:

"As I have oft-written, I am a STRONG FISCAL conservative. I believe you should spend only what you have with war being the exception, that if you handle the fiscal stuff right, the social stuff will more easily fall into place, that you take care of citizens first, and that no matter how bad a situation is in terms of need among every single citizen you never create spending that has no funding in sight. I also have read the Constitution and understand that security is the #1 priority of the Fed Gov."

I agree, but with one caveat, maybe two. I'm not sure about "that no matter how bad a situation is in terms of need among every single citizen you never create spending that has no funding in sight". I can imagine a situation happening where we should. If something happens that is so devastating, whether natural or man-made, where there are so many in need that these people threaten to destabilize our society if not helped, then yes, you meet the need first and worry about how to pay for it later. I also don't believe in turning our backs on our fellow citizens and allowing them to literally starve just because we're "running a bit low this month". These are extreme examples, but to me, this is what separates the U.S. from places like Somalia and Haiti. If you agree with this, then we're on the same page. Would this mean I'm a closet fiscal conservative? (eek!)

But back to the recess appts. I'm not watching the Becker situation, but from what you have described, I don't care if he's confirmed or not. I'm referring to the entire group of 70 in general. You said, "it is my opinion that the only recess appointment that Bush made that was important was the one made of Bolton to the U.N." So you're saying that all 167 recess appointments that Bush 43 made BEFORE BOLTON were unimportant, comparatively speaking? Yet he made them all the same. So what are you saying this means?

And regarding blanket holds--you answered my direct question about Shelby with a general comment about the Dems under Bush instead. What the Reps are doing now is exactly what the Dems did then--so what? This has nothing to do with Shelby's attempted extortion for PORK BARREL PROJECTS, of all things! I don't remember ANY Democrat doing something like that. He was clearly only thinking of scoring points for re-election, but it sure was a dumb*ss thing to do to all Republicans!

Besides, every time an individual Republican acts like a jerk, you guys drag out the entire Congress under Bush. If all you're going to do is keep some cosmic score card of tit for tat and give individual bad behavior a pass based on collective behavior of many years ago, then everyone may as well go home now and make Dan happy by shutting down the government. Because we effectively won't have one.

"One other comment --- read up on HOW the Dems would actually apply the reconciliation process to the healthcare bills. It is considered a tad unusual in nature as it rests on slick forms of lying to accomplish."

And you call ME biased? Please! It rests on slick forms of lying, like the slick move Reagan made when he bastardized a budget program to make it into a political tool? NOW you have a problem with this behavior?

Well, wt, you obviously know about bloviating, as you have done it twice in your personal attacks on me here. One person who obviously did not read that whole thread thinks you are clever, comes up with a recycled clever statement, and you act like you've won the gold medal of debating. Of course, you ignore all the others then, and more recently, who have all pointed out your many short comings showing that you wouldn't even come close to winning a debate. I'm not surprised that you had to fall back on attacking me to make yourself feel better. I'm all for helping out the mentally unstable, so keep up the attacks if it makes you feel good.

I don't really care what your one groupie or all the others who have called you out say, and I really don't care that you have to keep claiming you won to validate yourself. I do care about keeping it honest, so I will continue to point out your many inaccuracies, or anyone else's for that matter. Since you are desperate to boost your self importance and claim you have a stalker, you have to ignore the fact that I post on just about everything, not just your delusional rantings.

I do agree that the debates have become better, and have rarely had to post at all as Psyche and DanD keep showing you your considerable lack of knowledge on just about everything. It's too bad that you drag down the level of debate, but it is amusing to see how clueless you are even when it is spelled out for you by numerous others.

Just a little unfinished business from the other thread that you are too important to be bothered to visit in the archives. Still waiting on the answers to the questions of what your husband is doing to help all the people without insurance, or people on medicade and All Kids that you want the rest of us to pay for. Of course, you can't answer them, as it would show what a complete hypocrite you are, as are most liberals.

What does Evan Bayh know? A complete Republican trouncing in 2010?

Blah, blah, blah. Three more paragraphs of self-absorbed bloviating from Ken. No one cares about your ego crisis. I don't even bother reading your posts, I don't have to to know what they say. It's always the same redundant ego defense material recycled over and over ad nauseum. I can't imagine why anyone else would want to read them either.

Go ahead and "win" all the debates you want in your own mind, if that's what you need to live with yourself. But here in the real world, YOU ARE ON RECORD AS BEING THE LOSER, and a very bad one at that. And no matter how much you beg, you will NEVER get a rematch with me. Find someone else to validate you. In fact, I'd think any normal person in your situation would be embarrassed. Five months of determined stalking just to get me to talk to you? Wow, that would be flattering if it weren't so creepy.

I'm sure you enjoy these snippy little exchanges. To a stalker, negative attention is preferable to no attention at all. But this will be my last out of respect for the moderator and the other bloggers here. I think the quality of the people and the discussion on Potluck has improved recently and I'm not going to take part in ruining it. You can do that all by yourself.

"Beating you like a rented mule"! I LOVE that expression. Too fun . . .

WT?,

I think that you have heard incorrectly over the past 14 months!

The opposition has been fairly clear (IMHO) that the American people are not in favor of the healthcare reforms being proposed, not reform itself.

In fact, I have heard numerous times going back to last summer that these bills weren’t really reform at all but were an attempt to implement liberal policies from FDR that have always failed to date. I agree with that summation, by the way. As we have discussed, I’ve read it, our politicians did not read it, and there is too much crap and not enough reform in it.

Now I understand some people think anything it costs to bring in a reform or two is worth it. I see that as kind of a baby-and-bath-water scenario. Let’s scrap all that is good, let’s bend the cost curve UP, all to ensure something we could do by a one page bill: outlaw pre-existing conditions!

The difference in the two of us is that I believe the American public is not as dumbed- down as I feel you do. They KNOW these healthcare bills are too expensive, break too many things for two few reforms. They also know that if it’s so damn good, it should apply to Congress as well. Dialogue will help a lot, but it is hard to have dialogue when a handful of Dems hide in back rooms to create 2400 pages of stuff that no human can understand!

A little note on death panels --- remember that one of those panels (mentioned by name in one of the bills) is the same one that somehow felt knowledgeable enough to try and change the protocol on breast cancer screening. Talk to someone with experience at that in their direct families and see what they thought of it!

I will also ask you to do some research on Prez Obama’s top dog on healthcare ---- Rahm’s bro. His writings are very clear on all of this: Scarce resources are to be allocated, and age will be a prime indicator of said allocation. Particularly, those on the short end of the argument will be children under 15 and adults over 65.

Finally, your SCUTUS comment is way too partisan for me! Read the legal opinions and remember! Corporations are already considered ongoing entities.

WT?,

You are correct in your catch on my post on recess appointments. I did mean to say “relevant” or “important” recess appointments, and I did not. That is one of the problems with blogging ----- unless your are a good typist (just look at all my misspellings for an indication of mine!), it is easy to not be as clear as you intend.

Let me explain a bit:

As I have oft-written, I am a STRONG FISCAL conservative. I believe you should spend only what you have with war being the exception, that if you handle the fiscal stuff right, the social stuff will more easily fall into place, that you take care of citizens first, and that no matter how bad a situation is in terms of need among every single citizen you never create spending that has no funding in sight. I also have read the Constitution and understand that security is the #1 priority of the Fed Gov.

It is my belief (a quality call, if you will, which is subjective) that a recess appointment of an under-sub secretary of protocol in the Sudan Embassy, or the Asst Director of White House Childrens’ Events, are not really that important or worth starting a political fight over. These secondary and tertiary jobs are fun and all, but they have no ongoing effect on the United States.

Thus, it is my opinion that the only recess appointment that Bush made that was important was the one made of Bolton to the U.N. (I think it was 2006 --- not sure, too lazy to look!)

How do I know it was important? Well, at the time the Dems, blocking everything they could (and they could because the GOP never had even close to a block majority), were loud in the news that they would block it. Bush was just as loud threatening to recess appoint him. BOOM! It all happened as predicted.

Now, today, with Obama’s threat to recess appoint Becker, we have a similar fight with some MAJOR differences:

First, the Dems could have appointed him without any worries of a block IF Nelson & Lincoln (two Dems) had voted for him. They didn’t. Bush never had this opportunity of a block.

Second, even with all the cards, only 52 Dems were willing to even vote their support. That means 4 others refused to vote (?), along with the two alleged Indees that caucus with the Dems.

Now you may be asking, Why would Psyche care about an appointee to the NLRB?

Let me tell you! Remember I started by saying I am a STRONG FISCAL conservative? Well, Mr. Becker, as you know, was the lawyer for the SEIU. Why do I care? Well, there is more! In articles written by Mr Becker, he has stated that the NLRB could rewrite union election rules to FAVOR labor by FIAT!

I have no question (and there is data & history to back this statement) that allowing such action would increase even further the U.S.’s inability to compete with most other nations on labor costs, thus ensuring even more jobs disappearing.

When I combine these writings, along with his legal history with SEIU (think Fox in henhouse), I firmly believe (per my earlier statement) that his appointment would have a disastrous ongoing effect on the United States.

So, all of that is why I too quickly gave my answer on recess appointments.

As far as blanket holds ---- unfortunately, the slugs we elect do this to every Prez. Do you remember how many holds the Dems put on Bush appointees? I think (guessing) that almost every appointee to Central or South America was held at least once (and some forever), and what the Dems did on the court appointments was hideous.


One other comment --- read up on HOW the Dems would actually apply the reconciliation process to the healthcare bills. It is considered a tad unusual in nature as it rests on slick forms of lying to accomplish.

WT

Good question. What do people want?

I will throw out a couple of items.

1. President should issue an Executive Order to IMMEDIATELY eliminate all Medicare and Medicaid waste. He is responsible for administering these programs and his administration suggests their is $500 billion of waste. Makes sense, government, particularly the Federal government, ALWAYS wastes money. Both programs are driving the country into bankruptcy. Before setting up another program to bankrupt the country, show you can make this work. If $500 billion of waste were elimiminated, the program would not go bankrupt as soon.

2. Allow insurance companies to write policies that limit choices to lower costs. I call this the DuPage policy. If you elect that only DuPage hospitals (and only those that would chose to charge lower prices), you save 40% compared to a metro Chicago option. Allow hospitals to dictate prices for policies they issue. And allow them to tailor policies, eliminate all state regulation.

3. Allow interstate sales of policies. The combination of giving insurance companies power to control prices and increase competition would drive down prices. Right now we have loosely regulated oligopolies and we are paying penalties for the lack of competition.

4. Allow people to buy insurance policies where they agree to limit any tort payments. If people do not want the limits, their coverage cost will be more.

We could go on. Imagine in our democracy, we have a small group of liberal democrats who want to run government like the Politburough.

Wt, for someone who claims not to have any time to waste, you sure just wasted a lot of time. While I enjoy wasting my time pointing out how disingenuous you are, I won't waste my time going back to that same thread and quoting the people who agreed with me. It is kind of sad that you are so desperate for total strangers approval that you had to go to those lengths to get it. Well, sad and funny. As usual, your post falls short in the honesty department.

If you think that you are going to stop my opinions by posting your revisionist history with selected quotes trying to make yourself look good, think again. As I said before, I will continue to comment on your obvious talking point drivel, as I do have a lot of time to waste, and enjoy pointing out your inanities. By the way, get over yourself. I post on many threads that you don't, so even your stalking claim can easily be proven to be a lie.

Speaking of inanities, isn't it quite amusing that Wt will only agree that every poll taken is right...only when she says so? Isn't it amusing that only she knows the facts on the public option, even though the msm has gushing tried to misrepresent it as the savior of US health care...only to be shown how wrong they are time after time? Every time she and her liberal ilk claim misrepresentation, they are proven wrong, yet they keep making the false claims. I guess some people never learn...

Psyche:

I realize I could be wrong about what the American people want, and I'm aware of what polls say. But here's the problem I have with those polls: I've been following the health care debate from the very beginning, and from the very beginning the opposition fear and spin machine were saying the American people were not in favor of health care reform, and this was just months after Obama took office and before Congress had even identified what health care reform was going to look like. I sincerely believe that a lot of those poll results are a result of the misinformation and histrionic claims that circulated 24/7 month after month about death panels and rationing and bankrupting America, which had almost been bankrupted already by other things that had nothing at all to do with reforming health care. I think the American people still don't have authentic information about how a public option will really work and how these changes will affect their lives. And until we have authentic dialogue replacing the spin, the American people won't be able to make an informed decision on whether they really want these reforms or not.

Hopefully the Blair house discussion will contain some of this honest dialogue that up to now has been absent in the debate. We all know it's a lot easier to make people afraid of something than to get them thinking rationally about it, and that's the strategy the opposition has been using very effectively up to this point to stop reform. So let's first give the American people some real information on which they can base real decisions, and then I'll listen to the poll results.

Now, regarding this 28th Amendment movement--that is awesome! I haven't heard of this before, where's it been hiding? I have one question, tho--now that the supreme court has decided that corporations are people, does this amendment still apply?

Definition

Obstruct

to interrupt, hinder, or oppose the passage, progress, course, etc., of.

I will clarify my position since What The? is trying to OBSTRUCT my point.

Democrats are the majority party and four 10 months had the supermajority in the Senate as well. Even now, they have a majority in the Senate to effect reconciliation. Democrats are also the party of the President.

They had the ability to pass ANYTHING their party wanted to. The people that OBSTRUCTED their policies were a minority of the Democratic Party, not the Republicans. The Republicans were a non factor and that is how Obama, the Evil Trinity, Pelosci and Read treated them.

And the Republican behavior causes OBSTRUCTION? They must have some supernatural powers. This comment you made is totally absurd.

And you also seemed confused about "OBSTRUCTION" and "RECONCILIATION". In eight years, the Democrats obsturcted Bush 200 times or so on Cloture. In the first year, Minority Democrats have obstructed 42 times. There are 200 bills passed by the House that are languishing in the Senate.

This is NOT obstruction. The Senate had the votes to overcome cloture if their party were united. So once again, the minority of Democratic Senators are the obstructionists. Place the blame where it is due. I am not sure if the Republicans have taken their first cloture action yet since Scott Brown.

But ok, repackage the bills in the Senate so that they can be construced as budget bills. AND PASS THEM!! Dems have 59 votes. Do it. Don't blame the Republicans, they do not agree. Why should they vote for something that a Democrat will not vote for? Remember, this option ends at the end of April. Only 2 1/2 months to go.

And in those 200 times that Bush and the Republicans were blocked, they used reconciliation 5 times. Thank goodness. That ended the recession, took us out of 9-11.

You agree with this and are remiss that the liberal Democrats won't get it done. Health care passed the House by 2 votes. Foster and Bean are toast already because they voted for health care. Let them do it again, put the nail in the coffins. THEY WON'T.

The fact of the matter is that these "moderate" Democrats know they cannot be reelected if they support these liberal initiatives. Many voted in the House to avoid being penalized KNOWING the Senate would never pass the bills. The plain fact is that the "LIBERAL DEMOCRATS" do not control a majority in either the House or the Senate. The moderate Democrats want to be relected , that is more important to them than supporting Ried and Pelosci.

Yes, Republicans have DELAYED actions to draw attention to the back room actions and poor nature of the bill. Here is the comment I most detest from Axelrod. "People do not know what is good for them. They will really appreciate this bill (health care) once it is passed and operating." ARROGANCE, TOTAL ARROGANCE. American people would like to know the details BEFORE the bill is passed and then make up their minds. ARROGANCE!!!!!!!!

Senators like Evan Bayh of Indiana should give up on the Democratic Party and convert just like Jesse Helmes did. Otherwise, the Republican majorities in states like Indiana (or the 14th Congressional District of Illinois) should simply not tolerate a Democrat. PERIOD.

And I am glad that the Democrats and Obama are failing because their plans would lead the COUNTRY to failure. Better them than all of us. I wish that someone would stop this extra $1 Trillion in spending Obama is dumping on us. Let's shut down the government NOW.

"...Lastly, I have been busy, but what is this new news that President is now "AGNOSTIC" over his campaign pledge for no tax increases for people making under $250,000? Was that good for only one year? What are the details of this story (other than Fox and CNN, there is not mention)..."

I'm not real smart, so can someone, anyone, explain to me what it means to be "agnostic" over a campaign pledge for no tax increases for people earning under $250,000?

Is this a case of somebodys teleprompter breaking down and then having to try to speak extemporaneously?

Quick, get me re-write!

What most Americans fail to realize is that there truthfully is very little to distinguish Democrats from Republicans. They are actually far closer on just about every issue than people realize.

If American politics were represented by the face of a clock and middle of the road at twelve noon what we really have is the Democrats at 11 o'clock and the Republicans at 1 o'clock worst case when they disagree most. The rest of the time their is even less that separates them. Despite all of the rhetoric that is played out before the news media the big game is to keep the bureaucracy moving and not to upset the apple cart too much at any given time.

The ONLY way to break the stranglehold that both the Democrats and Republicans have and desperately want to retain in terms of controlling American politics is to support the establishment of a truly viable third party.

Yes, there have been attempts to start a third party... Socialist, Libertarian, Green, and many, many others. These attempts have not taken root for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is voter support. It is time for all Americans to unite and chase the professional politicians out of office. It is time to start electing people that are willing to serve a term or two and then go back home and lead ordinary lives... and this is true of all levels of government... local, county, state, and federal.

WT?,

You are wrong on what the American people want. Please don't be so caught up in your FOX hate you miss the data!

There are aprox. 20 polls out there, from Gallup on down, all showing that the American people do not want these healthcare bills.

The reasons are pretty simple: they are too expensive and the scrap all that is right with our current system in a failed attempt to fix what some perceive as wrong.

In short, our wonderfully inept politicians have yet to actually create a problem statement, so coming up with a fix is still an impossibility.

Start thinking the 28th amendment movement ---- it is most excellent!

To Anonymous on February 14, 2010 12:42 AM:

I agree! And Mars will become the 52nd state, if Obama gets his way. You know he can't wait to grant amnesty to all those aliens. Pay close attention to this one!

As usual, Ken wouldn't recognize a fact if it walked up and peed on his leg. My exact quote was "It's annoying to go into the archives to access this thread" which he then morphs into "your inability to deal with clicking on archives". This is precisely why I will have nothing to do with him. His thinking process is, to put it politely, OFF.

Just for fun and giggles, let's review documented history, which varies considerably from revisionist history a la Ken. Since I can actually click on archives, I went to the thread titled "Does the Tone of Politics Turn You Off?" dated September 21, 2009. On that thread, I had just trounced Ken in a debate by quoting a recent statement by Bernard Goldberg of Fox News supporting my argument. Another blogger who had been following the discourse posted this comment:

By Anon. on September 30, 2009 9:07 PM

Ken,

What the? may or may not be "exceedingly clever." But in THIS debate, she is beating you like a rented mule. Really. Quit while you're ahead.

Of course, Ken refused to acknowledge this and picked a fight with this blogger instead. The entire exchange can be found about half way down on the thread. It really is quite amusing.

On this same thread, Ken and I agreed it was a waste of time to debate each other, as evidenced by the following where Ken posts under Anonymous:

By Anonymous on September 30, 2009 7:06 PM

"What the, what I meant we agreed on was it was a waste of time debating each other . . . Mostly, you continually missing the point explains why we agree that it is a waste to debate each other. I have no problem admitting that."

Within 48 hours, however, Ken was back, trying to bait me into yet another argumentative debate, to which I responded:

By What the? on October 3, 2009 1:55 AM

"Ken:

I thought we agreed it was a waste of time to debate each other. So let's not. If you want a good beating, find someone else."

After I stopped talking to him in accordance with our agreement, he posted A TOTAL OF 16 MORE POSTS TO ME ON THAT THREAD ALONE continuing to fight, which I ignored. He has continued this ever since, following me from thread to thread, littering this blog with his toxic little posts like cow pies across a pasture, trying desperately to bait or bully me into a do-over, to even the score of that loss of almost 5 MONTHS AGO.

It's time you faced up to it, Ken. You lost. You were wrong. Take it like a man. You obviously can't stick to your conviction that we shouldn't debate each other, but I can and will continue to. My time is too valuable to waste endlessly arguing with someone who will never admit when he's wrong. There will NEVER be a do-over. Do yourself and your mental health a long overdue favor and get over it. Seriously.

If Obama gets his way Haiti will become the 51st state. Pay close attention to this one.

Wt, I see you have problems with the definitions of 'stalker' and 'personal attacks'. My statement of fact about your inability to deal with clicking on 'archives' does not reach the level of stalking, but all your comments directed at me are only personal attacks (Yes, calling me a stalker is a personal attack). Does that help you with the definitions?

If you ever want to engage in an intelligent debate with me, I am more than happy to comply. If you remember, you are the one who decided that you didn't want to interact with me as you always lost, especially as I usually post links to back up my statements and you just post talking points. I never said I wouldn't comment on your statements, and am often compelled to do so as so many of them are inaccurate. I do find it amusing that you act like this is your personal chat room addressing individuals as if no one else can read your post, but I guess it's that sense of entitlement that comes with being a liberal...

Dan:

Forgot one point:

"My comment was that Obama has MANY initiatives that are so extreme that even the majority in his own party do not support them."

Extreme is a matter of opinion, and I realize this is yours. But my opinion is Obama's initiatives are not extreme at all. They are the change I originally voted for. And your comment that his initiatives are so extreme that even the majority(?) in his own party do not support them is not accurate. The Dems have their own set of issues but the majority DO support Obama's agenda. There are a few with cold feet, but they FAR FROM CONSTITUTE A MAJORITY. And so far they have only come out over the health care bill; they were not there over the stimulus or all the other legislation that has passed since Obama has taken office. So your comment is an obvious exaggeration.

Dan:

That's not what you originally said. This was your exact comment:

"Reagan, the Bushes, even Clinton, were not extreme, so there was not as much conflict. More importantly, these leaders did not ARROGANTLY push the portions of their agendas that would not pass."

This is not true, check the history. Every single president who has used reconciliation to pass an agenda did so because those agendas would not have passed otherwise. If they would have passed, using reconciliation would have been unnecessary! So you are incorrect, every single president from 1980 on EXCEPT Obama (so far) has ARROGANTLY pushed the portions of their agendas that would not pass. Now you're saying you meant something else, and that's fine, but this is not what you originally stated. And what you originally stated is not true. In fact, the EXACT OPPOSITE of what you posted is actually the truth.

You didn't mention Jimmy Carter before, but NOW you're bringing him in? Ok, that's fine too. Jimmy Carter did not use reconciliation to try to pass parts of his agenda. At the time reconciliation was introduced in 1974, it was intended as a procedure to balance the budget, right? All that changed in 1981 when Ronald Reagan used it FOR THE FIRST TIME to force his own agenda item through the senate (I don't know if he did it arrogantly or not, I'll leave that up to you.) After that the playing field changed, and all presidents after him have used it the same way. So I guess you could say Jimmy Carter was a bad president because he did not use a budgetary device for political gain, you have Reagan to thank for that.

"Now the failure to pass a bill through reconciliation is yet another Republican obstruction? DO IT!! Don't talk about it."

Now on this I agree with you. I am so disgusted at the Dem senate about this, that's why I previously referred to them as a bunch of witless douche bags. And they haven't done anything yet to change my mind. I think in this case they are trying to blame the Reps for their own governing inadequacies.

Having said that, tho, I don't agree with your blanket statement that the Reps are not obstructing anything. I'm not talking about not voting for policies with which they disagree. This isn't obstructing, this is governing, and that's fine. It's all the other stupid stuff that is not policy and serves no purpose but to act like jerks and make governing as difficult as possible. Like voting against their own policies once Obama supports them. And holding up appointments for no other reason than because they can, or because appointments can be held for ransom (to the Reps credit, Shelby's action was too much for many of them, even if they only objected once the story hit the mainstream news. Tolerating THAT would have destroyed the Republican's credibility on cutting spending in Congress!)

Obstruction is a BEHAVIOR, it's not an OUTCOME. And obstruction is a behavior at which the Republicans excel.

And it appears my resident stalker Ken has followed me here with his standard personal attacks, since he has nothing of substance whatsoever to contribute to an intelligent dialogue, as usual . . .

As usual, WT misinterprets my comments.

My comment was that Obama has MANY initiatives that are so extreme that even the majority in his own party do not support them. I further stated that the Bushes, Reagan, Clinton and EVEN the president that Obama is not being compared to as the worst president in history, Jimmy Carter, would not introduce bills they could not get passed and then blame their opposition. That is not governance, that is foolishness.

And use reconciliation to pass the medical bill. Slight problem, the Democrats don't have 50 votes to do this. The Republicans had support to pass their bills, even Democrats. Now the failure to pass a bill through reconciliation is yet another Republican obstruction? DO IT!! Don't talk about it.

And Republicans are being chided for obstructing the OBAMA STIMULATION PLAN. What nonsenses!!! IT PASSED!!! They did not stop it.

But it is a failure because most of it is not stimulation, but rather "SOCIALISM--SPREAD THE WEALTH". Didn't work in Russia and it won't work here.

All of Robert Reich's socialistic ideas will never work and the economy will not come back. That is aggravating the Evil Trinity--they are being told to extend the Bush tax cuts and the economy will grow. But they are more focussed on class warfare and taking money away from the rich.

Go ahead, tax all people who make over $250,000 100%. We still would have a $900 billion deficit (really more, everyone would leave and we would become a desparate third world nation).

Lastly, I have been busy, but what is this new news that President is now "AGNOSTIC" over his campaign pledge for no tax increases for people making under $250,000? Was that good for only one year? What are the details of this story (other than Fox and CNN, there is not mention).

I was wondering why another topic moved over here. Turns out it is just as hard for our resident liberal to figure out how to communicate in an archived thread as it is for her to tell the truth about what is going on in Washington...

Psyche:

Your turn. Regarding this comment:

"And then we have a President so eager to apply recess appointments so early in his term (the previous Prez did this, but not until year 6, I think, and only after hundreds of appointees, especially in the court system, were blocked), it is clear this is about NOT hearing the opposition and ramrodding his own agenda into law, desopite the protests of the American people."

Whoa there, Psyche, don't do a Dan on me!

Ronald Reagan made 240 RECESS APPOINTMENTS, Bush 41 made 77, Clinton made 140 and Bush 43 made 167 RECESS APPOINTMENTS WITHIN HIS FIRST 6 YEARS, not after 6 years. You guys are so eager to demonize Obama you're getting very careless with history.

I expected better from you, Psyche. Obama threatens to use recess appointments after a douche bag Rep. puts a BLANKET HOLD on 70 appointments in order to extort funding for pet pork barrel projects, and you call not caving to this extortion "eager to apply recess appointments"? How can you possibly defend Shelby's behavior?

I'm sick of hearing Republicans use the American people as a front to push their own agenda. The American people are NOT objecting to Obama's agenda or his threatened use of recess appointments. Republicans are. Recess appointments have been used since George Washington; the American people don't care about this stuff. I'm one of those American people, and I am not protesting Obama's agenda, so don't put your words in my mouth.

And keep in mind Obama is not obligated to listen to his opposition; he has tried to do so thus far out of professional courtesy and a (misguided, I think) attempt at bipartisanship. He has the right to "ramrod" his agenda into law using all means at his disposal, which includes recess appointments and reconciliation, just like Reagan and Clinton and W. Bush did before him.

By the end of his first year in office, Bush 43 had already used reconciliation to pass his first round of tax cuts and had made two recess appointments that I know of--Eugene Scalia and Otto Reich--over the Christmas holiday break. Obama is only threatening to use reconciliation and recess appts; Bush 43 had already done both by the end of his first year. Compared to Bush, Obama looks pretty restrained and even-handed, don't you think?

Psyche:

Just a few more quick comments before I hit the treadmill.

I think it would be disastrous for Obama to agree to not use reconciliation for the health reform bill. That is his only fail safe to get some reform passed if all else fails, he would be foolish to give up that card. In addition, it would make him look incredibly weak to concede this much power to the minority party, especially given their stated objective in the beginning to use health care to "break him". I was astounded that the Reps even brought it up, but I guess it doesn't hurt to ask.

I also disagree that the MAJORITY of the American people aren't on board with Obama's reforms. Just because Fox and all the Republican talking heads keep up the refrain that this isn't what Americans want doesn't make it true. The Reps certainly don't speak for all Americans, and as far as I am concerned, the American people spoke loud and clear when they elected Obama. I also think the misinformation that the Reps have been spreading for months have confused so much of the public that many Americans don't have a clue how the health care bill will work or what it will really accomplish. You ask the average conservative American and they think death panels are in the bill. We should let THESE people tell Obama what to do? I don't think so.

Psyche:

Five Acts passed using the reconciliation process during the Bush43 administration:

>Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001: first Bush 43 tax cuts

>Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003: second Bush 43 tax cuts

>Deficit Reduction Act of 2005: reduced Medicare and Medicaid spending, changed student loan formulas, and reauthorized the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program.

>Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005: extended several of the earlier Bush tax cuts, including the reduced tax rates on capital gains and dividends and the alternative minimum tax (AMT) tax reduction.

>College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007: $20 billion student aid reform package. Included grant increases, loan rate reductions, and created public service loan forgiveness program.

I think it was the 2007 one you forgot. In addition, Ronald Reagan used the reconciliation process 7 TIMES, Bush41 TWICE, and Clinton 4 TIMES, plus there were 3 reconciliation bills written by the Republican majority in Congress that Clinton vetoed.

So to make the claim as Dan did that "Reagan, the Bushes, even Clinton . . . did not ARROGANTLY push the portions of their agendas that would not pass" isn't even close to being factually accurate. Obama hasn't even used it ONCE, yet already he has been given the label of arrogantly pushing his agenda like no other leaders before him. Let's keep it real here, guys, please.

On the subject of government and unions, did anyone see the data today?

Government union employees, with all perks and pensions, average $125k per year in compensation, while the same calcualtion for private workers, non-union, is $46k.

Trouble is coming to River City.

Now, WT?,

I don't know how many times recon was used in the 8 Bush years, but I THINK it was 4, as follows:

-The 2001 Bush Tax Cuts [HR 1836, 3/26/01]
– The 2003 Bush Tax Cuts [HR 2, 3/23/03]
– Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005 [HR 4297, 5/11/06
-The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 [H. Con Res. 95, 12/21/05

I think we can ALL agree none of the uses represented 16% of the total current economy (and a projected 100% of the "current economy" within 20 years), can't we?

Now, to the point many of us have been trying to make (yourself included), IF any party or politician REALLY wanted to make a difference, to make a change, such as Prez Obama, this would be the time. Simply put, state that he will NOT try recon to pass these two bills. .I limit it to these two in that they are not only expensive to levels most people canot comprehend (with or without party rhetoric), it is abundantly clear that they are extremely unpopular with the American public.

Imagine the stunned silence of a real leader coming forward and saying this, especially if he does it without, in the same announcement, blaming everything on Bush or the GOP!

Who Do,

You are disengenouus, and not entirely correct (or, put another way, you subjectively isolated your definition of cloture).

What is it? It is a motion or process aimed at bringing debate to a quick end.

From the U.S site, "cloture - The only procedure by which the Senate can vote to place a time limit on consideration of a bill or other matter, and thereby overcome a filibuster. Under the cloture rule (Rule XXII), the Senate may limit consideration of a pending matter to 30 additional hours, but only by vote of three-fifths of the full Senate, normally 60 votes."

Thus, one could say it procedure to stop intellectual debate and not alow those with an opposing view to be heard on a subject. How democratic and American is that?

Now, as you so astutely point out, it was used a lot since Reid and Pelosi have been in charge of everything.

Now, adding a little less dogmatic analysis, one COULD say the need for the cloture during this period COULD me a manifestation of those in charge being complete bullies during this time period and having a completely tin and unsympathetic ear to the other side of each issue.

Who was in charge again? Oh, that's right ---- the Democrats.

Thus, using your subjective logic, The Democrats aren't interested in governing, they aren't interested in helping the people of America, they just want to further their unwanted agenda items from the past 60 years. That's job 1. And then we have a President so eager to apply recess appointments so early in his term (the previous Prez did this, but not until year 6, I think, and only after hundreds of appointees, especially in the court system, were blocked), it is clear this is about NOT hearing the opposition and ramrodding his own agenda into law, desopite the protests of the American people.

No cigar.

A petition going to REMOVE the red light cameras? Heck no! We need more, many more red light cameras. Those who insist on running red lights need to get hit in the wallet at every single light. If they get hit hard enough long enough maybe they will start to get the message:

Don't run red lights.

Come to a full and complete stop before turing right on red.

Change your attitude towards driving and you will NEVER get a ticket from a red light camera.

WT? et.al.,

This was a good comment, but I have altered it a bit to include all politicians: "But the politicians have to learn that it's just as important for them to respect the other party's opinions as it is to have their own opinions respected. Compromise doesn't mean getting everything THEIR way."

It is spot-on and it is something I have been saying about the far left since 2000!

I totally agree that BOTH parties (and Indees) should follow this advice. Unfortunately, things always escalate in politics, especially in the i-net age.

It started to turn really crappy when the Clinto impeachment occurred. Then with the 2000 election, the left went batty-ballistic.

So, as I saw it, in the Bush 8 years the left got progressively (nice pun!) nastier heand nastier to Bush. They were ALWAYS disrespectful of the man & office, they tried to block every policy move (and I am not talking about the war ---- that is a good debate for politicians that I would hope they never agree on). The partial privatization of S.S. was one of the most futuristic moves I have seen in politics in the 35 years I have been following politics, yet the left saw a need to implement the scariest of scare tactics to block it as it would take some power from all politicians (and yes, there were some alleged conservatives in on that one).

Anyway, once the power shifted back to the Dems in 2006, the GOP took it's direction from what had been happening and as the chef says, Turned it up a notch! And that progression has continued.

Why? They are ALL overpaid, under-accountable children, regardless of party, and we need to replace them all over time. Without term limits in this country we will always have this, and it will only continue to deteriorate. Our only alternative as we speak is the TEA movement, but we need more than just that.

JOMO


What is this town coming to ??? Pradel in the hospital and Furstenu acting as Mayor Pro Temp !!! How can anyone let tricky Dick be acting mayor regarless of what policy is. It's like leaving the fox in the hen house.

Again, WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS TOWN ???


Also, how about getting rid of Home Rule and also getting a petition going to remove the Red Light Cameras ???

Dan:

Regarding the last paragraph of my post on the other thread, I call 'em as I see 'em. The Reps have been trying to manipulate the Blair house event to their advantage through preconditions: say you won't use reconciliation and we'll play, say you'll start completely over and we'll play, etc. The Dems are in the majority and get to set the rules, THAT'S how it's played. The Reps can choose to sit the game out, or they can do their jobs by at least showing up and making an effort, up to them. Everyone knows these preconditions are just an attempt to kill the existing legislation outright. Given the Reps pattern of obstructing everything no matter how benign, NO ONE trusts them enough to cede to any preconditions. Not even the witless Dem senate is that stupid. Obama certainly isn't.

And by the way, you seem to think obstructing only counts as obstructing when it's SUCCESSFUL. Maybe that's the Republican definition, but in the real world, effort counts. Losing doesn't mean you were never in the game. And just because I disagree with you doesn't mean I'm biased, either.

Does anyone else think it's quite a "coincidence" that the vast majority of recent letters to the editor published in the Sun are supporting health care reform?

I know it's an issue still in the news, but I never noticed the concentrated volume of pro reform emails when the story was really at its peak.

Could it be that some group has orchestrated a letter writing campaign, or could it be that in Naperville, our demographics differ with the rest of the nation?

Experienced,

Actually I never left. There are just fewer and fewer reasons to bother to post these days. From the decline in usage I guess there are a whole lot of others who agree with me.

Experienced on February 11, 2010 1:59 PM

He's Back!

_________________________________________

Experienced, I thought the same thing myself!

By Anonymous on February 11, 2010 9:13 AM
How much longer does Potluck have until it simply rolls over and dies?
----------------------------

He's Back!

How much longer does Potluck have until it simply rolls over and dies? Usage is way down with no good indication of any real or sustainable growth. Many posts come from the same people indicating a generally small group of users and even that seems smaller than just a few months ago.

The number of new or even moderately interesting topics that engage users leaves Potluck mostly as nothing more than an intellectual desert. God forbid the Naperville Sun censors should ever post something controversial much less take a suggestion from even these open topic forums and run with it by posting a new discussion.

Hell of a way to run a railroad as they say or a newspaper for that matter. When Potluck finally collapses under benign neglect it shouldn't come as any great surprise to the Naperville Sun because its own staff is steering this ship with eyes wide open.

The Sun is still not doing it's job in reporting on the litigation concerning the student alleged to have started the fire at Scott School. In a follow-up article today, the Sun is still not reporting why the father of the student believes that the decision to expel the student for the remainder of the school year is improper.

http://www.suburbanchicagonews.com/napervillesun/news/2041685,Scott-arson-case-heading-to-court_NA021010.article

The complaint is public information. The Sun and the Sun Times News Group have reporters at the courthouse all the time. What would it take to pull the file and find out what's really going on? What is the reasoning of the father and what is the response of the district in its answer? We should expect more from the newspaper than being the mouthpiece for the father's attorney.

Shaking ground...

Maybe someone was really desperate for a good response to "Did the earth move?" Well it is getting close to Valentine's Day! HA!

I was awake watching horror movies and suddenly it felt like the wife was shaking the sofa because I was awake at this ungodly hour. Then I thought maybe the dog bumped it violently.

I went back and forth 3 times in 6 seconds. But the legs of the sofa never really moved as I initially surmised.

I believe all those who think their sofas and beds were shaking or moving are wrong and it was really their homes that were shaking or moving. In other works it was the house that rocked back and forth 3 times which made it seem like it was some big football player shaking the sofa or bed with you on it.

The noise was not as loud as thunder. But it was the equivalent of 5 big snow plows driving outside of your home on the lawn instead of on the street. Or one actually hitting the edge of your house.

After a few seconds of contemplation I realzied it was an earthquake even though I had never been exposed to one before.

Since the house was rocked gently and not violently not a single item fell down off any shelf. It would be like a a large ship hitting 6 huge waves in 6 seconds but nothing falling due to its stability. No chance in a million was this earthquake longer than 6 seconds as some are suggesting on other blogs.

Time to buy EARTHQUAKE INSURANCE. I am awaiting a return call from my agent.

I will be texting my contribution to Haiti as I feel this was a calling from God to be more compassionate towards those less fortunate.

Ani,

Unfortunately, like poorly run companies, many governments simply need to go bankrupt because those driving the ship are unwilling or unable to change course. In Illinois, from the top to the bottom, it is unwilling, probably since the status-quo benefits the politicians but not the citizens.

Also unfortunately, since the politicians have the ability to tax, they have the ability to take everyone on the ship down with them as the ship sinks.

At the national level, Obama billed himself as a turnaround artist. What we got instead is full speed ahead towards the iceberg of national bankruptcy in the pursuit of Progressivism.

And what is progressiveism? Progressing past the outdated and restraining Constitution without ever taking a vote to change the Constitution. AKA your rights are what the progressives say the are like in a Feudal system; and, the progressives are the lords and the citizens are the peasants in need of guidance from above since they are too simple to make their own decisions on what to do with the fruit of their labor.

The country and liberty are in deep trouble.

Unfortunately, both the Republicans and Democrats have the disease of Progressiveism; which is taught at the "elite Ivy League" schools to Bush, Clinton, Bush and now Obama. Most of the Dems in the house and senate have the disease as do some Repubs although the disease is not as advanced in the Rupub party.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

By Anoni-mouse on February 9, 2010 6:48 PM

Government seems to be growing larger every day and becoming more and more invasive in our lives. What made me think about this was the recent debate about parade candy on another thread. Has government gotten too big and is it to late to "right size it"?

Since the 2008 Earthquake, did anyone in any of the government bodies bother to figure out which government buildings would collapse in an earthquake and at what force?

Schools usually have the highest body counts from what I've seen on the news. Does the new HS in 204 have the ability to withstand even a modest earthquake?

Like most issues in Naperville, expect our leaders to bury their heads in the sand, then deny the facts, then attack the messenger, then when events overtake them make some token gesture advertised as taking action, like.

On a different note: The City is still plowing ahead with the electric meters that only the politicians want.

Government seems to be growing larger every day and becoming more and more invasive in our lives. What made me think about this was the recent debate about parade candy on another thread. Has government gotten too big and is it to late to "right size it"?

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