A forum for comments about Naperville news and issues.

Open topic

| 369 Comments | No TrackBacks

As we occasionally do around here, this is an open topic to discuss whatever you want (but not health care, which is already a topic).

No TrackBacks

TrackBack URL: http://blogs.suburbanchicagonews.com/cgi-bin/mt-tb.cgi/7305

369 Comments

Hey everyone, I am a fresh poster on this here board so I believe I should give a few details about myself. To begin with I am 22 years of age, a man, plus I study maths at my school. I for sure hope conversing with you older members. Goodbye for now

Look at the top now - it says Naperville Sun. You must have been on here in the midst of the conversion to the new layout.

It's finally official. The Naperville Sun no longer really exists. It is merely an edition of the Beacon. This blog now is part of the Beacon rather than the Sun. RIP Naperville Sun on your 75th Anniversary. The Whites are rolling over in their graves!

Online watch or download quickly. Timely please.

Has anybody here hired any of the tutors from a Naperville company called EleMental Learning? I know some of the D203 and D204 teachers work for them, especially in the summer. I was thinking about hiring one of them to work with my daughter. Thanks.

Their website is http://www.elemental-learning.com

Mick

From WT?- “I believe with Abraham Lincoln, that ‘The legitimate object of Government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done but cannot do at all or cannot do so well for themselves in their separate and individual capacities.’”

When you’re talking about social security, the idea of retirement savings is not something that an individual is incapable of doing, but rather is (possibly) unwilling to do. I don’t think your Lincoln quote is applicable here. People are fully capable of saving, they just might choose not to do so.

Also, I think that in this discussion it’s hard to support the notion that the toes being stepped on belong to the "comparative few" since the ratio of employed workers to retired workers (payers to payees) has been decreasing since the inception of the SS law. The toes being stepped on belong to an increasing number (and ratio) of employed people.

T.B.

So which is it, wt? You want all wealth redistributed for the good of all (as in China), or you want everyone to have a chance at making themselves a decent life? You can't have it both ways, as you seem to want too. By the way, how do you figure that a communist country is unregulated?

Found this while scanning the news tonight:

IPhone Workers Say `Meaningless' Life Sparks Suicides

“Life is meaningless,” said Ah Wei, his fingernails stained black with the dust from the hundreds of mobile phones he has burnished over the course of a 12-hour overnight shift. “Everyday, I repeat the same thing I did yesterday. We get yelled at all the time. It’s very tough around here.”

Conversation on the production line is forbidden, bathroom breaks are kept to 10 minutes every two hours and constant noise from the factory washes past his ear plugs, damaging his hearing, Ah Wei said. The company has rejected three requests for a transfer and his monthly salary of 900 yuan ($132) is too meager to send home to his family. "Most of us have little education and have no skills so we have no choice but to do this kind of job."

At least 10 employees at Taipei-based Foxconn have taken their lives this year, half of them in May, according to the company, also known as Hon Hai Group. The deaths have forced billionaire founder Gou to open his factories to outside scrutiny and apologize for not being able to stop the suicides.

http://preview.bloomberg.com/news/2010-06-02/foxconn-workers-in-china-say-meaningless-life-monotony-spark-suicides.html

These people are economically enslaved. The economically enslaved have few choices and little of the freedom and liberty you claim an unregulated system like this preserves for all. Ask the next jumper how free he feels.

If you look over Roosevelt's statements about SS and the New Deal in general, you'll see that he had an attitude of Americans as a "we" also. This is just a fundamental difference in ideology. If you see Americans as a group of "me's" competing against each other, and the guy who has the most at the end being the winner, you'll never get Roosevelt. Or me for that matter.


PRESIDENTIAL STATEMENT SIGNING THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT--AUGUST 14,1935

In our efforts for recovery we have avoided on the one hand the theory that business should and must be taken over into an all-embracing Government. We have avoided on the other hand the equally untenable theory that it is an interference with liberty to offer reasonable help when private enterprise is in need of help. The course we have followed fits the American practice of Government - a practice of taking action step by step, of regulating only to meet concrete needs - a practice of courageous recognition of change. I believe with Abraham Lincoln, that "The legitimate object of Government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done but cannot do at all or cannot do so well for themselves in their separate and individual capacities."

FIRESIDE CHAT -- June 28, 1934

But the simplest way for each of you to judge recovery lies in the plain facts of your own individual situation. Are you better off than you were last year? Are your debts less burdensome? Is your bank account more secure? Are your working conditions better? Is your faith in your own individual future more firmly grounded?

Also, let me put to you another simple question: Have you as an individual paid too high a price for these gains? Plausible self-seekers and theoretical die-hards will tell you of the loss of individual liberty. Answer this question also out of the facts of your own life. Have you lost any of your rights or liberty or constitutional freedom of action and choice? Turn to the Bill of Rights of the Constitution, which I have solemnly sworn to maintain and under which your freedom rests secure. Read each provision of that Bill of Rights and ask yourself whether you personally have suffered the impairment of a single jot of these great assurances. I have no question in my mind as to what your answer will be. The record is written in the experiences of your own personal lives.

In the working out of a great national program which seeks the primary good of the greater number, it is true that the toes of some people are being stepped on and are going to be stepped on. But these toes belong to the comparative few who seek to retain or to gain position or riches or both by some short cut which is harmful to the greater good.

http://www.ssa.gov/history/fdrstmts.html#signing

It seems to me that you, Dan, are one of the "theoretical die-hards [that speak] of the loss of individual liberty" that Roosevelt talked of. Apparently there were a lot of them in his day, too, and you guys are still around saying the exact same things. Roosevelt called your ideology an "untenable theory that it is an interference with liberty to offer reasonable help when private enterprise is in need of help." I agree with this. I feel absolutely no loss of liberty or freedom by social programs like FICA. In fact, a basic safety net promotes individual freedom and movement within a society.

Here's a philosophical question for you: how much liberty do people with no choices have? If someone's only choice is to work a low wage, dead end job or go hungry and homeless, is that person really free? Doesn't dire economic need become a type of enslavement in itself, removing individual liberty and freedom and replacing it with just the basest need to survive?

Here's an example for you: look into the frequent suicides at a Chinese electronics plant.

Hon Hai, the world's largest contract manufacturer of electronics and a major supplier to Apple Inc. and other brands, has come under international scrutiny amid a spate of suicides this year, in which 10 Hon Hai workers in the southern city of Shenzhen jumped to their deaths.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704515704575282404182282706.html?mod=WSJ_latestheadlines

This plant employs hundreds of people, all who work 12 hour days, 6 days a week, for roughly $150 a month. A MONTH! These people do this because they have to. It's the only jobs available and they live a hand to mouth existence. They don't make enough to ever buy their own apt. or a car. They are basically enslaved by their need to survive. 10 employees have jumped to their deaths recently from the company apt units where they're housed. Do you think these people felt free? Is a choice between a miserable life or suicide the kind of liberty you think is worth preserving? Is this what you would prefer to see here?

Dan D:

Australia is doing just fine, but it does not have the strongest economy on the planet. The U.S., the U.K., China, Japan, Germany, France and many others are all stronger. China is communist, the EU countries are more socialist than we are. So a strong economy is not directly a product of small government or low government involvement in the private sector. There are obviously many other factors involved than just this.

And now you're sounding testy about SS. I don't particularly LIKE social security, I just don't mind it to the extent that you do. I see the necessity for it, just like Roosevelt originally did, and believe poverty in our country would be a lot worse without it, just like it was before social security was implemented. It is a difference in ideology too: I see Americans as a collection of "we's", you see Americans as individual "me's".

You've said before that if everyone had your attitude, there would be no need for social programs. Perhaps so, but the only way you're going to get a nation of people with your attitude is to clone yourself about 400 million times and create the United States of Dan. I believe in dealing with the reality of how people ARE, you only talk about how people SHOULD BE. Should be's don't solve problems. Rigid ideologies sound great in theory but rarely work in practice.

Maybe you would move to MX in your destitute old age to avoid being a burden on your fellow citizens, but there's very few people who would. They'd stay right here and have to be dealt with. In reality, I'm pretty sure that if really faced with such a choice, you'd opt to stay right here, too.

Question:

With the most dangerous foreign-policy event of the Obama administration taking place (the Israeli ship "thing"), why is it that our Ambassador to the U.N. couldn't even show up for the discussions? Isn't she paid by US to do just that?

Just asking.


----JA

Hey,

If Cameron fails at plugging the leak in the Gulf, do you think Obama will contact Tony Stark?

Just asking.


----JA

WT

The 40th ranked country (in population--I am guessing) has the 13th to 17th economy. That is VERY strong. Of course, China is the largest, with 7 times the number of people, perfect place for liberals who want a controlled government.

If you like Social Security so much, why don't you pay in extra?

Dan D:

Another difference in our opinion: I don't feel that my liberties and freedoms are being constrained by paying FICA. Nor do I think FICA will lead to a litany of "freedoms being abused". I think this is a fearful, paranoid over-reaction that some people have to government, any kind, anywhere. I don't believe in big government persae. I think we need more effective government, to do more with what we have rather than growing government endlessly as stop gaps. But I'm not suspicious and freaked out by my own government. I don't feel it's out to get me.

I don't know where you're getting the info that Australia has the strongest economy on the planet. I looked it up because I've never heard this before; Australia ranks from 13th to 17th, depending on the source. It's not even in the top 10. But guess what country is? CHINA. And it's communist. So you can't make a direct link between little government control and economic strength, it obviously doesn't work that way.

WT

I'm glad that the "poor farms" meet your standards.

But again, you display the difference in opinion between the both of us. People's liberties and freedoms need to be constrained because a few more will not be able to provide for themselves.

Any facts anywhere to support your views that more freedom will be abused? Shall we use Australia that dumped the European/American social security? Do they have waves of increased poor?

Quite to the contrary. They have the strongest economy on this planet. People feel good about themselves. Do you have any examples of the success of socialism to the same degree? Spain, Greece, Estonia?

Dan D:

A studio apt. in subsidized housing for a senior with no resources other than SS is fine. I see nothing wrong with that. It's a roof. The point is, without that they would be on the street, or in tents, or who knows where else. The indigent elderly would be a much bigger problem.

And no, I don't believe people can't help themselves. They certainly can. They just choose NOT to. And like it or not, without some basic safety net these people would become an even bigger social problem than they currently are for everyone else.

You also know that if SS were dumped into a 401(k), many people would still pay the penalty and take early withdrawal, especially in a recession. So we would have the same result.

There are no easy solutions to this. If there were, it would have been done a long time ago.

LC,

No, he was commenting on the life expectancy when the program was conceived. Just like people cite the Medicare costs "multiples" (I do not have my hands on the exact numbers) compared to the cost originally projected.

I think the number today is 72%. Would you invest in an annuity that guaranteed nothing? A terrible investment. Even for an insurance company.

Dan D.


Are you telling us that only 53% of those that paid into SS lived to receive benefits today?

What was the name of the commentator on Kudlow?

WT

I "understand" your concept of a Nanny State, but I do not accept it as a preferred alternative. You could create safeguards like 401(k)s to reduce, although not eliminate the problem. And even now many people run out of assets even with the "wondrous social net". They have to move to subsidized housing such as CHA senior public housing projects in Chicago and Martin Avenue Apartments in Napervile. These people did not save money for retirement, they improperly relied on social security. So they get a studio apartment. We already have the problem you mention and we have addressed it.

It's not like you keep your 4,000 Naperville house subsidized by the government.

So we represent two views. I represent the Conservative view where people take care of themselves and government safety nets are for those who fail. You represent the Liberal view where all are penalized for the few. I feel this latter approach hurts our economy since resources are diverted for the Liberal Nanny State. And more people fail under the Nanny State because it is easier to fail. You feel that the outcomes would be the same. In fact, you feel a majority of the people cannot help themselves. The same premise for Communist societies.

Is this a fair summary of the two positions? Edit as you wish.

And when you "cash out" SS, my proposal was to put the money into 401(k) accounts. I agree there will be economic benefits because people will be investing the money rather than being wasteful government spending with little economic benefit.

To JA. Yes, Merrill was nationalized as part of Bof A. The wonderful Paulson TARP almost took down two financial institutions instead of one. Another fault of the TARP. B of A, when they discovered how insolvent Merrill was, should have been allowed to walk. While they have worked out some of the bad situations, they are not out of the woods yet.

And from personal insight, it is still not finished.

Dan D.,

How do you define "nationalize"?

Merril was basically "nationalized" when BAC was forced to buy them!

Just asking.


----JA

Hey,

Why didn't anyone tell the the emperor (ie the President) that he had no clothes during today's press conference?

Just asking.


-----JA


Dan D:

"Let me out for my contributions (50 cents on the dollar). If I run out, I'll move to Mexico, I would not want to be a burden on my neighbors."

You might move to MX to avoid being a burden on your neighbors, but there are millions of other Americans who would stay right here and not mind being a burden on the system. THAT IS THE PROBLEM. If they are not forced to plan for old age, they won't, and everyone else will end up supporting them. That's why your idea is not a realistic option.

I can see how cashing out SS, while it would stimulate the economy in the short-term (because I'm pretty sure most people would spend it immediately), in the long-term it would only make things much worse by increasing social services expenses. We should be able to do better, but we need to do better than just cashing out SS also.

Lower Crust

If 53% of all people made it to 65, I think that would include the spouses. And I am not alone on this comment, a commentator on Kudlow made the same comments yesterday.

I understand your point that a "hoax" might be harsh (this was not my original thought, by the way), but it is not fiscally or fundamentally sound.

Complicating that comment is that the money we all pay could fund more. Instead, it is and will have to deal with not funding the plan properly for almost 80 years. Part of that is due to the changing demographic, people living longer (not inconsequential) and fewer workers supporting more beneficiaries. And other benefits that are not actuarially funded, of course. (Social Security would need TARP money if it were a private program!!)

But I have said this from the time I was 20. If I could keep my 50% and invest it at 5% (a safe, reliable rate except for the last five years or so), I would be able to draw a larger monthly payment than I would be entitled to under Social Security. I have always advocated that the government should bond out its liability and take the employers share for 40 to 50 years (it would have been 20 years when I was 20) to repay the debt.

What does this mean? It is a lousy program that we pay too much and receive to little. It makes lousy investments (in Federal debt--Clinton never delivered on the lock box).

As I posted earlier, we could do better. Let me out for my contributions (50 cents on the dollar). If I run out, I'll move to Mexico, I would not want to be a burden on my neighbors. Those who like the system, let them stay in.

And to WT. It is called an insurance program, but on its web site, it advertisizes "Retirement Benefit". You can purchase annuities from insurance companies, they are investments. So I look at it as a bad investment with an insolvent insurance company.

Dan D:

Back again. This statement exemplifies what I said previously:

"I have advocated since I have been working to let me invest my own money and not be dependent on the Nanny State. Now if the Nanny state is what you want, you have it."

You don't want to buy old age insurance. You would rather invest this money instead, assuming you could, thru investing, make more money than the insurance coverage would pay out. Right?

Here is the flaw in your thinking: investing involves risk, and not all investments turn a profit. You're assuming you CAN do better; you can't be certain you WILL. No one can.

Here's what the Nanny State understands about human behavior that you don't: not everyone is reasonable, responsible, or makes good choices. If you gave all Americans the opportunity to cash out of SS for 50 or 70 cents on the dollar, many would probably take it. Some may save it or invest it, but far too many would go on a shopping spree now. You know, live for today, don't worry about tomorrow. Some may invest it but not well and end up losing it. The point is, what happens when these people reach retirement or disability and have no money set aside? You think they're going to sit around and bravely starve? Of course not. They'll hobble right on down to the Nanny State welfare office and apply for all types of financial assistance. The Nanny State will end up supporting these people anyway. Better to have a mandatory social insurance program so at least they end up picking up the cost to support themselves in their old age. It's better (and cheaper) than giving them a total free ride later on if they're destitute.

Is this making sense?

Lower Crust:

I've mentioned dependents receiving a deceased persons SS benefits TWICE so far. Yours makes it three times. I don't know why Dan pretends this doesn't exist. Maybe he can explain this to us?

Dan D:
"How many of you would voluntarily join a program where you had a 50% (53%)chance of getting your money back? Maybe a $5 lottery ticket (0%), but not meaningful money."

Dan, you talk about social security as if it were an investment. It's not, it's INSURANCE. Old age insurance. And like insurance, you pay your premiums but don't always get more or break even in what you get back. If you pay homeowners insurance for 40 years and never make a claim, do you consider that money a bad investment because you got nothing back? Not true, because what you got for your money was PROTECTION, whether you needed it or not. What people get back through SS is old age protection from poverty. Some get more in benefits than they paid in, some less, depending on the number of years they live into old age. But everyone gets the same protection. That's how insurance works.

Perhaps thinking of social security as an investment rather than as insurance is at the heart of your confusion?

Dan D.


I do enjoy watching you throw out a bunch of figures to make your point.

Your 50% or 53% is pretty funny. Are you telling us that only half of the people who paid into the system ever collected? How about their families?

JA

I must admit timing has been confusing. The day Lehman went down was the decisive day. The Fed slashed interest rates, tripled their balance sheet (putting liquidity into the market).

Interest rates particularly LIBOR (technically the rate between banks) skyrocketed because of uncertainty between banks. The Fed loosened the discount window and extended direct credit to the remaining investment banks.

Now when was TARP passed and when were the banks forced to take the debt (even though all but Citi, Merril Lynch and Wachovia did not want it?) Just asking.

I know that action needed to be taken to restore confidence in banks. OK, so passing a bill (like TARP) shows support. How this support is used is of question. Why not "nationalize Citi"? Same for Merrill? It would have shown that too big to fail would not be tolerated. Deposit insurance would have covered most depositors (the run on the bank). Then sell off the pieces. Better to identify the bad apples rather than making all bad.

I noticed that Citi is still trading for less than $3. The government still owns 21%.

JA:

Like I already said, acknowledge it or not, I don't care. Do what you want. I've got your number.

what the?, why can’t you keep your arguments straight?

First you say I ridiculed you for being a progressive (I did not ---- I stated it). then you say I ridiculed your comment. Which was it? As usual, you get nasty and testy and assume the worst AND assume it is a conservative/liberal argument. Shame on you!

I never made an argument against you about Dan ---- what YOU did was try to insist my argument was bad because I did not totally agree with you (vis a vis Dan D. had to be wrong if I was right).

I NEVER did a walk back --- you MAY want to learn to both read & comprehend better (so far, on this, you have failed).

The only hypocrite here is you, what the?, as you try to revise history to avoid looking like the doofus you are on this one. It was I who pointed out directly that the credit meltdown would hurt the non-rich the worse, now here you are taking credit for it! What a wanna-be.

In short, you are a thin-skinned fight looking for a partner.

So, why can’t you A)keep your arguments straight, and B) be less thin-skinned, and C)quit looking for a liberal/conservative fight in every comment and debate, and D)quit being such a nasty little witch to everyone?

Just asking.


----JA

As a SS recipient, I am getting more then I am entitled to receive. This is true for probably all recipients. the program is not sound and will help shove the USA toward bankruptcy.

If SS is not sound, how about all the other retiremnet benefits for goverment employees at the federal, state and local level. In order to contiue payout, look for big tax increases.

The US congress, past and present, will not perform its constitutional duty, provide a sound currency. Thus a lower standard of living will be on the way for many, the economy will be stuck in stagnation for many years.

Dan D.,

The imperative point you continue to either miss or avoid is that the system woulod have collapsed that Monday ---- few economists disagree with this!

It is not about free money, or Feds, etc ---- it was about the absolute run on the banks that had already begun and which wold have completly collapsed the credit market.

If you recall your history, a run on the banks does not have to be based in any reality beyond emoption, and we were there.

So why do you avoid the "emotional"aspect of the imepnding collapse?

Just asking.


-----JA

To all, I see your point. But I would hope that you would see mine as well.

How many of you would voluntarily join a program where you had a 50% (53%)chance of getting your money back? Maybe a $5 lottery ticket (0%), but not meaningful money.

Or more rhetorically. Why not let people get out by getting back 50% of their money?

Social Security is not a sound program. I have advocated since I have been working to let me invest my own money and not be dependent on the Nanny State. Now if the Nanny state is what you want, you have it.

We are all looking at the same facts, I just don't like the system. We could do better. Much better.

Mr. D. I think the one spinning here might be you. Your initial comment was “the plan was designed to pay relatively few. Average people rarely lived beyond age 64, so social security was a cruel joke (by the way, I learned this as an MBA student at Northwestern).”

When it was shown otherwise - that many lived past 65 and collected benefits - you changed your tune and started talking about how many died before they could collect at 65, but you forget that they added survivors benefits paid to the family in the event of the premature death of the worker and disability coverage for disabled workers too.

I don’t care if you don’t like SS that’s Ok, but tens of millions have received benefits over the last 70+ years, and will continue to receive benefits in the future –even if it’s less than we expected

Dan wrote: It is interesting that the SS Administration shows the percentage of the people at age 21 that make it to age 65 rather than the expected age. Reason, the expected age was probably below 65.

________________________
Dan, the article said, "and men who attained age 65 could expect to collect Social Security benefits for almost 13 years (and the numbers are even higher for women).

I think it's just another way of saying it. They said that men who reach age 21 had a 54% chance of reaching 65. Using this it means that 54% of men who reach 21 would probably reach 65 at which time they would live for ~13 more years.

All of these numbers and discussion are with the benefit of hindsight and analysis. I believe FDR did the best he could with the information he had at the time - along with the congress. I don't think there was any conspiracy or shroud of darkness that they tried to get the country to buy into. The plan had a lot of flaws, and now we have some generations who are large voting blocks and have lived their entire lives believing that SS is their birthright.


Dan D:

Ok, I'm not going to quibble over a couple of years. The average life expectancy now is CLOSE to 80 years, so I'll give you the 20 year spread. Still, don't your own figures debunk the "cruel hoax" argument? The average life expectancy in 1930 was 3 months short of 60. This is only 5 years short of retirement. I doubt there was a massive die-off between 60 and 65. Social security was OLD AGE INSURANCE, not middle age insurance. And survivors still collected, so payments still went out to SOMEONE for a long time. If benefits had not been transferable to dependents, then I would say the hoax thing would more likely apply. But like I said, once you look into who benefited and how monies were dispersed, the cruel hoax argument doesn't hold up. I heard the same statement from an instructor too. That was his point of view. It doesn't make it true. But I can see why SS opponents love repeating it.

"And despite all of your points, the payments that would be made by social security if the life expectancy did not extend by 17 years would be dramatically lower."

Of course it would be. If people didn't live an average of 17 years longer now, there would be less paid out. I don't understand how this is relevant. The points I was making applied to 1930-1940, not 2010. In 1930, they had no way of knowing what life expectancy would be in 2010, and I doubt this would have been a consideration anyway. Why would 1930s policymakers try speculating 80 years into the future? No one had crystal balls then either.

My points are solid--the number of recipients of SS in the 30s was lower because 1) the U.S. population was lower, and 2) only roughly half of all U.S. workers could participate early on. Of course, all this changed over the next few decades. Now women, minorities, part-timers and many other professions can participate in SS. The U.S. population swelled. THAT'S why there were more people receiving social security in later years, just not because of living longer, even though that helped too.

You really need to scratch beneath the surface to understand things, Dan. Things aren't always what they appear at face value. You shouldn't stop questioning just because a narrative you are given fits your purpose.

Social security was MISMANAGED. This does not make the program inherently flawed. If the money had been put in trust as Roosevelt directed and not touched, we wouldn't be facing a SS crisis now. If someone steals your car, does that mean cars are inherently flawed so you won't get another one? The solution is to stop the stealing, not stop making cars.

And I think nothing is going to be done about "fixing" social security anytime soon. The government has no incentive for doing this now. Social security is still bringing in more money than it is paying out, and the overage that is left after meeting monthly SS obligations is being spent on other things as fast as it comes in. "Fixing" SS would end this slush fund cash flow. Once monthly obligations EXCEED monthly cash intake, then you'll see the gov do something. But my understanding is this is still many years off.

Lower Crust

I did not know that Social Security was distributing propaganda (information) about my very point. Thanks for the link.

But let's use their information. The CBO would have "scored" the bill based on only 53% of 21 year olds attaining age 86, not the 72%. So the cost would have been understated significantly.

The statistic I was given was that the average life expectancy of a 40 year old worker in the thirties was 62. So that meant that at least half would not get the benefit (close to the age 21 group).

It is interesting that the SS Administration shows the percentage of the people at age 21 that make it to age 65 rather than the expected age. Reason, the expected age was probably below 65.

So I guess they are still trying to spin the story. If hoax is to harsh, a plan that only 50% benefit, but 100% have to pay does not seem American, seems more North Korean.

Dan D.

I don't know what to make of you. I guess you just want to believe what you believe, but please look at this link from SS.

http://www.ssa.gov/history/lifeexpect.html

Roughly 55-60% of people who made it to age 21 lived to 65. And as I said before if you made it to 65 your average life expectancy was for an additional 13-14 years. SS saved a lot of senior citizens from a life of poverty. I just don't know how you calm that SS was a "cruel hoax".

WT

Unfortunately I attended high school in Illinois. And the public schools seem to have even less regard to accuracy evidenced by the Social Studies teacher at Naperville North that advocates that the US is a terrible country.

You need to check your facts of life expectancy. I went to one site that showed the average life expectancy in 1930 was 59.7 years. In 2000 it was 77 years or an increase of 17 years. So I was wrong, the retirement age should have been increased to 82 years old (rather than 80) from 65.

And despite all of your points, the payments that would be made by social security if the life expectancy did not extend by 17 years would be dramatically lower.

So, I say a hoax. At least a flawed play (because it did not address changes in life expectancy). You claim it was raided. I call that mismanagement. (I find it ironic that you admit a fault and then you say everything is fine).

Do people like it? Yes, I would like to collect what I am entitled without excessive taxation to reduce the value. But it has to be fixed and I am willing to contribute my fair share.

Dan D:

I attended high school in one of the most conservative states in the union--UTAH. I'm pretty sure that's why I was taught both perspectives of FDR, the one in the textbooks which portrayed him in a positive light, and the one conservatives prefer, which is the exact opposite. The truth, to me, lies middle to left. I did not agree that FDRs policies were "terrible mistakes", but I liked hearing the argument. It's obvious which school of thought the reporter who raised the FDR question to Obama believes. His bias was evident in the question.

Regarding this statement to Lower Crust:

I think your numbers prove my point. VERY FEW PEOPLE were originally expected to get SS benefits. People did not live long. It would be like passing social security today for all people who live past 80. Sure, there would be beneficiaries, but not many.

No, the numbers do not prove your point. I think you're still missing the point.

1) Projected life spans in the 30s were lower, but not 20 years lower (you're comparison of yesterday's 60 being today's 80).

2) Less people received social security when it was first implemented because the U.S. population was a lot lower then. U.S. population boomed after WWII.

3) When SS was first implemented, exclusions exempted nearly half of the working U.S. population. From wikipedia:

Most women and minorities were excluded from the benefits of unemployment insurance and old age pensions. Employment definitions reflected typical white male categories and patterns. Job categories that were not covered by the act included workers in agricultural labor, domestic service, government employees, and many teachers, nurses, hospital employees, librarians, and social workers. The act also denied coverage to individuals who worked intermittently. These jobs were dominated by women and minorities. For example, women made up 90% of domestic labor in 1940 and two-thirds of all employed black women were in domestic service.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_Security_%28United_States%29

4) Also, you're ignoring my previous statement which informed you that even if a worker died before retirement, his earnings were lost ONLY if he was single with no dependents. His SS earnings went to his surviving spouse, children or other dependents in the event of an early death. This wasn't a hoax, this was a form of social insurance this country had never seen before that kept many people out of poverty. And it's endured all this time because it's worked well and Americans like having this safety net.

5) The program is not a financial disaster so much because it's inherently flawed. It's a financial disaster because our government looted the fund. Big diff.

JA:

This discussion has moved beyond boring.

This is what bothers me about your posts, whether you choose to acknowledge it or not is up to you, I don't care.

You labeled me a progressive and ridiculed and diminished my comments. Once I pointed out that it was in fact Dan, a self-proclaimed conservative, and not me who disagreed with you, your demeanor and language instantly changed from confrontational and derisive to respectful and reasonable. You then performed a quick walk-back on your comments. You can dish out all the pseudo psycho-intellectual BS you want as an excuse, but the simple fact is you got caught being a hypocrite. Your attitude has nothing to do with the "issues", economic or otherwise. It only has to do with who you think you're talking to.

Don't take it too hard, tho. I've been the lone liberal on this blog for a long time and I've seen this happen over and over. Conservatives will jump all over me for the exact same comment that they let slide when "one of their own" says it, I've seen it time and again. So what you did is nothing special. In fact, it's as common as dirt.

And here's something else you're missing: since I was arguing your "economic analysis" of the effect of the meltdown on the middle class with Dan long before you came along, if you say I understand nothing about economics, then dude, that's the same as saying you don't either. Ouch!

To Lower Crust

Let's clear up the point. Obama, in response to a question along the lines of "Should the US avoid making the same terrible mistakes today the FDR made in the thirties?" He seemed stunned and said "I thought FDR saved America, this is the first I heard that he contributed to the problems." I shared his same understanding. Only after more press came out do we now know another viewpoint, one that no longer makes FDR a "god". But WT knew this all along. They must have changed history since BO and I went to high school.

I think you should no longer be confused, did not intend that. But I am chuckling because you were thrown off by me agreeing with BO.

As to Just Asking

98% of the "system saving" was done by the Fed, if not 100%. Remember, TARP passed and it was at least a month before the banks were forced to take the "benevolent loan". A month after Lehman. The rate cuts and securities purchases by the Fed did the trick. And I agree that the foreign banks (French) benefited by the inept handling of AIG. The handler, the Tim Geithner who admits he never had a real job. That is reassuring.

And again to Lower Crust

I think your numbers prove my point. VERY FEW PEOPLE were originally expected to get SS benefits. People did not live long. It would be like passing social security today for all people who live past 80. Sure, there would be beneficiaries, but not many.

That was the cruel hoax at the time it was passed. Now it is simply a financial disaster. Look at how Greece is now having to deal with financial disasters. It is only a matter of time.

whatthe?, I think I have a decent grasp of both your and Dan D.'s positions on TARP. I think I wrote previously that it looked like you and I agreed here.

You appear to be mad because I accept the idea that there is a wider-array of answers, based on the underlying perception and structure/unserstanding, of the problem submitted.

Based on that, I see mine as right in that the entire system concerned ME more than the ideals of capitalism, federation, constitutionalism, etc. I saw it as a case where the good of the whole over-rode that of the individual. As I stated, I believe Dan D. puts his weight on the individual. That is fine as it represents a difference of thought process (both valid, but coming from different directions)

Why is it you want to turn it into a strict argument of right and wrong, conservative versus progressive?

Just asking.


To Dan D. -- I think it is naive to think the entire TARP was set-up strictly for Goldman & Citi and nothing else.

Given your thought process, it would be just as valid to add the Euro banks to that list (which I believe had a much higher political affect on the decision), as they were mired in the toxic assets (especialy the French). Note that the Euro bailout of Greece the other week greatly benefitted American banks & stockholders, so "tit for tat" sometines works (or karma if you must!).

The bottom line: yes, GS & Citi benefitted greatly (I believe the AIG bailout should have came with similar structures as GM --- ie AIG pays off at about 20 cents on the dollar, NOT 100). However, if you recall the "times" for that couple weeks (and that one weekend in particular), armegeddon was upon us, most politicians were hiding in their offices, and SOMETHING had to be done. I believe Paulsen did what he could, what he "knew", and it now is what it is. I also believe that with a little luck, in about 30 years they will praise him like they do Morgan over his actions in the early 20th century.

Could be wrong.

So, why are we all so vehemetly arguing over this in thefirst place? It is a simple difference of opinions, all based on data, on a past event.

Just asking.


---JA


----JA

what the?, there is no real “memory” required ---- the posts are only a few days old! Now, I really don’t think referencing the possibility that you are the only progressive standing who was not aware of the stimulus spending (or lack thereof) is even close to your scorched-earth tactics (which you practice regularly on this blog). In fact, I do not even think referencing you as “progressive” is a ridicule at all. I DID question your understanding of economics, and I still do, and I think I am right to question it!

Now, the point of the issue with Dan D. was limited to a single issue: our like or dislike of TARP. THAT had nothing to do with the question of conservative versus progressive, or with anyone’s beliefs of “the wealthy getting away with something”. You really need to understand the debate better and break them down by issue ---- you are mixing them..

Thus, your “first problem” only exists in your mind.

Now, for the second problem of yours: I have to ask if you ever read before you respond? I think I have been EXTREMELY CLEAR in stating EXACTLY where I stand on TARP. Since you pride yourself on your memory, please fire-up the engine and think back to a few days ago. Since I also have a decent memory, I will give you a hint: Look at your 5/20/10 post at 11:53, where you clearly state you understand my stance on TARP on you clearly believe that you and I agree on it!

Thus, again, your second problem is moot.

So why are you going through this again?

Just asking.


----JA

Can someone do a FOIA request re: Naperville Management Salaries and Bonus's for this year and last? While our services are being cut, ambulances browned out, police desks being closed, etc.... the people who do the work for the residents are getting fired and taking pay cuts - I have it from a reliable source that MANAGEMENT has been getting bonus pay and raises. That's right, the people who make the decisions that have cost the residents and employee's so dearly are getting MORE money, and those who actually perform the services we've lost are losing their jobs and having the salary's cut. Does ANYONE see the wisdom in this? As a resident with a neighbor who used to work for the city, I'm sickened. Does anyone else find this disturbing?

Dan D:

Thank you for your post to JA so I could calm down. But now I am totally stoked!!

You actually said "I DO AGREE that our "entire system" needed to be saved." In all our discussions about TARP and the meltdown, THIS IS THE FIRST TIME YOU HAVE EVER SAID THIS!! YAYYYYY!!! Finally, consensus has been reached!!

Anything else beyond this is really just arguing the details.

TARP was not used in the way it was supposed to be used, but as JA said, it was needed at the time to save the entire system REGARDLESS OF ITS EVENTUAL IMPLEMENTATION METHOD, and it did. Yes, mistakes were made. Yes, some decisions were made based on politics. Yes, Citigroup appears to be beyond saving and Goldman Sachs didn't deserve to be saved. But despite all of this, it still needed to be done. It's easy to see in hindsight how it could have been done better.

I'm not being rude, but I'm really not interested in talking about Citigroup or making an argument for why it needed to be saved. I really don't care. A shotgun method was applied to the bailout, everybody got hit whether they contributed to the problem or not, deserved it or not. That was the chosen method of implementation at the time.

I would be willing to pass the mantle on to JA at this point if he's interested in discussing this further. My work here is done.

what the? on May 23, 2010 1:04 AM
Dan D., Upper Crust, Anon ONE, JW and JA:

Anon ONE: in all fairness, why didn't you criticize Epi-nonymous for posting comments from a self-proclaimed supply-side conservative without an author link?

_____________________

Epi-nonymous provided the authors name - something you didn't do. I've studied Laffer for years, his identification didn't need any further investigation (at least on my part). It's not my job to enlighten anyone but myself - so since I knew exactly what Epi was writing there wasn't a need for more info. In your case I had never heard of Lux.

When you posted the Lux article I was reading it as an indictment by you of many / most / all conservatives, and not just Dan D. I pointed this out because (IMO)your post lacked context. Let's say that I disagree with a stance you have taken and I post an article that I claim points out how wrong I believe your view to be. Furthermore, let's say you discover that the author of my "proof" is someone like Hugh Hewitt, Armstrong Williams, or Brent Bozell - would you take exception if I didn't provide any context or author info? These 3 have views that are certainly "conservative" and their views almost always reflect this bias. You seemed to be using the Lux article as your proof and indictment of conservatives - my point is that he is hardly an authority on this subject.

As much as I railed against your not posting the author name or link, (It was easy enough to find), the real point I was "trying" to make was that you posted an article by a self proclaimed liberal - what did you expect him to say? Had you provided the link and author name I would have had a very similar reaction - you posted a story written by a very / extremely / flaming / radical "liberal" (pick your own description) and then (again IMO) tried to use it as your proof against Conservatives. You also redacted a portion within a paragraph that you posted - this drew my suspicion because the portion you removed was where he said something about giving up on God 4 decades ago. This alone should have at least raised suspicion as to his motives for criticizing Christians. (Not that he can't criticize, but this is a relevant fact that was left out). I know due to length we can't post complete stories, but I wondered why you removed the sentence from the "middle of the paragraph". I know you presented it as opinion, but it seems like you used Lux's opinions as your proof.
I posted an article the other day by a conservative guy / group (and provided the link.) The article I posted was critical of Obama's health care plan and seemed to be relevant to what Dan has been saying. I pointed out who the guy was and his affiliation, thus providing context to his obvious dislike of the plan.

As you pointed out, and as I have been re-reading some of my postings, I should have first asked you to clarify your point in my initial exchange, i.e. were you indicting all conservatives, or just Dan?. After your response I would have introduced the subject that Lux is hardly an authority on Conservative or Christian views. This would have probably promoted a different exchange between us. I'll work at asking more questions before I reach a conclusion.

To Dan D.

How can you claim SS was a hoax when it was adopted? In 1937 53,000 received benefits - 1940 222,000 - 1950 3.5 million - 1960 14.8 million. Hardly a hoax.

I still have problems with your comment about Obama and his supposed criticism of the New Deal. The similarities between the New Deal and what Obama's admin is doing are plain to see. There are people today who criticize both for the same reasons, Gov't stepping in to replace the lost expenditures of the private sector. Hard to say it didn't help put a lot of people to work that otherwise would have had a job, and also build a lot of infrastructure in the 30's. It wasn't the perfect solution then, and neither will Obama's be now but I think it's better than having unemployment at 25% again and a declining GDP.

My response to JA (so WT can calm down).

First, TARP was a fraud at the outset. What it said it was going to do is not what it did do.

Second, I DO AGREE that our "entire system" needed to be saved. Upon further analysis, it was. The Fed lowering interest rates to zero and tripling its balance sheet almost to $3 trillion is 98% of the the support the "entire system" needed.

The last 2 percent relates to public confidence in our system. Economists will tell you that we are doomed if just 10% of the people took their money out of the "financial system" (I think it has expanded beyond banks) and put it in their mattresses. This is where TARP (2?) came into play. People had to restore confidence in the banking system. That is why EVERY major bank had to take TARP even though it turned out that the problems were Citibank, Wachovia, and Merrill.

When the dust settled, Wells Fargo took over Wachovia, Bank of America took Merrill and Citibank is a zombie. They sold their valuable Smith Barney franchise. They are still trading at below $4 per share.

My contention is that Citi should have failed. Instead of spreading around the TARP to all banks, the FCID could have had a special fund to purchase the toxic assets of Citi. The deposits of Citi would have been protected, the foolish derivative guarantees written by Citi would not have been honored forcing the counterparties to deal with their poor mortgages (did you know Citi "guaranteed" the mortgage investments they sold, to the toon of at least $10 billion, this is what they used their TARP for), and nobody would ever question if we had a too big to fail standard.

And let Goldman take care of AIG's risk instead of the government. Blankflien would not have money to pay large bonuses.

So for JA, there is more underlying each of our positions. And for me, hindsight is 50/50 (but check with my friends, I wrote my Congressman and Senators pleading they vote NO, it wrote McCain to vote no--this is when he lost the election). I think that TARP was handled the way it was to protect Citigroup and Goldman Sachs. One was beyond saving (even to this day) and the other did not deserve it.

And WT, instead of sniping, address the arguments. Tell us why Citi was worth saving (the main premise of my argument).

Dan D:

"My comment was that at the time Social Security was adopted, it was a hoax."

Ok, thanks for clarifying that. This is what I heard also in high school history class. I think I received a more balanced interpretation of the Roosevelt years, because I was never taught his policies were flawless. It's true that at the time of social security's inception, lifespans were a lot lower. Still, SS paid out 35 million in benefits in 1940. I don't consider 35 mil a cruel hoax, I consider that serious money. And if a recipient did not live into old age to collect, his survivors (wife and children) received his benefits. So I heard the hoax argument like you did, but the way the program was run and benefits paid out doesn't support it.

The government that was entrusted with SS funds is the one responsible for making it a failure. Instead of holding SS money in a trust fund as intended, it was raided and spent. I think "fixing" SS requires more self-control than our politicians possess. But ending the program would also end the contributions coming in that government is spending elsewhere, so they're not about to turn off this source of cash.

And my understanding was that AIG alone would have crashed the entire financial system if it had been allowed to fail. This was the too large to fail behemoth, Goldman Sachs couldn't have handled that. Only the government had enough $$ to bail them out. Lehman Bros. wasn't a "too big to fail" institution. Big diff.

I believe TARP was done for financial reasons, the auto industry was done for political reasons. I can see why Obama would want to save the auto unions, but what was Bush's rational for this? What did Bush gain politically from saving the auto industry?

JA:

If this sentence is your answer "It (TARP) was needed at the time to save the entire system regardless of it’s eventual implementation method", then you and I agree, you and Dan do not. I have been making this exact same point to Dan for months, he believes the financial bailouts were dead wrong. Look at both his and my previous comments here about it for clarification. In the future, be sure you know the positions of bloggers before attacking them. There will be less scorched earth.

Just Asking:

There are two problems here. The first problem, and you may not be used to this, is that I have a MEMORY and remember things that people post. Such as this post from you previously on this very thread:

Anonymous on May 19, 2010 4:18 PM

Why is it people oft try to paint a picture of the alleged "wealthy" geting away with something, yet usually they are void of any data to support thier idealogy?

Case in point is what the?, above.

Apparently she is the last progressive standing that doesn't understand that very little of the stimulus has been spent, so it really didn't "go" to anyone yet!

Also as apparently, she has no practical understanding of economics as she seems void of an awareness that the TARP "save" affected every single person, rich or otherwise. The complete breakdown of the credit system would have hit the "non-rich" MUCH harder and much longe ----- this is basic social economics.

She conveniently "forgets" that almost ALL the TARP money (outside of AIG) has been paid back with interest. Also, GM did NOT get TARP $$$ and is years from payback, Chrysler has laready declared they will pay back less than half, and ALL of the Car money went to Obama's beloved Unions, not the "wealthy" she so diligently trashes.

Just asking.

---JA

Remember posting this? It was you, you identified yourself at the end. You call me the "last progressive standing" and then say MY comments on progressives and conservatives is uncalled for? You ridicule me and say I don't know what I'm talking about and then call ME a "scorched earth" blogger? I give what I get. If you don't like my attitude, then improve yours.

You didn't hesitate to criticize someone you thought was a "progressive". Turns out it is Dan who doesn't agree with you, so why won't you criticize him? Because he's not the "last progressive standing"? How awkward for you!! So instead you bow out with a lame excuse about "perspectives". If you had the courage of your convictions, you would have said the exact same thing to Dan as you did to me. Notice it didn't happen.

I said there were two problems. The second one is that I don't let this stuff go when it happens, I challenge it. And your attempt to deflect by changing the subject won't work either. I'm tenacious.

You like asking a lot of questions, so why don't you answer one for a change? Here it is again: Do you agree with Dan that the financial industry never should have been rescued, that the economy should have been allowed to collapse? A simple yes or no will suffice. If, that is, you have the courage of your convictions.

Why is it that what the? always seems to go to a “scorched earth” policy on every debate? I am referring to the post “what the? on May 23, 2010 1:04 AM”.

I will try this again: I am arguing a different perspective than Dan D. (mine is a structural one from a macro view) on the TARP issue. I believe we are both correct (as are you assuming you have the same perspective as I do) given the directions of our argument.

I agree that given my understanding of Dan D.s argument he does not think the entire credit system at a singular, specific point in time should have been saved. His argument and belief is based on his perspective (which I think is one of stated process?). Only he can answer the question of if he would have agreed with it if the toxic assets were taken off the market.

Your caustic comments on conservatives & progressives is uncalled for, unnecessary, and has nothing to do with the discussion (except for your apparent need to go nuclear via a scorched earth attack). My argument has not changed a bit on the TARP issue!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was needed at the time to save the entire system regardless of it’s eventual implementation method!

YOUR discussion has changed in that you attack me simply because I did not trash Dan D.. for you!

In retrospect we all now know that the Fed gave the banks money at zero cost, and they reinvested it into treasuries at no risk. We also know that practically all the money has been paid back with interest and some sort of ownership rights (appreciation?), with the exception of AIG (mostly). I think it turned out "okay" for now. I see no reason to try to diminish those who disagree with me on this belief (like Dan D.), and I am glad some agree with me (like you).

So I ask again: Why is it that what the? always seems to go to a “scorched earth” policy on every debate?


Just asking.


-----JA

WT

My comment was that at the time Social Security was adopted, it was a hoax. (Just like Obamacare ?)

Today, of course beneficiaries like the program. It is still a FINANCIAL FAILURE. But nobody wants to fix it. One option, borrow the billions now to fund it--pay it off over 30 years, increase the taxes to fund the debt and keeping it on financial sound footing. Another, let people drop out for 70 cents on the dollar (for their future benefits--I would take) and borrow for the rest.

BUT FIX IT!!

As to TARP, my alternative was simple. The only bank that would have failed was Citibank. The FDIC would have guaranteed all deposits and auctioned off the banks. Understand, every major company and prudent bank already cut off ALL exposure to Citi three years ago.

And let Goldman work out AIG instead of the Federal government. Let Merrill Lynch fail.

How many financial problems have resulted from Lehman failing? There is one, California communities that lent Lehman money unsecured to earn higher interest, they lost. But they should have never entered into those deals. Their fault, not the US taxpayer. (By the way, they want the US taxpayer to bail them out.)

Same for the auto companies. They could have been sold off with no government funding and wages would have been addressed now than waiting five to ten years for the next GM crisis. The GM union contracts should have been cancelled.

I could go on, but there were sound financial and economic choices, but instead political choices were made. That is my issue.

Just Wondering:

It looks like the GOP is trying hard not to get buried in this "Randslide". I'm sure you heard that Rand canceled his Sunday "Meet the Press" appearance, only the third person in 62 years to do so. Can you imagine him repeating the Maddow experience there? I'm sure the cancellation was not solely Rand's idea. Betcha he will receive a GOP extreme makeover before he's released in public again!

But the guy's a Libertarian. The GOP can school him in how to avoid making his views public, but Libertarianism is what it is. I'd love to know what the 2% of ethnic minority Tea Partiers think of their movement now? The racist Obama signs at some of those rallies should have been a big clue. Rand has now removed all doubt.

Lower Crust: I referred to you as Upper by mistake. But since you're the only crust on here, that probably goes without saying.

LC

I saw this comment in passing in either a debate or Q&A in the election. I tried to find it on Google or You Tube, but so far, no luck.

I, like him, shared the misconception that Roosevelt was a spectacular. Shows how bad history is reflected and therefore taught.

More Rand Paul

In an interview, Mr. Paul expressed support for purely in-state gun industries, in which firearms are produced in one state with no imported parts and no exports. Guns produced under those circumstances can't be subjected to a federal background check, waiting period or other rules, he reasons.


No waiting period - no background check- to buy a gun? Not good.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704167704575258873204669074.html

Dan D., Upper Crust, Anon ONE, JW and JA:

Dan D. first:

I was surprised to hear that you first heard the "social security was a cruel joke" argument as an MBA student at Northwestern. Dude, I first heard that in HIGH SCHOOL, so I'm ahead of you by several years. And I learned at the same time that there have been different schools of economic thought on the impact of Roosevelt's New Deal on the depression for decades, not just since 2008.

Substantiated by such common sources as wikipedia:

A limited form of the Social Security program began as a measure to implement "social insurance" during the Great Depression of the 1930s, when poverty rates among senior citizens exceeded 50%! (Imagine, over 50% of our elderly lived at the poverty level in the 1930s.) MOST ECONOMISTS attribute the recession of 1937 and 1938 to other causes, not Roosevelt's social safety nets.

In 1940, SS benefits paid totaled $35 million. These rose to $961 million in 1950, $11.2 billion in 1960, $31.9 billion in 1970, $120.5 billion in 1980, and $247.8 billion in 1990 (all figures in nominal dollars, not adjusted for inflation). In 2004, $492 billion of benefits were paid to 47.5 million beneficiaries. In 2009, nearly 51 million Americans received $650 billion in Social Security benefits.

I'll repeat: In 2009, 51 million Americans received $650 billion in SS benefits! Yet Dan is still stuck in his college years, insisting that what these 51 million Americans are REALLY getting is a cruel joke. Dan, if $650 million is a "cruel joke", then please, play the joke on me!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_Security_%28United_States%29

And after all the time we've been blogging here about these issues, you still don't understand my point of view. I do not "scorn your disdain of Social Security". Unlike you, I understand that SS, or something like it, is necessary. Without it, we'd go back to over 50% of our elderly living in poverty. You have made it abundantly clear that you couldn't care less how many elderly people live in poverty. But the elderly, especially those who can still get to a voting booth, sure as hell do. And even the most conservative ones (i.e., the Tea Party) have made it clear that they will not give up their SS and Medicare benefits without a fight.

Republican politicians understand this as well as Democratic ones. Try running for office, ANY office, on the platform of ending social security because we can't afford it and see how far you get. You wouldn't get elected dog catcher. It isn't the bleeding heart liberals who are keeping SS going, it's the AMERICAN PEOPLE presently receiving benefits or who will soon be receiving benefits who are. And what the elderly want are important to politicians because there are more than 51 million elderly in this country and THEY VOTE. Kapish?

"Maybe all of the US problems can be traced back to Roosevelt. Was he the real villan of the time? Or an arrogant man who liked to control the electorate."

THIS is the "better perspective" of Roosevelt you think is needed? Why am I not surprised.

Anon ONE: in all fairness, why didn't you criticize Epi-nonymous for posting comments from a self-proclaimed supply-side conservative without an author link? Laffer is an American economist who became influential during the Reagan (trickle-down, voodoo economics, Reganomics) administration as a member of Reagan's Economic Policy Advisory Board from 1981–1989. The Laffer curve which bears his name is an illustration of tax elasticity which asserts that, in CERTAIN situations, a decrease in tax rates could result in an increase in tax revenues. He is the one who pushed for the reduction of the top income tax bracket from 73% to an eventual 24% (aka trickle-down. Sound familiar?) If you loved Reagan, you gotta love Laffer.

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

Upper Crust:

Dan said:

"And remember, when I went to school, Franklin Roosevelt was protrayed as a god!! It was only when the financial problems arose in 2008 did people bring out additional information that this status was questioned."

Not true in my experience. Roosevelt's status has always been questioned, I was made aware of this as early as high school history. Like I mentioned before, I learned that economists have always held varying views of Roosevelt's programs, this is not new to 2008 like Dan thinks. Roosevelt's policies came to the forefront again in 2008 because of two things: we had a Democratic president, and this country was facing it's 2nd Great Depression. 1930s deja vu. I saved a Time Magazine from shortly after Obama was elected in which he was portrayed as Roosevelt on the cover. Since Obama has been compared to Roosevelt, if you discredit one, you discredit the other. THAT'S why many conservatives are suddenly so interested in revising Roosevelt's history. Same old same old.

Just Asking:

Regarding this comment:

"[Note: for what the?, the difference with Dan D. and I on TARP is structural: I evaluate TARP on the need for it to save the entire credit system at a singular, specific point in time.

In reading Dan D., it seems he is evaluating TARP on it's stated goals of asset repurchase. I would submit that we are both right in our argument, but we are arguing different perspectives.]"

Well JA, if you and I are evaluating TARP from the same perspective, and you say you are right, then that means I am right also. But Dan has been telling me for months that I am wrong. Which would also make YOU wrong. So which is it?

Dan says the need to save the entire credit system at a singular, specific point in time should not have been done. The financial system should have been allowed to fail regardless of the damage this caused; this is how free markets work. He is not saying TARP would have been ok IF it had achieved its goals of asset repurchase. Ask him. Isn't this right, Dan? This is the crux of our disagreement. So do you agree with Dan that the credit system should not have been saved? Yes or no?

You are clearly trying to have it both ways. You didn't mind arguing this when you thought you were going against "the last Progressive standing" as you put it, but now that you find that this point of view actually comes from a fellow conservative, you change your tune and now it's 'hey, everybody's right'! It's obvious you were only interested in arguing this with me.

Just Wondering: Do you think Rand Paul will agree to take chickens in payment for his medical services? Maybe he can chase those around on the golf course!! :)

More troubles for Ron Paul. This guy's running out of feet to put in his mouth. First paragraph is Paul

[L]et's say you have a local office and you have a two-story office, and one of your workers is handicapped. Should you not be allowed maybe to offer them an office on the first floor or should you be forced to put in a $100,000 elevator? ... [M]y understanding is that small business owners were often forced to put in elevators, and I think you ought to at least be given a choice. Can you provide an opportunity without maybe having to pay for an elevator?

But Paul's "understanding" about the ADA is wrong. The legislation specifically exempts the vast majority of buildings three stories and under from any requirement to install elevators. In other words, if you own a small business and you have a two-story office and one of your workers is handicapped, no one can force you to build an elevator. It's true that the exemption doesn't apply to health-care facilities or shopping malls or buildings four stories and up — and Paul, who has an ophthalmology practice, may have been thinking of those provisions when he insisted that businesses are "often forced to put in elevators."

Trouble is, we searched far and wide for a single instance in which a private employer was successfully sued under the ADA for failing to provide an elevator, or was compelled by a lawsuit to do so, and we came up empty. We searched the case law, contacted ADA experts — both proponents and opponents of the law — the Justice Department, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Not one of them knew of any case involving the government-ordered installation of an elevator. It looks like Rand Paul is either peddling a myth or spinning some vanishingly small number of elevator installations we've yet to hear of into an epidemic big-government overreach.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ynews/20100521/pl_ynews/ynews_pl2190

Dan D.

Please give us a link for your Obama Roosevelt quote. I can't find it.

There is a lot of effort to make FDR look bad recently. But lets compare one small item. In the 30's the banks failed, many people lost their life savings - meager that many of them were. Roosevelt created the FDIC to protect from that by guaranteeing deposits and creating confidence in the system. In 2008 the FDIC upped the limit to 250K to bring confidence into the system. Remember when mutual funds were looking like they were going to "break the buck" meaning that all hell would break loose? It didn't happen. The system worked. The system works on confidence. Without it you have runs on banks.

Isn't that what TARP was doing? If there was no TARP and all the financial institutions in trouble failed what would have happened next? Would there be enough confidence in the system for the rest to continue or would we have had another run on the banks? I think it would have been "lights out" for us. I do think the Govt. should have got a lot more out of the deal. "We save your a** but we get equity ownership as the price". Instead we get the same companies giving out billions in bonuses a year later. It's not right.

Back to FDR. As I said, Roosevelt went wrong when he pulled back in 1937. He should have kept going with the stimulus programs. GDP increased by big amounts in the prior 3-4 years before. I also think SS's OK too. The system worked for 60 years and saved a lot of people from poverty, and will continue to in the future but will have to have some adjustments. SS's problem is our government borrowing from it for the last 30 years.

Not to pick on Dan D. but here is some information on SS's early years. There was 7.8 million citizens over 65 in 1937. Their expected life expectancy was for another 13 years. Lots of people received be befits and were saved from destitution especially the ones who lost everything in the 30's. Average life expectancy from birth was in the low 60's but that was because so many children died early. If you made it to adulthood you were OK.

JA, JW, A-one, Epi

All great comments. Thanks for posting the Wall Street Journal article although WT can never open them!!

That article was enlightening. ATT spends $2.4 billion on health care, the penalty would be $600 million. They have an extra $1.8 billion. Economists suggest that this money would go to salary increases. But since all employees under $90,000 would be subsidize to some degree by the Federal government, their salary increase to account for the differecne is not the $19,000 in health insurance premiums, rather the NET $3,000 that they would pay in the exchanges. So ATT stockholders and higher paid employees split most of the $1.8 billion, and the goverment gets a $2.4 billion bill, $600 million in fines, $500 billion in insurance premiums (this is a guess) and the deficit just for ATT goes up $1.3 billion. Do you think CBO has that in the numbers.

And remember, when I went to school, Franklin Roosevelt was protrayed as a god!! It was only when the financial problems arose in 2008 did people bring out additional information that this status was questioned. I even remember Obama lamenting that "I thought Roosevelt saved the country". For a guy who disagrees with Obama, I had the same thought.

So for those who provide the quotes, we all need a better perspective on Roosevelt. I know WT scorns my disdain of Social Security, but as I posted on these pages, the plan was designed to pay relatively few. Average people rarely lived beyond age 64, so social security was a cruel joke (by the way, I learned this as an MBA student at Northwestern).

Maybe all of the US problems can be traced back to Roosevelt. Was he the real villan of the time? Or an arrogant man who liked to control the electorate.

Are any of you seeing a similarity with a modern day President? It is great we have blogs (thank you Sun Times) to express our speech and the internet to spread the word. There was a reason that Congresses voted down health care for 60 years, they could not get it to work.

Again, some civil and enlightened comments.

In order to bring fiscal sanity to government, I am suggesting a poll tax on government employees, recipients of tax money, such as those who receive welfare, or business subsidies, and individuals who do not own homes.

Paying to vote may change individual voting habits.

Being fleeced through the ballot box must end.

To "By Lower Crust on May 21, 2010 11:06 AM":

A couple of excerpts from a presentation by Arthur Laffer concerning the depression:


1)
"In 1934, during the Roosevelt administration, the highest estate tax rate was raised to 60% from 45% and raised again to 70% in 1935. The highest gift tax rate was raised to 45% in 1934 from 33.5% in 1933 and raised again to 52.5% in 1935. The highest corporate tax rate was raised to 15% in 1936 with a surtax on undistributed profits up to 27%. In 1936 the highest personal income tax rate was raised yet again to 79% from 63%—a stifling 216% increase in four years. Finally, in 1937 a 1% employer and a 1% employee tax was placed on all wages up to $3,000.

Because of the number of states and their diversity I'm going to aggregate all state and local taxes and express them as a percentage of GDP. This measure of state tax policy truly understates the state and local tax contribution to the tragedy we call the Great Depression, but I'm sure the reader will get the picture. In 1929, state and local taxes were 7.2% of GDP and then rose to 8.5%, 9.7% and 12.3% for the years 1930, '31 and '32 respectively.

The damage caused by high taxation during the Great Depression is the real lesson we should learn. A government simply cannot tax a country into prosperity."

2)
"In early 1933, the federal government (not the Federal Reserve) declared a bank holiday prohibiting banks from paying out gold or dealing in foreign exchange. An executive order made it illegal for anyone to "hoard" gold and forced everyone to turn in their gold and gold certificates to the government at an exchange value of $20.67 per ounce of gold in return for paper currency and bank deposits. All gold clauses in contracts private and public were declared null and void and by the end of January 1934 the price of gold, most of which had been confiscated by the government, was raised to $35 per ounce. In other words, in less than one year the government confiscated as much gold as it could at $20.67 an ounce and then devalued the dollar in terms of gold by almost 60%. That's one helluva tax.

The 1933-34 devaluation of the dollar caused the money supply to grow by over 60% from April 1933 to March 1937, and over that same period the monetary base grew by over 35% and adjusted reserves grew by about 100%. Monetary policy was about as easy as it could get. The consumer price index from early 1933 through mid-1937 rose by about 15% in spite of double-digit unemployment. And that's the story."

Just Asking,

Your mileage may differ but I think it's pretty clear he thinks it's OK for a private business to operate as it wants, including deciding who they want to serve. That's not good.

Liked this from the WSJ - cut spending but don't take my medicare payments. Hypocrite?


Cut Spending But Not Medicare Doctor Payments

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Tea party favorite Rand Paul has rocketed to the lead ahead of Tuesday’s Republican Senate primary here on a resolute pledge to balance the federal budget and slash the size of government.

But on Thursday evening, the ophthalmologist from Bowling Green said there was one thing he would not cut: Medicare physician payments.

In fact, Paul — who says 50% of his patients are on Medicare — wants to end cuts to physician payments under a program now in place called the sustained growth rate, or SGR. “Physicians should be allowed to make a comfortable living,” he told a gathering of neighbors in the back yard of Chris and Linda Wakild, just behind the 10th hole of a golf course.

Paul warns darkly of the U.S. becoming the next Greece. He promises to submit legislation on term limits, a balanced budget constitutional amendment, then a balanced budget as his first acts as a senator. And he’s not afraid of taking controversial stances to get to balance.

Last night, he said the retirement age will almost certainly have to be raised to be eligible for Social Security, and the Department of Education should be abolished. But on Medicare, cuts will hurt doctors, but “patients will pay a price, too,” he said in an interview, predicting physician shortages if they continue.

He also said he plans to continue practicing ophthalmology if elected.

Interesting opinion piece in today's WSJ regarding health care coverage. The writer, John Goodman, is president of a group that seems to be conservative / tea party like, in their desire to reduce government, but the article explains what I believe Dan has been saying about paying a fine rather than buying insurance for employees.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703880304575236602943319816.html?mod=WSJ_hps_sections_opinion

Millions of American workers could discover that they no longer have employer-provided health insurance as ObamaCare is phased in. That's because employers are quickly discovering that it may be cheaper to pay fines to the government than to insure workers.

Just Wondering,

Your post is a little disengenuous, yes?

If you sat for the entire interview with Paul, you would have realized he was clearly making anintelectual argument based on is Libertarian views (ie, heavily based in State rights and constitutionalism). He was extremely clear that he appreciated the CRA and that he would have voted for it.

It is a shame when we will not even allow intellectual arguments without razing a person. This ties in with the SCOTUS nominee, who wrote years ago of the farce of noiminee hearings. Though I know she will particiate in the farce now that she is a nominee, she really nailed the Zeitgiest of our election process (and nominee process).

In short, don't be smart, don't be honest, don't assume anyone lietening has a brain. Just be cute with good hair!!!

Why is that?


Just asking.


---JA

[Note: for what the?, the difference with Dan D. and I on TARP is structural: I evaluate TARP on the need for it to save the entire credit system at a singular, specific point in time.

In reading Dan D., it seems he is evaluating TARP on it's stated goals of asset repurchase. I would submit that we are both right in our argument, but we are arguing different perspectives.]

----JA

Lower Crust (posted 5/19, 6:51 pm):

No, I am not bothered by the top 5% of wage earners.

I am bothered by your referencing them as “fatcats”. Your use of the term “fatcats” indicates to me that is being used by you as a pejorative (if I am wrong, on this, I apologize). If so, do you know something about them, have some specific insight, that the rest of us don’t? Is the fact that they make a lot of money somehow offensive to you? Do you see them as evil because they make more money?

You are right in that there are families out there who are having issues making ends meet (many are not even getting close). I prefer to stay away from the class warfare of blaming those who are making the ends meet.

Yes, it IS an economic crime to develop an economic system that allows HALF the earners of the country to pay ZERO federal income taxes. This is a system that will be crushed under it’s own weight. What is the right number? I don’t know, and apparently no one on this blog is willing to take a stand on one! To think that those who disagree with you, who don’t think half the earners should pay no federal income taxes, don’t care or don’t respect the others is a gross & biased subjective statement that is demeaning and disrespectful to us and has the taint of class warfare.

Anyway, I am not bothered by the top 5% for several reasons:

First and foremost, our society has true mobility. By this, I mean that approx. 30% of the people in each bracket (High, middle, and low) change brackets about every three years. This means that it is, indeed the land of opportunity and people DO take advantage of that opportunity.

Second, concentrating on “strata” is a class-warfare game which I have little to no interest in. But, if we must…….. I would at least like to share some numbers:

>>The true “middle class”, the middle 20% of income earners, pay only 4.4% of total federal income tax revenues
>>The bottom 40% as a group actually received net payments equal to 3.6% of total income tax revenues
>>This means the bottom 60% together pay less than 1% of income tax revenues.
>>10% of the country that makes more than $92,400 a year and pays 72.4% of the nation's income taxes.
>>The Bush “tax cuts” INCREASED the share of taxes paid by the top 10% from 67.8% in 2001 to 72.8% in 2005 (and growing since) per CBO
>>The top 1% of earners earned about 22% of all reported income but paid 40% of all taxes, the highest rate of taxes paid by that group in over 40 years!
>>From 1996 to 2006, the top 1% in 1996 saw an average decline in their real, after-tax incomes by 52% (see Census Bureau)
>>The top 10% of earners (estimated 40% of all reported income) paid 71% of all taxes
>>Per “INCOME MOBILITY IN THE U.S. FROM 1996 TO 2005 – report of the department of the treasury” , more than half (minimum 55 percent) moved to a different income quintile during the period of time analyzed (1996 – 2005), most taxpayers had rising incomes due to economic growth, after adjusting for inflation, median incomes increased by 24% for all taxpayers, real incomes of 2/3 of all taxpayers increased during the 1996-2005 period, median incomes of those in lower income groups increased more than median incomes of those in higher income groups, less than ½ (40 percent minimum) in the top 1% in 1996 were still in the top 1% in 2005, 25 percent those in the top 0.01% in 1996 remained in the top 0.01% in 2005.

In short, I think this group of people pay an enormous amount of taxes, their amount has increased with the Bush tax cuts, the group paying them changes somewhat regularly, and instead of envying them, and trashing them, and being further abusive of them, we should all do what we have been doing for decades and strive to change our own quintiles and enter theirs (which we have been doing successfully for decades on end)!

So, why ae people such as yourself always looking for answers only in the group that makes a lot of money? Why don't you ever look at your elected reps and ask why they oveerspend at such extraordinary levels?

Just asking.


-------JA

BLS tables show that the only categories of public sector employees that do significantly better is in the Service and Production categories.I don't know what the exact jobs are. The rest are pretty comparable. Yahoo jobs has something last week saying that education was one the 10 worst paying jobs for a college grad.

Raspberries to you on your revisionist history about Roosevelt extending the depression. Wasn’t it mostly Republicans in 35-36 yelling about cutting expenses and balancing the budget that caused FDR cut expenses prematurely and cut back on WPA/PWA jobs leading the economy to fall back down again? Sounds familiar doesn’t it? That doesn't mean that I'm excited about how big a hole we are digging ourselves into today.


To Lower Crust

Small business owners are not all of the top 5%, but represent the growth in this category over the last ten years.

I thought I would illustrate. A $200 millionaire who made a 5% net return on his assets would have $10 million income to pay taxes. A $20 millionaire would make $1 million. Those are the "targets" of taxing the wealthy.

It is not uncommon for a company to have a $1 to $10 million profit. By running these companies as LLC's or Subchapter S would put that income on the personal 1040.

Let's say a company made $1 million and taxes increase from 36% to 46%, that is another $100,000 in taxes. What will happen? One to four lower paid employees will be fired. Is that what the Democrats want?

And to your comment about cash transactions. Come on. I was talking about "buying services" (medical). If you paid cash, would a doctor give a discount? Remember, insurance companies take months to pay. How do you jump to tax evasion? Don't be cynical.

Anonymous on May 20, 2010 5:31 PM
Experienced

Or at least just negotiated a one year agreement if the union was unwilling to freeze for two years. Then they could have negotiated next year based on the actual financial climate at that time.
-------------------------------------------
That would probably work too. Normally a two year contract would be considered short, but in this economy the extra savings could have saved programs and/or teaching positions.

WT

You need to check with an economist. I still do not see how TARP helped the wealthy. They were forced to take billions of dollars and had to pay huge amounts to get out of the program. IT COST COMPANIES MONEY, THE SUCCESSFUL COMPANIES. How do you benefit if you have to pay it back?

JA was saying the same thing.

But your comments reflect this class warfare being waged by the Socialists. These big companies got billions (ignore at what terms and that once they found out, they wanted to pay it back), so the poor should get billions.

If you gave every poor person say $100,000, would they pay it back in less than one year?

Dan D.:

Let's stay focused, you're all over the place (this is why I liked your previous idea about selecting one or two topics at a time). I clearly answered your question about the "billions to the wealthy", you're not paying attention again.

When I said we had just witnessed the largest transfer of wealth EVER from the bottom up, I was referring to TARP and TARP only, nothing else. BILLIONS DID GO TO THE TOP PERCENTAGE OF AMERICANS, which not only kept them in the top percentage but was then used by them to become even richer. Who provided the TARP funds they got? You and me and everyone else on this blog. Where's MY million $ bonus? That was one helluva spread the wealth action, don't you think, from millions of the lower classes to a select few of the uber wealthy. And all just to keep the entire nation from going down the flusher.

I'm on board with JustAsking, what he said about a financial meltdown harming the middle class was why TARP was done, not for the wall st geniuses, but it was believed necessary for the good of the entire country. The point JA made is what I've been trying to get you to understand FOR MONTHS. So I'm turning this discussion over to JA, you and he can duke it out.

So JustAsking, here is what Dan D. says about TARP. The mic is yours. Go for it:

"Instead of TARP, the government should have forced Citigroup, Merrill Lynch, AIG and Goldman Sachs (yes, they were in the middle of this) go bankrupt. Wachovia and Washington Mutual failed and were absorbed with limited cost to the government. Our economy still suffers from these zombies being propped up by TARP. And no money should have gone to GM, GMAC, or Chrysler.

Now WT, pray tell what is so good about TARP? How would the failure of Citigroup or Merrill Lynch hit the middle and lower classes harder? If anything, keeping these zombies alive is extending our recession, delaying the rebound in housing prices, and is a continual drain on our economy that takes money from--lower and middle class people. TARP became a vehicle for wasteful government spending that has no economic benefit."

Have fun. I'm going to make popcorn and enjoy the show.

Dan D.

I really question that the top 5% income earners are small business owners.

It seems in your earlier reply to JQP you talk a lot about CASH PAYMENTS for services. You aren't suggesting that we all try to
subvert the income tax system are you?

State and local government employees (including teachers) have average salaries greater than people in the private sector (per BLS). And the pensions are exploding as well.

The same thing happened in Greece. Government workers were paid for 14 months of salary in 12 months (an innovative way to rip off the tax payers, can't wait till the SEIU comes up with new ways to get more money).

And the result, they are facing "austerity". The current market reflects my concern. The Obama deficits (yes, they are his, he increased them while he was bad mouthing Bush) and his socialism will kill any recovery that we have. He is following Roosevelts failure that resulting in extending the Great Depression from 1932 (already three year old at the time) until 1940 and world war II. I guess we will have to declare war on Iran to get us out of this mess!!

At least another two years of economic stagnation. Experience and annonymous are right, freeze until we know what is available. 203's contract sounnd better (not available yet!!), but these are going to be tough times.

And now the teachers unions want a $23 billion "bailout" or educaton to hire back teachers who are being cut due to budget limits. What a FARCE!!!!!

We have all taken cuts, so should the government.

what the? on May 20, 2010 12:17 PM
Chris Magee, moderator on May 20, 2010 12:59 PM
__

Thx for the info on the ARRA, (American Reinvestment and Recovery Act). the area is definately Naperville down to 119th street and then Plainfield from there, and as Chris indicated is probably a State project.

Regardless of where the money comes from (I know it actually all comes from us taxpayers), I think it is a poor choice to put sidewalks on or along route 59. I can't imagine using it or allowing kids to use it either.

Experienced

Or at least just negotiated a one year agreement if the union was unwilling to freeze for two years. Then they could have negotiated next year based on the actual financial climate at that time.

WT

The wealthy are leaving the high tax states. You're right, not all, but many.

As to Federal taxation, people could leave the country--more have been doing this.

More realisitically, as I cited before, the wealthy have a greater ability to avoid tax changes. They undertake many tax shelters to avoid paying these high taxes. I would expect a major increase in investments in tax exempt bonds since the "marginal tax rate" would increase from 36% to 46 to 49%.

And yes, my concern is that if 51% of the people don't pay taxes and get federal handouts, they will continue to vote for the program. I am not concerned because the 15% wants to make $75,000 to $100,000 per year and pay taxes. They voted for Obama, but will be back in the Republican ledger. The infamous Reagan Democrats.

I doubt they will stay with the Obama Democratic Socialist Party.

Dan D:

I'm assuming this was the reason why you were asking where I would "draw the line":

"This question is slighltly symbolic (although not evil). People substantially above these levels are pushing for no taxes. I think the Democrats want 51% not paying taxes and voting for them to tax the rich. So they can leave like they have in New York, New Jersey, Illinois and California (the PIGS of the US). Following this course is certain doom for this country.

But I was interested to hear that this non income tax paying group was 32% and has grown to 47%. But that is because of the recession. The extra 15% WANT TO PAY TAXES because they want to be working and providing for their family. They want no part of the Obama Spread the Wealth."

That sounds like a pretty cushy giveaway. I would have to hear the rational for this (I haven't looked into it yet). But I know for a fact that not all the wealthy have left NY. It's the place to be for members of the Billion $ Club. There are more than plenty still living and doing business there. Illinois doesn't have the same status as NY.

You say the rich would leave. Where would they go? Income tax is federal, it would be the same in any state. Certainly not to the EU, they'd lose 50% right off the top to the governments there. So where would they go?

"The extra 15% WANT TO PAY TAXES because they want to be working and providing for their family. They want no part of the Obama Spread the Wealth."

Oh, really? I don't believe this. People do what is in their best interests, no one in their right mind lines up to pay taxes if they can avoid doing so. Talk is cheap, actually forking over the income is something else entirely.

It would have been nice if IPSD and the IPEA could have agreed to a 2 year freeze to get the area out of the recession/depression. Or, at least limit the second year to a cost of living increase without a seniority/education step.

WT

I just don't get it. I am not sure on the numbers, but let's use $700 billion for total TARP.

Use of Tarp

Force good banks to participate.....$475 billion
GM and Chrylsler......................75 billion
AIG...................................75 billion
Bad banks (Citigroup, Merrill)........75 billion

All of the good banks paid back their money. Plus they had to pay high interest and give warrants for another $25 to $5o billion.

How did this money go to the wealthy? They did not want it and paid it back. Even Bank of America paid back Merrill's share.

We are left with the bad banks, AIG, and the union auto companies. I would agree that the money paid to AIG went to Goldman, a total mistake of Geithner (the New York Fed chairman at the time), but where else did the rich receive and KEEP TARP money? I am at a real loss.

What am I missing?

Just Wondering:

This is shaping up to be a fun election, isn't it?

I didn't watch Morning Joe (I'll try to find the interview online) but I saw Rand Paul do the same dance on Rachel Maddow last night. She asked him the same civil rights question point blank more than once and he wouldn't answer it, which indicates at least he's aware of how out of the mainstream his views are. But it clearly came across that Paul believes there should be two different sets of standards, one nondiscriminatory for the public sector and a laissez faire one for the private, where business owners are allowed to run their business anyway they like. Which reopens the door for all sorts of abuses, like discrimination in pay based on sex and race in addition to discriminating against patrons. I wonder how many of the Tea Partiers really knew that much about Paul's views or cared, aside from the fact that he's a Libertarian. On the other hand, he does support the legalization of medical marijuana, so there's an upside.

The Reps are clearly disappointed about his win, the Dems couldn't be happier. The further right the TP pushes the Rep party, the more centrist (and sane) it makes the Dems look. This is going to be fun.

Anon ONE:

I sat in the same traffic jam on 59 yesterday. The project is being funded by ARRA, American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, otherwise known as "the stimulus". I would think it would be handled like any other city project. Perhaps you'll find it under the city of Plainfield, it may be too far south to be in Naperville.

Dan D.:

Let's stay focused, you're all over the place (this is why I liked your previous idea about selecting one or two topics at a time). I clearly answered your question about the "billions to the wealthy", you're not paying attention again.

When I said we had just witnessed the largest transfer of wealth EVER from the bottom up, I was referring to TARP and TARP only, nothing else. BILLIONS DID GO TO THE TOP PERCENTAGE OF AMERICANS, which not only kept them in the top percentage but was then used by them to become even richer. Who provided the TARP funds they got? You and me and everyone else on this blog. Where's MY million $ bonus? That was one helluva spread the wealth action, don't you think, from millions of the lower classes to a select few of the uber wealthy. And all just to keep the entire nation from going down the flusher.

I'm on board with JustAsking, what he said about a financial meltdown harming the middle class was why TARP was done, not for the wall st geniuses, but it was believed necessary for the good of the entire country. The point JA made is what I've been trying to get you to understand FOR MONTHS. So I'm turning this discussion over to JA, you and he can duke it out.

So JustAsking, here is what Dan D. says about TARP. The mic is yours. Go for it:

"Instead of TARP, the government should have forced Citigroup, Merrill Lynch, AIG and Goldman Sachs (yes, they were in the middle of this) go bankrupt. Wachovia and Washington Mutual failed and were absorbed with limited cost to the government. Our economy still suffers from these zombies being propped up by TARP. And no money should have gone to GM, GMAC, or Chrysler.

Now WT, pray tell what is so good about TARP? How would the failure of Citigroup or Merrill Lynch hit the middle and lower classes harder? If anything, keeping these zombies alive is extending our recession, delaying the rebound in housing prices, and is a continual drain on our economy that takes money from--lower and middle class people. TARP became a vehicle for wasteful government spending that has no economic benefit."

Have fun. I'm going to make popcorn and enjoy the show.

JQP

Good question. The current health insurance system would penalize an individual who is not covered by insurance with higher prices and preexisting conditions.

For routine care, you can always negotiate the price or go elsewhere. For example, I did drop dental, the dentist wanted to charge me double since I did not have insurance. I told him I would only pay 90% of the insurance coverage amount in cash or find another dentist. He took my cash payment, it was better than insurance.

You will be able to do this with doctors, take a cash payment now versus a government payment in six months and numerous processing problems. I really detest these wellness benefits for free. I'll pay the $100 or so. The real cost is when you have a major operation.

So starting on 1/1/14, you pay a $750 penalty annually for not having insurance. You negotiate with doctors for routine care, that is covered. But if you have to have any major surgery, you THEN sign up for Obamacare, they have to take you, no strings attached. You complete the health care and once all the hospitalization and other matters are done, you cancel the insurance. Same coverage as today, probably a lower cost all in.

Because of preexisting conditions, you cannot do this right now. But in 2014, why would you stay on normal insurance?

This is happening in Massachusetts. In fact, the Massachusetts plan is now failing because insurance companies will not longer accept new customers because of what I outlined. They have an insurance mandate, but no insurers to sell insurance.

This will become the preferred method of insurance until they try to fix it.

Dan D wrote:

I just thought that you would acknowledge the price tag is going up. And many companies are talking about dropping coverage on 1/1/14. I am. A total no brainer. I will only pay for insurance when I need it and pay the $900 penalty. This will save me at least $15,000 per year. What is the catch?

So why are you waiting until 1/1/14? What law is forcing you to pay health coverage for your employees today?

The has been a lot of comments about the Tea Party in this blog. With TP candidate Rand Paul winning in Kentucky what do you all think of him and his views? He got clobbered this morning on Morning Joe about his dancing around the question of whether he would have voted for the Civil Rights Act. He seems to believe that government shouldn't dictate what a private business owner can do. OK but if I'm going to a restaurant I'd like to know that the Health Dept. inspected the place once and awhile. As for a private business owner being able to decide who they will serve I think that's flat unacceptable.

This is from an interview with the Courier-Journal.

Question: Would you have voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1964?

Rand Paul: I like the Civil Rights Act in the sense that it ended discrimination in all public domains and I'm all in favor of that.

Questioner: But...?

Rand Paul: (nervous laugh) You had to ask me the "but." um.. I don't like the idea of telling private business owners - I abhor racism - I think it's a bad business decision to ever exclude anybody from your restaurant. But at the same time I do believe in private ownership. But I think there should be absolutely no discrimination on anything that gets any public funding and that's most of what the Civil Rights Act was about to my mind.


Would any of you vote for him if you could?

I sat in a pretty long line of traffic on route 59 from 135th street to 104th because sidewalks are being installed along the road. Coming North there is a sign that indicates the construction is part of the rebuild plan for America (or something like that).

If this sign is about re-doing intersections or the road then I think it's ok, but if these funds are being used to put a sidewalk along route 59 I don't agree. The sidewalk path being cut winds along 59 and at times is just 5' off the road. Are people really going to use this sidewalk next to 59? Are people going to allow their kids to use it? Traffic in this area is routinely 45 - 50 mph and higher, if the funds are being used for the sidewalk it seems they could have found better uses for the money.

Does anyone know the details of this construction project on 59? I don't believe it is a city project because it didn't show up on their web site.

WT
Four comments about TARP, again.

1. Its express purpose was to buy "troubled assets" (the TA of TARP) from financial institutions. In the first year, NOT ONE $ OF TROUBLE ASSETS PURCHASED. Geithner was trying to figure out how to do this last fall. By its nature, a total fraud.

2. Banks were forced to take TARP so that the identiy of the failing banks would not be known. I know a couple of senior executives at a couple of banks who relayed the story (because I told them they should reject the money). And the TARP loans costed these banks dearly, a total scam to the shareholders of these well capitalized banks (another spread the wealth program--started by Bush).

3. Instead of TARP, the government should have forced Citigroup, Merrill Lynch, AIG and Goldman Sachs (yes, they were in the middle of this) go bankrupt. Wachovia and Washington Mutual failed and were absorbed with limited cost to the government. Our economy still suffers from these zombies being propped up by TARP. And no money should have gone to GM, GMAC, or Chrysler.

4. The financial meltdown was cured by the actions of the Fed, pumping money into the economy and temporarily replacing inter bank lending (since banks could not trust their counterparties since the government tried to hide the failiing banks). TARP was a joke. IF it was such a great program, why did all of the solid banks pay it back as fast as possible?

Now WT, pray tell what is so good about TARP? How would the failure of Citigroup or Merrill Lynch hit the middle and lower classes harder? If anything, keeping these zombies alive is extending our recession, delaying the rebound in housing prices, and is a continual drain on our economy that takes money from--lower and middle class people. TARP became a vehicle for wasteful government spending that has no economic benefit.

And not to be sarcastic, how many economics and finance courses or readings do you have? Most people I encounter express frustration in TARP and the government actions because they don't understand. On one hand, it is hard to understand because the justification of the program was a frauc (see 1 above), but it also does not make economic sense.

Find one quote that provides a rational support of TARP.

I will hit on points from WT and the next two posts.

1. The Conservative/Progressive quote

First, let's take religion out of this. It distorts the comment. And I do not think "the rich and powerful got that way because they deserve to be, that society owes its prosperity to the prosperous". They were fortunate, they were persistent, any or all of the above.

But the rest of the quote sums up the difference well. Granting tax breaks (I believe this is what you call "billions to the rich"--the question you did not answer) to this group from 80% tax rates to 28% Ronald Reagan rates did help build out economy. I think it took full effect by the Clinton years.

Giving poor people money as you note as the Progressive view and promoted by Robert Reich WILL NOT have the same effect. Sounds good, feels good, will not work. A pure economic reality (not religious, not political).

Now will increasing the tax rate from 36% to 39.6% cripple the economy? It will not revert to the negative impact when taxes were 80%. But remember, deductions are being limited (effectively another 3% increase) and the Obamacare tax is another 3.6%. To taxes are not going up 3%, but rather from 36% to 46% or almost 30%. Or compared to the wonder years from Reagan, they are doubling. Economically, that will restrict growth. Taking this money from the rich and giving it to the poor will not establish one new job, just a zero sum game.

And increasing capital gains from 15% to 46% is even worst. Not the way to climb out of a recession.

2. TARP

Just asking answered the question. The net cost will be closer to $80 billion and most of that is the auto companies (JA, I think TARP funded at least some of the buyout). And notice how the contracts that sank the auto companies are still in effect. A first for bankruptcy. Another OBAMA failure.

3. Drawing the line

Totally agree that people at or below the poverty line should not pay income taxes. I would go as far as 150 to 200% of the poverty line. I bet you would be good with these.

This question is slighltly symbolic (although not evil). People substantially above these levels are pushing for no taxes. I think the Democrats want 51% not paying taxes and voting for them to tax the rich. So they can leave like they have in New York, New Jersey, Illinois and California (the PIGS of the US). Following this course is certain doom for this country.

But I was interested to hear that this non income tax paying group was 32% and has grown to 47%. But that is because of the recession. The extra 15% WANT TO PAY TAXES because they want to be working and providing for their family. They want no part of the Obama Spread the Wealth.

If most people were working, we would have a strong economy, like in the late 990's, like in 2003 to 2006. Instead of trashing these periods, let's return to them.

4. Obamacare

Of course you do not want to hear about it. Now that people are discovering what was in the plan, they are not liking it, Pelosci was wrong.

I just thought that you would acknowledge the price tag is going up. And many companies are talking about dropping coverage on 1/1/14. I am. A total no brainer. I will only pay for insurance when I need it and pay the $900 penalty. This will save me at least $15,000 per year. What is the catch?

5. The top 5%

To Lower Crust

My only concern on this is that the tax laws have changed in the last ten years. Those rich are small business owners that converte their companies to Subchaper S and LLC to eliminate double taxation. So you see higher salaries, but much of this is a shift and not really an increase in wealthy. Unless you advocate for small businesses to pay double taxes.

JA:

"Why is it people oft try to paint a picture of the alleged "wealthy" geting away with something, yet usually they are void of any data to support their idealogy?"

Look in a mirror and answer it yourself.

And regarding TARP, you're preaching to the choir here. I realized that TARP saved the middle class. Many others on here seriously feel TARP should not have been done at all, that "the complete breakdown of the credit system" should have been allowed to happen. All these folks don't seem to grasp that a financial meltdown would have hit the non-rich MUCH harder and longer. Look at what the Tea Party is currently doing, targeting and removing incumbents that supported the bail out. They obviously don't think TARP did anything for them. And they certainly don't care that most of it has/will get paid back. Go enlighten them.

All the same, the fact still remains the money was given to the already wealthy to bail their companies out of trouble. And they used these loans to reward themselves very handsomely for the trouble of screwing up. I didn't get a million $ bonus. Did you?

Go review the last 18 months of history for your "data". I'm not interested in arguing whether or not the earth is round.

Just asking,

Aren't you just a tiny bit bothered by the fact that the truly fat cats - top 5% - have doubled their share of the national income in the last decade or so, reaching levels not seen since the 20's?

The top 10% has about half this nations income, nice if your there but let's face it most of us - 90%!! aren't. Is all this because they are that much smarter or more needed? I doubt it.

There are a lot of good decent people who work hard every day week in and week out but can't really make it with a family to support. Is it such a crime that they pay less or no income taxes? I don't think so. But today, too many people don't care about or respect them it seems.



Why is it people oft try to paint a picture of the alleged "wealthy" geting away with something, yet usually they are void of any data to support thier idealogy?

Case in point is what the?, above.

Apparently she is the last progressive standing that doesn't understand that very little of the stimulus has been spent, so it really didn't "go" to anyone yet!

Also as apparently, she has no practical understanding of economics as she seems void of an awareness that the TARP "save" affected every single person, rich or otherwise. The complete breakdown of the credit system would have hit the "non-rich" MUCH harder and much longe ----- this is basic social economics.

She conveniently "forgets" that almost ALL the TARP money (outside of AIG) has been paid back with interest. Also, GM did NOT get TARP $$$ and is years from payback, Chrysler has laready declared they will pay back less than half, and ALL of the Car money went to Obama's beloved Unions, not the "wealthy" she so diligently trashes.

Someone asked the question many pages back for al of us to out uop or shut up on taxes ----- so where are all of your "lines in the sand"? on them?

What would be YOUR cutoffs for paying federal income taxes?

Just asking.

And I again ask, "Why is it people oft try to paint a picture of the alleged "wealthy" geting away with something, yet usually they are void of any data to support their idealogy?"

Just asking.

---JA

Sorry, Anony-man, but I think scripture interpretation is fascinating stuff. Check back later, tho, it's probably winding down.

Dan D:

I can see where you would take offense at my saying that what the author was saying about conservative Christians sounded like you, but I'm sorry to say, IT DID. Many of the things Lux said about the belief system of CC's I have heard come from you on this blog multiple times, esp. the stuff about the poor being leeches on society and lazy. That's why I brought it forward, the similar verbiage and attitude. And I'm not singling you out, I've heard it from many other CC's both here and in Texas. I don't intend this as a personal attack so don't take it as such, but it appears to me that many present day conservatives have devolved the message of the scriptures into something mean and small of spirit, and Jesus' teachings are anything but.

Do you agree with this statement (and don't duck it using the atheist excuse, let's rise above such maneuvering):

"Conservatives believe that the rich and powerful got that way because they deserve to be, that society owes its prosperity to the prosperous, and that government's job when they have to make choices is to side with those businesspeople who are doing well, because all good things trickle down from them. Progressives, on the other hand, believe it is the poor and those who are ill-treated who need the most help from their government, and that prosperity comes from all of us -- the worker as well as the employer, the consumer as well as the seller, the struggling entrepreneur trying to make it as well as the wealthy who already have.

Conservative Christians' primary argument regarding Jesus and politics is that all he cared about was spiritual matters and an individual's relationship with God. As a result, they say, all those references from Jesus about helping the poor relate only to private charity, not to society as a whole. Their belief is that Jesus, and the New Testament in general, is focused on one thing and one thing only: how do people get into heaven."

From my experiences with CCs, I'd say this is true. Do you agree or disagree with this?

TARP (aka "the bailout") cost 700 billion. That's billions, isn't it? And it all went to the wealthy on Wall St and in the auto industry, didn't it? The stimulus went to everyone else.

"And I know you resist, but where do you draw the line where people should not pay taxes or for that matter, get some of Obama's "spread the wealth"? I know millionaires who feel poor."

Exactly. This is why drawing any kind of "line" is relative. No matter where you set it, there will be equal numbers of people on both sides complaining that it's either too much or not enough. I have said in the past, however, that people who are at or below what we consider poverty level should be exempt from INCOME taxes. They will still pay all other forms of taxes. But since millionaires can feel poor, isn't poverty level just another arbitrary number?

I'm not being quiet about Obamacare, I've simply lost all interest in it and haven't been following it. I don't hear or see much about it anymore, either.

And you're probably right about my tone. I may not agree with a lot of your views, but you tolerate a lot from me and you do deserve more respect. I'll make sure you get it from now on.

Are you two still going at this?
WT, DanDy, take a walk or something. Please? I realize that you both must enjoy this, but it's getting kind of painful to drop in and check on. You're never going to convince the other, so you're just sniping. Give it up, and wait to see if thee is a better thread coming down the road, please.
Then, you can start over again on a new topic, and i won't devolve to this weirdness for a few days.

In other words, wt, you have no medical degree. You are part of the laity, as supposedly being married to a doctor does not place you in the medical profession.

WT

Your tone was very fine. But you couldn't bring yourself to say that Maybe, just maybe, when you reference an article that paints conservative Christians as hypocrites (even though you left the direct quote out) and say that "This is Dan" that this was not a personal attack. Maybe you don't know how you come accross. And they later you cheered as someone made a more disparaging remark to/about me.

I think you have seen my point and that is why you were very civil in you last post. But go back and read through your "demeanor" on a couple, very personal, not constructive.

But to your points, I think a person who does not believe in God is an aetheist, that is the definition. One who does not believe the concept of God is possible is agnostic.

And clarify. You said that BILLIONS were given to the wealthy. Where? This is a new one to me.

And I know you resist, but where do you draw the line where people should not pay taxes or for that matter, get some of Obama's "spread the wealth"? I know millionaires who feel poor.

You were pretty quiet about Obamacare going over the TRILLION mark. Just as I said, the OMB scoring is a joke.

Dan D:

I thought you would have read my responses to Anon ONE on this. My response on the hypocrite remark was "not all conservative Christians are hypocrites." You had to go to the article to find the "hypocrite" statement, as I intentionally left it out because it was not only inflammatory but because I don't agree with it.

Also, the author said he wasn't a practicing Christian. He didn't say he was an atheist. His exact words were: "I decided about four decades ago that since there was no way for sure about the nature of God or the soul or all that metaphysical stuff, I wasn't going to spend much time thinking, caring, or worrying about it. If that sends one to hell, at least I'll be there with a lot of my favorite people. But I still have the social and moral teaching I learned from my upbringing embedded in me as a core part of my value system, and I still know my Bible pretty well."

He says Christian social and moral teachings are still a core part of his value system. I don't consider that an atheist. An atheist is someone who doesn't believe in God. No where did the author state this. But if you want to call him an atheist, fine, but you're doing a disservice to use that as an excuse to dismiss his point of view. Like I said to Anon ONE, many Biblical scholars are not practicing Christians, but that doesn't make them atheists, nor does it invalidate their knowledge or understanding of the scriptures.

Besides, if the "atheist" label wasn't available to dismiss him, the "Progressive" label would have been. And if he hadn't identified himself as a Progressive, you would have dismissed him as a "liberal", and if not that, then you would have dismissed the article because it appeared in the Huff Post, and on and on down the list until you found something that worked. I've seen this done by many bloggers here to dismiss things they don't want to acknowledge. You can't have an open mind if you refuse to consider opposing viewpoints.

I know what you're saying about "conservative, religious people who were the most ruthless in business." I've run into them, too. I'm always surprised when I do, because I don't expect ruthlessness from people who live religious lifestyles. Godliness and ruthlessness don't seem compatible. The pray to win thing is funny, I've never heard that expressions, except where it applies to football games. Who knows, maybe they feel their ruthlessness is ok because they have God on their side? The God I was raised to know wouldn't appreciate being used in this way.

You said "I do recall that giving money to the state is not part of any religious situation. Instead, as the Bible stated, "give unto Ceasar what is Ceasars". Exactly! Jesus refused to talk about it, he did not want to get involved in the earthly affairs of taxation. It was beneath him. So why would a deity so disinterested and distainful of earthly riches "grant" us wealth? This is in direct conflict with Jesus' statements about the poor inheriting the Kingdom of God and how hard it is for the rich to get into heaven. So why would he grant us something he thought might corrupt us and lessen our changes of receiving everlasting life? I doesn't make sense to me. But I do agree that we are stewards of resources, of the earth, of each other, etc.

I think God gives us rewards and blessings, but these don't have to take the form of money.

But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness. 1 Timothy 6:9-11

I don't see "ruthlessness" fitting in there.

Re: redistribution of wealth. We've talked of this before. Taxes are what we pay to maintain a society, if we want roads and libraries and police protection and running water, we gotta pay them. If some of this goes to the poor, I don't care. Jesus was unequivocal in his instructions that we were to aid the poor among us, and doing this through taxes is a way of accomplishing this. Besides, haven't we seen the biggest redistribution of wealth EVER in this country come from the bottom up? Billions of taxpayer dollars were given to the wealthiest among us, while many of the people who provided those taxes lost jobs, income, housing, etc. I know you didn't approve of the bailout, but still it was deemed necessary. Why isn't redistribution from the top down ok when necessary?

There is no set line that can be drawn for this. The line depends on the situation and the need. Whole Foods, Neiman Marcus and Hawaii are not needs, so stop going there.

Ken needs to learn the definition of layperson. Hint: see "laity".

Wt

If you would only read your comments before you post them. You categorize me as a "conservative Christian" and then compare me to an article (written by an aetheist) that says conservative Christians are really not Christians and are big time hypocrites. I take that as a personal attack. Trying to group me into this new category of "evil conservative Christians." And you went further promoting that liberals were better Christians than these conservative types.

But if you meant this all as a potential criticism, then fine. I think your tone and order should be reordered rather than joyfully saying that all "conservative Christians" are essentially hypocrites. So if I took the essence of your comments wrong, I accept your clarification.

I am busy, but will address the issues of wealth. I feel, pursuant to my #1 tenant, that he does decide who gets what. But he also expects us to be strong stewards of our wealth. So Osteen is correct, that we are rewarded proportionately, not that Christians get the "most". More importantly, what we do with our money is also important. That we are stewards.

Now I have not listended to Osteen, so I do not know what he has said. But all of this gets to be very confusing since the government has started the nanny state. I do recall that giving money to the state is not part of any religious situation. Instead, as the Bible stated, "give unto Ceasar what is Ceasars". The only problem with that is in an agrian society, people could tangibly see what they produce. No longer true in our more complex society where money becomes what we produce.

On a personal level, I have confronted "conservative, religious people" who were the most ruthless in business. There were rumors they prayed to win. I think that is off base, but as long as no laws are broken, people have the freedom to their opinion.

But this whole religion thing has sidetracked the basic issues discussed on this post. The redistribution of wealth. Where do you draw the line?

Dan D:

How do you categorize your criticism of my religious beliefs with no knowledge of what they are, what I do, and based solely on an article from an aetheist? A political issue?

With no knowledge of what they are? You TOLD me what your beliefs are, right here:

"As to religion, I am not part of the description you outlined. My beliefs are very simple.

1. God put us on the world and decides what skills, wealth, and rewards we get.

2. As part of his grand plan, we are stewards. We are to take an active role in allocating resources. This includes being productive, honest citizens. It includes providing for you and your family. It includes making contributions. My game plan is to provide for myself and leave the world with a dollar in my bank account.

3. People who cannot contribute due to physical and mental limitations needed to be provided for."

I have no idea what your religion is, and it doesn't matter. I can guess based on info you've previously given me. Your minister is a she, so I could guess Lutheran or Episcopalian. But it's Christian-based, that's all that matters. And you identify yourself as a conservative, so that does make you a conservative Christian. And the Lux article was addressing conservative Christians in general, not a specific religion.

And it's annoying how you interpret my QUESTIONS as criticism. You said you believed God grants wealth. I explained why I don't believe so, and I was never taught that God grants wealth. But I know many present day conservative churches do teach this. Have you ever heard of Joel Osteen, televangelist and evangelical Christian pastor, and his mega Lakewood Church in Texas? He addresses the issue of money a lot. Here are two quotes that tell you where he's coming from:

God wants us to prosper financially, to have plenty of money, to fulfill the destiny He has laid out for us.

It's God's will for you to live in prosperity instead of poverty. It's God's will for you to pay your bills and not be in debt.

http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/j/joel_osteen_2.html

Really? REALLY? Where is he getting this stuff? Did God tell him this directly? This, among many other messages, has made his church enormously successful. Who wouldn't want to hear a rational for greed, for spending your life pursuing riches? This gospel a la Osteen is in direct conflict with Jesus's teachings about the poor inheriting the Kingdom of God and his disdain for the wealthy. Just google Joel Osteen or his church for more info, but his is a very feel good, positive, kind of New Age living up to your potential in Christ sort of message. Which isn't all bad, but I find his teachings on wealth disturbing. To say God wants us to have money, I think, is bastardizing the gospel.

I explained my position on this previously. I have asked you to explain why you think God gives us wealth. This is not criticism, it's discussing beliefs.

JA,

The question that everyone should be asking is "what value does the Federal Government add if any".

==============================================================
By JustAsking on May 14, 2010 12:29 PM

Why is it our politicians think that just because we are stupid enough to blindly keep electing them, they no longer even have to bother to do the work necessary to at least minimally get the job done?

To Anonymous on May 16, 2010 9:56 AM

YOU need to get the facts straight. I will say it once again.

The east side of Naperville (the incorporated portion of Naperville) is served not by the Naperville Fire Department as primary (first) responder, but by the Lisle Woodridge Fire District. The Naperville Fire Chief, NOT ME, said that this arrangement SAVED Naperville Taxpayers (again, not Lisle Woodridge Fire District) almost $2 million per year.

How much does Naperville pay Lisle Woodridge for this service--ZERO. I asked the fire chief of LW Fire District if there were any offsetting benefits provided by Naperville. NONE.

If we had an elected board in Lisle Woodridge, they should demand some payment from Naperville (half??? the cost) or they should cancel the agreement and let Naperville build another fire house on the east side and man it for the cost the Naperville Fire Chief was concerned about.

And yes, I know I pay Lisle Woodridge Fire District property taxes. All I am suggesting is that this inequity be fixed because the City of Naperville and its taxpayers are "freeloading" at our expense.

Check the facts. Find out about the "Auto response pact", not the "mutual aid packt" Also, remember the City of Naperville does not like to talk about this (would you if you were getting a $2 million gift) and Fire Chief Freeman in Lisle (his attitude is similar to those Michigan paramilitary guys) and his crony board (go as the Mayor of Woodridge his opinion about the Lisle Woodridge Fire Department) don't want to admit they have dropped the ball on this one. In fact, they could proably eliminate at least one station, but don't do so because of this arrangement. It's called dynasty building for their egos.

Anonymous 9:56am, if Dan lives in unincorporated Naperville, he pays a lot of Naperville taxes, including school and park district, the two biggest items on a tax bill. There is also a lot more to boundary laws than your simple explanation. You should follow your own advice, and get all the facts before you complain.

Wt brags about being raised in California, where everything is 'free'. Of course, she makes no mention that those policies have bankrupted California.

You complain about "laypeople", wt. What is your medical degree?

Dan d.

The Ambulances have been down for less than a week. At some point the City decided we NEEDED ambulances located at various points in the City to provide us adequate service. Now certain parts of the city no longer get the same service.

I don't know if anyone has died but using that to see if the 'reductions' are successful is not wise. It is my understanding that response times, not 'deaths' are used to place ambulances and fire equipment.

Perhaps if we used deaths we could reduce the fire houses to 1 this week. Then 8 next week. Then maybe 6 after that.

Just send the Fire Department the names and addresses of the people who will have emergencies and include the time that they will be having those emergencies. Then we could properly spread our resources.

Or we could just use the standards that we (and all the cities and villages around us) have been using for years to position our resources.

Dan,
You live in "unincorporated area of Naperville." That means you are not in the city of Naperville, you do not receive any Naperville services AND do not pay any Naperville taxes. You live in an area that the POST OFFICE gave you a name based on what post office would handle your mail. You don't and aren't a part of Naperville's tax base. YOU DO PAY FOR LISLE-WOODRIDGE FIRE SERVICE ON YOUR TAX BILL. YOU ARE NOT GETTING FREE FIRE SERVICE FROM LISLE. Tax bills are coming out... take a good look at your tax bill, you will see a line for the Lisle-Woodridge Fire Distist.

Most of the county was once unincorporated area and was protected by area fire protect districts. These districts (like our school districts) are NOT under the control of any city government. They are under their own controlling, voted or county board appointed, board of trustees.

Further, cities have boundery agreements and to annex to a city (like your area) takes an agreement re-write approved by both city boards. LISLE DID NOT AGREE TO THE CHANGE IN FUTURE BOUNDARY AGREEMENTS.

If you are going to complain about sometime, get all the facts first.....

WT

How do you categorize your criticism of my religious beliefs with no knowledge of what they are, what I do, and based solely on an article from an aetheist? A political issue?

FYI:

Looking for a bigger paycheck? If you’re not in the medical industry, you’re pretty much out of luck.

Health care jobs, ranging from dentists to surgeons, dominate the list of the 20 highest paying jobs, but there are some other professions sprinkled in.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/30644766/Highest_Paying_Jobs_2010?slide=1

Like I said, Dan, hands-on medical care is hard to outsource.

Dan D:

Forgot: "personnel attacks"? Where? Show me one. Seriously, show me one personal attack in my last post to you.

You may be running out of excuses, but this one is redundant.

Dan D:

I'm baaaaaack!!

Don't run away, Dan! I am NOT criticizing your religious beliefs. You put them out there. I am questioning you about them and giving you mine. We are both Christians, yet our Christian attitudes are so different. I'd like to know how this came about.

You said "I purposely defined poor as those who cannon help themselves due to medical or mental/emotional issues." Why? Jesus didn't define "poor" this way. I don't define "poor" this way. People can fall onto hard times for a variety of reasons not having to do with medical or mental/emotional issues. Why do you purposely define "poor" this way? Is it because you think those who are poor for reasons other than the ones you outline have only themselves to blame, and therefore are not worthy of help? I'm just asking if you came to this conclusion on your own, or does your church and it's other members support this belief also?

You keep coming back to the "private charity" thing. You believe all charity should be channeled through the private sector, that it should not be government's role to provide for the starving, homeless, sick, etc., members of it's country. Dan, if private charities alone did a sufficient job of providing for the poor, we wouldn't have needed government to step in in the first place. Government stepped in back in the 60's (and during the Depression, with SS) BECAUSE PRIVATE CHARITIES ALONE CLEARLY WEREN'T CUTTING IT. Private charities provided options for some, but not everyone. Why can't you discuss this honestly? Why do you always have to go into the 'redistribution of wealth' thing and sending the poor to shop at Neiman Marcus and Hawaii and junk? We're talking food stamps here, not Hawaiian vacations. Why can't you discuss this without retreating into conservative talking points?

"I grew up in a community with an extensive public health system. Total free health."

Yes, I remember you talking about this previously. You told me about how your parents told you something about looking for kids with missing toes at the public pool, that they were the public health kids. Sounds like your parents were very fearful of public health, and they clearly passed this irrational fear along to you.

Dude, I grew up in southern California, about as liberal and free public anything as you can get. We had free public health, free vaccinations, free health screenings, free TB tests, the whole nine yards. I STILL HAVE ALL MY TOES, and they're cute, healthy little toes, I might add.

This fear of government health care and aid being inferior to the private sector is just that, an irrational fear. And here's something else you need to understand about our parent's generation: anything given away free by the government was considered public aid, and there was a BIG STIGMA among the WWII generation about accepting public aid. I know, I heard it from my parents. Being on government aid was talked about in hushed tones, like having cancer.

When I was in elementary school, I had school mates whose parents would let them go hungry, let them stay home from school because they didn't have clean clothes to wear and had no money for the laundromat, let them go without basic necessities, all rather than accept a cent of welfare or food stamp money because of the stigma of being considered "losers". I'm proud, too, but I would NEVER let my children go hungry because of my pride.

I feel you are reacting just like the Texas nuke 'em preacher. When you can't answer the tough questions, you just retreat into friendly territory and don't deal with it. This was YOUR idea after all, picking out one or two issues and discussing them. I'm disappointed to see you cut and run before we even get started.

"Medical services are being transferred overseas." This is not a newsflash. This has been going on in some areas for a long time. For instance, in vitro fertilization is a booming overseas industry, Americans having fertility problems can get treated in India for a fraction of the cost as in the U.S. So what? Try transferring a patient with acute appendicitis, a bleeding ulcer, congestive heart failure, a pulmonary embolism, stroke, broken bones or hundreds of other acute conditions overseas for treatment. There's a helluva lot more to medicine than hip replacements. Laypeople. Geez.

WT

Forgot one comment. Medical services are being transferred overseas. You can get advanced orthopedic surgery (Hip replacements per CBS--Main STream media--60 Minutes) for 25% of the cost including a recuperation period in a 5 STar resort. And that includes air fare.

JQP

After all of your comments that ambulance service could not be reduced on these pages, the City did it. How many people died in t he first three weeks of this program? Is the Fire Chief reckless?

And regarding the shifting of fire protection to Lisle, I live in an unincorporated area of Naperville that is serve by the Lisle Woodridge Fire Department. When we petitioned to annex to Naperville ten years ago (by the way, the petition was rejected sinc the value of our homes were too high and we would not be using Naperville sewers--so is the official symbol of Naperville a toilet?), there was one other opposition. The Naperville Fire chief. If we did annext to Napervill, we would have been switched to the Naperville Fire Department. There were concerns of being able to respond timely (the distance from the closest Naperville Fire House was closer in road distance as any LW Fire house), a rouse.

The real ooncern of the Naperville Chief? The entire east side of Naperville primary fire coverage was Lisle Woodridge AT NO COST.

If this arrangement would be cancelled, Naperville would have to spend another $1.5 million in salaries plus a station to cover the east side. This latest plan puts only a small dent in this subsidy.

Be careful when you complain!!

WT

I knew you would criticisize my religious belief because I did not include "redistribution of wealth" as one of its key tenants. I purposely defined poor as those who cannon help themselves due to medical or mental/emotional issues.

In the "private sector" charity area, there are other programs. Besides money (my church has a charity fund that is given to the minister to help people in her (get that, her) own discretion. I cannot determine who needs money, that is not my job. I rely on those institutions (particularly religious--did you ever hear of an aetheist program to help the poor). In addition, I support organizations that distribute used clothing and stock food pantries.

I guess the liberals feel that the poor should be allowed to shop at Whole Foods and not have to reveal that they are poor. They should be able to shop at Nieman Marcus instead of the thrift shop.

And I do believe that the Judeo-Christian society that we adopted from Europe envisioned all able people working and providing for themselves with no provision for "wealth transfer" or "redistribution." When existing institutions did not provide new innovations to the masses, government stepped in to do so. That is why we had county hospitals and clinics.

But I grew up in a community with an extensive public health system (even to this day). Total free health. But most people did not use it, opting instead for more pleasant private options. If you were given a choice of going to a private hospital or Cook County hospital, how many people choose County (does everyone recall the tradgecy of STeve Dahls and Garry Meyer's sidekick Marcus, who had a tonsil issue. Based on his radio show, he had insurance to go to any hospital. But all of his family and neighbors who did not have insurance, went to Cook County. He died having his tonsis removed!! And Cook County taxpayers paid millions due to malpractice.

So we have always had options. However, we have a core group of people (as Robert Reich stated on CNBC, Illinois is a "POOR" state) that have simply not participated in the economic wonder of this country. We have programs that attempt to allow them to survive, but is that the real answer? Even leaders in poor communities are revolting against the government. Look at Reverand Meeks, let poor children go to private schools instead of being destroyed in the union monopoly government programs. Like that, an extreme Liberal taking a conservative position to solve his problem.

But it is time to close this discussion. I will acknowledge that my views are different than WT. I am resenting that instead of agreeing that we disagree, that WT and some others have reverted to personal attacks including this last round on religion. If that is the only way to win an argument, then I will not play ball. I don't always agree with Rush or Hannity, but I feel that the right is out of place by attacking them rather than having a spirited debate.

Should we bring back duels?

JA,

The question that everyone should be asking is "what value does the Federal Government add if any".

==============================================================
By JustAsking on May 14, 2010 12:29 PM

Why is it our politicians think that just because we are stupid enough to blindly keep electing them, they no longer even have to bother to do the work necessary to at least minimally get the job done?

They're BOTH Church of Christ, both pastors, both use inflammatory rhetoric. Is Rev. Wright a CONSERVATIVE? (gasp!!)

_____________

Wt?,
LOL. You are on to something (send in the black helicopters) If we play this out then that "could" mean that Obama is/was? a member of a Conservative Christian group - making him (drumroll) a conservative christian himself? Who knew?

Can anyone answer me this:

Why is it that everytime I turn on the television, there is another report of the healthcare bill's costs rising and rising?


The latest CBO has it at over one trillion for the first decade (which is the least expensive time period).


Is this what is meant by "inflation", or were we just outright lied to when the Congress was working up (I use the term "work" loosely, since they didn't even read the bill) to pass the bill?

Did the Republicans (gasp!) at the big summit ended up being right on costs, and that they were being hidden from us?


Just asking.

----JA

Why is it our politicians think that just because we are stupid enough to blindly keep electing them, they no longer even have to bother to do the work necessary to at least minimally get the job done?

Case in point: the alarm at the Immigration bill in Az. It is a simple bill, available for the reading. It is a massive 10 pages. Nowhere does it say the police can jam people because of their skin color or religion, etc. In fact, it simply verifiesup the existing laws in the U.S., but takes a superior role by a sState because the Fed is failing at enforcing the law (as are several cities).

Yet, we find out yesterday that our esteemed AG, Eric Holder, the man originally incapable of acknowledging terrorists exist and currently unable to verbalize the words "radical islamism", was able to develop an opinion and an elitist attack the bill, it's signers, and the entire State of Az. without even having to do the basic work of even reading the 10 pages!

Another case in point: The Healthcare bill. Every single Congressional member originally said they had not read it, but they would/did approve it (or not!) The Speaker said she would find out what was in it after it was passed! The President admitted to not having read it, but without being passed life would end as we knw it in America.

So I ask again (from a different direction): Why is it we stupidly (regardless of party affiliation) put up with electing and re-electing people who won't even do the basic work involved with the VERY HIGH PAYING JOBS we give them?

Just asking.


-----JA

Why is it when discussing idealogical issues, such as, say, charity, many never actually get data before they determine their opinion?

Does anyone have any clue of the amount of charity given by Americans (and I don';t mean our government, which is expansive --- Imean the individual citizens)?

Of the amount given by the alleged "these kind of "Christian conservatives" (I say alleged because I do not make the assumption that the person was a conservative --- I just have what the?'s implication for it!) that are being disparaged, above?

Does anyone have an idea of the amount of charity given by religious organizations, Christian ones in particular?

Just Asking.


-----JA

I guess that besides not reading the health care bill signed into law, Obama administration members feel that reading other laws is a waste of time too. Attorney General Eric Holder admitted at a congressional hearing that he has not bothered to read the Arizona law that he has threatened to challenge in court. You would think that a man in his position would read a 10 page law before lashing out against it. I'd say I'm surprised, but nothing that happens in Washington surprises me any more.

What the ???? That is an amazing story about the Pastor in Texas - I just wish that was the only place it existed. Truthfully, it is that sort of disconnect and anger that scares me so much from the most militant of conservatives, and perhaps even more sadly, so many of them wrap themselves up in religion in order to justify their narrow minded positions.

Someone simply being a conservative is great, a ok with me, we often need more than one side of issues to be explored in order to make intelligent choices, and some conservative principles definitely have merit. It is however those who harbor so much anger, fear, and sometimes downright hatred that I simply can't respect. I wish I saw less of it here on this blog - and I wish I also saw a few more people who came from a place of generosity and kindness. Sadly, so often these days, and maybe this is just the anger some feel toward Obama being elected, but what I see and hear is "I've got mine - I earned it, and I don't care one bit about anyone or anything else." It's all about winning ... winning an election, winning an argument, hurting the other guy so you can say you were right. It's really kindergarten stuff, but it seems the rule and not the exception at this point.

I don't know about you, but I have never heard anyone, Conservative, Liberal, or anywhere in between suggest that we need to spend more money on programs for the lazy and unmotivated. Given the discussions here sometimes, you would think that was somehow the goal of everyone who doesn't approach social conscience from a hard core Conservative point of view. If anyone here can truly find a way, come up with some test, that proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that someone applying for unemployment, or someone in need of health care who doesn't have insurance is or isn't "deserving" of our help - then I'd sign up in a minute to only help those who are willing to work but simply down on their luck. Unfortunately, it isn't always so clear who is truly in need and who just hasn't tried hard enough yet. Oversight of any program designed to benefit the underprivileged is essential - but to even consider turning our backs on those truly in need of help in order to "punish" those who may not be entitled is not the right solution.

Anon ONE:

I just caught on to something: Jeremiah Wright, Pastor of the Trinity United CHURCH OF CHRIST. My nuke 'em first and ask questions later acquaintance: Pastor, somewhere in Texas CHURCH OF CHRIST. Could it be . . . do you think . . . there's a connection? They're BOTH Church of Christ, both pastors, both use inflammatory rhetoric. Is Rev. Wright a CONSERVATIVE? (gasp!!)

Anon ONE:

You have succeeded in making me feel like a first class douche bag. And that's not easy to do.

I know the blanket statement thing is a sticking point with you, you generally object when anyone does this. But I think perhaps you're a tad too touchy about it, you see blanket statements where they're not really intended. Yes, I did say "When someone has a lot of wealth, I have heard conservatives call this "being blessed", and it's true. I HAVE heard conservatives say this. But I did not say ALL conservatives, nor did I mean ALL conservatives. I do not consider what I said a blanket statement.

"WT. had I (or any other conservative) posted snippets from a story chastising liberals without a link or author identification you would have jumped all over it." No, I would not have. I have never given author identification along with an article, nor have I seen anyone else do this. People generally look this stuff up on their own if they're interested. And posting snippets is accepted practice, plus I clearly stated I was doing this. I only pasted what was relevant to the point I was trying to make, nothing else. This is also accepted practice. My big transgression in your view was not posting a direct link. My bad. I thought the source and location was sufficient, I really didn't think anyone--esp. not Dan--would be interested. Next time, if someone leaves out a link, just ask.

And lastly, I don't feel you called me out on posting an article from a self-proclaimed liberal. I don't think he's a liberal, by the way. He identifies himself as a Progressive, which to many here is worse. You can't call someone "out" on something they've already made public knowledge, so I don't understand your reasoning on this.

It seems to me that the conservative movement has morphed the gospel into a very different message than what it explicitly says. This is why I usually don't connect well with conservatives.

The story that WT recounted about the preacher in Texas is very disturbing - that guy should not be in the pulpit.

It made me think of a well known "Liberal Christian" who said, “The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing ‘God Bless America.’ No, no, no, God damn America, that’s in the Bible for killing innocent people. God damn America for treating our citizens as less than human. God damn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme.” (2003)

Of course we all know the author of that quote was Obama's pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright. And Jeremiah Wright calls himself a Christian.

This is NOT the kind of Christian I was raised to be, but I was not raised a liberal. Why has this happened to liberals?

Ken:

Forgot: "Either the pastor you supposedly rebuked was pretty stupid . . ." You think? What's scary is this person preaches to a lot of people. You think his personal attitudes leak into his sermons, his discussions with his congregates? Probably so, he didn't hesitate to tell us. He truly believed he had it all figured out. And he didn't see this conflicting with his "Christian" values at all. This is NOT the kind of Christian I was raised to be, but I was not raised a conservative. Why has this happened to conservatives?

Ken, Ken.

I admit I started this recent round with my latest "tweak of the week". Even though the two contradictory posts were right next to each other (that should have been a big clue) you jumped on it anyway. You have to admit, you make it very easy. But I told the moderator I would behave myself now, so I will. I know how important it is for you to have the last word, so fire away. Knock yourself out. Have fun. I deserve it. (tee hee)

WT. had I (or any other conservative) posted snippets from a story chastising liberals without a link or author identification you would have jumped all over it. Especially if it was written by someone writing for a conservative website like Townhall.com for example: http://townhall.com/columnists/ You would have summarily dismissed it as pure right wing rantings, written by a right wing conservative on a right wing web site.

You posted an article written by a self proclaimed liberal. I called you on it, that's all.

If you want a private conversation with Dan have at it. But you should stop from making blanket statements like (these are paraphrased) "All Conservatives", or "All of you republicans on this blog" etc. you quite often lump entire groups in your argument - I point this out - and then you claim it was a private conversation, or was only directed at one specific poster. Fair enough, but when you use such sweeping definitions and make such sweeping statements you invite criticism.

for example, in your recent post you said, "When someone has a lot of wealth, I have heard conservatives call this "being blessed"." As I commented previously (about Lux) it either says a lot about who your conservative friends are, or you are making a broad brush statement. Have you ever heard, or known a liberal with wealth to say they were "blessed"? Or is this only reserved for conservatives? That is what I object to.

I'll leave your discussion with Dan aside, but I will say that your post at 12:36 had many true statements in it. As I said before, sadly there are many "rich" who feel entitled and forget what Jesus commanded us to do.

Don't worry, I'll stay out of your private conversations from now on.

So, wt, if your argument against attacking terrorist backers holds true, why haven't we been nukes by anyone yet? Either the pastor you supposedly rebuked was pretty stupid, or your story is just that, a story. By the way, which city in Texas is so "Christian conservative'? I have siblings that live in different areas of Texas, among other relatives, and have never heard of such a city. Sounds like yet another story.

Anon ONE:

Now you are just being a pain. You think you have uncovered some conspiracy by me to "hide" the author's true intentions. Good grief. The author made his personal beliefs very clear, he wasn't trying to hide anything. I said where the article could be found if anyone was interested in reading the entire thing, I wasn't trying to hide it either. Why didn't you just ask for a direct link if this was such a big deal to you? Just go to huffpost.com--boom!--there it is, right on the home page. If this is an attempt to hide something, no one is doing a very good job of it.

The section you're getting histrionic about may be relevant to you, but it isn't relevant TO ME or the point I was pursuing with Dan. I chose sections which I considered illustrative of the point I was making. I don't care that the author is no longer a practicing Christian. He knows his Bible a lot better than many who are. Many Biblical scholars aren't practicing Christians, either. This makes their research and knowledge irrelevant? Maybe to you, not to me.

I said "The author sounds a lot like me, only he says it better". The author's POINT OF VIEW sounds a lot like me, I have said the exact same things to Dan in other discussions. YOU said HIS BACKGROUND sounded like me. Now I'm playing word games with you. What you stated is not only untrue, but you have absolutely no way of knowing this. Isn't the word game thing juvenile and annoying?

Dan and I have been blogging a long time, there is a lot in our history that you don't know. If you don't understand the context of a discussion, then stay out of it. Or ask. But don't butt in with disruptive accusations, this is not a good way to facilitate a discussion. Is Dan freaking out about this "omission" and jumping on your bandwagon? I'd say that's a NO. And my discussion is with HIM, after all.

I read the part of your post where you agreed. I'm just too annoyed with you right now to care.

Dan D:

I have to wholeheartedly disagree that you are not part of the description I outlined. I brought forward this article precisely because this author's description of conservative Christians sounded exactly like you.

Some of the statements he quotes from other conservatives I have heard directly from you on this blog. You also have called poor people "lazy" and "leeches on society". You also have said that care of the poor (or lack of care) should be left to the "invisible hand" of the marketplace. You also have advocated for ignoring the uncontributing poor. You even do it unconsciously, look at #3 on your list of beliefs:

3. People who cannot contribute due to physical and mental limitations needed to be provided for.

Just people who cannot contribute due to physical and mental limitations? What about those who cannot contribute due to other factors?

The point is, Dan, Jesus did not separate the contributing from the uncontributing poor, YOU do. Jesus did not sit in judgment of the poor, YOU do. Jesus advocated for helping ALL the outcast and underprivileged, not just those with mental and physical limitations, YOU do. Jesus didn't tell us it was okay to ignore the suffering of others if we think they are undeserving, YOU do.

I like your idea about laying out one or two "specific issues" and going over them. This will keep both of us on topic. So I would like to discuss the beliefs you outlined, since I'm already on #3.

Re: #3: Nowhere, anywhere, did Jesus say ONLY those with physical and mental limitations are deserving of our help. So why do you make this distinction? Is this just you, or does your church as a whole support this? Does you church advocate for this?

Re: #1: God put us on the world and decides what skills, wealth, and rewards we get.

I agree God put us on this world and determines our skills. But I don't believe he decides what wealth and rewards we get (maybe rewards, depends on how you define this). I don't think God cares about our personal wealth, this is beneath him. He cares about what kind of people we are, not what we wear, live in or drive.

When someone has a lot of wealth, I have heard conservatives call this "being blessed". But I think there are many ways in which God can bless us. He can bless us with health, happiness, family, a purpose-driven life, a passion for a particular type of work. Sometimes wealth follows from these, but I don't see wealth as being God-given. Given Jesus's distain for the wealthy, this doesn't make sense. Especially when so many great fortunes are amassed through unGod-like means. If you believe God gives wealth, how do you explain the people who prosper through doing evil, those who lie, cheat, kill for wealth? Do people get away with these things because God decided they deserved wealth?

Enough for now, we can address #2 later. I'll be gone Friday and Saturday, so if I'm slow in getting back to you, be patient.

what the? on May 13, 2010 12:00 AM

___________

At least I provided the link, as well as author background to give your article some context - something you conveniently forgot to do. Amazing how liberals deal in convenience! You post fragments of an article written by a flaming liberal and then use it as background as to why you believe conservatives and/or conservative christians are so misguided. I know that complete articles can't be pasted, but you cut out a relevant section right in the middle of a paragraph that you did post - that relevant section had to do with the author admitting that he gave up on God 4 decades ago!! Contextually that was extremely relevant to help understand this guys background - no?

I laughed when you wrote, "still looking for a fight" as it's patently obvious who is really doing this. You are the lone wolf liberal here, and behind your keyboard you continue to take on any and all people who disagree with you. I don't think you even read my post - my criticism of the author also included agreement with a number of things he wrote. Did you really think you would post that article (actually, fragments) and have everyone say "Gee Thanks WT, this is so enlightening"??? No, you obviously posted the article in order to incite debate. You conveniently left out relevant sections and then get in a huff when someone actually does some background on your Huffington post opinion piece. For someone who constantly throws down the gauntlet you have pretty thin skin when it comes back to you.

btw, what key words would I use to google you? liberal, progressive, democrat, christian? The reason I said the author sounded like you is because YOU WROTE IT in your previous post: "The author sounds a lot like me, only he says it better" (what the? on May 12, 2010 10:22 AM)

So either you are a lot like Lux (article author), or you're just like most liberals who write the same things over and over hoping it becomes true through repetition. So tell me WT?, are you a "liberal Christian"?

Seriously?:

That article did seem to fit Dan D. to a "T", didn't it? By the way, where is Dan?

We lived in Texas for about 10 years before moving here, so I've have more than a little experience with these kind of "Christian" conservatives. I've described this area of the country before as Southern Baptist, revival-holding, come-to-Jesus country. And a lot of them sounded just like Dan, except with twangy accents.

Here is a story that will knock your socks off. While we lived in Texas, there was a Church of Christ pastor and his wife who were a part of a certain circle of friends. He was very opinionated and would preach about ANYTHING. Once during a get together, he announced to everyone that his solution to terrorism was to nuke any country that threatened the U.S. Yes, that's right, drop a nuclear bomb or two and show them who's boss. He said we'd only have to drop one or two for other countries to get the message. Everyone else was silent, so I said, gently, "Does the term "thermonuclear war" mean anything to you?" He gave me a blank look, so I went on to say that this worked to end WWII because the U.S. alone had the technology. Today, many countries possess nukes, and some of them don't like the U.S. very much.

This must have activated a neuron or two, because the next time I saw him, he told me he had rethought his position. We should still go in and kick the butt of any country that threatens us, we just won't use nukes. So I asked him "And how are you going to control this? We militarily strike a country that possesses nukes or has an ally that does, and you're going to tell them since we aren't using nuclear weapons, they can't either? You expect a country we're attacking to abide by our rules?" Which led to some comments from others about how the U.S. has to be judicial in it's use of military might, because other countries have the ability to strike back at us. And to this, he shrugged and said, maybe they'll get a city or two of ours, but they'll get the message when we level their entire country. So I asked "And what U.S. cities are you willing to sacrifice to send this message? What if this city is one of them? What if (insert name of city where one of his children attends college) is one of them? Are you willing to sacrifice yourself and YOUR family to send this message? Or are you assuming other Americans in other cities will be doing the dying, and that's okay, because it won't effect YOU?" No comment but 'pass the salsa'. This was the last time he brought up the subject, at least around me.

Unbelievable, isn't it? This mentality by itself is bad enough, but to hear it from a PASTOR, a MAN OF GOD, who is suppose to care for and minister to others. From someone who preaches to a congregation three times a week, twice on Sundays. Seriously, you can't make this stuff up.

Anon ONE:

Oh, dear. STILL looking for a fight, I see. Since you're so anxious to crawl into the ring, then you should know this rule before going in: We are not allowed to post articles IN FULL on this blog. Check with the moderator if you care to. We can post excerpts and parts of articles, which is what I said I was doing, but nothing in its entirety. I left out A LOT in my paste, it's a pretty long article. So no cigar, as usual, that I was attempting to hide lefty people or language or whatever you think is going on.

I was up front about the source--Huffington Post and on the front page. Very easy to find if someone wanted to--after all, YOU found it, didn't you? Next time just ask, I'll give you the link.

Thanks for the info on the author, I've never heard of him. He has a pretty impressive resume. Like I said, I don't usually don't take the time to read the opinions. Really, Special Assistant to the President for Public Liaison in the Clinton White House for 2 years?! Cool. Notice I did not take out the part where the author implies he is a Progressive--see paragraph 1, sentence 2. His left-leaning resume isn't a surprise to me. If you had read more carefully, it wouldn't have been a surprise to you, either. So no conspiracy here to hide information, it's really just your carelessness. Pay better attention to details next time.

(Hey, T.B., if you're reading this from afar, this is another example of why I give out TMI most of the time. See what happens when I don't?)

Here's some other stuff I purposefully left out of my paste. I included this part:

"The one verse they always quote (and I mean always -- I have never talked to a conservative Christian about economics and not heard them quote this verse) is the one time in which Jesus says that "the poor will always be with us." The reason they love this quote so much is that they interpret that line to mean that in spite of everything else Jesus said about the poor, that since the poor will always be with us, we don't need to worry about trying to help them."

Here is the REST of that paragraph:

"Apparently since the poor will always be with us, we can go ahead and screw them. But Jesus making a prediction that there will always be oppressive societies doesn't mean he wanted us to join the oppressors. By clinging desperately to that one verse in the Bible, and ignoring all the others about the poor and the rich, Christian conservatives show themselves to be hypocrites, plain and simple."

I chose to leave this out because 1) it was inflammatory, 2) not all conservative Christians are out to take advantage of the poor (even though it sounds like Dan may be doing this), and 3) not all conservative Christians are hypocrites.

Why did YOU leave it out, Anon ONE? Hit too close to home?

And you say that Mike Lux's background sounds a lot like me? Did you google me too? You know absolutely nothing about MY background. I can tell you it's nothing as accomplished as his. Anything more than that you're just pretending to know.

WT HP Article

It is easy to judge people, WT. I like how you crticize me and when I clearly lay out my point of view in direct response, you dismiss it as asked and answered.

I do not know what world you are in, but we are in one of the most troubling times since the formation of the country. We run the risk of becoming the Japan of the 90's. It already might be too late to turn back.

As to religion, I am not part of the description you outlined. My beliefs are very simple.

1. God put us on the world and decides what skills, wealth, and rewards we get.

2. As part of his grand plan, we are stewards. We are to take an active role in allocating resources. This includes being productive, honest citizens. It includes providing for you and your family. It includes making contributions. My game plan is to provide for myself and leave the world with a dollar in my bank account.

3. People who cannot contribute due to physical and mental limitations needed to be provided for.

If everyone took this view, we would not need social nets and all these other failed government programs. I object to people who do not contribute, but must admit, what do we do with these people? Should we do like the British and send all of our unwanted people to a new nation? This issue has been discussed much, but not answered.

I object to people particularly liberals who use government to further social agendas. If people want to promote a social cause, do it in the private sector. I will not contribute to any organization that also takes public money. They either have to stay private or be a government entity.

You preach that Social Security is great, then pray tell, how will you fix it financially? You love the post office, how are they going to break even? Do they ever pay back the BILLIONS (yes BILLIONS) they have lost?

Don't preach and judge us. I do not need an aetheist (not you) to tell me what my religion is.

I could go on, in fact, WT, lay out one or two "specific issues". Let's truly contrast the liberal versus conservative view. Pick two, give your point.

YOu said I would be an awful legislator. YOu might be right, I could not tolerate mediocrity. Not in my genes. But that is not what I want. I want our country to get back on the right path.

Done for now.

Funny how every time wt gets called on her hypocrisy, she says she was just joking. It's especially funny as she always claims that she only debates those that are serious about a topic, and doesn't have time for those that only want to fight and bait people. So which is it, wt? Are you the simple minded fool that you come across as, or just the typical liberal hypocrite? I actually think it is both, as a fool doesn't realize what a hypocrite they are.

I put the line "just askin" at the end of my last post. I wanted to clarify that I am not the person going by the name "Just Asking" on this blog. Sorry JA, didn't mean to steal your flair!

Here is the article WT cites for Dan D.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-lux/how-do-christians-become_b_570361.html

It is long and some parts were redacted by WT? (for brevity?). I thought the following from the article should be read to put the author in a little more context. Apparently the author, Mike Lux, gave up on God 4 decades ago, but still remembers enough to write the article.

This part wasn't included in WT's paste.

This isn't because I am conventionally religious: I decided about four decades ago that since there was no way for sure about the nature of God or the soul or all that metaphysical stuff, I wasn't going to spend much time thinking, caring, or worrying about it. If that sends one to hell, at least I'll be there with a lot of my favorite people

The authors bio includes the following: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Lux

Previously, he was Senior Vice President for Political Action at People For the American Way (PFAW), and the PFAW Foundation, and served in the Clinton White House from January 1993 to mid-1995 as a Special Assistant to the President for Public Liaison. He also played a role in five different presidential campaign teams.

In recent years, he co-founded the influential progressive blog OpenLeft.com, and served in a key liaison role to the progressive community upon being named to the transition team for Barack Obama.

Mike was also a co-founder of Americans United for Change, Center for Progressive Leadership, Grassroots Democrats, PoliticsTV, Progressive Majority, and Women's Voices Women Vote. He also played a role in helping launch the Center for American Progress and Air America.

geesh WT? I can see why you didn't post the author or source. were you afraid we would discover how truly liberal lefty this guy is - he helped launch Air America?

Now after all this you would think I am disagreeing with everything this guy wrote. On the contrary, sadly a lot of what he writes is true. Christians (in general) who obtain money sometimes do forget where it came from (God) and what they were commanded by Jesus to do (feed the poor, help the poor, etc.). On this front I agree with Lux. What I certainly disagree with is his broad brush proclamation that ALL Conservative Christians act this way. Having money is not a sin, but the love of and the pursuit at all costs to obtain it certainly is. I believe him when he says every conservative christian he knows acts this way, but this says more about his choice in friends than the way things actually are.

I don't like adding modifiers to religion in general. i.e. I don't like to add what I consider political buzz words (conservative, liberal) to Religious groups. Every religion fights this - the 9/11 bombers did their act as a sacrifice to allah so in the name of Islam they carried out the attack. So in turn many blame all of the Muslim world for the attacks. In turn, just because some misguided / wacko types claim to be Christian doesn't make all Christians misguided.

WT? you wrote that, "The author sounds a lot like me, only he says it better. After reading his background I would agree that he does sound a lot like you. If You agree completely with Lux and cited this source does it make you a "liberal Christian"? Just Askin

More proof that we need to ban meat cleavers, there is no reason for anyone to own one!

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE64B3M520100512

Nine killed in latest China school rampage


A 48-year-old man, Wu Huanming, used a kitchen cleaver to kill five boys and two girls as well as the mother-son team who owned and ran the private kindergarten, Xinhua said.

Wu then returned home and committed suicide, Xinhua said, citing a statement from the province emergency office. "His motive for the attack was not immediately known," it said.

Great article What the ? ...... I'm sure those who chose to will find a dozen ways to justify dismissing it, but it hits the nail right on the head. Thanks for posting it!

Tee hee. Look who took the bait. Sucker.

Dan D:

Well, this discussion has become circular. You keep repeating the SHOULD statements, so you're obviously not going to think beyond this. And we've been through the Fannie and Freddie and TARP thing before, so I'm not interested in doing that again.

Like I said, Obama renounced Ayers ACTIONS back in the 60's. He didn't renounce Ayers personally. And we're not worried about the future of the medical field. We're not into apocalyptic gloom and doom. You do enough of that for the entire AMA.

There was a segment on 60 minutes Sunday similar to the WSJ article you mentioned. People who can pay their mortgages are opting not to and walking away from their homes because their homes are now worth much less than what is owed on them. These people claim they're acting rationally, it's a calculated business decision. After all, big companies cut their losses by defaulting on these kind of contracts all the time. It's not immoral for them, it's just business. Individuals are now adopting this attitude as well. Imagine that.

This comment was interesting: "For liberals who generally denounce diety and follow Darwinism, it is amazing they renounce the survival of the fitest in the economic world. Socialism is the exact opposite of Darwinism!!!"

Really? Liberals denounce diety? Conservatives love to say this, it makes you all feel holier than thou. But conservatives don't own Christianity as much as you like to think you do. But I do admit conservatives own a peculiar interpretation of Christianity. I got into this previously in what you referred to as my "Bible hugging" posts.

I generally don't read Huff Post opinion pieces, I just go for the quick news bites, but this one was on the front page so it caught my eye. The author sounds a lot like me, only he says it better. I know there's no way in hell you'll read the link if I post it, because it doesn't support your ideology, and we both know you don't waste time on things that don't. So I'll give you a few paragraphs and you can tell me what you think.

Like the author, I was raised a Christian but I don't like many conservative Christians. Most conservatives espouse a different view of Christianity than the one I was taught. It sounds a lot like what you support. Read on:

How Do Christians Become Conservative?

Conservatives believe that the rich and powerful got that way because they deserve to be, that society owes its prosperity to the prosperous, and that government's job when they have to make choices is to side with those businesspeople who are doing well, because all good things trickle down from them. Progressives, on the other hand, believe it is the poor and those who are ill-treated who need the most help from their government, and that prosperity comes from all of us -- the worker as well as the employer, the consumer as well as the seller, the struggling entrepreneur trying to make it as well as the wealthy who already have.

I have been thinking a lot about Christians and political ideology of late. As those of you who read me a lot know, I was raised in a church-oriented home, and I write about religion a fair amount. I still have the social and moral teaching I learned from my upbringing embedded in me as a core part of my value system, and I still know my Bible pretty well.

That's why I am always puzzled by how people who claim to be followers of the Jesus I read about in the Bible can be political conservatives.

Conservative Christians' primary argument regarding Jesus and politics is that all he cared about was spiritual matters and an individual's relationship with God. As a result, they say, all those references from Jesus about helping the poor relate only to private charity, not to society as a whole. Their belief is that Jesus, and the New Testament in general, is focused on one thing and one thing only: how do people get into heaven.

However much of a priority or focus it was, though, if you actually read the Gospels, it is clear that Jesus' main concern in terms of the people whose fates he cared about was for the poor, the oppressed, and the outcast. Comment after comment and story after story in the Gospels about Jesus relates to the treatment of the poor, generosity to those in need, mercy to the outcast, and scorn for the wealthy and powerful. And his philosophy is embedded with the central importance of taking care of others, loving others, treating others as you would want to be treated. There is no virtue of selfishness here, there is no "greed is good," there is no invisible hand of the market or looking out for Number One first. There is nothing about poor people being lazy, nothing about the undeserving poor being leeches on society, nothing about how I pulled myself up by my own bootstraps so everyone else should, too. There is nothing about how in nature, "the lions eat the weak," and therefore we shouldn't help the poor because it weakens them. There is nothing about charity or welfare corrupting a person's spirit.

What there is: quote after quote about compassion for the poor. He wasn't just into helping the poor; he didn't seem to like rich folks very much. In Matthew 6, he focuses on the love of money as a major problem. In Luke 11, he berates a wealthy lawyer for burdening the poor. In Luke 12, he says that the wealthy who store up treasure are cursed by God. In Luke 14, he says if we throw a party, we should invite all poor people and no rich people, and suggests that the wealthy already turned down their invitation to God's feast, and that it is the poor who will get into heaven (a theme repeated multiple times). He says that the rich people will have a harder time getting to heaven than a camel trying to pass through the eye of a needle. He chases the wealthy bankers and merchants from the Temple.

I have never heard a conservative Christian quote any of these verses -- not once, and I have been in a lot of discussions with Christian conservatives, and heard a lot of their speeches and sermons. The one verse they always quote (and I mean always -- I have never talked to a conservative Christian about economics and not heard them quote this verse) is the one time in which Jesus says that "the poor will always be with us." The reason they love this quote so much is that they interpret that line to mean that in spite of everything else Jesus said about the poor, that since the poor will always be with us, we don't need to worry about trying to help them.

Judeo-Christian scripture is a rich and complicated work of literature. But one thing is extremely certain: the poor seem to be who God is most concerned about. Yes, there are a few quotations (four, if I remember right) trashing gay people, along with quite a few more about the right way to do animal sacrifice and to be careful about eating shellfish and hanging out with women who are menstruating. But mercy, kindness, and concern for the poor and the weak and the outcast seems to matter a lot more, with literally several hundred verses referencing those agenda items.

It's as if the author is talking about you personally, Dan. Don't you agree?

The ambulances that have been shut down, are at Diehl and Washington, and the other is at 87th and Naper Plainfield.

The City has and will continue to shut down the ambulances in the fire stations located at Washington and Diehl, the one on 87th and Naper/plainfield road, and the Citys downtown ambulance at station 1 has been shut down for almost a year.

They just entered into an agreement with Lisle to send one of our firefighters over there to man Lisle's ambulance. The chief said it would happen "30-40% of the time." That was during the 4/20 council meeting. He never said we were shutting down our own crews.

Why are we giving Lisle aid? Are they that bad off?

First wt posts this:

"And I would need a calculator to total up the number of times someone has claimed that different opinions here are really one person using multiple monikers. It is funny how inconceivable it is to some little minds that several people could actually disagree with them."

Then her next post asks if another poster is me, as it is obviously inconceivable to her little mind that several people other than me could actually disagree with her.

Too funny.

WT

I really did not understand your Obe/Ayers comment. I also do not recall a renouciation. But if the guy continued to not take responsibility for his actions, Obie should have denounced him on that frong as well. But I can't keep up on everything.

As to the economy, the only thing that has worked in the last 18 months has been the intervention by the Fed in lowering interest rates and purchasing an additional $1.2 trillion in securities including some mortgage back. This has allowed liquidity in the market that makes them work. As an aside, the Hoover and Roosevelt failures in the 30's was tightening the money supply (and RAISING TAXES like Obie wants to do next year).

To repeat, TARP never did what it said it would do and what it did did not help the economy. Read closely. Instead of the US government providing $100 billion in funds to keep AIG liquid and allowed this money to go to Goldman Sachs and the french banks, they should have let those banks take back paper in AIG instead. Separate AIG financial products and let Goldman work out the positions with a lien against the rest of AIG. NO FEDERAL BAILOUT. Goldman would not be as arrogant if they had to solve the problem. Maybe they would have been wiped out as well.

I aslo said that Citi Group and Merrill Lynch should have gone into bankruptcy along with Lehman and effectively Bear Stearns. Instead another $50 to $75 billion.

And the auto companies should have been shut down and put into bankruptcy back in September 2008. There should have been an orderly auction of their assets. We would not have $60 billion sunk in GM right now.

And the UAW members would have lost 65% of their over generous pension and medical benefits, just like everyone else.

The hundreds of BILLIONS of dollars wasted in these 5 companies is a shame. Look at Ford, they restructured the American way. But because GM is in business, the unions will not give Ford any additional concessions.

This all sounds cruel, but review a fact. How many companies in the Fortune 500 100 years ago are there today? I knew the exact number back in B-school (it was less than 25), and I suspect it is low today. There was no Google, no Apple, no Panasonic.

For liberals who generally denounce diety and follow Darwinism, it is amazing they renounce the survival of the fitest in the economic world. Socialism is the exact opposite of Darwinism!!!

All of these bailouts are deferrals. Take foreclosures. They are going to happen, 5 million are in the pipeline. Funny (not really) article today in the WSJ. People are acting irrationally on housing. People with higher income and loan balances (and probably more education) are bailing sooner than later on homes where mortgages are underwater. Ironically, the poor do not bail out until they run out of money.

Anybody underwater last fall should have stopped mortgage and tax payments. They would get at leat 18 months free housing!! What has Obie done? Encouraged these people to make payments and restructure loans that are not economical. Good plan.

You never responded to Fannie Mae, the primary cause of the crash. Details, facts, so what!!

I never wanted to run for office, only make our politicians accountable. Are you nominating me for office somewhere? Do I have to take a pay cut? I think American needs more strong minded people. I do not know if I can support Mark Kirk, he fits your mold. We need better government, like in the old days when people debated about the need for a National Bank (imagine how the opponents would view the Fed).

And you think you are secure in the medical field? Only if you have enough to retire. Otherwise, get ready. You will be a Federal government employee by 2016. The Medicare reimbursement rates will starve doctors until we only have public hospitals. There will be no prisoners.

So the city is risking lives by reducing ambulances now! And here I was upset about no Fall brush collection. How can they put lives in danger and what area are these ambulances that are shut down protecting!! Does anyone know?

JustAsking:

Ken, is that you?

Some bloggers here are SO strange.

JustAsking butted in on my convo with Dan, yet here he is whining about it being done to him. Hey, JA, if you can't handle people commenting on your posts, then stay out of their's. Problem solved.

And I would need a calculator to total up the number of times someone has claimed that different opinions here are really one person using multiple monikers. It is funny how inconceivable it is to some little minds that several people could actually disagree with them.

Just saying.

So now that it has happened, I wonder how many citizens of Naperville know they are without 2 ambulances today, a trend that will continue. 2 of the city's 7 full time ambulances are shut down due to budget constraints. Is your life or a family members life worth it to you? Let the world know that you care and contact the councilmen.

Again, why is it that people who cannot even win their own debates and discussions are always the first to "jump in" on someone else's?

See what the? on her 5/10/2:31 post. Now, I could be wrong, but it SEEMS like she is jumping in on my post [ By JustAsking on May 10, 2010 12:59 PM ] to You are joking, right? from on May 8, 2010 6:29 PM.

Does this mean that what the? is using just another one of her aliases (You are joking, right?), or is she so frustrated over constantly losing her own arguments that she is just cruising the blog searching for a place to find even a remote chance at not losing?

Just asking.


-----JA

Why is it that those who are slowest at follwoing the bouncing ball seem to be the quickest to "quack up" with nonsense?

Case in point is what the?, who posted on 5/10/10 @12:02 am, "...What you refer to here is conspiracy theory, not reality. Like the grassy knoll, and the Truthers, and the Birthers,..." to T.B.

When I GENERALLY posted that the "birhter" charge originated with the Clinmton campaign, what the? goes off the reservation on 5/10/2:31 pm and startys rambling abut some other thread and person ----hmmmm?

Just asking.


------- JA

Dan D:

You're not paying attention again. My statement was "Obama did publicly denounce Ayers ACTIONS back in the 60s." This clearly refers to the actions that occurred in the 60s, not the denouncement occurring in the 60s. Can we use the higher reasoning God gave us and not play little word games to try to 'trip up' each other? This is juvenile and disrupts the flow of discussion. There's already one blogger here that enjoys this, and one is enough.

I did not hear about the Anderson Book Store episode, only the Naperville North episode where he was invited to speak to the students and some parents objected so it was canceled. This was after Ayers past came to light because of Obama's campaign. I doubt any of those parents would have known who he was or objected if O's campaign hadn't brought this to the forefront again. I wonder how many of the same people were involved in both episodes? I would guess more than a few.

About your insistence on shutting down the government, didn't the Republicans do that back in the 90's during Clinton's term and it didn't turn out so well for them? My impression was the "American people" did NOT appreciate it and the Reps paid the price later on. So that's probably why they won't do that again anytime soon.

And you can complain until the end of time about how the financial crisis SHOULD have been handled, how Bush SHOULD have let our country's economy self-destruct and how a second Great Depression SHOULD have been allowed to occur. But politicians weren't about to let that happen. Do you really think that Bush would have allowed a second Great Depression to occur on his watch? Especially after 9/11 and starting a needless war predicated on misinformation? That would have put the final nail in the coffin of his legacy, and Bush, like many other presidents, are very concerned about how history will regard them.

Obama agreed with Bush, but even if he hadn't, there was no way O could have taken the bailout back once it had been done. Then when millions MORE Americans were thrown out of work and lost their homes and the world economy suffered, Obama would have been labeled the Depression President. He would have been blamed for NOT taking any action. It was a no-win situation either way, and politicians are acutely more aware of these situations than most of us. So Bush and Obama erred on the side of HELPING our country avoid a disaster rather than standing around and watching the ice berg hit and sink the ship. I understand this, you don't and never will because it conflicts with your ideology. So stop kvetching and move on already.

Speaking of which, I know you have said many times that you think you could do a better job in government than the people there, but I personally think you would be a disaster in high public office. You might do ok on a local level where issues are more straight-forward and there aren't that many conflicting problems to deal with, but on a national level, you wouldn't last a week. You're completely ideology-oriented, you see everything in black and white and sound very inflexible. You walk a narrow path, and I don't see you handling complicated problems that occur outside that path well at all. Complicated and constantly shifting world problems require creative, open-minded, flexible thinkers, not fearful, set-in-their-ways ideologues. I don't mean this as an insult, it's really an observation. I would be a disaster in politics also, but for a host of other reasons.

And it sounds like you're betting against a recovery to make some quick money? Don't worry about my financial health, we're involved in an industry that can't be outsourced. Medicine will always be in demand. We don't need to circle our crippled economy like sharks, looking for ways to take advantage of a bad situation and the misery of others for personal gain. I'll leave that to you.

WT Previously Wrote: "Rezko was taking bribes when he was co-chair of Bush's campaign too. Anybody care to know? Didn't think so."

______________________

WT?, I am not trying to beat a dead horse. I responded because of what you wrote above. When you make a claim that Rezko was the co-chair of Bush's campaign it deserves a response. Slip of the pen, no problem, I do it too, but you furthered it by implying that none of the conservatives "care to know, didn't think so". This statement is what prompted me to respond. The implication is clearly that you believe Rezko and Bush were tied together AND no one on the Conservative front cared - both of which are false.

The reason conservatives didn't care to know (your words) is because it wasn't true! Rezko was not the co-chair of his campaign, but co-hosted one event. Regardless of semantics or if you made a mistake writing it, the fact that you intimated that conservatives didn't care was why I responded. nitpicking? Perhaps! But you invited it by writing "didn't think so".

I think Rezko is a bad character who would have latched on to any politician in power. btw, I don't recall Obama's response as to why he criticized Hillary for her lack of foreign experience and then appointed her Sect of State? Did he have a convenient excuse, or is it as some have surmised that you should "keep your enemies closer"?

And I'm with you on the part about politicians often having convenient excuses for past behavior. It's one of the reasons Gov. Ryan should stay in jail, and hopefully Blago will be going to jail.

WT

I do not know if you reflect the mainstream Obama Democratic Socialist Party or are just out there.

My comments that you said were all wrong now are right (correct), but not as correct as only you can be.

Obama denounced Ayers in the 60's? When he was 3 years old and before Ayers killed Americans?

How do you account for Anderson's Book Store turning away Ayers? Was that just some Naperville North parents?

Obama could not avoid Chicago corruption? Here is a news flash, I know what you are talking about. In fact, I know it 100 times more than you have ever dreamed. I could have had a chance to get lucrative business for the State of Illinois under Blago if I "hired the lobbyist that the late Chris Kelly told me to hire". I did not fall into that trap. There are other pitfalls that have not only cost me business, but even caused me direct financial issues.

And there is a group of people trying to get Ayers fired at UIC (U of C would not take him). Same for his wife, that was one of my gripes to the Chairman of the Board of Northwestern University.

Interesting responses. They are given non essential jobs funded by Ayers FATHER!!!!

And in closing, this country has been on the wrong course since Bushes second term. He should have shut down the government and balanced the budget, no matter what it took. He should have fired Franklin Raines at Fannie and should have suspended their loans in 2004--totally. That is the primary cause of our worldwide recession. (By the way, did you know Franklen Raines was part of the corrupt Washington finance administration--Chicago bred!!) And we should have let AIG's counterparties (Goldman Sachs and the french banks work to clean up the mess rather than taxpayers dollars. Citicorpt should have failed, the FDIC could have made the money on selling Travelers and Smith Barney rather than Citigroup stock holders with Federal guarantees. We should have allowed GM and Chrysler to have a real bankruptcy where the employees would have lost their pensions rather than step ahead of secured creditors. TARP was suppose to buy toxic assets, it did not buy a single toxic asset, a total fraud.

Households are struggling and most will come back. After hard work and anguish. That is the American way. And when they do, they will build out eoconomy. Unfortunately, all the others from the Obama Nanny state are holding back our country.

I do not know if I stated this position on these pages, but I have been very adament that the real problem in the world economy is Europe, particularly with their failed socialism. They have finally run out of money and they are on the skids. And I have profitted from these last three years because everything that has happended was predicted and I followed those who gave the road map to succeed in these times. I only wish I had more money like John Paulson so I could have placed bigger bets.

The economy is in a bad way. The Obama solutions, like those in Europe, just won't work. So the most profitable alternative is to bet against recovery. The markets are going down again today.

These blogs are for fun, playing the markets is real. And except for the tech bubble, it is clear to see the winners. So keep talking, I hope your husband does not let you invest based on your beliefs, so that you maintain your wealth!!!

Anon ONE:

So you want to play word games again? Didn't we do this once before?

In the same paragraph, I stated "Rezko was good enough to be on W.'s campaign finance committee four years previously." And I stated in a previous post that Rezko "co-chaired a multimillion dollar fund-raiser for President George W. Bush in 2003". So I think it's reasonable to conclude I misspoke when I used the phrase "co-chair of Bush's campaign". Happy? Or do you want to bat it back and forth for a few more posts and get more mileage out of it? You were looking to find fault, and you did. Congratulations.

And yes, Hillary Democrats were using every tactic possible to undermine Obama - including innuendo to discredit him. I'm not sure if the Rezko stuff could be considered a lie at that time as it hadn't been disproved at that point; it had just been brought to light. But it was definitely innuendo. Now it's considered a lie because it's since been found to be unsubstantiated, but that's not going to make a difference to the conspiracy nuts or the ODS people like Dan. They construct their own reality.

You betcha Hillary got a pass on it. Just like Obama got a pass for saying Hillary did not have enough foreign policy experience during the campaign, then appointed her Secretary of State later on. Just like McCain is getting a pass for running for president as a "maverick" but now that he's running for senator says "I never considered myself a maverick". Very convenient for everyone.

Dan D:

You try to keep an open mind? In which dimension? Ok, it's obvious you're now going off into a full-blown defense of your belief system. Geez, if this is how badly you deal with reality, I can see why you avoid it at all costs.

This is priceless: "Leave our good town alone and quit spewing your unwanted liberalism. We do not want to change."

Who's this "we"? The voices in your head? So now Naperville belongs only to you and those like you? People with differing views aren't welcome? Are you of this century?

However, I do think this is one of the first really honest things you've let slip. You certainly do not want to change anything. And you certainly can't tolerate anyone who thinks differently than you. This is what's at the heart of your rage, isn't it? Fear of change and intolerance. My 93-year-old father-in-law is the exact same way.

"He only came accross him in passing. He never talked to him on the board. WT says that she goes to parties and sits on boards and nobody talks to her." I clearly never said any of this. These are your misrepresentations, not my words. The more facts I give refuting your beliefs, the more ridiculous you sound. Get a grip.

News flash: Obama did publicly denounce Ayers actions back in the 60s. And Naperville did not keep Ayers out. Some parents who had kids at Naperville North did, that's where Ayers was invited to speak. These parents did not represent the whole of Naperville anymore than the Tea Party represents most of America or the Republican party speaks for all the American people. Conservatives such as you just like to think so.

Dude, if you're opposed to Ayers so much, then why not try to get him out of Chicago? He's still teaching at the U of C, still a respected member of Chicago society. Where's your outrage about that? You're so intent on directing outrage at Obama, why not direct it at the person who actually committed the acts? Is it because there's no benefit to going after Ayers, this wouldn't serve your anti-Obama agenda? You only care about Ayers as long as he serves as a stick with which to beat Obama. Aside from that, you couldn't care less about him. If you did, we'd see some outrage about Ayers instead of just outrage about who he knows.

"I encountered people of low morals such as Ayers. I not only distanced myself, I would withdraw from any common organization. Had I not, I would have been fired from my jobs."

This is self-serving BS. Obama would have had to have given up practicing law or politics in Chicago entirely to avoid the likes of Rezko and Ayers. I don't believe you've had a comparable situation. You're still living and working here, aren't you?

I try to keep an open mind. I still do not see what I said in the four points that were incorrect. I just did not "spin" them the same way wt did.

I will just take one instance since I do not want to keep this constant chattering. I said he came accross Obama in at least two instances--a fund raiser for his Senate campaign and sitting on the Board. True facts.

Then you have all of WT's blurb. He only came accross him in passing. He never talked to him on the board. WT says that she goes to parties and sits on boards and nobody talks to her. I can see why!! (just kidding).

I laid out the facts. All of her comments that he really did not know his past, never interacted with him, etc. is simply speculation. How does WT know? Did she observe all of these events?

More significant, does Obama denounce Ayers like we did in Naperville and kept him out of our fine town? NO!! Why not? He admitted to killing people and got off due to a technicality. He is unrependent.

I am not going to go into details, but several times during my life in various capacities, I encountered people of low morals such as Ayers. I not only distanced myself, I would withdraw from any common organization. Had I not, I would have been fired from my jobs. This is the ONLY solution. Same for Reverend Wright and Farrikhan. Complete racists, on the same level as Hitler.

So WT, keep defending these low lifes. Better yet, why do you live in Naperville? Woodlawn or Lawndale are more suited to your position. Leave our good town alone and quit spewing your unwanted liberalism. We do not want to change.

JustAsking:

The blogger I was referring to who reminded me that Hillary started the birther stuff during the campaign was another person on another thread some time ago, not you. Just to be clear.

Who was this well-established leftist group you are referring to? You mean Jason Levin, leader of Crash The Tea Party movement? This idea had the Tea Party sweating bullets for awhile, that's true. But it never materialized on Tax Day as TPers had feared or as Levin had hoped. The number of suspected infiltrators were very sparse and acted pretty benign. Legitimate tea partiers did nothing about these "suspects":

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0410/35901.html

This is why I don't think Levin's movement gained steam: it's pretty hard to out-crazy the Tea Party. It's impossible to top something this perfect:

Fox's Doocy learns the hazards of not vetting guests
http://mediamatters.org/blog/201003260027

You know the Tea Party is bonkers when a Fox News host defends Obama against one of their leaders.

The left doesn't have to do anything to make the Tea Party look crazy. They do that all on their own. Just saying.


WT wrote: But notice how conservatives don't mention Rezko's ties to W. Did W. ever return or donate any campaign contributions from Rezko that could have been kickback money? Rezko was taking bribes when he was co-chair of Bush's campaign too. Anybody care to know? Didn't think so.

__________________________

I didn't know Rezko was co-chair of Bush's campagin? I saw a wikipedia entry that lists one event that he co-chaired with Rosemont mayor Don Stephens. Is this what you mean by "Co-Chairing Bush's campaign"??. "Mayor Donald Stephens and Rezko co-chaired a multimillion-dollar fund-raiser for President George W. Bush in 2003".

Maybe I'm just looking in the wrong places, but are you saying that Rezko was the Co-Chairman of George Bush's Campaign? Or is there a chance that he just co-chaired this one event in Rosemont?

And I'm certainly not going to stick up for Hillary, but it sounds like the Democrats were using every tactic possible to undermine Obama - including making up lies and innuendo to discredit him? I will agree that Hillary gave rise to the Birthers movement and there are many nuts and conspiracy theorists as part of this group. Apparently she gets a pass however, as she now has "moved on"? Very convenient for her.

Anon ONE:

"Interesting that when the Democrats were tying Obama to Rezko these types of comments were common, yet when its the conservatives saying the same things it becomes conspiracy, grassy noll, and "crazy crap".

Not really that interesting. Democrats for Hillary were saying it during the run for the Democratic nomination, and those things were scrutinized and no basis of truth were found in them then. Here we are now, 2-3 years post-campaign, and the conservatives are still running with these old, discredited talking points. When these kind of stories persist even after being disproved, they move into the realm of conspiracy theory.

I was informed by another blogger here that Hillary was the one who started the idea that Obama was not a natural born citizen during this same campaign. That gave rise to the Birthers, who are now generally regarded as a bunch of nuts and conspiracy theorists, except by other nuts and conspiracy theorists. Hillary clearly has moved on.

I do agree that Rezko was out to make as much money as he could and probably hooked up to the political community for this purpose. But since Rezko was doing this before Obama even came to Chicago, I don't see how O could have avoided him. And there was no reason for Obama to avoid him anyway. He, like Ayers, was a respected and accepted part of the Chicago political community. If Rezko was good enough to be on W.'s campaign finance committee four years previously, he was good enough to be on O's! But notice how conservatives don't mention Rezko's ties to W. Did W. ever return or donate any campaign contributions from Rezko that could have been kickback money? Rezko was taking bribes when he was co-chair of Bush's campaign too. Anybody care to know? Didn't think so.

Why is it that you leftists keep bringing up "birthers" like it is a conservative idea? I mena, the correct version of it is that it was originated with the Clinton campaign, so why not not call it like it is?

Just asking.


------JA

To: By You are joking, right? on May 8, 2010 6:29 PM :

I note you do not address my question on the violence at the TEA gatherings and the town halls. The reason, of course, is that my notations are 100% correct.

You DO, however, bring up decade-old news as your "excuse" for the left and its harping (which you proceed to do!!!) In case you missed it, a well-established leftist group came out and said they would be crashing the TEA gatherings on tax day (which they did try to do --- luckily, everyone was on to them) Of course, THAT set of facts does NOT fit your leftist narrative.

So why didn't you address the original question? Was it lack of an argument?

To:By Anonymous on May 8, 2010 3:48 :

Hey, spin all you want. All I know is that I did not see/hear Obama talk about it at all as of that post, and he still has yet to visit.

Why? Is it because Obama sees the people down there as just "... bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them"?

To:By what the? on May 9, 2010 2:10 PM :

Your post exemplifies that you know little to nothing about the Greek finance collapse or their social (ie socialist) political system.

Is it because you are ignorant on the subject matter, or do you just elect to ignore accurate data it as it does not fir your liberal, anti-business cause?


Just asking.

#:)>

WT wrote: "And Obama never bought anything from Tony Rezko. He bought the land from Rita."

_____________________________________

This would be Rita Rezko, Tony's wife? Did they keep separate checkbooks?


I recall Obama's Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, (remember her?, the smartest woman in the world) being quoted as saying the following:, "Senator Hillary Clinton said that Obama had represented Rezko, who she referred to as a slum landlord."

Interesting that when the Democrats were tying Obama to Rezko these types of comments were common, yet when its the conservatives saying the same things it becomes conspiracy, grassy noll, and "crazy crap".

It's obvious that Rezko was out to make the most money he could, and hooked up with as many politicians as possible to achieve some type of "favored status". It just so happens that while he was most active was also the time that Illinois was dominated by Democratic leaders who he sought out. Rezko's ties to Blago, Stroger, and Lisa Madigan clearly point this out.

SCOTT HUBER....I see Scott Huber got a new mode of transportation...a three wheel bike. I kind of miss seeing this icon in downtown Naperville. His protest site at North & Washington just doesn't cut it. Move back downtown Scott....DON'T BACK DOWN!!!

T.B.:

One last post and I'm caught up.

"I don’t put any stock in the fact that only a certain percentage of TPers actually show up at rallies. First of all because I don’t go to any rallies of any kind, wouldn’t be caught dead at most, and yet still can identify with certain groups’ positions."

Then according to the NYT poll I was referring to, you would be classified as a Tea Party supporter. Those are the people who identify with the TPs positions but haven't gone to a rally, donated or visited a TP website. These are distinguishable from the TP activists who do all the above. According to the poll, only 20% of TP people are activists. I formed my opinion from the findings of this poll, not from anything I'd seen.

"I also don’t put too much stock into your argument that only 20% of the TP actually show up to a rally because it seems sort of contradictory to your later statement regarding Fox and the flash mobs."

This is what the poll found. And it's not contradictory. Fox News calls for a rally, the activists show up. The supporters, like you, stay home.

"And how can it be that the Republicans are so completely beholden to someone that only reaches 18% of the population?"

Ask the Republicans, they're the ones who are afraid of Rush. Perhaps it's because of your previous statement about who is the loudest and most outrageous voice? We've seen how Michael Steele and Palin have kissed Rush's butt in the past. I think Rush L. is definitely more of a boogieman to the Republicans than he is to the Democrats. The Dems are used to being attacked by him. Republicans fear being on Rush's *hit list.

Yes, let's just agree to disagree about Rezko. Rezko was on many politicians fund raising committees--he was co-chair of G. W. Bush's in 2003, just 4 years before he was on Obama's. What do you think about that? And Obama never bought anything from Tony Rezko. He bought the land from Rita. Obama had no control over who bought the adjacent lot, he was in no way involved in it's sale. What you refer to here is conspiracy theory, not reality. Like the grassy knoll, and the Truthers, and the Birthers, and all the other crazy crap some people can't let go of. I didn't see you as that type, T.B. Dan, definitely. But not you.

I hope you'll clear this up for me when you return.

T.B.:

Re your links about Obama/Rezko, I saw both of these when they first appeared during the campaign.

Regarding the whistle blower article, there never was any follow-up to this, was there? What happened to the complaint, and was the whistle blower ever identified? At any rate, this involved Mutual Bank and Rita Rezko. Explain to me what this had to do with Obama.

Re: the "whistle blowers" socializing claims, was this ever verified or has this remained unsubstantiated rumor? Obama stated that Rita and Michelle may have occasionally gotten together for meals, Obama said he spoke with Rezko occasionally. So what? The point was the Obamas and Rezkos were acquaintances, not close friends. And even if they had been, I doubt Rezko would have come right out and told Obama, like I doubt he came right out and told anyone he knew, that he was involved in getting kickbacks. Are you saying Rezko talked about his illegal dealings with his acquaintances and everyone who knew him knew that?

The Sun-Times article mentions an internship that a child of a friend of Rezkos had with Obama for a month. It said Rezko did not benefit in any way from it, and this particular person was one out of a 100 or so people who did internships with Obama. So what? Explain to me how this proves any wrongdoing by Obama.

Like I said, I was aware of these when they first appeared. One is a rumor, the other mentions facts that opponents used to speculate a link between Obama and Rezko's illegal dealings. Speculate all you want, the fact is Obama was never involved in anything Rezko did; there are no links. Rezko has a prison sentence, Obama has the White House. Big diff.

Dan D:

Forgot:

"And just like Obama, WT attempts to discredit the Rezko land deal as either Rezko being short of money or a dumb wife made a bad deal. Again, this matter has never been addressed to my satisfaction although I would love to hear a good explanation."

As I said, this was me SPECULATING, like you do all the time. You would need to ask Ritz Rezko if you want an answer, I don't know, and Obama wouldn't know either. Only she can speak for herself. If she hasn't, then you need to pursue HER for this, not other people. I haven't seen anything where she speaks out about this.

So until she does, if she ever does, because she sold the lot at a profit (so it couldn't have been THAT dumb of a purchase) and doesn't own it anymore, you're basing your opinion on speculation, just like I am. The difference is, I don't care what Rita Rezko's reason for buying the lot was because whatever it was, it had no influence on Obama's purchase, so I don't care. In the absence of information, you put a negative spin on everything. But you put a negative spin on everything connected to Obama anyway, even when concrete evidence to the contrary exists, so I don't expect anything different.

Dan D:

I keep giving you more information because that's what you're seriously lacking. The information DID REFUTE your comments. Information usually equals knowledge for most people. And if more information equals more questions, that's good too. I can do that.

First of all, NO ONE has ever claimed that Obama was never introduced to Ayers by Alice Palmer. Of course he was, it was a meet and greet. Of course Obama was introduced to the host. You're being completely absurd now, Dan. But I seriously doubt Ayers' past, or anyone's there for that matter, was a topic of discussion that night. And since Ayers was infamous over 40 years ago, he's not in Obamas generation. Ayers wasn't even mine, I was in my early teens in '68. I didn't know who Ayers was until he was in the news. And Boards don't meet every day, Dan, generally just a couple times a year to make decisions. In the Woods Fund case, 4 times a year for 1/2 a day, mostly to approve grants, since the Woods Fund is a grant awarding institution. Obviously you've never served on a Board, Dan, or you would know how they work.

Secondly, I was hoping you'd bring up the fact that Obama paid $300,000 below asking price for his home. This was (and still is) a favorite talking point of the right, which gets repeated a lot because it implies Obama got a favor through his Chicago "connections". I guess it works with a lot of folks who have never bought a house or have and know better but spread it anyway. Which are you, Dan? Have you never bought an existing home or are you just being dishonest?

We paid $13,000 below asking price for our first home 25 years ago, the asking price was $115,000. It wasn't a favor through any connections we had, as we didn't know the seller personally. We simply made the best offer. Isn't this how home buying and selling works for everyone, Dan?

Obama got a $1.6 million home for $300,000 below asking price because his was the highest offer, and the seller accepted it. Rita Rezko, on the other hand, paid asking price for the adjacent lot because there was another offer already on the table at the time. She had to pay full asking price to top it.

Both properties closed on the same day because this is how the seller wanted it. He was a physician at the U of C hospital and was leaving Chicago, he wanted to get rid of both properties at the same time. But if Rita Rezko hadn't bought the adjacent lot, there was another buyer already involved who had made an offer and would have. So again, no cigar on the conspiracy front.

So I'll specifically address your questions so you don't miss the fact that the information I just gave you refutes your claims:

1. Would Obama had been able to pay the same price if Rezko did not buy the lot next store for full value?

Yes. Obama would have paid the exact same price regardless of who bought the land next door, the seller accepted his offer. The sale of the adjacent lot was a separate purchase negotiated between the buyer and seller through their agents that had nothing to do with Obama.

2. Why would somebody make their lot worthless?

Apparently you're the only one who thinks the land is "worthless". The land is not unbuildable, structures smaller than a mansion could be built there. Rita made a profit on the short time she owned the lot, and the new owners turned around and slapped a $1.5 million price tag on it. I don't think the lot has sold yet, and it may not sell for $1.5 million when it does. But none of that has anything to do with Obama.

"Last I heard, there were many conservatives. Who do you mean is the "outside world"? Liberals and Socialists?"

The outside world I am referring to is the one outside your head, the real one outside the Obama Derangement Syndrome mind set. The one that deals with reality and concrete facts, not conspiracies, fear and apocalyptic forecasts. I live in the real world and make my decisions based on what is, not what I fear will be, like you and a lot of other conservatives appear to do. In just about every single post, you go on about how awful things WILL BE. But so far the country seems to be recovering just fine. You also ignore the fact that this country was almost destroyed before Obama even won the election. If Bush hadn't bailed out the financial sector, Obama would have inherited this country's second big depression. THAT would have been destructive. Your business may even have FAILED because of it. There's a thought for you.

"Is the outside world Greece that is a total failure due to its socialists government?"

Lastly, you're showing your overly simple conservative mindset again. Greece is not in it's current mess because of its socialist government, even though it is carrying a lot of debt because of it. It's in the mess it's in because it got involved with Goldman Sachs, bought a lot of its junk derivatives just like Iceland did, lost tons of money and was taught by Goldman Sachs how to hide its debt by manipulating its books, American style. Mobs of angry Greeks didn't attack the Goldman Sachs branch there because they're unhappy with their socialist government. Try thinking beyond the convenient talking points once in a while, Dan.

By JustAsking on May 8, 2010 10:52 AM

"Why is it that when the ONLY violence recorded at ANY TP gatherings or town hall meetings was perpetrated by progressive crashers, the left constantly harps about the "...wacko-inducing actions of the conservatives"?"


"Hells bells, just watch the news on this Times Square bombing!"
___________________________________________

You must have missed the OK City bombing, and the recent arrest of the group of radical right wing Christians (cough) in MI.

Of course the Tea Baggers claim that the acts are perpetrated by Progressive Crashers, they aren't going to take credit for it themselves. At least the radical Muslim groups are man enough to take credit for their actions, instead of hiding behind their flags and Bibles.

Just Asking,

From Fox News

May 6, 2010

Tennessee Governor "very pleased" with response to flooding by Obama administration


http://whitehouse.blogs.foxnews.com/2010/05/06/tennessee-governor-very-pleased-with-response-to-flooding-by-obama-administration/

Agreeing with Anonymous May 8, 2010 6:25 AM - there are A LOT of things the City could be doing FOR the residents that the residents want/need with the money they are throwing at the "smart" grid .... but hey, that's what THEY want, so that is what they will do. It works that way right across the board - but they don't publicize what they don't want you to hear, it just quietly goes away. They publicize things like closing the front desk at the police department during off hours so that you will think they are making those hard decisions with your tax dollars during hard times, but if that were true, how many test tracks or smart grid dollars do you really think would be spent without regard to resident opinion?

Why is it that when the ONLY violence recorded at ANY TP gatherings or town hall meetings was perpetrated by progressive crashers, the left constantly harps about the "...wacko-inducing actions of the conservatives"?

Hells bells, just watch the news on this Times Square bombing!

The NBC commentators are trying to make the case for getting us to donate to his defense fund!

According to them, he is just a poor, disillusioned young man who came to America for a better future but those hopes were crushed by our economy and our racist population. In short, he is a victim, while other terrorists, like McVey, were right-wing somethings or another!

Hey, is it just me or does the Times Square bomber sound like he was named by Snoop Dog? Fishizzle Badizzle.

Just asking


---JA

Anyone else notice Obama has yet to mention the flooding in Tennessee?

Could it be esteemed President STILL doesn't know we have historical (a word he likes to use often) flooding in Tennessee? That people have died, property lost, and an economic disater for that area?


Or, more appropo, do ya think it's because we already know that Obama thinks the people down are just "... bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them"?

Just asking.


---JA

By Concerned on May 7, 2010 6:53 PM
I hear that.........

Concerned, instead of posting all this "hearsay", as in "I hear", how about some links to articles or a legitimate source? There was a poster here in the past that used to spread hearsay as fact and we all now how well that worked out for him/her.

Hey Concerned. With revenues down, overtime budgets slashed by 2/3, the Naperville FD is living within it's means by shutting down ambulances. How is it you expected your taxes to go down when they are still trying to balance the budget? Are you so naive to think they would not cut service? Didn't you see the council meeting where Councilman Bob Fiesler said he wants to stress the system? He said they cut 10% of the workforce with no ill effect (translation- no one is complaining to him).

So don't forget to complain when you need an ambulance and it takes 2 minutes longer to get there. You also better get your brush out to the curb this month because this is your only chance for the entire year to take advantage of the free curbside pick up.

I want an ambulance near me, not a smart electric meter on the back of my house!!!

I know the City Council set up a "sharing" type agreement with Lisle and Woodridge recently ..... I thought that was supposed to be to our benefit as well as theirs, but if what you've heard is true, it sure sounds like it is more in the interest of Lisle/Woodridge than it is Naperville. Course at this point - NOTHING would surprise that Naperville did, that is unless it was in the interest of the average citizen - - - if they did THAT at this point, I would be shocked!

I hear that our Fire Department will be sending one of our fire fighters over to Lisle so LISLE can put up another ambulance IN LISLE.

I also hear that the ambulances from station #3 and station #5 will be browned out from time to time.

I also hear that we could still be sending that firefighter over to LISLE even when our own department has shut down our ambulance!

Station 3 is near me on Washington and Diehl. I believe Station 5 is south of 75th.

I also hear that Station 1 hasn't had an ambulance for some time now!

Why are we not told of these things? My taxes haven't gone down. Why are WE subsidizing a LISLE ambulance?!

WT? –

Just some quick findings on the Rezko “worthless” land deal…

“Complaint hits Rezko land deal”

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2008/oct/18/whistleblower-hits-obama-friends-appraisal/

“In a complaint filed Thursday in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Kenneth J. Connor said that his reappraisal of Rita Rezko's property was replaced with a higher one and that he was fired when he questioned the document.”

This same article also stated that “The two [BHO & Rezko] were friends who talked frequently about politics and occasionally dined out together with their wives.”

The Sun-Times also published “Obama’s Rezko ties deeper than land deal”

http://www.suntimes.com/news/politics/184540,122306obama.article

It seems the Rezko/BHO relationship was more than you portrayed.

T.B.

Dan D:

It's totally plausible to work with somebody for a long time and not know them well. I've done it. My husband has done it. No one said they didn't know each other, they said they didn't know each other very well. The Woods Fund Board met 4 HALF DAYS A YEAR, largely to approve grants. That's a total of 2 full days a year, 6 full days that Obama and everyone else on that board worked with Ayers. Not socializing, WORKING.

You called Ayers meet and greet for Palmer and a $200 donation to O in 1995 a "significant committment." Not in any world I live in, but perhaps an evening and $200 bucks is significant to you. Read my response about the land, too. There's a lot you don't know, that you don't care to know, because your mind was made up to trash Obama the minute he appeared on the national stage. Therein lies your problem. You don't want to know, you don't want to think. That's your loss, not mine.

WT? –

I don’t put any stock in the fact that only a certain percentage of TPers actually show up at rallies. First of all because I don’t go to any rallies of any kind, wouldn’t be caught dead at most, and yet still can identify with certain groups’ positions.

Actual participation, I think, is low for any political rally and is not the only or best measure of a group’s reach. Polls show that most Americans (narrowly) favor the new immigration law in Arizona, yet I haven’t seen any pro-law rallies.

I also don’t put too much stock into your argument that only 20% of the TP actually show up to a rally because it seems sort of contradictory to your later statement regarding Fox and the flash mobs.

And how can it be that the Republicans are so completely beholden to someone that only reaches 18% of the population? Just more reason to think that the “Rush as the boogieman” mantra is just a left falsehood. And, no, I am not even remotely a regular listener.

Again, I guess we’ll just have to disagree on Rezko. Yes, he had many political ties, but he wasn’t on all those campaign finance committees and didn’t sell ½ a parcel to all of them. I won’t rehash all of it, but if you’re interested look up past articles by John Kass in the Trib. His articles are informative and amusing, too.

Have a good weekend and week. I’ll be gone for a while.

T.B.

Anonymous on May 7, 2010 12:57 AM was me.

Dan D:

Found this further tidbit when looking into your comment about the rest of Rita Rezko's land being worthless after selling that 10-ft strip to Obama. Here's what happened to it:

On December 28, 2006, Ms. Rezko sold the remaining property to a company owned by her husband's former business attorney for $575,000. That, combined with the earlier $104,500 sale to the Obamas, amounted to a net profit of $54,500 over her original purchase. The new owner had planned to build townhouses on the land, but in October 2007 he put the still vacant land up for sale again, this time for $1.5 million.

http://www.suntimes.com/news/politics/obama/595915,CST-NWS-obama10.article

So it looks like this addresses the supposedly "worthless" piece of land. Doesn't sound so worthless after all.

Message to the Two Anonymous

May 6, 2010 6:25 PM and May 7, 2010 12:57 AM

First, neither of you deserve a response. I do not mind that you have a different view, but too make such personal attacks because somebody does not agree with you? You sound like Timothy McVeigh. (I can be as low as you guys).

But take a hard look at your cheerleader WT's response. It did not refute one of my comments, instead it gave more information. And too this "more information", I have one comment. I find it totally unbelievable that people interacted with each other for at least four years and they did not know them. Think about her entire response. You go to a fund raiser by your best supporter Alice Palmer and you don't meet the host. You sit on the Board with six other people and you don't get to know the people. It must be pretty wierd in liberal circles, you go to a party and avoid all the guests. SIMPLY NOT PLAUSIBLE.

And just like Obama, WT attempts to discredit the Rezko land deal as either Rezko being short of money or a dumb wife made a bad deal. Again, this matter has never been addressed to my satisfaction although I would love to hear a good explanation.

For everyone, I think the facts are that Rita Rezko paid $600,000 (full list) for an empty lot next to Obama, Obama paid $500,000 below list for his house ($1.3 million?) at the same time. Then later, he paid Rita $110,000 for ten feet of the vacant lot that rendered the remainder of the lot "unbuildable" (in my mind worthless). WT and all, please feel free to correct any number or detail, I did not want to look up.

My questions.

1. Would Obama had been able to pay the same price if Rezko did not buy the lot next store for full value?
2. Why would somebody make their lot worthless?

And lastly to Anonymous on May 7, 2010 12:57 AM

Your comment.

"The kind of stuff he (Dan D) puts on this blog works well within like-minded conservative circles, but once exposed to the outside world, it gets shot down pretty fast."

Last I heard, there were many conservatives. Who do you mean is the "outside world"? Liberals and Socialists?

So you know, I am VERY HAPPY that conservatives agree. I also respect that others, such as you, can have your own opinions. But I am not ashamed of my positions. Please continue to label me as a conservative. Question for you, why are you ashamed of your liberal and now socialistic stances that you have to use the "outside world".

Is the outside world Greece that is a total failure due to its socialists government? If I were the EU, I would force them off the Euro and let them go into economic disaster. Just like we will face in Illinois, California, Michigan and New York. Looks like New Jersey is taking steps to fix things.

And I do fear for our future. Massive deficits, ill conceived programs like Health Care and Cap and Trade will, in my opinion, destroy this country. And depending on polls, 45 to 70% agree with me.

To Anonymous on May 6, 2010 6:25 PM

Re: You just don't get it. Facts to Dan D. are the proverbial "hobgoblins of his mind".

Yeah, I do get this. Dan D. displays the classic symptoms of ODS--Obama Derangement Syndrome. Like many people with this, his fear and bias has little to do with reality. The kind of stuff he puts on this blog works well within like-minded conservative circles, but once exposed to the outside world, it gets shot down pretty fast. I don't expect reality to change his mind, since the ODS mind set isn't reality based to begin with. But I hope someday he'll at least learn to make sure stuff is accurate before he runs with it. Or not.

T.B.:

Ok, I'll admit group dynamics are different. And true, the Tea Party doesn't invite the wackos. But they don't discourage them, either. They accept them. It's like the quantity of participants is more important to the TP than the quality of participants, and I think this is hurting them. The normalization of the fringe puts a lot of rational people off. I think that's why only 20% of TP supporters show up for the rallies (per the recent NYT poll) and my guess is this 20% consists of the most extreme folks. Like I said, I wouldn't be caught dead at a TP rally, even if it were a LIBERAL movement, because of the fringe element and the wackos. The Tea Partiers don't seem to mind. I came to this conclusion all on my own by watching coverage of TP rallies on Fox News. Yes, Fox News. And I catch Limbaugh too occasionally. But I didn't watch Major Bloomberg on CBS or any other "liberal" media this past weekend. Yet you guys are constantly calling me a mouth piece for the liberal media. Ha! So there.

Hamlet was in high school for you and me. My two got Hamlet in middle school. My 8th grader is reading it now. That's where I got all the stuff that pushed The Bard over the edge. Kids come in handy sometimes.

I think with me, it's "the lady doth explains too much". Look what happened with Dan. I left out a few things in the interest of expediency, and Dan comes back accusing me of leaving out IMPORTANT information. So I have to go back and include it anyway. So it's just easier to put it all out there to begin with. TMI, I know, but that's how it works here.

Regarding Rezko, I did explain all the connections. I don't want to be accused of selectively leaving anything out. You think it's a lot? Really, for an 18-year span? From 1990 to Obama's presidential run? Like Ayers, Rezko was an established member of Chicago society and politics before Obama came along. Here's something else Dan, and maybe you, don't know:

Rezko raised funds for many other politicians, both Democrats and Republicans. Tony Rezko's first significant political act was hosting a fundraiser for Harold Washington during Washington's successful campaign to become Chicago's first AA major in 1983. And Rezko co-chaired a multimillion dollar fund-raiser for President George W. Bush in 2003! Uh-oh, G. W. has Rezko guilt by association too!

In addition to Obama, prominent Democrats that Rezko or his company contributed money to, or fund-raised for, are Congressman Luis Gutierrez, Comptroller Dan Hynes, Attorney General Lisa Madigan, Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn, former Chicago Mayors Daley and Washington, and former Cook County Board President John Stroger (ick, IMO). In addition to Bush, Rezko raised money for other Republicans including former Illinois Governors Jim Edgar and George Ryan and the late Rosemont, Illinois, Mayor Donald Stephens. All these politicians are contaminated by association with Rezko. I don't hear Dan complaining about Rezko fund raising for G. W. Bush or anyone else, but if Dan considers Obama tainted by associating with Rezko, the same applies to all. Information can be a bitch, can't it?

"Fox and Limbaugh speak and the dumb republican masses follow is simply a talking point from the left (and also not true)."

Yes, T.B.! It is true where the TP is concerned. Fox News calls for TP'ers to come out on a certain day at a certain place and--poof!--there they are! Like a flash mob. And then they go away until called out again. It's creepy. So yes, Fox and Limbaugh speak and the dumb TEA PARTY MASSES follow. You know this is true as well as I.

"Just because Fox and Rush are the loudest, doesn’t mean they’re the leaders or the most respected." True, but Rush seems to be well-respected by many wealthy Republican power players in addition to many on this blog. Rush's radio following is only estimated at 18% of the U.S. population, that doesn't translate into electoral victory. If this were a larger number, I think he has the ego to make a run for some office, once he's fulfilled his $400 mil contract. Could you see that?

I could be accused of being exactly what I decry, and I already have been. That's the way it is. I know I make up my own mind, and that is what's important. I can't control what others think, so I don't let it bother me.

I haven't used the word "stalker" on this thread. I wonder why Ken would immediately make the connection between himself and a stalker? Looks like someone made a Freudian slip!

WT

You just don't get it.

Facts to Dan D. are the proverbial "hobgoblins of his mind"

Dan D:

l. Yes, Rezko made Obama an unsolicited job offer when Obama was elected editor of the Harvard Law Review in 1990. Obama turned him down. So what? All that means is Rezko was very impressed with Obama early on, and Obama wasn't interested.

2. Why don't you get an answer from Rita Rezko about this rather than speculating? I could speculate that once her husband was under investigation, their plans to build on the land changed. My guess is the Rezkos saw trouble coming once Tony was under investigation and expected they would need the money. It was a 10-foot strip Obama bought from Rita Rezko, not Tony. You should ask Rita why she bought it to begin with.

3. Here's what you're leaving out, Dan:

In 1995, Alice Palmer represented the state's 13th District, and decided to run for the United States Congress. She hand-picked Obama to run to replace her. The 13th district included Hyde Park, the home of the university and some of the poorest ghettos on the South Side. Obama jumped at the opportunity.

Palmer INTRODUCTED her chosen successor, Barack Obama, to a few of the district's influential liberals at a gathering hosted at the home of two well-known figures on the local left: William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn.

So Ayers WAS A STRANGER to Obama at this "fundraiser". Ayers and his wife hosted the gathering for Alice Palmer, who brought along Obama and introduced him to some of her supporters there. Ayers contributed a whopping $200 to O's 1995 campaign. Only a very determined Obama opponent would label a coffee meet and greet and a $200 donation a "pretty significant commitment".

In addition, this wasn't the only "fundraiser" of this kind at the time. Sam Ackerman, a Chicago political activist and neighbor of Ayers, said he held a similar meet and greet for Obama in his home too. But Ackerman didn't have such a colorful past, so no one cared.

4. Here is a description of the Woods Fund of Chicago. Nothing it does is secret, Dan. It's been in Chicago since 1993-94. Obama served on it's first Board of Directors:

The Woods Fund of Chicago is a private independent foundation in Chicago, whose goal is to increase opportunities for less-advantaged people and communities in the Chicago metropolitan area, including the opportunity to shape decisions affecting them. The fund is a GRANT MAKING FOUNDATION whose goal is to increase opportunities for less advantaged people and communities in the metropolitan area. It works primarily as a funding partner with nonprofit organizations to engage people in civic life, address the causes of poverty and other challenges facing the region, promote more effective public policies, reduce racism and other barriers to equal opportunity, and build a sense of community.

Definitely right up Obama's alley. The Woods Fund promotes community organizing, Obama was a community organizer, wasn't he? Makes perfect sense. And apparently Bill Ayers decided it was up his alley too in 1999. Obama served from 1994–2002, Ayers from 1999 to at least 2008, I'm not sure if he's still there. Ayers was one of six other people besides Obama on the Board at that time. No one quit the Board when Ayers joined; Ayers was already a well-respected member of the community. Only Obama's opponents tried to make the three years he served with Ayers more meaningful than anyone else who was there at the time; the other Board members' pasts weren't as colorful either.

5. Here are the facts on the whopping $6000 given to Trinity United Church of Christ in 2001, not to Rev. White personally:

The Fund made a $6000 "discretionary grant in recognition of Barack Obama's contribution of services to the Woods Fund as a director" to Trinity United Church of Christ. In other words, Barack Obama selected Trinity United Church of Christ as the beneficiary of a $6000 grant awarded in his name.

So Obama was awarded a DISCRETIONARY grant and he chose (that's what discretionary means) to donate it to his church. Now you object to people donating to the church of their choice? Who cares if YOU don't like Obama's church or his pastor? I may not like your church. You'd better not donate then. And this happened in 2001; O wasn't a presidential candidate. No cigar.

And I haven't heard of the Woods Fund giving money to Ayers wife, Bernadine. The Woods Fund DID make a donation to the Chicago Annenberg Project, one of the authors of which was Bill Ayers, which resulted in a $49.2 million grant being awarded to Chicago Public Schools which won Bill Ayers the Chicago Citizen of the Year Award. In 2002 the Woods Fund made a grant to Northwestern University Law School's Children and Family Justice Center, where Ayers' wife, Bernardine Dohrn, was employed. Both of these programs fit the Woods Fund mission statment. This was not "under the table", there was full disclosure. The Woods Fund grants are not run like contests where workers and their families are prohibited from entering.

I know you hate FACTS about this stuff because you hardly ever mention them. Reality is hardly as sensational or sinister as you want it to be. Conspiracy theories and insinuated connections are a lot more fun. But the facts are why none of this stopped Obama's bid for the presidency as you had hoped. Try as you might to make Obama appear dirty, he simply isn't. Even Rod B. is trying to drag Obama into his mess in an effort to save his own skin. Maybe you should volunteer for Rod B.'s defense team, I'm sure they would appreciate such dogged pursuit of dirt.

At least you've learned to attach your own disclaimers to this rubbish now, such as "People like Obama who work the system looked for these "cush" paid board positions. So maybe he was just doing it for the money and did not care. Great commitment!!!"

Of course! If Obama wasn't dirty, then he had to be LAZY, only taking advantage of a cushy position that came his way. His place on the Woods Board couldn't have anything to do with his education, work ethic or commitment. Those things get you nowhere. Right, Dan?



Wow. And wt claims I'm stalking her. Too funny.

Seriously, if you are making an attempt to start over without the attacks, I have no problem with that. People on opposite sides of the debate can have intelligent debates without resorting to name calling and accusations of bullying when they are disagreed with. I like to treat others the way they treat me, and if you want honest debate, I am all for that.

On that note, getting back to the Alaskan drilling debate, just because President Clinton made a pre-emptive move and declared the frozen tundra in Alaska a national treasure does not make it so. At some point, state sovereignty has to be considered, and the Alaskans have wanted to drill there even after considering the minimal risks in a barren land. While "drill baby drill" may not appeal to you, until we get another viable cheap energy source, oil will still be needed, and still need to be drilled for.

WT? –

First of all, thanks for agreeing not to lump me in with Dan. And thanks, too, for the admission of elitism and arrogance. Your honesty is well received.

I wasn’t defending the TP, nor trying to disparage BHO. I was simply pointing out that the same reason you use for painting the TP broadly could be used against the left.

While I think you may judge an individual by the company they keep, I also think that a group dynamic is different. For the TP, since that’s what we’re really talking about, I don’t think you can judge them by “the company they keep”, especially when you’re talking about a public rally where nobody is excluded. If the TP actually invited the wackos, that would be a different story.

Think of it this way, if the Columbus Day parade is open to everyone then you can’t blame the Italian-Americans if the Skokie Nazis (do they still exist?) show up. However, it would be a different story if the Nazis were invited to walk in the parade.

You spend a great deal of time showing the connections between BHO and Rezko, but then conclude that he was someone BHO had no choice in associating with? I’m not sure just anyone can get onto BHO’s campaign finance committee and hold lavish fundraisers. To say that BHO didn’t choose to have a relationship with Rezko seems preposterous.

Your lengthy posts remind me of high school: “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.” – Hamlet (III, ii, 239)

You seem to know all about what Fox and Limbaugh are saying, but not the rest of the press! Too funny.

Mayor Bloomberg said on CBS that if he had 25 cents to bet he thought the Times Square bomber was someone homegrown with a political agenda, such as not liking the new healthcare bill (paraphrasing). There was also some Dem representative who suggested it was the work of a right-wing nut. But you missed some really classic stuff from people who see the enemy within and not the one right in front of their face.

Look, the idea that Fox and Limbaugh speak and the dumb republican masses follow is simply a talking point from the left (and also not true). Just because Fox and Rush are the loudest, doesn’t mean they’re the leaders or the most respected. If Rush was so well respected, he’d have been on a ballot by now. But by repeating this theory or idea, you could be accused of being exactly what you decry – Pavlov’s dog following the marching orders of the left.

T.B.


I see Obama finally made it to the Gulf last Sunday --- What happened? Did his Sunday foursome get cancelled?

----JA.

I do not know why I will bother, but WT did leave out a couple of important details in her rendition.

1. Rezko offered Obama a job before and after his Harvard Law school days. He also interceded with major law firms.

2. When Rezko sold the strip of land to Obama, it left the remaining land to small for any building. I would call the land worthless. This issue has never been addressed. Who would sell someone land that would prevent building on it. It is the reverse of that mansion teardown here in Naperville.

3. Ayers held a fund raiser for Obama in his State Senate campaign. I recall that it might even have been where he announced his intentions to run. That is pretty significant commitment for a stranger.

4. Obama sat for four years on a board and never knew the guy? In fact, one of the main missions of this board is activism and community organizing. Right up both of their backgrounds as extreme liberals.

5. Obama voted for money for Ayers wife during his time on the Board. And also for Reverand Wright.

I will concede one thing about the Woods board. People like Obama who work the system looked for these "cush" paid board positions. So maybe he was just doing it for the money and did not care. Great commitment!!!

Imagine if Rush Limbaugh and George Bush were on the same board. What would the liberal media say?

P.S. to T.B.:

What you consider twisted logic are simply the facts as they exist. What is twisted to me is reading into these situations things that have no basis in fact and haven't been proven, but are supported simply for political reasons. Think about it.

Re this comment:

Take a look at where the polarizing politics and mischaracterizations have gotten us. Look back on the comments from the weekend and see how many liberal politicians assumed the Time Square attack was some right-wing nut angry about the health care bill. There wasn’t an arrest yet and very little info avail, but that didn’t stop them from trying to lay the blame on their opponents. It was sad and pathetic."

I didn't hear this over the weekend, but I didn't watch any Sunday talking heads either. What I have heard since Monday on, however, is Rush Limbaugh and Dana Perino of Fox News trying to lay blame for the BP oil rig explosion on the left-wing nuts angry over off-coast drilling. They're supporting the idea that the explosion was a deliberate act of sabotage by the left. There's absolutely no indication of sabotage, but this doesn't stop them from trying to lay the blame on their opponents. This is equally as sad and pathetic, don't you think?

And regarding my comment comparing the attack behavior of some bloggers to Pavlov's dogs, this is a What the? original. To the best of my knowledge, the liberal media does not read this blog nor comment on it, so I would be very surprised if my comments about some bloggers here were liberal talking points. You may need to rephrase you question, T.B., because I'm not getting it.

T.B.:

Ok, you're right. I should not have lumped you in with Dan. I remember you objecting to my doing this in the past since you and he take very different positions on things at times. And yes, I was being elitist and arrogant. Guilty as charged. I became dismissive because I felt the only reason you asked the question was as a preface for criticism, you really weren't interested in the answer. Am I right? Are you interested now?

The point I was making was that in the Ayers and Rezko cases, Obama was judged by the company he DIDN'T keep. O never hung out with Ayers, they weren't bros. Ayers was an established member of the Chicago social circuit before O arrived. The whole "paling around with terrorists" thing was based on ONE EVENT where Obama made a visit to Ayer's home when he was running for the state (not the U.S.) Senate. The only other contact Obama had with Ayers over the years was while doing his job. Obama served on the Woods Foundation Board, where he and Ayers were two of SEVEN board members. Obama didn't choose Ayer's company, he couldn't avoid it. Big difference.

Same with Rezko. Here is the timeline:

Obama took a job in 1993 with a small Chicago law firm, Davis Miner Barnhill, that represents developers -- primarily not-for-profit groups -- building low-income housing with government funds.

One of the firm's not-for-profit clients -- the Woodlawn Preservation and Investment Corp., co-founded by Obama's then-boss Allison Davis -- was partners with Rezko, then a low-income housing developer in Chicago, in a 1995 deal to convert an abandoned nursing home at 61st and Drexel into low-income apartments. Altogether, Obama spent 32 hours on the project, according to the firm. Only five hours of that came after Rezko and WPIC became partners, the firm says. The rest of Obama's time was helping WPIC strike the deal with Rezko. Rezko's company, Rezmar Corp., also partnered with the firm's clients in four later deals -- none of which involved Obama, according to the firm. In each deal, Rezmar "made the decisions for the joint venture," says William Miceli, an attorney with the firm.

In 1995, Obama began campaigning for a seat in the Illinois Senate. Among his earliest supporters: Rezko. Two Rezko companies donated a total of $2,000. Obama was elected in 1996 -- representing a district that included 11 of Rezko's 30 low-income housing projects.

Rezko's low-income housing empire began crumbling in 2001, when his company stopped making mortgage payments on the old nursing home that had been converted into apartments. The state foreclosed on the building -- which was in Obama's Illinois Senate district.

In 2003, Obama announced he was running for the U.S. Senate, and Rezko -- a member of his campaign finance committee -- held a lavish fund-raiser June 27, 2003, at his Wilmette mansion.

A few months after Obama became a U.S. senator, he and Rezko's wife, Rita, bought adjacent pieces of property from a doctor in Chicago's Kenwood neighborhood. The doctor sold the mansion to Obama and the adjacent vacant lot to Rita Rezko. The deals closed in June 2005. Six months later, Obama paid Rezko's wife $104,500 for a strip of her land, so he could have a bigger yard. At the time, it had been widely reported that Tony Rezko was under federal investigation. Questioned later about the timing of the Rezko deal, Obama called it "boneheaded" because people might think the Rezkos had done him a favor.

Eight months later -- in October 2006 -- Rezko was indicted on charges he solicited kickbacks from companies seeking state pension business under his friend Gov. Blagojevich. Federal prosecutors maintain that $10,000 from the alleged kickback scheme was donated to Obama's run for the U.S. Senate. Obama gave the money to charity.

So Ayers and Rezko are guilt by association cases. One has no control over who else your company hires, who your boss does business with or who your next door neighbors are.

The only one who Obama chose to have a relationship with was White. So it was appropriate for Obama to be scrutinized and judged for keeping White's company, and he certainly was. So I'll give you that one. But if all you're interested in is finding fault, then it's very easy to just go with the guilt by association thing and think no further. Which is what it appeared you were doing.

WT? –

I liked your recent comment about those who don’t agree with you: “It's the same kind of reaction that's displayed by Rush Limbaugh and the opinion people on Fox News. That's not a coincidence, it's a learned behavior. I'm pretty sure they all salivate at the sound of bells, too.”

Isn’t just as easy for those same people to say that your statement above is also a learned behavior? It’s straight out of the liberal talking points--Limbaugh or Fox speak and people mindlessly follow, right?

Just curious,

T.B.

Seriously:

Interesting to see another poster use the term "bullies" to describe the behavior of some on this blog. I've used the term myself. In fact, this is deja vu all over again for Ken. Let's see, he's called you a hypocrite, next up is the phrase "you and your liberal ilk". That one pops up a lot too.

If you have a few minutes to waste and want to be amused, go here:

http://blogs.suburbanchicagonews.com/newsblog/2010/02/open_topic_3.html

This was an open topic thread back in February. The fun starts about 20 posts down. This will tell you all you need to know about Ken.

Enjoy!

seriously/what the??,

Let’s be clear: I NEVER threw out arrogant liberal slams (that would be you). I DID throw out slams against arrogant liberals, though (again, that would be you).

So let’s review my posts since you find them so insulting:
4/25 11:08 ---- a response to a posting attacking the TEA movement with flawed data and using it as gospel. I made a reference to progressive nuts directly related to a Slate article. Can this be what you speak of?

4/26 @ 1:16 ---- Huh! Not a single insult to the left. Wow! So much for “every”.

4/26 @ 6:05 ---- Again! No negative reference or insult. Hmmmm?

4/27 @ 4:25 ---- Wow!!! Still no insults or negative references. What the ……..

4/28 @ 4:05 ----- Still none! There IS a debate with what the?, who was busy all this time on a somewhat personal attack on me since I disagreed with her.

4/29 @ 6:41 ---- Nope again (though I do use the term “progressive” in the post)


*****Insert: YOUR 4/29 @ 11:26 post that personally attacks me*******


4/30 @ 1:43 ---- I speak to GLD (General Liberal Dementia) here. One comment directed at another poster who had been attacking me.

5/3 @ 1:12 (showed up as Anonymous) ---- I use the term “lefties” as I describe your method of attacking those who don’t agree with you.

Now, in the review I can ascertain that you are correct in that you didn't just dive in to a nice civil conversation – you jumped in and started slamming me and others on a conversation where another had been personally attacking me and others and was losing ground in the argument. In short, you ”knee-jerked” it, sweetie!

Your words now make it all so clear! YOU deemed yourself the protector of all things liberal, so when you decided my posts were slamming liberal ideas & actins, YOU decided to personally attack me (though I never said squat about you). Then, when your itty bitty feelings get hurt, you attack me again and try to blame me for your attack on me?

Huh? Do you have any ability to clearly look at any sequence of events and make a determinable and accurate assessment of it? Let me answer that for you --- No. So, sweetie, you are using your own biases as an objective reason for your hateful thoughts/actions!

Trying to blame your calling me crazy on my moniker is an insane after-the-fact excuse where you are trying to rationalize your deplorable tactics, which mirror what I have seen in the liberal community for years, and your failure to be able to think and debate is sad to the nth degree.

You should be ashamed of your actions and your personal attacks (which I think we have both proven were started by you). You and your actions are pathetic and as far as important to you, just stay by your pc and wait for more talking points from the DNC so you can astro-turf them to all the blogs.

WT? –

First of all, please don’t lump me in with Dan D.

“Simple minds seek simple answers” and “…if it’s too much for you guys…”? If you have a problem with my argument then state so without attacking me personally. Your April 29th post @12:25 a.m. reeks of elitism and arrogance.

Your over-simplified, talking points induced (mis)characterization of the TP was flawed. I was just showing you how your own twisted logic can be used against your interests. Do you really believe that “you are the company you keep” doesn’t apply to BHO, or that if it does you’re comfortable with his company (Ayers, Wright, Rezko et al)? The more you wrote it appeared like you were trying to convince yourself of this position as much as convince me.

Take a look at where the polarizing politics and mischaracterizations have gotten us. Look back on the comments from the weekend and see how many liberal politicians assumed the Time Square attack was some right-wing nut angry about the health care bill. There wasn’t an arrest yet and very little info avail, but that didn’t stop them from trying to lay the blame on their opponents. It was sad and pathetic.

T.B.

Ken?

Huh???? That doesn't make any sense. I hope you weren't implying I considered myself a victim? The bully tactics of Crazy are a joke .... and it looks like you want to join him? I honestly thought better of you, even if I disagreed with 99% of what you post and your opinion of What the???'s posts. The only victim of someone as small minded as CRAZY would be himself .... or perhaps more sadly, anyone who associates with him.

Seriously and wt, too funny. Two seriously blackened pots call the kettle the same. Your 'us poor little victims of nasty bully' statements need no more comments, as yours show how hypocritical you both are.

What the ...

No worries, I've spent enough time around bullies to be familiar with the tactics, and I've seen enough out here to realize it's a one sided argument 99% of the time. I think it's sad, because there are a lot of conservative principles I can respect and some I can even agree with, but it seems to be a sign of the times that what good there is get's lost in the childish foot stomping liberal bashing.

Here is a way Naperville could take in some albeit small income. After my lawn mower broke down I left it where it last ran, on the sidewalk by the driveway, borrowed my neighbors mower to finish the job. While I was inside looking for parts, someone took it, my bad luck. So I ask the city if there is a listing of approved scrap/scavengers that I maybe could find out who took it. The answer is no. Why not? Shouldn't they pay a fee for doing business in the city like everyone else.
Now I have no choice but to get a new one because someone thought it was being thrown out.

Seriously:

My "agreed" was in response to your last post, not the two poison posts that came after it.

Sorry the dogs came after you like that, but they do it to everyone who posts here with a world view that's different from theirs. Doesn't matter what the subject, the response is generally the same: aggressive and hostile as soon as they realize you're not like "them". It's the same kind of reaction that's displayed by Rush Limbaugh and the opinion people on Fox News. That's not a coincidence, it's a learned behavior. I'm pretty sure they all salivate at the sound of bells, too.

Talking about Ken, he says pretty much the exact same thing to everyone here whom he disagrees with--the stuff about you putting words in his posts and calling your comments rants, etc., so feel free to ignore it. Here's a few tips: 1) he considers this blog a debate site, so he's always looking for an argument; 2) he would lay on railroad tracks for Palin and G. W. Bush (what does this tell you?); and 3) he is obsessed with me. As his posts reveal, I am always in his thoughts.

It's nice to see an open mind here. I hope you stick around.

Crazy/Anonymous - I went back as far as I could in this thread - and from the FIRST post you identified yourself with, you were throwing out arrogant liberal slams. THAT is why I gave it back to you - and I would say the same thing to Ken ..... I didn't just dive in to a nice civil conversation and start slamming or trying to sound clever the way so many of Crazys posts do - I jumped in AFTER the slams and self righteous attacks on all things liberal were already in full force.

If I misunderstood your intent on the land based drilling Ken, I apologize, but I don't think the impact of a disaster in a protected nature reserve would be as minimal as you believe it would be. Regardless, the point is that drilling isn't the long term answer - so touting it as the answer and chanting it at the Republican Convention the way they did is at best short sighted, and at worst, an appeal to the lowest common denominator voters who believe whatever they hear repeated, be it true or false (thank you Carl Rowe!).

I was not only listening to Palin soundbites at the beginning .... when she was first introduced I listened very closely to what she had to say ..... what I found at that time was that she was an embarrassment - and I openly admit I don't listen to anything she has to say anymore. I don't listen to anyone once they have established that they have no credibility. If by some miracle I discover she has said something intelligent at some point, I'll be happy to listen again - but I've seen no sign of that.

AND finally CRAZY ...... you can name call and spit all you like, I called you crazy because what you wrote could not be the work of any sane person, AND IT WAS PART OF YOUR HANDLE. Think what you like, if I cared what people like you think, I'd be the crazy one. I find your tactics pathetic .... have seen them used before, and couldn't be more bored by it. If you're serious, there are Drs who can help you .... look some up soon ..... if you're just trying to get a rise out of someone, I hope you soon find something more useful to do with your life. Meantime - I won't waste any more of my time reading or responding to you ...... basically EVERYTHING I can think of is more important, "sweetie".

Seriously, if you want to be taken seriously, don't put words in my or others posts. Wt is famous for that, and it hurts her credibility. I didn't say that I didn't care as long as it didn't effect me, I said the same disaster in Alaska would have little or no affect. What I meant was a blow up there would only affect the ground in the immediate area, not the kind of damage an offshore rig causes when things go bad. Land drilling is much safer and easier to control, and Palin wanting to drill on land in a desolate area makes more sense. Off shore drilling became a necessity because of ridiculous laws enacted against sensible land based drilling.

One other thing, serious. Your long winded rant basically did the same thing you said you were against, attacking people for beliefs you think they have instead of finding out what those views really are. Just as you obviously only listen to Palin sound bites, you also only read what you want to see here.

1)what the?:
Now what the? is having conversations with her alter ego! Wow! Talk about unhinged!

So, what the? wants me to do her work for her so that she can understand it better? Gosh, how very liberal of you, sweetie.

As far as the alleged silence of the drill, baby, drill crowd ---- uh, what? Do you want us to believe they cried this out every day? Every hour? I seriously doubt this will affect the desire by certain states to have say over their own natural resources. It is a disaster down in the gulf, and it will eventually be cleaned up, and we will all move on. It happens every few decades or so. Why? Not because oil exists but because people get lazy, etc.

2)seriously?:
Now for seriously? (or should I say wt?#2?): You might want to take your own advice, sweetie. You posted on 5/1 “When you come out swinging at anyone who disagrees with your pea brain dribble - you're going to get it back one way or another. If you want an intelligent discussion, don't start with comments like "General Liberal Dementia”.

Newsflash, idiot! You posted on 4/29 and attacked me. In fact, you called me crazy.

As is usual for you lefties, your first move is to attack, then you get all angry and shocked when it comes right back at you. You guys cannot hack it. You either have no memory, or you are a complete bully (or try to be ---- it doesn’t work with me, sweetie). or you are a wackadoo.

Your pick. No matter which one you pick, though, it still highlights your lack of adequate thought, intelligence, or ability to not be a moronic leftist bully with a narrow mind and a mean spirit.

3)For both:
I say “both” because even a split personality, or a schizo, can be referred to as more than one ------ it must be rough to be so thick-headed, so close-minded, that you cannot even have a discussion without FIRST attacking those who don’t entirely agree with you. What a sad little life!

What the? .... Nope, I won't hate you for supporting some drilling ... I'd rather leave that kind intolerance of viewpoints to the others. :-) Truth is, I don't disagree with the idea that some VERY careful, and VERY well thought out drilling, might be necessary as a type of stop gap measure while better solutions are being developed and implemented. What infuriates me is what I see as a deaf dumb and blind approach that supports drilling anywhere an everywhere without thought of consequences. Might just refer to that as the Palin approach? lol.... I am amazed anytime I hear someone support that given what we know can happen - beyond which, it is yesterdays approach and we all KNOW it won't be any kind of long term solution to the problem. Keep doing what you've always done, and you'll keep getting what you've always gotten no?

I feel the same way about Nuclear energy really. Approached with extreme caution and respect, it can be a very prudent approach to meeting many current energy needs. I worry about lack of caution and greed coming into play - so if Palins crowd started screaming Nuke baby Nuke, I would be even MORE petrified than I am disgusted by the drill baby drill mantra.

P.S. to seriously:

I'm pro-nuclear energy, too. Yeah, I know, weird for a liberal.

seriously?:

I agree with your statement that we need intelligent, creative, well-thought compassionate approaches to solving the world's problems. I definitely think we have that in Obama, as opposed to the arrogant, bullying stance taken by so many Rep politicians (you know, the whole "America is the big dog, we don't take crap from nobody, we kick ***" stuff that appeals to some people).

Having said that, tho, and don't hate me, but . . . I do think domestic drilling needs to be a part of a comprehensive energy program. I think it's just the reality of what our needs are. Solar, wind, excellent ideas and by all means develop it. But we can't put solar and wind energy in our tanks. We're oil dependent, and reducing that dependency will take time. So I think we have to drill, if for no other reason than to show the "drill, baby, drill" contingent that domestic drilling is NOT the answer to our energy problems, that it may, in fact, create more problems than it solves. Like we're seeing now.

Crazy ..... you are one funny little dude! Good thing the ONLY choices are drilling and trashing the environment and whale oil! Excellent argument. I so feel put in my place. rotflmao ......

Just one clue that might help you in the future (ok, it won't, cuz you won't get it, but sometimes I just have to try). When you come out swinging at anyone who disagrees with your pea brain dribble - you're going to get it back one way or another. If you want an intelligent discussion, don't start with comments like "General Liberal Dementia". It is way too stupid to be clever and no one with a single working brain cell is ever going to consider anything else you have to say is valid.

Being an idiot is your choice - it's just generally smarter to keep it to yourself.

AND no Ken, I don't think we should shut down all off shore drilling - it's already been done, and today, there isn't much choice. That said, NEW drilling will take at least 10 years to produce any noticeable results ...... there are MANY better options that can be produced in those 10 years if we are smart enough to focus on tomorrow instead of staying stuck in yesterday - so from everything I've learned, "drill baby drill" is the solution that appeals to the short sighted and uninformed. If someone doesn't actually READ or give any consideration to what can be done better, it's a great slogan! ALSO, your comment on the fact that drilling in Alaska is ok because even if a disaster happens it won't effect me is EXACTLY WHAT is wrong in this country and most especially in Naperville! No, it won't effect my day to day life one bit - so if all that mattered to me was me and my pocked book, I'd be ALL over drilling and not at all worried about what it might do to the environment - that would however make me a typical conservative blogger (not all conservatives are as dim as crazy thank heavens, but those who are, tend to blog) and once someone has considered the world is bigger than their own town and their own wallet, it's impossible to go back.

Before you shot out an insult about me being rich enough to afford to pay higher prices for my principles, trust me, I'm not. I am a single Mom who is scraping through every single paycheck to keep my kids taken care of. If the price of gas goes up, I feel it just like when the price of anything else goes up, I feel it. I simply feel strongly enough about the attitudes I see displayed here to stand behind my principles REGARDLESS of whether it is to my own personal benefit or not.

OH, and NO, I've never been on public aide either .... so don't bother with that little attack - just accept that there are people who can't tolerate the small minded attacks of people like crazy who aren't any different than you in any way except the way they view the issues. People like Crazy are dangerous .... as are people like Palin and her ilk. If they weren't so attractive to those who are afraid of anything outside their own limited viewpoints and experiences, they would be truly funny, but they become dangerous when those with limited intelligence or knowledge come to accept what they say and give them a blank check.

Ok, I'm done. Spew away, dribble on ..... you are entitled to your beliefs - have them, but don't accuse others of not being open to YOUR viewpoints when you are so completely comfortable being dismissive and insulting of anyone who doesn't share them. I have never, and will never, attack a new idea, but a small minded bully like Crazy - they just need to at least ONCE get back as good as they give. Beyond that, they aren't worth my time, so I'm going to head off and enjoy what this beautiful weekend has to offer.

P.S. Yes What the .... I thought Obama was wrong when he announced he was going to allow that drilling. A decision I can't respect - and I think was a mistake. He has made a few of those, but has also made several I think were exactly right. Abandoning what saw as one of his principles was a bad idea - I'd hate it if Bush did it, and I hate it when he does it - but I still have hope that the overall picture will be better in the long run with an intelligent, creative, well thought out compassionate approach to the worlds problems in general. If the majority of his decisions are made based on that rather than selling out to lesser ideals - I will have complete respect for his Presidency - that jury is still out, but I still believe it's possible.

Seriously?:

Don't worry about it. I don't think Crazy is for real. No one can have that level of brain damage and live.

It is funny how quiet the "drill, baby, drill" contingent has become since the drill became a spill. But I bet Obama is wishing he'd delayed announcing that off-shore drilling decision by a few weeks, too!

Crazy:

Unbelievable. I've seen posts from some thick people, but you are the new gold standard.

The poll I referred to (the poll from the NYT) has already been discussed in detail on this thread by others.

I cannot figure out wt?'s attitude except to pass it off as GLD (General Liberal Dementia).

Hey, seriously? ---you're right. Let's close down all energy production and go back to whale oil for lighting, you luddite. Talk bout not being open to new ideas! You & wt? should create your own website...... you can call it "Only my views count" and you guys can talk to each other all day and all night.

I will s-l-o-w-l-y try to explain a basic idea to you: being a hateful little close-minded liberal does not make you right, attacking all who don't agree with you does not make you better or right, and dismissing all otyher arguments due to your own limited abilities to read & comprehend only highlights your shortcomings in these areas.

Seriously, seriously? Seems like you want to stop all domestic drilling because of one admittedly bad disaster. Of course, the fact that Palin wanted to drill in Alaska where a similar disaster would have little or no effect makes no difference to you, does it? Talk about being right just because you say you are...

Crazy is obviously exactly that - not worth explaining basic ideas too - just a waste of time. SOOOO like so many "conservatives" these days. They know, they don't have to prove it, they are just right and that's that. Does ANYONE remember CRAZY Sarah and the battle cry from the election of "drill baby drill"? Nice things going on in the Gulf right now with that don't ya think? That single minded stupidity probably isn't selling so well with the residents along the coast of Louisiana about now I would guess. Believe it or not, just saying it louder and with disgust doesn't make it true. Try this, entertain some NEW ideas every now and then ..... it really doesn't hurt as much as you think it will.

Crazy:

If your data on the poll is exact, then why can't you produce it? You spend all this time evading and attacking when a simple link would have sufficed.

Another one bites the dust.

wt?,

TRhe only thing individual about you is the way you can continually repeat the talking points of your progressive masters, be constantly proven wrong by myself and others, yet continue to believe you have something to offer.

Remember the definition of crazy, sweetie?

You are doing it! You keep repeating your lame actions and somehow expecting a new result.

Sorry, but it's not my fault you can't read. My data on the poll is exact. if you can't handle it, go back to your coffee clutch and trash someone else.

It i sfunny --- you have never been part of anything (by your own admission), yet you sit in front of your PC and type like you have some valid point of view --- based on what?

Why, your own narrow minded, mean-spirited biases.

A correction to my post of April 28, 2010 12:21 PM:

As to the spiking, no I do not think it should be the responsibility of the state, which is why I have consistently said that the rules should be changed so that local school districts are on the hook for whatever excess raises they grant employees in their last years before retirement---and I think the current 6% maximum still amounts to "excess".

Dan D:

Ran into this comment while reviewing the CBS poll again:

"And while the vast majority [of Tea Partiers] opposes the health care reform bill, 62 percent say programs like Social Security and Medicare are worth the costs to taxpayers. (The figure is even higher among Americans overall, at 76 percent.)"

Dude! Even the majority of TPers won't give up their socialist benefits, even while they're opposing socialism! These two programs are considered "worth" the costs to the taxpayers by a majority of both TPers and Americans. See the problem?

Anon ONE:

"I'm curious if you will agree that these same Independents are the group most responsible for swinging the election to Obama?"

I really don't know, but I've heard that. A lot of red states turned blue during the last election too so modgoppers could have helped as well. Why?

"They are better educated than most Americans: 37 percent are college graduates, compared to 25 percent of Americans overall. They also have a higher-than-average household income, with 56 percent making more than $50,000 per year."

Yes, those are the stats that are being discussed the most. That's why some folks have been on this blog repeating it in a sort of "neener neener, told you we weren't stupid" kind of way.

I don't remember the discussion with you and OWVY about polls. Sure it was me? At any rate, I have been raising questions about the sampling of the poll. Some findings of the survey don't add up, and I've mentioned them.

I suspect, but of course we can never know, that some respondents were embellishing their education. They have a strong motive for doing so--they've been getting dissed in the media since the beginning for not appearing like the brighest bulbs in the pack, so it would be an easy thing to fudge since none of the information given was verified. These kind of "tell me about yourself" polls are different from "give me your opinion" polls. People want to be seen in the best possible light (ha! get it--bulbs, light?), so it can't be totally dismissed as a possibility. This would be a fatal flaw if this were a scientific study, but it's not, it's just a poll, so we take it at face value as is, flaws and all.

However, there could be another explanation. If you look at the results, this study separated supporters--those who had never been to a TP rally--from activists, those who had. The activists are the ones we see, not the supporters. My guess is that the more highly educated folks are the silent supporters, the less educated activists take to the street and protest. They are the ones who are the most angry, distrustful of government and pessimistic of the country's future. This would explain a lot of the stupid stuff we see at these rallies.

The study did not break down rally participation by educational level, even though I'm sure the pollsters have this information. That would be very interesting to know, and my guess would be that the lower the educational level, the higher the rally participation. That would explain a lot--the higher number of birthers in the TP movement than nation wide, the racism, the inaccurate use of the words marxist, facist, any "ist", the contradictory signs and slogans that indicate the bearers don't know what they're talking about, etc. etc.

Right now, the people at the rallies are only 4% of the population. And while 84% of the Tea Partiers believe they are representative of the nation as a whole, they are the only ones who do: only 25% of Americans say the TPs reflect their views, 39% say they do not. So two common TP talking points were dispelled by this poll: the TPs are not representative of all Americans, and they don't speak for the American people.

The government is right to ignore them.

Um, Mike D.? It's pretty obvious that T.B. meant the real BHO, who always gets a pass from his cult members like wt.

By T.B. on April 28, 2010 12:42 PM
WT ? –

You just used 1,101 words to say “you are the company you keep”, unless you’re BHO.

T.B.


-----

I don't think WT is BHO. If I recall BHO was an organizer of the local Tea Party at City Hall.

By Anonymous on April 27, 2010 10:34 AM

"Pelosi has given code ping the run of the Capitol building and all hearing, how much more mainstream Democrat can you get?"

And W. Bush gave the evangelicals the run of the Capitol building on the National Day of Prayer. How much more mainstream conservative can you get?

Addendum to Crazy:

So you're citing the same poll as I did but claiming different results? Okaaay. You can't back up your statement, so it seems you are making up your own facts. Fine with me. Stay on the yellow brick road all the way to the Emerald City. And pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

Dan D. and T.B.:

Simple minds seek simple answers, and biased minds don't seek answers at all. The complexities of life rarely deliver simplicity, we have to sort these things out for ourselves. I'm comfortable doing this, but if it's too much for you guys, then don't ask from now on. Just stay on the yellow brick road.

Crazy:

Unlike you, I have never marched or joined a protest for anything in my life. You're a follower, I'm an individualist. I don't need a mob to validate my beliefs, just like I don't need to solicit support from fellow bloggers here as you do to validate myself. I have the confidence to stand on my own. Try it.

Did you all read the post By What the? on April 27, 2010 6:37 PM?

Once again, she oddly decides to highlight her own biases as an objective reason for her hateful thoughts/actions.

Because she has an extreme bias against the TEAs (which is expected given her far–progressive left attitude), she has decided the TEAs MUST be embellishing their education since she, what the?, does not like them!

How is that for an intellectually lazy logic loop, folks.

[By the way, I inaccurately posted “NBC” when I think it is clear I meant CBS since the poll referenced earlier was a CBS poll and Dan rather worked at CBS. ]


Wt? oft writes that all TEAs are dumb, nuts, stupid, racist, whatever, yet when others point out the nut-factor of, say, code pink, she takes exception to the generalization. Well, wt?, what you reap is what you sow --- your generalizations and attacks on all-who-disagree-with-you are just being re-presented to you.

I will note here that I think I have more bonafides than most on the subject of rabble rousers: I marched at the Dem convention in Chicago, I participated in the teamster strikes & riots in the early 70s, I have been at anti-war rallies, and I have attended TEA parties. I will with no hesitation state that the people at the Dem convention and the anti-war rallies were definitely the most nutso of any of these groups, closely followed by the union agitators. I find the TEAs to be fairly comfortable in their anti-big government, controlled-taxes stance

The education establishment will not like this movie! Wonder if they'd let us have a screening of this in the District 203 schools since they show all that Earth Day crap in the schools.

http://www.thecartelmovie.com/

Immediately impartment the same law as Arizona has enacted to stem the flow of illegal aliens in Illinois. Action must be taken now to end illegal immigration.

WT ? –

You just used 1,101 words to say “you are the company you keep”, unless you’re BHO.

T.B.

Dan D,

The chronic underfunding is "all applied against the state share" because it is the state that is doing the underfunding! As to the spiking, no I do not think it should be the responsibility of the state, which is why I have consistently said that the rules should be changed so that local school districts are on the hook for whatever excess raises they grant administrators in their last years before retirement---and I think the current 6% maximum still amounts to "excess". Maybe instead of a one-time upfront penalty, we should instead require the districts to pay extra cost of the retirees' pensions every year.

-JQP

To WT

If it doesn't matter that Ayers and Rezko's past to OBE, then why doesn't he have them over to the White House? He discovered their flaws too late. Your argument simply does not hold water. Sorry.

To JQP

There was some funding share between state and teachers. The chronic underfunding is all applied against the state share. I would like to know what the intent was. Should benefit abuses such as spiking be 100% the responsibility of the state and us as taxpayers?

Anonymous on April 26, 2010 3:44 PM wrote:

I also do not like the artificial bumping up of salaries. But if you think about the district paying it - that is our tax money.

Yes, it is our tax money. The problem though, is that these end of career bump-ups amount to a huge benefit to the retirees at very little cost to local taxpayers, but at a significant cost to the state. That is why they are so attractive to teachers and school boards alike. The only way I can think of to curb this abuse is to make school districts foot the entire cost---not just for anything in excess of 6% over the last four years, but for anything in excess of the increase in the cost of living.

-JQP

-2,

I've read the entire series, and I'm not sure where you're getting this 50/50 idea, as it's not mentioned anywhere therein. The series does say, over and over again that, the outlying $250K pensions notwithstanding (and I agree that these are unconscionable), the primary source of the deficit is chronic underfunding on the part of the state going back many decades now.

We need(ed) to eliminate the abuses, and the recently passed reforms go a long way toward this goal. But in regard to the current deficit, we can't just throw out the balance books and say "Lets start over from scratch." This is money that has been promised in our names to people who have been counting on it being there when they retire.

-JQP

Crazy:

What NBC poll? I googled it and only came up with some articles about Teas being favored over Dems and Reps. Since you insist of having your own facts, how about sharing where you're getting them? I shared mine.

If they are both considered valid but show such different results, maybe neither should be given much importance. Or it could depend on the area of the country in which the polls were conducted. And I have a hunch Teas are embellishing their educational backgrounds. What I see at the rallies doesn't reflect much education. Or maybe the educated ones are the ones who are smart enough to stay home. Since we have no way of verifying whether any of this is true, perhaps none of it should be taken that seriously. Just like the Tea Party itself.

JQP,

You are pretty accurate in your depiction on April 26, 2010 7:04 PM. That is why I referred to the pensions as being bankrupt.

I believe that our state is at a precipice: either declare bankruptcy and move forward, or completely cripple us with taxes that drive us into oblivion.

what the?,

You have yor polls, I have mine. The NYT poll has already been discussed on this thread. It is every bit as valid as the NBC poll. I sytand by the data: TEAs are more educated, make more money, are about 60% Republican, and are 40% Dem & Indee (equally split).

Say, did Dan Rather commission that NBC poll?

Just asking.

I agree --you're entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts. I suggest you read up, and fast, before you get called out by other progressives.

Dan D:

"You left out a convenient little fact. Bill Ayers father, the former chairman of Commonwealth Edison, coincidently contributed huge sums of money (to the Daleys, U of C so his son would be admitted, UIC so he could get a job, etc) to prop up his son. For a smarty pants like OBE, he should have known this."

This has nothing to do with Obama. Take this up with Daley and the U of C.

And I've already addressed your other comments in my reply to T.B.

All pensions systems should be eliminated and everyone placed on Social Security.

A government of the people, by the people and for the people does not screw its citizens by giving them the pittance known as S.S. while giving themselves platinum known as pensions.

SS will not go bankrupt since the Feds can print money or borrow more from China. Your dollars will just be seriously deflated when you get them. You will have less purchasing power but you will always have your "dollars."

T.B.:

Yes, I know that's the point you were going for, but I still don't agree the situations are comparable. Let me put this another way: let's say you apply for a job at a big corporation (Chicago) as you're starting your career (law). You have the support of your family because the corporation is located in your wife's home town where her extended family live, and you have no family except for a grandmother in Hawaii. Once you get the job and start to move up, over time moving from one department into another (transitioning from law into politics) you run into some odd characters who have been with the company for a very long time. We've all known these kind of corporate fixtures. You may not know how they got to positions of prominence to begin with, but they've been there forever and have the support of everyone in the firm. So you have to work with them. You can't avoid it. Some people you don't directly work with, they're just at the same board meeting as you once in a while. Obama didn't choose these people, the corporation (city of Chicago) hired them long before Obama got there. That's how I see the Ayers and Rezko connections.

And Ayers had the approval of more than just Daley, he had the approval of the entire city of Chicago. He taught students at the U of C for years and the Univ. gave him distinguished honors as a professor. He is still a professor in the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago, holding the titles of Distinguished Professor of Education and Senior University Scholar. How come no one complained that a terrorist was and still is teaching their children (perhaps indoctrinating future little terrorists?) Ayers worked with Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley and the Chicago Board of Education in shaping the city's school reform program, and was one of three co-authors of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge grant proposal that in 1995 won $49.2 million over five years for public school reform. In 1997 Chicago awarded him its Citizen of the Year award for his work on the project. Ayers was instrumental in developing the curriculum for Chicago Schools (oh no, more "indoctrination" of young minds!) and for the past 10 years he has served on the board of directors of the Woods Fund of Chicago, an anti-poverty, philanthropic foundation.

All I'm saying is, that's quite a resume for a terrorist. Chicago city leaders chose to forgive the guy and embrace him into the establishment, and people of Chicago voting for those leaders were ok with it as well. No one cared about Ayers past anymore until Obama brushed elbows with him, then all hell broke loose. But that's politics for you.

Obama's lot deal with Rezko has been scrutinized twelve ways from Sunday and no improprieties have ever been found on Obama's end. You can continue to believe what you want, but that issue was laid to rest during the campaign.

And for the many years Obama attended White's church, he wasn't running for president either. O's problem with White is that he had feelings of loyality to the man, even when White started acting out in ways that hurt Obama's campaign. White forced O to make a choice. That situation had some different dynamics at play, and was a no-win for Obama either way. His opponents criticized him for associating with White, and then criticized him for disloyalty and "throwing White under the bus" when White's behavior got so extreme that O finally had to break ties with the man and his church. I really don't want to go into all that again, it's been discussed to death over the past two years. But once I understood the people and the dynamics, I understood the situation, and had no problem with it. Obviously the people who put Obama in the White House didn't either.

Now compare that to the Tea Party. Say you've been working in the corporation for years when a bunch of colleagues get together and decide to form a political group that likes to dress up in colonial costumes, pin tea bags to their clothes and protest the government. You think this looks fun and join in. There's the diff to me. Now you could also choose to continue to work at the company and stay away from the group's activities, and that will probably be fine too unless you plan to run for president someday. Then you'll have to explain why you were even working there to begin with. That's how it goes.

Conservatives have tried to make Code Pink representative of all liberals, look at Rove's comments to the media when he was ambushed. It just hasn't stuck. I really don't know much about them, but my impression is that normal liberals don't mix with Code Pink the way normal conservatives mix with the nuts (ha! mixed nuts! pun not intended) in the Tea Party. This has been precisely the point of all the discussion. Many people think it's the wackos that are keeping the Tea Party from being accepted by a larger population of centrists. That's why the movement is not growing.

And racism, ignorance, etc., can be subjective. Maybe a picket sign at a TP rally showing Obama as an African tribesman, replete with feathers and bone piercings, isn't racist to you, but it is to me and many other people. What does something like that possibly have to do with "taxed enough already?" Is the use of the N word on a protest sign about Obama racist to you? It's been done. And people at TP rallies with misspelled signs vigorously protesting things that don't exist or complaining about things that are an obvious contradiction (Stop socialism, and keep your government hands off my Medicare and many other such slogans) shows the height of ignorance. Maybe you're okay with it, but in my worldview, stupid is as stupid does. And open carrying at town hall meetings where Obama was speaking and in groups outside D.C. city limits on Tax Day--the Tea Party official protest day--doesn't indicate that some of these people are gun-toting militia types? Does to me.

And I wouldn't compare the Rep party to the Tea Party. The Rep party doesn't call on it's members to hold public protests randomly around the country. Some TP rallies remind me of flash mobs, people are called out to appear, protest, then go away until called up again. Does the Republican Party do that? Didn't think so.

Like corporate layoffs, and the elimination of defined benefits plans and the move to 401K plans, no one wants to be the bad guy and be among the first movers into City, County and State and probably National bankruptcies.

Governments will probably dither until the delinquency notices are nailed to the front doors of government buildings and there is no toilet paper in the bathrooms.

Absurd government programs, costs, failed free tradism, expanding entitlement programs and public sector unions controlling local and state government and now the White House have led us to this.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601109&sid=ab6OQc35weDI&pos=14

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Council Told to Consider Bankruptcy


By Dunstan McNichol

April 27 (Bloomberg) -- Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, which has missed $6 million in debt payments since Jan. 1, should consider seeking Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection, City Controller Dan Miller told a three-hour special committee hearing..........................................

Council members should consider asset sales and tax increases before heading to bankruptcy court, said Fred Reddig, the executive director of the state’s office of Local Government Services. He suggested following steps recommended in a recovery plan prepared by Management Partners Inc. of Cincinnati, a consulting firm hired to study the city’s finances as part of a state municipal support program. ............

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Maybe the State guy is right, they can sell city hall and meet at the Ramada Inn or a local diner.

Or they can sell the parks to connected developers who can build large section 8 projects and hope they are completed before the Federal voucher programs also go bankrupt or China decides to stop funding them.

How long will it be before China and Japan ask the IMF to take over control of our economy and budget so they can get their money back. Greece, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Portugal and the Ukraine today, America tomorrow.

I admit that the sweeteners given at the end of one's carreer are a problem. Not that this helps correct the current situation, but these were sweeteners that the unions proposed and the school boards accepted. From reading the DH the last few days, it appears that some school board members did not understand the impacts of what they approved. That is a joke. If they didn't ask, shame on them. Any economics in a contract need to be costed out.

One question for the panel, I heard that the 6% bumps used to be 20% x 2 years, is that true? Also, how do administrators get the bumps? They have no contract. Once again, if true, it's the school boards that are to blame. I don't fault teachers for asking, someone needs to understand the costs and say no. That's why you can't change the current system. There was a contract that elected officials approved in an open meeting. They are obligatged.

As for reform, making the retirement age higher for teachers and Police and Fire are horrible ideas-conmsidering the age factor. Not saying that teachers can't teach after 60, but I don't want them to. Police and Fire are obvious. How about a statewide early retirement deal to get people out of the system now and start over? Maybe the Sun can tell us the cost of something like that?

What,

Pelosi has given code ping the run of the Capitol building and all hearing, how much more mainstream Democrat can you get?

WT? wrote to "Crazy" (what the? on April 26, 2010 4:39 PM)

And the Independents go with the prevailing wind.

_______________

WT, I agree with your assessment of the Independents. I'm curious if you will agree that these same Independents are the group most responsible for swinging the election to Obama?

Thank You for posting the CBS news link as well. I opened it up and found the following that I wasn't aware of:

"They are better educated than most Americans: 37 percent are college graduates, compared to 25 percent of Americans overall. They also have a higher-than-average household income, with 56 percent making more than $50,000 per year.

I also went further and opened up the cbs provided information regarding the polling:
http://www.cbsnews.com/htdocs/pdf/poll_tea_party_who_they_are_041410.pdf?tag=contentMain;contentBody

I'm not sure if you recall, but in a previous "discussion" on a different topic (months ago) I cited some polls and made the statement that market researchers can be fairly accurate (+/- 3%) by polling approx 1500 people. Both you and One Who Values You absolutely crucified me about bias, sample size, and lack of understanding about polling - including the fact that you must have a larger sample size than 1500. I couldn't resist cutting and pasting the following about the CBS poll that you cite as your source: "CBS News and the New York Times surveyed 1,580 adults". Don't misunderstand, I'm not disagreeing with the results of the poll, just pointing out the sample size and your apparent agreement with their conclusions.

Before anyone gets too uptight about the Tea party the poll also reached the following conclusions:

"18% of the population say they support the tea party, most do not donate money or attend a rally. Those considered activists make up only 4% of the population". (so by extension, 82% do not support the Tea Party, and 96% are not activists)

"Few Americans think the views of the tea party reflect those of most in the country"

"54% are Republicans". (So by extension 46% of the population identify with something OTHER than the Republican party.)

I'm a conservative, and while I believe Government intervention is not the answer to everything (Like Many Liberals do) I don't identify with Tea Partiers.

WT

You left out a convenient little fact. Bill Ayers father, the former chairman of Commonwealth Edison, coincidently contributed huge sums of money (to the Daleys, U of C so his son would be admitted, UIC so he could get a job, etc) to prop up his son. For a smarty pants like OBE, he should have known this.

And you didn't answer the Rezko question. Anybody give you some land for a larger side yard and make their property worthless?

And Oprah was not running for President. But she should denounce the racist Wright as well.

WT ? –

Yes, the associations may have been hashed out long ago, but the point I was making is that somehow we’re not supposed to judge BHO by the company he kept, yet we’re to judge the TP by theirs? You can’t have it both ways. And just because the mayor likes the guy, that’s OK? How many people does the mayor know who are or soon will be wearing an orange jumpsuit in the federal pen?

And you’re right to say that nobody is claiming the Code Pink is demographically representative. The point here is that nobody is claiming that the wackos in the TP are representative, either. They’re claiming that the movement as a whole is representative, and being representative will include some wackos. The problem I see here is that people (and the press) view Code Pink as a wacko faction of the left, but then paint all the TPers based on their wackos. There’s no consistency being applied here.

I don’t see any relevance to the fact that allot of people identify with the movement but don’t associate with them. By this, do you mean they haven’t gone out to a rally? Because I “identify” with the Republicans but have never attended a rally or fundraiser and I’ve also never donated to any campaign. Does that mean I’m not a Republican at all?

As for the “white, racist, ignorant, far right militia-types”, I did read where there was much discussion about this; however, I didn’t see any evidence to support this claim except as to maybe the white part. I didn’t see anything to support “racist”. This is just something people have been throwing at anyone who dares to disagree with BHO. That slander in and of itself is racist. Ignorant? No, I think the stats I saw showed the TPers were at least as educated as everyone else. And militia-types? Conservative and very conservative doesn’t equate to running around the woods with guns. Mostly, it means church-going people who are very against abortion and want less government taxes and spending. Painting them with such a broad brush is akin to me equating “very liberal” with domestic terrorists such as Ayers and ELF. That wouldn’t be correct either, would it?

Gotta run.

T.B.


T.B.:

Is Code Pink that group that ambushed Carl Rove twice on his book signing tour? Rove made a generalized statement "this is how LIBERALS act" or something like that? I've always considered Code Pink "out there"; the TP denies it has these kind of members. That's one thing. Liberals aren't claiming that Code Pink is a "king maker" or that they "demographically mirror the nation as a whole", that's another. Liberals don't take Code Pink seriously, conservatives take the Tea Party FAR too seriously. I see a lot of differences.

I haven't heard anything about Sheehan for a long time. Later.

Hey T.B.:

Glad to see you! I'm gonna whip out a quick response because I don't want to ignore you but it's late and I'm tired. Understand I'm not being intentionally abrupt or rude. But . . . do we really have to bounce around Rev. Wright, Bill Ayers, and Tony Rezco again? That stuff is so old. Fine, here goes:

I suggest you ask Major Daley, the University of Chicago, the Chicago Board of Education and everyone else who validated Bill Ayers and accepted him as a legitimate member of Chicago society LONG BEFORE OBAMA ARRIVED for that answer. Obama didn't legitimize Ayers or Wright or Rezco, they were power players here before Obama appeared. Major Daley honored Ayers as man of the year, the U of Chicago gave Ayers honors as a professor and has employed him for years, and the Chicago Bd of Ed adopted his lesson plans for Chicago Schools. No one accused THEM of "paling around with terrorists", no one has held an association with Ayers against Daley or the U of C or any of the dozens of other city leaders that worked closely with Ayers over the years. The city of Chicago embraced Ayers, not Obama. Ayers was already a fixture, Obama couldn't have avoided him if he had wanted to. No one held an association with Rev White against Oprah Winfrey who attended his church for years or currently holds White against all the other people who still attend his church. And yes, Rev. White's church is still considered the church of choice for upwardly-mobile movers and shakers in Chicago's black community. No one is holding White against any of THEM.

I'll repeat this once more: it is illogical to hold Obama responsible for associating with people who were legitimized by and accepted into Chicago society years before Obama arrived. Most reasonable people see this, that's why it didn't hurt Obama's campaign the way the right had hoped.

The Tea Party folks, by contrast, are the new kids on the block. The people may have lived here for years but their club is new. Most tea party supporters choose not to associate with the rallies--look at the study I've referenced above. You'll find this interesting:

More than three in four Tea Party supporters (78 percent) have never attended a rally or donated to a group; most have also not visited a Tea Party Web site.

So many people support the TP in principle but choose not to associate with the movement. Gee, can you wonder why? Maybe it has something to do with the fringe element and wackos who are hanging around?

As for "many of the tea party members are white, racist, ignorant, far right militia-types", yes, many are. 89% are white, 73% describe themselves as conservative and 39% describe themselves as "very conservative". I consider very conservative to be around far right. For more, why don't you back up and read the posts already present on this subject. It's been discussed by me and two other bloggers with links and everything. I have no desire to go through it again, it's already been done.

And no, the left does not find the Tea Party threatening; that's what they say. We find many of them a joke. The rallies are a zoo. It seems like great fun, but king makers? Not.

As for Cindy Sheehan and Code Pink, you tell me. I have no idea.

Dan:

Just took a look at the Panama letter. Are you nuts? This has nothing to do with "taking our wealthy and leaving the socialists". It's a tongue-in-cheek reply to Limbaugh's threat to move to Costa Rica if health care was passed. Panana, Costa Rica, who cares, as long as he leaves the "greatest country on earth". Even the letter writer acknowledges it.

Are you really so deranged that EVERYTHING is a socialist issue to you? An obvious joke is a threat? Your perception of reality is pretty twisted, Dan. Your staring to scare me. Seriously.

You better see someone if you're waking up around 4 AM every morning and can't get back to sleep. Classic symptom of depression.

WT? –

How have you been? I’ve been busy, but tried to catch up during the Hawks’ intermissions….

“My mother always said, ‘you're judged by the company you keep’". (by you on 04/22)

Does that also go for Rev. Wright, Bill Ayers, and Tony Rezco?

“The pattern is many of the tea party members are white, racist, ignorant, far right militia-types.” (also on 04/22)

Really? Do you have stats for this, or are you just parroting the left-wing talking points. It seems that the stats I've seen show they're better educated than the general public. How does this fit with your assertions?

Don’t get me wrong. I’m no TEA partier (or is it just “tea”?), but I also don’t like seeing them disparaged unnecessarily because the Left sees them as a threat. Oh, and while I agree that they seem to be mostly conservative, I think they’re more Libertarian than Republican.

It’s easy to pick on a group or movement for their fringe, but how come the TEA partiers are disparaged so much for some comments or signs but the same stigma doesn’t stick to the Left for people or groups like Cindy Sheehan, Code Pink, and terrorists like Ayers and ELF?

Have a nice week!

T.B.

To teachers pet: sorry but contracts mean nothing when a school district goes bankrupt. keep an eye on U-46. it does not seem like any amount of budget cutting is going to help them if state funding does not arrive. don't feel sorry for them. like those of you in 204, you got the mess you voted for. be happy and pony up. :-]

Crazy:

You MIGHT want to look at the latest pesky facts about the TEAs of which you don't seem to be aware. This data was released on April 14 in the poll conducted by CBS/NYT which I linked above. The Tea Party people polled gave this information themselves.

Here are the actual numbers: 54% Republican, 41% Independent, and only 5% Democrat, as opposed to 31% Democrat nation wide. Big difference, and not representative of the nation.

You're entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts. I suggest you read up, and fast, before you get called out by other TEAs.

JQP,

Read the Daily Herald series (its on line, its not worth paying for these local papers). You will see benefits granted in one year and it was never quantified if the 50/50 split was ever feasible. The way the liability works is that ALL of the shortfall becomes the taxpayer problem.

This is where Connelly should do the forensic audit to clarify the appropriate split. Remember, the state does not calculate the liabilities, the pensioners do!!! Anytime there is misinformation, somebody is trying to game the system.

And I do not think people are guaranteed future benefits, as you cite. It's worth a law suit if the legislators do not want to address.

stillcrazyafteralltheseyears adn -2,

There are a lot of good ideas for making the state pension system more workable, including only guaranteeing the benefit that future retirees have accrued to date, and having them earn a reduced benefit going forward. The problem we may run into, though, is the state constitution's guarantee of benefits for public employees:

Membership in any pension or retirement system of the
State, any unit of local government or school district, or
any agency or instrumentality thereof, shall be an
enforceable contractual relationship, the benefits of which
shall not be diminished or impaired.

It might be possible to interpret this as only guaranteeing benefits already accrued, but I'm no lawyer, so I couldn't say for certain. (I couldn't say for certain even if I were a lawyer!)

As for our current pension deficit, it is my understanding that it exists in no small part because the state has made a regular practice of giving itself pension "holidays" in order to balance the budget. Acting in our names, our elected representatives have been effectively stealing from the retirement accounts of public employees in order to fund other state programs. We are honor-bound to make up this debt.

-JQP

To: By anony-man on April 26, 2010 3:51 PM

You MIGHT want to read up on the data & demopgraphics of the TEAs ---- they are around 60% Repubicans, 20% Dems, and 20% Indees. That means there are 40% "wildcards" out there that like the premise of the TEA movement (again, it is not a party)

You MIGHT also want to look at the same in terms of their education and income --- they almost exactly mirror the country.

Hopefully you are not confused with those pesky facts.

Crazy:

I gotta say I'm with Anonymous on the Tea Party. The majority are conservatives who aren't ready to ditch the Republican party en masse yet. And the Independents go with the prevailing wind. Plus too many of them are fringe or really don't have a firm understanding of what the issues are, they're just complaining about things without really knowing what these things are or how they work. The TP offers no alternatives or solutions, thus they have nothing to offer.

As a registered Dem, I would like to see a third political party, but I'm not at all worried that the Tea Party will become it. They seem to be putting most of the pressure on the Reps to become more fringe. That's not working for the Reps. The further to the right the TP pushes the Reps, the more centrist it makes the Dems look. And the majority of Americans are center. This could change if the Tea Party did, but if they keep going the way they have been, no way. But it doesn't hurt to keep the faith, I suppose.

Also, the statement that the Tea Party "demographically mirrors the nation as a whole" has been a right wing talking point since last summer but has recently been dispelled once and for all by the CBS/NYT poll. The only people who believe this are the Tea Party folks themselves. This is what the data showed: "An overwhelming majority of Tea Party supporters, 84 percent, say the views of the Tea Party movement reflect the views of most Americans. But Americans overall disagree: Just 25 percent say the Tea Party movement reflects their beliefs, while 36 percent say it does not."

The Tea Party majority is white (89%), male (59%), over 45 years of age (75%), conservative (73%) gun owners (58%) who vote Republican the majority of the time (54%) and live in the south (36%). The majority (61%) claim to be Protestant (the term WASP comes to mind) and believe Obama's policies are moving the country toward socialism (92%) as compared to 52% in the overall population. 63% claim to get the majority of their information from Fox News, compared to 23% nation wide. So it appears the poll that all Tea Partiers are embracing because it showed them to be better educated and better off financially than the nation as a whole also shows the Tea Party to NOT be representative of most Americans.

Of course, this won't stop Tea Partiers from claiming this, anymore than the absence of death panels in the health care reform bill stopped many people from claiming there was one. But you're only fooling yourselves, not your fellow Americans.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20002529-503544.html

stillcrazy says, As long as the TEAs understand that they can be kingmakers and powerbrokers by always defining themselves by their three main ideals, they will be able to do so.

Sorry, that's really backwards. All the tea folk will do is either drive the Republican party even further to the right, which will alienate the centrists [you know, those republicans that voted D last time around?] even more, or worse, create a splinter party that will divide the conservative vote the way that Nader started to do a few years ago. It makes the conservative position worse, not better.
On the other hand, I disagree with your premise that it's demographically a mirror of the country as a whole, so it's probably a moot point.

JQP said "I agree that we should live up to our end of the deal for those in the current plan. On the other hand, the state needs to toughen up it's regulations for people approaching retirement to eliminate abuses such as end-of-career salary bumps (6% per year for the last four years is still too much) and early retirement. If local school districts still want to offer these "benefits", they should foot the entire cost."

Excellent opinion that I mostly agree with. I also do not like the artificial bumping up of salaries. But if you think about the district paying it - that is our tax money. So I would like to see that it is not allowed at all. And the pensions that former superintendents are getting are absolutely ridiculous. I think they should not be able to collect a pension if they are not truly retired in every sense of the word. Otherwise, no collecting of the pension while working in another state. The pension should be on hold until that job is completed and ended.

Amanda:

Did you talk to the Y director about this? What did they say?

former student@ NICE RIP on the drivers,wow you are gold. BNR in naperville eh. look your garbage is going byebbye.

WE have come a long way from Noriega.

Read the attached letter:

http://download.premiereradio.net/guest/rushlimb/daily/PanamaLetter.jpg

Panama wants our wealthy to move there. Take the rich and leave behind the Socialists.

Another response to JQP

In the private sector, companies have suspended pension plans. They honor all of the benefits that have been earned to date. But employees have not earned the pension benefits related to FUTURE SERVICE.

The Daily Herald is running a series on this matter. Note their comment on Gary Catalani:

"Based on IRS tables of life expectancy, Catalani stands to be paid $9 million in retirement funds from the state of Illinois - compared to the $327,135 he and the school district contributed on his behalf, TRS data showed."

Ok, these are two different numbers. But to fund the future $9 million in benefits, the fund needs a balance of about $4 million today. Let's say that his contributions tripled in value, he has barely paid in 25%. So much for this 50/50 cost sharing.

I think that an actuary needs to evaluate how much both parties have contributed, lower the assumed investment rate to 3%, not 8.5% and figure out how much teachers contributions need to increase to pay for 50% of their retirement benefits. The current 8% (excluding the 1% for medical care that is also probably not enough) is way to low. It should be at least 20%.

We have too many freloaders.

What is this racist crap?

By Anonymous on April 23, 2010 4:55 PM

I think that either $2 or 3 Trillion has been redistributed to African Americans since the Great Society started (its still going strong)in addition to what is now a separate legal system and racial preferences.

Great Society programs helped and continue to help the POOR. They help people in poverty regardless of color. The fact that you want to paint this as a redistibution based on color blantantly shows that you are a racist. And an idiot. Enjoy the tea party.

To: Anonymous on April 25, 2010 6:45 PM

You are correct in that the differenc in the two parties has been minimal for several years (at least 20).

I disagree with you on an official third party. Regardless of how you register, the move toward independent voting (meaning a large decrease in voting across the board for a party) is a real one. To actually create a third party that has conventions, etc., would be the old paradigm. The TEA movement is the real deal (forget the negative MSNBC hype and the other tqctics of a scared liberal left) --- quite a few people identify with it, demograghically it mirrors the nation as a whole. As long as the TEAs understand that they can be kingmakers and powerbrokers by always defining themselves by their three main ideals, they will be able to do so.

To:JQP,

The big problem with holding up "our end of the deal" on current pensions is that they are more then technically bankrupt. The $78 billion deficit cannot be met without some staggering changes (forget minor State income tax increases ---- think along the lines of 6.5% or higher), and 1-1 1/2 % increases to sales tax.

Will we accept that? I don't think so. Thus, the actuarials need to re-work the deficit based on the already passed changes, AND show us (transparency) the effects of dropping the current program to someting more palatable. Perhaps a lump-sum payment into private IRA or 401K type accounts?

ALL bumps at the end of the career shold be gone, not just a drop from 6%. It s/b ZERO!


There is a good after school program sponsored by the YMCA called Safe 'n Sound. The Safe 'n Sound program offers care before and after school, in partnership with the school districts. The Y Safe 'n Sound program is offered in most District 203 and District 204 elementary schools and at Fearn School in District 129.

The Safe 'n Sound provides play time, homework time, and a snack. My objection to this program is that the snack that they provide is junk food. My child is provided juice and either potato chips, cookies, fruit-roll ups, or sugary cereal. At one point I picked up my child only to find my child stacking the 12 Oreo cookies he was allowed to have.

The YMCA promotes "healthy kids" but provides fat and sugar laden junk food for our kids. Is that right??

Teachers Pet wrote:

I think that they stay for a while and say, wow, this is a good pension. It's changed for the future groups but will never change for existing people and it shouldn't.

I agree that we should live up to our end of the deal for those in the current plan. On the other hand, the state needs to toughen up it's regulations for people approaching retirement to eliminate abuses such as end-of-career salary bumps (6% per year for the last four years is still too much) and early retirement. If local school districts still want to offer these "benefits", they should foot the entire cost.

Taxed 2 Much-I think that teachers and government people know that times are changing, however, as a union member, they'll continue to get the same raises and benefits that their comparable groups get-that's the way it works with unions, especially in Illinois. Pension programs will be modified and they'll get money from some other pot, like days off, to make up for increased contribitions. You can't just take stuff away from contract employees and say that's the way it is, unless you are Dick F., then you puff out your chest and say that while you draw your defined benefit pension from AT&T. I don't think teachers and government employees got into their jobs for the pensions. I think that they stay for a while and say, wow, this is a good pension. It's changed for the future groups but will never change for existing people and it shouldn't.

Another new topic.

Has anyone seen the GM Whitacre commercials where he brags that GM has paid off their TARP debt? Supposedly he went on a private plane to deliver the check to Washington.

But to quote the late Paul Harvey, here is the rest of the story. Where did the money come from? Operating cash flow of the company?

NO

It came from the $50 billion the US "invested" in GM to take it out of bankruptcy. A special reserve fund was set up to buffer GM against unforseen costs. The fund required OBE to approve that the funds be withdrawn to pay the cost.

This is like taking your VISA card to payoff your Mastercard. And now there is no reserve to protect the taxpayers.

Do you think Whitacre was in on this alone? Or do you think OBE was part of this FRAUD as well?

When does the BS stop with OUR money?

Grasshopper:

Anonymous on April 25, 2010 3:32 PM was me. :}

To stillcrazyafteralltheseyears,

The truth is that these days there is so little distinction between what the Democrats do and what the Republicans do it really is hard to tell the real difference between the two.

From all of the posturing we see during election campaigns it would seem to the uninformed that the Democrats and Republicans were as opposite as 9 and 3 o'clock on the face of clock. If you study what they actually DO while in office the REAL difference is more like the difference between 11 and 1 o'clock... very little difference at all... which is why there isn't sweeping changes of laws when one group is in power vs when the other group is in power.

And as long as their is no viable third party to upset this cozy arrangement it is going to stay exactly like it is and truth be known both parties like it the way it is just fine. Anyone who wants to help force some change on national politics... it is simple... register and vote as an independent and help grow a viable third party. Only then will true political compromise be forced upon our elected officials and eliminate the charade that has been played f or too many decades.

And forget the Tea Party as a viable third party. Just another polarized group that will never be able to draw enough members to make any real and lasting difference.

Dicks Backhand: Teachers are going to recognize that things are changing for them too. It is as simple as that. As the economy becomes more lean, they MAY NOT get raises like they used to, they may have to pay more for their own healthcare until the great federal program begins and we have the same benefits if you choose to call federal healthcare a benefit. Pension programs are going to have to be modified where teachers have to contribute more to their own future just as the rest of us do privately. But make no mistake about it, you are going to get change you better believe in just like everyone else. Ever notice the only big construction projects ongoing now in Naperville are government entity projects? And the SD 203 is about the only big project going on followed by our Park District. I am just one who thinks we as taxpayers have funded enough projects. I want to see more private sector development with private sector funding. I like others here DO NOT want to see teachers and politicians taking more of my family money to finance a government economy. It seems hard to argue that last sentence as being wrong would you not agree?

gr8d84f8:

I am pleased to see you have finally lightened up! Your posts of April 23 10:29 AM and April 21 10:31 AM sounded like you were close to blowing a gasket. See, conservatives CAN have fun, even if you do have to be led there by the liberals.

You should pass this attitude along to Bernie. He doesn't seem to be enjoying his "relevant rock star" status much, he was really piqued at Stewart for calling him out. Stewart, on the other hand, doesn't take himself nearly as seriously as Bernie does, which is what makes him such a hoot! I don't see Bernie in that Kiss outfit just yet, but I'd love to see him keep trying.

It is fun to be able to laugh at ourselves. You have learned well, Grasshopper.

What Did She Say:

It looks like Anony-Man and Anony-Mess answered well enough, their posts say it well. I would only ask where you have been for the past year? The "proof" you require has been blasted all over the media, esp. liberal sources, since the conservative media downplays it and even the MSM did to some extent, until more recently. If you want to see this in it's uncensored glory, you'll have to go to the sources such as Anony-Man recommended. Just google tea party racist signs or tea party militia and you can spend all day on stuff like this:

http://www.blueridgemuse.com/node/3539

Like Anony-Man mentioned, keep in mind that some of these sites are liberal and do not regard the Tea Party kindly. They can be just as biased against the Tea Party as conservative sites are biased FOR them. So you have to take some of the commentary with a grain of salt, but the signs and slogans shown stand on their own as a testament to the attitudes of the bearers.

I agree with Anony-Mess that many of these people were probably fringe players to begin with who just latched onto the Tea Party movement to get a platform for their beliefs. A lot of what these people protest has nothing at all to do with being "taxed enough already", esp. the white supremacist, birther, confederate flag bearing militia-type folks. They're obviously just anti-Obama, anti-liberal, anti-government ANYTHING. I think the Tea Party's tolerance of the fringe is why the movement is not growing. Many centrist, rational people don't want to be associated with that.

To: By Anony-Man on April 23, 2010 2:37 PM

It is funny how you leftists all of a sudden wnat to ignore the 8 years of your groups doing the exact same ("Bush is a fascist", effigies of Bush hanging, Bush signs with bullet holes, etc), yet when it is coming from the side you don't agree with you are so incensed, so angry, so unbalanced over it!

The Slate article yourefer to is precious in it's exact representation of you progressive nuts! It is built upon the "understanding" that those who are different are wacks, then goes on to support that view with subjective calls on the meanings of different actions AND on gross statements of bias and dogma.

Nice job --- NOT!

If our elected officials in Illinois were so concerned to help main stream America out, why don't they reduce the 58 cents per gallon gas tax that we all pay ??? Fat chance of that happening.

We are still recovering from a Depression (no recession) yet no one does anything about gas prices which effect everything or the taxes we pay to the schools with our propery values still in the dumper!!

I agree with Former Student.

Hot lunches for students.

It's an outrage!!!!!

Gee Mr. Hand, follow the money. The big government school district has an incredible need for cash because it cannot control spending under the crest "nothing is too good for the children". So as they spend money on astro truf for the high schools, hot lunch for all students in Naperville and an inability to control labor and other costs, the need to consume cash grows. Over stressed over taxed property owners continue to feel the pinch from all government taxers. The teachers, being good union members first and foremost continue to demand more and more raises, more positions for unionized members under threat of strike. As their salaries swell, so do the dues to the union coffers. Now the money trail goes from the taxpayer to the school district, to the teachers with union dues coming from the teachers who are paid by the taxpayers. Dues and the money the union paid the subs is actually money from the taxpayers. You can say it came from the union but where does the union get their money? From the same place the district does; the taxpayers. So indirectly I ACTUALLY PAID FOR 35 203 TEACHERS TO BE IN SPRINGFIELD. THE UNION DID NOT! By the way, I too have personal days however when I requested off to attend the Naperville Tea Party, the boss said if I needed to go I could but since we are short staffed because of RIF (Thank you Illinois Democrats) I naturally had to skip this years party. It was fun however watching Schoolbaggers, especially one woman madly demanding that her taxes be raised so the teachers and ultimately the IEA/NEA would have more money to give to the Democratic Party and its candidates locally and nationally. Corruption is ugly and teachers who claim to be professionals acting like SEIU or Local 150 workers disgusts me. And ignorant people who want to continue the thoughtless boondoggle of public education equally disgust me.

As long as the school boards can pass along all cost increases to the chumps who buy houses in the district, why say no to the unions?

Especially if the unions fund and vote for the school board members?

To Anonymous

You will find professional teachers that are not union followers at the many fine private schools in our area. They actually care about the students and love their job. Not like most of the public school teachers who are pure hypocrites.

Wouldn't be a Naperville Sun blog without some "let's rip on teachers" comments.

Wow, my backhand really hurts today. Rain must be on the way.

Anon 1:18, surely you are inciting teachers. If not, please allow me to inform you that in the public sector, union folks ALWAYS get treated better than non union folks. Better wage increases, better benefits, no layoff deals, etc. It's a fact. You'd be stupid to not join a union if you work for the government or schools. The primary reason that it occurs is that you have inept, inexperienced, unethical, blowhards running governments and school districts and they have no idea how to negotiate or handle union matters. Don't get me wrong, they have screwing non-union folks down pat-because it's easy-they are essentially unarmed. But union people can strike or go to arbitration so they get what they want time and time again. Everyone talks about pensions, but it's unions and poor management that's killing us.

There once was a time when teaching was actually considered a profession.

Today being a teacher really boils down to nothing more than an a skilled, unionized, civil servant job. It is a shame that the teachers themselves stripped their profession bare and did nothing to prevent it.

As long as unionized teachers and teachers union want to play the labor vs management game they deserve to be treated no better than any other unionized factory or construction workers. When teachers want to put some professionalism back into teaching... then and only then... do they deserve to be treated like professionals.

Mr hand - please expand on your statement that the Teacher's Union paid for the substitute teachers. I am not sure I understand how they could do this.

The non-monetary cost of the substitute was paid for by the students.

If what you say "The cost of the substitutes was paid for by the Teachers Union" is true, then the teachers were likely breaking their contract.

7.2 "Each teacher shall be granted two (2) days of personal leave each contract year, nonaccumulative, to any other contract year, provided that under no circumstances shall a teacher use a personal leave day in order to work at a job or position for which the teacher is in any way compensated."

If these teachers were there at the request of the union, they were compensated in some way. Or was there some other clause they used to ditch work? I also trust that none of the teachers used their 3rd (carryover) personal day for this. And again, were they rallying in favor of increased TRS salary reduction?

fwiw, I have no problem with teachers rallying like they did. I strongly support people protesting for their personal causes. I just feel that Naperville teachers should not be out there asking Naperville residents to pay higher amounts of income tax when the district receives (comparatively) very little money from the state in the first place, and we (D203 taxpayers) will essentially just be giving even more subsidies to the other districts when we have no control over their cost structure.

-1

By -2 on April 23, 2010 2:19 PM
to former student

And we had to pay for substitutes for those 35 teachers. And the students did not learn anything that day.

Wrong!!!

Taxpayers did not have to pay for substitutes for the 35 teachers who went to Springfield. The cost of the substitutes was paid for by the Teachers Union.

No district funds were used for this.

TO: Anony-Mess

Anony,

If I recall correctly from my US history class, about

1/3 favored the revolution

1/3 were against

1/3 just wanted to be left alone

In the results you site it looks like the same spread if they printed all of the results.

Do you have a link for the article, I would like to read it. Invariably Liberals and Marxists see the solution to every problem as money. The money has run out.

I think that either $2 or 3 Trillion has been redistributed to African Americans since the Great Society started (its still going strong)in addition to what is now a separate legal system and racial preferences.

Since the country is approaching the point of no return for a national bankruptcy, how much more should we redistribute to anyone for any reason?

Especially since we are now borrowing $1 out of every $2 the FEDs spend. That's like spending twice what you make using your Chinese credit card.


$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$


Twenty-eight percent of all Americans -- and just 19 percent of those who are not tea party loyalists -- answered "too much." But among tea party supporters, the figure is 52 percent. Tea partiers are almost three times as likely as the rest of us to say that too much attention is being paid to the problems of blacks."

By -2 on April 23, 2010 2:19 PM
to former student

And we had to pay for substitutes for those 35 teachers. And the students did not learn anything that day.

And did I read somewhere that there were 20,000 extra teachers paid this year as part of the stimulus bill? Did this really cost $1 BILLION?

Fix that Quinn.
---------------------------------

Do you get personal days at work? Is that part of your compensation? Does your employer budget that into its annual costs? Same for teachers. The district budget includes money to pay for the annual cost of teacher personal days. In this case, all the cost was on one day. Whether the teachers take the days off all together or on one day, the cost is the same to the district.

Yep. We have a district discouraging Take Your Daughter To Work Day, yet the day prior, apparently some teachers took off to Springfield to protest for higher state income taxes, leaving their students with subs. (Assuming the above non-verified info is true) I wonder if they agree with Quinn on raising the TRS contribution? Was that part of their stance?

Anyone go to the D203 board meeting the other night? It looks like they implemented a suggestion* I had before (which Mr. Higgins made fun of) to make the AMPE teachers .75 or .80 at the schools with less than full enrollment. I wonder why some PE teachers are .90 at some schools while the Art and Music are .80 at those same schools. Seems kind of odd.

-1

*Windows 7 was also my idea

OK, What did she say???, I don't know about WTF, but I'll bite, since I was literally just reading an article about part of this.
Referring to the NYT poll from last week:
"Here is the poll question in its entirety: "In recent years, do you think too much has been made of the problems facing black people, too little has been made, or is it about right?"

Twenty-eight percent of all Americans -- and just 19 percent of those who are not tea party loyalists -- answered "too much." But among tea party supporters, the figure is 52 percent. Tea partiers are almost three times as likely as the rest of us to say that too much attention is being paid to the problems of blacks."

The problems that you see with the partiers are real problems, that's true. I tend to believe that it's more likely that they are already fringe players, and the way they present themselves is most likely to keep the on the fringe. Given how they diverge from the mainstream of political thought, that's pretty much where they are anyway. And so you don't have to ask what I mean by that, I'll say that the more centrist positions of the parties are the mainstream. There is nothing at all mainstream about the basic tenets of the partiers most closely held philosophies, in my view. It doesn't mean that many of them don't sincerely believe in those tenets, of course.

"Listen to Tea Partiers on cable news—or read the signs they hoist or their Internet comments—and you frequently encounter the flagrant abuse, the historically ignorant misuse, of words such as tyranny, communist, Marxist, fascist, and socialist."
Cut from: http://www.slate.com/id/2251669/

and yes, I know, skewed, left leaning, liberal web site. But read the article, try not to react to some of the things that are obviously digs at the tea folk, and think about the point that the author is trying to make. I think that you might well find it to be a really interesting take on some of what we've been talking about here.
So much rhetoric, so very badly done.

All T party folks are racists? All have far right militia leanings?

That's like saying all gay people are child molesters, all democrats are bleeding heart liberals, and there was no holocaust.

Why is it that it is perfectly acceptable for the "liberal" to be so narrow minded when categorizing the conservative? Let's face it - one side pulls the same kinds of shenanigans as the other. let us not forget the president, who once said: "It depends on what the meaning of the words 'is' is."

to former student

And we had to pay for substitutes for those 35 teachers. And the students did not learn anything that day.

And did I read somewhere that there were 20,000 extra teachers paid this year as part of the stimulus bill? Did this really cost $1 BILLION?

Fix that Quinn.

By Former Student on April 23, 2010 6:16 AM
Anyone but me disgusted with the 35 (203) teachers and their friends at the state capitol this week?
------------------------------

I guess you were asleep in class when they covered these topics:

US Constitution First Amendment:

Congress shall make no law ***abridging ***the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Illinois Constitution Article I:

SECTION 5. RIGHT TO ASSEMBLE AND PETITION
The people have the right to assemble in a peaceable manner, to consult for the common good, to make known their opinions to their representatives and to apply for redress of grievances.

Anyone exercising their constitutional rights does not disgust me. I might not agree with their position, but their voicing their opinion doesn't disgust me.

Racism is the liberal cry. Never any eveidence to back it up but used conveniently when there is disagreement with liberals thought. I've said this before and I will say it again, there is no point in engaging with someone who thinks the Huffington Post is some sort of credible source for information and sites that source repeatedly as their backup to argue their opinions.

Remember the famous words of one complete and total moron. George Bush doesn't like black people. Liberals say it enough eventhough they know it isn't true. All they are trying to do is sway the uninteligent into believing their nonsensical stances for voting purposes.

Is Obama still president or is that nightmare over yet? Has he taken responsibility for anything yet, or is he still in blame Bush mode?

Report after report are coming out saying how the healthcare is going to cost more that it does now. Shocking. Report after report are also coming out on how it is going to penalize (tax for the proper word) 4 million middle class who make under 200k. Shocking.

Hopey Changey Hopey Changey.

Go Paul Ryan!!!!!!!!!


By what the? on April 22, 2010 6:34 PM
To Anonymous on April 22, 2010 10:18 AM:

Is there a pattern? Definitely. The pattern is many of the tea party members are white, racist, ignorant, far right militia-types. They wear their beliefs on them and print them on signs for the world to see. This removes all doubt.


WT?, seriously???

Please provide evidence of their "racism". Please provide evidence of their "far-right militia" leanings. Why do you consider them ignorant? Please explain how you arrived at this.

Is it really THAT difficult for you to at least respect the fact that some people have a different opinion than you?

Absent any explanation, you strike me as just another liberal who conveniently criticizes those who oppose you by calling them names when you have no facts and data to back up your argument (see Ohlbermann, Matthews, Emanuel, Carville, Begala, etc...). We all await your response.

That being said, I think the Tea Party movement suffers from two major shortcomings:

One, they have no platform. If you have solutions to the issues you demonstrate against, you should be able to articulate them. Haven't seen or heard that from them yet.

Two, they have literally no organization. No leadership. No direction. They have more than enough Democrats and Republicans engaged in this movement that someone with organizational skills could really make a difference if he/she could get them organized and moving in one direction. Kind of like herding cats.

The Bernie/Jon war is great to watch! I loved the gospel responses by Jon, and he DOES have a great point: Fair & balanced is NOT his tagline! He is a satirist.

Not only is it funny, it is making Bernie into a relevant rockstar. It is a rare "win-win" in a comedy situation.

No anger, sweetie, just adding some actual truth & facts to the ongoing debate.

I am sorry to confuse you with facts --- my bad!

Apparently you don't actually watch our President speak but prefer to get the "summary" from Huff and the rest, or you would have understood the "amused" reference. Again, my bad for thinking you liked your data first-hand.

Chris,

"Our nation still has a lot of poorly designed intersections though where this situation comes up unfortunately."

Most of the problem is directly attributable to local government and where they choose to build roads and where they choose to construct access points across rail road tracks. Any time something goes wrong everyone is quick to point the finger of blame at the railroads first.

If this was a situation where a motorist had clear space to proceed, was traveling at or below the posted speed limit and got broadsided out of the blue it would be a totally different accident scenario.

If you don't like people taking pot shots at what you wrote I'd suggest you pick your words more carefully and get your facts of the story correct before posting. And do yourself a favor and read up on the rules of the road, maybe even have a conversation with your old drivers ed teacher because your mindset (along with a lot of other drivers) in terms of how to properly approach and cross a rail road crossing isn't safe. I don't want to read about you in the news one day and find out you got hit by a train.

Anyone but me disgusted with the 35 (203) teachers and their friends at the state capitol this week? A shameful display of teachers who hold themselves out to be professionals acting like whinny little children who want their desert. Do not tell me about professionalism. You could have all been a bunch of garbage truck drivers or CTA bus drivers in that display. Demanding my taxes be raised to grease the coffers of their union. Lets face it people, some school districts are not going to emerge from the financial crisis they created for years living fat. Bankruptcy will be the only way for some of them and it seems U-46 will lead the way. Where will 204 end up?

Chris, intersection design has nothing to do with a person stopping on the tracks. It has more to do with lack of common sense and not following the law. It is illegal, and stupid, to start across a rail crossing until you know you can clear the tracks.

It is really quite simple, when there are vehicles ahead, stop and wait until the person in front makes it across and if there is enough space for you to also. If not, wait.

Yesterday traffic was backed up on 126 west in Plaindfield. Just about every time traffic stopped, some idiot was on the track.

Chris, you are still ignoring the one pertinent fact in this case. From an article in the Chicago Tribune:

Lunn's car was sandwiched between other vehicles that had braked for a stop sign as the Amtrak train crossed the roadway, investigators said.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-met-dancer-train-0421-20100420,0,3467456.story

Lunn should have never attempted to cross the tracks unless she knew she could safely complete passage over them. This was not a situation in which she would be stopping in moving traffic; traffic was stopped in front of her. The only danger she was in was the danger she put herself in because of bad driving habits. If she had stopped and proceeded only when she had safe egress, she would be alive today to tell of her near miss. Instead, she, as many others do daily, proceeded onto the tracks because she was not paying attention to the situation around her. Unfortunately for her, she lost her life because of her mistake.

"I actually do have a stoic devotion...to the truth."

Ack! Ken, defender of truth, justice and the American Way! You wearing your cape and tights? Oh no, don't visualize that---argggghhh! Too late! It's in my head and won't leave!

You know that worn out saying that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result? If I'm that predictable, then that makes you insane.

Here's something else that should be totally predictable, because I've told you enough times: no do-over. This is as good as it will ever get for you.

Chris,

No reason to blame the driver? Sorry you are dead wrong on that one and unfortunately so is the driver. While that might be your own personal opinion and you are entitled to your opinion. However, I don't believe a reporter is qualified to factually determine who is at fault in an accident like this. However, you can stake a pretty good bet that the official police accident investigation will definitely have some level of blame attributed to the driver.

A basic principle if you read the motor vehicle laws is that a motorist always proceeds with caution when driving, entering an intersection, making any kind of maneuver, etc. Rail road crossing are all well marked, but cars crossing the tracks do not have the right of way. Every driver has the right to stop and look or at least slow down and look before proceeding across the tracks. A motorist is never supposed to begin to cross tracks until it is clear that they can completely cross the tracks... something that did not happen in this accident. If that basic precaution had been taken a life would not have needlessly been lost.

Any loss of life like this is tragic, but the lessons learned and the mistakes made by the driver should not be casually swept aside. Every motorist is personally responsible for their own actions and their own personal safety at all times they are behind the wheel. If a root cause analysis is done on this incident it will be found that there were multiple root level causes that led up to and resulted in this accident. That is not to downplay or ignore the fact that the crossing signal did not active and was reported to be disabled, but that was not the only contributing cause. The fact that the driver put herself in a dangerous location can not be ignored either.

We all travel to places where we are not familiar and there are rail road crossing just like this one in lots of other places... and we as drivers have to be alert to these dangers and cautious as we approach them. It is called defensive driving. Sadly some people just are not very safety conscious and make too many assumptions and end up paying the price. More and more too many people are talking on cell phones, texting, and doing a variety of other things that leaves them distracted.

Unfortunately saying that no one stops at train crossings because the guy behind you would rear-end you speaks volumes about your own safety awareness and personal commitment to safety. I encourage you to become a better and safer driver... hopefully a defensive driver. Your loved ones will appreciate it if you do and you might just save them from needless heartache some day.

Ken,

what the? would not know the truth if it slapped her in the face.

The only "truth" she understands is are the ones the progressive left tell her to repeat, over and over again.

She is still on the "going to war on a lie" crap that onloy the most progressive left still utter. She conveniently ignores the Clinton doctrine of regime change in Iraq, the fact that every industrial country said there were WMD there, etc.

In short, what the? is little more than a leftist hack who cannot stand the heat in a real argument so she runs away with her tail between her legs crying "anger! Ach! I don't have time for you! I don't need to answer your stupid questions! Why read when I already know everything because the liberal base of the Dem party already gave meall I need to know!"

To Anonymous on April 22, 2010 10:18 AM:

Is there a pattern? Definitely. The pattern is many of the tea party members are white, racist, ignorant, far right militia-types. They wear their beliefs on them and print them on signs for the world to see. This removes all doubt.

I do agree with Experienced that the Tea movement is stagnant. It's had a year to grow and develop and really hasn't. I think the extremist and looney elements in the movement have contributed to this, it keeps a lot of rational people away.

My mother always said, "you're judged by the company you keep". Even if I agreed with some things the Tea Party stood for, and I probably do at it's core, I wouldn't be caught dead at a rally. I would be embarrassed to associate with a bunch of people who go out in public dressed in Monster, Inc. Mike Wazowski bodysuits with tea bags dangling from tri-corner hats while holding handmade signs displaying complaints about everything under the sun in misspelled words, except on Halloween. If y'all go out in public looking and acting like clowns, that's how you will be regarded.

You guys really need to organize and set some standards for the movement, try to determine what you want to stand for and what your purpose is. You like to compare yourselves to the original Boston Tea Party. Well, THOSE people knew exactly what their beefs were and what they were going to do about them. As long as your Tea Party movement remains a random collection of malcontents that anyone with a gripe and a costume can join, with no clear cut message or purpose other than "we hate everything government", you'll never be anything more. Just my opinion.

Regarding the train crossing, I don't think there's any reason to blame the driver in this case.

Research it a little. The driver was stopped on the tracks because of traffic in front of her. Would she have made an effort to get off the tracks if the lights and gates worked? Probably. Is CN somewhat at fault? Yes. However, the driver did break the law by stopping on the tracks, so some of the blame does fall on her.

Anonymous on April 22, 2010 10:18 AM

What's the matter, scared of public debate? Can't handle the other side's position? Did you think that only your group would get to stand on the soap box?

All I said is that the movement is stagnant. The movement is not advancing. If Naperville, which is largely Republican, is going with the movement, the movement doesn't appear to be going. Remember last year we were told that Tax Day was their big exposition and the organizers were going to rally the movement to make Tax Day successful. Well, Tax Day showed that the movement is not moving, even in conservative Naperville.

Another gem from wt:

"Your stoic love and devotion for G. W. is truly touching. Just ask the guy out and be done with it."

I actually do have a stoic devotion...to the truth. You should try it sometime, wt. I notice you couldn't back up your statements, so you went to your usual backup actions. So sad, yet so predictable.

Experienced,

If the Tea Parties are no threat, why do Obama's surrogates and X President and un-indicted felon Clinton spend so much time trashing them?

First Tea Parties are characterized as racist because white people attend.

Second they are characterized as far right militia members since white people attend.

Third they are characterized as a bunch of ignorant white trash, because white people attend.

Is there a pattern here?

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

By Experienced. on April 21, 2010 6:57 PM

By Gr8d84f8 on April 21, 2010 10:31 AM

No one is underestimating the TEA movement. It is not working out as can be seen from the Naperville demonstration. It has not grown in a year. It is not expanding. It has not captured the attention and acceptance of a growing share of Napervillians. There were 500 people last year. There were 500 people this year. It is stagnant. Its organizers had a whole year to marshall more forces and spread the word to more people to attend, and it didn't work.

79 mph unsafe? What a bunch of horse hockey!

In Japan trains routinely travel in excess of 160 mph. There are some even faster in the EU. World record for high speed rail is in excess of 357 mph. Granted, high speed rail does not have grade level crossings because the same idiots who park on tracks or drive around gate arms would have even less of a chance. The only way to make American grade level crossings "safer" is to either eliminate idiots from human DNA or eliminate grade level crossings.

Trains have the right of way and roads that cross rail tracks have an easement across private property. Drivers always have the prerogative to exercise caution and judgement before crossing tracks, bridges, intersections, etc. While rail signals are very reliable they are not fool proof and blindly believing they always work is one of the reasons there are accidents. Drivers who want to minimize their chances of being involved in a train accident should drive like a school bus and stop and look both ways before crossing.

Ken:

I realized my time was too valuable to waste on you a LONG time ago. You're a slow learner.

Your stoic love and devotion for G. W. is truly touching. Just ask the guy out and be done with it.

I have noticed your lack of comment lately, and it's been wonderful. Let's go back to that. Definitely a win for all involved.

Wt, don't you ever tire of the same old anti-Bush talking points/lies? If you have proof that President Bush lied to go to war with Iraq, please post it. It is amazing that you would have proof, when the Democrat party could never prove it. I also like how you consistently ignore the fact that the Democrats supported President Bush's war actions with several votes. What the heck, why let the facts get in the way of a talking point?

I also think you would tire of the Clinton surplus lie. It was always a paper surplus, and President Clinton put many programs into place because of the supposed surplus. It is also convenient for you to ignore the 9/11 events when claiming that President Bush ran us into debt and war. Again, why let facts get in the way of talking points?

Speaking of 9/11, President Bush got the same warnings President Clinton got about airline safety and possible use of airplanes as weapons. It is widely acknowledged that the airlines and the flying public would have made it impossible to put in the changes needed to stop the attacks until after they happened. You and your ilk made a game out of deriding the Bush administration for making changes based on classified information, and that was after 9/11.

I could go on about all your other equally factually incorrect statements concerning the Bush years, but I know I would be wasting my time. Quite frankly, as you may have noticed by my lack of comment lately, I have come to realize that my time is to valuable to waste on you, wt. You don't listen to reason or acknowledge facts, so any more than a token comment aimed at your drivel is a waste.

"Is anyone else concerned that the CN train that struck Katie Lunn's SUV was traveling at 79mph?... This is unsafe, we need restrictions on speed and safety...I am concerned every time I drive over those tracks around Ogden Avenue going to and from WVHS. Anyone else feel the same way?

I don't think you have to be concerned if you don't park on the tracks, as Katie Lunn did. While CN will get hammered because they did make an extremely stupid mistake, Miss Lunn would still be alive if she had not attempted to cross the tracks before she could safely do so without having to stop on the tracks as she did. I see people do the same stupid thing every day on area tracks, yet people want to place the blame on stupid things such as the speed of the train. What do you want them to do, make all the trains go 5 mph to protect the stupid idiots?

By Gr8d84f8 on April 21, 2010 10:31 AM

Having said all that, I continue to ask that you and your ilk continue to underestimate and insult the TEA movement. It is working out quite well for us!
********************************************

No one is underestimating the TEA movement. It is not working out as can be seen from the Naperville demonstration. It has not grown in a year. It is not expanding. It has not captured the attention and acceptance of a growing share of Napervillians. There were 500 people last year. There were 500 people this year. It is stagnant. Its organizers had a whole year to marshall more forces and spread the word to more people to attend, and it didn't work.

Gr8d84f8:

Oh good grief, here you are again with another long, angry post. Whatever. I don't have the time or interest to respond, except to say that I'm glad I can return the favor and "amuse" you, because you guys absolutely crack me up! Love your signs and costumes, and especially those little tea bags you wear. Hysterical!

Talk about funny, I am still FOMCL over this Jon Stewart segment. I'll let this rendition of his classic song serve as my reply:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/04/21/stewart-fires-back-at-fox_n_545746.html

Are we concerned that the train was going 79 miles per hour? No, that is the rated speed. Metra express trains travel at over 7o miles per hour as do Amtrak on BNSF right of way.

The CN and Surface Transporation have announced the gates were not working. That is the core problem.

The CN tracks on Ogden west of 59. The speed limits on that track are significantly lower. Also, when the line is upgraded to higher speeds, there needs to be grade separation at this location. Not an issue now, not an issue in the future.

If the Amtrak was sounding its horns, there might have been one less fatality. Bring back the horns for SAFETY.

what the?

Sorry for the confusion, by esoteric, I just meant unusual or exotic. It's not clear to me exactly how the instruments were structured.

What I really wanted to point out is a story just reported by the Wall Street Journal, to the effect that Paulson stated that they were betting against mortgages - this is from testimony to the SEC in 2008! The WSJ says this info is damaging to the SEC's charges against Goldman. Again, it's more complicated than I can understand, but I do find it ironic that testimony given to the SEC over a year ago may undermine their own case.....

By concerned parent on April 21, 2010 10:32 AM
Is anyone else concerned that the CN train that struck Katie Lunn's SUV was traveling at 79mph?
*******************

No not the speed because it was an Amtrak train as was previously said.

I am concerned because the CN workers who are now in charge of maintenance on the old EJ&E appear to have disconntected the signals that might have warned the driver of the approach of the train.

Sam:

Thanks for the info. Paulson was the name I couldn't recall. So we both have it right, but I was wrong in my impression it was the Fannie and Freddie loans being bundled in this, so that's good to know. I won't even ask what an esoteric instrument is. See you around the blogs!

It was an Amtrack train involved in the accident - not a CN. It was operating on CN tracks. Most of the rail lines are owned by freight carriers - Amtrack leases the right to travel over them

Is anyone else concerned that the CN train that struck Katie Lunn's SUV was traveling at 79mph? Yes, I understand it did not happen in Naperville or Aurora but those same trains are traveling by our towns. This is unsafe, we need restrictions on speed and safety. I am thankful for the noise restrictions as I no longer hear them all night long, but I am concerned every time I drive over those tracks around Ogden Avenue going to and from WVHS. Anyone else feel the same way?

Ah, what the? gets data that conflicts with her deep-seeded hate biases, so she attacks the data and just deems it incorrect. The Queen of Hearts has spoken!

Nice. Do you translate this tactic to the rest of your life’s experiences? After all, it is so scientific, so very open-minded, so progressive!

Of course, if the NYT survey supported your little minded biases, you would have trumped it as the word of God! Let me be specific: the Gray lady printed it as news, and she only prints all the news that is fit to print!

Some more observations for you:

>you have a tizzy fit about the breakdown of the TEA demographics, then make a conclusion that this somehow diminishes them. Uh, bad news for you. According to U.S. stats, the poor make up the first quintile, the upper class make up the 5th quintile, the rest are some version of the middle. Guess what? That means 80% are not upper class, 20% are upper class, and 20% are poor class. Let me decipher for you: As advertised, the TEA movement members make up a demographic that looks amazingly like the American public! Shocking!

>The TEA movement is NOT a party, it is a movement. Your insistence that it is a party just highlights your ignorance of the subject matter.

>Your little leftist mind makes conclusions & assumptions on my posts apparently just to try and allow you to attempt some clever word-smithing. You failed to comprehend the words and the arrangement of them which I used. You somehow tried to turn the issue into one of race (perhaps it is a sign of your own latent racism?). I never termed the gen pop as progressives --I was referring to you and some other posters. Of course, by misrepresenting me it was a lame attempt to find something to support your argument. Sorry it didn't work out for you. Also, to your detriment, I never said all conservatives were TEA members. In fact, it has been posted that about 40% of them are either Dems or Indees. Did it ever occur to you that this comment is just a reflection of your own ignorant bias?

>You comment that 37% having degrees is better than the gen pop but not stellar. You than demean that figure more by pointing out that Naperville probably has more degrees. Uh, do you really think Naperville is average/typical of America? It is not --- Naperville is upper class and exceptional in many areas, education being just one of them. Wake up, girl!

>You make some odd connection between the 37% college educated and the 29% making greater than $100k (you use 20% either way, quite a bit more than the gen pop but I stand by the number). You than make an elitist statement that “..37% claim a college education, but only 20% have an income more than $100,000/y?”

In other words, you believe that having a college degree guarantees you to be making greater than $100k per year? Do you have ANY grasp on reality?

>Despite all your dogma & rhetoric, even you agree that the TEA members as a group are more educated and wealthier than the gen pop , so why are you arguing this thread? I’ll tell you: you are overcome by your small-minded biases.

>You mention that the demographics sound a lot like Limbough. I would not know --- I have never heard the man, so I will have to take your word on that one (though your word has become greatly diminished as of late). .

>Finally, you have “seen the signs, you’ve heard their opinions”. Really? You have talked to enough TEA members to have a statistically significant conclusion? Interesting. And you’ve seen signs! And you know those signs were by TEA members and not the left provocateurs? Interesting how much knowledge you have from sitting at home.

Having said all that, I continue to ask that you and your ilk continue to underestimate and insult the TEA movement. It is working out quite well for us!

One could even suggest we are still "amused".

What the?:

I think you are pretty close to correct in your assessment of the Goldman case. That said, my understanding is that the instruments being sold were not loans at all, but rather esoteric instruments that were simply a bet on whether or not other instruments/markets would rise or fall. One other point that is not in the headlines much, Goldman lost $90 million -- apparently, they "defrauded" themselves. Or perhaps, they thought that Paulson's bet against the market was wrong. Like everything else, I expect this is far more complicated than we realize at this point. Please notice that it is civil complaint, not a criminal complaint. Why? Many think it is because the burden of proof is lower in a civil case. "Preponderance of evidence" over " beyond reasonable doubt" or something like that.

Fannie and Freddie on the other hand, used implicit taxpayer guarantees to buy bad loans; encouraged (according to some) risky mortgages, etc. They clearly violated existing SEC regulations by not filing their accounting reports on a timely basis but the regulators looked the other way. Where is the investigation? Won't be one. When did the limit on taxpayer responsibility for these institutions get raised? Christmas Eve! Coincidence? Not in my opinion. Do it when no one will pay any attention. Good move from a tactical perspective.

After Enron, there was great chest thumping in Congress. New regulations enacted. Problem solved. Apparently not. Incidentally, a number of executives are in jail for that fraud -- not under the heralded new laws, but under the securities laws enacted in way back in 1934. In my opinion, all we need/needed was uniform enforcement of existing rules, before enacting any new rules.

I appreciate that the level of discourse in our exchange has been polite, but I've spent far more time on this exchange than I intended and have nothing further to offer, so I'm signing off and others can have the last word. Thanks for the dialog.

Sam:

Oops! My post on April 20, 2010 10:21 was to you. :}

Sam:

Like I said, I do this a lot:

"Except that the current Goldman case has absolutely nothing in common with the Fannie and Freddie situation."

My understanding is that it does. It was these bad loans that were being selected, bundled, and sold to investors. The firm doing the selecting knew they were at very high risk of defaulting but sold them as top of the line investments while betting on their failure--and they cleaned up. Can't remember the name of the company that did this, but they worked with Goldman and Goldman was aware that these bundled investments were not what they were selling them as. That's where the fraud is. If I'm wrong I'd certainly like to know, but I've heard and read about it from a couple of sources, and this is how I understand the lawsuit.

Sam,

One more financial crisis should do it, but do what?

IMHO Obama and his administration is full of far left elitist ideologues.

What I suspect the agenda is:

* End Capitalism as we know it and replace it with some form of Socialism, this is well under way.

* The Technical Elite aka Harvard, Yale and Berkley will make all of the decisions for the little people. Bush 1 Yale, Clinton Yale, Bush 2 Yale Harvard, Obama Harvard, 8 of 9 Supreme Court Judges Ivy League. The entire govt looks like this already.

* End our concept of the family and replace it with pretty much any thing you can think of is a family. This loses the vote, so look for the Courts to ram it down our throats.

* Finish off Federalism, the States have already been reduced to go-fors for the Feds through legislation and bribes of Federal Funds either printed or borrowed.

* When the next financial crisis hits, Obama will inform us that we no longer need the military and that the UN can do the heavy lifting, this is a long time wet dream of the left. Obama is guaranteeing this with his spending, I'm sure he can add and knows exactly what he is doing to us.

In most statist Socialist systems the individuals mean nothing, its the needs of the group or collective (we are all in it together)as determined by the "technical elite" that is important. Human life is always severely devalued in all of these systems as the elite mold society.

If you are lucky you end up with Europe where the people have stopped working, don't believe in anything beyond the last time they copulated, have stopped reproducing and are now being replaced with non-Europeans as they die off in mass over the next few decades. The Europeans will be a minority in Europe in 40 years. If you are unlucky you get NAZI Germany, the USSR or Maos China where human life is worth zero.

If you read up on the Spanish Civil war, what you are now seeing is the middle stages of polarization before the blood letting started when it became obvious to everyone that there could be no compromise. Widen has a good book with good sources, if you do read a book use Widen's list of authors and their political orientations before diving in.

For example, Hemingway had constant and direct communication with the head of the NKVD-KGB in Spain and was the only one allowed to enter leave KGB headquarters without being challenged by the guards. Most of the books are far left, so know who you are reading.

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$


I have never seen this country so polarized and so unwilling to listen to the other side, or concede that their side doesn't have all the right answers. Frankly, it frightens me and I have little confidence that our current leaders -- in either party have the courage to confront the crisis that is building before our eyes. If standing in a plaza in Naperville can make a difference, it's worth doing -- again, opinion, not fact.

Dan:

Oversimplifications, probably. I don't have all day to spend here explaining myself. But half-truths? I'm not so sure . . .

Re my comment about Bush and 9/11, every time I make this statement on this blog, that Bush flippantly ignored a terrorism WARNING prior to 9/11, conservatives interpret this to mean I'm blaming Bush for 9/11. Not at all. I'll repeat what I've said many times, that Bush is not to blame for 9/11. The wheels for that were set in motion long before he took office. But Bush did receive a warning from his own staff that they had intelligence that an attack was imminent, and he flippantly dismissed it. We'll never know if 9/11 could have been prevented or if lives could have been saved if Bush had taken his role as commander-in-chief more seriously, but conservatives certainly don't seem to hold this against him. To me, it's part of a pattern of gross neglect Bush exhibited during his presidency. That's my opinion.

We saw the same indifference and lack of involvement after the Katrina disaster. He acted the same when the economic system teetered on the brink of collapse, except for throwing money at the big banks and the car industry. Aside from that, he was MIA and seemed more than happy to let Obama take the reigns two months before he was officially sworn in. I don't think any president, with the exception of perhaps Hoover, was happier to get the hell out of Dodge when he did than Bush 43.

Ok, I'll give you Afghanistan because O supported it. He didn't order the troops in, he wasn't ultimately responsible for that decision, so I'm not holding him personally responsible for it like I would the president at the time.

I know you're only speaking for yourself, but since you're a part of the Tea Party, don't you speak to other teas too? I can't get an answer to this, and I've asked several tea partiers or tea party supporters over the past year. The fact that they can't specifically answer it gives me the impression that they don't really know what they're protesting. They're just angry as hell and aren't going to take it anymore, and a non-conservative in the White House is as good a target as any. You may not have supported all of Bush 43's decisions, but you certainly didn't get concerned enough when Bush was driving the car off the cliff to protest. It seems to me you waited until the car crashed to blame the first guy who showed up to help. That's irrational to me.

Where were the angry conservatives when it was discovered that the Iraq war had been waged on a lie? Where were the angry conservatives when Bush was burning through our country's treasure and putting all the goodies on the national credit card? Where were the angry conservatives when he handed that credit card bill to Obama on his way out of town? Where were all the angry conservatives when the stock market crashed and tons of Americans lost their savings, investments and jobs? You may not have been happy, but no conservatives stepped up publicly to hold Bush accountable. You waited until he left office to complain. The only reasonable explanation I can see is that conservatives were unwilling to turn on one of their own. I seriously believe that if John McCain had won the presidency, there would not have ever been a Tea Party movement. It developed solely because a Democrat is now in the White House.

I agree that I too have never seen this country so polarized and so unwilling to listen to the other side, or concede that their side doesn't have all the right answers. The Vietnam War protests were a lot worse, but government wasn't as dysfunctional then. Wrong perhaps, but not dysfunctional. And I agree that neither party has the courage to confront the crisis that is developing before our eyes. But at least the Dems are making the effort, the Reps would rather sink the boat with all of us on board than allow Obama the victory of sailing us safely into a harbor. THAT is what frightens me the most.

If I'm going to stand on a plaza in Naperville to protest, I would want to be sure I'm protesting the right person or thing. Otherwise I'm just taking up space.

What the?

Your coments contain so many over simplifications and half-truths that I simply cannot spend time trying to explain my position. Except that the current Goldman case has absolutely nothing in common with the Fannie and Freddie situation. The GSE problems stem from a government policy of making home loans to people who could not afford them and being able to because the market know the government(taxpayers) would pay if it blew up. (Opinion) Fannie and Freddie stopped filing audiet financial reports several years before they imploded -- no private firm could have gotten away with that breach of audit requirements. _

I will try to answer your question. Again, this will sound similar to my earlier posts -- I cannot speak for anyone but myself. I don't know what others think today or 5 years ago. I was not supportive of everything that Bush 43 did or tried to do. I was certainly opposed to his prescription drug plan because it is an unfunded program that will cost a ton of money going forward. I disagree that Obama is "mopping up" in Afghanistan -- Obama opposed Iraq with the argument that we should be in Afghanistan. I can see an argument that he is mopping up in Iraq.

No way will I accept that 9/11 was the fault of Bush 43. I beleive Osama has claimed undisputed responsibility for that one. As for the deficit, I share the opinion of those who believe Obama's budget will increase the deficit to a point that threatens our economic survival. We will have debt equal to 70% of GDP in 10 years. (opinion, supported by CBO) If Bush 43 was wrong to have incurred a deficit -- and I think he was -- Obama is equally wrong in making it far larger.

Why am I prostesting now instead of in the past? Good question. I have more time available now, I think the problems are reaching critical mass -- and, in my opinion have been since before Obama was elected -- and most importantly, I beleive there is strength in numbers. My last public protest came when the Republicans were in control during the Nixon administration. At that time, we were all lumped together and vilified by the right, today I'm lumped in with the TEA party and vilified by the left. So be it.

I have never seen this country so polarized and so unwilling to listen to the other side, or concede that their side doesn't have all the right answers. Frankly, it frightens me and I have little confidence that our current leaders -- in either party have the courage to confront the crisis that is building before our eyes. If standing in a plaza in Naperville can make a difference, it's worth doing -- again, opinion, not fact.

Sam:

Forgot something. I do this a lot. Re:

"Last example: Fannie and Freddie's upcoming losses are now backed by unlimited federal tax dollars. ( Until Chrsitmas, the loss was limited to $400 billion, now it has no limit. ) Arguably, regulatory reform might have prevented this -- that is the crux of the argument for the bill currently before the Senate -- Guess which two would be reformers cast deciding votes to prevent this very type of reform for Fannie and Freddie in 2005: Dodd and Obama. Fact."

Ok, I'll accept that as fact, it sounds like something they would do anyway. But isn't hindsight always perfect? This was 2005, the market under the Bush administration was riding high. The only people who had a clue at that time that the Fannie and Freddie loans were eventually going to sink were the bankers, and they weren't telling anyone, as evidenced by the recent Goldman Sachs lawsuit. In fact, they were betting on them failing while selling these to others as great investments.

So it looks like Obama and Dodd made a big mistake at that time, didn't they? What's important to me is that knowing what they know now, they wouldn't do the same thing again and are willing to correct these mistakes. The Reps want to do nothing, they're willing to let the same mistakes continue to exist and just let the economy go to hell again. I don't see how doing nothing is useful.

Bill Clinton recently went on record admitting that he made a mistake in not trying to regulate the derivatives market. He does not think he would have been successful because the Reps controlled Congress, but that's no excuse for not trying. And the repeal of Glass Steagall. Oy vey, what a mess THAT turned into. And NAFTA. Bush 41 and Bill Clinton sure misread that one, didn't they? We're still hearing that giant sucking sound. And let's not even get into the disaster known as Iraq. How could so many people have been so wrong?

I don't hold it against government for making mistakes, because there are plenty to go around. But I do hold it against government officials who refuse to rectify these mistakes because a small group of wealthy, powerful interests are benefiting and in turn benefiting those government officials. And this is happening on both sides of government.

I'm hoping you can answer this for me. Here is the thing that perplexes me most about the Tea Party: where were the Teas when Bush 43 was burning through an inherited surplus and running up an outrageous deficit, waging an erroneous war, ignoring his people who were dying and suffering through Katrina, when it was discovered that he had flippantly dismissed a warning about 9/11 and on and on? Why are you protesting now but didn't then? Obama is STILL moping up after the Bush presidency on Iraq, Afghanistan, the economic meltdown and resulting job loss, in addition to being stuck paying the bill Bush left him, yet he's catching all the grief from the Tea Party.

Why do so many Teas hold Bush 43 blameless for the mess he left?

TO No sugar in my TEA:

See the posting before your for the answer. In short,I was there, I am retired, I do not collect SS or participate in Medicare. I'm not wealthy, just frugal. Will I eventually collect SS and participate in medicare, I expect that I will. But I do not presently. Was I the only person present at the rally that doesn't collect SS? I don't know, my point was: one, that people should stop stating opinion as fact and, two, at least consider that those with opposing viewpoints might, or might not, have valid points. That's all.

Sam:

Thanks for the reply. Your post was a pleasure to read.

Okay, so you are an exception to the SS/medicare situation. Were you a teacher? I recently discovered that teachers are not allowed to collect social security (their union benefits replace this), so that's why I'm asking. If you weren't a teacher, why aren't you collecting social security? You paid into it.

I can't argue with your comments, I tend to agree. Especially with:

"A few weeks ago, you may have heard Chris Matthews refer to a congressman he worked with years ago who was asked about his voting record. Essentially, he voted for every increase in entitlements and against every tax increase. Confronted with the fact that this was a recipe for fiscal disaster, the congressman explained that he realized it, but his constituents loved him for it. I beleive that is the crux of our problem in government at all levels, no one is willing to make the hard, unpopular choices --neither Democrats or Republicans. If they were, we wouldn't be on the brink."

Actually I missed this show, as I don't watch MSNBC routinely. But it's very true. Americans want all the goodies without paying for them, and they re-elect representatives who deliver this. They don't care who picks up the tab, as long as it's not them.

"You like to support your position with reference to Chris Matthews. Certainly, you must have observed that he has a certain bias. Fox also has a bias, just a different one. The truth, in my opinion, lies somewhere in between. Neither bias is exactly correct."

Of course MSNBC is biased in favor of the Obama administration, just like FN is biased against. Which is why I watch both, except for Fox's opinionists, whom I avoid. The truth is usually somewhere in between. Good opinion, in my opinion.

I do accept that your opinions are not always wrong. I'd be interested in hearing more of them.

I want to know too. How could you possibly know this?


By what the? on April 19, 2010 6:41 PM

sam:

"BTW, not ALL the retirees in attendance are collecting social security and participating in Medicare."

How can you possibly know this?

To what the?:

"BTW, not ALL the retirees in attendance are collecting social security and participating in Medicare."

How can you possibly know this?

It's pretty simple, actually: I was there. I am retired and I am not collecting SS or participating in Medicare. So, my asserttion is factually correct. Perhaps your observational skills are not as good as yuo think, or perhaps not everyone is what they seem to be.
You like to support your position with reference to Chris Matthews. Certainly, you must have observed that he has a certain bias. Fox also has a bias, just a different one. The truth, in my opinion, lies somewhere in between.

Neither bias is exactly correct.

Today, in the Sun, Bill Mego stated that no one whose family income is under $250,000 is going see a tax increase. He stated it as a fact, not an opinion. He's wrong: our family income is far below that threshhold, but we are still subject to an increase in the exclusion for medical care deduction ( from 7.5% increasing to 10%, fact, not opinion.) As a result, our federal tax bill will increase. Fact.

For the record, the current federal income tax rates are expiring this year. These were commonly called the Bush tax cuts. It is very unlikely that the current congress will extend the rates, (opinion) therefore, tax rates are going to increase, even for some whose income is below the $250,000 threshold.

A few weeks ago, you may have heard Chris Matthews refer to a congressman he worked with years ago who was asked about his voting record. Essentially, he voted for every increase in entitlements and against every tax increase. Confronted with the fact that this was a recipe for fiscal disaster, the congressman explained that he realized it, but his constituents loved him for it. I beleive that is the crux of our problem in government at all levels, no one is willing to make the hard, unpopular choices --neither Democrats or Republicans. If they were, we wouldn't be on the brink.

Last example: Fannie and Freddie's upcoming losses are now backed by unlimited federal tax dollars. ( Until Chrsitmas, the loss was limited to $400 billion, now it has no limit. ) Arguably, regulatory reform might have prevented this -- that is the crux of the argument for the bill currently before the Senate -- Guess which two would be reformers cast deciding votes to prevent this very type of reform for Fannie and Freddie in 2005: Dodd and Obama. Fact.

I accept that we need reform. The political hypocrisy that is rampant today -- both parties are guilty -- is only going to prevent a sensible resolution. Opinion.

So fire away. I didn't want to get into this debate because, as you point out, too many facts are obscured by opinion. I accept that my opinions may not always be right, but will you accept that they are not always wrong? Until then, there is nothing to be gained from investing any more time or energy in a shouting match.


gr8d84f8:

Never mind about the link. I had some time so I went to the NYT myself and found the article and the demographics on the study. It was a telephone survey, no surprise there. Doesn't say where the polling took place, was it all in the NY area or included different areas of the country? Since the results are being generalized to be representative of all of American, this would be nice to know as well.

This gets very interesting when you look at ALL the data. The majority of teas are white, male and over the age of 45. Sounds a lot like Limbaugh's demographics, doesn't it? They identify themselves as very conservative, vote Republican most of the time, and are church goers. Their numbers are estimated as only 18% of the U.S. population but they think they represent MOST Americans. Maybe they mean most white, male, older conservative Americans?

Not a high school graduate: Teas 3% GP 12%
High school grad: Teas 26 GP 35
Some college: Teas 33 GP 28
College grad: Teas 23 GP 15
Post-graduate: Teas 14 GP 10

So 62% of Teas, the majority, have some college or less. Only 37% have college degrees. They may rate better than the general population, whatever that population is, and that is better than I would have guessed, but as a group it's not stellar. There are probably areas in Naperville that have a higher concentration of college educated than that. My middle schooler told me of a "poll" that was taken by a teacher in one of her classes last week. By a show of hands, 100%, meaning all students in that class, had one parent that was college educated. All but several had parents where BOTH held degrees. Now that's impressive.

Also, 89% of the teas in this study identified themselves as white. The GP includes ALL ethnic groups, just not whites. And the study just says "general population", meaning non-tea party people, not progressives. Your own closed, intolerant, and mean little mind identified the gen pop as progressive, not the data. You know, all tea partiers may be conservatives, but not all conservatives are tea partiers. Didn't this occur to you?

Here's the data on income. It seems you fudged a bit to make tea partiers look much better off financially than the data actually showed. The NYT didn't have a separate category for those making greater than $250k, plus our numbers are different. I lifted this as is from the NYT article:

Less than $15,000: Teas 5% Gen Pop 10%
$15,000-$30,000: Teas 13 GP 22
$30,000-$50,000: Teas 17 GP 16
$50,000-$75,000: Teas 25 GP 18
$75,000-$100,000: Teas 11 GP 12
More than $100,000: Teas 20 GP 14

Also in this study, 50% of teas described themselves as middle class, 26% described themselves as working class, 5% as lower class. So that makes 81% of Tea Partiers middle class or lower. Only 19% describe themselves as upper middle class and above. That fits generalized perceptions about the Tea Party. So the income level of these people doesn't match the educational levels they're claiming. 37% claim a college education, but only 20% have an income more than $100,000/y?

You might want to look at your income numbers again, what you've posted doesn't add up to the NYT article. And I still suspect tea partiers resentful of the "uneducated" label are exaggerating their educational status. Like I've said, I've seen their signs, I've heard their opinions. Or maybe the top 37% don't go to the rallies?

Such a shame ...... gr8d84f8 actually seems to believe his own dribble. Talk about a biased and misinformed opinion? lol....... Can only be seen as a funny statement after reading the rest of your misguided post. No party that worships at the feet of Sarah Palin has any credibility, and to suggest they have an ounce of intelligence is beyond the realm of reasonable thought! Please take a pill, get some help, or at least stop professing intelligence purely based on arrogance. It's really very sad reading.

sam:

"BTW, not ALL the retirees in attendance are collecting social security and participating in Medicare."

How can you possibly know this?

gr8d84f8:

"As even the most limited reader can gather, the TEA folks are not limited to retirees or any other group living off of a government social program such as social security, disability, etc."

And where are your limited reading skills getting the age data? Does your NYT study (this alone is interesting since a lot of conservatives tend to dismiss the NYT as biased and unreliable) cite the average age of the tea partiers? If so, you didn't share this info.

I heard Chris Matthews discuss this study on his show last week. I'm pretty sure the average age of the tea partiers was over 55, with a large number being retirees, and mostly white, two demographics which you left out. The biggest issue being discussed was the education levels this study claimed.

I've seen their signs, I've heard these people speak, that's where I'm getting my information. This is not representative of the college graduates I know. Many of them are reactionary and have limited knowledge of what it is they think they're protesting. If 37% of the tea partiers are college graduates, they are hiding it very well.

So I would like to know how this data was collected. Was it a phone survey? If so, we all know the tea partiers have been getting a lot of flack over the past year for not appearing like the brightest bulbs in the pack, so it wouldn't surprise me if many of them exaggerated their educational backgrounds. Was the personal information they gave verified in any way? How do we know it's true?

Same for the income questions. It is no secret that many of the younger tea partiers are free during the work week to attend rallies because they're unemployed due to the current recession, but there is not a category for this. In fact, you do not show a category under 50k/year, so this makes it appear that all tea party folks are very well off. But the numbers you listed don't equal 100; are the unemployed the missing 21% or are many of the respondents citing the income they earned when they had jobs?

So how about a link to where you're getting this info? It would be interesting to see how this study was conducted and how reliable the data is considered to be.

By the way, there was a tea party spokesperson on the Chris Matthews show when this study was discussed. The study showed that the majority of teas are BIRTHERS. This is also why I question their level of education. I was taught critical thinking in college, I see precious little of this displayed in the tea party movement. Most of what the tea movement displays is fear and paranoia. The point is, the tea party spokesperson denied this finding and said he didn't believe it, but he believed everything in the study that showed the tea partiers in a good light. So before you accuse me of being selective in my data, keep in mind that the tea party has already gone there. They dismiss the birther finding as untrue, but all the findings that compliment their group of course are.

The township road districts have to give one-half of the taxes received for the general road fund from each incorporated parcel to the municipality that the property is located in.

Don't want to get into a discussion of the merits/flaws related to the tea party, but I did attend, and I did COUNT the number of people in attendance and people were still coming. I have no doubt that the estimate of 500 is about right.

BTW, not ALL the retirees in attendance are collecting social security and participating in Medicare.

To: By what the?

Madam,

It certainly sounds like the TEA movement has really hit a nerve with you (easily done, though, considering your single reflex system!).

The extent of your elitism knows no bounds. Your April 16, 2010 1:29 AM post writes "This is why the tea party folks aren't taken seriously by the mainstream, Capitol Hill, or the silent majority. They display unbelievable stupidity."

It is good that you feel this way. As you, and the farthest-left of the progressives, continue to ignore and try to dominish the TEA movement, the TEA movementit just grows in numbers and strength.

As we speak the Obama toads try to backpedal and stumble over their useless words, pretending to all-of-a-sudden be respectful of the movement. Of course, their duplicity is clear to all and it will get them nowhere. Even Bouncing Baby Boy Bill Clinton got caught in a backtrack this weekend!

Now, for those of you who like to mouth off your opinions and pretend it is fact, or who just like to repeat the talking points (pointless thought they be) that you hear from Plastic Nancy, or who have the same continuous tingle up your leg that Chris has, here is a little TEA movement demographic info from the NYT:

Education:
Some College education: Gen Pop 28%, TEA 33%

College grad: Gen Pop 15%, TEA 23%

Post Grad: Gen Pop 10%, TEA 14%

Personal Finance Situation:
VeryGood: Gen Pop 9%, TEA 8%

Fairly Good: Gen Pop 64%, TEA 70%


Income:
$50k-$75K: Gen Pop 18%, TEA 25%

$75k-$100K: Gen Pop 12%, TEA 11%

>$100K: Gen Pop 14%, TEA 29%

>$250K: Gen Pop 11%, TEA 12%


As even the most limited reader can gather, the TEA folks are not limited to retirees or any other group living off of a government social program such as social security, disability, etc. Of course, one can argue that social security isn't a social program at all since we actually put the money into it ourselves (a lousy investment as there is out there). Only in progressive-land can it be stated that our own money coming back to us is a social program. The data indicates that it is the non-TEA portion of society that is more liklely to make up this grouping that you appear to be so disdainful of.

The simple fact, (backed by data, bahy!) is that the TEA people make up a demographic that is actually higher educated and performing & contributing to society at levels higher than the general population that is NOT part of the TEA movement!

In other words, for the slower members of the progressive left, you are actually holding down society while the TEA movement is elevating it! Please get it in gear and try to contribute more, will you please?

So we again have to say "Huh! Imagine that! What the? is again grossly incorrect in her biased opinion of those who are different from her!" It must be nice to not be encumbered by a want to be accurate. You should be ashamed of your closed mind, intolerance, and mean spirit!

However, I DO ask that you and your ilk continue to underestimate and insult the TEA movement. It is working out quite well for us!

One could even suggest we are "amused".

Break aka WTF

To fund the programs the Progressives aka Liberals aka Socialists aka Marxists want they should help to pay for them.

* All Teachers at all levels including University should be taxed with a 50% windfall profits tax on their gross salaries and benefits.

* The same goes for all UAW employees who received $400,000 each in bail out money to save their absurd salaries and benefits.

* Union membership should be regulated by the government and each Union member should have to pay a $5000 annual license fee to help fund the government.

* Any State or Government agency that requires Union workers for their projects should have all Federal Funding suspended until they implement market reforms

* All Lawyers should pay a 75% windfall profits tax on their fees from liability lawsuits and should be required to donate 50% of their time to defending companies and people against frivolous liability suits.

* All Government aid to citizens should be in the form of a loan when their paid in benefits are consumed.

We are all in it together, so the Unions and Trial Lawyers and Welfare mob who apparently own the Democrats should help to pay for their own benefits instead of sucking every else dry.

Too bad the Republicans are spineless weasels who believe in nothing.

By GIVE ME A BREAK on April 16, 2010 11:04 AM

The Tea Party should be called the Whining Party.
They are great at telling everyone what they don’t want – taxes, big government, etc.
They just aren’t any good at solving problems.
If they don’t want to pay taxes what do they propose to do to lower them?
• Reduce military spending?
• Delay / lower social security or Medicare payments?
• Shrink support for education?
• Impede infrastructure maintenance?
• Block support for natural resources?

It’s always easy to find fault.
It takes dedication and professionalism to find solutions.

Smart meters $12 million

Carillon $9 million and bleeding

Mow down the trees on the Riverwalk $100,000+

Naper Homestead park increasing maintenance costs.

Gold plated health care plans for city workers

Dist 203 and 204 teachers retiring on $100,000+ per year incl gold plated medical plan

Police getting promoted from patrol to Sargent the day they retire adding 20-30% to their retirement package, same deal for teachers.

2 new high schools both built at top dollar, one completely unnecessary $300,000,000+

Teachers getting compounding 7% pay raises every year.

$2,000,000 bail out for brand name builder who sold swamp land to the City.

And so on, and so on, and so on,............................


$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$4

By Anonymous on April 15, 2010 11:14 PM

I hate to break it to you Anonymous at 11:51 AM but the two brush collections you are expecting this year have been whittled down to one!!! The only City of Naperville general brush collection scheduled for this year will begin the first week of May. This is part of the cost savings measures approved by the same City Council trying to convince you that services have not been cut. So sharpen your saws because if you miss this one, you will have to wait another year.

The Tea Party should be called the Whining Party.
They are great at telling everyone what they don’t want – taxes, big government, etc.
They just aren’t any good at solving problems.
If they don’t want to pay taxes what do they propose to do to lower them?
• Reduce military spending?
• Delay / lower social security or Medicare payments?
• Shrink support for education?
• Impede infrastructure maintenance?
• Block support for natural resources?

It’s always easy to find fault.
It takes dedication and professionalism to find solutions.


From Today's Sun Times:

It's Taste of Chicago -- not Taste of Chicagoland, Taste of Schaumburg or Taste of Riverside.
That's the message City Hall is delivering to suburban restaurants. They're no longer welcome at Chicago's annual orgy of food and music.

http://www.suntimes.com/news/cityhall/2164678,CST-NWS-taste16web.article

_______________________________

The taste of Chicago won't include suburban restaurants anymore, I wonder what the qualifications are for Ribfest and the Last Fling? It seems that Naperville's fests try to attract from the entire region, and the rib vendors are nationwide. Obviously taste of chicago will still be well attended, but I for one would love to have some kind of fest in Naperville that was more of a showcase for local restaurants, bands, and attractions.

I'm not trying to exclude and suggest a "Naperville Only" events or the elimination of ribfest, but I would like to attend something "local" with unknown garage bands and local flair - not the well known bigger named groups that currently attract thousands.

There was no way there were 500 people at the tea party. And what is THIS comment supposed to mean??

Osama and Obama: Both have friends who bombed the Pentagon," conservative Christian radio talk show host Sandy Rios said in her opening remarks to the crowd.

Really? This is what the tea party stands for? I'm embarassed for the whole lot of them.

Anonymous on April 15, 2010 8:42 PM

"Attended most of the tea party. Crowd seemed like normal people to me, most were free in the middle of a work day ie retired. So they have time to think about national bankruptcy and time to attend."

You just noticed that?! Most of the tea party people are retirees, so they're free in the middle of a work week to protest paying taxes for the government socialist benefits they are living off of, like social security, Medicare, disability, etc.?

This is why the tea party folks aren't taken seriously by the mainstream, Capitol Hill, or the silent majority. They display unbelievable stupidity.

I'd like to see the sun foia request the health insurance records of Naperville Twshp and see what we are paying for. Why are we paying health insurance premiums for May Yurgatis or for the entire family of Fred Spitzerri? They do so little work yet we pay their entire health insurance premiums

I hate to break it to you Anonymous at 11:51 AM but the two brush collections you are expecting this year have been whittled down to one!!! The only City of Naperville general brush collection scheduled for this year will begin the first week of May. This is part of the cost savings measures approved by the same City Council trying to convince you that services have not been cut. So sharpen your saws because if you miss this one, you will have to wait another year.

From the Wall Street Journal

The IRS publishes a document every year looking at the returns of the nation’s 400 highest income tax paying people. The most recent year of complete data is 2007.

The top 400 U.S. individual taxpayers have 1.59% of the nation’s household income in 2007. Three times the percentage in the 1990s.

The top 400 paid 2.05% of all individual income taxes in 2007.
Only 220 of the top 400 were in the top marginal tax bracket.

Average tax rate of the 400 was 16.6% — the lowest since the IRS began tracking the 400 in 1992.

Top 400 reported $137.9 billion in income; they paid $22.9 billion in federal income taxes.

81.3% of income was from capital gains, dividends or interest. Salaries and wages? Just 6.5%.

Wasn’t it Warren Buffett that said he paid a lower percentage than his secretary some years ago.

http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2010/02/17/a-look-at-the-tax-returns-of-the-top-400-taxpayers/Happy tax day to you to!

Attended most of the tea party.

Crowd seemed like normal people to me, most were free in the middle of a work day ie retired. So they have time to think about national bankruptcy and time to attend.

Some speakers better than others. The small business guy did pretty well and since small business is targeted for extinction by Democrats I understand his them vs us assessment.

What he didn't understand is that the lower income brackets get totally screwed since they have no jobs and become welfare junkies which is what Obama and the Dems want. A welfare mob dependent on the great leader to feed their kids.

Either way the US is bankrupt, so all of the money for the welfare mob will be disappearing soon, probably after Obama retires the entire military to buy a few more votes before the implosion.

Govt helping the people.

0
O-O0
^_^

Experienced,
Seems to me that the tea party movement is ultimately doomed to failure in many places. The average upscale suburbanite wouldn't be caught dead at something that seems to be designed for the silly sign holding deep south, or fly-over states.
The whole thing has become a bit embarrassing, I think, even though one might agree with the general bedrock principles, one doesn't want to be associated with... THAT. We there really 500?

Last year's Tea Party in Naperville drew 500 as did this year's. Doesn't seem like the idea is really successful locally. No growth is not good for a political movement.

"...it seems the City of Naperville doesn't want any competition in terms of their ability to sell electricity."

Funny thing -- when implemented, the smart grid is supposed to allow people to supply power to the grid and get credit for it.

-1

That's the problem with counties and townships. They bill everyone in the jurisdiction but only supply services, for the most part, to those outside municipal boundaries. City dwellers pay for services they don't get. Like brush pick up.

Townships are a thing of the past and should be abolished. They duplicate staff at all levels. I wonder... I haven't heard a word about them cutting staff. Mr. Moderator, and stories on that? I know the city and schools have done it.

"Zoning Board shoots down wind power proposal" from page 8 of today's Naperville Sun.

Did the zoning board exceed their authority, especially when one considers the rationale they used to defend their decision?

Just like the City of Naperville won't let a resident drill a well and compete with the city in terms of water sales it seems the City of Naperville doesn't want any competition in terms of their ability to sell electricity.

Hopefully Brighton Car Wash will push the envelope and either appeal this decision or file a lawsuit against the zoning board. As traditional energy sources become more expensive and as newer technologies like solar and wind come within reach of the average homeowner we are going to need either federal or state level regulations (similar to satellite TV dishes) to maintain individual freedom and property rights.

The City of Naperville changed the number of annual brush pick-ups years ago from 3 times per year to 2 times per year. Today Naperville Township is still providing brush pick-up a whopping 6 times per year in unincorporated areas!

Everyone who lives in Naperville Township is paying township taxes. The percent of residents who live in unincorporated areas is very, very small in comparison to those who live in incorporated areas. Residents of incorporated areas are helping to fund both city and township brush pick-up through the taxes we pay yet incorporated residents benefit only from the services provided by the City of Naperville. Clearly the incorporated residents are subsidizing excessive Township brush pick-up services for unincorporated residents.

As a matter of fairness and equity the unincorporated areas should learn to live with 2 times per year brush pick-ups and learn to plan accordingly. Otherwise the pro rated cost of brush pick-up should be eliminated from all Naperville Township property tax bills and the actual pro rated cost for brush pick-up added back in to property tax bills for just those residents who live in unincorporated areas. If unincorporated residents want brush pick-up 6 times per year then they should be willing to pay for the true actual cost.

CO,

As I understand it, the Lottery funds are technically going to education. However, the general funds that were used for education prior to the lottery went away!

In short, it was the old bait-and-switch.

Anyone else?

Why is any money being spent on the Riverwalk when the City is broke? But as usual, nothing is too good for Naperville. Spend, Spend, Spend. Why doesn't the city cut back like the rest of us. Guess they are above the law !!

I think term limits is the answer to corrupt politicians. One term that's it. Once you hold an office, any office, you can only have one term and never serve again. Mandatory investigation at the end of the term to see if any wrong doing has occurred.

Conscientious,

As I remember it the Lottery income does get applied to education funding. But our legislators either reneged, or never said up front, that Lottery income would be in addition to whatever amount the state was already funding, so it's a joke.

T.B.

I think they ruined the area on the Riverwalk by cutting down all those trees. Why spend all the money to do it,it was fine as it was?

The question about the lottery. Typical government bait and switch.

I do not have the actual numbers. But let's assume that the state was spending $1 billion onf education in 1972 or so when the lottery was implemented. Then the lottery generated $250 million. The entire $250 million from the lottery funded education. However, the original commitment of $1 billion from other sources was cut to $750 million.

So all of the lottery was commited to education. The state diverted the other money to other uses.

The lottery today could not fund education. So this game continues.

Conscience,

If I recall correctly, the States all sold the lottery as going to public education. In many cases, this is true and the money that formerly went to education went elsewhere so the net was zero plus pay raises for the Union members who fund the politicians.

There is no amount of money that politicians can't divert.

0
O-O0
^ ^
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


By Conscientious Observer on April 14, 2010 9:59 PM

There is so much in the news about the state of Illinois being unable to pay up on education funding it owes to Illinois school districts, and the majority of taxpayers are upset over the threats that education funding will continue to dwindle unless state taxes are raised.

What I don't understand - and I'm hoping someone is knowledgeable in this area, as I have yet to find clarity on the web - is, wasn't the Illinois Lottery supposed to go toward funding education in our state? If I recall correctly, that was one of the selling points of having a state lottery. If that's right, what has happened to that money and who is in charge of overseeing and verifying the collection and distribution of the funds?

By Conscientious Observer on April 14, 2010 9:59 PM

What I don't understand - and I'm hoping someone is knowledgeable in this area, as I have yet to find clarity on the web - is, wasn't the Illinois Lottery supposed to go toward funding education in our state?
----------------------------------

That was the sale point. The general fund money that was going to education was to continue going to education and the lottery proceeds were to go there too. And, the proceeds of the lottery do go to the schools because that is required by law. The problem is that some [most?] of the money from the general fund that was originally going to education has been diverted elsewhere.

Evidenty we need an "entrance" to the Riverwalk. What's up with all the trees that have been cut down?!?

There is so much in the news about the state of Illinois being unable to pay up on education funding it owes to Illinois school districts, and the majority of taxpayers are upset over the threats that education funding will continue to dwindle unless state taxes are raised.

What I don't understand - and I'm hoping someone is knowledgeable in this area, as I have yet to find clarity on the web - is, wasn't the Illinois Lottery supposed to go toward funding education in our state? If I recall correctly, that was one of the selling points of having a state lottery. If that's right, what has happened to that money and who is in charge of overseeing and verifying the collection and distribution of the funds?

Leave a comment

Naperville Potluck

The Sun invites you to share opinions about news and issues. Have a question? E-mail us.  

Pages

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Chris Magee, moderator published on April 14, 2010 9:45 PM.

County Water Commission has huge deficit was the previous entry in this blog.

Don't pay fees, don't graduate is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.