Democrats & Liberals Archives

The Repubs as usual lie to us.

The Repubs tell us that they believe in Adam Smith, “free market economics,” and “supply side economics.” If that is true, why do they practice Keynesian economics? I thought that Keynesian economics was for “tax and spend” liberals. LIBERALS - you have heard of them - right. Those naive fiscally responsible people who think that they should pay for the things that they buy, hence; tax then spend.

Republicans proudly proclaim, (some say chant), that it is a proven fact that tax cuts stimulate economic growth and result in higher tax revenues for the government. This is a seductive idea. They are saying that you can get somethin for nothin. It is simple and straight forward. Heck it could even be true. We would never know. It is simply a cover story for Republicans to justify the looting of the public treasury by the rich and powerful elite that control the Republican agenda.
See: McCain touts tax cuts, stimulus
See also: An Honest Stimulus: Tax Cuts Instead of Rebates
See also my article titled: Market Principals and Healthcare.

See also:

Editorial: Tax cuts are the best stimulus: If somebody grabbed your wallet and then handed you back a $20 bill, would you be grateful? Realizing the money was yours to begin with, you would probably call the cops rather than thank the thief.
A thief stealing your wallet is the Republican metaphor for taxes. It is a gross distortion. I am also opposed to the stimulus plan however a better and much more accurate metaphor for taxes is: You are contractually obligated to give some of your money to a personal assistant who pays your bills, hires a security company and buys food for your dependents who are not able to provide for themselves.

Republicans are extremely talented at manipulating the American people by framing issues in a distorted way. For example, they have a fetish for Paris Hilton, (so do I actually), but the Repubs got the hots for her so bad that they rename the estate tax as the death tax and try to pass the "Paris Hilton Relief Act."
See: Repealing the Paris Hilton Tax? Just Say No to Dynasties
See also: The Paris Hilton Tax Cut

In my article about Iraq titled: Are We Gullible Enough? phx8 made the following excellent point:

Under Carter, the US economy created about 10 million non-farm payroll jobs in just four years. Under Bush, the US economy has created about 5 million in over seven years, half of those in the government, and that despite the US having a much larger population.

Yes, but it goes even deeper than that. Bush has led us into two major wars. Wars are always a massive Keynesian style economic stimulus for the economy. Government spending always goes up. In the commentary thread of: Are We Gullible Enough? Rocky, Jack, and I talked about how our money is being lost to Haliburton, et al. That lost money generates economic activity. Those highly paid mercenaries do buy a few Hummers from General Motors. But, those Republican mercenaries spend too high of a percentage of their money on foreign products like Toyota Tundras.

I took macro-economics 20 years ago and I don't remember the exact formula, but, there is an inverse relationship between spending on foreign products and the effectiveness of Keynesian stimulation. If memory serves: It is: (Extra American Income) = (Government Spending) divided by the (Percent of American Income spent on Imports) times 100. So, if Americans spend 10% of their money on foreign products, every dollar of government spending (Keynesian economic stimulation) will generate $10 of additional American income. If the percentage spent on foreign products is 50%, then the new American income generated by one dollar of government spending would only be $2. If the percentage spent on foreign products is 90%, then the new American income generated by one dollar of government spending would only be $1.11. Whatever the exact formula, there is a diminishing return. The more money we spend on foreign products, the less wealthy America becomes and Keynesian stimulation also becomes less effective. The Repubs as usual lie to us. They tell us that the job growth is from from giving huge tax cut shaped lollipops to their rich and powerful elitist constituency. The real, albeit anemic growth, that has happened is from Keynesian economic stimulus based on deficit spending and the war based sacrifice of tens of thousands of American soldiers and hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis and Afghans.
See: Keynesian economics
See also: Keynesian Economics
See also: Tens of thousands of wounded Americans.
See also: Iraqi Casualty Monitor: Tracking the cost of war
See also: How Many Dead?

Since the time of Reagan, all Republican tax cuts have been implemented without corresponding spending cuts. The Repubs give their tax cuts to the rich and powerful elites and they continue, and even increase government spending through deficits. The deficit spending represents huge Keynesian economic stimulation and the tax cuts also provide economic stimulation, so of coarse the economy grows - but you have to "pay the piper." There is just one tiny little problem. The economic growth is financed on the backs of our children who will have to pay those debts. This is not a problem for Repubs though - - and - - I don't really love my children either - do you?

I don't actually mean that Republicans don't love their children. I am just taking a playful jab at their kidneys. It is all in good fun. Obviously the Hiltons love Paris too much. They, and other Repubs, like the Bushes and Cheneys, want to turn their children into royalty. That is why they want the estate tax repealed. For the rest of us; selling your children into virtual indentured servitude is not very loving. Midwestern soccer Moms who vote Republican "VALUES," are in fact, doing exactly that.

Keynesian economic stimulus leads to inflation, collapse and stagflation. We are entering a period of stagflation. What makes these policies even worse is the fact that the Republican elites want to colonize the world. So under the "guise" of free trade they deliberately create unfree trade and colonize and exploit America and the world. As a result, they Walmartize America, they ship our jobs out, they ship Chinese poison dog food and toys in, and Americans spend ever increasing amounts of their money on foreign products. So Keynesian stimulation becomes less and less effective. This "stimulus package" will stimulate China more than the U.S.
See: Fed Tries to Stave Off Stagflation
See also: Staunching Stagflation
See also: Stagflation

Reagan / Bush / McCain neo-fascist neo-cons seem to have avoided inflation until recently. How have they done that? We give credit to the Federal Reserve for controlling inflation. But now we have stagflation. What happened? The answer is simple. Globalization / Walmartization. Some of the Republican Keynesian stimulation has gone to stimulate the world which is not inflationary in our market. They have increased the exploitation of third world workers and the exploitation of Americans. These 2 things have allowed them to control inflation here - for a while... ...but you "have to pay the piper."

This is reality. Reality has the unfortunate property of being real. It will always assert itself.

Republican policies weaken America but strengthen the parasitic fascist rich and powerful elite corporatists which are their controlling constituency. Republicans lie to us. They stimulate the economy with Keynesian deficit spending in concert with tax cuts. Then Republicans tell us that tax cuts are the sole cause of economic growth and that we need to give more tax cuts to their fascist masters and their morally challenged sexy girlfriend.

She is pretty sexy though - maybe we should sell our country down the river for Paris.

See: What is Corporatism?
See also: Paris is hot in an STD sort of way.

Posted by Ray Guest at May 15, 2008 1:50 PM
Comments
Comment #252918

Good article Ray! I agree completely — well, except for Paris Hilton being “hot”.
I’m a woman, so maybe I miss what so many men like about her, but I really don’t think she’s all that pretty — and her body looks malnourished. Unhealthy isn’t sexy. (Also, dumb as a stump is never sexy.)

I did find it funny that in the picture of Paris you linked to her bikini sports Banker’s Pinstripes! Very apropos.

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at May 15, 2008 4:05 PM
Comment #252922

ray


however a better and much more accurate metaphor for taxes is:”You are contractually obligated to give some of your money to a personal assistant who pays your bills, hires a security company and buys food for your dependents who are not able to provide for themselves.”

interesting. does this assistant have the power to change the terms of the contract in order to extort more money out of you, and take you to prison if you refuse to go along with the changes.

personally i like this one better.

the gov’t is like a drunken relative that keeps coming back for more even after you’ve given him more help than he deserves. he keeps failing, and refusing to live within his means, and shows up at your house and demands more money at the point of a gun.

Posted by: dbs at May 15, 2008 4:54 PM
Comment #252923

R.G., what did I tell you about staying away from the rye bread after it goes bad? Look up skank in the dictionary to find a picture of P H., here is Tina Fey on Howard Stern talking about her appearance on SNL: youtube.com/watch?v=QBzPQ5MKlNw

Fixate on Evangeline Lily for all around hotness, Eva Longoria if you’re into thin, or Katie Sackhoff if you’d like it a little rough.

On the Rpblcns, they alternate between attempting to sabotage the government when the Democrats are in power, and bankrupting it when they are in power.

This year, one of the most important goals should be to get a Lieberman-proof Senate.

Posted by: ohrealy at May 15, 2008 5:23 PM
Comment #252928

Here’s a short and interesting take on government spending from two well-known public figures. I would also ask the question Beckel asked, “Are there enough courageous lawmakers left in Washington?” On either side of the isle?

Hey big spenders (Congress), listen up

The issue: Runaway government spending.

Discussing this issue are conservative columnist Cal Thomas and liberal strategist Bob Beckel.

Cal: Bob, even though the Democratic Party has a history of taxing and spending and a parallel history of not caring much about the deficit or U.S. debt, even Democrats must be shocked to learn that your and my share of the national debt is nearly $28,000 each. This is an outrage, doubly so because it is occurring under a Republican administration and Congress. It puts a crushing burden on our children and grandchildren. This from the party of fiscal restraint.

Bob: Cal, I’m inclined, after all the years that Republicans accused Democrats of being big spenders, to just sit back and smile at the hypocrisy of the Republicans. But I can’t because the implications of a $9 trillion debt for the country’s future are too dangerous. Besides that, my party’s hands are just as dirty when it comes to reckless spending.

Cal: We both know how the game is played in Washington. When someone honestly tries to reduce spending, the demagogues claim that little old ladies will be evicted from nursing homes, Social Security checks will end and life on this planet will expire. You’ll recall the partial government shutdowns of late ‘95 and early ‘96. The Republican House of Representatives tried to reduce wasteful spending, and the Clinton administration played the politics of it beautifully, closing the Washington Monument and other tourist attractions while the media feasted on it. The Republicans surrendered, and the spending continued.

Bob: I can’t let you get away with that one, my friend. Clinton vetoed the Republican budget, not because it held the line on spending, but because it cut vital programs such as prenatal care and Head Start. Let’s also remember Clinton had the courage to take on the deficit by raising taxes, mostly on the well-off, as it should be. Clinton left President Bush with a 10-year, trillion-dollar-plus surplus. Don’t forget that.

Cal: We both know that projected surpluses are simply mirages.

Bob: I wish I could say the same about deficits. They’re right in front of us, Cal. You know why? Because Bush and the GOP Congress cut taxes for their wealthy friends, started the biggest benefit expansion in Medicare history — the Medicare drug bill — and blew the rest on Iraq. Bush has added $2.7 trillion to the national debt in the past five years.

Cal: Republicans tried to cut the rate of increase in these programs. When they did, Democrats screamed about cutting the program itself. You know why that’s important today? Republicans are afraid to even slow the rates of increased spending, much less reduce it or, heaven forbid, get rid of any government program. So they are outspending Democrats to avoid the political hit, but in the process, losing their political identity.

Bob: So the devil made them do it, huh? Come on, Cal. But you know who shouldn’t get a pass on this? The public. That’s right, even the readers of this newspaper. I am amazed at how indifferent the average American is to the debt crisis. In fact, bravo to the readers who have followed our discussion this far. If parents today would only come to grips with the awesome damage their indifference to the public debt will inflict on their kids, they might join us in putting pressure on Congress to end this mindless spending.

Cal: No doubt about it. Just as infuriating: The money we make is being misspent by politicians who don’t earn it. A new Pew poll found that only 55% of Americans say the deficit is a “top priority.” In the 1990s, the deficit registered much higher as a voter concern. Human nature tells us that if someone will send you a check for money you didn’t earn, you are likely to keep it. People are addicted to big government, and Congress, our drug supplier, is happy to keep the addiction going to feed its own political power.

Bob: One of the reasons we began Common Ground was because partisanship had gotten so out of hand in Washington that it seemed the only bipartisan act was spending money. I’ve worked in the White House and with Congress, and I learned one thing about spending bills: Behind each one is a well-funded special interest group. That’s why it is so difficult to stop them. And then, of course, local pork projects are hidden in these bills — this year, more than 14,000 such projects.

Cal: You want a few examples of this? Congressman Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., has been a good watchdog on unnecessary federal spending, exposing an “egregious earmark of the week.” A recent one was $250,000 for a teapot museum in Sparta, N.C. Spending like this is what has put us in a financial pickle. Here are some others, courtesy of Citizens Against Government Waste, which will publish its annual Congressional Pig Book next week. Republican Sen. Ted Stevens is one of the biggest pork-barrel spenders of all, taking $320 million in pork last year to Alaska. Another million went to the Waterfree Urinal Conservation Initiative, courtesy of Rep. Vernon Ehlers, R-Mich. And let’s not leave out the Democrats. Rep. Alan Mollohan of West Virginia got $2.1 million for MountainMade Foundation, a non-profit organization that he helped set up! None of these ought to be federal responsibilities.

Bob: So how do you stop this madness?

Cal: Be my guest.

Bob: I have three suggestions, one of which I know you’ll hate. First, do away with earmarked pork spending bills that allow members of Congress to hide their special projects in large spending bills. If these projects are so important, let them be voted on individually and on their merits, project by project.

Cal: I like that one. What else?

Bob: Two, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid spending make up half the budget now and will continue to consume a larger and larger percentage. Both systems will soon be bankrupt. Neither was intended to be an entitlement. They were meant to ensure that no one fell into poverty, as many did during the Great Depression. It’s time for Congress — my party in particular — to deal with both now. My suggestion is means testing for Social Security and Medicare. If you can afford to pay for your own retirement and health care, you should be made to.

Cal: You’re 2-for-2 with me, though we’ve just seen that Social Security reform alone is toxic. Even so, a good idea. Now what’s the one I will hate?

Bob: Finally, it’s time to rescind the Bush tax cuts that will cost the Treasury trillions of dollars over the next decade. Are you off the floor yet, Cal?

Cal: No, I saw it coming. I remind you of Ronald Reagan’s great line that we have a deficit not because the American people are taxed too little, but because their government spends too much. It’s about controlling their spending, not our giving.

Bob: Well, two out of three isn’t bad. These are tough choices and will require profiles in courage. The question is: Are there enough courageous lawmakers left in Washington?

Cal Thomas is a conservative columnist. Bob Beckelis a liberal Democratic strategist. But as longtime friends, they can often find common ground on issues that lawmakers in Washington cannot.

Posted by: Jim M at May 15, 2008 7:06 PM
Comment #252929

Ray,

You are, of course, 100% correct in saying that we must pay the piper ………… well, not only we, but many generations of unborn “we’s”.

In only a few very short years we must begin to make good on the Social Security trust fund (which BTW would carry us for at least three more decades with NO change whatsoever), but just what is the Republican plan to deal with this?

Oh yeah, privatize! Sure, that will bankrupt Social Security almost immediately. It’s all pure idiocy. The goal since the 80’s has been to starve the beast ………… and we are essentially there!

Sadly any real “fix” is going to be painful! And considering that we, the electorate, want what we want and want it RIGHT NOW, that same electorate is going to be disappointed in the performance of any newly elected President and Congress very, very soon!

Hell, I might just vote for McCain. Then I’ll be able to blame the Republicans 4 years from now. I fear we’re like drug addicts, we won’t wake up until we’ve truly hit bottom!

Just suggest a mandatory 60 mph speed limit and listen how loud people howl. Or an additional carbon tax on gas guzzlers. Ouch, watch out you might get clubbed like a seal!

Or just suggest that Congress needs to look beyond the oil companies for an answer about fuel prices. Oh yeah that would lead you to the “traders” & “speculators” who “risk everything” unlike coal miners, high steel workers, highway patrolmen, etc …….. who …….. this is just amazing ……….. pay a lower tax rate because they’re risking $$$$$$$$$$$$ rather than life and limb!

Just freakin’ amazing! Does anyone remember the story of Jesus and the Money Changers? Now, I’ll admit that since I’m agnostic the gospels have the same meaning to me as Aesop’s Fables, but they do sometimes make good common sense.

When someone like Warren Buffet openly admits that he paid a lower percentage of his income in taxes than did his secretary I think it’s time for someone to throw a tantrum like JC did and overturn a few tables!

Posted by: KansasDem at May 15, 2008 7:18 PM
Comment #252930

For those conservative Republicans and Democrats (yes, there are still many of them around) may I suggest you sign the following pact. Go to www.gopusa.com for full info.

Contract with Conservatives

Immigration Reform

* Secure America’s borders
* Enforce employment laws
* No amnesty

The American people have spoken, and the clear message is that immigration reform starts with secure borders. In a post-9/11 world, we should expect nothing less. In addition, the American people do not support amnesty. Candidates must repudiate amnesty and show respect for the American people by showing respect for the law. Illegal aliens should not be given special consideration for citizenship and should not be put ahead of those seeking to come to America legally. Conservatives will work for candidates who pledge to put border security first and who pledge to not put illegal aliens ahead of those seeking citizenship through legal means.

Tax Reform

* Make President Bush’s tax cuts permanent
* Reduce taxes, both on business and individuals
* Simplify the tax code by moving to a flat tax or the Fair Tax
* No favorites — All tax cuts should be across the board

The tax code must be simplified, and all taxes should be reduced. The tax code should focus on its core function — a means of raising revenue. The tax code should not be a vehicle for social engineering, and the reduction of taxes should not pit one socio-economic group against another. Conservatives will support candidates who pledge to cut taxes and simplify the tax code, while not engaging in class warfare.

Size and Scope of Federal Government

* Reduce the size of the federal government
* Reform entitlement programs
* Respect states’ rights and limit the reach of the federal government as stated in the Constitution
* Cut spending
* Support a balanced budget amendment
* Eliminate earmarks and support stand-alone spending bills

It is not enough for the federal government to only grow by a few percentage points. In the end, it still leads to bigger government. The federal government must SHRINK. The Republican Revolution was built on this core Republican principle, and conservatives will support candidates committed to shrinking the size and scope of the federal government. The pork must go! Earmarks and pork-barrel spending must be eliminated. These practices lead to corruption and are not conservative. The federal government should do only those core jobs enumerated in the Constitution. Other governmental responsibilities should fall to the states. Conservatives will support candidates who pledge to cut spending, shrink government, and eliminate earmarks.

Judges

* Vigorously nominate and support the confirmation of judges who follow the law, not those who legislate from the bench
* Wage a real fight against left-wing attempts to block judicial nominees

Nominating a conservative judge simply to let him or her languish without an up-or-down vote is not acceptable. Judicial nominees, who follow the law rather than make new laws from the bench, deserve full and enthusiastic support. Conservatives will support candidates who pledge to nominate strict constructionists and who will not wilt in that support even under left-wing attacks.

Life

* Respect the rights of the unborn and promote laws which will protect innocent human life
* Support the overturning of Roe v. Wade
* Block any efforts to fund or promote embryonic stem cell research

Conservatives believe in a culture of life. This culture must be embraced and advocated by our Republican leaders. Conservatives will support candidates who pledge to promote a culture of life and who work for the overturning of Roe v. Wade. No candidate can say they are “100% pro-life” and also support embryonic stem cell research. This research results in the destruction of innocent human life. Research proves that adult stem cells are as good or better for curing diseases, and thus the use of embryonic stem cells is moot. Conservatives will support candidates who pledge to support life at every stage.

Free Speech

* Repeal the Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act
* Embrace First Amendment rights

The Campaign Finance Reform Act is an assault on free speech and must be repealed. The law resulted in a rise in soft money advocacy through the actions of 527 organizations while other groups were not allowed to exercise their First Amendment rights to support a candidate of their choice. This is wrong. Conservatives will support candidates who pledge to repeal this law and support the free speech rights of all Americans.

Posted by: Jim M at May 15, 2008 7:43 PM
Comment #252931

Ray,
A fine article. Good work!

Jim M,
Beckel and Thomas put some of the blame for the government on the public. Fair enough. We get the government we deserve. But I have to point out, people voted for Republicans as a party of responsible government, and the GOP failed in spectacular fashion. So the public is going to it that the GOP will get spanked this November.

The Democrats deserve a some credit for some reform on earmarks. It’s likely they’ll have substantial majorities in both the House and the Senate after November. There may also be a Democrat in the White House.

So, very soon, it will be time to put the pedal to the medal, walk the talk, and so on. And for the Democrats, there will no excuses.

McCain pushes some pretty tired, stale GOP talking points when it comes to the economy. I think he could make some hay by stressing fiscal responbility, and drop the talking points.

There are some highly unpleasant decisions which have to be made, about Iraq, about the deficits, and job creation, and so on.

I hope McCain and Obama- and more importantly, their supporters- run an issues-based campaign, and avoid the mud slinging. But by now, I should be old enough to know better than to hope for that.

Posted by: phx8 at May 15, 2008 7:45 PM
Comment #252933

Jim M.

It’s amazing to me that you’d list “Reform entitlement programs”, which is code-speak for eliminate Social Security and Medicare …….. and then skip down the list to “Respect the rights of the unborn and promote laws which will protect innocent human life” which is code-speak for eliminate birth control!

Totally freaking amazing! Just consider that 1/3 of American retirees depend on Social Security for 90% or more of their income and recent economic events indicate that an ever greater number of upcoming retirees will depend on Social Security.

So you’re willing to let them languish in poor homes, poor farms, or just “on the street”, yet you choose to control every womans options regarding birth control! I can see how you plan to replace the underpaid workforce after you eliminate the unwanted “aliens”!

Of course this is all a moot point now. After the California decision today issue #1 for Republicans will be protecting marriage! What a sad, sorry agenda!

Posted by: KansasDem at May 15, 2008 8:52 PM
Comment #252935

Same old Republicans. For years they attacked Democrats for trying to impose a date for withdrawing from Iraq. Now their candidate for President says we will be substantially out of Iraq by 2013 and no longer engaged in combat in there. And Republicans without a lick of integrity or shame for hypocrisy, will vote for John McShame. Those with integrity and a profound dislike for hypocrisy will be staying home on election day or voting for Obama.

That’s how party transitions occur. Though this year’s election is a finishing of the transition begun in 2006.

But, what does anyone want to bet that the incumbent reelection rate this year for Congress falls below at 90%?

When will American voters wake up and realize changing parties doesn’t change anything except the type of problems and mistakes Congress asks us to pay for? It isn’t until voters boot out 40 or 50% of incumbents in exchange for Freshmen/Women challengers to replace them, that the federal government will put all other priorities in the back seat and restore the American people and future welfare of this nation to the driver’s seat.

It’s not up to Demagogues and Repugnantkins to change this country. It is up to you and me, the voters. Democratic governments require the citizenry to be in control via election choices. Blame the Demagogues and Repugnantkins, but until we change the way we vote, the politicians in Washington aren’t going to change the way they stick it to us, the people.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 15, 2008 9:19 PM
Comment #252936

It is hard to agree or disagee with so many disparate points. Why don’t you guys practice a little editing. Which subject do you really want to address?

Let me catch just one. Neo-fascists - that would perhaps be Nancy Pelosi? Otherwise who are you talking about? Fascists believed in lots of government regulation. They did not allow the free market to operate. The thought the state should plan the economy and determine how to allocate resources and jobs. People throw that word fascism around w/o any understanding of it in its actual settings.

Communists/fascists were big government supporters who believed that people should be treated as members of distinct groups rather than individuals. Neither system allowed the free market to work. This is what communism/fascism did in practice. They all talked differently, but behaved similarly.

Liberal Americans are not communists, BTW.

Posted by: Jack at May 15, 2008 9:43 PM
Comment #252937

“Which subject do you really want to address?”

Jack,

Which subject did McCain address in his “walking on water” predictions for 2013?

It’s easy to whop somebody with a rubber chicken if they don’t see it coming!

Posted by: KansasDem at May 15, 2008 10:14 PM
Comment #252942

Jack, I think it was Republicans who did their level best to erode individual privacy, freedoms, and access to their government officials for redress of grievances. Before Bush, demonstrators and supporters alike were permitted to attend the President’s arrivals and departures. Before Bush, the American people had access to their public properties without fees or police barricades. Before Bush, a warrant was required before individuals lives could be intersected by government eavesdroppers. Before the Republican control of Congress, taxpayers shouldered 5.65 trillion dollars of debt built up over 230 years. After Republican government, that amount nearly doubled in 8 years, limiting individual’s, present and future, economic choices.

Parties living in glass houses should not bare their warts and asses in public. There is no superiority of Republicans over Democrats when it comes to individual liberty and freedoms. Both parties merely have different way of limiting them. Republicans oversaw a mass exodus of wealth from the middle class to their corporate investor minority groups and foreign nations. You want to talk about fascist control of society? How about engineering increased teen sexual activity with abstinence oriented anal and oral activities. How about promoting national religion and all out attempts by Republican government to control and mandate the decision of women to become mothers whether they are fit for it or not?

I would say, give it a break, but, it wouldn’t be appropriate advice for a glass house resident.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 16, 2008 2:04 AM
Comment #252943

Jack, one could argue Republicans gave communism a renewed meaning with corporate oligopolists gone international. Sharing the spoils amongst their tight inter-connected boards of directors, CEO’s, elected officials and lobbyists through deception after deception, and secrecy upon secrecy, perpetrated upon an American public ever more deficient in a rational critical and analytical public education.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 16, 2008 2:10 AM
Comment #252949

Ray

Well done Ray. I particularly enjoyed the stealing our wallets and giving us a percentage of our money back analogy. It really defines the republican method of financial deception nicely.

Preaching small government and fiscal responsibility while not practicing it for so long has finally caught up to them. The transparency in todays world made possible by instant communication on every level has served to awaken the minds of the American citizen. The republican party will have to do as the dems have done and at least make an attempt at reforming before they will again be seen as a credible entity. You can only lie to and manipulate your constituency for so long. It is bound to catch up to you eventually.

I am hoping that this next election will be an eye opener for both parties, and just maybe, perhaps our legislators and executive will see that we are watching and expect reform and positive productivity.

Posted by: RickIL at May 16, 2008 9:38 AM
Comment #252950

David

Same old Republicans. For years they attacked Democrats for trying to impose a date for withdrawing from Iraq. Now their candidate for President says we will be substantially out of Iraq by 2013 and no longer engaged in combat in there. And Republicans without a lick of integrity or shame for hypocrisy, will vote for John McShame. Those with integrity and a profound dislike for hypocrisy will be staying home on election day or voting for Obama.

The McCain fairytale was quite revealing David. It serves to reaffirm the desperate measures the republican party will take to manipulate voters. Unfortunately for them a torrid past track record does not substantiate that they even have a clue. And then there was Bush on television acting as though his foreign policy has been successful. It must be very difficult to keep a straight face or look anyone in the eye knowing that he is considered the worst president in modern history. But what the hell I guess one has to pull out all the stops for the good of the party. Even in spite of a failed reign. They have no shame because they are lacking a conscience.

Posted by: RickIL at May 16, 2008 9:57 AM
Comment #252951

Ray another great post. Of course the repubs lie to us, do you think their revolution would have had taken wing if they told the truth about what they were really doing.

AS is the case with all things conservative / republican you can tell what they are up to by their naming of the issue. Your death tax example is excellent but the one that scare me the most is “free market democracy” because you know that is Reaganspeak for manipulated market fascism.

Here is an interesting blurb for you on this iisue.

http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0312-08.htm

Posted by: j2t2 at May 16, 2008 10:26 AM
Comment #252955

Veritas Vincit,

Knew I would get in trouble with the ladies over that. I feel spanked and perversely like it, but then since everything that you say about Paris is true, anyone with a Paris fetish would have to be a little perverse.

dbs,

You wrote:

the gov’t is like a drunken relative that keeps coming back for more even after you’ve given him more help than he deserves. he keeps failing, and refusing to live within his means, and shows up at your house and demands more money at the point of a gun.
This is the conservative view which is why conservatives should never be put in charge of the government. Why would you want to be put in charge of something that you don’t believe in. That would be like atheist me being chosen to be the Pastor of a fundamentalist Christian church - ridiculous. I am simply not qualified for the job and conservatives are not qualified to be in charge of the government.

ohrealy,

Remember, I am a short fat middle aged bald man. All women are pretty to me.

Moldy rye bread is great - expands my mind - helps me to understand Repubs… .. or is that twists my mind and helps me to understand Repubs - need more bread…

Jim M.

Thanks for your post.

KansasDem,

You wrote:

The goal since the 80’s has been to starve the beast ………… and we are essentially there!
Agreed! They often talk about Social Security being solvent for years to come but its solvency is based on a garbage pail full of worthless IOUs. I don’t know what the solution will have to be but reality will assert itself. Taxes will have to be raised - especially the cap. Benefits will have to be cut. Retirement age will have to be adjusted, (indexed to life expectancy??? 1 year for 2 maybe???). Some deficit spending will have to occur. Some means testing will be necessary. I think that the adjustments will all be minor. Or - We could give up our global domination and global empire, cut our military spending by 90%, use the money to break our dependence on foreign oil, revitalize and strengthen our own country, and provide healthcare and economic security for own people… I’m sorry… I’m sorry… I’m sorry… Don’t hurt me… Please don’t hurt me… Don’t hurt me… Please don’t hurt me. What is that board doing in the bathtub… I am sorry, I will never suggest that our country give up global domination again.

Our demographic problem is tiny compared to China and Japan. China’s one baby per family policy is coming back to bite them - and no immigration. Japan has had a major baby bust generation. They hardly know what kids look like over there.

Posted by: Ray Guest at May 16, 2008 12:21 PM
Comment #252957

David Remer,

You wrote:

But, what does anyone want to bet that the incumbent reelection rate this year for Congress falls below at 90%?
Hope so. We need more Dems and Independents, less Repubs - but don’t ever bet against $$$big money$$$.

You also wrote:

It’s not up to Demagogues and Repugnantkins to change this country. It is up to you and me, the voters. Democratic governments require the citizenry to be in control via election choices.
Sort of true - except - Democrats are not the problem, Republicans are not even the problem, incumbents are not even the problem… The real problem is the big money that keeps Dems, Repubs, and incumbents in place. The most hopeful sign this year is that Dems are raising a lot of small contributions. The American people are buying a seat at the table. Our seat should be the only seat. It is not, but at least it is a seat.

clarancec,

You wrote:

Is there a differance between Barack Obama’s words The Will Of God,and Usama Bin-Ladans words,GOD WILLING?
This does not seem to be a substantive contribution to the debate. Please elaborate.

Posted by: Ray Guest at May 16, 2008 12:44 PM
Comment #252961

Jack,

Thanks for your comment.

You wrote:

Fascists believed in lots of government regulation. They did not allow the free market to operate. The thought the state should plan the economy and determine how to allocate resources and jobs.
Fascism was characterized by “government regulation” for the benefit of private enterprise. What Republicans lyingly call free trade is not free trade. It is regulated trade that allows Republican’s corporatist masters to rape, pillage, and plunder the people and environment of the world. For example: Under the Republican government, [and in the case of Mexico, the sold out Democratic government (Clinton)], we are forced to accept into our country without restriction, poison products from China where workers are treated as virtual slaves and lax environmental standards cause pollution to drift all the way over the ocean and affect us. We have no “economic freedom” to demand that the people who ship products to this country are free to demand equity for themselves. We do not have that freedom because Republican corporatist masters want to exploit China’s environment and people. Free trade can only happen on a level playing field. If the field is deliberately tilted in one direction, it is by definition not free. That field is not level. Republican corporatist masters do not want a level playing field. That field is tilted at 90 degrees and American workers have to climb a virtual vertical cliff with their finger nails and your masters love it that way. This is soft fury fascism. I trust your personal integrity Jack, and so I am convinced that you are duped by these blatant Republican corporatist lies, but what you are spouting here is lies.

David Remer,

Thanks for correcting the rest of Jack’s misperceptions.

Thanks all the rest of you for your excellent comments and links. I have to go and get some work done. I will try to catch up on the rest of them later.

Posted by: Ray Guest at May 16, 2008 1:16 PM
Comment #252966


The best way to promote Socialism is to give the free market a free hand.

When the free marketeers began moving our manufacturing base to China, some of the claims made were that it would result in cheaper consumer goods and that it would produce more jobs than were lost.

The jobs haven’t materialized. We got cheaper, as in shoddy goods, tainted with toxic substances, ranging from dog food to patented medicines and the dental braces in your kids mouths. Walmart had a smily faced zoro slashing prices but, he has retired now. We might have gotten lower prices out of the deal if we hadn’t had to pay for all that inflation in China.

There was a large earthquake in China this week which caused rather massive destruction of lives and infrastructure. The Chinese are going to need huge amounts of concrete, steel and other materials to rebuild. Guess who is going to pay for it.

Calling in some debt, calling in some debt, the Chinese have a few trillions and they are going to be calling in some debt.

There is one thing that I am having trouble understanding. It has been stated that during the seven plus years of the Bush Administration, approximately five million new jobs have been created. During the same period of time, at least ten million illegal immigrants have entered the country seeking employment. How can this be explained if illegal immigrants are only working jobs that Americans don’t want to do? Could it be that a few million of Americans have actually lost jobs by being replaced by low wage, low benefits, illegal immigrants?

When these Democratic and Republican candidates who are running for president tell you that they are a friend of the woring classes, don’t be foolish enough to believe them.

How many of you Obama supporters noticed the he suddenly felt compelled to wear his flag lapel whill addressing a group of union workers.

Posted by: jlw at May 16, 2008 3:05 PM
Comment #252968

What the hell is it with the freaking flag pin?

I wonder how much could be saved for medicare if folks like me were allowed to keep our current insurance rather than being forced to sign up for medicare at a certain age?

We have CHAMPUS (tricare now), that my husband earned by serving 30 years in the Navy. How much could be saved if we were allowed to keep CHAMPUS rather than being forced into medicare?

Retirees should at least have the option of maintaining their current insurance instead of being forced into medicare.

Just my thoughts.

Posted by: womanmarine at May 16, 2008 3:34 PM
Comment #252969

Jim M,
Thanks for making it all so clear to me. I used to believe that the sun shines and the wheat grows and everything after that was chaos to determine who gets what. Silly me. Now I’m beginning to understand the logic of free labor.
Slavery in The South, working too much for not enough, prison workers, etc., etc. I myself am looking for a fun job. I have yet to stumble upon a guy painting white; a picket fence and taking his job away from him. That would be so much fun. No pay, no food, no housing, no clothing. Just lots and lots of fun painting that fence.
I and others like me are probably doing that same thing right now in a different context by providing free political commentary. That’s a thing that some people get paid for. Welcome to the club, unless, of course (never mind).

Posted by: Stephen Hines at May 16, 2008 3:47 PM
Comment #252971

RickIl said: “It serves to reaffirm the desperate measures the republican party will take to manipulate voters.”

Yes, just like Hillary’s gas tax Holiday Me Too, Me Too!, gambit. Both the major Parties will take desperate measures if their power to control the lives of millions is threatened.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 16, 2008 4:10 PM
Comment #252973

Ray G. said: “The real problem is the big money that keeps Dems, Repubs, and incumbents in place.”

No, that is the consequence of voters reelecting incumbents over and over again. The politicians enact measures to keep them in power despite the sentiments of the people. See gerrymandering for a perfect example. See the legislative history on campaign financing for a detailed history of how corruption sets in when the voters don’t routinely exercise their power to remove incumbents from power.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 16, 2008 4:21 PM
Comment #252974

All Americans should have the option to choose instead of being forced.
The problem is, people want options for things they agree with and want govt to use force when others disagree with them.

Take Ray and his little post here. Ray disagree’s with personal responsiblility, individual freedoms and free markets, but our founders, the Constitution and millions of voters, do not agree with the socialist utopia he dreams of, so he ignores or belittles them in hopes of getting his liberal ideas forced onto everybody.

“Editorial: Tax cuts are the best stimulus: If somebody grabbed your wallet and then handed you back a $20 bill, would you be grateful? Realizing the money was yours to begin with, you would probably call the cops rather than thank the thief.”

Of course you would not be grateful, unless you stopped and thought about both sides of the equation:
Would it be better to be robbed and then be given $20 of your own money back? (Republican metaphor for taxes)
OR
Would it be better to be robbed, kicked in the jewels and be forced to give more money to the thief? (Liberal metaphor for taxes)

While neither is desireable, I would rather have $20 than nothing.

“a better and much more accurate metaphor for taxes is: You are contractually obligated to give some of your money to a personal assistant who pays your bills, hires a security company and buys food for your dependents who are not able to provide for themselves”

This is the liberal view which is why liberals should never be put in charge of a Constitutional Republic form of government. Why would you want to be put in charge of something that you don’t believe in?

As Americans, we are obligated to give a small portion of our money to govt, to run govt, and to provide security for our nation.
While you may be european enough to dream of govt being your personal assistant, it is not. You are responsible for working so that you may earn money to help pay your “bills,” you are responsible for providing for yourself and you are responsible for helping those you believe need help.
Shrugging off your responsibilities onto the govt is why this once great nation is going down the tubes and why Obama will become President.

Posted by: kctim at May 16, 2008 4:33 PM
Comment #252975

womanmarine said: “I wonder how much could be saved for medicare if folks like me were allowed to keep our current insurance rather than being forced to sign up for medicare at a certain age?”

I wonder how much could be saved in taxpayer dollars if folks like you were allowed to keep a gun in their house for self-defense rather than being forced by law to fund an entire military industrial complex and the livlihoods of 100’s of thousands of soldiers and public servants on your tax dollar.

The American people in a majority approve of BOTH funding a federal military and Medicare safety nets for those without the means to access health care otherwise. The force you refer to is the force of democratic law. Are you opposed to the force of democratic law? Do you not realize that many Americans would choose to not fund a national military with their tax dollars if given the choice? Same principle exactly applies to Medicare. The American people have chosen democratically through their republic to insure each other against unnecessary suffering, death, and poverty. Of course, some folks like you don’t want to contribute, just as some folks don’t want to contribute to the massively expensive military of the U.S. But, the majority will prevails, as it should in a democratic republic.

And the first Amendment guarantees you the right to complain to your representatives or anyone else who will listen. Convince enough people that federal tax dollars should NOT be used to fund the military and the military will go away. Same with Medicare. Its democracy. You don’t have to like democracy, you just have to abide by it or suffer the legal consequences or remedies.

It is good that you are exercising that 1st Amendment right which this democracy protects and defends, for the most part very well. And yes, you are forced by the rule of law to contribute to the government apparatus that protects and defends that right of yours whether you want it to or not.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 16, 2008 4:42 PM
Comment #252976

kctim said: “As Americans, we are obligated to give a small portion of our money to govt, to run govt, and to provide security for our nation.”

You left out “the general welfare”. That is in the original intent of this nation’s founding documents too. And the democratically election process provides the government the authority and power to provide for the general welfare, of which Social Security and Medicare were intended to promote, despite the protestations of a minority of having to contribute to the general welfare of the nation and posterity of its people.

We hear you, kctim. We hear you. Your job in this democratic republic, if you are to be true to your beliefs, is to work diligently to convince a majority of Americans to view the general welfare of all citizens as you do, to each his own suffering or wealth as providence may apportion.

Charles Dickens and Adam Smith had reams to say on this particular subject of general welfare, which includes individual liberty balanced against the continuation and sustainability of these United States by majority rule and suffrage in selecting policy makers, regardless of how many may wish to secede from or undermine these United States for lack of agreement with that majority rule.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 16, 2008 4:54 PM
Comment #252978

Thank god there is nothing about protecting the rights of the minority from the rule of the majority, in those founding documents, eh David. In fact, the founders probably had no thoughts whatsoever on whether it was right to take away the rights of some in order to support the beliefs of others, or not.

You hear nothing David, that is why you offer silly notions of mass suffering in order to justify your acceptance of taking away anothers rights. You favor using govt to force your beliefs onto others, because you fear giving people the choice over their own life.

I am very true to my beliefs David, that is why I actually do what I say instead of waiting for govt to do it for me. Is it better to actually help or is it better to sit and bitch about nobody helping? You can take the liberal way and watch, but that is not for me.

In a Constitutional Republic, my beliefs are just as valid as yours, but in this democratic republic, your beliefs trump mine. If you are happy about that, then fine, more power to you, you deserve the govt you get, just don’t expect that everybody will follow the flock off the cliff without a fight.

Posted by: kctim at May 16, 2008 5:42 PM
Comment #252980

A bit off the subject, but an interesting post in the NY Times. As I have said in so many previous posts, I don’t care about the party label, only the position of the candidate regarding conservative or liberal political philosophy. So, all the grinning libs on this site should take notice that winning isn’t everything…governing is!

On the Hill
Unintended Consequences of the House Democrats’ Winning Streak

Article Tools Sponsored By
By CARL HULSE
Published: May 16, 2008

While much of the Congressional political focus has been on the declining fortunes and numbers of House Republicans, House Democrats have their own problem – they are winning too many elections.
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By prevailing in conservative locales where they ordinarily would not have a chance, Democrats are widening the ideological divide in their own ranks and complicating their ability to find internal consensus.

It is a nice problem to have, but it is one that can bedevil party leaders. As their numbers expand, they have to juggle the competing interests of Travis Childers, the new pro-gun, pro-life, anti-tax Democrat from northern Mississippi and someone like, say, Nancy Pelosi, a pro-choice, pro-gun control liberal from San Francisco who sees government as a solution.

Ms. Pelosi, who as speaker will have the job of managing these increasingly divergent philosophies, said it is to the advantage of both the party and the nation to mesh such differing views.

“We welcome the diversity of opinion that exists in our country, and we want our solutions to America’s problems to reflect that diversity,” she said.

But the strain of balancing the political imperatives of a right-of-center to pretty far left-of-center caucus has already strained the Democratic majority in the House. In the most recent example, the party’s intricate scheme for passing a war spending bill collapsed Thursday when most Republicans sat out the war money vote and most Democrats, who oppose spending any more money on combat in Iraq, voted against it.

That left the Democratic majority without the votes to pass a spending bill that, in the leadership’s calculation, is essential to protecting the party’s image on national security as well as members from conservative districts who cannot afford to be seen as failing to support troops in the field. Most of those lawmakers, including many freshmen, backed the war funds.

The money will no doubt be approved eventually, but the outcome exposed a vexing divide among Democrats on handling of the war spending. Of course, the vote also left Republicans trying to explain why they were abstaining on financing a war they support as the crucial front in the war on terror, but that is another story.

Democrats elected themselves into this situation. In picking up 30 seats in 2006, Democrats walked away with some in Republican territory, with the obvious result that many of the newcomers are representing districts where the voters are not completely in sync with the Democratic agenda.

True, many of the seats were from the Northeast and Midwest, where the ideological gap can be manageable. But others, like Representative Heath Shuler of North Carolina, are outliers when compared to the average Democratic member. Now, Mr. Childers and Representative Don Cazayoux, a fellow newcomer from Louisiana, have the kind of conservative credentials that should put them to the right of the caucus. And there are potentially more such lawmakers to come in November if Democrats are as successful as they hope they are.

Republicans say the push to protect Democrats in red and purple districts has been a significant factor in the running fight between the two parties over House procedure as Democrats have been reluctant to open the floor to Republican proposals.

“I think their strategy both in 2006 and so far in 2008 has been a political strategy, not a governing strategy,” Representative Roy Blunt of Missouri, the No. 2 Republican in the House, said of Democrats. “You find candidates who can get elected in areas where they don’t agree with what the Democratic Party nationally wants to do. And then they get here and either can’t be a part of it or have to be put in such tight constraints that there can be no amendments offered on the floor by the other side.”

“That is part of why nothing happened last year that the majority said would happen,” Mr. Blunt said.

He was referring to the fact that in the 2006 campaign, Ms. Pelosi and her leadership team promised to treat the new Republican minority better than they had been treated by heavy handed Republican leaders during 12 years of minority exile.

But the fuller minority participation never materialized. And when Republicans were given a chance, they proved extremely adept at using procedural tactics votes to corner potentially vulnerable Democrats into embarrassing votes. So Democrats tightened the rules even more, sparking the fight on the Iraq spending bill that left Republicans howling they had been denied even the most basic involvement.

This intramural ideological divide is not a new problem for Congressional Democrats. Back in the days before the 1994 Republican revolution, Congressional Democrats were always split between the traditional liberal big-city wing of the party and Southern boll weevil Democrats who never met a defense project they didn’t like or a social reform initiative they did.

But Democrats were able to hold power for four decades because of their imposing majorities in Congress, often outnumbering Republicans by 100 or more. That cushion meant party leaders could allow dozens of Democrats to take a walk on contentious bills, protecting their voting records while the majority prevailed regardless.

Today, even with this month’s Democratic gains, the partisan spread is 236-199, a growing but still relatively small margin for disagreement.

But Democrats figure if they can keep winning, they can enlarge their majority to a point where it does not matter if lawmakers on the ideological edges stray.

That fact was not lost on Representative Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, as he pondered the ramifications of bringing more conservative Democrats to Capitol Hill.

“Each of these wins,” he said, “expands our majority.”

Posted by: Jim M at May 16, 2008 6:19 PM
Comment #252981

David

Yes, just like Hillary’s gas tax Holiday Me Too, Me Too!, gambit. Both the major Parties will take desperate measures if their power to control the lives of millions is threatened.

I hope you are not inferring that I am not aware of the weaknesses of the democratic party. In general I hold neither party in high regard. They both pander to the same money influences with the same personal goals in mind. It is my hope that they have learned from 12 years of near insignificance in politics. Surely the all too transparent implosion of the republican party has given them food for thought and reason for reform. I do not practice or approve of blind partisan politics. Their chance is coming to prove themselves. Should they fail in making reasonable progress towards a functional and responsible government I will not hesitate to hold them accountable.

And like you I find the proposed gas tax holiday laughable and totally irresponsible. It is nothing more than desperate pandering at its best from McCain and Clinton.

Posted by: RickIL at May 16, 2008 6:38 PM
Comment #252982

Wow, David. You sure misunderstood my post. Maybe my fault. I don’t disagree with medicare, don’t resent the deductions that were taken from my paycheck for social security and medicare. I pay my taxes without a fuss. BUT, if medicare is supposed to be a safety net, why is EVERYONE forced into it? Why does every insurance I know of drop everyone once they are medicare eligible? THAT was my question. Seems that if there were alternatives for those who could continue current coverage that there would be less expense for medicare. Perhaps it is a wrong idea, but I would think it would save some money.

By the same token, social security is an adjunct to other retirement plans, couldn’t the same be done for medicare? Hope I’ve explained it better this time.

And check out my user name, of course I support a military. We are a military family.

Posted by: womanmarine at May 16, 2008 6:43 PM
Comment #253009

RickIl said: “It is my hope that they have learned from 12 years of near insignificance in politics.”

I think your hope is well founded. The Democratic Party has beefed up their Blue Dog conservative elections and given them more voice and authority in the Committees of Congress. The GOP won’t play bipartisan: so Democrats have incorporated the best of the Republican ideas directly into their own party. Democrats won’t need Republican retaliatory participation in order to craft legislation that incorporates the best that liberal and conservative strengths have to offer.

The GOP still sees the Democratic Party as the extreme social liberal party they were in the early 1990’s, and will act accordingly. That Democratic Party however, no longer exists, and Republican supporting pundits like Stupid Coulter and Rush Limbaugh utterly, and completely fail to recognize what the Democratic Party has been up to during their 13 years in the wilderness as the minority party. The Big Tent Party went and refashioned themselves with conservative strengths respected by the center of the electorate, like Jimm Webb, Childers, and Ben Nelson.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 17, 2008 6:45 AM
Comment #253010

kctim said: “Thank god there is nothing about protecting the rights of the minority from the rule of the majority, in those founding documents, eh David.”

Of course there is. For your education I offer the Bill of Rights, an integral part of the U.S. Constitution. But, the Bill of Rights have been clarified (many were quite nebulous and ambiguous, and intentionally so), and the Constitution amended many times. Some rights not available to colonialists are rights today. Some rights available to colonialists have been constrained through definition to meet the needs of the people and nation in this modern context which presents problems the Founding Fathers could not have dreamed of.

As for your charge that I take away rights, well, that’s absurd and demonstrates the visceral nature of your defensive replies. I neither grant nor take rights for others. I am just a voter with a voice amongst 330 million others with the same opportunity to speak.

When you are ready for a rational discussion, let me know.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 17, 2008 6:52 AM
Comment #253011

womanmarine, my sincere apology. Upon rereading your comment which I quoted, I recognize that I did indeed take meaning from it that was not implied by your sentence construction. Not your fault at all, but mine.

You ask a very fundamentally crucial question aimed the current construct of Medicare and Soc. Sec. which is, if it is a safety net, why is everyone given benefits regardless of need for them?

The answers of course are very complicated and the topic of many books and research papers. Suffice to say, these programs are no longer simple insurance programs. They are appropriately called entitlement programs.

I say appropriately to imply that the word is accurate, not that the concept is appropriate.

I agree with you 100%, that part of the solution to saving the safety net aspects of these programs is to cut out the entitlement portion of them, making them true insurance programs.

FDR’s original vision of S.S. was as a pure insurance program. Regrettably, to get it passed, too many critical voices had to be appeased arguing that if they are going to pay in they want something back. Insurance was not a widespread experience amongst American voters in the 1930’s. Very few Americans had insurance of any kind back then, and therefore, it was a foreign concept to pay into a plan for which you may not receive anything back should good fortune befall you.

I could be proven wrong, but, I think we have turned a corner on a health insurance in this country and won’t be retracing our steps. The private sector insurance industry has become corrupt, extraordinarily greedy, and investor profit oriented based, and therefore lacks the ability to insure all Americans or even maintain non inflationary premiums for insured Americans.

For better or worse, I think we are on course for a single payer health insurance program that is non-profit based through the government, but which is NOT comprehensive. It will cover emergency illness and injury needs, well care maintenance Dr. visits, and prophylactic procedures. Everything else will be deemed elective and available only through private for-profit health care companies. This to me is the only affordable course forward that provides basic universal health care coverage without bankrupting the federal government as the current Medicare system is charted to do.

Again, I apologize for misunderstanding what you wrote.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 17, 2008 7:15 AM
Comment #253014

David:

Thanks, no apology necessary, although I was surprised as I find I agree with so many of your posts. I don’t always express myself well, especially in print without facial expression, voice nuance, and instant response.

The thing that gets me is that folks are not forced to give up other retirement plans to collect social security, but are forced to give up other insurance and go on medicare or go without. Doesn’t make sense to me. I especially feel strongly about this with CHAMPUS, as my husband earned that with his 30 years of service. Again, JMHO.

One of the things that helped turn the corner on health insurance was HMOs. Whoever came up with that idea should be shot as a traitor. As a medical office manager my experience was that it was one of the most paper/personnel intensive insurance forms and unbelievably restricted in it’s coverage. A total waste of time and money.

Keep up the good work, I enjoy reading your posts, I just wish you answered emails :)

Posted by: womanmarine at May 17, 2008 11:44 AM
Comment #253023

Stop Repeat Offenders.
Don’t Re-Elect Them !

At any rate, the voters have the government they elect, and deserve.

Voters can choose to vote more responsibly, or continue pulling the party-lever and suffer the consequences and continued deterioration of the past 30+ years.

Posted by: d.a.n at May 17, 2008 2:14 PM
Comment #253025

I am way behind all of you but will try to catch up a little.

Jim M.,

You wrote:

Conservatives will support candidates who pledge to cut taxes and simplify the tax code, while not engaging in class warfare.
Conservatives??? Not sure who they are, but Republicans “pledge” to win the class war for their their rich and powerful elite constituents and the agenda that you are advocating here would go a long way toward accomplishing that. the “flat tax” is regressive, which is to say that it favors the rich.

Republicans and their corporatist masters do not want the poor and working class to engage in class struggle and fight for equity because they, (the rich elite), will win the class war as long as the poor and working class agree to lay down and play dead. Do I look dead??? Maybe I am??? Maybe Watchblog is liberal Heaven - a place where one can endlessly torture Republicans with the truth - or maybe - it is liberal hell - a place where Republicans can endlessly torture liberals with lies.

You also wrote:

Respect the rights of the unborn and promote laws which will protect innocent human life
And rape women by forcing reproduction on them and by not allowing them to control what happens in their own bodies… Ya, that is a clear cut issue.

I will not bother with rest of your agenda at this time. I rather suspect that others have addressed it.

phx8,

You wrote:

So, very soon, it will be time to put the pedal to the medal, walk the talk, and so on. And for the Democrats, there will no excuses.
Agreed. Unfortunately, without ending person hood for corporations and having public financing for elections, the Dems have to sell out to the corporatists as well. I believe that the Dems will be better - but…

jlw,

You wrote:

Calling in some debt, calling in some debt, the Chinese have a few trillions and they are going to be calling in some debt.
Chillingly true.

You also wrote:

How many of you Obama supporters noticed the he suddenly felt compelled to wear his flag lapel whill addressing a group of union workers.
I don’t see much significance to this other than that the swift boating is working. But Dems have to play ball with the corporatists too. Obama is getting a lot of small contributions, so there is “the audacity of hope.” A lot of small $$ equals less sellout to large $$$. He is supposed to work for us. He should be getting his money from us.

Anybody that is getting their money from somebody else is working for somebody else. If arch nemesis Jack ever needs open heart surgery, I wonder if he would like for his doctor to be working for me???

womanmarine,

You wrote:

What the hell is it with the freaking flag pin?
I think a flag pin is a nice gesture. The problem is that the Repubs are trying to claim the flag. It is not their flag. It is the American flag and we need to take it back. I have a huge flag on the rear window of my truck along with anti-Bush and Pro-Dem bumper stickers. They don’t own the flag. True patriots oppose the subversion of The Constitution of the United States of America.

Your thoughts on Medicare are interesting. I disagree because I think that there should be no private insurance.

Stephen Hines,

Thanks for your response to Jim M. If the Repubs could turn us into slaves, they would argue that we eat too much. They don’t want to turn us into slaves. We would be better off than they want to make us if we were slaves because they would have an investment in us. They don’t want to invest in us. They just want to use us, abuse us, and throw us away.

David Remer,

You wrote:

Yes, just like Hillary’s gas tax Holiday Me Too, Me Too!, gambit. Both the major Parties will take desperate measures if their power to control the lives of millions is threatened.

You also wrote:

No, that is the consequence of voters reelecting incumbents over and over again. The politicians enact measures to keep them in power despite the sentiments of the people.
I think that money is the corrupting influence. They want to hold power - probably for noble reasons - they need money to hold power - they sell out to money. But it is a chicken and egg problem and we need to take it back - if we can.

kctim,

You wrote:

Take Ray and his little post here. Ray disagree’s with personal responsiblility, individual freedoms and free markets, but our founders, the Constitution and millions of voters, do not agree with the socialist utopia he dreams of, so he ignores or belittles them in hopes of getting his liberal ideas forced onto everybody.
I am not opposed to “personal responsibility, individual freedoms, or free markets.” Caveat: Free markets will not work for some things like healthcare. Read my article: Market Principals and Healthcare. for a full explanation of my views on that complex nuanced issue. It is liberals, like me, who are fighting for the Constitution and the rule of law.

You also wrote:

Of course you would not be grateful, unless you stopped and thought about both sides of the equation:
Would it be better to be robbed and then be given $20 of your own money back? (Republican metaphor for taxes)
OR
Would it be better to be robbed, kicked in the jewels and be forced to give more money to the thief? (Liberal metaphor for taxes)
LOL.

You also wrote:

“a better and much more accurate metaphor for taxes is: You are contractually obligated to give some of your money to a personal assistant who pays your bills, hires a security company and buys food for your dependents who are not able to provide for themselves”

This is the liberal view which is why liberals should never be put in charge of a Constitutional Republic form of government. Why would you want to be put in charge of something that you don’t believe in?LOL. I believe in a Constitutional Democratic Republic based on the rule of law. Too bad we do not have one of those.

As Americans, we are obligated to give a small portion of our money to govt, to run govt, and to provide security for our nation.
…an extremist fringe view…
Shrugging off your responsibilities onto the govt is why this once great nation is going down the tubes and why Obama will become President.
Allowing our government to become government of big money, by big money and for big money “is why this once great nation is going down the tubes.”

I disagree with your views but I enjoyed your critic of my article.

Posted by: Ray Guest at May 17, 2008 4:37 PM
Comment #253026

The blockquote got messed up on my last comment. This was supposed to be blockquoted:

This is the liberal view which is why liberals should never be put in charge of a Constitutional Republic form of government. Why would you want to be put in charge of something that you don’t believe in?

Posted by: Ray Guest at May 17, 2008 4:40 PM
Comment #253027

I still can’t catch up with you all. I will try again later.

Posted by: Ray Guest at May 17, 2008 4:43 PM
Comment #253042

What’s that I read above about how the Republican Party will decrease the size of government?

Can anyone show me where they have really done so in the past?

I mean, they’re all about “fiscal responsibility” but the past three Republican presidents have each added trillions to the national debt…whereas Clinton decreased the national debt.

Jesus said it best in Matthew 7:16
“By their works shall ye know them.”

Posted by: Glenn Contrarian at May 17, 2008 10:17 PM
Comment #253058

David Remer,

You wrote:

Convince enough people that federal tax dollars should NOT be used to fund the military and the military will go away. Same with Medicare. Its democracy. You don’t have to like democracy, you just have to abide by it or suffer the legal consequences or remedies.
I know that womanmarine has pointed out that you misunderstood the intent of her comment, but this is an excellent response for many others here like kctim.

kctim,

You wrote in response to David:

Thank god there is nothing about protecting the rights of the minority from the rule of the majority, in those founding documents, eh David. In fact, the founders probably had no thoughts whatsoever on whether it was right to take away the rights of some in order to support the beliefs of others, or not.
Do not confuse minority rights with the idea that minority rules. That is the Republican problem. They want to turn this country over to minority rule and allow the rich and powerful elite to run it. Minority empowerment gives minorities protection and standing - veto, filibuster, or legal recourse power at most - not control. So, if you can get Ron Paul as President, 41 Senators, or the Supreme Court, you can get your way. Your views are so far out on the fringe however, that you can not even do that.

Then you write:

In a Constitutional Republic, my beliefs are just as valid as yours, but in this democratic republic, your beliefs trump mine. If you are happy about that, then fine, more power to you, you deserve the govt you get, just don’t expect that everybody will follow the flock off the cliff without a fight.
It is a Constitutional Democratic Republic based on the rule of law! You should have been a founding father. Then you could have screwed this country up the way that you wanted to. As it stands, unfortunately you are stuck with what is left of what they gave us. They did not give us a Constitutional Republic. They gave us Constitutional Democratic Republic based on the rule of law! I get it that you don’t like democracy, but that is part of what they gave us.

Jim M.

You wrote:

By prevailing in conservative locales where they ordinarily would not have a chance, Democrats are widening the ideological divide in their own ranks and complicating their ability to find internal consensus.
I think that there is truth in this. First, thanks for admitting that we are the big tent party. The Dems will probably shift to the right. With luck, the Dems will become the new conservative party (what the moderate Republican Party used to be), the Green Party will become the new liberal party (what the Dems used to be), and the neo-con leavings of the Republican Party can join the: John Birch Society where they belong.

It is good to see a party not voting in lock step. When the parties vote in lock step it is clear that they are playing partisan politics instead of trying to find solutions.

RickIL,

You wrote:

Surely the all too transparent implosion of the republican party has given them food for thought and reason for reform. I do not practice or approve of blind partisan politics. Their chance is coming to prove themselves. Should they fail in making reasonable progress towards a functional and responsible government I will not hesitate to hold them accountable.
I expect the Dems to be better, but I also expect to be disappointed. Big money does not want reform. It may be too late to win our country back. Things may have to get worse. We may enter a new dark age. Or not. America has risen from the ashes before. It may rise again.

Posted by: Ray Guest at May 18, 2008 12:48 PM
Comment #253065

David Remer,

You wrote:

For better or worse, I think we are on course for a single payer health insurance program that is non-profit based through the government, but which is NOT comprehensive. It will cover emergency illness and injury needs, well care maintenance Dr. visits, and prophylactic procedures.
As you know from prior discussions, I think that we are close to agreement here. I think that all medically necessary care needs to be covered. It is the only way to drive the wooden stake through the heart of the:
The private sector insurance industry has become corrupt, extraordinarily greedy, and investor profit oriented based,
As long as RJ Renolds Tobacco type vampires are allowed to sink their fangs into our healthcare we will have problems. The for profit beast must be killed, or at least defanged: No personhood status for for profit corporations. No free speech for for profit corporations. No political contribution rights for for profit corporations. No rights to lobby or to hire lobbyist for for profit corporations. Then maybe we could hitch them up to our plow, beat them with a whip, and use them.

.

Posted by: Ray Guest at May 18, 2008 1:20 PM
Comment #253085

The one thing we know for certain is that the lying by the repub party will not stop. They will in fact put the machine into high gear very soon. Hannity is calling for the repubs to issue another contract with America and promise that this time it will be different and they will stick to their principles. HAHAHAHA imagine someone falling for that old line. I dont know what would be worse that they actually do stick to their principles(or lack thereof) or that they dont, but either way here is hoping they dont get that chance.

Posted by: j2t2 at May 18, 2008 5:28 PM
Comment #253089

womanmarine said: “One of the things that helped turn the corner on health insurance was HMOs. Whoever came up with that idea should be shot as a traitor.”

Actually, it is the implementation of HMO’s that you rail against, and I rail right along with you. But, the original concept of HMO’s was actually very laudable. The idea was to implement medical practitioner based health care delivery whose focus was to be on preventive health maintenance, thereby dramatically reducing the need for illness and injury care which were and are vastly more expensive. That was not however, how HMO’s beyond the small doctor owned clinics, were implemented.

The partnership with insurance companies opened the door to insurance companies taking over the whole ball of wax and dictating terms to the doctors or cutting them out of the insurance company’s pool of discount recommended doctors, also known as ‘insurance plan doctors’. Patients received more insurance coverage for insurance plan doctors than outside plan doctors. Doctors and clinics risked losing patients if they balked against the insurance companies.

The concept of health care delivery designed to keep people well instead of deterring them away from health care until illness or injury befalls them, remains a rock solid concept, formerly known as Health Maintenance Medicine.

But that concept can only work in a non-profit environment, where there is no incentive to promote illness and injury for escalating insurance premium and medical care outlay profitability. The irony is, part of what the insurance companies gain in inflating premiums, is lost by greater numbers failing the ability to buy insurance.

It has become one of the most complex policy issues America and many other nations face. How to provide low cost quality health care which focuses on keeping people healthy, which reduces their need for health care treatments and visits. Reducing the need for health care treatments and visits of course, reduces profitability for doctors, clinics, hospitals and insurance companies.

By no means whole answers, the following are essential to a far better system:

-Vastly lower costs and debt for health care professional education.

-Incentives for health care coops which are not profit and shareholder based, but non-profit instead. Removing the incentives of shareholders and boards of directors to seek ever higher returns on investment is going to be essential to a better more affordable health care system with higher quality and more time spent with patients getting health care done right the first time.

-The creation of independent health care courts, versed in the methodologies, politics, and ethics of health care to review conflicts between health care underwriters, health care professionals, and patients, screening out those conflicts and petitions which have no merit or legal standing.

-An enormous investment in educational health classes which teach young people the enormous financial and economic advantages of living healthier lives and how that can be accomplished through desirable alternative foods, activities, and decision making.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 18, 2008 6:30 PM
Comment #253124

Glen Contrarian,

You wrote:

Jesus said it best in Matthew 7:16
“By their works shall ye know them.”
I am an atheist - an atheist that tries to surrender his will to God, to listen to God, and that thinks that Jesus and the Bible is a source for deep spiritual truth. I am an atheist that likes to speak in Christian metaphors. I won’t bore with the details of how I wrap my head around all of that. Believe it or not there is a way. The above quote is excellent whatever the cosmic truth is.

womanmarine,

womanmarine wrote:

One of the things that helped turn the corner on health insurance was HMOs. Whoever came up with that idea should be shot as a traitor. As a medical office manager my experience was that it was one of the most paper/personnel intensive insurance forms and unbelievably restricted in it’s coverage. A total waste of time and money.

David Remer wrote:

Actually, it is the implementation of HMO’s that you rail against, and I rail right along with you. But, the original concept of HMO’s was actually very laudable.

and

The concept of health care delivery designed to keep people well instead of deterring them away from health care until illness or injury befalls them, remains a rock solid concept, formerly known as Health Maintenance Medicine.

But that concept can only work in a non-profit environment, where there is no incentive to promote illness and injury for escalating insurance premium and medical care outlay profitability.

I thought that HMOs were good ideas to begin with too. David goes on to point out that “the concept can only work in a non-profit environment. I agree, with the possible exception noted above of defanging corporations. Even then however there are so many externalities in the healthcare market that I am convinced that it would not work.

For any of you that want to see a full discussion of the healthcare issue; see my article titled: Market Principals and Healthcare.

I like David’s four principals for solution. In addition, I would highlight the problems of pharmaceutical companies and their undue control over the FDA.

j2t2,

You wrote:

The one thing we know for certain is that the lying by the repub party will not stop. They will in fact put the machine into high gear very soon.
The Swiftboat Veterans for lies have already announced that they are going to go after Obama.

Posted by: Ray Guest at May 19, 2008 12:07 PM
Comment #253125

Ray
Sadly, I am stuck with what this country has become, not with what it was meant to be.
In order to have “rule of law,” you must create laws and us being a Constitutional Republic, we had an outline of which laws could be created. Taking away individual rights and freedoms of all, in order to please some, is not what this country was founded on.

You are correct, I do not like majority rule type democracy and to become one would make us no different than France, Sweden etc…

And yes Ray, I do realize that respecting the Constitution and all the rights it gives us, is now considered an “extremist” view.

David
No matter how many people you think it helps or how good it makes you feel, if you vote for something which takes away an individuals rights, you are in support of taking away rights. Claiming it is ok because it is what the majority wants or because it is what is best in your view, is not a valid excuse.
Most of the so-called issues of today, would not even be issues IF we only respected the Constitution and the freedoms it grants us. Instead, we have one side or the other, who pervert the Constitution in order to push their own personal agenda’s.

Posted by: kctim at May 19, 2008 12:13 PM
Comment #253133

kctim,

You wrote:

You are correct, I do not like majority rule type democracy and to become one would make us no different than France, Sweden etc…

if you vote for something which takes away an individuals rights, you are in support of taking away rights. Claiming it is ok because it is what the majority wants or because it is what is best in your view, is not a valid excuse.
Perhaps the third time is the charm - probably not: This country was not founded as a Constitutional Republic. It was founded as a Constitutional Democratic Republic based on the rule of law with a representative democracy. The founders were indeed concerned about the “tyranny of the many over the few.” They were, however, rebelling against the “tyranny of the few over the many.” This country has always been a dynamic tension between those 2 extremes. The fact that you advocate for one of those extremes means - by definition - that your views are extremist - now - and would have been extremist at the founding of this country. Minority rights are protected… er… or used to be… Majority rights rule… er… or… used to.

Libertarianism leads inevitably to anarchy. Anarchy leads inevitably to totalitarianism. “All men are created equal” in terms of worthiness or “value,” but not in terms of their abilities. In laissez-faire capitalism some will always rise above and come to dominate and their dominion will always become oppressive. Libertarians rebel against oppression, yet they would draw to themselves the very thing that they fear most.

This is always the case. It is universal spiritual law that you will always draw to yourself the thing that you fear most. So it is with libertarians. Their beliefs if followed will lead directly to oppression - for all of us - if we followed them. Since we are unafraid of repression, we will not follow them. They will draw oppression to themselves by eventually refusing to follow or accept the laws, norms, and social morays of society. Indeed, I am confident that kctim will admit that he is oppressed already.

.

Posted by: Ray Guest at May 19, 2008 2:04 PM
Comment #253137

Ray, I understand where you are coming from, so no need to hope “the third time is a charm.” I just don’t accept how you change things to fit your personal views.
We were given a guide to use when applying the “rule of law,” and throwing that guide away has led to the country we now have.

I do not “advocate” for minority rule, that is nothing but a fear tactic to be used when others dare question majority rules big govt. Govt has its place and if it had remained there, it would be running govt and not lives.
In reality, majority rule and minority rule, are failed concepts. That is why our govt is supposed to be very limited from what it can and can not do and why our Constitutional Republic is different than any other form of govt. That is why we are not the “democracy” you wish us to be.

I am not all that much into what libertarianism is, but I’m sure Rhinehold could update you on just how silly your statement about it is. The only way liberatarinism leads to anarchy is if your definition of anarchy is you not being able to control everybodys lives.

“It is universal spiritual law that you will always draw to yourself the thing that you fear most”

So liberalism will eventually lead to freedom? I don’t think so grasshopper.

“Indeed, I am confident that kctim will admit that he is oppressed already”

Na, not totally. But then again, Saint Obama hasn’t been elected President yet has he? Good thing I’m preparing for such a nightmare though. The next 4-8 years are going to suck big time for those of us who value our freedoms.

Posted by: kctim at May 19, 2008 3:02 PM
Comment #253169

kctim,

Perhaps the third time is a charm for me to finally understand you. I will respond to your comment tomorrow.

Posted by: Ray Guest at May 20, 2008 12:56 AM
Comment #253185

I’m a really simple guy Ray, one only needs to respect the Constitution to understand me.

Posted by: kctim at May 20, 2008 9:38 AM
Comment #253188

When you figure out that the Republicans Party has failed you, you have figured out 1/2 of the truth.

After you figure out the democratic party is presently failing you, too, then you will know the rest of the truth.

And that will leave you wondering where you go from there when you realize that neither part is doing the job. Neither party is balancing the budget. Neither party is fixing medicare. Neither party is fixing social security. Neither party is getting rid of corruption in government. Who? Reid? With his mob lawyer property deals and Children paid to lobby himself? Obama with a 6 figure discount on his house given to him by a crook and the pork money he’s spending?

Neither party represents you. Neither party represents me.

Posted by: Stephen at May 20, 2008 9:59 AM
Comment #253203

Stephen,

Thanks for your comment. Four words: Public financing of elections. Five words: No personhood status for corporations. Five more words: No political rights for corporations. Neither party will represent the American people as long as both parties have to sell out to the big money corporate interest. The Dems are a little better because of the counter-balance of union money. The independents will not represent the American people either for the same reason. It is a systemic problem. Throwing incumbents out would be a step - not a solution. The system is the problem. The system must be reformed. Four words + Five words + Five words = Two words: Problem solved.

Of those still standing Obama is the least sold out, so Obama has the least chance of actually getting elected. The Dems can not lose this time. Everything is cutting our way. We could not lose in 2000 and 2004 either. The Corporatists and their corporate mass media liberal and conservative megaphones have no intention of allowing Obama to win unless he agrees to play ball. That is why this nomination is close. That is why this election will be close.

kctim,

You wrote quoting me:

“It is universal spiritual law that you will always draw to yourself the thing that you fear most”

So liberalism will eventually lead to freedom? I don’t think so grasshopper.LOL Good one. You are suggesting that liberals are afraid of freedom. If we were, then we would draw it to ourselves, unfortunately I fear that like libertarians, we too are afraid of oppression - “the tyranny of the few” - and indeed, we consistently find ourselves oppressed by the rich and powerful elite. Our job in this democratic republic is to guard against the “tyranny of the few.” Minorities have the job of guarding against “the tyranny of the many.” True moderate conservatives have the job of guarding against “the tyranny of the few” liberals, i.e. to bring balance. And so we fight. It is a mouth fight. Unfortunately the corporatists have machine mouths called $$$CNN$$$, $$$MSN/NBC$$$, $$$ABC$$$, $$$CBS$$$, and the ever popular $$$$$$FAUX NEWS$$$$$ as well as all other mass media.

I am afraid that I do not understand your position. You are pro-Constitution, so am I. I have a feeling that your Bible is different than mine - metaphorically speaking. I suspect that you are a literalist on the Constitution like fundamentalist Christians which would make you a fundamentalist, (strict constructionist) on the Constitution. The problem is that words are not absolute, they are made of symbols, and words are symbols of symbols, at least twice removed from reality. The problem with literalist / fundamentalist / strict constructionist is that they “literally” interpret the meaning through their own lens to suit themselves which is exactly what the rest of us do. So their “literal” interpretation is no more literal than ours. Deciding whose interpretation is more correct is well beyond anything that we can hope to accomplish here. For better or worse, we shall both have to leave that to the Supreme Court.

Pray that we are able to shift this Supreme Court back toward the center of the road.

.

Posted by: Ray Guest at May 20, 2008 12:24 PM
Comment #253210

Ray
Liberals are afraid of being oppressed by evil rich people and corps, while I fear being oppressed by govt. Right now, govt is the only power who is authorized to use force on us.
You cannot prevent oppression by “corporatists” by creating an oppressive govt. and call that freedom.

My position is very simple: respect the Constitution and you will respect the people it protects.
Words may not be absolute, but the rights given to us are. Yes, times change and things must be tweeked, but individual rights and the limits placed on our govt should always be the most important thought when doing that.
Today, we have basically unlimited govt and the rights of all are violated in order to satisfy some and that is not the principles this country was founded on.

The SC being the ones who “interpret” the Constitution has become a farce and is a failed idea. The judges completely disregard the original meanings of the Constitution and now base their rulings on their own personal beliefs.

And yes, it would be great to shift the SC back to the center of the road, it has been left for way too long.

Posted by: kctim at May 20, 2008 1:17 PM
Comment #253222

kctim,

You wrote:

Yes, times change and things must be tweeked, but individual rights and the limits placed on our govt should always be the most important thought when doing that.
Today, we have basically unlimited govt and the rights of all are violated in order to satisfy some and that is not the principles this country was founded on.
We beating out some common ground.

I thought for minute and then you write this:

And yes, it would be great to shift the SC back to the center of the road, it has been left for way too long.
Ya, Robertson, Scalia, Alito, are Thomas are way out there on the left. Kennedy, the new so called swing Justice is right of center and you know it.

Posted by: Ray Guest at May 20, 2008 2:16 PM
Comment #253224

R.G., ITA on the news organizations. The FCC needs a complete overhaul. I finally subscribed to the Aljazeera feed, as our media has made them into a more respectable news organization, by default. I think you will enjoy this clip of Gore Vidal. It’s kind of long, and has more parts: The last part is on the SCOTUS and Scalia

Posted by: ohrealy at May 20, 2008 2:29 PM
Comment #253227

It’s all in how I view left and right, Ray.
If those on the right were to be honest with themselves, they would see that their politicians aren’t really all that different than the lefts.

“The problem with literalist / fundamentalist / strict constructionist is that they “literally” interpret the meaning through their own lens to suit themselves which is exactly what the rest of us do”

Maybe so. But my interpretation of it does not violate your individual rights, while your interpretation of it does violate my individual rights.

Posted by: kctim at May 20, 2008 2:42 PM
Comment #253246

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vuBo4E77ZXo
Lots of issues discussed here but just where do they fit in the big picture? There are a lot of big issues the political elites are working out that we have no say so on. And we wonder why neither party will enforce the border.

Posted by: Carnak at May 20, 2008 4:54 PM
Comment #253296

kctim,

You wrote:

Maybe so. But my interpretation of it does not violate your individual rights, while your interpretation of it does violate my individual rights.
Violates your “individual rights” according to your interpretation, while according to my interpretation and the current long standing interpretation of the Supreme Court your interpretation violates my individual rights and the individual rights of many others as well to live in a Constitutional Democratic Republic with representative democracy based on the rule of law and government of, by, and for the people. Perhaps the first Republican President was not conservative enough for you.

Perhaps you could expound here or in a future thread exactly where and how you think that the Supreme Court went awry.

ohrealy, carnak,

I enjoyed the links. Thanks.

Posted by: Ray Guest at May 21, 2008 11:03 AM
Comment #253300

Ray
Your interpretation intrudes on my personal beliefs and individual rights and affects how I run my own life. My interpretation does not. Others are free to believe how they wish and to live their own lives.
There is not one individual right that I violate with my interpretation, but yours violates many.

How can it be “of, by and for the people,” when it is only fairly representing some of the people?
If I respect your right to smoke and open up an establishment which allows smoking, should you not also respect my right to dislike smoking and to open up an establishment which bans smoking? We don’t need laws which say you can smoke here or you can’t smoke there, we only need to defend the individuals right to choose which one is best for themselves.
I respect your right to help who you want, however you want, should you not also respect my right to do the same?
Our laziness has thrown away the limits placed on our Constitutional Republic and has sped up our move to being just another democracy.

As far as the SC, things went “awry” when the SC justices began applying their personal beliefs to the Constitution instead of accepting what it says.

Posted by: kctim at May 21, 2008 11:53 AM
Comment #253314

kctim,

Having a bit of a libertarian streak myself I am opposed to many of the laws passed by Congress, signed into law by the President, and approved by the Supreme Court, however that is the system that our founding fathers left us. You may the Supreme Court. You may think that you can read their minds and tell that they are applying their “personal beliefs to the Constitution instead of accepting what it says.” They might correctly think that you are doing the same. Your personal beliefs, their personal beliefs are inevitably part of the lens through which the document is interpreted. I believe that the Constitution has been subverted by the Bush Regime. However, I trust the cumulative wisdom of a lot of very smart justices who have dedicated their life to studying the document and clarifying their own lens more than I trust the judgment of a person called kctim. I would note that most justices tend to become more liberal after they get on the Court and start studying the document. It must have something to do with the document. It is probably contaminated with rye bread mold. I am sure that is it.

You wrote:

Your interpretation intrudes on my personal beliefs and individual rights and affects how I run my own life. My interpretation does not. Others are free to believe how they wish and to live their own lives.
There is not one individual right that I violate with my interpretation, but yours violates many.
Oh, I don’t know… maybe my individual right to vote for, elect, and have a representative government represent my interest and pass laws to protect my individual right to breath from your individual right to blow smoke in my face. I have an individual urge to follow you to a restaurant and to urinate in your plate of food. There is no reason for the government to oppress me and prevent me from doing that is there. It is a public place. If you do not want your food urinated in don’t go there. After that I am going to need to clean my colon in the public street next to your car door. When you gotta go, you gotta go. You don’t mind do you?

Posted by: Ray Guest at May 21, 2008 2:17 PM
Comment #253321

So, with no valid reasoning to defend your views, you resort to the extremes and being silly. Typical and expected, but I’ll play, its actually quite easy.

Yes, it is one’s right to smoke and it is your right to not. That is why they should be able to choose to visit smoking areas and you should be able to choose not to.
No, there is no reason for govt to pass laws to keep you from pissing in my food and there is no reason for govt to pass laws to stop me from preventing you from pissing in my food. But then again, urine has its sanitary issues doesn’t it. So, since it may harm others, it would probably be ok to designate places where one can and cannot urinate. What a minute? Holy cow! We do have places like that don’t we. But we can’t no longer have places like that for smoking? Go figure huh.

You’ll have to do much better than that Ray.

“their personal beliefs are inevitably part of the lens through which the document is interpreted”

Inevitably? Yes. Rightfully? No.

Posted by: kctim at May 21, 2008 3:06 PM
Comment #253471

kctim,

First urine is cleaner and less toxic than cigarette smoke. Second, dear one, you are the one that says that; the government based one the will of the majority, should have no right to “violate individual rights” and you refuse to acknowledge that the rights of minorities and individuals have to be balanced against the rights of the majority in a democratic republic. I was only showing you how ridiculous your position is. My obvious point was that urinating and cleaning the colon are bodily functions and as such are individual inalienable rights. Smoking is an individual right, but not an inalienable right. The duly elected government has rights to enact laws that infringe ones individual rights especially when the exercise of those individual rights infringes the rights of others. As already cited above, every example that you give of the government infringing your individual rights are examples where the exercise of your individual rights would in fact infringe the rights of others. You have given no examples to the contrary. The government has no right to stop me from urinating but it does have a right to regulate where.

Listen,

Thanks for the link.


Posted by: Ray Guest at May 23, 2008 1:22 AM
Comment #253739

No Ray, I say the rights of the minority have to be balanced with the rights of the majority. You are the one who needs it to be against the majority in order to force your beliefs onto others.
It does not violate the majorities rights for them to choose to frequent a smoking or non-smoking establishment, but it does violate the minorities rights to take away their choice to do the same.
My opening a smoking establishment does not infringe on anybodys rights. My being banned from opening one infringes on mine.
It doesn’t get any simpler than that.

Posted by: kctim at May 27, 2008 1:22 PM
Comment #255745

kctim,

Interesting turn around but the minority or majority does not have a right to restrict my movement in public places or blow cancerous smoke in my face depriving me of the right breathe.

Posted by: Ray Guest at June 16, 2008 1:00 PM
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