Democrats & Liberals Archives

The Tabloid Age

I have a certain respect for the power of storytelling. I’ve been working on a fairly big project for some time now, and as politics has recently ground down into a steady routine of some people spewing hatred about Obama, while other express disappointment that he doesn’t magically redeem the country, I’ve taken to focusing on that, more than other things. Like politics. But as I look at things, I can’t help but think we’ve lowered ourselves, and the only ones who are benefiting are the people racing to the bottom.

When you have no standards to betray, when succeeding at a competition is more important than anything else, then you can get quite far before reality bites you in the rear and brings you down. This is a problem with ancient roots. The bible has the prophets haranguing the elites long before Christ was born. The first leaders for which the writing was on the wall were the Babylonians, for crying out loud.

Elites, when they push their luck this far, have a way of closing themselves off from the communities they interact with, seeing them only as assets to be exploited. Of course, the Assets don't exactly see themselves that way.

Then how do they maintain this hold on politics? One way is by short-circuiting the relationship with the constituents, using money to make their priorities, the priorities of at best a few hundred, more important to the Congresscritter than that of the few hundred thousand out there. But of course, if they did that without priming the people to accept it, there might be problems.

Only thing is, that doesn't cut out that final reckoning. When you're wrong, you're wrong, and there are consequences.

What happens when you shape the media towards that kind of heedless sensibility?

Well, that's tabloid journalism. That's reality television. That's canned formulas in movies and television, applied ad nauseam. People who want to insist on a personally profitable course of action, and keep it going even after it's become obvious that it could only work in the short term.

My training in college made me familiar with Screenwriting, and through that, William Goldman, the screenwriter behind many of the 70's and 80's big hits, including the beloved Rob Reiner film, The Princess Bride. His quote is well known in filmmaking circles, but you may not know it: "Nobody knows anything."

I follow movies and the box office. How many movies have people made that were intended to be huge hits, but flopped? How many good movies were made that failed, how many bad ones that marketing managed to make moneymakers before they were completely forgotten?

You have this weird sort of situation here where people play on folks' emotions and their social hangups, and often win... but then something comes along and all the expectations get turned upside down. Things succeed that your average studio exec said would never fly. The stone the builders rejected becomes the cornerstone.

There's a lot of BS throughout society on all we think we have a handle on. Information is one of them, unfortunately. The Internet seems to have unleashed the floodgates on that. More information is better information, right? I don't need to go through your media filters! Ha!

Thing is, reporting isn't most people's full time job. Lot of things aren't people's full-time job. As many Congresscritters have said, "I'm not a scientist-"

And then they go on to make a conclusion that really should be checked scientifically before you get so blitheringly confident about it!

Content is cheap. There's plenty of filler, fluff, lies, press releases, political promises, and other unreliable stuff out there. Information is plentiful, but not all information has the same value. Not all information is meaningful. Not all meaningful information is reliable Not everything you think you know is reliable and/or meaningful.

I get a look at tabloids nearly everyday, mostly the covers. There was a day when tabloid stuff was avoided by the mainstream press. Then folks started to get an inferiority complex about Matt Drudge, envy that others were getting the juicy bits about Monica Lewinsky. Tabloid became mainstream. Mainstream became tabloid. Worse yet, as the internet grew in its reach and FOXNews grew in its viewership, the problem of this unwillingness to filter out bad information (where there wasn't a willingness to deliberately give it to people.) became a huge one for the average American.

We now have one party that's absolutely beholden to what can only be described as a tabloid sensibility. The degree to which something is hyped doesn't depend on actual magnitude, just what the folks in charge want the volume level to be to get ratings, sell eyeballs, and sell copies.

Only thing is, that doesn't cut out that final reckoning. When you're wrong, you're wrong, and there are consequences.

If the Republicans take back complete control, I predict with great confidence that they will screw up the same way they did under Bush. The problem is, they've made the personalization of their media to their politics such a priority, made the war against Political Correctness and Liberal Media Bias so fricking important to them, that they've lost the mapping between their media and reality. They'll always wait until after the fact to figure out what went wrong, and then they'll blame it on things not serving the ideology of Conservatism.

If you think of Conservatism as just a set of certain positions, and the oversimplification of the tabloid mindset makes this easy, then if those positions turn out to be wrong, as many positions that people in general take turn out to be, then you're wedded to your mistakes.

Mistakes do not sustain political movements well. When you're wrong, you're wrong, and there are consequences. The Conservatives, on a basic level, aren't paying attention to the match between their principles and the results they're getting.

Remember what William Goldman said? "Nobody knows anything." He's talking from the perspective of a complex business, where there are always people with fairly simple ideas of what sells and what does not, ideas that the real world puts to a constant test, with uncertain results.

What if the real world is just too complex and confounded in these cases to give us simple results? What if, at best, our political ideologies best function as preferences?

Going back to the movie industry, here's what I would say: Marketing can get a lot of butts in seats, but it never guarantees a runaway hit. Some things glide a few weekends off their marketing and take a nose-dive, while other things fly quite far under their own power. Is there really much of a difference, short term, between the results created by hype, and those sustained by merit?

Not really. Of course, nobody marketing somebody is going to admit their approach, however desperately short-term, is lacking in merits. Nobody's going to market themselves as being crappy except as a winking sort of joke.

No political party or political media operation is going to admit that it's politics are the junk-food version of what their movement once was. They're not going to tell you that their positions are the evolved overhyping of policies that were once more moderately applied. They're certainly not going to tell you what many of them don't realize, which was that their positions were just the public bargaining positions that privately the old guard were knowingly, willingly able to depart from.

That, in essence, the modern politics of the party is a phenomena which ran away with itself, rather than stay consistent.

Take tax policy. The Laffer Curve was once meant to be the excuse for Republicans to believe that tax cuts, all other things kept neutral, were revenue neutral or positive. In the Seventies, they'd demand spending cuts to match the Tax Cuts, and not just make that a casual demand. Only today are tax cuts considered fiscally conservative, given how few times the revenues actually went up.

It isn't an accident that many of the icons of movement conservatism, in their later years. have come to despise what's come of it. Nor is it an accident that the party has increasingly turned to more and more outlandish narratives, more and more divisive tactics.

The thing about politics is, sometimes it gets stuck in its own little dream world. Democrats are not immune. No one is. But there's always a path back, if people are willing to take it, a way to look at the world and see things for how they are, rather than continue in one's alienation from reality. Democrats have no problem, ultimately, in taking that path back.

One reason why we chose Obama to start out was that he had a fresh path to offer, politically speaking. After the failure of more centrist politicians in the last two elections, we were willing to change our approach.

Republicans only got back after an apparent change, but it seems to be that they got back so they could once again make the same mistake, stick themselves stubbornly in one set of positions and never come out. Trouble is, they were wrong. When you're wrong, you're wrong, and there are consequences for that.

If, like the Republicans, you insist on making the same mistakes over and over again, you will suffer for that. The Republican media, though, won't call them on it, and the voters are indoctrinated rather heavily both in the necessity of stasis and the fear of change.

To justify that, Republicans have more or less had to portray a mild resurgence of liberalism and left-wing politics as an apocalyptic socialist takeover. The National Enquirer has had to go the way of the Weekly World News, or worse.

The most sadistic element about it is, even while it gains the GOP little long term, and doesn't reverse many of their political problems short term, it helps sharpen the divide between Republican and Conservatives, and the rest of the American public. Rather than create a public united on their side, they create a faction strongly divided against their enemies, something that only works where they already have the advantage.

You believe not because the evidence adds up, but because that's one of the sources you trust.

Why is the divide so profound? The simplest way to put it is this: my generation has seen the policies of the Right in action all our lives, and despite all the rationalizations and propaganda, the performance has been mixed at best, catastrophic at worst. The careening trajectory into this strange space of narrative and belief that the right seems to have taken only sinks that faith further into disbelief. We question how anybody could even begin to believe what the right is saying in America today.

We remember a time when information seemed more reliable, when there were fewer secrets, when people admitted the market couldn't solve everything, that even those who were elite in terms of power and wealth needed to contribute to the public good, not to mention heed it in their actions. We remember a time when America hadn't been so seduced by the promises of easy knowledge, easy wisdom, and all that, when people had a more grounded sense of the world, and when folks usually were famous for something, not just for having the right publicity agents.

I hope for the day when politics lifts itself out of this gutter of solipsism and self-absorption, when politics gets treated less like a competitive sport with few rules, and more like the adult negotiation of differing beliefs towards a united government that it's supposed to be. I'm sick of people trying to reduce what can't really be reduced, pretend what is not simple can be unraveled by simplistic slogans and oversold promises.

America's map of reality needs to drawn with closer fidelity to reality, and though this might inconvenience some of the rich and powerful in the short term, America needs it to get its policy back on track after years of public policy being guided by the dubious wisdom and undependable knowledge of the masters of the Tabloid Age.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at September 13, 2014 1:50 PM
Comments
Comment #383147

I read your entire piece Mr. Daugherty. Conclusion…same old anti-conservative rant in new clothes.

Does anyone believe that conservative political philosophy has changed much in the last one hundred years? Nope!

Many believe that the democrats have gone from moderation to extreme liberalism.

It frustrates many liberals that they can’t attract a larger following with their ideas and leaders. However…it is true; “When you’re wrong, you’re wrong, and there are consequences for that.”

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 13, 2014 5:00 PM
Comment #383150
We now have one party that’s absolutely beholden to what can only be described as a tabloid sensibility. The degree to which something is hyped doesn’t depend on actual magnitude, just what the folks in charge want the volume level to be to get ratings, sell eyeballs, and sell copies.

Only thing is, that doesn’t cut out that final reckoning. When you’re wrong, you’re wrong, and there are consequences.

One? No, sir, there are two. That you can’t see that is a very good example of your argument…

If the Republicans take back complete control, I predict with great confidence that they will screw up the same way they did under Bush.

How is that any different than the current administration screwing things up the same way the Republicans did under Bush?

Very little of what this President has done is any kinds of different than what Bush was doing. There in lies the rub, doesn’t it?

The only thing you can see is your partisan wants and desires. Everything else you are just blind to, unfortunately.

At least Bush had the good sense to rightfully and lawfuly ask for the right to use military force as the constitution lays out. This president has had no such allusion.

And how many times was Bush found to have violated the US Constitution by the Supreme Court in 9-0 rulings? How many has Obama?

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 13, 2014 5:15 PM
Comment #383164

Royal Flush-
You are surrounded with so many protective little myths. There was a time when Republicans would not increase spending without increasing taxes, when fiscal conservatism meant maintaining the balance with deliberate, mathematically based action rather than best-case-scenario wishful thinking.

America needs people not coddled by such layers of illusion, who understand that the real world matters more than some set of dogmas, that in fact those dogmas tend to be insufficient guidance to the complexities of life and society.

The Republicans have swathed themselves in them, made themselves fat and soft. They don’t know how to deal with other human beings anymore. The best they can do at this point is short-term manipulation, and to keep on hamstringing the opposition. But what happens if you win in November? Then people can see nothing else but Republican faces on the dysfunction of Congress, and your people aren’t prepared to do anything else but BE dysfunctional.

I will win. My problem is, winning in my mind was about more than just my side scoring points. The problems that face our country, that motivated my interest in the political world still haunt our nation, and your side is still too crippled by its stupidity to help solve those issues. They’re playing games with dangerous forces within our nation and without, defining down deviancy for racism, sexism, and all kinds of other evils in the name of being in total opposition to people like us.

What good is knowing you’ll win eventually, if all you can see in front of you are a bunch of morons trying to yank your country back into the dark ages?

I look at what you guys do, and I have a mixture of pity and hatred for it. Nothing you do will go right, because you listen to nothing and nobody more than yourselves. Your groupthink has been so strongly essentialized, become such a part of your party’s identity that it will practically take your party’s destruction as it is now to wake you up.

Rhinehold-
I can’t see it, because when my people see something like 9/11 Trutherism, we ran the other way. We didn’t want to be associated with conspiracy theory. A candidate promoting that among us would very soon have a dark cloud hanging over their head.

We wouldn’t have put somebody as nuts as Glenn Beck up. Look at what Liberal’s responses were: their comedians immediately laid into them.

You folks are always saying both parties are the same. It’s bull. Worse, it’s enabling the Republicans. Their behavior is QUANTITATIVELY worse. You can see it in the numbers, in votes that we had to rescue to get must-pass legislation to the Presidents desk. You can see it in these bizarre confrontations that you somehow never saw George W. Bush have to deal with. You can see it in the fact that so many Republicans believe that the President is a Foreigner, a Muslim, a communist, and all kinds of other documented and disproven things.

Why won’t you see it? Because it would give liberals an advantage. Simply put, unless you lump us in together, it’s the Democrats who have the advantage when people come to their senses. But I can show you the numbers on filibusters. I can show you the legislative failure of this Republican Confounded congress to even exceed the work done by the Do-Nothing Congress that Truman railed against.

You? You can make false equivalences, and allege that simply because part of my party is willing enable theirs, a centrist faction, that all of us are the same, and that having a Republican Congress and a Democratic Congress are not two different things.

Don’t think you can gish gallop me on the Bush Administration and its actions. Yes, some things that Obama’s done have been ruled unconstitutional. Tell me, that never happened to Clinton or Bush?

Take a look at this article, and consider how strongly your biases played into your conclusions.

I don’t have to buy into your assumptions about your objectivity. You clearly have a viewpoint, but that’s not what makes you wrong. Your bias isn’t what makes your arguments false. What makes them false are the assumptions you make. You allege equivalence where polls show marked differences in levels of both the entertainment of fringe and extreme views. You allege equivalence where the excess or deficiency of Republicans’ actions in Congress have been well demonstrated. You allege equivalence without taking into account that the net effect of a government divided between different parties is that nobody will be satisfied with the results, because the only results you’ll be able to get are those that pass through that obstacle course.

I saw the shift in policy, as Republicans gained power, the change in the way regulations were prepared and enforced, the increase in the deference towards corporations, the way that Bush’s EPA and mineral resources agencies opened the floodgates on exploitation. I saw the way his energy policy and financial policies unfolded in great detail, the way Bush supercharged the financial changes made under Clinton and the Republican Congress.

Frankly, I find many of your arguments insulting to my intelligence. Of course, I also find many of my own people’s arguments equally deficient. Now, I am quietly plainly an advocate for my side. People are here to listen to the opinion that Other Democrats and I are putting forward. I would tell them that if they want to decide things for themselves, the best thing to do would be to go through news sources, to read up on science, technology, society and other matters independent of the competitive, partisan pressures of politics. Politics, all too often, represents a lowest-common denominator compression of the knowledge and wisdom of the real world. If Politics is your first source for information, you’re screwed, because politicians and pundits and others aren’t going to hand you the pure stuff. They’re going to make arguments.

It’s not that those can’t be useful, but if you’re going to judge the validity and soundness of those arguments, you have to be able to step back from the emotional and social manipulations that all political commentators and participants use.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 14, 2014 11:39 AM
Comment #383169
Take a look at this article, and consider how strongly your biases played into your conclusions.

Yes, I read that pathetic op-ed and discussed it in the middle column comments.

Suffice it to say that is one of the BEST examples of what you are accusing Republicans of and you buy it hook line and sinker.

I find many of your arguments insulting to my intelligence.

Don’t take it too bad, just because you can’t seem to keep up shouldn’t get you down, I don’t mean to insult you by pointing out your obvious logic flaws. You are being driven by emotion and have put your faith in a flawed ideology, it is understandable why you would keep making those mistakes.

I can’t see it, because when my people see something like 9/11 Trutherism, we ran the other way.

Bullshit.

Cynthia McKinney was elected to office by Democrats and is considered a Democrat hero and is a truther.

Mike Gravel ran for office and garnered a good number of votes and was a truther.

Jim McDermott this year said “the questions surrounding it are legitimate, meriting further investigation.”

“…one day we will have further examination of that issue…I think the sooner the better, but that’s just my personal view.” said McDermott during his C-Span interview.

But let’s put them aside for a second…

How about “Bush didn’t win the 2000 election”? How about “Bush didn’t win the 2004 election”? How about “Bush was AWOL?” How about “Bush could have prevented 9/11?” How about the many attempts by Democrats to have Bush impeached? How about…

In fact, the conspiracy theories involving Bush were so numerous and inane that they spawned a Bush Conspiracy Generator: http://www.buttafly.com/bush/index.php

You folks are always saying both parties are the same.

There are a couple of different things in play here.

As for policy, yeah they are pretty much the same. The speech that Obama gave on bombing ISIS was something that could have easily come from the Bush White House, for example. One of the first actions of this administration was to support the Bush Administration in the lawsuits over wiretaps and Obama has since expanded that power. I could go on and on and on.

But you are likely talking about the wacky accusations against political opponents, and sorry you are just wrong here. They are the same, they look for any possible chink in the armor of their opponent and hit hard on it, lying about it as best as they can if need be.

Let’s just take a look at how Paul Krugman and Ed Schultz took PURPOSELY took Michelle Bachmann out of context, never questioned by the left who continue to parrot this attack against something that never happened:

http://winteryknight.wordpress.com/2011/01/13/what-was-the-context-of-michele-bachmanns-armed-and-dangerous-comment/

It’s not that those can’t be useful, but if you’re going to judge the validity and soundness of those arguments, you have to be able to step back from the emotional and social manipulations that all political commentators and participants use.

Stephen, I would suggest you take a step back and read what you write… it might help you in the future.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 14, 2014 2:32 PM
Comment #383170

BTW, Stephen, tell me how you feel that the Democrats are actually trying to amend the 1st Amendment? If the Republicans had done that, wouldn’t you be screaming?

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 14, 2014 2:37 PM
Comment #383176

Money is not free speech, and corporations are not people, nor do they have religious beliefs. It will take a constitutional amendment to change that, unless the conservative justices can be replaced soon.

The Koch Brothers are literally trying to buy senators- Wehby in OR, Ernst in IA, and others. In OR, the Koch Brothers front organizations are literally outspending the Republican candidate, and most of it goes to attack ad smears on the Democratic candidate, for which no one within the state of OR can be held responsible. Meanwhile, the GOP candidate releases national GOP talking points. She does not make in-person appearances. No one knows what she actually thinks or really cares about.

Our system is in bad shape, and while I seriously doubt the change to the 1st amendment will ever pass and save our system, it is still worth trying to save it.

Posted by: phx8 at September 14, 2014 4:50 PM
Comment #383177
Money is not free speech

No, but spending money to advance your free speech is. Always has been, always will be.

corporations are not people

And NO ONE is saying that they are. They are, however, made up of people and those people cannot have their free speech squelched just because they choose to operate as a group.

Just use some logic here… If they were ‘people’ then they could donate directly to a candidate. They could vote. They are allowed to do neither of these things.

But buying an ad on TV to say what they want to say is THEIR RIGHT TO DO.

do they have religious beliefs

Again, no one is saying that they do. But those people operating and running the corporation DO have religious beliefs and they cannot have their religious rights squelched just because they are operating as a group.

The Koch Brothers are literally trying to buy senators

By buying advertising supporting them? The same could be said of the AFL-CIO or the Teachers Union or the NAACP or the Sierra Club. All of these are corporations or unions, both entities created by government to allow groups of people to act as a group.

Now, if you can prove collusion or quid pro quo, please do so, as those are ILLEGAL. But since you can’t do that, you just blather on about those people you don’t want to have their free speech protected and screaming to protect those people you want to keep theirs.

That is fascist, why you seem to want to latch onto that bandwagon is beyond me, other than it may help you politically. Which is rather disgusting IMO.

No one knows what she actually thinks or really cares about.

You mean like people complained (and seem to have been right) about Obama? Who’s PAC raised so much money from corporations it wasn’t funny?

the GOP candidate releases national GOP talking points

And? If that is how she wants to run her campaign, that’s her decision.

Apparently you are of the camp who believe that anyone voting is just too stupid to make up their own mind? When are you going to introduce a constitutional amendment to take away their right to vote then? If they are too stupid to make up their own mind and vote, isn’t that your next step considering this was the next step to counter people speaking that you don’t like?

That you thin that LIMITING SPEECH will ‘save our system’ really makes me scared for the future of this country. Really scared.

We decry Russia and Iran and North Korea (and others) for limiting free speech, yet you want to do exactly what they are doing in order to get your candidates elected without having to actually convince people to vote for them. It’s people like you that allow those things to happen in those other countries, I can only hope that the people in the US are more intelligent than that.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 14, 2014 5:09 PM
Comment #383178

Every single Senator that voted for the amendment is IMO an enemy to the state. I will do whatever I can to support their opponents in their upcoming elections. Before this, I didn’t care much about elections that weren’t in my area, but this is such a blatant attempt to circumvent the basic ideals that this country was founded upon that it warrants it.

http://reason.com/archives/2014/09/12/actually-senators-youre-the-ones-who-thr

It’s true that building the United States has been long, arduous and rife with setbacks. But throughout the years, the American people have repelled efforts to weaken or dismantle the First Amendment. We have weathered the Sedition Act of 1918, a law that led to the imprisonment of innocent Americans who opposed the war or the draft. Since then, we have withstood numerous efforts to hamper, chill, and undermine basic free expression in the name of “patriotism.” We have, however, allowed elected officials to treat citizens as if they were children by arbitrarily imposing strict limits on their free speech in the name of “fairness.”

But nowadays, after five members of the Supreme Court upheld the First Amendment and treated all political speech equally, liberal activists and Democrats in the Senate would have us return to a time when government dispensed speech to favored institutions—as if it were the government’s to give.

In 2010, the Supreme Court issued a 5-4 opinion striking down major parts of a 2002 campaign-finance reform law in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. This case and subsequent rulings, including McCutcheon v. FEC, have led to more political activism and more grass-roots engagement than ever before. In the 2012 presidential election, we quickly saw the results. More Americans voted than in any election; more minorities voted; more Americans engaged in more debate and had more information in their hands than ever before. More than 60 percent of all those super PAC funds came from just 159 donors, each of whom gave more than $1 million. And still, every vote held the same sway. You may be convinced by someone, but no one can buy your vote. I wish the same could be said for your senators.

Even less worrisome is the propaganda surrounding scary-sounding “dark money”—dollars spent by groups that do not have to disclose their funding sources. The 2012 elections saw almost $300 million spent on engagement in our democratic institutions, and the 2014 midterm elections could see as much as $1 billion invested in political debate. That means more democratization of media and more challenges to a media infrastructure that once managed what news we were allowed to consume. Still, no one can buy your vote.

No single issue is more important to the needs of average Americans than upholding the Constitution over the vagaries of contemporary political life. The people elected to office should be responsive to the needs of their constituents. They should also be prepared to be challenged. But mostly, they should uphold their oath to protect the Constitution rather than find ways to undermine it.

Americans’ right to free speech should not be proportionate to their political power. This is why it’s vital to stop senators from imposing capricious limits on Americans.

It is true that 16 states and the District of Columbia, along with more than 500 cities and towns, have passed resolutions calling on Congress to reinstitute restriction on free speech. Polls consistently show that the majority of Americans support the abolishment of super PACs. So it’s important to remember that one of the many reasons the Founding Fathers offered us the Constitution was to offer a bulwark against “democracy.” Senators may have an unhealthy obsession with the democratic process, and Supreme Court justices are on the bench for life for that very reason.

On Monday, Democrats offered an amendment to repeal the First Amendment in an attempt to protect their own political power. Whiny senators—most of them patrons to corporate power and special interests—engaged in one of the most cynical abuses of their power in recent memory. Those who treat Americans as if they were hapless proles unable to withstand the power of a television commercial are the ones who fear speech. That’s not what the American republic is all about.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 14, 2014 5:19 PM
Comment #383179

SD wrote; “What good is knowing you’ll win eventually, if all you can see in front of you are a bunch of morons trying to yank your country back into the dark ages?”

Dark Ages? Please define. Your hyperbole is similar to Pelosi in an interview with Bill Mahr. She said, “Republicans winning the senate will be catastrophic for the country.”

SD writes; “…you have to be able to step back from the emotional and social manipulations that all political commentators and participants use.”

Good Grief…get a grip on yourself man. Your arrogance is intolerable.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 14, 2014 5:36 PM
Comment #383180

Rhinehold,
Your previous comments give an excellent example of the fundamental flaw at the heart of Libertarianism. The underlying assumption is that, if we have minimal government, we will be more free. The problem with that assumption is that the power to take away our freedom is usurped by corporations and the rich. Libertarianism becomes an avenue for plutocracy and corporate control.

In the case of free speech, every one of us is equally free to exercise it. The playing field is flat, and the freedom is equally distributed.

Money, however, is not equally distributed. Those with more money have the ability to amplify their voice over everyone else, and drown out the poorer voices. The result? Look at today’s Congress: it consists mostly of millionaires. But even millionaires are mere pikers compared with the very rich, such as the Koch Brothers. They can literally dominate a political campaign in somewhere like faraway Oregon by swamping the airwaves with political advertising. It is ludicrously far right, often inaccurate, and sometimes little more than a smear- yet there is no possible way for anyone else to match that amount of money. Their money allows them to effectively shout everyone else down. Free speech has been purchased by the one with the most money, and denied to those without as much money.

Money is money. Speech is speech. They are not the same.

You’re comments about corporate personhood are mere denial.

Posted by: phx8 at September 14, 2014 6:00 PM
Comment #383181
The underlying assumption is that, if we have minimal government, we will be more free. The problem with that assumption is that the power to take away our freedom is usurped by corporations and the rich

Exactly how? You make the assertion, back it up.

Corporations cannot do anything, at all, that violates anyone’s freedom. If they attempt to, the government is there to protect those individual rights.

That’s the heart of libertarianism, something you apparently are unaware of:

“The right to live your live as you choose as long as you don’t violate the rights to another to the same”.

So tell me, exactly, how a corporation can violate my rights without usurping the power of government to do so?

How can corporations control me without government involvement? Only government has that power, once we give it to them.

Money, however, is not equally distributed. Those with more money have the ability to amplify their voice over everyone else, and drown out the poorer voices.

And without the ability to pool our money to go against the voice of the monies, which you are suggesting we amend the constitution to do, it will be worse.

No NAACP, no AFL-CIO, no way to group together and have our voices heard as a group, only as individuals, who would then be at the mercy of the rich like Bill Gates, George Soros and the Koch brothers you despise.

Just look at the facts, since the Citizens United ruling, the voice of the less-monied has gotten better because there are no longer any restrictions on them to have their voice hear.

Free speech has been purchased by the one with the most money, and denied to those without as much money.

A situation you want to EXACERBATE. I don’t get the logic.

You’re comments about corporate personhood are mere denial factual and correct.

There, fixed that for you. If you can’t bother to even TRY to explain or show me how I am wrong, as you think, then I’m not going to bother showing you the actual Supreme Court ruling (which you obviously haven’t read) to show your lack of knowledge.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 14, 2014 6:42 PM
Comment #383182
Corporations cannot do anything, at all, that violates anyone’s freedom.

History is rife with examples. The abuses of Pinkerton’s Mercenary Army are notable. So is the extensive history of the private sector polluting the environment (violating many people their rights to life and to pursue happiness). More recently, we have seen Hobby Lobby violate female employees’ right to use their compensation to purchase legal medications.

If they attempt to, the government is there to protect those individual rights.
Not if the government is minimized to the extent that it doesn’t have the power/authority to protect those rights, which is what you occasionally advocate.
quote text
Posted by: Warren Porter at September 14, 2014 7:27 PM
Comment #383184

The sheriff of Milwaukee County Wisconsin, a democrat and pro-gun rights advocate running for a third term unopposed by a Republican candidate was faced with a primary challenge by big money from out of state. Nearly $500K was spent for a sheriff primary by gun haters. That kind of money should have bought the election for the challenger.

Guess who won?

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 14, 2014 7:36 PM
Comment #383185

Rhinehold,
Warren mentioned a few examples, but cases of harmful corporate control in our lives occurs on any level you care to examine, ranging from Global Warming, to busting unions, to purchasing favorable legislation and avoiding taxes, to invasions of privacy and threatening the economic survival of American citizens. It often takes the form of exploiting the public commons for corporate profit. This is accomplished by flooding the media and networks with false narratives, or sometimes simply sowing confusion.

Royal Flush,
Money will not automatically purchase a win at the ballot box, but it sure helps. In OR, an awful GOP candidate ran for Congress against DeFazio, a powerful Democrat who chairs a committee determining tax policies. The GOP candidate was a crackpot. Seriously, he was terrible. Yet somehow, he commanded huge sums of money to support his campaign, and he flooded the airwaves with advertising. He lost anyway. But even this terrible candidate- and I mean, terrible- I mean, this guy Robinson made Christine O’Donnell look like an intellectual juggernaut- he was opne of the worst candidates I have ever seen- and even this candidate managed to purchase 41% of the vote.

His campaign was almost entirely funded by a New York City billionaire hedge fund manager who didn’t want DeFazio to do away with the carried interest loophole for those managers.

Afterwards, Robinson was promoted to chair the Oregon Republican Party.

Posted by: phx8 at September 14, 2014 8:13 PM
Comment #383186
Corporations cannot do anything, at all, that violates anyone’s freedom. If they attempt to, the government is there to protect those individual rights.

And with the utopian small government of libertarians/conservatives how will the government be able to do that? The constitution has listed rights that the government cannot trespass upon but corporations are free to do so. The government once drowned in the libertarian/conservative bathtub of Grover Norquist cannot protect us from corporations silencing our free speech rights or the right to bear arms. Hell they can’t do it now.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=123024596

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=2458282626085

Posted by: j2t2 at September 14, 2014 8:16 PM
Comment #383187
The abuses of Pinkerton’s Mercenary Army are notable.

Sanctioned by the government. Without that sanctioning, what they would have done would have been illegal.

So is the extensive history of the private sector polluting the environment (violating many people their rights to life and to pursue happiness)

Again, no, private sector pollution is a violation of individual property rights and protected against by the government when it occurs.

More recently, we have seen Hobby Lobby violate female employees’ right to use their compensation to purchase legal medications.

Still again, no. No women was told that they couldn’t buy whatever legal medication that they wanted to. Only that Hobby Lobby didn’t want to buy it for them. The women are free to buy any legal medication that they want with their compensation, ie wages.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 14, 2014 8:45 PM
Comment #383189

j2t2, they cannot do those things LEGALLY, without the consent of the government.

It’s like saying that individuals can rape and kill each other because they do. They can’t, because it is illegal. Now, if government says that in some cases rape is ok… then they are empowered by government to do those things.

Does that clear it up?

Sure, Walmart could hire people to come to your house and drag you to their store and make you buy $100 of products. But they wouldn’t be able to do it LEGLALY or without violating your individual natural rights.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 14, 2014 9:03 PM
Comment #383190

Once again Stephen Daugherty is obsessed with himself. According to Michael Goodwin of he NY Post, the USS Obama is sinking fast. It doesn’t matter how much SD and the rest of the libs on WB rant about Republicans spewing whatever…the Obama ship is going under.

http://nypost.com/2014/09/14/obamas-ship-is-sinking/

Posted by: George at September 14, 2014 9:55 PM
Comment #383211
Sanctioned by the government. Without that sanctioning, what they would have done would have been illegal.

We all know that illegal things never happen, right? Pinkerton’s detective agency violated individual rights and the government didn’t step in to enforce those rights. Just because the government chose to look the other way doesn’t transform Pinkerton’s mercenaries into government agents.

private sector pollution is a violation of individual property rights and protected against by the government when it occurs./blockquote> Until the last 50 years, government regulations regarding pollution were few and far between. Numerous private companies seized the opportunity and violated individual property rights across the board. How can the blame for violating those rights be placed anywhere except on the corporations that emit the pollution?
Still again, no. No women was told that they couldn’t buy whatever legal medication that they wanted to. Only that Hobby Lobby didn’t want to buy it for them. The women are free to buy any legal medication that they want with their compensation, ie wages.
Hobby Lobby was never told to pay for a single woman’s medication. They paid for a woman’s health insurance. What she does with that insurance is up to her decide NOT HOBBY LOBBY. It’s just like if I paid an employee with a new car instead of money, but I was able to prevent the employee from painting it red because red cars offend my religion.
they cannot do those things LEGALLY
This is a tautology. And besides, we all know that nobody ever does anything illegal, right? But seriously, you said:
Corporations cannot do anything, at all, that violates anyone’s freedom.
Note that you chose not to modify the word cannot with an adverb. You did not say “Corporations cannot legally do anything … that violates anyone’s freedom. In fact, the “at all” emphasizes the fact that your original claim was that corporations’ inability to violate individual rights was absolute. However, this claim is easily demonstrated to be false. Corporations CAN and DO violate individual freedom if they so choose. Whether or not the action is legal or not is irrelevant to evaluating the veracity of your claim because your claim made no comment regarding the legality these violations.
It’s like saying that individuals can rape and kill each other because they do. They can’t, because it is illegal. Now, if government says that in some cases rape is ok… then they are empowered by government to do those things.
Seriously Rhinehold? Either rapists never rape people because it is illegal. Or, the government is to blame for rapists’ rapes if laws against rape are unenforced/repealed. Just because the government is partly responsible for increasing the incidence of rape does not exonerate the rapists of their deed.
Posted by: Warren Porter at September 14, 2014 11:45 PM
Comment #383213

George,
Thank you for your link to the Goodwin article in the NY Post. I really enjoyed it. The article offers an outstanding perspective into the way the author and you see Obama.

I do not doubt the hatred you and Goodwin hold for Obama. It is very real. I see that.

Notice this about the Goodwin article: it is almost completely free of facts, data, statistics, or hard evidence to support that hatred.

Now, I can cite facts, data, statistics, and hard evidence all day long about how good the economy is under Obama. Forbes magazine is no fan of Obama’s, but they just published an article about how this is the best economy in the modern era, and, you know what? They are right. I can back up that assertion. The stock market is at all time highs for the DJIA and the S&P. NASDAQ is way up there too. Interest rates are low, inflation is low as measured by the CPI and PPI, gold is down to @ $1236 per ounce, and oil is down to @ $92. Housing prices have recovered, people’s 401k’s have recovered, and employment statistics look good. Non-farm payrolls are excellent, the unemployment rate is down in the low 6% range, and so on.

I can cite the same kind of facts about foreign policy.

Does Goodwin hate Obama? I am sure he does. Do you? It seems to be the case.

Can you cite a rational reason for this hatred? Because, like I said, I do believe the hatred you feel is very real. I accept that. You hate Obama. But I believe the hatred is irrational and that it is not based in reality or facts or hard data or statistics.

Feel free to prove me wrong.

Posted by: phx8 at September 15, 2014 12:08 AM
Comment #383217
We all know that illegal things never happen, right?

Of course they do, that was my point. Illegal things happen, but they are ILLEGAL. The government then punishes those people who violate the law.

Only the GOVERNMENT can LEGALLY initiate force on a citizen of the United States. No corporation can. It’s that simple, it’s a power reserved only to the government and it is the only power that separates government from corporation. If Corporations could use power, then we wouldn’t need government, we would just have a corporation running the country.

Until the last 50 years, government regulations regarding pollution were few and far between. Numerous private companies seized the opportunity and violated individual property rights across the board. How can the blame for violating those rights be placed anywhere except on the corporations that emit the pollution?

Regulations were put in there to try and PREVENT pollution. Remedies against people polluting your air and land have always been in place.

BTW, who is the greatest polluter in the United States?

The Government.

*shrug*

Hobby Lobby was never told to pay for a single woman’s medication. They paid for a woman’s health insurance.

Of their choosing. The plan they chose forbid PAYING FOR, not preventing them from using, 3 types of birth control. They don’t have to provide health insurance, they can shut down and not operate. What they give is between them and their employees to agree upon, no one else should be involved. If you don’t want that insurance, work somewhere else.

What she does with that insurance is up to her decide NOT HOBBY LOBBY.

So if she wanted to, with that insurance, get a boob job, that’s her right and Hobby Lobby has to pay for it? How about Vaginal Rejuvination, is that ok? Lapband and Gastric Bypass? Hair implants?

What is on the list and what is not and who decides this list?

It’s just like if I paid an employee with a new car instead of money, but I was able to prevent the employee from painting it red because red cars offend my religion.

No, it would be like providing them a new car instead of money and not providing any red cars and then not paying for them to repaint it red.

They can paint it red all day long if they want, but they have to pay for it at that point.

Seriously Rhinehold? Either rapists never rape people because it is illegal. Or, the government is to blame for rapists’ rapes if laws against rape are unenforced/repealed. Just because the government is partly responsible for increasing the incidence of rape does not exonerate the rapists of their deed.

Never said it did and you are apparently missing the point.

Rapists GET AWAY with raping if the government sanctions it. It at that point becomes legal and they are free to do it.

A corporation of rapists are trying to rape women. They can’t, it’s against the law. If they try, they are arrested and go to jail. BUT if they were able to petition the government and get an allowance to rape, and the government agrees to it, it is still wrong but they are legally allowed to do it now. See?

The same with corporations. Walmart cannot legally come to your home and make you go to their store and buy stuff. BUT, they could petition the government and make you purchase stuff from Walmart. At that point, the corporation is ‘wrong’, but they didn’t have the power to do it until the government authorized it.

This is exactly what happened with the Health Insurance companies. They couldn’t MAKE you get health insurance, until they petitioned the government and the government passed a law giving them the power to make you buy it.

Why not Walmart? Sure, that would help stimulate the economy, pass a law and make people buy stuff, we’ve already decided that the government can do that. But without the government power that we give them to allow that, Walmart cannot legally make anyone do anything…

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 15, 2014 12:46 AM
Comment #383218
The stock market is at all time highs for the DJIA and the S&P. NASDAQ is way up there too.

Yep, rich getting richer, the monied people always like economies like that.

Interest rates are low

Arbitrarily so, again monied people like that. The little guy can’t save anything though, getting less than .5% on a savings account doesn’t help anyone.

You do realize that arbitrarily low interest rates were the cause of the last economic collapse, right?

inflation is low as measured by the CPI and PPI

Only when using the new standard that leaves out many goods that people buy. This new standard was introduced during the end of the Clinton administration as a coordination between the Republicans and Democrats.

If measured using the old method of the early 1990s it would be around 10%.

oil is down to @ $92

But still not showing up any savings at the pumps…

employment statistics look good

What is good about a record high number of people out of the workforce? Around 92 Million people now…

I don’t find the economy all that rosy, but of course, I never thought it was all that bad as people were suggesting before earlier… I predicted that it would recover if no one did anything, so tell me, phx8, exactly what policies have caused this ‘greatest economy in modern era’?

Oh, and while you do so, remember the same people saying the same thing right before the 1998 collapse, the 2000 recession, the 2007 recession, etc…

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 15, 2014 1:01 AM
Comment #383219

BTW, you should SEE the refinance offers I am getting these days… Pull money out of your home! Low variable rate loans!

Why do I feel like I am living in Deja Vu land?

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 15, 2014 1:02 AM
Comment #383221

BTW, a little off topic but it looks like the NY Times has finally come to their senses…

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/14/sunday-review/the-assault-weapon-myth.html?_r=1

OVER the past two decades, the majority of Americans in a country deeply divided over gun control have coalesced behind a single proposition: The sale of assault weapons should be banned.

That idea was one of the pillars of the Obama administration’s plan to curb gun violence, and it remains popular with the public. In a poll last December, 59 percent of likely voters said they favor a ban.

But in the 10 years since the previous ban lapsed, even gun control advocates acknowledge a larger truth: The law that barred the sale of assault weapons from 1994 to 2004 made little difference.

It turns out that big, scary military rifles don’t kill the vast majority of the 11,000 Americans murdered with guns each year. Little handguns do.

In 2012, only 322 people were murdered with any kind of rifle, F.B.I. data shows.

The continuing focus on assault weapons stems from the media’s obsessive focus on mass shootings, which disproportionately involve weapons like the AR-15, a civilian version of the military M16 rifle. This, in turn, obscures some grim truths about who is really dying from gunshots.

Annually, 5,000 to 6,000 black men are murdered with guns. Black men amount to only 6 percent of the population. Yet of the 30 Americans on average shot to death each day, half are black males.

It was much the same in the early 1990s when Democrats created and then banned a category of guns they called “assault weapons.” America was then suffering from a spike in gun crime and it seemed like a problem threatening everyone. Gun murders each year had been climbing: 11,000, then 13,000, then 17,000.

Democrats decided to push for a ban of what seemed like the most dangerous guns in America: assault weapons, which were presented by the media as the gun of choice for drug dealers and criminals, and which many in law enforcement wanted to get off the streets.

This politically defined category of guns — a selection of rifles, shotguns and handguns with “military-style” features — only figured in about 2 percent of gun crimes nationwide before the ban.

Handguns were used in more than 80 percent of murders each year, but gun control advocates had failed to interest enough of the public in a handgun ban. Handguns were the weapons most likely to kill you, but they were associated by the public with self-defense. (In 2008, the Supreme Court said there was a constitutional right to keep a loaded handgun at home for self-defense.)

Mr. Landrieu and Mayor Michael A. Nutter of Philadelphia are founders of Cities United, a network of mayors trying to prevent the deaths of young black men. “This is not just a gun issue, this is an unemployment issue, it’s a poverty issue, it’s a family issue, it’s a culture of violence issue,” Mr. Landrieu said.

More than 20 years of research funded by the Justice Department has found that programs to target high-risk people or places, rather than targeting certain kinds of guns, can reduce gun violence.

David M. Kennedy, the director of the Center for Crime Prevention and Control at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, argues that the issue of gun violence can seem enormous and intractable without first addressing poverty or drugs. A closer look at the social networks of neighborhoods most afflicted, he says, often shows that only a small number of men drive most of the violence. Identify them and change their behavior, and it’s possible to have an immediate impact.

Working with Professor Kennedy, and building on successes in other cities, New Orleans is now identifying the young men most at risk and intervening to help them get jobs. How well this strategy will work in the long term remains to be seen.

But it’s an approach based on an honest assessment of the real numbers.

You know, basically what Libertarians have been saying ALL ALONG.

I wonder if the facts and numbers will have any effect on the authoritarian left?

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 15, 2014 3:35 AM
Comment #383223

phx8, thanks for the talking points. But tell me, if your “facts” are o correct, why do a majority of Americans still feel the country is headed in the wrong direction? Why are the democrats running for office distancing themselves from Obama? Why is real unemployment still around 13%? Why do Americans have no confidence in Obama’s foreign policy? Why is Jay Carney predicting a bad year for democrats (elections)? Why does the left attack everyone in the media, who presents a bad picture of Obama?

Posted by: George at September 15, 2014 8:56 AM
Comment #383224

By the way, as for liking Obama…I have no feelings for him one way or another. I think he’s an ignorant SOB who is in way over his head. I believe at this point he would rather be a retired president, playing golf and giving campaign speeches. It is evident, he has no intestinal fortitude for the job he campaigned and was elected to do. Regarding the left…a gutless bunch of traitors who would be singing a different toon, if Obama was a republican. Every once in a while I see Alan Combs on TV trying to be an Obama apologist and it sounds just like the leftist on WB. Really embarrassing, don’t you think?

Posted by: George at September 15, 2014 9:06 AM
Comment #383227

George,
You are not being honest with me and you are not being honest with yourself.

You say “I have no feelings for him one way or another,” and then proceed to call him “an ignorant SOB.”

There is no such thing as “the real unemployment rate.” The unemployment report comes out the first Friday of every month, and it is very closely watched by everyone in the world who is involved with economics. The most important single statistic is non-farm payroll. We just saw a streak where the economy added over 200,000 jobs for six straight months, which has not happened since 1996. Virtually every aspect of employment tells the same story: the Obama administration has done a great job.

Notice how the rest of your comment depends on negative emotions? There is no real content- just hatred, with other conservatives validating the irrational hatred, as if that makes it justified. There is a lot of casting about for ways to rationalize it.

Did you know 9 out of the 10 poorest states are red? Did you know 97 out of 100 of the poorest counties are red? The wealthiest state in terms of per capita income is blue CT. The poorest- red MS. Why do you think that is?

Under Democratic presidents since 1961, the economy has added 42 million jobs, and under Republicans, 24 million. Why do you think that is?

Posted by: phx8 at September 15, 2014 11:13 AM
Comment #383229

Stephen

In 2012, 60 million people rejected liberal policy by voting against it. Why? Because their idea of successful policy is not based on money.
You call us racists, sexist and now unAmerican, for simply disagreeing with liberalism, but we still hold onto the principles that made this nation the greatest. Maybe it’s time you stop making excuses for the rejection of your policy and start respecting others?

As long as you continue to attribute the views, beliefs and concerns of others to “tabloid sensibility,” you will continue to be an angry puppet to your selfish ideology. We will continue to be divided, and the nation will continue to fail.

Posted by: kctim at September 15, 2014 12:47 PM
Comment #383239

phx8, tell me, what reason do I have to lie about my feelings for Obama? As I said, I have no feelings for him one way or another…I have never been to his residence, I have never played golf with him, and I certainly don’t know the real Obama, and neither do you. But that doesn’t change my opinion that he is an ignorant SOB. I base that opinion upon the job he has done as the president. I have no feelings for you one way or another, but that doesn’t stop me from believing you are equally ignorant and duped by the left’s agenda.

But….you are being dishonest by trying to tell us the unemployment rate is lower than it really is. True unemployment is the number of people who are not working, whether drawing unemployment or no longer looking for work. It doesn’t take rocket science to understand that the unemployment rate is double what you say. If we look at black or teen unemployment, it is much higher than that.

Tell us ph, what percent of Americans are drawing welfare and food stamps? And has that number gone up under Obama? Or, what percent of Americans are out of work, or working part time jobs? Has that number gone up under Obama?

Perhaps you could explain to us what relationship minorities of welfare and food stamps have to do with the 9 out of the 10 poorest red states? Considering that democrats have been pumping tax dollars into breeding a whole society of poor minorities for the past 60 years, one would think minorities would be well off by now.

Tell you what ph, you continue to spin the numbers and I will deal with reality. Reality is why democrat socialism is failing.

Posted by: George at September 15, 2014 2:02 PM
Comment #383241
Of course they do, that was my point. Illegal things happen, but they are ILLEGAL. The government then punishes those people who violate the law.

Except when Libertarians minimize government, the government doesn’t punish people who violate the law.

Only the GOVERNMENT can LEGALLY initiate force on a citizen of the United States. No corporation can. It’s that simple, it’s a power reserved only to the government and it is the only power that separates government from corporation. If Corporations could use power, then we wouldn’t need government, we would just have a corporation running the country.
The government is just a corporation running the country. If we take away the government’s ability to enforce our laws, other corporations will step into the power vacuum and enforce their laws instead. And please stop using the tautology whereby government force is legal and private force is illegal. We are talking about whether entities can violate individual rights. It doesn’t matter whether to violation is legal or illegal; if a violation has occurred, then a violation has occurred.
Remedies against people polluting your air and land have always been in place.
But never enforced.
What they give is between them and their employees to agree upon, no one else should be involved. If you don’t want that insurance, work somewhere else.
If the government is giving a tax break for employers to pay employees with health insurance rather than with money, then the government is definitely an involved party. Hobby Lobby is free to violate their employee’s right to purchase contraception, but the government shouldn’t be forced to give them the same tax breaks.
So if she wanted to, with that insurance, get a boob job, that’s her right and Hobby Lobby has to pay for it? How about Vaginal Rejuvination, is that ok? Lapband and Gastric Bypass? Hair implants?
It’s her compensation, not mine. I don’t have any say in the spending decisions a private person makes in her own private life.
No, it would be like providing them a new car instead of money and not providing any red cars and then not paying for them to repaint it red.

They can paint it red all day long if they want, but they have to pay for it at that point.


More accurately, the employer gives the employee a voucher to take to the dealer to exchange for a new car. There are red cars at the dealership, but the employer has told the dealer not to accept vouchers in exchange for red cars. Let’s imagine that red cars were intrinsically less expensive than nonred cars, so this ploy is definitely not an attempt to save money. Does this not violate the right of the employee to negotiate with the dealer for any car that the dealer is willing to sell and the employee is willing to buy?

In hindsight, I realize the analogy falls short because covering contraception does not increase the cost of a health insurance premium like painting a car red does. This is a crucial point: Hobby Lobby does not save money from denying employees from buying contraception with their health benefit compensation.

The plan they chose forbid PAYING FOR, not preventing them from using, 3 types of birth control.
The crucial point here is that plans that fail to cover those medications did not arise out of a vacuum. Those plans exist at the behest of organizations like Hobby Lobby. In the absence of organizations like Hobby Lobby, there would be no such thing as health insurance that failed to cover contraception. Paying for contraception is much cheaper than paying for a pregnancy so forbidding coverage of these medications actually increases costs for the insurance company (and ultimately for Hobby Lobby and its employees).
If they try, they are arrested and go to jail.
Of course, I forgot that we all know that every one who attempts rape is arrested and sent to jail. Rapists are never able to evade law enforcement authorities.
Walmart cannot legally come to your home and make you go to their store and buy stuff
We aren’t discussing what is or isn’t legal. We are discussing what is or isn’t possible. It is entirely possible for Wal-Mart to hire a mercenary army to compel people to buy things from their stores. If that mercenary army is larger/stronger than the government’s army then the government would be powerless to safeguard individual rights. If the government had a larger/stronger army, but chose not to use it to enforce the law then the result is the same.
A corporation of rapists are trying to rape women. They can’t, it’s against the law. If they try, they are arrested and go to jail. BUT if they were able to petition the government and get an allowance to rape, and the government agrees to it, it is still wrong but they are legally allowed to do it now. See?

I’m going to repeat myself to make sure everything is clear. If I travel to your house and rape you, I would violate your individual rights. If I am prosecuted for the crime, that does not eliminate the fact that I violated your rights. Also, if the government fails to catch me or chooses not to enforce laws forbidding rape then I am still the violator of your rights. If the government repeals laws against rape, you still have a natural right not to be raped, but that right will be violated when I rape you. Even with the laws against rape repealed, the government has not compelled me to rape you; that is a decision that I have made of my own free will. Therefore, I am the one to blame for violating your rights, not the government.

It’s possible to claim that the government may have violated your right to justice after the fact, but the government still is not your rapist (I am). Clearly, private entities are very capable of violating people’s freedom.

Posted by: Warren Porter at September 15, 2014 2:07 PM
Comment #383242
True unemployment is the number of people who are not working, whether drawing unemployment or no longer looking for work.

Not true. Unemployment measures the number of individuals in the labor force who are looking for a job, but are unable to find one. People outside the labor force (Homemakers, retired people, children, full-time college students, etc) are not considered to be unemployed.

that doesn’t change my opinion that he is an ignorant SOB.
If you feel that he is an ignorant SOB, then that is your right, but it means that you do have feelings regarding Obama (you feel that he is an ignorant SOB). There’s nothing inherently wrong with feeling that a public figure is an ignorant SOB provided you can justify your beliefs with examples of ignorant decisions/actions that only a SOB would make. However, it is absolutely wrong to claim “I have no feelings for him” when you in fact feel that he is a SOB. Perhaps you mean to say that while you feel Obama’s Presidency has demonstrated ignorance that only a SOB can display, that you do not know whether or not Obama demonstrates the same ignorance or SOB traits outside of the Presidency.
what percent of Americans are drawing welfare and food stamps
The consumption of public assistance is not something the unemployment rate is supposed to measure. If you want to argue that the increase in the number of people consuming public assistance reflects Obama’s ignorance/SOBness go ahead. However, it is dishonest to allege that an increase in the number of beneficiaries of these programs is a direct indicator of a poor economy. True, it is an indirect indicator, but there are much better measures (non-farm payroll, unemployment rates, GDP growth, etc). With the unemployment rate falling and non-farm payroll increasing at a fast clip, the only conclusion one must make is that the economy is improving. Is it bad public policy to have a strong economy if there are people on welfare? I don’t know the answer myself, but I am willing to have an honest discussion with anyone on this topic who wishes it. Posted by: Warren Porter at September 15, 2014 2:34 PM
Comment #383243

Rhinehold-
Cynthia McKinney hasn’t been a Democrat since 2007. Even before that, though, she had trouble keeping elected, especially due to her Truther views. She only spent one term in Congress before she left the party, and then lost a Primary.

Mike Gravel? Hadn’t been in office since he lost the party primary for the Alaska Senate seat in 1980, more than a quarter century before he ran. That run was pretty much over before it began. He, too left the party, but didn’t find any more luck than Cynthia McKinney… in fact he had less luck. She actually got nominated to the ticket, he failed to even place on the Libertarian ticket.

Why do you pick such absurdly unpopular and unsuccessful Democrats for your examples?

If this is how well your reason works, I don’t need lectures from you.

That wasn’t a pathetic op-ed. That was a fact-check article that demonstrated many of your assumptions were wrong. One, your assumption that the Supreme Court ruling 9-0 against an administration is a unique slap in the face, when it happens all the time. Some of the examples, it said, were dubious (The Arizona decision mostly falling agaisnt Arizona’s law, a few parts notwithstanding), while others had little to do with the Administration’s policy, since the cases in question had to do with Bush Policy. Besides, the whole point of the Supreme Court is to be a check on how other parts of the government write and carry out the law.

9/11 Trutherism is actively campaigned against, and I personally swat it down anywhere I find it. Daily Kos and other sites like it actually disallow posts that promote that point of view.

As for 2000?

You have there a close election, won only by roughly 500 votes, with the recounts that could have produced official certainty halted midway by the Supreme Court in a decision so unusual that the court itself said that its decision was not to be taken as precedent.

It was a disgrace. I accepted the results, but I don’t blame those who think that election was not properly decided.

Contrast that with what the blowhards on the right accuse us of! Our President won by margins of 9 and 5 million votes, dominated his opponents in the Electoral College. Yet the Republicans accuse him of being the beneficiary of election fraud on a monstrous scale. Proportion seems to be an alien concept with your false equivalences.

As for Bush being AWOL? Technical definitions aside, he admitted missing many of the drills, and the records are spotty at best as to whether he ever really made them up.

As for the prevention of 9/11? Hindsight, yes, is always 20/20. But while Bush’s folks blamed Clinton for the fact that we were unprepared for 9/11, he dialed back many of the counterterrorism initiatives, demoted the top counterterrorism official. His people concentrated on Rogue States before 9/11, which is rather ironic considering who actually attacked us.

How about we have something more of a nuanced view than the Republicans are offering us?

You pretend to objectivity. But when you seeme to only know one side of the story from the rather information starved perspective of one set of people, I see no cause to respect your claim of it.

As for the Armed and Dangerous comment? If Michelle Bachmann had never said anything nutty before, I think you might have a point. Trouble is, she’s said quite a lot that’s put her out of the mainstream.

As for the First Amendment?

Way to go. Use the term “enemy of the state”, a term used by many fascist, communist, or otherwise totalitarian regimes to criminalize dissenters and limit people’s freedoms. And for what, suggesting an Amendment to enable the regulation of campaign finance reform?

Look, they’re violating the central spirit of our Republic, which is self-determination and self-government by the people. When corporate interests constantly act as a filter on public policy, preventing public opinion from shaping that policy for good or ill, they cripple a critical part of the relationship that makes our government work as anything else than just wishful thinking.

As more and more money has filtered into campaigns, we’ve seen greater corruption, greater disconnect between the people and their government, and less quality out of those who run. They’re like gerbils on the wheel, constantly chasing after donations from the special interests in order to stay elected, and after they get elected, seeking after more funds. They run for one job, and end up shunted by default into an another which does little good for any American.

As for those refinance offers?

Look, as long as its legal to do the kind of speculation Wall Street is allowed to do, they will do it, and you will get these offers in the mail as they try to inflate the asset bubbles It’s not rocket science: people will, to get big incentives, jump at the chance to do so at the least cost. Of course, a real economy, a good economy, needs to depend on productive things actually getting done, because one that is built on reckless speculation inevitably creates bubbles by its basic nature.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 15, 2014 2:37 PM
Comment #383244

So now Warren Porter wants to get into the word semantics game. Tell me Warren Porter…hypothetical…a person has used up his unemployment benefits and still has not found a job; is he unemployed, or has he automatically become a (Homemakers, retired people, children, full-time college students, etc)?

If you feel that he is an ignorant SOB, then that is your right, but it means that you do have feelings regarding Obama (you feel that he is an ignorant SOB). There’s nothing inherently wrong with feeling that a public figure is an ignorant SOB provided you can justify your beliefs with examples of ignorant decisions/actions that only a SOB would make. However, it is absolutely wrong to claim “I have no feelings for him” when you in fact feel that he is a SOB. Perhaps you mean to say that while you feel Obama’s Presidency has demonstrated ignorance that only a SOB can display, that you do not know whether or not Obama demonstrates the same ignorance or SOB traits outside of the Presidency.

See Warren, the problem with the left is heir consistent belief that they can tell other people what they believe based on liberal ideology. First off, I didn’t say I felt Obama was an ignorant SOB; I said I thought he was one. What part of no feelings can’t you understand? The left’s ideology is based on touchy/feely. Please show me where I said “I have no feelings for him” when you in fact feel that he is a SOB”. Further, I don’t have to explain to you or any other leftist why I believe he is an ignorant SOB. You say I have the right to say that…well thank you for confirming my 1st amendment rights. If I were to list the ignorant actions and comments made by Obama, I would then have read the litany of Obama apologist comments made by you or other socialists. Why waste my time.

However, it is dishonest to allege that an increase in the number of beneficiaries of these programs is a direct indicator of a poor economy. True, it is an indirect indicator

Semantics…word games…”depends on what the definition of is is”.

Posted by: George at September 15, 2014 2:58 PM
Comment #383245

Let’s get one thing straight: nobody, not even rational people, make value judgments without their emotions involved. Emotional manipulation is not only a part of politics, its a part of life, something to be expected.

Not necessarily, though, something that can’t be accounted for, though.

When somebody says I have no feelings about a person, and then turns around and says in the most non-neutral language that they dislike them, then it’s obvious that the statement doesn’t add up.

Other things don’t add up. For one thing, representing the growing number of people who have opted out of the Workforce as a result of Obama policy, with two major factors not even discussed: 1) That Republicans constantly advocate for ending unemployment insurance for the long-term unemployed, an action that by its very nature creates decreases in the workforce (as unemployed people are considered part of it) 2) The baby-boomers are retiring, so regardless of who was in charge, or how well the economy did over the last few years, workforce participation would be going down.

Now you can be emotional about this, and ignore these profound factors and conflicts of interest that conservatives have regarding workforce participation, or you can come to the conclusion that this factor has been used illegitimately in the arguments against Obama’s policies.

Additionally, if one actually tracks the decrease in U6 unemployment, which includes people who are looking for full time work but do not have it, you’ll find it’s fallen even faster than U3 unemployment. If you do your research you would also discover that a period where people gain part-time work as opposed to full time is also normal in economic recoveries.

Republicans have been blatantly manipulating people’s emotions in order to further their political ends. The irony is, when we do elect them, we get these huge recessions, which do actual damage, which gets them kicked out, and Democrats elected. Then they go to work all over again, complaining about the state of the economy.

Guess you do what you have to do when you’re incompetent at economic policy, to make yourself look better. Just don’t expect my generation to take this bull seriously. We’ve lived through Republican economic policy for years. It always seems we get the results Republicans promise under the Democrats they tell us will destroy the economy.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 15, 2014 3:29 PM
Comment #383246

phx8 is correct, our economy and jobs situation have improved substantially. Do Obama and the dems deserve some credit…very likely. One should also understand the tremendous affect of new methods of fossil fuel recovery has had on both the economy and jobs. The credit for this is primarily private industry and not enlightened government.

As for our equity markets; the cheap money provided primarily by the Fed bond-buying (quantitative easing) program that at its zenith was pumping $85 billion a month into the economy was paramount.

The market is much more sluggish now that the Fed has reduced its monthly asset-purchasing program.

I would be interested in hearing your comments on whether this program benefited many every-day Americans.

We can expect the Fed to soon increase interest rates and increased inflation will follow. I am OK with that. It’s time for our economy to stand on its own without massive government intervention.

I don’t hate Obama or democrats. Much of what they believe is abhorrent to me and I reject their constant meddling in the life of every American.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 15, 2014 3:48 PM
Comment #383247

Royal Flush-
You don’t get increased inflation from increased interest rates. Increased interest rates contract the money supply. They’re an austerity measure.

Having founded your arguments on simply disagreeing with whatever policy we put forward, you have no objective compass on policy anymore.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 15, 2014 4:09 PM
Comment #383248

Sorry Daugherty, you’re wrong on all counts. Read what the Fed Chairman just said about interest rates and inflation both increasing. No, I won’t provide a link. Find it on your own.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 15, 2014 4:34 PM
Comment #383249
Let’s get one thing straight: nobody, not even rational people, make value judgments without their emotions involved. Emotional manipulation is not only a part of politics, its a part of life, something to be expected… When somebody says I have no feelings about a person, and then turns around and says in the most non-neutral language that they dislike them, then it’s obvious that the statement doesn’t add up.

The thinking process of a liberal is totally based upon emotion. Your defense of Obama is based on emotion. You are incapable of reason without emotion. Reason is based upon logic and logic is void of emotion. I don’t know Obama, so I therefore have no feelings (emotional response) about his person one way or another. I know you cannot understand that because all that you think or do is based upon emotion. Based upon his speech and actions, he’s an ignorant SOB. This has nothing to do with anyone’s talking points. On the contrary, all that comes from the left is talking points. I have heard yours and WP’s talking point apologetics of Obama many times from Alan Combs, Bob Beckle, etc.

Now you can be emotional about this, and ignore these profound factors and conflicts of interest that conservatives have regarding workforce participation, or you can come to the conclusion that this factor has been used illegitimately in the arguments against Obama’s policies.

Additionally, if one actually tracks the decrease in U6 unemployment, which includes people who are looking for full time work but do not have it, you’ll find it’s fallen even faster than U3 unemployment. If you do your research you would also discover that a period where people gain part-time work as opposed to full time is also normal in economic recoveries.

The old razzle-dazzle talking points. “If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle the with bullshit”…right Daugherty?

Republicans have been blatantly manipulating people’s emotions in order to further their political ends.

You mean like, “throwing grandma off the cliff”, or perhaps the old election day standby of the democrats, “republicans want to take away your social security”, or “republicans want to starve the children”. Daugherty, you have a lot of nerve talking about manipulating people’s emotions. If a democrat opens his/her mouth, they are manipulating people’s emotions. Shall we waste our time speaking of the comments Pelosi ha said?

The irony is, when we do elect them, we get these huge recessions, which do actual damage, which gets them kicked out, and Democrats elected. Then they go to work all over again, complaining about the state of the economy.

And pray tell, what do the democrats do to lose their seats? It seems to be forgone fact that the democrats will lose the Senate, and 2 years into the SOB’s presidency lost the Congress…want to enlighten us on how that happened?

Posted by: George at September 15, 2014 4:49 PM
Comment #383250

SD is not interested in what the Fed Chair really said…SD is pulling the old razzle-dazzle trick of just throwing comments out there and seeing what might stick.

If you quote facts, the left attacks the fact finders; if you quote news articles, they attack the news writer; if you quote democrats, they attack the democrat. The art of personal destruction. What a quandary; Hillary must distance herself from Obama and his policies, but in order to do that, she must attack Obama. What will the socialist do? Will the leftist media begin to attack Obama, in order to save Hillary?

Posted by: George at September 15, 2014 4:59 PM
Comment #383251

Will the leftist media begin to attack Obama, in order to save Hillary?
Posted by: George at September 15, 2014 4:59 PM

Good question George. With Obama sinking in the polls due to his policies, Hillary can hardly run on a platform which promotes a continuance of those policies. And, she can not be too harsh with Obama as that could lose her the huge black vote if they get pissed and stay home election day. The tightrope act should be fun to watch.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 15, 2014 5:10 PM
Comment #383252

Politico is far, far from being a conservative news outlet, but even Politico has determined the American people see a gloomy economy:

http://www.politico.com/story/2014/09/politico-poll-2014-voters-economy-110922.html?hp=t1_3

A good article which has a lot of truth to it; while trying their best to be Obama apologists.

Shall we cast personal attacks on Politico? Shall we cast personal attacks on Jay Carney (who now carries the water bucket for Obama on CNN) because he has predicted a bad year at the polls for democrats? By SD’s logic, what have the democrats done wrong to cause them to lose seats?

Posted by: George at September 15, 2014 5:14 PM
Comment #383253

Royal, the tightrope walk has already begun. I had heard the NYT is in the process of slamming Obama in order to protect Hillary. Obama is no longer running for office; he’s just another sacrifice under the wheels of the progressive bus. Of course, we have the Obama apologists on WB that will be the last to get the memo.

SD, WP, ph….FLASH….throw Obama under the bus….

Posted by: George at September 15, 2014 5:20 PM
Comment #383254

No one is throwing Obama under the bus except in the rabid minds of the fox news nutso crowd. Really your example of liberals are Alan Combs and Bob Beckel, you have no idea of what you speak of. Your emotional response about liberals being emotional would be laughable if it weren’t so misguided. Talk about emotions, yikes seek help. I think this is what really upsets teaparty types, President Obama is still really well liked and looked up to in this country. Looks like there is a decision coming soon on where his Presidential Library is going to be located. Hawaii, Chicago and New York are in the running. Of course the final decision will be up to Barack and Michelle and I expect they will, as they have in the past, make the right decision. Can’t wait to visit that place. I just like to mention the Presidential Library cause I know you guys like it so much.

Posted by: Speak4all at September 15, 2014 5:33 PM
Comment #383255

Obama’s presidential library will most likely resemble a museum of failure.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 15, 2014 5:38 PM
Comment #383256

Considering your prognostications about him so far:

he’ll never get the nomination 07
he’ll never get elected 08
he’ll never get healthcare reform passed 09
he’ll never get re-elected 12

I think we better just ignore your prescience about him and what his legacy will be, K?

Posted by: Speak4all at September 15, 2014 5:46 PM
Comment #383257

Speak, I have a very long list of broken promises and failures. He would lose if running today against nearly anyone. He’s out of gas, out of luck, and soon…out of office.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 15, 2014 6:36 PM
Comment #383258

Royal Flush-
You said inflation would follow from increased interest rates. I said that interest rates would work to reduce inflation. You’re still wrong. Remember the Reagan economy? Economists believe that a large part of his success came from the relaxation of interest rates, which had been raised fairly high in order to halt the 1970’s inflation.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 15, 2014 7:11 PM
Comment #383259

Daugherty, are you qualified to argue with the Fed Chairman?

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 15, 2014 7:34 PM
Comment #383260

Royal, don’t you just love it when socialists start talking about the successes of Reagan?

Speaking of emotional…cool your jets Speak4all, it sounds like you’re about to hyperventilate. Your spasms reveal your emotional state.

Combs and Beckel are Obama apologists…what else can I say. I’m sure there are liberals more rabid than they.

I did hear that Obama wants to add a wing on to the Golf Hall of Fame in St. Augustine for his presidential library…tell me it’s not true?

Posted by: George at September 15, 2014 9:09 PM
Comment #383262

Royal Flush-
You’re funny, you know that? I believe you are the one whose interpretation has failed. Your language indicates a causal link. But if you know the mechanics, you’d know that interest rates are raised in order to curb inflation.

George-
The fallacy you indulge is one that’s very well known in the psychology community. Everybody believes their opinions are founded rationally, the other side’s emotionally. You have no room to lord it over other people, unless you can demonstrate that what they feel and believe has gotten away with them.

I think I can show that for Republicans.

You call us socialists. BULL****. The real socialists wouldn’t even touch half the war-fighting and economic compromises we’re willing to do. You can’t both claim that we followed you into the Wall Street “reforms” of the Nineties and Aughts, and then turn around and say we’re a bunch of rabid Marxists. Besides which, you’re basically accusing us of being Marxists for using YOUR POLICY IDEAS!

We pointedly avoided the truly socialist notion of single-payer healthcare, in favor of a rather privatized market solution of mandated healthcare coverage. And Stimulus? Should I count for you how many times Bush deliberately increased the deficit in order to perk up the economy? Then, should I count how many times you complained about it? It seems you’re fining running deficits to run wars and give out tax cuts, but not for more direct economic development, nor job creation, even though the experts say that’s the more effective way.

How many times have I had to listen to bull about how this President cheated an election, or was born in Kenya, or is some sort of communist ninja muslim, who nonetheless manages to be a mom-jeans wearing empty suit at the same time! The rhetoric on the right is FUNDAMENTALLY OUT OF CONTROL.

Yet we’re the emotional ones. Well, I guess disgust, annoyance, and yes, even anger are emotional responses. But there are times when those responses are appropriate. I think we’ve earned the right to find the whole thing rather obnoxious. What I find even more obnoxious is the way your crippling of this nation’s fortunes is rewarded, rather than punished, as it should be.

I remember Republicans who could come to deal with the Democrats, and often won big doing so. Today’s Republicans cannot succeed in that way. They’ve made themselves such primadonnas that they have trouble cooperating within their own party, much less with the rest of the Congress they don’t hold. If they had half the constitutional wisdom they claimed, they would realize how lacking in horse sense this approach is, since the point of Congress was to force compromises.

You keep on trying to govern this country without us. But pretty soon, we’ll be able to govern it without you, and after all these years of bridge-burning and walling yourselves off to bask in the splendor of your own political purity, you’re going to have a hell of a tough time developing the social skills necessary to actually matter.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 15, 2014 10:27 PM
Comment #383263
You call us socialists. BULL****. The real socialists wouldn’t even touch half the war-fighting and economic compromises we’re willing to do.

So now you are warhawks because you think Obama has grown a set of balls?

All that blather and did you manage to tell us why the democrats are in peril of losing the Senate and why they lost the House 2 years after Obama took office?

As with speaks for somebody; your letting your emotions get the best of you SD. All I did was call Obama an ignorant SOB and you socialists have just gone bonkers. Who’s ruled by emotion???

Posted by: George at September 15, 2014 11:11 PM
Comment #383268

Royal,

Please on the interest rates and inflation. It is expected that an increase in inflation will bring an increase in interest rates to moderate the inflation.

The Fed has been trying to increase inflation since the inception of the Great Recession by reducing the interest it charges to stimulate borrowing and increase demand and the monetary supply. It is the most basic Fed monetary policy. The Fed ran into the zero bound problem when it had reduced interest to virtually zero.

An increase in inflation would be welcome news to the Fed since it indicates an expanding demand and borrowing within the economy. The trick is always to manage the rate of expansion. How soon and hard do you put the brakes on with increased interest rates (cost of borrowing).

An improving economy brings its own set of problems.

Posted by: Rich at September 16, 2014 12:04 AM
Comment #383275

“Really your example of liberals are Alan Combs and Bob Beckel,…”

Good point, Speaks.

They are probably the least articulate and wimpish commentators masquerading as liberals on television today. No surprise since they are staples on FOX where they serve as pinatas for conservative moderators. Watching them is excruciating. Each of their appearances is like a WWF scenario in which they end up being body slammed by a group of conservatives.

Posted by: Rich at September 16, 2014 12:44 AM
Comment #383281

George-
Only you assumed he didn’t have balls to begin with. That, after he took on the Clinton Machine in the Democratic Party. That, after Getting Bin Laden and Qaddafi in his first term, not to mention all the terrorists now wrapped around hellfire missiles.

As for the Senate and the House?

1) The Senate divides the elections up into three cycles. Republicans have gotten a lucky break in that many of the states that are competitive are states where Obama lost. The same people who indicate the hazard today point towards the likely loss of the Senate for the Republicans in 2016, since most of the states up that time around are our states.

2) The House? Combine atrocious levels of gerrymandering with your screaming, psychotic negativity. The whole point of the Senate, if you remember your history (I’m not holding my breath) is to prevent such emotional stampedes as the Tea Partiers led from overwhelming the system once and for all. The problem for the Republicans is that they’re highly dependent on some representational imbalances remaining in place. In how many places are there Republican majorities in the delegations, and minorities in the voting population?

As for me going bonkers? You know something? You’ve gone bonkers. You mislabel us. You believe stupid things. We’re not Vulcans. You annoy us. We express our annoyance. Get over it. We’ve had to deal with your screaming insanity for twenty years now, as your party increasingly departed from common sense and reality.

Also, as a person trained in logic, let me inform you that emotion in the delivery of an argument is irrelevant to the truth of its content. If we say something angrily or fearfully, it’s the facts, not our lack of calm which should be the test of our conclusions.

Also, I’ve noticed that when we do get calm, you guys bash us for being milquetoasts and lily-livers, so I don’t see how I can win by taking your criticism to heart.

Simple truth is, we’re all ruled by our emotions. Just some of us let the facts and logic moderate our emotions so we’re not being made afraid or angry about stupid things like, for example, government takeovers that aren’t real, or socialism that isn’t actually on the triumphant rise, or tax increases that don’t actually even approach recent historic highs, that in fact represent some of the lowest rates in decades! One inappropriate emotional response after another, one instance of fear, panic, hatred, and anger being inspired by false, or oversimplified claims.

That’s where you get into trouble: when you got tempests in the teapots of your brain that don’t match the storms brewing outside. We have real problems, but it seems like the Republicans need to work down their list of imaginary ones, like in-person voter fraud, excesses of Wall Street Regulation, the million false things you’ve claimed about Obama care, communist takeovers, the WAR ON CHRISTMAS FOR OUR SAVIOR’S SAKE, before they decide to deal with the REAL WORLD.

I’m sick of waiting for you guys to come off of whatever (figuratively speaking) they’ve been spiking your water with or chemtrailing your air with (again, I’m joking) that has you so fricking oblivious to the real problems that face America, and the failure of your policies over the last two decades. I’m sick of having to have a debate with folks who can’t seem to locate the Planet Earth on a map, but instead dwell in this FOXNews Parallel Universe. I’m afraid defeating you all and sticking you back in the political wilderness is the only cure, the cure that Americans should have had the guts to stick with back in 2010. They enabled your political psychosis back then, and now we have a nation paralyzed for most of a decade when it could have been recovering. I didn’t start out this century really hating Republicans, but I’m probably going to end this decade completely dedicated to seeing them go down. What choice do I have? I like function. Republicans seem opposed to it.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 16, 2014 8:59 AM
Comment #383283

So, you call the President an unflattering name and that means I am being emotional? Ooookay.

George and RF are very good examples of people who live in the bubble of their right wing echo chamber. They are impervious to any real logic or fundamental cognitive ability when it comes to President Obama.

Your kind have tried to delegitimize him, his campaign, his presidency and anything you recognize as his legacy and now we are supposed to believe that you hold some kind of special understanding of him? You guys are really, really foolish if you expect anyone to think you have qualifications to make judgments on his abilities. All along you have been rooting for his failure and now when you fantasize that your dream has come true, you yell out “See there it is”! Derangement complete.

Posted by: Speak4all at September 16, 2014 9:49 AM
Comment #383294

“…the cure that Americans should have had the guts to stick with back in 2010…”

But they didn’t, Stephen. Instead, they chose to put the brakes on your people. Why is that?

Seeing how you have allowed yourself to be consumed by hate for those who dare disagree with your politics, it makes sense that your dedication is to seeing them silenced and ignored, rather than to logic and reason.

Posted by: kctim at September 16, 2014 10:28 AM
Comment #383295

SD

“The House? Combine atrocious levels of gerrymandering “

Trade you a Gus Bilirakis for a Kathy Castor….

“Simple truth is, we’re all ruled by our emotions.” ” I didn’t start out this century really hating Republicans, but I’m probably going to end this decade completely dedicated to seeing them go down.”

I say you made early…only 2014

Stephen, It’s politics. We have politics because people have different viewpoints and we don’t want to shoot each other in the street. I worry about you sometimes.

Your friend Mike

Posted by: Mike in Tampa at September 16, 2014 12:28 PM
Comment #383296

kctim-
Because they were afraid. Because they were frustrated. Two things the Republicans worked overtime with their obstruction and their literally insane rhetoric to make sure people were. There was very little calm about politics. There was Glenn Beck, pouring his schizotypal bullhockey into people’s ears about commie Rockefellers, Sarah Palin with her Death Panels, Rush Limbaugh with his fearmongering about black people, etc.

As for your last paragraph?

I don’t need you silenced. I NEVER have needed you silenced. You damn well know what my policy has been.

After all, look at all the angry, often personal comments you see out there, in my comments columns. You think if I were truly wanting to shut people up by some illegitimate means, I’d need to bother with much to do it?

I want the debate. My anger is that the debate seems to be taking place on some other venue than the Planet Earth, in this parallel world where the word “Democrat” means what “Communist” means here on Planet Earth. My anger is that for much of the last decade, the debate has been one built on derogatory terms with fifth column connotations, rather than as a discussion between equals.

I am not a traitor to my country. Don’t bother to even gainsay me on that, because I don’t lie to people about what I believe. I would die to defend my country. I was brought up in the Texas of the eighties and nineties, and they didn’t screw around on Patriotism.

I am damn proud of this country, particularly of its advances. I didn’t vote for Obama just to make him the first Black President, but I am certainly proud that I live in a country where a man with a funny name like his can breakthrough. If he can do it, then all the talk we give people about opportunity in this country is no lie.

I am proud of the advancement we’ve made on race, gender, and sexual orientation. I am proud that so many religions can live side by side. I am proud that this is one of those countries in the world where people flock to for opportunity, safety, and tolerance of their differences, when the rest of the world lacks for it.

I don’t share many of your fellow conservatives low bloody opinion of this nation’s ability to endure differences among its population. I don’t share the misogyny or the great impulse to invade other people’s bedrooms and doctor’s offices. I don’t share the need to keep somebody from building a mosque down the street, particularly since I know the First Amendment protects my right to build a Cathedral, an Ashram, or whatever I want on my side. I’m not quivering in fear of Sharia law that my interpretation of the first Amendment would most definitely bar from being made official law.

When I look at the official promises of my nation’s constitution, I am not thinking of ways to undermine the promises they provide in the interpretation. I am not thinking, “The First Amendment guarantees freedom of religion, but only for Christians, even though it doesn’t say that explicitly” I am not thinking “The courts say a woman’s got a right to chose, with her doctor, what she does with her body, but oh, let me throw up every obstacle I can to her getting an abortion if she feels she needs one.” Personally, I don’t like abortion, but I’m Catholic, so that’s my religion. It might not be theirs, and if it’s not theirs, they should have the freedom to do what their conscience advises them is their right.

The Conservatives of today seem to be trying to undermine everything that helped this country advance in the Second half of the Twentieth Century. They’ve already undermined consumer protections, Wall Street Regulations, and so much else, and we’ve suffered so much for it. I am sick of seeing the progress we made in the Twentieth Century turned to a regression to the mistakes of the past. I don’t think its coincidence that something like the Great Depression happens after we once again let irresponsible speculation dominate Wall Street, for one example.

I want what’s best for this country. I want that right balance of freedoms and obligations that helps a civilization like ours thrive. It’s not either the individual that prospers or society- I think neither prospers for real unless the other does. I think some rights have both individual qualities, and others collective.

I think all our philsophies, mine included, are of limited use in anticipating the right answer to every question, and that some part of our self-government must be reappraising the nature of the world around us, better understanding the fit of our beliefs to that of the real world.

Too many people like you think they have it all figured out, and berate everybody else for not agreeing. I think you and they are hypocrites for getting bent out of shape about our pushing back. I stopped frequenting this place because I was sick of having to be a sponge for all your anger and hate. Well, maybe I’m going to come around more, but if I do, I’m going to keep the edges of my words sharper for those who seek to convince me that I’m some kind of degenerate. I didn’t merely pledge allegiance to a flag, I pledged allegiance to the Republic it stood for, and there is no bull**** to what I swore my loyalty to.

That doesn’t mean I’ll say everything we’re doing is perfect, or that we’re to blame for nothing. Adults do not handle the dealings of their nation in that way. I want this nation to be a mature one, one that can make amends, even as it asks others to do the same. I’m sick of this nation being run by the emotional standards of an adolescent, who feels he or she has to defend themselves against any harm to their reputation, earned or unearned.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 16, 2014 12:30 PM
Comment #383297
So now Warren Porter wants to get into the word semantics game. Tell me Warren Porter…hypothetical…a person has used up his unemployment benefits and still has not found a job; is he unemployed, or has he automatically become a (Homemakers, retired people, children, full-time college students, etc)?

The unemployment rate is based off of a telephone survey, so whether or not the person collects unemployment benefits is not a factor here. If your person tells the interviewer that he or she is still looking for a job then they are part of the labor force, but unemployed. If they have decided to stop looking, then they have left the labor force and are not unemployed.

See Warren, the problem with the left is heir consistent belief that they can tell other people what they believe based on liberal ideology. First off, I didn’t say I felt Obama was an ignorant SOB; I said I thought he was one. What part of no feelings can’t you understand? The left’s ideology is based on touchy/feely. Please show me where I said “I have no feelings for him” when you in fact feel that he is a SOB”. Further, I don’t have to explain to you or any other leftist why I believe he is an ignorant SOB. You say I have the right to say that…well thank you for confirming my 1st amendment rights. If I were to list the ignorant actions and comments made by Obama, I would then have read the litany of Obama apologist comments made by you or other socialists. Why waste my time.
Why do you bother to twist yourself into a pretzel in order to parse the semantic difference between feeling and thinking? Ignorance and SOB are not objective terms, but rather emotionally lade ones. You cannot think these without feeling them.

Also, if your only mission here is to hurl your emotion-laden insults against Obama and the Left, then you truly are wasting your time. WatchBlog is a place for rational discussion of current events and political philosophy. Here, we critique the message, not the messenger.

Posted by: Warren Porter at September 16, 2014 1:17 PM
Comment #383298

Stephen

Sorry, but you are just making excuses. We voted against liberal policies and it does you no good to not respect that fact.

Yes, I do know what your policy has been. I have been here at WB for maybe a decade now, and I know your policy very well indeed. Hell, before your Obama metamorphosis, I respected you and that view.

Back then, you were passionate about your views, now you are just angry at those who dare disagree with them.

I never said you were a traitor, so I have nothing to say about that other than that you need to learn how to address the person you are actually talking with, not others you have talked with in the past, or gross political stereotypes of your own making.

Nobody is asking you to share their beliefs, they mostly just want you to respect theirs. For you to stop calling them sexist because they don’t want to pay for a woman’s birth control or abortion. To stop thinking they hate and fear gays simply because they disagree with gay marriage. To stop telling them it is wrong for their high school football team to pray for an injured teammate.
Mostly, for your people to stop making mountains out of molehills in order to score some political points.

“The Conservatives of today seem to be trying to undermine everything that helped this country advance in the Second half of the Twentieth Century.”

BS. Your people have pushed the Conservatives of today to their breaking point and you are pissed because they are tired of bending for you.

“I want what’s best for this country. I want that right balance of freedoms and obligations that helps a civilization like ours thrive.”

As do we, we just believe individual rights and freedoms have a higher priority than the desires of society. When you look at our history, the huge government control you desire is relatively new. We’re not monsters for not giving you what you want, we just want to keep what little of what we have left.

“Too many people like you think they have it all figured out, and berate everybody else for not agreeing.”

I do have it all figured out, for me. I take care of my family, I do everything I can to not be a burden on society, I respect the rights of ALL, and I actually help people, I don’t sit around expecting others to help for me.
As none of that pertains to liberalism, yes, I “berate” those ideas.

“I think you and they are hypocrites for getting bent out of shape about our pushing back.”

But spending money on internet access to preach about how evil Republicans don’t help, isn’t hypocritical? Yea, good one.

You are not “pushing back” against anything my friend. You desire for this nation to change into something it has never been, your people call it “progress,” and we are pushing back against that change.

“I stopped frequenting this place because I was sick of having to be a sponge for all your anger and hate.”

That’s sad. Pretty pathetic actually. I cannot recall ever being angry or hateful with you. Perhaps you need to lighten up on the talking points you are being fed? You know, the ones that tell you that I am full of anger and hate simply because I disagree with the liberal view of things.

“Well, maybe I’m going to come around more, but if I do, I’m going to keep the edges of my words sharper for those who seek to convince me that I’m some kind of degenerate.”

Meh. More power to you then. Just don’t pop a gasket or anything.

“I didn’t merely pledge allegiance to a flag, I pledged allegiance to the Republic it stood for, and there is no bull**** to what I swore my loyalty to.”

Um, Yay?

Posted by: kctim at September 16, 2014 1:29 PM
Comment #383300

SD writes; “Royal Flush-
You’re funny, you know that? I believe you are the one whose interpretation has failed. Your language indicates a causal link. But if you know the mechanics, you’d know that interest rates are raised in order to curb inflation.”

As just a youngster, and not a student of history, Mr. Daugherty probably doesn’t know that high interest rates and inflation were rampant during the Carter administration.

“The second two years (of the Carter administration) were marked by double-digit inflation, coupled with very high interest rates, oil shortages, and slow economic growth.”

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

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 16, 2014 3:22 PM
Comment #383302

An improving economy brings its own set of problems.

Posted by: Rich at September 16, 2014 12:04 AM

Rich, I don’t quite understand your post. I quoted the Fed Chairman and said I agree. Do you dispute that I agree…or what?

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 16, 2014 3:29 PM
Comment #383307
Also, if your only mission here is to hurl your emotion-laden insults against Obama and the Left, then you truly are wasting your time. WatchBlog is a place for rational discussion of current events and political philosophy. Here, we critique the message, not the messenger.

Posted by: Warren Porter at September 16, 2014 1:17 PM

Sorry Warren, but you and Daugherty don’t get to come on here and act all high and mighty. I have been commenting on WB for close to 15 years, under various aliases, and I know exactly what WB is. I was on here when you were in grade school. I have listened to SD’s tripe for years. I could write a book about his college education, his mental health problems, his family problems, and his expertise in many fields (LOL). There has never been rational discussion from the left. How could there be…when the left is irrational. Obama is not the messenger on WB, so I can call him anything I want. Royal and kctm are correct; the socialists on WB have become insane at any disagreement with Obama’s policies. Daugherty has NEVER been able to see anything Obama has done a being wrong. It’s on the verge of a sickness to believe Obama is messianic, and yet that is exactly what the left on WB believe.

I have listened to your side twist your own parties policies and try to make them sound like they are conservative. You and Daugherty say we are emotional; yet if we look at the history of liberal comments, we know it is the left that goes spastic.

There is not enough space on WB to list the hateful comments made by democrat politicians like Reid, Pelosi, Alan Grayson, Howard Dean, and the list goes on. Then we have the liberal radio and news (sic) reporters, not to mention the comments by the left on WB. From day one tea party conservatives have been called tea baggers (a sexual derogatory term), or shall we consider the most hateful and sexist comments made by all on your side about Sarah Palin.

Don’t even try to tell us how righteous your side is, and don’t try to act like your side rationally discusses anything.

Posted by: George at September 16, 2014 5:08 PM
Comment #383308

Deep end, meet George.

Posted by: Speak4all at September 16, 2014 5:25 PM
Comment #383309

Well said George.

It is interesting that as Fox News attracts more viewers the more bitter the left becomes in their attack. Their left wing news outlets in print and on TV and radio are hemorrhaging readers, viewers and listeners.

There seems to be a direct correlation between the lefts sinking poll numbers and the increase in decibels of the squeaking liberals on WB.

I have not been on WB nearly as long as you have George. However, I could write Daugherty’s column easily. He wraps himself in the flag while thrashing our founders and the Republic they created.

Here’s a little refresher on the writings of Saul Alinsky, a leftist hero.

Books: Rules for Radicals, Reveille for Radicals
How to create a social state by Saul Alinsky: There are eight levels of control that must be obtained before you are able to create a social state. The first is the most important.

1) Healthcare: Control healthcare and you control the people

2) Poverty: Increase the Poverty level as high as possible, poor people are easier to control and will not fight back if you are providing everything for them to live.

3) Debt: Increase the debt to an unsustainable level. That way you are able to increase taxes, and this will produce more poverty.

4) Gun Control: Remove the ability to defend themselves from the Government. That way you are able to create a police state.

5) Welfare: Take control of every aspect of their lives (Food, Housing, and Income)

6) Education: Take control of what people read and listen to and take control of what children learn in school.

7) Religion: Remove the belief in the God from the Government and schools

8) Class Warfare: Divide the people into the wealthy and the poor. This will cause more discontent and it will be easier to take (Tax) the wealthy with the support of the poor.

Does any of this sound like what is happening to the United States?

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 16, 2014 5:26 PM
Comment #383310

Rich is right. Fox news is the WWF of news sources. Spoon fed theatrical manipulation of the audience is exactly what the audience wants. Just like the WWF it is all a farce and has no substance other than the objective, to give the audience what it wants.

Posted by: Speak4all at September 16, 2014 5:35 PM
Comment #383311

Fox News has an audience the other networks drool over Speak. Why? As you said, it gives the audience what it wants…TRUTH, not hyperbole and spin!

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 16, 2014 5:39 PM
Comment #383312

RF, they have an audience that drools. I’m going to have to claim foul on George’s lie about being here for 15 years.

WatchBlog, founded in 2003 by pioneering blogger Cameron Barrett, was one of the first to use the multiple blog front page format

Posted by: Speak4all at September 16, 2014 5:45 PM
Comment #383313

I hesitate to even get into discussions with Speaks; he reminds me of a juvenile teenager who is sneaking on his parents PC to make comments on WB. We all know there are some who’s sole purpose is defend Obama. He defends leftist news outlets, even when some of their hosts were fired for being too emotionally radical. He attacks Fox News and yet Fox News is the most popular news outlet on cable. He attacks anyone who watches Fox as being a spoon fed idiot. Sorry, but I have seen the likes of Keith Olberman, Rachel Maddow, Lawrence O’Donnell, Chris Matthews, Al Sharpton, and Ed Schultz. Now these people are complete idiots. Yet the likes of Speaks lap up their bullshit and talk about others being spoon fed.

Rules for Radicals…the gospel of the left.

Royal, have you heard the environmental movement has become the haven for communists and socialists since the collapse of the soviet union?

Posted by: George at September 16, 2014 6:01 PM
Comment #383314

Speaks, did I say 15 years or did I say “close to 15 years”?

I retired 9 years ago, and I know I had been on WB for quite some time.

Posted by: George at September 16, 2014 6:05 PM
Comment #383315

Environmentalism is a catch-all term for anyone who hates humanity. Many of the loudest practitioners are nothing but swindlers and con artists. The MMGW bunch are about the worst I have ever seen.

I hold a BS in Natural Resource Management and know the difference between earth science and bullshit.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 16, 2014 6:19 PM
Comment #383316

Here is an interesting story:

Obama’s Lonely Climate Summit – world leaders are staying home

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/09/16/obamas-lonely-climate-summit-world-leaders-are-staying-home/

Posted by: George at September 16, 2014 6:25 PM
Comment #383317

“Rich, I don’t quite understand your post. I quoted the Fed Chairman and said I agree. Do you dispute that I agree…or what?”

What you actually said, Royal, was “We can expect the Fed to soon increase interest rates and increased inflation will follow.”

Inflation doesn’t result from increased interest rates. It is just the opposite.

The Fed has purposely kept interest rates low to encourage borrowing and to inflate the money supply and demand. As the economy improves and borrowing and demand increase, inflation will increase as demand catches up with supply. At that point, the Fed will increase interest rates to dampen demand and prevent run away inflation.

Posted by: Rich at September 16, 2014 7:21 PM
Comment #383318

The Fed Chairman said both inflation and interest rates are expected to increase. We have had both…check Jimmy Carter.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 16, 2014 7:36 PM
Comment #383319

“Environmentalism is a catch-all term for anyone who hates humanity.”

Give me a break, Royal. We once had sunless skys in many areas of the US due to power plant and factory pollution. We once had rivers that actually caught fire due to petroleum and industrial waste. We once had forests dying from acid rain pollution. We once had holes in the ozone layer due to chemical pollution of the atmosphere. We once had smog so bad in some of our major cities that breathing was difficult.

Those environmental problems were not so long ago. They were in my lifetime. Thankfully, due to the crazy socialist environmentalists, we have reversed many of the above mentioned problems.

Contrary to your opinion, environmentalism has been a movement that has indisputably improved the quality of life for humanity. Vast reductions in smog. A sun in a blue sky. Dying forests that now thrive. Rivers with clean and potable water. Closing of ozone holes in the atmosphere. The list of achievements goes on.


Posted by: Rich at September 16, 2014 7:45 PM
Comment #383320

Royal,

Lets be clear. The Fed chairman is not predicting stagflation. She is simply saying that as inflation picks up due to an improving economy that interest rates will inevitably be increased to limit the degree of such inflation.

It is not earth shattering and certainly not unexpected. What has been unexpected is the lack of significant inflation during this recovery despite the low interest rates and programs of the Fed designed to increase the money supply.

Contrary to many commentators, the Fed has not been pumping money directly into the economy at large with its quantitative easing program. It has simply been changing the nature of existing assets in the economy. By buying bonds back, it has simply been exchanging a bond earning interest for cash. No net gain. You now have cash, not an interest bearing bond of the same value. Why? To encourage investment in more risky investments like the stock market. Why? To encourage investment in assets more likely to produce an impact on the overall economy.

Posted by: Rich at September 16, 2014 8:06 PM
Comment #383325

kctim-
Any notion that the 2010 election represented an absolute rejection of Obama’s policies has to be moderated by the results of the 2012 election.

Any notion of a Metamorphosis misses that I largely stand for the same things. The difference might be that you’ve gotten caught up in the right wing stupidity surrounding Obama. You buy into this BS that I see through because I retain very clear memories of what policies were before the Cold War ended and the Republicans took Congress. When folks like you accuse us of socialism, my response is to point to Reagan’s policies, and the policies that dominated most of the 20th century and demand this answer: were we communists fighting communists for most of the twentieth century?

The arguments that have come to dominate the right, the arguments that justify the stupidity of calling us socialists, come from a fringe of extremists which your movement in its desperation has turned to dig you out of the hole that Bush left the movement in.

As for Conservatives bending to their breaking point? I would believe that if they were not trying to filibuster the Stimulus bill in February 2009, or punishing the Republicans who helped us break the filibuster. Or if they hadn’t broken the record for filibusters before that.

I mean, help me out. Help find the place where we finally asked too much of you, because it seems like you started saying NO the moment we had the majority in Congress. You can’t claim that we pushed your cooperation to the breaking point if you never cooperated.

You want to know what makes it especially galling? The fact that Republicans forced us to cooperate for years, even while we didn’t put up half the fight they did now. Even during these years of obstruction, we tried to offer olive branches. But then we get news stories where that smug minority leader in the Senate, Mitch McConnell tells us that the policy coming into the 2008 Congress was basically to block everything.

Democrats, it seems, are not allowed to enjoy power the way Republicans were. Funny how that works. You’re all for saying that the voter’s will has to be respected when it’s your kind of people who get to wield the mandate!

Does it not occur to you that now, aggressive Democrats might turn around and apply the standards you imposed on the GOP? It wouldn’t even take very many people in the Senate to do it.

As for Abortion and contraception? Look, what you feel is based on YOUR political and religious attitudes. A woman’s freedoms should not need to depend on your conscience, your sense of where life begins..

As for Gay Marriage? Well, here’s the thing, and it seems like the Hypocrites on the Right fail to recognize it: since homosexual conduct is no longer illegal, there is no reasonable bar to two consenting gay adults getting married. Of course, when one state allows a kind of marriage, the other states are bound to recognize that marriage. It’s called full faith and credit. To deny that is to assert that gay partners are not equal in the eyes of the law to straight partners, that they don’t get to enjoy all the benefits. You might not have much hatred in your heart against gays, but what you’re pushing against them is as hateful as interracial marriage bans were to such couples. They deserve equal rights.

As for why I stopped coming so often? I like to feel good on the inside. I like to be proud and happy. I can only read so much hatred and spite out of the right before I go “f*** it,” and go do something with my limited time that I enjoy. I work full-time now, and I’m getting to that age where I neither give the damn I once did about winning against stupid jackasses, nor see such an infinite timeline for me to waste on that. Couple that with a book I’m working on which I think is much more important (and a lot more enjoyable to write) and it just doesn’t seem the tremendously high priority it once was.

Still, though, I want to see America make progress. I want to see a black guy resisting arrest get shot no more than a white guy doing so. I want America to be a place where folks don’t mobilize for Iwo Jima with military equipment when there’s a shooting, and where the people doing the shooting aren’t so easily blessed with the firepower to cause such extreme tragedy.

I don’t see my reasons as pathetic. I think I’ve been more pathetic when I sacrificed my enjoyment of my life for d***heads who obviously don’t like me.

Royal Flush-
First of all, I’m nearing thirty-five, so my days of being a youngster are numbered, if they’re not up yet. More importantly, though, I was aware of the economics of the Carter era before I got into college. Yes, the two of them show up together. Duh. I didn’t say they didn’t show up together.

Why in heaven’s name are you still trying to argue your way out of this blunder? Interest rates are raised in order to make it more difficult to borrow, so as to contract the money supply, increasing savings and creating other such responses. Fun fact here: typically inflation accompanies growth, the problem comes when you have something like the fuel crisis happen on top of that, preventing the growth, but not the inflation. Higher unemployment, things cost more, etc. Voila. Stagflation.

Your arguments are clumsy, and poorly mapped onto what the Fed Chairman was actually saying.

As far as your next post goes?

Let’s start with George’s extraordinary claim that he started frequenting Watchblog 15 years ago. Leaving aside the fact that the blog is said to have launched in 2003, a mere 11 years ago, the Movable Type Platform upon which it was based was only introduced in 2001.

15 years ago would be Sept. 16th, 1999.

We run into similar problem with your so-called refresher on Alinsky’s writings.

Per my source:

The above-quoted list of steps for “How to create a social state,” circulated in January 2014, is another example of a political linking of the names of Saul Alinsky and Barack Obama. It’s not something taken from the actual writings of Saul Alinsky, though, and to those familiar with his background it doesn’t even sound like something he would have written (e.g., the line about “controlling health care” is anachronistic for his era, and the idea of “increasing the poverty level as high as possible” is the very antithesis of what Alinsky worked to achieve). This piece is simply a modern variant of the decades-old, apocryphal Communist Rules for Revolution piece which was originally passed along without attribution until Alinsky’s name became attached to it (presumably because someone out there thought it sounded like something Alinsky might have written).

So, in other words, you’ve been had. Somebody knows that if they wave around the name “Alinsky”, people like you will instantly jump at the notion that he must be like your truly insane picture of the average Liberal.

So, let me respond to your fraud with some truth.

1) I seek affordable healthcare, having seen the consequences both of not having it, and having it. I don’t want my generation or the next ones having to “tough it out”, and fall ill and die before their time. Healthcare is more than some right, it is a basic human need, one so ancient that even Jesus spoke of it.

2) This make complete political sense, right, because Presidents and Congresses are so popular when they preside over bad economies. (that was snark, for the folks who didn’t catch it) This is one of those many claims of yours which falls short on a basic test of plausibility.

3) Funny how when he gets the chance to really increase taxes on those poor and middle class people… he goes and increases them on the rich! More to the point, rather than increase the deficit so debt accumulation accelerates, he decreases it!

4) Have you seen the statistics on how many guns are in private hands? Of course, you neglect to say that the Right basically instituted a policy of selling military equipment to the police, putting so much firepower and armor in the hands of the Police Forces you’re counting on people to stockpile guns to oppose if somebody tries to take over.

5) Funny how the Democratic President before this signed Welfare reform into law, and this President focused his policies on creating jobs. Ask the manufacturing sector whether he prefers people live on the dole.

6) Funny how your side demands Prayer in school, Creationism in the Textbooks, teaching the controversy on evolution, and all that other wonderful stuff. Me, I think what we need to teach them is the truth, and let them decide what that justifies. I’ve taken a path in my life from Atheism to Agnosticism to Christianity, from being a supporter of George H.W. Bush to a Clinton Supporter to an Obama supporter. I really don’t like pushing a political point of view to children. Politics in my view needs to be something that comes second to other intellectual and educational priorities.

7) I believe we should make government secular not to destroy religion, but to protect it. Nothing saps people’s faith more effectively than involving politics in them. More importantly, once you hand Government dominion over people’s religious lives, you give them the power to crackdown on it. I mean, you might manage to get your people in charge, get them imposing your agenda on the rest of us, but then, as often happens, political fortunes shift, and the institutions that once helped you promote your faith are used against it.

I’d say, just leave government the hell out of it. Exercise your freedoms and forget about using the government to give you a leg up on the competition. That help always comes with a price.

8) You are naïve if you think that the financial crisis itself didn’t do most of the work. We lose our jobs because some idiots on top mishandle their assets, and what happens? They get bailed out. Oh, does help come for the rest of us? HELL NO! Why? Because that would be socialism, your people say.

Truth is, your people are desperately clueless. If they had let the poor and middle class get their stimulus, you wouldn’t have half the resentment you do now. Making “class warfare” politically incorrect does absolutely nothing to reduce resentments or prevent jealousy on the part of those who see their economic fortunes decline, while others benefit.

Your side has anesthetized themselves to the kind of pain and suffering that simmers under the surface, waiting for somebody to take advantage of it. By stymying Obama, you haven’t prevented a turn for the left in this country, I think you’ve only made it a later, but sharper term.

There will come a time when you will wish you’d made deals with moderates like me when you had the chance. The only good way to keep socialism out of power is to let enough liberalism work its magic to keep people satisfied with letting Capitalism stand. Let the markets fail too much, and too hard, and people might start thinking that capitalism itself is the unworkable alternative.

That would be a shame, I believe, because I don’t trust socialism any more than I trust your heedless brand of capitalism.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 16, 2014 10:31 PM
Comment #383352

Thanks for reminding about my mother George. She is no longer with us as she passed away several years ago. She never had a computer in her house. I can remember telling her about Caller ID when it first came out as an added cost to your phone bill. Her response was “well why wouldn’t I just pick up the phone to see who was there!”

You did remind me of my mother’s ability to always help those afflicted and less fortunate than her. This got me to think that you and Royal are probably feeling very low self-esteem now that you are no longer a contributing member to the work force of this country. I have heard of this affliction occurring in retirees and in fact fox news capitalizes on this by giving them something to be upset about constantly. This would explain your need as a two bit commenting individual to denigrate a sitting President and lash out at any and all disagreement with your views. It’s understandable that you feel this way but you don’t have to. You can contact your local Community Center and provide mentoring for under-privileged children. In the mean time I will follow my mother’s advice and cut you and Royal some slack here from now on. Try to stay positive and don’t dwell on your inadequacies and inability to contribute positively to others.

As far as fox news is concerned, Talk about beating a dead horse

Posted by: Speak4all at September 17, 2014 9:33 AM
Comment #383353

Stephen

I am not claiming that it was an absolute rejection of liberal policy, I am saying that more than enough people rejected it and that should make you pause and reflect why.

I have gotten caught up in nothing of the sort. Our Constitution and liberalism cannot co-exist with each other and I have been against that on a consistent basis. It has NOTHING to do with President Obama himself.

Folks like me do not accuse you of socialism, I flat out tell you that some of the policies you support are rooted in socialism. I understand what socialism is, Stephen, and people were warning about it long before Bush.
Again, rather than debating the “folks like me” stereotypes you have created, you really should try debating the individual you are actually engaging with at the time.

“As for Conservatives bending to their breaking point?…

You have to look past the D and the R, and look at what kind of R’s the people voted to represent them. Wooden shill Republicans who go along to get along no longer make up the vast majority of Republicans. Many have been replaced by Republicans who are fiscally conservative and pro individual rights. When liberals started taking over the Democratic Party, did you expect them to compromise the principles that got them elected? Do you expect them to compromise on them now that they control the Party? No, you do not, and you should not expect Republicans to.

“I mean, help me out. Help find the place where we finally asked too much of you…”

I has been a progression through the past decades, Stephen. You demanded a “little” bit of money to fund widows and orphans, and it has turned into a retirement plan that we now pay a lot of money for. You demanded everybody be forced to pay for health care for the poor, now you demand everybody be forced to pay for health care for everybody. You demanded government strictly control automatic weapons, and now you demand government strictly control all guns through registration, bans and confiscation. You demanded that everybody be forced to provide food, then to provide housing, then to provide transportation, then to provide needles, and now to provide birth control.
It has been a never ending attack and the people have compromised more than enough.

Look around at the size of our government and the control it now wields over the people, I would say that aggressive Democrats have had a great time imposing and enjoying power.

“As for Abortion and contraception? Look, what you feel is based on YOUR political and religious attitudes. A woman’s freedoms should not need to depend on your conscience, your sense of where life begins..”

Sigh. I have no religious attitudes and my political attitudes are based on the rights and freedoms of ALL. NOBODY’S freedom is based on being given something that has been taken from another against their will.

How we define marriage is a cultural issue, not a government dictate. Under current law, NOBODY is being denied or granted rights that differ from everybody else.
For God’s sake, with only 2 or 3 percent of the population being gay, and most people being apathetic to it, do you really expect the definition to change overnight?

Nobody’s rights are being denied and I personally find it ridiculous to equate gay marriage to the horrors that black Americans once endured.

“As for why I stopped coming so often? I like to feel good on the inside. I like to be proud and happy.”

Nothing wrong with taking a break, but you really shouldn’t let differing opinions get to you like that. I believe liberalism is a HUGE threat to our country and our way of life, but at the end of any day, I would still love to enjoy a beer with yourself, Phx8, Rich, J2, Warren and the lovely Adrienne, who I dearly miss.
I don’t hate, Stephen. Nor do I think of you as a stupid jackass. I simply disagree.

I want to see America progress into the future with its principles and ideas that made it once great, still intact.

Posted by: kctim at September 17, 2014 10:04 AM
Comment #383369

Daugherty writes about me…”Your arguments are clumsy, and poorly mapped onto what the Fed Chairman was actually saying.”

How does one get to be NEARLY 35 years old without a functioning brain? I repeat what the Fed Chairman said, agree, and am accused of a clumsy argument. Go figure!

I have run out of appropriate adjectives to describe Daugherty’s thought process. He dismisses the eight points I ascribed to Saul Alinsky and liberal thinking as balderdash and then…then…defends all eight.

Truly, Daughery has invented a new art form. Truth denied becomes truth itself.

I never get angry with one I pity.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 17, 2014 3:13 PM
Comment #383382
I repeat what the Fed Chairman said, agree, and am accused of a clumsy argument.

Except you haven’t cited a quotation from Janet Yellen. Instead, you present us with the poorly paraphrased, “The Fed Chairman said both inflation and interest rates are expected to increase. We have had both…check Jimmy Carter.”

Did Yellen say we should expect inflation to increase? Yes, she did:
the likelihood of inflation running persistently below 2 percent has diminished somewhat since early this year.

Did Yellen say we should expect interest rates to increase?
Not quite. However, Yellen is definitely indicating that the Fed will raise interest rates if the economy continues to grow at a strong clip.

Did Yellen say that there was a causation in play here? Did she say that if the FED raised interest rates, that those higher interest rates would cause inflation? No, she did not. In fact, the causation is the other way around. The Fed will only increase interest rates in order to attenuate inflation. While, both inflation and interest may rise, it will be the interest rates that follow the inflation rate; not the other way.

Lastly, you make quite a bit of hay regarding the interest rates during the Volcker-era, which overlaps both the Carter & Reagan Administrations. Was stagflation a problem during the ’70s? Yes, high inflation plagued the ’70s, but it started during the Nixon Administration when the Arabs imposed their oil embargo. After that, inflation got out of hand during the chairships of Arthur Burns and G. William Miller. Burns was appointed by Nixon, but also served the Ford and Carter administrations. Miller was appointed by Carter and served relatively briefly. Both of these men implemented an expansionary monetary policy founded upon low interest rates:

For Burns, monetary policy influenced the state of the business cycle through the effect of interest rates on the psychology of the businessman. For that reason, he was not willing to raise interest rates sharply during economic recovery. (see page 32)
recovery
. As you can see, the stagflation of the 1970s was the result of low interest rates, not high ones. Interest Rates did rise in 1979 when Paul Volcker intentionally began a recession intentionally in order to finally break inflation’s back. It took several years for Volcker’s recession to work, but during the 1980’s Volcker finally whipped inflation.

So, in conclusion: Low interest rates cause inflation, but increases GDP; high interest rates decrease inflation, but ower GDP as well. The challenge of the Federals Reserve is essentially the decision of picking one of these two paths: ‘hard money’ or ‘soft money’; expansionary or non-expansionary monetary policy. However, it is very dishonest to allege that high interest rates cause inflation when it is actually the other way around (high inflation rates prompt the Fed to raise interest rates).

Posted by: Warren Porter at September 17, 2014 5:28 PM
Comment #383385

“I repeat what the Fed Chairman said, agree, and am accused of a clumsy argument. Go figure!”

Royal,

What you said the Fed chairperson said was: “We can expect the Fed to soon increase interest rates and increased inflation will follow.”

Aside from the fact that the Fed chairperson never actually said that, the implication is that the Fed chairperson was drawing a causal relationship between the Fed raising interest rates and increased inflation. That is false. It is absurd.

The relationship is exactly the opposite. Rising inflation will result in the Fed raising interest rates to tame the inflationary pressures. It is more of an art than a science but the basic relationships are pretty well established.

Posted by: Rich at September 17, 2014 5:41 PM
Comment #383388

Speaks, sorry to hear about your mother; I bet she would be so proud of the socialist you have become. Thanks for your concern about my ability to contribute to the work force. Since I worked and paid taxes for 48 years, and since I retired without depending on government SS, then I am quite sure I did my part. I also served 4 years in the military, during war time…care to let us know how you served your country?

I manage to spend my days volunteering in conservative political actions, including the Tea Party. I am very active in my church…Oh yes…that makes me a Christian. In fact, you can’t get much more patriotic than being a conservative tea party Christian. Of course, I do volunteer work at the local hospital and rest home. So, Speaks, I am quite satisfied with life. Royal will have to answer for himself, but I am sure he is very satisfied. You would be doing very well to gain only half of the life experiences Royal and I have.

But alas, you’re just a child…trying to talk like an adult.

Posted by: George at September 17, 2014 6:19 PM
Comment #383390

Well said George and many thanks for all you have done and are still doing.

I am still active in my insurance business. I am an active stock trader. I am active in our local American Legion and we just completed our project of providing a beautiful war memorial for our city. Our guest speaker is a retired Major General and he defined patriotism eloquently.

George, you and I know that many liberals are “all hat and no cattle”.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 17, 2014 7:04 PM
Comment #383391
Except when Libertarians minimize government, the government doesn’t punish people who violate the law.

That may be one of the strangest things I’ve ever heard anyone say…

If something is legal, it’s legal. If it is not legal, it’s illegal.

How does ‘minimizing government’ prevent the government from punishing people who violate the law?

We are talking about whether entities can violate individual rights. It doesn’t matter whether to violation is legal or illegal; if a violation has occurred, then a violation has occurred.

It is no way a ‘tautology’, it’s a very specific diffenece that means everything.

Government is the only body of people who can legally use force against a person.

They are the ‘last line of protection’ of our rights.

No one, especially no libertarian, is suggesting taking away the government’s power to enforce laws. We are saying we should only make things illegal that are violations of rights by other entities, including corporations.

Rape is illegal, but it still happens. We cannot PREVENT rapes from happening. But when we find those who violated the law, we punish them so that others may decide to not do the same.

But never enforced

Because the remedies require that the person damaged has to prove that damage in a court of law. Until then, because we are an innocent until proven guilty society, no laws have been broken and no people have been harmed. If more people seek redress in the courts, as is the solution, it will hurt the companies more. There is a problem today of the courts being so overloaded with so many laws that harm no one when violated other than the violater that those people who are being harmed can’t get in in a timely manner and get a hearing. And the costs skyrocket because of many of these blocks put into place.

The solution is not to assume that everyone is guilty, but to make it easier and less costly for people to enter the courts to redress actual grievences.

If the government is giving a tax break for employers to pay employees with health insurance rather than with money, then the government is definitely an involved party.

Which is precisely why government shouldn’t be involved, thanks for making that point.

What happens when a Republican congress/senate/president gets into office and they make it illegal to provide health care for abortions through health care plans? They aren’t saying that people can’t get abortions, only that companies can’t provide it as part of their government mandated health care plans. There in lies the rub, the government can make people do something, giving them that power just means you give it to your enemies on the other side as well.

It’s her compensation, not mine. I don’t have any say in the spending decisions a private person makes in her own private life.

I’m sorry, I just thought you said you did. FYI, for most health insurance progams, those things aren’t included. If those can be not included without violating a person’s rights, why can’t a small number of birth control options be omitted as well? You are not being consistent here, Warren…

More accurately, the employer gives the employee a voucher to take to the dealer to exchange for a new car. There are red cars at the dealership, but the employer has told the dealer not to accept vouchers in exchange for red cars. Let’s imagine that red cars were intrinsically less expensive than nonred cars, so this ploy is definitely not an attempt to save money. Does this not violate the right of the employee to negotiate with the dealer for any car that the dealer is willing to sell and the employee is willing to buy?

No, because the person PAYING for it has put a limitation on it.

The person can still get the car and have it painted a different color, but THEY have to pay for it, not the company providing the voucher. No one is being denied anything, just being denied paying for it.

We aren’t discussing what is or isn’t legal.

Actually, we are.

If I travel to your house and rape you, I would violate your individual rights.

Apparently you misread what I said and are trying to argue something completely different. Here is what I said:

“Only the GOVERNMENT can LEGALLY initiate force on a citizen of the United States. No corporation can.”

http://www.watchblog.com/democrats/archives/008904.html#383217

Not sure why you are bringing a straw man into the argument, but your argument isn’t limited to corporations… And is a pretty irrelevant point I must say, anyone can do anything at all whenever they want. But they will be doing so illegally.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 17, 2014 8:02 PM
Comment #383392
And with the utopian small government of libertarians/conservatives how will the government be able to do that?

The same way they do now.

What on earth do you think ‘the utopian small government of libertarians’ means?

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 17, 2014 8:05 PM
Comment #383394
Cynthia McKinney hasn’t been a Democrat since 2007. Even before that, though, she had trouble keeping elected, especially due to her Truther views. She only spent one term in Congress before she left the party, and then lost a Primary.

Actually, not true…

After her 2002 loss, McKinney traveled and gave speeches, and served as a Commissioner in The Citizens’ Commission on 9-11. On October 26, 2004, she was among 100 Americans and 40 family members of those who were killed on 9/11 who signed the 9/11 Truth Movement statement, calling for new investigations into unexplained aspects of the 9/11 events. McKinney was re-elected to the House in November 2004

She lost her primary not because of her 9/11 stance, that stance got her elected in 2004. It was her incident with a capital hill policeman was what lost her that primary.

in fact he had less luck

Except for all the money and support he got running as a Democratic Presidential Candidate. It was only have he failed to secure the nomination did he turn to the Libertarians who he thought would welcome him with open arms…

Why do you pick such absurdly unpopular and unsuccessful Democrats for your examples?

You do realize that there are many on her writing for the Democratic Party column who praise Cynthia McKinney and wanted her to stay in the party, right? She’s pretty popular in the Democratic Party…

Taking a look at her tag on DailyKOS and I only see one article that talks bad about her… Oh well.

That was a fact-check article that demonstrated many of your assumptions were wrong. One, your assumption that the Supreme Court ruling 9-0 against an administration is a unique slap in the face, when it happens all the time.

Aren’t you the one who says that trying to make a false equivalence between the left and the right is not something that should be done?

There is a difference between ‘happens all the time’ and the reality of ‘rarely happens, but is happening at twice the rate as any previous president’.

Some of the examples, it said, were dubious

None were ‘dubious’. They were all about violations of the US Constitution by the administration (or past administration) that this administration defended as having the right to do. A ‘constitutional scholar’ should have known better.

Better yet, it was this president, when running for president, that ran on the notion that the previous administration was overstepping the constitution. When we find not only that they are doing it as well, and defending those same overreaches that they ran against from the previous administration, it is a bit worse than just trying to push the limits of their power, don’t you think?

You have there a close election, won only by roughly 500 votes, with the recounts that could have produced official certainty halted midway by the Supreme Court in a decision so unusual that the court itself said that its decision was not to be taken as precedent.

And when studied after the election it was determined that had the recounts gone through, under any of the ‘chad’ tests that they were trying to determine to use, George Bush won each and every time.

Yet, here we are, 14 years later and the left is STILL saying that he ‘stole’ the election.

BTW, the reason the Supreme Court stepped in was not because they didn’t want to see a recount go through, but because the Florida State congress and supreme court were violating their own constitution as well as the constution of the United States by applying different rules to voters votes. Those who weren’t being recounted were not given this new criteria of trying to ‘determine voter intent’, which they weren’t allowed to do. That the left fails to even recognize how horrible of a precident that would have been is scary indeed.

Contrast that with what the blowhards on the right accuse us of! Our President won by margins of 9 and 5 million votes, dominated his opponents in the Electoral College. Yet the Republicans accuse him of being the beneficiary of election fraud on a monstrous scale. Proportion seems to be an alien concept with your false equivalences.

Should I say “diebold” at all? Seriously, the only thing that is the problem here is that you can’t even seem to recognize the game being played by your own party…

As for Bush being AWOL? Technical definitions aside, he admitted missing many of the drills, and the records are spotty at best as to whether he ever really made them up.

Especially if you make up some of those documents and attempt to pass them off as genuine…

You pretend to objectivity. But when you seeme to only know one side of the story from the rather information starved perspective of one set of people, I see no cause to respect your claim of it.

Oh, I know both sides and I don’t give the Republicans a pass on anything that they’ve done. But in this discussion I don’t see any of them trying to say that the left is WORSE at doing things than the right… You, on the other hand, are.

As for the Armed and Dangerous comment? If Michelle Bachmann had never said anything nutty before, I think you might have a point. Trouble is, she’s said quite a lot that’s put her out of the mainstream.

I ‘might’ have a point that someone purposefully edited a statement that someone else made and passed it off as meanting something else, never once pulled back by anyone in the party and stil passed around to this day as truth? *rolls eyes*

In light of that, I wonder what ELSE has been purposefully edited out of context to mean something it doesn’t. Actually, I don’t have to wonder, I catch both parties doing things like this all of the time. Because I actually don’t take stuff at face value and look it up.

Look, they’re violating the central spirit of our Republic, which is self-determination and self-government by the people.

No they are not. A corporation is just made up of PEOPLE. It is not subverting anything to allow the people of the United States to say whatever the hell they want to say when it comes to politics. It’s THE spirt of the country to allow that. It doesn’t matter if it is a single person, a couple of people, 1,000 people, a union, a corporation, a limited partnership, a quilting bee, a cub scout troupe, the Branch Dividians, the KKK, the Weather Underground, etc. Everyone should be allowed to say what they want. Violating that, supporting laws that allow the government ban books because they are published by a corporate or silence critics because they are not ‘approved journalists’ is reprehensible. And that is just what a handful of Democrats introduced and voted for last week.

It is definately against the spirit of the country to prevent people from hearing all sides and being trusted to make up their own mind. You don’t think they can. I do.

“Liberty is to faction what air is to fire, an aliment without which it instantly expires, but it could not be less folly to abolish liberty, which is essential to political life, because it nourishes faction, than it would be to wish the annihilation of air, which is essential to animal life, because it imparts to fire its destructive agency.”

The First Amendment reads:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

What is a corporation, or a union, or a limited partnership, or a cult, etc than the free assembly of the people? And why anyone thinks that violating the right of those assembled people to petition the Government for a redress of grievances is beyond me.

Madison made this speech to Congress supporting the first amendments to the Constitution. This is what he said about the first amendment:

That in article 2nd, section 9, between clauses 3 and 4, be inserted these clauses, to wit,The civil rights of none shall be abridged on account of religious belief or worship, nor shall any national religion be established, nor shall the full and equal rights of conscience by in any manner, or on any pretext infringed

The people shall not be deprived or abridged of their right to speak, to write, or to publish their sentiments; and the freedom of the press, as one of the great bulwarks of liberty, shall be inviolable.

The people shall not be restrained from peaceably assembling and consulting for their common good, nor from applying to the legislature by petitions, or remonstrances for redress of their grievances.

Read more: http://www.revolutionary-war-and-beyond.com/james-madison-speech-june-8-1789.html#ixzz3DchGKDla

According to some, the ability for people to assemble into a specific entity known as a ‘corporation’ means that they suddenly give up that right. It’s of course not a new thing, many in the early days of government didn’t want anyone speaking out against the government and didn’t like that admendment because of that. But thankfully the people saw it different and stood against those who wanted to silence opposition.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 17, 2014 8:41 PM
Comment #383396
That may be one of the strangest things I’ve ever heard anyone say…

If something is legal, it’s legal. If it is not legal, it’s illegal.

How does ‘minimizing government’ prevent the government from punishing people who violate the law?

It is common for libertarians to advocate the elimination of government agencies tasked with enforcing the law (such as the EPA). Without those agencies, the government would be unable to enforce some of its laws. I cannot remember your actual position on this issue, but my original statement wasn’t just specifically directed at you.

Government is the only body of people who can legally use force against a person.
How do you differentiate “legal force” from “illegal force” without relying on the circuitous logic that government force is by definition “legal force” and non-government force is by definition “illegal force”. Personally, I view the government as one of many organizations in this country with the capability of inflicting violence to meet its goals.
No one, especially no libertarian, is suggesting taking away the government’s power to enforce laws. We are saying we should only make things illegal that are violations of rights by other entities, including corporations.
Not true. Libertarians routinely oppose governmental action to enforce laws (such as the enforcement of environmental laws by the EPA).


Because the remedies require that the person damaged has to prove that damage in a court of law. Until then, because we are an innocent until proven guilty society, no laws have been broken and no people have been harmed. If more people seek redress in the courts, as is the solution, it will hurt the companies more. There is a problem today of the courts being so overloaded with so many laws that harm no one when violated other than the violater that those people who are being harmed can’t get in in a timely manner and get a hearing. And the costs skyrocket because of many of these blocks put into place.

The solution is not to assume that everyone is guilty, but to make it easier and less costly for people to enter the courts to redress actual grievences.

This doesn’t work in cases where a large number of individuals violate the rights of another large number of individuals simultaneously. For instance, 10,000 companies emit PM pollution into a populated area. 1000 people may get asthma as a result of the pollution, but there will no way to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that any specific company caused asthma in any specific person. Instead, the better alternative is for a government to declare that PM pollution above a certain threshold poses enough dangers to enough people to warrant a law prohibiting such emissions. Then, we task a government agency with enforcing the prohibition, perhaps by hiring civil servants to monitor pollution levels in various places and fining nearby companies if the air quality is found to be in violation.

Which is precisely why government shouldn’t be involved, thanks for making that point.
I would fully support a proposal that removes government from health care in its entirety for exactly the same reasons.
What happens when a Republican congress/senate/president gets into office and they make it illegal to provide health care for abortions through health care plans? They aren’t saying that people can’t get abortions, only that companies can’t provide it as part of their government mandated health care plans. There in lies the rub, the government can make people do something, giving them that power just means you give it to your enemies on the other side as well.
They can’t do that. What is or isn’t covered in a health care plan is solely something to be negotiated between the employee and the insurance company. Neither government nor employer has the right to prohibit any medical procedure. However, the government does have the right to define what a health care plan is and that may mean that a plan that fails to cover contraception doesn’t qualify to be called a health care plan.
I’m sorry, I just thought you said you did. FYI, for most health insurance progams, those things aren’t included. If those can be not included without violating a person’s rights, why can’t a small number of birth control options be omitted as well? You are not being consistent here, Warren…
The government has the right to define what things are. Let’s say you and I sign a contract: I pay you $10,000 and you promise to give me an operational automobile. You cannot fulfil your end of the contract by delivering a vehicle that has only two wheels. The definition of a car is that it contains more wheels than that and that definition is enforced by the government. Likewise, in order for a health plan to be a health plan, then it needs to cover certain basic things such as contraception.
No, because the person PAYING for it has put a limitation on it.
The person PAYING for it is the employee possessing voucher (not the employer). Once the employer hands the voucher to the employee, it’s not the employer’s money anymore; it’s the employee’s money. The employee could even burn the voucher and the employer would have no redress for destruction of property.
Apparently you misread what I said and are trying to argue something completely different. Here is what I said:

“Only the GOVERNMENT can LEGALLY initiate force on a citizen of the United States. No corporation can.”


Wrong comment. We are discussing this:
Corporations cannot do anything, at all, that violates anyone’s freedom.
. the legality of a violation is not part of this claim of yours. Posted by: Warren Porter at September 17, 2014 10:53 PM
Comment #383418
It is common for libertarians to advocate the elimination of government agencies tasked with enforcing the law (such as the EPA). Without those agencies, the government would be unable to enforce some of its laws. I cannot remember your actual position on this issue, but my original statement wasn’t just specifically directed at you.

It’s usually best to know what those people who offer different views are actually saying before going off on assuming you know what they mean.

It is common for libertarians to advocate not having those laws anymore that aren’t needed and therefore having no need for the agencies tasked with enforcing them.

So there is no one in the libertarian party saying ‘let’s keep x illegal but make no one responsible fore enforcing that law’. That would be nonsense.

The question is whether the laws are proper and needed and don’t violate individual rights. So the blanket ‘get rid of these agencies’ and leave the laws behind are not part of the libertarian viewpoint. If a law exists and is a just one, someone needs to enforce it. That is the only purpose of government, enforcing laws that protect the rights of the citizens.

How do you differentiate “legal force” from “illegal force” without relying on the circuitous logic that government force is by definition “legal force” and non-government force is by definition “illegal force”. Personally, I view the government as one of many organizations in this country with the capability of inflicting violence to meet its goals.

It’s not ‘circuitous’ logic. It is the basic point of governments. Governments are force, that is it. It is the only thing that governments can do that private entities cannot.

The reason is simple, the right to live exist outside of government. It is one of our natural (neutral) rights. Only government has the authority to violate one of our natural rights. Governments are set up to protect our natural rights from being violated. Government was then given power to violate some of our natural rights as spelled out in the Constitution. That is what the Constitution is, a document detailing the ways (and the only ways) that the government is authorized to violate out natural rights. If the Constitution doesn’t allow for it, the government cannot violate it.

You say that you know of ways that private groups or individuals has the authority to violate our natural rights, please detail this for me. I would be interested in hearing about them…

Not true. Libertarians routinely oppose governmental action to enforce laws (such as the enforcement of environmental laws by the EPA).

Again, you are making the mistake of conflating the enforcement of the law and the law itself. Libertarians want to remove the laws that they want removed, and thereby the need to enforce them would be no longer needed. But there is no one saying that government doesn’t have the power to enforce the laws that they have.

Now, we may want the government to choose not to enforce them, that’s different than taking away their ability to do so. You may see it a fine line, but it is an important line that needs to be understood or else you end up making mistakes in thinking as you have already done.

As for the EPA (since you obviously have a hard on for that) let’s look at the ACTUAL Libertarian stance on that.

From http://www.lp.org/issues/environment

Who’s the greatest polluter of all? The oil companies? The chemical companies? The nuclear power plants? If you guessed “none of the above,” you’d be correct. Our government, at the federal, state, and local levels, is the single greatest polluter in the land. In addition, our government doesn’t even clean up its own garbage! In 1988, for example, the EPA demanded that the Departments of Energy and Defense clean up 17 of their weapons plants which were leaking radioactive and toxic chemicals — enough contamination to cost $100 billion in clean-up costs over 50 years! The EPA was simply ignored. No bureaucrats went to jail or were sued for damages. Government departments have sovereign immunity.

In 1984, a Utah court ruled that the U.S. military was negligent in its nuclear testing, causing serious health problems (e.g. death) for the people exposed to radioactive fallout. The Court of Appeals dismissed the claims of the victims, because government employees have sovereign immunity.

Hooker Chemical begged the Niagara Falls School Board not to excavate the land where Hooker had safely stored toxic chemical waste. The school board ignored these warnings and taxpayers had to foot a $30 million relocation bill when health problems arose. The EPA filed suit, not against the reckless school board, but against Hooker Chemical! Government officials have sovereign immunity.

Government, both federal and local, is the greatest single polluter in the U.S. This polluter literally gets away with murder because of sovereign immunity. Libertarians would make government as responsible for its actions as everyone else is expected to be. Libertarians would protect the environment by first abolishing sovereign immunity.

Does that sound like a party that wants to ‘end the power of the government to enforce environmental laws’? I think you may be confusing libertarianism with anarcho-capitalism personally…

More from the article:

Environmentalists were once wary of private ownership, but now recognize that establishing the property rights of native people, for example, has become an effective strategy to save the rain forests. Do you remember the movie, Medicine Man, where scientist Sean Connery discovers a miracle drug in the rain forest ecology? Unfortunately, the life-saving compound is literally bulldozed under when the government turns the rain forest over to corporate interests. The natives that scientist Connery lives with are driven from their forest home. Their homesteading rights are simply ignored by their own government!

Our own Native Americans were driven from their rightful lands as well. Similarly, our national forests are turned over to logging companies, just as the rain forests are. By 1985, the U.S. Forest Service had built 350,000 miles of logging roads with our tax dollars — outstripping our interstate highway system by a factor of eight! In the meantime, hiking trails declined by 30%. Clearly, our government serves special interest groups instead of protecting our environmental heritage.

Even our national parks are not immune from abuse. Yellowstone’s Park Service once encouraged employees to trap predators (e.g., wolves, fox, etc.) so that the hoofed mammals favored by visitors would flourish. Not surprisingly, the ecological balance was upset. The larger elk drove out the deer and sheep, trampled the riverbanks, and destroyed beaver habitat. Without the beavers, the water fowl, mink, otter, and trout were threatened. Without the trout or the shrubs and berries that once lined the riverbanks, grizzlies began to endanger park visitors in their search for food. As a result, park officials had to remove the bears and have started bringing back the wolves.

Wouldn’t we be better served if naturalist organizations, such as the Audubon Society or Nature Conservancy, took over the management of our precious parks? The Audubon Society’s Rainey Wildlife Sanctuary partially supports itself with natural gas wells operated in an ecologically sound manner. In addition to preserving the sensitive habitat, the Society shows how technology and ecology can co-exist peacefully and profitably.

The environment would benefit immensely from the elimination of sovereign immunity coupled with the privatization of “land and beast.” The third and final step in the libertarian program to save the environment is the use of restitution both as a deterrent and a restorative.

The party platform today:

We support a clean and healthy environment and sensible use of our natural resources. Private landowners and conservation groups have a vested interest in maintaining natural resources. Pollution and misuse of resources cause damage to our ecosystem. Governments, unlike private businesses, are unaccountable for such damage done to our environment and have a terrible track record when it comes to environmental protection. Protecting the environment requires a clear definition and enforcement of individual rights in resources like land, water, air, and wildlife. Free markets and property rights stimulate the technological innovations and behavioral changes required to protect our environment and ecosystems. We realize that our planet’s climate is constantly changing, but environmental advocates and social pressure are the most effective means of changing public behavior.

Now, here is the party platform from 2004, it mentions eliminating the EPA, but not for the reasons you think…

Pollution of other people’s property is a violation of individual rights. Present legal principles, particularly the unjust and false concept of “public property,” block privatisation of the use of the environment and hence block resolution of controversies over resource use. We support the development of an objective legal system defining property rights to air and water. We call for a modification of the laws governing such torts as trespass and nuisance to cover damages done by air, water, radiation, and noise pollution. We oppose legislative proposals to exempt persons who claim damage from radiation from having to prove such damage was in fact caused by radiation. Strict liability, not government agencies and arbitrary government standards, should regulate pollution. We therefore demand the abolition of the Environmental Protection Agency. We also oppose government-mandated smoking and non-smoking areas in privately owned businesses.

Toxic waste disposal problems have been created by government policies that separate liability from property. Rather than making taxpayers pay for toxic waste clean-ups, individual property owners, or in the case of corporations, the responsible managers and employees, should be held strictly liable for material damage done by their property. Claiming that one has abandoned a piece of property does not absolve one of the responsibility for actions one has set in motion. We condemn the EPA’s Superfund whose taxing powers are used to penalize all chemical firms, regardless of their conduct. Such clean-ups are a subsidy of irresponsible companies at the expense of responsible ones.

What does that mean? That means that if you violate my individual property rights by polluting my stream, my air, my land, I should be able to address this in court, swiftly and cheaply, in order to be made whole.

The problem with the EPA is that it is currently ARBITRARY, as detailed above in several examples. Because it is a POLITICAL entity, not a legal one. And because of this, businesses, like corporations, can influence politicians and get their violations swept under the run. Those corporations do NOT want to adjudicate every violation, it would cost them millions of dollars in defense, it is much cheaper to just convince a politician to give them a break.

That is the problem with consolidating that power into the federal government at the political level. Instead, we should leave it at the judicial level where they cannot bypass the courts with the middleman of the EPA who has shown that it cannot, or will not, take its job seriously.

Unfortunately, uninformed people think that the libertarian stance is ‘anti-environment’ when in fact we take it much more seriously than the other two parties do because we see it as a violation of individual private property rights. And we see how we are failing the protection of the environment by placing its defense in the hands of politicians…

I would fully support a proposal that removes government from health care in its entirety for exactly the same reasons.

And the Libertarians have had just such a proposal for decades.

http://www.lp.org/issues/healthcare

The reason we have employer provided health insurance is because of the government. In the 40s the government instituted wage freezes across the country. This left businesses with no way to hire qualified people by offering them more money, so they introduced a set of alternative compensation, such as paying for health insurance for individuals. We have been stuck with this situation ever since. The problem here is that it takes competition in the health care industry away. Now all of the employees at a company are using the same insurance company whether they really want to or not, the penalties of trying to get it on your own when you are offered insurance at your employer are either draconian in cost or simply illegal, depending upon the state you live in.

Rather, it would make more sense to provide the employee with just compensation, which would be their current pay plus the cost of the insurance, and allow them to shop for insurance on their own. Some would buy the highest quality health insurance, others would save their money and only buy catastrophic insurance. By allowing people to use Medical Savings Accounts, where their tax free money put in is allowed to roll over every year, they would be better equipped to handle costly illnesses later on in life AND have the ability to pay for rare but possible catastrophic illnesses that occur while they are young.

On top of that, they would be paying for the medical care directly instead of through an insurance company or HMO. I’ll give a great example of what is going on there…

My wife is going through a lot of medical stuff atm. I was going through my statement of benefits and saw that for one of her blood tests, the cost was listed at over 400 dollars. However the insurance company had a ‘deal’ with the provider and only paid $17 dollars for the test. That’s quite the markup if you are paying out of pocket, don’t you think?

If we were to allow people to go get the tests that they need but allow them to shop around (by incentivizing them to by having them pay for those tests themselves), the prices would fall to what the costs of the tests were plus a small profit. Because that is what the market would dictate.

Anyone who suggests that the US has had a free market healthcare system for the past 50 years is just completely and totally uninformed. I know Stephen has stated that we have a free market healthcare system recently in the column and I just had to shake my head in amazement… It’s like people don’t really know what their words mean anymore. We have a huge walled garden health care system that, even before Obamacare, controlled over 50 percent of the payments made…

I’ve discussed this plan with Rich in the past and we have both agreed that it is the best plan, with the caveat that Rich maintains that everyone be required to buy at least the catastrophic insurance. I might disagree on that small point, but I would rather have that discussion and leave the power of people’s health care in their hands than what we have now or what has been suggested in the past…

What is or isn’t covered in a health care plan is solely something to be negotiated between the employee and the insurance company.

I’m not sure what reality you live in, but that is NOT how it works. Since the company provides the health insurance, it negotations with the insurance company on what is provided. The give a couple of alternatives to the employee to choose from, but other than that, what is provided and paid for is strictly between the insurance company and the company paying for it.

Now, I agree that it SHOULDN’T be the case, but the only fair and rational way to do that is to take providing healthcare OUT of the hands of the government and the employers and give it where it rightfully belongs, to the individuals. THEN they can negotiate with the insurance companies on what they will provide and what they won’t.

Right now both the government and the employers are in the middle deciding. I have to take a plan that provides for child care even though my wife and I cannot have children. If I had my choice, I would remove that from my plan and save a lot of money by doing so. But that decision is taken out of my hands.

BTW, for the majority of people, regular health insurance is a rip off. A small percentage of people get more out of health insurance than they pay in, the majority do not. That’s simple math, otherwise health insurance companies would be out of business in no time. It was just sold as way to ‘take the stress off’ of the people paying for health care at the time it came into vogue. Then codified into existence by the government wage freezes that moved the insurance into benefit packages…

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 18, 2014 12:15 AM
Comment #383486

George, my mother like myself voted for President Obama twice. She was very happy with her vote, in fact I helped her get her early voting forms completed both times. So yes she would be proud of my political persuasions which by the way are not socialist as you like to fantasize.

This 67 year old that served in the US Navy from 1965 to 1968 volunteered for duty. You seem to think that because you are a teaparty christian that gives you some ability to sit in judgement on anyone else. If that trips your trigger you can wallow in your self righteousness, I won’t agree.

I have read before how accomplished you are and you think that I envy your position. I cannot envy someone who holds so much hatred and negativity in their heart. Thanks but I’ll stand by my accomplishments without tooting my horn.

Posted by: Speak4all at September 18, 2014 9:29 AM
Comment #383490

Speaks, sorry I mistook you for a teenager; but since I can’t see you and can only go by your comments, you can understand why I would have made the mistake. So I guess the next question, since we now know your age, is whether you are “feeling very low self-esteem now that you are no longer a contributing member to the work force of this country”? Or are you happily drawing SS and on Medicare?

Thank you for recognizing my accomplishments in life. Since you have looked up my past comments, you are aware of my upbringing as the son of a poor black sharecropper. I was the first in my family to ever get a college education.

As for you being a socialist…well you are, aren’t you? Unless you can disown and reject democrat policy, you must be a socialist. If you are for big government and social programs, redistribution of wealth, and a believer that capitalism is at fault; then you hold to the democratic platform, and if you hold to that platform, then you are just another liberal socialist. Pure logic…

Regarding sitting in judgment; isn’t that what democrats do? At what point in history did you decide not to sit in judgment? I have read your comments too. Actually, if you knew the Bible as well as you know Obama talking points, you would know that Christians WILL sit in judgment.

Posted by: George at September 18, 2014 9:58 AM
Comment #383496

George, you mistake a lot and that is your problem. I still work a 40 hour a week job while collecting SS. I am enrolled in Medicare A but since my work pays for all of my health insurance I do not need to be concerned with Medicare unless I have some catastrophic problem. Thanks for your concern but I really don’t think your concern is for me but how you can use who and what I am to support your crazy socialist theories about me and the democratic party.

Posted by: Speak4all at September 18, 2014 10:29 AM
Comment #383502

Today’s progressives are not socialists. I hate that those who want to attack progressives do so by using the wrong descriptors because it deflects away from the real issues that are wrong with the viewpoint…

As I pointed out in another column’s comments, they are closer to authoritarians or totalitarians. Some are more statist instead, which is really just a light form of the philosophies. Some have even walked into the fascist camp…

Of course, there are some that are in the Democratic party who are socialists and communists (I talked to one at length on salon.com this weekend) but they are few are and far between. Mainly because socialism isn’t nearly as state-centric as progressives advocate.

Authoritarianism (totalitarianism) is a form of government characterized by absolute or blind obedience to [formal] authority, as against individual freedom and related to the expectation of unquestioning obedience.

Juan Linz, whose 1964 description of authoritarianism is influential, characterized authoritarian regimes as political systems by four qualities: (1) “limited, not responsible, political pluralism”; that is, constraints on political institutions and groups (such as legislatures, political parties and interest groups), (2) a basis for legitimacy based on emotion, especially the identification of the regime as a necessary evil to combat “easily recognizable societal problems” such as underdevelopment or insurgency; (3) neither “intensive nor extensive political mobilization” and constraints on the mass public (such as repressive tactics against opponents and a prohibition of anti-regime activity) and (4) “formally ill-defined” executive power, often shifting or vague.

That seems to be a pretty good description of the modern Democratic Party… A president who can bypass congress to do what he “feels” is right, all arguments based on emotion instead of logic, rejection of individual rights at the hands of the state, labelling your opponents as ‘evil’…

In political science, statism is the belief that the state should control either economic or social policy, or both, to some degree. Statism is effectively the opposite of anarchism. Statism can take many forms from minarchism to totalitarianism. Minarchists prefer a minimal or night-watchman state to protect people from aggression, theft, breach of contract, and fraud with military, police, and courts. Some may also include fire departments, prisons, and other functions. Welfare state adepts and other such options make up more statist territory of the scale of statism. Totalitarians prefer a maximum or all-encompassing state.

So, get your descriptions right, it makes for a more informed discussion of the topics.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 18, 2014 2:14 PM
Comment #383505

Ok, now THIS is funny…

Brought to you by “The Americans for Whatever Barack Obama Wants, Did You Know He Is Friends With Jay-Z?”

For a donation of $10 Million, you get your own senator.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 18, 2014 2:43 PM
Comment #383506

Err, the link was eaten…

Help Obama Kickstart WWIII

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 18, 2014 2:44 PM
Comment #383508

Rhinehold…you’re sooooo baaaad. LOL

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 18, 2014 4:21 PM
Comment #383527

A leading senator was using his deft speaking ability and his ability to travel the large expanse of this country. In the process he was in northern NM speaking to a Native American tribe. While he was speaking there would be outbursst of voices shouting on a number of occassions the phrase “Hoya, Hoya”.
After his speach he was taken on a tour of the lands of this tribe. He was also warned not to step in the Hoya.

You see SD it took my just a few lines to say what you said above. You just had trouble coming up the the four keys that spelled H-O-Y-A in that same sequence.

Posted by: tom humes at September 19, 2014 12:34 AM
Comment #383530

kctim-
If you want to know how utterly meaningless the political distinctions you are making are, go shopping for groceries.

If you are a functional, social human being, you will pass by and interact with all kinds of different people, whose politics will likely be a mystery to you. As I’ve done it multiple times, in a state like mine, living out in the suburbs, I can’t help but reflect on all the things that people say on the political side of things, and consider whether that’s a kind of mirage in terms of people’s actual character, something brought on more by a series of primed, automated responses than serious consideration.

Of course, things at that level can turn on politics, too, so you can’t say for certain that’s its not real on some level.

Still, I think if you look at what Democrats actually say for themselves, and you look at the young couples with children, and everything like that, you might begin to wonder how anybody could believe that it would be the objective of any person there to actually destroy their own economy, or see the ruin of their own nation.

If you weren’t so enamored of the ideology, it might occur to you that if you were willing to interact with these people, common ground and moderation could be cultivated in the spaces inbetween. It’s happened before.

You say marriage is a cultural issue. Well, maybe religiously speaking, but it is a function of government to both regulate marriage, and define the rights and obligations attached to it. Additionally, while you say nobody’s been denied a right, you have plenty of State Constitutional amendments and such that were passed, with the GOP taking the lead on it, in order to bar that from being done. You might personally find it ridiculous, but then you’re not the one who can’t get a marriage license, and because of the lack of that, things like insurance benefits and spousal privileges at hospitals and such. There are legal ramifications, things people actually lose for not being able to marry.

Finally let me say something: I don’t root most of my policy positions in socialism. That’s a buzzword, used by folks like you, regardless of its real meaning, to devalue the real and timely push we’re making, out of experience, to rebalance the negotiation of interests in this country back in the favor of the poor and middle class. We cannot expect true prosperity in a land where most people have to go into debt to maintain a constant standard of living. If we don’t do better than that, we create a system apt to collapse if the truth is revealed about what’s really worth what.

I want something more robust than that.

Royal Flush-
You haven’t run out of appropriate adjectives to describe my thought process. You never bothered in the first place. You restated what she said in a way that failed to properly represent what she meant, what somebody with any experience with the money supply would know she meant.

Additionally, you cited a fake list, falsely attributed to Alinsky. I went back through and hit it point by point just to emphasize how psychotically off-base the assumed positions were. If anybody deserves pity, it’s you. I can proudly state that rather than accept your statements as true, I went and I saw for myself what the truth of the source was.

You? You’ve been taken advantage of by somebody who you trusted. They thought the moment that you heard “Alinsky” you’d take the list as his and further spread their lies. And they were right.

Rhinehold-
Cynthia McKinney was so well beloved in her party that she got voted out of office once, and got back in on a special election, only to lose the following election in the primary (that is, by the hand of Democratic voters) while Democrats in general were otherwise increasing their numbers.

Yes, I bet you could find some tags on Kos defending her. Kos has tens of thousands of individuals writing on it, though, so just finding the support of a handful of people is not immediately meaningful. What is meaningful is that Daily Kos made it a policy to avoid 9/11 trutherism.

You picked two obscure politicians as representative examples, politicians who at this point no longer even function within the party.

As for what my political beliefs are? I believe that self-organization doesn’t necessarily equate to good organization. I think sometimes we need somebody, with the force of law behind them, able to reorganize things if necessary.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 19, 2014 1:04 AM
Comment #383531

SD

“As for what my political beliefs are? I believe that self-organization doesn’t necessarily equate to good organization. I think sometimes we need somebody, with the force of law behind them, able to reorganize things if necessary”

Kinda like your interpretation of what Obama represents.

You need to stop trying to write comedy and find some factual things to say.

Posted by: tom humes at September 19, 2014 2:52 AM
Comment #383533

tom humes-
It’s not comedy. Your politics is the farce, really, the attempt of people who largely do not benefit to let the chips fall where they may, even while the system is not enough of a clean slate to enable a fair, or even random outcome.

I think your people disparage what is essentially about 150 years worth of the middle class’s political experience, the lessons learned from trying to wait for the rich and powerful to do right by people, observing that failure, and then using numbers and policy to constrain the rich and powerful so that those up top don’t remain permanent fixtures of that strata, but people who have to earn their status there in order to avoid being made losers by those from below.

I’d like to believe that people are as kind, moral, and willing to abstain from the path of least resistance as you are, but I’ve got decades worth of study in psychology, cognitive sciences, and neuroscience (not to mention just plain experience in the real world) which tells me that social self-assembly can create demons and wild beasts as well as angels and pets. Your basic argument is that in order to get power, policies and politicians have to tend towards virtue. You point towards your own and say this.

But it doesn’t work that way. In the real world, virtue both is and is not rewarded. In the real world, those who adapt in amoral or unwise ways in the short term both do and do not survive. Yes, I would argue, over time morals and virtues triumph, but only after vice and expedience have had their chance to mess things up.

In any functioning ecosystem of choice, you will always have a ready supply of those who exploit the rules and exploit people to get ahead, and if you let them set the rules, and Conservatives have been doing for the last few decades, they will set the rules to the benefit of their kind. The cheaters will rig the system so the cheaters will prosper. At least that’s their intention. Long term, of course, they do fail, but of course, many of those who cheat don’t worry about the rest of the system, but themselves.

You need choice to be able to correct mistakes, to revise understanding towards accurate beliefs, and so on and so forth, but at the same time, leaving everything up to choice doesn’t create ideal outcomes, doesn’t ensure that virtue necessarily triumphs, in fact can create a situation where the same problems that plague us before recur.

It’s not an either-or proposition, like you folks keep trying to make it. We have to have government in spite of its potential flaws and inherent problems. The structure of our government, though, is such that we can correct it over time, if we are willing.

Unfortunately, the districting and the media manipulation have been such over time that Republicans and Conservatives are unwilling to let their people wander the wilderness, either to deal with their objective shortfalls, or their failures to come through on promises.

I don’t believe conservatives are by themselves a problem. I think, left to themselves, away from the malignant tumor of leadership that the GOP and its news operations have created, they’d probably be halfway reasonable. Trouble is, they’ve been convinced that their opposition must be defeated at all costs, so magically, they can’t make any choices that upset the status quo, and the folks who so richly deserve record low approval ratings remain unpunished.

They, like the rest of us, are unable to use the system to correct the errors of our recent past, even if only to create a conservative version of a practical solution.

Politics always filters. You can never start from it an come to reasonable conclusions. Politics has to be what you negotiate to get something that is otherwise objectively right through. If you’re not compromising, if you’re not debating beyond simple ideology, you’re not really using the system well.

I see far too much ideology here, not enough practical thought on the matters at hand.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 19, 2014 7:39 AM
Comment #383534

Stephen

I function just fine, my friend. I have lived over ten years of my life overseas in varying countries, and my current job takes me all over this country.
One of the most astounding things I have recently noticed is the absolute disdain your people have for those who dare disagree with you. You guys take it personally and way too many of you base friendship and relationship on your politics.
All I can say about that is you would be a lot less angry if you judged people as individuals instead of as some evil group defined by the stereotypes and talking points you are being fed.

That mirage is of your own creation. You believe you and your beliefs are superior to others, and that mirage allows you to simply dismiss them, rather than face fact.

I actually do take the time to listen to what liberals say, and I have taken the time to know your policy. I simply disagree with it.
When I see a young couple with children, I think about their rights and freedoms, not what others should be forced to give them to make their lives easier. Why? Because I value rights and freedoms more than I do money.

“if you were willing to interact with these people, common ground and moderation could be cultivated in the spaces inbetween. It’s happened before.”

I interact with Democrats, Conservatives, Libertarians etc… ALL the time, Stephen. We discuss most of the things we discuss here, without the disdain liberals display.

And, as I have repeatedly tried to get through to you, those “spaces inbetween” have gotten a lot smaller. This makes the room for compromise tighter, which means more understanding and respect are required.

Marriage IS a cultural issue, and yes, since government has gotten involved in it, it is the one the defines it. The more people who accept gay marriage, the more reps who accept it will be voted in, and the definition will be changed.
Nobody’s rights are being denied. EVERYBODY plays by the same rules. You show me where I have more or less rights than another man when it comes to marriage, and I will change my position.

“You might personally find it ridiculous, but then you’re not the one who can’t get a marriage license,”

ANY man can get a marriage license just as I did. We are ALL treated the SAME under current law when it comes to being able to get married.
Special benefits and privileges can be addressed by law.

“Finally let me say something: I don’t root most of my policy positions in socialism.”

While you don’t advocate governmental ownership, you do advocate for government to redistribute for the benefit of the collective, over the rights and freedoms of the individual. While technically not the entire definition of socialism, it is how it is define in our politics today, so you might as well get used to it.

While I personally find it disgusting to favor one American over another, I understand that envy and greed are now used to do so. Sadly, it is now our way of life as Americans, and it is something I guess I will just have to get used to.

“We cannot expect true prosperity in a land where most people have to go into debt to maintain a constant standard of living.”

Only if one defines “true prosperity” by the dollar. The fact is though, that people don’t have to go into debt to maintain a constant standard of living, they only have to go into debt to maintain a certain standard of living that they have been conditioned to believe they are entitled to.
THAT is the system we have created, and THAT is the system that will eventually collapse.

Posted by: kctim at September 19, 2014 10:35 AM
Comment #383537

SD

Old habits are hard to break as well as mental inability to understand other peoples consistent relation to your phrase “your people”. When are you going to take ownership of such nonsense as your rhetorical crap of assumption and quit putting me in the middle of your making an ass out of you and me. I am neither an ass nor one of “your people”. Some people just never learn and that is meant for you “mister houston wantabe”.

Posted by: tom humes at September 19, 2014 12:57 PM
Comment #383538

Maybe the evil, selfish conservatives should let a few Democratics have a little bit of money. We should also give them a “smidgen” of power by allowing them to be be represented in the federal government. The Democratics have been in the wilderness far too long.

Democratics have been poor and powerless throughout Stephen Daugherty’s entire life. They deserve a chance to come into the mainstream and be allowed to achieve a modicum of prosperity. Make them feel like they belong.

Conservatives should step aside and be compassionate for the poor, deprived Democratic who has our boot on his neck. Let’s allow them to get an education in psychology, cognitive sciences, and neuroscience so they can compete with those selfish, hollow, demanding, intransigent conservatives that have been holding them back all these years.

Maybe, just maybe, they would be grateful if they had a little money in their pocket and a fair chance at being represented. Maybe then they will stop the incessant whining about how conservatives are ruining civilization. It’s been far, far, too long since conservatives allowed Democratics to have a voice in their government.

Perhaps conservatives should take the next one-hundred years to make substancial changes in our monetary system, our judicial system, our economic system, our health care system, our social security system, our environment, our energy supply, our education system, and our constitution to accomodate these poor, deprived Democratics. Perhaps, after another one-hundred years of accomodating them they can begin to realize they don’t have to be an outcast any longer.

Posted by: Weary Willie at September 19, 2014 1:31 PM
Comment #383548

Just a couple of thoughts:

First: hello Tom Humes, I have been meaning to get an email off to you.

Secondly: Speaks, are you saying, you have been working a full time job for he past 5 years and at the same time on the government dole. I think that’s called double dipping; but I am sure you will have a logical reason for taking the taxpayers dollars while working a full time job.

Thirdly: Socialism, fascism, communism; what’s the difference other than semantics. Government control, anti-capitalist, redistribution of wealth, or even control of speech or religion…it’s all the same. The bible of the left is Alynski’s “Rules for Radicals” is nothing more than a guide on how to transform a country from capitalism to socialism, from freedom to tyranny. Obama, the great community organizer…what is a community organizer…nothing more than someone who blackmails businesses and redistributes the wealth. By Obama’s own resume, he is a socialist.

Posted by: George at September 19, 2014 5:55 PM
Comment #383549

George, not that I’m defending speaks but after you reach 66 years old you can work a full time job while collecting SS.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at September 19, 2014 6:21 PM
Comment #383551

george at
Do you have my email?

Posted by: tom humes at September 19, 2014 6:46 PM
Comment #383554

Collecting SS is not being on the “government dole.” Speaks is simply collecting on his own investment.

Posted by: Rich at September 19, 2014 9:24 PM
Comment #383565
Speaks is simply collecting on his own investment.
Actually, this is not at all how SS is structured. Right now, I pay FICA taxes tha fund S4A’s benefits. His own contributions to SS were spent by another retiree decades ago. SS is an insurance program, not a retirement plan. Posted by: Warren Porter at September 20, 2014 1:16 AM
Comment #383567

Warren,

It is the federal old age, survivors and disability insurance program.

Retirement (old age) benefits are paid in accordance with the amount of contributions made during a retiree’s working life.

The fact that today’s workers are paying for today’s retirees is not surprising. Most pension plans work that way. Agree that the benefits for retirees are not strictly related to contributions that the retiree made during his/her lifetime. In the past, this meant that retirees may have drawn more than they contributed. That, however, is no longer the case. Baby booomer retirees will collect on overage less than they contributed in their lifetime. Boomers have been making excess FICA payments since 1983 to fund their retirements.


Posted by: Rich at September 20, 2014 6:39 AM
Comment #383568

kctim-
My disdain is for people who can’t disagree with me without trying to destroy my reputation in the process. Just go back through all the things you’ve claimed about us, about our beliefs, and then imagine this: that you don’t believe those criticisms or characterizations, that you don’t think your policies lead to those disasters, that, in sum, you aren’t trying to destroy your own country!

And then consider how you’d treat those talking about you that way.

I’m not a big fan of a whole people being on assistance if they don’t have to be, if there isn’t some big economic crisis that’s cratered the job market. I’d rather they be working. I’m not a big fan of running deficits, unless the alternative is economically damaging, in which case my policy would be to stimulate the economy so you’re not running those deficits in such a long term way. I’m not a big fan of running wars, but if we are running them, we strike decisively, work effectively, and don’t wait around like the Bush Administration did for people to agree that they were beaten.

ANY man can get a marriage license just as I did. We are ALL treated the SAME under current law when it comes to being able to get married. Special benefits and privileges can be addressed by law.

No, we’re not. If one man wants to marry another consenting adult male, in many states, he can’t. That’s not equality. We no longer criminalize homosexual behavior, since the sodomy laws have been struck down, so there’s no longer any legal excuse for why LGBT individuals can’t marry the consenting adult of their choice.

As for socialism?

I’m for SOME redistribution. Some. Mostly, I want the Capitalist system at work. Mostly, I want people supporting themselves. What I support are sort of sealants for the cracks in the system, so people aren’t falling through them. I want Capitalism where people are secure enough to take the risks this nation needs them to take.

It’s not a problem of my not being moderate, it’s a problem of your people being too locked up in your own world with your own standards.

Tom Humes-
If you can’t argue with me without trying to destroy me as a person, your arguments, or your methods of arguing, are weak. You are not the person who forces me to think things out when I respond to you. Ready-made arguments have ready-made responses.

Weary Willie-
The problem with the Right Wing is that their heads have been in the wilderness even when their butts have been in the majority. You have to make us powerless for your people to feel in any way secure about your party’s future, or the future of the Republic.

I don’t think Republicans are the victims they think they are. I think they’ve trained themselves to feel like victims, in order to avenge that wound. But after years of having substantial control in Congress, the White House, the Supreme Court, they’ve screwed things up anyways, and become the victims of themselves and the limits of their own ideological thoughts.

As a liberal, I can consider that I might be wrong on a subject, or that it’s not absolutely necessary that I win absolutely. As a Conservative, you’ve convinced yourself that compromise is defeat. Of the two of us, who do you think can play the long game better, where defeats are often inevitable, compromise impossible to avoid?

You don’t need to baby me the way you seem to need to baby yourselves. I’d just like it that if I win, I get to exercise about the same amount of power in the government that you would if you had won. I don’t need to get everything I want if I only control the House or Senate. I can settle for better compromises, and build from there.

My gripe is, Republicans seem unwilling to let the system work like it was designed to. They’re too stuck in their own mythology to obey the Framer’s vision of compromise between political factions, even within their own party.

George-
How’s our fifteen year veteran of an eleven year old site doing? Good? By the way, you spell “Alinsky”… well, like I just spelled it. As for Rules for Radicals?

Red scare BS, really. A Slavic sounding name, the word “radicals”… trick is, you’re constantly using his tactics. Funny thing is, Alinsky never really was a big fan of hard and fast ideologies.

Thing is, you don’t have any real policy beyond simply opposing liberalism, and because opposing what somebody else thinks and does has become the core of your consistency, you have no consistency at all. That is the curse of being a reactionary, to be blown about by the winds of other people’s decision-making.

As for speak4all, he paid his dues. It’s like collecting a pension. He earned it. Same with Medicare and the other things. We take a chunk out of people’s checks just for that, and in fact those are the biggest taxes most people pay in those checks. But because it’s a social benefit, administered by the state, you apply your prejudice to it, and fail to account for the facts.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 20, 2014 9:39 AM
Comment #383569

Tom Humes, yes, sent you an email…

Warren is correct. The point is that Speaks is working a full time job and drawing government benefits at the same time. Tell me, how does the left feel about the Koch brothers drawing SS benefits? Would that be a problem or not? Why should benefits be paid to someone who does not need them?

Railroad Retirement is similar to SS, and yet very solvent. If you go to the RR board, you will see that benefits can be paid for many years, even if no more contributions are made. Why is that? Because the government has not been able to raid the fund. SS could be the same, but SS has been used as a slush fund for government socialism.

Posted by: George at September 20, 2014 9:42 AM
Comment #383570

Interesting Daugherty; you believe in redistribution of wealth and yet claim to be a capitalist. Tell me, where do you propose to get the wealth that you want to redistribute?

Bernie Saunders is a self proclaimed socialist. What part of his ideology does Daugherty disagree with???

Posted by: George at September 20, 2014 9:49 AM
Comment #383571

Stephen Daugherty, please specify when Republicans have had substantial control of congress and the presidency. How does Roe v. Wade get through a conservative supreme court? How does the abolition of prayer in schools get upheld in a conservative supreme court?

Just because you say it, and the media blindly parrots it, doesn’t make it so. The left is the greatest bullshit artist in the history of mankind. Your bilge about the founders wanting this and the founders wanting that is all fantacy, an excuse to condone the progressive assault and destruction of the constitution that’s been going on for over a century now. Progressive idology has nothing at all in common with the founder’s vision of this country.

Posted by: Weary Willie at September 20, 2014 10:35 AM
Comment #383577

Just to be clear- at no point did the SCOTUS abolish prayer in schools. As a high school teacher I was very aware of the issue. Students can pray anywhere, anytime they want; however, they cannot disrupt class to do so. For example, a person quietly bowing their head and praying is perfectly acceptable; however, a person speaking in tongues in a loud voice during the class is unacceptable.

I actually taught “Anthem” by Ayn Rand, and used the Bible as a supporting text, because knowing about Adam and Eve was a necessary background for understanding the book.

States make school attendance mandatory, and the money for education comes from taxpayers. For that reason, government cannot impose religion on students through the school’s teachers.

Posted by: phx8 at September 20, 2014 4:02 PM
Comment #383579

sd

Aren’t se sensitive. Man up to what is said about you. If I wanted to destroy your reputation it would have been accomplished a long time ago. It is the things that come out of your mouth that are so pathetic I don’t have to try to destroy your reputation. You are doing it all by your lonesome self. I just sit by and watch. You cannot take advice when it comes your way. You consider yourself more rithteous than others. That puts you into the Narcissist camp. That makes you an elitist. And more. You cannot admit to the error of your thinking. Just because it matches other heavyweithts in the totalitarian camp does not make you a star. It makes you incompetant to deal with the realities of life in the fast and political lane. You should have the insight by now from all the preaching from the constitutional side of things. I still have hope that you will see tings for what they are some day.

Posted by: tom humes at September 20, 2014 5:34 PM
Comment #383597

Kool! Stephen Daugherty’s been immortalized on one-simple-idea.com

That’s good! Like Rush Limbaugh said, “It’s better to keep them around as an example of what to look out for.”

Posted by: Weary Willie at September 21, 2014 3:49 AM
Comment #383609

D.a.n. thanks for taking time to list some of Daugherty’s gems. Foolishly, I once believed one could reason with him and with logic and facts change his thinking. WRONG!

D.a.n. was banned for abusive behavior and deliberate defiance of the rules of the comments section. I am maintaining that ban since he obviously doesn’t respect them still.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 21, 2014 5:30 PM
Comment #383619


D.a.n.
You’re quite good at spewing your own brand of bulls**t ! Seems you’ve been not quite so prolific lately, and thanks for that respite for those of us were ready for your exit. Flushed, you might be able to reason with more people on here if, in fact, you were using reasonable logic to do it. You are off that mark just about every time you open your mouth. You and your like-thinking contributors have managed to usurp the whole concept of those articles posted on here. This is your typical M.O. Wear those down who you can’t beat into joining you. That isn’t now, nor ever has been, a way to bring people into your way of thinking. Hope you like the idea of being very lonely !!!

Posted by: jane doe at September 22, 2014 12:34 AM
Comment #383622

Hi, jane doe!

Hope you like the idea of being very lonely !!!
Posted by: Weary Willie at September 22, 2014 3:36 AM
Comment #383626

George-
I’ve made my beliefs quite clear. Where they are in agreement with some people, right, left, or center, so be it. I believe this country was meant to be ruled by the reasoned interests of its citizens, not by the fear of being stuffed in one category or another by those too convinced of their own supremacy to explain themselves or think through their own ideas.

If I happen to agree with conservatives like yourselves on some things, or otherwise need to compromise with you, well, I’ve long learned to live with that. I can do the same with Socialists. Of course, you have plenty of experience with how I can disagree with you, so consider that I think a great deal of what socialism both promises and promotes is as naïve as what you and yours promote.

See, the thing here is that I recognize that what the Framers created, in a non-political fashion, is a social government. That is, one that requires people to actually interact with each other and come to agreements on how everybody is to be governed. Some governments, like China’s, only have one party, and pretty much there’s a party line you either go with or run afoul of.

This is what I see your side doing to our democratic, constitutional republic. You complain about political correctness, but in the process of complaining about it, you’ve created your own shadow code of positions and attitudes that are considered forbidden or frowned upon for your side.

On the other hand, I don’t need my party, or my movement to completely take over. I just need yours to stop self-inflicting this ivory-tower, burn-all-bridges attitude on itself, and recognize that other Americans have just as much right to have a voice in their government, or a controlling interest in it, if that is how the votes shake out. This business of obstructing when you’re out of power and abusing your authority when you’re in it has to stop.

Weary Willie-
Okay, here goes:
1981-1993 The Presidency belongs to the GOP.
1981-1987 The Senate Belongs to the GOP

1995-2001, 2003-2007 Both the Senate and the House belong to the GOP
1995-2007 2011-Present The House of Representatives belong to the GOP
2001-2009 The Presidency belongs to the GOP

In my almost 35 years on the planet, as a US citizen, Democrats have had full control of the House and Senate for about one third of it, with only four years held with a Democratic President also in there. By contrast, Republicans had six years, all in a row, not to mention a Democratic Party President from a centrist faction who was willing to let their side win on a lot of things.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 22, 2014 8:59 AM
Comment #383627

In order to clear up a misconception allow me to explain SS benefits. I work a full time job and pay all taxes on my income. My SS benefit, because I am still working, is also taxed at that same income level. I would venture a guess that I am paying a lot more in taxes then anyone younger than me due to the income level that I have. I do not use Medicare insurance since as I have explained before my employer pays all of my health insurance at no cost to me. So I am not burdening my fellow taxpayers and in fact pay a lot more than most of them do. I could care less what the Koch brothers do.

I made the decision to collect SS benefits at 66 while I still worked after consultation with my CPA and Financial Adviser (my brother) and my Insurance Agent (my other brother). You might ask why would I involve my Insurance Agent. Well we generally use these meetings as an excuse to drink beer and talk about old and new things in our lives. We decided that by working and collecting SS benefits that I was taking advantage of the investment that I have been making and continue to make for the last 50 years. I plan on doing this as long as I am physically and mentally able.

I don’t want anyone to worry that I am not using my SS benefit to it’s best outcome. I continue to improve the home I own with some of that additional income. I have a lot of grandchildren that require some monetary help and feel great that I can sometimes provide that. Oh and I also BBQ’d 17 lbs of ribs over the weekend for the family (almost all eaten). That stuff is expensive, but you ought to see the tab when I have my steak cookout (coming up soon). Man the price of beef, yikes (especially the good cuts of steak $$$).

Thanks for all of your concern but I feel like you really aren’t to concerned about me if the truth were told.

Posted by: Speak4all at September 22, 2014 9:53 AM
Comment #383631
I think sometimes we need somebody, with the force of law behind them, able to reorganize things if necessary.

Hardly anyone would agree with that Stephen, heck that is what government is and no one I’ve seen on here is an anarchist, but as I have asked you many times to tell me what we SHOULDN’T do that, or give me an example of when you have EVER debated against enacting some stupid regulations that we all know exists, I would like to correct your statement..

“I think ALWAYS we need somebody, with the force of law behind them, able to reorganize things if necessary”.

BTW, for those that do think anarchy is a good idea, it is a concept that simply does not exist in any human existence as long as 2 or more people exist. As soon as one person tells another person what to do (or a group of people stop a person who is too powerful from enslaving them, etc) then you have a government. It is a small, non-codified government, but that doesn’t make it any less of a government for that reason. So let’s quit the stupid anarchy nonsense, kay? Just make yourself look the idiot…

Finally…

As someone who is having to deal with a spouse who is actually fighting cancer, can we stop with the stupid ‘malignancy’ crap? It’s a despicable attempt to silence opposition and paint your opponent as beyond the reach of humanistic existence. It is also VERY insulting to people who actually are losing their lives to such a horrific disease. I’ve been seeing this phraseology appear in the Democratic talking points lately (and can be seen in Stephen’s comments) and if that is the step “you folks” have to lower yourselves to in order to win, that’s a horrific indictment of the state of affairs of our current political system and your ability to make your points with actual logic and reason.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 22, 2014 11:21 AM
Comment #383632

First line should be ‘hardly anyone would disagree’, I just realized the mistake after I posted. I really wish we could get a short ‘re-edit’ period after commenting like other sites have… As well as many other things, but that’s another issue for other people.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 22, 2014 11:23 AM
Comment #383635
Now, I can cite facts, data, statistics, and hard evidence all day long about how good the economy is under Obama. Forbes magazine is no fan of Obama’s, but they just published an article about how this is the best economy in the modern era, and, you know what? They are right. I can back up that assertion. The stock market is at all time highs for the DJIA and the S&P. NASDAQ is way up there too. Interest rates are low, inflation is low as measured by the CPI and PPI, gold is down to @ $1236 per ounce, and oil is down to @ $92. Housing prices have recovered, people’s 401k’s have recovered, and employment statistics look good. Non-farm payrolls are excellent, the unemployment rate is down in the low 6% range, and so on.

I respond with concerns about a new bubble, artificially low interest rates, etc…

And today we see this:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-09-22/u-s-stock-index-
futures-fall-as-china-damps-policy-bets.html

U.S. stocks fell, led by a plunge among small companies, as sales of existing homes unexpectedly dropped


“Small caps are really under-performing again and I think that’s the main issue here,” JC O’Hara, the New York-based chief market technician at FBN Securities Inc, said by phone. “We’re seeing the spread between the Russell and the S&P 500 widening out again and that is worrying some people. Traders want to see small caps participate and every time they don’t they think, ’it’s still not working.’”

There’s a good chance U.S. equities will decline over the next few weeks, citing the market’s deteriorating breadth, according to a research report from Jonathan Krinsky, a technical strategist at MKM Partners LLC.

While the Russell 3000 Index touched a intraday record on Sept. 19, fewer than 55 percent of stocks in the index were above their average price from the last 200 days. The last time that happened was March 24, 2000, the end of the dom-com bubble, according to MKM.

The Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index (VIX), the gauge known as the VIX, increased 10 percent to 13.33 today, the most in seven weeks. The gauge lost 29 percent last month, the biggest drop in almost three years.

A report today showed purchases of previously owned U.S. homes unexpectedly declined in August for the first time in five months as investors retreated from the market. Separate data showed U.S. economic activity fell in August, according to the Fed Bank of Chicago.

The Fed is on the lookout for signs of asset-price bubbles, and financial stability is a necessary condition for effective monetary policy, Dudley said.


“I think we do need to try to identify asset bubbles in real time,” Dudley said. “You can’t have an effective monetary policy if you have financial instability.”

In addition, Group of 20 officials said low interest rates could lead to a potential increase in financial-market risk, as major economies rely on monetary stimulus to bolster uneven growth.

Julian Robertson, the billionaire founder of Tiger Management LLC, said there’s a bubble in bonds that will end “in a very bad way.” “Bonds are at ridiculous levels,” Robertson said today at the Bloomberg Markets Most Influential Summit in New York. “It’s a worldwide phenomenon that governments are buying bonds to keep their countries moving along economically.”

Basically, everything I have been warning against on here for the past couple of years is starting to show itself… We are seeing a fake economy based on artificially low interest rates that only help the rich and cannot be maintained indefinitely. We are building a new kind of bubble and it is about to pop unless people stop trying to play politics with our economy and work on actually fixing it… Not with increased burdens on the companies that make up the economy, but lowering the outrageous taxes applied to businesses that we all pay for in the end and a necessary increase of the interest rate so that saving money becomes more attractive than blowing it and finally actually healthy reporting, not modified reporting that gives us an invalid half-picture…

It is going to mean a slowdown that is needed in order to have a sustained healthy economy going forward. Something this president said he was going to do before turning 180 degrees into the other direction for political gain.

The Democrats and Republicans are playing with our financial future for future votes and political power and it is catching up to them.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 22, 2014 12:21 PM
Comment #383636

Rhinehold,
There is no bubble and interest rates are not “artificially low”. Rates are low because deflation- NOT inflation, but deflation- continues to be a concern. Gold dropped to under $1220. Oil is down to $91. The last CPI came in at -.2 and, although the Fed will continue phasing out quantitative easing, rates will continue to stay low. There are two concerns: 1) wages are not increasing, and 2) although employment numbers are much better, including the labor pool participation rate, there is still room for improvement.

The only sense that there is a bubble is that stocks represent the most attractive investments in this environment. Remember how corporations had so much cash on the sideline? Well, it had to go somewhere eventually… and stocks continue to offer the best returns.

This will not stay the same forever. Someday, the Federal Reserve will begin increasing rates again. That is good. However, the stock market has not suffered a correction since the GOP tried to tank the economy with the debt ceiling threats. It has been over three years.

Bull markets climb a wall of worry. There is always something to be concerned about. That is why one person is willing to sell even as another is willing to buy.

It has only been recently that we have seen the GDP start to really cook.

If you really want to call the top of the stock market, wait for a general sense of euphoria to envelop investors. Wait until the DJIA hits 20,000, and then people publish articles saying it will to go to 30,000. Wait for others to start insisting the market cycle no longer exists- we can only go up and up and up. Wait for historically high valuations that become accepted as the new norm.

VIX is fairly useless, by the way.

And “artificially low rates” do NOT help the rich. The really rich people buy bonds, not stocks.

Posted by: phx8 at September 22, 2014 3:33 PM
Comment #383637

Daugherty writes; “This business of obstructing when you’re out of power and abusing your authority when you’re in it has to stop.”

What hubris. What arrogance. What a load of crap.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 22, 2014 3:54 PM
Comment #383638
And “artificially low rates” do NOT help the rich. The really rich people buy bonds, not stocks.

No, the REALLY rich overleverage and loan out money at >4% that they get for

We need leadership like Volkher provided in the early 1980s which resulted in interest rates being very high, but without it we would have never come out of the stagflation of the 70s that was a direct result of the same type of manipulation that the FED is performing now.

This was the real issue behind the 2007-2008 collapse, one that it seeing itself play out again. We have created a huge bond bubble, just like the housing bubble, that is going to end up biting us in the rear just as a Republican president takes office, which of course the Democrats will blame on them in some convoluted nonsensical way just as they did with the last one (Glass-Steagall), even though Democrats held both the House and Senate during the last bubble correction telling us all was fine and we didn’t need to change anything in our policies. Bush and Greenspan were definitely at fault, but the Democrats were blowing smoke up everyone’s ass as well, there was a consensus in both camps that things were good.

And yes, the rate IS artificially low. That you don’t understand that is pretty much a key to the problem. If the FED wasn’t setting the rate low it would be naturally higher than it is now. So by definition, it is artificially low.

Again, please watch Money For Nothing. There are many key aspects of how the FED works that most people just don’t understand.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 22, 2014 4:33 PM
Comment #383639

The paragraph that was eaten previously stated:

No, the REALLY rich overleverage and loan out money at > 4% that they get for

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 22, 2014 4:36 PM
Comment #383640

Grrr…

The paragraph that was eaten previously stated:

No, the REALLY rich overleverage and loan out money at greater than 4% that they get for less than 1%, basically making money for free since it beats the inflation rate… It’s a much better play than the stock market. This is what took down Lehman Brothers, et al.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 22, 2014 4:37 PM
Comment #383641

http://moneyfornothingthemovie.org/blog/details/7294/janet-yellen-on-inflation-in-her-own-words

This may be just another “headfake” as we’ve seen in recent years (see commentary from Milton Ezrati of Lord Abbett here).

Or the Fed - which has been desperately flooring the monetary gas pedal since 2009 - may have finally gotten the economy out of neutral and into “drive”.

If that’s the case Janet and her Fed colleagues will be on alert for any sudden increase in inflation - which could be made worse by a major drought that has already sent food prices rocketing higher. And in case you don’t think Janet considers herself responsible for controlling inflation, see what she had to tell us - in her own words - during her interview for the film:

http://vimeo.com/89666275

She may not be able to control inflation in coming years - but she definitely considers it her job to try.

If I had to bet I’d wager that the economy stays weak, housing continues to soften, and the stock market folds in the next year - but with the Fed still printing $660 billion new dollars per year any sustained uptick in money growth, bank lending and inflation could lead to faster Fed tightening than anyone expects.

Since 2009 investors have been lulled into thinking the Fed will always have their back. But since World War II every single US recession has been preceded by the Fed raising rates to fight inflation.

My advice? Don’t bet the ranch on this time being different.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 22, 2014 4:42 PM
Comment #383642

Could anyone who understands “HillarySpeak” please explain this quote of Hillary?

“My accomplishments as Secretary of State? Well, I’m glad you asked! My proudest accomplishment in which I take the most pride, mostly because of the opposition it faced early on, you know… the remnants of prior situations and mind sets that were too narrowly focused in a manner whereby they may have overlooked the bigger picture and we didnt do that and Im proud of that. Very proud. I would say thats a major accomplishment.”

- Hillary Clinton 11 March 2014

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 22, 2014 4:43 PM
Comment #383643

Stephen

I speak out against liberalism, not you personally. When you guys start talking about wanting to change the Constitution, or how supporting that Constitution is some radical idea that means we favor a Somalia type government, I don’t take it personally.

“No, we’re not. If one man wants to marry another consenting adult male, in many states, he can’t.”

Neither can any other man. No man is treated any differently under current law, Stephen. We all play by the same rules. When enough people believe in changing those rules, they will be changed.

I know where you guys stand on socialism, the mix you want, and how the full out socialists are still a minority in the country.
This mix is still relatively new to our country though, and there are still many people who know what it’s like to live without it. We remember what it’s like not to have our personal lives so heavily intruded on by government. To believe what we want. To be responsible for ourselves and our actions.
I don’t come on here and tell you that you’ve pushed too far and we are finally pushing back, just to piss you off Stephen. I tell you so that you might just understand why.

“It’s not a problem of my not being moderate, it’s a problem of your people being too locked up in your own world with your own standards.”

Because we are tired of giving so much up just to please you guys. Our “standards” have governed this nation for the majority of its existence, and you want us to just roll over while you transform it into something it was never meant to be? That’s not going to happen overnight. Sorry.

Posted by: kctim at September 22, 2014 4:46 PM
Comment #383644

Paul Volcker on the Fed’s “Fear of Deflation” in 2002-05

http://vimeo.com/60585970

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 22, 2014 4:47 PM
Comment #383645

Academic Economists

http://vimeo.com/51323688

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 22, 2014 4:53 PM
Comment #383646
“No, we’re not. If one man wants to marry another consenting adult male, in many states, he can’t.”

Neither can any other man. No man is treated any differently under current law, Stephen. We all play by the same rules. When enough people believe in changing those rules, they will be changed.

kctim,

This is the same rationale that people used to block the idea of interracial marriage. It was as wrong and against the ideas of this country then as it is now.

Any two people should be free to legalize their union under the law. The notion that in your world a man who has lived with his partner for 30 years wouldn’t have a say in how their partner is treated in a hospital, or even be prevented from being able to visit him while he is there, is abhorrent. But that is precisely what you are arguing for. There are well over a thousand laws on the books, both state and federal, that provide certain privileges to married couples and denying any two people to those is a direct violation of the 14th amendment. It is a violation of the US Constitution and will be recognized as such in full within the next couple of years.

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

For a good list of the federally granted privileges of marriage, which you are wanting to deny millions of US citizens in direct violation of the 14th amendment, visit this document:

http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d04353r.pdf

“We have identified 120 statutory provisions involving marital status that were enacted between September 21, 1996, and December 31, 2003. During the same period, 31 statutory provisions involving marital status were repealed or amended in such a way as to eliminate marital status as a factor. Consequently, as of December 31, 2003, our research identified a total of 1,138 federal statutory provisions classified to the United States Code in which marital status is a factor in determining or receiving benefits, rights, and privileges.”
Posted by: Rhinehold at September 22, 2014 5:27 PM
Comment #383647

BTW, it appears the Money For Nothing documentary is now in Youtube. I would prefer that if you like it you pay the 19.95 for it, the people who put it together deserve to be compensated for their work, but if you want to check it out first, it is there…

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 22, 2014 5:35 PM
Comment #383648

Rhinehold

As I have said before, I agree that anybody should be allowed to marry anybody they wish. I don’t care one way or another.

With interracial marriage, one man was not allowed to marry a woman that another man was allowed to marry. One man was treated differently than another.
With gay marriage, all men and all women, play by the same set of rules. Nobody is being treated differently than another.

Now, when it comes to benefits, rights, and privileges that may result from marriage, they are available to all who legally marry. Whether they decide to take advantage of them or not, is up to the individual.

Love is an emotion and I have not yet found where we should be legislating by emotion.

I have to say though, that IMHO, I do not agree with comparing gay-marriage to the injustices that black Americans faced back in those times.

Posted by: kctim at September 22, 2014 5:48 PM
Comment #383649

Rhinehold,
The primary job of the Federal Reserve- its primary responsibility, more important than any other- is to maintain order in the financial markets.

Greenspan failed to do this. He assumed banks would be ‘self-regulating.’

No one is manipulating current interest rates. If the rates are not competitive, bond auctions will go poorly. Investors, including other countries, will not purchase as many T-Bills at auction, and this will be immediately apparent to the markets. However, the big investors continue to purchase US debt. They do so because US debt is the safest investment in the world, and safety is the primary fiduciary responsibility of investors for governments and the super-rich. They accept the currently low rates because, not only is US debt safe and the harbor of last resort, but inflation is currently not a threat; in fact, deflation remains the main concern.

No amount of manipulation can force US debt investors (which includes foreign governments) to accept artificially low rates.

Rates will eventually go up. That is a given. Some estimate that will happen in the summer of 2015. That may be. The stock markets will factor that in and correct when the time comes. That is also a given.

Posted by: phx8 at September 22, 2014 6:02 PM
Comment #383650
Greenspan failed to do this. He assumed banks would be ‘self-regulating.’

No one is manipulating current interest rates.

*sigh*

That is HOW the FED adjusts the monetary policy, by printing or destroying money thereby adjusting the interest rates. Your lack of understanding on the issue why the documentary I posted was created, a lot of people don’t understand…

As for assuming the banks would be ‘self-regulating’, Greenspan didn’t operate that way. He abandoned his views the within the first few months of his chairmanship when the 1987 crash hit and he instituted what is known as the Greenspan Put. He opposed the regulation of the subprime market, but he was manipulating more than any previous FED chairman before him. He threw out Moral Hazard told the investors to continue on doing anything they wanted because he would bail them out when they failed. That is the exact opposite of ‘self-regulating’.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 22, 2014 6:07 PM
Comment #383651

Rhinehold,
Money is not simply created or destroyed in a vacuum. It represents the nation’s wealth. It is directly tied to it. Create too much money, and the result is inflation.

Interest is the time value of money. The Federal Reserve can adjust interest rates in the short term, but the interest rates have to reflect what is happening with wealth and the markets. US Bonds are heavily traded and closely reflect market expectations both here and abroad. Furthermore, other countries also offer debt as an investment, and if the US interest rate is out of whack, investors will flock to the debt of other currencies. Offer too low or too high a rate, and investors will reject investing in the debt if they perceive it is merely manipulation, rather than a reflection of market realities.

Posted by: phx8 at September 22, 2014 6:46 PM
Comment #383663

Rhinehold-
1)Power doesn’t require a government to exist. It exists on its own. A mugger in an alley with a gun on you has power. So does a person who hands you a paycheck. If somebody can affect your ability to survive, or your status in the community, or however else punish or reward you, they have power.

2) The problem with anarchy is that society, in its own way, is self-assembling, but not necessarily in healthy ways. Gangs taking over a neighborhood, organized crime taking over an industry, those industries being pervaded with practices that are expedient, but harmful in the long and/or short term. Goodness is not a prerequisite of this kind of self-assembly. Yes, selective pressures will be applied to such systems, but if you look at nature, you see evolution producing all kinds of creatures, from docile deer, to voracious parasites, to cunning predators, to… well, us. Nothing requires that the pressures of the market result in a moral good. Even if a moral good is at stake, and people left to themselves might tend to push against the evil in question, there are ways for the folks whose interests are threatened to warp the moral picture and twist people around to their point of view. Not only can it happen, we’ve already seen it happen many, many times.

3) As for Malignancy? I am the son of a woman who worked for a long time in the medical field. As result, I came to know more than the average about health, physiology, and anatomy.

But aside from that, what exactly are you asking for here? The word malignant, yes, has a cancer association. But it’s there as a distinction between the kinds of tumors that just sit there, and just need to be cut out if they can be, and the kind that eventually spread to other organs. Malignant vs. benign.

If I use medical imagery, or if I use a term like malignant, it’s for the sake of clarity, not simply cheap effect. More importantly, though, whatever sensitivities you might have about cancer, I a) was not very cognizant of your wife’s condition, b) would not knowingly choose my words that cruelly, and c) am far from the first person to use cancer as a metaphor in politics. John Dean wasn’t the first, I imagine. It’s common imagery, so common as to be cliché. Heart conditions run in my family, particularly in my father, but when somebody says they’re as serious as a heart attack, or when they say somebody’s going to stroke out over something, I don’t get offended. I even use my own condition, that of autism, to describe behavior on the right that I see as being excessively devoid of social skills.

What strikes me is that even as you accuse me of using my language in a despicable attempt to silence you, you’re essentially trying to do the same thing (though calling it despicable would go a bit far.) and explicitly so.

When I use the term malignant, it’s to address the behavior, the genetic ethical code of the choices being made. The people, as far as I’m concerned, can rethink their behavior, and do better. I don’t need to define them out of existence. Hell, all I ask of most conservatives is that instead of isolating themselves from whatever feedback that might lead them to change, that they open themselves up to the kind of accountability and imagination that allows governments to function best. Processes don’t solve problems, people do, and we elect a Congress with the express purpose of engaging multiple sides, multiple factions in the process. Political purity, the devotion to faction is part of what this system is meant to break down in the favor of healthier mutual interaction.

Perhaps my use of those words offended you, but even so, what offends me day in and day out is that my concerns are treated as if they’re just the naïve rantings of a comfortable existence. I feel the edge of many issues much more sharply than you think, and I’m sick of folks on the right declaring more and more of what we really need to be discussing off limits, and beyond the scope of government. People are suffering out there, and that’s dragging the fortunes of our country down as a whole.

Royal Flush-
The hubris is in thinking that people’s patience is in infinite supply, and that you can simply talk people out of punishing the GOP forever. Sooner or later, it will become clear that the GOP’s become the critics in the audience, not the fighters in the arena, to paraphrase Teddy Roosevelt.

Problem solving is a skill that Republicans think they can do without. That’s hubris.

kctim-
You know, it never occurs to you that you and I can honestly disagree on what the Constitution says? The Framers Generations were disagreeing on what it meant, for crying out loud. What bugs me is that you guys have the arrogance to think that you can insist on your interpretation as if it is entirely obvious (or should be) that you are right.

I don’t agree. I think you’re wrong. I think many people on the right these days have sort of sent their own sensibilities back in time and rationalized what they think as being the original intent of the authors. By doing that, they’ve stuck themselves into a feedback loop where they’re the carriers of the torch of original intent, while everybody else are effectively enemies of the constitutional state.

One issue with this is that while many of these people identify with the Framers, their positions often run counter to the Framer’s positions. The Federalists were for a central bank, for increased power in the central government, for the extension of government into things like road-building, among other things. Their Constitution, as a successor to the much looser, much more decentralized, and much more legislative Articles of Confederation were seen as power grabs. To gain ratification, though, the Framers settled with the Anti-Federalists by promising ratification of the Bill of Rights.

After that, though, the Democratic Republicans (later just the Democrats) took things in a distinctly different direction trying to defend slavery and Southern Interests. you would hear phrases like “states rights”, “nullification”, and “secession” coming out of those people.

Stuff you ironically hear from Republicans nowadays. Sometimes, Factions abandon political parties and swing to the other side. Republicans, as Teddy Roosevelt could tell you, once had a progressive wing. As the Elitists in the Party piled on, though, they took a hike to the other side. In a way, despite the presence of parties, factions still rule the roost.

If you really knew where I stood on socialism you’d get my positions right. You don’t, so you don’t. Simple as that. I believe in responsibility, but I also believe that you have to create an environment around people that rewards responsibility, in order to see that, and not expedience rule the day.

All the rhetoric aside, my read on what happened the last decade? Chaos. Put another way, if you make a system complicated enough, and push it hard enough, there’s just no way to reliably predict what the right decision would be. Judgment, right or wrong, becomes an arbitrary factor.

Why does Wall Street end up this way? Hedging, and the nature of the rules of the system. The more the system allows for arbitrarily deep stacks of derivatives or other sorts of assets of that kind, the more likely you get into this sort of chaotic situation, simply because you got the hedges and the counterparty risks pointed in so many directions.

What Wall Street did by hedging so much is also significant in that all these market incentives and risks that we counted upon to convince them not to do stupid things, not to get overleveraged or whatever were simply manipulated out of the picture. In the short term, it meant that whatever happened, they wouldn’t lose money. Long term, though, it meant that problems in the foundations of these assets would have carry on effects far beyond the scopes of the assets themselves. Our financial markets got hit by what happened in the real estate markets precisely because this stacking of multiple layers of assets on top of the original real estate and the mortgages on them.

It also created moral hazards in the public sphere, with your average American being told, being encouraged by Republicans and Democrats alike to get into the housing market, but without sufficient protections to prevent the sellers of these mortgages from lending inappropriately. We also get that whole game of flipping houses, and flipping real estate, which added its own set of layers to the whole problem.

The complexity, the hedging, the leveraging of the market, thanks to the loosening of the rules and the consolidation of the markets got to such a state that, one single fact, that the market for real estate values went down, became a cascading series of disasters that went far beyond the scope of what could be foreseen.

If we had more banks around, we could have seen some of the banks do better policy than the others, and there would be our survivors, the folks who could carry on the lending and bounce the industry back. If the banks hadn’t been allowed to horizontally integrate hedge funds and other under-regulated non-bank financial institutions into their fold, then the centers of both commercial and personal level lending would not have been paralyzed. Real estate people and Hedge Fund operators might get wiped out, but not necessarily everybody else.

We let things get too connected, too bundled together, removing the firewalls which might have prevented the disaster from running through all the corridors of the industry.

I think that you will inevitably get bubbles, and sometimes pretty big ones. You will inevitably get disasters, and sometimes pretty big ones. You will see wars, defaults, all kinds of other crap happening. The question is, how are our institutions designed to handle the shock, how are the rules formulated to encourage, discourage, and otherwise affect the structure of how business is done? There are certain behaviors, states of affairs, and other factors that I think make an economy weaker and more vulnerable against shocks, and I think this time around, it spelled the difference between what might have been a short-term recession with quick recovery, and a long term recession with an agonizing tail of slow recovery.

By failing to govern and regulate Wall Street, real estate lending, and other industries properly, we created a system that would suffer greater damage and heal more slowly. Folks pointing at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have it backwards. Folks pointing at Dodd and Franks have no clue. Two guys can’t do everything to make things the way they were and had to be in order for the disaster to wash over the system the way it did.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 22, 2014 10:57 PM
Comment #383667
Power doesn’t require a government to exist.

Again, the LEGAL use of power does. Why is it that progressives keep wanting to equate government with thuggery as if there is no difference? You would think that they wouldn’t want to do that.

The problem with anarchy is that society, in its own way, is self-assembling, but not necessarily in healthy ways.

And governments don’t solve this problem in health ways, except legitimize it. The gang making people do things is only different than the government in that it has been authorized to do so. Only when hard limits are placed on government that the government must protect the citizen’s rights can that happen. But bypassing any of those hard limits because it is ‘hard’ negates the whole thing…

The was a reason that the Founding Fathers was very very scared and rejected straight Democracy. Mob Rule.

It’s common imagery, so common as to be cliché.

The problem is that you actually think that people with different views than you acting on those views is a cancer. And no, it’s not just you, there are a lot of people who WANT their opponents vilified, hated, despised, thought of less than human. There are Republicans do it when they call people ‘unpatriotic’ and there are Democrats who do it when they accuse Republicans of being ‘cancers’ and ‘trying to kill old people’.

The analogy doesn’t hold because cancers are MINDLESS and without feeling. That’s not what you are dealing with, you are dealing with people who are scared or angry or tired of being pushed around. People who have feelings and who feel that they aren’t being represented or their way of life is being forcibly changed. People who have a healthy fear of government, people who are caught up in religious fervors, people who are tired of having to watch what they say.

Suggesting that we ‘cut out the cancer’, when referring to living, feeling human beings is cold hearted and unfortunately there are too many who are so blinded by partisanship that they can’t see their opponents has human beings at all. Just read some of the comments of people on these boards like Speak4all who thinks its ok to physically beat people up who say something he doesn’t like or phx8 and j2t2 who continually use the phrase ‘war on women’ when talking about people who are, many times, women. Those are the people who freely use the phraseology.

I’m sick of folks on the right declaring more and more of what we really need to be discussing off limits, and beyond the scope of government. People are suffering out there, and that’s dragging the fortunes of our country down as a whole.

No one is saying that they aren’t off limits, they are saying that using the FORCE of government to bypass the rights of the minorities in this country is not the solution to those problems. Something you have never, once, been able to agree to or even fathom. Why people see the police turning into paramilitary outfits not wanting to give the government MORE power over their own lives. Who are working 60 to 70 hours a week to get by and try to make their lives better being told they need to work even more now to take care of people who are unwilling to take care of themselves.

There are reasons there are limits placed on government in the Constitution. We didn’t want the government that much in control of our lives, lest we return to surf status to a ruling monarch.

If you want to solve problems, go out and solve those problems, you don’t need the government to solve them for you! If you can convince enough people to vote for a law, you can convince those same people to support an organization that works as a private entity to do the same thing, with far better results, not having to be bickered over by politics every few years. It’s a far better way to handle those things because only those people who agree with the activity are the ones involved in doing it. You don’t have to continually force anyone to help!

Look how much money is spent fighting over stupid things that we could all spend on actually taking care of the problems we find! Just the healthcare issue alone was so much money that it could have funded every hospital in the country for years to pay for the indigent who couldn’t pay.

The problem, Stephen, is that you just see those people who disagree with you as the problem, the malignancy, the cancer that needs to be cut out…

As Harry Chapin once said of some of the bad songs he used to write when he was just starting out, one of the two camps they fell into was his protest songs (he started out being called Gaypin Chapin because of them):

my protest songs had the implications behind them “If only the world was as truly wonderful as I am There’d be no problems” and somehow these didn’t go over very well

Chapin was a man who lived like I’m talking about. He gave the proceeds from every other concert he did to charity. He was tireless in working to fix problems that he saw. He founded World Hunger Year and right up to his death was working on charitable functions for that *gasp* corporation. His work was what inspired people to do things like We Are The World and all efforts since. As a result he was awarded (unfortunately posthumously) the Congressional Medal of Honor, for his tireless efforts. And while he tried in his own way to get government to do something to solve them (He was on Carter’s Presidential Council on Hunger, the only member to show up to every meeting) he knew that nothing consequential would likely ever come out of it. So during his seminal song “Circle”, he would take time to talk to the people about what he was doing and why. This is an example:

I won’t give you a long pitch, I’ve been trying to put my money and my life where my mouth is and I think it’s truly unconscionable that in a society that can feed everyone six times over we have 20 millions Americans hungry, half a billion people around the globe who go to bed chronically malnourished. And there’s a lot of other things we gotta be doing in this country, I don’t care if you’re a Republican, Democrat, left-wing, right-wing, conservative, liberal there’s an awful lot of people who ain’t pulling their share and it’s really, you can’t expect rich people to do much because they just hold on to their money, you can’t expect poor people to do much because they’re struggling like hell to make do, it really comes down to people like you and I. You know the people who put this country together were silversmiths, lawyers, planters, merchants, printers, all kinds of ordinary people who had a different vision of how they wanted this country to be and whether you’re a singer, a tv commentator, a housewife, a businesswoman, a teacher, a student, an accountant or whatever the hell you are we got some work to do and I’m looking forward to working with you.

There was no call to get a vote taken, to get laws passed, he just went out and started a group that has done great things in feeding hungry people the world over.

An example of what was done directly because of his efforts:

Bill Ayres, a former Roman Catholic priest who has hosted a weekly radio talk show in New York since 1973, co-founded the organization now known as WhyHunger after first interviewing Chapin for his radio program.

When they started in 1975, there were only 28 emergency food providers throughout New York City. Today, he said, there are about 1,200. On a national level, he said WhyHunger works with approximately 8,400 community organizations, some of which deal with issues of hunger, while others help get jobs, health care and housing for those in need.

The organization conducts radio “hunger-thons” raising millions over the years, mostly in New York, but they have recently aired nationally over satellite radio. A WhyHunger spokeswoman said since its founding in 1975, the organization has raised more than $30 million to help more than 10 million families, children, veterans and others around the world gain access to nutritious food and vital services.

If the money we spent trying to fix hunger and other social issues through laws and programs and taxation was instead spent to actually fix the problem, it wouldn’t be a problem anymore!

It’s like the NY Times editorial I quoted from earlier about the problem with guns. They realize what we’ve been saying all along, the problem aren’t the guns, it is why are some people bent on hurting others with violence? What is causing them to feel that is the solution? And can we help them so that they don’t feel that way anymore? That isn’t something that a law fixes, no law is going to fix it. People fix it.

Quit trying to hit people over the head and point the gun of government at them to make them help, let them come to that on their own through their own conscience. Some won’t, but that’s ok, that’s on them. The rest of us will actually be helping people and really, that’s what we want at the end of the day, even most of those people you call cancerous… We just want to stop with the hate and the violence in the name of helping people because all it has become is a means of power over others, and that helps no one.

Let our politicians use their pulpits to encourage people to go out and help others, not vote for them so that they will do it for us. That would be a far more beneficial effort than being told that we are giving to help others and solve problems and no one gets help and problems never get solved. These aren’t issues that government can solve.

The words on Harry’s grave come from one of the best songs ever written, one that I recommend everyone listen to at least once a month or when they feel like they are getting caught up in the mundaneness of the world. It is titled “I Wonder What Would Happen To This World”.

Oh if a man tried To take his time on Earth And prove before he died What one man’s life could be worth I wonder what would happen to this world

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_QbbQMxSRA0

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 23, 2014 12:35 AM
Comment #383668
I think many people on the right these days have sort of sent their own sensibilities back in time and rationalized what they think as being the original intent of the authors.

No, most of us read what the people who wrote and argued for the Constitution says it meant and go by that. You say that the framers generation ‘disagreed on what it meant’, only they really didn’t. Not to the extent of trying to make it means the exact opposite of what it meant.

A great example is the Bill of Rights. Everyone agreed that there was no need for the Bill of Rights, because it was self evident that the Constitution wouldn’t allow any government to violate our rights because the Constitution only allowed the government to do small number of things, anything outside of that would be a violation of the Constitution. But there were some that feared that in the coming generations there might be people who thought that just because it wasn’t mentioned in the Constitution, they could do it! Or that some future generation would weasel meaning into the document to some phrase or another that wasn’t there to give them power to violate those rights. So they demanded a Bill of Rights be included.

Some even worried that if they listed some of the rights that we retained against the government’s intrusions that some future generations might say that those were the ONLY rights that we retained.

So Madison came up with a solution that solved both problems, people were happy and they were included. The solution being that a Bill of Rights was added and the 9th amendment stated that just because there were some rights listed, they didn’t include ALL of the rights that people had. Meaning that the Constitution still, and always, meant that the document was a list of powers granted to the Constitution, if it wasn’t there the government didn’t have the power.

The Federalists were for a central bank, for increased power in the central government, for the extension of government into things like road-building, among other things. Their Constitution, as a successor to the much looser, much more decentralized, and much more legislative Articles of Confederation were seen as power grabs. To gain ratification, though, the Framers settled with the Anti-Federalists by promising ratification of the Bill of Rights.

You make the mistake of suggesting that because the Federalists were aware that they needed more power in the Central Government than the Articles had granted, that they wanted a STRONG central government. They didn’t, they wanted a stronger central government than they had, but none of them wanted a central government the likes of what we have today. Yes, Hamilton and Jefferson very much despised each other, but even Hamilton, the most central power proponent of his time said the following:

It has been observed that a pure democracy if it were practicable would be the most perfect government. Experience has proved that no position is more false than this. The ancient democracies in which the people themselves deliberated never possessed one good feature of government. Their very character was tyranny; their figure deformity
If it be asked, What is the most sacred duty and the greatest source of our security in a Republic? The answer would be, An inviolable respect for the Constitution and Laws — the first growing out of the last… A sacred respect for the constitutional law is the vital principle, the sustaining energy of a free government.
In no part of the constitution is more wisdom to be found than in the clause which confides the question of war or peace to the legislature, and not to the executive department. Beside the objection to such a mixture of heterogeneous powers: the trust and the temptation would be too great for any one man: not such as nature may offer as the prodigy of many centuries, but such as may be expected in the ordinary successions of magistracy. War is in fact the true nurse of executive aggrandizement. In war a physical force is to be created, and it is the executive will which is to direct it. In war the public treasures are to be unlocked, and it is the executive hand which is to dispense them. In war the honors and emoluments of office are to be multiplied; and it is the executive patronage under which they are to be enjoyed. It is in war, finally, that laurels are to be gathered, and it is the executive brow they are to encircle. The strongest passions, and most dangerous weaknesses of the human breast; ambition, avarice, vanity, the honorable or venial love of fame, are all in conspiracy against the desire and duty of peace.
The fundamental source of all your errors, sophisms, and false reasonings, is a total ignorance of the natural rights of mankind. Were you once to become acquainted with these, you could never entertain a thought, that all men are not, by nature, entitled to a parity of privileges. You would be convinced, that natural liberty is a gift of the beneficent Creator, to the whole human race; and that civil liberty is founded in that; and cannot be wrested from any people, without the most manifest violation of justice. Civil liberty is only natural liberty, modified and secured by the sanctions of civil society. It is not a thing, in its own nature, precarious and dependent on human will and caprice; but it is conformable to the constitution of man, as well as necessary to the well-being of society.
Government implies the power of making laws. It is essential to the idea of a law, that it be attended with a sanction; or, in other words, a penalty or punishment for disobedience. (like I’ve been saying)
Has it been found that bodies of men act with more rectitude or greater disinterestedness than individuals? The contrary of this has been inferred by all accurate observers of the conduct of mankind; and the inference is founded upon obvious reasons. Regard to reputation has a less active influence, when the infamy of a bad action is to be divided among a number than when it is to fall singly upon one. A spirit of faction, which is apt to mingle its poison in the deliberations of all bodies of men, will often hurry the persons of whom they are composed into improprieties and excesses, for which they would blush in a private capacity.
If the federal government should overpass the just bounds of its authority and make a tyrannical use of its powers, the people, whose creature it is, must appeal to the standard they have formed, and take such measures to redress the injury done to the Constitution as the exigency may suggest and prudence justify.

I could go on. Even the most ardent ‘central power guy’ wasn’t nearly as into central power as you seem to think. Please, provide the quotes and evidence that ANYONE during the writing of the Constitution wanted a ‘strong’ central government instead of a ‘stronger than we had’ central government…

you would hear phrases like “states rights”, “nullification”, and “secession” coming out of those people

You also hear those phrases coming from the founders of the United States, having nothing at all to do with ‘slavery’. The progressive movement needs to get its head out of its rear on this one because while SOME people may be racists spouting crap, most people who understand what those phrases actually mean and where they come from are usually anything BUT racists and calling them such only pisses them off more, preventing even less conciliatory discussion.

What Wall Street did by hedging so much is also significant in that all these market incentives and risks that we counted upon to convince them not to do stupid things, not to get overleveraged or whatever were simply manipulated out of the picture. In the short term, it meant that whatever happened, they wouldn’t lose money. Long term, though, it meant that problems in the foundations of these assets would have carry on effects far beyond the scopes of the assets themselves. Our financial markets got hit by what happened in the real estate markets precisely because this stacking of multiple layers of assets on top of the original real estate and the mortgages on them.

No, Stephen, Wall Street hedged like it did not because of market incentives (market incentives include living, and losing your ass, if you act foolishly) but because of GOVERNMENT incentives. When LTCM tanked and should have taken Lehman Brothers with it, the FED bailed them out instead of letting them pay the price for their follies. Instead, Greenspan instituted a Put, meaning that he told the investors that no matter what you did, if you failed, you would be rescued. There was no down side.

And it happened. Given free money to operate with (interest rates of less than 1 percent are effectively free money) they overleveraged and bet big on housing. No one thought a housing bubble could burst (I have video of everyone saying this, Republicans and Democrats). Almost all of them were rescued. Bailed out. With 4 TRILLION dollars of Fed funds.

So where is the penalty for them acting that way again?

When you socialize risk, like we have, you don’t have a free market. We haven’t had a free market in several decades… Free markets are not absent of rules, but free markets don’t pick and choose winners. We are doing that now because everyone wants a continually growing economy. Never any bumps, never any losers, essentially a non-existent entity that we cannot create.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 23, 2014 1:08 AM
Comment #383669

A couple more Hamilton, the great central power guy, quotes…

The complete independence of the Courts of justice is peculiarly essential in a limited Constitution. By a limited Constitution, I understand one which contains certain specified exceptions to the Legislative authority; such, for instance, as that it shall pass no bills of attainder, no ex post facto laws, and the like. Limitations of this kind can be preserved in practice no other way than through the medium of the Courts of justice; whose duty it must be to declare all Acts contrary to the manifest tenor of the Constitution void. Without this, all the reservations of particular rights or privileges would amount to nothing.
There is no position which depends on clearer principles, than that every act of a delegated authority, contrary to the tenor of the commission under which it is exercised, is void. No Legislative act, therefore, contrary to the Constitution, can be valid. To deny this, would be to affirm, that the deputy is greater than his principal; that the servant is above his master; that the Representatives of the People are superior to the People themselves; that men acting by virtue of powers, may do not only what their powers do not authorize, but what they forbid. If it be said that the Legislative body are themselves the constitutional judges of their own powers, and that the construction they put upon them is conclusive upon the other departments, it may be answered, that this cannot be the natural presumption, where it is not to be collected from any particular provisions in the Constitution. It is not otherwise to be supposed, that the Constitution could intend to enable the Representatives of the People to substitute their will to that of their constituents. It is far more rational to suppose, that the Courts were designed to be an intermediate body between the People and the Legislature, in order, among other things, to keep the latter within the limits assigned to their authority. The interpretation of the laws is the proper and peculiar province of the Courts. A Constitution is, in fact, and must be regarded by the Judges, as a fundamental law. It therefore belongs to them to ascertain its meaning, as well as the meaning of any particular Act proceeding from the Legislative body. If there should happen to be an irreconcilable variance between the two, that which has the superior obligation and validity ought, of course, to be preferred; or in other words, the Constitution ought to be preferred to the statute, the intention of the People to the intention of their agents. Nor does this conclusion by any means suppose a superiority of the Judicial to the Legislative power. It only supposes that the power of the People is superior to both; and that where the will of the Legislature, declared in its statutes, stands in opposition to that of the People, declared in the Constitution, the Judges ought to be governed by the latter rather than the former. They ought to regulate their decisions by the fundamental laws, rather than by those which are not fundamental. […] whenever a particular statute contravenes the Constitution, it will be the duty of the Judicial tribunals to adhere to the latter and disregard the former.
I go further, and affirm that bills of rights, in the sense and to the extent in which they are contended for, are not only unnecessary in the proposed Constitution, but would even be dangerous. They would contain various exceptions to powers not granted; and, on this very account, would afford a colorable pretext to claim more than were granted. For why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do?
Posted by: Rhinehold at September 23, 2014 1:27 AM
Comment #383671

Glad you like it Jane doe.

Has anyone ever seen such prolific Nonsensical, circular, hypocritical gobbledygook?
Years and years and years of it?
Is SD for real, or some ghost writer invented to generate numerous responses of disdain for such prolific, nonsensical, circular, hypocritical, gobbledygook?

What rules?
Looks like a free for all.

Delete if you can…

Posted by: D.a.n at September 23, 2014 8:08 AM
Comment #383672

Rhinehold-
I don’t equate government with thuggery. I simply say, “power is power” whether a government wields it, or a guy on the street with a gun wields it. Power is power, whether the FBI wields it, or Tyson Chicken wields it.

Or, the mob, as the framers were afraid would happen.

You talk about limiting government’s power over people’s lives, but you neglect everybody else who could rush into that vacuum. What about a coal company that bullies its employees out of organizing? What about a Crafts Store company that feels that contraception is bad, and wants to force its employees to go without coverage for it?

Yes, government can screw up. It can be corrupted. It can over-extend itself into people’s lives. But that’s what our votes are meant to roll back. The Constitution was never meant to be the only line of defense against government excess, because there is plenty that any government could do along the lines of what our charter permits that would be perfectly constitutional, but also an unwanted, excessive intrusion into people’s lives.

Folks like you have tried to turn the judgment of where limits should be into an automatic kind of litmus test. Now that gives people’s brains a rest, and removes the need for people to really think about what they’re doing when they back a certain policy. But I don’t think such partisan litmus tests were meant to be the standards by which people governed themselves.

I’m much more of a fan of observing and changing policy accordingly, than I am of trying to force a dogma to work on the real world.

On the subject of malignancy?

You’re not the victim here. I’m not the victim. I’m no big fan of political correctness, nor am I fan of those who feel it necessary to engage in the opposite of it.

I think cancer and illness related terms are very commonly used. I think you’re using them as an excuse to rage against us for our being mean to you. Thing is, folks have accused Democrats and others like us of a whole host of really insane things. I proposed my little idea of thinking of folks more as you might find them in the grocery store, because I really think that politics has become a rather antisocial enterprise, with people burning bridges left and right (but especially on the right.)

I don’t need to cut out ANYBODY. I might say that we need to win the majority so that things can function, but that’s only because you have this group of people who seem to just want to throw monkey wrenches in anything that’s not their pure policy agenda dream. If they were actually willing to make deals to negotiate and normalize relations with Obama and the Democrats in the Senate, I’d say, “work with them.”

That’s what I said in the Clinton years. The results were less than ideal, but today’s results are less than that. Thing is, I can’t in good conscience say, “Obama should just agree with them and let them have their way.” Because I’ve seen the results of the policies in question, and I really don’t want what the fringe folks on the Tea Party want, so I got to hold the line somewhere.

The Right has become antisocial, an isolated, self-taught, self-informed unit separate from the rest of society. And while that may have short term benefits, it has long term consequences, because the forces that are selecting for who leads, and what people want in the general society are evolving on their own, and the right no longer has the synchronizing forces to make sure that it’s following that.

I don’t know how that ends with the Republicans keeping a majority.

Even when I identified as a Republican, I was very much in the mindset of a problem solver, and a scientific realist. I had a notion that a company will tend to say what benefits it whether that’s true or not, and that we have to look for ourselves, and see what’s right and what’s wrong, and shape public policy towards that more objective measure, rather than towards or against a particular corporate line.

I look at the people who are pushing policy on the right, and I see folks just copying and pasting the corporate lines without even an ounce of deference to more objective measures.

I tend sometimes towards systems of rules and logic that essentialize the world around me. I tend towards blunt and brutal honesty, towards valuing giving people what I believe to be the truth over telling them what they want to hear. But doing so over time has taught me many lessons about the limits of all those approaches. The world is not always a place where the truth is obvious, and you’re the one who has it. It doesn’t follow our philosophies; instead our philosophies are constantly trying to catch up.

I believe libertarianism has no greater claim to correctness than any other ideology. I think liberalism can have mistaken ideas, and I speak out against those.

As for the Constitution?

Look, everybody interprets what they read. That’s how the brain works. Everybody loads in their experiences, what they were taught, what they think.

Consider that rather than enforce a code of understanding about things, the Framers ultimately allowed us the freedom to think for ourselves about it. Consider that even they disagreed on matters of constitutional law, and they were the ones there writing it! People will always disagree about the law, that is what judges are there for, that is why the judicial appointment power of the President is considered a check on that branch’s power. Same thing for the confirmation that the Senate does.

In other words, disagreement about the law, particularly the fundamental law was expected, and designed into the system itself. They did not expect everybody to have a single idea of what the Constitution permitted and did not permit!

I am not arguing against the Constitutional basis of our government! I never have been! That is a second-hand assumption that Conservatives and Libertarians make on the arrogant assumption that their own beliefs about the document are the exclusive determinant of what correct beliefs are and are not.

The whole point of our government, the way it is arranged is to leave to our time and our people the judgment of what is right and wrong, not to frontload everything with their opinions, and their limited foresight. The Framers had the humility not to try and micromanage the future of their young nation.

You make the mistake of suggesting that because the Federalists were aware that they needed more power in the Central Government than the Articles had granted, that they wanted a STRONG central government. They didn’t, they wanted a stronger central government than they had, but none of them wanted a central government the likes of what we have today.

I wonder how long they would not want it, if they had to govern our society without it. We have, on Wall Street, computers trading algorithmically with such speed, that they are actually having to shorten the geographical distance of the cable to make their trades run faster. That’s right, the speed of light has become the difference greater and lesser profit for these people. I actually did an entry on that, some time back.

I believe they were wise to leave so much up to us. I believe we have earned a degree of knowledge as to how our system works and doesn’t work that the Framers never had the chance to; we learned from their mistakes, and then the mistakes of generations that came after. We’ll learn from our own, too, and so will generations that follow.

It’s not much good to idealize what people several generations back thought was best. They made some good choices, but they made those choices with some things in mind that the so-called heirs of their tradition now don’t seem to keep in mind. We see them failing to negotiate or compromise with others, citing their proud adherence to their principles. Were the framers, though, any weaker in their adherence of theirs, as they negotiated the framework of the Constitution? They strain against the inherent nature and purpose of Congress, trying to force their beliefs on a majority that doesn’t want them. The Framers didn’t want mob rule, to be sure, but they sure as hell didn’t want a government that wasn’t backed by the mandate of the people. A Republic like ours is an engine of negotiation between the strong principles of free citizens. We cannot pretend that anybody should be able to simply bully their way into getting everything they want.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 23, 2014 9:42 AM
Comment #383673

D.A.N.; I have always believed SD to be a Democrat operative, who probably writes on more than just WB as an Obama apologist. Defend Obama, no matter how ridiculous. His comments go beyond ludicrous.

Posted by: George at September 23, 2014 9:47 AM
Comment #383674

Stephen

If it never occurred to me that we could honestly disagree on what the Constitution says, then I wouldn’t bother. I actually do respect the fact that we disagree and I actually do enjoy discussing it.

If one respects the history or our nation and the roll our government has played throughout, it is very obvious that I support the correct “interpretation.”
IF you supported the correct “interpretation,” the policies you support would not almost always have to be challenged to pass Constitutional muster. Or you would not have to wait for judges favorable to liberalism, to get them passed.

Now, I know you think the Constitution gives permission for it to be reinterpreted all willy-nilly, but you are wrong. There is a process that must be followed, and when it isn’t, you get the division we have now.

“If you really knew where I stood on socialism you’d get my positions right. You don’t, so you don’t.”

I can only go by what you write on here, and from what I have read over the years is that you support infringing on the rights and freedoms of one, in order to benefit another, or society, in the way that you support. Am I wrong?

The right decision is always to put the rights and freedoms of the individual BEFORE the desires of society, Stephen. If we do that, as was intended, right and wrong are much more clear.

Wall Street: It is only a left-wing talking point that limited government equals no regulation. You guys claim this not because you want things to be fair for all, but because you want to regulate things to work a certain way, and to benefit certain people more than other people.

You won’t like this Stephen, but to me, Wall Street was a learning lesson, nothing more. We don’t blame only Wall Street, nor do we blame only government. We should look at the whole picture, get rid of regulations that helped cause the event, and create reasonable regulations to help prevent it from happening again.

Governments job isn’t to create the outcomes you want.

Posted by: kctim at September 23, 2014 10:22 AM
Comment #383677

A knew low reached by Rhinehold. Those of us who disagree with some of his views have understood that he likes to use what we type as comments and then turn that into what Rhinehold wants to say we commented. We are used to that but the new low is a despicable one. He now uses his wife’s physical ailment to attempt to garner sympathy by disparaging Stephen’s reference to malignant. I doubt there is anyone on this blog that has not had to deal with cancer and those problems, I myself lost my younger sister last June to an inoperable malignant cancerous tumor. I took no offense to Stephen’s use of malignant.

We always knew that he knew no bounds when it came to twisting our comments to suit his arguments but to use his wife’s physical ailment as some kind of leverage should have been something he did not need to introduce in the method that he chose. You Rhinehold are truly a despicable creature.

Posted by: Speak4all at September 23, 2014 2:29 PM
Comment #383678
You talk about limiting government’s power over people’s lives, but you neglect everybody else who could rush into that vacuum.

*sigh*

I’ll say it again. “People should be free to live their lives as they choose as long as they don’t violate another’s right to the same.”

The examples you give violate that second part of the philosophy. You really need to try harder. I’ve stated about a thousand times on here that libertarians are not anarchists and we have a very well defined philosophy that is also simple to understand, but for some reason people like yourself go out of their way to purposefully misunderstand it.

If a company is employing force on their employees (so that they can’t organize) then they are violating their rights to free assembly and association and those instances where the government should be stepping in.

However, if the employees don’t want to unionize, the government shouldn’t be allowing the minority who want a union to use force and intimidation to make sure one is set up either.

Government shouldn’t be making choices for us. Government’s only job should be to protect us from each other, not from ourselves.

The Constitution was never meant to be the only line of defense against government excess, because there is plenty that any government could do along the lines of what our charter permits that would be perfectly constitutional, but also an unwanted, excessive intrusion into people’s lives.

No, it was never meant to be the ONLY line, but it was meant to be the line in the sand that stopped mob rule from running all over it, which is what people like myself have been trying to bring to everyone’s attention.

But when the government does violate the constitution, as they did last night in Syria, then it shouldn’t be so hard to get our congressmen to do their jobs and stop it instead of running scared that they might get voted out. We should be able to get immediate redress from the courts. We should remember this and vote against the party/parties that willingly allowed that violation to happen. As soon as we all allow the government to ignore just one part of the constitution, the whole thing becomes irrelevant…

I’m much more of a fan of observing and changing policy accordingly, than I am of trying to force a dogma to work on the real world.

If we want to change the constitution, there is only one way to do that, and that way isn’t ignoring it.

This isn’t about the changing of policy, it is about violating the constitution not only in actual terms, but in intent as well. If you don’t understand the intent of the constitution it’s kind of hard to follow it.

You want the constitution to be a ‘guideline’ that we should sort of follow when it makes sense TO YOU, but when it doesn’t, it just gets in the way. You want to be able to ignore it when you want to and use it as a hammer against your opponents when they violate it.

It doesn’t WORK that way. There is a reason the method of changing the constitution, of giving the federal government more powers than they already have, is not a simple majority vote of representatives. It was MEANT to be hard because it shouldn’t just be done when we feel like it.

Heather Digby Parton wrote an article today on AlterNet that is indicative of that thinking. In assaulting Rand Paul about his concerns of the president not getting authorization to wage war from congress she writes:

Most liberals agree that the Congress should be the body to declare war. It’s the most consequential decision the government makes and they all should have a stake in making it. But since it’s clear from both history and Rand Paul that they would approve it anyway perhaps we could move beyond this tiresome kabuki dance and simply say they did.

First, to say that ‘most liberals agree’ is, I think, completely wrong. I think most liberals agree that Congress should be the body to declare war when the President is a Republican.

But the worst part is saying that just because it is likely that the congress would approve the action that we shouldn’t bother with making them actually DO it.

There is a problem with that line of thinking because in just over 2 years a new president is going to be in office, and that president might be a Republican. And if that president decides to attack, say, Iran, then by ignoring the constitution now we set the precedent that we can ignore it then, when another party’s president is in office.

By not DEMANDING that the country follow the constitution, you have just given the power to wage war to the president, you have just authorized that future action. Congratulations.

“One precedent in favor of power is stronger than an hundred against it.” —Thomas Jefferson

I think cancer and illness related terms are very commonly used. I think you’re using them as an excuse to rage against us for our being mean to you.

I’m glad you can read my mind, Stephen. I made it clear what I thought of it and explained it. Just because a phrase is ‘commonly used’ doesn’t mean it isn’t inaccurate and stupid. If you want to keep being inaccurate and stupid, be my guest, you don’t need my permission at all. But I will call people out on it when they use it. It is a dehumanization tactic, the kind that both sides use. You even agree that both sides do that sort of thing, so you would think that when pointed out to you, you might think twice about it, but apparently your view is ‘it works and they do it so I’m going to do it too’. Congratulations for being what you say you don’t like…

I look at the people who are pushing policy on the right, and I see folks just copying and pasting the corporate lines without even an ounce of deference to more objective measures.

And it is going on just as much on the left, you just refuse to see it. I’m sorry Stephen, but that’s where people have the biggest problem with you, that you can’t comprehend that fact. I can do a search on the internet on a phrase that Valerie Jarrett has used and it will show up in hundreds of ‘progressive articles’ all around the web. I can hear someone on the left use a phrase, like the malignancy line, and suddenly it starts being used over and over by the followers just spouting what they heard their leadership say. Yes, it happens on the right too, it is an indicative problem in today’s political landscape, but your attempt to say it is mainly a right-wing problem only highlights that you are incapable of seeing it in your own political ranks.

A recent example, this week a Republican put out an ad that used a woman talking to the camera about ‘breaking up with Obama’. Progressives are rallying around this ad being ‘sexist’. What they don’t seem to recall is that in 2008 Obama’s PAC put out a nearly identical ad for voting for him being a woman’s ‘first time’. It just doesn’t seem to register with the left that they do the same things but to them they are ok because their motives are good and the other people’s motives are evil…

I think liberalism can have mistaken ideas, and I speak out against those.

Yeah, we can all go back and read all of those articles you have written… somewhere I’m sure they must exist.

Look, everybody interprets what they read.

Yeah, that ‘congress shall make not law’ part is really a sticky one to interpret, there is so much ambiguity there…

In other words, disagreement about the law, particularly the fundamental law was expected, and designed into the system itself. They did not expect everybody to have a single idea of what the Constitution permitted and did not permit!

Yes and no. Yes, there are some areas of the constitution that we can quibble over, but those areas are not all encompassing and they do not end up with a turning of the constitution on it’s head.

Disagreements on an area of the constitution’s granted powers and how it impacts a state law, whether an apportioned tax means that a progressive tax is part of that, etc are areas that we can hash out and use judges for.

But when someone comes along and says that just because it isn’t addressed in the constitution means that the government has the power to do it is a complete and total misreading of the constitution in its entirety. Taking a part of the constitution that says that the government definitely doesn’t have x power and then trying to say it does is misreading the constitution in its entirety. Not having a good, strong basis of what the writers of the constitution meant when they wrote what they wrote can lead you astray on what you think you are interpreting.

There are many areas that I feel free to discuss ambiguities on, but when there is clearly no ambiguity to anyone who is OBJECTIVELY reading the constitution with the understanding of the purpose of it and the meaning behind the words written, I have a big problem with. Because it isn’t that hard to do, to go read the words of Madison, Jefferson, Hamilton, et al. To have a pretty good understanding of what is being said when they read the document.

Again, last night is a great example. There is simply ZERO ambiguity in the president not having the power to wage war against anyone without congressional approval. And the war powers act is very clear that the president cannot act, AT ALL, even for 60 days, unless the country is in IMMENENT danger. That is why even the terrible and evil Bush sought approval from Congress before going into Iraq all those years ago. If he had been a Democrat, apparently all he had to do was do what the hell he wanted to do.

And I’m sorry, but I do *NOT* see progressives calling him out on it, not in any real or major way. Sure, a few like Kucinich are consistent, but get no media exposure. A couple wail about it on DailyKOS. But only a couple. Rather, people like Heather Digby Parton are more interested in trying to bash their viewed opponents politically about it instead of standing up for what is right.

When I say something is ‘clearly unconstitutional’ and then give you the words of the writers of the constitution that clearly backs me up, that should take most, if not all, ambiguity out of the flawed interpretation. But it rarely does because someone who is more worried about political power or winning a particular political fight will just ignore it.

And then we get people like yourself who eschew people who are actually CONCERNED about the constitution, all the while saying that you care about it, and makes us all scratch our heads. How can you decry our concerns and at the same time be just as concerned?

The whole point of our government, the way it is arranged is to leave to our time and our people the judgment of what is right and wrong, not to frontload everything with their opinions, and their limited foresight. The Framers had the humility not to try and micromanage the future of their young nation.

Again, yes and no. Yes, the Framers wanted us to determine what powers we would cede to the government and they gave us a mechanism that would allow that, but NO, they didn’t want us simply ignoring the constitution and the limits placed on government because they knew that by doing so we would be destroying the whole point of the country….

And how do I know that? Easy, I can just read what they wrote!

“Laws are made for men of ordinary understanding and should, therefore, be construed by the ordinary rules of common sense. Their meaning is not to be sought for in metaphysical subtleties which may make anything mean everything or nothing at pleasure.” —Thomas Jefferson to William Johnson, 1823.

“I do then, with sincere zeal, wish an inviolable preservation of our present federal Constitution, according to the true sense in which it was adopted by the States, that in which it was advocated by its friends, and not that which its enemies apprehended, who therefore became its enemies.” —Thomas Jefferson to Elbridge Gerry, 1799.

“Whenever the words of a law will bear two meanings, one of which will give effect to the law, and the other will defeat it, the former must be supposed to have been intended by the Legislature, because they could not intend that meaning, which would defeat their intention, in passing that law; and in a statute, as in a will, the intention of the party is to be sought after.” —Thomas Jefferson to Albert Gallatin, 1808.

“When an instrument admits two constructions, the one safe, the other dangerous, the one precise, the other indefinite, I prefer that which is safe and precise. I had rather ask an enlargement of power from the nation, where it is found necessary, than to assume it by a construction which would make our powers boundless.” —Thomas Jefferson to Wilson Nicholas, 1803.

“In every event, I would rather construe so narrowly as to oblige the nation to amend, and thus declare what powers they would agree to yield, than too broadly, and indeed, so broadly as to enable the executive and the Senate to do things which the Constitution forbids.” —Thomas Jefferson: The Anas, 1793.

“On every question of construction carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.” —Thomas Jefferson to William Johnson, 1823.

“They are not to do anything they please to provide for the general welfare, but only to lay taxes for that purpose. To consider the latter phrase not as describing the purpose of the first, but as giving a distinct and independent power to do any act they please which might be for the good of the Union, would render all the preceding and subsequent enumerations of power completely useless. It would reduce the whole instrument to a single phrase, that of instituting a Congress with power to do whatever would be for the good of the United States; and, as they would be the sole judges of the good or evil, it would be also a power to do whatever evil they please… Certainly no such universal power was meant to be given them. It was intended to lace them up straitly within the enumerated powers and those without which, as means, these powers could not be carried into effect.” —Thomas Jefferson 1791.

“Our tenet ever was… that Congress had not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but were restrained to those specifically enumerated, and that, as it was never meant that they should provide for that welfare but by the exercise of the enumerated powers, so it could not have been meant they should raise money for purposes which the enumeration did not place under their action; consequently, that the specification of powers is a limitation of the purposes for which they may raise money.” —Thomas Jefferson to Albert Gallatin, 1817.

“I hope our courts will never countenance the sweeping pretensions which have been set up under the words ‘general defence and public welfare.’ These words only express the motives which induced the Convention to give to the ordinary legislature certain specified powers which they enumerate, and which they thought might be trusted to the ordinary legislature, and not to give them the unspecified also; or why any specification? They could not be so awkward in language as to mean, as we say, ‘all and some.’ And should this construction prevail, all limits to the federal government are done away.” —Thomas Jefferson to Spencer Roane, 1815.

The Framers didn’t want mob rule, to be sure, but they sure as hell didn’t want a government that wasn’t backed by the mandate of the people.

You are 100% correct. Which is why they put in a provision into the Constitution to amend it when the mandate of the people was articulated.

A simple majority is not a mandate. That is why the amendment process is what it is. If you can’t get an amendment passed, then you haven’t displayed the appropriate mandate of the people. And you also have to have the mandate of the states as well, which is why that part is included into the amendment process.

They never, once, thought we should just allow a simple majority vote overturn any part of the constitution. And they did not believe that we should be able to simply ignore the constitution when it suited a simple majority’s whims.

“Where powers are assumed which have not been delegated, a nullification of the act is the rightful remedy.” —Thomas Jefferson: Draft Kentucky Resolutions, 1798.

“If it be asked, What is the most sacred duty and the greatest source of our security in a Republic? The answer would be, An inviolable respect for the Constitution and Laws — the first growing out of the last… A sacred respect for the constitutional law is the vital principle, the sustaining energy of a free government.” —Alexander Hamilton, 1794.

“Do not separate text from historical background. If you do, you will have perverted and subverted the Constitution, which can only end in a distorted, bastardized form of illegitimate government.” —James Madison

” I entirely concur in the propriety of resorting to the sense in which the Constitution was accepted and ratified by the nation. In that sense alone it is the legitimate Constitution. And if that be not the guide in expounding it, there can be no security for a consistent and stable, more than for a faithful exercise of its powers. If the meaning of the text be sought in the changeable meaning of the words composing it, it is evident that the shape and attributes of the Government must partake of the changes to which the words and phrases of all living languages are constantly subject. What a metamorphosis would be produced in the code of law if all its ancient phraseology were to be taken in its modern sense! ” —James Madison

The Framers laid out a constitution that was a limit on the powers that the federal government could employ. From the outset, the representatives in Congress tried to push their power further and further, this is nothing new at all in our government, it happened from day one. They saw it happening and were very clear in their writings what they thought of that. Not that they didn’t like it, but that it turned the government into an illegitimate one.

By ignoring their words and reasons for the powers granted to the federal government, we illegitimize the government we have. If we want to change the constitution, ie change the powers that the federal government have over the state governments, then we have to go through the amendment process to do that, it is the only LEGITIMATE way to do it.

Simply pretending that the constitution says what it clearly doesn’t say or wasn’t intended to mean by ignoring what the founders meant when they wrote it is to illegitimize the whole government we have in place. It’s not a ‘dogma’, it’s just as simple fact.

But remember this. If you allow this illegitimacy to happen when you feel like it should or when a simple majority of people feel like it should, then you lose all use of the government’s legitimacy and any claim of unconstitutionality when someone else comes along and does the same thing that you disagree with.

You can’t say that you are going to impeach Bush or oppose Bush’s actions, or that of any Republican, if they choose to wage war on another country without congressional approval if you tacitly approve of Obama’s actions in doing the same. You can’t say that the federal government can tax people for charitable functions and then say that the Republicans can’t tax people for religious functions, neither one are allowed in the constitution, but because you want the one and allow it, you are tacitly allowing and approving the other.

You can’t claim defense against your rights by your opponent if you are willing to abuse the rights of others when you feel like it.

It is a hard line, it is meant to be a demarcation point. The government you are proposing is not the government we have in place. You are proposing a more monarchial society, an authoritarian one, a totalitarian one. Without those hard limits that you say can be simply swept away, you aren’t limiting the government at all.

You say you don’t oppose the constitution, that you support it, but you can’t do that if you don’t support it IN ALL WAYS, not just in the ways that you think it should be applied. You cannot have it both ways, in trying to do so you are putting yourself and your needs and wants over the rights of others. And that is the real issue that people have with both parties now, they do just that all of the time. There is no consistency, there is no restraint, there is no understanding that what they propose is violating the rights of others or if they do they don’t care. And if they don’t care, they can’t care when the majority violates their rights in return.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 23, 2014 2:46 PM
Comment #383679
A knew low reached by Rhinehold.

I’m sorry, Speak, I guess I should have just beaten Stephen up because he said some words that offended me instead of pointing them out to him in our discussion? I can see where you might have gotten confused there, knowing your predilection to resort to physical violence like an animal instead of using your words like a human being.

As for ‘using my wife’s condition’, for sympathy, that’s a laugh. Giving context to my dislike for a phrase being used is not the same thing as looking for sympathy. If I had been after sympathy, I would be doing it right, not in some half-assed mention in a comment over 2 years into her illness… The fact that Stephen, whom I have known for 10 years and debate on here as often as we do didn’t know about her condition (because I almost never mention it) should be enough evidence of that. Just as he rarely mentions his autism, when he does mention it it is clearly not done so to ‘garner sympathy’ but to provide context when appropriate.

I know you are upset because you got called out for saying you would resort to violence if anyone said a couple of words in your presence, but really, lashing out in such a sad way isn’t the way to handle that…

Oh, and btw, “You seem to think I seek your approval or recognition in my comments I do not, I comment for my benefit and my benefit only.” so, you know…

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 23, 2014 2:59 PM
Comment #383680

Rhinehold your excuse does not negate the fact that you are despicable and you used a despicable method in a discussion. We have all had to deal with cancer and the terrible things it does to an individual, you have no special insight when it comes to that. As someone who had to watch his younger sister die from it, I took particular affront to your use of the word malignant to chastise Stephen by introducing a cancer patient into the discussion and still do.

I said in a previous comment on a different thread, that if you used a derogatory reference to an immigrant that I would beat the crap out of you. I did not get “called out” and would still do what I said.

Now excuse me, I have to go wash my hands as I feel a little unclean discussing this with you.

Posted by: Speak4all at September 23, 2014 3:21 PM
Comment #383681

Wow….this site has really gone downhill.

It was always interesting how Daugherty and a few other minions or followers have immunity for the same nasty things they write.

By the way, Stephen Daugherty has no disdain for anything not-Democrat!.

Delete this if you can. :)

Posted by: d.a.n at September 23, 2014 3:46 PM
Comment #383682

SD on anything not his party/people.

Posted by: d.a.n at September 23, 2014 3:54 PM
Comment #383683

It’s gone WAY downhill D.A.N., just like the real world has.

When you call everybody who disagree’s with you a racist, a sexist, and a hater, I guess sooner or later you are going to start believing the lies yourself. Now we even got some old fart threatening to beat the crap out of people, lol.

Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.

Posted by: kctim at September 23, 2014 4:09 PM
Comment #383694

This statement clearly violates the rules for participation on WatchBlog:

Rhinehold your excuse does not negate the fact that you are despicable and you used a despicable method in a discussion.

Whoever has relaxed enforcement of this rule has done us all a favor by allowing to be seen who is responsible for the violations.

I feel a bond with WatchBlog and it’s users. I have suffered the banishment from commenting many times. Once for using a parity of a Democratic Governor’s comment to respond to one of the posts in the blue column!

D.a.n was reprimanded for using a variation of a person’s moniker when addressing them. jane doe does the same with Royal Flush’s moniker in this very thread.

Flushed, you might be able to reason with more people on here if, in fact, you were using reasonable logic to do it.

Again we can thank the person responsible for the lax enforcement of the rules to show exactly who abuses the privileges here at WatchBlog.

That aside, I still feel WatchBlog is a worthwhile visit. I believe many of the people who used to comment are still in the background. Many of the new moderators have contributed thoughtful and well written posts. I value my posting privileges the same as internet access itself. I’m thankful for the commenting policy being objectively and liberally enforced on WatchBlog, and I hope it will encourage those in the background to come forward again and help repopulate the WatchBlog community.

Posted by: Weary Willie at September 24, 2014 1:12 AM
Comment #383695

This statement clearly violates the rules for participation on WatchBlog:

Rhinehold your excuse does not negate the fact that you are despicable and you used a despicable method in a discussion.

Whoever has relaxed enforcement of this rule has done us all a favor by allowing to be seen who is responsible for the violations.

I feel a bond with WatchBlog and it’s users. I have suffered the banishment from commenting many times. Once for using a parity of a Democratic Governor’s comment to respond to one of the posts in the blue column!

D.a.n was reprimanded for using a variation of a person’s moniker when addressing them. jane doe does the same with Royal Flush’s moniker in this very thread.

Flushed, you might be able to reason with more people on here if, in fact, you were using reasonable logic to do it.

Again we can thank the person responsible for the lax enforcement of the rules to show exactly who abuses the privileges here at WatchBlog.

That aside, I still feel WatchBlog is a worthwhile visit. I believe many of the people who used to comment are still in the background. Many of the new moderators have contributed thoughtful and well written posts. I value my posting privileges the same as internet access itself. I’m thankful for the commenting policy being objectively and liberally enforced on WatchBlog, and I hope it will encourage those in the background to come forward again and help repopulate the WatchBlog community.

Posted by: Weary Willie@yahoo.com at September 24, 2014 1:14 AM
Comment #383702

Weary I’m one that still visits although I don’t post much anymore. I came here in 2003 attracted by posters like CF and Misha who made me think about my own views in light of theirs. These days there is far less thought provoking comments and what is left is mostly just politics. The Blue side especially where it’s protect Obama at all costs.

For example, Monday night the U.S. launched 47 cruise missles into Syria and yet there’s not a mention of it here in the Blue. Good, bad or indifferent; just the usual dribble from this author. Rhinehold writes an article in the Green about the Unconstitutional War President and the only comment is about Citizen’s United and Hobby Lobby.

Watchblog has gone the way of the rest of the country’s politics and has fallen into the bi-polar us vs them world. On the occasions where someone steps out I usually comment, but otherwise it’s best just to sit it out.


Posted by: George in SC at September 24, 2014 9:42 AM
Comment #383705

There are many similarities between what Obama has done and what Bush did; yet Bush was attacked by the left and silence on Obama. It is a fact that the sole purpose of SD and the rest of the left on WB is to protect Obama. There were many Republicans who complained about the Bush years, and I was one, but it’s comical how the left treats Obama. What’s even more strange is the fact that Clinton Democrats are now complaining about Obama’s governing…in a move to separate Hillary from Obama.

Posted by: George at September 24, 2014 5:07 PM
Comment #383706

Generally speaking, the left is divided and conflicted over supporting the bombing campaign. You can see this division on web sites like DailyKos and HuffPo. If you think the left is united behind Obama on Syria & Iraq, you just don’t get out much.

I can’t speak for everyone on the left, but I suspect my feelings about this are typical. On the one hand, I support Obama in fighting ISIS and bombing the Khoroson Group; on the other hand, I am wary of seeing the country enmeshed in a ‘forever war.’ If we bomb ISIS and degrade and destroy it, what then? Who will take their place?

The Obama administration seems far more capable of addressing that issue than its predecessor.

“There are many similarities between what Obama has done and what Bush did;”

No. Not really. Today was a good example. Obama addressed the United Nations, and he has put together an international coalition. He is working with the UN and asking for the international community to follow his lead, and support with more than just words. The French are working with us this time, which they did not do under Bush. Turkey- the most important power in the region, even more important than Israel- is also working with us, which they did not do with Bush. As for the United Nations, remember when Bush sent Powell to give a speech on why the member countries should support the US in an invasion of Iraq? Virtually everything Powell said was untrue. The UN sent a team of weapons inspectors led by Hans Blix into Iraq, and they said there were no WMD’s. The Bush administration openly disbelieved his findings, and generally disparaged the UN. Obama, on the other hand, effectively used his appearance in-person at the UN to lead, and it is working. Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and the UAE are bombing the Sunni extremists along with us. Qatar is also seems to be on board, although they are not participating in the military strikes.

Obama’s leadership is respectful yet forceful. Bush swaggered around in a flight suit under a “Mission Accomplished” banner, and showed false bravado with lines like “bring it on.” His administration alienated good allies. The two presidents could not be more different.

Posted by: phx8 at September 24, 2014 7:26 PM
Comment #383708

“For example, Monday night the U.S. launched 47 cruise missles into Syria and yet there’s not a mention of it here in the Blue.”

Nor in the green or red columns for that matter. As for the debate about the constitutionality, Congress is on a two month vacation. If they are not interested…..

Posted by: Rich at September 24, 2014 8:45 PM
Comment #383709

The major difference this time is that virtually all the major Sunni states are not only supporting the effort but actively participating. That is a huge difference.

Posted by: Rich at September 24, 2014 8:53 PM
Comment #383714

Rich,
A Senate committee voted 10 - 8 to support Obama when he threatened to bomb Syria unless they surrendered their chemical weapons arsenal. Syria complied and surrendered its arsenal without a shot being fired. No one talks about it, but that was a huge success for the Obama administration. The full Senate/House never did vote. We are seeing the same thing again now. Lots of talk and posturing, but Obama acts, while Congress avoids being tied to a vote, one way or another.

By the way, another concern among liberals- and everyone else, I suppose- is the whole idea of ‘arming the rebels’ to fight ISIS. What rebels? How does this differ from the clandestine efforts to arm ‘rebels’ the US has been making for the past two years? The US armed the Iraqi Army, and 30,000 well-armed Iraqi troops deserted when an army of 5 to 10 thousand poorly armed ISIS troops invaded. ISIS took the entire arsenal of American weapons with virtually no fight, and ISI numbers swelled to over 30,000 overnight. Gee. Wonder where those Iraqi soldiers went? And the poorly armed ISIS invaders suddenly became very well armed.

So how will arming ‘rebels’ and introducing even more weaponry into the Middle East work better this time?

Obama has avoided doing ‘stupid’ stuff so far. Personally, I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt when it comes to the administration’s current actions.

Posted by: phx8 at September 24, 2014 9:37 PM
Comment #383715
Generally speaking, the left is divided and conflicted over supporting the bombing campaign.

Hmmm, interesting because when the right was divided on Iraq about as much as the left is on Obama in regards to getting involved against ISIS. But as I remember, that didn’t matter to those on the left who wanted to paint with broad strokes…

I can’t speak for everyone on the left, but I suspect my feelings about this are typical. On the one hand, I support Obama in fighting ISIS and bombing the Khoroson Group; on the other hand, I am wary of seeing the country enmeshed in a ‘forever war.’ If we bomb ISIS and degrade and destroy it, what then? Who will take their place?

The interesting part is that you don’t even mention the bigger issue, the fact that he is doing this, again, illegally.

“There are many similarities between what Obama has done and what Bush did;”

No. Not really.

True, Bush at least had sense to get approval from the country by having their representatives approve of the military action as proscribed by the US Constitution. The left has simply anointed him King and supported his bypassing the US Constitution anytime he feels like it to get his way.

Obama addressed the United Nations, and he has put together an international coalition. He is working with the UN and asking for the international community to follow his lead, and support with more than just words. The French are working with us this time, which they did not do under Bush. Turkey- the most important power in the region, even more important than Israel- is also working with us, which they did not do with Bush.

But we don’t have the Security Council approval because we don’t have Russia on our side, or even England at this point, we have fewer countries supporting us than we did with Iraq, fewer are committing any resources at all. Let’s compare the ‘coalitions’.

Bush’s was 48 countries, Obama’s is smaller and they are not sending troops, only 5 are actually assisting in airstrike and airstrikes alone.

During Iraq, Turkey didn’t send troops but they did allow the US to use their airspace. Saying that they didn’t participate is a misnomer.

Bush had almost 200,000 troops from the coalition partners, we are getting a lot less than that here, just a few guys and some jets that we most likely sold them to begin with.

France hasn’t participated in any airstrikes in Syria and have put no troops in place. Germany may send supplies but that is it.

The UN sent a team of weapons inspectors led by Hans Blix into Iraq, and they said there were no WMD’s.

No, that’s not what Blix said, and I’ve had to correct you on this numerous times in the past.

From Financial Times:

Like many people, I had understood that Blix thought Iraq didn’t have weapons of mass destruction in early 2003 – encouraged by headlines such as this one in “January: Hanx Blix warned Tony Blair Iraq may not have WMD.”

The Blix position is in fact much more nuanced.

Yesterday he said he told Tony Blair one month before the Iraq invasion that he thought Saddam Hussein may still have illegal weapons in spite of his growing doubts on the matter.

Mr Blix told the Iraq inquiry that he had at that point become increasingly concerned about the credibility of western intelligence. He told Mr Blair in February 2003 that it would be “paradoxical” if Britain and the US invaded Iraq with 250,000 men only to find “very little” there.

Yet he told the then UK prime minister during the private conversation: “I said I still thought there were prohibited items in Iraq.”

Mr Blix also revealed that in late 2002, only a few months earlier, he had told Mr Blair that he “felt that Iraq had retained weapons of mass destruction”.

It seemed “plausible” to him especially in relation to anthrax stocks, he recalled. An Australian UN inspector had found evidence of anthrax reserves in Iraq which seemed “very convincing”, he said.

In other words, the Blix stance is rather less black and white than the media have sometimes portrayed him.

He also said:

“The commission has not at any time during the inspections in Iraq found evidence of the continuation or resumption of programs of weapons of mass destruction … whether from pre-1991 or later,” Blix told the U.N. Security Council Thursday in what is expected to be his final report.

But he also said that the former Iraqi regime was unable to account for chemical or biological weapons it claimed to have destroyed and that weapons inspectors were unable to clear up discrepancies before leaving Baghdad in advance of the invasion.

Further:

Blix, who spent three years searching for Iraqi chemical, biological and ballistic missiles as head of the U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission, said Iraq might have tried to fool the United States into believing it had weapons of mass destruction over the years in order to deter attack.

“I mean, you can put up a sign on your door, ‘Beware of the Dog,’ without having a dog,” he said from his home in Sweden.

I’ve never understood why the left is so ignorant of the fact that Iraq had gone out of its way to make people think it still had those WMDs and in doing so why it is unreasonable for them to believe that the intelligence communities thought so to? That is what Iraq wanted them to think and even intelligence people are people and get things wrong sometimes.

Remember, Iraq, as part of the cease fire previously had agreed to destroy all of their WMDs, within 3 months, in front of UN inspectors. They didn’t do that, purposefully setting themselves up for 12 years of cat and mouse games with the UN and the US, including causing Clinton to bomb them so that they would. The realization in hindsight is that they destroyed them (or sent them to Syria and Syria destroyed them last year) perhaps years before Bush was even elected, even before Clinton bombed them for the exact same things…

Obama’s leadership is respectful yet forceful. Bush swaggered around in a flight suit under a “Mission Accomplished” banner, and showed false bravado with lines like “bring it on.” His administration alienated good allies. The two presidents could not be more different.

What is the difference between the “Axis of Evil” and “Network of Death”?

Earlier this week the U.S. began to bomb ISIS targets in Syria, an extension of an anti-ISIS campaign launched in Iraq. So the president’s speech at the UN today focused on the airstrikes in Syria and the wider campaign against ISIS, a self-styled Islamic State.

President Obama called ISIS a “network of death,” arguing that “there can be no reasoning, no negotiation, with this brand of evil.” In making the case for the anti-ISIS campaign President Obama has adopted the language George W. Bush deployed when first formulating the war on terror. “We face a brand of evil, the likes of which we haven’t seen in a long time in the world,” President Bush told airline employees on September 27, 2001. Later, he would place Iraq, Iran, and North Korea in an “axis of evil,” a term that coud’ve been ripped from a comic book.

Bush was a fan of using the word “evil” to describe Islamist terrorists, and it shouldn’t be surprising that President Obama has found the strong, unequivocal, and emotional word useful in defending the anti-ISIS campaign. ISIS has played into the characterization too, embracing it. It’s hard to argue a bunch of nuts trying to start a government in the desert through a religiously-motivated campaign of mass murder aren’t evil. They fit the definition pretty well. But U.S. foreign policy shouldn’t, and can’t, be about extinguishing evil the world over. Liberals seemed to understand that, or pretended they did, when George W. Bush was president. This week they’re not protesting yet another unconstitutional war launched by an imperial executive. No. Instead, they’re protesting climate change capitalism.

In fact, what we have now is this president instituting the pre-emptive policy of Karl Rove, one that Bush eschewed when he sought and got congressional approval that Obama has stated on several occasions that he doesn’t need.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 24, 2014 9:45 PM
Comment #383720

‘No one talks about it, but that was a huge success for the Obama administration.”

phx8,

I agree.

Now, whether Obama can finesse this one is another question. Getting the Sunni states to participate actively is a good beginning. At least we won’t be a lone pinata for ISIL propaganda.

Posted by: Rich at September 24, 2014 9:59 PM
Comment #383726
Syria complied and surrendered its arsenal without a shot being fired. No one talks about it, but that was a huge success for the Obama administration.

Plenty of people talk about it, but it wasn’t a success at all for Obama, in fact he had painted himself in a corner. It was a big success for Putin, who was the one who got Syria to back down.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-09-10/france-to-submit-syria-chemical-weapons-proposal-to-un.html

On top of that, the fact that a Senate committee voted on anything is irrelevant. That’s not how the laws work.

BTW

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/russia-condemns-us-airstrikes-against-islamic-state-in-syria/2014/09/23/de639dc6-42f4-11e4-b437-1a7368204804_story.html

MOSCOW — As the United States launches airstrikes against the Islamic State in Syria, Russia is condemning the move, and hedging support for the attacks so long as they proceed without the Syrian government’s consent.

The Kremlin has no trouble with the intended target — like the United States, Russia wants the Islamic State destroyed and thinks it must be defeated in Syria and Iraq.

But as Syria’s unofficial patron and interlocutor in international discussions about how to confront the Islamic State, Russia is insistent that U.S. measures to target militants in Syria lack authority without buy-in from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad — a point Russian President Vladimir Putin stressed to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon Tuesday.

Making friends and not alienating anyone, that’s how we roll…

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 24, 2014 10:36 PM
Comment #383733

Rhinehold,
During the Cold War, we realized a nuclear first strike could destroy the country in minutes. If not launched immediately, the US nuclear arsenal could be incapacitated by such a strike. Yet the Constitution requires…

I am sure you see where this is going.

Times change. There are situations today that could not be foreseen 200 years ago. Technology changed the nature of weapons and the nature of warfare and even the definition of war. Today, we can conduct strikes from the air with missiles, without ever placing ‘boots on the ground.’ That was inconceivable when the Constitution was originally written. Nations do not even bother to declare war anymore, and conventional warfare of the type waged back then rarely happens. The Constitutional concept of war is an anachronism. It just doesn’t work that way anymore.

Obama is acting within the current legal framework. He is being scrupulous. He is working with Congress as required, giving notifications when troops are ‘temporarily’ deployed in Iraq, and he is acting within the framework of the Constitution as it is currently interpreted. Congress seems satisfied and the SCOTUS is not intervening.

Your disagreement with Obama’s actions does not make what he is doing illegal or unconstitutional.

Posted by: phx8 at September 25, 2014 12:10 AM
Comment #383735
Obama is acting within the current legal framework.

Except he isn’t. He is well outside of the current legal framework. I detailed this in the middle column.

he is acting within the framework of the Constitution as it is currently interpreted.

Actually, no he isn’t.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2014/09/12/prominent-legal-scholars-critique-obamas-decision-to-wage-war-against-isis-without-congressional-authorization/

Congress seems satisfied and the SCOTUS is not intervening.

It doesn’t matter that they are complicit in his unconstitutional actions it doesn’t make them suddenly constitutional or legal. It just makes them just as bad. And not all members of congress are ‘satisified’.

Times change.

Not that much, sorry. To believe that we need to somehow give the president the decision in attacking foreign entities we need to have an understanding as to WHY the power was given to congress and not the president to begin with.

The act of committing violence against a foreign people required the consent of the people. It is something that should not be left up to the decision of one man. In addition to the hefty decision that it is, there is also the cost of the war in people, money and damage that the country has to endure for it.

Just because the war can be done with fewer lives cost isn’t a good enough reason to bypass the necessary requirement of getting the approval of the citizens of the country, of having the debate, of making it official.

Nothing about this situation prevents the people from being heard from. Sure, the War Powers act was enacted to give the President time to act in the case of an IMMENT THREAT or a CURRENT MILITARY ACTION against the United States, but this isn’t one of those times. Even the president’s own administration admits that ISIS/ISIL/IS isn’t an imminent threat to the United States. There is no reasonable reason for bypassing getting the will of the citizens put to paper.

Sure, if put before congress it would probably easily pass, which makes the idea that this hasn’t been done even worse because all that we are doing is giving the next president, one who might be a Republican and want to invade Iran as an example, the authority through precedent to do so.

In no part of the constitution is more wisdom to be found than in the clause which confides the question of war or peace to the legislature, and not to the executive department. Beside the objection to such a mixture of heterogeneous powers: the trust and the temptation would be too great for any one man: not such as nature may offer as the prodigy of many centuries, but such as may be expected in the ordinary successions of magistracy. War is in fact the true nurse of executive aggrandizement. In war a physical force is to be created, and it is the executive will which is to direct it. In war the public treasures are to be unlocked, and it is the executive hand which is to dispense them. In war the honors and emoluments of office are to be multiplied; and it is the executive patronage under which they are to be enjoyed. It is in war, finally, that laurels are to be gathered, and it is the executive brow they are to encircle. The strongest passions, and most dangerous weaknesses of the human breast; ambition, avarice, vanity, the honorable or venial love of fame, are all in conspiracy against the desire and duty of peace. —A Hamilton
“I said to [President Washington] that if the equilibrium of the three great bodies, Legislative, Executive and Judiciary, could be preserved, if the Legislature could be kept independent, I should never fear the result of such a government; but that I could not but be uneasy when I saw that the Executive had swallowed up the Legislative branch.” —Thomas Jefferson
“The question of war being placed by the Constitution with the Legislature alone, respect to that [makes] it [the Executive’s] duty to restrain the operations of our militia to those merely defensive.” —Thomas Jefferson

BTW, you may not be aware of this but the very same reasons you are saying this war was constitutional are the same ones we used during Vietnam… I find it odd that someone from your political persuasion doesn’t see that irony.

Vietnam was a war, whether we called it that or not. Advisors were military men on the ground fighting, just as we currently have in Iraq (ignoring the private contractors that never left Iraq). It required action from congress to authorize. Just because they fund military actions is not enough…

the Clinton legal team opined that its actions were consistent with the War Powers Resolution because Congress had approved a bill funding the operation, which they argued constituted implicit authorization. That theory was controversial because the War Powers Resolution specifically says that such funding does not constitute authorization.”

The War Powers Resolution clearly states:

The constitutional powers of the President as Commander-in-Chief to introduce United States Armed Forces into hostilities, or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, are exercised only pursuant to

(1) a declaration of war,

(2) specific statutory authorization, or

(3) a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.

Neither of those 3 things have happened.

Further it states:

Authority to introduce United States Armed Forces into hostilities or into situations wherein involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances shall not be inferred—

(1) from any provision of law (whether or not in effect before the date of the enactment of this joint resolution), including any provision contained in any appropriation Act, unless such provision specifically authorizes the introduction of United States Armed Forces into hostilities or into such situations and stating that it is intended to constitute specific statutory authorization within the meaning of this joint resolution

; or

(2) from any treaty heretofore or hereafter ratified unless such treaty is implemented by legislation specifically authorizing the introduction of United States Armed Forces into hostilities or into such situations and stating that it is intended to constitute specific statutory authorization within the meaning of this joint resolution.

Meaning that even if congress votes to allocate funds for any military action, that doesn’t infer that the proper authorization that is required has been given.

BTW, lest we forget:

On Friday, June 3, 2011, the US House of Representatives voted to rebuke President Obama for maintaining an American presence in the NATO operations in Libya, which they considered a violation of the War Powers Resolution.

The only ‘legal’ scholar that is ok with what Obama is doing is John Yoo… You know, the guy your side lambasted a decade ago for saying that Bush had authorization to use torture…

In response to Obama’s statement that he did not need congressional approval to launch military action in Libya thanks to his “constitutional authority to conduct U.S. foreign relations” and his powers “as Commander in Chief and Chief Executive,” Yoo declared: “For once, Mr. Obama has the Constitution about right.”

That’s the guy who is on your side here…

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 25, 2014 1:10 AM
Comment #383738

Obama is not getting the support of many of the nations that supported Bush because these nations do not trust Obama. He says, “Join us” and when the fighting starts, Obama is just as likely to pull out and leave them holding the bag.

It was said by one military expert that Obama has no desire to “take out” Islamic terrorist leaders because he is bombing empty buildings at night. As Vietnam era vet who watched presidents try to run a war from the oval office, I find it disturbing that Obama does the same thing.

Also interesting that every world leader involved can call the enemy Islamic Terrorists, and yet Obama cannot bring himself to use the word Islamic. Yesterday, I heard one liberal trying to defend this by bringing up the fact that Obama was brought up as a Muslim. My thoughts were, “Oh boy, where are we going on this one”.

Posted by: George at September 25, 2014 9:14 AM
Comment #383739

Sooo much difference…

http://rare.us/story/megyn-kelly-finds-chilling-similarities-between-obamas-and-bushs-un-speeches/

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 25, 2014 1:04 PM
Comment #383746

phx8
Your argument is void. The Constitution says things on a variety of subjects that covers todays society in a very explicit way. Your twisting of meaning and underdtanding is vapid at best. To say that todays world is different in the application of the Constitution is idiotic. Your thinking is certainly not clear on this matter. The Constitution is clear about all matters including the ones you prefer to twist and distort and claim you have this elitist all knowledgeable approach to. In the baseball world you are being tossed a no-hitter against you. No runs, no hits, no errors and no body left.

Posted by: tom humes at September 25, 2014 2:29 PM
Comment #383754

Rhinehold,

The Obama administration rests on the post 9/11 authorizations for actions against al-Qaeda. It is clear that ISIS is a progeny of al-Qaeda in Iraq. Indeed, it was al-Qaeda in Iraq until it recently broke from the leadership of the general al-Qaeda organization. So, there is clearly a relationship to al-Qaeda. ISIS is an evolved al-Qaeda.

On the other hand, the nature of the evolved al-Qaeda in Iraq (ISIS) differs in its tactics, goals and objectives. It is no longer simply a movement employing terrorist tactics, but is now an aspiring state governing a substantial region in the Middle East. It is for all intents and purposes an emerging de facto state within the territories of Iraq and Syria.

Under these changed circumstances, I would agree that there is a strong argument that the administration should consult Congress for authorization for actions against ISIS.

This is a very complex situation which deserves debate and some understanding of the strategic approach and authorization from Congress for implementation of that strategy.

Obama doesn’t want his hands tied by an endless debate in Congress and Congress doesn’t want to take any responsibility, particularly during an election year. But, hell, isn’t what they are paid to do? Apparently not since they are on a two month vacation.

Posted by: Rich at September 25, 2014 10:06 PM
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