The Obama Buck Stops Nowhere

I am becoming more and more convinced that our President doesn’t have a clue about what leadership means. He still is a community organizer at heart. He likes to attack and campaign, but when the buck stops, it ain’t on Obama’s desk. A good example is the Keystone Pipeline, I wrote about earlier. It is a really big deal, a major part of any energy policy. There are arguments on both sides and it would be a hard decision. Obama solution - avoid any decision until after the election.

Obama talked a lot about urgency ... until it was up to him. We have studied this enough. If it is too bad for the environment, Obama should say no. If it is a net benefit, Obama should say yes. Saying neither is just terrible leadership. This is the worst "decision" he could make.

So what happens now? The Canadians sell more of their oil to the Chinese, who are much worse polluters than we are. Of course, this oil must move across the Rockies and then over the ocean in a fleet of tankers. So this is a net loss for the environment. Meanwhile, we continue to buy more oil from unstable places in the Middle East, which also comes across oceans in fleets of tankers. Thousands of well-paying, often union American jobs are lost. And there is even more uncertainty contributing to the Obama doldrums. Is it any wonder he is unpopular?

So Obama once again postpones key decisions until after the election. 2013 will be a big year. Maybe that is not a bad idea for Obama to avoid the decision. A man has gotta know his limitations. After all, we may well have a better president in 2013 than we have today who will make better decisions.

Posted by Christine & John at November 15, 2011 11:22 AM
Comments
Comment #332035

“If it is too bad for the environment, Obama should say no. If it is a net benefit, Obama should say yes.”

Your statement leaves off the possibility that the project has raised actual concerns that deserve longer consideration. A yes or no would be the wrong decision in that case, would it not? Do you reject any idea that this project wasn’t quite ready?

Posted by: Adam Ducker at November 15, 2011 1:00 PM
Comment #332036

For instance Keystone is talking about moving the controversial section now after months and months of planning. Would that not require more studies?

Posted by: Adam Ducker at November 15, 2011 1:04 PM
Comment #332037

Adam

They have been talking about this for years. There is always another reason not to decide.

Good leaders find ways to decide. Back ones find reasons not to.

It is also a tactic of anybody opposed to any project of any kind to set up delays and obfuscate the issue. As your article indicates, one reason the firm is looking at a change of route is to try to get a decision and one reason why the opposition wants to demand a route change is to kill (or delay) the project.

IMO - Obama knows the pipeline makes economic sense and on balance ecological sense. He understands that the opposition is not really aimed at protecting water resources, but rather on stopping any oil project in the U.S. He actually agrees with most of this.

But he knows that most Americans are interested in jobs and economic growth. He knows that if he says no, he will annoy lots of people and show his true position.

So he has acted like a community organizer instead of a president. He has jumped on the delay and obfuscate band wagon. He is very good at that. That is where his true talents lie. That is why is he a good campaigner and a bad president.

Obama is an extremely intelligent, talented and probably good person, who is just in the wrong job. Unfortunately, being president is not something you can just do okay.

Posted by: C&J at November 15, 2011 1:24 PM
Comment #332038

More and more convinced, eh?

You seem very angry. You even called him *gasp* a community organizer. Pistols and broadswords at dawn! I shall have satisfaction for such a grievous insult!

One of the disadvantages of walling yourself off into your own little subculture is that you divorce yourself from the knowledge of what most people actually care about. Most people would consider calling somebody a community organizer a rather weird insult. You might as well call him a guidance counselor.

The Enbridge oil spill of last year (which occured on a pipeline that carries Tar Sands oil) tells us that the statistical safety of oil pipelines is only worth as much as the willingness of the oil companies to keep their pipelines in good shape. Tar Sands oil is high sulfur, what they call sour crude oil, which can be a problem because sulfur weakens metal, and oil is corrosive to begin with. It also means that the oil has to be processed before it moves overseas.

More to the point, it’s not exactly the most ecologically gentle process. Or cheap! The folks in Canada don’t want this pipeline because they want to sell their oil cheap. They want it so that the oil backup in Cushing, Oklahoma (caused in large part by energy traders trying to keep other sources of oil expensive) stops making their stuff sell at a discount.

The pipeline isn’t going to help domestic suppliers, it’s going to put them at a disadvantage.

More to the point, Canadian Tar Sands Oil is never going to be cheaper or cleaner oil. It’s inherently more expensive, and you have to use 750 cubic feet of natural gas and four barrels of water to get one barrel of oil. A person in the article described it as “reverse alchemy”, which a cleaner energy source is used to harvest dirtier.

The water from this process is so toxic, they have to scare birds off from it, lest the water itself kill them. And this is the clean way to get the tar sands out.

What’s more, the sourness and thickness of the crude requires much more processing in order to make it into gasoline. The stuff they’re harvesting from the Athabasca tar sands, when it first goes inot the Catalytic cracker is down at the lower part of the unit, closer to the heavy fractions like tar and asphalt, rather than the stuff we actually use as fuel, gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel, which are produced higher up the stack, being more volatile. Regular oil starts out with lighter fractions. Moreover, sulfur impurities, which have to be taken out to lower smog and particulates in fuel, are much more common in this bitumen they’re steaming out of the sands, and these have to come out, too.

Prices are never going to fall below a certain level for this kind of oil, because of all of the processing needed. When oil prices fell in 2008 and 2009 due to the market crash, it endangered much of the industry up there. Ironically, though, it probably kick oil prices higher, eventually, because expensive supply is still necessary supply.

So whatever you’re promising us here, in terms of economic benefit, environmental benefit, even the idea that all the oil is going to stay in the country (got news for you, they’re not building this all the way to Houston so they can make gas cheaper here), isn’t going to happen. It’s going to make some people creating energy supply in one of the dirtiest ways possible fairly wealthy, but the rest of us will pay for this in various, sometimes literal ways.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 15, 2011 1:43 PM
Comment #332039

Stephen

Community organizers have an important, if limited, function in society. But their place is not in the White House. He needs to change and update his skills and preferences. He has not done that.

Re angry - I rarely get angry. This doesn’t make me angry; only sad.

Re your comment about oil etc. You evidently oppose the development of American oil. I think Obama does too. You have the integrity to say so; he does not.

He CAN choose to say no to the pipeline. If he agrees with you, that is what he should do. I believe it would be a mistaken decision, but at least it would be a decision.

RE community organizer - again - it is a fine profession for a certain type of person. But the modus operandi of a community organizer is to protest and organize to get others to do things. It is a way of making “the Man” do what he should. Obama IS the Man. HE is the one who is supposed to make things happen. He has more power than anybody else in the world and is supposed to use it for good. “O shucks, I don’t know what to do, maybe somebody else can do it” is not acceptable from the leader of the free world.

Posted by: C&J at November 15, 2011 1:52 PM
Comment #332040

C&J-
Quit wiggling your way out of it. You’re practically spitting when you call him that.

More to the point, you’re treating this as if it’s the last thing he has on his resume. Since he was a community organizer, he got a top of his class Harvard Law degree, he became a lawyer, a Professor of Constitutional law at a top tier law school, a state senator, and then a United States Senator. What you should be sad about is all the context you’ve left out of his career, merely for casting a snobbishly dim light on his resume.

As for what I oppose? I do oppose the Keystone XL pipeline. It’s encouraging an incredibly dirty energy source that is even worse for our environment than it’s drilled counterparts.

As for Obama being indecisive? For a party that believes him to be that way, your people have spent a buttload of time criticizing his decisions, and that of his administration. You call him indecisive as a perjorative, but the truth is, what you don’t like is that he made a decision you don’t agree with. He’s really, from your point of view, too decisive in a way you don’t agree with.

Your side did not mount it’s massive campaign of disinformation to confront a weak-kneed, feckless milquetoast politician. You did so to confront a person that Clinton veterans consider much more decisive than their former boss.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 15, 2011 3:12 PM
Comment #332042

Stephen: “More to the point, you’re treating this as if it’s the last thing he has on his resume. Since he was a community organizer, he got a top of his class Harvard Law degree, he became a lawyer, a Professor of Constitutional law at a top tier law school, a state senator, and then a United States Senator.”

I was going to say this earlier but got distracted. You can add in there husband and father for that matter. He’s had a lot of titles in life. But “community organizer” is codeword for communist rabblerouser so the the right has latched onto it.

Posted by: Adam Ducker at November 15, 2011 4:07 PM
Comment #332043

Rough breakdown of the Obama years:

18 years: 1961-1979: Birth in Hawaii, gradeschool, highschool
2 years: 1979-1981: Occidental College
2 years: 1981-1983: Columbia University
2 years: 1983-1985: bumming around after college
3 years: 1985-1988: Community Organizer
3 years: 1988-1991: Harvard Law School
6 years: 1991-1997: Teaching, practicing law
7 years: 1997-2005: Illinois Senate
4 years: 2005-2009: US Senate
3 years: 2009-2011: US President

The 50 year old Obama was a community organizer for 3 years over 23 years ago. It wasn’t his first job, certainly not his last job, and wasn’t even a job held the longest. It borders on absurd to pretend above all else he is a community organizer.

Posted by: Adam Ducker at November 15, 2011 4:42 PM
Comment #332047

Stephen

The thing most Americans like least about what he has “done” is Obamacare. The problem he had with the execution of that was the he essentially outsourced it to Nancy Pelosi, who was very partisan to begin with but was made worse by the exigencies of her position. Pushing a really big thing like that called for some consensus. It required presidential leadership to bridge the divides. None was forthcoming.

The thing American like least about what he has not done is show leadership on the economy. We have been in the Obama doldrums for almost two years. I know you all hate it when we compare Obama to Reagan, but at this point in his presidency, Reagan was active. Obama just complains about the opposition.

Adam

I think that he thinks like a community organizer still. It is his MO. He has an excellent resume for an academic. He has the intelligence and talent to be president, but evidently not the temperament. He is very cool. That is great. But maybe too cool.

Community organizer is not a code word for communist. Indeed, I do not have great respect for the profession in general, but I think it can (usually does not) do some net good and I am reasonably certain that the young people who go into it are motivated by the desire to do good.

Obama is evidently an excellent husband and father. I respect him for that. My father was an excellent husband and father. I like to think I am too. Neither of us would have made a good president.

Leadership is a peculiar skill. Some people have it; others don’t.

Semi-independent of Obama - I have long believed that the skills and temperament needed to attain the presidency in a modern campaign tend often to work against a person being a good president. Think about it.

A campaigner you have to react rapidly and intuitively
A president should be thoughtful and thorough.

A campaigner has to smash his political enemies.
A president needs to bring his political enemies along

A campaigner needs to say the popular thing
A president needs to say the right thing

A campaign is a zero sum game, where winner takes all.
A government is a growing sum game where almost everybody gets something.


Posted by: C&J at November 15, 2011 5:21 PM
Comment #332049

C&J:

To be fair you contrast Obama and Reagan but compare Obama to Carter. Folks on this site tend to lose it a little when I suggest Reagan and Obama have some things in common.

You may not use community organizer as a code word for “communist” but that’s not the case with many others out there.

I agree about your list for the most part but I think you overstate Obama’s inability to switch modes. He’s done a good job leading the country through these hard economic times. The public is naturally a little sour on his economic policies because we’d all like more jobs and more confidence but only about 50% disapprove of his job overall. It could be a whole lot worse for him.

Posted by: Adam Ducker at November 15, 2011 5:47 PM
Comment #332052

Adam

I don’t use the community organizer term that way. But I do think there is a community organizer method, which I do not like. That is what I am referring to.

I do not think that Obama has done a good job in these times and I think it goes back to his mindset. He is not rallying the people, but rather trying to affix blame. He took advantage of his big Democratic majorities to push through a program (especially Obamacare) that was not popular with most Americans.

Dr. Recovery should have come before Dr. Change American society.

He has already gone back to campaigning. His semi-embrace of the OWS was very telling. He is the president. He could have/should have talked about their right to protest and then talked about what HE was doing to make the situation better.

Posted by: C&J at November 15, 2011 6:29 PM
Comment #332054

Then we must assume from Adam Duckers time line of Obama’s history, that he never held a job until he was about 25 years old. His first job consisted of following Saul Alinski’s handbook on community organizing. I’ve heard a lot about his great education and how smart he is, but we have still never seen his grade transcripts. For a man who said he and his mother lived on food stamps, it makes one wonder how he could afford so much college time? His years in the IL Senate and the US Senate, he did what he has been doing since he has been in the WH, voting “present”.

“He’s done a good job leading the country through these hard economic times. The public is naturally a little sour on his economic policies because we’d all like more jobs and more confidence but only about 50% disapprove of his job overall. It could be a whole lot worse for him.”

Posted by: Adam Ducker at November 15, 2011 5:47 PM

I’m sure you are joking on this statement. 45 million people out of work and 45 million on food stamps would probably disagree with your assessment that Obama is doing a good job on the economy.

50% + job disapproval and only 45% job approval (RCP Average). Obama cannot get above 45% of the vote, no matter who he runs against and it takes at least 50%+ to win an election.

Concerning the pipeline; Obama had one reason for voting present, to please his liberal environmental base. He has basically said, after I am re-elected I will approve the pipeline. Failure to allow the pipeline has immediately killed 20,000 jobs, with millions more affected down the road. Wasn’t it Obama that said his desire was to get us off Mid-East oil?

Concerning Constitutional law professor; I don’t believe Obama knows the difference between the Constitution and his rear end. He is the President of a country he abhors, is sworn to uphold a Constitution he believes is wrong, and is trying to preside over a capitalist nation while using socialist ideals. As far as I’m concerned, I can’t wait to see him and his wife (who has never been proud of America) sent packing back to Chicago.

Posted by: Frank at November 15, 2011 6:50 PM
Comment #332057

From someone who thought GWB was a “leader” it is almost laughable to think your opinion or you repeating of conservative propaganda regarding Obama has much merit C&J.

Bush was a cheerleader not a real leader by your standards. Reagan was a actor. Carter was a Naval Officer, and Farmer. Both He and Obama have won Nobel prizes, what about GWB and Reagan?

As we speak the TransCanada Corp. is still figuring out the routing of the XL portion what is there to approve?

Posted by: j2t2 at November 15, 2011 7:10 PM
Comment #332058

Obama’s Nobel prize is right in line with what I am saying about him. He was awarded the price BEFORE he had a chance to accomplish anything as president. He gets his rewards up front. That is what happened with the economy too and why we suffer the Obama doldrums today.

Carter’s Nobel prize was an embarrassment for the Nobel committee. They were trying to play American politics.

Nobel Peace Prizes are not what they used to be. Didn’t that savage murderer Arafat win one? And that woman from Central America who falsified her life story?

Re Bush as a leader - when the choice is Bush v Kerry, there is not much choice.

BTW - Reagan’s resume was very good for a president. Being an actor doesn’t hurt, although if that was all he did we would have to question his experience. But he was also a military officer, union leader, spokesman & governor of our largest state before running for president. In fact, he had a very interesting and diverse life. He also worked himself up from a very lowly start. He didn’t have Obama’s advantages.

Posted by: C&J at November 15, 2011 7:51 PM
Comment #332060

C&J,

“But he was also a military officer..”

I don’t mean to be the wet blanket here, but “Captain Reagan” made training films.
Oh, and BTW, he was turned down for a promotion to Major.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at November 15, 2011 8:03 PM
Comment #332061

Rocky

Still a military officer. At least as much experience as Obama’s Nobel Prize.

Posted by: C&J at November 15, 2011 8:11 PM
Comment #332062

Frank: “His first job consisted of following Saul Alinski’s handbook on community organizing.”

I don’t think that was the first time he worked for money but it was certainly his first job out of college.

“I’ve heard a lot about his great education and how smart he is, but we have still never seen his grade transcripts.”

All you need to know about his education is that he graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard Law School.

“For a man who said he and his mother lived on food stamps, it makes one wonder how he could afford so much college time?”

My parents lived off food stamps sometimes as well. Obama’s grand parents had more money than my parents but from what I can tell Obama went to college the same way myself and others did: Student loans.

“45 million people out of work and 45 million on food stamps would probably disagree with your assessment that Obama is doing a good job on the economy.”

The President has done better than average considering the crap sandwich that was on his plate when he sat down at the table. Simply listing an grossly exaggerated number of people out of work doesn’t change that. There are 13.9 million Americans unemployed and another 3 million on top of that underemployed.

“Obama cannot get above 45% of the vote, no matter who he runs against and it takes at least 50%+ to win an election.”

Yes, luckily the election wasn’t today or he’d have been in trouble. Let’s see if that 45% improves any over the next year.

Posted by: Adam Ducker at November 15, 2011 8:52 PM
Comment #332068

Ah Yes the Nobel isn’t what it was. Reagan’s experience as an actor is better than Obama’s as an organizer. Such blind partisan rhetoric C&J. You fail to mention GWB for some reason yet you voted for his “leadership”, I stand by my statement that you seem unable to see leadership unless the person has an (R) in front of the name, which as we know has proven to be a weak method to determine the ability of a person.

Posted by: j2t2 at November 16, 2011 8:18 AM
Comment #332070

C&J,

Reagan entered the army with a commission. Except for a short stint as a clerk he continued his work as an actor. Now to be fair, Reagan’s eyesight kept him from being deployed overseas.
However, while George McGovern (who the right loved to hate) flew bomber missions over Germany, and Lee Marvin ducked bullets in Saipan, Reagan was laying it all on the line for America in Hollywood.
Reagan lead SAG through the “red scare” while Ed McMahon was flying “bird dog” missions in Korea.

I find it curious that those on the right seem to think that anything an actor might say is irrelevant, except of course when that actor is a conservative.

Reagan was always in the right place, at the right time, and said the right things.

His Teflon suit protected him always.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at November 16, 2011 8:43 AM
Comment #332071

“Obama cannot get above 45% of the vote, no matter who he runs against and it takes at least 50%+ to win an election.”

“Yes, luckily the election wasn’t today or he’d have been in trouble. Let’s see if that 45% improves any over the next year.”

Posted by: Adam Ducker at November 15, 2011 8:52 PM

As more info comes out on Solyndra and Fast and Furious, Obama will continue to be hurt. Like the latest Obama call for the layoff of jobs to take place the day after the 2010 elections. The Freedom of Information Act is a real thorn in the sides of politicians; sooner or later the truth comes out.

The Obama block of the Canadian oil pipeline and Obama support of OWS will also hurt Obama; not to mention the fact that Obama appears to be doing all he can to hurt the American economy and not help it.

Posted by: Frank at November 16, 2011 9:19 AM
Comment #332073

Frank: All the things you list are meaningless to voters who care only about the state of the economy. As long as people struggle with unemployment and stagnate wages your side’s attempts to make every thing under the sun an Obama scandal is just going to keep falling flat. While voters don’t love the job Obama has done with the economy they also aren’t falling for your side’s attempt to lay the blame at his feet.

It’s no surprise to me why you despise President Obama, though. You believe every right wing lie there ever has been about him and you repeat them over and over on this site and who knows where else.

Posted by: Adam Ducker at November 16, 2011 10:15 AM
Comment #332077


While I agree that Obama hasn’t been all that affective as a leader of his party, the Republican presidential candidates are doing a good job of making Obama look better.

Frank, the right will definitely attack Obama with those issues. How effective that will be is yet to be seen. He has pluses as well as minuses with the people.

Republicans in Congress are saying screw Norquist and DeMint, we are going to increase taxes and make a deal; and a tea party senator is behind the defections. The Democrats will throw in some cuts in entitlements and we have a budget agreement that cuts spending and raises revenue. The tax increases will not effect the capital gains tax rate.

It’s the economy, and that is what will probably decide Obama’s fate. The economy is showing improvement and a budget agreement can only help in that regard.

Obama loses the do nothing obstructionist Republicans slogan but gains an economic recovery?

Republican presidential hopes may be reliant on what happens in Europe.

Posted by: jlw at November 16, 2011 2:01 PM
Comment #332079

Frank-
I don’t see how it will hurt Obama to punt on the decision concerning the pipeline. It isn’t a particularly popular thing to do on the left, and the Right’s not going to give him credit for it anyways, and it’s not really as big a deal for most voters as some Republicans would like to believe.

Fast and Furious is more like Sound and Fury, signifying little about Obama. As much as Republicans want to nail Holder for it, they’ve yet to prove the connection to him, much less Obama, and only the far right takes the idea that he’s trying to take everybody’s guns seriously. I mean, all he has to do is joke about how the NRA thought it was part of his evil plan to do absolutely nothing to impede gun rights, and that little problem will be defused.

As for Solyndra? The company came to them twice for loans, once as a promising start-up, and next as a company desperate to get refinanced. The Obama Administration approved the first, denied the second, even though the Administration used them as an example of a good start up before.

Rather than prove a quid pro quo, this defuses it, because the Obama Administration, rather than try to bail out Solyndra, let them fail, that despite the fact that letting them fail could come back to haunt them, that despite the fact that they made some contributions. If they’re not getting anything for their contributions and lobbying, it’s not corruption.

C&J-
I know this may come as a shock to you, but with recent polls in, everything in that policy, including the previously underwater numbers for the mandate, polls in the majority. You may try and make it sound like a failure, but Obama got passed what Clinton couldn’t get passed. Despite rampant Republican obstructionism, he proved very capable of getting the bills he wanted to pass through Congress.

This is a guy who not only beat a seasoned political professional in a brutal primary, but one who was backed by the last President the party had, a fairly popular fellow.

Meanwhile, who do you have arrayed against him? Some folks lack his eloquence, some his good-naturedness. Some lack the intelligence, some his common sense. Others are crippled by their party’s intolerance of moderates.

You talk of leadership, but I don’t think you understand it anymore. Your people routinely demonstrate that they don’t have any special advantage in integrity. You seem to field extremist and moronic candidates simply because you won’t allow yourself to be told that you can’t. More to the point, the tone of the right these days is consistently nasty and condescending, which might have been forgiven if Republicans hadn’t pulled too many stupid stunts in the last decade.

I don’t see leadership on the right. I see a party that’s tiring itself out by insisting on a long list of requirements, and which will likely end up with candidate too extreme to win, or too lukewarm to inspire GOP voters.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 16, 2011 2:27 PM
Comment #332096

To all Obama defenders:

The punt on the pipeline is in play and involves union jobs, and everyone knows it was punted in order to please his GW/EPA base.

Plus, the cost of oil is going up, just as winter is coming; it won’t take much to relate high oil prices to Obama’s push to destroy oil production in America or Canada.

Obama managed to destroy thousands of jobs in the Gulf; also the reason oil drilling rigs were sent to the coast of Africa.

Talk about the NRA all you want, but there are millions who belong to the organization and millions more who know they protect American’s second amendment rights. Al Gore lost WV (a dem state) because of the NRA, and it was Clinton who told this to Gore. So don’t think the NRA don’t have influence. And there is enopugh info out the to see that Holder knew for sure what was going on, and Obama probably did too.

Solyndra was a half billion dollar bailout; privat investors were protected and traxpayers were not; and the Obama administration worked to hush the whole thing up until after the 2010 election. Certainly attempting to defraud the voters.

I do not despise Obama; I believe he is an idiot with no concept of what being president means. There has been nothing done by Obama to help the nation; and he will continue to do nothing to help the nation in the future, therefore, it is impossible for things to turn around. The whole plan of Obama is to base his campaign on a do nothing Congress and divide America by class warfare.

Posted by: Frank at November 16, 2011 6:12 PM
Comment #332113


Frank, West Virginia is predominately Democratic at the state and local elections, but 50-50 in the presidential elections. The last Democrat to win WVA. was Clinton in 96. The state voted for Bush twice and are paying a heavy price for it.

Kennedy won WVA. with free whisky.

The wealthy have been doing a good job at promoting a class warfare scenario.

I wouldn’t classify the Congress as a do nothing Congress. I would instead classify the Republicans as having a: it’s our way or no way attitude. A compromise is capitulation attitude.

Posted by: jlw at November 17, 2011 12:29 PM
Comment #332116

Frank-
You don’t despise him, but you think he’s an idiot. Hmmm. I’m glad we cleared up the state of your respect for him. ;-)

Solyndra was an investment, not a bailout. It was an investment that went bad. Were we to apply that standard to regular investment banks, you’d be taking a rather dim view of them at this point. More to the point, we refused a second loan, one that might have let them continue operating. We let the company fail. How is it a bailout if we let them fail?

As for the rest? You’ve said he’s done nothing for the American people. Well, he’s done a lot more than Republicans have. Republicans have mostly destroyed jobs, not created them, although they claim that somehow, magically, the jobs will return because of what they’ve done. Unemployment remains high despite two or three years worth of layoffs from state governments. In fact, it’s not too much of a stretch to say that it remains high in part BECAUSE of those layoffs. The public employees who lose their jobs are heading to the same lines as everybody else.

As for class warfare? Talking about class warfare is your way of paralyzing people about speaking up for their own interests. At the end of the day, our national debt will be greater not because of all the regular people out there we bailed out, but because of all the people we let pay a lower share in vain hopes that jobs would be forthcoming.

Why we have to repeat this BS that’s not serving our interests is beyond me. People are tired of earning bread and having somebody else who’s not going hungry eat it. You talk about the terrible burdens of supporting those who are given benefits in poverty, making it out to be such a terrible thing to help them, even while you go to bat for those who gain hundreds of billions of dollars in windfalls from the government, despite the fact that they’re profitable to begin with.

Forget Class Warfare, why don’t we talk about what’s in people’s interests, and resolve the conflicts like adults, not teenagers slinging around perjoratives to bully folks out of sticking up for themselves.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 17, 2011 1:13 PM
Comment #332122
The whole plan of Obama is to base his campaign on a do nothing Congress and divide America by class warfare.

What nonsense, Frank. The country has been divided by class warfare since Reagan. It has become more pronounced due to the financial meltdown.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/15/warren-buffett-tax-code-l_n_1095833.html?ref=business

Posted by: j2t2 at November 17, 2011 4:55 PM
Comment #332129

“Frank, West Virginia is predominately Democratic at the state and local elections, but 50-50 in the presidential elections. The last Democrat to win WVA. was Clinton in 96. The state voted for Bush twice and are paying a heavy price for it.

Kennedy won WVA. with free whisky.

The wealthy have been doing a good job at promoting a class warfare scenario.

I wouldn’t classify the Congress as a do nothing Congress. I would instead classify the Republicans as having a: it’s our way or no way attitude. A compromise is capitulation attitude.”

Posted by: jlw at November 17, 2011 12:29 PM

You guys on the left cannot accept anything written without an argument, can you? Did I ask you for the history of WV’s voting record? No I didn’t. But what I did say, was that Gore lost WV because of the NRA, and Clinton told Gore this very fact; but do to your inability to understand or to Google, I will add a link:

“But Gore lost three states that would have made defeat in Florida irrelevant to his becoming president: Arkansas, West Virginia, and Gore’s home state, Tennessee. In all three, analysts concluded, hard-working, blue-collar Democratic workers turned against Gore because they were avid hunters who wanted no more gun-control laws. Union workers are a key Democratic constituency, but 54 percent of union households own a gun.


http://www.newsmax.com/LowellPonte/nra-obama/2008/09/29/id/325611

As for your statement about the Congress: I said Obama’s campaign will run on a do nothing Congress and you say, “Republicans as having a: it’s our way or no way attitude. A compromise is capitulation attitude.” What an idiotic statement! It takes two, to reach a compromise, and pray tell what are the Democrat’s willing to compromise? The House has sent 27 Bills to the Senate, which deals with the economy and jobs. Guess how many Reid has allowed to come to the floor of the Senate? Zip, nada, zero, none…

Stephen said:

“Solyndra was an investment, not a bailout. It was an investment that went bad. Were we to apply that standard to regular investment banks, you’d be taking a rather dim view of them at this point. More to the point, we refused a second loan, one that might have let them continue operating. We let the company fail. How is it a bailout if we let them fail?”

BS Stephen, Solyndra was bailout, just as GM and Chrysler were bailouts. The truth hasn’t finished coming out n this one. It was a bailout that went bad; it was a bailout that the American taxpayers didn’t want; and it was a bailout that was meant to be a payback for supporters of Obama. So don’t come on here spouting your BS investment crap.

Class warfare is all that Obama does. If he is in another country he’s badmouthing all Americans and if he’s in the states (including the Asian state of Hawaii), he pits one group against another. His support of the OWS protestors is an embracement of class warfare. The nasty, drug infested, unwashed, sexual pervert, useless pieces of shit that make up the OWS protestors are nothing more than class warfare mouthpieces for Obama.

“Why we have to repeat this BS that’s not serving our interests is beyond me. People are tired of earning bread and having somebody else who’s not going hungry eat it.”

We repeat it because your only goal in life is to defend Obama. You and the rest of the wacko leftist do not have the ability to understand any problems America has, because you are too busy worshiping at the altar of Obama.

J2t2, your comments don’t even rate an answer. You insult my intelligence and your own by linking to an article from the Huff Post. I have noticed you make it a habit to link to this socialist bastion of liberals, who can do nothing but repeat Obama’s class warfare.

Posted by: Frank at November 17, 2011 6:14 PM
Comment #332136

Frank,

“The nasty, drug infested, unwashed, sexual pervert, useless pieces of shit that make up the OWS protestors are nothing more than class warfare mouthpieces for Obama.”

But how do you really feel?

Would you deny these Americans their right to their opinion as well?
How about their 1st Amendment right to free speech?
The right to free assembly?

Seems to me that you are more worried about your 2nd Amendment rights that haven’t been even challenged in decades, than you are in these young people’s 1st Amendment that are being challenged right now.

“You insult my intelligence and your own by linking to an article from the Huff Post. I have noticed you make it a habit to link to this socialist bastion of liberals…”

If the truth is the truth it shouldn’t matter where it comes from, whether it’s The Huffington Post or Townhall.

Rocky


Posted by: Rocky Marks at November 17, 2011 10:04 PM
Comment #332142
If the truth is the truth it shouldn’t matter where it comes from, whether it’s The Huffington Post or Townhall.

Or Citizens United.

Would you deny these Americans their right to their opinion as well? How about their 1st Amendment right to free speech? The right to free assembly?

Many on the left seem to want to do that for those they don’t want to speak… (see above)

BTW, I hear in Indy that they are ‘making the people move off of public land’. Of course, that how it is being portrayed in the press.

The reality is that they are being told they can stay as long as they do not cause a danger to the public AND they are not allowed to leave their personal belongings there. IE, they can’t camp out and stay there indefintely (they have to go home at night to sleep).

The protesters (which number in the dozens here in Indy, btw) are trying to get arrested and promising to become a nusince however. They purposely blocked a fire exit they were told not to block and called the press, telling them to be there at a specific time as there would be arrests to film…

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 17, 2011 11:04 PM
Comment #332146

The sole purpose of the OWS protestors was to get arrested and cry police brutality. They have no coherent message. The left was the first on the bandwagon to compare them to the Tea Party, and yet as time goes by, we see no comparison.

RM: “But

“But how do you really feel?”

I said how I feel; they are nasty (diseased, flea, and lice infested), drug infested (drugs have been found), unwashed (some have gone weeks without a bath), sexual perverts (many women have been raped and in some cases have had to put women in an area where men are not allowed); of course I didn’t mention violent (by destroying private property and threatening to firebomb wall street). I made the statement a month ago; this protest was destined to become violent. When you take a bunch of useless pieces of shit bums, who won’t work and you add a president and democrat congress who thinks they have a case; it is destined to become something un-American. I have no problem with the 1st or 2nd Amendment, but I do have a problem with civil unrest. America is getting tired of it, and Democrats are going to begin to throw these deviants under the bus. So what we have right now is a president and democrat politicians who are using these union backed thugs as cannon fodder. This protest is nothing new; for those of us around in the 60’s/70’s, we have seen this same thing before. The Vietnam anti-war protests were violent too. Many times the question has been asked, at what point did the TP rallies become violent? These OWS protests have a few gathered, and the TP had thousands. When the TP rallies were finished, the area they were in was spotless, when the deviants leave, the cities have to send in bulldozers to clean the garbage up. Your right RM, I have no use for these thugs. Free speech is one thing, threatening lives, liberty, and property is another.

Posted by: Frank at November 18, 2011 9:13 AM
Comment #332149

Frank-
Solyndra, at the time it got the loan, was an up and coming startup with good prospects. You use the word bailout for the reason you use many words: it sounds bad. However bad it sounds for you, however negative it might be, it doesn’t apply here.

A second loan, one asked for after the company got into trouble, was refused. That would have been a bailout, because the company was in trouble at that point. It wasn’t given to them. End of story. There was no bailout.

It was an investment. That was the purpose of the loan guarantees of the program in question, a program Republicans actually originated. That program wasn’t written as a bailout program, end of story, the money wasn’t for a bailout.

As far as class warfare goes? It’s your catchall phrase, flung out anytime somebody rejects the idea that policies that mainly help the rich are in the public’s interest. It reflects your prejudice against any legislation that tries to make anything remotely fair, rather than having the average American play a loaded game by themselves against people with more money, more power, and more lawyers when they want to see justice. What you call class warfare is the middle class looking out for its own interests, rather than deferring to the interests of the richest and most powerful. Funny thing is, when our government was looking out more for the average person, we were a nation in ascendance. When we started helping those who could more than help themselves, we went into decline.

You just want to scare people out of looking out for themselves.

As for the OWS protests, do you have any personal experience of the camps, or are you just going off of what the Partisan conservative media has been claiming?

Right, that’s what I thought. Funny how the right presents a movement against them as being just a bunch of dirty, unwashed peasants. You know, we got reports of some police officers actually deliberately steering homeless people and other vagrants towards OWS protests. Kind of interesting how your side attacks the people, but rarely argues the actual points.

As for violence, practically all the violence has been by police against them.

If you want to talk about class warfare, then talk about this: trillions of those dollars in national debt come from the fact that your side pushed tax cuts that drained revenue out of the system. Every cut or new tax plan I see out there from your party raises the effective tax rate on people in the middle class. So you tell me, are the rest of us Americans supposed to take responsibility for the debt that we rung up to make rich people richer? Does that sound like something somebody with rational self-interest should do?

Class Warfare. You write policies for years that helped Wall Street rob millions of Americans of the greatest store of wealth they had, the equity and value of their homes, that make their jobs less secure, that promote less of a living wage for their work place, policies that result in their children being sicker, in people having less ability to get healthcare…

…and you say we’re engaging in class warfare? No. The interests of the poor and middle class have been attacked to let the wealthy get wealthier. All we want is a restoration of the balance that made the inevitable inequalilty less extreme, which allowed people the dignity of being able to live decent, happy lives if they worked hard and did what they were supposed to as law abiding citizens.

You think this is about defending capitalism, but what you’re really doing is undoing the protections that made capitalism popular in America for the last several decades, what built up that store of goodwill that had people considering corporate America a benign presence in people’s lives.

Truth is, you can’t keep people from having their interests, or wanting to serve them through their political decisions. People are no longer content to let those people remain in charge of our system. They want to take control back. You can throw all the insults you want at the OWS movement, but the truth is, you can’t stop what’s behind it from eventually changing the system. Whether that change is more compromise, or more what gets forced on conservatives after people get sick enough of everything to kick them out is up to you.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 18, 2011 12:29 PM
Comment #332150
J2t2, your comments don’t even rate an answer.
As you wish Frank, but you are wrong about class warfare whether you care to admit it or not. You can hide from the facts but that doesn’t make them less of a fact. You can attack the messenger but that doesn’t make you right or logical for that matter.
You insult my intelligence and your own by linking to an article from the Huff Post. I have noticed you make it a habit to link to this socialist bastion of liberals, who can do nothing but repeat Obama’s class warfare.

Linking to HuffPo is not what is insulting your intelligence Frank, you are insulting your intelligence by discounting Warren Buffet’s comments in the link provided to you. The fact is Huff Po does a lot more than ” Repeat Obama’s class warfare”. But if you prefer you can hear the truth from a conservative-

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/26/business/yourmoney/26every.html

It seems many who watch Faux get the impression class warfare is a recent development but the fact is the income inequality in this Country puts us in a nearly a third world status. Where the dictators rule.

http://uscentrist.org/news/irony/2011/august/world-of-class-warfare-warren-buffett-vs.-wealthy-conservatives

Posted by: j2t2 at November 18, 2011 2:05 PM
Comment #332151

Over the last several months, radical environmentalists along with Hollywood celebrity activists descended on the White House in protest, urging President Barack Obama to block the construction of the $7 billion pipeline that would bring in more than 700,000 barrels of oil per day from Alberta, Canada, to the Texas Gulf coast. Last week, they got their wish.

The Obama Administration on Thursday announced that it would delay a decision on the pipeline until after the 2012 election.

The Keystone pipeline would have done what the President’s hundreds of billions of dollars in stimulus spending failed to do. It would have created thousands of jobs (tens of thousands, by some predictions), while generating $5.2 billion in property tax revenue for Montana, South Dakota, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Texas. And it would have done it all with private dollars–not taxpayer dollars.

Radical environmentalists act as if this is the first oil pipeline being built in the United States. We have 50,000 miles of oil pipeline in this country that have provided massive economic benefits with minimal environmental harm.

In short, building the Keystone XL pipeline is nothing new, and it’s one of the most environmentally sensible ways to transport oil. Even the Obama Administration determined it to be safe when the State Department’s recent Environmental Impact Statement found that the pipeline would pose few environmental risks.

So, block the XL pipeline if you think the environment will be better served by shipping Canadian oil an extra 6,000 miles across the Pacific in oil-consuming super tankers and then refining it in less-regulated Chinese refineries. In addition, be aware that replacing the Canadian oil means the U.S. also must import more oil by tankers, which are less efficient than pipelines.

http://www.askheritage.org/did-president-obama-kill-thousands-of-jobs/?utm_source=AH_Weekly&utm_medium=Email&utm_content=2011-11-18&utm_campaign=2011_Brand

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 18, 2011 2:50 PM
Comment #332160

SD,

“Frank-
Solyndra, at the time it got the loan, was an up and coming startup with good prospects. You use the word bailout for the reason you use many words: it sounds bad. However bad it sounds for you, however negative it might be, it doesn’t apply here.

A second loan, one asked for after the company got into trouble, was refused. That would have been a bailout, because the company was in trouble at that point. It wasn’t given to them. End of story. There was no bailout.”

Stephen, where do you come up with this crap? Do you just bend over and pull these facts out of your rectum? You do and say whatever it takes to protect Obama and his cronies; therefore whatever you say has absolutely no credit.

“As far as class warfare goes? It’s your catchall phrase, flung out anytime somebody rejects the idea that policies that mainly help the rich are in the public’s interest.”

This very statement is class warfare, because you pit everyone against the rich. Listen Stephen, statements like rich and poor, black and white, haves and have-nots, accusing one group of racism, corporations and employees, accusing Jews of being rich, and saying blacks should know their place and depend upon government handouts, are all defined as class warfare; and all of these things have been done and are done by the left.

“You know, we got reports of some police officers actually deliberately steering homeless people and other vagrants towards OWS protests.”

Are these the same police who belong to unions, of which you and other libs were defending over the past few months? Are these police the same police who’s union leaders where saying that conservatives want to take away their right to bargain? So you were protecting the police’s rights a month ago, and now you are blasting them as being part of “The Man”? Tell you what Stephen; I don’t have to get in the pig pen with the pigs, to know they are living in squalor. Believe this or not, but I listen and watch you-tube videos of the OWS protests. Like I said, they are filthy, nasty people.

“As for violence, practically all the violence has been by police against them.”

BS Stephen; I guess it’s the police who are burning cars, throwing rocks, breaking windows, crapping on the streets and police cars, raping women, taking and selling drugs, urinating in public, and stealing personal property.

J2t2, you defend the Huff Post as being legit, and in the same sentence attack Fox News. Like I said, your comments don’t deserve an answer.

Royal, Obama blocked the pipeline for the same reason he has shut down oil in the gulf and coal production; he has no desire to help America. With the aid of union thugs, OWS, and radicals like Van Jones and the Black Panthers, his goal is to destroy America.

Posted by: Frank at November 18, 2011 5:54 PM
Comment #332162
J2t2, you defend the Huff Post as being legit, and in the same sentence attack Fox News. Like I said, your comments don’t deserve an answer.

Frank, Still insulting your own intelligence I see. Such baseless arrogance for someone with no legitimate argument, HuffPo is legit, Not only is HuffPo legit the fact is Warren Buffet is legit as are his comments. For that matter so is the New York Times and Ben Stein. Yet you sputter nonsense. You attack the messenger instead of responding to the real issue. Conservatives initiated class warfare years ago, your claim of Obama starting class warfare is pure bunk.

Posted by: j2t2 at November 18, 2011 8:10 PM
Comment #332174

Royal Flush-
I don’t think you have to be too radical to see the harm in the oil coming down that pipeline. First, it’s more toxic than ordinary oil, and more corrosive to the pipeline. Second, to get it out, you have to burn a great deal of natural gas, and use about four times as much water (in the form of steam) as the amount of oil you’re going to get. You’re more or less having to melt the oil out of the tar sands.

When that water is finally brought up, they have to put in tailing ponds, it’s so toxic. They can’t put it back in the river. It gets better: they have to scare off the birds from landing in them, because if they do, the polluted water will kill them!

That’s the Athabasca tar sands for you, reverse alchemy: clean natural gas used to extract one of the most toxic kinds of oil out there, a sour crude that’s only being sought after because oil is expensive enough on the world market to justify the costs of extracting it, and the cheaper sources are on the decline.

The oil will have to be processed, maybe even refined before it is shipped out, because the sour bitumen they extract is not suitable for transport as it is. Hell, as it is, they have to mix that stuff with a lighter hydrocarbon just so it will flow through the pipe!

There’s a reason we’re only now trying to extract this stuff from the tar sands.

Another way to put it relates to bouyancy, and the LaBrea Tar Pits. Fact of the matter is, when you go out looking for oil, you’re mostly trying to find it trapped under some impermeable rock, floating on top of brine within the old sedimentary rock. Why? Because if given the chance and the route, oil and natural gas will try and float their way out of the rocks towards the surface.

The trouble with that, is that when oil hits the surface, the lighter fractions will separate out, vaporizing into the air. If you’ve ever seen fumes come off of gasoline, that’s about what is happening. That’s what makes gasoline so valuable as a fuel.

The La Brea Tar Pits are basically an oil seep, where oil gets to the surface. The tar there is not much different from the bitumen they’re harvesting from the Athabasca tar sands, and for the same reason: the lighter parts of the oil were too volatile to remain, so all that’s left is the heavy stuff, the stuff too unvolatile to go anywhere. The chemical changes in oil that has reached the surface mean, basically, that it’s got higher sulfur content. It’s also got a lot of heavy metals in it, which can cause problems for the catalysts used to process the stuff.

And this is what you want to support long term?

That stuff’s going to Houston to be sold on the world market. One way or another China will get its oil, and so will the rest of the world.

It’s time for you to realize that you’re supporting the expensive option, the option that keep America’s economy tied to the rise and the fall (these days, the rise more than the fall) of oil prices. My belief is that we need new options.
You

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 18, 2011 10:17 PM
Comment #332175

Frank-

Stephen, where do you come up with this crap? Do you just bend over and pull these facts out of your rectum? You do and say whatever it takes to protect Obama and his cronies; therefore whatever you say has absolutely no credit.

The readers should take note at this point that you don’t dispute that Solyndra was given the loan guarantee at the point when it was an up and coming startup, nor that it was refused a new loan when it’s struggling finances became apparent. If you just want to define bailout to suit your whim, fine, you can call it that, but if you want to define it in terms of anything remotely real-world, then it has to be tied to the financial condition of the company. The banks were close to bankruptcy when they first got the TARP and Federal Reserve loans. Same thing for the car companies.

Solyndra was not in trouble when it got the loan guarantees. Therefore, it’s not a bailout. You call it a bailout because bailouts poll negatively, not because you can argue that Solyndra was in trouble and the government helped them.

This very statement is class warfare, because you pit everyone against the rich. Listen Stephen, statements like rich and poor, black and white, haves and have-nots, accusing one group of racism, corporations and employees, accusing Jews of being rich, and saying blacks should know their place and depend upon government handouts, are all defined as class warfare; and all of these things have been done and are done by the left.

Ooooh. you’ve put me in my place.

Seriously, though, I don’t need to pit anybody myself. Wall Street got it’s own asses in trouble, and begged the government to help them out, to keep them from going to the big holding company in the sky.

And then they try to act like nothing happened, right out in front of people who have lost jobs, lost retirement savings, seen and felt hard times forced upon them, through no fault of their own.

Neither I, nor the Democrats in general, had to raise a finger to make Wall Street unpopular. Their own actions motivated that contempt. “Class Warfare” is your way of making people feel guilty for their natural impulses regarding the folks who just wrecked the economy.

As for the police? Well, you’re pushing the same old stereotypes about liberals, no more bothering to examine what I’ve said than you’ve cared to find out for yourself what folks actually are like at OWS.

My attitude is simple: I respect the police in general, but I expect them to observe the rule of law, and the civil liberties our constitution grants us. I expect them to find the least violent way to deal with crowd control. You do not have to tear gas granny. You do not have to bonk people on the cabeza with your nightstick, or shoot the military veteran with a cartridge that cracks his skull. You defintely don’t have to throw a flashbang grenade right in the middle of a group of people that are trying to help him.

As for the rest? Your ignorance is obvious in the horrors you describe. The protests have been mostly peaceful, nor more crime-ridden than society itself.

As for the last part?

Mister, lay off the melodramatic attitude for a little while: Obama disagrees with you. I disagree with you. Most liberals disagree with you. Disagreement with a bunch of self-righteous bull-hockey from people who think they’re saving the country does not count as an interest in destroying it.

These are things people tell themselves to justify pushing their own points of view more forcefully, with greater violence, greater callousness, less intent to compromise. They tell themselves the other side is just evil, and so they are justified in becoming more extreme.

But what if that’s just a paranoid delusion? Well, then the irony becomes that theirs is the side that is seen as becoming more radical, more dangerous.

Of course, try telling them that. If the only people you listen to are yourselves, there’s nobody left to give you the reality check.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 18, 2011 10:48 PM
Comment #332178

Stephen

If you watch the videos, most of OWS is non-violent, but there are significant violent and threatening elements. It is not as peaceful as a TP rally.

If you look at the “casualties” find that demonstrators are hurting police. Presumably the police are better armed and prepared and if they are getting hurt, the demonstrators must be pretty violent.

The OWS by nature are obstruction. They are stopping people from getting to work, scaring kids on their way to school, getting in the way of traffic and generally making themselves a nuisance.


When you have people camping in a park they ALWAYS make a mess. Kids cannot play, people cannot enjoy their city.

The OWS GOAL is to get in the way. That is the one thing they do well.

BTW - re personal contact. Chrissy saw the protester in McPherson Park. We usually like to walk through there and enjoy the trees. These little piggies made that impossible.

Posted by: C&J at November 19, 2011 6:11 AM
Comment #332180

C&J-
We’re seeing casualties, but not from the police.

I want you to think about things for a second before you go passing judgment.

First, these are not rallies held once, and then everybody goes home. These are long-term protests. You say they’re kind of an nuisance, and admittedly, they are, and that’s the point. There’s a strong strain of civil disobedience going on here. With the Tea Party there were threats of violence too, with publically wielded weapons and rhetoric implying the possibility of violence. The OWS, despite some occasional, incidental violence, and some heavy-handed tactics by the police, have been fundamentally peaceful.

If you need evidence, just think for a second: with demonstrations this long, going on two months, how much video have you actually seen of honest to God rioting. And by that, I don’t mean police in riot gear closing in to clear out the occupiers, but honest to god mass property destruction, overturned cars, and whatnot.

You haven’t seen that. Not even when thirty-two thousand demonstrators (NYPD estimate) participated in New York, just the other day. The Republicans aren’t doing themselves any favors by dismissing our people. They’re underestimating us the way we underestimated the tea party’s pull. But they’re underestimating something else as well.

We’re a more media savvy culture than our predecessors. We know, having seen what happened in the sixties and the nineties that violence will only be used to discredit our cause. So, despite getting tear gassed, beaten and bloodied with clubs, and otherwise hammered by authorities, we’re coming back, but we’re not hitting back.

Our aim is not to destroy Wall Street, or Capitalism, or anything like that, but to reform it, to once again domesticate and yoke the financial sector to the service of the rest of the American economy. It’s become parasitic.

Folks on Wall Street deliberately covered up how bad the risks were on many of their mortgage securities so that people looking for low risk investments, that is, pension funds 401ks, charitable foundations and the like would actually buy their dubious products. They often sold people these investments knowing it wasn’t in their client’s best interests. They deceived their own investors, taking risks that they didn’t have to disclose because the derivatives market was so under regulated when it came to the Over The Counter variety.

There’s a lot of money in their hands that got there because they screwed somebody else over. That’s not how the system is supposed to work.

The problem with the conservative mentality is that it confuses an “ought to” with an “is”. People ought to be more honest, but they aren’t. They ought to be punished by the market, but they aren’t.

When you give executives millions of dollars a year, give them the ability to cash out with golden parachutes, they ought to care about the fortunes of their company, but many won’t, because if the company fails, their fortunes are still secure.

When you give investment banks the ability to make billion dollar deals with derivatives between each other, and not tell their investors or the public about it, they ought to be thinking about the risks they’re taking with their company, and the potential of putting them in danger, but they didn’t.

When you let somebody do all kinds of dodgy hedges, they ought to be thinking about the market’s response if they fail to be clear with them on the risks, and waste their money. But they aren’t, and they weren’t. They risked the public’s money anyways.

When you let a company claim just about anything on their books, they ought not to employ self-destructively complex and deceptive schemes to make sure the investors still see the company as a valuable investment. But they didn’t, and they still don’t.

The naive assumption is that if we hold off on regulating the banks and other financial institutions, they’ll be able to grow the economy much quicker, not restrained by arbitrary regulation. The sad reality, though, is that they resist regulation because what they’re doing, even after the big disasters, is just too profitable. They can’t really help themselves. They’ve gotten use to doing things a certain dysfunctional way, and they’ll keep on doing it until the law prevents them.

It’s like an addiction. These practices have become hardwired to rewards, rewards that they will seek even after having been hit with the most brutal of negative consequences. We need to stop kidding ourselves that if the incentives remain the same, folks will still reform. They won’t. We have to break the addiction of Wall Street to their bad behaviors.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 19, 2011 8:17 AM
Comment #332182

Stephen

There was zero violence at Tea Party rallies, except in the few cases where union thugs attacked Tea Party members. In other words, zero violence among actual Tea Party activists.

You need to admit that if you judge Tea Party and OWS by the same standards, OWS is violent and dirty compared to TP. Since you so strongly criticized TP, you certainly cannot accept OWS behaviors.

Re regulation - you already have strong regulations. In fact, some of the bad guys used regulations to get richer. Think of our friends at Fannie and Freddie.

Re being a nuisance - yes - I do not like them for that reason. They get in the way of citizens doing their work, shopping, going to school and enjoying nature. They seek to impose their will on others. They occupy parks which means the nobody else can enjoy them.

I wish I was near the rallies. One of the things I enjoy doing is running in the parks. When demonstrators are in the public parks we share, I - politely - run around and through their ranks. I believe I could safely jump over a sleeping demonstrator. We both would be using our parks.

BTW - I recall once in Madison, Wi running along side a demonstration that was taking up my usual running trail. One of the little pinheads actually stuck his sign out and tried to trip me. I jumped over, but came down on the handle, breaking it. They called me names. I laughed at them a little but kept on running. Little people like that should not ruin your day.

Posted by: C&J at November 19, 2011 8:53 AM
Comment #332184

Stephen

Speaking of mortgages and Wall Street - I am willing to bet that I lost more money in the value of my home and stock portfolio than most of the OWS. Do they propose getting Obama to write a check to cover my losses?

Since you are now using the term “we” to talk about OWS, please tell me how you will get my money back. More to the point, you are taking my parks away from me and other citizens, how will this restore the money we lost in the last two year? Why will all the crap be worth it?

Posted by: C&J at November 19, 2011 8:59 AM
Comment #332188
In other words, zero violence among actual Tea Party activists.

This really isn’t that surprising is it C&J. The geriatric crowd at a one day rally to keep the government out of their medicare mixed with middle aged couch warriors brandishing firearms versus a much younger crowd with a longer term occupation mixed with conservative infiltrators and other thugs as well as homeless street people directed by the cops to the occupation mixed in.

Once we realize much of the violence is directed at the occupiers not emanating from them it puts things in more of a perspective.

Posted by: j2t2 at November 19, 2011 10:32 AM
Comment #332190

j2t2

You guys were always talking about supposed violence in TP rallies. Now you admit there wasn’t any and claim it is because the crowd is old.

OWS had been violent. People have been hurt. Rocks have been thrown. Stuff has been broken. On the grosser side, people have been peed upon.

Police have been hurt, which indicates that at least some of the violence is from OWS. Beyond that, OWS is blocking streets and crapping in parks. Police have a legitimate right to clear them out. If the OWS do not obey the legitimate police orders, they are requiring that the police use physical force. And when the OWS physically resist, it starts the cycle of escalation.

So I am glad you all now admit that TP were peaceful. I don’t really understand why you hated TP and love OWS, since they both did many of the similar things, but TP did it according to law and peacefully.

Posted by: C&J at November 19, 2011 10:42 AM
Comment #332191
You guys were always talking about supposed violence in TP rallies. Now you admit there wasn’t any and claim it is because the crowd is old.

C&J, don’t group “you guys” together. I said this not anyone else. I admit the police and private security forces didn’t cause as much violence at Tea Party rallies as they have done at the OWS sites. I admit the Tea Party rallies didn’t have the issues of rape due to outsides agitators to deal with as the OWS people did. The violence at the Tea Party rallies if I recall correctly was the verbal attacks, propaganda incitement to violence and threats more than physical violence, It seems those that are violent on the right prefer to shoot unarmed people after the rallies not at the rallies.

With the OWS crowd it seems they are the subjects to much more violence than the Tea Party rallies. It seems police and private security forces prefer beating up on the college kids more so than grandma, unless of course grandma is at the OWS site.

But it seems to me we are comparing apples and oranges here as well C&J. One day rallies compared to 2 months of occupation seems to be what many on the right are doing, yourself included. Cheap shots if you ask me.

Posted by: j2t2 at November 19, 2011 11:01 AM
Comment #332192

j2t2


The “right” doesn’t shoot unarmed people any more than the “left” tortures millions to death in Gualags and concentration camps. Many more people have died in the attempts to create larger government structures than in attempts to limit them, so don’t start.

Re “violence” at TP rallies, so you say that said thing but didn’t do anything. That means they were talking but were non-violent.

OWS have actually drawn blood, not to mention busted up lots of property.

Re the police - when you break laws the police tend to step in. OWS broke laws. TP did not. Simple.

Posted by: C&J at November 19, 2011 12:18 PM
Comment #332193

The left always supports the police until they start doing what they are paid to do, protect citizens, then the police become the enemy.

“I admit the police and private security forces didn’t cause as much violence at Tea Party rallies as they have done at the OWS sites.” So, it’s the police’s fault that there is violence at the OWS rallies.

The TP was reported by the left as radical, violent people; but now we find they were nothing but the “geriatric crowd at a one day rally to keep the government out of their medicare mixed with middle aged couch warriors”. My, how things change.

“The violence at the Tea Party rallies if I recall correctly was the verbal attacks, propaganda incitement to violence and threats more than physical violence, It seems those that are violent on the right prefer to shoot unarmed people after the rallies not at the rallies.”

I don’t think you recall correctly j2t2; perhaps you could provide some evidence of this statement?

Concerning the OWS protests; they are going to get much more violent. This is only the beginning; I fear cities will be burnt and destroyed and lives will be lost. And all in the name of what? It seems the OWS people have no common agenda, and when someone becomes violent the left defends OWS by saying these were radicals who infiltrated the movement. The movement is nothing more than a bunch of anarchist

Posted by: Mike at November 19, 2011 2:03 PM
Comment #332195
The TP was reported by the left as radical, violent people; but now we find they were nothing but the “geriatric crowd at a one day rally to keep the government out of their medicare mixed with middle aged couch warriors”. My, how things change.

Umm Mike you forgot the last part of the quote. Isn’t brandishing firearms a bit radical and violent for a political gathering?


Re the police - when you break laws the police tend to step in. OWS broke laws. TP did not. Simple.

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2010/0419/Are-tea-party-rallies-given-preferential-treatment-by-police

Posted by: j2t2 at November 19, 2011 3:56 PM
Comment #332196

C&J-
I’m old enough to remember the WTO protests, which weren’t month long affairs. I’m also old enough to remember the Los Angeles Riots.

I know what real property destruction looks like, and it hasn’t occurred all that much with the OWS protests. We’re not seeing the anarchy that FOXNews seems to be convincing people of.

As for the intentions of OWS? Nobody significant in the movement is talking about burning down or destroying Wall Street. What we want is what has been denied us: the safe constraint of Wall Street away from system-destructive levels of risk and deception, the turning of economic policy away from premature debt and deficit reduction, and towards speeding economic recovery right now.

Just about any movement can end in violence if the frustrations behind it get bad enough, but I’ll tell you what: I haven’t heard much of anything out of the OWS movement about Second Amendment Remedies, or anything like that. While the Tea Party, with its brief protests and it’s lethargic resistance to real healthcare and Wall Street reform might have been peaceful to a certain extent, it’s rhetoric was very aggressive, including that of major Senate and House candidates.

And no, the Tea Party did not operate in absolute peace. Several folks associated with the movement were crazy enough to do things like shoot up Holocaust Museums, stomp on a liberal protestor’s head while she was restrained, falsely arresting a Reporter for questioning a candidate when he didn’t feel comfortable with it.

And don’t you forget, you had people screaming in the middle of Town Hall events, raising the tensions and the anxieties in those meetings, and utterly disregarding the feelings and rights of other people in those meetings.

Now there have been deaths and other problems, but that’s law of averages when you have hundreds, even thousands of people camped together in one spot long term. Somebody’s going to act like an idiot, somebody’s going to do something wrong, somebody’s going to have health problems or, as is the case with an unfortunate few, be suicidal.

However, you don’t see people overturning cars, throwing molotov cocktails, brandishing weapons in the open, or any of that crap. Why? Well, give us credit for not being stupid. I know that’s an extraordinary thing to ask of you, but just do it this once: we hear, every day, the kind of rhetoric you folks put out, the dark, ominous warnings of a movement about to go out of control.

It hasn’t happened. A lot of people on my side won’t let it happen, because that’s not what we want to be the take away. We know how the Right loves to scare people about left-wing radicals, or if they can’t do that, play the hygiene game.

The truth is, we’re not dumb, and we have been paying attention. People are getting This kind of treatment despite the fact they’re protesting peacefully. But they’re still doing it.

See, the trick here will be, that sooner or later, the brutality of the response is going to start convincing people who were on the wall to take those seriously who believe that there’s an excess of power on the side of the economic elite. Sooner or later, their response is going to hurt somebody badly enough, or even kill somebody, and the situation’s going to get that much worse for them.

You say bottles and rocks have been thrown, that policemen have gotten hurt. Tell me, what’s the evidence of this, and is it any more than a standard excuse that has been come up with for times like this, difficult to disprove?

Their lobbying firm is taking this seriously, believing that if OWS manages to get enough public anger focused on Wall Street, Republicans are going to find it hard to stand up on Wall Street’s behalf without getting hammered.

The folks in power right now feel their hold slipping, which means they’re willing to push drastic measures both to discredit the opposition and maintain the status quo. Unfortunately, and they know this, the status quo has already broken, and people are already convinced things are bad. It’s damage control on the titanic, and all they’ve achieved is making it take longer to solve the problem, which has done nothing to calm people’s fears, or angers.

Incidents like this will not endear people to their leaders. In fact, it will show people that the leaders feel so insecure that they cannot maintain power except for a show of force. That only helps the OWS cause, and if you’re against it, it’s the last thing you want to happen. Just like the police in Birmingham strengthened the push for civil rights with their behavior, The police going after the Occupy Movements are strengthening the OWS protestors. I tell you what, our folks are paying attention, and we will be sending videos and articles to friends and family.

Conservatives have gotten this notion that antagonism is how you respond to an political enemy. What they do not realize is that some movements thrive on confrontation, or are inspired by unnecessary ones that get out of hand. You can end up creating your own worst enemies, and encouraging your counterparts to push back with greater force than they would have otherwise.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 19, 2011 4:54 PM
Comment #332197

Mike-
I posted this in my earlier comment, but you need to see what you are calling “protecting” citizens.

It is not necessarily a representation of bad intentions, but more like bad politics and counterproductive training. It’s one thing to learn how to apply force to resolve a situation quickly, it’s another thing to learn how to deal with such situations with better common sense.

OWS movements, despite being in operation for over two months, have not run riot. They’ve been treated as rioters, but we have one photo after another of people spraying pepper spray into the faces of folks showing absolutely no violent resistance. We’ve got the videos of bloody, battered people. We got the shots of where people were hit by rubber bullets. We’ve got a marine in the hospital with his skull cracked by either a rubber bullet, or a gas canister from one of the riot guns the officers in Oakland were wielding.

There is a hell of a lot more proof of protestors being attacked by cops, often in disregard to whether they were acting as a physical threat or not, than there is of protestors actually attacking cops.

I respect cops. But I expect them to follow the law, and to leave people who aren’t trying to hurt them or anybody else unharmed. As for the OWS protestors being anarchists? Give me a break. Anarchists don’t stick around non-violently while they get pummeled and sprayed and gassed by cops.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 19, 2011 5:05 PM
Comment #332198

Stephen

I didn’t hear about any TP people shooting up the Holocaust Museum. If you are connecting that, maybe you need to talk about the OWS guy shooting at the White House.

Fact is, TP was very peaceful and remains that way. There has been more violence at OWS.

Beyond that, OWS goal is to seize space. That means that ordinary citizens don’t get to use it in peace. If these clowns are in the park, making noise and crapping all over the place, good people cannot take their kids there, walk in the park of enjoy public spaces.

I agree with must of the OWS goals. For example, I also think President Obama has messed up and I do not like his kissing the rear and letting government money go to bonuses at the firms he bailed out. I just don’t like the OWS methods.

Posted by: C&J at November 19, 2011 5:06 PM
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