Third Party & Independents Archives

Mixed Message and Outrage

In his first 57 days in office, President Obama has seemingly tried to play both sides of an issue with little concern by anyone listening, especially the initiated, that it is happening. When will the Daily Show, where most young people get their news these days, start picking up on these?

To be fair, taking that shot at Jon Stewart is a little cheap, he himself BEGS people to not use his show as a source of news. But it is hard because it has always appeared that the show was, for the most part, bipartisan in their attacks. But while they have gone after President Obama in a lighthearted way over the past year, it seems that only Lou Dobbs is pointing out any of these glaring inconsistencies, and then it is a short grumble and then they move on. That would perhaps tell people that these 'inconsistencies' are minor, but as you are about to see they are definitely not.

Fundamentals of the Economy

John McCain was beaten to defeat by stating what many feel is still true, that 'The fundamentals of the economy are strong'. The Obama campaign hit hard and often that this signaled that John McCain was 'out of touch'. Yet, now we hear from the president himself as well as his aides that this is indeed the case.

"IF we are keep focus on the fundamentally sound aspects of our economy"

Which parts of the economy are they again and why were they not sound a mere couple of months ago when John McCain said the very same thing that President Obama hit him hard on? Did the economy change or did President Obama's vantage point change? Yet aren't we told that we are on the verge of total economic collapse?

However, that can be chalked up to trying to 'win an election'. Everyone knows its ok to 'misstate the truth' then, right? But there is more...

Speech to Congress

In the speech to Congress a few weeks ago, President Obama addressed the Congress, and us, and made a lot of great sound bites. But how many of us saw the duplicity of some of them?

"But I also know that in a time of crisis, we cannot afford to govern out of anger, or yield to the politics of the moment. My job—our job—is to solve the problem. Our job is to govern with a sense of responsibility."

Sounds good, but a few paragraphs later he tells us:

"This time, CEOs won't be able to use taxpayer money to pad their paychecks or buy fancy drapes or disappear on a private jet. Those days are over!"

Um... Angry much? Even today we are told that President Obama is 'Outraged' at the bonuses paid to AIG employees (not CEOs or upper management) in accordance with their terms of employment. But more on that later.

Reason Magazine has captured the Many Faces of Barak Obama well in their examination of the speech:

It was like this all night. The president's stimulus package "will save or create 3.5 million jobs." One of those, anyway! His administration has "created a new website called recovery.gov so that every American can find out how and where their money is being spent," unless they try to use it to find out how and where their money is being spent. Importantly, Obama vowed to "act with the full force of the federal government to ensure that the major banks that Americans depend on have enough confidence and enough money to lend even in more difficult times," a pledge he took so seriously that later on he stressed, twice, that "it's not about helping banks—it's about helping people."

The contradictions came flying even in his read-my-lips moment: "If your family earns less than $250,000 a year," he said, "you will not see your taxes increased a single dime. I repeat: not one single dime." But as recently as the previous paragraph the president vowed to "restore a sense of fairness and balance to our tax code by finally ending the tax breaks for corporations that ship our jobs overseas." And a few paragraphs before that, he called for a "market-based cap on carbon pollution." So: You will not see your federal taxes increased a single dime...unless you own a company that emits carbon or hires some of those dastardly Koreans.

The two faces of Obama reveal more than just a man hard-wired to work both sides of a room. There is an essential contradiction at the heart of his populist economics. He wants to jump-start the "flow of credit"—it's "the lifeblood of our economy," after all—but somehow surgically remove the "speculators" from the process. "I will not spend a single penny," he promised, undeliverably, last night, "for the purpose of rewarding a single Wall Street executive, but I will do whatever it takes to help the small business that can't pay its workers or the family that has saved and still can't get a mortgage." His press secretary, Robert Gibbs, declared last week that, "I think we left [behind] a few months ago the adage that if it was good for a derivatives trader, that it's good for Main Street. I think the verdict is in on that."

Here is one of the many problems with that line of thinking: Wall Street isn't just some abstract pit of snakes that can be drowned in poison oil or otherwise given a wide berth—it's the heart (if tattered) of the country's financial industry. Which, among other things, does more to unleash the lifebloody "flow of credit" than any other power center in America. Not only does Obama get it wrong when he thinks you can best "help the small business" without involving the best single source of small-business funding, he also wildly misses the political and financial ethos of the abstraction he can't stop campaigning against. "I understand that on any given day, Wall Street may be more comforted by an approach that gives banks bailouts with no strings attached, and that holds nobody accountable for their reckless decisions," he said with a smirk. "But such an approach won't solve the problem." Nor will erecting a giant straw man in Lower Manhattan.

But there's more: Not only is Wall Street going to be key to any recovery, the reviled "derivatives trader" is right at the clenched heart of the financial blockage. As Washington Post economics columnist Robert J. Samuelson pointed out earlier this month, "Contrary to popular wisdom, banks—institutions that take deposits—aren't the main problem. In December, total U.S. bank credit stood at $9.95 trillion, up 8 percent from a year earlier, reports the Federal Reserve. Business, consumer and real estate loans all increased....The real collapse has occurred in securities markets."

Securitized lending instruments, and the various insurance and pricing bets placed on them, sloshed hundreds of billions of dollars into the economy, but have now locked up. The point is not that the derivatives trader needs a bailout—he most certainly does not—it's that inaccurately demonizing him is not the shortest route to economic wisdom.

Policy Issues

But again, we're just nitpicking here, right? What about real policy issues?

Well, many anti-war and pro-freedom people who were overjoyed to see Obama win the election last November are now chagrined at the seemingly warp-speed about face that has occurred.

First, the war in Iraq. Only two small things have changed in Obama's plan on bringing the troops home. First, it won't take 16 months, it will take longer and second, we aren't bringing the troops home. Again, from Reason Magazine:

Instead of May 2010, the target date has been pushed back to August of that year. Nor will he bring back one or two combat brigades each month. Instead, The New York Times reports, Obama plans to withdraw only two between now and December, or one combat brigade every five months.

The administration claims it will speed up the pace of withdrawal next year. But if someone says he's going to sober up tomorrow, it doesn't mean he will definitely do it tomorrow. It just means he definitely won't do it today.

What we can deduce from the new timetable is that for now, we are staying put. As for what happens next year—well, why cross that bridge before we come to it?

Assuming the president adheres to this backloaded schedule, a large U.S. force will remain for some time. After August 2010, the administration plans to keep as many as 50,000 troops in Iraq. That's 16,000 more than we currently have to fight the war in Afghanistan. We'll also be spending $50 billion on the effort in 2011.

Oh, and remember that promise to remove all the combat brigades? Here's the trick to it: leaving some of them there but under a different designation. They would be referred to as "Advisory Training Brigades" or "Advisory Assistance Brigades," says The New York Times.

When administrations begin indulging in the generous use of bland euphemisms, we know what it means: They are not willing to do what the public wants and they are not willing to let the public know it. This "transition force" looks like a way of avoiding a transition, not making one.

Of course, this is not at all different than what Senator McCain stated and was blasted for during the campaign, and he supports this plan too.

However, the real mind-twister comes from a case involving torture. As NPR reports:

In the first major national security case of the Obama administration, lawyers representing the government took the exact same position as the Bush administration. Government attorneys asked a judge to throw out a torture case, citing the need to preserve state secrets. Some human rights activists now say they feel betrayed by an administration that had promised greater openness and transparency.
Bush administration lawyers had argued there was no way to try this case without revealing state secrets. Activist groups and newspaper editorial pages hammered the Justice Department for taking that position, but a trial judge agreed and threw the case out.

As the government prepared to argue the case again before three judges at an appeals court Monday, observers wondered whether the Justice Department would change course now that there is a new president and a new attorney general. The government did not change course.

ACLU attorney Ben Wizner, who represents the detainees, said in a phone interview after arguments, "The Obama administration, which came to office on a promise of greater transparency — on a promise of ending these practices — stood up and made exactly the same arguments that were made by Bush lawyers to throw out torture victims' lawsuits. And that's a profound disappointment."

In fact, the judge was mystified. When asked if there was 'Anything recently that occurred that might change the view of the government in this case' (referring to the election and a new administration) the answer by the Justice Department was 'no'.

Outrage

But today provided a very good example of the duplicity we are seeing from this administration. Last week we saw a huge omnibus bill signed by President Obama even though it contained $5.5 billion in earmarks asked for by both sides of the aisle in Congress. Instead of saying 'NO' and telling congress that he would not sign the bill until the earmarks were removed, Obama signed the bill stating that this was 'last year's business'. Well, technically no. The deals may have been made last year but the bill was put foward THIS year and required THIS president's approval to go ahead. $5.5 Billion, on top of over a trillion dollars in already approved spending.

Then, today, we are told of Obama's OUTRAGE that AIG was fulfilling its contractural obligation to pay bonuses totaling $165 Million (getting our calculators out we see that that is 1/33rd of the amount that Obama felt was 'last years business' and not worth of standing up against, of getting OUTRAGED about). 33 times what he is OUTRAGED about today was ticked off with the sign of a pen (behind closed doors, mind you) without even a sign of concern on 'last year's business', yet now he is seeing red about something AIG contracturally is bound to pay due to an agreement made in EARLY 2008?

I don't like to see a company make bad decisions either, but didn't these people do exactly what the company asked of them to do? They were directed and financially incented to sell derivatives. And they did! They did a lot of it. And according to their contract they should be paid their bonuses. But we are going to go after these individuals because of poor business judgment by a CEO that is no longer at the company? When the top executives have already stated they were giving up their bonuses? For an amount 1/33rd the size of earmarks that were considered by Obama's supporters to be the tinest fraction of the budget and not worth dealing with?

The interesting thing will be see if Obama will actually do something about it. It is not like he has not changed his mind before and legally he has little leg to stand upon. But when a president is OUTRAGED at a relatively small number of our tax dollars compared to the huge numbers he has little concern spending, is it any wonder that hundreds of banks are suddenly finding themselves in much better shape and sending back their TARP funds? Maybe an overreaching, unhinged inconsistent leadership is exactly what those banks needed to squeeze out from under the fist of Uncle Sam. If we can survive it...

Posted by Rhinehold at March 17, 2009 4:23 PM
Comments
Comment #277845

In incestuously transferring power back and forth between themselves, the duopoly parties supply just enough change so that everything stays the same.

Posted by: d.eris at March 17, 2009 5:11 PM
Comment #277851

Obama says some fundamental aspects of the economy are strong. McCain’s language implies that all are strong.

They say different things.

You don’t need to invent a claim of hypocrisy if you first start by reading clearly.

Posted by: LawnBoy at March 17, 2009 5:54 PM
Comment #277852

Rhinehold…thank you for the summary you posted. That politicians lie is nothing new, that the public continues to be gullible in believing the lies is also nothing new. The shine is coming off the PO and liberal congress glowing promises of “change”. American’s will wake up before the midterm elections in 2010 and perhaps by then, conservatives will have some leadership to restore sanity in government.

Posted by: Jim M at March 17, 2009 6:14 PM
Comment #277853

Why I can understand the concern Rhinehold I doubt if the difference between 16 months and 19 months or even 24 months will make that much difference in getting out of Iraq. For a long way from being stable I do believe that America will have to have Forces in the area for years to help the Iraq Leaders put down up raising.

No, I am not supporting President Obama because I expect that he can keep every promise he made during the election or while in Office. However, I will hold him and Congress accountable for dealing with the Issue of allowing the Children of the 21st Century build a Better World than the Youth of the 60’s and Siolve Spoons of the 70’s.

For from AIG who acts as a Child who does not have to listen to the Words of Wisdom of Their Parents to the fact that Personal Income for every American must be increased by at least a factor of 4 in order to handle the Deflation and Inflation problems on the horizon. I do believe the day of blame the other person for your ills are gone.

And by thankful that President Obama is in charge of the Children of the 21st Century because let me show you what I would do if My Peers would allow me to be the SOB-in-Charge.

First, Wall Street would be charged for the Trillions that they lost the Average America due to their unwillingness to regulate themselves. Not out of rage or dislike of the Poor Rich, but due to the fact that these citizens are suppose to have the Degrees of Higher Learning and should of known better. Now, why taxes are not popular I do believe that a stiff increase in Fees and Services would be a better way to get the money back. For how much of a risk would these citizens take with your money if they had to guaranteed their Educated Guess?

Second, I would split the banks up and put in firewalls so that Ones Personal Savings cannot be touched by the Insurance Companies or the Market. For what good is a 401K or any retirement plan if a group of Idiots can deplete their worth by a simple accounting error.

Third, I would increase the taxes of the Upper Management of Corporation by an additional 34% for any income in excess of $250,000.00/yr. until such time that their Labor Force has seen an increase in Personal Income by 500% to offset the Deflation and Inflation problems on the horizon. For taken a page from President Regan (almost) I do believe that “We the Corporation” cannot afford to have over half the population fall below the point where they are not required to pay additional Federal Income Taxes.

Yes, “We the People” do need to keep an eye on President Obama and Congress during these times of change; however, if we are going to be nitpicky of them. We also need to be as if not more nitpicky of the Idelogy and Policies of the Democratic and Republican Pundits in charge of making the Government of “We the People” work for All Americans not just a few of the Societal Elite.

For can a Business exist without Costumers? And without Business would the Consumer every be able to become Self-Sufficient? Something I wait to hear both sides of the political spectrum address in the next four years.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at March 17, 2009 6:23 PM
Comment #277854

Right on Rhinehold. The administration is, as I have posted around here, pandering to the people and trying to take our political eye off the bailout numbers. Glen Beck did a beautiful expose this PM on stacking up the $165M in bonuses versus the billions handed over as TARP. AIG passed some eleven billion to a French based bank. Business as usual. These folks think they are way smarter than the public for some reason. I refer to it as intellectual dishonesty.

And, I agree, the Republicans are being provided plenty of ammo for a 2010 resurgence. And Newt is coming on strong as well.

Highly recommend we get behind The Republic Sentry Party and claim the middle ground and work to reform government.

Otherwise, we have the government we deserve.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at March 17, 2009 6:40 PM
Comment #277866

rhinehold

it would seem that the railing against the bonuses being paid out to AIG executives by the likes of charles schumer and gang, is nothing more than attempt to draw attention away from the 5 billion in earmarks that himself,and many others in congress have pissed away. how convenient. so much for change. i look forward to the indignant reponses that will no doubt follow your latest article.

Mr Jim M

“American’s will wake up before the midterm elections in 2010 and perhaps by then, conservatives will have some leadership to restore sanity in government.”

i can only hope you’re right. unfortunately there’s a lot of damage that can be done in the next two years. damage i’m afraid that can’t be undone. stifling regulations, outrages tax increases, more asinine gun control laws. you name it. two many are willing to give up freedom in order to feel more secure. i don’t see how this story could possibly have a happy ending.


Posted by: dbs at March 17, 2009 10:15 PM
Comment #277876
d. eris wrote: In incestuously transferring power back and forth between themselves, the duopoly parties supply just enough change so that everything stays the same.

That’s right … for a while anyway. But eventually, their greed and selfishness eventually gets beyond their control.

Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, as evidenced by the many manifestations of unchecked greed of the past few decades.

Despite a few insignificant differences, there are much more similarities.

It’s amazing how the type of rhetoric reverses when the IN-PARTY and OUT-PARTY trade places.

The IN-PARTY tries to inflate their accomplishments.
The IN-PARTY tries to blame the previous IN-PARTY for current conditions.
The OUT-PARTY tries to undermine the IN-PARTY’s goals.
The OUT-PARTY tries to paint a gloomier-than-reality picture, while the IN-PARTY tries to paint a rosier-than-reality picture.

This is what happens when too many Americans (voters and politicians) love THEIR party and THEIR politicians more than their country, and repeatedly reward irresponsible, FOR-SALE, incompetent, and corrupt incumbent politicians with 85%-to-90% re-election rates, despite the voters’ dismally low 9%-to-18% approval ratings for Congress.
But, perhaps enough voters will be less apathetic, complacent, and blindly partisan when enough of the voters are bankrupt, jobless, homeless , and hungry ?

Perhaps when the voters are finally feeling enough pain and misery of their own making, they will do what most voters did in the Great Depression, when most unhappy voters ousted 206 members of Congress (44% of the incumbents up for re-election in year 1933):

  • Start _ End _ Congress _ Re-Election _Party Seat-Retention

  • Year __ Year __ # ______ Rate _______ Rate

  • 1927 __ 1929 __ 070st __ 83.6% ______ 96.4% (87 incumbents ousted: 22(D), 64(R), 1(FL) )

  • 1929 __ 1931 __ 071st __ 79.7% ______ 92.5% (108 incumbents ousted)

  • 1931 __ 1933 __ 072nd __ 76.8% ______ 88.5% (123 incumbents ousted)

  • 1933 __ 1935 __ 073rd __ 61.2% ______ 78.7% (206 of 531 incumbents ousted; 59 Dems, 147 Repubs)

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

Posted by: d.a.n at March 18, 2009 12:52 AM
Comment #277878

A wonderful display of nitpicking. Very constructive.

Posted by: Schwamp at March 18, 2009 8:48 AM
Comment #277884

1927 __ 1929 __ 070st __ 83.6% ______ 96.4% (87 incumbents ousted: 22(D), 64(R), 1(FL) )

1929 __ 1931 __ 071st __ 79.7% ______ 92.5% (108 incumbents ousted)

1931 __ 1933 __ 072nd __ 76.8% ______ 88.5% (123 incumbents ousted)

1933 __ 1935 __ 073rd __ 61.2% ______ 78.7% (206 of 531 incumbents ousted; 59 Dems, 147 Repubs)
d.a.n. Any stats for 1994 and 2006.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at March 18, 2009 10:48 AM
Comment #277886
A wonderful display of nitpicking. Very constructive.

Nice to know that you consider being outraged at the waste of 150 million but the waste of over 160 BILLION is just ok.

More to the point, it displays for all to see the mental gymnastics that the initiates are willing to perform.

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 18, 2009 11:10 AM
Comment #277887

BTW Schwamp, I don’t recall many ‘constructive’ comments or posts from you during the Bush administration… Apparently the rules are different now?

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 18, 2009 11:12 AM
Comment #277892

The difference in Obama’s statements and McCain’s has to do with the difference between denial and countering negative psychology.

When exactly did Obama promise an exact date for troop withdrawal, and since you now seem to think there is an exact date, when was that announced?

Of course, apparent inconsistency is a common bashing tool in a world of sound bites.

Since you apparently have no problem ignoring deeper or more thorough statements regarding the issues, I guess it seems to you that Obama gets a free ride. Kinda like when you claim to not be a conservative shill for Republicans, and rail against evidence to the contrary.

Posted by: gergle at March 18, 2009 12:48 PM
Comment #277894
Rodney Brown wrote: d.a.n. Any stats for 1994 and 2006.
Not completely.

The largest oustings were:

  • around the time of the U.S. civil war (1859-1865)

  • around the time of reconstruction after the U.S. civil war (1865-1879)

  • around the panic of 1893 (1889-1901)

  • around the time of World War I (1909-1913)

  • around the time of the Great Depression (1925-1941)

  • around 1949

  • around 1959

  • around 1965

  • around the time of fuel shortages in the 1970s (1973, 1979)

  • around 1995 (142 of 535 incumbents ousted)

There have been no significant numbers of oustings of incumbent politicians since year 1995.
Voters were not happy in 1995.
It’s a bit confusing why re-election rates since 1995 have been so high. Re-election rates since 1995 have been very high (see below). I guess enough voters aren’t feelin’ enough pain and misery of their own makin’ yet? However, by 2010 or 2012, lower re-election rates won’t be surprising as these deteriorating economic conditions create more unhappy voters and the much-needed motivation to finally hold elected officials accontable (as voters have done in the past, such as 1933).

Here’s what I have for now. I’ll have to run more queries to get the percentages for other years:

  • Start _ End _ Congress _ Re-Election _Party Seat-Retention

  • Year __ Year __ # ______ Rate _______ Rate

  • 1927 __ 1929 __ 070st __ 83.6% ______ 96.4% (87 incumbents ousted: 22(D), 64(R), 1(FL) )

  • 1929 __ 1931 __ 071st __ 79.7% ______ 92.5% (108 incumbents ousted)

  • 1931 __ 1933 __ 072nd __ 76.8% ______ 88.5% (123 incumbents ousted)

  • 1933 __ 1935 __ 073rd __ 61.2% ______ 78.7% (206 of 531 incumbents ousted; 59 Dems, 147 Repubs)

  • … … … … … … . .

  • 1989 __ 1991 __ 101st __ 90.1% ______ 99.6%

  • 1991 __ 1993 __ 102nd __ 87.7% ______ 98.3%

  • 1993 __ 1995 __ 103rd __ 73.5% ______ 98.1% (142 of 535 incumbents ousted)

  • 1995 __ 1997 __ 104th __ 79.8% ______ 88.2%

  • 1997 __ 1999 __ 105th __ 77.4% ______ 98.7%

  • 1999 __ 2001 __ 106th __ 89.2% ______ 99.3%

  • 2001 __ 2003 __ 107th __ 89.2% ______ 98.7%

  • 2003 __ 2005 __ 108th __ 87.9% ______ 98.1% (65 of 535 voted out)

  • 2005 __ 2007 __ 109th __ 88.6% ______ 98.7% (61 of 535 voted out)

  • 2007 __ 2009 __ 110th __ 84.9% ______ 93.1% (81 of 535 incumbents voted out (68=16(D)+51(R)+1(I) in the House) + (13=3(D)+9(R)+1(I) in the Senate)

  • 2009 __ 2011 __ 111th __ 86.9% ______ 94.0% (70 of 535 voted out (57=13(D)+44(R) in the House) + (13=3(D)+10(R) in the Senate); a few seats left To Be Determined (TBD))

Rhinehold wrote: Apparently the rules are different now?
No. The duopoly simply swap roles, when the IN-PARTY and OUT-PARTY trade places, as e.diris wrote above …
d. eris wrote: In incestuously transferring power back and forth between themselves, the duopoly parties supply just enough change so that everything stays the same.
Precisely, while maintaining very high 85%-to-90% re-election rates, despite the voters’ dismal 9%-to-18% approval ratings for Congress. Why? The incumbent politicians have created a very clever situation that very effectively capitalizes on the voters’ own selfishness (e.g. laziness, blind and delusional partisan loyalties, apathy, complacency, greed, irrational fear; i.e. selfishness, in genral). The incumbent politicians have also created many clever and unfair advantages to make their cu$hy, coveted seats of power more secure.

Thus, it is important to understand this fact of human nature, and become educated about the signs and clever tactics used to manipulate others. Learn to identify Cheaters and how they:

  • distract you;

  • divide you;

  • control you;

  • trick you with non-sequiturs and truths mixed with half-truths;

  • obscure the facts and cloud the issues to distract you and keep you within the circular pattern of thought and behavior;

  • cherry-pick facts to suit their argument, while cleverly ignoring the overwhelming evidence to the contrary;

  • lure you back to the detractors (e.g. petty partisan warfare, religion, the blame game, etc.);

  • seduce you into the frenzied circular pattern of thought and behavior (i.e. petty partisan warfare);

  • shift blame, and avoid from ever being held accountable;

  • pit people (voters) against each other (e.g. based on party affiliation, wealth, religion, race, nationality, citizenship, etc.) using one of various detractors;

  • stack-the-deck to secure their power and cu$hy, coveted seats of power, and reward themselves generously at tax-payers expense;

  • pervert the laws to do the very thing the laws were originally supposed to prevent: legal plunder;

  • out spend you; There are two classes in this country:
    • One class derives concentrated power from its concentrated wealth. 1% of the U.S. population has 40% of all wealth. 83% of all federal campaign donations (of $200 or more in year 2002) are from a mere 0.3% of the 200 million eligible U.S. voters.
      How can the remaining 99.7% of the U.S. population compete with that abuse of vast wealth to control government?
      Government should not be FOR-SALE.

    • The other class has power only in numbers, and that power is largely ineffective due to their inability to organize or realize the one simple, inexpensive, common-sense, no-brainer, responsible thing voters were supposed to be doing all along, always. Just simply stop re-electing irresponsible incumbent politicians.

Not that any profession is necessarily the root of any problem, but Cheaters gravitate to certain professions (i.e. those with power and opportunities for self-gain) more so than other professions. Cheaters gravitate to politics or professions that are often in-league with government. Cheaters are everywhere among us, and they do not only exist only in the realm of law and politics. You’ve probably met a few. Many Cheaters do not even realize they are, nor would ever admit to being a Cheater. Some do realize it, and do not feel bad about it, and they are the most dangerous. They are often the Master-Cheaters. They are numerous in government, because that is where the power and opportunity for self-gain is. When there is sufficient Responsibility, and common-sense reforms, adjustments, and simplifications have been implemented to reduce cleverly overly-complicated processes, the Cheaters can not thrive, and eventually move on to search for more vulnerable targets.

But voters are culpable too, and it ain’t likely to get better until enough voters figure that out, which will most likely occure when enough voters are finally feelin’ enough pain and misery of their own making. There’s a lot of never-ending, circular talk about reforms of all kinds, but the incumbent politicians won’t reform themselves or police their own ranks unitl they are finally held accountable by the voters. And that most certainly ain’t gonna happen when voters repeatedly reward FOR-SALE and corrupt incumbent politicians with 85%-to-90% re-election rates. Unfortunately, the only mechanism that seems able to provide enough voters with sufficient motivation to wake up and pull their head out of their butt is pain and misery. Fortunately, there is a potential built-in self-correction mechanism. Too bad most voters have to repeatedly re-learn this lesson. And we may not always have the luxury of repeating the same mistakes over and over.

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

Posted by: d.a.n at March 18, 2009 1:25 PM
Comment #277895

dbs writes; “two many are willing to give up freedom in order to feel more secure. i don’t see how this story could possibly have a happy ending.”

Agreed, with nearly 40% of American’s not feeling the burden of taxes but only the benefits of an ever increasing government largess it will be a difficult task to re-educate these poor souls. When one has given up their individual independence, self respect and pride for the scraps from the D.C. hog trough how does one become weaned from such titty-dependence?

Once enslaved by the idea that there is a “free lunch” those in the government chains of dependency can only plead for “more”. Not caring from where, or at what cost “more” comes, their champions in congress must find ways to feed the very beast they have created.

Many posts by liberals include such asinine terms as “revenue enhancement” and “entitlements” as liberal-speak for taxes and spending. They decry the economic peril the nation is mired in by blaming free-markets and capitalism as though government doesn’t exist and is free from culpability.

Others, including me, are outraged at having our pockets picked to bail out the irresponsible individuals and corporations among us. We are told that unless we are willing to foot the bill for trillions in new spending the country will collapse. I don’t buy into the cataclysmic hysteria that has dominated political speech and the media of late. What has this constant drumbeat of fear accomplished other than to frighten millions of Americans into acquiescing to a huge government grab of private resources?

Government has become too big, too bloated, too filled with politicians whose only purpose is to keep and enlarge their power over all of US. It is unconscionable for government to legally remove a dollar from my pocket to give directly to another. Our founders clearly defined and purposely limited the duties and responsibilities of the federal government for good reason. That our founders wisdom has not been followed is apparent in the mess we have today.

There will be a happy ending to this story dbs when government, as we now know it, is busted, broke, humiliated, and driven from our shores and minds. We can start all over again.

Posted by: Jim M at March 18, 2009 1:27 PM
Comment #277903

Rhinehold, McCain referred to all the fundamentals of the economy as strong. Obama is referring to not losing sight of some of the fundamentals which are still strong, such as: 92% of Americans employed, savings rate going up at long last, the vast majority of corporations represented on Wall St. markets weathering this serious recession.

But, Obama et.al. daily remind us that many of the fundamentals are not strong, have not been strong for quite some time, and that it will take time and money and effort to strengthen these, such as the downsizing of the middle class real wages over decades, growing H1B visas due to our ever worsening education system, and the growing wealth gap which includes 47 million Americans uninsured compared to every other modern nation in the world providing health care to all.

McCain’s view was that there was nothing wrong with our economy that some tax cuts for corporations and wealthiest would not fix.

Obama’s view was dramatically different.

Your article’s attempt to equate them on this issue is an extreme stretch beyond all credibility. The voters saw a stark difference between these two candidate’s views and expressed their choice. Your article’s minority view is important. Your article’s implied outrage at its minority view not being employed by our elected government is laughable.

I hold minority views too, like voting out Congressional incumbents until they reject wealthy special interest lobbyists like AIG and campaign contributions from those in AIG, and take their objectives from the voters instead. I laugh at the sometimes seemingly foolishness of the idea that the majority of Americans will in unison act this way one fine election day in the future. But, of course, this is laughable. It will never happen. Such changes occur in sustained increments over many elections, if, at all.

One must be practical about one’s minority positions and take their minority status with good humor, if one is to sustain such a minority view in earnest and seek to persuade others over time of the merits of such a position. But above all, one must be incredibly honest about that minority position making it a strong unassailable position by rules of logic and rational reasoning. To employ sophistry like equating McCain’s general comment of strong economic fundamentals with Obama’s reference to some economic fundamentals being strong and using those to strengthen others, undermines one’s minority position and view as credible.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 18, 2009 2:26 PM
Comment #277905

Jim M said: “There will be a happy ending to this story dbs when government, as we now know it, is busted, broke, humiliated, and driven from our shores and minds. We can start all over again.”

Spoken like a true slash and burn Republican / Libertarian. This is the view from whence comments like “I hope Obama fails” come from. Shouldn’t credit be given to Rush Limbaugh for this view? Appears some Republicans do indeed still want to refight that grand old Civil War, tear the union down, and rebuild the nation according to minority rule, not majority rule.

Nice, Jim M. Very patriotic. The way some Republican supporters rhetorically defecate on our dead soldier’s graves, their having died to protect and defend these United States, by that now pervasive Republican longing for our nation’s failure and demise is quite the Janus view. But, consistent with Republican rule these last 8 years which has brought our nation fighting war on two fronts and on massive debt creation most of which was never spent on those wars, while cutting government revenues from the wealthy, raising innumerable fees on common citizens and giving carte blanche to the greedy in corporations to run amok without supervision. A prescription for destroying this nation if there ever was one.

And all for the fantasy that minority Republican views will create a new nation out of the ashes of the one they just destroyed. I have heard a lot of absurd comments and beliefs underlying them, but, this one takes the cake.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 18, 2009 2:38 PM
Comment #277908
When exactly did Obama promise an exact date for troop withdrawal, and since you now seem to think there is an exact date, when was that announced?

Obama promised to have the troops out within 16 months after taking office. I’m sure you might have seen this sometime during the year long campaign…

From Obama’s campaign page:

Immediately upon taking office, Obama will give his Secretary of Defense and military commanders a new mission in Iraq: ending the war. The removal of our troops will be responsible and phased, directed by military commanders on the ground and done in consultation with the Iraqi government. Military experts believe we can safely redeploy combat brigades from Iraq at a pace of 1 to 2 brigades a month that would remove them in 16 months.
Posted by: Rhinehold at March 18, 2009 2:53 PM
Comment #277909
BTW Schwamp, I don’t recall many ‘constructive’ comments or posts from you during the Bush administration… Apparently the rules are different now?

Not really Rhinegold. It’s just that your bar of criticism is awfully low when your evaluating whether he displays the exact right amount of anger (as defined by you) or when you are analyzing changes in rhetoric over time. There’s always going to be ammunition there.

Posted by: Schwamp at March 18, 2009 2:54 PM
Comment #277910
Since you apparently have no problem ignoring deeper or more thorough statements regarding the issues, I guess it seems to you that Obama gets a free ride.

It is not I who is ignoring deeper or more thorough statements. It was you who lambasted McCain for saying he wanted the Iraq war to last 100 years, which he never said, or that he thought all aspects of our economy were fine when he said that the Fundamentals were strong. He offered many more detailed statements that stated quite clearly that there were areas that needed fixed, almost identically to what Obama is saying NOW, yet we are told that they are different.

Kinda like when you claim to not be a conservative shill for Republicans, and rail against evidence to the contrary.

Well, considering that I never voted republican, I disagree with the majority of their platform, am a staunch member of the ACLU, applauded the striking down of the privacy violations of the Bush administration and lambasted them for their spending… Yeah, I can see why you seem to want to pigeonhole me into the ‘pro republican’ camp.

OR, perhaps, I am anti-freedom so I point out on a regular basis that it is the ‘compassionate’ freedom-taking that the democrats are engaged in that is the greater threat… I’m sure that irks as Democratic-shill…

Please, supply the ‘evidence’ that I am a republican shill, since you seem to think you have it handy? OR perhaps you could see that you might, MIGHT, be treading close to attacking me and not my message…

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 18, 2009 2:59 PM
Comment #277911

Rhinehold said: “Nice to know that you consider being outraged at the waste of 150 million but the waste of over 160 BILLION is just ok.”

If that 160 billion gets this economy growing again and averts an economic collapse due to a domino collapse of the financial institutions, then that 160 billion was not wasted, AT ALL.

You are prejudging the unknowable future by pronouncing the 160 billion as a waste. Who made you clairvoyant? Or, are you following the Republican line, exemplified by Jim M’ comment, looking for an economic collapse so that folks such as yourself might remake the nation in accordance with their minority views?

Do you, like Rush Limpbrain, wish and hope that Obama’s and the Democratic Congress’ attempts to rescue this nation from economic deep freeze fail? If not, then shouldn’t you be open to the prospect that that 160 billion will prevent a financial sector freeze-up and failing domino effect. Shouldn’t you be hoping it will prevent this, instead of prejudging our future as doomed and current efforts to rescue our future wasted?

Perhaps employing some logic would improve the structure of and persuasiveness of your article and comments. Here is an example:

If, the 130 billion dollars issued to AIG by the Bush Administration and Congress, in conjunction with the 30 billion issued by the Obama administration and Congress, fail to prevent a cascading domino failure effect rippling throughout the financial industry, and if, that is the only rational purpose and projected consequence of giving AIG that 160 billion dollars, then the 160 billion dollars will have been wasted, and everyone currently managing government decisions in this regard will have been proven wrong in giving AIG 160 billion dollars of tax payer dollars.

This is a logically sound argument, and one which acknowledges the rules of logic, the stated objective of the act of loaning and giving AIG 160 billion dollars, and both possible outcomes, success or failure in meeting the stated objective. No clairvoyance implied, no prejudice toward the future revealed, and no sophistry games regarding the objective for the 160 billion.

No need to mention the 150 million in bonuses in my response to your comment above, as there is no disagreement that these are wasteful of tax payer’s dollars.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 18, 2009 3:01 PM
Comment #277912

Rhinehold, your statement: “Obama promised to have the troops out within 16 months after taking office. I’m sure you might have seen this sometime during the year long campaign…”

is in DIRECT contradiction to the statement you quoted from the Obama campaign. The quoted statement says Obama will set the agenda for ending our War in Iraq, that he will rely upon the military commanders for counsel on how to best achieve that objective, and that it was their belief at the time, that this could be accomplished in 16 months after Obama takes office.

I see no promise in the Obama camp’s words to remove ALL American personnel and troops from Iraq in 16 months. I see an objective and a belief being stated, not a promise.

Perhaps your comment misinterprets what was said?

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 18, 2009 3:07 PM
Comment #277913

Jim M said: “American’s will wake up before the midterm elections in 2010 and perhaps by then, conservatives will have some leadership to restore sanity in government”

Had to chuckle at this apparent wishful thinking. I know the public’s memory is fairly short. But, if you think the public will forget that it was conservatives who voted in a Republican Congress and GW Bush twice, and they are who more culpable for creating these crises than democrats over the last 8 years, I simply have to chuckle.

To ignore the potency and longevity of the ammunition Republicans and conservatives handed to Democrats with the Iraq War, a devastated financial system, the state of New Orleans, a severe recession, and more than doubling the national debt from 5.65 trillion to over 12 trillion in just 8 years of Bush’s administration, is like leaving the grand canyon in the middle of the highway and pronouncing it safe to drive on.

Thanks for the chuckle.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 18, 2009 3:19 PM
Comment #277917

david

“To ignore the potency and longevity of the ammunition Republicans and conservatives handed to Democrats”

this will depend ultimately on the quantity and quality of the amunition provided by the democrats to the republicans over the next two years. i think it was you who stated it was gun control that cost the dems in 1994, and i agree that was a big factor. they are currently heading dowm that path again. all you need to do is look at proposed legislation and the words of AG holder. this will bite them in the ass. the rest will be determined by the tax policy they set, the economy, and whether they ignore the illegal imigration issue. speaker pelosi recently stated that enforcing US immigration laws was un american. how well do you suppose the american people are going to like it when the dems ignore them in order to further thier own agenda? remember the outrage last year when congress tried to ignore the american people on this one? i think they called it comprehensive immigration reform. we all just called it amnesty. either way it smelled like sh#t.

Posted by: dbs at March 18, 2009 3:46 PM
Comment #277918
McCain referred to all the fundamentals of the economy as strong

Really? How so? He said repeatedly that while the fundamentals were strong there were issues that needed fixing, etc. Basically the exact same thing that Obama is saying. Then Obama comes along and puts in a ‘plan’ to get us out of Iraq that is almost identical as what Bush already had in place…

I’m not seeing a lot of change, other than becoming an actual leader of a nation and not just running a campaign to become one.

McCain’s view was that there was nothing wrong with our economy that some tax cuts for corporations and wealthiest would not fix.

That is not backed up by what he said, repeatedly, on the campaign trail.

It seems to me that there is a belief that this is the difference and many people believe in this belief, but it is not backed up by actual facts…

until they reject wealthy special interest lobbyists like AIG and campaign contributions from those in AIG, and take their objectives from the voters instead.

Oh, you mean like Obama and Dodd, who received, by far, the most money from AIG in campaign contributions?

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 18, 2009 3:54 PM
Comment #277919
If that 160 billion gets this economy growing again and averts an economic collapse due to a domino collapse of the financial institutions, then that 160 billion was not wasted, AT ALL.

Oh, so you are saying that 150 million isn’t going to be put back into the economy? It’s going in their matresses to be hidden away?

You are prejudging the unknowable future by pronouncing the 160 billion as a waste. Who made you clairvoyant?

Soooo, what you are saying is that it is OK to have earmarks and pork on spending bills, because it’s the government spending it while private spending of money is greed and corruption, right? I mean, if we are going to start being ridiculous with our critiques of other’s views, why not make them be both ways, right?

First, there is a difference in saying that you ‘want the country to fail’ and pointing out flaws in the spending of an administration. To say that they are the same thing, as you are suggesting and have suggested several times, is sophistry that I had thought wouldn’t really be accepted here as a valid argument. But it is one you seem to want to keep making.

Second, you assume that we need the government to be doing everything it is doing to ‘stave off complete collapse of the United States’. I disagree completely with that view. Since I don’t accept your premise as valid, the insane arguments that you build upon that argument are laughable to the extreme. It is NO different than when the Republicans tried to defend calling anyone who didn’t agree with the war in Iraq as hoping that the terrorists win or wanting to see us lose the ‘war on terror’ or whatever. It is even more telling that YOU can’t see that similarity in your zeal to support the drive to a statist nation, since that is what you have been calling for…

If, the 130 billion dollars issued to AIG by the Bush Administration and Congress, in conjunction with the 30 billion issued by the Obama administration and Congress

Your numbers are off… They’ve received 40 billion from the fed and 39 from the treasury department, both of which they are on track to pay back. Well, they were, losing many of their top executives who are resigning as they turn in retention bonuses they were contractually given will probably make doing that a lot harder now. So, if your intent is to see AIG fail and ‘the rich’ get soaked, congrats! If your intent was to see the company returned to sound financial footing and have the loans repayed as quickly as possible… Well, that’s pretty much out of the window now, isn’t it?

In fact, it was reported the other day that over 200 banks are returning all funds that the government had made available to them because they didn’t want to be the next ‘AIG’ and will take their lumps as they try to go it alone.

The quoted statement says Obama will set the agenda for ending our War in Iraq, that he will rely upon the military commanders for counsel on how to best achieve that objective, and that it was their belief at the time, that this could be accomplished in 16 months after Obama takes office.

I see no promise in the Obama camp’s words to remove ALL American personnel and troops from Iraq in 16 months. I see an objective and a belief being stated, not a promise.

So, how was that ANY different than the Bush policy to rely upon military commanders, or the McCain policy that he had in place again?

Oh right, NONE. In fact, what you stated is almost word for word the same plan we had in place since 2003… And that is change how?

My point is not that he is doing the wrong thing, only that he led people to believe that he was going to ‘get us out of Iraq’ and his plan was somehow going to be different than the current one.

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 18, 2009 4:10 PM
Comment #277920

dbs said: “this will depend ultimately on the quantity and quality of the amunition provided by the democrats to the republicans over the next two years.”

That is a true enough statement, since the majority of voters fail to acknowledge any alternative to the Duopoloy Party, it will indeed depend as you say.

That said: there are some signs that Democrats will not be giving much in terms of what is central to voter’s concerns, to Republicans in 2010. Housing starts up, two months in a row. Fed Reserve buying 750 billion in treasury bonds lowering long term rates, making home purchase financing more appealing and making wider the spread for lending institutions on money lent vs. money earned upon repayment. The rate of decline in unemployment has abated. A small but growing number of corporations are showing profits, and others are buying back stocks, a positive sign of current capacity to ride out the recession while reducing outstanding debt. OPEC can’t cut production further or control the price of oil, as too many members aren’t even abiding current quotas, like Venez. and Russia. Consumer confidence is up, and mergers and acquisitions underway or being explored indicate liquidity in the lending credit markets demonstrating that government efforts are showing signs of succeeding in pushing back the specter of a financial sector collapse and domino effect.

As for guns, that issue shows no signs of being the issue voters will vote on in 2010. Their jobs, their health care, and their pensions and 401k’s and children’s educational opportunities will compete for front and center issues to vote on in 2010.

When the guns issue was front and center, the economy was growing and employment was establishing a new lower norm around 5%. That will not be the case in 2010. When economic times are good, relatively speaking, cultural and possibly foreign policy issues will have center stage in elections. When the economy is not good, nothing short of the threat of foreign attack can dislodge the economy as the issue most voters will vote on.

Bernanke and a growing number of economic speculators are seeing GDP growth recommencing by the end of this year, just in time for the 2010 campaign cycle. Why would voters vote to change horses in mid-stream when the economy is showing signs of recovery in 2010? I don’t see any path for Republicans in 2010 short of this recession worsening, instead of improving.

I personally do NOT want to see Democrats pick up seats in the Senate, giving them filibuster capacity (with Republican help) over Obama. Obama’s agenda is already butting heads with Congressional Democrat leadership on a couple issues and I can only see that number of issues grow going forward. The pragmatist in the W.H. and the ideologues in the Congress have many battles ahead, and I would like to see legal pragmatism win out in most of those battles.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 18, 2009 4:22 PM
Comment #277921

Rhinehold said: “Oh, so you are saying that 150 million isn’t going to be put back into the economy? It’s going in their matresses to be hidden away?”

If you are going to speak for me, there is no point in my interfering with your one person debate.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 18, 2009 4:23 PM
Comment #277923

David,

If you don’t want to answer the question I posed in asking for clarification of what I interpreted from your own statements, that’s fine.

Otherwise I will in the future afford you the same response when you do the same to me.

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 18, 2009 4:26 PM
Comment #277924

M. Remer objects to my statement; ““There will be a happy ending to this story dbs when government, as we now know it, is busted, broke, humiliated, and driven from our shores and minds. We can start all over again.”

I would remind M. Remer of all his posts suggesting changing how our government works. Now apparently, he believe that our government, “as we know it”, is just fine.

A revolution in government is the only thing left for those who actually do care. That he prefers business as usual with the government we have is difficult to understand.

M. Remer is a bright guy and apparently believes that government will change with PO at the helm. How many more times will his dream of a properly functioning government, operating as it has with just a different cast of pandering politicians, be destroyed before he has an awakening?

He writes further; “The way some Republican supporters rhetorically defecate on our dead soldier’s graves, their having died to protect and defend these United States, by that now pervasive Republican longing for our nation’s failure and demise is quite the Janus view.”

What a jaundiced view M. Remer has of our military. To think that I, and others, served to further the ambitions of politicians is disgusting. M. Remer would have us believe that it is unpatriotic to object to the twisted and malfunctioning beast that masquerades as being in keeping with our founders intentions. M. Remer knows that the oath of office requires allegiance to the Constitution…not the current hideous beast calling itself government.

He then finishes up by damning Republican rule for 8 years as though somehow…they weren’t the government he appears to love. How silly M. Remer. You either love the government of the U.S. as lead by its elected leaders of either party for the past few decades or you don’t. Which is it? Or perhaps M. Remer fawns over government when led by those he agrees with and despises government when led by those with whom he disagrees. If so, that’s not love of this government, merely infatuation of, and adulation for, its membership when agreeable.

Posted by: Jim M at March 18, 2009 4:34 PM
Comment #277927

Some AIG employees repaying bonuses, head of AIG says under severe congressional questioning ..Starting to Crack under the pressure.
http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/090318/aig_outrage.html

Posted by: Rodney Brown at March 18, 2009 5:02 PM
Comment #277930

Rhinehold, allow me to point out reply’s falsehoods and attempt to use sophistry to create the appearance of a debate between you and I, when in fact, you are debating your own words, not mine, with so many straw man arguments.

I said: “You are prejudging the unknowable future by pronouncing the 160 billion as a waste. Who made you clairvoyant?”

You replied to what I said with: “Soooo, what you are saying is that it is OK to have earmarks and pork on spending bills, because it’s the government spending it while private spending of money is greed and corruption, right? I mean, if we are going to start being ridiculous with our critiques of other’s views, why not make them be both ways, right?”

Where, in any of my words or even implications indicate that I say it is OK to have earmarks and pork on spending bills because it is the government spending it? NO WHERE WHATSOEVER.

I will however state, unequivocally, that our Constitutional structure of Congress as the branch of government responsible for appropriations with the consent of the President or override of his veto, creates the earmark structure of the appropriations process. To get rid of earmarks would require legislators to vote against their ability to bring federal spending dollar projects home to their own constituents.

So, if you are opposed to earmarks, you must be opposed to the Constitutional structure of Congress itself, as that logically follows.

And for the record, I oppose wasteful spending as defined by spending which fails, on its face, to contribute to the objectives set out by the President or a Congressional majority in various places including the title of legislative bills and their included stated purpose(s).

Again you argue with sophistry with the statement: “First, there is a difference in saying that you ‘want the country to fail’ and pointing out flaws in the spending of an administration.”

The equation I posed was Rush’s “wanting Obama to fail” comment and your apparent clairvoyant statement about the 160 billion to AIG being wasted. Your declaration that the 160 billion is wasted, IS NOT a pointing out a flaw in the spending of an administration. It is either a declaration based on an ability to see the future before it occurs, or, wishful thinking that 160 billion be wasted and failed so as to make your declarative statement valid retropsectively.

Your comment’s sophistry is calling your statement that the 160 billion to AIG IS wasted spending, a critique of administration’s spending. One cannot critique the unknown future which hasn’t yet become reality. Additionally, the 160 billion is not the spending of AN administration, but, the spending of two administrations, 130 billion under Bush, and 30 billion under Obama, and with Congressional design and approval in the appropriation of the TARP funds of 750 billion dollars, 375 billion without conditions, and 375 billion with the barest of condition that it be deemed warranted in the future.

Any attempt to lay this 160 billion dollars to AIG solely at Obama’s feet explicitly, or implicitly, is doomed to prove a false statement or implication, regardless of whether it is successful in arresting a financial and credit sector collapse.

Again, you seem to be arguing with your own words, not mine, as with this straw man argument of yours:

“Second, you assume that we need the government to be doing everything it is doing to ‘stave off complete collapse of the United States’. I disagree completely with that view.”

No where did I say or imply that I approve of everything the government is doing. In fact, I am on record for years now of not approving a host of things our government has done, and is doing. I specifically pointed out the now widely known fact that if AIG bankrupts a host of other financial institutions fail as a consequence.

This is true because AIG is the insurer of many other financial institutions balance sheet assets which have lost enormous value, and this includes 5 of the largest financial institutions in the the U.S. If AIG fails, those other 5 fail. And the solvency of those other 5 mega financial institutions like CitiGroup and BofA, is what an even larger number of financial corporations and mortgage companies and small businesses depend for their own solvency and cash flow needed to remain in business.

If you wish to disagree with this fact of dependency of financial institutions upon each other with AIG as a central hub and insurer of colateralized transactions, commercial paper, credit default swaps, arbitrage, and other investment instruments, by all means, disagree. But, such disagreement flies in the face of reality and empirical data observed by the majority of those whose careers or education are employed in the financial sector of our economy or its review.

You assumed when you portended to know what it was I assumed. Very illogical, Rhinehold. And false to boot. Assuming what it is others assume, more often than not, will prove wrong. Stating one KNOWS what others assume is doomed to fail one’s own debate. Rather than assume to know other’s assumptions, ask them if what you assume that they assume is, in fact, what they assume. Your comments will not lose so many debate points by following that wise advice.

Then your comment loses all contact with reality when you said: “So, if your intent is to see AIG fail and ‘the rich’ get soaked, congrats!”

I quite clearly implied my intent is to see AIG remain an ongoing business concern making good on its insurance of other American financial institution’s transactions for which premiums were paid to AIG, and thereby prevent a collapse of the financial sector of our economy which would deepen and protract this recession.

When you are ready to reply to WHAT I WRITE, instead of your own words masquerading badly as my words, I will be happy to engage you an intelligent debate. Till then, your comments reflect need of a good logic 101 or Debate 101 introduction book.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 18, 2009 5:18 PM
Comment #277932

Jim M replied: “I would remind M. Remer of all his posts suggesting changing how our government works.”

Jim M, advocating change in our government is not the same as advocating for its failure and collapse. That is obvious to most educated and sane people who have some proficiency with the English language, I should think.

YOUR exact words were: “There will be a happy ending to this story dbs when government, as we now know it, is busted, broke, humiliated, and driven from our shores and minds. We can start all over again.”

Not my position at all, or ever!

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 18, 2009 5:23 PM
Comment #277934

Jim M now presumes to be a mind reader when he says: “To think that I, and others, served to further the ambitions of politicians is disgusting.”

I don’t think that, Jim M. I said what I think of your words “There will be a happy ending to this story dbs when government, as we now know it, is busted, broke, humiliated, and driven from our shores and minds. We can start all over again.”

Your words spell a scenario in which 100’s of millions of Americans suffer desperately, children go without food, housing, or health care, and the elderly die without pain killing assistance, and fathers and mothers fear going into the streets to find food for their children due to the civil unrest and violence that would ensue IF, and I quote again: “when government, as we now know it, is busted, broke, humiliated, and driven from our shores and minds. We can start all over again.”

Our soldiers, of which I am previously one also, took and oath to protect and defend this nation, which is built upon our Constitution and the government which springs forth from that great document in history. You seek to end our government by your own words, and what? Write a new Constitution for a new government according to Jim M and those like him who advocate the dissolution of this government, and nothing but hate and contempt for it?

I think advocating for the dissolution of our present government has a legal term attached to it. You may want to research that a bit before acting on your wishes.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 18, 2009 5:38 PM
Comment #277938

david

“took and oath to protect and defend this nation, which is built upon our Constitution and the government which springs forth from that great document in history.”

this is what it says:

“I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic;”

how many of our politicians could be considered domestic enemies? i think the list would be quite long, and include many members of BOTH major paties.

what if the presidents orders violate said constitution is he then also a domestic enemy? i think possibly so. what is a person to do?


Posted by: dbs at March 18, 2009 6:10 PM
Comment #277941

As the worm turns: Over the last 10 years AIG was deregulated and told that 1/2 of their business was to go toward support of low income and minorities. In 03, even as AIG had >$81B in at risk in subprimes, Frank said AIG was fundamentally sound. in 04 Bush pushed for AIG to go from 50% to 56% subprimes. Yesterday Dodd said he didn’t know how a clause to protect bonus payouts got into the TARP bill. Today, he says that Treasury pressed him to put the clause in as Treas. was afraid they would be sued. Dodd is biggest recipient of contributions from AIG. AIG has received four bailouts and nothing done to curb bonuses. AIG CEO tells Congress today that bonus payments were done in agreement with Bernake.
Fannie Mae mgrs next in line for bonuses.

Mexico is raising tariffs on 90 US products exported to that country. Retalliation for shutting down Mexican trucks under the NAFTA agreement. The administration is going to do ‘everything possible’ to get Mex. trucks moving again. They need to get the trucks moving to take the heat off the border violence. Trucks can come and go without inspection at the US border. Can this administration do nothing right? In talking with a hispanic group, Pelosi said that immigration raids should be stopped and were ‘un-american’.

Otherwise, we have the government we deserve.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at March 18, 2009 6:39 PM
Comment #277943

””“There will be a happy ending to this story dbs when government, as we now know it, is busted, broke, humiliated, and driven from our shores and minds. We can start all over again. “”” That’s pretty powerful words Jim, I Implore you to rethink your position total chaos and social anarchy would result your beautiful house and all you ever worked for would be gone this Nation IMHO would not recover, I’d like to see my daughter and the rest of this country get ahead as far as they can take themselves , lick your wounds listen to Newt instead of Rush and make a come back it’s not as far off as you might think my Friend.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at March 18, 2009 7:12 PM
Comment #277954

Roy,

Sen. Dodd has outlived his usefulness to his constitutents, now that he feels in 24 hours both Compelled to lie to the American public about who inserted the bonus immunity clause into the bill, and the to CONFESS that it was HE who put that clause in the bill at the request of a member of the Treasury Department, whom shall remain anonymous for the time being according to Dodd.

Dodd is covering a lot political asses here and failing to cover his constituent’s backs where their children’s future income tax dollars are concerned. Dodd has outlived his usefulness to the nation and the public at large. It is however, up to his state’s voter’s to decide on his incumbency. Wish he represented my state - I would vote him out in a heartbeat.

Transparency out one side of his mouth and cover-up out the other. Such hypocrisy and duplicity has no place in today’s government going forward. This is the kind of politics tolerated that got our nation into this fragile and perilous condition.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 18, 2009 9:40 PM
Comment #277960

dbs, quite right. Which is why I voted for a person with their degree in Constitutional Law for president. I continue to hope that our nation will finally experience a president who observes fidelity to the Constitution, and decides policy in favor of pragmatic steps, instead of ideological, furthering the longevity our nation’s healthy and restoring the greatness of this nation, now humbled by a not so great economy, a not so great foreign policy for 8 years, a not so great capitalist market and financial system, and an absolutely horrible accumulation of debt to its own citizens and foreigners nation’s alike.

Deficits and debt are justified for national emergencies, and when incurred only for these purposes remain manageable and potentially removable through more prosperous times. But, the debt rise from 5.65 trillion to over 12 trillion during the last 8 years cannot be justified by the totals spent during those years on 9/11, Homeland Defense, the war in Iraq, the War in Afghanistan and Hurricane Katrina. All summed together they do barely equal 1/2 of the accumulated national debt during those years.

Now, of course, with an economy creating another national emergency, more deficits and debt are justified. But, one has to question the lost revenues during tax cutting of the GDP growth years from 2003 to 2007 which could have reduced the debt significantly. And one has to question where the other half of that accumulated debt has gotten our nation and what it was spent on, and whether any bang for the buck for the nation was derived from such spending at all.

Subsidies to Exxon/Mobil as they set all time record profits, and ethanol subsidies which had virtually NO impact on our foreign dependence upon oil, come to mind, for example.

We are now, not so great a nation, except in the size of our debt, size of our land and sea territories, size of our destructive military power, and size of the charitable heart of the American people. We were founded on one of the greatest Constitution’s ever written for its day. I believe it remains the greatest Constitution extant in the world today, though its flaws are now magnified by the size of our nation and its reach throughout the world’s affairs, especially economic.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 18, 2009 10:01 PM
Comment #277961

David, What’s to gain from throwing out one Congressperson, or ten or a hundred? The whole thing is rotten to the core. We need reform.
And that can ONLY happen through a 3rd political party with a different attitude.


Otherwise, we have the government we deserve.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at March 18, 2009 10:03 PM
Comment #277962

Roy said: “The administration is going to do ‘everything possible’ to get Mex. trucks moving again. They need to get the trucks moving to take the heat off the border violence. Trucks can come and go without inspection at the US border.”

Sorry, but I can’t believe a word of this without sources. Care to provide some? I heard Obama say this afternoon that controlling our borders and traffic across it is essential to a comprehensive approach to the legal and illegal immigration issues we are now challenged with. I heard him say we can’t have foreign labor undermine the wages for all Americans, and that would appear to include Mexican truckers.

What is your source, Roy. Otherwise, I have to leave open the possibility that you are making this up as you go along to suit the mood of your comments at the moment.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 18, 2009 10:06 PM
Comment #277963

Roy, throwing out one or a few per election makes no difference, I agree. The culture remains intact upheld by the incumbents.

Throwing out growing and significant percentages of them in subsequent elections however, sends an unmistakable message to both incumbents and freshman alike, that voters will NOW hold them accountable for the product of their tenure in Congress. That would be an earthquake in our political landscape which would alter the relationship between Congress and special interests and Congress and the voters, in mostly positive and beneficial ways for our nation.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 18, 2009 10:11 PM
Comment #277980

By 2010 and 2012, as economic conditions continue to deteriorate, re-election rates will most likely start falling, as they did in years 1927, 1929, 1931, and 1933.

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

Posted by: d.a.n at March 18, 2009 11:49 PM
Comment #277991

Dodd Is losing it, A lot of baggage.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at March 19, 2009 9:20 AM
Comment #277993

Oh Thank you d.a.n for showing those new stats.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at March 19, 2009 9:32 AM
Comment #277998

Under NAU the Southern border was to be moved to the Southern border of Mexico. Unfortunately, politics got in the way. Now we have a mish mash of a virtual border and some fencing. But, hey, its a work in progress. I think EU trucks can drive move across all EU countries without a check. I can’t find my Pat Choate’s Dangerous Business right now but as far as I know border inspections check only incoming from Mexico. Guns, people, money, and trucks go South without inspection. Coming North you have some people with preapproved electronic border passes. Same for the Mexican truckers, once inspected in Mexico they are preapproved to drive anywhere in Mex/US/Can. I think there are about 26 major border crossings. Don’t know how many have the electronic equipment set up for preapproved passes. Again, a work in progress.

Obama has made his position clear on the immigration issues. Talking in Calif yesterday he said something like “The nation must find a way, he said, to strengthen its borders while also giving about 12 million illegal immigrants a path to possible citizenship.”

Napolitano has terminated the work enforcement program and wants to concentrate on catching ‘criminal’ illegals. The DHS shifted $30M from work enforcement.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at March 19, 2009 11:00 AM
Comment #278004

Meant to say ‘work place enforcement’

Here is an add on the ‘work in progress’.

WASHINGTON–Canada has scored “a big win” in talks aimed at unclogging choked border crossings, Public Safety Minister Peter Van Loan said on the heels of series of trade and security meetings with his counterparts in Washington.

Hailing the Obama administration’s willingness to explore innovative solutions to congested trade arteries, Van Loan came away with a commitment that the U.S. will reconsider “pre-clearance” for shipping across land borders.

He said they also agreed on a formal system of regular high-level meetings to monitor progress on all border issues.

“The objective was to lay a strong foundation for moving forward and I can say now we have achieved that objective,” said Van Loan, who will now meet twice yearly with U.S. Homeland Secretary Janet Napolitano to “focus entirely on border issues.”

“This is a very significant and positive development for Canada – a regular, high-level mechanism on border issues that has been absent to date. And that, for Canada, is a big win.”

Van Loan said Napolitano also agreed to “look in a new light” at the concept of pre-clearing U.S.-bound Canadian trade goods at offsite locations in order to facilitate quick passage at land borders. The idea, he said, is to explore ways to adapt similar pre-clearance approach already in place for U.S.-bound air passengers.

Napolitano, a former Arizona governor well-versed in Mexican border issues, earlier this year ordered a review of the northern border, a move interpreted by some to suggest Canada will see a “thickening,” or tightening, of crossing rules.

Van Loan said he came away with the opposite impression in his meeting yesterday. “It shows she views the northern border in a different light. That was positive. And everything she said in our meeting reinforced that.”

Apart from trade, however, Van Loan reminded reporters that tougher rules for regular Canadians and Americans crossing land borders are imminent, with the June 1 introduction of the Bush-era Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative – a move that will require everyone crossing a land border to carry a passport or enhanced driver’s licence.

“We both agreed to make efforts to ensure that our populations are as ready as possible for that,” Van Loan said.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at March 19, 2009 11:26 AM
Comment #278020

M. Remer writes; “Such hypocrisy and duplicity has no place in today’s government going forward. This is the kind of politics tolerated that got our nation into this fragile and perilous condition.”

He speaks of “today’s government” as opposed, I suppose, of “yesterday’s government”. Yet, he fluffs his feathers when I call for ending government as we know it. No where did I call for undoing our Constitution. I called for ending government that does not follow it.

He also writes; “I continue to hope that our nation will finally experience a president who observes fidelity to the Constitution…”

Is this not a direct call for ending government as we have known it? M. Remer and a few others bust my ass by thinking I advocate throwing away our constitution. Nothing could be further from the truth. I call for a government that Obeys that precious document.

In this statement; “But, one has to question the lost revenues during tax cutting of the GDP growth years from 2003 to 2007 which could have reduced the debt significantly.” M. Remer would have us believe that debt is the result of lost “revenues”…not excessive spending. Liberals, in both parties insist upon ever increased spending regardless of “revenue”, more commonly known as taxes. These pimple-headed legislators spend like a kid with dad’s credit card and could care less that dad can’t pay the bill. Rather than take away the credit card dad is supposed to simply make more money, or take from his savings, to pay the kid’s bills. That’s the government M. Remer apparently wishes to maintain.

I might add that it is curious to read this admission by M. Remer; “But, one has to question the lost revenues during tax cutting of the GDP growth years from 2003 to 2007 which could have reduced the debt significantly.”

In one simple statement M. Remer agrees that “tax cutting” led to “GDP growth” during the PB years. In this “moment of truth” M. Remer decries the very “tax cutting” that lead to “GDP growth” and suggests that “lost revenues” (more taxes) should have been levied. Let me translate this; “The goose is laying golden eggs…let’s kill the goose and get those in the womb as well”. I wonder what M. Remer would have spent those “lost revenues” on? Perhaps in his mind congress would have been frugal and used the increased “revenues” to pay down debt. Oh, yeah…just as likely as congress expecting the goose to reanimate itself.

Now, in a crisis what does M. Remer expect of his “government”…why of course…more spending. PO is hailed as “a tax-cutter” by scraping from the hog trough a few crumbs totaling $13 per week… but not considered as “the great spender” by advocating carbon taxes that will remove, at the very least, that same $13 from the dimwits pockets.

M. Remer proclaims PO as one who possesses a great Constitutional mind. If that is true, it only applies to PO’s ability to twist and contort that document. M. Remer loves “this government” and hopes to never return to the government he hates. Big government = good, Small government = bad. M. Remer would deny that our founders called for small government…limited government and his leader PO is fullfilling his dreams.


Posted by: Jim M at March 19, 2009 1:53 PM
Comment #278024

Jim M said: “” M. Remer would have us believe that debt is the result of lost “revenues”…not excessive spending. “

Jim M’s comment subscribes to the Voodoo Math of Republicans in which Zero revenues, less spending, equals record growth in national debt through deficit spending, which we saw under Republican rule. They completely negate the revenue side of the equation as evidenced by Jim M’s comment.

In reality, you know, that thing so many Republicans are out of touch with, Revenues less spending + deficit or surplus. Revenues must equal spending, AND spending must equal revenues, if one is to achieve a zero debt/surplus. Jim M says it is ONLY spending which accounts for the Republican deficits and more that doubling of the national debt in 8 years.

Again, if Jim M is correct, then his voodoo math is based on the how Republicans budget according to the formula: Zero less spending equals debt and deficits. Just exactly what we got under Republican rule. And a recession, credit crisis, gratuitous theft from investors, and an unnecessary war to boot.

Thank you Jim for contributing to our understanding of Republican thought processes regarding federal budgets which always seem to end with growth in the national debt.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 19, 2009 2:37 PM
Comment #278061


At www.wallstreetwatch.org there is a 236 page report on reasons for the financial breakdown. Here is an excerpt from the one page summary.


The report, “Sold Out: How Wall Street and Washington Betrayed America,” shows that, from 1998-2008, Wall Street investment firms, commercial banks, hedge funds, real estate companies and insurance conglomerates made $1.725 billion in political contributions and spent another $3.4 billion on lobbyists, a financial juggernaut aimed at undercutting federal regulation. Nearly 3,000 officially registered federal lobbyists worked for the industry in 2007 alone. The report documents a dozen distinct deregulatory moves that, together, led to the financial meltdown. These include prohibitions on regulating financial derivatives; the repeal of regulatory barriers between commercial banks and investment banks; a voluntary regulation scheme for big investment banks; and federal refusal to act to stop predatory subprime lending.

“The report details, step-by-step, how Washington systematically sold out to Wall Street,” says Harvey Rosenfield, president of the Consumer Education Foundation, a California-based non-profit organization. “Depression-era programs that would have prevented the financial meltdown that began last year were dismantled, and the warnings of those who foresaw disaster were drowned in an ocean of political money. Americans were betrayed, and we are paying a high price — trillions of dollars — for that betrayal.”

More information than we care to know about corruption in government.

Otherwise, we have the government we deserve.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at March 19, 2009 8:56 PM
Comment #278062

Lots of information on the SENTRI program. Here is a sampling.

03/17/2008)SENTRI provides expedited CBP processing for pre-approved, low-risk travelers. Applicants must voluntarily undergo a thorough biographical background check against criminal, law enforcement, customs, immigration, and terrorist indices; a 10-fingerprint law enforcement check; and a personal interview with a CBP Officer.
Applicants will not qualify for participation in the SENTRI program if they:
Provide false or incomplete information on the application;
Have been convicted of any criminal offense or have pending criminal charges to include outstanding warrants;
Have been found in violation of any customs, immigration, or agriculture regulations or laws in any country;
Are subjects of an ongoing investigation by any federal, state, or local law enforcement agency;
Are inadmissible to the United States under immigration regulation, including applicants with approved waivers of inadmissibility or parole documentation;
Cannot satisfy CBP of their low risk status or meet other program requirements.
Once an applicant is approved they are issued a Radio Frequency Identification Card (RFID) that will identify their record and status in the CBP database upon arrival at the U.S. port of entry. An RFID decal is also issued to the applicant’s vehicle or motorcycle. SENTRI users have access to specific, dedicated primary lanes into the United States.
SENTRI was first implemented at the Otay Mesa, California port of entry on November 1, 1995. SENTRI Dedicated Commuter Lanes also exist in El Paso, TX; San Ysidro, CA; Calexico, CA; Nogales, AZ; Hidalgo, TX; Brownsville, TX; and Laredo, TX.


The SENTRI program began as a pilot program in Otay Mesa in 1995 and in San Ysidro in 2000. Due to its success, the programs are now permanent. Enrollees renew every five years. Below you will find information about the program, how to enroll, how to change or add a vehicle, and how to renew your enrollment.
What is the SENTRI program?
The SENTRI (Secure Electronic Network for Travelers Rapid Inspection) program, launched by US Customs and Border Protection, are dedicated commuter lanes where prescreened applicants and vehicles are allowed to cross the border Northbound into the US usually more quickly and efficiently. The enrollees have been rigorously background checked and have been determined to be a low risk to the security of the US border. As one approaches the inspection area, photos and information are given to the inspector about the driver, passengers and vehicle from the sticker “transponder” on the vehicle and the information on the SENTRI Portpass card. Secondary inspection is randomly determined by computer or if the inspector senses something suspicious.
How do the SENTRI lanes work?
As you approach the inspection station, your SENTRI Portpass card or cards will need to be read by the electronic equipment. You will see a sign showing you where to point the cards. Hold the cards out the window toward the equipment. Since your vehicle sticker “transponder” is permanently applied to your windshield, the equipment will also read it and send the information to the officer. Once you approach the officer, hold out your SENTRI Portpass card or card to him or her.
Who can apply for a SENTRI pass?
Anyone can apply, but not all are accepted.
How much faster is the SENTRI line compared to the other border crossing lanes?
In general, the SENTRI is an average of 20 - 30 seconds faster per vehicle inspected and therefore wait time, even during rush hour is significantly reduced. Each SENTRI inspection is an average of 10 seconds. The SENTRI is especially convenient during the morning and evening rush hour and on weekends.
What border crossings have a SENTRI line?
The system is currently being used at the Otay Mesa, San Ysidro, and Calexico border crossings in California and the El Paso (Stanton Street Bridge) crossing in Texas.
Where are the lanes located?
The SENTRI lanes in San Ysidro and Otay Mesa are located all the way to the far right and are sectioned off by concrete dividers and have their own entrances.
How much does it cost to obtain a SENTRI pass?
The total fee is $122.25 per person. Here is a breakdown of the fees:
Application fee $25.00 (or $50.00 total for husband, wife, children)
Fingerprint fee $17.25
System cost fee $80.00 (or $160.00 total for husband, wife, children)
Other fees:
Lost Portpass card replacement fee $25.00
Update new vehicle license plate $25.00
Add vehicle $42.00
Additional fees apply to enroll more than one vehicle into the program (up to 4 vehicles maximum). The fee applies towards two years enrollment in the program.
How can I enroll?
Visit the Customs & Border Protection website to begin an online application.
Where are the SENTRI offices and what are their hours of operation?
Otay Mesa SENTRI office (serves Otay and San Ysidro crossings)
Otay Mesa Port of Entry
2500 Paseo Internacional
San Diego, CA 92154
Phone: 619.690.7600 - We do not recommend leaving a message. The office is overwhelmed and has not been calling people back. They accept walk-ins for information and to obtain forms.
Phone Hours: Monday - Friday 7am - 8pm; Saturday and Sunday 7am - 3pm
Office Hours: Monday - Friday 7am - 8pm; Saturday and Sunday 7am - 3pm

Calexico Port of Entry East
1699 East Carr Road, Building A
Calexico, CA 92231
Phone: 760.768.2488
Hours: Monday - Friday 8am - 3pm

Nogales
9 North Grand Avenue
Nogales, AZ 85621
(520) 375-5785

El Paso Texas Ysletta Port of Entry
797 X. Zaragoza Rd, Building A
El Paso, TX 79907
Phone: 915.872.3472
Hours: Monday - Friday 8am - 4pm

Brownsville
3300 South Expressway 77/83
Brownsville, TX 78520
(956) 983-5668

Laredo
Lincoln/Juarez Bridge Adm Bldg 2
Laredo, TX 78040
(956) 523-7399

Hidalgo
6620 S. 33rd Street, Bldg J, Suite 20
McAllen, TX 78503
(956) 618-1680

Posted by: Roy Ellis at March 19, 2009 9:12 PM
Comment #278134

Roy, there is no doubt in my mind that corporations and Congress are despicably pitting U.S. citizens and illegal aliens against each other for votes and profits, disguised as compassion (compassion which is severely misplaced).

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

Posted by: d.a.n at March 20, 2009 6:03 PM
Comment #278214

Received a Publication 15-T from the IRS today. “New wage withholding and advance earned income credit payment tables”. Starts out ‘In general, you must withhold income taxes on the wages of nonresident alien employees. However, see Pub 515, Withholding of Tax on Nonresident Aliens and Foreign Entities, for exceptions to this general rule.”

Can’t say I really understand the underlying reason for asking people to pay taxes at the same time the DHS/ICE folks are trying to run them to ground and deport them. Goes back to us being ruled by two governments again, the NAU and that other one. I would think, after Ramos and Compean, the Border Guards are saying
‘yes sir’ and ‘no sir’ to the illegals. And, with Napolitano micro managing ICE’s daily activities those guys must fear for their jobs if they plan something like a raid. This is the 5th administration that has simply chosen not to enforce the laws of this country. Put another way, they arent’ enforcing the laws of the old government, just the laws of the latest government.
Get’s more disgusting by the day.

Otherwise, we have the government we deserve.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at March 21, 2009 3:43 PM
Comment #278417

Roy Ellis, Have you noticed how some people are ignoring the illegal immigration problem because they know THEIR party has no intensions of seriously addressing the problem, and are planning another shamnesty (despite the shamnesty of 1986 which more than quadrupled the problem)?

Funny how certain issues are now condoned, ignored, rationalized, and/or trivialized, when it makes some peoples’ PARTY look bad. Obviosly, some people love THEIR party more than their country. Or perhaps they too have a severely misplaced compassion for illegal aliens? However, the issue is more likely one of votes and profits for greedy illegal employers.

And what’s up with E-Verify?

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

Posted by: d.a.n at March 24, 2009 10:50 AM
Comment #278457

Yeah Dan, we won’t hear anything about immigration from the government for another 4 to 6 years unless perhaps provoked by a Lou Dobbs type Independent advocate. E-verify will come up in April and then be put on the back burner as well. The government has succeeded beyond their wildest dreams of locking in the 12-40M illegals. Through the passage of SCHIP, giving health insurance to illegals, the myriad of giveaways to the likes of the Neighborhood Community Investment Groups (ACORN), amd the many work force related giveaways with the recovery act, the illegal population is well taken care of for years to come. Thus, no need for any action whatsoever on immigration.
Pandering to the Latino communities will no doubt continue. And, the effort to cover over the real issue regarding immigration with this ‘love the world, bring me your helpless and homeless, shining beacon of light’, etc., continues in full force. And, if one raises a question regarding the real issue behind immigration you are immediately and loudly pronounced un-American, racist et al.
I see a similarity between the immigration issue and the recession. Up front the government was telling us that the economy was just fine and the administration was pushing the pursuit of the American dream, ‘pig in every poke, house on every block’, etc. Highly educated professionals implementing extremely complex and sophisticated financial instruments that would allow the world to pursue the same dream. Capitalism at its best. Less regulation the better. Business ethics are higher than anything the government might deliver and we know the government can’t do anything right.
With the onslaught of the recession the cover has been pulled back, giving us a chance to kick the tires and check the engine. Greedy thievery from top to bottom. Falsifying documents, liar loan applications, AAA ratings on homes headed into foreclosure even before the first payment is made. Approve a bad loan application and you may get a new car, a vacation, good stuff. Try to reject an application and you may loose your job, have your tires slashed, etc. Signing up bad loans would get you to the top of the heap quicker than sleeping with the proverbial boss.
This is not new. This action has been going on, behind the covers, since the creation of the Federal Reserve. Ponzi-fiat money printed on demand and loaned to the top tier of bankers at leverage rates a pore man could not imagine. People knew, people tolerated it, still do. It’s just that they are ‘such professionals’ and isn’t the Fed Reserve really the government anyway? Business in government, government in business and the working man ain’t complaining.
Immigration is little different, IMO. Bringing the huddled masses to our shores seeking the American dream. Free trade to bring the world out of poverty. Total s-h-I-t. Pull the covers back, kick the tires and what do you have. Greedy thievery from top to bottom. The elites of the world making a power grab for resources and cheap labor. Couldn’t be done without the help of governments. Governments were easily bought, just one big problem they had to deal with. The middle class American worker. Have to figure a way to bust them up, suck the wealth out, get them on parity with labor wages around the world. Oh, they will bitch and complain some, but they will suck it up just like the Federal Reserve deal. Screw them and tell them how good it is. Move manufacturing to the cheapest labor sources. Speed things up by opening the borders to bring in cheap labor to bring wages down for the lower-middle class. Use temporary work visas to bring cheap skilled labor in to take jobs from the upper-middle class. Break down the middle class and the world is our cookie. Bust the world up into some regional trading areas. Sovereign nations and regulations are old hat. Everything must be simplified to accommodate trade and business. Products must move around the world with no impediments. People (worker units) must be free to move at will, no documentation, to work anywhere in the world they might be needed. Yup, keep the doors open. It may take 20 years or a hundred years but we’ll break em. Give them a little recession, destabilize their economy. Suck their wealth out by any means available. ad Nauseaum.
Thanks d.a.n. I needed that.

Otherwise, we have the government we deserve.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at March 24, 2009 3:35 PM
Comment #278700

Dan, here is a link offering a solution to the immigration problem. Basically making the case that we have no right, under the constitution, to a job or economic prosperity. Makes for a good discussion.

http://www.freedomformula.us/articles/a-realistic-view-of-the-immigration-issue/

Posted by: Roy Ellis at March 26, 2009 10:25 AM
Comment #278704

Here is an article that really nocked my socks off. I have posted much of what Gary Wood has to say here on Watchblog. But he is way out of tune one this one.

http://www.examiner.com/x-4285-Salt-Lake-Nonpartisan-Examiner~y2009m3d25-Clinton-faults-you-for-Mexicos-violence

Posted by: Roy Ellis at March 26, 2009 10:57 AM
Comment #278808

Roy Ellis, Thanks for the link to the article.

The only thing I strongly disagree with is the sales tax, because sales taxes are very regressive. Instead of a enforcing sales tax laws, laws should be enforced to prosecute greedy illegal employers of illegal aliens. Therefore, both systems would require law enforcement, whether it is to enforce the sales tax, or to enforce the laws against illegal employers. Either way, it boils down to a law enforcement issue. Therefore, a sales tax is a very bad idea.

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes toopainful).

Posted by: d.a.n at March 26, 2009 10:12 PM
Comment #278941

————————————————————————————————————————
Amazing as to the lengths our corporatist government will go to in pursuing their ‘globalized’ world. Since the 60’s they have worked against the majority opinion in flooding this country with millions of illegals. They learned from the 50’s and 60’s that the American worker was coming on strong, getting up in the world, costing to much in perks, insurance, retirements, etc. Never mind that people here illegally are breaking federal law, government has performed admirably to ensure the millions here illegally are also here to stay. All done with taxpayer money and in the midst of a recession, they have passed a number of piece-meal laws to lock the illegals in for the duration. Passed SCHIP to provide them health insurance to age 32. Through the recovery act they will be assured jobs for many years to come. Through mortgage modification programs they are assured comfortable living quarters. And today, in a bill pending before congress, illegals will be provided with a college education. This at a time when many folks are out of work and in no position to provide their children with an education. Most folks seem to love it or at least tolerate it. The new American way.
No need to bring up an immigration bill. In fact, the less said the better. Business is getting cheap labor on the backs of the US taxpayer. Status quo is good.

Otherwise, we have the government we deserve.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at March 27, 2009 4:47 PM
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