The Crisis at Which We Are Arrived

Saturday, July 10, AD 2010

President Obama seems to carry the world view that of an elite academic, that all the problems this nation faces can be solved with government intervention through high taxes and and legislation that enacts social engineering of a society of independence to that of dependence.

Or as the average layman would say, President Obama is a socialist, plain and simple.

I understand the subtleties of his liberal leanings and his good intentions, but the path to Hell is often made with good intentions.  With the failed Communist experiment in Russia in 1988 and the current economic collapse of Greece with Spain and Portugal on the horizon to experience the same, I don’t see how more spending with money we don’t have for welfare programs that we don’t need will solve our economic woes.

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5 Responses to The Crisis at Which We Are Arrived

  • “Or as the average layman would say, President Obama is a socialist, plain and simple.”

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/07/09/majority-likely-voters-agree-socialist-accurately-describes-obama/

  • This question was raised recently.
    If they return to power, will the Republicans accuse the Obamacrats of being the party of No?? Hey, news flash, they already are the party of No!

    No more tax cuts. Let the Bush tax cuts expire.
    No more secret ballots. Unions rule.
    No more drilling. Cripple big business and suffocate the little ones.
    No more private insurance. The government is your Nanny now.
    No more Constitution. Rule by Executive order and a puppet Supreme Court.
    No more free speech. Only media approved by the White House permitted.
    No more prosecution for voter fraud or intimidation. We won, you lost Brother.
    No more mention of God. Nancy and Harry are BHO’s anointed angels for us.
    No more sanctity in marriage. Homosexuality is to be taught in school and encouraged.
    And one way or another it must be established (By the U.N. if necessary)….
    No more guns for the citizens. Only those for BHO’s promised Civilian Security Force which is to be as well equipped and funded as our current military.

    In short No More America as we knew it before the messiah who according to our first black president, Bill Clinton, did what any good democrat like say Robert Byrd did (joined the KKK). “in order to get elected” and serve admirably in West Virginia.
    Obama, who has since admitted being Muslim, joined a “Christian” church to mask himself for public consumption by voters.But who knew Rev. Wright’s true colors until it was too late? Well obviously Barack Hussein Obama surely did

  • The furtive enemies of the soul; the most dire threats (fundamentally change) to our country and our way of life; the foes of freedom are in the white House and congress.

  • Weakness and timidity abroad really do threaten a world in which terrorists and fanatics possess, and use, nuclear weapons.

    Not sure exactly where you are going with this. It could be argued that our rather ill thought out ventures abroad also threaten the world. The statement seems to lack a certain balance.

    No disagreement with the other concerns.

  • It could be argued that our rather ill thought out ventures abroad also threaten the world.

    Argued by people paying little attention to the implications of what they are saying. “The World” is not threatened by American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Al Qaeda is threatened.

General Petraeus Replaces General McChrystal, Obamas Presidency on the Brink

Thursday, June 24, AD 2010

President Obama has replaced General McChrystal with General Petraeus.

I haven’t really thought too much about General McChrystal’s comments regarding President Obama, but I am of the mind that American generals should have complete respect for the authority and the office of the presidency while in uniform.  We are the United States of America, not a second rate banana republic.

General McChrystal should have been smarter than to express his negative opinions of President Obama, though harmless, it is a small step towards chipping away of the established civilian controlled military.

I am almost feeling sorry for my fellow Hawaiian Barry Obama.  His healthcare push has grinded to halt his legislative agenda and the oil spill is ruining his presidency.  He’s certain to lose one or both houses of congress this November and then General McChrystal’s expresses his private sentiments of an inexperienced presidency which most Americans are coming around to view him as.

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13 Responses to General Petraeus Replaces General McChrystal, Obamas Presidency on the Brink

  • It’s hard to image things getting better for the community organizer.

  • His arrogance and know-it-all attitude will do him in if the GOP takes one or both houses of congress.

    Clinton at least is a pragmatist.

    I see Obama shooting his foot and his mouth off.

    He’ll be like the Arabs, I mean, “Palestinians”, he’ll never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

  • Obama’s presidency on the brink? He just neutralized the greatest potential 2012 threat, David Petraeus, without spending any political capital. Obama is happy.

  • I doubt if Petraeus has any political ambitions. If he had, he wouldn’t have taken the assignment. I assume Petraeus thinks he can turn the tide in Afghanistan as he did in Iraq, and I pray that he can.

  • Our great, presidential genius:

    V.D. Hanson: “It is one of ironies of our present warped climate that Petraeus will face far less criticism from the media and politicians than during 2007–8 (there will be no more “General Betray Us” ads or “suspension of disbelief” ridicule), because his success this time will reflect well on Obama rather than George Bush. It is a further irony that Obama is surging with Petraeus despite not long ago declaring that such a strategy and such a commander were failures in Iraq. And it is an even further irony that he is now rightly calling for “common purpose” when — again not long ago, at a critical juncture in Iraq — Obama himself, for partisan purposes on the campaign trail, had no interest in the common purpose of military success in Iraq.”

  • I predict the following news item in June 2013, “Former President Obama indicted on corruption, fraud and tax charges.”

    That would be in addition to the “war crimes” charges Move-On.org brings in World Court.

    At least then, he’ll be able to wear his “Che” T-shirts.

  • He should have expected this, I know I did. If General McChrystal worked in the private sector, he would have been fired a long time ago.

  • I don’t believe Obama is on the brink as the headline says. In fact, I can think of no obvious reason yet to believe he won’t be re-elected.

  • “I don’t believe Obama is on the brink as the headline says. In fact, I can think of no obvious reason yet to believe he won’t be re-elected.”

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/140810/voters-split-obama-election-2012.aspx

  • “I can think of no obvious reason yet . . . ”

    Some obscure reasons:

    17% Real unemployment

    5,000,000 more home forelosures

    Wars unending

    Assassinations of innocent people by drones

    Gitmo still operating

    Oil spill to end all oil spills

    Inspector General-gate

    Bankrupt union pension funds

    Bankrupt community hospitals closings

    Bankrupt school districts

    Bankrupt cities

    Bankrupt counties

    Bankrupt states

    Rezko

    Blagoyevich

    Does anyone know why the solution to the most urgent, gravest health care crisis, i.e., state control over health is held in abeyance until 2013? Does it have anything to do with November 2012 would have given we the people two years of that mare’s nest?

  • I thought to add my $.02 here. I posted a critical commentary of my own at Vox-Nova:

    http://vox-nova.com/2010/06/24/whatever-is-necessary-obama-defends-war-again/

    Peace,

    Sam

  • There are a lot of scenarios in which President Obama would get elected to a second term. One foreign policy success, a forgotten oil spill, and two years of campaigning against a do-nothing Republican Congress, combined with a lousy Republican presidential candidate who fails to inspire his own party while scaring the frustrated Democrats back in line…tell me that isn’t winnable for him.

  • To those who disagree with what I wrote: none of that matters if the GOP fails to post a good nominee; ie Clinton in ’96 and Bush in ’04. We have not reached an “anyody but Obama” stage yet.

    In fact, I will say that if the GOP takes back even just one house of Congress, his reelection prospects improve.

    Do not underestimate him, the power of incumency or the dedication of his supporters. And, if a new war or big military action occurs the nation might support him into a second term.

    Polls schmoll

Political Correctness Trumps Expertise in Gulf Oil Spill Response

Tuesday, June 1, AD 2010

During his press statement last week, President Obama said that in dealing with the recent oil spill in the Gulf, he was “examining every recommendation, every idea that’s out there, and making our best judgment as to whether these are the right steps to take, based on the best experts that we know of.”

That, however, is not entirely true:

A St. Louis scientist who was among a select group picked by the Obama administration to pursue a solution to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has been removed from the group because of writings on his website, the U.S. Energy Department confirmed Wednesday.

Washington University physics professor Jonathan Katz was one of five top scientists chosen by the Department of Energy and attended meetings in Houston last week.

Though considered a leading scientist, Katz’s website postings often touch on social issues. Some of those writings have stirred anger in the past and include postings defending homophobia and questioning the value of racial diversity efforts.

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0 Responses to Political Correctness Trumps Expertise in Gulf Oil Spill Response

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  • In addition to his “expertise”, he did find Jesus burial box: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lost_Tomb_of_Jesus

    And President Obama is supposed to be “smart”.

    I have a bridge to sell you if that’s true.

  • 1/20/2009: Beginning of an Error.

    Hold them regime responsible for the misery.

  • To be fair, I did just learn that James Cameron is also an engineer. Didn’t know that, and it puts his involvement in a different light.

    But to exclude someone because he has differing opinions on unrelated topics? Well, that’s only something conservatives do, right? /sarcasm

  • Engineer is a very broad category (like doctor). You wouldn’t call in a cardiologist to do brain surgery (heck, you wouldn’t even call him in to do heart surgery, since cardiologists are not surgeons).

  • This whole situation will be extremely unforunate for the environmental life and for the economy in a number of clashing ways. This problem could have been baffled however sometimes accidents happen. These companies should be held responsible for this global catastrophe.

  • It is nearly unbelievable that this oil spill is still not taken care of. It’s been what, like 46 days now?? All i see on the tv all day long is washed up fish, and poor pelicans covered in oil.

  • The Gulf is a nightmare and the oil has been seen as far as Alabama and Florida…Obama didn’t do himself any favors by criticizing Bush’s response time to Katrina

  • This whole catastrophe with BP is out of control. The amount of spilling into the Gulf of Mexico sprung up by thousands of barrelfuls Wednesday right after an underwater robot seemingly hit the containment cap that has been getting oil from BP’s Macondo well. I question how much desolation this entire oil spill is going to cost the sea when it’s all over

  • Well finally they have a plan to cap this thing, but given their track-record so far, I’m not holding out a ton of hope for this. I was in Tampa when that tanker caught fire (I was driving over the Skyway right when it happened, saw the smoke) and the beaches are still washing up tar balls. I think it has effectively ruined the economy of southern LA, MI and AL towns. I have a ton of family there and they are really desperate.

Snipers and Riot Police Confront Tea Party Protesters in Quincy

Thursday, April 29, AD 2010

[Updates at the bottom of this post as of 4-29-2010 at 8:24pm]

Apparently President Obama is doing his best to paint the Tea Party movement as a group of extremists and racists.

Witness the video below as an army of riot police in full riot gear and snipers on rooftops wield their weapons to intimidate the Tea Party protesters.

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15 Responses to Snipers and Riot Police Confront Tea Party Protesters in Quincy

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  • You never know when those grannies might go berserk!

  • Well not adherents of this new Tea Party is racist or extremists; indeed, I’d argue that the majority are not. But I have seen signs bearing the “n” word (which was humorously misspelled) as well as other strong racial remarks.

    In the same way, the activity at protests against the Arizona immigration law does not characterize everyone who opposes it.

    Every group has its extremists.

  • “You never know when those grannies might go berserk!”

    Now you’re granny profiling. Shame.

  • Eric,

    I don’t have cable so I rely on rabbit ear television and what I saw in my old hometown of Phoenix was a riot.

    Rocks and all sorts of debris being thrown by hooded delinquents unnerved me.

    Yes there are extremists on both sides, but the coverage is disproportionate to what is actually happening on the ground.

    Especially when there have yet to have any ‘racist’ verbiage captured on audio or video tape from the ObamaCare protests outside the capitol a few weeks ago.

  • Donald,

    You’re nothing more than an anti-grannite!

  • Scrolling Byline – – – Tense moment at the White House this morning when Obama daughters discovered having a tea party in their room

  • Jim,

    You’re funny . . .

  • Before you all get bent out of shape — I was at Obama’s announcement of his presidential run at the Old State Capitol in Springfield in 2007 (at the request of a newspaper I used to work for, to cover the event) and there were plenty of snipers on rooftops then too.

    Now bear in mind that was a highly friendly crowd — not tea partiers, no visible opposition outside of a few pro-life protesters — and Obama wasn’t even president yet (just a candidate), although at that point he became entitled to Secret Service protection. This is probably routine at ANY large event he attends with crowds outdoors.

  • Elaine,

    I hope you’re right. BUT the guilty start to get scared when their sins are brought to the light of day and that is exactly what the Tea Partiers are doing to Obamolech.

  • Elaine,

    I also hope you’re right, but I don’t remember seeing riot police in Portland protecting President ‘W’ when his own limousine was attacked by leftist wingnuts.

    So until I get hard evidence, ie, I”ll believe it when I see it, then it isn’t true.

    President Obama is inane enough to do this and has no compulsion to the expense he will incur.

    Considering his romp to New York on the government dime after inauguration for a “dinner” with his wife and his one and a half day foray to Copenhagen on the government dime, he wouldn’t hesitate to pull these kind of stunts hoping to provoke tea partiers if cost is any consideration.

  • Jim I am going to use that one for sure – hahah!

    But I mean seriously… snipers? At a tea party? For what? Sheesh…

  • The Quincy Police Department has issued a CYA statement (Commentary by Gateway Pundit):

    Oops! The Quincy Police Department released a bogus statement calling the SWAT Team on the the protesting grandmothers yesterday. Unfortunately, they forgot about the army of videographers that filmed this incident.

    The Quincy Police Department released a statement today following the embarrassing incident yesterday when they called in the SWAT squad to quash the peaceful tea party protest outside the convention center during Barack Obama’s visit.

    During President Obama’s address, at approximately 1530 hours, the MFFT was deployed. A group of individuals positioned themselves on the south side of York Street near 3rd Street. This was within the area that was to be kept secure at the request of the U. S. Secret Service agents in charge of the site. Prior to the event only ticketed individuals were to be in this area; during the event it was restricted to the general public completely. Secret Service personnel requested these individuals leave the area and to go back to the north side of York Street. They did not comply. Quincy Police Department personnel made the same requests and again they did not comply. At that time the MFFT was deployed to stand post between the individuals and the site and, if necessary, remove the individuals. Once the MFFT was in place, the individuals agreed to move. Once everyone complied and the site was again secure, the MFFT returned to their staging point. No physical force was used during this deployment.

    Of course, this ludicrous statement is a complete fabrication. We are currently contacting the police department to retract their statement.
    We strongly object to these points.

    1. Prior to the event only ticketed individuals were to be in this area; during the event it was restricted to the general public completely.
    From the videos below it is clear that the restricted area was not roped off or marked as restricted. The protesters repeatedly checked with the police to make sure that they were not being disruptive.

    2. “Secret Service personnel requested these individuals leave the area and to go back to the north side of York Street. They did not comply.”
    We have at least three videos below that prove that the protesters asked and double-checked with the police to make sure we were following orders.

    3. “Once the MFFT was in place, the individuals agreed to move.”
    Once again the video shows that we were already moving from the corner to the middle of York Street before the MFFT marched into place.

    The first video produced by Adam Sharp shows Adam checking and double-checking with the police to make sure that we are in the correct area. You’ll also notice that Adam was polite at all times.

    http://gatewaypundit.firstthings.com/2010/04/oops-quincy-pd-releases-bogus-statement-lashes-out-at-violent-granma-protesters-forgets-about-army-of-videographers/

    What happened here is that the Quincy Police Department hugely overreacted and went into full Barney Fife mode. Ludicrous.

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Value Added Tax Will Not Solve Budgetary Woes

Tuesday, April 20, AD 2010

There has been a fair amount of useless discussion among pundits and Obama administration officials about a Value Added Tax, a National Sales Tax, the mainstay of the crumbling welfare states in Europe.  I say this discussion is useless, because Congress would never pass it, as the 85-13 vote in the Senate on an anti-Value Added Tax non-binding resolution indicates.

Today in the Washington Post Robert Samuelson explains why a VAT wouldn’t solve our budgetary woes:

The basic budget problem is simple. For decades, the expansion of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid — programs mostly for the elderly — was financed mainly by shrinking defense spending. In 1970, defense accounted for 42 percent of the federal budget; Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid were 20 percent. By 2008, the shares were reversed: defense, 21 percent; the big retirement programs, 43 percent. But defense stopped falling after Sept. 11, 2001, while aging baby boomers and uncontrolled health costs keep retirement spending rising.

Left alone, government would grow larger. From 1970 to 2009, federal spending averaged 20.7 percent of the economy (gross domestic product). By 2020, it could reach 25.2 percent of GDP and would still be expanding, reckons the Congressional Budget Office’s estimate of President Obama’s budgets. In 2020, the deficit (assuming a healthy economy with 5 percent unemployment) would be 5.6 percent of GDP. To cover that, taxes would have to rise almost 30 percent.

A VAT could not painlessly fill this void. Applied to all consumption spending — about 70 percent of GDP — the required VAT rate would equal about 8 percent. But the actual increase might be closer to 16 percent because there would be huge pressures to exempt groceries, rent and housing, health care, education and charitable groups. Together, they account for nearly half of $10 trillion of consumer spending. There would also be other upward (and more technical) pressures on the VAT rate.

Does anyone believe that Americans wouldn’t notice 16 percent price increases for cars, televisions, airfares, gasoline — and much more — even if phased in? As for a VAT’s claimed benefits (simplicity, promotion of investment), these depend mainly on a VAT replacing the present complex income tax that discriminates against investment. That’s unlikely because it would require implausibly steep VAT rates. Chances are we’d pay both the income tax and the VAT, making the overall tax system more complicated.

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6 Responses to Value Added Tax Will Not Solve Budgetary Woes

  • As for a VAT’s claimed benefits (simplicity, promotion of investment), these depend mainly on a VAT replacing the present complex income tax that discriminates against investment

    And there’s the rub. I would have no objection to the VAT if it replaced income tax. But it never has – both the income tax and VAT have grown ever larger in European countries. The VAT simply allows a government addicted to spending to expand even further, like a junkie obtaining a new supplier.

  • A VAT wouldn’t replace the income tax, but it would replace income tax increases, which is the only other plausible source of the extra revenue we need.

  • If a political climate existed to pass a VAT BA, and if the Democrats can’t do it with the majorities they command now I find it difficult to imagine such a political climate, I guarantee you that the VAT taxes would ever increase, that the politicians would spend every cent raised in new spending and that reckless borrowing would continue. At least that has been the experience in Europe:

    “One trait of European VATs is that while their rates often start low, they rarely stay that way. Of the 10 major OECD nations with VATs or national sales taxes, only Canada has lowered its rate. Denmark has gone to 25% from 9%, Germany to 19% from 10%, and Italy to 20% from 12%. The nonpartisan Tax Foundation recently calculated that to balance the U.S. federal budget with a VAT would require a rate of at least 18%.

    Proponents also argue that a VAT would result in less federal government borrowing. But that, too, has rarely been true in Europe. From the 1980s through 2005, deficits were by and large higher in Europe than in the U.S. By 2005, debt averaged 50% of GDP in Europe, according to OECD data, compared to under 40% in the U.S.

    Thanks to the recession and the stimulus, U.S. federal debt held by the public has now reached about 63% of GDP and is headed higher, but the OECD forecasts that the 30 wealthiest nations will see debt burdens “exceed 100% of gross domestic product in 2011.” Debt levels in France, Germany, Spain and Italy are expected to have increased by 30 percentage points of GDP from 2008 to 2011. Greece has a VAT rate of 21%, but its debt as a share of GDP is 113%.

    The very efficiency of the VAT means that it throws off huge amounts of revenue that politicians eagerly spend. The VAT thus becomes an engine of even greater public spending. In Europe, average government spending was about 30.2% of GDP when VATs began to spread in the late 1960s. Today, those governments are more than 50% larger, with spending of 47.1% of GDP on average. By contrast, U.S. government spending (federal and state) rose to 35.3% from 28.3% as a share of GDP in the same period.”

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304198004575172190620528592.html

  • I don’t think it’s likely but a VAT along with an income tax cut might be political feasible. You can probably massage the numbers and sell it as a net tax cut.

    I’d love to replace all or part of the income tax with a VAT but I have no faith in the government getting it right. I’ve become convinced that ever-increasing bureaucracy is what will bring America down.

  • If a political climate existed to pass a VAT BA . . . I guarantee you that the VAT taxes would ever increase, that the politicians would spend every cent raised in new spending and that reckless borrowing would continue. At least that has been the experience in Europe.

    Actually this *hasn’t* been the experience in Europe. It’s true that VAT rates has tended to go up after its introduced; however, this increase in revenue has been at least partially offset by reductions in taxes elsewhere. Thatcher, for example, raised the VAT to offset decreases in the income tax while simultaneously cutting spending. The same thing happened in New Zealand in the 1980s, Canada in the 1990s, and (to a lesser extent) Australia in the 2000s.

  • The very efficiency of the VAT means that it throws off huge amounts of revenue that politicians eagerly spend.

    This argument would apply equally to any kind of tax simplification, including the Flat Tax, the Fair Tax, the Reagan tax cuts, etc. It would also apply to income tax cuts to the extent that they are justified on supply side grounds.

Why the Fiscal Lunacy?

Monday, April 19, AD 2010

One of my favorite living historians is Victor Davis Hanson.  I have read every book he has written and most of his articles.  Trained as a classicist and historian of antiquity, he has written on a broad range of topics, from the hoplites of ancient Greece, ancient Greek agriculture, a searching examination of the Peloponnesian War, the farming crisis of the 80’s, the history of warfare and culture, the teaching of the classics and the debacle of our non-policy on immigration, and I have been astonished at how skillfully this man writes and with what intelligence, and very dry humor, he cuts to the essence of whatever subject he addresses.  He moonlights as a pundit on current events and in that capacity I have found a recent column of his intriguing on the question of just why the Obama administration is hellbent on compiling such huge annual deficits.  Here is a portion of the column:

We are going to pile up another $3 trillion in national debt in just the first two years of the Obama administration. If the annual deficit should sink below $1.5 trillion, it will be called fiscal sobriety.

Why, when we owe $12 trillion, would the Obama administration set out budgets that will ensure our collective debt climbs to $20 trillion? Why are we borrowing more money, when Medicare, Social Security, the Postal Service, Amtrak, etc. are all insolvent as it is?

What is the logic behind something so clearly unhinged?

I present seven alternative reasons — some overlapping — why the present government is hell-bent on doubling the national debt in eight years. Either one, or all, or some, or none, of the below explain Obama’s peculiar frenzied spending.

1) Absolutely moral and necessary?

The country is in need of massive more entitlements for our destitute and near to poor. Government is not big, but indeed too small to meet its moral obligations. Deficits are merely record-keeping. Throwing trillions into the economy will also help us all recover, by getting us moving again and inflating the currency. And we can pay the interest easily over the next 50 years. Just think another World War II era — all the time.

So big spending and borrowing are genuine efforts of true believers to make us safe, secure, and happy.

2) “Gorge the beast”

The spending per se is not so important, as the idea of deficits in general will ensure higher taxes. Nationalized health care, cap and trade, new initiatives in education, more stimulus — all that and more is less important than the fact that huge defects will require huge new taxes, primarily from the upper-classes. I see no reason why the total bite from state income, federal income, payroll, and health care taxes cannot soon in theory climb to 70% of some incomes (e.g., 10% state, 15.3% FICA, 40% federal, 3-5% health care). In other words, “redistributive change” is the primary goal. This aim is premised on the notion that income is a construct, if not unfairly calibrated, then at least capriciously determined — requiring the more intelligent in the technocracy to even out things and ensure an equality of result. After all, why should the leisured hedge-funder make all that more after taxes than the more noble waitress?

So big spending and borrowing mean big deficits, and that means taxing the greedy and giving their ill-gotten gains to the needy.

3) Big Brother?

Or does rampant borrowing for government spending reflect our despair over the inability of millions to know what is best for themselves? For democracy to work, all of us must fully participate. But because of endemic racism, sexism, class bias, and historical prejudices, millions of Americans do not have access to adequate education and enlightenment. Therefore, a particular technocratic class, with requisite skill and singular humanity, has taken it upon themselves to ensure everyone gets a fair shake — if only government at last has the adequate resources to fix things. If it proves problematic for one to register and vote, then there will be a program to make 100% participation possible. If some of us are too heavy and too chair-bound, we can be taught what and how to eat. If some of us do not study, we can adjust academic standards accordingly. In one does something unwise, like buying a plasma TV rather than a catastrophic health care plan, then we still can ensure he is covered. In other words, an all-knowing, all-powerful, all-moral guardian class requires resources to finish the promise of participatory America. After all, why would we allow the concrete contractor to “keep” 70% of his income only to blow it on worthless things like jet skis or a Hummer in his garage or a fountain in his yard — when a far wiser, more ethical someone like Van Jones could far more logically put that now wasted capital to use for the betterment of the far more needy?

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11 Responses to Why the Fiscal Lunacy?

  • The rationale for the “stimulus” is rooted in Keynesian economics. The problem with this one as opposed to previous ones is rather than using the stimulus to kick start a stalled economy, combined with Obama’s other policies such as Gov’t takeover of major parts of the economy such as Fannie & Freddie, AIG, GM etc, health care reform, Cap & Trade etc. together they are going to have the opposite effect. The Federal Gov’t now owns 80% of the mortgages in the US. So it is a double whammy. There is, and will be will be no “recovery”.

    The current “recovery” is a dead cat bounce. Bernanke and Geithner’s pronouncements that the “recession” is over is the equivalent of Neville Chamberlain’s “Peace for our time” speech right before Germany invaded Poland. We are in the eye of a hurricane right now and the second half is going to be worse than the first because the Fed is out of bullets. The next shoe will be the collapse of the dollar (brought about on purpose) and the introduction of a regional (Amero) or international currency (SDR’s). Anything denominated in dollars will be bought out out for pennies on the dollar.

    Obama is just a tool of the gang that surrounds him to tank the economy on purpose to bring about the NWO. Obama isn’t smart enough to think this stuff up on his own, but then the same could be said for Bush who lost it with me after telling America to “go shopping” after 9-11. In reality, this has all slowly been taking place since the end of WW 1. We’re just lucky enough to be there for the climax.

  • Given that 53 cents of every dollar of income taxes goes to support current and past military misadventures, I think that VDH needs to reexamine the real cause of America’s fiscal insolvency.

    It’s also worth pointing out that Obama, whatever else he is doing, is set to lower the deficit from Bush’s time in office.

  • “It’s also worth pointing out that Obama, whatever else he is doing, is set to lower the deficit from Bush’s time in office.”

    ?!

  • Given that 53 cents of every dollar of income taxes goes to support current and past military misadventures

    Why not go one better and use Maryland sales tax revenue as your denominator?

    I was not aware that any portion of my New York State income tax payments were devoted to ‘past and present military adventures’. (Though I rather do like the idea of Gov. Patterson calling out the National Guard to arrest the state legislature and stuff them in the Albany County Jail, now that you mention it).

    About 5% of Gross Domestic Product is devoted to military expenditure. (A decade ago, the proportion was about 3.5%). Prior to the recent federal spending binge, about 14% of all public expenditure was devoted to the military. If you wish to apportion debt service costs among other other sorts of expenditure, perhaps 16% of public expenditure was so devoted. That would be, ahem, the sum of costs for maintaining the military, not the costs attributable to ‘past and present military adventures’. (Unless it be your contention that military expenditure itself is illegitimate).

  • We must live in the United States of Topsy Turvy Land. The projected deficit for 2010 (Obama’s second year in office) which was three times as large as Bush’s last deficit *may* turn out to be only 2.5 times as Bush’s last deficit and somehow we’re to consider Obama to have fixed Bush’s mismanagement? Nevermind that Obama’s own budget initiatives project ever increasing deficits YoY.

  • So wj’s citation was an assertion made by the Obama administration that still leaves the deficit higher than it was when Bush was in office.

    Next time you might want to read the sources before linking to them.

  • As I understand it, Obama inherited the 1.3 trillion dollar deficit from the Bush administration, and so it is misleading to attribute the ballooning deficit to his policies alone, which is all I intended to say. If you look at the CBO forecast (and I acknowledge that many deny the accuracy of the CBO), Obama’s budget *will* lower deficit’s longterm. Of course, I am not a supporter of Obama, and it is not terribly important to me whether is is moderately more or less fiscally insane than Bush; but it is fair to point out that the current deficit problem is not *entirely* due to his own recklessness.

    Art Deco: what about this analysis is wrong: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=18659

  • That figure includes the Pentagon budget request of $717 billion, plus an estimated $200 billion in supplemental funding (called “overseas contingency funding” in euphemistic White House-speak), to fund the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, some $40 billion or more in “black box” intelligence agency funding, $94 billion in non-DOD military spending (that would include stuff like military activies funded through NASA, military spending by the State Department, etc., miilitary-related activities within the Dept. of Homeland Security, etc.), $123 billion in veterans benefits and health care spending, and $400 billion in interest on debt raised to pay for prior wars and the standing military during peacetime (whatever that is!).

    What is wrong is that this fellow pads the payroll in various ways by adding the budgets of the intelligence services, the space program, veterans hospitals, and the federal police; and pads it further by attributing the entire charge for service on the federal debt to military expenditure, as if there were no domestic expenditure whatsoever. He then further manipulates his figures by expressing these charges as a ratio of federal income tax revenue, even though north of 40% of public expenditure is by state and local governments and most federal expenditure is financed out of Social Security taxes and bond sales. But you knew that.

  • Thank you gentlemen. This thread, thus far, is a classic example of what robust combox debate should be!

  • One thing I like very much about VDH is that he is not only a professor, but a farmer. He and his brother run a California raisin farm that has been in the family for 4 generations. So his great store of academic learning is balanced by the fact that he is familiar with the ordinary, down-to-earth concerns of farming folk.

    The difference between military spending and spending on social programs is that I see defense spending as a legitimate function of the federal government. Obamacare is another matter entirely. I certainly think provision should be made for those unable to obtain healthcare for themselves. I don’t believe the federal government should be in the business of providing it for all of us, whether we want it or not.

Looking into the Cloudy Ball

Thursday, April 15, AD 2010

Tax day is a day when all Americans are reminded about the importance of politics and think about the importance of the political future so they can adjust their budgets accordingly. Most of the time in politics we have a reasonably good idea of what’s going on: what the issues are going to be, who the favorites in the next election are, who are the main blocs, etc. Of course, there are always surprises and upsets.

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13 Responses to Looking into the Cloudy Ball

  • I think the GOP can count on solid tea party support in the Fall. In many states the dead line to get on the ballot is approaching or passed, and, in any case, there has been little movement by tea party members to run third party candidates. The big problem for the GOP will be if they win a huge victory in November with crucial tea party assistance, which I expect, and then proceed with business as usual. In that case I do anticipate a tea party third party in 2012.

    The post by Morning’s Minion, which you linked to, thanking God that John McCain is not president was a hoot! A weak defense indeed of the South Side Messiah!

  • Don:

    I hadn’t talked about the Tea Party as a potential third party, but I think you’re right. The Tea Party is largely built on the emotional resistance to Obama and I think the Tea Party will do its best to defeat Obama and Democrats. I would imagine they’ll stick with the GOP until at least Obama’s defeat and then perhaps start a separate party if they’re unsatisfied with the results.

    However, which candidate the Tea party will back in the Presidential primaries is anyone’s guess. Palin? Someone like Scott Brown? Will they go ideology or the best chance at winning?

  • “However, which candidate the Tea party will back in the Presidential primaries is anyone’s guess. Palin? Someone like Scott Brown? Will they go ideology or the best chance at winning?”

    At this point I am beginning to think that Palin is looking at 2016. Brown I think isn’t looking at the Presidency at all, but is completely concentrated on Massachusetts where the political revolution he initiated is gathering momentum. I think that 2012 may well be the year of someone who is little known now, at least by the general public. From the GOP standpoint it is essential that the standard bearer be someone who can cause great enthusiasm among the tea partiers.

  • From the GOP standpoint it is essential that the standard bearer be someone who can cause great enthusiasm among the tea partiers.

    Seems unlikely with Romney and Huckabee as the frontrunners. But a lot can change in two or three years.

  • The articel seems to presume that, absent the ominous “Tea Party threat,” the Republican Party would naturally sweep to victory in November, then immediately set about setting things right. Wrong! If the recent history of the American body politic says anything, it says that the parties are both more intersted in having and expanding power, rather than necessarily using power for good.

    Without the Tea Party threat, the repubs are nothing but a shade or so removed from the Dems on the critical life issues; the country club repubs most definitely want pro-lifers to go away.
    In my adult days, only once has the repub party used a majority to try to limit government expenditures and reduce the interfering influence of government in the daily lives of citizens; and ultimately, they abandoned the effort.
    Neither party can lay claim to a corner on “social justice” issues. At least not if one takes the position that forced taxpayer largesse in the social programs MUST be able to boast of resounding success in return for the now truly collossal expenditure of funds involved.

  • although not a memember of the so called tea party..people are rightly concerned that if the spending contiunes the chances of having a debt that requires a one trillion dollar interest per year will occur. the problem as i view is that we need a congress that will pass a bill demanding a balance budget each year and get rid of those bills that do not create jobs or add to an already explosive deficit and to develop a foreign policy with teeth and not just words and one that quits trying to tell people how to live. we fought one king for that right and it appears we have another trying to tell us the sme thing.

  • Kevin:

    The articel seems to presume that, absent the ominous “Tea Party threat,” the Republican Party would naturally sweep to victory in November, then immediately set about setting things right.

    Wrong on both counts though I don’t think that’s obvious from this post. I think the Republicans did a fine job of messing things up long before “Tea Party” was thought up and so would have complications going into November (i.e. the residual effects of the Bush presidency). Nor do I think the republicans would set things right, though i hope especially on issues of SCOTUS nominations and abortion funding they would be able to provide some corrections.

    My point in discussing the Tea Party was that, especially in considering 2012, they provide a variable. We don’t know what kind of effect they will have and so it is hard to predict how elections will turn out.

    afl:

    develop a foreign policy with teeth and not just words and one that quits trying to tell people how to live.

    Beware that the foreign policies with teeth (such as Bush’s) are often the ones that are based on the premise that the United States has a moral responsibility to spread democracy & its principles i.e. tell people how to live.

  • MD,
    Okay, if you say that was your point, I must believe you. But if the democrats remain in control of the house in December of this year, the political game is up. No amount of right thinking in 2012 will serve any good purpose if the leak in the dike is not stopped now.
    Those of you who think that politics, carried out with the Constitution in the fundamentally fractured state it is in now, can answer the mail are probably fooling yourselves.
    What was it Gandolf said? “The board is set, the pieces are moving, the final battle for Middle Earth has begun.”
    God help us all!

  • I don’t think any of the presumed GOP candidates (Huck, Palin, Romney) will win the nomination. I think it will be someone who catches fire–like a Paul Ryan or a conservative governor.

  • The fact that they’re more educated and wealthier may just be a reflection of the fact that they tend to be white, male, and old.

    The NY Times pool reveals some other interesting facts. Most Tea Partiers favor at least civil unions for gay couples, most favor legal abortions, and most don’t go to church regularly. Most like Palin but don’t think she would make a good president!

    My money was on Romney before this whole Tea Party thing. Huckabee and Romney have fiscally liberal records which voters may not forgive. Palin is talking up Romney though so Tea Partiers may forgive his past. The liberal elite find Romney to be the least objectionable.

    Gingrich’s negatives are too high. He’d be unelectable in the general election.

    Ron Paul is polling well but he can’t win the GOP nomination.

    A lot of excitement around Marco Rubio but he’s not even Senator yet and he’s only 38. Maybe 2016.

  • Romney is a political chameleon and I doubt if he will get the nomination in 2012. Paul is going no place slowly. Gingrich is only formidable as a talk show guest. The Huckster should stick with his show on Fox. I think Palin, as I stated earlier, is waiting for 2016. Rubio is a man to watch closely, but his year is not 2012. The New York Times poll of tea partiers is as worthless as most of what appears in that poor excuse for a fish wrapper.

  • Intrade has Romney in first followed closely by Palin. In third is John Thune. Others fall way behind. Oh how far Jindal has fallen…

    Intrade also gives the Democrats slightly better odds of retaining control of the House.

    Bad news in New York. Neither Guiliani nor Pataki will challenge Gillibrand.

  • As a twenty-something male I find the whole situation depressing. When you have Romney and Palin ahead in the poles for the Republicans and I guess, um…, Obama for the Dems, you really have to fool yourself to see anything bright in the future. The way I look at it we just have to hope that our pilot was the one who was sitting at the bar before departure who only had three whiskeys instead of five. I really am sorry for it but this nation has become the fruit of a more and more Godless society. Even though we have statistics that comfort us in being a Christian nation, the label “Christianity” is about as broad as Conservatism or Liberalism. Fact of the matter is that unless there is some major miraculous turn around in the faith of the people of this nation and their education in that faith, we will be sentenced to suffer the consequences of such a society. However, conversation such as in this com box and in the greater political arena is still necessary. I may not have much faith in the future of this country but I do realize that you have to go down swinging.

Stevens to Retire

Friday, April 9, AD 2010

Get ready for Obama appointment, Round 2.

Supreme Court Justice Stevens announces he will retire in the summer.

Not sure how the timing will work on this, especially as Obama and the Democrats try to avoid being too contentious right before the November elections. That might play in our favor as far as getting a more moderate nominee. It will also be interesting to see if the GOP can or will delay the nominee as they have the 41 votes to filibuster.

The names being thrown around are the same ones being thrown around before; we’ll see where he goes with this pick. Time to start praying again.

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39 Responses to Stevens to Retire

  • Jerry Ford’s gift to liberal Democrats everywhere finally decides to call it quits during a Democrat administation, which shocks me as much the sky being blue and water being wet.

  • I don’t foresee a filibuster. There are only 41 Republicans, and it will just take one R to break a filibuster, and in this case I highly doubt Snowe, or Collins, or even Brown would join in one.

    Anyway thus passes Gerald Ford’s great gift to the country.

  • Heh, Donald beat me to the punch by seconds on the gift remark.

  • Stevens being from Chicago Paul I was in a hurry to give him a proper “the Chicago Way” send-off. 🙂

  • I have to admit, going to 90 to make sure his replacement shares his views is pretty stout.

    I agree that the filibuster seems unlikely, but there is a chance and that might affect the choice of nominee.

  • Pray for what?

    I don’t say that to doubt the efficacy of prayer, or to discourage anyone from praying for the souls of the Supreme Court members. But the way this game is played, 100% of nominees from Democratic presidents are activist pro-choicers, and 50% of Republicans’ nominees are originalist pro-lifers.

    The only way loyal Catholics get someone palatable is if the paperwork gets mixed up in the mail, and Bishop Gomez gets on the Court and some liberal judge takes over the Diocese of LA.

  • Pinky:

    Well, one could always hope the Democrats make their first mistake.

    But if that’s not a hope, then I think we should pray that he picks someone more moderate on the issue rather than the absolute “abortion is a right and ought to be fully funded by the federal government” crowd. There are various shades of being pro-choice, and we can pray that we get a lighter shade than Stevens.

  • I for one am going to start praying that Scalia does not fall over with a Heart attack

  • I for one am going to start praying that Scalia does not fall over with a Heart attack

    Yeah. . . where will we find another judge as dependably pro-torture as he is!

  • Through Obama.

  • “Yeah. . . where will we find another judge as dependably pro-torture as he is!”

    Why the entire liberal wing of the court unless you do not consider partial birth abortion to be torture, in addition to infanticide.

    From the Ginsburg dissent in Carhart, the Supreme Court decision upholding a law against partial birth abortion joined in by Stevens, Souter and Breyer.

    “Today, the Court blurs that line, maintaining that “[t]he Act [legitimately] appl[ies] both previability and postviability because … a fetus is a living organism while within the womb, whether or not it is viable outside the womb.” Ante, at 17. Instead of drawing the line at viability, the Court refers to Congress’ purpose to differentiate “abortion and infanticide” based not on whether a fetus can survive outside the womb, but on where a fetus is anatomically located when a particular medical procedure is performed. See ante, at 28 (quoting Congressional Findings (14)(G), in notes following 18 U. S. C. §1531 (2000 ed., Supp. IV), p. 769).

    One wonders how long a line that saves no fetus from destruction will hold in face of the Court’s “moral concerns.” See supra, at 15; cf. ante, at16 (noting that “[i]n this litigation” the Attorney General “does not dispute that the Act would impose an undue burden if it covered standard D&E”). The Court’s hostility to the right Roe and Casey secured is not concealed. Throughout, the opinion refers to obstetrician-gynecologists and surgeons who perform abortions not by the titles of their medical specialties, but by the pejorative label “abortion doctor.” Ante, at 14, 24, 25, 31, 33. A fetus is described as an “unborn child,” and as a “baby,” ante, at 3, 8; second-trimester, previability abortions are referred to as “late-term,” ante, at 26; and the reasoned medical judgments of highly trained doctors are dismissed as “preferences”motivated by “mere convenience,” ante, at 3, 37. Instead of the heightened scrutiny we have previously applied, the Court determines that a “rational” ground is enough to uphold the Act, ante, at28, 37. And, most troubling, Casey’s principles, confirming the continuing vitality of “the essential holding of Roe,” are merely “assume[d]” for the moment, ante, at15, 31, rather than “retained” or “reaffirmed,” Casey, 505 U. S., at 846”

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/05-380.ZD.html

    Scalia’s dissent in the earlier Carhart decision which overturned a law banning partial birth abortion:

    “I am optimistic enough to believe that, one day, Stenberg v. Carhart will be assigned its rightful place in the history of this Court’s jurisprudence beside Korematsu and Dred Scott. The method of killing a human child–one cannot even accurately say an entirely unborn human child–proscribed by this statute is so horrible that the most clinical description of it evokes a shudder of revulsion. And the Court must know (as most state legislatures banning this procedure have concluded) that demanding a “health exception”–which requires the abortionist to assure himself that, in his expert medical judgment, this method is, in the case at hand, marginally safer than others (how can one prove the contrary beyond a reasonable doubt?)–is to give live-birth abortion free rein. The notion that the Constitution of the United States, designed, among other things, “to establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, . . . and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity,” prohibits the States from simply banning this visibly brutal means of eliminating our half-born posterity is quite simply absurd.

    Even so, I had not intended to write separately here until the focus of the other separate writings (including the one I have joined) gave me cause to fear that this case might be taken to stand for an error different from the one that it actually exemplifies. Because of the Court’s practice of publishing dissents in the order of the seniority of their authors, this writing will appear in the reports before those others, but the reader will not comprehend what follows unless he reads them first.

    * * *

    The two lengthy dissents in this case have, appropriately enough, set out to establish that today’s result does not follow from this Court’s most recent pronouncement on the matter of abortion, Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833 (1992). It would be unfortunate, however, if those who disagree with the result were induced to regard it as merely a regrettable misapplication of Casey. It is not that, but is Casey’s logical and entirely predictable consequence. To be sure, the Court’s construction of this statute so as to make it include procedures other than live-birth abortion involves not only a disregard of fair meaning, but an abandonment of the principle that even ambiguous statutes should be interpreted in such fashion as to render them valid rather than void. Casey does not permit that jurisprudential novelty–which must be chalked up to the Court’s inclination to bend the rules when any effort to limit abortion, or even to speak in opposition to abortion, is at issue. It is of a piece, in other words, with Hill v. Colorado, ante, p. ___, also decided today.

    But the Court gives a second and independent reason for invalidating this humane (not to say anti-barbarian) law: That it fails to allow an exception for the situation in which the abortionist believes that this live-birth method of destroying the child might be safer for the woman. (As pointed out by Justice Thomas, and elaborated upon by Justice Kennedy, there is no good reason to believe this is ever the case, but–who knows?–it sometime might be.)

    I have joined Justice Thomas’s dissent because I agree that today’s decision is an “unprecedented expansio[n]” of our prior cases, post, at 35, “is not mandated” by Casey’s “undue burden” test, post, at 33, and can even be called (though this pushes me to the limit of my belief) “obviously irreconcilable with Casey’s explication of what its undue-burden standard requires,” post, at 4. But I never put much stock in Casey’s explication of the inexplicable. In the last analysis, my judgment that Casey does not support today’s tragic result can be traced to the fact that what I consider to be an “undue burden” is different from what the majority considers to be an “undue burden”–a conclusion that can not be demonstrated true or false by factual inquiry or legal reasoning. It is a value judgment, dependent upon how much one respects (or believes society ought to respect) the life of a partially delivered fetus, and how much one respects (or believes society ought to respect) the freedom of the woman who gave it life to kill it. Evidently, the five Justices in today’s majority value the former less, or the latter more, (or both), than the four of us in dissent. Case closed. There is no cause for anyone who believes in Casey to feel betrayed by this outcome. It has been arrived at by precisely the process Casey promised–a democratic vote by nine lawyers, not on the question whether the text of the Constitution has anything to say about this subject (it obviously does not); nor even on the question (also appropriate for lawyers) whether the legal traditions of the American people would have sustained such a limitation upon abortion (they obviously would); but upon the pure policy question whether this limitation upon abortion is “undue”–i.e., goes too far.

    In my dissent in Casey, I wrote that the “undue burden” test made law by the joint opinion created a standard that was “as doubtful in application as it is unprincipled in origin,” Casey, 505 U.S., at 985; “hopelessly unworkable in practice,” id., at 986; “ultimately standardless,” id., at 987. Today’s decision is the proof. As long as we are debating this issue of necessity for a health-of-the-mother exception on the basis of Casey, it is really quite impossible for us dissenters to contend that the majority is wrong on the law–any more than it could be said that one is wrong in law to support or oppose the death penalty, or to support or oppose mandatory minimum sentences. The most that we can honestly say is that we disagree with the majority on their policy-judgment-couched-as-law. And those who believe that a 5-to-4 vote on a policy matter by unelected lawyers should not overcome the judgment of 30 state legislatures have a problem, not with the application of Casey, but with its existence. Casey must be overruled.

    While I am in an I-told-you-so mood, I must recall my bemusement, in Casey, at the joint opinion’s expressed belief that Roe v. Wade had “call[ed] the contending sides of a national controversy to end their national division by accepting a common mandate rooted in the Constitution,” Casey, 505 U.S., at 867, and that the decision in Casey would ratify that happy truce. It seemed to me, quite to the contrary, that “Roe fanned into life an issue that has inflamed our national politics in general, and has obscured with its smoke the selection of Justices to this Court in particular, ever since”; and that, “by keeping us in the abortion-umpiring business, it is the perpetuation of that disruption, rather than of any Pax Roeana, that the Court’s new majority decrees.” Id., at 995—996. Today’s decision, that the Constitution of the United States prevents the prohibition of a horrible mode of abortion, will be greeted by a firestorm of criticism–as well it should. I cannot understand why those who acknowledge that, in the opening words of Justice O’Connor’s concurrence, “[t]he issue of abortion is one of the most contentious and controversial in contemporary American society,” ante, at 1, persist in the belief that this Court, armed with neither constitutional text nor accepted tradition, can resolve that contention and controversy rather than be consumed by it. If only for the sake of its own preservation, the Court should return this matter to the people–where the Constitution, by its silence on the subject, left it–and let them decide, State by State, whether this practice should be allowed. Casey must be overruled.”

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/99-830.ZD1.html

  • Why the entire liberal wing of the court unless you do not consider partial birth abortion to be torture, in addition to infanticide.

    Wel then, I am confused. . . after all, since torture isn’t wrong, then how can partial birth abortion be. . .

    Unless. . .

    Of course! It makes sense now: abortion means no children. No children means no children’s testicles. And if there are no children’s testicles to crush. . . the terrorists win!

    Ex Conservatatione Quod Libet

  • I am sure phosphorious that you will be able to cite a text where Scalia ever indicated that he was in favor of someone’s testicles being crushed. On the other hand I have just provided you with chapter and verse where the liberal wing of the court views as a constitutional right the ability of an abortionist to stick scissors into the base of an unborn infant’s skull. However, I suppose in your view that since it is abortion it cannot be torture. Res Ipsa Loquitur

  • Don,

    phosphorius is right. Obama prefers murder to torture.

  • Bush’s legal advisors has defended Bush’s right (I don’t know if a “lib” president is invested with a similar “right”) to crush a child’s testicles to extract information from his parent. Scalia is known to have defended Bush’s torture policies in toto.

    Bush ordered torture to be performed. Did Obama ever order an abortion to be performed, partial-birth or otherwise? A distinction a “conservative” should take seriously.

  • phosphorius is right. Obama prefers murder to torture.

    Whereas I can’t think of anything that conservatives prefer to torture. they defend it every chance they get.

  • Actually many conservatives oppose torture. Many liberals (such as Pelosi)supported the CIA interrogation techniques (though she lies about it.) Obama, given his penchant for murder would likely not oppose past interrogation techniques if the right situation arose. Did he order any murders? See discussion on assasinations below.

  • Phosphorious raises some very good points, and I would like to follow up with a post of my own. I would just ask phosporious if he could kindly supply some of the links or other supporting literature that shows that Bush’s legal advisors defended his right to crush a child’s testicles, where Bush so ordered such an action to be taken, and the opinions offered by Scalia demonstrating his approval of such. I look forward with great anticipation the roundup of this information.

  • Google “Yoo testicles” and you will see the defense. As for proof that Bush actually ordered the crushing of testicles, child’s or not, I assume that’s a matter of State security that only a traitor would pry too closely in. If the terrorists knew about it, they would train their children to withstand testicle crushing, after all.

    But Bush did order the torture of prisoners. And Scalia supports it. . . citing I believe “24” as proof that law enforcement needs “lattitude” in the fighting of terrorism.

    But gentlemen, we digress. The point is that abortion is the litmus test, and nothing else.

    On that, conservatives can agree, no?

  • “Did Obama ever order an abortion to be performed, partial-birth or otherwise? A distinction a “conservative” should take seriously.”

    Nah, he merely defends it as a constitutional right and raises campaign funds trumpeting his opposition to laws banning partial birth abortion, what the late pro-abort Senator from New York Daniel Patrick Moynihan referred to as “barely disguised infanticide”.

    http://www.jillstanek.com/partial-birth-abortion/michelle-obamas.html

  • I assume that this interview on 60 minutes is what elicts phosphorious’ attempts to defend Obama on abortion by attacking Scalia on torture:

    Viewing Leslie Stahl attempting to question Scalia is rather like watching Bill Clinton attempting to teach a course on legal ethics. She didn’t have even the foggiest notion of what he was talking about.

  • “The point is that abortion is the litmus test, and nothing else.”

    The point is phosphorious almost a million dead unborn children a year and your desperate attempts on a Catholic blog to supply political cover to a President who is dedicated to this continuing forever.

  • Stevens’ retirement troubles me because, every time a justice retires many people speak in terms of litmus tests related to societal issues such as abortion and freedom religion. In discussing such tests for prospective nominees most individuals focus solely on the subject of abortion.

    The use of abortion as the sole litmus test that nominees must be subjected to is akin to tunnel vision because, most social conservatives fail to realize that the adoption of such a position is tantamount to heresy in many circles and no politician would risk their careers by taking such a position openly and publicly because, it would alienate an extremely large bloc of voters who see overturning Roe v Wade and it descendants as potentially causing even more harm than good because, attempting in their eyes restoring the status quo as it existed before 1973 could engender the return and resurgence of backroom abortionists who are not medically trained.

    I would advocate the development of additional tests. For example, how would the nominee defend the rights of the disabled, minorities and women?

  • “I would advocate the development of additional tests. For example, how would the nominee defend the rights of the disabled, minorities and women?”

    In other words, shut up about the right to life of the unborn. Additionally, what attempts are there on the scale of abortion in reference to unborn children to deny rights to minorities or women? Unborn disabled children are of course often targeted for abortion because of their disability.

  • I assume that this interview on 60 minutes is what elicts phosphorious’ attempts to defend Obama on abortion by attacking Scalia on torture

    I am attacking the smug, self-righteous Catholics who only object to the sins that political liberals commit.

    Which is every poster here, far as I can tell.

  • In other words, shut up about the right to life of the unborn.

    Because, of course, if abortion is not the only issue, then it is no issue at all.

    Heresy is not necessarily the abandoning of Church doctrine. Focusing on one bit of doctrine to the exclusion of all else will do quite nicely.

  • The point is phosphorious almost a million dead unborn children a year and your desperate attempts on a Catholic blog to supply political cover to a President who is dedicated to this continuing forever.

    Obama has dedicated his life. . . and beyond. . . the making sure that mothers kill their children?

    Wow. . . I had no idea. . .

  • What are the penalties for refusing to abort your child?

  • Phosphorious it would be much more concise if you simply said: “I’m a liberal and I don’t give a damn about abortion. Go Obama!” That is, after all, what your position boils down to.

  • The Cajun is right, how much damage does President Obama want to incur in order to nominate another pro-abortion advocate.

    I think he will, he seems to believe he is invincible and 2012 is far away enough to recuperate lost prestige.

    He apparently doesn’t really care about the Dems this election cycle, so why not write this election off. Besides, what’s the worse that can happen? The Democrats will have a small majority in the House and in the Senate he’ll have veto powers that can’t be overcome.

  • At no time did I argue that anyone needed to be silent about the rights or lack thereof accorded to the unborn. I merely assert that a multitude of sociopolitical issues must be considered in addition to when nominating a successor to Justice Stevens.

    As for my assertions regarding the nature of politicians and their desire to maintain their positions at the expense of their morals, such a school of thought has existed in some form or other since, the foundation of the Roman Empire. Indeed both Machiavelli and Gracian discussed this tendency at length.

  • Mr. McClarey, I know very well how many fetuses are subjected to abortion because of their disabilities. I myself am possessed of cerebral palsy characterized by ataxic presentation.

    I merely sought to point out that in my opinion if an individual chooses to focus on the issue of abortion alone, while failing to review the positions taken by a prospective nominee on other sociopolitical issues is possessed of a focus so narrow that it fails to meet the standard set by Saint Basil Saint Thomas Aquinas and Saint Bonaventure, and Saint Aloysius Gonzaga

  • Nathan, I rather think all of the Saints you name would be protesting outside of abortion clinics constantly if they were alive today. Abortion is the human rights issue of our day, and to sit on our hands because of opposition from pro-aborts is not an option.

    I think Cardinal Ratzinger put it well in a letter:

    “2. The Church teaches that abortion or euthanasia is a grave sin. The Encyclical Letter Evangelium vitae, with reference to judicial decisions or civil laws that authorize or promote abortion or euthanasia, states that there is a “grave and clear obligation to oppose them by conscientious objection. […] In the case of an intrinsically unjust law, such as a law permitting abortion or euthanasia, it is therefore never licit to obey it, or to ‘take part in a propaganda campaign in favour of such a law or vote for it’” (no. 73). Christians have a “grave obligation of conscience not to cooperate formally in practices which, even if permitted by civil legislation, are contrary to God’s law. Indeed, from the moral standpoint, it is never licit to cooperate formally in evil. […] This cooperation can never be justified either by invoking respect for the freedom of others or by appealing to the fact that civil law permits it or requires it” (no. 74).

    3. Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.”

    http://www.priestsforlife.org/magisterium/bishops/04-07ratzingerommunion.htm

    Catholics and all who cherish innocent human life must be untiring in their battle against the crime of abortion.

    In regard to your disability, my prayers. One of my sons is autistic. I have no doubt that if there were a test to determine autism in utero, many of his autistic peers would not be alive today, just as has occurred with 90% of Down Syndrome children where such a test does exist. This slaughter of the innocents must stop and I will never cease working against abortion until I take my final breath.

  • Phosphorious it would be much more concise if you simply said: “I’m a liberal and I don’t give a damn about abortion. Go Obama!” That is, after all, what your position boils down to.

    As opposed to saying that the mere mention of torture distracts from abortion, which is the only sin.

  • I agree they would be protesting, and they would be examining the positions held by candidates in regards to other issues as well so that could more fully ascertain the candidates in order to have a fuller understanding of their character, so that they could more effectively battle them.

  • Phosphorious your laborious dragging of red herrings through this thread merely demonstrates that my concise version of your position is totally accurate. Such tactics may work at Vox Nova, they are absolutely of no use on this blog.

  • I merely sought to point out that in my opinion if an individual chooses to focus on the issue of abortion alone, while failing to review the positions taken by a prospective nominee on other sociopolitical issues is possessed of a focus so narrow that it fails to meet the standard set by Saint Basil Saint Thomas Aquinas and Saint Bonaventure, and Saint Aloysius Gonzaga

    An aspirant for a seat on an appellate court of last resort who proposes to uphold Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton is in doing so subscribing to a particular conception of judicial review favored by Laurence Tribe. A judge engaging in authentic judicial review declines to apply administrative rules which conflict with statutes and statutes which conflict with constitutions. A judge engaging in Tribean judicial review assumes plenary authority to annul any statute or administrative rule incongruent with the policy preferences of law professors, so long as his shallow and smart-assed clerks can gin up a salable excuse. An adherent to Tribean judicial review is unfit for any office or public trust, period.

    Judge Stevens was one of four members of the federal Supreme Court who contended (in a dissenting opinion issued in 1977) that the federal and state governments were required by constitutional provisions to appropriate public funds to provide abortions on demand. Congress should have stuck a fork in this bastard a long long time ago.

  • In this country, ‘sociopolitical issues’ are the business of legislators, not judges.

  • The reason it appears that Roe v. Wade is all that matters is because, in addition to being about the civil rights issue of our time, it also has become a proxy for two opposing views of constitutional jurisprudence. How a judge is likely to vote on Roe tells me almost all I need to know about that judge.

Obama Approves Assassination of Citizen

Thursday, April 8, AD 2010

When Catholics justified their decision to vote for Obama, they did so on two grounds: healthcare and foreign policy. The premise was Obama would actually save lives through healthcare and through his more peaceful foreign policy, thus outweighing the damage he would do through his promotion of abortion.

I never found that premise convincing. Not only did I think they underestimated the damage abortion does, but I also believed that they were ignoring what Barack Obama was actually promoting in his foreign policy. To make a long story short, I think most people assumed that since Obama was a Democrat who had opposed the war in Iraq that he would be the opposite of Bush when in truth their positions are very similar.

Since taking office, Obama has largely followed the lead of his predecessor. However today news is coming out that he has surpassed his predecessor in circumventing due process: Obama has authorized the CIA to kill a US citizen believed to be involved in terrorism (H/t Vox Nova).

The idea that an American citizen can be killed without a trial outside of battle is a troubling one, regardless of whether you voted for Obama or not. The death penalty is something that should be used only rarely (if at all-I’m w/ the bishops that it’s not good in modern America), and if used then used in the context of a trial. The rights of trial are not merely procedural technicalities but safeguards designed to protect the dignity of life: that is, regardless of what someone has done, freedom & human life itself are so precious that we take it away only after a deliberate and careful process.

To take away human life outside of self-defense is a power no one, including the President, possesses. One will hope that the media will publish this and emphasize it so that public pressure will dissuade Obama from taking this course of action. Unfortunately, one has to doubt that that hope will be realized.

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63 Responses to Obama Approves Assassination of Citizen

  • Oh, but surely the president deserves the benefit of the doubt! He has “more information” than we do! And he should be allowed to do anything to save american lives!

    At least, this is the defense you people made of Bush. Now you’re criticizing Obama on the same grounds?

    Of course, much of Obama’s foreign policy is sheer evil, just like Bush’s. But do forgive me if I find your opposition of it laughable, considering you defended Bush’s policies. Your concerns ring hollow.

  • An interesting debate on this topic taking place on National Review Online:

    http://corner.nationalreview.com/

    I found this comment by Jonah Goldberg interesting:

    “Re: Assassinating Awlaki [Jonah Goldberg]

    Just my quick two cents: I think this is a good and fine debate to have, but it’s worth considering that one reason we’re having it is that the White House wants us to. As Steve Hayes noted last night on Special Report, the news that we would be targeting Awlaki was leaked months ago, around the time of the Christmas bomber. It was releaked this week, perhaps to counterbalance the news that the White House is considering removing references to Islamic extremism in its national security strategy.”

  • The Catholic Anarchist’s response to the news that the man he voted for is willing to have the CIA assassinate an American citizen is to rant against Bush and his supporters. I am shocked, shocked!

  • I will have to let the others included in the group of “you people” answer for themselves, whoever “you people” is meant to address.

    However, I think you need to show me where I defended Bush’s policies. To my knowledge I have never done so on a blog. While I was very much a neocon in 2004, as I learned about Church teaching in college I came to oppose Bush’s foreign policy in regards to the war in Iraq, treatment of prisoners, etc. I don’t believe I have ever blogged supporting Bush’s actions, so I presume your accusation against me is nothing more than reasoning by stereotype & generalizations rather than any substantial basis.

    But of course, I digress. Whether or not my concern is has ill motives does change the fact that what I’m saying is true. I’m the one who voted against the man who’s trying to assassinate American citizens and you’re the one who voted for him.

    Donald:

    That is an interesting idea. Obama’s pretty good about getting the media to follow along; I wonder what the strategy is.

    And you are more than welcome to continue to post clips from Casablanca on any post I write. In fact, this post is surely deficient for lacking clips from that classic movie.

  • One of my rules of life Michael is that there are few things that cannot be made better by a Casablanca reference!

  • To quote my mom:
    “Life is technicalities.”

    I have no problem with murderers being targeted for death, I object to this one being killed without a trial to revoke his citizenship. (on the basis of having declared war on the US, if this is the youtube fellow I seem to remember)

    (Ed note-No profanity, even if merely abbreviated.)

  • I have no problem with murders being targeted for death

    Typical view of The American Catholic.

    (Ed-I changed your quote of him to what I changed him to say without the language).

  • Foxfier:

    They still retain human dignity and ought not to be killed, regardless of what they have done, unless self-defense requires it. There is no reason this man should not be “merely” imprisoned.

    MI:

    You really need to stop arguing by association.

  • You really need to stop arguing by association.

    And you should take your own advice, methinks.

  • MD-
    Sure there is: we can’t do it, and trying to will make for a nice big pile of dead bodies. Failure to act has already resulted in innocent deaths– in part because this unspeakable has been able to be at war with a nation without even losing his citizenship of that nation.

  • Foxfier:

    Do you have any evidence of someone who has died b/c the United States was trying to capture this man rather than assassinate him?

    MI:

    This thread is not about my decision to blog for TAC so please stop submitting comments in that regard. Needless to say, I do not agree with everything my co-bloggers or the commenters say. In fact, I accepted the invitation to discuss those differences.

    Furthermore, as one of your co-bloggers has just mentioned some support for Obama’s decision at your blog, you should check your own house.

  • Question:

    What’s the standard?

    What I mean is, under what circumstances may the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States authorize armed force against an enemy person?

    Obviously we don’t try all enemy soldiers in American courts prior to bombing their positions.

    On the other hand, obviously the President shouldn’t be able to declare any given Person X somewhere in the world to be an enemy and have him shot.

    Somewhere between those two extremes is a line, which can be demarcated on the basis of moral principles.

    What’s the standard?

    I notice that the article brought up whether the target was on a battlefield. In this war, what battlefield would that be? A Paris nightclub? An apartment in Beirut? A city street pretty much anywhere?

    It seems more pertinent to me to ask whether the subject is armed…but once the Nazis bedded down for the night, they weren’t armed. Yet I suppose we were perfectly willing to bomb the Nazi barracks, and I don’t suppose that was unjustified.

    What then?

    Perhaps the concern is whether the man is an American citizen? Hmm. The only way that seems pertinent to me is that, if we can capture him, we should try him for treason instead of locking him up until end-of-hostilities as an unlawful combatant. I mean, if we’re talking about a matter of human rights, and not just the particular privileges of citizenship.

    I don’t mean to make absurd comparisons here. Of course I see the difference between blowing up a guy’s house in Kentucky and blowing up a Nazi barracks.

    But I want to see the standards and criteria for authorizing force spelled out in plain language. It seems to me that doing this allows those standards to be evaluated dispassionately.

    So: Those of you who think the CIA hit isn’t okay: What’s the least alteration in the situation required to make it okay? Those of you who think it’s fine: What alteration would make it beyond the pale?

    Where’s the line? What’s the standard?

  • God Bless America! I just want everyone to know how much I love my country.

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q65KZIqay4E&hl=en_US&fs=1&]

    If this doesn’t make you cry, you’ve got the devil in your soul.

    (Ed-note: This is not an actual comment from Iafrate but a joke played on him)

  • I for one find this development troubling on several levels. This is very much in line with the previous administration’s foreign policy, but it goes a step further.

  • Yes, the thing that Obama defenders seem to be missing out on this topic is that by ordering the killing without trial of an American citizen, Obama is taking a step which the Bush administration explicitly declined to do. (And rightly, I would argue.)

    Ordering any kind of assassination is troubling from a moral and a legal point of view, and it is (I think) with good reason that US law has generally forayed this. Setting the precedent of ordering the assassination of a US citizen (even on suspicion of terrorist involvement) without trial essentially means that Obama is claiming the authority to order the death of any person, at any time, for any reason.

    That’s not something one wants any authority to claim. (And someone who imagines this is “the same” as having the authority to order military action is either ignorant or duplicious.)

  • I just wanted to make sure you all saw this, so here it is again.

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q65KZIqay4E&hl=en_US&fs=1&]

    Why, I love this song so much that I may never post anything else here again.

    (Ed-note: this is not an actual comment of Iafrate but a joke played on him.)

  • First, will whoever it is that is manipulating Michael I’s posts stop?

    Second, Michael D: did you read the updates on the link? Already the discussions are open.

    Third, Darwin, are you so sure?

    http://www.thenewamerican.com/index.php/usnews/politics/2856-cia-has-program-to-assassinate-us-citizens

  • Only American citizens deserve human dignity?

    I’m not really worked up over this one way or the other, maybe because I don’t see any other president doing any differently, but I do find it somewhat disturbing that some believe killing Americans is somehow less immoral than killing non-Americans.

  • Would you be worked up about it if Bush did do so?

  • Restrainedradical

    For me, the issue is that this is another step away from human rights; I agree with you that assassination is wrong, whether or not an American. However, there has always been a sense that Americans are given more rights and protections – rights and protections I think which should be extended outside of America, but instead, we see the rights and protections being eliminated, to make everyone equal.

  • Henry,

    Is this the WaPo article – http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/26/AR2010012604239.html?hpid=topnews&sid=ST2010012700394 – with this correction:

    “Correction to This Article
    The article referred incorrectly to the presence of U.S. citizens on a CIA list of people the agency seeks to kill or capture. After The Post’s report was published, a source said that a statement the source made about the CIA list was misunderstood.”

  • The posts attributed to Iafrate are simply wrong. I disagree with the guy on a lot of things and I wouldn’t exactly consider him the most considerate and thoughtful person around the blogosphere, but while I appreciate the humor of it, it’s just wrong and makes you all look bad.

    It’s your blog to do with as you see fit. I’ve voiced my opinion in the past that I don’t think you should moderate even the worst of his comments because most people can see them for what they are. They’re a true reflection of what he stands for and his character. Posting comments under his name that he clearly didn’t write shameful and even worse than the way the other blog refuses to post comments that challenge the fallacies and unwarranted assertions offered.

    I would remove the comments, apologize, and promise to not do anything like this in the future. Common decency dictates that, and your regular readers deserve better (at least this regular reader thinks he deserves better).

  • Michael’s posts are faked?

  • Jonathan

    A couple things. If you read beyond that, there is still the assertion of Americans being targets, just the CIA source is wrong. Second, there are other articles and discussions on the CIA affair– not just that one article. So, it is possible they were wrong, but as I said on the VN post, there are all kinds of indications which the Bush administration favored such actions and did them — even if we cannot prove it, I suspect this is not new, a creation ex nihilo, but an open admission to what was once not open. That is my intuition. Even if I am wrong there, there is nonetheless evidence which, though not proof, shows why one can suspect it is the case — and again, the line beyond what you quote is indicative of that, too.

    Still, Obama is bad for doing this. But to believe it is new… and the Bush team opposed such an idea? Read Cheney.

  • The posts attributed to Iafrate are simply wrong.

    Agreed RL. Completely classless. Michael’s a troll on this blog, no question about it. And anyone familiar with his writings will recognize the joke. But editing comments that way is a basic violation of blogging etiquette (as is the delete-all-dissent (DAD) policy at VN from some writers) and it shouldn’t happen. Apologies are owed to Michael I.

  • I generally approve of what Obama is doing here. I can see the other side but I think he is solid COnst grounds here.

  • If it was found in WWII tha there were in a army camp numbers of Japanes Americans that had returned to Japan to fight could we bomb it or since it they are citizens would we have to send in the FBI to arrest them

  • “The death penalty is something that should be used only rarely (if at all-I’m w/ the bishops that it’s not good in modern America), and if used then used in the context of a trial. The rights of trial are not merely procedural technicalities but safeguards designed to protect the dignity of life: that is, regardless of what someone has done, freedom & human life itself are so precious that we take it away only after a deliberate and careful process.”

    I think calling this the Death penalty , while a good way to try to put this in the Civil Context , is largely incorrect.

    We currently have an young American Citizen from Mobile Alabama that is in Somilia (at least was) creatingterror and destruction in his for work for AQ. In his spare time he sends out videos urging all to the join the war against the United States

    Woull targeting him be the death sentence or would it be valid military exercise?

  • I woke up this morning to the altered comments. As they’ve been discussed, I don’t think it’s fair to delete them but for the sake of avoiding any confusion I have added a note to both comments making it clear that the content was not of Iafrate’s doing. As I didn’t do the editing, I think that’s all I can do other than to promise that there will be no further editing of comments in my threads other than modifying inappropriate language. I apologize for the editing that took place and am trying to rectify it as best I can.

    If there’s anything else MI would like me to do (or anyone has suggestions for me to do), please let me know.

  • Jh:

    I’m thinking about it, but let me ask you a question: what is the difference between an assassination and a “valid military exercise?” That is, is it always permissible for another country to execute kill orders for the leaders of the opposition? If say Robert E. Lee had been shot in the back during the Civil War by a Union sniper, is that morally acceptable as a “valid military exercise?”

  • Michael D:

    Actually, there is a real-life example you can use: the targeted shooting down of Japanese Admiral Isoruko Yamamoto’s plane while on an inspection tour. Yamamoto’s plane route was discovered because we had cracked the Japanese military code. The attack was authorized by President Roosevelt:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isoroku_Yamamoto#Death

  • Michael There would be nothing wrong for a Union Sharpshooter to shoot General lee in the back

    Union and Confederate sharpshooters were shooting Officers all the time

  • Jh:

    My example was poor. Let be more specific-General Lee is sitting 300 miles from a battlefield visiting with his family. He sits down to the dinner table with one of his kids on his knees. At that moment, the Union sharpshooter fires. Or we can play with the example of a regular private, sitting at home with his family.

    I think we would agree that a sharpshooter in the heat of battle is justified in aiming at officers-it causes confusion and makes victory more likely, not to mention it is battle. One can further argue that when one is conducting military missions, like the example Price gave, one can expect to be attacked and so is permissible.

    I don’t think that however we can argue that a participant in war is subject to be killed at all times regardless of whether or not they are involved in the war. A soldier on leave is not a target.

    What makes the problem fuzzy w/ Obama’s decision however is trying to decide what constitutes a battlefield here. I’m not prepared to say that the decision to be a terrorist constitutes a continuous act of war. I think the US has the right to seize him arrest and use force to do, including the force necessary to defend the soldier’s lives. I’m not prepared to say that if they find him unarmed & alone they can kill him.

  • Michael D:

    A soldier on leave is not a target.

    Exactly. It is more than this, but this is the heart of the issue — for a war to be just, there are all kinds of rules for war; among them is how one finds targets (which goes with the question, is the soldier acting as a soldier, or outside of that domain). To approve of assassination in this instance is to extend the domain of the battle and the domain of what is and is not soldiering, both of which are troubling.

  • Of course the classic example is Adolph Hitler. Even before we were at war with Hitler I would have had no problem, moral or otherwise, with anyone assassinating Hitler after he came to power in Germany. The question gets much murkier when we are dealing with smaller fry in service to evil.

  • I don’t think that however we can argue that a participant in war is subject to be killed at all times regardless of whether or not they are involved in the war. A soldier on leave is not a target.

    I may be wrong on this, but I’m not aware of any restriction on killing enemy soldiers who aren’t on the battlefield or on leave or whatever. Nor is it clear what the moral difference would be.

  • If there’s anything else MI would like me to do (or anyone has suggestions for me to do), please let me know.

    Whoever did it should personally and publicly apologize.

  • I may be wrong on this, but I’m not aware of any restriction on killing enemy soldiers who aren’t on the battlefield or on leave or whatever.

    You are wrong. The church condemns the killing of non-combatants.

  • BA

    Actually, just war theory discusses the status of soldiers, and makes sure that they must be, when engaged, combatants; military necessity and proportionality are a part of the ways this is addressed in classical terms. The soldiers can be captured, but if they have given up fighting, they can’t be killed as if they were still fighting. And if they are, for example, off the battlefield, they are no longer fighting.

  • BA

    BTW, this is why we can’t just take out wounded soldiers or prisoners of war; just because they are soldiers does not mean they fit the status of combatants, they can lose that status in various ways.

  • Actually, just war theory discusses the status of soldiers, and makes sure that they must be, when engaged, combatants; military necessity and proportionality are a part of the ways this is addressed in classical terms. The soldiers can be captured, but if they have given up fighting, they can’t be killed as if they were still fighting. And if they are, for example, off the battlefield, they are no longer fighting.

    I agree with all of this except the last sentence. I’ve never seen any discussion of Just War stating that you can’t kill enemy soldiers when they are “off the battlefield,” whatever that means.

  • BA

    Just gave you an example where this debate actually exists in the tradition — naked soldiers taking a bath. And if you agree that prisoners of war or wounded soldiers cannot be taken out indiscriminately, why? What makes them no longer free game, if they are still soldiers?

  • BTW, this is why we can’t just take out wounded soldiers or prisoners of war; just because they are soldiers does not mean they fit the status of combatants, they can lose that status in various ways.

    Soldiers who are captured or wounded are *incapable* of fighting, and thus have traditionally been protected as noncombatants. That’s a far cry from someone who is capable of fighting, and who isn’t doing so at the moment only because he’s not aware of your presence.

  • Just because they are wounded or captured does not mean they are incapable of fighting; many wounded people get up and fight, and many people who are captured struggle for release. They might be less capable, but so is someone who is not on the battlefield, without any weapons of any kind. Capture them, if you wish. Assassinate when they don’t possess a threat? What?!

  • You are wrong. The church condemns the killing of non-combatants.

    Well sure. But an enemy soldier is a combatant.

  • Just gave you an example where this debate actually exists in the tradition — naked soldiers taking a bath.

    Larry May (the author you cite) argues that you shouldn’t kill a naked soldier but says that this is not a matter of justice but humaneness, and admits that his position is not the standard one. The only source he cites discussing the issue, Walzer, treats it as obvious that killing the naked soldier is permitted.

  • Just because they are wounded or captured does not mean they are incapable of fighting; many wounded people get up and fight, and many people who are captured struggle for release.

    Right, and if a wounded soldier picks up a gun and starts shooting or an enemy soldier tries to escape then they lose the protection of noncombatant status. Do you not agree with that?

  • BA:

    The point of the article is that it is an issue of concern and debate within the framework of just war discussions. And humanness and mercy is within the context of just war discussions (see Augustine). More importantly, your answer “and if they pick up a gun and starts shooting” goes back to the naked soldier point. They are not with a gun, not shooting. Remember, one aspect of just war theory is response must be just — which goes with the humanness issue of the article but he didn’t put it in that context — that is, if you can capture without killing, that is what is expected.

  • “if you can capture without killing, that is what is expected.”

    In the case of al Qaeda-style terrorism, the likelihood of a Khalid Sheikh Mohammed arrest scenario is probably low. More likely the “combatants” will go out like the Madrid train bombing cell.

    This is what is so vexing about jihadist terrorism; it exists in limbo somewhere lower in intensity than conventional warfare, but significantly more intense than organized crime. The Catholic moral philosopher has his work cut out for him. What is the battlefield, and who are the combatants? Is a UAV-fired missile strike legitimately called assassination, or is it just the regular course of this type of warfare? I’ve seen this stuff argued back and forth in comboxes ’til everyone is blue in the face, but I haven’t found a good treatment of the subject from a Catholic perspective.

  • Well sure. But an enemy soldier is a combatant.

    No, not always. I saw a Marine havin’ lunch at the Pizza Hut the other day. Is he a legitimate target?

  • I saw a Marine havin’ lunch at the Pizza Hut the other day. Is he a legitimate target?

    No, but then he’s not an enemy soldier either.

  • No, but then he’s not an enemy soldier either.

    Not to his fellow lunchtime buffet diners, no…

  • This is a fascinating discussion. With regards to these latest posts, though, how plausible would it be that an individual Marine would be targeted for an attack?

    For the purposes of the analogy, it might be better to consider a high-ranking officer, someone who has been promoted off the battlefield but nonetheless plays a major role in directing operations–say, a member of the joint chiefs of staff, or the enemy organization’s equivalent.

    When and when would not that individual be a legitimate military target?

  • And what about civilian commanders like a head of state? What about president-elects who have no power yet but certainly will unless stopped?

  • Pingback: Blog Comment Policy and Conflict « The American Catholic
  • Has anyone yet proposed a standard for what constitutes a combatant who may be legitimately targeted?

    I mean, IF…

    1. He has participated in attacks, or the planning of attacks, against the U.S.; and,

    2. He declares himself to be at war against the U.S.; and,

    3. It is not feasible to capture him;

    THEN, if he’s in a cabin or compound by himself, is it okay to blow the place up with a Hellfire missile?

    Under what circumstances is it not okay?

  • * crickets chirping *

  • The way I understand it is that in war one does not directly aim to kill but rather one aims to stop an unjust agression. Such is the case with self-defense also. Not clear at this point but some argue this is how the Church has moved captial punishment – from punishment to defense of society. Thus the moral object (perhaps) is the use of force to render an attacker impotent and not killing of the attacker. That consequence may be forsee under double effect but again is not directly intended.
    Can such an argument be used here? There is a person who is in fact, if not at that moment at some point in the past and probably in the future, involved in attacks on the US. Can we apply the above reasoning. It seems hard to make the argument that one is not directly intending the killing of a specific person in this situation. Perhaps an argument can be made that it isn’t and is licit. Perhaps, if as noted above capital punishment is not direct killing, one can apply the principle of the state executing a person to defend society.
    Then it would seem clear the guilt of the individual would need to be clearly established. In that case one would need to argue that a finding by the President on secretly held information would suffice. Does the Church say that determinations of guilt must be public and/or judicially based?

  • Phillip:

    I don’t know of any direct Church teaching on that point.

    Unless there is some passage of which I am unaware which says otherwise, I expect that the rule is a matter of the morality of individual action, initially, with social and corporate action envisioned as an outgrowth and an organization of the former. It is to the individual act that universal and objective moral laws are directly applied; the corporate organization of a nation’s laws is reflective of this individual obligation indirectly, showing forth the moral pattern at higher levels of organization in a fashion similar to the way a fractal pattern is repeated at larger scales.

    If so, then a need for determinations of guilt to be public and judicial in character is not a primary moral obligation but an outgrowth of that which is healthy for society; namely, the rule of law and the need that society’s judgments in matters of life and death be carried out in “daylight” and with great deliberation whenever possible.

    That, of course, is healthy for society. But note the caveat “whenever possible.” It is not always possible.

    The law, as it ought, provides for instances in which a man defends his family or even his property by armed force against an intruder “in the gravest extreme”; that is, when the need to stop the criminal attack is now and the soonest intervention by police is ten minutes hence. If Person Y comes storming into Person X’s house in the middle of the night, and Person X stops the invasion with a firearm, thus killing Person Y in the process, no crime is committed. (Provided there’s no disparity of force, that Person X didn’t chase Person Y while Y is fleeing the scene, and so on.) The normal orderly intervention of society was not possible in this instance.

    So too there may be — in fact, certainly are occasions when a trial and a civilian conviction and incarceration are impossible responses to an attack. Military initiative is therefore required instead. I don’t think anyone denies this; the question is how to write our laws in such a way as to (1.) adequately anticipate this need and allow for it under the law, so that the rule of law is not visibly violated every time one of these exceptional cases arises, and (2.) write the law in such a way that it does not allow the unscrupulous, incautious, or confused to exercise military initiative in instances where a capture and trial are plausible.

    Writing the law to meet those two goals in a fashion sufficient to satisfy all observers is impossible. Satisfying most observers is extremely tricky even if some of them weren’t biased towards finding fault. In an adversarial political system, in which half the observers are finding fault wherever possible in order to win the next election, you probably won’t even be able to satisfy a majority of observers.

    Which is why I wasn’t surprised when, in response to my two requests that someone propose a standard or even lay out where they thought the lines should fall, I got the blog equivalent of chirping crickets. (Even among this usually quite vocal crowd!)

    Now in a sense that request isn’t quite fair of me. Or, if the request is fair, it isn’t quite fair that I should waggle my finger at everybody for not proposing a standard. After all, I haven’t proposed one, either!

    But I’m making a larger point; namely, that criticism of a president for “going too far” in this area of policy is meaningless unless one has a standard by which one may judge he has gone too far. Without the standard, how does one know if he has gone too far?

    We have here a crowd of folks some of whom gave G.W.Bush quite a tongue-lashing for the laxity with which he carried out policies in this area. Later, a slightly different crowd with (tho’ with some overlap) gave Obama equally nasty language for doing basically what Bush did, or perhaps a bit more.

    Now one would guess from all these loud pronouncements of fire and brimstone against both presidents that every poster here has in mind a standard of what is and isn’t appropriate target-selection, which (1.) he knows to be the correct standard, (2.) can articulate, (3.) can defend against other proposed standards, and (4.) which one or both presidents have violated.

    But I suspect very few if any of the posters here really do have a well-defined standard in mind. At least I haven’t heard one articulated. And I myself am having difficulty coming up with one, so I suspect others are as well.

    But why, then, are folks giving Bush and Obama a lot of grief, if they can’t even say for sure that either man is operating outside the correct moral standards for this area of policy-making?

    I suspect it’s for two reasons: (1.) We have a gut feeling that this targeted assassination (what a choice of words: why is it considered assassination, I wonder, rather than an attack or assault?) is going too far; and, (2.) Even if it isn’t, we’re aware that a precedent granting the president power to do this sort of thing is dangerous when wielded by a man without a well-formed conscience.

    Now item (2.) is entirely logical, and if we all opposed this policy on the basis of avoiding the precedent, I would not complain of holes in our argument.

    But it seems to me that some folks are composing their criticism in such a way as to imply that Bushama have violated a standard of policy-making which everyone ought to know and which Bushama has no excuse for not knowing and following. It seems to me that they’re making this implication, without actually articulating the standard, because in reality they don’t have a clue exactly what the standard is.

    And, as I said before, I’m not sure what it should be, either.

    But let’s face up to it. On Argument 2 (dangerous precedent) we can articulate exactly what the problem is. But on Argument 1 (violation of an objective moral standard) all we have is gut feeling. And I don’t think it’s very just to blame Bushama for not having the same gut feeling as we, and following it.

  • R.C,

    I think your points are well made. There is certainly a tendency to think politically and it affects both sides of the house. I think this is showing up now on this issue. I think it has been more prominent on the torture issue. I have asked plenty of times some very vociferous opponents of torture what licit interrogation looks like and gotten no answer. I think the terrorism piece makes traditional assessments more difficult and need to be looked at dispassionately. But this is perhaps a reflection on the current state of American politics.

  • The danger in this case, and many other cases, in this thing we used to call the “global war on terror” is this- we become too accustomed to the demonization effect that creating a special kind of warfare always produces.
    Because the Muslim jihadists who cloak their cause for war in their faith make us uncomfortable, we decide that they are terrorists, rather than merely being unlawful combatants engaged in combat against a signatory nation to the various Geneva Accords. When we have to make them special because they are non-standard enemies, we commit ourselves to mental, legal, and geo-political gymnastics that always seem to produce bad results and bad decisions.
    The no-good, non-state, illicit Muslim jihadi swine declared, through action, war upon the United States (a signatory to the Geneva Accords).
    Congrtess should have declared war upon them and their supporters wherever they may be found- what they did, was authorize the POTUS to take whatever military action necessary to bring them to heel.
    In this case, the POTUS had, and still has, the legitmate authority over the armed forces of the US to prosecute the war as necessary (in compliance, where understood, with international standards for war).
    What you describe here, and what is not particularly new, is the POTUS ordering civilian (non-military) security and intelligence personnel to take lethal actions in cases where such authority is suspect at best. If the military commander assigned to the area of responsibility locates, targets, develops and strikes said scuzzy individual into non-existence, so be it. But where and when will end the POTUS’ authority to issue “kill” orders against “terrorists” at his own discretion, apparently independent of his authority as commander in chief? Certainly not at the conclusion of hostilities. Unable to even formulate a strategy to defeat global jihad without conducting all-out war, the Pentagon has adopted the capstone military concept of “persistent conflict.” Do not look for the conflict to ever end, nor for the military to seek victory.
    At water’s adge? That famous dividing line for domsetic politics is now long gone politically, as well as operationally. The new administration has been most vocal first in extending to domestic political enemies the moniker of “potential terorrists” and in declaing that home grown extremism (worded to appear to account for MAJ Hasan, in reality the wording more closely fits previous warnings about Tax Tea Partiers) is a gfreater threat than Al-qaida.

    In my opinion, the lout is an absolutely valid target. So kill him in combat, not as a covert operation of clandestine intelligence services.

Obama Seems Unable to Face Up to Americas Problems

Monday, March 8, AD 2010

Simon Heffer of London’s Daily Telegraph wrote this timely piece on President Obama’s inability to govern America.  Here are some snippets [emphases mine]:

It is a universal political truth that administrations do not begin to fragment when things are going well: it only happens when they go badly, and those who think they know better begin to attack those who manifestly do not. The descent of Barack Obama’s regime, characterised now by factionalism in the Democratic Party and talk of his being set to emulate Jimmy Carter as a one-term president [We can only hope], has been swift and precipitate. It was just 16 months ago that weeping men and women celebrated his victory over John McCain in the American presidential election. If they weep now, a year and six weeks into his rule, it is for different reasons.

“Obama’s big problem,” a senior Democrat told me, “is that four times as many people watch Fox News as watch CNN.” The Fox network is a remarkable cultural phenomenon which almost shocks those of us from a country where a technical rule of impartiality is applied in the broadcast media [Like the BBC is a bastion of impartiality my left foot]. With little rest, it pours out rage 24 hours a day: its message is of the construction of the socialist state, the hijacking of America by “progressives” who now dominate institutions, the indoctrination of children, the undermining of religion and the expropriation of public money for these nefarious projects. The public loves it, and it is manifestly stirring up political activism against Mr Obama, and also against those in the Republican Party who are not deemed conservatives. However, it is arguable whether the now-reorganising Right is half as effective in its assault on the President as some of Mr Obama’s own party are.

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8 Responses to Obama Believes in the Free Market

  • That puppet can just as easily be on the other hand labeled “Wall Street”

  • Jim,

    When the UAW and SEIU have on record (White House guest log) visited Obama more than any other person or group then your comments make no sense.

  • They don’t have to visit the WH, they just phone their orders over to the Fed & Treasury and they deliver (30 min or less and guaranteed hot).

    Google “_____ Top Campaign Contributors” and put both Obama and McCain in the blank (separate searches) and you’ll see the country is not run from the White House but Wall Street.

    Making a pilgrimage to the WH may make for good back slapping photo ops with “the troops”, but the real decisions are made in the boardrooms of banks and hedge funds. Watch a PBS Frontline Program called “The Warning” and then tell me if you think “big labor” or “big money” is really steering the ship.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/warning/

  • Jim,

    What’s the difference between corporate socialism and worker socialism?

    Answer: ZERO.

    Socialism is inherently wrong.

    From Paragraph 15 in Rerum Novarum: Hence, it is clear that the main tenet of socialism, community of goods, must be utterly rejected, since it only injures those whom it would seem meant to benefit, is directly contrary to the natural rights of mankind, and would introduce confusion and disorder into the commonweal. The first and most fundamental principle, therefore, if one would undertake to alleviate the condition of the masses, must be the inviolability of private property.

    From Paragraph 17 in Rerum Novarum: Socialists may in that intent do their utmost, but all striving against nature is in vain.

    Socialism didn’t work in the time of Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5, and it doesn’t work now.

    Period.

  • And furthermore, ultimately it doesn’t matter if Obama believes in the free market or not (and he doesn’). Obama is a murderer of unborn babies, a legitimatizer of filthy putrid activities between men as marriage and ultimately an inherently evil and wicked man.

    ANYONE who supports him knowing the grave evil this man is committing CANNOT be called a Christian, much less a Catholic.

    That doesn’t mean Republicans are God’s Party. What it means is that whatever the Republicans may be, the Democrats ARE the party of death and they must be defeated, muzzled and emasculated.

    I won’t mince words. BTW, St. Paul was worse on Hymenaeus and Alexander in 1st Timothy 1:19-20 than our Bishops are on that reprobate great whore of Babylon, Nancy Pelosi.

    Liberal = evil. Pure and simple.

  • Paul,

    As long as you remember that in that same encyclical, and in every other social encyclical, the Papacy has explicitly advocated a policy of encouraging widespread property distribution, of worker ownership and control of productive property. This is a cornerstone of Catholic social teaching.

    JP II’s Laborem Exercens, along with Rerum Novarum, should be required reading for every Catholic and every American. In my America it would be.

    Fortunately, some Americans are starting to wake up and see that our choices are NOT limited to the following: 1) total nationalization and command economy and 2) individualist Social Darwinism where poor people either get “charity” or nothing at all.

    They’ve been discovering a third option, the option that has ALWAYS been promoted by the Papacy: workers and families and communities come together, through their own will and in view of what they freely know and choose as the good, and take common ownership of businesses that are new or old ones that are failing and have been abandoned.

    MORE CATHOLICS need to be involved in this – otherwise the whole project will be dominated by secular liberals. It was a Catholic priest that started the Mondragon, the most successful cooperative in the world, and now the model for all successful cooperatives. That priest was in turn inspired by Pius XI’s Quadragesimo Anno. This is OUR political and social philosophy, and we ought to be using it and owning it.

  • you can’t have a free market without competition, and just as in every competition there are winners and there are losers. the problem with liberals is that they haven’t found a loser they didn’t want to turn into a victim. and it doesn’t matter one little bit because their ultimate goal isn’t for fairness, or freedom… it is to usher in more socialism.

    just one of the many services they offer…

  • Ultimately, freedom requires risk. It requires the acceptance of the need for occassional suffering in order to perpetuate it. The reason true freedom is floundering in America and everywhere else that attempts it is that few people are willing to accept suffering. They want the government to solve their problems and create a perfect place where there is no suffering. The government, naturally, is incapable of doing so but rather than be honest about that makes those promises in exchange for the liberties of those who do not speak up. I saw just how many were willing to trade freedom for comfort after 9/11. The Patriot Act was anything but Patriotic and was massively invasive of privacy on a scale not seen before in America, but out of fear and a desire to be comfortable people complied with hardly a word. America will continue to flounder, continue to erode, until people take responsibility for their lives and their actions and surge forward to take the risks and accept the suffering that comes with freedom.

4 Responses to "Hope and Change" Lizards Are Here!

  • That V looks suspicously like an O.

    Can’t they come up with anything new. I enjoyed 80s TV but aren’t we in a new millenium. Hollywierd is overwhelmingly Progressive, yet they can’t seem to create anything new. Remaking shows from the era that introduced the VCR, odd? Is that irony or stupidity?

    I admit I’ll watch out of curioustiy I just hope that I don’t change and all of a sudden crave free health-care, undefined change and a tasty live rat.

  • I’m hooked for at least one episode.

  • I’ve seen some conservative bloggers pick up on the same point. It sort of surprised me that I didn’t see anything about the negative Obama analogy in the show Kings. For those millions who didn’t watch it, there was a character named Michelle who was idealistic but not awfully bright, who championed causes like health care and green energy, but she couldn’t ever get things to work right.

  • I think if the show “Kings” progressed, it would’ve undoubtedly presented the Obama platform in the character of Michelle, which, if you saw the latter episodes, were reaching that sort of conclusion as David himself appeared to concur with much of her ideas (well, it kinda helped that she was his GF, too, with whom he subsequently had child).

Who Is Irrelevant, Obama or Americans

Wednesday, September 23, AD 2009

Tea Party Protest 9-12

At this point it is almost irrelevant what President Obama thinks, says, or does.

As long as former Presidents Carter and Clinton keep calling Americans racists…

As long as Speaker Pelosi refers to Patriots as violent, swastika wearing, un-Americans…

As long as the extreme left on the Democratic Party insist on ignoring a movement that not only contains conservatives and Republicans, but pretty much everyone else in America…excluding most liberals.

Then it really doesn’t matter what the Obama Administration and their proxies continue calling ordinary American patriots.

Thus the only relevant question that can be asked is how badly will the Democrats continue to shoot themselves in the foot?

…It depends on how radical a health care bill they pass.

In the meantime  an insignificant handful of crazies the rest of America will wait for another round of insults as they continue to turn a deaf ear to the rhetorical platitudes of an ever increasingly irrelevant presidency.

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10 Responses to Who Is Irrelevant, Obama or Americans

  • A lot can happen between now and November 2010. One thing the Dems can count on is Americans’ short attention span. They can keep shooting themselves in the foot until May 2010.

  • That’s what I am anticipating.

    More shoot-in-the-foot comedy from here till next year.

  • The Seniors will remember. There are 9 Million plus who elected to replace normal Medicare with Medical Advantage Plans which have more coverage and very minumunal $10 and $25 dollar deductibles for regular or Specialist vists. O on Hospitalization and any type of lab tests and X Rays including MIRs Cat Scans etc. plus an excellent RX program. All the bills plan to strip the coverages and increase premiums for these plans. The 9 Million plus Seniors will not forget in 2012.

  • You are assuming the new plan will allow those 9 million to still be alive to vote in 2012.

    One year plus is a long time and we, the public, are entertained idiots. But it only takes a few people with strong conviction to keep the pressure on and the blind arrogance of the left to keep over-reaching and upsetting people to change the wind beginning this year in VA and NJ and next year in the House.

    The problem as I see it is that the change will be simply to put Republicans back in charge so they can do the same stupid stuff Democrats do while pandering to the pro-Life movement (while doing nothing to protect life), lowering visible taxes (while inflation is the real tax and it is hidden and increasing dramatically, smaller government (while expanding the strained empire), etc.

    I think thinking Americans are fed up with both parties, but third parties don’t seem to succeed at anything other than peeling votes off to ensure the worse of two options wins.

    Teddy Roosevelt crushed the Republican and gave us Wilson, Perot gave us Clinton, it is a ruse. What we need is to revitalize the Republican party so that they can actually be conservative.

    The Constitution is just a piece of paper if the political class walks all over it and the public sits back and does nothing.

  • You are assuming the new plan will allow those 9 million to still be alive to vote in 2012.

    I don’t know what’s with today, but I’m just cracking up at all the comments!

    Keep bringing them!

  • American Knight…from my Actuary background I would first suggest to you that over 92% will still be with us and able to vote. I would also suggest you might want to look at the “liquidity trap” rather than inflation which can and will cause deflation. Most of money in the stimulus package is still in the Banks and they are keeping it, not lending it or helping other to create jobs. Also if the current administration keeps on its downgrade of our CIA, Military, Homeland Seurity and appeasement toward those who want us to fail and attack us, we may not get to 2012.

  • afl,

    I wasn’t referring to the aged dying naturally, I was implying, toungue in cheek, that the current so-called health care plans may lead to expedited, mercy killings for the useless old people. In other words, a kind way of legalizing more murder.

    As for liquidity and inflation, inflation has already occured tot he tune of trillions on newly fabricated money units and as you said, the banks are still holding on to it but it has occured – the money supply has been inflated. If you are referring to the symptom of inflation, price increases, we will see that. Right now it is offset by low demand, but the supply will clear soon. Also, the losses of the stock and real estate markets have reduced the overall amount of additional money stcked (using fractional-reserve banking). All this accomplishes is delaying the inevitable inflation (money unit devaluation, loss of purchasing power). Qui bono? Government, banks, military-pharma-industrial corporations that are closely allied with government.

    Central banks breed fascism/corpratism and eventually a communist oligarchy. That frigthens me more than any other earthly thing.

  • American Knight Amen and I totaly agree. Point I was making on deflation ( prices go down ) as people do not have the money to spend and unemployed continues to escalate ( Ala 1930’s and it took WWII to change the economy. not FDR ) so we keep printing worthless paper. Maybe we do need to start start a new political party or bring the orthodox thinkers together to keep us from continuing socialism and an oligarchy run by all these new CZARS.

  • afl,

    Ok so we agree, then why do we think we might not. I am not necessarily referring to you and I, just this topic in general.

    It is designed to be confusing. The terms are designed to get us off track.

    What is inflation? No one really knows except the perpetrators of the theft.

    INFLATION is often thought of as prices going up. THIS IS NOT TRUE. Prices will probably go up as a result of inflation but rising prices are NOT inflation.

    INFLATION is the increase in the quantity of money.

    DEFLATION is obviously the decrease.

    Prices do not necessarily rise or fall as a result of inflation. Prices are merely distroted and so is the entire nervous system of the economy — price signals fail and no one knows what to make or not make.

    Prices are determined by SUPPLY and DEMAND, independent of the quantity of money.

    It is a stable quantity of money that allows for a stable measurement and allows the price system to signal properly.

    Inflation/deflation of the supply of money, a change in quantity, distorts those signals.

    Obamunism is designed to destroy the pricing system of whatever it is he and his masters want to control next. Right now it is so-called health care.

    Perhaps they will combine the clunkers program and health care and just pour ‘liquid glass’ into pefectly functional but old engines that are emitting too much CO2 becuase they are upset about losing their medical coverage.

  • Pingback: Carter Tries to Deny He Said Obama Critics Driven By Race « The American Catholic

White House Clueless on Health Care Protests

Monday, September 14, AD 2009

“A mob”

“Astroturf”

“Nazi’s”

President Obama and Speaker Pelosi are trying their hardest at imitating an ostrich sticking its head in the sand.  It continues still today.

When White House Senior Adviser David Axelrod was asked for his opinion concerning the large number of protesters that marched on Washington on Saturday, he replied:

“I don’t think it’s indicative of the nation’s mood . . . “You know, I don’t think we ought to be distracted by that. My message to them is, they’re wrong.”

After tens of hundreds of tea party and town hall protests, the Obama administration seems to purposely be ignoring what Americans demand, no more government intrusion and spending.

The tone deafness of this administration and their proxies is simply stunning.

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43 Responses to White House Clueless on Health Care Protests

  • One small correction, Tito, to an otherwise right-on post: “tens of hundreds” is also known by its more mathematical name, “thousands”! 😉

  • Unbelievable!

    Barack Obama in a few short months as president of “all the people” has assembled a group of unelected Czars who with the aid of the most liberal congress in history and an agenda to “fundamentally change” our country has taken over the banking and finance system (which is reported to be in worse shape now than before he fixed it), the major portion of our auto industry, is planning to control all elements of the energy production, and is demanding that one way or another government should take control of our health care system. All of this was carefully planned to take place without any input from the people and over any objections by the minority party in congress.

    Fortunately some of this Marxist blitzkrieg is still incomplete. The “people”, after witnessing the obvious socializing of America almost over night, voiced their objection to Obama’s polices and the actions of a hell bent congress to bankrupt the nation by allocating never before imagined enormous amounts of deficit spending to support Obama’s agenda.

    Citizens by the tens of thousands have gone to town hall meetings and marched on Washington to demand a halt to the destruction of our economy and the jobs which are at stake under Obama’s inept governance. He reads his ambiguous speeches from a script.
    Yet when the people read the fine print in his legislation and find it different from his script we are scary, ill informed, and obstructionist who are opposed to progress.

    They are frightened by a future that looms with higher taxes, out of control deficits, loss of private healthcare, potential skyrocketing energy costs, and pending inflation not to mention loss of basic freedoms granted under our constitution. They are aware seniors over seventy fear “cuts” in the availability of healthcare services and small businesses see increased costs which will cut payrolls. They hear that primary care doctors see the possibility of not being able to continue to serve patient volumes if reimbursements are lowered and surgeons and hospitals say without tort reform prices will continue to rise.
    All of this is tied directly to provision within the stealth “Obamacare” bill which the House of Representatives hurriedly proposed without even reading it.
    The future is frightening for families and the economy and the people know it!

    SO WHAT IS OBAMA’S RESPONSE TO THE PEOPLE?
    He says we are using SCARE TATICS in our opposition to his policies and agenda.
    Who’s scaring who?
    Unbelievable!! Mr. President that’s real AUDACITY.

  • Perhaps I am completely off-base, but if in 2012 there is a real chance of Obamolech being defeated, then I think he will declare some sort of national emergency and postpone the election indefinitely. He is so narcissist that he cannot conceive that the “peepul” don’t love him any longer. Liberalism is tyranny.

  • It seems to me that when he was confronted by protests, Richard Nixon said he was speaking for the silent majority. Many conservatives at the time agreed that the loud left-wing protests were not representative of the attitudes of the population as a whole.

    During the Iraq war, there were protests involving hundreds of thousands of people. Conservatives (of a certain kind, at least) argued in that case too that the protests were not representative of the population as a whole.

    In both cases, I would argue they were correctin rejecting the notion that people with the drive to get involved in protests were unrepresentative, and their concerns were not the only ones to be considered.

    Last year, the huge crowds Obama drew were dismissed by conservatives.

    Why should the “tea party” protests, which are as chaotic and divided (in terms of policy goals) as the anti-war protests of 2003 be considered authoritative and representative? Because you agree with their attitude toward the President?

  • “Why should the “tea party” protests, which are as chaotic and divided (in terms of policy goals) as the anti-war protests of 2003 be considered authoritative and representative? Because you agree with their attitude toward the President?”

    No, because they match what political prognosticators are seeing as a very rough year for the Democrats in the 2010 elections.

    http://the-american-catholic.com/2009/09/14/of-tea-and-elections/

  • Zak, it’s true that one or a few big D.C. gatherings don’t necessarily reflect the mood of the entire country. But what about state and local gatherings? What if they keep growing over a period of years?

    The Iraq war protests of 2003 probably didn’t represent the mood of the people at that time. The “loud left-wing protests” of the Vietnam era, however, were another matter — they kept spreading. Campus unrest also was not confined only to places like Kent State and Berkeley.

    In the early chapters of Chuck Colson’s “Born Again,” when he recalls his years in the White House, he says that the wave of protests after the Cambodian incursion and Kent State in 1970 were intense enough to spark genuine fear — at least for a brief period — within the Nixon Administration that an all-out civil war or insurrection could be brewing. Perhaps Nixon’s assertion that he had a “silent majority” behind him was a little bit of whistling in the dark, so to speak?

    However, you are right in pointing out that conservatives can’t have it both ways — asserting that THEIR massive protest gatherings prove the country is on their side while liberals’ massive protests don’t prove anything.

  • Perhaps I am completely off-base, but if in 2012 there is a real chance of Obamolech being defeated, then I think he will declare some sort of national emergency and postpone the election indefinitely. He is so narcissist that he cannot conceive that the “peepul” don’t love him any longer. Liberalism is tyranny.

    Yes, I’m afraid that I think you are indeed completely off base.

    There’s virtually nothing about Obama that I like, but conservative fears that he will cancel elections are no more founded than liberal fears that George Bush would. Sorry, I just don’t see it. And I must admit, it really annoys me to see members of “my side” sounding unhinged in the way that I was so recently blasting the left for doing.

  • Perhaps I am completely off-base, but if in 2012 there is a real chance of Obamolech being defeated, then I think he will declare some sort of national emergency and postpone the election indefinitely.

    Um, what? If off-base is a baseball mataphor, then I’d say you’re across town on a train speeding away from the stadium. Get off the train. Put down Atlas Shrugged. Come back to sanity.

  • But there were plenty of pro-Hward Dean state and local gatherings in ’04 that signified nothing. Granted they weren’t as loud as tea party protests, and weren’t played up by Fox News, but I don’t think loudness is a good criterion for political importance. It is true, as Don says, that the Dems will probably do relatively poorly during the ’12 election – but except for ’02, the President’s party always loses seats in his first off-year elections. And the Republicans are just as (or more) unpopular and distrusted by independents.

  • Perhaps I am completely off-base, but if in 2012 there is a real chance of Obamolech being defeated, then I think he will declare some sort of national emergency and postpone the election indefinitely. He is so narcissist that he cannot conceive that the “peepul” don’t love him any longer. Liberalism is tyranny.

    As others have stated, I highly doubt this would happen and I don’t think we should discuss this as a likelihood…. however…. I have no doubt that the left believe they know what’s good for the people no matter how unpopular, and they will use whatever means possible to achieve their goals, stealing elections is definitely in their bailiwick.

    The possibility of such an act being successful increases as the constitution is allowed to be infringed, especially those elements which were designed to prevent such a usurpation. Efforts such as gun confiscation, internal security expansion, infringements on free speech all lead us down the path of dictatorship.

  • There’s virtually nothing about Obama that I like, but conservative fears that he will cancel elections are no more founded than liberal fears that George Bush would.

    I would agree with you. There is, however, an element within the academy and in and among pressure groups which simply does not regard the opposition as legitimate exponents within intellectual life or in the wider public square. At the intersection of this academic subculture and electoral politics is Bradford deLong, and Dr. deLong is (in his programmatic preferences) not at all eccentric within the Democratic Party and may be mildly to the right-of-center when compared to the total population of professors on liberal arts faculties. Look north to Canada and also to Sweden to see extensions of this mentality in practice, and recall that provisions of the federal and state Constitutions guaranteeing rights of speech and petition and assembly are interpreted by the same crews which say the 14th Amendment requires county clerks to issue marriage licenses to pairs of dudes.

  • And we have a mainstream NY Times liberal columnist talking about how in many ways the communist dictatorship in China is better than our own government.

    Certainly, there is a certain appreciation that elements of the left can have for authoritarianism when it’s their kind of authoritarianism. I just don’t see that ever translating into elections being canceled. Heck, we even had an election when we were in the middle of a civil war. Not having one is pretty much unimaginable to the American people. I can’t see such a thing ever happening.

  • Kevin in Texas,

    Thanks! I will correc that.

    Zak,

    You make an excellent point. I’ll need to chew on that for a while for another posting.

  • Why conservative protests are getting folks’ attention more than the liberal versions:
    Libs are always protesting. Cons hardly ever go in for big protests.

    Same way it’s a big deal in social circles when cons are rude about politics, but not when libs do it; it’s just not the style.

    I guess the best way of phrasing it would be that it’s a matter of different “cultures”– either the Con culture is changing, or there’s something really wrong. (or maybe both, really)

  • Question: Why are 99.9% (probably not an exaggeration) of the protesters white? This is DC! And I thought it wasn’t just Republicans, but a nice cross-section of America that’s mad.

  • …are you seriously trying to claim that Republicans can’t be black, Asian or anything else?

  • restrainedradical,

    I was there and about half a percent of the ‘protesters’ were black not to mention other non-white ethnicities. Several of the speakers were black too. Keep in mind that blacks are less than 12% of the total populaiton and over 95% have been brainwashed into thinking their political salvation is from the nice, stealthy racists on the LEFT!!!!

    Not to mention that over a third of the 50,000,000 murdered babies of the last 30 some years have been BLACK.

    You can hardly expect that a majority of the people at the pro-constitutional government rally would be black.

    As for us believers, we know that there is neither Jew nor Greek, nor black nor white — we are one in Christ.

    The racism canard is getting really old. I am not afraid that there is a half-black, half-white man in the White House, I am afraid that the white house is becoming RED — Commie RED!!!

  • over 95% have been brainwashed

    Those dumb black people. But why weren’t there more Hispanics and Asians? They’re 15% and 5% of the population respectively. Are they stupid too?

    You can hardly expect that a majority of the people at the pro-constitutional government rally would be black.

    I’d expect more than 0.5%.

    So far, American Knight offers the explanation that there were hardly any non-whites because most blacks are dumb. Any other explanations?

  • Nice try — it is clear that is not at all what I said. Additionally I did see quite a few Asians.

    Furthermore, I am not exactly a WASP myself. Heck, I wasn’t even born here. My parents, by the Grace of God moved us here before I was an adult and they came in through the front door.

    Stupid and groupthink are not necessarily the same thing. And before you go flying off the handle and tell me everyone at the pro-constitution rally is engaged in groupthink and blind followers of Glenn Beck; don’t confuse unity for our founding principles with groupthink.

    America is a Constitutional Republic based on Christian Law no matter if you like it or not. If it bothers you that real Americans (who happen to be mostly white but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for the rest of us) are RESTORING the country to stop the current Zeitgiest that seeks to reform her into Nazi Germany or Red China or Soviet Russia you can leave.

    From what I understand our southern border is pretty open. I’ll buy your burro for you since y’all like to use other people’s money so much. 🙂

  • Guess we should take a page from the Dem’s book and make sure to move token folks of the right color and sex in for pictures….

    Or maybe borrow from MSNBC and crop out anything that doesn’t fit the story? (Say, like a black man packing a scary looking gun in the same area that Obama’s in?)

    Or, we can do like we have been, take pictures and not care what shade folks are or what shape their eyes are, and ignore race-baiters who want to insist that, somehow, the party that keeps getting about half of the support of the nation is made up of old, fat, male WASPS.

  • American Knight Says:
    don’t confuse unity for our founding principles with groupthink.

    But it’s OK to confuse unity against bigotry with groupthink? Oh wait. Only non-whites are brainwashed, right? Whites are “unified for our founding principles.” What is it that makes whites so enlightened?

    Foxfier says:
    Or, we can do like we have been, take pictures and not care what shade folks are or what shape their eyes are, and ignore race-baiters who want to insist that, somehow, the party that keeps getting about half of the support of the nation is made up of old, fat, male WASPS.

    Because you don’t care is exactly why you don’t get their votes (though if you’re a loyal Republican, you should care that too many Hispanics are entering the country). The party that keeps failing to capture non-white votes is made up overwhelmingly of white people. That’s a fact. McCain won the WASP vote.

  • But it’s OK to confuse unity against bigotry with groupthink?

    We can show unity with the founding fathers; all you can show is “you disagree with a politician whose father was black.”

    I won’t even dignify your garbage aimed at me with a response. Should I ever meet the strawman you’re fighting with, it might be an interesting visit.

    You want to keep insisting “you don’t agree with me that we should treat folks differently because of their race, then you’re a racist” — go for it. I’ve got enough faith in humanity that enough will see that BS for what it is.

  • I’m sorry, but not appearing to be a racist when I am in fact not one is somewhere next to what color socks I wear and what brand of toothpaste I buy on my “things I give a crap about” list.

    I don’t even think people like “reinstatedradical” can even coherently define racism anymore, or differentiate it from other things they don’t like. Racism is bad, policy x is bad, somehow they must be related, because “everyone knows” we still live in a racist society.

    All hail the never-ending march and triumph of reason!

  • Funny. I didn’t mention “racism” anywhere. Didn’t accuse any one of it. Talk about oversensitive! For the record, I oppose Obamacare, at least the public option part of it. I opposed the bailouts. My dislike of ACORN goes back more than a decade. I just asked an honest question. A question to which the only answer given so far has been that blacks are brainwashed. So if I were to dig for racism anywhere in this discussion, I’d have to say that American Knight’s comment was racist. Not the Republican party (to which I belong), not any policy or protest of policy, just American Knight’s comment.

    But this does bring up something interesting. Just my mentioning of a racial disparity, is dismissed as an unfounded accusation of racism. There is a reluctance on the Right to acknowledge even the existence of a racial disparity, and if acknowledged, there’s a tendency to ignore it, or worse, blame the race that makes them look bad as American Knight did.

  • “Question: Why are 99.9% (probably not an exaggeration) of the protesters white?”

    “So far, American Knight offers the explanation that there were hardly any non-whites because most blacks are dumb.”

    “But it’s OK to confuse unity against bigotry with groupthink?”

    “Because you don’t care is exactly why you don’t get their votes (though if you’re a loyal Republican, you should care that too many Hispanics are entering the country). The party that keeps failing to capture non-white votes is made up overwhelmingly of white people. That’s a fact. McCain won the WASP vote.”

    “There is a reluctance on the Right to acknowledge even the existence of a racial disparity, and if acknowledged, there’s a tendency to ignore it, or worse, blame the race that makes them look bad as American Knight did.”

    “Funny. I didn’t mention “racism” anywhere. Didn’t accuse any one of it.”

    Good one, restrained. Without actually using the word “racism”, you imply one commenter is a bigot, accuse another of not caring about nonwhite people, and insinuate that loyal Republicans fear Hispanic immigration. But you didn’t accuse anyone of racism.

    So you didn’t like American Knight’s assessment of why comparatively few black folks participated in the rally. Fair enough; brainwashing would be tough to quantify anyway. Perhaps you’d care to explain why it is that black voters support the Democratic Party (and supported Obama) at consistent rates of around 95% although the party offered no support to the antislaver movement in the 1800s, little to the civil rights movement before the ’60’s, and has consistently promoted policies that have resulted in the disproportionate abortion of black babies, damage to the black family, and urban decay.

    BTW, that the DC population didn’t turn out in droves is hardly surprising. These are the same folks who have repeatedly scuttled their own statehood attempts by maintaining crooked or incompetent local administrations that would have been ridden out on rails anyplace else, and who continue to keep convicted drug offender and do-nothing politico Marion Barry in government. My guess is a good segment of D.C. would continue to support Obama and his policies were he to declare himself President for Life, abolish private property right down to toothbrushes, and commence acquiring a harem of teenage girls.

  • Restrainedradical,

    white knight was merely alluding to the % of blacks who voted for Obama. A far greater rate than voted for any previous presidential candidate. His comment may have been inarticulate, but it was surely not meant to be racist as you have CLEARLY suggested.

    I do agree that we must convert minorities to vote their already conservative values.

    Raging Elephants is a Houston based effort to do just that, led by conservative minorities who recognize the devastation wrought on minorities by their democrat voting records.

  • Please let me clarify ‘brainwashed’. As some of you have cogently pointed out, it is bad wording. Forgive the speed at which I typed a response because I was incensed.

    I think it is very insulting to black people to state that there were no or very little black people at the pro-constitution rally. I think it is equally insulting to state that blacks, or anyone else, including us non-white naturalized citizens, can’t think for themselves.

    My ‘brainwashed’ comment was a reference to the cognitive dissonance among black voters. Most blacks are pro-family, pro-life, pro-school choice and pro-private property, yet as a block they vote for the exact opposite, which is what the nice, stealthy racists on the left promote. In addition to my mention that the general genocide of abortion is disgusting, it is also racist in that it has targeted black babies overwhelmingly. That is racist. The voting black population has been decimated by the horror of abortion. How can a party or ideological fellow travelers claim to empower blacks when they are the once eradicating the black population? That is racist and hypocritical.

    As other posters have pointed out, the policies of the Left (both the Donkeys and the Elephants) have been extremely damaging to black Americans. I stated that the voting blacks are ‘brainwashed’ because I can’t think of another reason that they would vote against their own interests consistently and malign the minority of blacks that support Constitutional government, personal responsibility and a general improvement for all Americans, which includes black Americans.

    I also think the right-thinking silent majority, who are not all Republicant’s, are waking up to this long march toward the end of the United States as we know it. That isn’t racist, that is patriotism. If Republicans want to attract so-called minorities then they need to return to true conservative principles and quit copying what the Democrats were 40 years ago and the Democrats need to stop copying the Politburo.

    Also, as I stated before, which was conveniently ignored, people of faith know that there is no Jew or Greek, no black and no white, we are one in Christ. We also should all be red, white and blue rather than red vs. blue and black vs. white.

    We can by UNITED, as in the United States (Commonwealths) of America on basic, fundamental American principles enshrined in the Declaration and the Constitution. And please don’t go trotting out the allowance for slavery and the three-fifths mistakes — they have been corrected because they were and are not compatible with liberty. America is the best, warts and all.

    PS – Matt, my moniker is AMERICAN Knight and although white knight has a certain appeal, given this topic it is probably very innaproriate. I am fairly confident the KKK would not have me as a member not only becuase of the color of my skin and texture of my hair but becuase I am also very Catholic and my status as knight is only due to Fr. McGivney 🙂

  • One thing that seems to be lost on Michael Sean Winters and others intimating that racism is a major motivator for these protesters is the fact that these same protesters are also quite angry with the quite fair-skinned congress.

    Just sayin’.

  • American Knight,

    deepest apology for the typo. Growing up in Canada the concept of “white knight” has nothing to do with racism or the KKK and so the transposition was not ill-intended.

    ps. I find it ironicly amusing that restrainedradical would imply you are racist against yourself…

  • Matt,

    No harm. I didn’t think you meant it that way; I was clarifying becuase some people tend to use any slip to latch on to in order to promote their illogical argument.

    You may be interested in knowing that I am currently suing myself for discrimination and I am hoping to enlist the help of ACORN becuase I will not put up with this blatant racism and hatred for an immigrant especially becuase he dared to enter through the front door and actually read the Constitution. These kind of people are dangerous, they may actually have an idea that liberty and rights come from God and are secured by the Constitution for everyone! Where would that leave community ‘prostitution’ organizers and trial lawyers? Not to mention who would actually watch NBC? This is frightening. I demand an investigation. Unfair. I am victimizing myself — do something about it you white people.

  • AK- *lol*

    …Am I the only one kinda sad that folks watch the video up top, and the first thing they do is try to count how many of what race are where?

    I wish I’d kept track of a picture that was making the rounds during the election– it was from one of the mainstream newspapers, and some folks made a stink because the lighting made Obama look no darker than an Italian with a slight tan. If he were wearing a hat with a nice shirt…are we sure someone would be able to guess his race in that video? Seems like a lot of sand to build an accusation on.

  • cminor says:
    Without actually using the word “racism”, you imply one commenter is a bigot, accuse another of not caring about nonwhite people, and insinuate that loyal Republicans fear Hispanic immigration. But you didn’t accuse anyone of racism.

    That 95% of blacks are brainwashed is a bigoted comment. I said that that was racist. I didn’t accuse anyone of not caring about nonwhite people. Foxfier admitted to not caring about race. Stephen Colbert mocks that sentiment with his line, “I don’t see race. I’ve been told I’m white.” It’s not racism. It’s ignoring that race issues exist. That’s why the GOP can’t win nonwhite votes. As for the loyal Republicans and xenophobia, “loyal Republicans” was not entirely accurate. I was talking about the Tom Tancredos and that large minority of the party that agrees with him.

    Perhaps you’d care to explain why it is that black voters support the Democratic Party (and supported Obama) at consistent rates of around 95% although the party offered no support to the antislaver movement in the 1800s, little to the civil rights movement before the ’60’s, and has consistently promoted policies that have resulted in the disproportionate abortion of black babies, damage to the black family, and urban decay.

    I’ll address that but I’d just like to let you know that those are very poor arguments that the Right would do well to drop. Seriously. It doesn’t convince anyone and only demonstrates how little the modern GOP has done for blacks. Blacks were Republican in the 1800’s and left the party entirely in the ’60’s. Parties change. Black babies are disproportionately aborted because more black women want to. They want abortion.

    Blacks vote Democrat because:
    1. They’re poorer than whites. Progressive taxation and social programs help them disproportionately. Most people vote according to their economic interests. Not “brainwashed.” Perfectly rational.
    2. They don’t trust Republicans. After the GOP picked up the segregationists in the 60’s, they lost the trust of blacks. The GOP did nothing to earn that trust back. Again, not “brainwashed.” Perfectly rational.

    But I’d like to hear your answer as to why blacks don’t vote Republican, if as you claim the Democratic party is so bad for them.

  • American Knight says:
    I think it is very insulting to black people to state that there were no or very little black people at the pro-constitution rally.

    It’s a fact. You said so yourself: “about half a percent.” Don’t be insulted by facts.

    I think it is equally insulting to state that blacks, or anyone else, including us non-white naturalized citizens, can’t think for themselves.

    Good to see you acknowledge that. But then you say…

    I stated that the voting blacks are ‘brainwashed’ because I can’t think of another reason that they would vote against their own interests consistently and malign the minority of blacks that support Constitutional government, personal responsibility and a general improvement for all Americans, which includes black Americans.

    So you’re standing firm? Most blacks are brainwashed? Unbelievable.

    Also, as I stated before, which was conveniently ignored, people of faith know that there is no Jew or Greek, no black and no white, we are one in Christ. We also should all be red, white and blue rather than red vs. blue and black vs. white.

    Using faith in Christ for an appeal to nationalism? How about this one? There should be no illegal immigrant vs. native. No child vs. parent. No rich vs. poor. No healthy vs. disabled. In Christ we are all of equal dignity but these earthly differences should matter when it comes to policy.

  • Big Tex says:
    One thing that seems to be lost on Michael Sean Winters and others intimating that racism is a major motivator for these protesters is the fact that these same protesters are also quite angry with the quite fair-skinned congress.

    The KKK didn’t like LBJ, therefore, the KKK cannot be racist.

  • Restrained:
    Way to dodge the question, dude. And no, I’m not going to be lured into venturing theories as I have little doubt that I’ll have been called a racist and a few other things by the time I’m done. You didn’t notice, by any chance, American Knight’s reference to his own racial background? I’m astonished you persist in attacking him.

    Incidentally, I think most black pro-lifers would take issue with your flip remark about black women and abortion. You’re unaware, I take it, that Planned Parenthood originated from the eugenics movement and strategically locates clinics in predominantly black neighborhoods to this day?
    http://www.lifeissues.org/connector/2005/Oct05_PPTargetsAA.htm

    I’m part Hispanic and can vouch for the fact that PP and other abortionists also advertise heavily in the secular Spanish-language press, so their commitment to “servicing” minorities is nothing if not broad-based. For some reason they seem to be less interested in ad campaigns targeting middle-class white women, unless they happen to be high school or college students.

  • Myapology; there was an answer down there at the bottom. But I’m sticking to my guns re the rest.

  • OTOH, it doesn’t really explain the persistence of Democratic voting into the black middle and upper classes.

  • This is getting tired. 0.005% of the country’s population was at DC on 912. 300,000,000 at 12% (approx black population)= 36million. black population factored by total of dc 912 population is 180,000. Since 95% of balcks are probably still against this movement then we can expect that 9,000 black Americans would be present at DC 912. I didn’t count, but I think the number is higher than that.

    In any event, it doesn’t really matter this whole discussion is a canard. Are some people racists? Yes. Are they all white? No. Is America as a country racist? No. Is the por-Constitution movement racist? No. Are some people in it racist? Probably.

    A minority of racists no matter if they are black, white, Kenyan, Korean or from Kansas do not make a racist movement.

    As for radical’s comment about using faith for nationalism. What do you think Jefferson (not an exemplary Christian and sadly using enlightenment language) meant when he wrote that our rights come from Nature’s God? This is a Christian nation. That doesn’t mean she doesn’t allow for other beleifs it means the principles are Christian — a fact, a stubborn, unavoidable fact.

    In your twisted attack on me you mixed behavior with constitution. A black man is a black man becuase God made him that way. An illegal alien is illegel becuase he chose to trespass. Not the same thing at all. We are not to be judged on our make-up but on our behavior and choices.

    I am finished with this discussion so like a typical antagonist, I am sure that radical will take the last word. I know I am right so I am done.

    God bless you all.

  • Margaret Sanger the big abortion pioneer lectured the Klan. By the way, Catholics have been targets of the KKK as well.

    http://www.blackgenocide.org (and the more rowdy dot com version give lots of facts)

    Martin Luther King a Republican.

    Republicans voted for desegregation in the 1960s. I’m not sure saying the Republicans picked up the Segregationists is an accurate statement with someone like Byrd a powerful democrat and he was in the Klan.

  • “Blacks were Republican in the 1800’s and left the party entirely in the ’60’s. Parties change. Black babies are disproportionately aborted because more black women want to. They want abortion.”

    Denzel Washington, Martin Luther King, Republicans.

    Desegregation Bills only passed because Republicans voted for those bills.

    The last sentence really is a joke, again http://www.blackgenocide.org

  • restrained radical,

    The KKK didn’t like LBJ, therefore, the KKK cannot be racist.
    I fail to see your point. In fact, you entirely missed mine. In these protests, the ire directed at President Obama is very much the same as that directed at the Congress. Why not take a look at the rhetoric from these protests and see for yourself what the nature of the ire actually is.

  • American Knight Says:
    Since 95% of balcks are probably still against this movement

    You say that in passing but that’s my point.

    In your twisted attack on me you mixed behavior with constitution. A black man is a black man becuase God made him that way. An illegal alien is illegel becuase he chose to trespass. Not the same thing at all. We are not to be judged on our make-up but on our behavior and choices.

    I also used the example of children and the disabled which you very conveniently ignore. Unless, you think one chooses to be a child or disabled.

    I know I am right so I am done.

    Bigotry is never right.

  • cminor says:
    OTOH, it doesn’t really explain the persistence of Democratic voting into the black middle and upper classes.

    The distrust of Republicans still applies plus:
    1. Many middle and upper income blacks grew up poorer. They have friends and family who are still poor.
    2. Solidarity within the black community. At the macro level it’s strong.

Obamas Speech: Dem Health Care Bill Now, With Or Without GOP

Wednesday, September 9, AD 2009

[Updates at the bottom of this posting as of 3:03am CDT on AD 9-10-2009]

President Obama’s speech covered many topics, lets first layout our President’s plan:

I. Keep the health insurance you have now.

1.  Pre-existing symptoms or disabilities no longer will disqualify anyone from coverage.

2.  No spending caps set by insurance companies.

3.  No drop in coverage in the middle of an illness.

4.  Limit on out of pocket expense.

5.  Minimal requirements of coverage.

II. Public Option & Exchange

1.  When losing your job you have the Public Option if you can’t afford insurance.

2.  Insurance exchange markets will be required for insurance companies to participate in.

3.  Tax credits for small businesses.

4.  In theory this will not lead to a government take over.

Continue reading...

39 Responses to Obamas Speech: Dem Health Care Bill Now, With Or Without GOP

  • For me the oddest statement in the President’s speech was the claim that “I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits – either now or in the future. Period.” I’m not sure this can even by classified as a lie, as lying requires an intent to deceive, and I can’t imagine Obama thought anyone would believe him when he said this (so then why did he say it?)

  • I think President Obama actually believes that statement he said about not a single dime towards our deficits.

    So I’m not sure if he can be accused of saying a lie. But if it does happen, does it qualify as a lie after the fact?

  • This proposal doesn’t come off as “reform.” Rather, it comes off as more of what we currently have: tons of regulations that introduce more cost and curb competition.

  • It’s not clear that Obama could even hold true to his promise for the length of his speech. Nine paragraphs after making his “not one dime . . . Period” pledge, he says that his plan would cost $900 billion, and that “most” of this would be offset by cuts in existing health care programs. Perhaps by most he means $899,999,999,999.91? Or maybe he means his pledge literally. He won’t sign a bill if it adds exactly a dime to the deficit, but if it adds billions that’s okay.

  • For full disclosure, I am not an expert on how the Health Care industry works.

    With that said I do like the first portion of his speech that says pre-existing symptoms or disabilities no longer will disqualify anyone from coverage, no spending caps set by insurance companies will be allowed, coverage won’t be dropped in the middle of an illness, there will be a limit on out of pocket expense, and there will be minimal standards required in basic coverage.

    I’m not sure if this will make insurance costs go up, drive companies out of business, and eventually result in a single payer system over a period of time.

    But if this is possible without any of the above scenarios, I like it!

  • Tito, on another thread I was calling you out, takin it back now.
    Really! If we could fix the pre-existing condition and employer control thing in healthcare, who could argue?

  • Master C,

    I was busy typing up this posting when you left that message.

    I like the portion I outlined, but without the public option.

    If some regulations could be set up for the insurance industry without the public option then that would be ideal!

  • We need this change…YESTERDAY!

    Millions of Americans presently have no health care, others who do, when faced with an illness go bankrupt, and others find out that suddenly they don’t have any healthcare at all and still others are covered but face high costs.

    I’m 52 years old..and my job was outsourced 4 years ago.
    Thankfully I have family but I pay $450.67 per month and my Asthma inhaler costs…$211.00 OUT OF POCKET.

    Others are in worse shape.

    Any Catholic that cannot see the good in this isn’t Catholic!

  • P. Edward Murray,

    I certainly sympathize with the problems that you are facing.

    Though I have to say that just because some of us oppose certain points of President Obama’s speech doesn’t make us not Catholic.

    If you could explain why then we have a starting point, but just simply saying this doesn’t make it so.

    Also you can’t force others to pay for something they don’t want to pay for nor are required to pay for.

  • “Primary school taunting”?

    No, he just told the truth. Would that Palin and FOX NEWS would do the same.

  • Mr. Murray,

    I have no health care. I pray that my health does does fail. I haven’t had a full-time job in nearly a year. I do fear bankruptcy if I experience any health programs.

    That said, anyone who tries to get me health care on the backs of dead babies is not doing me any favors. I’d rather face financial ruin than see one more baby slaughtered.

    In Christ,
    Steve

  • Heather,

    Denying that there are End-of-Life-Decision panels, aka, Death Panels?

  • Steve,

    First, I know quite well where you are..I’ve been out of a job for 4 years…

    I thought I had finally found a good company to work for and was promoted a Team Leader at our Panasonic National Diagnostic Center. So I was part of the management team lowest level.

    One day I came in and learned that my entire office was to be sold. We were. And we were led to believe that we would just move to another location.

    That didn’t happen.

    At one point, we had 75 people working at our facility.

    All the remaining jobs were outsourced to Manila.

    I blame GWB and all Republicans..they didn’t give a care.
    To all of them…outsourcing is just another way of making more profit.

    And that is why I will never vote for another Republican as long as I live.

    The lie and cheat period. They only care about themselves and other rich …very rich people.

    As far as abortion is concerned you needn’t worry because this is what the president said…

    “And one more misunderstanding I want to clear up – under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions, and federal conscience laws will remain in place.”

    And to anyone else reading…

    We are living in a Depression…currently I have a brother & sister-in-law out of work. I have an Aunt & Uncle..both in their sixties…out of work and they are trying to start business.

    Millions of Americans are in the same boat as Steve and I and if you aren’t yout of work you should be counting your blessings because it isn’t over yet.

    Being unemployed for a long time is very hard but I’m also

  • I’m also caring for my 74 year old mother who has cancer and is still working and is partially disabled with a bad back so I must take her to work and back in a wheelchair.

    This is what George W Bush did.

    I know this is where Jesus wants me to be..to take care of my mother…something that many middle aged Americans face..caring for their elderly parents.

    We need this change and we need the jobs to come back.

    If this doesn’t happen then God help us because there is going to be a heck of a revolution!

    Say the Chaplet of Divine Mercy!

  • Tito…

    Have you ever heard of

    “A living will”?

    Please don’t tell lies.

  • P. Edwards Murray,

    There will be abortion funding in the bill. You know better that the public option will offer coverage for abortion.

    This is your first warning. If you’re unable to keep your emotions in check and call me a lier one more time then you will be banned.

    You know there are End-of-Life Panels, aka, Death Panels, in one of the two congressional bills.

    I can tell you my sob story as well, but I’m not here to score cheap political points.

    If you really believe a revolution will occur if this bill doesn’t pass then you are beyond logic and reason.

    If this bill does go through, one thing is for certain, we’ll have an entirely new executive and legislative branch come 2012. That is change that I can believe in.

  • Personally having witnessed the outrageous statements at my former Parish…St. Ignatius of Antioch Yardley PA..statements made just after the election…that voting

    “The Economy” was wrong and that “Jesus would have something to say to me” I left that Parish in disgust.

    Picking up my mother from her weekly Adoration, I noticed some flyers saying that this health care would include abortion….

    Which it didn’t then and won’t now.

    I’m of the opinion that The American Catholic Church is really split…many proclaim themselves to be Catholic and are more Republican than really Catholic.

    And some are really Catholic.

    I don’t know about you, but I was brought up to believe that being a Christian was more than abortion…

    Did not Jesus say “Feed my Sheep”? Did he not say that if a man has no “cloak” to give him yours? Did he not say to give your money to the poor?

    Do we not sing a song “Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me”?

    Yes we sing that song and Pope John Paul II talked about
    “A Consistent Ethic of Life”?

    So remember…

    Your vote is an action and actions speak louder than words.

    Is it better to vote for one who says they are pro life but clearly discounts everything else that Jesus has said?

    For the record, I believe in a “Consistent Ethic of Life” and I am a practicing Catholic and a Democrat.

    One final note…

    When I left St. Ignatius I could hardly believe that any priest or deacon could have said such a thing. Clearly sometimes priests forget that they live by charity.

    The Deacon in question…his other job..is a

  • Tito,

    I will not remain here and will never bother you again.

    Say a Chaplet of Divine Mercy

  • P. Edward Murray,

    You are more than welcome to say your peace, but please say it in charity.

    It seems you are the one struggling with your Catholic identity vs. being a Democrat.

    As for me I am not a Republican nor do I vote a clean GOP ticket.

    I’ve donated all of my money to the local democratic party and have voted for many democrats, yet I vote as a Catholic, not as a republican nor democrat.

    The life of a human being, especially an innocent child, is the utmost important issue.

    If you feel that getting a free bottle of aspirin forcibly paid by someone else is more important than the life of an innocent child, then that is between you and God.

    I’ll put you and your family in my evening prayers.

  • Catholic Anarchist,

    Your disrespectful comments and vicious attack on the writers of this website will not be tolerated.

    It is comments like yours that the American people are fed up with the way you and your ilk demonize those that protest President Obama’s health care bill.

  • “He chastised those that would dare say the Public Option would eventually take over the Health Insurance Industry.”

    A Kool-Aid stand was set up in the lobby for those who have yet to see the light. Name ONE government program that has ever gotten smaller.

    Buehler…BUEHLER…ANYBODY ?

  • “Any Catholic that cannot see the good in [ObamaCare] isn’t Catholic!”

    “I’m of the opinion that The American Catholic Church is really split…many proclaim themselves to be Catholic and are more Republican than really Catholic.”

    “For the record, I believe in a “Consistent Ethic of Life” and I am a practicing Catholic and a Democrat.”

    Taken at face value, these comments add up to saying, essentially, that one must be a Democrat in order to be a “real” Catholic (never mind the Democrat-sponsored legalized murder of all those dead babies).

    “Any Catholic that cannot see the good in [ObamaCare] isn’t Catholic!”

    So, then, unless you support this particular version of health care reform, prepare yourself to be denied the Catholic funeral that that paragon of Catholic virtue Teddy Kennedy received.

    “I’m of the opinion that The American Catholic Church is really split…many proclaim themselves to be Catholic and are more Republican than really Catholic.”

    Mightn’t there be an even greater number that proclaim themselves to be Catholic that are more Democrat than really Catholic? There’s a whole generation of Catholic Democrat politicians, for example, that ignore Church teaching on fundamental issues such as abortion, euthanasia, and marriage. It’s funny: I see very few pro-life Catholics who proclaim themselves members of the Republican Party as readily as this gentleman proclaims himself a Democrat. Tito’s not a Republican. I’m not a Republican. And even those who are self-proclaimed Republicans tend to be willing to vote against the party when it comes to a “pro-choice” candidate (witness Catholics Against Rudy). Sad that we don’t see that same commitment from Catholic Democrats.

    “I don’t know about you, but I was brought up to believe that being a Christian was more than abortion… Did not Jesus say “Feed my Sheep”? Did he not say that if a man has no “cloak” to give him yours? Did he not say to give your money to the poor? … Do we not sing a song “Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me”? … For the record, I believe in a “Consistent Ethic of Life” and I am a practicing Catholic and a Democrat.”

    It’s ironic that whevever someone proclaims themselves to have a “consistent ethic of life”, it is almost ALWAYS the unborn who get short shrift, whose right to life is given a lower priority than whatever other policy issues happen to more closely coincide with that person’s own preferences. They proclaim a concern about “the least of these our brothers” without a hint of irony that they’re leaving out of the equation (or at least minimizing) the least of the least of these – the unborn.

    I agree that we should all have a consistent ethic of life. That universal access to health care – in whatever form it is delivered – is part of that consistent ethic. But as long as our culture accepts a legal regime that fails to recognize the inherent humanity in the least of the least of these our brothers, such a consistent ethic of life is impossible. And, quite frankly, a government that provides legal cover for the murder of the innocent is unfit to run anything remotely resembling health care.

    And besides, how dare anyone believe that their other policy priorities somehow take precedence over the very right to experience life that is endowed by the Creator upon the unborn? With apologies to Charles Dickens, it may be, that in the sight of Heaven, the millions of poor children in the womb have a higher priority in seeing the light of day than does someone in having the government pay for their “free” health care. So, yes, let’s have a consistent ethic of life, but let’s get our priorities straight about what that means, and stop using it as a tool for ignoring abortion in favor of a particular party’s big government agenda.

  • “It is comments like yours that the American people are fed up with the way you and your ilk demonize those that protest President Obama’s health care bill.”

    Tito. I know. You’re going to start thinking I’m singling you out. But…the reverse happens just as frequently and just as viciously. And at least on this blog, the latter tends to be quite tolerated.

    Jay,

    I agree. Catholic Democrats really do not live up to their vocation as Catholics. Many are cowards. Many use the “seamless garment” as cover for voting for pro-choice candidates without even resisting pro-abortion legislation while performing some sort of intellectual gymnastics to distract attention from such a reality. But really, we are told that they are really pro-life because they are reducing the number of abortions by expanding access and/or funding to it.

    But…I think concerns that “other issues” — and I’m not talking about everything else on the “progressive” agenda — are unfortunately neglected, or voting for pro-life Republican candidates, which some Catholics imply is mandatory (even you choose to try to opt to not vote for anyone at all over voting for a Democrat), might strike your conscience as endorsing a number of policies that you simply do not agree with and do not believe is good for our country.

    In a sense, there is a sentiment that I don’t totally endorse — but I am very sympathetic to — is that many left-leaning Catholics feel boxed in. It is practically non-negotiable that you support a party that you fundamentally do not agree with and whom we tend to be suspicious about in regard to their commitment to actually stopping the evil of abortion — and I’m not saying the Democrats are the solution. I’m not trying to draw failure of one side to excuse the other. I am merely saying, these concerns — valid or not — usually are dismissed or there is a legitimate sentiment that right-leaning Catholics either totally reject such considerations or really don’t care. Whether that’s true or not is one thing, but it can seem that way. I repeat: it can seem that way. I’m not sure.

    But to the plight of an orthodox pro-life Catholic Democrat, I am very sympathetic. Obviously, I am one. I did not vote for Obama, but if he were pro-life, I probably would have campaigned for him.

  • If Obama were pro-life (and I mean TRULY pro-life, not Harry Reid “pro-life”), I would probably vote for him, just to reward the Democrats for nominating a pro-lifer.

    If the Democrats ever wised up to the fact that being pro-life was actually a political benefit to them, then we could really do something to end abortion in this country, and Democrats would likely become a permanent majority.

  • Eric,

    I know you personally so don’t worry, your intentions are pure and I need someone like you (I have many) to help keep me on the straight and narrow.

    Your comments and critiques of me are appreciated and spiritually humbling.

    🙂

    …and yes, it does go both ways, though for the moment, in my humble opinion, the GOP, conservatives, independents, and moderates are getting more of it than the liberals and democrats.

    In Jesus, Mary, & Joseph,

    Tito

  • Obama spent a rather long time last night composing what I believe will be remembered as the epitaph for ObamaCare. I have never seen a more inept performance by a President addressing a joint session of Congress. He is approaching lame duck status in his first year in office with his party in overwhelming control in both chambers of Congress. In the teeth of an economic and fiscal crisis of vast proportions there is effectively no one directing the ship of state. God help us.

  • Picking up my mother from her weekly Adoration, I noticed some flyers saying that this health care would include abortion….

    Which it didn’t then and won’t now.

    With respect, Mr. Murray, that’s simply not true. It did, and it does, as Michigan Representative (and Democrat) Bart Stupak recognizes.

    http://www.time.com/time/printout/0,8816,1918261,00.html

    But you are absolutely right that health care is a human right, and you should have coverage. I just wish the pro-abortion pols would stop jeopardizing the possibility of health care reform with their games.

  • I think there are flaws in Obama’s proposal, I would prefer that any public option only be state- or region-level co-ops, and I’m sceptical of its ability to control healthcare costs as long as most healthcare is fee-for-service. But overall, I think it has a lot of good in it. I wish some pro-life Republicans like Chris Smith would tell Obama that they’d vote for it if it includes the Stupak amendment. With around 20 pro-life Republicans in the house supporting it and the 20 Dems who wrote the letter on abortion and healthcare, that would be enough to pass it and give it some bipartisan credentials, which Obama wants, and it would protect life.

  • You’re right about that, Zak. If the Dem leadership would be willing to maintain the status quo of no federal funding for abortion by including the Stupak amendment, then health care reform would pass with bipartisan support and the blessing of the USCCB.

    I think it telling, however, that the administration that promised to find “common ground” on abortion is not even willing to maintain the Hyde Amendment status quo, despite its being the overwhelming majority view of the American people that tax dollars should not pay for abortions.

  • I think Zak is in the ballpark with the co-ops, but as a Catholic I would rather forget the state/regional level (implies government run) and take it a step further and suggest the the Catholic Church take the lead and reclaim the moral high ground by establish CATHOLIC Co-ops at the diocesan/parish level.

    There are the beginnings of such a move in the diocese of San Antonio TX by the Catholic Medical Association – see:

    http://www.cathmed.org/issues_resources/blog/new_guild_in_san_antonio_forming/

    Imagine a network of Catholic medical clinics around the country (and world) like the Tepeyac Family Center

    http://www.tepeyacfamilycenter.com/

    and Divine Mercy Pharmacy

    http://www.dmcpharm.com/

    Also – Catholic hospitals (like many colleges) need to reclaim their Catholic identity.

  • JB, I like that idea.

  • What these folks who keep talking about a consistent ethic of life don’t seem to get is this very simple concept:

    A consistent ethic of life begins with life.

  • Jb,

    a step further and suggest the the Catholic Church take the lead and reclaim the moral high ground by establish CATHOLIC Co-ops at the diocesan/parish level.

    A fantastic idea. Unfortunately the current regulatory environment (ie. massive government intrusion) makes such an idea very difficult to implement.

  • Matt,
    I don’t know if it would be hard for a diocese to set up a healthcare coop that Catholics could buy into except for government demands to cover certain things. The trouble I see is when the co-op refusedto pay for contraception and gets in trouble with the government like Belmont Abbey College. One fears the government might also eventually mandate that insurance plans participating in its exchanges cover abortion too.

  • Zak,

    agreed, but there’s a lot of other issues in the state level regulations as well regarding non-discrimination and covered procedures, etc.

  • Matt – what came to me as I read your response is to reaffirm what I said about reclaiming the high ground.

    The battle cry of the feminist movement all these years has essentially been “this is MY body” – (sounds vaguely familiar), The regulations (and health care “reform”) have been a steady march towards telling people of faith that “your body has to follow our rules” regarding contraception and abortion – especially when we’re paying the bills.

    Their “solutions” to every problem is always more and more of the same thing that got us into the problem in the first place, and things continue to get worse. It’s like a person that beats their head against the wall every day because it feels so good when they stop.

    I believe that places like the Teyeyac Family Clinic and DM Pharmacy were raised up by God to say to the world “we’re getting off this merry go round”, and the result speak for themselves.

    Many of the Dr’s across the nation that have stopped prescribing contraceptives and referring / performing for abortion have initially seen their practices suffer – only to come roaring back stronger than before.

    To me – the logical place to put these kinds of places is where the people are – in the diocese. That’s how the non-profit Catholic Hospitals got their start – we need to get back to our roots.

    God will do the work if he can just find a “few good men (and women)” to enlist. Now is the time to be bold – not timid. Remember the walls of Jericho !

  • Jay,

    I’m not sure if the absence of abortion would win the bill any new votes. As far as I can tell, people object for various other reasons. But you might be quite right.

    In regard to insurance, I’ve always thought the Knights of Columbus should offer health insurance. I think Catholics would buy it in swarms.

  • In regard to insurance, I’ve always thought the Knights of Columbus should offer health insurance. I think Catholics would buy it in swarms.

    Amen, brother knight.

    Though at this point they are probably effectively barred from it by the fact that you can’t offer health insurance across state lines. If that were removed, and voluntary associations could form pools in the same way as employers, I would think we could see a huge amount of positive change right there.

  • Eric, Darwin… I agree, the KofC seems like an excellent means of offering health insurance. As Darwin aptly noted, they are prevented from doing so by the regulations preventing insurance across state lines. Additionally, removing health insurance coverage as an employment benefit would serve to assist in this endeavor. Voluntary associations with interstate portability… sounds like a winner to me.

Obama Speech: Public Option Now

Wednesday, September 9, AD 2009

Obama speech

[Updates at the bottom of this post as of 5:52am CDT on AD 9-9-2009]

News is emanating from the White House that President Obama’s monumental speech will push for the infamous public option.  It is well known that most Republicans will call this a deal breaker but at the same time liberal Democrats will say the opposite that no Health Care bill will get through if it doesn’t contain a public option.

Jonathan Weisman and Janet Adamy have reported in the Wall Street Journal that President Obama will be pushing for the public option.  It is also being reported that there will be penalties imposed to those that are not paying for Health Care, regardless of the reasons.

White House aides acknowledged they expect little Republican support if any.

Continue reading...

15 Responses to Obama Speech: Public Option Now

  • I think you misunderstand what “the public wants.”

    True recent polls say that they don’t think Obama is doing a good job of leading on the issue – he let democracy work, I guess that was his first problem in your eyes.

    However the TV shots of people who yell about losing their country are NOT THE MAJORITY.

    At the most negative level, the country is (as usual) about equally divide on the issue of the public option with about 10% undecided. Moreover after the initial poll, when people are given information about what the public option means, this goes to about 70% in favor of the public option. These polls were done in August by both Pew and a Time poll I believe.

    The tea parties DID make an impact on him, but he is not the president of just those people, he is also the president of the less vocal majority.

    I know these kinds of polls are never shown on FOX, they have their own polls and their reporting bias is pretty obvious.

    Yes, if we get a public option and it doesn’t work, the public will vote Obama out of office. That’s democracy. But that’s what conservatives thought about Social Security and the Clean Air and Water Acts and rural electrification and the same folks who protest any role of the federal government on health care are often the same ones who use those very same programs. Irony is a beach.

    BTW, the whining about the “cult of personality” was always dumb, but now its getting old. Reagan did it and conservatives have beatified him for it, so the current angst about Obama is hardly unbiased.

  • And if Obama loses in 2012, so be it. Hopefully he will have tried to do what he thought was right and not compromised just to hold on to power – but I doubt you would give him even that much credit.

  • You assume a lot MacGregor.

    I’m not a fan of Social Security and the clean air acts.

    Plus regardless if the public option “works” or not, it’ll stay there forever just as Social Security is here forever.

    Government always grows and never retracts.

    When people continue to raise their voice in town halls, tea party protests, and contacting their congressional reps, and Obama still refuses to listen, you’ll see the majority vote Obama and his colleagues out of office.

  • Obama believes in a cult of personality because he thinks he can persuade people of his point of view through a speech? Don’t you think that’s a little disingenuous? All leaders, religious and political, give speeches on subjects in attempts to persuade people of their opinions. Some of us might even argue that it’s a better approach than yelling loudly at town hall meetings or holding incoherent “tea parties.”

    And why would you oppose the clean air act (which is generally very popular, even if you oppose it)?

  • Yes, if we get a public option and it doesn’t work, the public will vote Obama out of office. That’s democracy.

    Actually the bill isn’t set to go into effect until after the 2012 elections. So even if it turns out to be a disaster people won’t get the chance to vote Obama out because of it.

    In terms of polling, support for health care reform tends to evaporate when you put a price tag on it.

  • “Yes, if we get a public option and it doesn’t work, the public will vote Obama out of office. That’s democracy.”

    Actually the bill isn’t set to go into effect until after the 2012 elections. So even if it turns out to be a disaster people won’t get the chance to vote Obama out because of it.

    All that is still beside the point. Political retribution is of no consequence. The reason to make sure things are done right in the first place is that the the consequences are great. Good policy will benefit society now and our posterity, bad policy has long lasting negative effects. I’m no fan of Obama, but I’d happily support anything he does that is good and give him due credit for it. I just don’t think what’s in the offering is good, and since there’s basically no going back (to something genuinely good or even the status quo), there’s good reason to oppose the entire bill.

  • It’s not a “cult of personality.” It’s called communication and trying to build a consensus, and it’s how politics is supposed to work. Too many ignorant and angry voices are spreading falsehoods about what is about to transpire, and it is the President’s JOB to get information out there and make this process as transparent as possible. He has spent months listening to the debates and the Republicans have NO proposal other than opposing any proposal he offers or any effort he makes to bring this country together – however large or small. It’s a sad, sad day when we have people protesting a message about working hard in school and taking responsibility for one’s future. Likewise, much of the opposition to health care reform remains sadly uninformed about the present system AND about the proposals at hand. Such a position does not build anything. It doesn’t even try to promote consensus. It doesn’t do anything at all to help the millions of people who are suffering because of our broken, inefficient, and corrupt system. It rests idly on the willingness of those who are comfortable with the current system to ignore the problem and look the other way. I’m disgusted by the “I have mine, who cares about everyone else” attitude so prevalent in these discussions. There are millions of Catholics, myself included, who support the President and this initiative.

  • He has spent months listening to the debates and the Republicans have NO proposal other than opposing any proposal he offers or any effort he makes to bring this country together –

    You people keep repeating this, but it’s manifestly untrue. In fact, it is an out and out LIE. Republicans – elected officials, commentators, and think tankers – have offered various alternative proposals, but the President and his minions have ignored them all and continue to act as though the other side doesn’t exist. That’s certainly their prerogative because they have the numbers to do so, but stop pretending that the President is interested in “dialogue” and compromise.

    Likewise, much of the opposition to health care reform remains sadly uninformed about the present system AND about the proposals at hand.

    Why do you presume that the people protesting the current plan are the ignorant ones? Are you fully aware of the full scope of what’s being proposed? Have you scanned every page of the proposed legislation? Somehow I doubt it.

    There are millions of Catholics, myself included, who support the President and this initiative.

    And there are millions more who oppose it. Deal with it.

  • Tracey,
    Please read this linked statement on Health Care Reform by Bishop Guglielmone: http://www.catholic-doc.org/BishopGuglielmone/Health%20Care%20memo.pdf

  • Also see this bishop’s less than approving letter on the plan:

    http://www.archden.org/index.cfm/ID/2440/Archbishop’s-Column/

  • Credit to Jay Anderson on that find.

  • And PPH’s president criticizing US Bishops for their stance. This was probably covered a few weeks ago. http://www.lifenews.com/nat5375.html

  • Tito, you couldnt be helped by a public option?
    Obama is proposing we get to have and keep healthcare whether jobless or having a pre-existing condition. Also, if you want to keep the healthcare you have, you can. I fail to see the problem. Ill wager most of the folks posting here have socialized medicine already-medicare anyone? Paul, what are these competing plans? Im familiar with Max Baucus’, what else? The president has been more than fair on taking input from all sides. Wouldnt this be good for us?

  • Pingback: Obamas Speech: Dem Health Care Bill Now, With Or Without GOP « The American Catholic
  • Health care or not, I’m partisan to a president that can lower my taxes and fix what the housing market “greed” created… Just get the job market back up and avoid more scams…including “communism”

Overreacting, The Left Needs To Wake Up To Reality

Tuesday, September 8, AD 2009

GOP overreaction to Obama speechLiberals and Democrats have accused many Americans of overreacting to the speech that President Obama will be delivering to school children today (at 11:00 am Central Daylight Time).

On the surface this would seem a fair evaluation but if you dig a little deeper, those on the Left may well be making another crucial misdiagnosis of the source and cause of this reaction.

First lets examine the prism that those on the Left have viewed this reaction.

Continue reading...

33 Responses to Overreacting, The Left Needs To Wake Up To Reality

  • You, and so many others, are conflating legitimate opposition to policy with lunacy. Just because you’re on the same side of the aisle doesn’t mean you have to defend all of them. The Birthers and now the Uneducators cannot be reasoned with and trying will only be politically counterproductive. Obama and the Democrats gain by keeping alive this perception that Republicans are crazy.

  • Well I am opposed to Obama’s nationwide speech to school kids and I am not an “Uneducator”. I have a teacher’s BA in social studies which I obtained before I ran off to Law School. My wife has an MA in Library Science and an MA in Spanish, and has taught Spanish in a public high school, and she opposes this use of the students of America as a political prop for this floundering administration. All three of our kids attend our local public high school. The superintendant of our school system has decided to burn the speech onto some DVDs and make them available to kids who want to watch it, but not to turn over instruction time to this Presidential nationwide photo-op.

  • I don’t oppose the president’s speech at all, but I do think the teacher’s lesson plan put out by the White House smacked of the cult of personality.

  • The text of the speech is here. On a quick perusal, it appears to be an “eat your vegetables” speech, no different from those given by prior presidents. Not sure what the fuss is about.

  • Blackadder-
    Given that it doesn’t match up with the topics listed even in the re-done study guide, it would be reasonable to assume the speech was significantly re-written. This guess is bolstered by the fact that they didn’t release the speech days ago, instead of the morning prior to the scheduled talk.

  • Lesson plans asking students to write about “Is he challenging you to do anything?” Easily can be lead down the partisan route by a partisan teacher (and plenty of those in public schools.) Doesn’t help that is was written in part by the White House with the Dept. of Education. The faux pas was clear even to the White House and DOE resulting in changes to the lesson plans. Should have also released the content of the speech prior to today. Who’s to say the opposition didn’t change the wording of the speech.

    Some potential problems with the lesson plans:

    http://blog.heritage.org/2009/09/03/politicizing-the-department-of-education/

  • Foxfier anticipated part of what I am saying.

  • Foxfire,

    I’m not sure what study materials you are referring to. The study materials I’ve seen (and that would include the materials referenced in the article Phillip cites to) seems to match up pretty well with what’s actually in the speech.

    My understanding is that the study materials for the Obama speech track pretty closely the materials for Bush’s speech to school children back in the early 1990s. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if whatever Dept of Ed underlying was assigned to prepare the materials just ripped off the prior version.

  • Actually no. The Dept. of Ed admits the lesson plans were written in collaboration with the White House – and not the Bush White House.

  • The topics mentioned were “citizenship, personal responsibility, and civic duty”– only two of those three can sort of be found in the speech.

    Do you have a link to said materials? I’ve heard that statement morphing from “maybe Bush the Elder did it” to “these are exactly what Bush the Elder had” over the course of the weekend.

    Also, we do know who wrote the lesson plans– they were in large part provided by the White House.

  • Folks like MM love to make the hypocrisy point, claiming that everyone was fine when Reagan and Bush made similar speeches. Not so fast: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/When-Bush-spoke-to-students-Democrats-investigated-held-hearings-57694347.html

  • I’m sure this point will be brought up on NPR this afternoon. Waiting…Waiting…Waiting.

  • SB, you simply don’t understand. The problem is the difference between devils (R) and gods (D).

    Either way though, it’s just one more reason to homeschool.

  • Here’s the lesson plans. Also the Dept of Ed site notes that the plans were written in collaboration with the White House:

    http://www.ed.gov/admins/lead/academic/bts.html

  • Folks like MM love to make the hypocrisy point, claiming that everyone was fine when Reagan and Bush made similar speeches.

    Okay, so liberals are hypocrites for objecting then and not now, and conservatives are hypocrites for objecting now but not then. The question is whether there’s anything objectionable about what the President said. If there is, I’m not seeing it.

  • Is there anything objectionable about the lesson plans as originally formulated – Yes. Is there anything objectionable about what he was going to say before the fuss began – maybe. The protest may have done its job in more ways then one.

  • What was objectionable about the lesson plans as originally written?

  • What *isn’t* creepy about telling kids to write letters on how they can help the president, to be collected and passed out later to see how they’re living up to the goal?

    What if you’re not inspired by Obama, for that matter?

    (For that matter, the idea of a speech being interesting and challenging for pre-schoolers through seniors is kinda bloody weird, too, especially for someone that has kids.)

  • If I want my kids to listen to a politician I’ll take them to see said politician, without the assistance of the school or the White House, thank you very much. (In regard to my kids, however, if Obama wanted to address a classroom in person I would love for the class to contain my three kids. Two of them would ask follow-up questions that would leave a mark! My autistic son would probably be wondering how one of Dad’s boring political shows followed him to school!)
    A factor overlooked in all of this of course is that the National Education Association, the teacher’s union, has been a dominant power in the Democrat party for decades. The idea that a fair share of their membership will not be attempting to make partisan hay out of this is risible.

    The link below is to their story on the Obama address at the NEA website. As the first comment notes the NEA protested Bush addressing four classrooms in 1991.

    http://www.nea.org/home/35721.htm

  • One of the suggested activities in the original was to write about “how to help the president.” It was changed to “how they can achieve their short-term and long-term education goals.” IMO the criticism was fair and it was rectified. Still doesn’t explain why so many are opposed to children even hearing the speech.

  • Restrained Radical,

    I noted your points in my posting. And I explained why there was an overreaction.

    The reaction is to President Obama’s policies itself that manifested since the mainstream media refused to air any of the legitimate news concerning this growing grassroots movement. Add to this that President Obama and his proxies continue to slur and belittle any news that percolates to the surface and you have what happened with President Obama’s video to kids.

    It’s all in my posting.

  • Another problem is that the lesson plans ask older students to look at past Obama speeches on education and post quotes around the classroom. Of course past education speeches of Obama are riddled with errors. This from teh Washington Post:

    “Studies show that children in early childhood education programs are more likely to score higher in reading and math, more likely to graduate from high school and attend college, more likely to hold a job and more likely to earn more in that job. For every dollar we invest in these programs, we get nearly $10 back in reduced welfare rolls, fewer health-care costs and less crime. That’s why [the stimulus law] invests $5 billion in growing Early Head Start and Head Start.”

    Early education is a contentious issue, with many types of programs serving various goals.

    There is research to show lasting benefits for some kids who later move into good schools. There is research to show that such benefits fade if they do not move into strong schools. There is research to show that some programs help kids from low-income families become academically prepared for school. And there is research to show some programs don’t do more than babysit.

    Head Start, the country’s largest publicly funded preschool program, is praised by supporters for providing comprehensive education, health care and other support to low-income families. Critics say some programs are uneven and have little or no impact on academic performance. Finally, there are many estimates about how much money preschool saves in the long run. Obama’s is not the final word.

    DROPOUTS

    “Our high school dropout rate has tripled in the past 30 years.”

    For this statistic, the Education Department says that the president drew on a report from the National Board on Educational Testing and Public Policy at Boston College that was cited by the College Board in December. It said: “The rate at which students disappear from schools between grades 9 and 12 has tripled in the last 30 years.”

    How such rates are calculated is highly controversial. Dropouts are hard to track in part because kids move around. Graduation rates are often cited, but analysts say they have been fudged in some places. According to University of Chicago professor Melissa Roderick, it all depends on how and whom you count. One way is to calculate the people who wind up getting some kind of high school diploma or equivalency degree by their mid-20s. About 87 percent of people ages 25 to 29 are getting such degrees.

    If you look at kids who are getting diplomas on time, after four years of high school, that overall rate is about 75 percent, she said, although it is much lower for black and Hispanic students. States, pushed by the federal government, are moving to standardize the use of this on-time graduation rate.

  • What *isn’t* creepy about telling kids to write letters on how they can help the president, to be collected and passed out later to see how they’re living up to the goal?

    One of my co-workers told me the other day that he remembers watching Ronald Reagan speak when he was a kid in school and was assigned to write about how he could help the President (the co-worker is a conservative Republican, btw, and no fan of Obama).

    It’s only creepy if you want it to be.

  • On graduation rates– don’t forget private or homeschooling might “look” like a kid dropped out, or those folks who join the military early and get their GED in bootcamp.

  • True. My point is that included in the lesson plans was quoting past Obama speeches on education. Even one’s that are quite flawed in their data. So a student might decide to write his legislator about increasing funding for Headstart. Even though there’s no evidence that that works. Except from a partisan perspective. And there’s the problem.

  • Blackadder-
    Was that from the nation-wide, White House provided lesson plan, or did his teacher do it on his own?
    Was this after he directly contacted principals to get them to show his speech?
    Come to think of it, how old was your co-worker? How well does he remember this? (I’ve seen false memories show up for stuff that’s less than a year old, let alonenearly twenty-one years old.)

    November 14th of 88, Reagan did a Q&A for school kids that was carried on C-SPAN. He was nearing the end of his term, had no big irons in the fire, wasn’t hugely controversial, didn’t try to subvert usual channels, hadn’t just chosen a ton of highly controversial advisors and wasn’t accusing the opposition of manufacturing (violent) protests while doing so himself.
    With just one or two of these, the Obama thing might not be a big deal. With all of these things, it’s a big deal.

  • Yes. It would be good to see the lesson plans developed by the DOE and the White House for both the Reagan and Bush speechs. I just can find them on Google.

  • Pingback: Obama Speech: Public Option Now « The American Catholic
  • So after all of this fuss and fuming and hyperbole, and after the speech has been described as good, topical and non-partisan by a great number of independent and moderate Republican leaders nation-wide, the anti-Obama posters here still think there was a great conspiracy to indoctrinate kids – wow, what a shock. I guess it is better to accuse the president of an unproven, unlikely theoretical malfeasance based upon one’s political orientation than to judge what actually happened.

    That

    First, yes the Dept. of Education wrote a series of suggested activities and topics – that is what the Dept. of Education does.

    Second, yes White House staff – not a giant uber-being called the White House, but some White House staffers helped. Why? Because they being in the White House, actually might have known some of the topics of the speech. If the WH had sent no staff to the Dept. of Ed., that would have been really stupid and the Dept. of Ed. would have not known what to activities to suggest. Is this logic difficult to follow?

    Third, all speeches go through a series of revisions (as do ALL lesson plans) up until they are published. Now, maybe Obama originally had the words, “Look into my eyes and join the Democratic party,” or “Hey kids lets all chant, ‘public option, public option, yea public option,” or maybe even “When I was your age, I enjoyed reading such books as Mein Kampf and histories of the Bolshevik revolutionaries,” until right-wingers complained and then he removed them … or maybe he actually wanted kids to stay in school and be responsible for their own education … and then maybe someone said, “Make sure you add something about being careful about coming down with the flu,” and so things like that were added? As Tito demonstrated in the article, it is easy to overlook the simple answer when you are passionately looking for a more sinister one.

    Phillip: So you say that statistics can be difficult to interpret and the methodology of creating them differs from organization to organization and state to state. Yeah, I think we probably already know that. That may be one of the bad effects of local control. When you want to compare things across the nation, it is often useful to use national standards … oops, that darn federal government getting in our business again! There is actually a valid way, though of looking at data that comes from different sources and that is to study it longitudinally. That is, as long as the different statistics consistently use the same techniques from year to year (this is the reason we have state statisticians) then you can look for trends. If these trend show increases and there are what are called “internal or external threats to validity,” then those statistics can give you some insight. It is limited and it is conditional, but I’m sure you as a teacher and a lawyer, you must use some statistics in your work.

    Foxfier, they already know which students are homeschooled and even private schools have to give their data for these studies. The most difficult thing that I came across when I worked for a few years in an urban school, was with the students who changed schools mid-year if their family moved. This is a surprisingly large number of kids (5-10%) and a real problem with their education.

    Foxfier, I think you are a bit disingenuous when you say that Reagan’s talk to students (carried on a network that was broadcast to many schools) was somehow so innocent and apolitical and as if you was just a kindly old man talking to some kids. Well, yes democrats largely kept it apolitical because liberals realized that it was a great thing for the most powerful man in the world to take time out of his day to talk to kids and I guess that was a time of greater respect for the office. However, Reagan was NOT uncontroversial – he had the Iran-Contra scandal that still is reverberating, he had the most advisors of any president ever (until Bush 2) under indictment, he had . He WAS accusing his opposition of a great many things, it was just that his opponents were mostly protesting issues, like moving nuclear waste and clear-cutting redwoods, they weren’t attacking him or arriving to his speeches holding semi-automatic weapons.

    Aside: After the attempted assassination on Reagan, how restrained do you think Reagan’s secret service would have been compared to the way restraint that Obama’s secret service detail has been even as people have waved signs describing how blood should be spilled and that he is the moral equivalent to Hitler? Given that the last few years have shown that it is mostly radical white conservatives how have killed the most people for cultural and political reasons, the authorities have shown remarkable skill and restraint.

    So Obama is really no more controversial than Reagan was, they both inherited problems, though Obama inherited worse ones according to Bush, and they both took principled stands that have made them targets for dissent, but there is a difference. Just like Tito and Foxfier some conservatives are already so convinced of a pattern of behavior, so prejudiced to a perception about Obama that ANYTHING he does is colored. And of course to my mind, the problem is that this perception is false.

    Obama has not belittled his opponents, has never dismissed the tea partiers as unAmerican (find the video!!) or even lashed out at those who whine about his citizenship. He is actually almost to “no drama Obama” about almost everything, except when he jumped the gun on the Gates arrest. If you can’t see that he is the most restrained president in a long, long time than you are mightily biased and you’ve forgotten when Reagan said this:

    I realize that for some, as long as an older, moderately conservative white president tells someone to shut up, that it is a “manly, American” moment, yet if a younger, moderately liberal black president would say the same thing, it would be the act of an arrogant elitist cult figure. I’m not accusing anyone here of this, but I can’t help think of what the “birthers” would say. It is prejudice, it is about culture war politics and it is a symptom of people who have lost or never had a way to be self-reflective and intellectually honest.

    The liberal hecklers who shouted at President Reagan and the two Presidents Bush, were generally young and though vocal were not a large segment of the population – those who actually formed the loyal, liberal opposition were usually respectful. Those who over-reacted to Obama’s speech and attended some of the town halls and tea parties are parents and people who should either know better or be better role models. Not to stop voicing their opinions or to stop articulating their opposition – for that is the messy reality of democracy – but they should at least act like adults.

    To me the thesis of this entire thread seems to be false as I read it.

    1. President Obama was not elected because people were merely protesting a bad economy. That is flat out unsupportable. Both McCain and Obama were BOTH running against the Bush economy and the people actually had a choice of philosophies and a choice of candidates and Obama fit what the people wanted.

    2. The voters did not vote for a greatly expanded bureaucracy, yes, but they did vote for a candidate who was refreshing in several ways, first he actually didn’t blame the federal government for everything. He talked about government in an adult manner, not trying to call it evil while at the same time trying to get the job to run it, and not pretending to cut the expanse of government while actually increasing it. Case in point, the federal government expanded under every president and the single biggest increase in federal jobs occurred under George W. Bush with Homeland Security.

    3. The voters voted for someone who would stop lying to them about Iraq, not break international treatise, end torture of prisoners (which he has done mostly), end intrusion into people’s live by wiretaps and other means as implemented by the “small government” of GW Bush (which he really hasn’t done), improve the diplomatic corps that was decimated by Bush, opened dialogue with our allies without bribing them into helping us … etc., too many things. I hope you get it. He was voted in on a broad agenda of changes that now have been conveniently forgotten about.

    4. The original post is also wrong in stating that he failed “to recognize genuine American concern to deficit spending…” Actually he didn’t. He unlike Bush put the Iraq War back into the budget so people could actually see and congress could be more responsible for its affects on the budget, which Bush liked to hide. He also staunchly would veto any health care reform that would create deficit spending and is the first president in a while to advocate for “pay as you go.” Some here may not know what that means, but it means “don’t add to the deficit.” So that means cut programs or raise taxes. You may agree with his tax plans, but you can not call him unconcerned for deficit spending – two different things.

    5. The article says that Obama failed to recognize how much Americans don’t want “the nationalization of the motor industry.” No one wants the nationalization of the motor industry, Obama has said repeatedly that he doesn’t want to run GM or have the government nationalize any corporation. You may not agree with the tactics but bailing out GM just means having a 60% non-voting investment in it. It is one company, not an industry. It is temporary and GM is already planning to pay it back because they don’t want the government strings that are attached. And why are they attached, because the government (the Fed Reserve and Treasury) by law CAN NOT just give money away without protecting the taxpayer. It is too much to get into hear, but even the financial news pundits who hate government intrusion have come to realize that GM still went out under bankruptcy, but that it did so in a far quicker time frame and it saved all of the thousands of smaller companies and many dealerships (which of course IS the majority of the motor industry) from having to go bankrupt and thus not become nationalized. This was not perfect and I think the unions got a better deal than they deserved and some of it was political (wow, McCain would never have been political!?), but to call that nationalization of the motor industry is so far from reality that it is laughable. Ford is doing just fine and if Chrysler fails or GM has any more problems, it will be gone. The bailout was only deemed necessary because it happened to coincide with the failure of Wall Street and even though I believe in the principle of moral hazard in capitalism, I also feel that once a century the rules of the game need to be bent to prevent needless pain as long as it is temporary – and that is from Thomas Jefferson’s (a great small government guy) views.

    6. The article says, “Then came the town hall meetings where Americans began to voice their displeasure. Again, President Obama and his proxies dismissed them as “astro-turf”. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi derided them as Nazi’s.” This is a particularly biased statement in my opinion. First Obama, again, did not dismiss the town hall protesters … ever!!! Some did of course, because some protesters were way over the top, but there is no cabal of Obama proxies soing anything. There are some pundits and some politicians who think that many of the tea parties and town halls had some outside influences – and they did, but no one said that all or even most of the people there genuinely expressing opinions were that way. As a matter of fact the administration has mostly said that it was only the most vocal that got on TV, but that most town halls went well with plenty of genuine and passionate viewpoints.

    Also I find it interesting that Pelosi (of whom I am not a fan) says the term “Nazi” once in relation to, not protesters, but to the people who yell to the point that no one can speak, she gets blamed for that hyperbole even as hundreds of right-wingers and dozens of conservative talk show hosts actually call Obama a Nazi on a daily basis. Just think use some perspective hear, the Speaker of the House can use it once about one particular instance and every extreme conservative makes a huge deal out, yet when conservatives say the same thing on a daily basis, they are somehow patriotic Americans. I guess some people just don’t get irony.

    There is more that I could write, but this is way too long already. I just think that the premise of the thread is so much ado about nothing. The Obama admin. hasn’t over-reacted or demonized conservatives. It was dealt a bad hand in the way that President Bush 43 was dealt a bad hand with 9/11 and both administrations had political operatives whose job it is to look for ways of dealing with emergencies and even using them as opportunities for change. Bush and Cheney used 9/11 as a reason to invade Iraq and to greatly increase the power of the presidency. It is unclear how Raum E. expects to use the current crises, but Obama has chosen to look at how Reagan era deregulation substantially led to the Wall Street credit problem and the recession is a good time to reform the system. That is actually a responsible position to take. We’ll see if it works. Health care will bankrupt the country if it is left to grow at the existing rate, and in an economic down turn, this may also be the time to reform it as well. Finally, wars and security issues are good drivers for reforming the countries energy policy.

    My point is that you can disagree with Obama’s philosophies and argue his policies and even dislike his personality, but to say he is that much different from most other administrations, both Republican and Democrat, is quite the overstatement. And yes, if he does over-react (which he hasn’t yet) or he takes on too many issues to change (which he probably did), then elections will be his report card. Let’s just keep the hyperbole and biases to the pros, like Beck.

    BTW, his approval rating has fallen from 70% to 50%. A big drop, but 50% is pretty high for any president during a once in a century economic crisis and in the midst of two wars and as a target of plenty of prejudice even as he has maintained by and large his dignity and not simply fallen into the tactics of most other presidents of wrapping himself in the flag and causing people to be scared.

    BTW, the whole point of the cartoon at the top has obviously been missed.

  • You have a lot of time on your hands. Your ignore the bottom line. The lesson plans were changed. The White House itself by its actions admitted they were wrong by doing so. They may very well have changed the speech due to the democratic efforts of Republicans. Can’t deny the truth of this.

  • Would you like a match for your strawman? Maybe a thresher?

    I haven’t seen such a load of hooey since my little sister tried to use “nothing happened” to prove “nothing will ever happen” when she stayed out too late in high school.

  • I do think that the fuss about the school address has been excessive — at the same time, however, I think MacGregor’s extensive comment above falls into the basic pattern (all too easy to fall into) of looking at things through a tribal lens and thinking, “Sure there are some crazies on my side, but there aren’t many and they’re harmless. Now the other guys! They’re bad!”

    Yes, there have certainly been over-the-top reactions to Clinton and Obama, but there were incredibly extreme amounts of hate directed at Reagan and Bush2, and both of them dealt with it in a calm and statesmanlike fashion. Attempts to portray Obama’s critiques as more deranged or dangerous than the sufferers from Bush Derangement Syndrome over the last eight years suggest a certain lack of perspective.

    This is not to say that people are right to behave irresponsibly in response to Obama, but perspective is always necessary.