Sunday, January 26, 2014

On Raising the Debt Ceiling...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth


Is anybody, and I mean ANYBODY in either party really serious about controlling the explosive rate of debt growth we have experienced since the 2008/2009 meltdown? I really think not.

Mitch McConnell talking to Chris Wallace about raising the debt ceiling.



Below the fold THINKPROGRESS weighs in. Content as expected from a far left publication.

Meanwhile, over at CBS and Bob Schieffer's FACEtheNATION Ted Cruz chimed in and actually made a bit of sense. Assuming of course he, and anyone else is really concerned with debt control or reduction.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, now, just a minute. Just a minute. The government is approaching another deadline February 7, when it will run out of money unless Congress agrees to raise the debt ceiling. Will you agree to raise the debt ceiling, or will you demand something in return.

SEN. TED CRUZ: Look, of course, we should do something. We shouldn't just write a blank check. Five years ago, the national debt was ten trillion dollars. That took 43 presidents over 200 years to build up ten trillion dollars in debt. Today, it's over 17 trillion dollars. It's grown nearly 70% with one president in five years.

And if you ask any American outside of Washington, "Should we just keep raising the debt ceiling while doing nothing, to have fundamental structural controls on spending to get Washington's spending problem under control," it doesn't matter if you're talking to a Republican, a Democrat, an independent, a libertarian.

Anyone outside of Washington says, "Of course." And it's worth noting in the past, the debt ceiling has been the most effective lever point for real structural reforms, whether it was Gramm-Rudman, which did a great job of restricting government spending, getting it under control or whether it was the Budget Control Act.

Both of those came through the debt ceiling. And what the president is saying is he just wants a blank credit card to keep growing and growing the debt, and I think that's irresponsible. I think it's irresponsible to our kids and grandkids to stick that debt on them because we can't live within our means.

We'll just have to wait and see. Both the dems and the repubs are certainly going to paint it in a way that makes their opposing party look bad. It is after American politics and these days the nation herdly ever seems to be the top priority. Of course there is lots more below the fold.

On a most telling note top Presidential advisers are telling the media and the people that the President will work with the Congress when he can but will do an end run around them if he must. Translation, the president will work with Congress when they agree with his agenda but will circumvent Congress when they don't agree with his agenda.

Nothing new there folks, and as noted above, really, no one is concerned about controlling the debt explosion much less in reducing the debt. Certainly not the President.

abcNEWS - President Barack Obama will work with Congress where he can and circumvent lawmakers where he must, his top advisers warned Sunday in previewing Tuesday's State of the Union speech.

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"I think the way we have to think about this year is we have a divided government," said Dan Pfeiffer, a longtime Obama adviser. "The Republican Congress is not going to rubber-stamp the president's agenda. The president is not going to sign the Republican Congress' agenda."

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"The president sees this as a year of action to work with Congress where he can and to bypass Congress where necessary," White House press secretary Jay Carney said.

"The president has sort of hung out on the left and tried to get what he wants through the bureaucracy as opposed to moving to the political center," said Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the GOP Senate leader.

Added Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky.: "It sounds vaguely like a threat, and I think it also has a certain amount of arrogance."
Sure seems like the battle lines have been drawn, again. It also sounds like the President is in the mood to try the Imperial Ruler route and he may actually try it this time as he and his advisers probably believe he has enough public support to pull it off. You know, to hell with the Constitution and all.

Anyway, there is more below the fold. One thing is certain, the SOTU Address should be interesting and the republican response even more so.

It is truly unfortunate that we exist in the political environment we do today where the interests of the parties and their agenda are continually put ahead of the greater interests of the Nation.

Via: Memeorandum
Via: Memeorandum
Via: Memeorandum

85 comments:

  1. I think cutting waste spending (including MIC spending) so the debt ceiling doesn't need to be raised is the much better way to avoid defaulting. While raising the debt ceiling to avoid default is responsible in that it avoids default, it is the most irresponsible way to do this.

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    1. Wouldn't then it be smart to just get rid of the "debt ceiling" entirely? Is it not completely superfluous? Imagine voting every month, in your household, on whether or not to pay the bills? Do you think your utilities would be okay if you just returned your bills "decided not to pay?"

      JMJ

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    2. Once again the broader point (concern) seems to have escaped you jmj.

      No one is saying to default on our debt. Controlling the growth with the goal of gradually reducing it is the responsible thing to do.

      Of course this requires we reduce wasteful spending/duplicity, Freeze/reduce the DOD budget, reform welfare, and increase revenue. In other words reduce spending and increase taxes.

      Sensible, Responsible, and Doable. Unfortunately the political will is not there to act responsibly.

      Time for a beer.

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    3. Well, many righties do in fact want to default on the debt, and are quite vociferous about it. They are blackmailing the President by threatening our good faith and credit if they do not get their way. They do this regularly now. Ironically, by the process, they will increase the costs of borrowing, the idiotic method of paying our bills that we have selfishly chosen today.

      If you don't want the debt - pay it down. We can afford it.

      JMJ

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    4. I am not many righties, but many on the left in forums I visit simply choose to not believe it. It doesn't fit their goosestepping narrative apparently.

      I have stated my position, consistently. Take it as you like.

      We won't pay down the debt because the leaders of this nation are addicted to debt. Both republican and democrat.

      Eventually the nation will meet the fiscal cliff. No one is all that concerned. Let's follow MMT and have a currency printing party. Print a lot of billion dollar bills.

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    5. RN, I've got a freshly printed $3 trillion bill with Bernie Sanders face on it. Poverty is over, thanks to MMT (million monkeys theory, as in solving budget problems by giving a million monkeys money-printing presses).

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    6. No one is addicted to debt, Les. What they are is BOUGHT by the interests who make money from charging INTEREST. As long as you ultra-capitalists continue to allow this, our country will continue to mortgage itself to those interests.

      JMJ

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    7. Like I said jmj. Only it is the fault of the consumer for buying the product.

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    8. The "consumer" in this case, Les, is the "conservative" voter.

      JMJ

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    9. Your narrative jmj. Not buying it as I rarely ever by one-sided BS.

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  2. Thank you for the link, Mr. Sanders. Interesting: instead of solving our problems, the writer proposes embracing them and making them as bad as possible.

    This is one of many interesting quotes from it: "In other words, we can spend whatever we want."

    Is this what we do in our families? What we teach our kids? It is the exact equivalent of running up a credit card with absolutely no worry of ever having to pay it. Which is different from now, I suppose: in which the nation's credit card is run up with at least some worry on all sides that this is a problem.

    Sorry, I don't believe that handling the Federal budget with no regard to responsibility/accountability or the future at all is a superior alternative to handling the Federal budget with some, but imperfect, accountability.

    Another interesting quote: "If it so dictates it could spend and print 10, 12, or 20 trillion dollars. Eighty trillion. There really is no limit"

    I looked to link to an appropriate picture of Depression-era Europeans carting money around in wheelbarrows. I didn't find any, but this link is appropriate to this. And we all know what that led to.

    Now, lets get back on topic and talk about real solutions to solve this real problem, as opposed to pouring gasoline on a house-fire.

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    1. Sums up Mr. Sanders position quite nicely methinks.

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    2. No country has ever taxed, consumed, borrowed, and deficit spent its way to prosperity and many have fallen (or at least temporarily) by the wayside trying; the U.S under Hoover (who raised taxes 152% and increased spending by 49% over three years) and FDR, Canada, Sweden, and Japan in the '90s, Argentina throughout the 20th Century, modern-day Zimbabwe (the inflation under Mr. Zimbabwe closing in on 100,000%, for Christ sakes) and the U.S. under Bush and Obama. And the fact that there are still people out there who think that this is possible despite the avalanche of evidence is frightening.

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  4. dmarks, as I see it there are three ways to handle the pyromanisc, 1) humor him, 2) ignore him completely or, 3) ban him.

    As the blog administrator I've opted to post and ignore completely. Mr. Sanders falls into a sub catagory of trolls. He finds conservative, libertarian, and even moderate sites and with purpose attempts to disrupt, disparage, and gain control of the threads injects himself onto.

    So for now Mr. Sanders can continue to post comments if they are primarily on topic. I simply will act as though he is not in the room and recommend others who see it as I do to follow suit. The choice then remains with the good people who visit here.

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  5. Before people go all "Commie Dictator Nazi" on President Obama's threat to "bypass Congress where necessary," You should read this.

    Mr. Obama was elected TWICE by a good majority of the American electorate. The last presidential election was no close call. The American people voted to keep Mr. Obama in office, which means they voted for his agenda and policies. The House of Representatives has done all in its power to deny Mr. Obama what every president has been elected to do: carry out his stated policies. I understand the role Congress plays in our representative democracy, checks and balances and all that. But that aside, doesn't explain the abusive obstruction this particular group of GOPers have practiced with this particular president. It is unprecedented.

    Now as to the possible use of Executive Orders? Mr. Obama has used restraint for the last 5 years. I fully support his right to bypass an obstructive (and destructive, IMO) group of people in the House in order to get anything done.

    Here is a report on presidents and the use of executive privilege. Mr. Obama is a piker compared with our other presidents.

    As for our debt problems? You may need to read the facts, not the fiction.

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    1. Shaw: I respectfully and strongly disagree with the idea that a supposed Presidential mandate (as if Obama even had one with his narrow victories!!!) means that the proper Constitutional checks and balances which exist must be ignored.... perhaps.... as you seem to be implying, in proportion to the President's popularity.

      " The House of Representatives has done all in its power...."

      the entirely legitimate power granted to this institution by the law of the land. That includes its power to obstruct. I do not support a President playing dictator and breaking the Constitution due to his own personal weakness in effectively dealing with the opposition.... an opposition, by the way, which would have no power if not for a large number of Democrats who have opposed the President also.

      As for the debt problems? The idea that Obama created it all is indeed ridiculous. But his presiding over what is approaching one half the debt (at a rate much worse than any of his predecessors) is definitely a cause for criticism and concern.

      And be careful with your desire that it is OK for the Constitution to be set aside for a supposedly popular President. When there is a Republican President whose agenda is completely blocked, completely lawfully, by Democrats in Congress, it will come back to bite you.

      And no, just because Bush used this recklessly is not an excuse for Obama to also.

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    2. Also wanted to point out some spin:

      "Mr. Obama was elected TWICE by a good majority of the American electorate"

      A good majority? That might work in a situation of, say, 60 to 40%. But the reality? It was a very slim majority. One that doesn't even exist if you round to the nearest 50%.

      53 to 46% is slim. So is 51 to 48% much slimmer. Not that it matters: it is entirely unreasonable to have a view that the Constitution and the proper division of powers and checks and balances should be broken due to a perception of popularity.

      Obama did get a majority, of course, which gives him the right to be in a specific office... which the Congress has every right to block the activities of, using lawful methods.

      If you can find, Shaw, anyplace in the Constitution, or any law of the United States, for that matter, which alters the relatives powers of Congress and the Executive Branch based in proportion to the percent of the victory in the total popular vote that the President won by, I am all ears.

      Don't whine that Congress is doing what it is elected to do, all completely within its bounds of power.


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    3. Bush II was elected once by a minority.

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    4. BB: Bush II was elected twice by a majority of electors. Which gives him the exact same status as President Obama. As I said, there is nothing in the Constitution or law that allows for granting a President greater power automatically relative to his percent of popular vote victory.

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    5. Yeah RN The more you think about it, "Bush II was elected once by a minority" has nothing to do with what happened, and is ultimately untrue: one can only be elected President with a majority of the vote of the Electoral College.

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    6. Which didn't come into play: they let the vote stand, and chose not to undo it.

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    7. Dennis: ...they let the vote stand, and chose not to undo it.

      If by "they" you mean the Cons on the court. Then I say "yes", they very much approved of the conspiracy that involved Jeb bush and Katherine Harris to disenfranchise African American voters and steal the election for George.

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    8. Mr. Dervish' imaginary account of the 2000 election is the deadest horse of all. This is not the place to once again bring up the facts that dispell his anti-democratic concoction. I have done so many times before, as have others. I will sit back and let him ride his dead horse all over Fantasyland.

      I will answer questions on this in email, but will not accept his invitation to race in his Kenkooky Derby.

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    9. Please report back and let us know how many emails you get, Dennis. I predict none, although I'm sure that won't stop Dennis from imagining some. BTW, I can guarantee that I am not going to email Dennis about this. I thought I should point this out in case Dennis imagines one of the zero emails he gets is from me. He has a habit of doing that (imagining communications from me that never occurred).

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    10. Hey dmarks, .looks like your assertions are being challenged.

      Back to MMT. Time to advocate rolling the presses. Lots of spending to do. Ka ching.

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    11. A challenge, RN? A bugle call for the Freakness or Blowmont Stakes or whatever dead horse race he wants to enter and lose again does not a challenge make.

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  6. All that aside... If true then the people need to take greater interest in their republic and elect a congress that shares their agenda.

    You don't trample a workable Constitution because of the apathy, or perhaps it is ignorance, of the eligible electorate Shaw. Certainly not IMNHO.

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  7. Dennis: It is the exact equivalent of running up a credit card with absolutely no worry of ever having to pay it.

    No, it isn't. The fact that the government creates our currency is the subject of the article (Modern Monetary Theory). Does Dennis have the ability to create his own currency? With this statement Dennis shows that he doesn't know what he's talking about. There are some valid criticisms you could make of MMT, I suppose... but this isn't one of them. Given that Dennis doesn't know what he's talking about, I'll ignore the rest of his comment.

    RN: Mr. Sanders falls into a sub catregory of trolls. He finds conservative, libertarian, and even moderate sites and with purpose attempts to disrupt, disparage, and gain control of the threads injects himself onto.

    A categorically false statement. If true RN should be able to provide three examples (one for each type of blog I'm supposedly commenting on). Even though I'm not attempting to disrupt, disparage, or gain control of the threads I "inject" myself into, I suppose this blog could count as one example. Can RN come up with two more (Hint: no, because I don't comment on two more blogs that fall into the categories RN laid out). BTW, is RN a troll when he comments on "Progressive Eruptions" or "The Swash Zone"? If my commenting here makes me a troll, then RN most certainly is a troll for posting on those blogs. RN comments on more progressive blogs than I comment on non-progressive ones... so RN's trolling is of a magnitude several times that of mine.

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    1. Well, something certainly got under Mr. Dervish's skin.

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  8. "...perhaps it is ignorance, of the eligible electorate Shaw. Certainly not IMNHO."

    No. It's the billionaires' power over representative democracy.

    Tell us how anyone explains last year's failure to enact a law for background checks when 90% of the American people supported it, a majority of N.R.A. MEMBERSHIP supported, and an overwhelming majority of law enforcement supported it. Yet the House killed it.

    Was that apathetic?

    Or was it the influence of millions and millions of $$$$ over the people's right to govern themselves?

    That's what Mr. Obama is up against. Supposing that the eligible electorate is ignorant is a cop-out, and, may I add, insulting.

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    1. Perhaps you would like to qoute my words in context Shaw?

      It would be most appreciated.

      Thank you in advance.

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    2. Also, Shaw, you are quoting incorrect numbers that really shouldn't stand. Let's address "90% of the American people supported it" shall we?

      From the Pew Center for the People and the Press (hardly an NRA think tank!).... you see the 90% support... .but only among a relatively small group of voters, the more hardline Left. See the table partway down "Many in GOP Favor Background Checks but Not Senate Bill"

      So, what is really true is that 90% of the hardline Left supported it. but for the rest of the people, the support is far less: ranging to as low as 63%, depending on the political group. It would be dishonest to continue presenting this as you did here.

      Also, the table "Conservative Voters More Likely to Vote On Gun Policy" reveals, that if those in Congress are responsive to these issues-concerned voters (never mind billionaires!), they will also vote against gun control measures more than one might otherwise expect.

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  9. The time to decide not to spend money is not after you spent it. This debt ceiling thing is making conservatives look really irresponsible and dumb.

    JMJ

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  10. From The Tenth Amendment Center

    "Any Executive Order that has any effect on individuals that are not government employees in a violation of Article I Section I. Whenever the President issues and Executive Order that extends to all of the people. Congress has a responsibility to the people to veto any Executive Order that has any effect on non governmental employees.

    When a President issues an unconstitutional Executive Order and Congress allows the order to stand they are violating their oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution."

    We need to break the cycle. Instead, all we get, time after time is "it is OK for the President I like to do these bad things because the President before that I disliked did them also". And the same, flipped around.

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  11. Hey dmarks, "Modern Monetary Theory", hell of a theory. Damn straight. I'm a gonna begin partying heavy on the govermments currency and just keep building debt. It's the Patriotic thing to do. Follow our leaders examples, right?

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    1. RN: In response to this comment, this image is most definitely "on topic" now.

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  12. dmarks: "...but for the rest of the people, the support is far less: ranging to as low as 63%,..."

    If a president won that percentage of the popular vote, that would be considered an avalanche of support, not a puny "landslide."

    So if your 63% is correct, then a great majority of the American people voted for background checks AS WELL AS the majority of the NRA MEMEBERSHIP and law enforcement.

    IOW, what I wrote is correct. The GOPers in the "House of Representatives" did not represent the will of the majority of the American people. The GOPers (and sadly, some Dems) represented the will of the gun industry.

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    1. The last paragraph is much improved, now that it is rid of the misleading "90%."

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  13. Dennis: When a President issues an unconstitutional Executive Order [blah, blah, blah] ..."it is OK for the President I like to do these bad things because the President before that I disliked did them also"...

    Indeed he did. But Dennis whines about being against "unconstitutional" executive orders are disingenuous. His support for the unconstitutional actions of the prior administration is well known. That said, I support Obama attempting to accomplish whatever he can in any way possible. As long as they are actions I'd support otherwise, I don't care how he goes about doing it. Giving up and conceding he can do nothing because the Republicans won't let him would be stupid. Apparently it's anything goes now and the will of the people (who elected Obama twice) be damned. The Repubs shouldn't be allowed to win because they eagerly fight dirty.

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  14. This is what Jeremy Scahill of "The Nation" has to say about President Obama. He makes some pretty solid points - "And then, in Western societies, you have, on the one hand, President Obama saying that his administration is going to be the most transparent in history and that they want to be friends with the press; and on the other hand, they are monitoring the metadata of journalists, they are seizing phone records, they’re trying to compel journalists to testify against their sources, they’re trying to figure out who journalists are talking to within government so that they can go and indict those people. That’s what they did to the Associated Press. They went after the aggressive team there—Adam Goldman and Matt Apuzzo and Kim Dozier and others—who were investigating the CIA. And they went to try to figure out who was talking to them. And then it resulted in the indictment of a—I believe he was a senior FBI official. They will go after the whistleblowers who are providing independent information to journalists, and then leak their own information that makes them look noble and like they’re winning the day for peace, freedom and democracy. They were a total sieve in the aftermath of the bin Laden raid, and everything they said was total—was a total lie, basically, that bin Laden had grabbed a wife and put her in front of him and, you know, all of these things." He also doesn't like the targeted killings, the fact that the drone attacks are killing and maiming scores of women and children, the fact that Obama was instrumental in keeping that poor Yemeni journalist in prison, etc.. Finally, a progressive with some guts, integrity, and consistency.

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    1. Yes, that IS all a problem, Will. I don't support the administration in any of that. Except for this "lie" about how OBL died. That was someone's lie, I suppose... one that got communicated up the chain. We found out pretty quickly, however, that wasn't how things went down. Just because some information is found to latter be inaccurate, does not mean it's a "lie" personally concocted by the president. Will makes it sound like Obama lies just for the sake of lying. Maybe it gives him pleasure to fool the American people, even if the truth comes out latter?

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  15. Hey Will, some things never change, eh?

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    1. Agreed, RN. I say I agree with Mr. Hart, and he authors a post in which he calls me "simple" and says I require a "clear-cut dichotomy" and "ideal types"... I guess nothing will derail this guy's narrative.

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  16. dmarks: "BB: Bush II was elected twice by a majority of electors. Which gives him the exact same status as President Obama. "

    Um. No. Not EXACTLY. Mr.Obama won the popular vote by a very comfortable margins in BOTH elections, and the last one was an electoral vote landslide.

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    1. Shaw, until you can show me where in law the President is accorded any additional power according to his/her margin of electoral victory, it remains "EXACTLY".

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  17. "He also doesn't like the targeted killings, the fact that the drone attacks are killing and maiming scores of women and children, the fact that Obama was instrumental in keeping that poor Yemeni journalist in prison, etc.. Finally, a progressive with some guts, integrity, and consistency."

    Right. And I hope this journalist with integrity admits that the nuclear bombing of two non-military cities in Japan at the end of WWII, which was responsible for the deaths of thousands and thousands of innocent civilian men, women and children was a terrible thing for the United States to do. Even if later we used the excuse: We needed to kill all those thousands and thousands civilians so that more people wouldn't be killed. (IIRC, in the reading I've done on this, both Republicans and Democrats to this day support that nuclear attack on civilian men, women, and children. And those who don't are considered wussies.)

    I love reading the indignation people have over how presidents (Democrats and Republicans) kill innocent men, women, and children during war, and then when the lefties march AGAINST war, as they did during Vietnam and in the run-up to the Iraq invasion, they're called "traitors."

    Unless people are full non-violent, anti-war activists for all wars and skirmishes everywhere on this planet [AND FOR EVERY REASON], they need to STFU about their hurt feelings when presidents do what they've being doing since the beginning of this country.

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    1. Thankfully, the abhorrent idea that the people need to STFU and not criticize the President remains unconstitutional. As it should be.

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    2. As usual, dmarks, you got it wrong. It's way over your head.

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    3. Hey, Shaw, don't forget the fact that FDR (and his buddy, Churchill) intentionally targeted hundreds of thousands of women, children, and refugees in Germany and Japan, an at that was as against the 1865 Geneva Conventions as any ever perpetrated.

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  18. Hiroshima and Nagasaki saved American lives. That part is true.

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  19. Or if you prefer Shaw, prevented more American deaths.

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  20. Oh I got it right, by sticking to the Constitution and against the idea that those who dare to speak out against the President should STFU. Real weak arguments by you this time, Shawn

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  21. Will: "Hey, Shaw, don't forget the fact that FDR (and his buddy, Churchill) intentionally targeted hundreds of thousands of women, children, and refugees in Germany and Japan, an at that was as against the 1865 Geneva Conventions as any ever perpetrated."

    Thank you for making my point, Will. All leaders of powerful nations join in the slaughter of the innocents. No leaderr's hands are without blood. To single out Mr. Obama as a butcher is laughable. But that's how politics works today: It forgets the past and pretends the present is all new.

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  22. Shaw, If I recall my history correctly it was the Third Reich and Imperial Japan directly that brought this nation into war. War is hell and innocents die.

    Unfortunately following WW II this nation has remained on a perpetual war footing which culminated in the unnecessary Iraq war that destabilized the Middle East further. Iraq was a war that one can argue with some legitimacy the USA was the aggressor.

    Frankly I don't know why Hiroshima and Nagasaki was brought into the discussion.

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  23. Shaw: In regards to your "things are so hard for Obama :(" style messages... in which you want those who dare to be critical of the most powerful man on the planet to "STFU", and keep implying that the proportion of election victory should translate into some sort of ability to break the Constitutional balance of power and stop Congress from doing exactly what it is supposed to do..

    Barack H. Obama, by rock-solid objective measurements, had the worst combination of thinnest resume, lack of accomplishments, and lack of qualifications/preparation of any President inaugurated going back many decades. Not only that, he went into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue lacking the very important executive experience found in his predecessors: a governorship, the "apprenticeship" of a Vice Presidency, or being a major military leader with significant executive responsibilities. No, this has nothing to do with (D) or (R) after his name, or silly claims that he is a Muslim Manchurian Candidate.

    He hadn't done much, and had no experience running anything.

    Is it any wonder he has trouble getting things done, and struggles in the big-leagues? No it is not a wonder at all.

    I believe that we need to solve the budget problems within the rules. And not break them because the supposed star slugger has a .105 batting average and was called up from the Toledo Mudhens before the big game.

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  24. dmarks, you're not an historian, thankfully. It is they who will make the determination on Mr. Obama, not a partisan like you, who exaggerates or spins anything to make political points. Mr. Obama actually had more legislative experience than did Mr. Lincoln when he took office. Experience isn't what makes a president great; it is good judgement. And neither you nor I have any way of looking into the future to see what the effects of this presidency will be on the country.

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    1. "....partisan like you..."

      Be that as it may, I have held my partisanship in check in these comments. You have let yours dive everything.

      Obama = Lincoln? Raises eyebrow... you certainly are not a historian.

      Anyway, my point in bringing up Obama's low skills was to point out the "problem" of his not being able to ram through his agenda unimpeded (even when good own party is in control) has a lot to do with his own lack of capability, and can't be blamed entirely on others.

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  25. According to the Christian Science Monitor, Bush had 165 executive orders in his first 5 years and Obama's had 167. And this is what Jonathan Turley has to say about our dear President - "It's really the character of the actions, and their subject. In my view, Obama has surpassed George W. Bush in the level of circumvention of Congress and the assertion of excessive presidential power. I don't think it's a close question." He also characterized the Obama administration as the "rise of an uber Presidency."

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  26. Context please! Did Mr. Turley explain how obstructionist the GOPers have been? Of course not. Presidents don't act in a vacuum. Mr. Bush actually had cooperation from the Democrats when he needed to pass his proposed legislation; Mr. Obama has had NONE.ZERO. So I'm not impressed with Turley's opinion, since no president has had to deal with Congressional obstruction and intransigence on this level ever in our history.

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    1. Well said Shaw. You are 100 percent correct. Also, I don't know WHO Dennis thinks is telling him to STFU. RN is publishing his comments. Just a lame whine as far as I can see.

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    2. Addressing Mr. Sanders directly. You are running on assumptions without apparently having read the comments. Shaw specifically said the critics of the President should ""STFU". She made no reference to your imaginary man-crush, Dennis. No basis for there to be a perception of me "whining".

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    3. Dennis: Shaw specifically said the critics of the President should "STFU".

      No, she didn't make that broad of a statement. She said, and I quote... "Unless people are full non-violent, anti-war activists for all wars and skirmishes everywhere on this planet [AND FOR EVERY REASON], they need to STFU about their hurt feelings when presidents do what they've being doing since the beginning of this country"

      This was a statement about hypocrites who criticize Obama in his role as commander in chief when they've vociferously supported past illegal wars by past presidents with an "R" after their name (I take that to mean YOU, Dennis). Although Shaw doesn't get complete agreement from me (in that I think there are legitimate criticisms to be made)... but, regarding the hypocrite Dennis, she is correct (and Dennis definitely whines about that). Also, I have no "imaginary man-crush". Not one that shares your name. Not one with any other name either.

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    4. No, she didn't make that broad of a statement. She said, and I quote... "Unless people are full non-violent, anti-war activists for all wars and skirmishes everywhere on this planet [AND FOR EVERY REASON], they need to STFU about their hurt feelings when presidents do what they've being doing since the beginning of this country"

      dmarks, Mr. Sanders is correct on this one. A careful and thorough reading of Ms. Shaw's remark, which was carefully constructed, clearly does NOT say in a general sweeping atatement STFU. Her statement was very specific.

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    5. RN: The quotation is very broad, even as you summarize it.

      As Mr. Sanders took it to be specific to me (or "Dennis"), I don't think he was correct in either case: I never took what Shaw said personally. And very very incorrect when he accuses me (or "Dennis") of supporting illegal wars, as there have been none that I support.

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    6. In summary, asking those who dissent against the most powerful ruler on the planet to "STFU" (regardless of how narrow we interpret this demand) shows a disrespect for the freedom of dissent.

      Hillary Clinton famously said "Dissent is patriotic". While there is some ironic amusement due to the times when she has bashed dissent, it is indeed a valid "sound bite" that is good to abide by. The opposite of what Hillary said is to tell critics of a President to STFU.

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    7. I view the CRITERIA Ms. Shaw stated in her comment as specific. In that regard I can not disagree with Mr. Sanders statement.

      Now if one wishes to diagree and argue whether her particular view is "right" or "wrong" that is another matter.

      Delete
    8. Sometimes frustration causes people to say " stuff" they may not normally say. Ms. Shaw I'm sure was frustrated.

      Delete
    9. True, has happened to all of us.

      Delete
  27. Shaw doesn't have time to chronicle Mr. Obama's transgressions (lying to the American people about healthcare and Benghazi, sextupling the drone attacks into going on 4 countries now, continuing Mr. Bush's policies of rendition and warrentless wiretapping, sending 30,000 American youngsters into that meat-grinder over in Afghanistan, going after the press in a manner that is unlike any other since Nixon, etc.). She's much too busy chiding Romney for his having put a dog on the roof of his car.

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  28. And right after she chided dmarks for not being an historian she goes out and makes some claim about Obama being the most obstructed President in U.S. history. My suggestion is that she open up a history book and learn about the Andrew Johnson and Woodrow Wilson administrations.

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  29. Will: as if such obstruction, which was designed into the system, is a problem.

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  30. When the constitution was written two of the authors of the Federalist papers DID worry about "factions". Alexander Hamilton wrote about the problem in Federalist No. 9, and James Madison wrote about the problem in Federalist No. 10. Neither suggested it couldn't NOT be a problem but was "designed into the system" that one party could decide the government shouldn't work. Although they worried about a "tyranny of the majority", today we have a tyranny of the minority. The only reason Dennis thinks it isn't a problem is because the majority being tyrannized is Democratic.

    From Wikipedia: Garry Wills is a noted critic of Madison's argument in Federalist No. 10. In his book Explaining America, he adopts the position of Robert Dahl in arguing that Madison's framework does not necessarily enhance the protections of minorities or ensure the common good. Instead, Wills claims: "Minorities can make use of dispersed and staggered governmental machinery to clog, delay, slow down, hamper, and obstruct the majority. But these weapons for delay are given to the minority irrespective of its factious or nonfactious character; and they can be used against the majority irrespective of its factious or nonfactious character. What Madison prevents is not faction, but action. What he protects is not the common good but delay as such".

    Delay/obstruction that works against the common good is what we currently have... and YES, it is a problem.

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    1. Delay/obstruction that works for the common good by obstructing very negative actions is anything but a problem.

      "The only reason Dennis thinks it isn't a problem is because the majority being tyrannized is Democratic."

      That is pure imagination on your part, and perhaps an intentional lie. As it contradicts my views that the Democrats in Congress had every right to obstruct Bush, for a similar example.



      Thank you for quoting the Federalist Papers, Mr. Sanders. I look forward for you telling me where these rough drafts and notes were passed into law.

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  31. I wonder if Shaw thinks that the anti- Vietnam War protesters should have STFU during the regimes of LBJ and Nixon.

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  32. Will Remember RN said, "Sometimes frustration causes people to say " stuff" they may not normally say. Ms. Shaw I'm sure was frustrated."

    Given that, I've made my point, she's made hers, and that's fine. Though I am sure Mr. Dervish is going to spin (whirl like a dervish?) in order to make it into something it wasn't at all, like his claim that Shaw's statement was directed at me somehow.

    (My own view on such matters is that even if/when I disagree strongly, I never want "them" to shut up. Even if it is MSNBC. This puts me in contrast with the more jackbooted wing of the left that wants to silence Fox News (such as active silencing campaign by those who hate free speech)

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  33. "This puts me in contrast with the more jackbooted wing of the left that wants to silence Fox News (such as active silencing campaign by those who hate free speech)"

    And then there is the jack booted wing of the libertarian and conservative activists that are as equally as nefarious and repugnant.

    Just being objective and balanced.

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    1. Of course, RN. You are quite correct. I would oppose a similar campaign to the one directed against Fox News, if it were against MSNBC instead. If I could find one....

      Personally, it does not offend me that someone watches or listens to any of these

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    2. Let's see: Turn off MSNBC?

      A Facebook page with a mere 47 likes

      Turn off Fox News? A Facebook page with 6402 likes

      That's 136 times as many kooks wanting to crush Fox News for not conforming to their ideology than the number of kooks wanting to crush MSNBC for not conforming to their ideology.

      Things are really tilted way out of whack, at least on this matter, when it comes to comparing each side's tolerance for diversity in opinion and respect for the freedom of the press.

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    3. 47 isn't THAT bad. I mean, is their viewership all that much more than that?

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  34. I have said many times that there's not much difference between Fox News and MSNBC.

    Well, there is some. You have pointed out Shep Smith, Will. Does MSNBC have anyone to match him?

    And then there is the fact that the MSNBC fans tend to number among the a lot more the censorship freaks who want government to intervene to silence their "enemy", Fox News.

    Fox News fans? Not as much of a problem. They laugh at MSNBC, but there is not near as much of the hatred of the First Amendment and demand to censor their "rival".

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    Replies
    1. The closest that MSNBC has is probably Chuck Todd. He's not too bad.

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