Thursday, February 14, 2013

The "New" Barack Obama

It was heartening to say the least. There stood the president of the United States, in front of both houses of congress and the American people beyond, talking like an honest-to-goodness, fighting liberal. Did my eyes deceive?

“Tonight, let’s also recognize that there are communities in this country where no matter how hard you work, it is virtually impossible to get ahead. Factory towns decimated from years of plants packing up. Inescapable pockets of poverty, urban and rural, where young adults are still fighting for their first job. America is not a place where chance of birth or circumstance should decide our destiny. And that is why we need to build new ladders of opportunity into the middle class for all who are willing to climb them.” 

Barack Obama
2013 State of the Union address

For over two years I've been predicting that, once he did not have another election on the horizon, Barack Obama would start acting like a true progressive. It wasn't until his State of the Union Address on Tuesday night that I knew that I was correct. Until that moment I wasn't entirely sure. Welcome home, Mr. Prez. We knew you had it in you.

"They deserve a vote"

My heart goes out to John Boehner. There he sat, looking as awkward and as uncomfortable as I've ever seen another human being look. But the high (or low) point of the evening came when President Obama demanded that the elected representatives of victims of gun violence all over the land be given the opportunity to vote for new and stricter gun legislation. Boehner did not want to give this line the obligatory standing ovation that has become a joke with these events.

But then he realized that he had no choice but to give a listless, standing ovation. You could see clearly the dilemma etched within the lines of his brows. This was a chamber packed to the ceiling with recent (and very celebrated) victims of gun violence, including the parents and siblings of some of the little children who were murdered two months ago today in Newtown, Connecticut - including his former colleague, Gabriella Giffords. Even his own party stood up! They were clapping like a gang of beached seals begging for fish. I'm sure they realized that by not giving a cheer to the memories of murdered five and six-year-old children, they were committing political suicide.  It was just too much for the Speaker of the House to bear. He rose, applauded halfheartedly, and then sat back down as quickly and politely as he could. It really was a funny thing to behold.

The president also called for an ever-so-modest increase in the minimum wage, proposing that it be raised from $7.25 to nine dollars per hour. That's a good start but the magic number should be fifteen - at least. Not that that's ever going to happen, but when that number is on the table, settling on ten bucks will seem like a grand victory to the lamebrains on the far right. With an offer of nine dollars, the "compromise" (if any) will end up at eight dollars - if that. Hardly enough. Obama needs to up the ante just a bit. Of course any increase is too much for the Republicans to bear. Just decrease the tax rates of the rich, they insist. That's their answer to everything, you know.

At the speech's conclusion there was the expected Republican rebuttal. And like last year, one response wasn't enough for these clowns. There was Marco Rubio representing the rank and file, and as an extra-added delight you had Rand Paul standing up for the Tea party crazies. It was merely another illustration  of the GOP's ideological disintegration. If the Tea partiers insist on a separate forum, it can only mean that they see themselves as an entity apart from "mainstream" Republicanism. As far to the right as the GOP has shifted in the last third-of-a-century, it's still not extreme enough for Rand and his gang. You can count on them launching a third party uprising in 2016. Gee, I can't wait.

By the way, are you as suspicious of Marco's little "Poland Springs Moment" as I am? He was nearly at the end of his presentation and yet he just couldn't wait for that gulp. And why did he not have the bottle closer to him? Why did he need to reach so far out of the camera's range? He obviously wanted it to be a moment that would be noticed and talked about, blogged about, tweeted and You-Tubed. Paid product placement? I wouldn't be a bit surprised. Would you?

The reaction of poor old Mitch McConnell the next day on the floor of the senate was fairly predictable. He called Obama's address to the nation (I hope you're sitting down) "LIBERAL". Oh, heart of mine be still! Does this disgusting jackass understand that the days of "liberal-as-expletive" are over? Does he have a molecule of a clue that the people of this country have had it with conservatism? If he doesn't get it by now, he'll get it in 2014 when he is up for reelection.

I'M PULLING FOR YOU, ASHLEY JUDD! YOU'D BETTER BELIEVE IT!

Barack Obama is on the right track, but he and his supporters need to make certain "adjustments" in their collective thinking. A few nights ago on his MSNBC program, Ed Schultz asked his viewers if they approved of this administration's policy of killing American citizens abroad whom they "suspect" of terrorist activities - without the constitutionally mandated due process. Astonishingly, a full seventy-eight percent of the participants in the poll responded that they were perfectly content with the policy. Ed was visibly shocked by the results. So was I. And remember, the bulk of Ed's audience are "liberals".

Let's take a deep breath here.

Now admit it, folks. If it were the administration of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney doing this sort of thing, we "progressives" would be screaming bloody murder. If the Bush Mob were sending unmanned drones into places like Pakistan, targeting certain terrorists but killing a whole lot of innocent people in the process, would we really be taking this lying down? And don't forget that someday there may be (but probably won't be) another neocon neanderthal living in the White House who will abuse this drone technology to even more extreme ends. If that unfortunate turn-of-events ever transpires, we won't be in a position to self-righteously condemn anybody. In fact we will be exposed as hypocrites. Honestly, we really need to rethink this one, kids. It's high time for a serious reality check.

FUN FACT: The only policy of the Obama administration that the far right agrees with - the only one - is his use of drone warfare. Does that tell you something? It must be wrong.

We need to understand that by doing what they're doing, the Obama administration may be committing war crimes - at least that is how it appears to me. If that is the case, don't hold your breath waiting for them to be called to task in some international tribunal. George W. Bush and company proved for all time and eternity that there is no justice in this world. The best that could be said for Team Obama is that they mean well....I think.

Do you think that the Republicans have been chastised by the results of the 2012 election? Far from it. The recent confirmation hearings for Secretary of Defense-designate, Chuck Hagel, are a weird prelude of things to come I'm afraid. That's the bad news. The good news is that they will only be digging their political grave deeper in the next two years. There is a silver lining behind this dark and nasty cloud. Cheer up.

The next four years will be quite interesting, but we do live in quite interesting times, do we not? Maybe this administration will get a progressive majority in the House of Reprehensibles in 2014. Congressional districts in key swing states have been gerrymandered to such a degree that it would seem that only an act of God will be able to prevent a Republican majority next year. They still control the House, in spite of the fact that more people cast their ballots for the Democrats last year, That is how badly they have corrupted the electoral process. Voter suppression was merely the tip of the iceberg.

But maybe - just maybe - 2014 will be the year when the American people finally say, "ENOUGH". Stranger things have happened. We shall see.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY
tomdegan@frontiernet.net 

SUGGESTED READING:

The Defining Moment
by Jonathon Alter

In less than a month we will be observing the eightieth anniversary of the dawn of FDR's New Deal. This excellent book recounts the first hundred days.

"Alter's account has a refreshing buoyancy, not unlike its protagonist....He is a fair reporter, describing Roosevelt's missteps as honestly as his triumphs....Succeeds in bringing a remarkable man back to life."

-Ted Widmer, New York Times 

90 Comments:

At 9:54 AM, Anonymous Chuck Morre said...

Tom,

"The president also called for the minimum wage to be raised from $7.25 to nine dollars per hour. That's a good start but the magic number should be fifteen - at least."

Why not $35.00 per hour? What's wrong with that figure?

 
At 10:00 AM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

Nothing wrong with it at all, Chuckles!

Cheers!

Tom

 
At 10:05 AM, Anonymous Chuck Morre said...

Tom,

How much do you thing a Big Mac would/should cost if min wage was $35.00?

Top 10 statistics which show how the past 4 years of Obama have wrecked the US economy.

1. During Obama’s first term, the number of Americans on food stamps increased by an average of about 11,000 per day.

2. At the beginning of the Obama era, 32 million Americans were on food stamps. Today, more than 47 million Americans are on food stamps.

3. According to one calculation, the number of Americans on food stamps now exceeds the combined populations of “Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.”

4. The number of Americans receiving money directly from the federal government each month has grown from 94 million in the year 2000 to more than 128 million today.

5. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 146 million Americans are either “poor” or “low income” at this point.

6. The unemployment rate in the United States is exactly where it was (7.8 percent) when Barack Obama first entered the White House in January 2009.

7. When Barack Obama first entered the White House, 60.6 percent of all working age Americans had a job. Today, only 58.6 percent of all working age Americans have a job.

8. During the first four years of Obama, the number of Americans “not in the labor force” soared by an astounding 8,332,000. That far exceeds any previous four year total.

9. During Obama’s first term, the number of Americans collecting federal disability insurance rose by more than 18 percent.

10. The Obama years have been absolutely devastating for small businesses in America. According to economist Tim Kane, the following is how the number of startup jobs per 1000 Americans breaks down by presidential administration…

Bush Sr.: 11.3

Clinton: 11.2

Bush Jr.: 10.8

Obama: 7.8

Liberalism at it's best?

 
At 10:11 AM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

No one is raising the minimum wage to $35.00 an hour. Get a grip, Chuck. A rise in the minimum means more money pumped into the economy. It has happened every time it has been raised. Turn off FOX News and start paying attention.

 
At 11:30 AM, Anonymous James Wallace said...

Tom, you feel sorry for John Boehner? Really; fuck that drunken ball less wonder.

 
At 2:37 PM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 2:38 PM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 3:15 PM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

Hey Tom...so Obama thinks a full time worker earning the minimum wage should make enough to live above the poverty level ?? Damn, he sounds like that crazy hippie guy who used to frequently comment in your blog !! Oh wait that's me....Hey Chuck, how much do you think a Big Mac would cost if it had real nutrition in it ?? Necessities such as FOOD are bad examples for a wage vs. cost of living analysis. That's where socialism ( yes the " S " word ) has its true value. A society with its shit together should subsidize necessities even if it is a competitive capitalist system. Let the capitalists one up each other for luxury items like boats and mansions. Let the people without warped ego driven minds enjoy a decent standard of living. Is that too much to ask ??

 
At 4:42 PM, Blogger De_Bill said...

The one thing almost all minimum wage workers don't have is a savings account. They generally live paycheck to paycheck, putting every dollar they make back into the economy, so the lie the GOP is trying to sell that a $9 minimum wage would hurt the economy is just their attempt to once again protect the fictional 'job creators'.

 
At 4:56 PM, Anonymous James said...

If McCain had won there would not be a single person receiving food-stamps or unemployment checks because those programs would have been discontinued. That's the Republican way of solving social problems.

 
At 5:25 PM, Anonymous Chuck Morre said...

Wait a minute Tom, why do you bring up Fox or any other news network in this discussion? Is it because you feel anytime someone asks you a question it has to be someone else idea?
Really, what is the fair min. wage in dollar and cents? If $9.75 an hour is not enough, then what is enough? Just think how much money that would be "pumped" into the economy if the min wage was $35 an hour? I mean if $9.75 is good, why not make it great!! Why do you not want America to be great again!! Raise the min wage to $35, then we will really be great.


Ellis D., Esq. Is any one forcing you to eat at Mac Donald's? Pick any place that currently pays the min wage, what do you think the min wage should be, $15.00, $20 per hour? Why that amount, why not more?
What about health care for these employees? What's a fair percent of the insurance cost that the employee should pay? 10%, 20%,30%? Why not zero % to go along with the $15.00 or more an hour an hour?
Then how many hours should the employer be required to guarantee the worker? How many weeks of paid vacation should they get?

De_bill, how do you know that almost all min wage earners don't have savings accounts? Don't you remember liberal democrats telling us that most Americans were just one pay check away from being homeless? Based on that claim wouldn't it seem that very few of us have savings accounts?

Look, raise the Min Wage to want ever you want, it will never be enough for some people for reasons they can only answer.

None of you have answered what you thought a meal from a fast food restaurant would cost if the min wage when to $9.75. Do you think the prices would go up or down? Do you think the restaurant would hire more or fewer people? Do you think the people working for the min wage would be able to afford more when or less with their higher wage?

Come on great thinkers of the left, give us your answers to the these questions. Share with us your experience as an employer of workers on this very important topic.

 
At 5:42 PM, Blogger De_Bill said...

It's not just 'liberal democrats' who said at least 1/3 of Americans are a single paycheck from being homeless, it's just a study they were willing to cite, while the GOP was too busy defending those poor oppressed millionaires.

 
At 7:40 PM, Anonymous Chuck Morre said...

De_bill, I don't seem to see your answers to my questions? One of which was:
What should the min wage be, etc?

Nice try at deflection though, I'll give your that much. It's a lot easier and much more fun sniping the rich, and Republicans and conservatives instead of answering real world questions.

BTW, who else said 1/3 of us were just a paycheck away, etc? (You did claim others made that statement, who were they?) And under liberal democrat Obama, what's that percent now? Higher or lower? Cant blame the rich any more, they just had their taxes raised with the help of the evil Republicans. So who do you want to blame now?


 
At 8:15 PM, Blogger De_Bill said...

Sorry to break it to you, it wasn't a 'deflection', I just didn't see any point in posting a link I knew you'd never look at, or if you did, you'd just claim it was 'liberal propaganda', since reality has a well known liberal bias.

 
At 9:09 PM, Anonymous Chuck Morre said...

If you say so De_Bill, "what difference does it make". Now the questions, when can we have answers?

Crickets?

 
At 9:09 PM, Blogger Harley A. said...

So, those wanting to set a minimum wage at 9.50 or 12.43 or 15.00 or whatever... will you also mandate that employers maintain a certain number of workers per $ of gross revenue, mandate that corporations not move production to parts of the world with lower cost of labor, and mandate price (profit) controls? Unless you do, a minimum wage mandate by itself will not affect much (and Obama, of course, knows this).

I am, of course, not suggesting these things - rather pointing out that a simple moving of this single variable not only will not have the intended consequences but will cause manifold unintended consequences.

 
At 9:37 PM, Blogger Harley A. said...

"Does he have a molecule of a clue that the people of this country have had it with conservatism?"

Well, 51% of them anyway...

 
At 11:45 PM, Anonymous James said...

Harley, what do Conservatives want? It seems they already have almost everything on their wish list. A huge government,a huge military, the lowest taxes in our history and corporations that control every facet of our lives.
How can the country get any more Conservative than it is.

 
At 8:31 AM, Anonymous Chuck Morre said...

No James, all this Conservative wants is answers from liberals to the questions I have posted on this thread.

Meteoroid hits Russia.

Gore claims it is due to man caused global warming.

James claims it's because the rich are not paying their "fair share".

Tom blames it on the min wage for being too low.

De_Bill sites unnamed sources for proof that it's because of capitalism.

Esq. knows it's an inside job, and blames Bush, and pushes for legalization of pot

Liberals blame FOX News.

Rev Jessie Jackson says it's proof of racism.

Obama blames Congress.

Socialists say its the GOP and NRA that caused this.

H. Clinton says, "what difference does it make" we are all going to die some day, some way!

PLANNED PARENTHOOD claims it's due to attempted cuts in the Federal budget for abortion "care".

Glenn Beck recommends we invest in gold.









 
At 9:58 AM, Blogger Harley A. said...

James, I think there's a misconception that the false dichotomoy of party politics in this country is a good proxy for the manifold belief systems there are. It's not in my opinion. Unfortunately, many people get lumped into "conservative" or "liberal" camps when they don't always see eye-to-eye on everything.

Having said that, do you disagree with my analysis? I'm not saying don't raise the minimum wage - I am ambivalent on it because I understand that it is a powerless variable by itself. I'm simply saying raising it alone won't accomplish much and stands to actually hurt the demographic it is aimed to help.

The biggest argument is that it puts more money into the hands of consumers on the lower end of the wage spectrum - money that will be spent on goods and services, thereby stoking the economy. It is, in reality, an inflationary measure in the macroeconomic sense. And, it's real purpose is to prop up our failing dollar (my opinion) which can only be done through inflation - much like the QE of the past several years. My humble opinion is that this is the aim of the measure, though it does also garner some good political brownie points for Obama.

One man's opinion...

 
At 10:06 AM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

Chuck no one is forcing folks to eat McShit and die. It's just that on the pittance wages workers are paid that garbage food is all people can afford. It apparently is causing health problems in the general population. As to the other inquiries, ALL these matters have been previously discussed in Tom's blog. What is a reasonable minimum wage ?? That depends on the cost of living or cost of subsistence if living is too euphemistic a word. What should the quality of life for the poor and lower income people be ?? Steak and caviar every night ? Cat food and bread crumbs every night ?? How about good nutrition for the children of these folks ?? Assuming they are allowed to have children....or is that going to be a privilege only for the wealthy ?? Health care is also mentioned by our friend Chuck...how about socialized not for profit medicine like the rest of the civilized world ?? Vacation time ?? Well, that is a matter of human decency. Apparently human decency runs from SLAVERY ( no vacation time and no pay either !! ) to generous compensation for one's efforts ( though rare to find among Amerikan employers ). These issues boil down to GREED vs. GENEROSITY. What kind of people are we ?? The more I see of the establishment in action the more I believe that EVIL people control Amerika and that the folks with good hearts and compassion are on their own, sad as that is....

 
At 11:34 AM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

“Does he have a molecule of a clue that the people of this country have had it with conservatism?”


Yes 51% of the voters said so. However since only 51% of Republican voters are grounded in reality , an even larger percentage of the sane, informed and un-brainwashed have had it with conservatism:



PPP's first post election national poll finds that Republicans are taking the results pretty hard...and also declining in numbers.

49% of GOP voters nationally say they think that ACORN stole the election for President Obama.

We found that 52% of Republicans thought that ACORN stole the 2008 election for Obama, so this is a modest decline, but perhaps smaller than might have been expected given that ACORN doesn't exist anymore.

 
At 12:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking as a Republican that voted for Obama, twice, because the thought of Alaska Barbie or Mittens anywhere near the Presidency was a little too scary to contemplate, I have to wonder how the election would go if it was held today. My solidly Democratic friends spent a lot of time reassuring me that Obama was not going to support more gun control. "See, he had four years in office, and he hasn't done anything". To them I say: I'm serving a Crow dinner Saturday evening, and you're invited".

Obama was incredibly lucky in both elections facing opponents that just about scared the pants off a lot of people, and he still didn't win by that large a margin. If the election were held today, I think the results might be different.

 
At 1:46 PM, Blogger edwin_ said...

I think the min wage should be at least $8.76/hr and higher in more expensive regions. I am baseing this on my experience of receiving the $1.25/ hr in 1967. Back then, I was in high school but I knew many families where the working father ( with stay at home mom)raised families earning min wage .

according to the 'minneapolis federal reserve inflation calculator' $1.25 in 1967 ~ 8.76 in today's $. If you believe the gov't numbers

Many employers today pay poverty wages and the taxpayers have to pay for the services that the workers cannot afford

 
At 1:48 PM, Blogger Zarathustra said...

You know, and I wonder if other people have noticed it... but every time I see a picture of John Beohner, it looks like he just ate a spoonful of shit!

 
At 2:05 PM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

That would be cannibalism since Bonehead IS a piece of shit himself !!

 
At 4:05 PM, Anonymous James said...

The last two comments does nothing but alienate the Conservative posters here. Hit the delete before posting drivel please.

 
At 4:15 PM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

The drivel is the absolute bullshit spewed out by the very conservatives you are concerned about alienating. We just like to express our true feelings about these so called politicians. Traitors are what they really are. The best interests of Amerika are the last thing folks like Bonehead and Cuntor are concerned about. They hide behind religion. They hide behind their so called morality. But now with their pants down and their cover blown they have no where to hide.

 
At 5:10 PM, Anonymous Chuck Morre said...

James,

Thanks for the effort, but I have come to expect it from ESQ.

Poor fellow, he really cant help him self. He seems to be so filled with IQ destroying hate of anything conservative or capitalistic. Just the way it is.

As for this debate being on Tom's blog before (min wage) and all the issues discussing it brings up, ESQ needs to deal with Tom about that, it was his choice.

It is good to see answers to the questions I've asked or at least some of them. I now I am guilty of drifting off subject and did so already. For that I apologize to you and Tom.

DD, Zarathustra, and ESQ do not enter the debate with an desire to understand but a desire to attack and if possible destroy their opposition. edwin_ with his post actually answered my question about what he thought the min wage should be and supported it with facts and evidence.

My own thoughts about the Min Wage is it is not designed to be a full time living wage. But a place from which some one with no training or work skills can start their work career and move on. It is an entry level wage for an entry level job.

America, before the Great Society was a place where this was understood. I know, I was a teenager during the 60's. In order to increase your income you did actions that allowed you to command a higher wage in exchange for your skills. IE: trade school, college, union or start you own business. If you didn't, odds are you would not grow you income, simple laws of the market place.

I lived in a time (man, do I hate to sound like my Dad) where the President told us to ask ourselves what we could do for our country. Today we have a President who doesn't believe we can do anything with out big govt help. (IE raise the min wage, we are all victims with out big govt. being there for us)
That is a stunning difference of how our Presidents view this country that has taken place in under 65 years.

One final thing, when you raise the min wages, there is no proof that the cost of things stay the same. I think they go up, as is to be expected when there is an increase in the cost of labor, taxes etc. That should not be a surprise, but to some it must be.

So what "difference does it make"? What it really does is to allow unions to negotiate higher wages because the spread of a trained union worker has to be X % more than an untrained/skilled min wage worker. That's why big labor really supports the min wage increase, they want the cost of labor to go up from the bottom.

Kind of interesting as you see increasing labor costs driving some business to reduce their work force at the high end of the labor pay scale (UAW, robots replacing humans), why would you not be surprised to see the same occur on the low end of the labor pay scale (food server at a public school SEIU member). If you increase the labor cost high enough, you will run out of customers who are willing or able to pay for your service.

To completely understand how this works, I would suggest, and I mean this sincerely, either starting a small business of some type (food wagon, pet watching service, etc) or sitting down to the owner of a small business. Let them tell you the impact of raising wages for labor while not getting a dimes worth of improved labor in return. That is what increasing the min wage does.

 
At 5:21 PM, Anonymous James said...

nodayek 11921Ellis, we share the same feelings toward Republican politicians. I would just prefer to have the dialog kept at a more mature level to foster respect between all the posters here.

I know it will never happen but the only hope for this country is for the Liberal and Conservative citizens get together and fight against the corrupt politicians.

 
At 5:31 PM, Anonymous James said...

The captcha code is a pain in the ass, it sometimes takes up to three tries to get the post thru. And it is easy to type the code into my post as I just did with Ellis.

 
At 5:58 PM, Blogger Zarathustra said...

Yes, chuck Moore, and your blanket acceptance of everything that Conservatives are doing to this country, without even a whimper, are what will bring an end to this once great country. Democract requires you to state your objections, otherwise you might as well move to Tehran, Iran, where the Mullahs run everything. You are pathetic, so I assume that you must be christian... taught your whole life, never to object or raise any questions.

 
At 7:33 PM, Anonymous James said...

Does anybody know when the "Hope And Change" is coming?

Lets face it, Obama is ONE BIG BULLSHIT ARTIST!

THE GUY COULD NOT EVEN RUN A MCCDONALDS!

 
At 8:21 PM, Anonymous Chuck Morre said...

So Zarathustra, the problem are not my arguments or my questions, the problem is I may be a Christian?

That's very deep of you Zarathustra, very deep. Share more of your liberal tolerance with me please.

 
At 8:53 PM, Anonymous James said...

Hey Anon, are you an asshole or what?

 
At 12:14 AM, Blogger Harley A. said...

Zarathustra, in a two-sided argument, acceptance of one position (whether blind or not) is de facto objection to the other.

And, in case you weren't aware, being Christian (as I am) is an exclusive position to take - one that question (nay, denies) much of what the non-Christian humanistic culture takes for granted.

A coherent point is nice in serious discussions. If you simply want to insult, cursing and name-calling are much more effective.

 
At 9:49 AM, Anonymous James said...

Harley, I feel it is inherently unfair for a person to work full time and bring home 1000 a month when most rents are that much. I would be homeless if I made that amount of money.

In Norway, where I have 80 relatives, there is no minimum wage but the lowest paid workers earn 25 to 30 thousand a year. It is a highly unionized country therefore the wages are very high. They also pay very high tax rates, 60 percent and higher. But they also have one of the highest standards of living in the world.

I guess Norway is a Republican nightmare, high taxes with unions everywhere. They also have extensive cradle to grave social benefits, they are the opposite of the U.S., but it still works for them.

 
At 10:24 AM, Anonymous Chuck Morre said...

"I feel it is inherently unfair for a person to work full time and bring home 1000 a month when most rents are that much. I would be homeless if I made that amount of money."

James, back to my original question and position, what would be fair? And why would it be fair?

 
At 10:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

NY Times editorial-1987-Minimum Wage

The idea of using a minimum wage to overcome poverty is old, honorable – and fundamentally flawed. It’s time to put this hoary debate behind us, and find a better way to improve the lives of people who work very hard for very little.

An increase in the minimum wage would restore the purchasing power of bottom-tier wages. It would also permit a minimum-wage breadwinner to earn almost enough to keep a family of three above the official poverty line. There are catches, however. It would increase employers’ incentives to evade the law, expanding the underground economy. More important, it would increase unemployment: Raise the legal minimum price of labor above the productivity of the least skilled workers and fewer will be hired.

If a higher minimum means fewer jobs, why does it remain on the agenda of some liberals? A higher minimum would undoubtedly raise the living standard of the majority of low-wage workers who could keep their jobs. That gain, it is argued, would justify the sacrifice of the minority who became unemployable. The argument isn’t convincing. Those at greatest risk from a higher minimum would be young, poor workers, who already face formidable barriers to getting and keeping jobs.

Perhaps the mistake here is to accept the limited terms of the debate. The working poor obviously deserve a better shake. But it should not surpass our ingenuity or generosity to help some of them without hurting others.

Washington could enlarge the existing earned income tax credit. This would permit better targeting, since minimum-wage workers in affluent families would not be eligible.

Training and education. The alternative to supplementing income for the least skilled workers is to raise their earning power in a free labor market. In the last two decades, dozens of programs to do that have produced mixed results at a very high cost. But the concept isn’t necessarily at fault; nurturing the potential of individuals raised in poverty is very difficult. A humane society would learn from its mistakes

 
At 11:54 AM, Anonymous James said...

Chuck, I would like to see the M.W. go up to 20 an hour, that way one weeks labor would pay for a modest rent and utilities. Nowadays some people work 2 or 3 weeks to pay the rent, ensuring them a life of grinding poverty. Of course, like Harley said, that would possibly lead to inflation.

The greed of corporations is causing inflation to happen anyway. Banks will give you 1/2 percent on your money and charge you up to 39 percent interest on your credit card. Based on the high of oil costing 150 a barrel and gas at 4.15, we should be paying 2.40 for gas instead of the current 3.90

Walmart is the epitome of greed, 1.4 million people working for the M.W. and the Waltons are worth half a trillion. As a Conservative is there any level of income disparity that would make you uncomfortable?

 
At 1:15 PM, Anonymous Chuck Morre said...

James,

What rolei in causing inflation, do you think the federal govt plays?

As a Conservative I do not believe the government has the responsibility to spread the wealth. This means do not punish those who have been successful by punishing them with wealth reduction. Taking from one to give to another based on the concept of fairness is fair to neither party.

As a Christian I would urge you to watch the most recent Presidents Prayer Breakfast for a much better explaination of an answer to your excellent question.

Now,with the m/w at an artificially set $20 per hr, (not market driven, but govt driven with no thought of the effects this would cause) how much do you think a side of chicken fried rice will cost at your neighborhood carry out Chiness restaurant ? And please, address the issues presented in my post of 5:10 p.m. Can you explaine why those items wouldn't happen?

 
At 8:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

WASHINGTON — While a national debate has erupted over the Obama administration's lethal drone strikes overseas, federal authorities have stepped up efforts to license surveillance drones for law enforcement and other uses in U.S. airspace, spurring growing concern about violations of privacy.

The Federal Aviation Administration said Friday it had issued 1,428 permits to domestic drone operators since 2007, far more than were previously known. Some 327 permits are still listed as active.

Operators include police, universities, state transportation departments and at least seven federal agencies. The remotely controlled aircraft vary widely, from devices as small as model airplanes to large unarmed Predators.

BLAME BUSH!!!!

 
At 11:16 PM, Blogger marion miranda keane said...

I for one like what you had to say Tom. But the righties have such a monopoly on abject ignorance and stupidity, they will never get it. Thats why we the people re-elected president Obama.Americans are looking for answers,not a political class feathering its' own nest. Republican leaders and operatives are not about ideals and values but business- their own business.Dismantling fundamental goverment safety nets designed to protect the uemployed, public health, work place safety and the subsistence of the elderly, the middle-class and poor, is what the people want and need.Republicans' will be a thing of the past, if they don't get with the program. What they have to offer, is useless to the people. And by disrespecting the president, they are also disrespecting the will of the people.

 
At 3:02 AM, Anonymous Ron Baldwin said...

For the curious, a history of the Federal minimum wage can be found at:

http://www.dol.gov/whd/minwage/chart.htm

The minimum wage started on October 24, 1938 at 25 cents an hour. A year later it went to 30 cents an hour, a 20% increase. It remained at 30 cents an hour during WW2 until it was raised on October 24, 1946 to 40 cents an hour, a 33% increase.

I started work at age 13 in late 1947, earning the minimum wage of 40 cents an hour. On March 1, 1950 the minimum wage was raised to 75 cents an hour, a whopping increase of 88%. Do the math – an 88 percent increase!!!.

I started college in 1951 and earned (at minimum wage) enough to pay for my entire college costs and finished with an MBA degree in 1957. I started my career with no college debt, a fully-paid six-year old car, $600 in the bank, a wife, and a daughter. A year later I bought our first house with a 20% down payment and a $9,500 mortgage.

As to that whopping 1950 increase in the minimum wage, by 1950, members of the Greatest Generation were all of voting age and there were none of the dire predictions we hear about President Obama’s recent proposal to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $9.00 an hour, a paltry (by 1950’s standard) 24% increase.

The decade following the end of WW2 was one of staggering increase in prosperity for the middle class, and for the country as a whole. There was a huge “Big Government” action in 1944, called the GI Bill, that provided the 16 million people who served in the military in WW2 to obtain a college education (with no student loans) and buy a house with a modest down payment and a reasonable interest rate. The top income tax rate was 91% during that decade and the average CEO pay was about 30 times the average worker’s pay.

As to the wisdom of that GI Bill, the people who sent men to the moon in 1969 were the ones who earned those college educations compliments of that GI Bill.

What a difference a half century makes.

A college education today leaves a majority of graduates with $100,000 to $200,000 of debt. It requires both parents to work if they hope to buy even the most modest house. The average CEO makes more than 400 times the average earnings of their workers.

The mega rich who have little earned income and whose income is primarily dividends and capital gains, as well as working hedge fund managers, have had a decade of a maximum income tax of 15% (raised to 20% starting in 2013). Meanwhile the average working stiff has 15.3% of every dollar they earn (no deductions or exemptions) sent to the IRS for Social Security and Medicare taxes. Even those workers with taxable income of $35,000 are in the 25% income tax bracket (40% to the Federal government when combined with Social Security and Medicare taxes).

Meanwhile, those with multi-millions of “earned” income pay a pittance for Social Security and Medicare (2% for $1 million earned income, 2 tenths of one percent for a $10 million earned income, and less for those earning more).

 
At 10:51 AM, Anonymous Chuck Morre said...

I agree Ron, the federal govt is too big, too inefficient, makes promises it can not keep, cost way too much, spends too much and takes way too much of our income.

It has to stop.

 
At 3:14 PM, Blogger Harley A. said...

James, while I agree that the average earning potential has not kept up with inflation, I don't agree that greedy corporations are to blame for inflation.

Inflation (which our gov't has been purposely under-reporting for some time now) is a certainty and cannot be stopped. It is one of the inevitable results of our unbacked monetary system - implemented by Nixon. We have no other option than to continue to print money until we collapse the house of cards. It's the only way out - they are debasing the currency - and telling you they are bailing the economy out.

Don't blame the "corporations" - blame the western reserve bankers... They are the ones enriching the "elite" while we pay the price for the inflation they create - and we cannot keep up with it.

I saw it well stated in a fairly recent Forbes article...

"Former Bank of England president Sir Josiah Stamp observed: “Bankers own the earth. Take it away from them, but leave them the power to create money and control credit, and with a flick of a pen they will create enough to buy it back.” This observation was never better illustrated than in the Federal Reserve’s loan laundry and downscale resale facility." (the last sentence refering to the Fed's practice of laundering toxic debt over the past 5 years to protect the currency for as long as possible)

So, again, Obama can have his minimum wage. Heck, raise it to $20/hr. It cannot and will not save us. People's eyes need to be opened to the false hopes being promised out of Washington.

I, like you, would love to have a world where an honest man's hard work would earn him a living wage. That is what we all want. But, our problems are very complicated, unfortunately. And, I see no good solutions at the moment... Maybe that's defeatist, I dunno...

 
At 5:00 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Harley,
I agree with your primary point, but "too big to fail" banks are corporations and they largely own congress, the courts and the White House. Furthermore, corporate written trade agreements have negatively impacted our average wages by pitting American workers against Chinese slave labor.

Big Money's dominance of what should be the people's government is the major problem. Big Money's tenacious intentions on only the short term bottom line is holding us and our economy hostage.

As long as anti-trust laws and Glass-Steagall are history this will not change, especially when all of one party and most of the other party are wholly owned by or beholden to corporate interests.

Couple this situation with the Republican Party's open war on democracy and it is obvious the future is bleak. More votes were cast for Democratic representation than Republican. Yet power of the House goes to Republicans.

But that is not enough for the enemies of democracy. They want it all. And they will get it.

The GOP is pushing to eliminate democracy through vote suppression and electoral college manipulation where will of the majority is crushed.

The system is rigged against we the people.

This is just how the banks and other corporations want it. They are winning, and the rest of us are losing.



 
At 6:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


"Big Money's dominance of what should be the people's government is the major problem."

Really?

WASHINGTON (AP) — Citing financial concerns, the Obama administration has begun quietly winding down one of the earliest programs created by the president's health care overhaul, a plan that helps people with medical problems who can't get private insurance.

Enrollment around the country has been lower than expected, partly because some people could not afford the premiums. But individual cases have turned out to be costlier than originally projected.

And you would blame big money for this? Look, Big Government is the source of our economic problems today.

 
At 6:41 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

"Big Money's dominance of what should be the people's government is the major problem."

Really?


Really.

Insurance companies and their politicians were "at the table" in drafting the corporate friendly health care legislation. Liberals didn't write it for sure.

Didn't FOX (R) teach you that?

I'm shocked, shocked I tell you.

We wanted single payer medicare for all. You want billions of health care dollars in CEO pockets. They win, we lose. Just like I said, isn't it?

 
At 9:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't yell at me Dave, I just reported a failure of govt run health care reported by AP, not Fox News.

Look, you can take every dollar of wealth from every American in 2013 and the federal govt would still not have enough money to balance it's budge. Not to mention what doing so would do to the budgets of the States.

So rail all you want at Fox News, the GOP, Conservatives and anyone else you deem either greedy or not liberal enough. Stomp your foot and hold your breath all you want. The nasty, honest truth is the Federal government is spending more money than it's "owners" can pay.
That reality can no longer be ignored.

This is what happens when people are taught to believe that the only thing keeping them from happiness is the person who has more than they do.

That you don't have what you want, single payer, is my fault, because I didn't vote for Obama?

P.S. Those CEOs who have "billions of dollars in their pockets", would you care to share with us how you got their income tax returns to find that out? Or is that just another SWAG from CPUSA?

Really?

 
At 9:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

February 7, 2013

The Department of Homeland Security is set to purchase a further 21.6 million rounds of ammunition to add to the 1.6 billion bullets it has already obtained over the course of the last 10 months alone, figures which have stoked concerns that the federal agency is preparing for civil unrest.

A solicitation posted yesterday on the Fed Bid website details how the bullets are required for the DHS Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Artesia, New Mexico.

The solicitation asks for 10 million pistol cartridge .40 caliber 165 Grain, jacketed Hollow point bullets (100 quantities of 100,000 rounds) and 10 million 9mm 115 grain jacketed hollow point bullets (100 quantities of 100,000 rounds).

The document also lists a requirement for 1.6 million pistol cartridge 9mm ball bullets (40 quantities of 40,000 rounds).

An approximation of how many rounds of ammunition the DHS has now secured over the last 10 months stands at around 1.625 billion. In March 2012, ATK announced that they had agreed to provide the DHS with a maximum of 450 million bullets over four years, a story that prompted questions about why the feds were buying ammunition in such large quantities. In September last year, the federal agency purchased a further 200 million bullets.

To put that in perspective, during the height of active battle operations in Iraq, US soldiers used 5.5 million rounds of ammunition a month. Extrapolating the figures, the DHS has purchased enough bullets over the last 10 months to wage a full scale war for almost 30 years.


So Dave,
Have your register your guns with the government yet? Or since you work for the government, are you getting some of this ammo?

 
At 10:23 PM, Anonymous James said...

Chuck, The government and the corporations have been working hand in hand to spread the wealth from the middle class to the wealthy. Thru deregulation, encouraging monopolies and looking the other way when corporations go hog wild in ripping off the public and the government. That adds up to a form of inflation.

Student loans are a good example, they used to be safe and low interest. Then they made student loans exempt from bankruptcy and raised interest rates, added penalties to make a killing on students.

My nephew owed 20 thousand, paid 54 thousand over 20 years and still owes 18 thousand. Is that fair?

 
At 11:21 PM, Anonymous James said...

If anybody cares about their health and would like to more informed about the foods we eat this is a great site. Here is an article showing us what a great job the government is doing to protect us.

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/02/16/recycling-radioactive-waste.aspx?e_cid=20130216_DNL_art_2&utm_source=dnl&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20130216

 
At 2:33 AM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...


Insurance CEO’s are raking it in.

The top ten Pharma CEO’s alone get over a quarter of a billion a year.

Yes, billions of dollars that could go to real health care are sucked up by those who own the Republican Party and contribute nothing to actual health care.

But to a “conservative” the poor are too rich and the rich are too poor.

 
At 10:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok, I get it. The only problem is the rich aren't paying enough. Fix that and all our problems will go away.

 
At 12:12 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Ok, I get it.

Obviously not.

 
At 2:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well Dave, what more do you think is needed? All you do is harp on the rich not paying enough, I agree with you and that's still not good enough for you.

How about we do like Cuba, no income tax, very little income, but all the services are provided free? Now what's your beef?

Btw, how's your ammo supply?

 
At 3:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Dave, would you be happy if what the CTU wanted was put into place in every school district?

"The Chicago Teachers Union urged school administrators nationwide to discontinue the use of standardized tests, deriding them as corporate tools.

The CTU recently released a report arguing that standardized tests are a faulty measure of student achievement. They also advance a pro-corporate agenda, the report said.

“Corporate interests continue to push towards a test‐centered public education system that is clearly harmful to students,” according to the report."

That all raising the taxes on the rich to point where their wealth was the same as yours, would that fix America?? Would you be happy then? If not, want more do you want?

 
At 4:21 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Would you be happy then?

I'm quite happy now, thank you very much.

 
At 4:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dave, since you're an expert on the rich and convicts, is it far to do what PA is going to do to inmates? Stop them getting unemployment checks?

"DID YOU KNOW that Philadelphia prison inmates collected unemployment benefits while sitting in their cells?

They did: 1,162 of them got an average of $344 a week for, on average, 18 weeks. That's more than $7 million.

And many of the 25,500 inmates in other county jails in Pennsylvania did the same."

Is this the fair thing to do to inmate while the top ten insurance CEO's collectively earn 1/4 of a billion dollars a yr? Wouldn't we all be better off if that 1/4 of a billion dollars when to the poor under employed convict, like those you guard? With a 16 TRILLION dollar debt we would be on the road to a balanced budget if we could only get the 10 top CEO's to pay more of their income to the government. Let's see, if we freeze all federal spending increases at 2012 levels and increase the revenue of the government by 1/4 a billion dollars, how many years before we would have a balanced budget? Then we could start working of the deficit.

Question is that 1/4 of a billion $ of those filthy rich CEO's before tax or after tax income?
This is serious stuff, calls for tough legislation!

 
At 4:31 PM, Anonymous John said...

Chuck Morre>> None of you have answered what you thought a meal from a fast food restaurant would cost if the min wage when to $9.75. Do you think the prices would go up or down? Do you think the restaurant would hire more or fewer people? Do you think the people working for the min wage would be able to afford more when or less with their higher wage?

*

Chuck, the cost of fast food meals is beyond calculation. It is interrelated with the industrialization of food in general. The health consequences and loss of marketplace freedom may be irreversible. An example of what I mean by this is that you may not be able to obtain corn that is not contaminated with genetically altered DNA (if you study this issue, you will find that this is well on the way to being reality). Some of the 'accidents' may ultimately prove to be catastrophic.

Many people consume fast foods for all their meals. Imagine you throw millions and millions of automobiles into the picture and each of them is being driven several miles for each of these meals and suppose that each of these vehicles are belching out pollutants into the atmosphere that you and I have to breath.

To return to your original question, the cost will continue to be too high.

 
At 5:00 PM, Anonymous John said...

>> Ellis D., Esq. said... Chuck no one is forcing folks to eat McShit and die.

Actually they are - or at least what amounts to it. I don't want to eat GMOs and make efforts to avoid it. However, I have no misconceptions that my efforts will be 100% successful. In fact government and industry are working in concert to withhold that information where industry captured agencies have essentially allowed gmos introduction with no oversight. Recently a California proposition to label gmos was defeated through industry's claim that labeling would cost average families several hundred dollars a year. I guess that is the kind of control you can get when you starve a population...

 
At 5:43 PM, Anonymous James said...

Harley, corporations have forced people to spend far more than they ever would choose to. Going all the way back to when the oil and tire companies bought up and destroyed all the trolleys in the U.S. Tens of millions had to buy cars to remain mobile.

They have suppressed innovation in Green Energy by buying up patents and putting them in storage, supposedly about 140 of them. A well known one is the battery technology of the GM electric car. Chevron recently sold the patent to Norway where they were supposed to make an all electric car called the Think.

There are hundreds of examples like these, which might not be called inflation but the end result is the same.

 
At 6:31 PM, Anonymous Chuck Morre said...

Well James it is clear to me. The simple solution to all the ills of our country is to raise the min wage to $20.00! Then tax the rest of us at a what ever rate needed until our current income equals $20 per hour. That sounds fair to me, how about you? Let's make $20 per the wage for every one! DRs. Police, Teamsters, UAW members, stock brokers, Congressmen, Senators, the President, all CEO's, any and everyone should make the same amount regardless! This would end the current practice of taking from the middle class and giving to the rich, right?

This can only come about if we expand the control and influence of government into every aspect of our lives. Govt will determine the quality of the food we eat, govt will control the price we pay for our food, govt will control the type of transportation we have access to, govt will provide our health care, govt will provide our education, how much it costs and what will be taught, govt will tell us how many children we can have, govt will provide our housing and what we use for energy, govt would control the cost of the dope we smoke, snort of inject, and the quality as well!! Govt would end all racism, all our immigration problems. This would be total freedom from want and need and greed!! I could go on but there is a limit to how many key strokes in a post. But govt could also fix that.

Sounds like you have found the answer to all our problems. Why hasn't this been tried elsewhere is my only question?

 
At 6:53 PM, Anonymous Chuck Morre said...

James,

I just saw these and I think the Govt in CO is on to something. Again govt to our rescue!!

“There are some gender inequities on college campuses… that’’s why we have call boxes, that’s why we have safe zones, that’s why we have the whistles. Because you just don’t know who you’re gonna be shooting at. And you don’t know if you feel like you’re gonna be raped, or if you feel like someone’s been following you around or if you feel like you’re in trouble when you may actually not be, then you pop out that gun and you pop, pop around at somebody.” Representative Joe Salzar.

CO. State Senator Jessie Ulibarri said that when under attack by a gunman the victims of the assault should wait until the gunman reloaded, then take them out with ball point pens.

James, I'm sure there are more example of how govt can make our lives better, if we just allow it to do so. And I'm just as sure that the gunmen and rapist will obey the govt's rules about these things as much as you and I will.

 
At 7:13 PM, Anonymous James said...

Chuck, you did not see my post about Norway? The MW is 20 to 30 dollars an hour, doctors make a flat salary of 100 thousand, no incentive to give you an operation you do not need! Not as extreme as the picture you painted but close enough.

The best form of government is Liberal Socialism for the average person. The Conservative Capitalist system we have had for the last 13 years is destroying the country. How many years can we keep going on as we are?

 
At 7:35 PM, Anonymous James said...

Hey, it only took 12 years but the 9/11 Truthers are getting their day in court!

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article33984.htm

 
At 9:51 PM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 9:51 PM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

Chuck Morre "None of you have answered what you thought a meal from a fast food restaurant would cost if the min wage when to $9.75."
Excuse my back-of-the-napkin math, but:
A cursory googling shows labor costs for fast food restaraurants to be as low as 25% (cite). So, assuming labor cost of 33%, minimum wage going from $7.25 to $9 (a 24% increase), and all of the cost being passed to the consumer (no gained efficiencies) a $10 meal goes up by three quarters (not "by 75%", but "by 75c").

"Do you think the restaurant would hire more or fewer people?"
Negligible change.

Harley A. "I am, of course, not suggesting these things - rather pointing out that a simple moving of this single variable not only will not have the intended consequences but will cause manifold unintended consequences."
No it won't. Seriously. There's a wealth of data on the non-effect of minimum wage hikes (metastudy in prev cite, more here).

Anonymous "My solidly Democratic friends spent a lot of time reassuring me that Obama was not going to support more gun control. 'See, he had four years in office, and he hasn't done anything'. To them I say: I'm serving a Crow dinner Saturday evening, and you're invited'."
Yeah. Weird how body after body of suburban white kids being carried out under sheets would force Obama's typical, mild, pragmatic, ineffective push, most of which won't pass the Legislative and what's left, if it passes, won't get funded.

 
At 9:54 PM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

edwin_ "Many employers today pay poverty wages and the taxpayers have to pay for the services that the workers cannot afford"
Walmart's a Job Creator. Therefore, it's okay, even laudable for them to privatize profits and socialize costs.

Chuck Morre "America, before the Great Society was a place where this was understood. I know, I was a teenager during the 60's. In order to increase your income you did actions that allowed you to command a higher wage in exchange for your skills. IE: trade school, college, union or start you own business. If you didn't, odds are you would not grow you income, simple laws of the market place."
The Great Society? Really? School's expensive now. Virginia Foxx's experience is not her granddaughter's. And student loans, as far as I know, are now (unlike then) the only debt not erased in bankruptcy, too, so they get paid pretty much no matter what.

"As a Conservative I do not believe the government has the responsibility to spread the wealth. This means do not punish those who have been successful by punishing them with wealth reduction."
With great power comes great responsibility. Nobles oblige and all. Besides, paying taxes isn't a punishment, it's paying to maintain the ladder that you climbed up, just as previous generations did for you.

"Taking from one to give to another based on the concept of fairness is fair to neither party."
Radical inequality hurts growth, which makes a smaller pie for all. Which would you rather have, a smaller slice of a big pie or a bigger one of a small pie? Which would you rather the least of us have; a tiny slice of a big pie or the crumbs of a small one?

Anonymous "NY Times editorial-1987-Minimum Wage The idea of using a minimum wage to overcome poverty is old, honorable – and fundamentally flawed…"
Pah! Typical Liberal Media!

"WASHINGTON — While a national debate has erupted over the Obama administration's lethal drone strikes overseas, federal authorities have stepped up efforts to license surveillance drones for law enforcement and other uses in U.S. airspace, spurring growing concern about violations of privacy…"
You're decades too late to be mad about the militarization of law enforcement. Too bad, too. If you had been at the forefront you could've been called the dirty hippie and bleeding heart liberal you so obviously must be to be so soft on crime.

"The Department of Homeland Security is set to purchase a further 21.6 million rounds of ammunition to add to the 1.6 billion bullets it has already obtained over the course of the last 10 months alone'''
Now you're against the DHS, too? Get out of here, hippie, before the whole place smells like patchouli! Go back to Al Qaeda, America-hating traitor!
Tongue less in cheek, rational explanation.
In any event, you forgot to pretend to be mad about the pistol rounds being hollow point.

 
At 9:58 PM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

James "Hey, it only took 12 years but the 9/11 Truthers are getting their day in court!"
Oh...boy?

 
At 10:14 PM, Anonymous Chuck Morre said...

I'm with you James,no one can make more than $20 an hour. And if you are unemployed your welfare will be based on $20 per hour.
It would put an end to all our social ills. Question, why should the drs in Norway make more than the m/w? I mean what's fair about them making more than any one else? Even the unemployed? Ask Tom, I bet he would be ok getting $20 an hour for his welfare check. May be a pay raise from what he's getting now.
And with govt controlling the price of every thing, everything would be affordable to everyone. No capitalistic free market place for us' pure price control is the solution.

As I posted before, govt would provide all our needs. In fact, if you think about it,if govt provides us all our needs, why would we need money?

What do you James?

 
At 10:34 PM, Anonymous James said...

Chuck, I have been giving you honest answers without sarcasm, I expect the same in return.

 
At 12:04 AM, Anonymous Chuck Morre said...

Govt finally taking control of our lives as they should in all things!!
WASHINGTON -- A decision by a Maryland county is roiling the already contentious debate over potential gun control laws.
Prince George's County's Department of Parks and Recreation is banning gun shows indefinitely.

One of the major gun-control efforts in Olympia, WA. this session calls for the sheriff to inspect the homes of assault-weapon owners.-----About time they did something to make us safe.

July last year, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano told a House Committee on Homeland Security that the federal agency was “looking at drones that could be utilized to give us situational awareness in a large public safety [matter] or disaster,” despite the fact that the agency had previously indicated it was reticent to use spy drones to keep tabs on the public.
Hope they can also use this to detect Tea Party members watching FOX news!

The city (NYC) is making a major push to sweep the streets of dangerous, mentally ill New Yorkers — and has even compiled a most-wanted list, The Post has learned.

The measure follows a pair of high-profile subway-shove fatalities from December allegedly involving mentally ill individuals.

The city has already drawn up a list of 25 targets, sources said.

“After the Queens subway attack [of immigrant Sunando Sen], the [city] decided to take a proactive approach to track down the most dangerous mental-health patients that currently have mental-hygiene warrants” out for them, a law-enforcement source said.
I hope they include gun owners. After all you would have to be mentally ill to think you needed to own a gun in NYC. There aren't any deer to hunt there!!

This guy should be made our next head of Homeland Security. He's 100% correct.

Chicago’s Chief of Police, Garry McCarthy, who previously blamed ”government-sponsored racism” and Sarah Palin for Chicago’s gun violence, declared that the law-ful exercise of the Second Amendment was a threat to public safety.

CNBC is reporting

Severe fiscal tightening in the U.S. will lead to no growth or a contraction in the first two quarters of 2013 and will push unemployment over the 8 percent level, according to Lombard Street Research.

The knock-on effect will mean pain for the business sector, with corporate profits falling after a hit to consumer spending power, the firm said.

I say good, profits are our 2nd largest problem.

This is great news for all of us who demand the development of electric cars. I hope Obama and Big Oil keep putting the squeeze on us like Bush did. This will help keep our planet green by making gas so costly, no can afford it.

Gas prices have risen for 32 days straight, according to AAA.

That means that the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline has increased more than 13% over that period to $3.73.

It's hitting wallets right in the middle of winter, when people are already looking at large home heating bills. And it comes just after many Americans have been hit with smaller paychecks, and are worried about looming budget cuts that could deliver an even deeper blow.(I didn't know every body worked for the govt)

James, I'm not answering you with sarcasm, that's Modusoperandi's job. I simply agree with you that more govt control over our lives has so many benefits and have listed them for you.

I'd still like to know how come those Doctors in Norway are "allowed" to make so much more than the m/w? I m sure you can see I am simply taking your support in Liberal Socialism to its natural extension. I miss quoted you, sorry. You said:

"The best form of government is Liberal Socialism for the average person." I'm sure that govt will determine who is and who isn't the average person.

What's wrong with my ideas? Have you become a closet capitalist? $20 an hour is all we need to make it when govt provides us all our other needs. I trust them more than I trust Big Oil or Big Pharm or Big Insurance etc. Put an end to racism of income disparity, now!

 
At 2:47 AM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

Chuck Morre "Severe fiscal tightening in the U.S. will lead to no growth or a contraction...according to Lombard Street Research...I say good, profits are our 2nd largest problem."
What? You do know that the whole Republican plan is Austerity (and the Blue Dogs/Villagers/to some extent Obama, too), right? The only time that both sides agree on Keynes is Defense. "Small Government", "cut Entitlements", "Sequester", "certainty", "everyone should have skin in the game", "shared sacrifice", the "fiscal cliff", etc are all Austerity. Obama, for all his faults, is at least trying to spare, somewhat, the least of us by offsetting the pain that all the Very Serious People's policies (including his own) will rain down on them with mild tax raises on those who can most afford it (the only group, note, that has done well over the last few decades. Also note that Defense and tax cuts at the top are two of the least stimulative strategies available).

Yes, government has a spending problem. Look at the bigger picture and see where the spending is going: Medicare and Defense. Obama nibbles around the edges of Medicare and gets blasted by the GOP for it (whose Ryan plan, note, kept almost all of those "bending the cost curve" changes, comes back and demands actual Medicare cuts well beyond anything that Obama did. And, listed under "Healthcare, General" by repeatedly attempting to repeal Obamacare instead of trying to make things better, the GOP has broadcast that it doesn't actually care about Healthcare spending, with the mild exception of it not wanting to pay for it [see: Ryan plan]). And Defense buys things it doesn't need to fight enemies it doesn't have, sometimes being forced to keep programs and purchases that even the Pentagon doesn't want. The first, if not fixable, is at least flexible, and the second is fixable. As long as even minor attempts to "bend the cost curve" of Medicare (and public healthcare in general) are attacked as "cuts" by the very people who don't think it should exist at all, and as long as neither party is willing to approach Defense rationally, neither will be.
Again, yes, the government has a spending problem. In recession, its revenue problem is worse. Austerity makes recessions worse. It ineffectually attacks the former while killing the latter. If tax raises are necessary, it's foolish to attempt them anywhere other than where they'll be felt least, and if spending cuts are necessary, it's equally foolhardy to attempt them anywhere other than where they'll do the least harm. Europe provides many clear examples of this. Notice, too, that the GOP wants (nay, demands!) cuts that hit those that can least afford it the worst, and tax raises (such as the expiry of the Payroll tax cuts) that also hit most of us the worst; both of which leave those they serve completely unscathed. That is the worst, most malevolent kind of Austerity. Worse, it's ultimately self-defeating, exacerbating the very problem it's supposed to solve (again, see Europe).

 
At 2:48 AM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

cont'd

Revenue requires jobs. Get people working. Get people who are working better jobs. Any plan that doesn't have the first as as Point #1 and the second in the top 10 is no plan at all. (#3, Defense. #4, Healthcare. No where on the list should be "gut Granny's $1,200/mo Social Security" or "devolve Medicaid to the states and turn it into Block Grants". Yes, that will require borrowing money. 10 year Treasuries are selling for less than the rate of inflation. There's no better time to borrow. If you could borrow a thousand dollars to upgrade your skills (and make more money) while having to pay back the equivalent of less than a thousand dollars, wouldn't you? The nation is riddled with crumbling bridges, elderly sewers, and out of date electrical grids that need to be fixed. Fixing them makes private business work better and increased/abets trade. Businesses that work better make more money. Businesses that make more money pay more taxes. Borrowing money at less than inflation to reduce unemployment and increase revenue is win-win.

Yes, debt interest needs to be paid back (and, ideally, the debt needs to come down). Is it easier to pay it with a stagnant economy built on crumbling infrastructure or a growing economy with a repaired (and, ideally, upgraded) one?

 
At 8:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Get people working. Get people who are working better jobs."

I got it. Let's build an oil pipeline from our largest suppler of oil, Canada, to our refinery's!
There's a need, it will create jobs, will reduce the carbon foot print being created by current methods of transporting oil.

Whats not to love??

 
At 8:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is this how "Liberal Socialism" would handle this? Is this how Norway is handling their immigration problem?

"The United States Department of Agriculture has been working to dispel immigrants’ concerns that getting on Food Stamps will harm their chances of becoming U.S. citizens.

The USDA addresses those fears in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamp, brochures it distributes to Mexican consulates as part of its “partnership” with the Mexican government “to help educate eligible Mexican nationals living in the United States about available nutrition assistance.”

In one portion of the brochure, USDA’s text asks, “If I get on SNAP benefits, will I be a “public charge?’” The brochure then answers: “No. You and your family can apply for and receive SNAP benefits without hurting your chance of becoming U.S. citizens.”

The brochure further advises immigrants that members of their family could qualify for food stamps, even if they don’t.

“If you are not eligible due to your immigration status, your legal immigrant or citizen children may still qualify,” the brochure reads. ”You do not have to provide immigration information about yourself when you apply for your legal immigrant or citizen children.”

 
At 11:45 AM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

Anonymous "There's a need, it will create jobs, will reduce the carbon foot print being created by current methods of transporting oil."
It requires higher pressure to push tar sands crude through the pipe, it's full of nasty, nasty stuff (including higher levels of heavy metals than conventional crude) that does odd or unknown things to pipes, it sets off false pressure alarms all along the system (hundreds a day, to the point that they can't reliably tell it's leaking until somebody on the ground sees it), it's diluted with ??? the company involved won't disclose and [pause for effect] it's the larger sequel to a pipe (Keystone I) that's only been in service for a couple of years and that has already leaked more than thirty times?

If I ruined your front yard thirty times with a leaky septic tank, what would you do when I started building a second one of the same design but bigger in my back yard? Would me promising the state of the art technology I'm using would prevent and detect leaks quickly help allay your misgivings, when I said the exact same thing for the other one, and yet your front yard is an EPA cleanup site anyway?

(Side note: It will be built, despite the protests of hippies, as well as those of the farmers and ranchers whose land will be ensludgened when it leaks. There's too much money behind it for it not to)

(cites: 1 & 2, although even a cursory googling shows the serious downsides to the upsides)

 
At 11:58 AM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

Anonymous "Is this how 'Liberal Socialism' would..."
Anonymous, gosh, foodstamps and Mexicans in America? You must get winded blowing two dogwhistles at once!
You can save a breath copying and pasting things like that by using the older, simpler, dogwhistles. Say "Them dern wetbacks are sneakin' over the border and stealin' our tax moneys!" or somesuch. Maybe fire off a six-shooter in the air and say you're "rounding up a posse" to get those "anchor babies" to let everybody really know you're a genuine jackass.
...
On a side note, are you a part of the GOP's Hispanic outreach program?

 
At 12:27 PM, Blogger Harley A. said...

MO –

Yeah, I know. There are studies that show raising the min wage helps, it hurts, or does little one way or the other. Again, I have no huge issue with it – I feel it is closer to the latter – in a relatively free-market environment. I do think, though, that it should at least be age & experience graduated. $7/hr is not bad for a high school kid or college kid that’s never had a job trying to earn money to help with college or buy a car. But, if it is meant to be a living wage for a primary family provider, it needs to be in the $20 range, so why are we pretending that $9 is a “win”. I say, if that’s the goal, then let’s provide for a $7-20/hr range and quit pretending like $9 is a good solution – and let the chips fall where they may.

On the Keystone P/L… typically they cut heavy crudes with what is called “condensate”. Basically the heavier (C5+) components that are condensed from natural gas streams at gas processing plants (that cannot be left in the fuel gas for use at the burner tip – i.e. your stove). I find the whole Keystone issue puzzling. It is clear that demand for motor fuels is on the decline, and US oil production is in a boom state, so I’m not sure why we are worried so much about bringing in low grade (hard to refine) crude oil from Canada…

 
At 3:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


MO

On a side note, are you saying all Hispanics are illegals?

 
At 9:06 PM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

Harley A., Keystone is an issue because Obama. (After the past four years, more than that terse explanation shouldn't be necessary)

Anonymous, no. On a side note, did you pay attention at the site you got it from to their comments and other stories? (A quick googling of "The United States Department of Agriculture has been working to dispel immigrants’ concerns that getting on Food Stamps will harm their chances of becoming U.S. citizens." comes up with Daily Caller, FoxNation and, holy crap, Alex Jones as the first three hits*, the latter two getting the story from the first. That's Dogwhistle, Atwater Reborn and All-Encompassing Paranoia as the most popular sites for that story)


* As for the (*shudder*) comments; Daily Caller, many wingnuts with nativism, poor-baiting, "illegals" and general resentment of their Other (which is bizarre as those behind the DC insist it's a Liberarian newspaper). FoxNation (the site that takes from the Onion, fails to notice the Onion is a satirical), no comments (which might be due to where I am. Or, as has happened in the past, the comments got too much, even for them). Alex Jones, of the three comments, two are about "lawbreaking foreiners". Clearly those sites' readers can hear the dogwhistles, can you? If the intended effect of the dogwhistle effects them, does it you? Would they deny it? Would you?

 
At 10:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Moe, Oh, I see, your saying all illegals are Hispanic.

Thanks for the clarification, you racist.

 
At 11:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Via CBS News 11/21/2011.

President Obama is promising to veto any effort to undo the automatic spending cuts that are set to take effect now that the congressional supercommittee has announced its failure to strike a deal to cut $1.2 trillion from the deficit over the next 10 years.

“Already some in Congress are trying to undo these automatic spending cuts. My message to them is simple: No,” Mr. Obama said from the White House briefing room Monday evening. “I will veto any effort to get rid of those automatic spending cuts to domestic and defense spending.”

“There will be no easy off ramps on this one.,” he added.

Tom,
Great job supporting the re-election of the liar in Chief.

 
At 1:33 AM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

Anonymous "Moe, Oh, I see, your saying all illegals are Hispanic. Thanks for the clarification, you racist."
Again, no. Thanks for the clarification, again, that you won't (or can't) argue in good faith.*


*1. You copy/paste a story intended to stoke anti-immigrant furor.
2. I point out, cheekily, that it's a story intended to stoke anti-immigrant furor.
3. You ask if I think all Hispanics are illegals.
4. I say "No" and further illustrate point #2, with less cheek and more pointed pointing at those who the dogwhistle in point #1 effected.
5. You, who dropped a dogwhistle, say that I confirmed what I did not say the first time a second time, and call me, who pointed out the dogwhistle and pointed to the Nativists who are amped up by that dogwhistle, a racist, for twice pointing out what the story from point #1 was.

I could see that you accidentally used a dogwhistle story from a dogwhistle site, not realizing what it was intended to do. Or, rather, I could before you repeatedly ignored what I posted, preferring instead to adopt and stick to an imaginary version of me that exists only in your head. Now I know how Obama feels. (spoiler alert: the feeling is "annoyed")

 
At 12:08 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

MO,
"You racist". LOL! Once again the troll displays the classic Right Wing projection we can depend on seeing from them.

That's our boy. He can't help who he is.

We are of different tribes, different beliefs. And different brains. He gives us a peek into the mind of those with the more pronounced amygdala, or primitive fear center of the brain.

We really are physiologically different.

Two new further studies support the theory that our political decision making could have a neurological basis.

This goes far in explaining the "conservative" authoritarian personality.

From ignorance comes fear; from fear comes hate. The manipulation of fear and hate is how the Party of the economic elites is voted into power.

Look out! Here come Willie Horton laden with nukular aluminum tubes behind a Kenyan Marxist.

 
At 8:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yawn, sorry to disappoint you.

Hey, maybe you can take the time to answer the question about your ammo supply. Being a govt employee and such, you're gonna have all the bullets and guns you need to control those right wing tea party types.

 
At 12:45 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Disappoint? Never, especially with the "You racist" BS.

Isn't there something to go copy and paste from your cult sites? Breitbart.com has just what you need to speak for you. Better run along and get cracking, sport.



 
At 2:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since I voted for Obama, my taxes went up, my employer stopped offering health insurance,gas prices have doubled and my second amendment rights are under attack.

Damn you George Bush.

 

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