Okay! Let's Have a Little Talk

Posted Thursday, October 6, 2011, at 7:39 PM
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  • this is an opinion blog sham, no facts needed. You think your doing hard news? ahahahahahahah

    -- Posted by president obama on Thu, Oct 6, 2011, at 9:18 PM
  • Sam,

    More than a few posters, who are themselves conservative, have written that they gravitate away from your blog because you are too extreme in the way you express your political views. Reading your thoughts above, I can see why they might make that assertion...even you have to admit that you do seem angry. But upset as you may be, I don't find you particularly extreme. To me you just seem like a man who has momentarily lost his cool.

    Let's get back on track and make something useful and constructive out of our time now that we don't have to worry about Mike and his pals. There are a lot of smart people reading your blogs (which says something good about you), and it may very well be that there is a lot to learn from the collective knowledge gathered on this website...if you are willing to holster your verbal six guns long enough for everyone to hear each other.

    Now, I am certain that to you I will appear to be left of center, and because you seem to have decided that left = evil, I am equally certain that if I engage you in debate I will be doing so knowing full well that I may be in for some pretty juicy insults. Fine. I have thick skin. But I will assure you now that I will not intentionally debase myself by insulting you or your beliefs to win a point. And if, in a heated exchange I don't fulfill this promise of civility, I will always apologize.

    That said,I just combed your thoughts above for a fact to debate, and I am afraid there aren't any. There are only opinions. That being the case, I will give a thesis statement/point of debate, and you can have the first volley. Seeing as though you work as long and as hard as you do, I will exercise patience in between your responses.

    Here goes:

    As a result of his too many policy capitulations to the right wing, as a result of his alignment with corporations and big business at nearly every turn, as a result of his persisting in unmitigated warfare, in his expansion of federal gun rights in at least two separate instances, and in his continuation of the Bush-era "state secret" privilege and willingness to hold people without trial in Guantanamo, Obama has lost the support of the left, and likely the center as well, and he is right to believe he is an underdog for reelection.

    Your show, Sam.

    -- Posted by Benevolus on Fri, Oct 7, 2011, at 1:35 AM
  • This is going to be interesting!

    -- Posted by doodle bug on Fri, Oct 7, 2011, at 11:06 AM
  • *

    Benevolus, when did President Obama ever expand federal gun rights..twice? I know he and his Attorney General, Eric Holder from no-guns Chicago, pushed the "Fast and Furious" program at the BATFE, running guns illegally into Mexico; probably so they could bolster their claim that 90% of guns used by the Mexican drug cartel come from the US (a blatent lie). But this was so they could propose and pass more gun control, not less. He has also been pushing the United Nations sponsored Small Arms treaty which would abolish the 2nd Amendment rights we now have. He's no friend to gun owners.

    Mr Obama campaigned on closing the prison at Guantanamo, getting us out of Iraq and Afghanistan within 18 months, and CHANGE. The only one of those we got was change--in spades.

    The bailouts of the banks, insurance companies, auto makers, the states, and greenie manufaturers have cost us more than we can afford, for nothing. Those companies needed to fail, so others could buy up the pieces and use them for economic good, like producing things at a profit and hiring workers. Due to the bailouts and crazy stimulus efforts we will be in this recession for years longer.

    The Obamacare law is the biggest piece of socialist legislation since The War on Poverty laws from the 1960s under Lyndon Johnson! It has resulted in large increases in medical insurance premiums already.

    The Frank-Dodd act got us banking regulations that have already resulted in higher ATM fees nationwide. Notice that the largest banks that needed the bailouts are exempt from this law's provisions, as are Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. So their buddies who were bailed out, are exempt--punish the innocent and reward the guilty.

    The money they pushed into green energy technologies has gone into the pockets of the politically connected, and the taxpayers got nothing but the bills for that.

    -- Posted by Boomer62 on Fri, Oct 7, 2011, at 12:13 PM
  • Boomer62,

    In 2009 the House approved a bill that introduced two new (albeit unrelated) policies. The first was related to new limitations for the interest rates that credit card companies could impose, the second was to expand the right to carry a firearm in areas designated as national parks. When the bill came to Obama's desk, the expected outcome from the left was a veto, then a redrafting of the bill without the Republican amendment expanding gun rights. So you can imagine the shock of the left when Obama signed the bill, thus trading restrictions on credit card companies (something he could have gotten anyway) for the expansion of where one can legally carry a gun.

    Here is an article quoting the the director of the National Parks Conservation:

    Bryan Faehner...blamed Obama and Democratic leaders such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer.

    "If they wanted to stop this, it seems like they can," Faehner said before the House vote. "It comes down to whether or not they are willing to keep parks safe for the American people or kowtow to special interests like the gun groups."


    Then later that year....

    Obama signed another bill that required Amtrak to devise a system that allowed for its passengers to carry firearms aboard trains, while still keeping track of and safe-guarding the weapons.

    From one of the most funded and possibly the largest and most influential gun control groups:

    "We expected a very different picture at this stage," said Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, a gun control group that last month issued a report card failing the [Obama] administration in all seven of the group's major indicators."

    In addition (from the same article)...

    "...gun control advocates say, Mr. Obama has failed to deliver on campaign promises to close a loophole that allows unlicensed dealers at gun shows to sell firearms without background checks; to revive the assault weapons ban; and to push states to release data about guns used in crimes."

    The skepticism from the right wing and the NRA regarding Obama's gun rights policies are certainly understandable, but they aren't based on reality.


    -- Posted by Benevolus on Fri, Oct 7, 2011, at 3:36 PM
  • *


    You don't talk in facts, you talk in opinions. Opinions don't need to be proven right or wrong they just exist, sort of like in-laws. Don't get me wrong, you are entitled to your opinion just as I am to mine, so feel free to share it. I really see you the same as Michael, you both talk in opinions and don't seem to be able to differentiate between your opinions and objective facts.

    Here is one: "Obama, and his party, the Democrat Socialist party." When did they change the name of the party? I guess I missed that one. It seems you are presenting this as fact, but I can't verify it, wouldn't that make you wrong? Did you mean it as a fact or an opinion?

    I think you present just as bad a picture of Conservatives as Michael does of Liberals.

    If I sicken you it may be because I am "warm in your mouth." Next time just make sure I'm cooked to a full 165 degrees first.

    BTW, I'm from McCook area not Chadron area so it's SW Nebr not NW Nebr. Hopefully you just made a typing error.

    -- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Fri, Oct 7, 2011, at 3:43 PM
  • Remember back in the day when Democrats were really Republicans, and Republicans were really Democrats? That was weird...

    -- Posted by Benevolus on Fri, Oct 7, 2011, at 6:21 PM
  • *

    Big Dawg -

    When I express opinions, you come and say that I need facts. When I give facts, you call it opinions.

    Reminds me of a verse in the Bible: Matthew 11:16-19

    "To what can I compare this generation? They are like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling out to others: We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge (a funeral song), and you did not mourn. For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say "He has a demon." The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, "Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners."

    So Big Dawg, in conversations with you over several years now, I conclude that you are not interested in the truth.

    And just like your comment above, you are not interested in debate or dialogue, you are cemented in your dogma, and there you will stay.

    I keep think about your kids though...all that debt you gladly heap on their shoulders, and then manipulate them to think you are doing them a favor. Have you no soul?

    -- Posted by sameldridge on Fri, Oct 7, 2011, at 8:48 PM
  • *

    I meant to say that I keep "thinking" about your kids.

    -- Posted by sameldridge on Fri, Oct 7, 2011, at 8:49 PM
  • *

    Yo Benevolos - I admit that I am angry. Christ said: "be angry and sin not."

    How can I not be angry at what Liberalism has done to America?

    Should I restrain anger at the Liberal-Socialist takeover of our institutions of higher learning?

    How could I show no anger at a obscenely bloated government which seems to have no limits?

    Our President shows no regard for the Constitution, yet...am I to sit by and marvel at his Harvard education?

    I think much more of Herman Cain, who blames no one, takes the bull by the horns, and cries out to all who'll listen "You can do it!" You don't need government!

    I am fixing to go work a twelve hour shift. I'll come back tomorrow and address your specific question.

    -- Posted by sameldridge on Fri, Oct 7, 2011, at 9:00 PM
  • *

    To SWNebr - Thanks for a thoughtful response. I need to get on the road - but will answer you question Tomorrow. Ran out of time today.

    -- Posted by sameldridge on Fri, Oct 7, 2011, at 9:03 PM
  • when I asked for facts I was told to "go do my own **** reasearch".

    -- Posted by president obama on Sat, Oct 8, 2011, at 7:13 AM
  • im a hack, stupid, and have my head in the sand. ohhhhhh, good one stuffany.

    yet another "the sky is falling" post.

    However, I do know a fact, you and sam are partisan hacks. Now thats a fact

    -- Posted by president obama on Sat, Oct 8, 2011, at 8:51 AM
  • I remember a time when those on the left asked how we were going to pay for 2 wars and they were told that they hate the troops, they hate america, they are weak on terriorism. Now I guess its cool to ask how things are going to be paid for. Its hard to keep up.

    The good news is that some day a republican will win the presidential election and we can stop talking about how we are going to pay for stuff.

    -- Posted by president obama on Sat, Oct 8, 2011, at 10:40 AM
  • dawg, there were many conservatives asking the same question you do, especially when Bush started spending like a drunken sailor. And I believe our next president will be a republican. Then the left can start their trashing, like they have always done, and like the right does to the left.

    -- Posted by doodle bug on Sat, Oct 8, 2011, at 11:37 AM
  • *


    "The good news is that some day a republican will win the presidential election and we can stop talking about how we are going to pay for stuff."

    Do you mean Republicans will stop asking how to pay for stuff or all of us? Because its funny you mentioned that when a Republican was in office Democrats were asking how to pay for stuff but now it is reversed. Do you think its possible next time a Republican is in office the Democrats will stop asking how to pay for stuff too?

    -- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Sat, Oct 8, 2011, at 11:40 AM
  • *

    Benevolous builds a fine stack of considerations for the pending six gun shoot out, by saying that she is expecting a volley of insults from Sam. She herself claims that this is not from personal experience, but from reports of others. Maybe not the most positive way to begin a discussion?

    I agree with your assertion, Benevolous, that it is okay to listen. However, I also agree with Sams stance that it is not okay to compromise. For too long I have seen people around me with similar beliefs, give in to compromise, for the purpose of getting along; and then one day asking how they became so far skewed from their core beliefs.

    Jim Jones, in Guyana, convinced his followers that they would not be committing "suicide" but an act of revolutionary suicide, which was supposed to be a suicide with a useful purpose as opposed to a tragic waste. I'm not comparing Obama to Jones; however, I believe that Obama has many people convinced that the destruction of this country serves a higher and greater purpose. Obama's own spiritual leader, Rev. Wright; preached countless sermons that in at least some part proclaim the woes of America to be deserved.

    So, I'll listen...why should Sam, or I for that matter - sit back and watch this country be torn apart by people we believe do not value or love it?

    -- Posted by Mickel on Sat, Oct 8, 2011, at 11:53 AM
  • transplant,

    politics in this country has become a joke. Its cool to spend money like its going out of style as long as your party holds the white house, and there are so many ways to justify it. Meanwhile on the other side of the isle that does not hold the white house, they complain about how the president is spending us into bankruptcy.

    mickel, no compromise? im guessing you are not married.

    -- Posted by president obama on Sat, Oct 8, 2011, at 4:35 PM
  • *

    Big Dawg - you are so diluted it's laughable. It was your guys, Obama, Bite-me Biden, Reid and Pelosi that hammered away at Bush for spending, and then went into office and quadrupled the debt to payoff unions, takeover businesses and engage in crony Capitalism. Please wise up, for your own mental well being.

    -- Posted by sameldridge on Sat, Oct 8, 2011, at 7:42 PM
  • *

    Benevolos - To answer your question? I guess, I am suppose to think that Obama is not a Socialist because you folks on the extreme left don't think he has destroyed the country fast enough?

    Please. If you really want to debate, then you need to get real.

    The only thing that stopped Obama from further injuring the United States was the rise of the Tea Party Patriot movement. Even Obama, as whacked out as he is, could not have the police dragging away veterans and senior citizens who showed up to protest his malignant policies.

    This country is not going to just bend over and let you leftists take over without a fight. We've had a taste of freedom here BEN, and many of us remember it. We will not so easily throw it away.

    I confess, the lefts takeover of education has been devastating, but enough God fearing folks remain to take you on. There still are millions in this country that will not bow down to the alter of Government. Never, ever, never, ever. Do you get me pal?

    So I have a question for you. Was Steve Jobs good for America, or bad for America?

    Your turn BEN.

    -- Posted by sameldridge on Sat, Oct 8, 2011, at 7:52 PM
  • I haven't noticed any articles or posts talking about the projected 35% increase in Farm Income from 2010 levels, and projections are forecast to remain strong for 2012 and 2013. It would be nice if some of the local Farmers could weigh in on this issue.

    Last time I remember this kind of income opportunity being available was just prior to the housing bubble bursting. Are Farmers seeing this as a long term trend where Ag land value will continue to increase, or is it just a couple good years and then things will return to more historical levels?

    -- Posted by Geezer on Sat, Oct 8, 2011, at 8:23 PM
  • *

    SW Nebr Trans -

    Thank you for your question. I am glad to answer as to why I call the current Democrat party, the Democrat Socialist party.

    1. The takeover of private businesses. This is Socialism. I don't care what dictionary you use, takeover of private businesses is Socialism. I understand that Obama had to do it to pay off union thuggery, but it is still Socialism.

    2. Assault on the self employed. While bragging about this or that phony tax credit, this Administration has unleashed the "hounds of hell", the IRS, upon the self employed in this country. 16,000 new IRS goons, and what, you think these 16,000 agents are going to investigate union thugs? No sir, they are coming after the self employed. This is Socialism.

    3. When The Tea Party Patriots first emerged to stand against the radical agenda of this administration, one of the most foul creatures to ever hold office in this country, Nancy Pelosi accused of being Nazi's. She lied and said we were holding up Swastikas. Turn about is fair play.

    4. The day that the Democrat/Socialists rammed through the destroy health care in America bill, Obamacare, the foul and nasty Pelosi, and many black Congressional leaders, marched through the Tea Party Patriots to try and evoke violence. Pelosi and gang mocked the folks, and when they did not get any response, they lied and claimed racial slurs were uttered. Everybody and their mother had camera's that day. Andrew Breitbart has offered 100,000 cash to anyone who could find a single recording, a single tape, that would show anything to prove the allegation, and none have surfaced. They lied, to smear the Tea Party Patriots, and that is Socialism. Smear your opponent.

    5. The constant Race mongering. I get sick of it. Obama promoting his alledged "minority" status. My friend, I am more of a minority than Dear Leader. My mother was born on a reservation in this country, that's right, I am a half breed. I have chosen not to use my race to promote myself like Obama has. Using race to divide folks is Socialism.

    6. Class warfare. I have written many times on the class warfare. This is sick stuff. Again, I make the point that this administration treats the wealthy, the way the Nazi's treated the Jews. This is Socialism, more like Communism and Fascism. Can anyone really, with a straight face, make the point that Americans are under-taxed? C'mon man!

    7. Media manipulation and propaganda. I could write volumes on this. My Lord! It is unreal. Look at GE - they have received billions and billions from the taxpayers to defend Dear Leader at all costs.

    8. And the number one reason, I call today's Democratic Party the Democrat/Socialist Party is due to our friend and nutty buddy, Michael Hendricks. Some months ago, when Michael was opining that America was a racist nation, Steffanie commented that Whites in America ended slavery. Michael, in his usual dilution, commented "big deal."

    "Big deal" to the hundreds of thousands of whites in America who gave their lives to end slavery. I cannot tell you how profoundly that ****** me off. White Americans, most specifically, Christian white Americans ended slavery in this country, and until you Democrat/Socialists admit this fact, and stop with the race baiting, you are the Democrat/Socialist party.

    Did that answer your question?

    Now I have a question for you. The top 1% of income earners in this country pay half the taxes. Do you believe that this is fair? If not, why?

    -- Posted by sameldridge on Sat, Oct 8, 2011, at 8:31 PM
  • any sources sham? or should i go do my own **** research?

    I had refuted you point by point till number 4 then I realized that you are so set in your dogma that i was wasting my time.

    "i said good day sir"

    -- Posted by president obama on Sat, Oct 8, 2011, at 10:55 PM
  • *

    Benevolus, thanks for the response on Obama and gun control. Here is what I found:

    "A total of 105 Democrats in the House joined 174 Republicans in supporting the gun measure, which essentially restores a Bush administration policy that briefly allowed loaded guns in national parks earlier this year. The measure, which is included in a bill imposing new restrictions on credit card companies, allows licensed gun owners to bring firearms into national parks and wildlife refuges as long as they are allowed by state law.

    "The NRA is basically taking over the House and Senate," said Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-N.Y., a leading gun-control supporter. "If the NRA wins, the American people are going to be the ones who lose."

    Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., disputed that.

    "The fact is American gun owners are simply citizens who want to exercise their Second Amendment rights without running into confusing red tape," Hastings said.

    Hastings and other Republicans said the bill merely aligns national parks and wildlife refuges with regulations governing the national forests and property controlled by the Bureau of Land Management."

    One thing, I was wrong, he did sign the bill, but because he wanted the other stuff in the bill.

    Second, it merely extends the policy already put in place by President Bush.

    I was in Yellowstone 1/4 mile from a female grizzly and her cubs once before this sensible change. I know it's also sensible to avoid this situation so I left the area. But frequently there is no warning like we got that day,and a firearm could easily save your life.

    Here is what I found about guns on Amtrak:

    "After 9/11, Amtrak had barred passengers from bringing guns on trains. This Sept., Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., attached an amendment to a transportation funding bill that made $1.5 billion in Amtrak funds contingent on once again allowing train travelers to transport firearms in checked baggage. The Wicker Amendment passed the Senate by 68 to 30. In a statement Wednesday, Wicker called in the inclusion of the amendment in the final version of the transportation bill "an important victory for sportsmen and gun owners across the country."

    It's merely a return to the policy in effect before 9-11-01. They are again allowed in "checked bags", just like on the airlines today. Hunters from Virginnia like to hunt in Wyoming and they need to take their firearms along, normally.

    We are slowly getting some of our rights back after giving them up in the "War On Terror". We have a very long way to go with that--I seriously doubt if we will ever get them all returned.

    War On Terror, like War On Poverty, has been worse than a failure. We have lost as many men in those 2 conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan as were killed on 9-11 (plus thousands more wounded), spent a trillion dollars, and stirred up the hatred of the entire middle east. In addition, we are subject to warrantless wiretaps of our phone calls and emails, subject to arrest and indefinite incarceration without bail or legal counsel, just for being deemed a "potential terrorist" under Homeland Security. We get the wonderful choice of a full body scan with harmful xrays or a grope down by TSA folks (some of whom have been arrested for stealing from passengers and raping passengers).

    The St Louis FBI office put out a list of potential terrorists. Included were fundamental Christians, armed forces veterans, 2nd Amendment supporters, and pro-life persons.


    Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. And governments always protect their power above all else, and always seek to increase that power by whatever means available.

    -- Posted by Boomer62 on Sat, Oct 8, 2011, at 11:24 PM
  • Can anyone point me to one law Obama signed that restricted gun owner rights?

    GM and Chrysler also begged for a government intervention just as the banks begged for a government bailout.

    GM and Chrysler probably would have less union intervention if they just went for the bankruptcy to begin with instead of begging for a government bailout.

    Also, can anyone give an example of how the "leftists have taken over the education system" and give the source.

    -- Posted by npwinder on Sun, Oct 9, 2011, at 12:24 AM
  • Boomer62

    Your quote:

    He has also been pushing the United Nations sponsored Small Arms treaty which would abolish the 2nd Amendment rights we now have. He's no friend to gun owners.

    Please read the following link debunking your analysis.


    -- Posted by Geezer on Sun, Oct 9, 2011, at 5:59 AM
  • *


    No that doesn't answer my question, I asked an objective question which you answered with more subjective opinion. I understand why you think Democrats are Socialists, but it is still your opinion. All of your manifesto points are still opinion. Again, there is nothing wrong with sharing your opinion, but it doesn't make it fact.

    I did find one of your manifesto points particularly concerning: "She lied and said we were holding up Swastikas. Turn about is fair play."

    I don't think it would ever be fair to lie about ones political opponents. Unfortunately because of people like you and your mirror Michael, I seem to me in the minority.

    Thank you for asking a legitimate question. I do not think the top 1% of income earners should pay 50% of the the taxes. I'm not going to research to see if your numbers are accurate, I'm willing to discuss them as you posit them. I tried to see what percentage of income the top 1% earned but had difficulty in finding what I would judge a fair assessment. The numbers I saw suggested about 40%. Assuming this is correct, I believe the top 1% should pay about 40% of the taxes. Do you think that would be fair? Why or why not?

    -- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Sun, Oct 9, 2011, at 10:09 AM
  • *


    One other thing, please refrain from labeling me. When you call me a Democrat/Socialist based only on the fact that I think your hyperbole is over the top, you support my position.

    -- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Sun, Oct 9, 2011, at 10:12 AM
  • Sam,

    If I understood correctly, when you told me that if I wanted to debate I needed to get real, what you meant was that you don't want to debate? What you have done (again) is list a few of your opinions about leftists and socialists and Obama ruining the country and freedom and the Tea Party and fighting, etc., but I see no facts.

    So instead of trading opinions, let's try to stick to assertions that are a little more debatable.

    Here is a fact: Obama is not a socialist. Actually, it wouldn't be difficult to support the argument that all he has really done is extend the Bush administration by four more years. On everything from the privatization of schools, to privileging corporations and lobbies who donated (and will donate again) to his campaign, to gun control, to extending tax cuts, to dragging his feet on gay rights, to ceaseless and boundless warfare, Obama's accomplishments are nothing but extensions of the Bush-era status quo.

    Here is another fact: in terms of jobs, production, housing, the market, etc., the country has changed very little from January 20th, 2008 until now. Granted, these recovered temporarily, but it seems that spending a la Bush, in particular spending to fight two protracted wars, and not raising taxes to pay for them, has the country staring at another possible recession. The same people from the Bush admin who gave us the policies that got us into the first recession, are the same people whose policies will carry us into the next recession. All that has changed is the name of the guy sleeping in the Lincoln bedroom.

    Obama's centrist policies and actions do not betray a leftist/socialist/etc., they betray a leader who says one thing to play to his base, and then kowtows to the right, or out and out makes right-of-center decisions. He does this consistently.

    -- Posted by Benevolus on Mon, Oct 10, 2011, at 12:55 AM
  • To answer your question, I think Steve Jobs was good for America.

    -- Posted by Benevolus on Mon, Oct 10, 2011, at 1:02 AM
  • Market ran to obvious support of 1089. Looking for the S&P to rally to 1250 in early November.

    Oil prices appear to have entered a new range basis West Texas. With the movement of oil from Cushing to South Louisiana the new range for West Texas Intermediate is between $80-120. That movement is for the Brent pricing that everyone else is getting except for Cushing (Canadian Tar Sands Crude is causing a glut at this one hub).

    Sam how is Truck traffic these days? Staying busy or slowing? Have you been tempted to move to oil country?


    -- Posted by wallismarsh on Mon, Oct 10, 2011, at 6:25 AM
  • *

    Dear Benevolus,

    I agree with you completely, the spending by government. The Democrats and Republicans are pretty much the same. Maybe there's a little difference in degree.

    Obama talked the anti-war talk and he talks about raising taxes on the rich. But he extended the wars, the Bush tax cuts, and the crazy federal spending. So in practice they are much the same.

    I want less. Less Government. Less spending. Less regulation. More freedom. But I am bucking a natural long term trend that will probably continue until another revolution. I don't favor revolutions either, because they are generally horrendous.

    Governments always seek to increase their power. You would think that isn't the case in a democracy, but only in a dictatorship. But here in the US we have more gov't power every year, while China is allowing greater freedom. I guess it depends on the dictator. Chavez in Venezuala is putting his boot on the neck of everyone.

    Did you see that the Obama administration is helping Castro drill for oil 60 miles from Florida, while our own drilling companies cannot drill within 120 miles of the coast. They can't be that incompetent, can they? It must be part of a plan. Oil exploration in the gulf is over; the gov't technically has reopened exploration, but the new regs have actually ended it.

    -- Posted by Boomer62 on Mon, Oct 10, 2011, at 8:59 AM
  • Benevolus, I agree with everything except your last paragraph. IMHO, I believe Obama is a leftist. I believe the only reason he has "kow-towed" to the right is because he/they lost complete control of congress with the 2010 election. I would not call Obamacare a centrist policy. Yes, most of it has not taken effect yet. But that begs the question, why was it designed to take effect from 2012 through 2014? Time to get everything (regs, etc.etc.) set up? I dont know.

    -- Posted by doodle bug on Mon, Oct 10, 2011, at 10:10 AM
  • Sam

    Your quote:

    2. Assault on the self employed. While bragging about this or that phony tax credit, this Administration has unleashed the "hounds of hell", the IRS, upon the self employed in this country. 16,000 new IRS goons, and what, you think these 16,000 agents are going to investigate union thugs? No sir, they are coming after the self employed. This is Socialism.

    Here is the IRS Federal Employee count for Sept. 2007 through June 2011.

    June 2011 -- 96,269

    June 2010 -- 100,887

    June 2009 -- 97,019

    Sept. 2008 -- 90,311

    Sept. 2007 -- 87,417

    I don't see an increase of 16,000 employees do you?






    What the above numbers indicate to me is that the increase in IRS employees began in 2007 Under President Bush - this was most likely needed as the financial crisis escalated out of control. The subsequent programs initiated to address the crisis undoubtedly required revisions to existing IRS regulations and tax preparation procedures beyond what the current workforce was capable of.

    On top of this, the IRS was also implementing two amnesty programs for all those tax cheats that have been hiding their earnings in offshore tax havens for years. Over 30,000 have come forward to take advantage of the program resulting in a $3 billion dollar collection of taxes which were long over due.


    Is this the self employed people you are talking about? If it is I would tend to call it justice, not socialism.

    -- Posted by Geezer on Mon, Oct 10, 2011, at 11:13 AM
  • steffanie

    You may have gotten your argument turned around. Did you mean 50% of Federal Income Taxes? If not, please provide a link to credible data that shows that 50% of eligible tax payers pay no Federal Taxes.

    -- Posted by Geezer on Mon, Oct 10, 2011, at 11:28 AM
  • Doodle Bug,

    Your point on a previous blog about perspective is reverberating. I am sure that for reasons I cannot begin to explain, we have come to see Obama in ways that are different from one another. But if you "believe" Obama is a certain way, there isn't much I can do about that. I am not here to tell you what your beliefs should be.

    However, Obamacare, or less pejoratively, health care reform, is something that goes back to Roosevelt. Universal health care was first introduced in the US in 1912; Truman and Johnson both advocated "Obamacare", the Nixon-Kennedy Act of 1974 did as well. Carter said the country was in too bad of economic shape to move forward on universal health care, though he did support the idea under better economic conditions. Clinton tried it again in the 90's, but failed.

    Unless all of these presidents are also leftists by virtue of their support of universal health care, which I think any reasonable person would not defend, then Obama's health care reforms are not leftist either. In fact, the government run health care that was the original part of the bill, and the most controversial, was (per Obama's modus operandi), summarily removed from the bill to placate the right.

    -- Posted by Benevolus on Mon, Oct 10, 2011, at 1:19 PM
  • Stefffanie,

    The bottom 50% own somewhere between 10-15% of the wealth in America. That is why it is fair.


    -- Posted by Benevolus on Mon, Oct 10, 2011, at 2:31 PM
  • Stefffanie,

    Did you bother to read the article you posted above? I assume that you simply saw the title and posted it. Here is an interesting quote from your source:

    "In the last 30 years, incomes have grown faster at the top than the middle. Over the same time, effective tax rates fell for every family. And because a four percentage-point tax cut means a 50 percent tax cut for the poor but only a 10 percent tax cut for the rich, the share of overall taxes paid by the middle- and lower-class has decreased faster than their share of pretax income."

    I thought those on the right are in favor of lower taxes? Effectively, the largest number of Americans (those in the middle and below) have had their taxes lowered every decade for the last 30 years. The richest Americans used to pay 90% and more in taxes, and now, via the Bush tax cuts recently extended by Obama they too enjoy a larger portion of their income.

    But your point gets more complicated because it is only kind of true. Here is what I mean:

    "...about 47 percent of households are owed more in federal help than they pay in federal income tax. But it's not because they don't owe federal income tax. It's because they're owed other money that runs through the tax code.

    The Earned Income Tax Credit, for instance, is an income-support program created by Richard Nixon and expanded by both Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton. The underlying idea came from legendary conservative economist Milton Friedman. So this is bipartisan stuff."


    -- Posted by Benevolus on Mon, Oct 10, 2011, at 3:41 PM
  • In other words, Stefffanie, decades worth of presidents, including Reagan, Clinton, and Obama, have brought you the current situation. It becomes hard to support cries of a 'vote pandering' or a 'communist/leftist/socialist take over', when Reagan and Nixon were pivotal players in getting us to where we are in terms of our tax code.

    -- Posted by Benevolus on Mon, Oct 10, 2011, at 3:45 PM
  • Benevolus, thanks for the thought provoking reply. I guess it will have to be one of those points where we will agree to disagree. I do not believe in universal health care via taxpayer support. I have no figures to prove my point, but most of what I read and hear indicates that universal health care could easily lead to health care rationing. I have heard the statistics that show the U.S. is way down the line behind Cuba and others when it comes to health care. I always have the question of why you hear of so many people coming to the U.S. for health care; you (I) hear of very little of it going the other way. I dont hear of Michael Moore going to Cuba for health care.

    -- Posted by doodle bug on Mon, Oct 10, 2011, at 5:13 PM
  • Stefffanie,

    That is where you are wrong, though. The bottom 50% do owe a percentage in federal tax, but they are then owed more in credits than they would have to pay in income taxes. That the feds end up owing the bottom 50% money is in large part due to the lowering of taxes over the last 30 years. If taxes on the bottom 50% remained high, their income tax percentage would outweigh their credits, thus they would pay in. Bear in mind, these credits are brought to you by Nixon, Reagan, Clinton, etc.

    -- Posted by Benevolus on Mon, Oct 10, 2011, at 5:25 PM
  • Doodle Bug,

    I am comfortable leaving our conversation at a stalemate. I hope you can understand my position though, Obama is just another president in a long line of presidents, none of whom I hear called 'socialist', who attempted universal health care in America. Obama happened to succeed, although he took all the teeth out of the bill in order to get some watered down reforms. Perhaps that's a good thing, but we may never find out.

    To answer your question, I guess we are reading different news articles. Actually, many many Americans leave our country for health care. Peyton Manning is the most recent example. He went to Europe to a have procedure involving stem cell therapy to correct a problem with his neck. One reason people leave the US is that malpractice suits have gotten so out of hand that experimental or unorthodox treatments are largely avoided here. In addition, a lot of cutting edge medical advances in the uses of stem cells to aid in regeneration of many different types of human cells have been attached to moral issues, which also make other countries attractive alternatives.

    -- Posted by Benevolus on Mon, Oct 10, 2011, at 5:39 PM
  • Benevolus,

    Why would all these presidents, and members of congress, whom you did not mention, absolve the "bottom 50%", through ETC, from paying income taxes? Vote buying, perhaps?

    United States medical researchers continue to press for embryonic stem cell research. In Europe, and in the other countries that are researching stem cell technology, the real breakthroughs are coming via adult and iPS stem cells.

    -- Posted by Hugh Jassle on Mon, Oct 10, 2011, at 9:29 PM
  • healthcare gets rationed now, we will simply be changing who rations it, the insurance company or the government.

    on the tax issue, people who are a the bottom end of the income scale who get government help are not saving that money, they are spending it on goods and services they need to survive. That puts the money they take from taxes the government levys back into the system. You are getting your money back. So i guess your angry that you have to work and they dont? Get in the system, quit your job and live the high life that welfare provides.

    -- Posted by president obama on Mon, Oct 10, 2011, at 9:35 PM
  • Chunky Peanut Butter,

    Haha, I like your name. I don't recall you posting before, nice to talk to you.

    You make a fair point regarding congressional influences in the tax issue. But I didn't mention congress 1) because it is quicker to reference the presidential administration that signed the budgets and laws that enacted the various tax credits/cuts that got us here, and 2) because I don't think either of us can say for sure why the 435 house reps and 100 senators over the last 30 years have voted the way they have. The best we can do in that regard is speculate. Unless you know some congressmen and women, perhaps you do, then you will have to enlighten me.

    To your point, I would buy that some (maybe many) voted the way they did because they were interested in getting reelected. But in this case, what you call "vote buying", I would call being a good representative.

    I can, however, see vote swapping as a possibility as well. That is, a congressman/woman says: "you vote with me on this, and I will vote with you on a future issue." This is a far more alarming practice than voting to please one's constituents in my opinion. But unlike you, I am not simply going to accuse congress of engaging in this without evidence, likely as it may be that this goes on.

    And I agree that the US medical community presses forward with stem cell research. We are far behind Europe though (hence, Manning's departure for treatment), because Bush shut down federal funding on moral grounds. The same cannot be said for places that are far out-stripping the US in stem cell research and treatment.

    -- Posted by Benevolus on Mon, Oct 10, 2011, at 10:14 PM
  • "Prejudice is a great time saver. You can form opinions without having to get the facts." E. B. White

    -- Posted by Benevolus on Mon, Oct 10, 2011, at 10:52 PM
  • Actually that isn't a fact. It is kind of a fact that 47% of Americans receive a tax credit that is larger than what they owe in income tax. But even here there are conflicting numbers.

    If you look at the data (which I encourage you to do so you can check my facts) I think you will discover that more than 75% of Americans pay payroll tax, which goes to medicare and social security. In addition, everyone pays state and local taxes, which also add to the accumulative tax burden on everyone, including even the lowest quintile,decile, etc.


    Furthermore, it is unclear that poor and middle-class families face less taxes than the rich when you aggregate all taxes paid. A look at Tax Policy Center figures demonstrates that state and local income taxes, as well as property taxes are very often more burdensome and LESS progressive than federal taxes. Sales tax ends up being the stiffest. It turns out that most families pay as much in state and local taxes as they do in federal taxes.


    All told, if you look at the tax ratio based on income, the poor and middle class end up paying the same proportion of their income as all other demographics. This is a result of their income being so low. If their federal tax burden was any higher, the poor and middle-class would be paying MORE than their fair share. The numbers do not lie. Sorry, Stefffanie.

    -- Posted by Benevolus on Tue, Oct 11, 2011, at 12:31 AM
  • I just looked back over my previous post and I realized that the second link meant to go with the first paragraph (the 47% statistic), and the link below meant to go in after the final paragraph.

    I guess that's what I get for not paying attention to all the tabs I have open (or for posting so late!). Sorry for the confusion everyone.


    -- Posted by Benevolus on Tue, Oct 11, 2011, at 1:34 AM
  • Interesting reading, no doubt. I would like to put in my invaluable opinion regarding medical malpractice. I have no proof of this, and its likely due to my biased opinions, but I feel that it's due to our society's liberal acceptance that these suits have gotten so out of hand! It is one piece of the puzzle that causes costs to be so high, but if we could stop everyone from sueing at every turn, that would cut costs to doctors right there. I was raised in such a way that "lawsuits" and "sue" are along the same lines as swearing, yet many in society turn to that right away as threats and as ways to improve their own status monetarily.

    To bigdawg: how are you liking that the news about "Operation Fast and Furious/Project Gunwalker" is finally breaking on GMA and The Early Show etc. this AM after you were thoroughly taken to task on it some months ago on this very website?

    -- Posted by speak-e-z on Tue, Oct 11, 2011, at 8:46 AM
  • Benevolus, a comment in one of your latest posts brings me back to my question of who decides what the "fair share" is. I didnt really get a satisfactory answer from Michael so I just let it pass. I would be very interested in your opinion. I am not disputing the fair share; I am only curious as to who decides. Congress? Does it change with whomever is in control of Congress? The President? Does it change as the Presidents party changes? Some Congressional commitee? Again, the same question - does it change with political parties? What a conundrum!

    -- Posted by doodle bug on Tue, Oct 11, 2011, at 9:37 AM
  • *

    The biggest problem I have with the tax system is that we can get more money "refunded" from the government than we ever put in. That's why I think a close look at all of the loopholes and credits needs to be taken.

    Maybe Benevolus, as the apparent resident defender of tax credits and "fairness" you can give me a rational reason. How is it fair that I pay in say $3500 but because I have several kids I get $5000 back? The swing of $8500 has to come from somewhere, the logic of this escapes me.

    -- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Tue, Oct 11, 2011, at 10:08 AM
  • stefffanie, I wanted to defend you against BTW, but your incessant put-downs with name-changing is just plain childish. It puts you on the same level as the people against whom you are railing. Please refer to the entire discussion on character in Michael Hendrick's blog. I believe that if you show respect to people even on the most basic level, your opinions, no matter how ludicrous will be tolerated as well.

    Benevolus, what was your opinion on the book, "Atlas Shrugged"? I admit I do not read a lot of current news and research so I cannot contribute a lot of positive dialogue to many of these conversations on that front, but I can with references and associations to some classic literature.

    -- Posted by speak-e-z on Tue, Oct 11, 2011, at 11:30 AM
  • speak-e-z,

    I am not sure about the "liberal acceptance" of lawsuits. Lawsuits, in particular, medical malpractice lawsuits are filed by all sorts of people, not only liberals. One consequence of having such a litigious society has undeniably been the stifling of experimental or unorthodox medical treatments. I can see the benefits of this I suppose, but to Doodle Bug's point, it does mean that many people seek medical treatments elsewhere


    You have been proven wrong, sorry.

    Doodle Bug,

    You are absolutely right, a conundrum is a great way to describe the situation. Given the arrangement of the system I think that it is impossible to tell who, exactly, decides the "fairness" of who pays what. I do know that what is "fair" has changed over time, and recently, the trend is that the rich paying less taxes is "fair." Meanwhile, the past two decades have been great for the rich (even Bill O'Reilly admitted this to arch-nemesis Jon Stewart). So while the rich have been doing very well for 2 decades, they have also enjoyed a dramatic lowering of their tax rates recently.

    So given the "fairness" changes over time, and given that we are told we all need to share the sacrifices, the rich paying more seems fair, at least temporarily. In some ways you and i get to decide this (with a vote for the candidate most/least likely to agree with my argument). But, what that candidate does once they are in office, and what congress does to manipulate or prohibit that candidate's policies is difficult to determine. In that way, we and I have very little control over what is fair. This is probably a good thing, last time I took an economics class was in 1997.

    SWNebr Transplant,

    Take the biggest tax credit for example, the Earned Income Tax Credit, which was enacted by Ford and later reenacted and expanded by Reagan. I believe the logic was to ease the aggregate tax burden on the poor. According to Reagan himself, the EITC is "the best anti-poverty, the best pro-family, the best job creation measure to come out of Congress."

    So I suspect that Ford's and Reagan's intentions were the redistribution of wealth. Commies. :)


    -- Posted by Benevolus on Tue, Oct 11, 2011, at 11:38 AM
  • stefffanie

    Do you realize that the percentage of tax payers having no Federal Income Tax obligations is a representation across the entire spectrum of tax payers -- it is not just low income people falling into this category?

    In 1996, people with incomes of less than $30,000 made up 99.5% of all the nontaxable returns. In 2009, that group made up 76% of those returns. On the other hand, people making more than $30,000 went from less than 1% of nontaxable returns in 1996 to 17% in 2009.

    The number of nontaxable returns for filers with incomes of $30,000-$40,000 went from about 85,000 -- about a third of 1% of the total -- to 4.8 million, or 8% of the total, by 2009. That's an increase of more than 5,000%.

    But the percentage increase was even bigger for higher wage earners. Nontaxable returns from people with income between $75,000 and $100,000 went from 4,025 in 1996 to 476,624 in 2009 -- an increase of almost 12,000%.

    More than 1,400 filers with adjusted gross income of greater than $1,000,000 didn't pay income taxes in 2009 either.

    -- Posted by Geezer on Tue, Oct 11, 2011, at 12:06 PM
  • I may not agree with everything posited by Benevolus and Geezer, but I certainly do applaud their impeccable respect and research. If Michael had blogged the same way, maybe he wouldnt have seen the need to leave, at least for a time.

    Benevolus, I do agree that we may have an indirect influence in who determines what is fair. I also believe that Senator Nelson will lose his bid for re-election. Again, absent facts and websites for proof, I believe Senator Nelson voted against the will of a large majority of his constituents when he voted for the health care reform now presented.

    -- Posted by doodle bug on Tue, Oct 11, 2011, at 12:53 PM
  • steffanie, you do realize, dont you, that most reasonable folks, liberals and CONSERVATIVES, will be very dismissive of your antics? I am with speak-e-z on this one.

    -- Posted by doodle bug on Tue, Oct 11, 2011, at 2:05 PM
  • Stefffanie,

    Maybe you missed this...

    "The earned income tax credit is the best anti-poverty, the best pro-family, the best job creation measure to come out of Congress."--Ronald Reagan

    Is Reagan a liberal/commie/socialist? He clearly was redistrubting wealth...

    So it is clear, the EITC is the largest contributor to the bottom 47% receiving tax refunds. By the way, if you want to discuss simple math conecpts, 47% is not half of the nation; 50% is half. Ergo, it is not an "absolute fact" that half the nation doesn't pay income tax as you stated earlier.

    -- Posted by Benevolus on Tue, Oct 11, 2011, at 2:12 PM
  • steffanie

    So nice of you to attach a label to me based on my replies. My posts represent what I consider to be a fair presentation of the facts based on my research - as I assume your posts do.

    I really don't care what you call me. What matters to me is that people are given the opportunity to express their opinions.

    The readers will be able to tell who has done their homework and who hasn't.

    -- Posted by Geezer on Tue, Oct 11, 2011, at 2:13 PM
  • stefffanie

    Your comment all should pay and half don't is interesting. Does that also apply to Corporations?

    -- Posted by Geezer on Tue, Oct 11, 2011, at 2:39 PM
  • Benevolus, I shouldn't have used the term "liberal" when I did. Wrong place, wrong time. I should have used the term "tolerant" or "laissez-faire", and the sentence should have read: Our society has become laissez-faire...about litigation. Moreover, it was off-topic for the most part. I apologize. On that topic though, even therapists (who by no means am I minimalizing) have to carry up to a million dollars in liability insurance just to do their jobs so that some person doesn't try to find the next scapegoat to make them rich. What if our society didn't accept that. What if we could cut medical costs by reducing a doctor's/therapist's/nurse's need to protect themselves from the people they are trying to help?

    -- Posted by speak-e-z on Tue, Oct 11, 2011, at 3:41 PM
  • stefffanie

    You mean Corporations should be able to deduct their expenses, take advantage of incentives, expensing allowances, etc. even if it means that this will result in no profits to claim and no tax obligations?

    How is that different than a low income person which takes advantage of his tax credits, expenses, etc. which leaves him without taxable earnings and no tax obligation?

    -- Posted by Geezer on Tue, Oct 11, 2011, at 3:56 PM
  • *

    speak e-z,

    I don't think you need to apologize, I think your meaning was clear and that Benevolus was being overly partisan in his reading. Your use was perfectly appropriate and correct.

    -- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Tue, Oct 11, 2011, at 4:40 PM
  • speak e-z,

    I was just about to apologize for missing your point, SWNebr is right, your meaning is clear in retrospect. In my defense, the tone of this blog has often been extremely anti-liberal, so I took that as your meaning. If anyone should be apologizing it is me, to you.

    You bring up a fair point regarding all manner of professionals. You will not find much of a counter-argument from me where malpractice/tort reform is concerned.

    SWNebr Transplant,

    You asked Sam not to label you, and I will ask that you be careful that you don't do the same to me. I am not sure what you were implying with the phrase "overly partisan," (as I have said, I subscribe to neither political party, and my voting record would prove that); I assure you that my misreading was contextual, not partisan.

    -- Posted by Benevolus on Tue, Oct 11, 2011, at 5:04 PM
  • Steffanie,

    That "All should pay and half don't..." is your opinion. And it is only loosely based in reality. I thought you should know.

    -- Posted by Benevolus on Tue, Oct 11, 2011, at 5:28 PM
  • speak,

    the investigation continues and in the end nothing will come of it but wasted time and money.

    dont see how me telling it like it is would be concidered taken to task. The sad thing that if laws were broken is seems that the people in politics seem to carry around a "get out of jail free" card. If you or me had done it we would be in jail by now.

    -- Posted by president obama on Tue, Oct 11, 2011, at 5:41 PM
  • *


    Maybe I put my modifier in the wrong spot, I was referring to your reading interpretation, not you. When you read "liberal" you appeared to have read it as the partisan definition of the word, rather than the traditional, plain meaning. I didn't mean to imply that you are partisan in either direction.

    -- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Tue, Oct 11, 2011, at 7:58 PM
  • stefffanie

    You don't need to explain how incentivizing hiring works, we have ample examples of those to look at.

    I think the most glaring example of incentivizing for hiring is the 2004 Tax Repatriation Holiday of $362 billion. Senator John Ensign at the time proclaimed that 660,000 new jobs would be created with this tax incentive which amounted to a reduction from the normal tax rate of 35% to 5.2%. See page S.3075 of the following Congressional Record for Ensigns official remarks.


    Well, it didn't quite work out as expected. Many of the Corporations which participated in the incentive program actually ended up reducing their workforce.

    Overall, the top 15 repatriating corporations reduced their U.S. workforce despite repatriating large amounts that qualified for the lower tax rate. The increased repatriation of funds versus decreased U.S. employment, moved in opposite directions, contradicting the prediction that the lines would move in approximately the same direction in response to Congress' guidance that repatriated dollars be used to stimulate the creation of new U.S. jobs. The survey data shows that, overall, the biggest repatriation beneficiaries not only failed to increase U.S. jobs after repatriating billions of dollars subject to the lower tax rate, but actually reduced the collective size of their U.S. workforce.

    The following link provides access to a report (PDF format or I would include a direct link) published yesterday that provides detail analysis based on information provided by the top beneficiaries of the 2004 repatriation. If you don't like the link the Wall Street Journal as well as other media outlets have articles containing a link to the report.


    -- Posted by Geezer on Tue, Oct 11, 2011, at 8:36 PM
  • As long as AUTOMATION and COMPUTERS exist, inefficient man will always be replaced. This is why the best paying jobs are in the technical fields. Two and four year college graduates are now a dime a dozen and competition amongst them is great that only the very best land the white collar jobs. The rest settle for second best. And on down it goes.

    In many places, men and women coming out of tech schools are matching what an MBA is making. The key point is, you are what you make of your situation. Those making it, made it there with their own determination and courage. Those who depend on others for it, work for the determined and courageous.

    -- Posted by Hugh Jassle on Tue, Oct 11, 2011, at 10:04 PM
  • Nah stefffanie, we have guns!

    -- Posted by Hugh Jassle on Tue, Oct 11, 2011, at 10:58 PM
  • bigdawg, I don't disagree with your second paragraph there.

    -- Posted by speak-e-z on Wed, Oct 12, 2011, at 8:04 AM
  • Chunky Peanut Butter and Steffanie,

    I am interested in your most recent exchange; do you really believe that the poor (i.e., "Those who depend on others") are going to "shed first blood", and then subsequently they will be slaughtered by folks like the two of you who "have guns?" Or is the above just anonymous hyperbole?

    -- Posted by Benevolus on Wed, Oct 12, 2011, at 11:05 AM
  • So this will be an isolated incident? Or will there be mobs appearing everywhere across the nation trying to get at the rich folks' property?

    -- Posted by Benevolus on Wed, Oct 12, 2011, at 12:42 PM
  • And folks like you and Chunky Peanut Butter will slaughter these people? Or local law enforcement, national guard, etc., will do the slaughtering?

    -- Posted by Benevolus on Wed, Oct 12, 2011, at 1:16 PM
  • Stefffanie,

    I remember the riots in LA after the verdict was returned in the case against the police officers who beat him unnecessarily. I remember reading about the Harlem Race Riots in the 30's, the Zoot Suit Riots in LA in the 40's, race riots in Watts, Harlem, Atlanta all through the 60's; I remember reading in great detail about the 1968 DNC riot in Chicago...in all of these, I never read about "any of the above sitting idly by", except private citizens. I also don't recall any "slaughterings". Certainly people were killed in the aforementioned riots, but not in the types of numbers that could reasonably be called a slaughter.

    So, Stefffanie, what in your estimation will be different in the fantasy you are dreaming about?

    -- Posted by Benevolus on Wed, Oct 12, 2011, at 2:59 PM
  • "What kind of response do you think would be appropriate if the demonstrations on public property become violent?"

    Local law enforcement and national guard troops should act to disperse the crowd causing as little bodily harm as possible. This might include, tear gas, plastic bullets, stun guns, etc.

    "What kind of response do you think would be appropriate if violent demonstrations begin to occur on private property?"

    Private citizens should respond according to whatever state and local laws allow. As far as I know some states allow you to protect your property with violence and even lethal force, and some states allow violent or lethal reactions only if one's life is in immediate danger. If someone is really concerned, I would suggest getting to know what the laws in your community and state are vis-a-vis defending property.

    "What kind of response do you think would be appropriate (what would you do) if the violence came to your property?"

    I would call the police and if I was in perceptible and imminent danger I would defend myself as best I could.

    "How should the current administration, who has seemingly embraced this movement, respond when they become a violent mob?"

    No administration should ever embrace violence.

    -- Posted by Benevolus on Wed, Oct 12, 2011, at 3:09 PM
  • "Might give you some perspective on folks who want to "fundamentally change" a country, possibly through the use of force? Just a thought."

    You mean like the Tea Party, grandmajo? I have heard plenty of calls for revolution and violence from the extreme right.

    -- Posted by Benevolus on Wed, Oct 12, 2011, at 5:47 PM
  • "What will Obama and his administration do if this gets violent?"

    I really don't know. My guess is that these threats from the fringe left are as vacuous and silly as the same threats from the extreme right.

    I suspect that Obama's admin would do the same thing whether extreme rightwingers or leftwingers decided to enact their threats.

    That is: denounce the violence, say something encouraging about the local law enforcement/national guard who controlled the situation; and then Obama would speak to the nation and say something about America being a great nation because being a good American requires some dissension, but with that right comes the need to be circumspect and respectful of our neighbors right to disagree with us.

    -- Posted by Benevolus on Wed, Oct 12, 2011, at 5:56 PM
  • I give him about as much credit as I give any career politician, which is to say, not a lot.

    -- Posted by Benevolus on Wed, Oct 12, 2011, at 8:40 PM
  • Grandmajo,

    I do consider myself to be in the center, this is a result of my being to left on some issues and decidedly to the right on others. Doodle Bug has pointed out quite cogently that the way we perceive political alignment is a matter of perspective. If you perceive me as aligned politically to left of you that is probably because I am, but that doesn't mean I am not in the center, nor does it make me a leftist.

    Regarding the Tea Party, you make a fair point. There are plenty of people who are a part of the movement who are decent people that are simply angry with the government and as Stefffanie pointed out, they peacefully protested at the polls. There were also those who were/are indecent, obnoxious, threatening, and seriously psychotic; who tainted the movement with insanity and distemper.

    From my perspective extremists on the right look every bit as unhinged as extremists on the left. But however you perceive me, and whatever your opinion is of me, I hope that civility and respect between us will not suffer.

    -- Posted by Benevolus on Wed, Oct 12, 2011, at 9:32 PM
  • Grandmajo,

    I appreciate that you are willing to maintain civility. Than you. You write:

    "Do you think it is time we got over Bush, and actually fixed something instead of being an o-blame-o? What ya think?"

    My point was never to blame Bush, rather my point was to blame Obama for behaving exactly like his predecessor, who we seem to all agree was not helpful to the prosperity or direction of the country. Bush is at fault as well, but I am far more disappointed in Obama.

    "Their stated goal of ensuring that Obama is a one-term president has yet to be achieved. By the way, what is so terrible about that?"

    I don't remember saying anything was wrong with that. If the right had anyone worth voting for I would be likely to vote with them.

    "Don't the Democrats do their best to beat a sitting Republican President or candidate for President?"

    I would hope so.

    "Correct me if I am wrong, but has any political party ever campaigned on the premise that they wanted to lose the next election?"

    None that I am aware of.

    -- Posted by Benevolus on Wed, Oct 12, 2011, at 11:22 PM
  • Stefffanie,

    Here is why I think Santelli's hypothetical call for bloodshed would (and should) receive far more press coverage: you know, I know, and most people without (their heads in the sand) know who Santelli is. He is a relatively respectable public figure who appears "on-air" between 12-16 times a week according to some estimates.


    Above, you refer to the leftwing extremist as "one of the leaders." There is a big difference between some anonymous nut calling for violent solutions and a repected and public figure with a large viewship and lots of influence, like Santelli, hypothetically calling for bloodshed. The media should ignore one, and criticize the other.

    -- Posted by Benevolus on Thu, Oct 13, 2011, at 9:18 AM
  • Yawn.

    -- Posted by Benevolus on Thu, Oct 13, 2011, at 11:39 AM
  • That's what I have been telling you! I wil say, conservatism is likewise exhausting...

    -- Posted by Benevolus on Thu, Oct 13, 2011, at 11:55 AM
  • You are fun Stefffanie. I appreciate your humor. You bring much needed levity and lightheartedness to this otherwise serious blog.

    -- Posted by Benevolus on Thu, Oct 13, 2011, at 1:27 PM
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