Tuesday, 11/29/11, Public Square

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Filed under The Public Square

40 responses to “Tuesday, 11/29/11, Public Square

  1. Did anyone see the video where Mitt Romney said Obama is a nice guy but does not understand America?

    Translation – Obama is not a ‘real’ American, so you birthers go right on and keep up your vicious unfounded attacks.

    • Have you heard what or how any one of the republican ‘wanna-be-pres’ candidates would do differently?

      I haven’t.

      I’ve heard they would repeal Obamacare. Which is a mute point since SCOTUS will decide that issue long before any of us go to the polls.

      I’ve heard lots of grumbling, bitching and criticizing. I just have never heard if any of them have any ideas or solutions.

      It just proves to me the republicans don’t care if there is someone preferable to Obama, just that anyone but he fills the office. That doesn’t make rational sense!

      Here’s a –snip — from an op-ed piece titled, ‘President as Piñata,’
      by NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF from The New York Times. The whole article is worth a read and addresses this republican need to get rid of Obama even tho they won’t nominate anyone who would do the job he has done, let alone improve on it!

      President Obama came into office with expectations that Superman couldn’t have met. Many on the left believed what the right feared: that Obama was an old-fashioned liberal. But the president’s cautious centrism soured the left without reassuring the right.

      Like many, I have disappointments with Obama. He badly underestimated the length of this economic crisis, and for a man with a spectacular gift at public speaking, he has been surprisingly inept at communicating.

      But as we approach an election year, it is important to acknowledge the larger context: Obama has done better than many critics on the left or the right give him credit for.

      He took office in the worst recession in more than half a century, amid fears of a complete economic implosion. As The Onion, the satirical news organization, described his election at the time: “Black Man Given Nation’s Worst Job.”

      The administration helped tug us back from the brink of economic ruin. Obama oversaw an economic stimulus that, while too small, was far larger than the one House Democrats had proposed. He rescued the auto industry and achieved health care reform that presidents have been seeking since the time of Theodore Roosevelt.

      Despite virulent opposition that has paralyzed the government, Obama bolstered regulation of the tobacco industry, signed a fair pay act and tightened control of the credit card industry. He has been superb on education, weaning the Democratic Party from blind support for teachers’ unions while still trying to strengthen public schools.

      In foreign policy, Obama has taken a couple of huge risks. He approved the assault on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan, and despite much criticism he led the international effort to overthrow Muammar el-Qaddafi. So far, both bets are paying off.

      Granted, the economic downturn overshadows all else, as happens in every presidency. Ronald Reagan, the Teflon president, saw his job approval rating sink to 35 percent in January 1983 because of economic troubles. A faltering economy sent the popularity of the first president Bush into a tailspin, tumbling to 29 percent in 1992.

      By comparison, President Obama has about a 43 percent approval rating, according to Gallup.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/27/opinion/sunday/Kristof-President-As-Pinata.html?_r=2&hpw

      • The main thing I’ve heard from all but two of the GOP candidates (Paul and Huntsman) is that they will declare war on Iran.

        Hey, if you like the Iraq and Afhanistan Wars – you should vote Republican and hit the mother lode of all Holy Wars – the Iran War.

        Just based on this one factor – why would ANYONE vote for another war?

        I thought we were broke?

      • War on Muslims, war on women, and war on immigrants.

        Yes. I’ve heard a lot of that from all of them too.

  2. Freedomwriter

    Last night I was talking to someone who stated they were ultra right-wing. They kept asking me why I thought it was fair that the wealthy have to pay 60% of their income in taxes. I inquired what tax bracket these individuals were in, they said upper 30%. I kept asking how paying in the upper 30% bracket meant they were paying 60% of their income in taxes. Their response was that this was just the Federal taxes, they had to pay state, local sales tax, gas tax, food tax, etc. Their point was that they should not be penalized for making money and they wanted to know how much more in taxes we wanted them to pay. I continued to challenge his math, and logic, and asked why they should be exempt from paying their fair share to which I did not get an understandable reply.

    Now, this is a very religious fellow, who attends his place of worship regularly. I find it sad that those who profess the most faith, often appear to have a punitive rather than compassionate view of the world. They appear to be acting out of a rigid Old Testament view, instead of a more compassionate New Testament view. He feels sorry for those who have, rather than for those who struggle. He demonizes those without good jobs and money in their pockets, while defending and supporting those who do. That strict moral mindset blames those who have not achieved financial independence, with apparently little regard for the efforts of those who struggle to purchase the goods and services that allows those upper income folks to enjoy such a high standard of living.

    History repeatedly has shown that the well-to-do only maintain that stature
    when those below are also living comfortably. Entitlement can be a fleeting thing in the history of things.

    • When you described this person as very religious – it made me think of something I see routinely on the televangelist Pat Robertson’s show – The 700 Club (I only watch this for about 15 minutes once or twice a week – just to see what is being spewed).

      But even with my hit-and-miss watching of this televangelist at work – I am always amazed (not surprised or shocked) that he is spewing his theory that if people want or need more money in their life, then they need to send the money they do have into his pockets in order that God will reward them with all the money they will ever need.

      (I am paraphrasing – but that is the gist I got from these numerous spewings I have personally heard).

      So, if you’re giving to God (really, it’s Robertson’s pockets -NOT God’s) with the expectation of getting more money in return – is that really giving?

      I am reminded of the story in the Bible about the widow’s mite. I wonder if she was calculating as to how much money she would be getting later?

      To me – anyone spewing this theory of giving all your money to some preacher just to get more money from God later is some twisted version of Christianity that I do not recognize from my bible. But I do hear that alot from these mega church preachers and televangelists (i.e.: corporate churches).

      Maybe this is the attitude that is trickling down to this religious fellow who thinks the wealthy should be rewarded by paying no taxes?

      As for anyone having to pay federal, state, gas, sales, etc taxes – join the club. We all pay taxes somewhere along the line….

    • Would a response along the lines of what I made in this post help?
      https://iggydonnelly.wordpress.com/2011/11/20/sunday-112011-public-square-2/#comment-45670

      I try to keep my comparisons as simple as possible. Rather than using numbers and percentages I perfer something that can be visualized. If the talking heads feel they’re losing he aurgument they’ll revert to distraction like the percent was 51% not 50%, like 1% will make a big deal difference. Can’t aurgue the numbers if you don’t use them, but the visual is accurate enough because it’s a concept.

  3. I’ve had those discussions, Freedomwriter. I think all of us have. Both people go away frustrated because they were unable to make the other ‘see the light.’ I don’t subject myself to that activity much because I value my peaceful psyche.

    It’s a fact that our government has given more paddles to the most wealthy over the past 30+ years and left the rest of us ‘up shit creek without a paddle.’

    When most Americans don’t even know federal tax rates are at their lowest in over 60 years, and believe President Obama has raised taxes, it’s difficult, if not impossible, to hold rational discussions. They won’t / don’t / can’t understand the effect of the Bush tax cuts which go onandon vs. the monies spent to stimulate the economy that don’t go on into perpetuity. They refuse to understand the simple fact that the cost of living has increased for the government just like it did for them. They pay more for everything but expect the government not to? Well, I give up attempting to talk to people who aren’t rational, I don’t choose to bang my head against brick walls either. I spend time with people who are rational, whether we hold differing opinions or not.

  4. Over the recent holiday we watched some football games. I saw these kinds of displays of public religion.

    • I have no problem with anyone showing their religious faith – but to make it a spectacle is something else.

      I am reminded of several Bible verses that tell us to not boast or to be proud – and this borders on doing just that thing – IMHO

      I have found it is mostly Evangelical Christians that think it is okay (even required) to publicly show your religious faith. These folks view these spectacles as ‘witnessing’ for their Lord in order to ‘save’ people.

      But you know, actions speak louder than words and just because a 10-second display of praying on some field or praying in school or demanding people to stop saying ‘Happy Holidays’ as a way to show your love for your Christian God means nothing when those same people live like the Devil the rest of the week.

      Sunday morning services are filled with all kinds of folks – some are wolves in sheep’s clothing.

      • I know I’ve told you about the man who was my mentor for many years. He prayed one prayer — “Lord, I do give thee thanks for the abundance that is mine.” He had a brass plaque right by his telephone that was engraved “L I D G T T — F T A T I M.” He prayed it often, he lived it too. Every day showed him another reason to be thankful. He spent his days sharing that thankful attitude and the abundance he was given.

  5. WSClark

    Well, our friend Herbie is “reassessing” his candidacy, which is political-speak for “trying to find a way out that won’t hurt book sales.” It seems that after multiple accusations of harassment and now a revelation of a long term affair, the Cain Brand is going the way of the Yugo.

    Interestingly enough, these issues, that have hurt Cain, are not hurting Gingrich, who is notorious for sexual impropriety and his own long term affair. Perhaps it is the “black man boinking a white woman” syndrome, but Newt’s failures are getting a pass while Herbie looks for a soft place to land.

    Meanwhile, there is this black dude in the Oval Office that is the epitome of a fine family man and a dedicated husband to a wonderful and accomplished woman. The Moral Police of the Republican Party have their work cut out for them in trying to excuse the behaviors of Gingrich.

    The GOP Circus rolls along, but the “Anybody But Romney” faction continues to serve up a new solution every other week. Bachmann, Perry and Cain have failed to either zip their mouths or zip their pants, which ever is applicable, so now we are down to an old, but failed, soldier in Newt Gingrich – shades of Dole and McCain – old losers that ‘deserve’ the nomination.

    • I heard some pundit just this morning say that these Social Conservative Republicans give Gingrich a pass on his history of adultery, multiple divorces and on his currrent 3rd wife because Newt has been ‘upfront’ about his past.

      I suspect the fact that Newt converted to Catholicism has a lot to do with these folks giving Newt a pass .

      Any church that condones annulling previous marriages in order for these men to marry their trophy wives and then they get to call themselves ‘good Catholics’ – obivously do not care about family values – IMHO.

      I’ve known a few men who took this route – one is a man whose first marriage lasted for 20+years and they have 5 kids. Neither the man nor his wife have ever been Catholic. When the current trophy wife wanted to be a Catholic in good standing (she has been Catholic but that did not stop her from having an affair with this man) – this man had the Church go after his first wife (a non-Catholic) to complete paperwork detailing the marriage.

      I was so mad because my friend (the ex-wife) felt guilty about the divorce and now she is confronted by some priest harassing her to fill out some nonsense paperwork just so that her adulterer husband and his new wife can be Catholics in good standing.

      My friend asked me what I would do with the paperwork – anybody want to guess what I told her to tell the priest what to do with that paperwork? LMAO

      • BTW – I don’t think I’ve ever heard it reported – but did Newt Gingrich also do the Annullment Dance when he converted to Catholicism?

        I still remember when Gov Sebelius was threatened by some Catholic bishop to withhold communion from her or to kick her out of the Church (I don’t remember which one) because Sebelius said she would follow the law about legal abortions.

        So, I guess my problem with the Catholic Church is this – why do certain people get away with their sins but others who are perceived to have sinned (even though Sebelius herself was not getting an abortion) are threatened?

        Is that anyway for a Church to act – I am not trying to be flippant here – I am really asking a serious question.

        And then factor in how this same Church covered up for child molesting priests – and this Church has no credibility in saying what morals/family values are at all – IMHO.

      • Any woman who can support republicans would have no problem forgiving Gingrich. She would be very accustomed to kowtowing to men.

    • Cain’s still got the republicans who are positive this is nothing more than a ‘set-up’ to buy his books. I think the same person who got that birth announcement in the Honolulu newspaper 40+ years in advance rounded up all those women and set this all up! I think it was set up back when Cain was still at that restaurant management company, long before his Godfather days.

      Gingrich. He asked for and was given forgiveness for his transgressions. Don’t cha know? He cried. Publicly. He is so sorry. He will go forward and never sin again. Quite a guy, huh!?

      • I saw a Gingrich supporter on another blog trying to say that Gingrich did not serve his first ex-wife with divorce papers when she had cancer.

        This supporter made the distinction that the ex-wife was ‘in remission’ – so technically the woman did not have cancer when Newt served her the divorce papers.

        With blinded loyalty like this – Newt will always have those who will dice and slice anyhting up to make their boy look good.

      • Bet he’ll never have to be sanctioned for ethics violations again either.

        Only Speaker to ever face this.

        But that was all way before january 20, 2009 when America began! 🙂

    • freedomwriter

      I passed my first car today with a Herman Cain bumper sticker—what were they thinking when they slapped that on their bumber?

  6. With attitudes like this guy’s – the 1% will eventually die out from extinction.

    I wonder if this guy (if he really does belong in the 1%) has any clue as to how the game is rigged for the most wealthy Americans to become and stay wealthy thanks to the 99% that he deems ‘unworthy’?

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/28/one-percent-supporter-anyone-great_n_1117133.html

  7. Rick Perry doesn’t know when the election is or at what age a person is legally able to cast a vote… I think are a bunch of things Rick Perry doesn’t know!

    • But do remember he is among the select, the elite, the best the Republican Party has. Like Cain, Bachmann, Gingrich… 🙂 They sure do have some ‘interesting’ ones!

  8. Fox “News” attempted to quote the constitution with this graphic. However, there were three glaring problems with this: The Constitution has no Article 28, has no Section 144, and does not contain the language quoted.

    • Found this interesting comment when I google article 28 section 144…

      COMMENT: True facts. The United States Constitution has only SEVEN articles. While small in number, all seven are decidedly badass.

      RELEVANT FOLLOW UP COMMENT. I believe Fox News was trying to cite article 28, section 144 of the United States Code which does addresses procedure for addressing bias or prejudice in district judges.

      EVEN MORE RELEVANT FOLLOW UP COMMENT. NO WHERE IN THAT SECTION DOES THE QUOTE ABOVE APPEAR. NO TEXT IN THAT IN THAT SECTION COULD BE POSSIBLY BE CONSTRUED AS OFFERING SUCH BROAD GROUNDS FOR JUDICIAL RECUSAL.

      BECAUSE-I-HAVE-TO-DO-THE-WORK-FOR-YOU-COMMENT. What Fox News is looking for is United States Code 28 § 455. For the record, if Fox news is suddently so interested in judicial ethics, they might want to look at subsection (5)(iii) of that VERY SAME TEXT which offers another equally valid ground for recusal:

      He or his spouse, or a person within the third degree of relationship to either of them, or the spouse of such a person … Is known by the judge to have an interest that could be substantially affected by the outcome of the proceeding;

      Who could that remind me of?

      🙂

      • I’ve got my hand up and wanting to be called on to answer your question…

        Me, me, pick me…….Pretty Please???

        Could the answer be Clarence Thomas….

      • Now, to be fair to Fox News…..can we really expect an Australian who is business partners with Muslims to actually know what the American Constitution says?

        When Mitt Romney tried to demonize Obama for not knowing about America – Mitt might want to hold up that truth mirror to himself and his ‘foreign’ friends at Fox News.

  9. OK, I have a real problem with this. My bro, that is Repub, says that the big gov needs to get out of welfare & the churches need to handle it. So let me get this straight. The gov will now fund the churches (if states pass these amendments) to do what welfare now does? Why? Why would this be a better option?

    Florida Religious Freedom, Amendment 7

    Proposing an amendment to the State Constitution to provide that no individual or entity may be discriminated against or barred from receiving funding on the basis of religious identity or belief and to delete the prohibition against using revenues from the public treasury directly or indirectly in aid of any church, sect, or religious denomination or in aid of any sectarian institution.

    http://www.examiner.com/liberal-in-orlando/state-amendment-would-make-taxpayers-help-fund-churches-and-religious-schools-1

    • Nothing stopping the churches from helping the many who need help currently.

    • Hello,

      I briefly visited the “We are the 53%” website, but I first saw your face on a liberal blog. Your picture is quite popular on liberal blogs. I think it’s because of the expression on your face. I don’t know if you meant to look pugnacious or if we’re just projecting that on you, but I think that’s what gets our attention.

      In the picture, you’re holding up a sheet of paper that says:

      I am a former Marine.
      I work two jobs.
      I don’t have health insurance.
      I worked 60-70 hours a week for 8 years to pay my way through college.
      I haven’t had 4 consecutive days off in over 4 years.
      But I don’t blame Wall Street.
      Suck it up you whiners.
      I am the 53%.
      God bless the USA!

      —————————-

      Please read the entire response. Below is a tiny –snip–

      “I’m a liberal, so I probably dream bigger than you. For instance, I want everybody to have healthcare. I want lazy people to have healthcare. I want stupid people to have healthcare. I want drug addicts to have healthcare. I want bums who refuse to work even when given the opportunity to have healthcare. I’m willing to pay for that with my taxes, because I want to live in a society where it doesn’t matter how much of a loser you are, if you need medical care you can get it. And not just by crowding up an emergency room that should be dedicated exclusively to helping people in emergencies.”

      http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/10/12/1025555/-Open-Letter-to-that-53-Guy

  10. An email from my brother:

    Even though it is 30 years old, the content of this video clip is “timeless”. If you don’t think we have been going around on the same argument for years this will put it into perspective. Leave it to an economist to clear things up.

    You would think people would understand by now that Socialism and Communism have no validity in American society and bring nothing to the table.

    This is Phil Donahue interviewing Milton Friedman thirty years ago. Liberal Democrat Donahue and his audience are notably silent.

    Just 2 minutes of your time. You’ll like it!

    31 year old video clip ABSOLUTELY worth your time
    http://dauckster.posterous.com/a-31-year-old-video-clip-absolutely-worth-you
    Will someone please pass this on to the 99% group and the Occupy Wall Street protesters.

    My response:
    And AGAIN, I and the people I know are NOT anti-capitalists!!! We are anti-corruption. This is NOT the “same argument”. We are NOT talking about communism OR socialism (to the degree that the right likes to inflect. I do not have a problem with democratic socialism). It is NOT about the redistribution of wealth, it’s a matter of the ubber rich buying their way out of paying their part and assuming their responsibilities.

    • Good, rational, true response.

      Did he hear you?

      Has he chosen never to listen?

      Does he understand the uber wealthy have benefitted more than any other economic group from our tax policies of the last many years? Does he understand they were given ALL the paddles and all the rest of us were left up shit creek?

      • Don’t know yet, fnord. I sent it off just before posting here. I was actually surprised to see an email from him. I have been sending him things off an on and this is the first I’ve seen. He hasn’t answered any questions I’ve sent. Check my next post, got one of those Tea Party type “send to everyone you know” emails to share.

    • One other point on this email that I wish I would have said something about. The writer says, “Liberal Democrat Donahue and his audience are notably silent.” Well, yes. Because this is how a polite society behaves. The interviews cuts off abruptly before Donahue has a chance to respond and audiences at that time didn’t shout out while people on stage were talking.

      Still not sure what this video is suppose to prove. Democrats are NOT anti-capitalists. I don’t know why they keep trying to say they are. I think I would dare to challenge Friedman on how much greed really had to do with world changing discoveries and creations. I think ego has far more to do with it than greed.

  11. Here’s the latest craziness from my brother. I’ll post my response, I’d appreciate knowing how you might respond:

    WILL USA SURVIVE?

    The folks who are getting the free stuff don’t like the folks who are paying for the free stuff, because the folks who are paying for the free stuff can no longer afford to pay for both the free stuff and their own stuff.

    The folks who are paying for the free stuff want the free stuff to stop, and the folks who are getting the free stuff want even more free stuff on top of the free stuff they are already getting!

    Now… The people who are forcing the people who pay for the free stuff have told the people who are RECEIVING the free stuff, that the people who are PAYING for the free stuff, are being mean, prejudiced, and racist.

    So… The people who are GETTING the free stuff have been convinced they need to hate the people who are paying for the free stuff by the people who are forcing some people to pay for their free stuff, and giving them the free stuff in the first place.

    We have let the free stuff giving go on for so long that there are now more people getting free stuff than paying for the free stuff.

    Now understand this. All great democracies have committed financial suicide somewhere between 200 and 250 years after being founded. The reason? The voters figured out they could vote themselves money from the treasury by electing people who promised to give them money from the treasury in exchange for electing them.

    The United States officially became a Republic in 1776, 235 years ago. The number of people now getting free stuff outnumbers the people paying for the free stuff. We have one chance to change that. In 2012. Failure to change that spells the end of the United States as we know it.

    ELECTION 2012 IS COMING
    A Nation of Sheep Breeds a Government of Wolves!

    I’M 100% for PASSING THIS ON!!!

    Lets take a stand!!!
    Obama: Gone!
    Borders: Closed!
    Language: English only
    Culture: Constitution, and the Bill of Rights!
    Drug Free: Mandatory Drug Screening before Welfare!
    NO freebies to: Non-Citizens!

    We the people are coming
    Only 86% will send this on. Should be 100%. What will you do?

    My response:
    This is absurdity at it’s finest. This is the typical talking points that are bandied about by the right wing media. This is NOT a true representation of what I and people I know think or believe. Do you really want to talk the issues or do you want to spew ignorant right wing talking points that actually insult the both of us. …..Leann

    • I’ve never been concerned about who might be getting something they don’t deserve. Never! I don’t know how to answer that because I don’t even know how to get in the mindset of comparing. I’m sorry. It isn’t something I know how to do. I always figure if you have some extra you give it to someone who doesn’t have enough. I never asked any questions or qualified anyone. I don’t know how to do that. Don’t we all come up short of what we’re striving to be?

    • What I am getting from this is that these folks do not want anyone that does not look like a ‘real’ American to leave the country?

      Is that the deal?

      I wonder if your brother knows the fastest growing population is 85 yrs old and older.

      These are people who are on Medicare and due to having access to health care, this is probably the major reason these people are living longer.

      Does your brother and his fellow Conservatives want to kick all these people off Medicare – is that the deal?

      As for his call for churches to do the helping of Americans – alright, I can agree to that. But when exactly will these mega churches and televangelists actually start helping the people that need help?

      There is nothing stopping them from doing that right now – but I don’t see too many mega churches selling those huge gold crosses in order to spend that money on actually helping others.

      • correction: do not want = should be …want anyone

        Bottom line – I sense some anger at immigrants – and that concerns me greatly.

        What bothers me more than that is – these are generally the same folks that call themselves Christian Conservatives.

  12. Does your brother want ALL free stuff to be taken away? Then, let’s start by taking away those free taxpayer-funded subsidies that corporations are currently grabbing from that piggie trough.

    And let’s stop giving those corporations and the 1% certain ‘tax cuts’ in order for them to prosper.

    After all – we don’t want to have a govenrment that picks winners and losers – that would be socialism – wouldn’t it?

    These Far Right Wingers like to think they are the ones who are paying for all that free stuff – but these are the folks who know how to use and abuse the same government free-stuff system that those whom they demonize as just ‘takers’.

    Takers come in all sizes, shapes and colors and economic classes.

    But in the past 30 years (since Reagan) – the wealthiest Americans are the ones that have benefited the most.

    After all, isn’t this why the SCOTUS gave corporations the legal label of ‘personhood’ – that way, their puppet-politicians can write more laws to benefit the 1% and further decimate the 99%.