published Sunday, December 23rd, 2012

We Believe

about Clay Bennett...

The son of a career army officer, Bennett led a nomadic life, attending ten different schools before graduating in 1980 from the University of North Alabama with degrees in Art and History. After brief stints as a staff artist at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Fayetteville (NC) Times, he went on to serve as the editorial cartoonist for the St. Petersburg Times (1981-1994) and The Christian Science Monitor (1997-2007), before joining the staff of the ...

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dude_abides said...

There was Johnson and Jordan and Lamborn and Crapo,

Cornyn and Chambliss and Demint and Barasso...

December 23, 2012 at 12:13 a.m.
jesse said...

"Social Security and medicare are NOT on the table"-Harry Reid.

How long did THAT last??

December 23, 2012 at 7:21 a.m.
rolando said...

How about cutting the Depts of Housing and Urban Development, Education, and Energy in half? That would cut the budget [such as it is] by roughly 25-30%...and probably improve performance across the board. [Nothing improves job performance like the possible loss of a government job.]

The Obama would then have all that additional funding to give to his cronies in the form of government insured "loans", etc.

December 23, 2012 at 8:11 a.m.
Rebus said...

Rolando--Doubt there will be much cutting anywhere.

December 23, 2012 at 8:22 a.m.
Livn4life said...

Still, Still, Still NOT GETTING IT!

December 23, 2012 at 8:38 a.m.
delmar said...

If they can offset the cuts to S.S. & Medi. by eliminating the waste and fraud, then yeah go for it. I'd like to see them do a lot of whacking at the defense budget, way too much spent on b.s. there.

December 23, 2012 at 9:11 a.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

Want to know why there's no money for Medicare? It's all on the front page of the paper. Fraud, theft, and corruption.

Companies like Life Care Centers of America. This is the type of crony capitalism that must cease. It robs everyone from the left to the right.

Not only theft, but harm to patients in these facilities. This is criminal and those responsible deserve criminal prosecution.

Great job TFP. Keep up the great reporting and congratulations to Todd Smith for his investigative work.

December 23, 2012 at 9:21 a.m.
joneses said...

The obastard lie is calling not raising tax rates a tax cut. The truth is when taxes are lowered they are a tax cut. Obastard and the dummycrat libtards are not going to cut taxes for anyone. We are being lied to again by obastard.

December 23, 2012 at 9:47 a.m.
patriot1 said...

The largest holder of our $16+ trillion dollar debt is the social security trust fund. Think about that one for a second. The social secrity trust fund is buying bonds to finance our national debt. Nothing but a shell game, a house of cards. That house of cards is going to fold someday. When it does, what happens to grandma?

December 23, 2012 at 9:59 a.m.
dude_abides said...

Hey Alprova... Still worried about Ol' Jack_Dennis. There have been some trailer fires around (those wall heaters are dangerous) and I kind of got the feeling that this was his type abode, sort of like Thoreau's Walden, only on wheels (close the cabinet doors and clean house with a leaf blower). I'm sure, if this were the case, that his neighbors would miss his tattered rebel flag in the window and his big shiny blue ball in the birdbath. Here's hoping everything's fine and he has a big tub of poke salat and fatback and Christmas beans burping and squeaking on the stove.

December 23, 2012 at 10:11 a.m.
jesse said...

You bees missin him ain'tcha Dude??

December 23, 2012 at 10:24 a.m.
dude_abides said...

Yeah, I'm sentimental like that. I just picture him wandering through the woods somewhere, let down by his weaker than he thought survival skills, muttering to himself in short, banal sentences. Or sitting in his truck revving the engine, trying to get down to the beer store, not remembering he had put it up on blocks last week. He's just suddenly dropped off the radar. We should all be vigilant when driving past bridge overpasses and the like, he may be curled up in an I-beam in the fetal position. If anyone sees a man out in a field gesticulating wildly to a cow or a goat, DON'T just drive away! Contact somebody.

We may have to hire a private detective.

December 23, 2012 at 11 a.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

JD could have been "Raptured" by God; taken to heaven in a 1974 Pinto chariot driven by Jebus.

December 23, 2012 at 11:31 a.m.
MTJohn said...

patriot1 said...The largest holder of our $16+ trillion dollar debt is the social security trust fund. Think about that one for a second.

The obvious conclusions are that 1)social security is not the supposed cause of our national debt; 2) cutting social security won't fix the national debt; 3) we borrowed from the social security trust fund as an alternative to levying taxes. It's time to pay back the money that we borrowed and that will require increased tax revenue - collected primarily from those who made a profit from the money borrowed from the social security trust fund.

December 23, 2012 at 11:54 a.m.
dude_abides said...

He could be in the hills of Robe, Italy nursing from a she wolf. He might want to keep an eye on his brother Robulus.

December 23, 2012 at 12:02 p.m.
fairmon said...

Social security is not a contributor to the deficit or debt and should not be for another decade or so when revenue is less and payouts to the boomers continue. Medicare, medicaid and scripts are a totally separate and different issue. Politicians like to and do lump them together which is very misleading, I wonder if they do that on purpose?

Where are grandma's children and family? Why is the federal government responsible for taking care of anyone? Loans and credit cards have led many down the primrose path thinking they were well off until reality hits them over the head. Why is it not a local and state issue who, according to most state constitutions, cannot borrow or print money. The federal budget is a glob that no one understands but a lot of hands are in the cookie jar.

December 23, 2012 at 12:46 p.m.
miraweb said...

We do have a demographic problem. Other countries have faced the same, or worse.

The bottom line is most of our disabled and elderly folks are living on very limited incomes. There are strong lobbies to defend the rights of the elderly. There are few to defend the rights of the disabled.

We have to ask more of those who can pay more, young or old. We need to address the demographics as best we can.

Because it is easier to hide surcharges on Medicare and fiddle with cost of living increases than to raise taxes, that is exactly what the government has been doing. The elderly have already been paying more for several years now.

We have 12 million people here working without papers. Many already pay into Social Security. Many are paid "under the table" and do not. Employers who are paying under the table are avoiding paying in their contributions, too.

Bringing this workforce into the daylight has many good consequences. Regularizing new immigration to match the workforce we actually need and use would also help balance the demographics a bit.

There is WFA (waste, fraud, and abuse) in the system. Randomly slashing budgets without locating and targeting the sources of WFA directly just means more services will be cut.

Military spending more than doubled during the Bush years. There is still plenty of room to reduce the spending in the defense budget.

We also should take a hard look at why the government is subsidizing groups like the insurance industry. 10,000 people a day are aging out of private insurance as they become eligible for Medicare.

That industry is doing all it can to hang on to the premiums those 10,000 have stopped paying by trying to privatize Medicare outright, introduce Medicare Advantage, and manage Medicare Part D.

If we are really expecting the elderly to pay more, then we can ill afford huge subsidies to a wealthy insurance industry at the same time.

December 23, 2012 at 1 p.m.
jesse said...

If Granny had had a GUN she wouldnta got her a## "sledded"!

December 23, 2012 at 1:09 p.m.
miraweb said...

If Rudolph had a gun he wouldn't have to work Christmas.

December 23, 2012 at 1:12 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

When Obama was running for re-election he stated emphatically, over and over again, that social security was not going to be on the table. Now, before he's even gotten his suit ruffled from the first skirmish he's put it on the table, PLUS he's considering raising taxes only on those who make above $400,000 instead of the previous $250,000 level. Those are two huge concessions that he shouldn't even be talking about at this point, yet he's gone into this fiscal fight like the wuss that he is, with his tail tucked between his legs and saying, "please, please." Meanwhile the Republicans don't give an inch, offering NO concessions at all, and they keep whining about how Obama refuses to meet them halfway! But they don't care about "halfway," they want him to come ALL the way over to their side of the table, with NO tax increase whatsoever and NO spending cuts whatsoever, or at least not in those areas where we need them most but that they hold most dear: the military and corporate welfare.

A marginal tax increase on the wealthy is not going to be the end of the world, as you righties like to scream that it is, and it is not going to keep the "job creators" from creating jobs ('cause they're not creating jobs in the first place!). In fact, even with a tax increase, the rich would go right ahead eating at their 5-star restaurants, driving their Beamers and Lexus' and Mercedes', and in general living the life of comfort to which they have become accustomed. But hey, let's take a few more dollars, why don't we, from the old folks - those lazy takers - on social security? They already live paycheck to paycheck and have a hard time making ends meet but, hey, if we're going to bring this deficit down, we're all going to have to have some skin in the game, right? Meanwhile, the rich will eat, play, invest, enjoy... the congressmen will get their cushy yearly raises... the corporations will keep getting their big fat needless subsidies... and the military will keep spending like there's no tomorrow. But that's okay because we'll get this deficit under control, by cracky, if we just keep starving the beast and sticking it to the poor folks. Eventually, if we starve them enough, more and more of those "takers" will die off and then the fat cats will be cruising on easy street (or EASIER street rather) with even more money for them to play with.

If the Repubs and you righties were really serious about the deficit, NOTHING would be off the table. You would be talking about how to generate revenue from ALL areas, including a tax increase and cutting military spending and needless congressional raises and corporate welfare, as well as cutting spending to your loathed entitlement programs. But you're just a bunch of whining hypocrites who want nothing more than to protect your precious ideological anti-government stance and starve the beast, even at peril of wrecking the economy even more.

December 23, 2012 at 1:18 p.m.
EaTn said...

That's really Boehner disguised in a grandma suit. Bet he's drinking anything but "tea" this long Christmas holiday. The ultra-right just keep dragging the GOP down in overall voter sentiment.

December 23, 2012 at 2:13 p.m.
alprova said...

miraweb, you need to put your 1 pm post onto paper and mail it to every single representative in Congress.

I know the postage would be astronomical, but...

That was fantastic!!

December 23, 2012 at 3:52 p.m.
miraweb said...

If you agree, feel free to share it with your own Congress critters. No credit needed.

December 23, 2012 at 4:47 p.m.
jesse said...

If Rudolf had a gun he would have for sure shot Boehner and maybe even Blitzen!

December 23, 2012 at 5:02 p.m.
miraweb said...

Merry Christmas to those who are celebrating and a Happy New Year to all.

December 23, 2012 at 5:45 p.m.
rolando said...

That's as all-inclusive a statement I have ever heard from a Leftie, miraweb. I will go one further and wish a Merry Christmas to those who are not celebrating...one should always make the offer.

December 23, 2012 at 6:26 p.m.
Rebus said...

Merry Christmas to all from the Rebus.

December 23, 2012 at 7:13 p.m.
alprova said...

I too wish EVERYONE, including those who do not like me very much, a very Merry Christmas and a most prosperous and happy New Year.

May we all find some areas of agreement in the future, for I am one of several, I assume, that are quite fatigued from engaging in repeated discussions containing petty differences, none of us which really have the individual power to effect or change, when all is said and done. So why do we find it necessary to argue all the time?

I have many wishes and dreams for the upcoming new year. I do wish for world peace, of course, a wish that has been on the minds of most people around the world for eons. I wish people would set aside their differences and strive to treat each other with respect, kindness, and love.

And in that same frame of mind, it is now time to express my most sincere wish for the upcoming new year that I'm sure many will shoot holes in immediately.

May every American find some way to get behind the President of this nation, in a quest to revive all our spirits, hopes, dreams, morals...whatever it may be that people want for their own lives, so that we can all seek the often time, elusive happiness that we all deserve as Americans and as human beings.

May our new Congress find some way to move this nation forward, not for political purposes, ideals, or intent, but for the good of all people in this country.

Over the next couple of days, I will be spending time with those who are near and dear to me. I will be thanking God and his Son for my life, my loved ones, and will never forget that the true meaning of the upcoming holiday is to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Saviour.

Take a few moments, if you will, to hear my most favorite rendition of "Oh Holy Night" from a man, in my opinion has ruined all other renditions of the song....forever;

Despite accusations of one or two people, I am indeed a Christian, but one who is pragmatic in the way I approach religion. I believe in using the brain that God endowed me with, to sort fact from fiction, and I use it on a daily basis to continue an education that began when I was born.

Okay...I'm done.

May everyone have a wonderful holiday, no matter their personal beliefs.

December 23, 2012 at 7:28 p.m.
Rebus said...

The John Berry version is indeed excellent. Oh Holy Night the best Christmas song ever.

December 23, 2012 at 7:40 p.m.
acerigger said...
December 23, 2012 at 8:05 p.m.
GratefulDawg said...

"Want to know why there's no money for Medicare? It's all on the front page of the paper. Fraud, theft, and corruption. --daytonsdarwin"

Now, now Darwin. Life Care CEO Forrest Preston has stated numerous times that his job is not about the money. This is his mission work as he received a call from the lord. The lord works in mysterious ways, only the J-Man and conservative can know for sure. Preston is a particularly pious man. Not to mention a rock-solid Republican that hates government moochers. Heck, he even had Anita Bryant perform at a corporate shindig up in Cleveland a few years ago. Of course that did not involve any serious expenditures as these days Anita will do a gig for eighty-seven bucks and a bag of Florida oranges.

Praise the Lord and pass the Medicare fraud!

December 23, 2012 at 9:01 p.m.
fairmon said...

Are you willing to reduce your budget by the same percent as the 100 million per year being thrown around in D.C. as an aggressive spending reduction of the 3.5 trillion annual budget proposed? I think if you multiply your annual budget by .00003 you will be close to how much you have to cut. ie. $24,000 X .00003= .72 leaving you with only 23,999.28 to spend.

Alprova, you are the accountant, is the math about right? If it is, I would think the governments margin of accounting error is greater than the reduction being discussed.

December 24, 2012 at 12:04 a.m.
Chattlandia said...

Re: "Life Care Scheme Started at top, Feds Say" They (Feds) found a deep pocket to attack on maximizing profits when dealing with the Federal entity known for minimizing profits (Medicare). Want to do a real story do one on where EXACTLY the fines go once collected from a business. Crazy to trust Feds, known scammers to police anything. This is a shakedown.

December 24, 2012 at 10:05 a.m.
rolando said...

For a much more heartfelt singing of this Christmas carol, I would suggest the version by Pavarotti, the second singing in Italian in particular.

See http://www.vbox7.com/play:ac2041a0 Streaming is slow.

The world lost a treasure the day he died. Requiescat in pace, Luciano.

December 24, 2012 at 4:12 p.m.
rolando said...

Well, this thread was a miserable flop, wasn't it? At least for the Progressive side.

Bet this one won't show up next year at this time...

December 24, 2012 at 4:48 p.m.
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