published Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

Pulling Ahead

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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fairmon said...

The current super pac action is only a warm up for the grand finale fire works display which Obama will bring to the country with his $1 billion dollar fund with which to buy the biggest, loudest fire works that he will fire off continuously as the race gets close to the end.

February 2, 2012 at 12:10 a.m.

harp3339: You want to ban the whole business, go ahead, but don't even try to pretend the Republican party won't be engaged in the same thing.

And guys like Romney keep handing out the ammunition.

February 2, 2012 at 12:16 a.m.
Salsa said...

I see that the one trick pony is still performing its act.

February 2, 2012 at 12:19 a.m.
fairmon said...

happywithnewbulbs said... harp3339: You want to ban the whole business, go ahead, but don't even try to pretend the Republican party won't be engaged in the same thing.

Read it again. You are very adept at reading something into a post that is not there. Did I suggest there should not be PACs or attack ads? I don't care if they are used or who uses them. Did I suggest the republicans wouldn't participate and do the same? They will to the extent able don't have and won't have the funding Obama has. I really don't care who wins the POTUS race, the results will be similar regardless of promises made or insinuated. You read a post as if it is critical of your fav Obama. I think he is the national flower, a blooming idiot, while his likely opposition is no better and some may be more like a weed. Ron Paul is the most honest and logical but people are afraid of his ideas since they are indeed a change from what has been going on with both parties for years.

February 2, 2012 at 1:02 a.m.
blackwater48 said...

SOME HORSE RACE

When Rush Limbaugh openly bemoans the state of national republican politics you know it's bad. Yeah, Romney has more money and outspent Newt 4- or 5- to 1 in Florida. Ads that didn't argue policy or politics, ads that were aimed at destroying Gingrich personally. Ads that attacked his character. No wonder Newt is seething mad.

The moderate establishment republicans believe Romney is the candidate who can win the Presidency. Romney even has the backing of GOP insiders John McCain and Bob Dole, two moderate republicans who both lost their presidential bids to democrats.

But poor Mitt keeps dropping the ball. The comment he just made about not being concerned about the poor is another classic example. You might dismiss it as a bad choice of words or a slip of the tongue, but it got everyone from liberal democrats to conservative republicans hopping mad.

Democrats say it's more evidence that Romney is only concerned with rich people. He also said that if there were holes in the safety net he would fix them, but democrats say he thinks of low income programs as a hammock. News bulletin, Mitt. Many people receiving government assistance work very hard at tough jobs for lousy pay. And the majority are white.

Republicans are just as mad because Mitt's defending the programs republicans want to illiminate. The Paul Ryan Budget - which Romney supports - calls for a $2.9 Trillion cut to low income programs, including MedicAid, pell grants, food stamps, and low income housing. ROMNEY ENDORSED THE BUDGET! The last thing he should be saying, from a republican perspective, is how he is going to protect the safety net for poor people.

To be fair, Romney was trying to say, in his robotic, first time visiting earth sort of way, that he was concerned with middle class families. Lunch pail republicans. Blue collar conservatives. Smart politically, but Mitt just pulled another one of his notorious flip-flops.

His tax plan calls for raising taxes on around half of all middle class families with children. His economic policy calls for increase defense spending, tax cuts for the rich, and a balanced budget.

OMG: it's a deja vu nightmare!

Party on Newt.

Party on Mitt.

February 2, 2012 at 1:11 a.m.
ArnoldZiffel said...

Obuttface will leave office in Jan. 2013 a wealthy man. He'll double what the Clinton's made since they've left office. I think they've made a couple of hundred million. It's so damn dumb to attack one politician for being aboutmoney, THEY ALL ARE!! You have to millions to run. So cut out the hypocracy. Maybe Obuttface and Michelle Antoinette can star in reality tv show after they leave. Biotches of the Windy City!

February 2, 2012 at 3:30 a.m.
EaTn said...

Washington DC is a 1% circus of the wealthy that depends on the 99% gullible audience for existence. Until the 99% start waging a "kick all the bums out" campaign nothing will ever change.

February 2, 2012 at 6:56 a.m.
GatorFan said...

This is easily one of the worst cartoons Clay has done.

February 2, 2012 at 8:04 a.m.
alprova said...

harp3339 wrote: "Ron Paul is the most honest and logical but people are afraid of his ideas since they are indeed a change from what has been going on with both parties for years."

Given the level of intelligence you traditionally demonstrate and your propensity to offer logic in your posts, it scares the bejeebus out of me to read the above.

How honest was the man when he was faced with his racial past?

How logical is the man's notion to abolish the Federal Reserve and a return to the gold standard? Are you remotely aware of the economic benefits that the Federal Reserve offers as well as the protections against inflation and banking panics that have all but eliminated since the Federal Reserve was established in 1907?

All of us probably are totally unaware of the problems that existed in this nation, where people routinely made runs to the bank to empty out accounts whenever money made available was in short supply. The last time this occurred was following the stock market crash of 1929.

There is nothing logical in his proposal to return to a very unstable system of banking that once plagued this nation. It defies all logic.

Ron Paul is a neo-Confederate, and proud member of the Ludwig Von Mises Institute, which has been labeled as a neo-Confederate organization. There is a video circulating the internet where he gave a speech in front of a confederate flag, while claiming that the North should have paid to buy slaves from southern slave owners to avoid war, rather than the South renouncing slavery. Paul never mentions the fact that it was the South that started the war by attacking the North in 1861.

Ron Paul was also was the only member of congress to vote against honoring the Civil Rights Act Of 1964 on its 40th anniversary in 2004. Paul has also stated that he wouldn’t have voted for the Civil Rights Act at the time, which effectively puts him on the side of the racists in both the fight against slavery and the fight against Jim Crow segregation, the two defining struggles of Black people in America.

Surely to God you don't support him for that.

http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/39801_Video-_Ron_Paul_Gives_Speech_on_Civil_War_in_Front_of_Giant_Confederate_Flag

February 2, 2012 at 8:21 a.m.
una61 said...

In six months, replace the Newt caricature with Obama.

February 2, 2012 at 8:42 a.m.

harp3339, so you don't even want to stop it? That's even worse. I consider that whole process a blight upon on our electoral system that cheapens and denigrates it. And yes, thinking of the attack ad bit, this picture is a bit inaccurate, the Super-pac guys should not be lifting up, but tearing the other guy down.

And the reason I said don't try, is because I know people will say, just like you, that Obama's a rat bastard in some way or another , while completely oblivious to the stench coming from their own quarter. So like I said, don't even try to pretend. If you're not, great, then you don't need to feel ire over it. But it was not demonstrated in your initial post, so pardon me for challenging that oversight of yours. That you are somehow claiming they won't have the funding Obama has...well, that just makes me question your analysis even more. They'll have every penny they want and lots more. If you want to be seen as even-handed, try being a little more honest and bipartisan with your criticism.

As for Ron Paul, I consider him correct so far only on his foreign policy. Not the rest. So...can we elect his foreign policy and somebody else's domestic? No? Pity.

ArnoldZiffel, it's the process being about money that's the subject of this add, not the position. Try to stay on target. If you want to make every politician swear a vow of poverty once they're out of office, it might be something, but I'm even less optimistic of that happening.

February 2, 2012 at 9:04 a.m.

EaTn:" Washington DC is a 1% circus of the wealthy that depends on the 99% gullible audience for existence. Until the 99% start waging a "kick all the bums out" campaign nothing will ever change."

But the gullible need their masters and care takers to give them shelter, food, and equal the playing field. At least in their minds.

February 2, 2012 at 9:28 a.m.
timbo said...

The problem with righties and lefties is that they fool themselves into thinking that their "side" is somehow more virtuous than the other side. Actually there are three sides, the establishment (Democrat and Republican), the true liberals and the true conservatives.

The establishment always agrees on the big stuff. The war in Iraq, NAFTA, the bank bailouts, etc., etc. all agreed to basically by both parties. They always seem to get enough votes no matter which party is in power. Both party's leadership is corrupt and they just play a cynical game of good cop bad cop to fool all of us.

As in most Bennett cartoons, he believes in this childish view that his "side" is better. I could just as easily show Obama sitting on the shoulders of the unions and environmental lobby. They all use the same tactics and anyone that thinks their is a difference is a fool.

February 2, 2012 at 9:28 a.m.
davisss13 said...

The closer the election gets the more radical and crazy the GOPers will be.

February 2, 2012 at 10:02 a.m.
jesse said...

timbo just nailed it!

no matter who gets elected it's gonna be 4 more years of buis.as usual!

all this rantin and ravin from both sides is a waste of time!

February 2, 2012 at 10:10 a.m.
davisss13 said...

They all use the same tactics and anyone that thinks their is a difference is a fool.

They can use similar tactics but I've never seen the Dems play scorched earth. The Clintons were horrible but the GOP of today is in all-out war mode and makes Bill/Hil look mild by comparison.

There is a difference between the parties. On torture. On open-ended, global religious war. Or the environment. Worker rights. The wealthy elite.

Anyone who insists they are the same is either a complete idiot or a two-faced GOPer trying to minimize the impact their party has had on the country and is trying to avoid all accountability.

February 2, 2012 at 10:12 a.m.
davisss13 said...

nooga said... davisss13 said...

The closer the election gets the more radical and crazy the GOPers will be.

Is that even possible?

It's a scary thought, isn't it?

I can't help but think of the idiots last summer who were screaming about 'feeding the tree of liberty with the blood of patriots' or 'second amendment solutions'.

This is coming from a gun owner and someone who has been an NRA member.

February 2, 2012 at 10:25 a.m.
limric said...

Mitt Romney (in case you haven’t noticed) IS - Max Headroom.

Mitt Romney says so much that is untrue. And a lot what comes out of his mouth is plain nonsense. What he may look like to some, in reality he is far from being. Obomney either has, A) a tin ear for reality, B) a major personality flaw, C) is a much more cynical character than most imagine, D) is a hologram, or E) all of the above. Listen to him, speak – uncanny isn’t it.

Gingrich on the other hand is a bit obscure, but I’ll give it a try. He reminds me of no one so much as Captain "Aarfy" Aardvark in Joseph Heller’s "Catch 22." Elitist, arrogant, and absolutely convinced of his own moral virtues even while being disgraced, a first class bounder and completely corrupt. The similarities in this case are also uncanny.

Come election night I wouldn’t be all that upset to see Obama lose and I’d be overjoyed to see the Republican candidate, Obomney, also lose. I cannot see either Romney or Gingrich offering what is truly needed to fix the root causes of all the dysfunction, corruption and despair with the US political and governmental system. And Obama? A lot of slickness, but mostly a continuation of the preceding administration.

We need to push the two corporate parties aside and elect a Russ Feingold / Ron Paul administration. Then we can let Barack Obama and Mitt Romney become a TV crime-fighting team, I instantly thought of I-Spy with Robert Culp and Bill Cosby. Hollywood should reprise that show starring Obama and Romney, only they would chase Iranians instead of Russians. Now that would be cool.

February 2, 2012 at 10:34 a.m.
jesse said...

and the country as a whole IS yossarian!!(sic?)

February 2, 2012 at 10:45 a.m.
HighFastHard said...

Romney isn't "an empty suit" ... he's the gold-plated closet coathanger that an empty suit hangs on.

February 2, 2012 at 12:58 p.m.
sage1 said...

The political corruption of our towns, cities, states and country, a direct result of human greed. It's like a freight train running wide open throttle down the tracks. There simply ain't a man alive that can be elected and slow it down.

February 2, 2012 at 1:04 p.m.
jesse said...

sage? the only way it could be stopped is a CLEAN SWEEP of congress,the senate,and a NEW potus!not once but at least twice!THEN the message would start to resonate! ain't NEVER gonna happin!we gonna ride this pony right down into oblivion and CHINA gonna take over the world!!

February 2, 2012 at 1:18 p.m.
potcat said...

This is the Supreme Court unleashing Super Pacs on the public.

How refreshing to have a GOP "Front Runner" canidate that willingly expresses his open contempt for his fellow citizens.

Romneys focus for the middle class seems caculated for their vote. millions of the middle class are just above the poverty line,which Romneys budget would cut even more for the poor.

The GOP doesn't care about the poor, or the middle class. They just want to make sure the system is gamed for the wealthy and Corporations.

Romney says his campaign is all about saving the SOUL of America. Read in Vaniy Fair Feb. issue " The MEANING of MITT" it will tell you about Mitt and the Mormon people talk about him and their dealings with him in the Mormon Church, i mean Temple or Wards, they don't call it Church. Its a Mans world in everything pertaining to Mormon life, so women beware of this guy.

February 2, 2012 at 1:58 p.m.
HighFastHard said...

Read "Under The Banner of Heaven" (http://tinyurl.com/ydan4h) if you want to learn about the whacko Mormon religion ( makes Scientology look mainstream by comparison) which Mitt Romney really(?) believes in.

February 2, 2012 at 2:06 p.m.
timbo said...

davisss13....You are absolutely missing the point. There are still pure liberals that believe like you do but the people who run the democrat party are just as elite and controlling and in it together with their Republican counterparts.

To half the country, nothing is more scary than Obama. You liberals say bizarre stuff and the sad thing is you think it is normal. You think your in the main stream.

The other side thinks the same thing. They think God is on their side.

Scorched earth? This stuff started when Robert Bork was up for the Supreme court. It has been tit for tat ever sense.

You said, "There is a difference between the parties. On torture. On open-ended, global religious war. Or the environment. Worker rights. The wealthy elite." Let's take those one by one.

Torture - Obama has continued rendition and agresive techniques that George Bush started.

Environment - You might have me there. It would take an emotional liberal to believe in global warming. At any rate, every one cares about the environment they just have different ideas about how to deal with it.

Global religious war - Global? You're joking right. There is no religious war at all. Wars are fought over money(oil in this case), religion is used as an excuse.

Worker rights - The elites don't care about workers. Real liberals like you might. If you mean unions, the democrats pander to them for money. They really don't do much for workers.

The Wealth Elite...This is the funniest of all. Obama has raised more money from Wall Street than any other president in history. He completely panders to the Enteranment elite and coporations like GM and GE. Remember GE, they didn't pay one penny in taxes.

The only complete idiot is the one that says this doesn't exist. As a matter of fact he is a naive complete idiot.

February 2, 2012 at 2:06 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Davisss13 said: "Anyone who insists they are the same is either a complete idiot or a two-faced GOPer trying to minimize the impact their party has had on the country and is trying to avoid all accountability."

I believe the two faces of the GOP is a good description, Davisss13. It applies to a long list of social and economic issues. A good example, perhaps, is the costly hullabaloo the Republicans created in regard to photo Voter ID. Indeed, the Republicans demand photo identification from the American public, but insist on the concept of anonymity when it comes to their corporate and billionaire Super Pac donors who are shoveling billions of dollars toward their campaign war chests, which in the wake of Citizens United is of particular concern to the American Public because the U.S. Supreme Court right wing majority's decision has essentially issued an open invitation for America’s foreign enemies to manipulate U.S. elections.

February 2, 2012 at 2:47 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

I see the wart is back on topic again. 76 more cartoons to go on the republican candidate(s) this year?

February 2, 2012 at 3:43 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Tu_quoque said: "Have you noticed that groups other than corporation are involved in the same activity and you consistently and hypocritically do not address them in you rants?"

As I pointed out to you previously, Tu_quoque, you seem to forgetting that many of these giant corporations have more power, money, and influence than many countries – which cannot be said of American trade unions. Indeed, I’ve never heard about any American trade union that has tried to undermine their own government’s foreign policies - if they did, they would arrested and prosecuted for treason, which is obviously not the case when it comes to some of these powerful corporations like Koch industries. They do whatever they want to do:

“Internal company records show that Koch Industries used its foreign subsidiary to sidestep a U.S. trade ban barring American companies from selling materials to Iran. Koch-Glitsch offices in Germany and Italy continued selling to Iran until as recently as 2007, the records show.

The company’s products helped build a methanol plant for Zagros Petrochemical Co., a unit of Iran’s state-owned National Iranian Petrochemical Co., the documents show. The facility, in the coastal city of Bandar Assaluyeh, is now the largest methanol plant in the world, according to IHS Inc., an Englewood, Colorado-based provider of chemicals, energy and economic data.”

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-10-02/koch-brothers-flout-law-getting-richer-with-secret-iran-sales.html

February 2, 2012 at 3:46 p.m.
miraweb said...

As potentially the only ex-Mormon Jew on this board (something for everyone to love!) I can give you my views of the Mormon influences that we may see in Romney.

1) They do actually call it church. Stake is the equivalent of diocese and Ward is the equivalent of parish. Romney was a "Stake President" which means he was in charge of running the equivalent of a diocese of Mormons in Massachusetts.

2) Mormons consider themselves to be "Christian" but they still believe that none of you (or myself) will be going to heaven. Probably fair, as most other Christians don't believe Mormons will be going to heaven either. Jews don't really have the same idea of heaven.

Actually the Mormons have three heavens but the top one doesn't allow single people, most Mormons, gays, for quite a long time anyone of African descent, and still, anyone not a Mormon.

3) They do tend to be a very patriarchal, authoritarian society. Romney's irritation and bluster when people disagree with him may be because he isn't use to that happening as the top dog in the parish.

4) As a cult, it would be a fairly boring one. Three hours of services on Sunday (which most teenagers nip out of as soon as they can manage it). One fast day a month to raise money to feed the needy in the "ward" or parish. (The tithing money goes to the authorities in Salt Lake City).

No getting into the top heaven unless you pay the tithe, wear the 'garments', and give up booze, coffee, and tea.

My experience was it was a much more "checklist" kind of religion ("good people are those who do a, b, c, and d) rather than a "relational" religion ("good people are those who are kind to their neighbors and make the world a bit better").

5) Mormons do have a huge safety net for their own poor with food banks, money from the parish leader ("bishop") from the fast days, and people assigned to visit and "teach" the religion house-to-house each month. In the big western states they also have warehouses of furniture and other home items.

Romney's idea that the poor have been taken care of may come from that insiders view of Mormon culture --- although a lot of non-Mormons also have a very skewed view of how really bad off the poor are because they never meet nor talk with anyone outside their own economic circle.

I found Mormon views on women, gays, race, patriarchy, and money to be not in agreement with my own and have never looked back.

February 2, 2012 at 3:48 p.m.

Congregation does not have to refer to a church. Take Congress for example. Same root word, in case you didn't notice.

You might want to look more at your sources though, such as the outside spending. Try a few other pages, like the ones with Citizens United, the US Chamber of Commerce, or American Crossroads.

February 2, 2012 at 5:22 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Ty_quoque said: "Visit the below links and get back with us on that union/NGO vs. corporate contributions."

Thanks, Tu_quoque, but you’re completely ignoring the issue that I was addressing in my post to Davisss13. I was addressing the hypocrisy of the Republincan lawmakers in regard to our electoral process. Perhaps, if I highlight the point, you will get it:

Indeed, the Republicans demand photo identification from the American public, but insist on the concept of anonymity when it comes to their corporate and billionaire Super Pac donors who are shoveling billions of dollars toward their campaign war chests, which in the wake of Citizens United is of particular concern to the American Public because the U.S. Supreme Court right wing majority's decision has essentially issued an open invitation for America’s foreign enemies to manipulate U.S. elections.

February 2, 2012 at 5:28 p.m.
hotdiggity said...

bookieturnersghost said... "But the gullible need their masters and care takers to give them shelter, food, and equal the playing field. At least in their minds."

Oh please, spare me. Republicans, those pious proponents of "free markets" cry for low wages, subsides, and protectionism so they can compete with other nations and "equal, (level) the playing field". There is nothing free market in their whining for protection from competitors or handouts from tax payers.

February 2, 2012 at 5:39 p.m.
rolando said...

Another update on the Georgia court case regarding The Obama's ability to appear on that state's ballot due to the question surrounding his status as a "natural born citizen"; we all know he is a "citizen" under the 10th Amendment...but that doesn't make him "natural born".

The question now is, Why hasn't this court case been reported by the alphabet media?

Here is a bit of what Mr Andresen has to say on the question: See it at http://www.thenationalpatriot.com/

QUOTE Since my article regarding the blow-by-blow account of the Georgia hearing on Obama’s eligibility to appear on that state’s ballot, one question has surfaced more than any other. This is a question which has been posed to me via social media, email and within the nearly 600 comments on that article.

The question is a simple one and a valid one.

Why has there been no media coverage of this?

Clearly, it’s a story.

A sitting President gets subpoenaed. Story.

A sitting President’s ability to be on a state’s ballot at risk. Story.

A sitting president’s attempt to dismiss the case denied. Story.

A sitting president ignores the subpoena. Story.

A sitting President’s attorney sends letter to Georgia Sec. of State saying he won’t participate. Story.

Sec. of State says don’t participate at your own risk. Story.

Hearing takes place, witnesses testify and evidence is presented with no refute from Sitting President’s attorney. Story.

NO MEDIA COVERAGE??? Story.

First, let’s have a look at the media.

The alphabet networks, also known as the mainstream or elite media, ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC etc. are all in the can for Obama or in his pocket. We all know that.

UNQUOTE

February 2, 2012 at 5:42 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Potcat said: "This is the Supreme Court unleashing Super Pacs on the public."

I agree, Potcat. If you're interested, Ed Kilgore at Washington Monthly has some interesting data on Super-PACs. He says it’s not a pretty sight, and I think he right:

“There’s been a lot of anecdotal and single-state evidence for the vast shift in political ad spending this year from candidates and party committees to Super-PACs and other “issue advocacy groups.” But now there’s a solid body of data (at least on ad buys for broadcast and national cable TV for the 2012 cycle up until now) from the Wesleyan Media Project. . .

. . . To cite just a few glaring numbers: The total volume of non-candidate “independent group” ads run from the beginning of 2011 until January 25 of this year jumped 1600% as compared to the same period in the 2008 cycle.

The volume of candidate ads dropped by more than 40%. A lot of this change is attributable to one candidate, Mitt Romney, who spent a lot of campaign money early in 2008, and whose Super-PAC, Restore Our Future, is the Clifford the Big Red Dog of 2012 spending, having (again, just through 1/25, which misses the last week of saturation advertising in Florida) shelled out over $8 million for more than 13,000 spots, well over half, by cost and volume, of total GOP Super-PAC spending (even including the sums spent by the now-defunct Perry and Huntsman Super-PACs).”

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal-a/2012_01/the_shift_to_superpacs_by_the035094.php

February 2, 2012 at 6 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Tu_quoque said: "MountainShrubbery:The DISCLOSE ACT was defeated due to your side including exemptions for Libtard contributors. BTW ... Why do you Libtards hate our right to free expression and assembly?"

Once again, Tu_quoque, I don’t think you understand that the proposed Disclose Act legislation was specifically designed to expose any foreign groups, foreign organizations, and foreign governments that might be influencing U.S. elections. It is urgently needed because a majority of the right wing justices sitting on the Supreme Court have essentially issued an open invitation for America’s enemies to manipulate U.S. elections.

Mark Kleiman (Reality-Base Community) recently brought up the need for Disclosure when he was discussing Newt’s billionaire campaign contributor. Kleiman makes the point that “in the wake of Citizens United isn’t just a matter of asserting democratic values over plutocratic ones; it’s a matter of national sovereignty and national security:

. . . a single billionaire donating $5 million to a Super-PAC completely turned the campaign around in a week. $5M is chump change compared to the stakes in the American Presidency. If unlimited amounts of untraceable cash are going to be sloshing around, there’s no way to prevent the Chinese government, or the Iranian government, or the Saudi government, from playing the game. It isn’t hard for government-sized operations to channel the relevant amounts of money to U.S.-based corporations under their effective control. . . Campaign finance reform sounds like a boring topic, but fixing it in the wake of Citizens United isn’t just a matter of asserting democratic values over plutocratic ones; it’s a matter of national sovereignty and national security.

http://www.samefacts.com/2012/01/corruption-in-washington/good-news-and-bad-news-2/

February 2, 2012 at 6:17 p.m.

Tq, you want to have an inquiry, start with proposition eight. Lots of churches politically involved in that. One of them even got fined for non-disclosure.

Rolando, is Orly Taitz alleging that someone born by C-section can't be President? Is she taking cues from Shakespeare?

February 2, 2012 at 7:02 p.m.
Reardon said...

I rarely post anymore because of the abhorrent socialist bent on this forum, but I have to take a stand on this one.

Al states:

"How logical is the man's notion to abolish the Federal Reserve and a return to the gold standard? Are you remotely aware of the economic benefits that the Federal Reserve offers as well as the protections against inflation and banking panics that have all but eliminated since the Federal Reserve was established in 1907?"

Everyone -- please remember that Al is a self-admitted socialist. He biases to the collective over the individual. If you don't believe me, please dig up my debates with him well over a year ago.

The FED has done nothing to manage inflation. Al, with all due respect, if you had any understanding of the FED -- or any central bank -- you'd understand that the FED attempts to control interest rate in an attempt to control the economy. It is in this attempt the FED invariably FAILS, as ultra-depressed interest rates give rise to mal-investment (like the housing bubble), which gives rise to the business cycle we have experienced, time and time again (like now, like the Great Depression, etc.).

The only reason BANK RUNS have all but disappeared is because of government-forced (read tax-payer forced) bank account insurance. Bank runs occurred because idiot bankers didn't manage their members' funds prudently. Therefore, it wasn't the BANK RUNS that were the problem -- it was the fact that the banks managed funds incompetently and arguably FRAUDULENTLY. Which of course allows banks to continue the fraudulent practice of fractional-reserve banking, to this day.

"All of us probably are totally unaware of the problems that existed in this nation, where people routinely made runs to the bank to empty out accounts whenever money made available was in short supply. The last time this occurred was following the stock market crash of 1929."

Why was money that depositors placed in the bank not there? Is not the function of the bank (at least in checking accounts) to ensure the safety of ALL of your funds?

Back to the FED -- the FED has no economic benefit, except to those in the political class. You basically endorse a centralized quasi-private entity and give it the sole task to decide the value of our money. As the Fed injects more paper (I use the term loosely) into the system, the value of our dollar is hurt. Naturally, the poor are the ones hurt the most, while the middle class gets it pretty bad, too.

February 2, 2012 at 7:11 p.m.
Reardon said...

"There is nothing logical in his proposal to return to a very unstable system of banking that once plagued this nation. It defies all logic."

The Gold Standard system would return the concept of money to a tangible value, one that keeps the government's unsatiated desire for power in check. It decentralizes the monetary system and brings more power to the individual versus the State.

"Ron Paul is a neo-Confederate, and proud member of the Ludwig Von Mises Institute"

The Ludwig Von Mises Institute is an organization dedicated to spreading the principles of Austrian Economics and Classical Liberalism (no, not the Socialist kind). They are not a bunch of sheet-wearing hillbillies. Visit www.mises.org to see for yourself, as opposed to having some Socialist-funded non-profit like the Southern Poverty Center decide what is and what isn't good for you.

"Paul never mentions the fact that it was the South that started the war by attacking the North in 1861."

It was a little more complex than that. Read Tom DiLorenzo's "The Real Lincoln" for more on the apologists' perspective.

"Paul has also stated that he wouldn’t have voted for the Civil Rights Act at the time, which effectively puts him on the side of the racists in both the fight against slavery and the fight against Jim Crow segregation, the two defining struggles of Black people in America."

Just because he wouldn't have voted for the Civil Rights Act, doesn't make him a racist. If you've ever listened to the man to any extent, you'll easily understand he's on the side of liberty and freedom, regardless of color or race. If I remember correctly, his disagreement factored in on the debate we had had in the past, Al. The concern of property rights and where one's rights begins and ends.

Heard you had a stroke, Al. Hope you're recovering well.

February 2, 2012 at 7:12 p.m.
potcat said...

Thanks mountianlaurel,Ed was right its not a pretty sight. It has to be criminal in every aspect, how did we even get to this point?

Try having a conversation with tu_lu is non-productive and just keeps him going on and on and on. He will never win with you. He enjoys insulting you. I skip his post, he is not worth it, but i read yours so i get tu_lued,want it or not,NOT. Keep up the good fight, i learn a lot from your postings.

I wonder about canarysong, i miss her.

February 2, 2012 at 7:36 p.m.
dude_abides said...

tu_quoque said..."You still haven't told us about the Bruce Willis avatar. He is a Conservative after all so I don't really see his appeal to you. But then on the other hand ......"

There you go with the man-crush thing again! Please tell us what that's like, taboo_quoque. Are you really ignorant of who that is? I thought you were joking before.

February 2, 2012 at 8:14 p.m.
fairmon said...

ML said

“Internal company records show that Koch Industries used its foreign subsidiary to sidestep a U.S. trade ban barring American companies from selling materials to Iran. Koch-Glitsch offices in Germany and Italy continued selling to Iran until as recently as 2007, the records show.

The company’s products helped build a methanol plant for Zagros Petrochemical Co., a unit of Iran’s state-owned National Iranian Petrochemical Co., the documents show. The facility, in the coastal city of Bandar Assaluyeh, is now the largest methanol plant in the world, according to IHS Inc., an Englewood, Colorado-based provider of chemicals, energy and economic data.”

Were either of these illegal? If not what is your complaint? If yes why has your man not pressed charges? Our congress wants to police the world and force our dysfunctional governing process on them but they don't have the authority to dictate to businesses in other countries. ML keep buying those imported products and bad mouthing American businesses that try to be profitable and you will succeed in returning us to be a colony of some foreign country. We are real close to that with China now, just a couple trillion more in loans.

February 2, 2012 at 8:41 p.m.
fairmon said...

alprova responded......

harp3339 wrote: "Ron Paul is the most honest and logical but people are afraid of his ideas since they are indeed a change from what has been going on with both parties for years."

How logical is the man's notion to abolish the Federal Reserve and a return to the gold standard? Are you remotely aware of the economic benefits that the Federal Reserve offers as well as the protections against inflation and banking panics that have all but eliminated since the Federal Reserve was established in 1907?

All of us probably are totally unaware of the problems that existed in this nation, where people routinely made runs to the bank to empty out accounts whenever money made available was in short supply. The last time this occurred was following the stock market crash of 1929.

There is nothing logical in his proposal to return to a very unstable system of banking that once plagued this nation. It defies all logic.

It does not defy all logic. In fact the federal reserve is the major reason the buying power of the dollar has continuously deteriorated. A weak dollar is a form of inflation. Nixon abolished the gold standard which means we have fiat money which is comparable to monopoly money.

reardon had already responded to your irrational response and he is spot on. Your post shows you have not listened to Ron Paul but reached your conclusion based on what others say. I understand your big government do every thing for everybody ideology but I think it is impossible and don't agree with you and Obama.

February 2, 2012 at 8:57 p.m.

Harp3339, I think you mistake one point. Those aren't American businesses trying to be profitable. They are multi-national businesses trying to be profitable.

If that happens to be to the detriment of the US, so what? They don't care.

Now personally, I disagree with the policy in question, but that's another matter.

February 2, 2012 at 10:08 p.m.
alprova said...

Reardon wrote: "Everyone -- please remember that Al is a self-admitted socialist. He biases to the collective over the individual. If you don't believe me, please dig up my debates with him well over a year ago."

And your point is?

"The FED has done nothing to manage inflation. Al, with all due respect, if you had any understanding of the FED -- or any central bank -- you'd understand that the FED attempts to control interest rate in an attempt to control the economy. It is in this attempt the FED invariably FAILS, as ultra-depressed interest rates give rise to mal-investment (like the housing bubble), which gives rise to the business cycle we have experienced, time and time again (like now, like the Great Depression, etc.)."

You're blaming the housing bubble on the Fed? If anything, the Fed is responsible for some of the cheapest interest rates available to those who qualify to borrow money, despite what derailed the economy of this nation.

You should know what caused the housing bubble, and it sure wasn't the Federal Reserve Bank.

"Why was money that depositors placed in the bank not there? Is not the function of the bank (at least in checking accounts) to ensure the safety of ALL of your funds?"

You know that banks loan out money on deposit and that there is a limit to the availability of all funds, especially when there is high demand for what one has on deposit.

Every penny on deposit can be accounted for, but it may not be all available to the depositor.

"Back to the FED -- the FED has no economic benefit, except to those in the political class. You basically endorse a centralized quasi-private entity and give it the sole task to decide the value of our money. As the Fed injects more paper (I use the term loosely) into the system, the value of our dollar is hurt. Naturally, the poor are the ones hurt the most, while the middle class gets it pretty bad, too."

A dollar is worth a dollar, regardless of who holds it or who spends it. Where's the proof that a dollar printed today is worth less than one printed twenty years ago?

I neither travel on an international level or exchange my dollars for Euros. A dollar is worth no less to me as a result of quantitative easing. I think that the same thing holds true but for a slim minority of Americans who dabble internationally.

February 2, 2012 at 11:43 p.m.
ArnoldZiffel said...

Here's an idea, what if all the liberal billionares got together and decided to just give, that's right just give every struggling business or family in this country a few hundred thousand dollars. Zuckerberg, the facebook guy is supposed to be worth 30 billion. He's a big lib and Dem. How about that? They could just list it as gift. Same with the OPRAH. Those two libs could pay off everyone's home loan, car payments, and medical bills and it wouldnt even make a dent in what they have. All of a sudden every one would have more money to spend, less stress and more stability. That's what I don't get, what are they doing with all that money. They're entitled to it, of course. What do they do instead, they bust their asses trying to push a communist like Obama on everyone.

February 2, 2012 at 11:56 p.m.
alprova said...

Reardon wrote: "The Gold Standard system would return the concept of money to a tangible value, one that keeps the government's unsatiated desire for power in check. It decentralizes the monetary system and brings more power to the individual versus the State."

All that would do is to destabilize an entire nation's banking system. The US dollar has tangible value already. Why screw with what has been working for no less than 80 years? You're throwing out a lot of words, but you haven't cited one single solitary reason for it.

"The Ludwig Von Mises Institute is an organization dedicated to spreading the principles of Austrian Economics and Classical Liberalism (no, not the Socialist kind). They are not a bunch of sheet-wearing hillbillies. Visit www.mises.org to see for yourself, as opposed to having some Socialist-funded non-profit like the Southern Poverty Center decide what is and what isn't good for you."

Let me pose a question to you. How many minorities, particularly blacks, are associated with Ludwig Von Mises Institute? One, two...none?

I looked into becoming a Libertarian at one time and the more I delved into what they are all about, the more appalled I became. Ron Paul is in good company. He shares more in common with "former" Grand Wizards of the Klan than practically any man serving in Congress.

I previously wrote: "Paul never mentions the fact that it was the South that started the war by attacking the North in 1861."

"It was a little more complex than that. Read Tom DiLorenzo's "The Real Lincoln" for more on the apologists' perspective."

It most certainly is not complex. Hostilities began on April 12, 1861, when Confederate forces attacked the U.S. military installation at Fort Sumter in South Carolina. People like Ron Paul believe that by ignoring certain well-established facts of this nation's history, that they can in fact change history. They can't.

"Just because he wouldn't have voted for the Civil Rights Act, doesn't make him a racist. If you've ever listened to the man to any extent, you'll easily understand he's on the side of liberty and freedom, regardless of color or race."

Bullcrap. His version of liberty includes a return to a time when people can be refused service in a restaurant for any reason whatsoever, including for the color of their skin. I'm sorry, but that will never wash.

If you open a business to the public, you will by golly serve everyone. That's the way it has to be, because of people like Ron Paul, not because Ron Paul truly believes in equal treatment under the law, because he surely does not.

(To be cont.)

February 3, 2012 at 12:25 a.m.
alprova said...

(cont.)

"If I remember correctly, his disagreement factored in on the debate we had had in the past, Al. The concern of property rights and where one's rights begins and ends."

Well, I'm not interested in getting into another protracted discussion with you over that again, I know well where Ron Paul stands. He thinks that private property that you live in should be treated exactly the same if it is open to the public.

He believes that the establishment has the right to turn away business from any member of the public it so desires.

Why debate it? Jim Crow laws were abolished in 1965 and they are never coming back, no matter how many people would love to see them return.

"Heard you had a stroke, Al. Hope you're recovering well."

Actually, I had a total of five strokes, about two to three weeks apart, starting last June. It's been an experience to say the least, but I am holding my own these days. Thank you for your kind words.

February 3, 2012 at 12:26 a.m.

AZ, Here's a better idea, since conservatives are the ones who believe in their sacred market, they put their money where their mouth is, and pay for their own Aircraft Carriers in the Persian Gulf and foreign aid gifts to other nations to keep the spice...er oil, flowing.

Or we could take a look at your number. Zuckerberg isn't worth that much, try around 20 billion. Oprah is down to 3 billion. You've exaggerated the number there. But ok, let's try 60 billion dollars anyway. You're giving it to "struggling business or families" which you didn't define...but let's take some available figures. Like the oft-cited complaints about people on food stamps. That's 48 million people. That's 1,250 dollars.

Great contribution there! This isn't to say that that money couldn't be productively used, but I think you don't realize the scope of the problem. It's a bit more than a few individuals can handle, but fortunately, that's why we don't try to solve it that way. Still, unless you going to narrow the problem in some way, to cover just a very few people, you aren't really going to get that much accomplished with your current program. I suppose you could give a lot of money to some few people, but I think we already have a lottery. What does yours have to offer that's better?

February 3, 2012 at 12:26 a.m.
alprova said...

harp3339 wrote: "It does not defy all logic. In fact the federal reserve is the major reason the buying power of the dollar has continuously deteriorated. A weak dollar is a form of inflation. Nixon abolished the gold standard which means we have fiat money which is comparable to monopoly money."

I read this from people all the time, but see no evidence whatsoever of it in practicality.

With subtle differences here and there, the dollar I had in my wallet ten years ago will buy the same thing it does today. The ten thousand dollar deposit I made into my business account this morning will go just about as far as it did ten years ago as well.

I know nothing about any deterioration of any buying power of a dollar. Yeah, prices go up and down, but returning to a gold standard will do nothing to prevent that from happening at all. It will add a whole new set of problems that most people cannot comprehend.

Sheesh...

"reardon had already responded to your irrational response and he is spot on. Your post shows you have not listened to Ron Paul but reached your conclusion based on what others say."

No. Now that's where you are wrong. I've researched Ron Paul much like I do everyone. I know you are lost. You're a Ron Paul groupie. The man is a hibernating racist and that's all there is to it. He denies his racial writings and if I thought for a minute that he did not hold the same beliefs, I might be willing to overlook his past, but he won't even own up to his past.

"I understand your big government do every thing for everybody ideology but I think it is impossible and don't agree with you and Obama."

Well, that's okay, but why don't you wish in one hand for a Ron Paul Administration and crap in the other and see which one fills up first, because that's just about what you're left with.

What will people do when that goofball actually takes the eternal celestial dirt nap?

February 3, 2012 at 12:46 a.m.
blackwater48 said...

IT'S LIKE A FRANCHISE

Al wrote, What will people do when that goofball (Ron Paul) actually takes the eternal celestial dirt nap?

Not to worry. Ron's son Rand Paul is ready to take over the family business. Like when Kim Jong-il died and Kim Jong un took power.

February 3, 2012 at 1:16 a.m.
blackwater48 said...

THANKS MIRAWEB

Great post at 3:48 p.m. yesterday. Very informative. I was engaged once to a woman who was married in the Tabernacle. Her ex-husband's had family traveled west with BY and were Mormon 'royalty.' You painted a clear and informative picture, and congratulations on getting out. Your post actually explains a lot about Mitt. Thanks again.

February 3, 2012 at 1:29 a.m.
fairmon said...

alprova said...

With subtle differences here and there, the dollar I had in my wallet ten years ago will buy the same thing it does today. The ten thousand dollar deposit I made into my business account this morning will go just about as far as it did ten years ago as well.

You may be the only one able to buy the same thing for $10,000 now that you could ten years ago. Ten years ago you could have bought $15,000 Canadian dollars now you would get only $9,999 and similar results with other major currencies. Do you really believe you can buy the same amount of food you could have ten years ago for $10,000? A weak dollar does improve tourism to the U.S. and may even increase exports some and make imported goods more expensive.

alprova also said....

I know nothing about any deterioration of any buying power of a dollar. Yeah, prices go up and down, but returning to a gold standard will do nothing to prevent that from happening at all. It will add a whole new set of problems that most people cannot comprehend.

That reveals how little you understand the gold standard and how it protects the buying power of a dollar. What incomprehensible problems are you alluding to? Why do you think the wealthy and many governments are putting a significant portion of their wealth in gold? Why are some countries pushing to replace the dollar as the world reserve currency?

alprova said about Ron Paul...

Bullcrap. His version of liberty includes a return to a time when people can be refused service in a restaurant for any reason whatsoever, including for the color of their skin. I'm sorry, but that will never wash.

Bull crap is more descriptive of your view regarding his liberal social views, fiscal responsibility, the constitutional rights of people, military roles, states sovereignty, foreign policy agenda and your accusations he is a racist. I don't anticipate his winning but he could possibly influence the agenda of both parties.

February 3, 2012 at 2:41 a.m.
whatsthefuss said...

Pulling A Head? Try pulling on the whole thing. It may cure what ales you!

February 3, 2012 at 7:38 a.m.
alprova said...

harp3339 wrote: "Ten years ago you could have bought $15,000 Canadian dollars now you would get only $9,999 and similar results with other major currencies."

I'm not interested in buying other currencies. That argument is completely lost on me and on anyone else who stays completely grounded, investing in only United States based companies, until the world markets stabilize.

"Do you really believe you can buy the same amount of food you could have ten years ago for $10,000? A weak dollar does improve tourism to the U.S. and may even increase exports some and make imported goods more expensive."

Well...there ya go.

"That reveals how little you understand the gold standard and how it protects the buying power of a dollar. What incomprehensible problems are you alluding to? Why do you think the wealthy and many governments are putting a significant portion of their wealth in gold? Why are some countries pushing to replace the dollar as the world reserve currency?"

When the gold market collapses, and it will, there's going to be a bunch of folks holding on to some very expensive gold, most of it on paper, that they were encouraged to buy at highly inflated prices.

I find that to be completely hilarious, given that one of the arguments used is that gold is supposed to help fend off inflation. Sir, with all due respect, I've been involved in the financial markets for almost three decades.

You can't float past me, the talking point of an infomercial about investing in gold, and what a good investment it is. It's stupid in terms of an investment and it always has been. If someone wants to own something with gold in it, that's fine. Show it to your friends and family. It's a good conversation piece.

But when you tire of it and you decide to sell it, you're not going to get what you paid for it back. You're not going to make a dime off of it as an investment.

And just like your local corner drug dealer, the only people who ever win and who make the big money are those that push it and sell it.

If you bought something gold thirty years ago, you absolutely could make some money on it. But nobody buying gold at today's prices is going to make a penny.

February 3, 2012 at 9:23 a.m.

Wait, you mean there's people out to make money off cheating others in the Gold industry?

Heavens no! Not my dentist, right?

February 3, 2012 at 9:26 a.m.
Reardon said...

"Reardon wrote: "Everyone -- please remember that Al is a self-admitted socialist."

And your point is?"

It's important to understand the baseline philosophical principles someone has during a debate. You're for collectivism over individualism; you think the State has superiority over the individual. Natural rights never trumps pragmatism in your view.

"You're blaming the housing bubble on the Fed? If anything, the Fed is responsible for some of the cheapest interest rates available to those who qualify to borrow money, despite what derailed the economy of this nation."

You're proving my point. You've worked in the financial arena. What do low-interest rates encourage? Holding new or more debt, correct? Thus, more people have the ability to go out and borrow more money to finance purchases of more stuff.

Why is that a problem? Because interest rates are manipulated by the FED, not the market (although the market reckons eventually). If the real cost of money (the interest rate) is higher than what the FED mandates, you create malinvestment. Coupled with poor lending practices, you have an asset bubble created.

"You know that banks loan out money on deposit and that there is a limit to the availability of all funds, especially when there is high demand for what one has on deposit.

Every penny on deposit can be accounted for, but it may not be all available to the depositor."

LOL -- that's the point. Most people could care less whether what they have is actually there, as the government mandates the taxpayer at large to subsidize a bank's mismanagement through forced-insurance.

Here's my point. Let's say you have a boat and you place it in storage at the marina. Your expectation is that your boat will remain safe and taken care of. The marina owner, without your knowledge or expressed consent, leases your boat to his customers, just for a couple of days. It's perfectly fine when you take it out to use in the summer, with no visible proof it was used.

This is what is done with depositors' money. People if asked have an expectation that their money will be PROTECTED from loss by the bank. They don't expect them to loan out their deposits to others. But this is what happens in a fractional reserve banking system.

You may argue that each dollar is "accounted for." But do you REALLY think people are comfortable -- or KNOW -- their dollars are being loaned out?

February 3, 2012 at 9:56 a.m.
Reardon said...

"A dollar is worth a dollar, regardless of who holds it or who spends it. Where's the proof that a dollar printed today is worth less than one printed twenty years ago?

I neither travel on an international level or exchange my dollars for Euros. A dollar is worth no less to me as a result of quantitative easing. I think that the same thing holds true but for a slim minority of Americans who dabble internationally."

Uhh, no. A dollar is a commodity not unlike pig bellies, silver, and grain (although it's more of a political commodity). The value of that dollar measured against other commodities changes daily. The underlying purchasing power HAS certainly changed -- just ask your wife or senior citizens how much it costs to fill up a grocery basket versus 20 years ago.

QE -- dude, the FED injected liquidity into the market. More dollars (more liquidity) devalues every other dollar already in existence. Granted we don't see the results of it instantaneously, but over the long term, it will pan out (just look at other commodities valued in dollars to see what I mean.).

"Let me pose a question to you. How many minorities, particularly blacks, are associated with Ludwig Von Mises Institute? One, two...none?"

Guilty by association? I guess I'm a racist because I support the Ludwig von Mises organization? You're point proves nothing.

"t most certainly is not complex. Hostilities began on April 12, 1861, when Confederate forces attacked the U.S. military installation at Fort Sumter in South Carolina. People like Ron Paul believe that by ignoring certain well-established facts of this nation's history, that they can in fact change history. They can't."

So, in comparison, Muslims began to hate us as soon as Al Queda bombed WTCs?

There's always a back-story and development to any confrontation. For example, the Middle East has despised us for decades ever since the CIA coup against the shah in Iran. Meddling for decades creates the perception that we have now. That was simply my point with the Confederates. There was a build up against the North brewing for years.

"He believes that the establishment has the right to turn away business from any member of the public it so desires."

Again, principles of freedom (classical liberalism) versus pragmatism (Statism). Just because I think the ignorant hick who owns a restaurant has the right to turn away business (because it's his property), doesn't mean I'm a racist. Property rights are a crucial component to a free society; they must always be upheld, even in unfortunate situations like the one above.

Like you said, we've hashed that one out quite a bit; I agree to disagree on principle -- not because I hate black people (I don't), but because the principles of liberty trump pragmatism always (for me, at least).

February 3, 2012 at 10:10 a.m.

Reardon, if people don't know that banks are engaged in a fractional reserve system, if they think that their bank is keeping their actual dollars on hand, or anything like that, then that would be their ignorance of the financial system. A strange one, considering it's part of economics class and included in the paperwork for opening an account. Did you not learn it in school, or read your paperwork? Didn't you see the sign for the FDIC or the NCUA?

What I'm not comfortable with is the government letting the banks who engaged in fraud and deceptive practices off the hook, but I'm quite comfortable with the basic principles of our economic system, and I'm quite glad that we're not beholden to specie.

If you wish to suggest some other plan though, go to the UN, get the countries of the world to agree with your ideas. I don't think you'll find favor with BitCoin though.

February 3, 2012 at 10:51 a.m.
HighFastHard said...

I LOVE eyeballing (but not reading) all the long posts folks make in these threads ... as if anyone really cares what they think ... that the Long Posters think they are going to change anyone else's mind with their rants ... the time the Long Poster wastes wordsmithing their attacks and counter attacks (are you retired and bored, or are you at work on your employer's computer responding?)... it's just hilarious. Hooray to the TFP for making their website "sticky" though. Folks, there's a word in the dictionary called "pithy." You should look it up....

February 3, 2012 at 11:03 a.m.
News_Junkie said...

Here's a link to a story by the Associated Press regarding the GOP Enthusiasm Gap: http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_GOP_CAMPAIGN_TURNOUT?SITE=SCFLO&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

February 3, 2012 at 11:38 a.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Harp3339 said: “Were either of these illegal? If not what is your complaint? If yes why has your man not pressed charges? Our congress wants to police the world and force our dysfunctional governing process on them but they don't have the authority to dictate to businesses in other countries.”

Well, Harp3339, my complaint is about the blatant double standard. Corporations like Koch Industries do not take loyalty oaths to serve this country – like real flesh and body U.S. citizens are expected to do. The priorities of corporations like Koch Industries always reflect profits and the priorities of their corporate officials, which often undermine the health, safety, priorities, and general welfare of real flesh and blood citizens of this country.

Yet, when it comes to U.S. elections these same corporations and officials suddenly claim to be citizens like the rest of us with a “constitutional right’ to shovel billions of dollars into Super Pacs and the war chests of political candidates who are competing to be the representatives of real flesh and body U.S. citizens. Indeed, it seems to me that the only time corporations like Koch Industries consider themselves “citizens” is during U.S. elections.

As to why these corporate officials aren’t being arrested when they undermine the priorities of the U.S. government and real flesh and blood citizens, I believe this is a good question for some of these Republican presidential candidates like Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, and Ron Paul who claim that corporations are people too.

Harp3339 said: “ML keep buying those imported products and bad mouthing American businesses that try to be profitable and you will succeed in returning us to be a colony of some foreign country.”

Interesting buzzwords coming from a Ron Paul supporter, Harp3339. I could swear that it was only yesterday that I heard Ron Paul explaining to us how much money Americans save by shopping at Wal-Mart – but maybe it was Rand Paul and not Ron Paul. Anyway, I do my best to support American manufacturers. In fact, I suspect that I do a much better job of it than you.

As to my criticism of some of the giant corporations like Koch Industries who I believe conducts itself in a reckless, self-serving, and socially irresponsible manner, I feel it is my duty as a citizen of this country to do so. Unlike the self-serving officials of corporations like Koch Industries, my priorities are related to the safety, health and well being of America - not the profits of corporations like Koch Industries.

February 3, 2012 at 12:22 p.m.
News_Junkie said...

That Associated Press article mentions that in the states where Romney won, the turnout was down (from 2008) whereas it was up in the states where another candidate won.

This same phenomenon was observed in Florida; the counties that voted for Gingrich had a higher turnout than in 2008, but the opposite was true in those that voted for Romney.

Additionally, Romney turns out voters in large urban areas, whereas Gingrich inspires voters in rural areas.

February 3, 2012 at 12:24 p.m.
News_Junkie said...

In the latest ABC News/Washington Post polling, 51 percent of independents rate Romney unfavorably and only 23 percent view him favorably.

It is hard to conceive of a situation where Romney would win the general election when the crucial bloc of independent voters have such a negative perspective on him.

February 3, 2012 at 12:35 p.m.
News_Junkie said...

The unemployment rate now dropped to 8.3%.

While that is still unacceptably high, the absolute percentage of the workforce that is unemployed isn't determinative in deciding Presidential elections during periods in which the economy falters. Rather, the deciding factor is the direction in which the numbers are changing in the six months prior to the date of the election.

Thus, if the unemployment rate continues to drop until November, that will help Obama's re-election chances. Conversely, if it starts to rise, that will hinder his re-election chances.

February 3, 2012 at 12:43 p.m.
jesse said...

hey high hard and fast! the sad part is they think what they have to say is meaningful! no mattrer which side of the spectrum your on your comments on here mean about as much as "dust in the wind"!!

BUT it gives these geezer's something to pass the time of day!!

February 3, 2012 at 12:56 p.m.
News_Junkie said...

Here's a thought-provoking headline: "Liberal Media?" Conservative Super PACs Got Over $350,000 From Media Execs, Companies in 2011: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/corbin-hiar/liberal-media-conservativ_b_1250746.html

February 3, 2012 at 1:21 p.m.
News_Junkie said...

Here are two more tidbits about the economy:

Employment up nearly 2 million since summer

The jobless rate has now fallen by 0.8 percentage points in the past six months, the fastest decline since 1984.

To view the article that these tidbits came from, go to: http://www.marketwatch.com/Story/story/print?guid=C18D7CA4-4E72-11E1-803F-002128040CF6

February 3, 2012 at 2:05 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Potcat said: “Ed was right it’s not a pretty sight. It has to be criminal in every aspect, how did we even get to this point?”

Indeed, a very good question, Potcat. Personally, I think it’s due to the fact that too many of our elected officials have betrayed the American public along with our Nation's Founding principles. This is supposed to be a Nation with power derived from its people – not corporations. Have you read John Dean’s: Gaming American Democracy? If not, it’s a very informative article that discusses the activities of some of these corporations and their financial involvement with ALEC, which has been ghost writing some of our laws for Republican politicians - like the new VoterID law. Anyway, Dean makes some good points and provides some good links to other sites if you're interested:

“Democracy is fundamentally and traditionally dependent on men and women who are of good will, and who believe in majority rule. When a majority decides, that decision prevails—or ought to prevail—until a new majority sees fit to change the rules. Most Americans play the game fairly, and accept majority rule as a given, and the American tradition. Contemporary conservatives, however, have little interest in such Queensberry-type standards. They have problems winning at the ballot box, for most Americans reject their agenda—an agenda that would remove the barriers between church and state, and leave it to the marketplace to regulate multibillion-dollar corporations, created by the state. Conservatives, increasingly, view those who do not exploit ambiguity and the unwritten traditions of our system to their advantage as fools—people who can be taken advantage of, and whose ignorance and naïveté are, in fact, being exploited.

The Nation writer John Nichols prepared a brief video after he completed his analysis of ALEC’s secret programs, where he does a wonderful job of explaining how ALEC operates and why they do so, as well as their current efforts to (1) suppress voting; (2) eliminate direct democracy, by which the American people have traditionally reached their collective political and social goals; and (3) change existing laws that once restricted the presence of unlimited corporate money in our political system, fostering rulings like Citizen United, which has changed the playing field for the GOP, giving it even deeper pockets from which to control politics and government. (In less than three minutes, John provides a capsule overview.)

http://verdict.justia.com/2011/10/07/gaming-american-democracy-2

P.S. - I miss CanarySong too.

February 3, 2012 at 2:28 p.m.
miraweb said...

Blackwater - thanks. I hope that helps put Mitt into context though I don't like going too far in that direction as it is no longer "my team."

Alprova - I am sorry to hear you have been having health issues. I always enjoy reading your posts and admire your ability to answer hyperbole with reasoned discussion.

February 3, 2012 at 2:46 p.m.
miraweb said...

As long as we are throwing around unworkable ideas that sound really good (what else is the internet for!) how about this:

We have companies that want a tax break.

We have a political system that is corrupted by corporate money.

The lever would be to tie those two things together. A lower tax rate for companies that voluntarily agree to take their money out of superpacs and other political giving other than the individual donation limits.

A vastly higher tax rate for those who feel they just can't bother do that (to offset the perks and privileges we all know they will get in exchange).

If it is voluntary, we don't run into 1st Amendment issues.

Admittedly, that is less of a lever on companies that have worked their taxes so they don't pay any already.

I'm looking at you, G.E.

February 3, 2012 at 2:58 p.m.
News_Junkie said...

Additional information regarding the unemployment news:

Unemployment falls to lowest level since Obama's first month.

To view the underlying article, go to: http://www.politico.com/politico44/2012/02/unemployment-falls-to-lowest-level-since-obamas-first-113391.html

February 3, 2012 at 4:09 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Miraweb proposed: "A lower tax rate for companies that voluntarily agree to take their money out of superpacs and other political giving other than the individual donation limits. A vastly higher tax rate for those who feel they just can't bother do that (to offset the perks and privileges we all know they will get in exchange). If it is voluntary, we don't run into 1st Amendment issues.

Valiant try, Miraweb. But I’m convinced the only action that might change this nightmare will be a constitutional amendment. It's not like there is a shortage of abuses - these Super PACs are evidence of this . . . and we certainly have the legal framework to begin the process:

"The governance system of . . . corporations is highly successful for the pursuit of profit, making them important instruments in the economic sphere. But the very factors that make the corporate form an effective instrument of wealth accumulation are the factors that make it inappropriate for corporations to claim the full panoply of First Amendment protections for political speech and participation that are enjoyed by natural persons. Because of the way corporations are structured, corporate speech does not express the political views of any individual or group of individuals associated with the corporation.

Moreover, the constraints that drive a corporation's political speech - the requirement that corporate actions all must be calibrated toward profit - directly undermine the notion that a corporation can be a free participant in the marketplace of ideas. And precisely because a corporation enjoys significant state-created economic advantages designed for the narrow purpose of furthering wealth-accumulation, corporate participation in candidate campaigns promotes market entrenchment and corrupts the political marketplace in a fundamentally undemocratic manner.

Justice Stevens' dissent picks up on these themes (and even quotes our amicus brief, the only kind of comfort the reform side is getting from campaign finance opinions these days). In Justice Stevens' words "the fact that corporations are different from human beings might seem to need no elaboration, except that the majority opinion almost completely elides it." He continues: 'Corporations have no consciences, no beliefs, no feelings, no thoughts, no desires. Corporations help structure and facilitate the activities of human beings, to be sure, and their "personhood" often serves as a useful legal fiction. But they are not themselves members of "We the People" by whom and for whom our Constitution was established.' ..."

http://www.acslaw.org/acsblog/the-anatole-france-first-amendment-of-citizens-united

February 3, 2012 at 4:35 p.m.
ArnoldZiffel said...

The real unemployment rate is a hell of a lot higher than 8.3% and you Dems know it. Omoron only knows how to hurt things. He's got not clue, no answers. It's a WHOLE bunch of things that matter that will hurt Odummy. Marco Rubio said it best when he said everything is worse since Obutthead became President.

What reason do we have to keep him in???? Huh??? So Michelle Antoinette can go on shopping sprees at fancy lingerie shop, and Opinhead can host fancy parties with hollywood types?

What really matters is how many people view life as not as good under Onimrod as before him. He ain't foolin' anyone this time.

February 3, 2012 at 5:21 p.m.
fairmon said...

mountainlaurel said...

“Democracy is fundamentally and traditionally dependent on men and women who are of good will, and who believe in majority rule.

We are a republic which does not equal majority rule if their preference is not constitutional although we have some elected officials that ignore the constitution or interpret to fit what they want to do. What possible chance would minorities have if the majority's opinion always prevailed? Polls indicate over 50% don't support or like Obama care but some idiots like Nancy Pelosi thought it was good and pushed it through but hadn't read it. That is not to say everyone should not be provided health care but not the way it is written.

February 3, 2012 at 5:55 p.m.
terrybham said...

Keep up the good work Clay. You can tell by the nasty comments here that you have struck a nerve. I can't imagine why you are not at the New York Times or at one of the really fine newspapers in this country. Wonderful!

February 3, 2012 at 5:56 p.m.

harp3339: Democracy or Republic, it doesn't matter, the point of consensual government by those who have integrity is still true either way. I honestly think folks who get so worked up on that tiny detail in others speech are getting way too focused on the trivial while missing the greater purpose.

BTW, the polls when done on the individual aspects of "Obama Care" are actually quite positive across the board, and that many of the people who disapprove of the law are doing so because it doesn't go far enough. Did you ever hear or think about that? No? Why not?

And get your head out of that stupid misinterpretation of what Nancy Pelosi actually said, which was that the hype and deception about the law had become some entwined that people were unable to get past it. Have you never experience that kind of situation? Maybe seen that Life cereal commercial? Mikey liked it.

AZ, every time you post a criticism like that, I'm more convinced to vote for Obama. If that's all you can offer, you must not have anything real to go on.

terrybham, nothing like being known by your enemies.

February 3, 2012 at 6:02 p.m.
fairmon said...

ML said......

Well, Harp3339, my complaint is about the blatant double standard.

1-Corporations like Koch Industries do not take loyalty oaths to serve this country – like real flesh and body U.S. citizens are expected to do. 2-The priorities of corporations like Koch Industries always reflect profits and the priorities of their corporate officials, which often undermine the health, safety, priorities, and general welfare of real flesh and blood citizens of this country.

1-Have you taken a loyalty oath to serve this country?

2-Would you invest in any company that did not seek to be as profitable as possible? The government obviously can impose any regulation they desire on any company that compromises peoples health and safety, not sure what you mean by peoples general welfare. The government can fine, prosecute and imprision for violations. Why has this not been done. I don't like super pacs or lobbyist but I do think the owner of a company has as much right to convey his concerns and ideas to his representatives and to support them in being elected as you or I. They are certainly much more subject to being summoned to testify before congress even when no law is broken.

You say this is a good question to ask the republican candidates. Why ask them they can't do anything about it nor will they if elected. Just because I think Obama is a blooming idiot don't jump to the erroneous conclusion I support any republican. The dim dems have been in charge over 3 years, apparently they don't share your concerns and are unwilling to do anything about it. Do you have any idea why?

February 3, 2012 at 6:15 p.m.

harp3339, don't we have a pledge of allegiance? Have you ever seen a corporation take it? Well, other than the ones like the TVA.

And I surely would not seek to invest in any company that had no ethical qualms. You do realize that there's a lot of possible ways to profit that are of quite reprehensible nature. There's a reason why Google had the mantra "Do no Evil" in its charter. I may not believe them on that, but I respect them a lot more than I would any company that said "Profits First!"

You may want to look up the concept of Regulatory Capture though.

And I'd say stop pretending to be independent or bipartisan, it just doesn't seem true. If you want to make that happen, let's see a little criticism on your part of them.

February 3, 2012 at 6:19 p.m.
News_Junkie said...

Nate Silver's column today buttresses my prior post about the effect of economic growth on a President's re-election chances. To read his column, go to: http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/03/obamas-magic-number-150000-jobs-per-month/?nl=us&emc=politicsemailemb2

He makes two cogent points today, based upon his statistical analysis of the data of all Presidential elections since 1948.

First, the only year that has any real predictive value is the jobs growth data from the fourth year of the President's term.

Second, besides job growth, you have to also factor in the President's approval rating. Thus, if the approval rating is high, the job growth and can be lower, and the converse is also true.

Crunching the numbers, he concludes that job growth greater than 150,000 increases the likelihood that Obama will be re-elected, whereas job growth lower than that threshold will diminish his chances.

Thus, if the current growth rate of 243,000 jobs continues until November, Obama would be a very strong favorite to win the general election. Of course he could still win with a lower rate, but as the rate gets lower, he will be less of a favorite. Should the rate drop below 150,000 jobs per month, the Republican nominee would be the favorite. Similarly, the lower the job growth rate drops below 150,000, the stronger the chances of the Republican defeating Obama.

It is worth noting that the average job growth for the past three months has been 201,000 jobs, which makes Obama the favorite to win the election at this point in time.

February 3, 2012 at 7:09 p.m.
alprova said...

Reardon wrote: "It's important to understand the baseline philosophical principles someone has during a debate. You're for collectivism over individualism; you think the State has superiority over the individual. Natural rights never trumps pragmatism in your view."

All of that depends on the subject. One size does not necessarily fit me in each and every case.

"You're proving my point. You've worked in the financial arena. What do low-interest rates encourage? Holding new or more debt, correct? Thus, more people have the ability to go out and borrow more money to finance purchases of more stuff."

You do realize that this is a cornerstone in what boosts the economy of this nation. The more people spend, the more this nation thrives. If everyone only spent what they could afford to spend at any given moment, the economy would fall flat.

"Why is that a problem? Because interest rates are manipulated by the FED, not the market (although the market reckons eventually). If the real cost of money (the interest rate) is higher than what the FED mandates, you create malinvestment. Coupled with poor lending practices, you have an asset bubble created."

Could you be any more vague? The Fed sets basic interest rates. Banks add a little to them for themselves. Individuals decide, wisely or otherwise, where to borrow money from that they need or want. The market still dictates at what interest rate people will limit themselves to borrow money at.

"People if asked have an expectation that their money will be PROTECTED from loss by the bank. They don't expect them to loan out their deposits to others. But this is what happens in a fractional reserve banking system."

You write this as if it has not been standard banking practice for more than a century. It's never caused me so much as one minute of grief and I doubt it has you either. I've had use of every penny in all my accounts, except when I have put funds into certificates of deposit in exchange for an agreed upon in advance, interest payments.

Nothing has ever been mismanaged by any bank I have ever done business with.

"You may argue that each dollar is "accounted for." But do you REALLY think people are comfortable -- or KNOW -- their dollars are being loaned out?"

It's certainly never bothered me for one second. I expected it. I earned a share of the proceeds each and every time.

February 3, 2012 at 7:32 p.m.
alprova said...

Reardon wrote: "Uhh, no. A dollar is a commodity not unlike pig bellies, silver, and grain (although it's more of a political commodity). The value of that dollar measured against other commodities changes daily. The underlying purchasing power HAS certainly changed -- just ask your wife or senior citizens how much it costs to fill up a grocery basket versus 20 years ago."

Returning to the gold standard will do nothing to change the price of a loaf of bread or a gallon of milk. The value of a dollar when contrasted to other currencies is meaningless to myself and most all Americans. I don't trade currencies internationally. I could care less what a dollar of mine will purchase in terms of other currencies.

The only people who care what a dollar will purchase internationally are those who buy international currencies or who travel into other countries. That's their problem. It's not mine.

"QE -- dude, the FED injected liquidity into the market. More dollars (more liquidity) devalues every other dollar already in existence. Granted we don't see the results of it instantaneously, but over the long term, it will pan out (just look at other commodities valued in dollars to see what I mean.)."

Every dollar I hold and spend is spent within these borders. What it is worth internationally is of absolutely no consequence whatsoever at any time to me. I don't care about the value of the dollar outside of the states. It doesn't affect me at all.

I previously inquired: "Let me pose a question to you. How many minorities, particularly blacks, are associated with Ludwig Von Mises Institute? One, two...none?"

"Guilty by association? I guess I'm a racist because I support the Ludwig von Mises organization? You're point proves nothing."

And very loudly too.

"So, in comparison, Muslims began to hate us as soon as Al Queda bombed WTCs?"

Pretending that slavery was never the core issue at stake is hilarious. Offering a statement, be it today or 150 years ago, that slave owners should have been made whole for the loss of their slave laborers, rather than to abandon the practice because there was nothing right or just in the practice to begin with, is ridiculously offensive to an extreme.

"Again, principles of freedom (classical liberalism) versus pragmatism (Statism). Just because I think the ignorant hick who owns a restaurant has the right to turn away business (because it's his property), doesn't mean I'm a racist. Property rights are a crucial component to a free society; they must always be upheld, even in unfortunate situations like the one above."

No one, and I do mean no one, has any God given property right to operate a business open to the public, with another God given property right to pick and choose which members of the public they will serve, if they choose to walk through the doors. If you serve the public, you serve the public. All of them. Any of them.

February 3, 2012 at 8:21 p.m.
alprova said...

miraweb wrote: "Alprova - I am sorry to hear you have been having health issues. I always enjoy reading your posts and admire your ability to answer hyperbole with reasoned discussion."

Thank you very much for the kind words. I like your posts as well. I just had a check-up at the Doctor's office today and am doing great. Still losing weight and my vitals are holding steady with no more strokes, clots, or brain bleeds.

February 3, 2012 at 8:27 p.m.

I think the biggest illusion is that one cannot take away freedom with freedom.

But certain freedoms do put others in chains.

That's why anarcho-libertarianism doesn't work.

February 3, 2012 at 9:05 p.m.

BTW, the decision is in...and Orly Taitz was denied again.

President Barack Obama is eligible as a candidate for the presidential primary.

I wonder how many of the wannabe birthers here are going to bring it up.

February 3, 2012 at 10:20 p.m.
alprova said...

Aw shucks...Rolando and a couple of others must be off weeping over that one. They were so sure that the hammer was going to hit a nail on the head this time.

"Judge Michael Malihi dismissed challenges that contended Obama has a computer-generated Hawaiian birth certificate, a fraudulent Social Security number and invalid U.S. identification papers."

"He also turned back another that claimed the president is ineligible to be a candidate because his father was not a U.S. citizen at the time of Obama's birth."

"Malihi said he found the evidence "unsatisfactory" and "insufficient to support plaintiffs' allegations."..."

"Malihi said he was persuaded by a 2009 ruling by the Indiana Court of Appeals decision that struck down a challenge made in the Indiana court, which found that children born within the U.S. are natural-born citizens, regardless of the citizenry of their parents."

I guess I'll get to cast my vote for the President come November after all.

Good news on the economy and the Georgia ballot -- all on one day.

Time to pop the cork on a bottle of bubbly!!

February 3, 2012 at 10:38 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Harp3339 said: Have you taken a loyalty oath to serve this country?

Believe you’re trying to evade the point, Harp3339. Koch Industries was using its foreign subsidiary to sidestep a U.S. trade ban barring American companies from selling materials to Iran. In other words, an American corporation ignored U.S. Government restrictions and continued to help Iran build their state-owned National Iranian Petrochemical Co. If a regular citizen tried to pull this kind of crap, he or she would probably be prosecuted for treason on grounds of adhering to the enemy and giving aid and comfort to the enemy.

Harp3339 said: “The government can impose any regulation they desire on any company that compromises peoples health and safety. . .The government can fine, prosecute and imprision for violations. Why has this not been done?”

Please, Harp3339. You know perfectly well that the majority of these socially irresponsible corporations are spending billions of dollars toward undermining U.S. health and safety laws. And you also know why most of these socially irresponsible corporations have not been prosecuted – money, Super Pacs, bribes, and donations toward the campaign war chests of U.S. politicians. As for President Obama, he has certainly put forth much more effort toward protecting the health and safety of the citizentry than any Republican or Libertarian.

Harp 3339 said: “I don't like super pacs or lobbyist but I do think the owner of a company has as much right to convey his concerns and ideas to his representatives and to support them in being elected as you or I.

How about corporations who spend millions of dollars and work behind closed doors to disenfranchise voters and rewrite laws that govern our rights, Harp3339? Is this OK?

“Up to 300 of the largest US corporations . . . have used ALEC [American Legislative Exchange Council] to push model legislation, which is beneficial to their corporate interests, into law in the states. ALEC boasts that a third of all state legislators in the US are members, introducing around 1,000 ALEC bills every year. . . Recent ALEC bills have rolled back voting rights, reduced environmental protections and stripped away collective bargaining rights for workers around the country.

http://www.commonblog.com/2012/01/31/alec-exposed-for-24-hours/

“Based on CMD’s study of ALEC’s publicly available IRS tax returns, 98 percent of its funding comes from corporations and over the past three years, it has raised over $20 million—a sum with which you can develop and promote a lot of state legislation. According to Common Cause, ALEC’s corporate sponsors have further invested, during the last decade, more than $370 million in state elections, not including countless millions for and against state ballot measures, receiving a remarkable return on their investment in 2010.

http://verdict.justia.com/2011/10/07/gaming-american-democracy-2

February 3, 2012 at 11:21 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Alprova said: "Rolando and a couple of others must be off weeping over that one."

Yep, I think you're right about those tears, Alprova. Bet there will be enough to fill a pond.

February 3, 2012 at 11:44 p.m.
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