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Upon the conclusion of the fiscal cliff debacle, President Obama in his speech to the country clearly conveyed his refusal to negotiate with the GOP over the debt-ceiling, allowing their party to “use it as a bargaining chip.” Furthermore, he reiterated a point he has made throughout his campaign for re-election, telling the GOP that “you cannot cut your way to prosperity!” Despite this, it is apparent that GOP lawmakers still plan on leveraging the debt-ceiling in order to get the spending cuts they continue to rant about.

For example, Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) when asked by David Gregory, host of Meet the Presswhether the GOP plans to use the debt-ceiling “ransom” in order to get their beloved spending cuts, McConnell said:

“It’s a shame we have to use whatever leverage we have in order to get the President’s attention.” 

But for McConnell to argue that the GOP does not have the President’s attention is misleading at best and disingenuous at worst. Make no mistake: the President has acknowledged the continuing debt problem in Washington; however he has argued for a balanced approach, versus the GOP’s incessant demand to focus only on programs providing middle-class Americans with a safety net.

Does this sound familiar? It should, because this is precise strategy used last year by the Tea Party-led GOP during the debt-ceiling negotiations, which, as a result, led to our nation’s credit rating being downgraded from AAA to AA+ by Standard and Poor for the first time in our nation’s history. In their provided explanation for the downgrade, S & P wrote the following:

 “The political brinkmanship of recent months highlights what we see as America’s governance and policy-making becoming less stable, less effective and less predictable than what we previously believed. The statutory debt ceiling and the threat of default have become political bargaining chips in the debate over fiscal policy” (emphasis mine).

The agency continues by stating: “We have changed our assumption on this because the majority of REPUBLICANS in Congress continue to resist any measure that would raise revenues, a position we believe Congress reinforced by passing the act” (emphasis mine).

Did you see that word “statutory?” It’s a very important word for those being misled by the current GOP and it simply means, “required or permitted.” One other source says the following about the word: “Something that is required or proscribed pursuant to a written statue.”

Lest you’re confused here: All the President or Congress is doing when raising the debt ceiling is ensuring that our nation honors its previously made obligations, not those created in the future. It is rooted in the 14th amendment [Sec. 4] which states:

“The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.”

To be clear: whenever the GOP talks about “spending cuts,” they are referencing nothing more than cuts to what they refer to as “entitlement spending,” those very programs assisting the less fortunate in our society. For years now, it seems, the Republican Party has successfully been able to turn even their own policy failures into ideological successes. The party has persuaded Americans, all across this land, that despite the problems their very own ideology has produced, such as quadrupling the national debt since 1980 (mainly through defense spending and their subsequent refusal to deal with it,) placing two wars on a credit card, or being fiscally irresponsible when they are in power, the real problem in our country is the sole result of “welfare liberalism.” Yet, history paints us a very different picture, especially since welfare liberalism has not established American policy in over 30 years.

Case in point: the last GOP president to ever balance the budget was Dwight Eisenhower. In addition, Eisenhower refused to lower taxes while still paying down the national debt. Furthermore, on top of all this, Ike created jobs by investing in infrastructure as the country witnessed the development of the Interstate Highway Systemwhile our nation’s treasury enjoyed a six dollar return for every dollar invested. In sum, the former President refused to lower taxes, paid down the nation’s debt, created jobs, all while implementing a major infrastructure project, providing the government with a hefty return on investment. While many modern day Republicans point out how Eisenhower was supposedly “against” a highly centralized government, taking power and authority away from the states, they neglect to mention one thing: he was also a president who saw the value of social programs and is most likely the last moderate Republican president who served our Country.

In fact, on November 8, 1954, the former president penned these words in a letter to his brother Edgar:

“This is what I mean by my constant insistence upon ‘moderation’ in government. Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things. Among them are H. L. Hunt (you possibly know of his background), a few other Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional business man from other areas.” (And then my favorite part of the correspondence folks:) “Their number is negligible and they are stupid.”

Heck, even Richard Nixon, while arguing for some reforms to Social Security, still advocated for the program. In his special address to Congress on September 25, 1969, he said:

“This nation must not break faith with those Americans who have a right to expect that Social Security payments will protect them and their families.”

In fact, he argued for an increase in payments to recipients, albeit modest when he said in that same speech:

“I request that the Congress remedy the real losses to those who now receive Social Security benefits by increasing payments by 10 per cent.”

Finally, Nixon wanted recipients of these programs to have some level of assurance evidenced by these words:

“Beyond that step to set right today’s inequity, I propose that the Congress make certain once and for all that the retired, the disabled and the dependent never again bear the brunt of inflation. The way to prevent future unfairness is to attach the benefit schedule to the cost of living.”

For all of Nixon’s failings, at least he understood, it seems, that there are quite a number of people in our country who, through no fault of their own, require some level of federal assistance. So, what has happened to the GOP since then? Great question!

I believe the demonizing of social security began Newt Gingrich in the ’80s, along with Ronald Reagan, that great bastion of conservatism whom many tea party loyalists believe to be a hero. Why? During Reagan’s 1976 Presidential campaign, he introduced the term “welfare queen,” to describe a woman from Chicago’s south side who had allegedly engaged in what he termed“welfare fraud.” In that particular speech, then GOP candidate, Ronald Reagan said these words:

“She has eighty names, thirty addresses, twelve Social Security cards and is collecting veteran’s benefits on four non-existing deceased husbands. And she is collecting Social Security on her cards. She’s got Medicaid, getting food stamps, and she is collecting welfare under each of her names. Her tax-free cash income is over $150,000.”

To be sure, this played well with what political scientists refer to as the “New Right,” especially due to its tugging at their rugged individualism and supposed egalitarian heart-strings, but was hardly substantiated. In response to Reagan’s mythological claim, Susan Douglas, professor of communication at University of Michigan, writes:

“He specialized in the exaggerated, outrageous tale that was almost always unsubstantiated, usually false, yet so sensational that it merited repeated recounting.”

Yet, the damage was done, and ever since Reagan made that statement, those from the conservative movement have continued to demonize the very people in our country who need help by utilizing what is best termed “dog whistle politics,” in order to make their case.  Corporations? No problem! We’ll just extend tax cuts to them on a consistent basis, because after all, THEY are the job creators, right? Wrong! To be clear: supply-side economics, or “trickle down” economics, is precisely what has gotten us into our current financial mess. Those wanting to pay fealty to their beloved supply-side model are only protecting those who are wealthy, the corporate lobbyists, and now groups who can contribute to “their” conservative candidates without worry, due to the Supreme Court’s ruling on Citizen’s United. Allow me to introduce a new word into the political lexicon: “corporate welfare queens.” Let’s see if this one sticks.

Former President George W. Bush, in 2001, with the foundation neatly laid, furthered the conservative cause by taking a surplus left to him by former President Clinton and pushing through one of the largest tax cuts in history. As NPR reports: During his 2001 State of the Union Speech Bush argued:

“The surplus is not the government’s money. The surplus is the people’s money!”

Dealing with a sluggish economy, the former president argued that the “tax cut” would “create jobs while stimulating the economy!” But even Bush’s own treasury secretary, Paul O’Neill, disagreed, saying: (Located under Economic Policy Heading)

“The tax cuts will contribute to budget deficits while undermining Social Security” (Emphasis mine).

Of course, it is now well known that Bush didn’t place much stock in cabinet members who disagreed with him, but apparently in 2005, the light came on for the former President, and his treasury secretary’s intuition was correct!

During that year’s State of the Union address, Bush outlined, in detail, his plan to privatize social security. His rationale and justification for embarking on this new crusade was simple: he just won re-election! As Slate conveys, Bush said:

“I earned capital in the campaign, political capital and now I intend to spend it. It is my style.”

His proposal, considered by many economists to be a “partial privatization,” was simple: after a phasing-in period, workers under the age of 55 would have the option to take 4 percent of their FICA, and invest those resources in the stock market. Wow! President Bush, you mean I can invest my own money in the very stock market which collapsed to a mere 7,000 points as you were leaving office? No thanks; I think I’ll pass on that one!

Thankfully, the proposal fell flat, save for one exception; the “far right” continues to champion the proposal being led by a conservative young man considered by many on the “right” to be a mathematical genius. His name? Paul Ryan (R-WI), Congressman, Tea Party poster child and the most recent GOP Vice-Presidential nominee.  Make no mistake folks: Ryan, as reported in theWashington Post Wonk Blog fully supported Bush’s proposal then, and supports privatization now! And so, the torch has been passed; however the stakes could not be higher due to the complexities, recalcitrance, obtuseness, and blatant obstructionism engaged in by the very group of people Ryan associates with.

Perhaps, the point that amuses me most regarding the GOP’s persistent attacks on programs such as Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, is this: the GOP manages to interpret problems arising from the drastic reduction of public provision for the poor as caused by the supposed woefully inadequate welfare system that continues to manage, surviving despite all of their attempts to make severe cuts to it. Their ideological position holds that it would be better or more charitable to the poor if we simply cut them loose from their supposed “dependence” on the state. From their worldview, privatization in the service of economic competitiveness is the solution to nearly every problem their ideology creates! As spending on material and social infrastructure has declined, economic growths have slowed and economic inequality has rapidly increased.  One would think that anyone who had taken Economics 101 would know that if we do not invest in the future, the future will be bleak! Yet, under the aegis of the Republican rugged individualistic mantra, the American economy, under consistent pressure from GOP lawmakers, beginning with Gingrich back in the eighties, along with Reagan, has chosen high rates of short-term gain, however speculative, over investment for long term growth.

My advice to our President is simple: should the GOP attempt to use the debt-ceiling as a bargaining chip, once again, sending our economy into a tailspin, just remind them that their conservative hero, Ronald Reagan increased the debt-ceiling 17 times while in office. Then, remind the “Party of No,” as Time referred to them in an article this past August, how the debt ceiling has been raised 68 times between the Eisenhower administration and yours, with their party raising it 45 of those times. And if all of this fails, re-visit the constitutionality of taking unilateral action with your Chief Legal Counsel.

In addition, the next time the Tea Party-led GOP dictates you engage in spending cuts or entitlement reform, which is really what they are referencing, mandate that each and every single legislator in Washington place their respective salaries, pensions, and benefits on the table as part of the discussion. That is, call their bluff, while unveiling their true level of concern over fiscal responsibility. Mandate that Congress works more than the scheduled 112 days they plan on being in session, reminding them that the American people, in many cases, need to work two jobs just to survive. In sum, Mr. President, just remind them that “We the People,” the very people they claim should not be underestimated, are, in fact, being underestimated!

Finally, remind the Tea Party-led GOP that the 2014 mid-term election is just around the corner and “We the People” shall not forget! We want OUR Country back!!!


  • Mark Bear

    Good morning Folks,

    After receiving some feedback and constructive criticism, specifically from nonquixote, I have made a concerted effort to make my post a bit easier to read. While the article continues to be a bit longer, please know that I am making every attempt to shorten my pieces.

    I continue to ask for grace and patience regarding these issues, and my deepest apologies for being what can best be described as “testy” with nonquixote regarding the constructive criticism posted in response to my other articles. Please know: I take my work very seriously, and whether we all agree or disagree politically, is of no mind to me, since this is what democracy is all about. However, the manner in which I convey my perspective is most certainly something that can be worked upon, and I am making every attempt to accommodate each of you as readers of Blogging Blue!

    In closing, I will always remain grateful to each of you here on Blogging Blue, specifically Zach, for providing me an opportunity to do what I love most; write. As a result of Zach and each of you reading my articles, I am now published with two agencies and considered part of their staff as a political commentator. Once again, please continue to be patient with me, and I WILL make every attempt to make the essential changes necessary to enhance each of your respective reading experience here on Blogging Blue.

    Till then,



  • nonquixote

    Mark, I appreciate the recognition, and thank you, though I didn’t need an apology as I was just sorting through some facts in your comment about me. I did read your bio here when it first appeared so please be assured that I have no animosity toward you personally, but am aiming my fonts at the content of your essays.

    Starting with the title of this piece, The Republicans aren’t lying, they have not been doing so for quite some time. They come right out and say they don’t care about the economy as it concerns the little guys here, or anyone but the top tier moneyed interests world-wide. Skipping the dead and former POTUS’s (and by the way, NPR stands for National Propaganda Radio), down to the to the meat of your piece, anyone who has NOT figured out that IT IS OBOMBA who wants to cut the Social Safety Nets, has simply not bothered to do their homework.

    Krugman on Moyers, confirms that, most recently this past week. Only unfortunate thing for our Regan Republican POTUS is that his desired cover (to blame his real goal and on those “nasty,” Republicans) is blown with the reality of the government being able to cover its debts using the platinum coin option. The White House nixed that option,


    and again our emperor is shown wearing no clothes (Oh but what a sad face int the photo at huffpo). He is purposely rejecting an alternative to cutting SSMM to pretend he is being forced to do what he really has WANTED TO DO ALL ALONG.

    But here I am trying to speak truth to some rabidly loyal Democrats who simply refuse to believe what is clearly before their eyes. I understand the personal desire many of you big, “D’s” might hold to pretend to justify your vote for this POS POTUS. Refusing to see the “theater,” being orchestrated by both, “sides,” of the isle in Congress to facilitate the transfer of wealth to the top, doesn’t really baffle me. Anyone here have respect for Kucinich? I do. Kindly take some time to listen to him here.



  • Gareth

    If Republicans fail to raise the debt limit the President should use his Executive powers to stop the flow of any Federal Funds to Republican controlled congressional districts. They want forced austerity, then give it to them.


  • Duane12

    Here are the Wisconsin Republican extremists, zealots, nuts, crazies(take your pick) in the House that don’t give a damn about the economy as evidenced by their “no” vote on H.R.8: DUFFY, PETRI, SENSENBRENNER. Our lone Republican senator showed much more concern by voting “yes.”


  • Cat Kin

    Any one watching the Q&A and subsequent major media comments on the President’s press conference today should have noted two things. One, the journalists attempted to turn the President’s argument that holding the nation’s credit standing ransom to drastic “entitlement cuts” was a poison pill for the national and world economy to accusations that he was himself being intransigent. And two, the fatuous attempt to hold the President responsible for gridlock because he was too aloof and not “social” enough.
    Anyone think this was an attempt, especially with the accusation that the President was no longer promoting “diversity” in his cabinet, to help retain corporate control of American politics in general, and specifically stop the appointment of Chuck Hagel to Secretary of State? It continues to amaze how much Israel influences our media and our politics.
    The problem is our President continues to be sensitive to the racial bias and slurs that corporations and the U.S. government have used against him and his family. The media’s surreptitious thrusts hit home, whether we realize it or not. My admiration for this man has only grown as I’ve watched his calm and careful replies to the insults– never resorting to the kinds of retorts suggested by our friend, Gareth.
    This does not mean that the President is not wounded, however. I felt a jab to my stomach when his last words at the press conference were that “ultimately, it doesn’t matter whether I’m the life of the party or a stick in the mud.”


  • Cat Kin

    nonquixote, Your responses to my notes of racial and corporate insults to the President are non sequitur.


  • Gareth

    Republican Governors turned down stimulus money for political reasons, alleging that the government was spending too much. Now Republican Congress-critters are saying they don’t want Federal spending in their districts, that forcing a default is more important. At least that’s the way I read it. All that legislative pork that they accepted so many bribes in return for will just have to wait. But Obama doesn’t play hardball and they know it.


  • nonquixote

    Do you mean non sequitur as in your entirely imagined premise of “racial and corporate insults,” coming from the press and from the government at today’s presser having absolutely nothing to do with the original post or any of the other comments? Non sequitor as your apparent projections of your feelings as something you imagine the POTUS is feeling as actual proof of something that the President is feeling? Thanks, I needed a good laugh this evening.

    Your statement that the “problem,” is the President’s sensitivity to racial slurs, etc., and that we should all just be more sensitive to his “hurt feelings,” as you have apparently imagined them to be, is supposed to be an argument for some concrete conclusions as to the reason the president is such a dire disappointment for so many average Americans?

    And you say the US government is guilty of insensitivity toward him, too? Correct me please, I thought the Presidency was a branch of the the US Government. So you’re saying Obomba is insultingly insensitive to himself the same way that he capitulates with himself (and his own supposed lines in the sand) prior to attempting to deal with the supposed oppositional party of the 1%?

    The POTUS is a liar and a child killer and has served only the 1%. 23M Americans still unemployed, where’s the jobs programs, $29Tn to bail out the monied elites, where’s the support for the disenfranchised?. Suppression of civil rights, (NDAA), immunity to the telecoms for spying on US citizens, proposed extension of multinational corporate power over US sovereignty (TPPA), 4.5Mn home foreclosures and at least a million actually determined fraudulent actions by the DOJ (I’ve posted that link in other recent comments here) US families and children forced into the streets, but you have no comment regarding any of that. Obomba’s suppression and repression of whistle blowers (heard of Bradley Manning?), and now direct responsibility for the suicide of a 26-year-old genius (see Turley link comment above), 400K “illegals,” deported, many being parents forcibly separated from their legally born in the USA citizen children, and you actually think this flaming sociopath has hurt feelings somehow holding him back from being effective?

    The PROBLEM, do you really want to hear what is wrong with this country? Rhetorical question (for those actually capable of following this), I know.


  • Cat Kin

    And Abraham Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, J. F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Bushes I and II were all mass murderers. You’re so busy trying to demonize the President, nonquixote, you still didn’t understand a word of what I said, much less what I was implying. What kind of young family man walks into the White House with 45% of the wealthiest people in the country against him and dismantles the financial system and the military? Then tells the insurance industry and the medical industry they are robbing the American people? Do you know how many Presidents and major political figures have been killed in this country? I would ask you to walk in the President’s shoes for a while, if your ranting didn’t tell me you’d make too big a mess of it.


    • nonquixote

      If I didn’t understand what you’ve said previously, you certainly haven’t explained your first comment above with the disjointed drivel in this comment. I don’t have to, “try,” to demonize the President, I’m just relating some of the facts about our POTUS and his actions on some of the issues. He does quite well at being a demon without my help. That you fail to see or refuse to believe that Obomba is the corporate fascist, a Trojan Horse installed into the White House by 10% of the wealthiest people worldwide (with Citizens United), to do their bidding at our demise, a traitor to the Constitution, that is the problem.

      Then go ahead as you did, and make a generalized insulting, personal attack about my competence and spew some more gibberish if it makes you feel better. Buutttt he’s a Democrat and we all get ponies.


  • Mark Bear

    Good morning nonquioxite,

    No, actually is was important for me to publicly apologize to you over getting a bit hostile in commentary to you when you were simply conveying your concern over the lay out of my pieces. As I said: That issue can be dealt with and I am making attempts to enhance these issues as we speak.

    I do believe however, that you and I do disagree over our opinions of the current President. Once again: This is fine with me, albeit, I urge you to exercise caution when making a blanket statement regarding my political views. I say this not to be combative, but to tell you that I often will purposefully write a piece from a devil’s advocate position, and further, there is really only ONE individual on this entire blog that knows my true feelings about the President and current political scene, and that person is Zach due to my several telephone conversations with him. So, when you say that I view all things regarding the President through a D lens, I would disagree. I certainly have issues with nearly every sitting President. However, I think it a highly dangerous proposition for progressives (and I do not know you are one), to criticize the President when he already has nearly one-half of the country against him from the outset due to racial animus.

    To be clear: I have written each piece here on Blogging Blue from a social psychological frame. To be specific regarding this piece, I make the following points, which it appears are being lost.

    (1) The GOP has successfully sold America this ideology that those on public assistance, or those receiving public assistance are the very reason for our fiscal issues in this country. As Colin Powell articulated yesterday on Meet the Press, their criticisms are almost always cloaked in this dog whistle mentality in order to incite their base.

    (2) Despite the GOP’s obvious policy failures, they nearly always come back to the Democratic successor in the White House being critical of that individual while blaming him on the economical woes they created. And create it they did this last time. Two wars on a credit card, taking a surplus handed to them, only to turn it into a deficit, and other related issues are the evidence I present in this piece.

    (3) Since Eisenhower, not one single GOP President has balanced the budget.

    (4) The GOP “used” to be sympathetic to social programs, however, they abandoned their support for such once Reagan got into office due to his utilizing the term “welfare queens” which was never substantiated.

    (5) George Bush wanted to privatize Social Security and nearly was successful but it failed save for inspiring one man, named Paul Ryan who now has it as a cornerstone of his budget which has been embraced by the GOP.

    (6) Finally, Ryan is a tea party poster child, which as you are aware, these fanatics coupled with his ideological belief in privatizing Social Security, makes this a dangerous situation for all Americans.

    Finally, I have not provided my personal opinion about the President in this piece, and only proffered or advanced the above points as my argument. The GOP says they care about the economy and they have excellent messaging within their party. While some people, perhaps even yourself see through this mythical belief, there are many that do not, and truly believe that the GOP is trying to correct policy failures implemented by the current President (fiscally). Perhaps if we stick to those points made, we can dialogue further about the piece, but I will in no way contribute to denigrating the President (even if I disagree with some policies) publicly because in my humble opinion, he already has a sufficient amount of people doing this daily. I hope you see my point! Thanks so much for the exchange!



  • Mark Bear


    Here is what I am referencing regarding the animus with regards to our President. Take a look at this video, and I am hoping you will see what I am referencing! Take note of the guy that says, “I would rather vote George W. Bush back into office even if he was barbing babies on the front of the White House on the lawn.” Or, how the guy believes that the entire “economy tanking is all fake!”

    This is the frame in which I interpret most of what is going on in the electorate. As I said in my piece endorsing the President for re-election, (you really do not want to read that piece because of the length), the problem began with Fox News, and other conservative radio talk show hosts promoting lies, myths, and rumors about the President. This information leaked out to the entire electorate sans a flood of highly concerned “evangelicals who are obviously conservative in politics) circulating these emails around to their supposed friends. I should know because I am a pastor, and it literally sickened me. But the point I am making is once this information got out, the damage was done. People who voted or supported Romney did so out of prejudice, perhaps not racial prejudice, but in keeping with the manner in which us social psychologists interpret that word, they were most certainly prejudiced regarding the President. You can check out the video at the bottom of my article titled “Principle or Prejudice,” which shows Romney supporters at the end of a rally providing a news guy their rationale for voting against, not for, Romney!

    Once again though: I have several issues with the current President, but for me, and I sincerely hope you understand my perspective on this, for me to add to the current hatred that half of these people have for the guy, premised all on faulty information versus the kind of stuff you articulate, does the President no good. I am not saying YOU are guilty of this issue, but I am saying that I have noticed disillusioned Progressives getting quite vocal, and the problem then in my estimation becomes compounded. I would NEVER want to silence your concerns and do not want to do so here, but am simply reiterating why I do not go down that road myself. It is NOT out of party loyalty so much as I refuse to allow these people who claim their loyalty to the Constitution, ignore it themselves, or worse, when they say, “Never underestimate the power of ‘We the People,’ they do so when referencing those who do not agree with their rabid, vacuous ideology, that this President is above all things, illegitimate. Thanks again!



  • Mark Bear

    Shoot! Forgot to post the link! Here you go: http://youtu.be/LVt2mzqNyP4


  • nonquixote

    Hey Mark,

    Presently, all three branches of the federal government are failing to do their jobs for we the people. Provide for the general welfare kind of stuff, you know. The POTUS happens to be the most individualized public face of the larger problem.

    Justice has failed to prosecute, POTUS helps orchestrate the abuses through appointments to justice and other cabinet divisions with their failing to regulate, attendant regulatory agency. Congress refuses to exercise oversight of anything they are supposed to, from the budget to the military, industrial, spy complex.

    Our military serves the beneficiaries of rampant corporate imperialism, worldwide. A for profit, corporate controlled prison industrial complex, militarized police (supposedly serving the public) hush dissent against the “grand bargain,” kleptocratic government, those who seek chiefly status and personal gain at the expense of the governed, in brutal and subtle ways. Main stream media, tool of oppression, witness their success with two of the above typical, POTUS apologecia comments.

    Other fish to fry and such, thanks for your comments.


  • Mark Bear

    Good morning nonquixote,

    I have to admit when I saw the link you provided regarding the Schwartz tragedy, my thoughts echoed what several respondents posted on that particular link, which are as follows: First, what level of involvement did the President have in this? The article cites his name five times, but it seems to me, that the decision fell, and rightfully so, on the prosecutor who went after the guy! Second, while it is tragic that the man committed suicide, implies in no way that he did so due to the legal situation he found himself in. Third, the article does make the implication that the Prosecutor did go after him quite hard, yet, he DID break the law. This is similar to a post I saw on Facebook, in response to Jeff Simpson’s post on his blog about a singer in the Capital being arrested. One respondent truly believed that more tickets ought to have been issued in light of this supposed spectacle. In the situation you specifically cite, that of Schwartz, the article’s writer makes clear that the guy broke into the school. Therefore, unless I am missing something here, it seems to me that the prosecutor was within her full power to charge him as she saw fit. But once again, what I am failing to connect here, and perhaps you can clarify is this: How was the President or anyone from his administration involved in the decision of the prosecutor preparing to go after this man in the manner she was? Did he specifically tell her to do so? And, if so, where is the evidence because I did not see it in the article.

    Finally, one other point struck me, as did the issue with Schwartz, as I am always looking for a good story, but how was the President elected by 1% of the wealthiest in the land, when his average contributors were less than 50 or 100 dollars? Or, is he lying about this and not disclosing his contributors? When he was elected in 2008, he definitely was not benefiting from Citizen’s United because the case had not been ruled upon. So, are you referencing his re-election effort? Thanks for the clarification in advance.



  • Mark Bear

    Good morning Nonquixote,

    You write in response to me this morning, the following: “Justice has failed to prosecute, POTUS helps orchestrate the abuses through appointments to justice and other cabinet divisions with their failing to regulate, attendant regulatory agency.”

    Who ultimately holds the power for appointments however? Just this week, Senator McCain is on record telling the Country why the GOP has decided to not support one single nominee from the President: “Because he did not call ahead to get our input.” This statement I found rather odd, if not downright paternalistic, or even covertly racist.

    While I get the fact that you see an utter failure and breakdown in the three branches, and I agree to some extent with you, once again, nominees ultimately are cleared by Congress or Senate, budgets are passed by Congress (as we both know they hold the purse), and the President is limited in many ways, or do you disagree with this.

    The reason I bring this up is for this reason: To me, it seems, that this President cannot do ANYTHING right, and this criticism is not only from conservatives, but also many progressives. Personally, I see a deeper cultural issue taking place here, and perhaps this is where we depart. Once again: I do not agree with several policies this President has advocated, but I sincerely think progressives need to be a bit more understanding with him on several fronts.

    Case in point: The Financial bailout. Someone I know was talking with me the other day, and they shared with me, that had the President decided to send bloc grants to states versus bailing the banks out, with the intent of the states using those resources to assist those homeowners whose home is underwater financially to garner assistance, that THAT policy would have been more acceptable and palatable for the public. But would it have been? With a party hell bent on literally not working with the President in any way whatsoever, evidenced even today regarding the vote which took place for providing assistance to Sandy victims, with nearly 140 voting NO, how in the world would the President have convinced even these people that the proposal my friend provided me would have gone through?

    It reminds me of a meme themed post on Facebook, I recently saw: The President and cabinet are sitting in the Cabinet Room, with Boehner seated to the President’s right, and Reid to his left. The President says, “Okay, who farted?” Only to see Harry Reid say, “It doesn’t really matter because they will blame you anyway!

    The way I look at these things is similar to my personal faith, which is, I see God (and I am not comparing the President to God here but using an analogy) get credit for things He had absolutely nothing to do with, (i.e since prayer in schools is illegal; which it isn’t as it the only restriction is it must be done silently than those poor kids at Sandy Hook would never had been killed). Conversely, I see God get no credit where credit is often due, since the situation experienced by people has no naturalistic explanation. Just my two cents worth, which is really what the opinion is probably worth! Thanks for the exchange!

    By the way, I provided you with an overview of the points made in my article, and you indicated you had bigger fish to fry. Okay! I get it, but you have already engaged in dialogue, and I am only asking you whether you see the points I made? I would appreciate the feedback, and please know I am not being combative in the least, as I am only trying to understand your positions!



  • Mark Bear

    Good morning Cat Kin,

    You write the following on the discussion: “Any one watching the Q&A and subsequent major media comments on the President’s press conference today should have noted two things. One, the journalists attempted to turn the President’s argument that holding the nation’s credit standing ransom to drastic “entitlement cuts” was a poison pill for the national and world economy to accusations that he was himself being intransigent. And two, the fatuous attempt to hold the President responsible for gridlock because he was too aloof and not “social” enough.”

    Your analysis is spot on here! I do not know whether you saw Colin Powell’s interview this week on Meet the Press or not, but Powell indicated the following, and I must paraphrase: He said, when the current GOP or media makes statements such as the President is “lazy,” while that term connotes neutrality to many Americans, I personally KNOW what that coded word means in our African-American culture. I believe he said there exists a vein of intolerance in the current GOP, and your perspective demonstrates this well!

    And anyone who believes that the media is liberal these days when it comes to the President, is only fooling themselves. Gosh, I can recall when CNN was a respectable station, only to turn it on about two months ago, asking myself whether Rupert Murdoch bought the station. Make no mistake, as I am sure you already know: ALL media influences the populace. This is its sole intention. However, when we hear people from the rabid Right, ignore interview requests from standard stations, such as ABC, NBC, or CBS, and will only interview on Fox News, one has to wonder: Did Murdoch tell the GOP especially during the last news cycle that all candidates had to interview only on his network, while ignoring the other “lame stream media channels?” Otherwise, what, they would lose his support?

    Therefore, the GOP departure from granting the interviews on LAME Stream media channels has created a void, so to speak, allowing each network to fill in those gaps. Mann and Ornstein criticize the media in their book, “It’s Even Worse Than It Looks,” due to what they call journalistic failure, due to journalists articulating in their vain attempts to be fair and balanced (yes, their words), have failed in what they see to be their responsibility as journalists, which is, to provide the truth.

    Yet, as you point out; Press Conferences are beginning to look bad now! Just two weeks ago, the President in the middle of his comments regarding the fiscal cliff, had to stop speaking, while looking over in the direction of the cameraman, and said: “I can hear what you are saying!” Two things struck me here; First, when have we EVER witnessed someone in or during a press conference with the President speaking, the very people in attendance talking while the President was? Answer: NEVER! Second, apparently it was not just that these cameramen were speaking, because had it been, the President would have probably stated: “Guys, do you mind? I am speaking here!” But that was not the response and the response he provided seems that he was more disturbed with the “content” of what they were saying versus the fact that they were interrupting him. Double standards all of the way around! I thank you immensely for giving such a thoughtful post to the discussion and look forward to future dialogue with you!

    Till Then,



  • Mark Bear

    Good morning Gareth,

    You write the following in response to our discussion here: “Republican Governors turned down stimulus money for political reasons, alleging that the government was spending too much. Now Republican Congress-critters are saying they don’t want Federal spending in their districts, that forcing a default is more important. At least that’s the way I read it. All that legislative pork that they accepted so many bribes in return for will just have to wait. But Obama doesn’t play hardball and they know it.”

    I think you bring up an excellent point here, and I find myself wondering, do you see the Republican party ever moderating itself once again, or, do you see this as a reactionary response to what they have perceived to be an illegitimate President?

    Paulo Friere, author of “Pedagogy of the Oppressed,” has a major thesis in his work which is as follows: Groups who have been marginalized or made powerless, end up reacting to these very forces, however, in the process they also take on the role of “oppressor” themselves, oppressing the very ones who oppressed them.”

    While I realize this is not a philosophy class, please bear with me on this: I contend that progressives are a tad bit disillusioned with the President, specifically as their criticism relates to his being soft, as you articulate in your last sentence, which, I might add, I agree with. However, there exists an inherent danger for the President, despite yours and my disappointment over his appeasement of the GOP, evidenced by his consistent compromising with them, for him to draw a proverbial line in the sand.

    Should he do so, think of the repercussions he would incur, as he reinforces the stereotype the GOP has attempted to portray him as; this radicalized, angry black man, who is lazy, wants a socialistic government in force, yadda, yadda, ad nauseum. Conversely, should he neglect to draw this proverbial line in the sand, perhaps he angers the progressives in this country, even to the point of alienation in many cases, yet, he very well may have allowed this thought process I present above into the calculus of his decision making. Further, if he should draw that line in the sand, he also reinforces the self-fulfillment prophecy, angering those supportive of the GOP to the point that he instigates a counter-movement much like we all witnessed with the tea party crowd. This then, is the quandary I see our President in: He is damned if he does; and damned if he doesn’t!

    Yet, I understand the level of disillusionment us progressives felt, especially during his first term, yet, I am now hopeful as I have witnessed a different negotiating style being utilized by the President. Case in point: During the debt-ceiling negotiation last time around, the President tailored his offer to what he “specifically believed any reasonable GOP representative would find acceptable, however this strategy blew up in his face. I specifically recall scratching my head, wondering how in the hell he went into a negotiation with a lower figure (established as not the baseline, but something he would agree to) only to see him come out with a figure ten times as high.

    While the outcome of the fiscal cliff may not be everything we all wanted, the one thing I did notice is that the President placed as his first offer, everything he wanted, despite his apparent understanding that he would not get it all. But then again: We all heard that SS was on the table once again, and I do not know whether this was strategic on his end, philosophical, or as nonquixote contends, his truest desire.

    Lest I am coming across rambling here, which I admittedly am, the point I am trying to make is as follows and would love your input: Do you think progressive’s expectations of what this President could accomplish in office in 2008, was unreasonable? Or, do you find yourself reflecting on Freir’s thesis that movements, especially political parties (as this is what he references in his work), when abused by the opposing party, have this innate desire to proverbially “stick it to them now,” mentality, and when the President neglected to do so, they walked away disillusioned?

    You know, I really do not have all of the answers, and if you read my articles closely, you will find me asking more questions than providing answers, with the exception of viewing things through the disciplines of theology and social psychology, the two areas I have Doctorates in. To be clear though: As my wife Susan would point out, and fairly, I often lack the common sense or application portion of how theory applies in real world situations due to the time I spend in the Ivory Tower. In academia, we are taught to question, and when receiving answers, even if they do not agree with us, to question again, continuing this cycle with the process literally driving some of us mad.

    One point I can make though: I sure wish the President would have started out of the gate in his first term by saying what FDR made clear: “They hate me, but I embrace that hatred!” I just have to wonder how the GOP would have responded to that approach! In closing, I do not know whether I added anything to the solid point you make above, but I would like to further the dialogue by getting to know each of you more by asking some questions. Thanks in advance.



    • nonquixote

      It is truly sad to see you or anyone continue to labor under the illusion that Obomba gives a flying f$%k about anybody but his wealthy and powerful handlers.

      Wish all you want, it is a waste of time with this POTUS. As a progressive my disillusion began immediately upon discovering the POTUS gave away single payer healthcare to guaranteed health insurance (with no cost controls) provider customer base under penalty of law, while continuing touting single payer for six weeks after the deal was struck. My disillusion ended right there.

      Norman Soloman sums it up nicely, with respect to Martin Luther King and BHO. BHO is every bit the war criminal on par with Bush and Cheney, just so you understand why the later two were never prosecuted by the former.



  • Mark Bear

    TO: ALL Contributors,

    Many thanks for the responses provided thus far, as I truly am wanting to learn a bit more about each of you, trying to understand where each of you are coming from. Please note again: Just because I have me an edumucation (LOL) makes me NO better than any one of you here on this Blog. As I just stated above, I question nearly everything in my life, and at times, this gets me into enough Socratic difficulty. However, I do not like a herd mentality either, so I would rather question away! Yes, I have made some points and premised my articles on some level of evidence, but even here, I may be misguided as we all are subjected to a phenomenon known as confirmation bias. We seek out information confirming our views, while neglecting to take into consideration other relevant information which has the ability to change our views, if only we would allow it. I hope I have provided each of you a worthy explanation of why I approach things in the manner I do, and really would like you to provide further feedback in dialogue. I look forward to each of your posts. Be well and have a GREAT day!



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