• Dick Cheney? Perhaps that's where Perry got the idea that Turkey was run by Islamic terrorists .. His plan for dealing with them was to cut off their foreign aid.

    Turkey is a secular democracy and receives very little if any foreign aid.

    January 19, 2012 at 12:41 p.m.

  • Maybe Dick Chaney made Rick an offer he could not refuse.

    January 19, 2012 at 12:17 p.m.

  • I was a little off but:

    "Liberal approval of Obama stood at 72%, about 30 points above the general approval number and a touch higher than the 28-point advantage that Obama has averaged with liberals, according to the poll.

    Those calling themselves Democrats backed Obama with 77% while independents were at 37% and 12% for Republicans. That pattern is about the same as the president has enjoyed throughout his administration, though last week’s numbers showed slightly higher Democratic support when compared with the overall rating.

    The findings are based on telephone interviews with a random sample of 3,531 adults in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. It has a margin of error of plus or minus two percentage points.

    January 19, 2012 at 11:27 a.m.

  • I get your meaning but 80% of democrats (last poll I saw) are behind President Barack Obama,so if the party is satisfied then that part of democracy is satisfied....This by all standards is the weakest field of GOP candidates ever assembled and that's coming from Republicans...We wouldn't be having a discussion like this if Jeb Bush,Chris Christie,Mike Huckabee or Paul Ryan were running..It is the republicans that were cheated out of voting for a viable candidate..IMO

    It still might come down to a brokered convention.

    January 19, 2012 at 11:17 a.m.

  • Mike - you are right - the GOP is a show, but let us not forget - the GOP also is giving choices - not a one man process. Not necessarily a good thing that the sitting President is a given within his party.

    January 19, 2012 at 11:03 a.m.

  • Lol..I noticed a "non-response" when Rachel Maddow asked that question of an Iowa GOP Committee chairman. It seems that PHOTO IDs are NOT required to vote in the Iowa Caucus----- even though the Republican Party itself, sets their own rules for voting there...The GOP counts their own votes, yet they were off at least 34 votes and have no idea what the actual count is, in the first in the nation to vote for a presidential candidate.... Republicans don't seem upset by this but most of us know what the 12 GOP states that have implemented strict voting ID laws, real intentions are.

    January 19, 2012 at 11:01 a.m.

  • You know, Mike, between the Iowa caucus vote screw up and the ballot box stuffing by the evangelicals when they were in Texas trying to decide which candidate to back, I now understand why the republicans are so concerned about voter fraud. They know they can't trust each other.

    January 19, 2012 at 10:39 a.m.

  • On top of that Santorum won Iowa by 34 votes..I've got to admit the GOP puts on a good show.

    January 19, 2012 at 9:55 a.m.

  • Wow,Rick Perry finally saw the light and is fixing to quit According to the LA Times.

    On the other front Mtt Romney has dropped 15 points and his challenger Newt Gingrich is only trailing him by five points in South Carolina according to the latest NBC Marist poll ...Newt could have closed the gap even more but his second wife Marianne Gingrich will deliver some damaging information tonight in her ABC interview....Tonight, I'll have to watch the debate and tape the ,interview.....

    January 19, 2012 at 9:49 a.m.

  • From today's Washington Post
    Fifty-four percent of respondents said that Bush was more to blame while 29 percent put the blame on Obama; 9 percent said both men deserved blame while 6 percent said neither did. Among registered voters, the numbers are almost identical; 54 percent blame Bush, while 30 percent blame Obama.

    Independents, widely considered the most critical voting bloc this fall, continue to blame Bush far more than Obama for the economic troubles. Fifty-seven percent of unaffiliated voters put the blame on the former Republican president, while 25 percent believe the blame rests more with Obama.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:20 p.m.

  • Mr. Bush's presidency was higher than it has been under Mr. Obama: The number of beneficiaries went from 17.3 million in 2001 to 28.2 million in 2008 - an increase of 63 percent in years that are mostly considered non-recessionary."

    January 18, 2012 at 4:08 p.m.

  • You are half right, 46.2 million participants in 22 million households. The poor have become poorer under Obama, because his policies do not work! You are right the increase is partly because of the recession. Obama waived the three-month requirement for the unemployed. Newt, was not totally wrong, Newt done an Obama crowd mover... So to call him an out right lair is wrong on your part...Just simple facts.

    January 18, 2012 at 4 p.m.

  • Mike.

    I saw the Newt Gingrich/Juan Williams exchange the other night. I was so enraged that I almost kick in my TV. This issue and more about conservatives and MLK will be a topic on my next blog. I am coming in with both barrels brazing.

    Mr. J.Williams

    January 18, 2012 at 2:35 p.m.

  • I've used that quote several times to no avail... In Monday's debate, Newt Gingrich, said Gingrich he would urge black people to demand paychecks instead of food stamp and yet he doesn't see anything racial in that remark. He then when on to call President Obama the food stamp president to get applause from the 3000 or so white conservative crowd.... No one corrected Newt by saying that this is the worst recession since the Great Depression. And his remark "best food stamp president in American history,"is flat out lie.

    "For the most recent month with available data, October 2011, 46.2 million people were enrolled in the food stamp program, which is formally known the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Since Mr. Obama took office, the percent increase in enrollment has been 44.5 percent.

    Mr. Bush's presidency was higher than it has been under Mr. Obama: The number of beneficiaries went from 17.3 million in 2001 to 28.2 million in 2008 - an increase of 63 percent in years that are mostly considered non-recessionary."

    Newt should read the stats before race baiting just to get applause.

    Among the poorest of the poor--single mothers, living below the poverty line with minor children to support 39.7 percent of AFDC clients are Black single mothers and 38.1 percent are White women with children. Food stamp recipients are 37.2 percent Black and 46.2 percent White. Medicaid benefits are paid to 27.5 percent Black recipients compared to 48.5 percent White clients.
    Some people race bait and others use a local group to push their agenda and it's easy to see through that.

    January 18, 2012 at 2:07 p.m.

  • Mike.

    I am glad you quoted MLK. That quote is what many of us are expriencing. Just like I said to Get Smart in my blog,” My boot starps are fine” but not the rules. There is still a notion that some people should not be rewarded for their hardwork.

    Mr. Williams.

    January 18, 2012 at 1:18 p.m.

  • Dale

    Warren Buffet is a Democratic fiscal conservative who works with the Obama Administration and gives away 99% of his money. He is  a great American and human being if you must attach a label on him.

    I like the progressive tax system and I certainly don't mind paying my fair share but there goes the hyperbole again...100% of your taxes but you have no ideal how much taxes I pay. I considerate taxes a necessary evil or the price I pay to live in a wonderful country...I used to get About $145 a'month for serving my country 24/7 not in combat but I volunteered ,but for you to imply I don't carry my load and only conservatives do is pretty insulting..I am not alone and I didn't do anything special..

    I worked for 40 years and paid taxes and I'm still paying taxes on my pension,85% of My SS benefits and in 4 years I have the mandatory IRA withdraws, I will do that without complaint  but I know you are not in the 1% ,so you aren't  paying that much in taxes because our income tax is at it's lowest rate since Truman.

    Yes,we can have a good discussion until you try to personalize it.

    This is  nothing to get angry about but I've got watch the GOP debate.

    January 16, 2012 at 8:03 p.m.

  • Yeh Mike, "I like the government it just needs to be fixed..." I say well, if you want more social policies, then you pay for it. And off you go running, "wee need to fix it, wee need to fix it." I say lets fix it and prioritize what needs to be paid for by a limited amount of money. You say, "wee need more taxes". Heck Mike, be truthful, if I said tax me at 100%, would you accept the same tax level? Nope, like always, don't tax me, don't tax he, tax the fiscal conservative behind the tree." But, never ask those in favor of a discretionary feel good program to put their money where their mouth is. Good night, I am off to place my time where my words are.

    As always, good bloggers, good commenters, that is democracy in action. And heck, we may surprise each other and agree.

    PS Warren Buffett is a fiscal conservative.

    January 16, 2012 at 7:28 p.m.

  • Dale
    I like the government we have but it's broken and needs to be fixed rather than discarded or creating  a parallel one. We need to retain "We the people,of the people and for the people."

    I blame all but you know conservatives bow down to the Grover Norquist pledge.

    Social Security is solvent for at least another 25 more years and it would take less than a day to put in the appropriate fixes for another 75 years but some want to tie it to WallStreet.

    Medicare has been ignored for years,so now it needs major reforms because 10,000 baby-boomers are becoming eligible every day.

    In honor of MLK

    “We as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. ...When

    machines and computers, profit motives and property rights, are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.”
    Martin Luther King, Jr. April 4, 1967

    January 16, 2012 at 7:01 p.m.

  • Tsk, Tsk Mike. Hyperbole? Social Security and Medicare are perhaps one of the only programs which have paid (albeit under duress) for themselves. Had not your and my side chosen not to rob them they would both be very solvent. And saying conservatives refuse to pay for them. Don't speak for me in that sentence. Perhaps we should turn into a direct democracy. One man/ one vote? We can list each cabinet and each top three expenditures along with a fraction of dollar to approve. And we let "The People" decide what is approved. Want space exploration? 3%. Wanna blow up Iraq? 6%. Wanna provide for WIC, WAC and EVERYTHING? 4%. If the program gets an insufficient number of votes, then we can ask the Mikes and Dales of the country to voluntarily fund it. If not, nadda. If the War in Iraq doesn't get enough funding votes.? Then the conservatives can fund it voluntarily. Let us put our money and votes where our compassion is. But if we had to voluntarily fund things, I think you and I would realize laze faire baby.

    And let me close for the evening quoting Johnny Carson. "Folks, you may have heard I received a contract extension and an extra million dollars. But let me assure you, no matter how much you earn, you still need an extra $50 at the end of the month."

    Good night, Mike. And remember the next program you fund, will require money probably borrowed from a poor Chinese fella.

    January 16, 2012 at 6:28 p.m.

  • Dale
    I missed your last sentence the first time around...But Warren Buffett can rest easy at night because he keeps from $10 billion to $20 billion of liquid assets on hand at all times.

    He's a successful billionaire and like the old E. F. Hutton when he talks everyone listens...:-)

    Have a good night and you're right ..We will always have to agree to disagree.

    January 16, 2012 at 5:25 p.m.

  • Dale

    We are not politicians, so hyperbole does not bode well for local posters.

    Yes, I bet a lot of Americans are grateful for their Social Security and Medicare. Hooray for FDR and LBJ.

    I think a prosperous country should set up a safety net for the less fortunate but that is just my opinion and I don't want to impose that on any one. I also think that healthcare is a right and not a privilege but that's just my opinion and I don't want to impose that on any one. If by the good gracious of a conscience, our Congress wants to implement those measures, I will vote for candidates who will cast their vote for them.

    We cannot magically put back $8 trillion dollars that was taken out of the system in September of 2008. We have to take those steps to curb our spending, AFTER our economy show more signs of recovery. We have to use a scalpel not a hatchet with a fragile economy.

    Basic economic principles apply but not always. Household budget and US budget is one of those apples to oranges. Those proposing a balanced budget are not very realistic. For example, if we get hit with three devastating tornadoes and one earthquake; we will respond with FEMA, under a balanced budget we would have to make corresponding cuts elsewhere. It would not be practical to cut heating oil subsidies to the poor, Medicaid, or elsewhere. That's not so farfetched, that scenario came up where majority leader Erick cantor and Ron Paul caught a lot of flak for wanting to cut spending before sending FEMA aid this summer. It's not just me, seems like the majority of the country understands this.

    We have a problem of ideology. I think all spending programs should be paid for but ask a conservative for a tax increase and they will hyperventilate. The Medicare payroll deduction should have been increased in increment steps and so should have Social Security but the republicans would have screamed bloody murder, if we would raised that percentage by 1/2% every two years. We should've raised the caps a long time ago. That's why I like Bowels-Simpson, it doesn't shy away from cuts in entitlements, tax revenues, reducing the loopholes, and it wouldn't take place until next year when the economy starts to recover....If we don’t want to pay for Social Security and Medicare then we should get rid of them and watch people die. We shouldn’t try to privatize those programs because we’re just delaying the inevitable. Private insurance companies will raise their rates so high on us or they will find ways to drop us, and that’s not exaggerating one bit.

    January 16, 2012 at 3:57 p.m.

  • Ok, We will agree, to disagree. I say the problem is the debt. You will say we are not taking enough from the citizenry and private sector and spending it on social problems. I have read your understanding all the way back to FDR. Obviously, economic theory as it relates to families is inverse to the theory that works for nations. Perhaps the studies where the Japanese economic slump from 1985 to 2000 fail to hold the test of enlightened thinking, Count me as one who thinks (obviously wrongly) that economic principles apply the same for families, cities, states and nations. Spend too much, save too little, borrow too much and devalue your trading tool results in something bad. Let the good times continue to roll!

    And that is why Warren Buffet spends and borrows every last nickel?

    January 16, 2012 at 3:16 p.m.

  • Dale
    You have a single focus which is the "DEBT" and you seem to think all our problems can only be solved by those who share your ideology. There's nothing wrong with a moderate republican (and in many cases that is desirable) because they will compromise instead of thinking that they have all the answers. Which they obviously don't. It’s more than a money problem.

    The line item veto was correctly deemed unconstitutional because it puts too much power into the hands of the president. If the house and the senate pass a bill, vetoing the entire bill is the only power the president should have. One man should not have the power to pick and choose.

    I don't have a gloom and doom attitude and I think we have more than a spending problem. I just heard the Mitt Romney camp say that they will spend about $250 billion in this campaign before it's all over with. Obama might double that. We have a serious structural problem that has been made worse by the passage of “Citizens United" designating corporations the same rights as human beings.

    If you really think about it, the stock market has hovered around 12,000 and we don't have any trouble borrowing money at low interest rates because investors still believe in this country. The Treasury note is still safe. I believe if we pass Bowles-Simpson, it will restore our AAA rating and the debt will start trending down in outlining years...There is not a reason to panic.The problem I see is a slow steady growth that can go either way,so it needs to get a boost.

    President Obama promised to close Guantanamo Bay and rein back the controversial policies of the Bush administration. He quickly found out that his own party was not backing him on the closing of Guantanamo Bay and the senate put in a clause to keep detainees at Gitmo indefinitely without a trial, in a military appropriations bill. The president reluctantly signed it with a signing statement saying that he would not enforce it. My point, it's easy for presidential candidates to make boastful statements of what they would do if elected. Once they read the presidential daily briefs and receive push back from their own party and the pentagon; it becomes a different ballgame altogether.

    I heard that Mitt Romney will leave Ron Paul alone because a poll came out that stated if Mr. Paul would go 3rd party, it come out like this: Obama 43 Romney 34 and Paul 18.

    I’ve heard the same Ron Paul speeches for 30 years, so I know where you are coming from.

    Have a good one

    January 16, 2012 at 2:35 p.m.

  • Impoundment: the decision of a President of the United States not to spend money that has been appropriated by the U.S. Congress.

    The Impoundment Control Act of 1974 provides that the president may propose the rescinding of specific funds, but that rescission must be approved by both the House of Representatives and Senate within 45 days.

    In 1996 a bipartisan effort recognized the need for an executive tool to curb federal spending. This led to the passage of the Line Item Veto Act of 1996, signed in to law by President Bill Clinton. However, This law was stuck down in 1998 by the courts on the grounds of it being in violation of the Presentment Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

    And that two hour exercise of googling answered the deficit problems. In synopsis: Mr Obama (has never seen a project he could not forgo.) Mod Rep Congressmen ( have not seen a compromise they will accept or a dollar they will not spend in order to be re-elected). And U.S. Citizens (it is all about ME).

    Mike, Is that our problem in a nutshell?

    January 16, 2012 at 1:21 p.m.

  • Dale

    Thank you very much for reading my blogs and I do enjoy the dialogue.

    I'm glad you are not into the "talk-show trash talk "based on naming calling style ;rather than discussing the issues. we will never agree but we are not bent on character assassination.

    Realizing that you know that I don't think Ron Paul will never be president but I will question your thoughts on his presidential powers...The House of representatives control the purse string;he does have the veto power but the veto can be overridden by 2/3 vote of both house...I will agree the veto pen will have a lot of influence....Yes,the commander in chief does have control over the military but he won't win the nomination with that message..I think he will fall straight to the bottom if some unlikely chance he became the front runner because he won't be able to sustain the scrutiny... Did you read the Charles Krauthammer's article on Ron Paul? There's a reason Libertarians don't win national elections...We are not going back to the 17th century laissez-faire,Austrian economics, and we are not getting rid of the Fed,Social Security, or Medical Care. 

    I'm 11 years older than you are and I was fortunate to grow up in the 1970s where taxes were high on the top1%,unions were strong,we had a strong manufacturing base that created a strong middle class...We could never pass a strong G.I. bill today because Libertarians would call it socialist,even thou after WW11, it was responsible for growing our college gradate rate from 6% to 20%.

    Have a good one

    January 15, 2012 at 4:51 p.m.

  • Well Mike,
    (For the record, Goldman Sachs, Big Corps, Republican moderate leaders, same thing, same problem.) The Republicans can't (with their current leadership hierarchy) fix anything. The Democrats with their giveaway mentality can't fix anything. My Republicans seek only reelection (and fatten their personal purses and big corporation short term profits). Your Democrats are the same. I see no difference at all. Ron Paul as a President would have powers to not not spend money and not send military forces all over the world. The Dems won't do it. The Rep won't do it. So, maybe we need a one term elected official who would tick off everyone, and force the two sides to do something to save the Republic.Left alone, bot sides are fiddling as Rome burns.

    I've enjoyed your blogs and thoughts.

    January 15, 2012 at 3:46 p.m.

  • Rick Perry is a socialist? I KNEW IT!

    January 14, 2012 at 8:58 p.m.

  • I'm not sure, but have you been ask. " Are you a socialist?" Your first paragraph is clearly a comment of a socialist. Warren Buffet is one of one nothing more. We hear this type of BS by dems, when dems retain great wealth from captilaism, which is clearly stated from the above, "Kennedys"...

    I really don't think you can answer or comment honestly, without a fibercation of unfounded truth. Although I'm sure you will make an attempt at a convoluted conjuction of some type. With all due respect please...

    January 13, 2012 at 6:12 p.m.

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    January 13, 2012 at 5:22 p.m.

  • Dale
    Romney's like any other politician is just trying to protect his turf by fighting off the daily attacks. I wouldn't put too much stock in political rhetoric. Especially during a presidential campaign.

    We've always had classes but now the gap is widening between rich and the poor.

    As I said before, we shouldn't be looking for the government( we the people = taxpayers ) to provide for all but the government is an equalizer to prevent plutocrats from taking over the nation. One sided hypotheticals don't benefit anyone. It just leads to gridlock, close mindedness, and an unwillingness to compromise for the greater good.

    Again you continue to give Goldman Sachs a pass and blame everything on the Federal government. The anti-government stance will always produce legislators that want to fulfill a prophecy of making government ineffective.

    The main reason I retired at age 57 is because I saw the handwriting on the wall. The corporation I was working for started scaling back their portion of my retirement plan and they were actively trying to replace the standard pension with 401 Ks. They were also making employees pay more for Health Insurance and eventually wanted to phase that out and replace it a Health Savings Account. Wages had been stagnant for while while CEO pay escalated...Fortunately I had made enough from the bubble of the 90s to take early retirement with a healthy severance package and haven't looked back since.

    How can republicans fix the inequalities when they keep supporting tax cuts for the wealthy and kick and holler when it comes time to extend unemployment benefits? You know that by being against $1.00 in taxes to $10.00 in savings is based on a ideology shows an unwillingness to compromise.

    Oh, I always knew you were for Ron Paul but a single president can't fix all the ills but I'm sure you think it's a start. Until we quit saying that it's the other guy's fault, our country will not unite and find a find a better way to build a better mouse trap.

    Have a good night and good weekend.

    January 13, 2012 at 5:02 p.m.

  • I am not extrapolating jail counts percentages. I am just looking at the little micro-economy called Victoria. Honestly, I can only make judgements based on what I experience or learn.

    You talked of class warfare. Why are there classes? Why would Romney talk about envy, unless he perceives it to be so? Why do we have jails and prisons filled to overflowing, if there is true opportunity for all? Something has happened in the last thirty years. It may be societies' or no ones or everyone's fault. The constant is folks deviate from cultural norms for a reason. You initially quoted the bootstrap theory as it pertained to a quote from Dr King. My analogy of bootstrap meant we work hard and we all can raise ourself up economically. My concern is that due to economic inequities it may not be possible to."raise oneself up". As a Republican, that concerns me. Now I want to understand why that may be so. Because, if folks believe the private sector is not providing an equal opportunity, future generations will look to government to provide that opportunity. And my experience, when government gets involved, it costs everyone more than we want to pay. (Taxes, liberties, and individual opportunities). I feel it is far better for Republicans and Corporations to fix inequalities than wait for government to do it for us. Unfortunately, the current crop of Republicans have no intention of fixing the problem. And that is why I am for Ron Paul.

    January 13, 2012 at 4:13 p.m.

  • Dale

    My point being that you can't extrapolate data from the Victoria County jail and apply it to the 50 states in the nation. The demographics change. I would slightly disagree from your perception that everyone wants to improve their life because I would say we will always have poverty and criminals because we will never be able to reach 15 to 20% of the population.Hey, that hopelessness you see may be the next drug kingpin that will own more cars and homes than what we will be able to afford...That's the world we live in today...Right?

    I commend you for your work in the ministry and you're a soldier at ground level which is a lot more than most of us do or want to do. Thank you for your service.

    I'm not envious of Mitt Romney, God bless him, I hope he makes millions more but don't put illusions into people's heads because he was born on third base and now thinks he hit a triple. The Martin Luther King quote points that out, by saying not everyone has boots much less boot straps to lift themselves up.

    Improving one's status is not a one size fits all...For some it's to go to an expensive college to others it might be to take any job available and unfortunately some think working for a drug cartel will accomplish that...I know what you meant but those goals we grew up wanting to meet are much harder because of college costs, income inequality, and many other factors out of their control.

    January 13, 2012 at 2:56 p.m.

  • Mike,
    Environment and Age does something to one's perception of reality. My age of 55 has been a major contributor. Things, in reality, are not as they were when I was younger. Back in the day, I thought everyone was equal. Boy, is that not the case. Your earlier quote is my understanding. I serve in a ministry which takes me to the local jail on a very regular basis. You would think all things being equal the jail population would look like the local demographics. (There are bad people and good people in equal percentages all around.) My guess is 3/4 of the jail population is young hispanic men. Rationally, that can not be the case. Especially, since everyone wants to improve their status in life. (But to improve your status you must have the opportunity). I agree there is no class warfare. But there is definitely a tinkle down theory at work. And someone in this country owns both the bucket and the laddle. And if you want to see hopelessness check the local jail cells. And somewhere you will find their children. Just a hint, you will not find the children in Mitt Romney's neighborhood.

    January 13, 2012 at 2:15 p.m.

  • Why can't we talk about income inequality without calling it " class warfare?" How many times did the republicans mention the two words " middle class" in the 2008 debates it was zero, and just recently Rick Santorum wanted to redefine the word middle -class and call it " middle income" because that word makes it look like class warfare.


    Neither party has talked about the poor in decades and you would have a hard time selling the idea that republicans are for the middle class because polls after polls don't show that. It be very difficult right now because those we used to call the middle class a have fallen into the lower middle class and down.

    Government is not the only problem, corporate greed, and uninformed voters have to be included in the equation.

    January 13, 2012 at 1:31 p.m.

  • The Democrats have been doing the class war for 75 years. The Republicans have been talking about saving the middle class for 40 years. Romney's "envious" remark really took the cake. I guess it really got me to thinking who really runs the show and who the show is being run over. It is said, once upon a time it was the dream of everyone they could pull up their bootstraps and become successful. Romney's remark says really it isn't true. Some of us work really hard and are making some headway. Unfortunately, I do not think most Americans are able to dream of getting ahead. But I am glad Mr Romney and his friends have theirs. And no, I am not "envious".

    January 13, 2012 at 1:06 p.m.