For 20 years, Steamboat resident Rob Douglas was a Washington, D.C. private detective specializing in homicide, political corruption and terrorism. Since 1998, Douglas has been a commentator on local, state and national politics in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Colorado. To reach Rob Douglas, email rdouglas@SteamboatToday.com.

For 20 years, Steamboat resident Rob Douglas was a Washington, D.C. private detective specializing in homicide, political corruption and terrorism. Since 1998, Douglas has been a commentator on local, state and national politics in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Colorado. To reach Rob Douglas, email rdouglas@SteamboatToday.com.

Rob Douglas: What would the founders think?

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Rob Douglas

Rob Douglas' column appears Fridays in the Steamboat Today. He can be reached at rdouglas@SteamboatToday.com.

Find more columns by Douglas here.

— This Fourth of July, as Americans continue to surrender their freedom to the federal government with barely a whimper, I find myself wondering what the founding fathers would think of our stewardship of the nation they bestowed upon us by means of the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution.

I believe they'd be appalled at how few Americans are conversant in the meaning of those pieces of parchment inscribed with the greatest framework ever crafted for a self-governing society.

I believe they'd be appalled at how our government has twisted the Constitution beyond recognition to fit any outcome that increases the power of the government to control the governed without amending the Constitution as mandated.

I believe they'd be appalled at how the government has usurped our freedom - and our responsibility to be self-sufficient - to a point where the government has grown to a size the Declaration and Constitution were designed to escape and prevent.

Whether you agree or disagree with my belief that the government has trampled the founding principles as set forth in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, I invite you to read a thought-provoking book and reflect upon whether we truly are still a free country as we celebrate the 233rd anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.

The book is "Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto," by Mark Levin. The book sits atop The New York Times best-seller list, as it has for 13 of the 14 weeks since it was published.

That Levin is the author may cause some to overlook the book. Levin is a talk show host whose conservative view is delivered with caustic shtick. His trademark, "Get off my phone, you dummy!" leveled at callers he disagrees with, seems harsh until you get to understand Levin's act. Couple that unorthodox style with the fact Levin is the "F. Lee Levin" that Rush Limbaugh often references, and many will not open their minds to the message because of the messenger.

That's regrettable because behind his gruff radio persona, Levin is one of the nation's brightest constitutional lawyers. He served in the Reagan administration as chief of staff to Attorney General Ed Meese. I've had the pleasure of meeting Levin several times when our paths crossed in talk radio and found him to be a kind man, of deep intellect and quick wit.

With "Liberty and Tyranny," Levin challenges us all - conservatives, independents and liberals alike - to re-examine where we fit in the political spectrum while forcefully arguing that the new dominant political class in the United States is made up of "statists."

Statism is the concentration of economic and political control in a central government at the cost of individual liberty.

Significantly, our founders crafted the Constitution with the goal of preventing statism. As Levin puts it, "The Founders understood that the greatest threat to liberty is an all-powerful central government, where the few dictate to the many." To underscore the point, Levin cites James Madison in "Federalist 51," where Madison wrote, "In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself."

Therein lies the rub.

Since the 1930s, we have enabled the government to control us, but we have not obligated the government to restrain itself. We have a government that regulates every aspect of life in exchange for underfunded, unsustainable entitlements paid for by wealth redistribution and crippling debt. As a result, the government now is nationalizing entire industries - financial, automotive, and health care - in a futile attempt to restructure the free market system that made us the economic leader of the world.

In short, America no longer can look itself in the mirror and honestly say it is the country the founders envisioned.

As you celebrate the Fourth, I hope you'll take time to reflect on the meaning of our founding principles and ask yourself whether we, as a nation, remain faithful to those principles. In so doing, I invite you to use Levin's book as a means to challenge your view of the American political system today.

To reach Rob Douglas, e-mail Rob.Douglas@Comcast.net

Comments

MrTaiChi 5 years, 1 month ago

The founders would be distressed about a lot of our modern polity, but they accepted that every age has to be the master of its own laws, otherwise the living are governed by the dead. Thier times are distinguishable by the rural nature of the country. The City of New York had, I believe, a population of about 50,000 at the time of ratification of the Constitution. With lots of room in which to swing elbows, there isn't a need for laws to control where one can swing elbows.

I can argue that we are freer in many respects today than people then, blacks, women, those with gender confusion. I'm glad that the government is watching our food and medicines for safety. That makes me freer to enjoy my food without fear. For many years after the independence of America, a property owner was obligated by law to maintain the road that abutted his property. How long ago was it when the draft was abandoned in favor of an all volunteer military force? Those letters from Uncle Sam must have seemed at least a minor intrusion into a man's liberty. (You gals got a pass)

What I do agree with in the commentary is that we are evolving, or have evolved, into a nanny state in which laws protecting some and limiting someone else's freedom of action, are based on a lowest common denominator standard, the most stupid, gullible and willfully ignorant. In taking away our chioces in our supposed best interests, our freedom to make even wrong decisions is eroded. Life's struggle no longer becomes a reward for the hard working, intelligent and risk takers, but an entitlement existence.

Your affirmative action is my lost opportunity to freely compete for employment. As long as the left celebrates govenment intervention to fine tune social interactions, one group will be favored over another. I think the editorial's tone is correct, that in attempting to engineer a perfect society, government inevitably becomes more repressive and less free.

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popcan 5 years, 1 month ago

Rob our country is in need of a tuneup. Our younger generation is not getting the message of what our values and principals are. I have made it a commitment to discuss American Freedom and what the opportunities are in this country to people I come in contact with. I think things are starting to turn around this week. The polls are dropping on Obama and people are beginning to see the light. I am hoping next year the people can vote out all of the socialist thugs in congress and by 2012 bye bye Marxist President. We get to look forward to building an upswing in this country and bring back our constitutional freedom. History can then put Obama down in the books as the Doom and Gloom president'. We have a lot of rebuilding to do.

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trump_suit 5 years, 1 month ago

popcan,

As far as I am concerned the Bush administration trampled our constitutional rights far more invasively than our current President. Issues like Warrantless wiretapping, The FBI program know as Carnivore that goes thru all of our email (Yes, yours too), torture and indefinite confinement of American Citizens and Foreign Nationals, The wrongful firing of Govt' prosecutors that were not in line with the Bush admin and refused to prosecute Dem candidates. The very illegal pushing of John Ashcroft to sign documents authorizing illegal actions when he was still under anesthetic.

Sorry, but our rights have been trampled more in the last 8 years than they will be moving forward. You may not agree with President Obama's course of action but your individual rights are safer in his hands than they were during the Bush administration.

The scare tactics of the Republicans are just that, "Scare tactics" They worked well to start the Iraq war but did not hold up under the harsh scrutiny of reality. I predict your current scare tactics about the course of the Obama administration will prove to be much the same. No real meat and just scary stories in the night.

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Scott Wedel 5 years ago

I think the Founding Fathers would have been outraged by the Patriot Act, Gitmo and waterboarding. The British used rough tactics during the Revolutionary War. The major challenge of establishing a national government was overcoming the fears that it could do what the British had done which was why the Bill of Rights was needed to gain ratification.

On economic matters, the record is far less clear. First, they lived in an agrarian economy before industrialization. Second, they declined to explicitly put any rights of businesses or corporations into the Constitution. That was no accident because British companies were as powerful as the British government in the colonies. Many of the Founding Fathers were wealthy men and were involved in corporations, but they also knew that corporations should not be given constitutional rights.

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seeuski 5 years, 1 month ago

Right on popcan, Before the Presidential election I was on this sight daily warning about the old Carter gloom and doom years and that Obama would have us into double digit unemployment if he was elected along with the House and Senate being in the control of the Dems. By one vote last week the rights of Americans under the Constitution were upheld when the pitiful ruling of Supreme Court Justice elect Sotomayor's non decision was overturned. Non decision because she cited no law and gave a one paragraph statement in her earlier ruling against the white Firemen. This is a critical juncture in the future of America.If we stand by and allow this Government to continue the process of morphing the US into a fascist state we may have nothing left to fix in 2012. Why the czars? Why the firings of our Investigator Generals? Why no investigations by our elected officials into the documented corruption of the ACORN group? Why will ACORN be handling the coming census? Why did Obama say we were broke but the 787 billion$$ dollars of our money has not been spent? Where is it? Why the hasty voting in of hr-2454 and soon the Health care bill without the Reps even reading them? Why the unconstitutional takeover of the auto makers and rearranging of lien holders in the favor of big Unions? GM and Chrysler should have gone threw the BK process without Obama becoming the CEO and appointing his cronies, a 31 year old law student, to run things.

The answer to all of these is simple. The power to transfer wealth and gain more power and control over the lives of the Citizens of this Country by changing it from a Capitalist Democracy to a Socialist regime.

I bet the Tea Parties attract even more this time around.

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seeuski 5 years, 1 month ago

Trump-suit forgets that we were attacked on 9/11 and most of the Citizens of this Country and of the House and Senate were all for things like the Patriot Act. Bush had every legal right to fire those AG's unlike Obama's firings of the IG's who did a good job in protecting our money from the spread the wealth secret Obama programs. Kevin Johnson (Obamas buddy) got around a $million$ of our money. Foriegn Nationals? How about terrorists who were captured on the battle field? And water boarding three 9/11 conspirators including Khalid Sheik Muhammad by men who first were required to go threw the experience themselves in training is not held to be torture by a majority of Americans. You guys screamed that Bush was asleep at the wheel on 9/11 and then when he takes actions to protect the US from further attacks, as he did successfully, you scream that he is usurping his powers. I say you should read the Constitution and find out about the Presidents duties and then detail who is acting on behalf of the US under the Constitution. Bush or Obama?

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ybul 5 years, 1 month ago

How is it that an individuals rights are safer today? The government is out of control and we need to step back and think about how the job can be done more effectively.

Look at the individuals taking care of the city park in the paper today. People coming together to get the job done. Too bad the government feels as though they need to micro manage everything, as we the people are too ignorant to make a wise decision. Yet are peers think that through legislation they can solve the worlds problems.

I believe that the debate should no longer be centered around the liberal vs the conservative, as it should be centered around the individual versus the collective. Unfortunately the collective mindset, will make mistakes when looking to take care of all the individuals as their are too may variables at play.

The framework of the constitution to protect the individual rights to private property, was a wise decision and applied thoughtfully today still provides a good guide to governance. Thoughtfully considered, it can provide good guidance in all matters.

Regulation and free markets are not mutually exclusive arguments. Free markets coupled with private property protections, require that pollutants have an impact fee imposed upon them as they are causing harm to others.

This application of sound judgement would eliminate the need for subsidies to wind energy as the costs of mercury emissions from power plants would need to be factored into the equation, raising their cost of production and making wind relatively cheaper. This application of principle can be applied anywhere to ensure a more egalitarian society.

Peace

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Fred Duckels 5 years, 1 month ago

Our country is gradually leaving freedom for what too many believe to be security, taking the risk out of life. Our youth are taught this philosophy by academia , which is a powerful surrogate. Many of this group have a disease that I will call the "need to be needed". This is a need to be an intermediary or decision maker for those perceived to need help. This develops into politicians catering and using this group to achieve and maintain power. In reality every individual should make their own decisions and learn to be responsible for the outcome, be it good or bad. This is the freedom that is given to us by our creator, and to rob others of the responsibility, is the mark of a fool. This mentality is widely subscribed to today and robs our country as well as individuals, of the freedom that is possible. The proponents of this philosophy use legislation to replace competition, as this group is in the net consumer category. In the process they get to divide the proceeds of the net producers.

Politically the problem comes from our elected representatives and their primary desire to be reelected. This creates a carnival atmosphere with each pandering to every last whim of the electorate. The need to hold every last vote and grease every squeeky wheel holds our freedom and finances very existence in the balance.

I think that we must take the lead of California, (heaven forbid) and use the grass roots route to say, no more! We will be having another tea party right after the parade on the court house lawn, maybe it sounds hokey but Does anyone have a better idea? O says "we've tried that and it does'nt work", ploy when cornered, and we certainly are cornered. See you there!

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Scott Ford 5 years, 1 month ago

We need to remember that the Founding Fathers did not get it right the first time. Between the Declaration of Independence (1776) and the Constitution there existed the Articles of Confederation. The Constitution replaced the Articles of Confederation in 1787.

The Articles of Confederation failed because it assumed that a "public virtue" existed in America and that given a choice an individual would act in ways for the benefit of all. The Articles of Confederation most likely represents the mindset of the "Founders" immediately after the Declaration of Independence.

They likely believed that the citizens of this newly formed country would work for the common good of the country. The experience of the Revolutionary War associated with the difficulty to raise an army and fund it and the lack of regulations governing interactions between the states following the war changed the minds of the Founding Fathers. Where the Articles of Confederation is conspicuously absent of any federal empowering provisions, the Constitution is built on this foundation that coercive federal authority is absolutely necessary.

It took the Founding Fathers 11 years to come to the realization that people in the name of liberty will act in their own best interest and not the common good. This was a hard lesson to learn in human nature. The beauty of the Constitution is that it creates a federal government that guaranteed liberty, while protecting people from the excesses of liberty. They created a government that would channel self-interest rather than counting on people to set them aside.

The best way we can honor the Founding Fathers in a way that would please them is to commit to the process of government described in the Constitution that channels self-interest of groups and individuals in ways that makes compromise possible.

" Experience has taught us, that men will not adopt & carry into execution, measures the best calculated for their own good without the intervention of a coercive power." / George Washington (1786)

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doubleottseven 5 years, 1 month ago

This article oversimplifies the convoluted state of affairs within the federal and state governments and the desire for a self governing nation. I realize that the article is just one person's opinion but I feel compelled to respond to it.

Mr. Douglas writes "I believe they'd be appalled at how the government has usurped our freedom - and our responsibility to be self-sufficient - to a point where the government has grown to a size the Declaration and Constitution were designed to escape and prevent."

One issue is that there are just too many people in the United States. It would take a total revamping of the system before a self governing nation could monitor or manage the thousands of different area that the govenment now manages, some correctly, some extremely incorrectly. I am talking about farm subsidies, land leasing, parks and wilderness areas, health insurance, infrastructure, schools, welfare, assisted living, etc. The list goes on and on.

The founding fathers were a bit short sighted in my opinion or else they may have changed the Constitution with the times. Now, all we current occupants have is the ability to elect who we think will represent our interests and even that is not a guarantee, because Lord knows they can be bought.

Just some thoughts and thanks for the format in which to voice them.

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Fred Duckels 5 years, 1 month ago

Trump, If I had the hand that W was given, and the responsibility that he had, I would do much the same. If waterboarding was necessary to get information to save many, I would'nt hesitate. I would choose to keep the country safe and the opposition could deal with me later. The left had planned a 4-8 yr. show trial for the Bush administration, but Nancy's complicity in the matter foiled your dreams. We don't hear much from her any more on this subject. Maybe you can send an army of Philadelphia lawyers into battle, but I don't think they would have the courage to go, and it would be easier to free the captors, if we didn't Mirandize them. It will be a while before we can settle our differences the Obama way, maybe a very long while if history teaches us anything.

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trump_suit 5 years ago

Sorry All, but the abuses of the Bush administration will live to be a history lesson. I hope that never again will our chief executive stoop to such lows. While I can completely agree that there were dangers to this great nation after 9/11 that needed to be addressed but the trampling of our individual rights that came out of that is unacceptable.

I believe it is possible to be both secure and free as our nation has always been. When our leaders begin to chip away at our personal privacy rights and decide that torture is necessary we are falling off the pedestal of human rights. I want my email unread and my phone conversations untapped unless and until there is an actual warrant issued by a Judge. There are reasons for the separation of powers that the founding fathers understood quite well.

During Vietnam, this county prosecuted others for war crimes committed during that war. Their crime? Waterboarding of our US soldiers. What on earth makes anyone think that the torture and abuse of prisoners makes us safer. Those actions make us no better than the extremists that oppose us. I have higher ideals for our nation and hope that you do as well.

George Bush was a clown that history will show as one of the worst US presidents ever. In my personal opinion whomever authorized that specific treatment of those prisoners should be in prison. The CIA must agree or those tapes would still exist.

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JLM 5 years ago

Sheesh, the Founding Fathers would be appalled by the magnitude of taxation in the US. They would cringe at the sheep like way we have draped the noose around our own necks. They revolted against England and the most powerful army and navy in the world over a 0.5% tax on tea! Today a wage earning man is taxed over 70% on his wages.

Look at your combined income, payroll, property, sales, transfer, excise taxes and licensing fees and tell me otherwise. We have allowed ourselves to become slaves to the state as the state owns more of our labor than we do ourselves.

The Bush administration did not dismiss any "prosecutors", they dismissed US Attorneys who always serve at the pleasure of the President. They are political appointees. And, yes, US Attorneys are accountable to the Attorney General for which cases they decide to prosecute. Everybody has a boss and if you fail to follow your boss's instructions, you may well get fired. Every President appoints US Attorneys of his own choosing and that requires him to fire the existing bunch.

You think the Founding Fathers would be appalled by waterboarding? The British Army (in particular the Hessian mercenaries and the 42nd Scottish Highlanders --- the Black Watch) used to execute enlisted prisoners and use officers for bayonet drill with the objective being to bayonet them through the eye. Of course, all armies of that time used to loot. This is how second sons built their fortunes in the army and navy during the time of primogeniture. The telling of the tale of the Battle of Princeton would not be complete without noting that the British Army lost all of their loot in the engagement. A larger blow than the military defeat.

One of the most significant things Washington did during the Revolution was not to execute British prisioners. At the end of the war, the Hessian merceniaries who had not been killed settled what has now become Ohio. W knew that these Hessians would want land and would run out the Indians in Ohio. Think about it --- mercenaries hired to kill the Americans became Americans. Huh?

The intrusion of our government into our lives --- whether by its sheer magnitude, cost and complexity or the creation of a professional, permanent political class is at odds with the plans of the Founding Fathers and the vision of the Constitution.

While the complexity, technology and temporal implications --- remember our country was founded by men who had to ride sometimes two weeks to get to a meeting in Philadelphia --- of our lives today require accomodations, we have nonetheless lost contact w/ our roots. This is why the "tea parties" strike such a resonant chord. We all know something is wrong but we can't quite get a revolution started. Term limits would be a good first step.

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trump_suit 5 years ago

Well spoken Scott. I agree.

JLM, I also agree. Term limits would be an excellent start as would campaign finance removal (not reform, removal) Make these Congressmen and Senators responsible to the people again and eliminate the special interest money.

Check out the following story on Iran. I am sure that our country will condemn these actions by their Gov't. Why is it OK for the US, but not for other countries? Answer: It is NOT!

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/04/world/middleeast/04confess.html?hp

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Matthew Stoddard 5 years ago

I think the Founding Fathers would laugh at anyone in this day and age trying to second-guess exactly why and how they framed our Constitution the way they did. There is no way during that time they could have anticipated the needs of a country with easily 300 times the population it had back then, nor the changes in the degree of what needs for "providing for the Common Defense and the General Welfare" could become.

Also, remember that in the Constitution under the Powers of the Legislative Branch, it actually says,

"The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;"

There is no "except in instances of...anything" in that statement. If it's believed to be for the good of the country, whether you agree with it or not, it has that power. The more people that agree with one side will win an election with a majority and they can push thru their agenda, whether one side agrees with it or not. The minority side in any situation just cries louder at that time until they drown out the majority and the cycle starts all over again. It's a teeter-totter.

Remember- the Constituition was written 220 years ago, before anyone even had the luxury of an electric, incandescent light bulb. What do each of you anticipate in the common defense or general welfare in 2229 AD?

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Scott Wedel 5 years ago

But the revolutionary war was not about taxes upon which they voted upon themselves, it was taxes imposed upon them by others. The revolutionary war was financed by taxes on the citizens imposed by the states. And the Whiskey Rebellion was about the right of the federal government to collect taxes. So the Founding Fathers accepted the need to have taxes and the need to collect taxes.

And the whole point of General Washington treating the British or Hessian soldier better than they treated Americans was because because Americans were better than that. And Gitmo and water boarding were contrary to what the Founding Fathers did when faced with similar challenges during the Revolutionary War.

They also thought personal freedom was essential. So it is hard to see how they would have tolerated the Patriot Act. They made it clear that a search warrant signed by a judge was needed to look at someone's mail and that it would not be legal to read all of the mail coming out of a town or such.

I think the Founding Fathers would be surprised at the size of government and that the people allowed themselves to be taxed so heavily. But they would also probably be surprised by our acceptance of fellow citizens in poverty.

I think the Founding Fathers would be far more concerned with personal liberty than our current leaders. I think on economic and social issues they would have a wide variety of opinions. Jefferson might have been a member of the loony left. Patrick Henry might have been a right wing nut.

As for torture and forced confessions in Iran. The difference is that the US didn't torture to get forced confessions. The US tortured to get false information.

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JLM 5 years ago

The Founding Fathers did a pretty comprehensive job and while the size of our Nation has increased, the principles upon which it was founded are still as relevant today as when the Revolution began. Remember, we had a real armed Revolution in which folks fought and died for principles. These principles were not "litigated", they were bathed in the blood of folks who sacrificied everything so we could have the country that we do today. I wonder what principles we would be willing to fight and die for?

What has served us poorly is the creation of a professional political class of full time politicians (and attendant staffs) whose main undertaking is running for election and re-election and raising the money to do so from folks who will have business before them in their elected capacity.

I wonder what the tax rates would be if we were required or allowed to vote on them? Sure taxes are necessary. But they are like spice --- a pinch makes the stew more savory and a handful ruins it. We are way beyond ruining the stew!

We have become a Nation with confiscatory tax rates which serve to dampen entrepreneurial zeal while engaging in class warfare in the middle of the worst recession in history --- the solution to which is to create jobs.

You cannot create jobs by making war against the segment of America which actually creates jobs.

When the State of Maryland cavalierly mandated a "millionaires' tax", one third of the millionaires moved out of the state and the tax receipts actually went down at the dramatically higher rates. Food for thought?

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Scott Wedel 5 years ago

JLM, About the only point which I disagree with you is over confiscatory tax rates. We have lower taxes than most countries and there are few, if any, countries in which a person has a better chance at getting wealthy than the US.

What annoys me is the constant use of taxes to make people behave as desired. The taxes on tobacco is so high as to just be mean to lower income people that are addicted. If Obama with all of his options still admits he has not completely quit smoking then why it is supposed to be any easier for the poor to quit?

When taxing soft drinks with sugar is seriously being considered then something is drastically wrong. So it is not the best nutrition, but that is true for so much that is sold. What next? Fried foods aren't good either so I guess cooking oil will be taxed next.

It is one thing to say something needs to be regulated in public where it affects others, such as smoking in restaurants, but taxes are meant to control the activity in the privacy of a person's home. And generally to control it in the homes of poorer people for which the taxes have a real financial impact and not just an annoyance.

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JLM 5 years ago

Analyzing tax rates (personal, corporate, capital) is a tricky business as one must account for income and its character (earned income, dividend income, capital gains income) as well as payroll taxes (SS, FUTA, SUTA, Medicare, etc.) as well as arcane deductions.

A fairly pure comparison is provided by looking at "capital gains" all by itself. This is one of the purest comparisons and clearly reflects the tax governance policy of a government.

The US has a very high tax rate on capital gains @ 15% (down from 20% under George W Bush) and headed to 25-29% under Barack H Obama.

That's right --- 25-29% under our current administration. Pretty damn high just when we need folks to invest capital to create jobs! Ouch!

Who pays what?

At zero percent --- no tax --- 0% >>> we have Germany, Thailand, Taiwan, Singapore, Mexico, India, Malaysia, Belgium, Indonesia, Netherlands, Hong Kong. Just a bit of a competitive advantage, no?

Japan 7%, Italy 12.5%, Canada 15.5%

Poland 19%, China 20%, France 27% and Denmark 45%

The UK is at a nominal 18% but of course you can simply move your ownership enterprise to the Isle of Jersey or Mann and pay 0% until you repatriate the money and if you simply borrow against it, you ultimately pay nothing.

So, no, the US does not have fairly low taxes.

BTW, in addition to very, very high taxes --- confiscatory in my view --- it is interesting to note that we insure the safety of all of the countries noted above (except for China) at the expense of our taxpayers. So, they charge less tax on capital and get defense for free!

There should be an economy of scale for an economy our size!

This is why we need lower tax rates to put America on a competitive footing w/ entrepreneurs in Taiwan, India, Indonesia, Germany and Japan.

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Fred Duckels 5 years ago

Trump, Referring to your post on abuses by W and co. concerning interrogation techniques. If we take captives and can't use waterboarding etc. to get information, what good does it do to take prisoners? There is no reason to capture when no information can be attained. Would you say that death in the field is more humane than waterboarding? This position will create a 'take no prisoners" posture, dragging home captives is a no win situation.

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aichempty 5 years ago

LOL. Well, I had to try.

I wrote that if it was possible to put a tax on the act of conception, that would solve all our problems.

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seeuski 5 years ago

The Military is also now required to read the Miranda to combatants that are captured in the field. Yes Fred, that thought crossed my mind. You've got the right to........... nah, boooom!

On another note, it's becoming more and more apparent to me that the Editors of this paper are adding zero National opinion pieces from conservative thinkers. I am getting quite tired of the same old stuff from the Krugmans and Dowds. Did we really need another attack piece on Sarah Palin?

Is this paper supposed to be trying to keep the NY Times in business?

Hey guys at the Pilot, this town is not 100% left wing, mix it up a bit or become irrelevant like the rest of the main stream media.

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trump_suit 5 years ago

Fred,

It is my opinion and that of many others that any information obtained thru the illegal torture of Human Beings is not worth the cost. I fully agree with the interrogation techniques that are approved thru the Geneva Conventions, but treating Human Beings like animals is against my beliefs. Prisnoners are a part of War that cannot be avoided but they should be treated humanly.

I believe that it is possible to follow the principles and beliefs that are laid out in the Constitution and also protect this country.

What do you say about the violation of out rights as US citizens?

Illegal Wiretapping, Illegal email monitoring. The indefinite detention of US citizens in Gauntanamo?

Did you know that ALL overseas phone calls were actively monitored for many years after 9/11. Not just foreign nationals, but ALL overseas calls made by US citizens.

Did you know that the FBI has routinely admitted that they illegally read literally billions of emails written by American Citizens.

Did you know the the CIA illegally monitored ALL cell phone conversations for several years after 9/11

These are examples of an Executive branch that has exceeded it's authority. All of these functions would have been fully legitimate if the Executive Branch had used the FISA courts to obtain warrants. What of the attempt to force then Attorney General Ashcroft ( A very conservative AG) to sign authorities that he was uncomfortable with. How can that be explained, he was still under anesthetic?

You always want to highlight the questionable information obtained by these techniques. What about the abuses of our personal right to privacy? If our way of life is important to us, we should protect our citizens from the abuses of an Executive Branch that has no moral compass. It is the job of the Legislative and Judicial branchs to provide that. When these checks and balances are bypassed then we are on the road to anarchy not security.

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trump_suit 5 years ago

PS and for the record. I do not believe that the current level of spending is sustainable. I strongly disagree with the large deficeits that our Gov't is running. These problems exist on both sides of the isle in Congress and if your 1773 group would focus on kicking them all out and balancing the budget no matter what you may get my support. The problem I have with that group is that you all seem to be sour grapes Republicans that only want to blame the Democrats for all problems with our Gov't. You should have been just as strongly against the defieits for the last 8 years also. Where were you then? President Clinton (when his pants were zipped) at least left us with a balanced budget.

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Kevin Nerney 5 years ago

Two wrongs don't make a right, but what do you think is happening to that Marine taken captive in Afganistan? Somehow I don't think he's dining on fine wine and caviar.

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seeuski 5 years ago

Maybe if some posters here would actually attend a 1773 gathering they might then understand that the group stands for exactly what trump just described above. But, the reality of past Administrations and how the budgets were administered don't quite square with trumps post. Clinton's budget was strongly affected by a Republican run Congress and Bush inherited a recession in 2000 and instead of stimulus and higher taxes he lower taxes and the economy boomed. The big argument was and is over the spending associated with the wars after 9/11 and whether they were justified. I think we should again listen to Joe Biden as he states that Obama misunderstood the economic conditions and now realizes that their inclusion of 4% growth in the budget was wrong. I don't believe this explanation. I believe Obama just executed his agenda and was pulling the wool over our eyes. As far as trumps statements about illegal wiretaps and emails in the billions being read, WOW! That sounds like inside information to me. All I can say is, we have not been attacked since 9/11 so I guess for me, water boarding 3 known terrorists and monitoring overseas emails and other tactics worked pretty damn well.

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Fred Duckels 5 years ago

Trump, The left has lost electioins by being soft on national security. They have plotted to correct this weakness, not by being more competent, but by lowering the image of the right. This explains your contrived indignation, as well as the position of the left that Bush is creating our problems. Obama's apologizing tours try to project the image that our country is responsible for the worlds disagreements.All this is an effort to take the high ground on defense, cut the spending and use it on social programs, that will yield dividends by attracting more voters appreciative of your compassion. Two birds with one stone. What would you say if Bush had followed your "Little Bo Peep" program and we suffered another attack, I can only imagine the partisan onslaught.

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trump_suit 5 years ago

Are you concerned about your privacy rights being violated? Would it bother you to have all of the mail in your mailbox opened and reviewed by your Government? Why are electronic communications any different.

No, seeuski I do not have any inside information, just a real concern about what is going on with our private communications. In my opinion this is even scarier than than taking away our weapons or terrorist attacks.

Fred, Failing to protect us: Would that be ignoring the information that was coming to them from former Clinton staffers? There is a difference between protecting our country and using scare tactics to violate constitutional protections and rights.

Here are just a few links from mostly news articles about the abuses and concerns of the Bush administration. Make your own judgement. I was unable to locate some of the articles that contained specific numbers and allegations. They seem to be missing when you search. All of them were published in normal news channels at the time. A simple Google search reveals much if you care to be informed.

Patriot Act Unconsitutional http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/law/09/26/patriot.act/index.html?iref=newssearch http://www.cnn.com/2004/LAW/10/15/ramasastry.patriot.act/index.html?iref=newssearch

Illegal Wiretapping http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/07/31/congress.gonzales/index.html?iref=newssearch

John Ashcroft http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/07/26/gonzales.testimony/index.html?iref=newssearch

International Phone Monitoring http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/07/13/nsawiretaps.bill/index.html?iref=newssearch

Warrantless Wiretapping Article http://www.cnn.com/2005/POLITICS/12/19/morton.wiretaps/index.html?iref=newssearch

Missing/Deleted emails from Whitehouse and RNC servers http://archives.cnn.com/2000/ALLPOLITICS/stories/08/25/wh.email/index.html http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/04/13/white.house.email/index.html?iref=newssearch

Email Surveilance Programs http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/17/us/17nsa.html?_r=1&ref=todayspaper http://www.newsfollowup.com/dom_spy_agncy2.htm

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aichempty 5 years ago

Everyone should know that when you send unencrypted communications over the internet or the public airways, phone lines, etc., that anyone who cares to monitor them can do so.

Your next-door neighbor can do it just as easily as any Big Brother government goon.

You are protected from prosecution using unlawfully obtained evidence.

Our leaders are finally taking steps to protect us even if it's impossible to prosecute the bad guys who plan to harm us as a result.

If your privacy is absolutely necessary, then used air-gapped means to compose communications and ship them by UPS or Fedex.

Bugging your house and putting a camera in your bedroom without a warrant is where the right to privacy ends. Beyond that, anything you send "in the clear" using any form of communication, including having a conversation in a public place, is subject to intercept by anyone who wants to know.

So, if your business or personal life is something you can't afford to have known by others, use secure means or shut the #### up.

And while you're at it, please name even ONE innocent citizen who has been harmed in any way by invasions of "privacy" of our non-secure communications links by the U S Government.

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Fred Duckels 5 years ago

Trump. No it does not bother me. If I give someone a job to do that is as important as 9-11, I will give them the authority to do whatever it takes. I will not have them run it by you, and the ACLU to see if Nancy Pelosi will bless it. I want John Wayne, not Pee Wee Herman to protect me. You don't seem to respond to my assesment of the left game plan to take the high ground on defense. You are too busy with websites that try to make sure that Bush is villanized, as causing all the worlds problems, and that the left is going to take over and use the Bo Peep program to deal with adversaries. I think that you folks might enjoy France better, and take your cool aid with you.

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aichempty 5 years ago

Actually, Fred, if you visited France and got out into the countryside you'd find that many people share your values. I've spent some time with the French military and they are no-nonsense stand-up fellows who are prepared to rain nuclear destruction on the next country that tries to occupy Paris. Of course, the people in Paris would be out in huge numbers to protest, but they should be compared to New Yorkers (not the good New Yorkers) who push liberal ideas.

I found the average Frenchman to be more conservative than almost anybody in Steamboat. One incident that warms my heart was an attempted purse-snatching in the Bordeaux airport, after which the snatcher was run to ground and beaten soundly by onlookers before the gendarmes ("men of arms, " or police) could arrive.

Our problem is that too many people (like Bill Mahr) complain from a safe distance. I want my leaders to have the courage to stand on the front lines and protest the erosion of civil liberties while under fire from the enemy. $crew the rest of them.

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trump_suit 5 years ago

I have a problem with my rights being violated. You may call USATODAY and CNN left wing publications if you so choose. I personally get my news from many different sources.

The Courts have already determined that your electronic comunication carries the same right to privacy as does your USPS snail mail including Fedex and UPS.

Again, why is it OK to violate some of our rules while claiming to protect us. Yes, I have a problem with what the Bush administration did following 9/11. The speech that he gave from the pile of rubble was one of the best I have ever heard and I applauded with the rest of you. The specific actions that followed that speech are very much in question.

PS. I voted for George Bush twice. Surprise you? I also voted for Reagan, the first Bush, Clinton, and Obama. I do not consider myself a bleeding heart liberal and actually agree with many of the ideas of the 1773 group in regards to economic and fiscal policies.

I have a very large problem when my rights are violated, and you will not be allowed to take my weapons.

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seeuski 5 years ago

trump, I am curious, you say you voted for Clinton twice but you voted for Bush twice. Why didn't you vote for Gore as I did? It seems the logical thing if you had been a Clinton fan as I once was. And if you say we should have been having Tea Parties during Bush and we now have somehow seen the light why not join us instead of condemning us?

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trump_suit 5 years ago

I simply cannot condone the attitude about the violation of our liberties and rights that seem to be so common in the right wing of the Republican party. Sorry to say but from what I see most of the attitudes I see from the 1773 group are just as exclusionary and immune to the problems I see with these issues. I do not agree with Fred in any way shape or form on this issue. I do however respect the way he presents his arguments and beliefs.

Gore seemed like a loser to me and his environmental doom and gloom seemed remote at the time. He just rubs me the wrong way and I do not like him much. Kerry was closer but something just was not there with him either He and Mitt Romney feel similar to me, willing to represent whatever side of the issue is most popular. In Gore's case, time may yet prove him right.

PS. I also hate it when they blame Obama for all the ills in our country right now. You may agree or disagree with his policies but he is doing pretty much what he said he would, and many respected economists tell us that the things he has passed are in fact the right approach. TARP should be credited to Pres. Bush.

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trump_suit 5 years ago

JLM, Did you read any of those articles? They come straight from the mainstream media and you are wrong. Both the FBI and CIA have openly acknowledged abusing their eavesdropping powers repeatedly. The NSA rarely acknowledges anything pubically so there is really no telling about them.

Enemy combatants, yes I fully agree. Torture no, never.. Failing to follow the fundamental treatment of Human beings laid out in the Geneva conventions hurts us all. Even your military commanders and ex-military politicians agree about that. There is simply no excuse for some of the treatment of prisoners that went on at Abu-Garib and Gitmo. I do not disagree with the holding of these prisoners and feel that we do need these detention facilities. It is the treatment of those prisoners that I take issue with.

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JLM 5 years ago

@ trump ---

Wow, one hardly knows where to start w/ the deluge of misinformation you have presented as "fact".

First, the Geneva Conventions pertain to prisoners of war --- soldiers of a sovereign country (a signatory of the Conventions) captured wearing the uniform of that country while engaged in combat against another signatory sovereign nation of the Geneva Conventions. The reason the Geneva Conventions do not apply is because terrorists are not prisoners of war and do not wear uniforms.

Terrorists are also not "criminals" subject to American criminal statutes --- if for no other reason than the simple geographical imperative of where they were captured --- and thereby entitled to receive the Miranda Warning as a prelude to questioning. American criminal law does not have jurisdiction in Afghanistan, as an example.

The Bush Administration crafted an elegant but contrived solution to this unique problem by calling them "enemy combatants" and attempting to create a status that was both factually accurate and workable. Trying them in military tribunals was not a bad solution. After all the criticism and grandstanding, this is about where the Obama Administration ends us --- ooops, this really is an awkward little technicality, isn't it? Why ascribe bad faith to what is simply a pragmatic reality? Do you desire these folks to be paroled to say, SBS? I don't!

I say charge them, try them and hold them forever and a day.

BTW, being a POW is no walk in the park and does not ensure good treatment. The Russians sent back some of their German WWII prisoners as late as the late 1960s! A POW is not entitled to a "due process" or habeus corpus action. Not how the GCs work.

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JLM 5 years ago

(continued)

Neither the CIA nor the FBI has engaged in listening to or reading your phone calls or e-mails. That is done by the NSA and is pursued using a digital technique called "sampling" wherein a supercomputer listens for or attempts to digitally recognize "code words" which are of interest based upon simple algorithms (e.g. "Arabic" voices talking about "bombs"). The key to the exercise is to make a good algorithm. Virtually no conversations or e-mails are ever seen or heard by a human being as the computers do all of the work. The "take" which is, in fact, reviewed by humans with a complete transcript in hand is orders of magnitude --- 0.000001% of all such communications.

The most important thing is this --- why do you think this is a "new" program? The NSA has been doing this for years and years. Only the sampling percentage and the algorithms are expanded.

When you put your e-mail on the Internet and your voice in the ether --- you have sacrificied all privacy expectations no differently than if you had a "private" conversation in a public place and someone could innocently eavesdrop.

Why would our government have any reluctance to attempt to keep us safe by monitoring available data to identify, target and kill threats to our safety? Would it not be misfeasance on their part if they failed to do this? What is the significance of an "invasion of privacy" if the government fails to act upon any of the information? What is the damage if they read your dopey e-mails to your Mom? Balance that harmless action v being fairly safe for almost ten years since 9-11. My vote --- read my damn e-mails, they're pretty damn tame any way.

Not a single American has been held at Gitmo or do you know something that the rest of the world does not? These are "enemy combatants" not American criminals.

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seeuski 5 years ago

This is the breaking news headline at CNN.

Fewer people than expected file for first-time unemployment benefits -- 565,000 compared with 617,000 in previous week.

WOW! Only 565,000 new first time unemployment claims last week. Yea Obama's strategy is working. Change alright.

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seeuski 5 years ago

"PS. I also hate it when they blame Obama for all the ills in our country right now. You may agree or disagree with his policies but he is doing pretty much what he said he would, and many respected economists tell us that the things he has passed are in fact the right approach. TARP should be credited to Pres. Bush."

Please, which respected economists do you speak of? And no, regardless of the fact that I didn't and would never vote for Obama or anyone who had promised to "spread the wealth around" I don't like his policies or the direction he is taking the country in. 34 czars and counting? You are for that? Zero balance of power as Dems are rubber stamping the socialist agenda through? You are for that? After being told by Obama that without his bailout plans we would see 9% unemployment and now that we have his stimulus we are at 9.5% and counting, you are for that? McCain was bashed by Obama for having a Health Care plan that called for a tax on the $5,000 Government Health Care credit but now Obama is calling for just that, you OK with that too? So you say Obama is doing what he said he would do, where is the scalpel he said he would use to cut out the pork spending from his budget? I guess his TV apology for the pork in his budget was good enough for you. No, I say Obama has an agenda, always had it and was pulling the wool over many Americans eyes. Those that have come to their senses and now regret they voted for his "change" are the people that have courage to see the truth. Good luck.

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seeuski 5 years ago

What treatment do you refer to trump? Those prisoners were given Halal food, Korans, rugs etc. etc. They were treated better than normal prisoners here in the US. I shed no tears for those terrorists. I do shed tears for those who have been beheaded by those terrorists as if they were animals to be butchered. But as many did before, you will join the club for revenge after the next terrorist attack sadly occurs as long as it is a Democrat POTUS who takes it.

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aichempty 5 years ago

Trump,

My Dad was a Marine at the end of WW-II. He did not see combat, but he served with seasoned veterans of Iwo Jima and other brutal campaigns.

He was told a story of a young Marine who was left to guard two Japanese prisoners. He was later found hacked to pieces. After that, his unit took no more prisoners. Wanna guess what they did with a "live one" when the caught one?

Get real, friend. We're in a life and death battle. "THEY" started it, and we're in danger. The rules of war are far different from the rules of peacetime, and I doubt you'd find any refugees walking barefoot away from the front lines, hauling all they can carry of the life they used to lead, who are concerned about the fact that somebody was reading their mail.

People often accuse me of being idealistic. I am. But I also realize that the needs of the moment related to Maslo's Hierarchy put "privacy" way down on the list below "not gettin' blowed up" in my book.

I feel like you do about the privacy issues, and my reaction has been to refrain from communicating about private matters unless absolutely necessary. Privacy is also the reason I remain anonymous to most of you (some know me) because I don't want some doper running out to my place and painting graffiti on the front gate while I'm away to retaliate for something I've posted here.

The thing everybody has to learn from the privacy issue and violations of our privacies are that human beings are self-serving, irresponsible and prone to do unlawful things when they can get away with it. The people who work for the government are no different, and in many cases may be worse. The way for common citizens to make things BETTER is to sign up and serve and to take jobs in places where they can see and report abuses that occur.

Your privacy is not guaranteed. You must protect it. If that means going to work for the agencies that violate it, and blowing the whistle if you're so inclined, then do it.

Nobody got to Colorado from the East coast by waiting for some supernatural force to come along and move them to the Square State. They had to get up, work hard, endure hardship and risk their lives just to GET here. It's the same with preservation of our rights and liberties. If you're not pesonally working at it, don't complain when things go bad. That's life in America. We've created the problems and let them go unsolved. Expecting "somebody" in Washington DC to make it better is a losing proposition.

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JLM 5 years ago

There is a boat load of baloney at work on the issue of Gitmo. What would be the "ideal" prison site for a bunch of potentially very dangerous and desperate terrorists?

Hmmm, how about an island prison where they were physically isolated and could not escape? Hey, that sounds like Gitmo, boys & girls!

I am not aware of any allegations of wrong doing at Gitmo --- terrorist prison rather than POW enclave like Abu Ghraib. Well, they did serve white wine with goat one night!

In all the allegations of "torture" we are reduced to a bit of water play with three well vetted terrorists. I suspect that there is more dangerous fraternity hazing in the US than the actual "torture" reported.

I am personally in favor of a bit of strenuous interrogation and environmental control --- and, if some would call that "torture" then I am perfectly comfortable with that characterization. But, hey, that's just me.

The Abu Ghraib situation was caused by some sorry National Guard Military Police units who were woefully undersupervised by their officers and senior non-coms. MPs are sorry troops and National Guard MPs are the sorriest of the lot.

There was a lot of confusion as to who was "interrogating" the prisoners --- military intelligence, CIA, contractors, MPs? MPs are usually not involved in interrogation of POWs but rather their safekeeping and security.

No real soldier wants to be an MP and they get the dregs of the Army to serve. Soldiers hate the MPs because they discipline soldiers.

In the Army, the artillery, the combat engineers and the MPs all wear red/crimson scarves on pay day. The cannon cockers and the combat engineers love to whip the MPs and take their scarves (and the wives and girlfriends) on pay day.

Punishment was meted out w/ a BG being demoted and several enlisted men and officers being court martialed.

The treatment at Abu Ghraib was wrong and was indicative of bored, sorry troops trying to entertain themselves and playing w/ the prisoners. It was more than a bit perverted but it was not earthshattering.

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trump_suit 5 years ago

And so you make my point for me. Until and unless the 1773 group acknowedges the abuses and mistakes of the Bush administration you are going to have a very hard time convincing any fiscally minded centrists or Democrats to join your tent.

Some of us may be very leery of the Obama fiscal plans and policies but we will not join with a group that has such a right wing agenda in regards to social issues.

I agree that a new direction is needed in politics but the sour grapes coming from the conservative right is not it. I may be more vocal than some in this argument but I am not alone.

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seeuski 5 years ago

I am sure I know which story trumpy was trying to link to and all one needs to do is read this paragraph from the wiretapping story and make up their own mind if we were protected or abused under it.

"The program, launched by President Bush in the weeks after the September 11 attacks, allowed for -- without court approval -- the interception of communications into and out of the United States if there was a "reasonable basis" that one of the parties was a terrorist."

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JLM 5 years ago

It is pretty clear that GWB was not a fiscal conservative based upon his actual governance. I don't see anybody rising to defend his spending policies. I don't see why a fiscal conservative has to apologize for someone who clearly was not one. He is irrelevant to the current movement in the country. GWB is history.

He was pretty damn good at keeping the country safe during a very trying period in our history.

The issue seems to be whether what was needed to keep us safe was "appropriate". Make up your own mind, I offer no opinon or defense. I am personally OK w/ everything that transpired and would even be willing to admit that in the heat of passion maybe some junior G-men got carried away. OK, so what? Nobody really knew the magnitude of the threat, so an ounce of prevention...........

But what I cannot understand is exactly where the damage lies on such subjects as the Patriot Act and the NSA's heightened surveillance of communications. Was someone injured, was someone hurt, were damages incurred? This seems an awful lot like using the wrong fork w/ shellfish --- not really a crime, not really going to make you go hungry but just a bit awkward. Awkward is not a criminal offense.

I am truly not aware of any anecdotal information which supports the public outcry about these methods.

I hate going through screening at airports and I don't think it is particularly effective but I am not offended by the effort and I have been greatly inconvenienced. Freedom is not the same as convenience.

Interesting enough, the number of Americans who self describe themselves as "conservative" is growing and is now the largest self description applied by the population. I suspect the unifying force is primarily economic rather than social.

It is difficult to maintain any enthusiasm for Obama given the huge differences between his campaign rhetoric and his actual governance. It is also pretty clear that the Stimulus is not working and that the baloney of the Stimulus being necessary to maintain unemployment below 8% was just pure BS.

The truth of the matter is that nobody knows what they are doing, what is necessary to be done and the entire operation is just a great big experiment. However, our country's greatness was built upon simple capitalist principles and not on reliance on government to fashion solutions and on this score we have killed the milk cow and now are missing the milk.

You cannot make war on the job creating slice of America and then expect them to create jobs. Neither can you have the productive half of America support the less productive half be it tax rebates, tax rates or health care. Not only is it not feasible financially, it destroys the very fabric of the self reliance which makes us Americans.

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trump_suit 5 years ago

Directly from the report:

"The notion that basically one person at the Justice Department, John Yoo, and Hayden and the vice president's office were running a program around the laws that Congress passed, including a reinterpretation of the Fourth Amendment, is mind boggling," Harman said.

It goes further to say that then Pres. Bush directly authorized bypassing the FISA courts and congress to authorize warrant less wiretapping of ALL electronic communications both foreign and domestic. Read closer. ALL communications, not just people considered to be a risk.

This is a clear violation of our civil liberties and for those of you that care about such things there should be outrage.

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trump_suit 5 years ago

A more left leaning publication but, read closely.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/11/us/11nsa.html?_r=1&hp

"While former Bush administration officials continue to argue that their policies made the country safer," said Senator Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon, "I believe this report shows that their obsession with secrecy and their refusal to accept oversight was actually harmful to U.S. national security, not to mention the privacy rights of law-abiding Americans."

A statement from Dennis Blair, the current director of national intelligence, said he was committed to "seeing that all surveillance activities protect U.S. national security and comply with the laws of the United States."

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JLM 5 years ago

"This is a clear violation of our civil liberties and for those of you that care about such things there should be outrage."

While I don't agree w/ your assumption, let's just assume for the sake of argument that your view is well founded.

And what damage is created?

When you send out an e-mail, you have no real presumption of privacy --- witness the Governor of SC and his dopey e-mails.

When you cast your phone call into the ether (vulnerable to intercept with a Radio Shack level of technology) you have no real expectation of privacy.

But, even so, what if you did and it was violated?

What damage was created by the NSA listening to hear appropriate code words which fit into an algorithm which signaled to them the potential for terrorist activity?

Understand the only "corner that was cut" was not obtaining a FISA warrant. It is all a bunch of administrative baloney.

Again, how were you damaged?

On the other hand, how might your physical security and safety have been enhanced? Surely something is at the root of our apparent and obvious safety since 9-11. I would like a second helping or two of that recipe, please.

This is all just phoney outrage intended for consumption by the political class in America and intended solely to pick a fight --- where no good basis exists for picking a fight --- w/ GWB cause some folks don't like him.

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trump_suit 5 years ago

Hypothetically, lets say I get )(*&^& faced drunk and drive home safely. Who was harmed? Were any laws violated?

Lets say that an un-named woman was talking to her sister about her cancer diagnosis and the Gov't "accidently" let her insurance company know. Would that be a problem?

What if Joe Blow CIA officer "Innocently" found out thru that illegal wiretap that his church going neighbor was having a gay affair? Would that stay private?

This is a wrongful abuse of our right to privacy as American citizens. It is right up there in the Bill of Rights with Freedom of Speech and the Right to Bear Arms. I cannot accept the argument that no damage was done so what is your beef.

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knee_dropper 5 years ago

It's interesting how a lot of the right is up in arms about Obama's "socialist" programs and how our rights as Americans are endangered but are perfectly willing to submit to big brother government antics such as email interception and wireless phone tapping. Who's to say that those being monitored will always have a different skin color or religious belief? If we allow these rights to continue to slip away, it may be political dissenters that start getting more scrutiny, as has already happened in our nations past. Or maybe it's just the policies that get in the way of making a few bucks that really anger the tea bag nation.

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aichempty 5 years ago

The unspoken thread in all this is that people with nothing to hide have nothing to fear.

The protections in the Constitution were put there to protect political dissent. The founders never thought they would be used to get around the law of the land, but they are.

There was a time when people obeyed the laws because they flowed down from the Ten Commandments. Can't do that anymore, because it's too much fun to break them.

I had an experience recently where an attorney had put together an ethics presentation that was filled with Dilbert cartoon strips. I asked him how he justified using copyrighted material so freely, and he replied, "It's okay. It's for educational purposes." Well, no, it's not okay. He was copying the stuff from some cartoon website that had very specific restrictions on how the material could be used, and he was violating all of them. The thing that made it so bad was that he was standing up in front of a bunch of U S Government employees and lecturing them on what does, and does not, constitute an ethics violation.

I'll just say that, apparently, my old pen-pal Scott Adams didn't think what he was doing was okay. He he he.

When you do something that's unlawful, or on the edge, or unethical, or unfaithful, or not socially acceptable, then you take the risk of discovery. It's easy. Just don't use the phone or e-mail to communicate about it, and nobody will know. If you have something that incriminates you, then make sure you handle it in a way that will require a warrant for law-enforcement to use it against you.

My advice is to simplify your life and live so that such things don't matter, and the "man" will bother somebody else. I know this because I can't get them to investigate people who are committing federal crimes, because there's not enough money involved to meet the Department of Justice threshold for prosecution, and no violence is involved.

Your paranoia is the only thing threatening your commission of petty crimes. Bernie Madoff is only the first. Unless you're over 2 million for tax evasion, you've got nothing to worry about. The feds don't waste money on anything less, because they've got more big fish than they can ever catch. Just don't harm anyone physically, and you'll never hear from them.

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Matthew Stoddard 5 years ago

aich- the first line of your paragraph above (and from other people who espouse an equivalent) would be a lot less funny if you used your real name on this site! LOL! I'm betting all the people who left this site for that other one because of privacy paranoia are okay with the government privacy-piracy, even if Dem's are in charge right now. LOL!

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seeuski 5 years ago

Eventually the left wing media and it's minions and followers will stop using trumped up, pun intended, bogus claims to direct attention away from the abysmal performance of the Obama administration policies of tax and spread along with take from the haves and give to the Obama voters.

A little dose of reality might help!

"The Obama Justice Department has adopted a legal stance identical to, if not more aggressive than, the Bush version. It argues that the court-forced disclosure of the surveillance programs would cause "exceptional harm to national security" by exposing intelligence sources and methods. Last Friday the Ninth Circuit denied the latest emergency motion to dismiss, again kicking matters back to Judge Walker." .....further... "Then again, we are relearning that the "Imperial Presidency" is only imperial when the President is a Republican. Democrats who spent years denouncing George Bush for "spying on Americans" and "illegal wiretaps" are now conspicuously silent. Yet these same liberals are going ballistic about the Bush-era legal memos released this week. Cognitive dissonance is the polite explanation, and we wouldn't be surprised if Mr. Holder released them precisely to distract liberal attention from the Al-Haramain case."

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123638765474658467.html

What a waste of time. As if the World is at peace and harmony now that the great one has taken over. And yes, the "Tea Party" people are against losing our Republic to a Marxist/Socialist vision that Obama leads with. If you watched his speech yesterday you would have heard him say we can't expect to have the new Health Care plan of his for nothin. I don't see how people can be so ready for a double secret plan that would replace what is working with a Government run clusterf&^%. Scares me to death.

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seeuski 5 years ago

"President Obama promised the American people a new era of transparency, accountability, and respect for civil liberties," EFF senior staff attorney Kevin Bankston."But with the Obama Justice Department continuing the Bush administration's cover-up of the National Security Agency's dragnet surveillance of millions of Americans, and insisting that much-publicized warrentless wiretapping program is still a 'secret' that cannot be reviewed by the courts, it feels like deja vu all over again." http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/04/06/obama_doj_seeks_dismissal_wiretap_lawsuit/

Trump and the rest are barking up the wrong tree it seems. Either start complaining about the Left Wing Obama illegal wiretaps or go away.

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seeuski 5 years ago

Oh and by the way, I won't condemn Obama on this one unless he does the unthinkable and uses wiretapping for political purposes like tapping opponents phones. That would be worthy of a frog walk which I already think he deserves.

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aichempty 5 years ago

Matthew,

If the police could be counted upon to protect lives and property when threats have been made, I would post my real name. They can't. As I have posted before, having a unique name makes it easy to find you and your family in a town/county this small. I'll tell you this much; my name is in the phone book, with my number, and my tax records and other public documents are there for anyone to see.

Just for fun, try looking up records on the judges and DAs. Also try looking up names of law enforcement officers. These folks have the same reasons that I have for not making it easy for some yahoo in a drunked up fit of pique to come around offering to "kick your @$$!" I'm not worred about mine, because I am well qualified to defend it, but there are others involved and I'm not going to put them at risk.

Besides, even if you knew my name, it would mean nothing to anybody. The only thing I can do to change the world is vote.

Back on point, Obama needs to be credited for learning the truth about the world and acting accordingly. He's a smart man. He's about 25 points south of me on the IQ scale, but he learns quickly and has acted accordingly. Unfortunately, the promises his administration is making on the social issues and even the GM bailout are going to fall short. People elected him thinking they would get something for nothing, and there's not enough spare change laying around to provide benefits for the masses. Some people are incapable of being successful, and their comfort is going to suffer now that financial realities have come home to roost.

We've got Ponzi schemes working in this county. People are getting rich on money paid by others, and the guys on the end of the whip will loose what they put in. Name one? How about the house in Stagecoach that sold for $500k two years ago and just resold for $297k. Somebody lost $200k in equity. The only difference is, in that case, no laws were broken.

Realities are going to set in soon enough, and the mid-term elections will be interesting to watch. In the end, hard work, saving and personal responsibility are the keys. I don't know what's going to happen to the losers, but I know I don't want to be around the places where 30% of the population ends up like the people who were displaced from New Orleans by the hurricane. This would be the time to start planning ahead. Fair warning.

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JLM 5 years ago

Trump, babe, bring it back to reality.

Driving drunk is illegal. Getting home while driving drunk is lucky. Still illegal.

An insurance company is entitled to know the medical history of its customers --- a basic element of the contract --- and is thereby obligated to provide coverage as agreed.

The gay affair church going neighbor next door --- well, OK, that is a weird one but again it is unlikely the FBI is actually randomly tapping his phone. The issue at hand is centered on the NSA using its surveillance capabilities driven by super computers to mine code words from e-mail and voice traffic and to impose code word driven algorithms which are based upon probably terrorist speech patterns. So, if your gay friend next door is not a terrorist, then he is probably OK.

Your examples are so extreme because you viewpoint is so extreme.

This is really much ado about nothing. Except it has apparently been critical to our safety since 9-11 and the Obama Administration is defending it hammer and tongs. So what does that tell you?

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seeuski 5 years ago

One mans opinion is what you are free to express here. Eventually though, you will have to direct your attention at the actions of the current Administration and their lack of openness like the recent firings of the IG's who uncovered the theft of millions of tax dollars through the Obama spread the wealth programs. The timing of these bogus probes against the Bush Administration is obvious and most Americans can see through the smoke screen. On a lighter note, using the word "publicly" can be dangerous when misspelled.

To the Pilot Editors: If you are going to continue to include the childish rantings of Maureen Dowd and her paranoia against Sarah Palin, three in row now in the opinion section, you should at least balance it out with Conservative opinion or just go ahead and rename the section the funny pages. Why do we need the whole section committed to the loony left wing?

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trump_suit 5 years ago

I agree, driving drunk is ilegal and should be punished.

Warrantless wiretapping is illegal and should be punished.

Torture is illegal and should be punished.

Sounds like the bad apples started at the very top. http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/07/11/cheney.surveillance/index.html

I fail to understand how all of you strict constitutionalists can tolerate the Bush expansion of presidential powers and perogatives. Flat out, they broke the law. I am not calling for any courts or arrests, but our country should pubically recognize that abuses took place and vow to never let our rights be violated again.

This is not much ado about nothing, it is about our fundamental right to privacy and the nature of electronic communicatons. The Government does not have the "Right" to monitor all communications just because they have the ability.

While there is much good in the security apparatus that was created after 9/11, there is also much cause for concern. I do not accept the argument that "no harm no foul" or "I do not have anything to hide, let them look"

The Bush administration operated in the dark for as long as possible and now those abuses are coming to light. Why did they intentionally destroy millions of White House and RNC emails? Covering their tracks maybe? My prediction is that there will be consequences for those officials that violated our laws. Watch and listen, in the future you will come to understand that this is in fact a HUGE problem.

Call me a concerned citizen that does not give away my rights. They are all documented very well in a document called "The Bill of Rights" . Read it closely and you will discover that your Rights have been violated. Just like the drunk driver that got home safely, a law has been broken.

See, At least the Obama administration has subjegated it's surveillance programs to the FISA courts as required by law. He has also stated that we America "Will not torture" unlike Bush/Cheney who waffled about whether this or that was torture, and whether or not this human or that one deserved to be treated humanely. Walking down that path makes us no better than the unseen enemies that are the opponent.

If the Obama administration tries to take away my rights with specifically HR-45, I will be screaming just as loudly, watch and see.

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Kevin Nerney 5 years ago

I'm sure all the bloggers on this site are old enough to remember the first World Trade Center Bombing in Feb. '94. From that one until 9/11 was 7 1/2 years. It is now only 8 1/2 years, so in reality we have only been safe for 1 year. We are either overdue or new measures in place aren't really effective. Being the pessimist from back east, I think someone out there is losing sleep over the unimaginable. We never imagined using commercial jets as bombs. So anything we can imagine and attempt to stop is similar to monday morning quarterbacking. Maybe "they" bought land on a fault line and under the pretense of drilling for oil are going to set off a bomb underground causing an eartquake. Who knows whats next. As all the bumper stickers and T-shirts say "Never Forget".

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Rob Douglas 5 years ago

Obama Administration Defends Bush Wiretapping

http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9135575/Obama_administration_defends_Bush_wiretapping?source=rss_news

"While campaigning against President George W. Bush, Barack Obama had pledged that there would be "no more wiretapping of American citizens," but Obama's administration has continued to use many of his predecessor's arguments when it comes to warrantless wiretapping. After the nearly two hours of arguments ended in court Wednesday, EFF lawyers said Obama had reneged on campaign promises by continuing to support the program. "It's not surprising; it is disappointing," said Kevin Bankston, an EFF attorney."

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aichempty 5 years ago

In August of 1945, the first atomic bombs were dropped on Japan, and resulted in the cessation of hostilities. Hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians were killed in those attacks. It was an act of war that was necessary to obtain peace.

Wiretapping is an act of war, necessary to obtain peace.

People need to get over it. This is especially true since, if you're really worried about it, you can avoid the issue by using less convenient means of communication. If you want to blame somebody, blame Alexander Graham Bell and Al Gore (the inventors of the telephone and the internet). It's really their fault for coming up with ideas that would allow our enemies to use technology against us.

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seeuski 5 years ago

There is noticeably less posts than last year about these programs and the ones that are posting are less vociferous than before because their dear leader, Obama, has expanded on the wiretapping. I think Obama has other ideas for whom to tap though other than potential terrorists.

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playa46 5 years ago

To all the lefties-

What if a terrorist walks into a building and blows it all up? The officer will only read of his rights because we "don't torture". The crisis could have also been avoided if we could tap their phones (if they had any).

For those who feel that they're precious little rights have been violated, if you are captured and taken hostage by terrorists, the last thing they will do is give you your rights. Just because we would stop torture doesn't mean others will follow.

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trump_suit 5 years ago

Two wrongs do not make a right. Our country was one of the strongest proponents of the Geneva Conventions and we should be the light guiding the world forward.

Just like our enemies get no useful information from torturing Americans, we got no useful information from torturing. The information we gathered from our approved interrogation techniques was actually more useful. (Look it up) Yes, Aich, torture is an act of war. One used by our enemies that we have frequently derided. America need not stoop so low.

I sincerely hope that our current president has subjected the electronic surveillance program to the FISA court as directed by law. I have no problem with protect our country using these surveillance methods as long as the Judicial process is followed.

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seeuski 5 years ago

trump, There is no credibility in an editorial written by a ghost and from the NY Times. It is the typical Bush bashing hit piece and doesn't come close to the veracity of the Yoo article from Rob Douglas. Sorry, but you will change no minds with that stuff.

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aichempty 5 years ago

trump,

Japan never signed the Geneval Convention.

This is one reason why U S Marines were found dead, with their arms and legs cut off, and their genitals removed and stuffed into their mouths.

We should start informing the Muslim world that all ammunition made in the United States is contaminated with the blood of pigs. That would do a lot more good than wire taps, I think.

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trump_suit 5 years ago

What other countries have done to our soldiers and citizens is unacceptable. Why then is in OK for the USA to do evil to others?

I actually like that suggestion. We could also use the A-10 Gatlings loaded with pig blood ammo instead of spend nuclear fuel :) If that works we can just drop barrels of the stuff anywhere we don't want them to congregate. You might be on to something here Aich. Have you spoken to the Pentagon about this?

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seeuski 5 years ago

Stoddard, Rob uses an article from the Washington Post, not a so called right wing paper, and you pick out an article from the NY Times? There is no comparison here, both are liberal rags so yours is going to be slanted from the start, and the Post to have such fuel against the Obama agenda just shows that almost everyone but you are seeing through the Obama smokescreen. Can't wait to see how the suit by the fired IG Walpin filed yesterday plays out. But of course I expect you will come back with the perfectly legal firings of the AG's by Bush. Typical.

And trump, the USA does not do evil to others, period. We spill precious blood in the liberation of others and we are not on a mission to spread our faith around the world like the jihadists are. It sickens me when this great country is attacked from within for political purposes. Were you happy with the war in the Balkans that Clinton started? If not why not? We saved those people in the same way Bush stopped Hussein from his butchery. What we did under Clinton in Haiti was correct. People around the world look this way for help from tyranny. I personally witnessed the gratitude at President Reagan's Funeral when the president of E. Kirghistan along with a dozen others, all Muslims in traditional robes, standing behind me came all the way to express their sympathies for the Man who set them free from the Communist oppression of the Soviet Union. As that man explained his gratefulness to a reporter behind me in his accented broken English I wept. We are a righteous people who make up this great country so I will post here about how I feel on this one. We have the right to defend ourselves against those terrorists who scheme such terrible plots to kill Americans and water boarding does not separate heads from bodies. The lowlife Dems in Congress are trying to defend Pelosi for her knowledge of these tactics and lying on the CIA by claiming they weren't briefed. It will backfire.

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playa46 5 years ago

Trump:

"What other countries have done to our soldiers and citizens is unacceptable. Why then is in OK for the USA to do evil to others?"

When a threat comes loose in America, I really wonder if you will be asking the same question. You're safe over here, when has there ever been fighting in the U.S. since 1812? Sure, it's an invasion of privacy, but something as simple as this could save many lives down the road.

"If you hit a snake and do not kill it, you may live to regret it someday" (Old Chinese Proverb)

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Matthew Stoddard 5 years ago

seeuski- The point is that what can truly happen in 6 months for a President? Not a lot.

As for Pelosi, I guess we'll just need a bunch of documents opened to the public to see who is lying and who is not. You're good with that, right, if you want the absolute truth?

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seeuski 5 years ago

Stoddard, If you feel the need to play this game to the detriment of our covert agencies I am shocked to the core. I never would imagine that you of all people would take a politicians word over the hard working folks at the CIA who some of which put their lives on the line for our security every day. This is nothing more than a remake of the Torricelli/Biden led attacks of the 70's and 80's. They caused the death of many operatives with the Torricelli act and I have that on high authority from someone who was there. Do we need to spend so many key strokes on the details of what has occurred in regard to the CIA briefings to Congress since 2001? How is it that the NYT ran a story on the very program that the Dems are claiming now as an operation way back in 2001? The plan was never acted on or funded and how would the NYT have gotten the details? Congressional leaks.

Yea lets have an investigation, bring it on. Just as long as Obama doesn't classify or redact or expose of some of the reports that would exonerate the accused as he has done recently. And as far as this last 6 months, Our National deficit has been multiplied by four and the spending and budgets are out of control. We have bills in Congress being brought at 3am and voted on at 10am the same day. We have 36 Russian czars at Obama's beckon call. We have had the Bondholders of GM and Chrysler illegally forced to forfeit their Bonds to the Auto Unions. We have a President who has put in his Cabinet financial operators who have close ties to Goldman Sachs who was bailed out while Lehman Bro's wasn't. We have a fraudulent organization, ACORN, that Congress has close ties with along with Obama and receives $millions$ of tax payer dollars. We have a President who has broken his own sovereignty rules by warning Israel on several occasions about how they house their population but then says it is "meddling" to condemn Iran for its oppression of free speech and then side with a Tyrant who was perverting the Constitution of Honduras. Cap and Tax, Obamacare etc. etc. etc. All in only six months. I forgot to mention an unemployment rate of 10% after the much fear mongered stimulus package was passed. Obama promised this shovel ready package would stop the rate at 8% and create 4 million jobs. N. Korea shooting missiles at everyone, An Islamofascist gathering in Chicago, out in full view. Can't wait for the next 6 months. Either you like what he is doing or sooner or later you have to hold him to account for his Administrative practices and agenda. Which is it?

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Matthew Stoddard 5 years ago

Actually, I'm taking Panetta's word...or I guess you don't believe him. Or will you come back and say he was Obama's pick, therefore unreliable? Then that should also apply Tenet, McLaughlin and Goss, right? They're spooks, so none of what any of them say should be trusted, right?

And you "transarency" post? How hypocritical. "Transparency we can believe in," but only if we hide the last term's stuff? You need to make up your mind on what you want transparent.

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Matthew Stoddard 5 years ago

Either way, Bush only had high ratings after 9/11. Here's the charting for the numerous agencies who take the polls.

http://www.hist.umn.edu/~ruggles/Approval.htm

As you can see, the 1st 6 months is in line with Obama's. And Bush did the same thing with his Cabinet and appointments, etc. "Gee, should I pick people I trust, or people who will rat me out?" Sound like every President's thoughts throughout history.

Moreso, how many Democrats did Bush offer Cabinet jobs to compared to Obama offering Republican Cabinet jobs, whether they took them or not?

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JLM 5 years ago

It's pretty difficult to defend Obama's performance on the issue of transparency.

He has grossly failed to keep his promises as it relates to posting bills for public comment before enacting legislation. Worse, he has signed bills that everybody knows have not even been read by Congress. Is that awful or what?

He has populated his Administration with "czars" who work in the WH and who do the work of Cabinet Secretaries and who are not subject to Congressional approval.

He did appoint Hillary of State but then he put a chum in charge of the Middle East, and another in charge of Iraq/A'stan/P'stan and another in charge of Iran. So, yeah, Hillary is still the S of S but hey what gives? Did I miss those confirmation hearings?

He has basically embraced the policies of the Bush administration as it relates to many policies he vowed to overturn and he pulled the trigger on Gitmo too quick and other than the one prisoner going to France and the Quighers who went to Bermuda --- he fired before he aimed.

So, the most transparent administration in history? Hmmm, not so much. But only based on the facts, mind you. Still a cult like figure and a freakin' god, don't ya know?

Well other than maybe that slippery business of leaking out the budget after Congress goes home for their Summer Recess?

While in at least two wars, he gets in a game of golf every weekend, and at the end of the end of the day, isn't that what it's all about?

And I thought we had elected the only honest politician from Chicago? Sillly me!

How stupid are we collectively? How stupid are we individually? Pretty damn stupid apparently.

Wake up, America, there is no real learning in the second kick of a mule! The guy is as transparent as mud.

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Matthew Stoddard 5 years ago

Nope, not the most transparent...just equally as transparent as the rest and he's not followed up on certain promises just like every other Pres. Par for the course. Still, my life is no worse for it. How about you?

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seeuski 5 years ago

Quite selfish! What about the over 10% unemployed? As far as Pannetta, he actually slapped Pelosi the first go round and now, well can't tell where he stands. Do you believe Pannetta was the right choice for this position as it relates to the gathering of worldwide data and the protection of the American people? Will he get to the bottom of what documents Sandy Burgler stole and destroyed before the 2004 election as it related to 9/11? And it was your boy Obama who promised "you" transparency, I knew better. I believed him when he said his agenda was to spread the wealth around by taxing those who earn. But what the heck, Joe the Plummer deserved to have his records searched by Democrats holding office in Ohio and then get the info out to Olberman for the lefty's to try and destroy him with. Happening again with the NH Firemen. As far as what I want transparent, not much from the Defense Dept or the Intel agencies, but plenty from the POTUS who is printing money and giving it to who? Kevin Johnson for one, ACORN for another and who knows where else. Those in Congress who leak Intel, as was done constantly under Bush, are traitorous and should be hung like the good ole days. A couple of stretched necks would go a long way in protecting the USA from our enemies who salivate over this bullcrp.

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Matthew Stoddard 5 years ago

One: No President is anyone's "boy." You do know that calling a black man "boy" IS construed as racist, right? Bad choice of words, but I expect no less from you. Two: I didn't vote for Obama or McCain so I didn't get promised anything. Three: From January 2008 to December 2008, unemployment rose from 4.9 to 7.2, under Bush. Obama now has 2 more % points under his belt with half a year to go. We'll see what happens. While unemployment didn't shoot up this high after 9/11, it was still almost 2 years to get to 6.3 and took another year and a half to bring it under 5%.

http://data.bls.gov/PDQ/servlet/SurveyOutputServlet?request_action=wh&graph_name=LN_cpsbref3

Who cares about Joe the Plumber? Joe the Camel had more appeal and might have helped McCain more than a plumber's assistant. When Joe the Plumber started campaigning for McCain...Yes- he deserved to have his past come up to show that he was in no position to buy out the real plumber's business, that he wasn't a licensed plumber himself, etc. HE decided to put his face out there for the media, not vice versa.

As for Panetta, "he slapped Pelosi the first go around and now we don't know where he stands." Interesting choice of words. It means...you don't know who's lying or not, right? Otherwise, you wouldn't have expressed the doubt. So, for your sake and mine, let's get it out into the open. It's old news, now...not something that was ongoing. It can't hurt anything any longer.

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Matthew Stoddard 5 years ago

Also, since the Cheney involvement came up last month...Pelosi may have been the one telling the truth. Of course, the Far Right will just turn it around saying that they were briefed because of national security even though they were saying they were briefed back in May. So which is it going to be.

No one political party has any high ground when it come to lying or breaking promises, and none are transparent. Obama has ACORN, his old work partners; Bush gave Cheney's old work partners no-bid contracts. It's the classic massage routine all the way around: my back first, then your back.

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JLM 5 years ago

Matthew S --- you are right on so many things but nonetheless we are not well served by a Congress which passes complex and expensive legislation without even reading it. We are not well served by a Chief Executive who fails even to understand what he signs into law. These are basic and fundamental disciplines which destroy the essential system of checks and balances which are the very foundation of the system designed by the Founders. It is criminal.

The tit for tat dialogue comparing the ills of the Rs with the ills of the Ds is not a way to create progress. Let's get rid of all politicians of every persuasion who fail to do the people's work, who fail to serve the interests of all people.

The reason Obama's failure to follow through on the issue of transparency is so crushing to many is because it was a damn good idea and if put into effect would have been a great service. He did not just break a meaningful promise which reflects on his real character, he failed to improve the system when it was right within his grasp. He could have waited 72 hours and been a freakin' hero!

He over promised and under performed and he failed to effect the changes he promised but most importantly he snatched defeat from the jaws of victory when victory was within his grasp. A very small and venal man, indeed!

I thought he was the only honest politician from Chicago but perhaps not?

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Matthew Stoddard 5 years ago

JLM- That's why I voted mostly 3rd party last November. So, by telling me that comparing the ills of R's and D's doesn't create progress and then going on to denigrate Obama- a D- really doesn't mean much to me in the course of discussion. What it does mean, just as when seeuski or others (even Democrats) do it, is that you don't want to blame your own party for ills of the past that helped cause the nature of the beast we face today. Sometimes, to correct failures of the past, we need to do something radical so it hurts once and possibly helps in the long run. Just like getting a vaccination.

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playa46 5 years ago

JLM-If you look at history, you will see things that have been ruined completely never heal over night.

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JLM 5 years ago

MS --- Of course, O-man is the actual President and we are talking about reality, right?

Playa --- what are you talking about? All I am observing is that Obama promised something and has miserably failed to deliver as promised --- repeatedly. Nothing has been "ruined completely" --- Obama has simply been unmasked as just another very ordinary, plain, pedestrian, lying politician.

This is not a complex problem --- it's like having a spike driven through your head and complaining of a headache. Hey, let's take the freakin' spike out first, OK? Let's treat the obvious symptoms before we get the cat scan?

The guy didn't just promise us a smidgen of transparency, a nibblet of transparency --- he promised the "most transparent administration in history" specifically promising that pending legislation would be posted on Alberto Gore's Internet for 72 hours before Congressional action.

What happened? The bills were never posted. Nobody in the Congress even had time to scan them let alone read them and they were signed into law immediately.

This was not a small miss or a close call --- this was a freakin' bean ball. The guy is just a big fat liar.

Sheesh! So, no, I don't think it's going to heal overnight. Of course, we did apparently make a great buy on pork, no? LOL

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trump_suit 5 years ago

JLM, how could we expect your attitude to be any different? You started with Fakir, Poseur, Naif and have move on to freakin' bean ball and big fat liar. Your words have changed a little bit, but your basic attitude about Pres. Obama has never changed. I for one do not expect that you will ever agree with any thing that he does.

Good luck with the next election cycle, from what I see out of the Republican party you will need it.

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playa46 5 years ago

JLM-

"Nothing has been "ruined completely"

I was reffering to the economic mess we are in, and the two wars we are fighting. Next time, I'll try to use smaller words for you.

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JLM 5 years ago

Uhh, I was talking about the 1200 page Porkulus bill, you know the one that was drawn up by the staff, never read by the Congress and signed by the President without ever knowing what was in it. You know the one that was vitally necessary to prevent unemployment from exceeding 8%?

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Matthew Stoddard 5 years ago

Well that's weird. I did a search and oddly enough, the Huffington Post had links to the House Bill as of 24JAN...5 days before it was voted on, and a link to the Senate version 8FEB, almost a week prior. What are you talking about? LOL!

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JLM 5 years ago

@trump ---

During the course of the campaign, candidate Obama made the case for his election based upon the policies he would enact including one which I found to be both laudable and pragmatic --- the posting of pending bills for at least 72 hours prior to their enactment in order to ensure that the electorate was informed and the elected were held accountable to their constituents.

I am very, very disappointed that President Obama failed to live up to this particular promise of candidate Obama because I thought it to be a damn good idea.

Are you not troubled by the apparent inability of President Obama to live up to this promise of candidate Obama?

I am.

Hell, I would trade the WH vegetable garden straight up for the assurance that bills would be posted and hell actually read by somebody before being enacted into law.

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Rob Douglas 5 years ago

You can't make this stuff up:

Conyers Sees No Point in Members Reading 1,000-Page Health Care Bill--Unless They Have 2 Lawyers to Interpret It for Them

http://www.cnsnews.com/public/content/article.aspx?RsrcID=51610

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JLM 5 years ago

Hahahaha, the clairvoyant HuffPo?

Mattie, the bill wasn't even completed until the night before the vote, pal. The bill still had handwritten annotations when it was signed by the President the next day. Remember, we lived through this?

Do you remember the protestations that the Republicans did not even receive the bill until the night before, the bill didn't even go through committee.

Stop revising history and deal w/ the truth. The truth is bad enough as it is without your fiction added.

Congressman Conyers recent comments in regard to the Health Bill typify what is wrong w/ the legislative process.

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seeuski 5 years ago

So the guy goes from a fiscal conservative to a tax and spread liberal. Makes sense. Not!!!!

There are numerous examples of the failures and the success's of action plans in an economic recession. Taxing and spreading has no success's on record. I am just glad that Stoddard is a member of the minority on these types of issues and that will be born out in the coming elections.

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trump_suit 5 years ago

Seeuski, Just like the minority that elected our current administration? There are issues out there that some of us care just as much about. I would not crow too soon about the next election cycle having just lost the last one so badly.

If the Republicans don't get their act together on issues like Healthcare, Privacy rights, fiscal conservatism, and admitting the mistakes and excesses of the Bush administration, I think you will see another term for Pres. Obama. While some of you may be on the right track, the Republican party as a whole is adrift in a sea of discontent without a leader.

Unless and until they come up with some positive ideas instead of just bashing every Democratic idea they will not be looked at as leaders but whiners.

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Matthew Stoddard 5 years ago

Huffington was first on the Google list, along with many other outlets. I figured that you'd interpret that as them actually writing the bill instead of reading the links from there.

Any changes were also added on for pork by both Parties. And since you say Republicans only got it the night before and how you say Government can't be trusted with things...makes you wonder if they are telling the truth, eh? And yes- I remember protestations saying "Socialism! Socialism," more than "I didn't have time to read it." Evidently, quite a few were able to read enough of it to cry about it.

And Conyers is an 80yr old with a Juris Doctor degree and 40yrs in elected capicity. He shouldn't need anyone to help him read a bill. And yet, if he needs 2 lawyers to sort it out...how did you come to know all about it so easily that you can say it won't work as written?

In fact, there's a post on 29JAN by you, JLM, stating what the Stimulus would and wouldn't do. Considering it was 2 weeks later that the final version passed both chambers, I guess you were the prophetic one and not Huffington?

What would have happened without it? We'll never know...just like we'll never know if whatever steps we took after 9/11 prevented a true 2nd wave from happening.

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seeuski 5 years ago

A whole lotta words and nothing said. Stoddard, the more you write the less your previously claimed ideals of conservatism and your distrust of the Republicans for that reason evaporates. Why now adopt the Liberal ideals of tax and spread?

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Matthew Stoddard 5 years ago

With the huge deficits we incurred during Republican control were based on Borrow and Spend (& Spend), I see no difference between either party, in that aspect. It's now time to get money back into the system. If that means tax, so be it.

Plus, show me where I claimed conservatism. I never claimed that. I am a Moderate Republican. That means I am social liberally, and conservative monetarily. Unfortunately, to get this country back on track, I have to now subscribe to monetary pragmatism. The free market has failed us in recent years in certain aspects. It's time to fix it by finding ways to bring a cash influx to the U.S. coffers.

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JLM 5 years ago

Just curious but can you suggest a nation which has successfully taxed itself into prosperity?

In the next 10 years we will look at $500B deficits with great fondness and longing.

We will be incurring deficits equal to 10% of a declining GDP for the next decade.

Of course, we will all be driving Obama Motors autos and enjoying universal free healthcare but we will be broke nonetheless.

Ahh, the Obama utopia! Ain't it grand?

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seeuski 5 years ago

Uh trump, Maybe you should keep your eye on the Rasmussen daily tracking polls. Oh, and I just happened to watch a CNN interview of several Black fellow Officers of Sgt. Crowley, you know the one having a beer with Obama on Thursday, well they are hopping mad and one even said she won't vote for Obama again. I just hope the Republic of the USA survives this Communist onslaught by Obama until 2012.

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