Lynn Abbott: Obama's 1st year

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— On this first anniversary of the election of Barack Obama as president of the United States, let's take a look at the past 10 months. Although there are those who say the administration isn't moving fast enough, I submit that there is real progress on many fronts.

First, I'd like to quickly mention several important initiatives that have been overlooked:

- Health care for children: In January, broad bipartisan support helped pass the reauthorization of SCHIP to provide health care for 11 million American children.

- Fair pay for women: The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was passed, guaranteeing American women equal pay for equal work.

- Stem cell research: The lift of the ban on stem cell research restores science to its rightful place and gives hope for treatment of Parkinson's disease, spinal injuries and many other serious medical conditions.

- Vehicle standards: In May, Obama announced new standards that will require all automakers, including foreign competitors, to increase fuel efficiency by 5 percent per year starting in 2012, reaching an average mileage standard of 39 mpg for cars and 30 mpg for trucks by 2016.

- Expansion of hate crimes law: 10 years after the death of Mathew Shepard, this law finally includes attacks based on sexual orientation.

Now, two topics that still are works-in-progress:

- The economy: Last week brought several encouraging third quarter reports. The Associated Press reported that the economy grew by 3.5 percent, the strongest uptick in two years. Ford Motor Company announced a net income of $873 million (Congratulations, Ford!). Finally, Reuters reported that U.S. manufacturing increased more than any time since April 2006. We have a long way to go, especially in job creation, but these are good steps. Employment can't grow until the GDP increases enough to encourage employers to hire. Once Americans are working again, we'll tackle that deficit.

- Health care reform: We are all frustrated with the "sausage-making mess" but if you look at every plan under consideration, they all include four critical reforms: 1) no more refusals due to pre-existing conditions; 2) no more cancellation of policies due to serious diagnosis; 3) no more caps on coverage and 4) portability of policies. These four on their own will help millions of Americans. Now, if we can just add a public option to bring down premiums, we'll have a good first step in health care reform.

One effort that I applauded last spring now needs some help:

- Credit card accountability: In May, Obama signed the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act to protect consumers from predatory rate hikes on existing balances. In order to allow credit card companies to reprogram their systems, this act was not scheduled to take effect until February. However, the companies have used this time to increase rates before that deadline. Our own Sen. Mark Udall has introduced a bill to require this act to take effect Dec. 1. This must pass.

Finally, the changes that excite me most are:

- Education: In July, Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced the "Race to the Top," providing $4.35 billion for states that dramatically improve schools. Many states already have jumped on board. The four broad criteria are: 1) reverse the current dumbing-down of academic standards; participating states must focus on adopting internationally accepted K-12 standards; 2) improve data-tracking to help identify teachers who inspire students to excel and teachers who need help; 3) boost the quality of teachers and administrators in poverty-stricken schools and 4) institute far-reaching reforms in the lowest-performing schools, including replacing teachers and administrators and changing school culture. Even conservative columnist David Brooks applauds this effort and quotes praise from Bill and Melinda Gates and Jeb Bush. Brooks says, "They are all impressed by how gritty and effective the Obama administration has been in holding the line and inciting real education reform."

- Global participation: I am impressed most of all with the change in tone of international conversation this year. Finally, we are working with other nations on climate change, nuclear disarmament and peace. We are collaborating to find solutions to the very difficult and challenging animosities of the world. I know the pundits had fun with Obama's selection for the Nobel Peace Prize (and nobody was more surprised than he), but I think, in the long run, this change of tone may do far more to bring peace than anything we've done in the past.

So I am encouraged as I look back on this first year. Great challenges still lie ahead, but I am hopeful that we can all - including Congress - work together to see genuine and lasting improvement in our economy, health care, corporate responsibility, education and global leadership.

Lynn Abbott is a member of the Routt County Democrats.

Comments

PJ Howe 5 years, 1 month ago

Was it really necessary to put that Lynn was a member of the Routt County Democrats at the end of the story?

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Fred Duckels 5 years, 1 month ago

Lynn, You don't have enough lipstick for this pig.

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MrTaiChi 5 years, 1 month ago

I understand that hate crimes are supposed to punish behavior that intimidates groups of people and therefore that they are supposedly a different class of offense.

There are a couple of problems with the concept:

It is my perception that they get employed almost exclusively against people who appear to be Caucasian.

The offense is predicated on thought. If a victim is assaulted or robbed must there be an utterance denegrating the victim's race or sexual demeanor, or are the circumstances of the attack sufficient in themselves to circumstantially prove hate bias? If a man who was once my business associate had connected when he kicked at the face of the homosexual voyeur peeking under the bathroom stall door at the New York City bus terminal, would that have been a hate crime in itself without an utterance?

Before we go wild in our enlightened celebration of hate crime protections, it is well to stop and reflect that punishing thought is a slippery slope. A thorough review of world thought crime jurisprudence begins with totalitarian states such as North Korea and Viet Nam.

There are lots of situations young people get themselves into involving invective and macho posturing. I guess the author of this article will look forward to one of her relatives getting yanked into Federal District Court in Denver to vindicate himself because he didn't really use the "n" word.

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seeuski 5 years, 1 month ago

however, You are right they should have put, a member of the Obamanites. Lynn Abbott forgot to mention the amazing group of personal czars which all find their guidance from either Mao Tse Tung or Karl Marx. On another front, congratulations to any New Jerseyans out there, you may now begin to see the clouds clear and some light at the end of the long dark tunnel you have lived in. Tough luck for the SEIU in that state.

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seeuski 5 years, 1 month ago

One more thought to Lynn,

You forgot to mention that as Obama promised, "if we pass the stimulus bill then unemployment won't go over 8%", oooops what happened?

In March Obama claimed a new strategy in the war in Afghanistan which he said was the right war. ooooops, what happened?

In January Obama said we had to save GM from bankruptcy, he then forced GM into BK and using our money and throwing the Bondholders under the bus he gave GM to the UAW union. ooops, what happened?

He said we need to cover all 46 million uninsured with Government run health care and then he said we need to cover all 30 million uninsured with Government run health care and no illegals would be covered. oooops, what happened?

I'll rest for now.

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JLM 5 years, 1 month ago

Thanks for one of the best laughs I have had in years. You cannot be serious? What a bunch of pure unadulterated baloney!

How about a couple of simple facts:

SCHIP --- originated in the Clinton administration and was originally sponsored by Ted Kennedy and Orrin Hatch on the heels of the failed Hillarycare

It was passed with widespread bi-partisan support which was obvious given its sponsorship.

Obama simply extended and expanded the pool. It was not a bit more than extending the termination date.

Some accomplishment!

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JLM 5 years, 1 month ago

The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act simply codified what was already a well established common law equity theory recognized by every State in the Union.

It simply made "equal pay" issues a Federal issue and virtually criminalized simple pay disputes.

This was a kiss on the cheek for the plaintiffs' bar.

Big accomplishment!

Can't you tell how much better YOUR life has been since its passage? LOL

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JLM 5 years, 1 month ago

The Executive Order on "embryonic" stem cell research was a superfluous and meaningless piece of legislation because "science" and "medical research" had already moved on to adult stem cells which have now been proven to be as useful in fashioning cures to all of the diseases you note.

They have the additional advantage of being able to be drawn directly from the patient thereby ensuring compatability.

Some big accomplishment!

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JLM 5 years, 1 month ago

Vehicle standards?

While lording over the destruction of the American automobile industry, while kowtowing to the UAW, while throwing away over $30B in the 3-week bankruptcy decision-making process --- President Obama makes it more difficult to succeed in the automobile industry.

If that's not enough, he hands a huge slice of the equity --- read ownership --- in the resurrected GM post bankruptcy enterprise to the UAW thereby ensuring the continuation of the very abusive labor practices and costs which contributed to wrecking the company.

He enacts a program --- Cash for Clunkers --- which simply serves to inflate the sales of....................................................................Toyota!

Nice work, Mr President.

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JLM 5 years, 1 month ago

In the "hate crimes" legislation, a paen to the gay agenda in America, our President has enacted a piece of legislation which accomplishes absolutely nothing.

It simply requires a Prosecutor to delve into the intentions of a felony perpetrator to divine his "state of mind" thereby Federalizing a crime and exacting a penalty which is greater given a certain, specific state of mind.

When a criminal commits a murder, he should be punished more severely because he was murdering somebody who was gay and because his state of mind was such that he was motivated in part because of his hatred of all things gay?

How about just enforcing the existing laws and not making a set of "vanity" criminal laws which feel good to a certain subset of society and which do not improve public safety in any measurable way.

If your kid is white, straight and murdered --- this law will provide quite a modicum of comfort, I am sure!

But, maybe, you are like me and just want law enforcement to deal fiercely with ALL felons? Sheesh!

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JLM 5 years, 1 month ago

Ford Motor Company which did not participate in the Auto Bailout Bonanza turned a profit because it got its act in order. Market forces were allowed to work their magic.

Note that GM with all of its billions of dollars of your money in the form of governmental assistance --- did NOT turn a profit.

Which prescription seems to be more successful to you?

Pumping money into failing enterprises or allowing the marketplace to force failing enterprises to retool and reinvigorate their businesses absent governmental intervention?

Hey, it's your money. Well, for a little while longer anyway.

Ford = profit - free enterprise = market forces

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JLM 5 years, 1 month ago

Why is anybody surprised that Q3 was improved? Did you not know that the government and the Fed were injecting money into the economy at record levels?

If the SBS City Council spent a billion dollars next month in the local economy, would you be "surprised" that the local sales tax receipts went UP?

Look to other indicators, please. How has unemployment faired? It is still going UP because short term spending palliatives do not create jobs. Because the government sector can only create government jobs.

The real story here is that despite the largest single injection of funding into the US economy in the history of our Nation, GDP only went up 3.5% --- which I predict will be "revised" downward some time in the next 6 months.

A recovery is not a recovery unless there is real job creation. There is not real job creation unless the unemployment rate is receding.

The numbers do not lie, folks. Politicans? Well, ummm, yes, they do lie.

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JLM 5 years, 1 month ago

Let's take a look at our President's impact on the world:

With great fanfare, the closing of Gitmo is announced and the terrorists will be distributed around the world --- with France agreeing to take ONE. This is the same France which America saved twice in the last century from annihilation at the hands of their German neighbors. Wow.

At the G20 summit, our President appeared scolding and cross before the cameras flanked by his supporters Brown (PM, England) and Sarkozy (Pretty Boy in Charge of France) and castigated Iran for its newly discovered "secret" uranium enrichment facility in Qom. Our fierce President, gave the Iranians a SEPTEMBER deadline or, or, or, or, --- or what?

You may have noticed it is now November and the Iranians have done nothing.

Our fiercesome President cancelled the missile shield project in Poland and the Czeck Republic as a goodwill gesture to the Russians who this weekend responded by --- running a freakin' training exercise in which they nuked Poland. Hey, folks, you can't make this stuff up, can you?

Our President dithers over making a decision to deploy the equivalent of two Army Divisions to a war on the recommendation of his handpicked General. This dithering is necessary because they are "evaluating the strategy" in Afghanistan. The only problem is that on 27 March 2009, they had already announced their "new strategy" on Afghanistan, had deployed 15,000 more troops and changed the commanders. Amateur hour. Pure total baloney.

Not one NATO ally agrees to add combat troops to Afghanistan while a number are pulling out. Remember this is a NATO operation not an American operation.

Of course, Chavez and Castro are taking a shine to our leader and that can only be good in the long run, no?

So, that force of personality, diplomacy thing --- how's it working out so far? Hmmm, not so good!

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sledneck 5 years, 1 month ago

Nowhere in the Constitution do I find provisions for any of this yet this person is proud of this garbage.

Healthcare for children is the responsibility of the guardian, not the state.

Fair pay for women is what the market is willing to bear, dittos for men. Where in the constitution does it say we are not free to contract with whomever we want for whatever price we want?

Stem cell reasearch is not the domain of government; nor is automobile specifications. I can't find that anywhere in the constituion.

Hate crimes are thought crimes... period. You know who else liked thought crimes laws? men like Stalin and Hitler and Mao!

The economy is not the domain of government. The words of an old song come to mind here..."He can't even run his own life; I'll be damned if he'll run mine".

Healthcare reform... that's what you call this power grab?

Credit card companies should be free to contract with whomever they want for whatever terms the parties agree. Since these new rules have passed many people have lost their credti cards altogether because the company will not work under the new rules. Brilliant!

There is no better example of the complete and utter failure of big government than the public "fool" system. Big brother is retarded and you are proud to have him educating our kids?

Global participation? No doubt euphamism for "America needs to fall in line with the rest of the worlds loosers". I am reminded of the words of John F. Kennedy... "On the hope of our free nation rests the hope of all free nations."

Ms Abbot, Your celebration of the course this nation currently sails is testimony not only to your lack of appreciation for the freedom that made America great but also to either your woeful ignorance of our Constitution or your disdain for it. How could anyone support larger government when the list of government failure vs. success could not be more one sided. Medicare, the war on drugs, social security, the border, FEMA(hurricane Katrina), transportation (Amtrack, etc), DMV, Post Office, etc; all abject failures. Add to that the overwhelming number of nations who, having already sailed the course you would chart, found themselves, one and all, on the dunghill of history. You must be, in my opinion, quite mad.

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seeuski 5 years, 1 month ago

Education: Obama's Hypocrisy Shikha Dalmia, 04.17.09, 12:00 AM EDT He nixed D.C.'s school voucher program just as positive results were coming in.

http://www.forbes.com/2009/04/16/school-voucher-washington-dc-teacher-union-opinions-contributors-obama.html

Those pesky teachers unions are always getting their way it seems. Until people wake up and see that this is an entitlement program for the unions and nothing the teachers unions stand for actually improve the learning process for the students we will fail in the classrooms. The private sector again destroys the Government in the success rate and delivers a superior product. I do believe the Obama girls attend Sidwell Friends, a private school.

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Brian Kotowski 5 years, 1 month ago

It'll be interesting to see if Republicans (& the rest of us) will wake up & smell the java in the wake of last night's elections. I trolled some lefty sites this AM, and it's been entertaining to see them spin the Corzine defeat as no big deal. His defeat was inevitable, they say, because he was a failure. True enough, but the more relevant question is: WHY was he a failure? Answer: because he implemented a leftist/Obama agenda. Tax & spend & government expansion is not a recipe for recovery and reform; and will fail nationally just as it did in Jersey.

With any luck, the election results last night (including the Hoffman loss) will serve as the enema the GOP so desperately needs, and they'll stop trying to shove RINOs like McCain & Scozzawhatshername down our throats.

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Chuck McConnell 5 years, 1 month ago

Is there anything o can do that the lefties will not praise? What a shame it is when people are so star-struck that they love an avowed socialist like o no matter how deep he plunges the US into bankrupcy.

And by the way, how on earth can this obama diatribe be called a "news" story? That was not news it was drivel.

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seeuski 5 years, 1 month ago

The ERA of Newt and the all inclusive tent is over. We, conservative voters, will judge the candidates by their values as they relate to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. If that means voting for a (D),(I), or an (R) so be it. The urgency that is spreading, to save this Republic from the enemy within, is what is driving this new era of voters. For a candidate like Hoffman, who joined the race less than a month ago, to do so well and only coming up 2 points short while fending off the retarded GOP and the traitor Scozzafozba who left her name on the ticket and got 5% is a testament.

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Scott Wedel 5 years, 1 month ago

Come on local conservatives - act locally. Your local Republican elected officials, Randy Baumgarter and Al White are moderates and not committed conservatives. They didn't fight to stop Colorado from accepting stimulus money. And so on.

Come on, show the power of conservatism and challenge them with true conservatives.

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charles cook 5 years, 1 month ago

Re: Lynn's commentary, fortunately one is not obligated to believe what one reads in a newspaper. Is our community still being organized by ACORN?

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seeuski 5 years, 1 month ago

And the timing of this letter is ironic as new school children videos emerge.

ELEMENTARY EPIDEMIC: 11 Uncovered Videos Show School Children Performing Praises to Obama

http://bighollywood.breitbart.com/jjmnolte/2009/11/04/elementary-epidemic-11-uncovered-videos-show-school-children-performing-praises-to-obama/

I can't find the stomach to watch them.

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BoatNative 5 years, 1 month ago

Is chuck cook serious? Show me one piece of evidence that shows ACORN has any sort of presence in Steamboat Springs, CO.

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seeuski 5 years, 1 month ago

Americorps is in Steamboat and they are involved with ACORN.

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S_G30 5 years, 1 month ago

I'll keep my money, guns and freedom. You can keep the "CHANGE"

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peteonnatches 5 years, 1 month ago

Lynn Abbott's commentary on the progress of the Obama administration in the last 10 months was enlightening. With all that's been accomplished it's hard to believe Obama's approval rating has dropped from 62% in Jan. to 48% in Oct. Is it possible that there are more important issues (we lost another 208,000 in Oct.) facing the American people than those listed by Lynn?

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JusWondering 5 years, 1 month ago

ttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6-R8smjIeE

Couldn't have said it better myself.

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runnerbikerdriver44 5 years, 1 month ago

Here is my whole problem with this bi-partisan discussion-everyone is at fault! No one is innocent in messing up our country! The Democrats had control of the house two whole years prior to Obama being elected, and did nothing to help out our economy. Bush was running this country in to debt because of the war, and everyone who wasn't paying attention (both McCain and Obama) voted to help him bailout the banks! If we are unable to grow up as a society, and move away from being the only Democracy in the world who is bi-partisan, than we will never get out of this mess. Stop blaming Democrats, stop blaming Republicans-both sides messed up! No wonder other counties are questioning whether or not we are a power house anymore.

This whole thing seems very much like high school-jocks vs. nerds.

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Dumpy_the_Wise 5 years, 1 month ago

Well said, Runner. It's so sad to see Reps. and Dems. fight it out while the rest of the world watches. Please people wake up, try becoming part of the solution rather than the problem. Cuz no matter how many times you can criticize Obama, he's still your president for the next three years.

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runnerbikerdriver44 5 years, 1 month ago

Thanks Dumpy. It's nice to hear some logic out there :) I didn't vote for Obama, but you know what? I want him to be able to make our country better. If he can't, well, that's why we have elections every four years. Until then, more suggestions and support instead of this whole back and forth blame game would be great.

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Brian Kotowski 5 years, 1 month ago

Dumpy_the_Wise:

"Fight[ing] it out" is what it's all about. The real world ain't Kumbaya.

If Lincoln hadn't been willing to "fight it out", Obama might be picking cotton today. If FDR hadn't been willing to "fight it out" we'd be speaking German. If LBJ hadn't been willing to "fight it out", Rosa Parks' audacity might have amounted to nothing. If Reagan had been unwilling to "fight it out", the Soviet Union might still exist. If Newt Gingrich hadn't been willing to "fight it out", Clinton would never have signed off on welfare reform.

Paraphrasing Winston Churchill: Democracy is the worst form of government ever devised. Except for everything else that's ever been tried.

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runnerbikerdriver44 5 years, 1 month ago

Sep-Here is what you're missing-this country wasn't always bi-partisan. By giving the people only two choices, it is so easy to control the way things are. With only two parties controlling the country, they can pass whatever agenda they please. What about Teddy R.? He was with the Bull Moose Party and the country still survived.

It is one thing to fight it out, and stand up for injustice (Rosa Parks, LBJ, FDR, Reagan, and I would include Nader for making cars safer). If we didn't have brave soles like these who fought for the country to be better, we would be in a much worse off situation. If you want to have a civil discussion to talk about the country-fine. I am all for those types of talks. But what is going on in this country is two parties having a name calling contest, and pointing the finger instead of accepting they made mistakes and trying to fix them. This is hardly productive.

I think the misconception here is that people who don't agree with the squabble want everyone "to just get along." What I want is for real change to happen, and for people to look beyond this two party system as a way to get there. I want people to stop arguing about whose fault this really is, accept that no one is innocent, and find a way to move on. I see nothing wrong with that.

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jk 5 years, 1 month ago

as mmj and Chronic might say, Maybe we all need to sit back, smoke a bowl, and work on making things better!!! Sorry Boys if I was putting words in your mouth!

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conservative 5 years, 1 month ago

Lynn Abbott - You are so out of touch with reality it isn't even funny.
Keep your love affair with Obama to yourself.....no one cares about your little love fest!!
Obama stinks!! Congress stinks!! Senate stinks!! Czars stink!! Abortion stinks!! Leaving our troops to die for his lack of decision making Stinks!! Public Option Stinks!! Unemployment rate Stinks!! Small businesses not being able to get loans Stinks!! Small businesses closing their doors Stinks!! Mortgage crisis Stinks!! Rising Taxes Stink!!
Bailouts for Paybacks Stinks!! Cap & Trade Stinks!! Gitmo detainees being brought to American soil Stinks!! The defacing of the American flag for political gain Stinks!! Sharing what little wealth I have left with those who choose to not better themselves Stinks!! Cash for Clunkers Stank!! And... I will be screwed come tax time with our little stimuli in my check...that Stinks!!! Just to name a few!! Healthcare Reform is Death to all in its present form!!!!!!!! Enjoy your love fest Lynn........but keep it to yourself!!!! In my reality - Obama Stinks!!!! Pee Ewe

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sledneck 5 years, 1 month ago

Isn't it funny that every conversation steamboat has with itself ends with us passing a bowl around the fire?

How do you go from presidential policy to hittin' the bong without skippin a beat?

I love you guys!!

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runnerbikerdriver44 5 years, 1 month ago

Conservative-did I miss the part where no conservative voted for the bailouts? Conservatives and Progressives alike voted for it. You can't blame that one on the Democrats alone, just like Democrats can't balme it on Republicans. "If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude." Maya Angelou

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trump_suit 5 years, 1 month ago

Oh all you poor picked on conservatives that do not like the direction the country is heading. For your information the actual voters of this country elected out current leadership and chose to give the Democrats winning margins in both houses. Maybe in the next election your narrow viewpoint will prevail, but in the last one, the Democrats won. Deal with it.

Whether our current president gets re-elected in 2012 or not, the country will be in better shape than Bush/Cheney left it and you will all survive to blog another day. In the meantime there are a few more changes that are needed.

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seeuski 5 years, 1 month ago

runner... Nowhere in the post by "conservative" did he say Dems stink. He said Congress, Senate etc. So to all you Libs who can only see the world through the left vs right goggles here is a news flash. We are pointing the finger at those heading us in the wrong direction regardless of what letter is next to their names just as I stated in a previous post. trump_suit, You may believe that centralizing power through the Government takeover of private industry and the loss of freedoms through laws like the net neutrality law of this fascist loving White House will be better then before but I don't. So I am speaking out against it when I see slobbering garbage like this letter by Lynn Abbott. I for the life of me can't fathom how you people fail to see this farce of a Health Care bill for what it is, or the Cap and Tax life ruining, Al Gore enriching lie either. Why do people choose to ignore facts and data that are contrary to what may be a big fat lie and at least consider that you are not getting all the true information on such hugely important issues? It will be too late when you do realize that your emotions were used to benefit the desire for others to gain power over our lives and spread our wealth around the globe. It is out there for you if you want it folks, this new world that windle speaks of is not what the majority thought of when they voted a year ago and it is not what Obama promised. You can keep your new world windle I for one want the one promised to us in the US Constitution and the rights we are assured of in the Bill of Rights.

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runnerbikerdriver44 5 years, 1 month ago

Oh seeuski, name calling is so much fun! Why does everyone assume that if you have an opposing opinion, they must be from the other party? Grow up. I refused to be pigeon-holed when I was 18, and I have yet to change. I have been able to vote across party lines and decide what I agree with, not have some party pick who I should vote for. But nice try with the name calling. You almost got me!

As for the post, fine-I read too much into the anti-Obama post and said that. I feel a lot of things are being placed on Democrats, but Republicans helped too. As I have said throughout this thread, no one is innocent! Everyone messed up!

What I have been talking about is how the two party system is a joke, and that by keeping other parties out of the system, it is very easy to control and manipulate the government. Big companies run the White House for both sides, and public interest has gone out the window. Where in the Constitution does it say their are only two ideologies allowed in the government? When people are able to look past this bi-partisan fight we have going on, then come and talk to me. Until then, name calling gets you no where, nice try.

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Brian Kotowski 5 years, 1 month ago

runnerbikerdriver44:

You have a breathtakingly muddled understanding of American political history, with all due respect. Theodore Roosevelt was the sitting Republican Vice President, and was sworn in as (the Republican) President when William McKinley was assassinated in 1901. He was reelected (as the Republican) in 1904. He didn't found the Bull Moose party until 1912, 3 years after he left office. How long did the Bull Moose party last, and how many of its candidates were elected?

Your assertion that "this country wasn't always bi-partisan" couldn't be more off base. It was Federalists & Republicans until the early 1800s; Democrats & Whigs until about 1850 (there were a handful of parties 4 or 5, IIRC - that sprang up as the country began to wrestle with the issue of slavery); and it's been Democrats & Republicans ever since the Civil War.

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runnerbikerdriver44 5 years, 1 month ago

You just confirmed my point (handful of 4 or 5 parties sprang up). I'm bringing up the point that people stepped outside of the two party system because they weren't happy with the results, and that is what history showed. Even if it were only for a small time, it still happened, as you stated above. My exact words were: "What about Teddy R.? He was with the Bull Moose Party and the country still survived." He was at least allowed to debate with other parties, and bring attention to a different view, and he didn't win, but it didn't hurt the country, hence "the country still survived." I don't think I said he was president when he was a Bull Moose.

Why are there only two valid thoughts in this country? Why is is that more than ten candidates worked so unbelievably hard last election to get on the ballot, and none of them were allowed to debate? Obviously there were others who weren't happy with the current situation and did something about it.

I like how you ended that insult with "with all due respect." Does that somehow lessen your insult? Thanks for being so respectful!

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seeuski 5 years, 1 month ago

runner,

If you need a definition of name calling see Nancy Pelosi and her description of the 9/12ers and Tea Party opposition members. Lets see how she refers to the thousands who are right now gathering on the Capitol steps in opposition of this sham Health Care bill set for a vote this Saturday. Sorry I wounded you so by referring to you as a liberal.

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Brian Kotowski 5 years, 1 month ago

runnerbikerdriver44:

You may believe your point "confirmed", but your point is meaningless. As a practical reality, the country has always been wedded to a 2-party system, particularly at the national level. Every President we've ever had has been elected from one of the two major parties at the time; including the 12-15 year period leading up to the Civil War - despite the emergence of the additional parties I mentioned.

You're the only one asserting that "there are only two valid thoughts in this country." It seems to me that the Dems & the GOP cover the gamut of political perspectives, from Sheila Jackson Lee to Ron Paul.

Additionally, no one has suggested that participation by outlier candidates would "hurt the country." TR's Bull Moose attempt didn't hurt anything, but it was insignificant. Ditto for John Anderson and Ross Perot.

Which policies & perspectives do you think are getting short shrift on the national stage? Which candidates are being denied the opportunity to proselytize on behalf of their views?

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Brian Kotowski 5 years, 1 month ago

Incidentally: there were other presidential candidates on last year's ballot -

Alan Keyes: American Independent Party Cynthia McKinney: Green Party Ralph Nader: Peace & Freedom Party Bob Barr: Libertarian Party Gloria LaRiva: Party of Socialism & Liberation Gene Amondson: Prohibition Party Ted Weill: Reform Party Brian Moore: Socialist Party USA Roger Calero: Socialist Worker's Party Charles Baldwin: Constitution Party

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runnerbikerdriver44 5 years, 1 month ago

Seeuski-I didn't say I was offend-I was pointing out that just because I have an opposing point doesn't mean I belong with the other party. I think everyone jumps to conclusions regarding political affiliation and it is all rather short sighted if you ask me.

You have to read my whole posts: "Why is is that more than ten candidates worked so unbelievably hard last election to get on the ballot, and none of them were allowed to debate? Obviously there were others who weren't happy with the current situation and did something about it." I pointed that exact point out. All of those perspectives that were on the ballot are not allowed the same attention on a national level that the major parties are. Look at every other Democracy in the world, and different parties are allowed the same rights as the two major parties. How many people did you see at the National Debates? I only saw two.

As far as saying there are only two valid thoughts, what do you call having two parties to choose from? It is either one or the other. As you said, only Dems and Reps have been elected. That means two choices, two ideologies.

During the last election, I called every campaign I could and told them to at least let Nader debate in the elections. Every time I was bothered at 7 pm at night by a member of Steamboat's Democratic Party, I asked them to open the debates. Obviously, it didn't happen. I don't know about you, but I was surprised at how many candidates I had not heard of. The hoops the government/states make those people go through is appalling, and they should be allowed to be in the debates, just like the major parties are.

And if these little parties are so insignificant, as others have suggested, why is it that the Dems have worked so hard to keep some of them silent? Why was Nader blamed for ruining elections, and why do people say voting for a third party is "wasting your vote?" I do not think their efforts are insignificant. As a person who is not satisfied by either party, I feel I am the one who is "getting the short shift on the national stage."

I can't believe that every single person in this country fits category A or B.

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Chuck McConnell 5 years, 1 month ago

What Lynn and all the lefties will not face is the ultimate devaluation of the US dollar from all this horrible "feel-good" spending. I sure don't want to become another Zimbabway with 100 trillion dollar bills issued by our bankrupt govt. Can you say $105 trillion unfunded liability we currently sport with daily interest on our current debt at $500 million?

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seeuski 5 years, 1 month ago

runner, I never said I new your party and I never referred to you as a Dem so whats up? You are a minority voter but that does not mean your vote does not count. It's just that you seem to feel if you vote for it then by god you should get it. The rest have a vote also and the majority wins and everyone can't have their way. So keep on voting and sooner or later you may get what you vote for. My above posts to you and others had meaning and was not about name calling as you claimed. It always ends up in this mud when one side has no answer or argument.

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Brian Kotowski 5 years, 1 month ago

runnerbikerdriver44:

Welcome to a representative republic. Viable candidacies require broad based support. Without it, they're insignificant. Your citation of TR's post-presidential efforts proves it: a tremendously popular, charismatic, and proven leader got flushed down the electoral tubes, and his 3rd party bit the dust.

Like it or not, Nader is a fringe candidate. Just like Pat Buchanan, Dennis Kucinich, Alan Keyes, Carol Mosley Braun, Pat Robertson, Jesse Jackson, Ron Paul, etc.

And despite that, you still got to pull the lever for him last year. Get over it.

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runnerbikerdriver44 5 years, 1 month ago

Seeuski-"Sorry I wounded you so by referring to you as a liberal." Liberal=Dem. You said it, not me. What is being misconstrued here is that I feel like just because people feel like voting for a third party, a third party should be elected. That's not what I said. I'll say what I said before-if you can get on the ballot, you should be allowed to be in the National Debates. Why are they open to only two parties? That is what I was saying.

"So to all you Libs who can only see the world through the left vs right goggles here is a news flash." Because I have an opposing view point, I was grouped in with "Lib." Stereotyping, name calling, call it what you will.

"Viable candidates require broad based support." These third parties are not supported by large corporations in the same way as the big candidates, but they still manage to get enough support to get on the ballots. You should look at how many signatures are required in order to get on the ballot in each state for someone who isn't a Democrat or Republican. But, make sure that they are registered voters, their signature matches the one on your voter registration card, and know that anyone can call those signatures in to question, which means the state has to look them over, and decide which signatures are valid. And, they have to meet deadlines way in advance, unlike the Democrats or Republicans. So, if those people are able to get on the ballot, despite all of these obstacles, they should be allowed just as much of a voice as everyone else.

You still haven't answered my question-can everyone in this country honestly say they fit A or B? Ad no, I won't get over it.

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Brian Kotowski 5 years, 1 month ago

runnerbikerdriver44 writes:

"...they [the fringe candidates] should be allowed just as much of a voice as everyone else."

Fortunately, common sense will out. The Reverend Gene Amondson (Prohibition Party) got himself on the ballot, too. His participation in the debates would have boiled down to a sermon on temperance and the evils of drink; and a waste of everyone's time.

I didn't answer your question because it's irrelevant. It is beyond childish to expect every individual voter's opinions & perspectives be reflected on the national stage.

Democracy isn't perfect. It's noisy, acrimonious, messy, contentious, adversarial, and the majority takes the day. If you're not going to get over it, you are destined to be perpetually bitter and unhappy.

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runnerbikerdriver44 5 years, 1 month ago

Why is that childish? The Piracy Party was elected in to politics because they do not agree with the government tracking faxes, emails, and phone calls. They started in 2006, and are now one of the larger parties in Swedish parliament. People should agree with the things the person they are voting for are saying, and everyone should be allowed to hear what every person who gets on the ballot has to say. The steps are arduous and difficult, and the way they get there is because voters support their ideals. It works in other countries, actually, in every other democracy, so why can't we do it here?

Just because I'm questioning the way things are and want things to change doesn't make me bitter and unhappy. Actually, I'm rather pleased with myself, thank you very much. And it's been a very enlightening discussion with you, so thank you.

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seeuski 5 years, 1 month ago

Come on runner, I never said liberals were all dems, you are saying that so you obviously have an inferiority complex. A good example of a liberal republican would be Scotsaffazza, however it's spelled, from NY's 23rd district or John McCain and there are more. Any republican that votes for cap and tax or this terrible health care bill is in that category. I feel bad for you that you consider it name calling when you are referred to as a liberal or in my case a conservative. Go ahead make my day, call me a conservative I dare you.

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Brian Kotowski 5 years, 1 month ago

runnerbikerdriver44:

I'm glad you're happy to reside out there on the fringe - no sarcasm intended. From my perspective, it means that you've excluded yourself from any meaningful national policy decisions.

And I need to backpedal somewhat from my characterization of Nader as irrelevant. It is arguable that he played a very relevant role as spoiler. I believe you asked why the Dems worked so hard to marginalize your candidate last time around. It's all about the 2000 election. I assume you voted for Nader that year, along with about 100,000 other Americans. It is an article of faith among many Democrats that Nader siphoned off enough votes from Al Gore to hand the victory to W. Despite my problems with our 43rd President (and there are many), I want to thank you for helping to keep Mr. Gore out of the White House.

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runnerbikerdriver44 5 years, 1 month ago

seeuski-I don't resort to name calling. I prefer arguements that can stay away from that, and just be based on good discussions. Sorry to disappoint, but that is the way my mother raised me. Plus, name calling really makes any prior statement seem less valid, so I try and stay away from it best as possible. Look at all the name calling going on in Washington. Has it really helped any? Attack points, by all means, but name calling just makes me laugh. Maybe name calling isn't the right word. Would stereotyping work for you?

Sep-If it weren't for the fact that so many "concerned citizens" have tried to keep him off the ballots, I think he would be more significant, as well as every other third party candidate. Personally, I would have loved to have heard what the two women who were on the ballot stood for. And yes, that year I voted for him because I believed in what he stood for. Hey, if he's willing to expose the auto industry for their unsafe practices, he can't be that bad of a person :) All of this does put me on the fringe, but I like it out here. From here, I can look at everything, and make the choices I feel are right for me and my beliefs. I am also both parties worst nightmare-young and unaffiliated! My biggest thing is question everything, and do the research. Again, I'm a product of my mother.

I feel that for Democrats, it's the easy way out to blame Nader as the spoiler in that election. As I said before, it's been a fun discussion, so thanks.

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Brian Kotowski 5 years, 1 month ago

runnerbikerdriver44 writes:

"If it weren't for the fact that so many "concerned citizens" have tried to keep him off the ballots, I think he would be more significant, as well as every other third party candidate."

Let's focus on Nader: he was on all 50 ballots in 2000 & 2004 (I haven't been able to find reliable stats for 2008), so what does it matter that anyone "tried to keep him off the ballots"? He was ON the ballots, fer cripes sake. EVERY American voter had an opportunity to support him. More importantly, Nader ain't the Prohibition Party's Rev. Amondson - some single-issue clown nobody ever heard of. Nader's a character EVERYONE knows about. He's been a prominent figure in the national spotlight for nearly as long as I've been alive (I'm 45, by the way. You say you're "young" - I'm curious to know how young you are. You're at least 27, if you voted for Nader 9 years ago).

Every American who's politically aware knows who Nader is and what he's about. He's passionate, intelligent, and as articulate a spokesman for his views as there is. And he gets all the media exposure he needs. Hell, I saw him trading spew with Blowhard O'Reilly last week, on the highest rated cable news show in the world. If Nader's views resonated with America to any significant degree, he would have long since graduated from the fringe to the mainstream. And your commitment to him is why you have no voice at the national level.

I held my nose at the polls 9 years ago. I pulled the lever for W - not the Conservative or Libertarian candidates, who more closely reflected my own convictions. Remember how close that election was? If I, and maybe even a half-million other like minded conservatives had voted our passions instead of our common sense, Gore would have won, and John Roberts and Samuel Alito would still be anonymous jurists you'd never heard of. Realists try perceive the forest despite the trees. Your passion is compelling. But it blinds you, with all due respect, to the bigger picture.

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Dumpy_the_Wise 5 years, 1 month ago

" 'Fight[ing] it out' is what it's all about. The real world ain't Kumbaya."

Sorry, but totally missed my point. Are you suggesting that the left and right have battle to the death over presidency? I don't get what you are saying, so I'll try again.

While Republicans and Democrats continue to follow every single movement about the President waiting to call out something stupid and give outrageous reasons why their party is right, the rest of the world suffers. America needs to give out a helping hand rather than bicker about each other, it's not hard to understand. In fact, it's logic.

Try again.

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runnerbikerdriver44 5 years, 1 month ago

I think you would have to look at the process itself in order to understand why I say what I say about Nader being kept off of the ballot. When he was challeneged at every turn by "concerened citizens," that took valuable resources away from him and his platform. When you are already limited to the amount of money you can get from donors, far less than the larger parties, then having to have lawyers flying all over the place to defend you takes what little resources you have away. One "concerned citizen" in Maine challenged his petitions in the 2004 election. Turns out the concerned citizen was associated with the Deomcratic party, was sent lawyers who were provided by the Democratic party, and was asked to report back on their progress of shutting down Nader. Of course, she claimed she was just a concerned citizen, until the research was done and suddenly, yes, all of it was true. And I'm using him as an example because when it comes to third party politics being kept out of the Presidential Race, he's the best one to do research on. Give me a major candidate I can believe in and support, I will do the exact same.

You'll have to explain the bigger picture that I'm missing out on, because I don't see it. Just because it's not the popular vote and he's not president? I still vote on all of the other bills which are put on the ballot, so I don't see what I am missing. Just because this country is much easier to control with two parties, instead of more, doesn't make it right. Again, I will point out that we are the only democracy in the world who only has two parties (New Zealand was one of the ones to be with us, however they have allowed the MMP process, which gives one third of the seats to third party members). It is too easy for the government to control things this way, and people should be outraged. Honestly, are our voices as citizens ever really heard? The electrol college doesn't really permit that. Every vote should be counted. Why should one state be more important to a politician than the other? I don't feel like people should settle, and that's what we're doing. More often than not, people choose the lesser of two evils when it comes to politicians. Now, if all parties who were able to have the same amount of time to say what they want on national television, we may be able to get away from choosing the lesser of two evils. I don't think questioning these practices really blinds me. I for one feel rather enlightened.

And bless your heart for thinking I'm that young :)

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Brian Kotowski 5 years, 1 month ago

From the Dept. of Labor: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf "The unemployment rate rose from 9.8 to 10.2 percent in October..."

How's that Hope And Change working out, Lynn?

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trump_suit 5 years, 1 month ago

What makes any of you think that John McCain would have done better with the unemployment issue? The Gov't is simply not big enough to make a dent in the GDP in terms of spending. Let us all remember that it was John McCain who suspended his campaign to deal with the banking crisis and that he was fully behind the TARP bailouts and would have gone further.

You may not agree with the stimulus bill, but without it things would be worse than they are. What would you have done instead? Without that action, unemployment could easily be closer to 15%.

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seeuski 5 years, 1 month ago

trump... Here you go again. Obama said "If we pass the stimulus bill the unemployment rate will not go over 8% and if we do nothing the rate will go to 10%". John McCain is not the President but if he was he would not have spread the wealth around and then fire IG Gerald Walpin for finding $800,000 of that money in the pocket of Obama's pal, Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson. That Obama money line in Detroit was pretty stimulating, the liquor stores did see a boost in sales for a day or two. How is that "most transparent White House in history" thing going so far? Cash for clunkers, which doled out up to $4,500 per car traded in, actually cost the American Taxpayers $24,000 per car according to Edmunds. We can't get the H1N1 shots before the terrorists at Gitmo or the Wall Street fatcats if at all and the Government is about to takeover 1/5th of our economy with Health Care. And Pelosi is holding the vote for the ripoff of our health care system this Sunday. Yesterday when we had a tragedy of monumental proportion at Ft. Hood Obama waited until after he gave a shout out to a Native American Doctor and addressed the audience for several lighthearted minutes before making a brief statement. Today he says "we should not jump to conclusions" as to the motivations of the Muslim who yelled "allah akbhar" while killing fellow soldiers. Don't jump to conclusions? What about the white cop and the Black professor in Mass and Obama saying "I don't know all the details but the cop acted stupidly"? It is also now being reported by the AP that Iran has tested a nuclear bomb this after Obama said Iran had until September to agree to inspections or else. This is getting kind of indefensible at this point don't you think? Oh well Obama did try to get the Olympics and wasted no time or expense while flying half way around the world on that important mission, maybe Afghanistan should have been the home of the Olympic committee and we would have had a decision on Mchristal's(sic) troop request so that the plan Obama announced last March could be acted on and we would not be losing so many troops now. You know, the plan he claimed as his but the truth came out and it was the Bush administrations. Yea, Obama told Bush to keep it quiet on that for security purposes but then Obama wants to look good to the Americans and has Gibbs claim it as if they are hard at work. I'll leave the czars out of this post, you know the ones in the White House who when needing guidance seek the writings of Mao Tse Tung one of the worlds greatest mass murderers.

As far as unemployment, everyone that has a mass between their ears knows that you don't spend your way out of a recession, but then again Obama did save or create up to 750k jobs according to senile Joe Biden.

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Brian Kotowski 5 years, 1 month ago

trump_suit:

It isn't useful to speculate with any certainty what a President McCain might have done. When I reluctantly pulled the lever for W in 2000, I suspected that "compassionate conservatism" was nothing more than liberalism lite. But I never believed that W would become the profligate spender of other people's money that he morphed into. I am NOT surprised that O has made W look like Ebeneezer Scrooge.

I would like to think that McCain would not have saddled uncounted future generations of Americans with absolutely unprecedented national debt, but again: the RINO didn't win, so who can say?

Instead, it might be more constructive to look at what Republicans who are actually in the game have proposed in the here and now. Health Care Reform is the best place to start, as it represents the most significant component (in terms of economic size and scope) of the President's domestic agenda.

The CBO has just issued its analysis of the GOP health care proposal: http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/107xx/doc10705/hr3962amendmentBoehner.pdf The GOP plan emphasizes the dissolution of interstate barriers to open competition, tort reform, HSAs, and has a price tag that's less than 6% ($61 billion vs. $1.05 TRILLION) of what the President is itching to confiscate from the American working stiff:

"CBO and the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) estimate that the amendment would reduce federal deficits by $68 billion over the 2010-2019 period; it would also slightly reduce federal budget deficits in the following decade, relative to those projected under current law, with a total effect during that decade that is in a broad range between zero and one-quarter percent of gross domestic product."

In contrast to what O, Pelosi, Reid & Co. are trying to shove up our rectums, the Republican proposal would actually reduce premiums (according to the non-partisan CBO):

"CBO anticipates that the combination of provisions in the amendment would reduce average private health insurance premiums per enrollee in the United States, relative to what they would be under current law-by 7 percent to 10 percent in the small group market, by 5 percent to 8 percent for individually purchased insurance, and by zero to 3 percent in the large group market."

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Brian Kotowski 5 years, 1 month ago

Continued:

I would also like to believe that RINO McCain would never have initiated Cash for Clunkers - the feel-good boondoggle of the summer! At BEST, it shifted 4Q sales into the 3rd quarter. More importantly, the obliteration of assets does not strengthen the economy. In case you missed it, Big Brother O required dealers to destroy ALL the trade-ins they received. DESTROY. Not resell or reuse or part out so value continues to be derived. The consumer replaces a productive, working asset with another that begins depreciating the instant he takes it home. That ain’t stimulus. It’s a shell game.

I wish I could credit the author I’m about to paraphrase - his analogy applies here: You don’t create wealth by breaking windows, and then hiring someone to replace them.

The systematic destruction of productive assets represents a net loss to the economy and is unsustainable. That Cash for Clunkers was such a flash in the pan illustrates the rank cynicism of the political hacks responsible for it. More significantly , it spotlights how economically clueless O & Co are.

Incidentally, trump_suit - I noted with amusement, but not surprise, how you quit the field the last time you & I sparred over the President's superior judgment vis-a'-vis his predecessor. To refresh your memory -

You wrote: "Torture is an abomination that should never have happened."

Waterboarding is the most severe of of the 6 "enhanced interrogation techniques" approved by the Bush Administration. I have been unable to track down which (if any) of those techniques President Obama has signed off on. We DO know that the President has green-lighted the policy of "rendition": http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/barackobama/4425135/Barack-Obama-to-allow-anti-terror-rendition-to-continue.html , which allows the President to circumvent our own anti-torture statutes by shipping prisoners to places like Egypt and Morocco for questioning, where torture is the name of the game. Do you find the President to be "abomina[ble]" as a result, trump_suit? If not, why not?

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Brian Kotowski 5 years, 1 month ago

Continued:

You wrote: "Illegal wiretapping and warrentless electronic surveilance [sic] of American citizens is a vilolation [sic] of our rights that should never have happened."

The President disagrees with you, and is spending your tax dollars to pay his lawyers to vigorously defend the policy: http://www.inteldaily.com/news/144/ARTICLE/10296/2009-04-06.html

I'd be interested to hear how you reconcile O committing the same "abomination[s]" as the President you excoriate (full disclosure: I don't expect trump_suit to respond - he and his ilk tend to flee balls-to-the-wall from their own hypocrisies).

Finally, you wrote: "If we had stayed out of Iraq and not actively lied to the world:" I think I know what you're getting at, but prefer to avoid assumptions. About what did we "actively lie"?

I don't expect you to respond to that one, either. But one can hope.

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trump_suit 5 years, 1 month ago

SEP, You will not find me continuing mindless arguements with those of you whose opinions cannot be changed. I will express my opinions and move on in hopes that there is someone lurking out there that may find a kernel of truth.

Big difference between W and Obama's surveilance programs is that Obama has subjected each and every one of them to the FISA courts as required by the law. Makes all the difference in my personal opinion.

Torture is and remains an abomination and anyone involved should be prosecuted. The treatment of those prisoners at Guantanamo was abusive and over the line and we have pictures to prove it. Even with the vanilla ones that have been released, it is clear that the treatment of those prisoners went far beyond waterboarding. How can you even begin to justify to attachment of electrodes to a mans testicles?

Yes, the deficeits are a LARGE concern but you need to read the CBO findings again. They find that the Republican plan would do nothing about pre-existing conditions and the tactic of the insurance companies to purge those individuals that they do not want to insure. The CBO also estimates that Gov't healthcare expenses were roughly 12% of the budget under Reagan approaching 30% right now and escalating fast. The same estimates say that without changes the Gov't will be spending 50% of its annual budget on hea;thcare by 2030 with no end in sight.

It is time for healthcare reform. I sincerely hope that the "public option" is not a part of that reform, but most of the changes that have been hammered out are necessary and the Republican party is like the proverbial Ostrich in this argument. Head in the sand and ignoring the size and scope of the problem. If the Democrats accomplish nothing else during this short tenure of control I hope that it is Healthcare reform.

Unfortunately for Democrats Nancy Pelosi is incharge of the House (Pelosi? How the )&^( did that happen?) Look back thru history and you will find presidential abuses of power in each and every case, but nothing like the abuses of the Bush/Cheney administration. They took the tragedy of 9/11 and turned it into their little Republican agenda to control and monitor the actions of american citizens like the Right has always wanted to do. It is appropriate for the pendulum to swing the other way for a few years to keep things balanced. If the Conservatives would return to the policies of small gov;t, lower taxes and stay the heck out of my communications and life they would once again receive my vote as well. Bush and company pushed me out of the Republican camp after receiving my vote and the purges going on within the party don;t give me much hope that will change.

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seeuski 5 years, 1 month ago

Here people, this is what we get if we can't or choose not to buy health coverage under the Dem's bill that is up for vote today. Will someone please show me where in the Constitution does the Government have the right to force me to buy a service or product. I honor those great Americans who went to the Capitol Thursday and are protesting today and as long as they have to to save us from this invasion of our freedoms.

“H.R. 3962 provides that an individual (or a husband and wife in the case of a joint return) who does not, at any time during the taxable year, maintain acceptable health insurance coverage for himself or herself and each of his or her qualifying children is subject to an additional tax.” [page 1] - - - - - - - - -

“If the government determines that the taxpayer’s unpaid tax liability results from willful behavior, the following penalties could apply…” [page 2]

                                                     - - - - - - - - - -

"Criminal penalties

Prosecution is authorized under the Code for a variety of offenses. Depending on the level of the noncompliance, the following penalties could apply to an individual:

• Section 7203 – misdemeanor willful failure to pay is punishable by a fine of up to $25,000 and/or imprisonment of up to one year.

• Section 7201 – felony willful evasion is punishable by a fine of up to $250,000 and/or imprisonment of up to five years.” [page 3]

These are excerpts from the bill.

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Brian Kotowski 5 years, 1 month ago

So: you argue on behalf of your positions; I respond on behalf of mine, and your inability to change my mind renders me "mindless", LOL.

It's just become very difficult to take you seriously.

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trump_suit 5 years, 1 month ago

Hmmm, the Constitution is missing an important item on the issue of Auto Insurance also, but just try to drive without it and see what happens.

The Constitution completely fails to mention Federal/State/Local Taxes, but just try to quit paying them and see where you end up.

The Constitution doesn't mention a gosh darn thing about having a Drivers License, Pilots LIcense, Doctor/Dentist/Optomitrist/Pediatric/ blah blah blah medical license either, but somehow all of those things are required.

When the Consitutuion was written, none of these things were imagined and therefore not written into that document. You are using that gap to justify your position on healthcare, but there are more laws and gaps there than any of our conservative friends are willing to admit. Some of them have been addressed by new laws over the years, and one of the great holes in health insurance is about to be closed.

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trump_suit 5 years, 1 month ago

SEP, My apologies if you felt that I called you mindless. That is not what I intended.

What I had intended to portray is that there are multiple personalities on these boards that continue to spew venom and rhetoric no matter the subject or points that are made by other posters. I will continue to try and avoid those nasty conversations and hope that I do not belittle other peoples beliefs even though I may disagree.

The reference to mindless is this: It is simply pointless to post the same viewpoint and words over and over again. SImply writing down more verbiage does not change anyones basic opinion. I have posted my thoughts on those issues, and though I may not respond as often as others, I remain interested in the issues, I continue to monitor and read new postings on almost everything and will respond when I feel that I have something to say.

If you review all of my writings you will find that I have agreed with posters like JLM and Seeuski on pieces and parts of various issues, and we rather violently disagree in other areas. When other posters ask intelligent questions or moderate their writings based on what others say then their postings should be more respected in my opinion. It proves that istening is happening, and if you read everything, you will see this going on.

In terms of healthcare I actually agree with much of what JLM proposes but would go further with pre-existing conditions and the like. The entire public option scares me greatly and I hope that that portion gets killed. Private industry and capitalism does produce the best results, it just sometimes needs more regulation than JLM see;s the need for. In that area we disagree,. Torte reform and cross state coverage is good but does not go far enough.

What is not productive is simply screaming the same points over and over again regardless of the topic at hand. When two individuals are at polar opposites on an issue there is little sense in each of them continuing to spew venom back and forth at each other. I will try to avoid those tactics.

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seeuski 5 years, 1 month ago

Americans do not have to purchase auto insurance or a pilots license because some "choose" not to drive or fly and the Constitution does mention taxes so you are way out of line trump. So for the record everyone, trump_suit is on board with this big government threat against our freedoms from persecution for not buying a service. I will remember that in a year or more when the reality of this possible nightmare is upon us. There is still a chance that this unconscionable action against this free country fails on the floor, I called John Salazar and I urge those others out there who are concerned to do the same. The number is 202-225-4761. God save this great country from it's internal enemies.

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JLM 5 years, 1 month ago

It is very difficult to imagine the administration of a "healthy" health care system which relies upon the imposition of mandatory coverage and imposes fines including imprisonment for failing to comply with non-negotiable government mandates.

While it is difficult to find much danger in a system which provides "access" to an improved healthcare delivery system, it is a fundamental abridgement of the liberties of our Nation to mandate participation under the pain of IRS enforcement.

Nancy Pelosi: "Eat your Brussels sprouts, America, or I will put you in jail! But, please have a nice day!"

While there are many things to oppose about the proposed plan --- which one can take great confidence is NOT the final plan which the Senate may or may not approve --- I would at least be willing to give it a try. Of course, I have provided company paid healthcare insurance (health, dental, vision, life) for over a quarter of a century. So in many ways, recent developments are preaching to the long ago converted.

The rub point is that the health insurance benefits I have provided were the product of the efforts of a PROFITABLE company something which is quite in doubt given continuing deterioration of the economy, the imposition of a rising tax burden and the impact of unfunded government mandates.

We shall see!

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seeuski 5 years, 1 month ago

We won't see much of a difference until after the 2012 elections for reasons that are obvious but our Government will have the right to consider people criminals for not buying or complying with the provisions of the new Government run health care system. I think CCR wrote a song about this kind of thing and it mentions something about trouble on the way. There's a Bad Moon Rising.

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seeuski 5 years, 1 month ago

Travesty: Official: Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, others to face trial in New York November 13, 2009 9:12 a.m. EST http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/11/13/khalid.sheikh.mohammed/index.html

To those of us that deem this action as unconscionable click on this link to the FDNY site and sign the petition to Obama.

http://www.thebravest.com/fdny.htm

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Brian Kotowski 5 years, 1 month ago

Well, at least it'll be easy to find a jury of his peers: most of the "czars", and pretty much all of MSNBC should provide an ample pool from which to choose. I hear Ward Churchill may have some time on his hands...

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trump_suit 5 years, 1 month ago

I would think that they will have a hard time finding a US citizen that will vow to "Keep an open mind" on these cases. I would think that most NY residents would say skip the trial and hang em'.

In deference to my opinions on torture, A jury trial for these guys will work out just fine as long as the death penalty is asked for.

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seeuski 5 years, 1 month ago

This political circus is a slap in the face of most Americans but most of all it is salt in the wounds of the families of the 9/11 victims. These dogs are war criminals and should not touch soil here or recieve the same justice as any American accused of a crime. They should face a military tribunal and spare the victims from the emotional distress that these dogs will cause with the courtroom outbursts to come as was the case in the Massoui trial. I am now understanding more clearly what Joe Biden was getting at when he said "mark my words Obama will be tested in his first six months and you'll have to be patient to understand his response". With his response to the Ft. Hood attacks and this civil treatment of Muslim Jihadist war criminals I am inpatient to say the least let alone his failure to support our troops in Afghanistan.

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seeuski 5 years, 1 month ago

Obama Urges Congress to Delay Fort Hood Investigation

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/11/14/obama-urges-congress-delay-fort-hood-investigation/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%253A+foxnews%252Fpolitics+%2528FOXNews.com+-+Politics%2529&utm_content=My+Yahoo

Lets delay everything Obama that way you can control the message, oh that's right you have already been doing that. I really enjoyed his speech this morning from Japan, aside from promising everything to everybody he also is promising transparency and accountability to Asia all while we are still waiting for that here. The hits just keep on coming.

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JLM 5 years, 1 month ago

The decision to "try" the Gitmo 5 in NYC is one that reaonable folks can rightfully ponder the wisdom of on both legal and common sense terms.

None of them were apprehended on US soil, none are US citizens, none of them directly participated in the events of 9-11 on US soil and while they are certainly arguably "conspirators" in the 9-11 terror acts, none of them conspired within the jurisdiction of US law. How so is US criminal law the appropriate body of law with which to resolve their future?

The wisdom of the application of US criminal law and the appropriateness of simply labelling these scumbags as "common criminals" subject to US criminal law, within jurisdiction of US law enforcement and thereby to be afforded the protections of the US judicial system seems a fair question to raise. Are these gents just "common criminals"? Really?

Clearly the acts of 9-11 are something a bit more complex and differentiated than a simple pre-meditated felony murder case. Even if they are simply conspirators. To call their infractions an indiscriminate "act of war" or a "terrorist act" seems to be closer to the reality of the situation. The fact that these gentlemen were captured in the direct theater of war --- the war on terror --- and not in the US seems to argue forcefully for their classification as "prisoners of war" or "enemy combatants" having either the characteristics of POWs or saboteurs or spies.

Given their status as POWs or enemy combatants, it is not unreasonable to look to precedent (the Nuremburg trials) or to the Geneva Conventions --- noting that they are also arguably not members of the uniformed armed forces of a sovereign nation and a signatory to the Conventions and therefore not entitled to the protections of the Geneva Conventions. Frankly, some who argue that this is their "bad" raise a sympathetic note.

From a common sense perspective, the duty of the defense counsel ultimately appointed or retained to defend these chaps (and I am betting Alan M Dershowitz, Esq will ultimately be involved) will create some unusual and perfectly foreseeable and predictable issues --- change of venue, inflammatory prejudice of the jury pool, the composition of the jury pool, the admissibility of evidence obtained prior to a Miranda warning, the admissibility of evidence obtained by "torture", the practices of the American CIA, the jurisdiction of American courts, etc. etc. etc.

These matters will be on appeal --- particularly if they end up with death sentences --- for decades.

Any one of these issues could result in the charges being dismissed and these chaps being set free.

This has the potential to be a real legal circus to say nothing of the negative impact it will have in the Arab world and the morale busting implications for the families of the 9-11 victims.

This entire matter will strike many as a bone jarringly poor exercise of judgment. Unfairly?

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