211 Thoughts to “Open Thread………………………………………Friday, Jan. 14”

  1. Steve Thomas

    On the discussion of parties and politics, lest we not forget that our founding fathers intentionally set up our system to be adversarial in nature. Same applies for our legal system. When you want checks and balances and to avoid the over-concentration of power within on individual or group, you need the competition of interests to ensure this. Perhaps we take the “adversarial” part to extremes, but if you think about it, rarely does it result in actual violence. Sure, there are times where there was violence (The Civil War, Kent State, 60’s race riots, Post Rodeny King), but so far we have avoided the “flying death squads” coups, etc. that plague other political systems. I believe part of this is our right to free speech and and peaceable assembly. This is an outlet that bleeds off pressure. If we could only express ourselves at the ballot box during election time, perhaps we’d have more people resorting to violence as a result.

  2. Emma

    @Starryflights Who is the “you” you are referring to?

  3. Censored bybvbl

    Steve, I guess I’m disappointed that “adults” are so willing to say “moooo” and follow the herd. That isn’t limited to politics of course. You see it in car choice, home decor, clothes, etc. Few people question where these trends originate and who profits from them. In home decor it’s a popular pattern – make everything that the average Joe or Jane Six-pack own look dated and those people will have to spend more money buying new crapola. Just as in politics, there are frequent swings of the pendulum – from overwrought chintz, bright colors, overloaded shelves to clean, almost sterile, neutral backgrounds. The manufacturers and ad men laugh all the way to the bank.

    There’s nothing wrong with having adversarial positions as long as progress is made in my opinion. Compromise moves things along.

    I don’t think I’ve seen this country as polarized since the Sixties with the battles over Civil Rights and Vietnam. Discrimination and the draft fueled much of that rancor.

  4. Steve Thomas

    “So what did he prove? He insults the president and he insults the /Chinese. Smooth move, BONER.”

    Moon, Moon, Moon,

    Didn’t Harry Ried refer to the Chinese president as a “dictator” in a recent interview? Might the House Speaker’s decision to boycott the state dinner be a reflection of his principles? I mean China is a Communist totalitarian country, despite its development of a socialist form of trade, it is far from a free market. Perhaps the Speaker doesn’t like the fact that inspite of China’s booming economy and huge defense spending, close to 80% of Chinese live below the poverty line. Maybe its the fate of the political prisoners in that country, or the fact that Christians are regularly persecuted by the State in China. Maybe it’s the fact that the Chinese intelligence service recently hacked several of his collegues computers, our Congressman being one of them. Maybe he doesn’t want to sit down with our debt-holder in a social setting. These are all good reasons IMHO for someone to skip the dinner.

    I get calls every day from Chinese companies wanting to do business with mine. I decline every one. I won’t even listen to their pitch. Yes, while it may make economic sense, where they can deliver a product or service cheaper than a US company, but that is a “Faustian” deal at best. Does that make me an “a-hole”? On the flip-side, I speak with Indian companies every day, and frequently do business with them. Why? They are a democracy.

  5. Steve Thomas

    @Censored bybvbl
    Yes, there are a lot of “Sheeple” in the world, but I think if you were to go back to Ancient Sumaria, you’d find the same dynamics. Based on my beliefs, I attribute much of this to “The Fall”. Now, in this regard, one could make argument that I am “following the herd”. But that argument would fail upon examination of the long, thoughtful, and at times painful process I went through to reach that conclusion. It wasn’t because I sat week after week in the pews, listening to someone telling me what to think. My initial questions led to study, which led to the pews, which led to more study, which kept me in the pews. Taken in the reality of like, the truths defended themselves. Far from following the herd.

    But, when you look at the state of our 16-24 yearolds, who is presented to them as “examples” and “idols”, and the popularity of Jersey Shore, I’d have to agree there are many “cows”, and few “cowboys” in society.

  6. Censored bybvbl

    @Steve Thomas

    But, when you look at the state of our 16-24 yearolds, who is presented to them as “examples” and “idols”, and the popularity of Jersey Shore, I’d have to agree there are many “cows”, and few “cowboys” in society.

    I think you have to include politicians who are much older than those teenagers – the politicians who offer mere soundbites and no substance.

  7. Steve Thomas

    @Censored bybvbl
    There’s an old political saying: “My constituents are going in that direction…Since I am their leader, I will also be going in that direction.”

  8. Censored bybvbl

    @Steve Thomas

    There’s an old political saying: “My constituents are going in that direction…Since I am their leader, I will also be going in that direction.”

    If by that you mean that a politician should pay attention to and address the issues that his constituents find important, I’d agree. However, if you mean that that he should dumb-down his responses or analyses to soundbites while wearing a big cowboy hat, we’re in a heap of trouble.

  9. I would just like to point out that Harry Reid ALSO did not make that dinner. Both Boehner and Reid are meeting with Hu tonight. There was no snub. It was planned that way.

  10. Elena

    Thank you for asking the questions while leaving out name calling. You are right, where, where was all this outrage from those who call themselves conservatives. I can think of one though, Bob Barr, he actually joined forces with Feingold over the Patriot Act.

  11. Starryflights

    Where was the outrage when Cheney said deficits don’t matter?

  12. YOU DID NOT GET MAD WHEN OVER 200,000 US Citizens lost their lives because they had NO HEALTH INSURANCE. Please source this. No hospital can turn away a patient. Oh, and how about all those “victims” before Bush…..you know, since the birth of the country….

    You didn’t get mad when we gave people who had more money than they could spend, the filthy rich, OVER A TRILLION DOLLARS IN TAX BREAKS.. ITS THEIR MONEY. One does not GIVE tax breaks. One only stops taking private property. And that money is what drives business.

    You didn’t get mad when lack of oversight and regulations from the Bush Administration caused US Citizens to lose 12 TRILLION DOLLARS IN INVESTMENTS AND HOME VALUES..
    It wasn’t the LACK of regulations. It was the demand from Congress that banks lend to those that couldn’t pay. IT was Barney Frank, etal, preventing reform of Freddie/Fannie. It was the need for those banks to actually make money on bad deals forced upon them by Congress. It was the repeal of Glass=Stegall. The Democratic Congress caused it. Live with it.

    You didn’t get mad when BUSH ADMINISTRATION DID NOT CATCH BIN LADEN WHEN THEY KNEW WHERE HE WAS. Did you get mad when Clinton didn’t kill him? And how do you know he’s still alive?

    You didn’t get mad when Bush rang up 10 trillion dollars in combined budget and current account deficits. Yeah, actually we did. You did notice that conservatives stayed home and didn’t vote for the GOP through TWO elections, right?

    you didn’t get mad when BUSH ADMINISTRATION LET A MAJOR US CITY, NEW ORLEANS, DROWN.. Oh, so BUSH is responsible for the corruption of the New Orleans Levee Board, the incompetence of both the mayor and the governor, and acts of God. Ok, then.

    You didn’t get mad when the Supreme Court STOPPED a legal recount and APPOINTED a President. Except that the “legal” recount was only in counties that supported Gore. A total recount showed that Bush won Florida. Google IS your friend.

    You didn’t get mad when Cheney allowed Energy company officials to dictate Energy policy and push us to invade Iraq. Yeaah, this one is just stupid. How do you like the energy policy now with energy prices spiking? Why no outrage now?

    You didn’t get mad when a covert CIA operative got outed. Yeah, a covert operative that really…wasn’t. And wasn’t outed by Bush. The press even knew who she was.

    You didn’t get mad when the Patriot Act got passed. Like you hang around enough conservatives to know…..

    You didn’t get mad when we ILLEGALLY invaded a country that posed no threat to us.
    Yep. That Kosovo was a problem….Grenada? Oh, you mean that country that broke every agreement in the ceasefire when it invaded Kuwait and we had UN approval to go in? Or do you mean Afghanistan, because the Taliban didn’t fly into the Towers either.

    You didn’t get mad when we SPENT OVER 800 BILLION (AND COUNTING) on said illegal war.
    Nope. See above.

    You didn’t get mad when Bush BORROWED more money from foreign sources than the PREVIOUS 42 Presidents combined. Well, except for the CURRENT office holder…..and again, you don’t listen to conservatives anyway. How would you know? Oh, wait, the Tea Party….and conservatives not voting…..

    You didn’t get mad when over 10 billion dollars in cash just disappeared in Iraq .
    Ummm, bribes anyone? Wouldn’t you rather bribe the guys shooting at us to change sides? Yep. it worked.

    You didn’t get mad when you found out we were torturing people!!!!
    And we’re STILL DOING IT! Oh, that’s right. Bush isn’t here anymore. And we do it to EVERYONE that goes through SERE school. Besides, if it saves one American, black goes to negative….

    You didn’t get mad when you saw the horrible conditions at Walter Reed. Horrible conditions? Did you actually research that at all? I did. It was one room, in the outpatient section, that the guy actually CHOSE because THAT ROOM had cable. And it was fixed. Quickly.

    you didn’t get mad when Bush embraced trade and outsourcing policies that shipped 6 MILLION AMERICAN JOBS OUT OF THE COUNTRY. Yeah…that 4.5% unemployment was horrible….and didn’t those policies start under another President?

    You didn’t get mad when the government was illegally wiretapping Americans. See current policies, and define wiretapping. According to all FISA rules, it wasn’t illegal.

    No…..You finally got mad when a black man was elected President and decided that people in America DESERVED THE RIGTH TO SEE A DOCTOR IF THEY ARE SICK.!..
    Actually, he’s just as much a white man as black. Why are you injecting race into this? Do you have a problem with mixed race people? And no one is prevented from seeing a doctor. We just objected to a bill that takes over 1/6 of the economy. We just objected to a bill that was written by a third party, passed by an ignorant Congress that had to bribe members to vote for it. We just objected to Obama’s self confessed goal to nationalizing the medicine in America and this was the first step.

    Nice try. But this list actually shows more ignorance than outrage. Apparently every liberal talking point since 2000 is all that you have.

  13. @Cargosquid

    Boehner is getting quite the reputation for snubbing the pres. since he has been house majority leader.

    I read it on the leftist papers. Must be true.

    [sarcasm button on]

  14. Steve Thomas

    Censored bybvbl :@Steve Thomas

    There’s an old political saying: “My constituents are going in that direction…Since I am their leader, I will also be going in that direction.”

    If by that you mean that a politician should pay attention to and address the issues that his constituents find important, I’d agree. However, if you mean that that he should dumb-down his responses or analyses to soundbites while wearing a big cowboy hat, we’re in a heap of trouble.

    What I mean is politicians are often chasing their constituents, trying to pander to their “issues”. The issue isn’t important, until a critical mass of constituents are angry enough for it to become “important” Happens on both sides. I am bi-partisan in my distaste for this practice. That’s why we have Patriot Act: Bad under Bush, Good under Obama. Or TARP: Good under Bush. Bad under Obama.

  15. Steve Thomas


    Wow! A very well presented argument. A bit sarcastic, but style is an individual thing [Executes a perfect present arms, ready too with ceremonial sword]. I did enjoy reading that post.

  16. @Moon-howler
    Oh, I agree that he may be distancing himself from the President. You may even call it snubbing. BUT in THIS instance, it was planned. Both Boehner and Reid skipped that dinner with plans to meet him later.

    1. @Cargo,

      Yea, at this level I would call it snubbing. Now for the big question: Do you think that snubbing the President of the United States is in the best interest of the country? Our national roots were grounded in compromise. Without it, there would be no Constitution, no nation.

      Its time for Boehner to get over what ails him and start working together towards fixing our problems. There is no time for his childish political grandstanding, if that is indeed what this is. The first time, ok. Prior commitment. Now he looks like a rude school boy.

  17. So….he’s been Speaker for what? two weeks? And he’s missed the AZ pep rally and this dinner. And the dinner doesn’t count. What else has he snubbed?

    When Obama compromises, then we can compromise. Boehner is attempting to fix what ails us. Out of control spending and the continuing attempts to restructure the country.

    Reid missed the dinner too. Why aren’t you fussing about him? Besides, what benefit accrues to Boehner if he does pal around with Obama? Are they going to become political allies? Are they going to fight in public? Why should they be buddies? They are co-equals.

  18. @Cargo

    Did you give Obama the same break? He wasn’t my candidate of choice. I made no bones about that. However, at the end of the day, he is the president. It started on him immediately. I said after the election I wanted immediate results. (knowing full well I wouldn’t get them).

    Reid and Boehner are not co-equals. Obama and Boeher are not co-equals. Perhaps that is the root of the problem.

    These people we elected all need to work together. Until they start to work towards some goal, comproming along the way, nothing gets fixed.

  19. @Cargo, let me answer–no you didn’t give him the same break. You hated his guts before the election, during the election, and after the election. That is why people who do not believe in compromise need to be avoided so we can get on with it.

  20. Pat.Herve

    how is it that the Republicans have just done no wrong? Please tell me – did the subprime mortgage crisis that swallowed Fannie and Freddy start on the day that Frank rose to be chairman of the House Financial Services Committee? The answer is no, it started way before that. And everybody – EVERYBODY – stood around and watched it happen.

    The partisanship is what is preventing anything from happening – because if a Congressman even whispers that he might talk to the other side, everyone gets up in arms that the person is a RINO, or (what is the D equivalent). I am beginning to think that there is a Left Wing Conspiracy to go along with the Right Wing Conspiracy.

    Both parties are to blame – but the Right side has a louder more organized voice to put the blame on the Left. Some of the Tea Party factions are not really as grass roots as they advertise – with the clout of Dick Armey and funding from the Koch Brothers, it is not just grass roots.

  21. I don’t expect you to give anyone a break. I was just asking what he has snubbed. The dinner was not a snub. He didn’t go to AZ. What else was there?

    And no, I didn’t give him a break because he told us what his intentions were, quite plainly. Shouldn’t I take him at his word ?And his intentions were, in my eyes, harmful to the country. I oppose him. I don’t want to compromise with Obama. I want him defeated. So far, NOTHING that he has done has been helpful for all Americans. He concentrates on HIS side: the unions, organizers, Democrats, big business.

    You want compromise? OK. Lets repeal ObamaCare. Lets put in something that BOTH parties work on. Not a bill developed by leftist think tanks and rammed through closed door sessions that literally locked the Republicans out of the room. Democrats have shown over the years that compromise means that the Republicans have to do things THEIR way. McCain was known as one that “crossed the aisle.” His problem was that he could never get a Democrat to cross the aisle to him.

    And Pat, the subprime mortgage crisis started when Glass-Steagall was repealed and Congress demanded that banks fore go risk assessment on some loans. When Bush tried to re-regulate, he was rebuffed by Frank’s committee. “Fannie and Freddie are just fine and if we re-regulate, poor people won’t be able to afford houses”, I paraphrase. They wanted to use it for election purposes. And now they want to bail out Freddie and Fannie, AGAIN.

  22. And they are equals. We have equal branches of government. They do not answer to anyone else besides the voters.

  23. Steve Thomas

    Cargosquid :And they are equals. We have equal branches of government. They do not answer to anyone else besides the voters.

    Where’s the “Like” button? I’ve been facebooking too much. Got spoiled.

    1. @Steve, I took out the ‘like’ button for that question.

  24. Emma

    @Moon-howler The Constitution lays out three co-equal branches of government. Reid, Boehner and Obama are indeed co-equals. Unfortunately, they tend to forget who the real boss is–the American people.

    1. And there are 9 justices, 100 senators, and 435 congressmen and then there is 1 president.

      Think in terms of fractions. I maintain in terms of office, the office of the speaker of the house is not equal to the presidency, unless of course, the president and vice president are no longer in office.

  25. Emma

    OK, cargo is thinking faster than I am–didn’t mean to parrot what he said.

  26. Great minds think alike 🙂

  27. Pat.Herve


    and the three branches of Government is NOT – Executive, House and Senate……

    If one thinks too simplistic and puts all the blame of Fannie and Freddie failures on one man, Barney Frank, well, I cannot help what you believe. What is the replace part of Obamacare – just more talk and rhetoric? What is the plan?

  28. Pat,

    We know that the three branches are co-equal, thus, the leaders of the legislative are co-equals. We didn’t think that we had to spell it out.

    As for putting the blame all on Barney Frank…oh no. There were other Democrats involved. Dodd comes to mind. The point is that it was Congress, at that time, that prevented the Bush administration, from reining in the excesses of Fannie and Freddie. It was Congress that set that stage for the disaster. It was Congress that put short term elective politics over the good of the country. Congress made the rules. Don’t blame industry for playing by those rules.

  29. @Moon-howler
    They are equal in that neither answers to the other.

  30. @Cargo

    That isn’t exactly how I define equal, but thanks for clarifying.

  31. Emma

    @Pat.Herve Thank you for the unnecessary civics lesson, Pat. I never said that.

  32. Cargo, take a deep breath. Your hate of everything not Republican is sending you into a tale spin and actually, if I may be very honest, wearing me out. I can’t stand to read my own blog. That causes me a problem, since I have to.

    here: All Democrats are evil and vicious and should be stomped out.

    Now, can we have some productive conversation?

  33. e

    only their misguided and disasterous policies and ideology need be stamped out. love the sinner, hate the sin

  34. Moon,

    Where have I ever said that I hate Democrats? I oppose Obama. I oppose progressives. I do not hate them. I oppose socialism, as that leads to an ever growing government and a lessening of freedom. I was commenting on other comments. Is it a surprise that I oppose Obama as much as I do? Really?

    I was just answering statements made in the comments. Which statements of mine say anything about hating all Democrats? Heck, until Obama, my wife voted Democrat. I oppose their policies. I also oppose many of the Republican policies.

    You should be happy that I feel free enough to lay it out there. MOST “liberal” blogs shut down debate with personal insults. I know. I used to comment on a whole lot of them. You really don’t realize how unique this blog comments section is.

    I thought we were having quite a productive conversation, especially my conversation with Starry…….not one personal comment at all. I just answered his comments, clarified them, and pointed out where he was wrong.

  35. Pat.Herve

    sorry Emma, I should have been more clear – the first part of #36 was in response to #33, where it states “The Constitution lays out three co-equal branches of government. Reid, Boehner and Obama are indeed co-equals” to which I replied – and the three branches of Government is NOT – Executive, House and Senate……

  36. Pat.Herve

    Obama, Reid and Boehner are not co-equals.

  37. Emma

    @Pat.Herve I made no claim that the three each represented the three branches of government, if that’s what you’re saying, but thanks for the unnecessary clarification.

  38. Pat.Herve

    anyone watch Piers Morgan last night – first time I saw his show – He had Condoleeza Rice on – I liked it. They talked – politics, personal interests, etc. No hype. She came across as very intelligent, as she always has (and is).

  39. Emma

    “Largest-ever mafia sweep nets more than 100 arrests.”

    Wonder why they don’t go after MS-13 so aggressively?

  40. e

    tony soprano isn’t an illegal alien

  41. e

    there is hope in revelation 13:5, international standard version: The beast was allowed to speak arrogant and blasphemous things, and it was given authority for 42 months. Now this will cut things short for someone……

  42. Emma

    @e great, now I have decaf all over my keyboard.

  43. @Cargo

    You have never said it. You don’t have to say it. It is obvious. WMD’s don’t really matter one iota now. We need to decide, as a nation, how much longer we can afford to lose our young folks to make-shift weapons and invest our resources in countries that aren’t our own. I have no answers but I still don’t want to spend time on WMDs/

    I get very frustrated when some of you all start this Glenn Beck sounding conservative rant that everyone anyone who isn’t the arch duke of conservativism is wrong and an idiot. I am hardly a screaming liberal about many things…(not even reproductive rights) yet I close down this blog at night feeling like I am some old die hard hippie from the McGovern campaign. That was not me!

  44. The 2009 Nobel Peace Prize Winner hosted a dinner for the guy holding the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize Winner in prison, and the media does not get the irony of this at all.

    by our friend Rush….. you may not like him, but in this case, he’s right….

  45. @Moon-howler
    If you notice, I also bring up comments about things we have to do. We got sidetracked on the Iraq discussion. As for the “Beck sounding rants”, did I do that? Have we accused you of being a screaming liberal? Actually, I think the conservatives on this blog make a point of NOT including you when we talk about the “left” as you don’t do the things we complain about. YOU put up topics that cause discussion.

    Moon, you are more of a compromiser and want everyone to get along. You don’t seem to get that the current form of Democrats decided long ago to defeat the right and make government and society in their image. The Right tried that once and failed. Remember the “moral majority”? The Democrats in power don’t want compromise. And neither do the conservatives. Sometimes compromise means sacrificing dearly held principles.

    As for it being “obvious” that I hate Democrats, then I guess that I come across worse than I am. I am partisan. I believe in certain ideals. I believe that certain other ideals are anathema to the American way of life. I don’t hate anyone other than murdering thugs called jihadists. They can all die in a fire. Democrats just need to be defeated politically. Or, let me correct that…progressives and statists need to be defeated politically. There are some conservative Democrats. I believe in upholding the Constitution as written, NOT interpreted by the politician du jour. The document is not hard to decipher. It only gets complicated when you want to work around it.

    You should take a look at you blog with joy. You have quite a philosophical discussion group here, AMICABLY arguing (for the most part) over many different topics. Some you agree with, some you don’t. I clearly explain my positions and I try to be consistent. I’m sure someone will let me know if I’m not.

    There are degrees of conservatism. Just as there are degrees of liberalism. Right now, the Republican party is being held accountable for STATING that it holds conservative ideals and yet not living up to them. Its very hard to be a conservative and yet expand the growth of government power.

  46. @Emma
    Because we have more contacts in the Mob. They’ve been here longer. And its easier to put infomants into the Mob than into MS-13. Give us another 50 years and we’ll be doing the same to MS-13.

  47. @Cargo, thank you for taking the time to make positive statements. Elena and I are both are feeling the same way about things. I am a great believer in compromise but I feel like I am being bombarded by things I just feel are dead wrong. Throw on top of that a feeling that everyone thinks they are right and no one will budge.

    The entire Constitution was one big compromise. Government will always be an area of compromise. It has to be. One side can’t always win.

  48. I actually agree. But, when one side does not want to compromise then you have to fight. And the last Congress was not about compromise at all. So…we fight. The Constitution, in some parts, was about compromise. But the general principles, the guiding principles were not compromised.

    Well, except for that whole slavery thing……..

  49. e

    how’s this for compromise: GIVE ME LIBERTY OR GIVE ME DEATH

    1. If YOU want to make that compromise, e, have at it.

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