Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Insanity Point #3

I took the girls swimming today at the local pool, and as I was headed out I overheard this conversation:

Man #1: Soon we are going to be a second rate county.
Man #2: That's what Obama wants.
I almost walked over there and asked him if that was seriously what he believed.

Really??? The man who fought to give all citizens the right to health care wants to destroy America? The man who talks constantly of an America full of opportunity for all wants us all to suffer? The man who puts billions into improving our education and into fighting the correct war wants America dismantled?

I could not believe my ears.

This is exactly what John Stewart was talking about.

You may not agree with Obama. You may not like his policis. You may not think his decisions will solve all of the problems we currently face. But to go around saying Obama- the President of the United States- wants us to become a second rate country is ignorant at best and detrimental to our society at worst.

We are ALL Americans. We are ALL on the same team. Including Obama.

Let's stop name calling and accusing each other and instead find common ground to work together to fix the things that are wrong with this country, instead of destroying it from within.

And Man #2- find something more useful to do with your time than spread hate and lies.


srbushman said...

I agree with Man #1, not with man #2. We either already are a second rate country, or we are on our way. Morally, economically, spiritually, legislatively, etc. If President Obama is to blame at the top, every single level on its way down to we, the people are to blame. I could write A LOT as to what put us in this position, but that would take WAY too much time.

Responding to Man #2, I disagree with much of what conservative media assumes regarding President Obama's motives. Many believe this is an intentional, strategic move on Pres Obama's part, to destroy the US economy, in order for the government to have more control/power, or lead to a "new world order". I believe instead, that in his good faith efforts to feed the hungry, care for the sick, aid the poor, educate the willing, he truly believes that this is the governments role. It is not, nor should it be. Govt has proven to be inefficient, ineffective, fiscally irresponsible, and corrupted/corruptable. (With exception to our military, HooRah!) So although I differ with Pres. Obama on solutions, he is not trying to dismantle the US. To believe that would make life extremely depressing.

And Christina, I agree with the point of your message but would ammend your last line to "find something more useful to do with your time than spread your opinion and misguided assumption in a private conversation with a friend". Using the typical political attack line of "spreading hate and lies" just weakens your argument.

Carlos said...

Let me give it a shot SR: Try the last 30 years, beginning with RR, the gutting of our industrial base, deficit spending, and the assault on the New Deal (middle class) for starters. Then go to a brief return to rationality with BC, moderately higher taxes on the super rich 2%, surpluses, and the strongest economy in the history of the Republic. Back to GWB and the nightmare of the last 10 years, the widening gap between rich and poor, wholesale transfer of wealth to the top 2-3 percent (our surplus wasted instead of used to preserve SS and Medicare for the next century, strengthening the backbone of our society), two unpaid wars, torture, special rendition, politicizing of the Justice Dept., a litany of impeachable offenses enumerated by conservative Constitutional scholar Bruce Fein, who was Assistant AG under RR. And SR, if your disquisition on what put us here involves anything you heard from Glenn Beck, don't bother. The guy's a liar, a conspiracy theorist, and a talk show terrorist who incites violence. Govt is inefficient and wasteful only when it is run by people who wish to destroy it, as the GWB admin. and the types who got into office to run astronomical deficits so they could "starve the beast." In my book that's TREASON, pure and simple. When you put the fox guarding the henhouse, the polluters in EPA, oil execs regulating BP, what do you expect? And SR, government is what gives us clean air to breathe, clean, cancer-free water to drink, garbage pickup, paved roads, bridges and infrastructure that doesn't fall, NASA, space exploration, food and drug safety standards, free public education (thanks to FF TJ), the hugely popular socialist programs Medicare and SS -- that the GOP is just chafing at the bit to privatize and enrich its Wall Street buddies. The "hated" govt. runs it EFFICIENTLY with less than a 2% overhead, compared with the stock market carnage and 5% overhead proposed cost by GWB to privatize it, which was roundly rejected by the American people. So it would be a mistake to ovewranalyze the results of this election. The TP does not represent anywhere near a majority of Americans (less than 40%). BTW, a majority of Americans polled DO NOT WANT REPEAL of the healthcare bill.

As for this "fiscally irresponsible" BS, where were you during the GWB years? A black guy becomes president and suddenly we see the last dying gasp of the angry white male (the TP is majority white and MALE), screaming and carrying racist signs. I don't believe in coincidence. Factually speaking, the TP is a right wing movement suffused with extremist nativist and racist elements, that could easily fall into fascism if conditions deteriorate. It's nothing new. It existed back in Lincoln's day with the Know-Nothings that were anti-Irish Catholic immigrant -- that lasted 100 years until JFK's speech put things to rest, but he was assassinated probably by right wing elements and certainly his death was cheered by the TP types of the day ... the John Birch Society, which recruits at TP events. And it existed back in FDR's day with right wing isolationists (like Rand Paul, who said foreign policy doesn't interest him), the American Nazi Party holding rallies in Madison Square Garden with Charles Lindbergh as keynote speaker, and Father Coughlin spreading his hate speech on the radio, as the precursor to Limbaugh and Beck.

So this dark, fascist, racist underbelly of U.S. history has always existed. And the TP is right in the middle of it. But this too shall pass. Because most Americans are simply not that insane.

srbushman said...

Carlos, you are right in one respect. President Obama being elected has made people show their true colors on all fronts. I have heard from several of the baby boomer generation use his race as part of their negative description of him as President, i.e. "dumb black liberal". I didn't believe it till I heard it, and I was shocked. However, my criticism of his agenda has nothing to do with his ethnicity but his policies. And of course, you use a typical smear of racism to discredit anything I (or other conservatives) would say against the President's progressive agenda.

And I did speak out against President Bush, Sect Paulson, and the progressive republicans that spent our country into an insane amount of debt. I was against the auto industry bail out, TARP, etc which all occured during Pres. Bush. I have stayed consistently against ANY government expansion into industries it has no business being apart of.

curtis.noble said...

is it just me or is it always the liberals in these comment sections that bring up the "race" issue.

Also, they're always lumping us conservatives into the "GWB caused this and you didn't say anything" HOW DO YOU KNOW?!! Didn't a TON OF registered REPUBLICANS vote for Obama?!

The GOP made a grave mistake in choosing McCain. My opinion is that at the time of the Primaries we thought the #1 issue during the election was going to be the War in Iraq and foreign policy. So we went with the war hero and NOT the stronger candidate on the economy (Romney). We picked our guy and the economy tanked. Then the election happens and we realize that McCain went right along with Bush in all that spending and growth of Govt. He wasn't saying anything about small govt. balanced budgets, or anything that even "sounded good" about the economy. So Republicans jumped ship and Obama won. Hind sight is always 20/20, and had we known the economy was the major issue during the primaries, I'm 99.99% sure that we would not have picked McCain. Sarah Palin would still be fishin' by herself in AK, Tina Fey would still be a struggling SNL cast member, and the haters of the Palin family would not be blowing up their tv sets, threatening their wives, and creating a 15 hour standoff with SWAT because a "Palin" who is "not qualified" made it to the finals of Dancing With the Stars.

And Carlos, as always, we can't really argue with your account of political history! You're always very concise on how things happened. Clearly a scholar! (seriously, that's a sincere compliment) All I'm saying is that many Americans are waking up to the fact that we want smaller govt. We all held GWB and Republicans accountable. And we'll all hold Obama and Democrats accountable in 2012 I'm sure. Or maybe we'll hold the Republican House accountable...who knows. 2 more years to go. Same people in charge, (Boehner/McConnell/Pelosi/Reid) just different titles. My bet is that nothing changes.

Christina said...

I saw the headline yesterday, "Voters want change, doubt they'll get it." There certainly is frustration- and I would say there is a lot of concern. The point of my post is that we shouldn't be saying Obama WANTED this to happen. I did not like Bush- you all know that- but I never sincerely thought he wanted 9/11 or the economic crisis to happen- ever. So to hear that repeated about Obama grates on me- I just can't believe people would actually say and believe that!

That's why I hope that both sides will start working together. That was one of the great things Obama talked about in campaigning and one of the things I loved and love about him- the idea of putting aside the red states and the blue states and calling us the UNITED states.

We'll see if that ever happens...

curtis.noble said...

I agree with you. The same people claiming that Obama is somehow strategically dismantling America and that is his plan are also the ones who were claiming he was too inexperienced to be the leader of the "free world." They also bag on him for using teleprompters as though he can't communicate without them. So think about that...this man who "they" say can't even organize a community successfully much less speak a sentence from his own brain without having it written down in front of him is somehow able to "pull one over" on almost half the country who supports him?! How absurd does that sound when you put it in context of the people who are claiming it.

No, I don't think he wants to dismantle America. But I think he IS DOING IT, and is out of touch with the results of his policies. I think he's too arrogant to say "whoa....okay, so that didn't work. Let's try some other ideas." Instead he says "the reason it isn't working is because we didn't do enough of what I originally proposed." (speaking on health reform).

Carlos said...

Liberals are much more attuned to the word "compromise." Unfortunately, we have to take the world as we see it. I'm an FDR and an RFK liberal. They're my heros b/c they stood up and fought for the underdog, the underprivileged, the oppressed in our society. I get chills listening to FDR slam the rich and powerful saying, "I WELCOME THEIR HATRED!"

Jon Stewart is a multimillionaire influenced by Seinfeld and Larry David, who produced Seinfeld. His comedy is all about "getting along" with the rest of us, the waiter, the dry cleaner, a mechanic. His wife is the real liberal in the family; he just goes along to get along. That's Larry David/Stewart. And I SO LOVED Bill Maher for this: "If you're going to hold a rally for 200K people, hold it about something!" That "something" was vote for the Democrats. The Cumbaya approach we've tried and here we are. Now, after the midterms, when their declared strategy (NOT TO HELP THE U.S. ECONOMY BUT DEFEAT OBAMA IN 2012) we're supposed to go along with a couple of millionaire comedians and capitulate without a fight? I don't think so. They don't speak for regular americans, for me. Two million unemployed in the height of winter and the Holiday season were just denied benefits by GOPers pushing hard to extend tax cuts for Stewart. Democrats, forget about a couple of idiotic comedians and be more like FDR and RFK: It's time to take a stand and fight against our ENEMIES in America. ENEMY is NOT a dirty word. That's what these people are. I will NEVER sit down and break bread with anyone who carried those despicable racist signs, or the Limbaughs and Becks of this world with their hate speech. NEVER. Unless they come forward and publicly beg forgiveness for their sins. So Democrats, it's time to STAND UP AND FIGHT: Be more like FDR and RFK.

Now that that's out of my system: To SR: I too was shocked by the signs I saw. I was speechless, after all we've been through together, I could not believe this is America 2012. It's shocking, and again, I don't break bread with people like that. I really don't think they'd like to be near me with those signs. To Curtis, please stop saying nice things about me, you're breaking my game rhythm. To say small government is not framing the question correctly. We're all for less government. It breaks down when we start speaking specifics: What would you cut? Defense, entitlements, roads, bridges, clean air, safe non-carcinogenic water, safe food and drugs, regulation of Wall Street, BP, beautiful national parks, what? I want government that does all these things. If they can do it more efficiently, I'm cool with that. BC did it with "reinventing govt.", actually cut it and made it more efficient without loss of services. Bush grew government, giving billions in sweetheart deals to war profiteers like Halliburton, exploded the deficit. SR, TARP was necessary. The auto bailout, in particular, was necessary. It doesn't make sense to listen to TRAITOROUS senators from Southern right-to-work states who want Toyota or Hyunday in their states to muscle in on GM's market share so they can get kickbacks from Japanese and South Korean firms; I'd throw 'em in jail and toss away the key!

And today, of all days, as GM comes roaring back and posts the largest IPO in WORLD HISTORY! Two million American jobs rely on GM. It's unthinkable to me to even consider letting this great company go under. We are the only country in the world where a segment of the population cannot understand the strategic importance in a global economy of defending the crown jewels of our industrial might. The EU does it ALL THE TIME for their companies, Airbus, Volks, Mercedes, and on and on. We're already at a competitive disadvantage. And you want to pile on? THANK YOU PRESIDENT OBAMA FOR SAVING THE U.S. AUTO INDUSTRY. THAT IS THE SINGLE MOST PATRIOTIC THING YOU HAVE DONE AS OUR PRESIDENT.

Carlos said...

Curtis, re: Obama. He wrote two books all by himself, and didn't have to borrow large portions from books written by aides, borderline plagiarism, like GWB. The book he'll be remembered for is "My Pet Goat."

As for "dismantling America," don't make me laugh. He inherited a country in economic freefall and righted its course. Job growth came back almost every month in a positive trend line since he's been in office; and it's not even two years. I have to double laugh at your claim the President is arrogant; apparently you haven't been listening to the grief he's been getting from the left. We helped elect him, and he caved on practically every issue that was important to us. On healthcare? Take it up with the Simpson-Bowles Commission. The health law is a cornerstone of their defict reduction plans, INCLUDING THE PUBLIC OPTION. Despite all the lies, these grown-ups can actually read a CBO report and recognize healthcare reform is key to bringing our deficit down, and the public option reduces the debt by $100 billion over 10 years and more over the long term.

I'm the first to criticize the President, but fair is fair. Time and again, this guy has compromised to pass what basically was Bob Dole's modest healthcare reform of 1996.

srbushman said...

Carlos, in response to your question what would we cut, here is my break down.

Defense: Can't shortchange those who sacrifice their lives for our freedoms. Continue scaling back the war in Iraq, and listen to the Generals in Afghanistan, give them what we need to get them out.

Entitlements: You're not going to like this, but Medicaid should have an expiration date. I have known too many people who do not pursue promotions/better jobs because they don't want to make more and not qualify for it. Medicaid serves a purpose, and it should be a help up and out of a bad situation, not perpetuating it. Medicare is a another beast, that I need to read more about, but first thing is tackle fraud.

Roads/bridges/: Constitutionally granted role for the House.

Clean air/safe non-carcinogenic water, safe food and drugs: Obviously there needs to be regulation.
Regulation of Wall Street: Regulation is different than bailouts. I support regulation on Wall Street, just like I support regulation of Fannie and Freddie which ultimately is to blame for the housing crisis.
Beautiful national parks: Love national parks, visit them, grew up in a state that half the land was owned by the fed govt. However, I have also seen the govt use "parks and preservation" as a form of punishment of being one of the lowest voting states (Pres. Clinton and the Escalante Grand Staircase).

Also you cited the EU and how Europe bails out their industries. Europe's economy looks fantastic, doesn't it!? As Europe goes, California goes, the US goes.

Carlos said...

SR, on Europe. They didn't start the financial crisis, they weren't responsible for it, because they're 21st century economies and states. Their markets regulate things like derivates more stringently than Wall Street casinos ... er, investment banks. Unlike the U.S. you and your colleagues seem to favor, which is back to the 19th century. Because of this, they were able to withstand the financial crisis better. Sure, they have their laggards in trouble, Greece and Ireland; and troubles in France and Britain. Just to give you an idea of how backward this country is, even going back to the 70s, when government grants and loans made it possible for anyone to afford going to college. Back then, we were no. 1 in education; we're in the mid-20s now. SR, you really should read even more about our history. AND STOP WATCHING FOX. THEY LIE. The British kids were protesting fairly modest increases in their tuition. Compare that to the kind of hell students go through trying to pay college, your wingnut Congressman, and every private corporation stealing them blind for pure GREED. The French, hell they were rioting because the government decided to raise the retirement age from 60 to 62. They have much better healthcare than we do, too. Those are the kinds of adjustments that the EU gvts. have made to weather the financial crisis created by deregulatory right wing casino gamblers in the U.S. You're damn right, their economies look fantastic. At least in the way they can take collective action to deal with a crisis not of their creation.

You're right. This Medicaid thing is shameful. Why is it that you people take such pleasure in picking on the poorest and most vulnerable in our society? At the same time you're slobbering all over each other to give the top 2% oligarchs who rule this country another deficit-busting tax cut? It's not Obama, it's your crowd that's bringing this country down, creating a third world economy of the super-rich oligarchs, 2% who own 24% of all our wealth. Shame on each and every one of you who support these policies, and who have hearts of stone when it comes to the poor.

I get it. Medicaid = poor people, black = throw 'em all in the gutter and under the bus. We don't need 1-in-5 children in this country going hungry; LET'S MAKE IT ONE-IN-THREE! YEAH! STOMP 'EM, STOMP 'EM! USA, USA, USA!

Medicare, another beast, of course. Seniors voted stupidly against their own interests for Republicans who've only been wanting to kill the DEMOCRATIC PARTY MEDICARE SOCIALIST PROGRAM from the moment it was enacted. "Let it wither on the vine," said Gingrich. So the hypocrites in the GOP want to preserve same level of benefits for the seniors who voted for them, but shaft the Obama voters, everyone under 40 by destroying their Medicare. YEAH! STOMP 'EM, STOMP 'EM! USA, USA, USA!

As for our national heritage, which belongs to ALL OF US, if it's to prevent strip mining and drilling for oil in the Grand Canyon, hell, let me get in line to make sure those bills setting these lands aside are signed.

Lula O said...

Wow. Great discussion. A lot going on here, and the environmental comments and the Medicaid issue stand out like flames in Iceland for me. Go figure!!(Surprise, surprise)

SR - Sorry just making sure I heard you correctly, GENM was made to get even with Utah for not voting for Clinton? Ah, huh. Right. As in it sounds a little right wing kooky to me. I lived through that whole process and have seen it's impact on that region, so can you back that statement with any facts?

Medicaid in Idaho is only given to the extremely poor, the mentally and physically disabled, and children. In Idaho they'll cut funding for treating poor autistic kids before they'll raise taxes on gas. (Something they did this year.) So we should give children an expiration date on their medical care? To me that's the same as signing a death warrant. I'm tired of single mothers on welfare who chose to stay home and raise children being called lazy and unwilling to "work". Like they sit around eating bonbons all day. What is the price of motherhood in today's society? Zero. I am no one's judge.
opps amazing race is on..

curtis.noble said...

umm...Carlos, why are you such an angry person? Your posts always have such an angry tone. I don't get it. Christina's post was specifically on the topic of finding common ground. I gave you a compliment, and you reject it. Hah...! Why do you "hate" the ultra wealthy? You do know that the richest of them are liberals, right??

In fact, it was my favorite liberal, Warren Buffet who convinced Obama to back down on his proposal to regulate derivatives on Wall Street. Remember? Probably not. Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway was SOOO heavy in derivative investments (gambles as you like to call them) that under Obama's regulation plan he would have to hedge them all up w/ $45 BILLION in CASH! So....they met for lunch, and surprise, no more regulation for derivatives.

You HATE the big evil corporations so much, right? Do you hate Google, Apple, and Microsoft? Do you think it's right that your liberal friends at Google rob the coffers of the U.S. treasury by fancy and complex accounting (read: money laundering) schemes to the point they only pay a 2.4% tax in the U.S.? Funny, and you attack the oil companies and health insurance companies for corporate greed. So what search provider to you use? Google? OOOHHH....you are supporting corporate greed! Bing....OH NO! How dare you support those wealthy people! Yahoo! well, they're now powered by Bing...OH SNAP! I can't believe you call yourself a liberal who hates corporate greed!! I really hope you don't have an iPhone, Android, Blackberry, iPad, iPod, PC, or a Mac! oh boy, I could go on and on and on about how miserable life would be if we didn't allow these companies to make insane amounts of money.

Oh, and by the way, my favorite Liberal Warren Buffet did save face among his liberal counterparts in making the statement that the ultra wealthy "should" pay a LOT more in taxes! Although, he was unwilling to write a check until the law was changed! Go figure, right. My favorite liberals are probably all the ones you HATE. Steve Jobs, Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Sergey Brin, and yes, even Zuckerberg.

Christina said...

I have actually been thinking a lot about what has been said. Carlos, I want to agree with you. I actually think you are right- I should be furious with the Reps. insisting on the rich keeping their tax breaks. And I am furious that when Willow Palin calls her classmates fags and gays and that they are just jealous of her family's celebrity status, people just defend her as simply acting as a teenager. And, I am mad to no end that Reps. have flat out said they will not work with Dems and will not do any sort of comprimising. I want to yell and scram and fight.

But, I am tired.

I fought hard in 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008. And now I'm tired of fighting Glen Beck and Rush Limbaugh and Fox News. I know I should fight against them to try and bring out some voice of reason, but they are too powerful. They have too many people who blindly believe whatever they say and blindly do whatever they say to do.

I guess I am becoming more apathetic- which I hate. But I am also tired of being angry. I have been so angry for so long, and I don't like that. I guess I haven't quite figured out how to balance being involved and participating in political action but at the same time keeping my emotions out of it.

Any suggestions?

srbushman said...

Lula: No, I don't believe the GENM was made because UT didn't vote for Pres. Clinton. It was done to satisfy his environmental supporters during the 1996 election. However, I'm not sure how to interpret the fact that it wasn't announced in UT, but in AZ; the UT govt reps were only given 24 hrs notice, it shut down that area's School and Institutional Trust Lands, which provided local schools with education funding (which finally 2yrs later they got other lands and a grant from Congress), and my family in Escalante lost jobs because tourism decreased and other mining industries were shut down.

Also in regards to Medicaid in ID, I was on Medicaid in ID while at school. It was not only given to the extremely poor, I saw many completely take advantage of the system, who didn't really need it, etc. However, it serves a purpose but I still believe there should be an expiration date, which involves a variety of situational deadlines. But if there is no incentive to work to get out of the system (like a deadline) then some people will make no efforts to better their own situation. Also, I would be interested in seeing the benefits of having subsidized health care in place of medicaid. We've had several friends on Medicaid run to the ER for EVERYTHING! And didn't pay a thing. However when we were uninsured, that was the absolute last resort we would take because of the cost and it wasn't necessary. So, why not have subsidized medicaid where they were responsible for a small portion (according to their situation). I think it would cut a TON of unnecessary hospital bills and prepare them for the reality of non-govt health care. Just some thoughts.

Christina: You're not the only one burnt out. I am too. And I think it is because ALL the talk by media and politicians on both sides are on the problems, not solutions. I love listening to John Stewart for that reason, because he points it out repeatedly. One thing that has helped me in keeping emotions out of it, is having discussions with people that don't automatically shut down when they find they disagree with you. I think you're this way, and that is why you et so frustrated is you are probably surrounded by close minded conservatives. Also, I don't vilify opposition. I don't see Pres. Obama as the anti-Christ who is preparing the way for the 2nd coming, for example! Just as (hopefully) you didn't see Bush that way... :) If you do, that makes it that much more exhausting. Hope that helps!

Lula O said...

SR - If you don't think it then perhaps you shouldn't imply it with comments like, However, I have also seen the govt use "parks and preservation" as a form of punishment of being one of the lowest voting states (Pres. Clinton and the Escalante Grand Staircase). It's a very Glenn Beckish sort of thing to do, i.e. exaggerate your point to incite the right even when you probably don't believe it yourself.
The trust lands issue worked itself out, and now it's really all about roads. Roads are bad for the environment. How about we think about the future and what we leave for our children? I've been to this beautiful place. Let's keep it that way f.o.r.e.v.e.r. Even after we're dead.

Clinton did it for political gain and saved the environment. Bush did it for political gain and destroyed the environment. I take a broader view and support the former.

As a current resident of ID I know for a fact that as a healthy adult, you must make 400 or less a month, with little or no assets to qualify for Medicaid. And as far as I'm concerned, starving students fall into this super poor category. And the state did just recently cut benefits for autistic kids in the program. After they quit paying doc's for three months, now they've also reduced the amount who carry it at all, meaning it's even harder for these people (kids, the disabled) to go to the doctor than ever before. Gosh, I wonder why they go to the ER then.

I have no problem if students use this program. It's called investing in the future of this country. I would rather a student not work, finish his/her education quicker and eventually get a better paying job that will pay more taxes back into the system.

We are sooooo opposite on this issue, but touche, happy Turkey day just the same.

srbushman said...

Lula, my apologies for falling off the wagon with the Clinton comment. I'm in conservative propaganda recovery, and have my occassional slips. It is a day to day effort, and I do believe there are 12 steps...

We are opposite on MANY issues, but I still enjoy reading yours and Christina's opinions. Which I would love yours (and anyones) thoughts on the new TSA procedures. I wrote my initial thoughts at www.momsintopolitics.blogspot.com but I'm still open, especially if you know more information.

And Happy Turkey Day to you too!