ChrisWeigant.com

Friday Talking Points [240] -- Time To Dust Off The Fourteenth Option

[ Posted Friday, January 11th, 2013 – 17:24 PST ]

According to the news media, America's biggest concern right now should be the silliness of Jack Lew's signature. That's the kind of week it's been, at least among the inside-the-Beltway cocktail party circuit.

Lew has been nominated by President Obama for Treasury Secretary. Because of this, his signature is going to be required on all paper currency issued. And his signature is amusing, according to those in the Fourth Estate whose job it is to point out important political developments in our Nation's Capital. Obama even got in on the fun, joking that he's going to require at least one legible letter in Lew's signature. Lew is reportedly working on a new signature, as Washington breathlessly awaits.

There are times, when writing about the political world, when it is impossible not to feel like I am trapped inside a Jonathan Swift satire. This is one of those times. Real life and farce blur into one, and we all pretend this is normal. Sigh.

If you'd like a reprieve from the nonsense, R. J. Eskow over at the Huffington Post has a very intelligent article (well worth a read) on the serious questions he'd like Lew to answer during his confirmation hearings. But this sort of sober analysis is noticeable in its absence elsewhere in the media, this week.

The other Obama nominee making news is former Senator Chuck Hagel, a Republican named for the Secretary of Defense job. You'd think that a Republican would be acceptable to other Republicans still in office, but you would be wrong about that. Hagel apparently didn't get the memo that Israel holds a veto over who gets to be United States Secretary of Defense, or something -- it's hard to tell what with all the smoke and noise. Hagel's other sin appears to be that he does not hold a neo-conservative worldview, but this is even more confusing as it has been years since the neo-cons ran either the White House or the Pentagon, so they really shouldn't have a veto over anything, at this point.

But these two nominees will go through the dirty-laundry-airing phase in the upcoming weeks in far greater detail, so for now we'll just note their nominations and move along.

 

Most Impressive Democrat of the Week

Vice President Joe Biden deserves at least an Honorable Mention this week, for heading up the task force on what to do about the gun problem. But since he isn't going to formally announce his recommendations until next week, we're going to wait and see what they actually contain.

Representative Sam Farr has also earned an Honorable Mention this week for getting his legislation passed and signed into law, creating America's newest National Park. Formerly known as Pinnacles National Monument, our nation's 59th National Park is now the closest one to the San Francisco Bay Area. Anyone visiting the Central Coast area of California should be encouraged to check out the newly-elevated Pinnacles National Park. If you're lucky, you may catch sight of an endangered California Condor, since they are released into the wild in Pinnacles.

But our Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week award goes to four senators this week: Harry Reid, Chuck Schumer, Patty Murray, and Dick Durbin. These four just sent a letter to President Obama urging him to exert his authority to completely remove the threat of not raising America's debt ceiling. This extraordinary letter goes on to state:

In the event that Republicans make good on their threat by failing to act, or by moving unilaterally to pass a debt limit extension only as part of an unbalanced or unreasonable legislation, we believe you must be willing to take any lawful steps to ensure that America does not break its promises and trigger a global economic crisis -- without congressional approval, if necessary

To put it another way, they are telling Obama to go ahead and use the full force and power of the Fourteenth Amendment to remove the debt ceiling football from the political fray once and for all. More on this in the talking points, but we did want to single out these four senators for going public with their letter pre-approving such a move, should it become necessary. For doing so, they all have earned the Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week award.

[Congratulate Senator Dick Durbin on his Senate contact page, Senator Patty Murray on her Senate contact page, Senator Harry Reid on his Senate contact page, and Senator Chuck Schumer on his Senate contact page to let them know you appreciate their efforts.]

 

Most Disappointing Democrat of the Week

Senator Jay Rockefeller IV (or, as we like to call him, "Rocky IV") has just announced he is stepping down and will not run for re-election in 2014.

The news stories about Rocky IV's retirement are, no surprise, filled with glowing praise for his work with the poor and his support for coal miners in his adopted home state of West Virginia. But we will always remember Rocky IV for his work granting immunity to the telecommunications corporations for participating in widespread warrantless wiretapping. As chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Rocky IV quickly shot to the top of the "all time" list for winners of the MDDOTW award. Since that time, others have passed his total of six awards, leaving him currently tied for sixth place with the likes of Blanche Lincoln and Rod Blagojevich. But we'll always remember Rocky IV as the guy who rewrote the FISA laws to get his buddies in the telecommunications industry off the hook (so to speak). No surprise that the same industry paid a lot of money towards his campaigns over the years. So we won't exactly be joining in with all the "sorry to see you go" media chorus over Rocky IV leaving.

The guy we really wanted to hear was retiring this week, unfortunately, didn't. Attorney General Eric Holder announced he is happy to continue leading the Justice Department for as long as Obama will allow him to. Obama, sadly, did indeed allow Holder to stay. Since Obama seems to currently be having a "binders full of women" problem with his cabinet picks, might we suggest finding some woman attorney who is qualified to serve as A.G.? Anyone's got to be better than Holder, at this point.

Our Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week this week is also a multiple award, to the seven Senate Democrats who have not gotten on board with filibuster reform yet. There is a movement to force filibustering senators to actually filibuster -- you know, stand up and talk endlessly, in Mr.-Smith-Goes-To-Washington style. They've got 48 of the 50 votes they need (with Biden's vote to break the tie, if necessary). But, for some inexplicable reason, seven normally-reasonable Democrats haven't indicated they'll vote for it. These seven are: Senators Carl Levin, Mark Pryor, Patrick Leahy, Max Baucus, Jack Reed, Barbara Boxer, and Dianne Feinstein. Now, it's normal to see people like Dianne Feinstein voting with Republicans, but Barbara Boxer? Pat Leahy? What the heck are they thinking?

If you support forcing senators to actually talk when filibustering and if you are a constituent of any of these seven, please take the time to call them up and express your displeasure that they haven't gotten on board yet. All we need is two more votes, people, out of these seven.

For now, though, all seven are our winners of the Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week award.

[Contact Senator Max Baucus on his Senate contact page, Senator Barbara Boxer on her Senate contact page, Senator Dianne Feinstein on her Senate contact page, Senator Patrick Leahy on his Senate contact page, Senator Carl Levin on his Senate contact page, Senator Mark Pryor on his Senate contact page, and Senator Jack Reed on his Senate contact page, to let them know what you think of their actions.]

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 240 (1/11/13)

This week, instead of our usual talking points, we instead are going to reach 68 weeks into the past -- all the way back to FTP [172] -- to dust off the following suggested Obama speech.

When I wrote this, I suggested it as a private speech given to the Republican congressional leadership. But because we are right back to the exact same point, I now think Obama should (with very minor rewriting) include this in his upcoming "State Of The Union" speech. He's going to give the speech late this year, in mid-February, so the timing would really be perfect.

Anyway, here's what I wrote over a year and a half ago -- the last time we had a giant debt ceiling fight. The only other thing I'd add to it would be tossing the phrase (in relation to the Republicans' reaction) "14th nervous breakdown" in there somewhere, just as a garnish.

 

The Fourteenth option
[Remarks by President Obama to the debt ceiling meeting, as one hopes he would deliver]

You know, Republicans have been making a lot of noise in the past few years about following the United States Constitution to the letter. So I'd like to take this opportunity to quote from the Fourteenth Amendment, if I may:

"The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned."

This amendment was passed after the Civil War, and this particular passage goes on to state that the United States government will not be responsible for debts incurred by the Confederacy, and also that the U.S. couldn't be sued for the value of emancipated slaves by slave owners deprived of their "property" as a result.

This language was inserted into the Fourteenth Amendment for a reason -- to keep future Congresses from ever questioning federal debts. This way, even if a future Congress voted later on to actually pay the Confederate debt, this law would be unconstitutional and would not stand. It also prevents any Congress from ever questioning in any way the public debt of the United States.

If the people in this room don't come to an agreement by [insert deadline], then I am going to act. I have already informed the television networks to reserve time on that evening for a speech to the nation, where I will explain that the debt ceiling is, in and of itself, unconstitutional.

To be blunt, I will play the Fourteenth card. I will use the Fourteenth option, if on that date we have not yet announced a deal.

Now, before you say anything, let me just spin out a scenario for you Republicans, because this is the way I see the whole thing playing out, and I want you to understand where I'm coming from.

In the first place, the plain language of the Constitution backs up what I will do. After whipping the public up over keeping to the actual text of the Constitution for years now, you Republicans are going to have a tough time explaining to the public why you now can't hold yourselves to what the Constitution actually says in black and white.

In the second place, if I take this route, then negotiations over budget cutting will be at an end. I will explain to the public that we can have this whole fight over again during the budget negotiations for next year, but that I simply cannot allow Congress' refusal to act to destroy not only the American economy, but likely the entire world financial system as well. We can have this debate later, in other words, when it may mean a federal government shutdown -- but when it will most decidedly not mean the federal government defaults on its obligations.

In the third place, if I win this fight, then you will never again have the power to hold the economy hostage over raising the debt ceiling, because the debt ceiling as we know it today simply will no longer exist. Again, I will explain to the American public that when Congress passes a budget then they have incurred debts and obligations which -- according to the Constitution -- cannot be questioned. Once Congress approves a budget, it has automatically approved whatever debt is necessary to pay the debts contained within that budget. Voting on debt ceiling increases will become a thing of the past, ladies and gentleman.

Legally, I think I'm on pretty solid ground. Historically, I'm on solid ground. Politically, I'm on even more solid ground. And as a purely practical matter, I'm standing on granite bedrock. Think about it -- what would you congressional Republicans do in response? Well, you have two real options -- take me to court, or impeach me. Do you really think you'll get enough votes in the Senate to remove me through the impeachment process? I don't. As for taking me to court, who would the aggrieved party in this lawsuit be? Congress. After all, by asserting my constitutional prerogative, I would be saving the United States from the very unpalatable option of defaulting on our public debt. The only party harmed by my doing so would be Congress, who thinks they have the power to ignore the plain language of the Constitution. But don't forget that for Congress to sue me, you'd need to get both houses to agree to do so. Once again, do you think you'll be able to get that through the Senate? I don't.

Even assuming you somehow can cross that bridge, then what would you do? Ask a judge for an injunction which would -- since you hadn't passed the debt ceiling extension -- immediately put the country into default? Do you really think the public's going to rally behind that? I don't. How long do you think this legal fight would last? Do you really want this to be the key issue of next year's election? I don't think you do, personally, since you'll be on the side of immediate default, and I will be on the side of acting in the best interests of the national fiscal security of the United States of America. You'll be on the side of "higher interest rates immediately for all Americans!" and I'll be on the side of "That's insane!" And in the meantime we'll be busy mining all the Republican statements in favor of George W. Bush's concept of the "unitary executive," rest assured.

Granted, it would indeed be a political showdown, and you might possibly have a prayer of winning it. I think I'm on pretty solid ground, though. In fact, I think I'm on such solid ground that I am perfectly willing to take this route.

Don't read this as a threat, either -- read it as a promise. If the people within this room cannot come to an agreement before [insert exact time and date], then I will be appearing on every network to explain to the public why we're never going to have the debt ceiling debate ever again, because even admitting the existence of such congressional power is in itself unconstitutional.

I've positioned myself for the next election as "the adult in the room." This is only going to feed into that perception -- especially if the House begins impeachment proceedings because I refused to let the country default on its debts. I've also positioned the Democrats as being willing to compromise, while Republicans refuse to even bargain in good faith. This will also feed into that. Republicans have positioned themselves as defenders of the original text of the Constitution. I'll be on the right side of that one, too. We'll be painting Republicans as taking their marching orders from the most extreme element of their party, far outside what mainstream voters think.

Having said all of that, I'm going to swear to you right here and now that I'm going to keep all of these thoughts within this room, and not in public -- and I think you'll all agree as well that it's for the best that you not leak my position on this matter. If we can get a deal before the deadline, then nobody ever has to know about this speech. I will use my television time to announce the deal and praise the Republican leadership who helped make the deal possible. I promise you I will not mention the Fourteenth Amendment, and will answer any queries about it with some version of: "The negotiations never got to that point." I will not attempt to score political points off the possibility of using the Fourteenth option, and I will not allow anyone from the White House to do so either. I think a deal is possible, and I think we can get to the point where both parties can go back to their caucuses in Congress and sell it to enough members that it will pass both houses. I will work every minute necessary to make this happen. Right up to that deadline.

But once we pass that deadline, then these talks will be over, and I will be making the case to the American people that I must act to pay the debts that this Congress already voted to approve in their budget for this year. We can have that political fight, if you'd like, and we can push it to a real constitutional crisis which will last throughout the entire election season. I'm willing to do so, because if it becomes the only option available to me to stop a worldwide financial crisis which would doom the economy for years to come, then I will indeed take that option. So your choice is: make a deal before then, or try to explain to the American public why the words of the Constitution are not correct. I'll leave you alone for a while to think about it for a while. But don't take too long, folks. The clock is ticking.

-- Chris Weigant

 

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Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground

 

53 Comments on “Friday Talking Points [240] -- Time To Dust Off The Fourteenth Option”

  1. [1] 
    Michale wrote:

    Rule by fiat..

    Executive Orders pre-empts Congress..

    Hmmmmmmm

    I have to wonder..

    I have to wonder how the Left would react if a Republican President issued an Executive Order that all abortions are illegal..

    I have to wonder how the Left would react if a Republican President twisted the 2nd Amendment to say that every household MUST have a gun in it..

    It's called THE NUCLEAR OPTION for a reason, people!.

    But, by all means...

    Take that step.

    Go nuclear..

    Just don't come whining and bitching when, down the road, a Republican POTUS uses the precedent established by the Democrats to rule by fiat.

    When a Republican POTUS uses Executive Orders to circumvent a Democrat Congress..

    THEN, come and tell me what a great idea it is...

    I have a feeling ya'all won't like it then...

    Michale

  2. [2] 
    Michale wrote:

    It's rather ironic that this commentary comes at this particular time..

    Anyone catch the latest episode of LAST RESORT??

    It's AMAZING how much of that tv show mirrors what is happening in the here and now..

    Of course, nuclear missiles aren't being tossed about....

    Or... Are they???

    Michale

  3. [3] 
    Michale wrote:

    Of course, nuclear missiles aren't being tossed about....

    Or... Are they???

    That should have been said with a :^D

    Michale

  4. [4] 
    Michale wrote:

    Vice President Joe Biden deserves at least an Honorable Mention this week, for heading up the task force on what to do about the gun problem.

    I have to admit, I am somewhat surprised. I thought for sure that this was just another "Never let a crisis go to waster" moment and once time went on Democrats would drop the Gun Control fantasy upon the altar of pragmatism..

    So, I was wrong... Apparently, Democrats think they have a political winner here. One has to wonder why they think that since the evidence clearly shows that the vast majority of Americans are against gun control and against gun confiscation..

    But, as always, there is a silver lining. Every time Democrats have tried to go after America's guns, they we're utterly brutalized in subsequent elections...

    So, by all means. Try to take Americans' guns...

    "Yea, make the smart bet."
    -Charlie Sheen, TWO AND A HALF MEN

    :D

    Michale

  5. [5] 
    Speak2 wrote:

    I believe that most people are missing a fundamental point with the debt ceiling and the 14th amendment. (This is wonky and even somewhat pedantic.) There is nothing unconstitutional about the debt ceiling, per se.
    The U.S. Congress has every right to set a ceiling on their appropriations and spending: The congressional branch spends; the executive branch pays. As such, Congress can create any law that directs their own legislating. They can force themselves to act based on any trigger mechanism they want (and they can repeal any laws they wish, at least in theory).
    The executive branch can't declare the debt-ceiling legislation unconstitutional because in this sense, it is not unconstitutional. What the 14th amendment does, though, is put the responsibility and the authority on the executive branch to pay debts should Congress fail in this regard.
    As such, should congress not act when the debt ceiling is reached, the president is constitutionally "required" to order the treasury to issue bonds (or use some other mechanism) to continue to pay bills that are due.
    The president can only utilize this authority after the debt ceiling is reached because until then, it is the job of congress to appropriate the spending to pay debts. If congress refuses to act, then the president "must," but not until then. Further, the president wouldn't be declaring the debt ceiling unconstitutional. The president would merely be maintaining the separation of powers of the congressional branch and the executive branch.

  6. [6] 
    Michale wrote:

    Speak2

    Excellent analysis...

    I just see ONE small flaw in it..

    Your analysis hinges on the branches of our government honoring their limitations under the Constitution..

    It has been made painfully clear that this particular administration has absolutely NO qualms with ignoring the law and ignoring the Constitution to further it's agenda...

    Now, all things being equal, I really don't have a problem with that, if the agenda is to the benefit of this country as a whole..

    But, as has been well established, this particular administration is pushing an agenda that is CLEARLY and UNEQUIVOCALLY not in the best interests of this country.

    A perfect example of this would be the ludicrous notion that, somehow, dumping a few million more workers into a work pool that is overflowing with a record number of Americans out of work is somehow a GOOD thing for this country...

    Apparently, our POTUS' priority is himself and the Democratic Party as the first and second priority and the American people is a far distant 3rd...

    Michale...

  7. [7] 
    Speak2 wrote:

    Thank you, Michale; I think.

    I'm not sure what you mean by

    >>>
    the ludicrous notion that, somehow, dumping a few million more workers into a work pool that is overflowing with a record number of Americans out of work
    >>>

    The biggest difference between the response to this recession and, say, Reagan's is that the Dem Congress in the early '80's provided the funding to hire approx 800,000 gov't employees and with them, the attendant spending and tax revenue.

    In this recession, in order to sabotage any recovery and pin blame on Obama, we first saw GOP rhetoric (Steele calling gov't employees not real workers) and then a GOP-forced cut in gov't payroll (Boehner not being concerned about an 800,000 gov't employee layoff and the subsequent cut of a similar number).

    The 1.5 million difference, coupled with the spending and tax revenue is the big difference between a slow, barely steady and unsatisfying recovery and a robust economic system easily growing its way out of recession.

  8. [8] 
    Michale wrote:

    Thank you, Michale; I think.

    Oh, it was a compliment..Yours was a very insightful and spot-on analysis of how our government is SUPPOSED to work.

    I say 'supposed to' because our current POTUS has made it perfectly clear that, if Congress doesn't do what the POTUS wants, the POTUS will simply do it anyways by Executive Order.

    Of course, those on the Left have absolutely NO problem with this.. Even if Obama's orders violate everything that the Left USED to stand for..

    Once again, the power of the almighty '-D' and the fear of being labeled "racist" rears it's ugly head..

    I'm not sure what you mean by

    Obama created 3 million new voters who would, surprise, surprise, vote for Obama..

    These 3 million new Dem voters were thrown into the unemployment pot to compete for jobs that SHOULD have gone to law-abiding Americans...

    In other words, Obama and the Democrats screwed over the American people to further their own agenda.. And, of course, their overriding agenda is to keep themselves in power..

    The biggest difference between the response to this recession and, say, Reagan's is that the Dem Congress in the early '80's provided the funding to hire approx 800,000 gov't employees and with them, the attendant spending and tax revenue.

    So, let me get this straight. It wasn't Reagan that was responsible for a good morning in America.. It was the Democrats in Congress??

    Tell me this. Was it Clinton that was responsible for the prosperity during his presidency?? Or was it the Republicans in Congress that get the credit? :D

    The 1.5 million difference, coupled with the spending and tax revenue is the big difference between a slow, barely steady and unsatisfying recovery and a robust economic system easily growing its way out of recession.

    So, maybe Democrats should slow down on the spending eh??

    I am not as well-versed in economics and theories. My expertise lies in other areas. But it seems to me that common-sense dictates that, when one finds themselves in a financial hole, the VERY first thing they should do is STOP DIGGING!!

    Maybe, just maybe, the problem we're having with such a snail-paced recovery is that Democrats just can't help but spend, spend, spend...

    By the bi, as I am wont to do..

    "Welcome to the party, pal!!!"
    -John McClane, DIE HARD

    Don't worry, you get used to it.. :D

    Michale

  9. [9] 
    Michale wrote:

    DOH!! Sorry for the unclosed attribute..

    That first part should read:

    Thank you, Michale; I think.

    Oh, it was a compliment..Yours was a very insightful and spot-on analysis of how our government is SUPPOSED to work.

    I say 'supposed to' because our current POTUS has made it perfectly clear that, if Congress doesn't do what the POTUS wants, the POTUS will simply do it anyways by Executive Order.

    Of course, those on the Left have absolutely NO problem with this.. Even if Obama's orders violate everything that the Left USED to stand for..

    Once again, the power of the almighty '-D' and the fear of being labeled "racist" rears it's ugly head..

    I'm not sure what you mean by

    My bust...

    Michale

  10. [10] 
    Michale wrote:

    On another note (since we were talking about Obama's WeThePeople petitions.....

    https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/assign-nasa-do-feasibility-study-and-conceptual-design-gen1-uss-enterprise-interplanetary-spaceship/DB07k8jF?utm_source=wh.gov&utm_medium=shorturl&utm_campaign=shorturl

    I urge every Weigantian to go over to that link and sign the petition that requests the building of the first USS Enterprise, Constitution Class starship... :D

    "To sleep, perchance to dream..."

    :D

    Michale

  11. [11] 
    michty6 wrote:

    The 14th Amendment, Platinum Coin and other options are fun to discuss but they will ultimately come to nothing.

    Anyone with half a brain knows that the Republicans are merely using the debt ceiling as a threat to try and get the cuts to those pesky poor/unemployed/sick/elderly/veterans that they hate so much.

    But it is little more than this: a threat. Obama knows it. Everyone knows it. Hence why Obama has ruled out both the 14th amendment and platinum coin.

    You know why it's just a threat? Because the biggest losers if America didn't raise the debt ceiling would not JUST be the poor/unemployed/elderly/sick/veterans that the Republicans hate so much, but the WEALTHY - the people who own and run the Republican party. A market crash would see their financial portfolio's wiped out, as well as the hyper inflation that would likely following reducing the real value of their assets.

    And as long as there is a threat to the wealthy owners of the Republican party by the failure to raise the debt ceiling, there is no chance that Republicans are going to disobey their masters and cause them financial harm. They can pretend that they want to all they like, but most people see right through it.

  12. [12] 
    Michale wrote:

    Anyone with half a brain knows that the Republicans are merely using the debt ceiling as a threat to try and get the cuts to those pesky poor/unemployed/sick/elderly/veterans that they hate so much.

    Out of that group you listed, only the last three are likely deserving of assistance..

    Michale

  13. [13] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Out of that group you listed, only the last three are likely deserving of assistance..

    Explain why. I'd like to hear it.

  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    Explain why. I'd like to hear it.

    I have been dirt poor. The kind of poor where I had collect bottles and cans to buy food when the food stamps ran out. This, of course, was before B.O. (Before Obama) when one couldn't live the high life while on foodstamps..

    I have also been filthy embarrassingly rich... Rich enough that I could walk into a bar, order a beer, plop down two crisp one hundred dollar bills to cover the bill and tip.. And I did so on MANY occasions just to see the waiter/waitresses reaction.. :D

    I have also been dirt poor again..

    Now I am well off. Can't buy anything I want, but we live comfortably, get all our bills paid, can afford to take the entire extended family on a cruise a couple times a year and buy a new car if we need one..

    So, I guess you could say I am a rags to riches to rags to semi-riches story..

    My point??

    The rags part of my life was more often than not, due to stoopid mistakes on my part. Laziness, idiocy and more laziness.

    There is simply NO possible way that anyone poor is not that way due to some mistake(s) they made..
    Simply.... Not.... Possible....

    I've been there.. I know..

    Unemployed?? For THREE FRAK'in Years!!!!

    If anyone can't find a job in 6 months MAX, even in this crappy economy, they either ain't looking or are setting their sights too high to be realistic...

    So, yes. The poor and the unemployed have simply decided that they can be taken care of by being poor and being unemployed...

    They are part of the problem.. Not part of any solution.

    And our Democrat Government is simply the enabler. Our government has, in fact, many of the American people on a drug. And, like all drug pushers, our government has complete control over the addicted, thereby attempting to insure Democrat dominance down the line...

    Because NO addicted person will testify against their pusher....

    Michale

  15. [15] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Lol your post had some great lines. Here are my favourites:

    This, of course, was before B.O. (Before Obama) when one couldn't live the high life while on foodstamps

    Lololol. Must have been the 'BO Food Stamps Act' that he passed when no-one was looking (nor now when people are looking) to completely overhaul the program! Amazing. DAMN YOU OBAMA AND YOU'RE DOING NOTHING TO CHANGE FOOD STAMPS PUTTING PEOPLE ON FOOD STAMPS!

    There is simply NO possible way that anyone poor is not that way due to some mistake(s) they made..
    Simply.... Not.... Possible....

    Lolol really? So if you get cancer it's your fault - your mistake!! Screw you getting medical treatment from the Gov that you paid taxes to for 40 years - bugger off and die for your mistake. No healthcare for you you lazy cancer suffering moocher.

    The poor and the unemployed have simply decided that they can be taken care of by being poor and being unemployed.

    Absolutely true - EVERYONE who is unemployed or poor is totally not seeking work and just living the 'high life' lol. Amazing. AND it's all Obama's fault too. DAMN YOU OBAMA! 50 applicants for a job? Lies from Obama trying to cover up the reliance on Government he has created!

    I mean I was expecting some nonsense but you really need to get a reality check and stop using the Drudge Report (or wherever you get this nonsense) to set your frames about reality in America/the World...

  16. [16] 
    Michale wrote:

    Now, don't get me wrong. I am not advocating lining up the poor and the unemployed and shooting them.

    Really I am not..

    But Democrats have basically taken away ANY incentive for the poor and unemployed to better their situation..

    Democrats are making it easier for the poor and the unemployed to live and "flourish". So much so that the poor and the unemployed have absolutely NO incentive to find work...

    Put a time limit on the benefits.. Make it so that the benefits are truly a hand up, rather than a hand out..

    Mandatory drug testing for those on benefits.. If the poor can afford drugs, they don't need any government help...

    Make sure that no one receiving benefits has recently won a million dollar lottery...

    There are SO many things that could be done to give the poor and the unemployed back their self-respect..

    The problem is, Democrats don't WANT those people to have self-respect.. They want those people dependent on government so that the people will continue to vote for the people that keep giving them their drugs and feeding their addiction..

    Michale

  17. [17] 
    Michale wrote:

    Lolol really? So if you get cancer it's your fault - your mistake!! Screw you getting medical treatment from the Gov that you paid taxes to for 40 years - bugger off and die for your mistake. No healthcare for you you lazy cancer suffering moocher.

    We weren't talking about cancer, but since you bring it up..

    How many of those cancer patients smoked??

    'nuff said...

    Michale

  18. [18] 
    Michale wrote:

    I mean I was expecting some nonsense but you really need to get a reality check and stop using the Drudge Report (or wherever you get this nonsense) to set your frames about reality in America/the World...

    Do you have ANY evidence that supports your position?

    No, you don't.. You never do..

    I have LIVED it.. I KNOW what I am talking about..

    "What I know of humans, I know because I learned it. What you know of my people you know because you think it."
    -T'Cael, FINAL FRONTIER

    Michale

  19. [19] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Michale,

    You have well and truly bought into the far-right-wing propaganda hook, line and sinker. There is really no point debating you because you actually believe statements like the following:

    But Democrats have basically taken away ANY incentive for the poor and unemployed to better their situation..

    The problem is, Democrats don't WANT those people to have self-respect.. They want those people dependent on government so that the people will continue to vote for the people that keep giving them their drugs and feeding their addiction..

    Debating someone who actually believes this nonsense is pointless. You'd be better just sticking to the Drudge Report where you'll find many like minded people...

    Do you have ANY evidence that supports your position?

    Sure I mean there are many because this is such an easy argument and your position is completely moronic. Here are some simple ones:

    - The unemployment rate has been declining for the past 3 years. More people are working now than 3 years ago. Put another way: less people are 'mooching' now that 3 years ago, with this number continuing to fall.
    - The peak unemployment rate in the USA for the last 40 years was under Reagan - a Republican; the lowest unemployment rate under Clinton - a Democrat. Put another way, there were MILLIONS more 'moochers' under Republican Presidents than Democrats. The number of 'moochers' has far more to do with the strength of the economy than the party in charge.
    - Only around ~15-20% of Americans don't work or study full-time (the vast majority being people who are old and retired). Put another way, of those able or needing to work only about 7.8% currently don't. This rate is comparable to most other Western democracies at present.
    - For many jobs there are as many as 25 applicants for every position. Sometimes as many as 100 for every position. The average across America is something like 3.5 applicants for every position. Again: the number of people not working has NOTHING to do with the party in charge, and EVERYTHING to do with the strength of the economy.

    ALL of these facts refute the idea that the Democrats have created this lunatic Michale-world society where everyone is just sitting around waiting for hand-outs. But it is pointless even discussing this with you since, like every time I present simple facts that prove you are completely wrong, you will deny them or call them made up or call them biased etc etc because you are totally stuck in a lunatic view of Obama and America - a view that is perpetrated by the writers of the likes of the Drudge Report, morons on Fox News and Rush Limbaugh and all over right-wing American media.

  20. [20] 
    Michale wrote:

    - The unemployment rate has been declining for the past 3 years. More people are working now than 3 years ago. Put another way: less people are 'mooching' now that 3 years ago, with this number continuing to fall.

    Bullshit...

    It went up and up and up and only in the last few months has it come down..

    This is why it's so pointless discussing things with you.

    You put out nothing but BS and fantasy and provide NOTHING in the way of substantiation for your outlandish claims...

    Basically you have two arguments..

    One is a noun and a verb and it's all the Republicans fault..

    The other is a noun and a verb and Democrats are always right...

    Hell, *I* could argue your points more effectively than you do... :D

    Michale

  21. [21] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Me
    But it is pointless even discussing this with you since, like every time I present simple facts that prove you are completely wrong, you will deny them or call them made up or call them biased etc etc because you are totally stuck in a lunatic view of Obama and America

    You
    Bullshit...It went up and up and up and only in the last few months has it come down..

    This is why it's so pointless discussing things with you.

    You put out nothing but BS and fantasy and provide NOTHING in the way of substantiation for your outlandish claims...

    Basically you have two arguments..

    One is a noun and a verb and it's all the Republicans fault..

    The other is a noun and a verb and Democrats are always right...

    Hell, *I* could argue your points more effectively than you do... :D

    Right on cue. You are right it is pointless discussing things with you since admitting that the unemployment rate has gone down in the last 3 years (a VERY SIMPLE STRAIGHTFORWARD EASY FACT) is beyond you. Never mind the facts that require a more complex appreciation of economics or math...

  22. [22] 
    Michale wrote:

    Right on cue. You are right it is pointless discussing things with you since admitting that the unemployment rate has gone down in the last 3 years (a VERY SIMPLE STRAIGHTFORWARD EASY FACT) is beyond you.

    If it's such a straight forward easy fact, then you shouldn't have any trouble substantiating it, right??

    Allow me..

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2f/US_EmpStatsBLS_Jan09-Oct12.PNG

    Now, starting in 2010 (3 years).. Unemployment went up.. Then it went down.. ooops look at that. It went UP again.. Then it went down.. SonOfABitch! It went up... AGAIN...

    So your statement that "The unemployment rate has been declining for the past 3 years." is demonstrably complete and utter bullshit..

    It HASN'T been "declining" for the past three years. It's been declining and then rising and then declining and then rising..

    Now, at THIS point you will change the argument and say, "But it IS lower than it was three years ago" which is factually true, but is NOT what you were arguing before you got caught in the bullshit.

    Like I said, I can make your arguments even better than you can.. :D

    The simple fact is, Americans are NOT better off under Obama and the Democrats..

    How this prick ever won re-election is beyond me..

    But then again, drug pushers have a LOT of power over their addicts, so that explains a lot..

    Michale

  23. [23] 
    michty6 wrote:

    LOLOLOLOL YOU ARE AMAZING. That has got to be one of the dumbest arguments I've ever seen. LOLOLOL. OMG. AMAZING. It also STILL REFUTES YOUR ORIGINAL ARGUMENT but you fail to see this but just an unreal response. Let's take a look at what I actually said which you are responding to:

    - The unemployment rate has been declining for the past 3 years. More people are working now than 3 years ago. Put another way: less people are 'mooching' now that (sic) 3 years ago, with this number continuing to fall.

    I even quoted the typo. Your rebuttal is to completely deny THE ENTIRE REST OF MY STATEMENT ever happened and focus on one technicality (which even then you do wrong!). I've got bad news for you Michale the statement 'The unemployment rate has been declining for the past 3 years' is 100000% factually correct. Just because the unemployment rate goes up 1 month doesn't mean it hasn't been IN DECLINE FOR 3 YEARS lololololol. You see 3 years is a longer period than 1 month. 'Declining' is describing the TREND and it is describing the trend 1000% accurately!

    Lol just amazing. And of course the fact that this totally throws your 'Obama is making people unemployed and dependent on the Government' argument into the fireplace is completely lost on you...

    Lololol well played though. Just when I thought you couldn't get any-more crazy and further down the rabbit hole - there you go. I actually cannot wait now to see your response. Just amazing you've made my day, now I'm going to F5ing this page to see what you'll come up with next lololol. PLEASE RESPOND.

  24. [24] 
    Michale wrote:

    Lol just amazing. And of course the fact that this totally throws your 'Obama is making people unemployed and dependent on the Government' argument into the fireplace is completely lost on you...

    Not at all, since Obama has pushed to EXTEND unemployment benefits to those that are unemployed..

    Which has been my entire point all along.

    The fact that you go off on a tangent and argue a strawman that has absolutely NOTHING to do with the main point is simply par for the course with you.. :D

    Just amazing you've made my day, now I'm going to F5ing this page

    "Obsess much???"
    -Ace Ventura

    :D

    Michale

  25. [25] 
    Michale wrote:

    To sum up..

    You answer my point with a non sequitor bullshit response.

    When I prove that your response is bullshit, you go off on ANOTHER tangent trying to make it all my fault..

    Well, if that doesn't show you firmly in the grasp of the Hysterical Left, nothing will... :D

    Michale

  26. [26] 
    Michale wrote:

    I saw a poster over the weekend that was really hilarious..

    I took my dog into the local welfare office to apply him for welfare assistance.
    The welfare people said he wasn't eligible.
    I asked them, "Why not? He's lazy, he's unemployed, he lays around all day doing nothing and he votes Democrat."
    They said he would have his check by Friday..

    Now if THAT doesn't sum up America under Obama and the Democrats, NOTHING does... :D

    Michale

  27. [27] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Not at all, since Obama has pushed to EXTEND unemployment benefits to those that are unemployed..

    Exactly. And if this has the effect that in your crazy Michale-world nonsensical fantasy nonsense you believe it has (Obama is BUILDING AN ARMY OF OBAMA-BOTS TO TAKE OVER AMERICA!) then why does the unemployment rate continue to fall?

    When I prove that your response is bullshit, you go off on ANOTHER tangent trying to make it all my fault..

    Lol not really. It's hard to argue with someone who doesn't understand English and thinks the phrase 'The unemployment rate has been declining for the past 3 years' is equal to the phrase 'The unemployment rate has declined every single month for the past 3 years'. But I don't think you actually believe this, you just twist every thing you see so that it fits into your view of reality. And your view of reality is that Obama is building an army of Obama-bots - anything that denies this MUST BE A LIE! Lol.

    Now if THAT doesn't sum up America under Obama and the Democrats, NOTHING does...

    Sure I'm game. You cut off the person before they finished their point:

    'They said he would have his check by Friday... But if he changes his political allegiance to Republican - and pledges allegiance to Reagan - he can bring all his doggy friends and they'll get benefits too since Reagan handed out more benefits than Obama has...'

    :)

    PS. Your last responses were boring. Please go back into rant mode. I want to hear more about the Obama-bots taking over America...

  28. [28] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Michale

    Pop quiz. Read the following statement:

    "I'll propose extending unemployment benefits, including special incentives to employers who hire the long-term unemployed, providing programs for displaced workers, and helping federally funded and State-administered unemployment insurance programs provide workers with training and relocation assistance."

    The following statement was made during a State of the Union address by:
    (a) Communist Obama.
    (b) Communist Obama who time-travelled wearing an invisibility cloak and held a gun to Reagan's head to force him to say this.
    (c) Communist Obama who went back in time, shot Reagan and used 21st century Mission-Impossible-like technology to wear a Reagan mask and Reagan voice.
    (d) Communist Obama who created a time-travelling Reagan-bot to go back in time, kill John Connor and then give this State of the Union speech.

  29. [29] 
    Michale wrote:

    'They said he would have his check by Friday... But if he changes his political allegiance to Republican - and pledges allegiance to Reagan - he can bring all his doggy friends and they'll get benefits too since Reagan handed out more benefits than Obama has...'

    And, of course, you can PROVE that, right??

    Jesus, look who I am asking...??? :D

    Michale

  30. [30] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    The biggest difference between the response to this recession and, say, Reagan's is that the Dem Congress in the early '80's provided the funding to hire approx 800,000 gov't employees and with them, the attendant spending and tax revenue.

    wow, that's a really good point - for every dollar the federal government spends to hire a U.S. citizen to do something, it gets thirty cents back. sounds like a pretty good discount, as long as the job is actually getting done.

    ~joshua

  31. [31] 
    michty6 wrote:

    And, of course, you can PROVE that, right??

    Jesus, look who I am asking...??? :D

    Wait are you seriously asking me to PROVE evidence about an analogy of dogs obtaining welfare cheques?? ;)

  32. [32] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Joshua,

    Last time I saw figures Government jobs under Obama were down 600k. Pretty ridiculous in comparison to what happened under Reagan.

    Or consider the fact that Obama is the ONLY President in the last 40 years who (so far) has not seen an increase in Government employment during their Presidency.

    But shhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Don't let those annoying facts hide the Government take-over of America that is happening right under your noses!!

    PS. If you want to see a good clip of a right-wing crazy being brought back to reality in discovering these facts jump to about 3:25 in this clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=evtInoMaeew

  33. [33] 
    Michale wrote:

    Wait are you seriously asking me to PROVE evidence about an analogy of dogs obtaining welfare cheques?? ;)

    Are you REALLY that obtuse!!???

    I thought it was all an act....

    Michale

  34. [34] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Hey Michale, what are your thoughts on the declining Government jobs under Obama?

  35. [35] 
    Michale wrote:

    Joshua,

    as long as the job is actually getting done.

    And therein lies the rub..

    I can detail fact after fact after fact of government employees being paid NOT to work..

    Hell, under Obama's America, that is the basis of the ENTIRE unemployment plan.. Paying people NOT to work..

    Unemployment insurance makes sense up to a point.. It's to tide people over until such time as they can find another job.

    Under Democrats, it's become a "job" in and of itself.. A "job" that doesn't enrich society, a "job" that is damaging to self-esteem... A "job" that rewards sloth and laziness and penalizes reliance and responsibility..

    In short, Democrats have created a bunch of willing slaves. Addicts who would NEVER vote against their pushers.....

    Pure and simple...

    I mean, SERIOUSLY!?? Can *ANYONE* defend THREE YEARS of unemployment???

    Of course not. No SANE person could!!

    Michale

  36. [36] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Are you REALLY that obtuse!!???

    :)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nG4NYnQ4Q_M

  37. [37] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Lol [35] is more like it Michale. I'm interested as to why you haven't answered my pop quiz in [28] though.

    Perhaps it's because you believe that Obama is definitely the only President to extend unemployment benefits. Because you read so on Drudge? Fox told you so?

  38. [38] 
    Michale wrote:

    Hey Michale, what are your thoughts on the declining Government jobs under Obama?

    I say it's a perfect example of Obama and the Democrats utter incompetence when it comes to the economy...

    They spend trillions and trillions and trillions of dollars, money we DON'T have and STILL can't create any jobs, public OR private...

    I can cite stat after stat after stat that shows billions spent and only a handful of jobs created..

    You simply prove my point on how badly incompetent Obama and the Democrats have been...

    They want MORE people on unemployment so that there will be MORE votes for Democrats....

    Duuuuhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.....

    Michale

  39. [39] 
    michty6 wrote:

    They want MORE people on unemployment so that there will be MORE votes for Democrats....

    Lolol this is amazing. So I have to ask is this just Obama or does this include time-travelling Obama? Like when Reagan extended unemployment benefits do you believe that was Reagan or was it time travelling Obama?

  40. [40] 
    Michale wrote:

    Perhaps it's because you believe that Obama is definitely the only President to extend unemployment benefits.

    Did I ever say that??

    Nope. never did..

    It's wrong no matter WHICH president did it!!

    You see, I think for myself.

    I don't have my head so far up the Ass' ass as you do... :D

    Michale

  41. [41] 
    michty6 wrote:

    I don't have my head so far up the Ass' ass as you do... :D

    Lolol no. You have your head up the rabbit hole. So when Obama extends unemployment insurance for States with Unemployment above certain percentages - which is EXACTLY WHAT EVERY SINGLE OTHER PRESIDENT IN THE LAST 50 YEARS HAS DONE - then you think it is some whack-job nut-case 'Government takeover' or 'trying to put people on welfare'.

    This is the point that you keep missing...

  42. [42] 
    Michale wrote:

    'trying to put people on welfare'.

    In an attempt to create more Democrat voters..

    Considering it's EXACTLY what Obama did with his end run around Congress on the DREAM act, it's a reasonable assessment...

    It goes to pattern of behavior..

    Once again... Duuuuuuuhhhhhhhh

    Still waiting for ANYONE to try and justify THREE FRAK'IN YEARS of unemployment....

    {{{ccchhhirrrrrrrrppppppp}}} {chiiirrrrpppp}

    Michale

  43. [43] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Considering it's EXACTLY what Obama did with his end run around Congress on the DREAM act, it's a reasonable assessment...

    It goes to pattern of behavior..

    Once again... Duuuuuuuhhhhhhhh

    Still waiting for ANYONE to try and justify THREE FRAK'IN YEARS of unemployment....

    Lolol I see the logic:

    - Another President does it = perfectly normal.
    - Obama does exactly the same = ZOMG GOVERNMENT TAKEOVER HE IS TRYING TO MAKE PEOPLE VOTE DEMOCRAT!

    Hmmm 3 years of extended unemployment insurance. You mean like Reagan did from 82-85 (which COMPLETELY COINCIDENTALLY was the next worse recession after the current one?

    OMG. I just realised. The fact Reagan and Obama had massive recessions is nothing to do with unemployment insurance. Why would THAT make any sense???? REAGAN IS TRYING TO TAKE OVER THE GOVERNMENT AND MAKE PEOPLE VOTE REPUBLICAN. ZOMG.

    Either that or it was a time-travelling Obama who possesses the capability to shift-shape into the form of Reagan. I've not quite decided yet - I'll monitor Drudge and let you know if I hear anything...

  44. [44] 
    Michale wrote:

    I am also constrained to point out that the declining unemployment numbers are NOT indicative of more people finding work, but rather indicative of people simply quit looking for work...

    The U6 numbers are a much better indication of the true unemployment picture and they are very dismal....

    But why bother with facts when you have the Obama kool-aid to keep you warm at night.. :D

    Michale

  45. [45] 
    Michale wrote:

    Hmmm 3 years of extended unemployment insurance. You mean like Reagan did from 82-85 (which COMPLETELY COINCIDENTALLY was the next worse recession after the current one?

    I am going to institute a new policy here...

    Unless you post something that is factual, that you substantiate with documentation, then I am simply going to ignore it..

    Which, I think, will eliminate any chance of me ever responding to you again.. :D

    Michale

  46. [46] 
    Michale wrote:
  47. [47] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2013/01/14/reforming-congress-that-spends-like-teenagers/?intcmp=HPBucket

    Hmmmmmmmmmm

    Comparing our government's out of control spending to a teenager's out of control spending....

    Who would have thunked it.. :D

    Michale

  48. [48] 
    michty6 wrote:

    I am also constrained to point out that the declining unemployment numbers are NOT indicative of more people finding work, but rather indicative of people simply quit looking for work...

    Yes we all know what the Drudge Report says. Unfortunately it isn't true. You know you can actually look at these figures? And yes the number of people working now is more than 3 years ago. FACT.

    Unless you post something that is factual, that you substantiate with documentation, then I am simply going to ignore it..

    Aw come on. That's a boring response. I know you like to deny reality but sometimes you accept reality and try to twist it into your own view (like with unemployment above). You can do better than just denying reality - come on. Maybe find some way to explain it?

    Like Reagan's extension of unemployment benefits for 3 years was totally different and was only because Obama had used his secret time machine to go back and do this so people would be reliable on the Government forever?

    Or MAYBE this is why Obama has a fake birth certificate because he is actually 75 years old and was a senior adviser to Reagan - just that nobody knew about it. And Reagan couldn't have forseen that this was all part of Obama's (or 'Barry' as Reagan knew him) secret plan to make people reliant on Government welfare and vote Democrat for years to come.

    Aha. I think we're finally getting to the bottom of this!

  49. [49] 
    Michale wrote:

    Some more interesting Gun Stats..

    States That Have VERY Strict Gun Control Laws

    MD 5 homicides per 100,000 population
    NY 4 homicides per 100,000 population
    DC 13 homicides per 100,000 population
    CA 3 homicides per 100,000 population

    States That Have Very Lax Gun Control Laws

    Utah 1 homicide per 100,000
    Idaho 1 homicide per 100,000
    Montana 1 homicide per 100,000
    Washington 1 homicide per 100,000

    Look at Chicago. Some of the strictest gun laws in the nation and some of the highest per capita gun violence.

    Same with Washington DC.. New York.. The list goes on and on and on..

    Every mass shooting (sans 1) since the 50s was in a Gun Free Zone.

    More people are killed with blunt objects and knives and fists than are killed with rifles..

    Anyone capable of wielding a rifle is capable of switching magazines in a second or less...

    Which is not to say that there are not some good ideas in this latest hysteria of anti-gun fanatics...

    Better background checks. Harsher penalties for scumbags who use guns to commit crime. Actually ENFORCING the laws on the books (whatta concept!!) and so on..

    But banning rifles?? Limiting magazines??

    Been there... Done that... Had absolutely NO effect...

    Michale

  50. [50] 
    michty6 wrote:

    I heard that every major gun crime committed in America was paid by Obama because he wanted to ban guns so he killed lots of Americans to do it. Also he used his time travelling robot army for some of them.

    The guy is an evil maniac.

  51. [51] 
    Michale wrote:

    I heard that every major gun crime committed in America was paid by Obama because he wanted to ban guns so he killed lots of Americans to do it. Also he used his time travelling robot army for some of them.

    And you wonder why no one here takes you seriously...

    Jeeezus...

    Michale

  52. [52] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Awww boooo where is the Michale of yesterday! That Michale would've jumped on my theory!

    How about: Democrats want go ban guns because they want people unarmed on the street so that the people they are giving out money to will have guns and be able to rob rich people thus creating a more equal society. And then the rich people will be dead so won't be able to vote Republican!!

    I've definitely got some traction on this one right?

  53. [53] 
    Michale wrote:

    I've definitely got some traction on this one right?

    You have as much traction as David with his "Republicans want to crash Wall Street and hates poor people" theory...

    It's nothing but spin, colored by ideological slavery...

    You should try living free from slavery...

    Nothing more annoying than a willing slave...

    Which is why you are such a pain in the ass most times.. :D

    Michale

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