ChrisWeigant.com

Friday Talking Points [319] -- Slouching Off To War

[ Posted Friday, September 12th, 2014 – 15:56 PDT ]

This is a special edition of this column, for a number of reasons. The first is that we're back after a one-week vacation hiatus, but the most special reason (to us, at least) is that this is the seventh anniversary of the launching of the "Friday Talking Points" column, which first appeared both on my site and the Huffington Post on September 14, 2007. The more mathematically-astute among you may notice that 52 times 7 equals a lot more columns than 319. This is true. Twice a year we are pre-empted by our year-end awards columns, and then the rest of the time we were just on vacation or otherwise doing something else. Like last week, for instance. This has led us to count the column's birthdays using the calendar, rather than the metric of "every 52 columns."

Back in 2007, I thought it would be a good idea to write congressional Democrats a memo, in the hopes they could begin to learn a skill Republicans seem to be born with: the ability to stay on-topic and present your political ideas and agenda items succinctly and memorably to the public. I had grown tired of watching the Sunday political shows where Republicans all sang off the same songsheet while Democrats were easily led into the weeds with long rambling tangents to what they should have been saying that particular week. This early effort grew, in the following weeks and months, into the format we now use weekly: a quick rundown of amusing items in the political news of the week, the awarding of the Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week and the Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week, and then seven numerated talking points suggested for all Democrats to use to explain the Democratic position to all and sundry (especially on Sundry morning talk shows... so to speak...).

Since that time, I cannot with any hard data prove that Democrats have gotten better at this skill, but on a purely subjective level, it seems they have made at least some steps in the right direction. Being in the minority in the House once again seems to have sharpened the Democratic edge a bit. But the column keeps going because there are still improvements to be made, and so it's my humble duty to try to help in the only way I can, every Friday.

In any case, join us in some virtual birthday cake as we celebrate our seventh anniversary!

birthday cake

This column is also going to be an unusual one because we're not handing out awards this week, nor are we providing our usual talking points. Instead, as we are sometimes wont to do, we are going off on a rant.

This is not a week for politics. This is a week to discuss America at war. That is about as serious as it gets, and because of this we're not going to give a rundown of all the other events from the past two weeks, and we feel our normal Democratic-slanted awards and talking points are not germane to the discussion this week. So, just to warn everyone up front, this is going to be a very different column. We will return to our usual format next week, have no fear.

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 319 (9/12/14)

America is slouching off to war, again.

We have already been dropping bombs for a month, but President Obama appeared on primetime television this week to announce to the American people that we're about to be dropping a whole lot more bombs in the coming weeks. This is serious stuff.

However, you wouldn't know it from within the halls of Congress. Which is beyond pathetic -- it is downright unpatriotic. Congress is shirking its clear duty, and putting their own jobs and political rear ends before the country's needs. If that isn't unpatriotic, I don't know what is.

Don't get me wrong -- I am not here to either advocate for or speak out against this war (at least, not today). And I am certainly not saying every member of Congress should immediately vote for full-on war or be labeled a traitor. Far from it. What I am saying instead is that every member of Congress should stand up and be counted no matter what their position is. Pro-war? Fine. Anti-war? No problem. But "we don't want to hold a contentious vote right before an election" is nothing short of political cowardice. And unpatriotic, to boot.

A true patriot would right now be forcefully advocating for whatever position they held -- either pro or con. A politician who loved his or her country and was doing the duty voters had elected him or her to perform would either be debating how this war is necessary and just or why it is a gigantic mistake. Either way, we should be having floor debates on the subject in both the House and Senate. Right now.

But we aren't. Not really. Congress is attempting to pass some sort of mealy-mouthed "we're kinda behind the president" bill, but they are not debating a new "Authorization for Use of Military Force" (A.U.M.F.). Even an A.U.M.F. is only a halfway measure, looked at constitutionally, and Congress can't even be bothered with that, it seems.

If you think I'm being a bit too harsh on Congress, I would direct you to a rare moment of candor from a House Republican, Jack Kingston of Georgia. He was quoted, in response to the president's speech, talking about the political realities both for his own Republican Party and for Democrats:

A lot of people would like to stay on the sideline and say, "Just bomb the place and tell us about it later." It's an election year. A lot of Democrats don't know how it would play in their party, and Republicans don't want to change anything. We like the path we're on now. We can denounce it if it goes bad, and praise it if it goes well and ask what took him [President Obama] so long.

What he is describing is nothing short of unpatriotic political cowardice, on both sides of the aisle. But Democrats aren't really much better. Here is Democratic House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, also being a bit more candid than he probably realized, talking about the difference between the timing of voting some money for some rebels versus voting on an actual A.U.M.F. (emphasis added, to note his timetable):

I think at some point in time, when we come back from the elections, I think there will be a consideration of a larger authorization for the use of force. I think you're going to see a very robust discussion of exactly that exact issue, among the American people, and that after the election, we'll come back into session better informed of the public's view and our constituents' attitude about what they think ought to be done.

In short: once we've performed our real job -- getting re-elected -- then we'll come back and maybe hold a vote on a possibly-endless war. I said it before and I'll say it again: this is unpatriotic political cowardice of the first order.

The only way to cure such craven shirking of duty is to expose it and demand better. Some in the media have taken up this banner. Hopefully more will do so, from both the left and the right. Here is my favorite (and seriously snarky) example, from Salon:

Many members of Congress don't want to vote on authorizing war powers for President Obama in Iraq and Syria before the election. The objections are twofold.

1) A vote on anything meaningful? Yikes! *Sweats, looks sideways, tugs collar*

2) A vote would entail co-ownership of the strategy, meaning that if/when things go bad, members of Congress could be held responsible. Sure, it's fun to throw around cartoonishly hawkish rhetoric about how "we're in the most dangerous position we've ever been in as a nation" or how ISIS represents "an existential threat to America," but that's just the thing: It's rhetoric! Rhetoric is cheap -- it costs nothing, in fact -- while having to back up that rhetoric with actions is like a whole other thing.

Strict constitutionalists have been demanding actual war resolutions pretty much ever since World War II ended, but no Congress since has passed one. The Constitution is pretty clear on the subject, in fact. The president, as commander-in-chief, is allowed to react swiftly to military attack and order troops into the field without Congress authorizing it beforehand. Congress, however, is supposed to hold up its end of this power-sharing, by formally declaring war for long and open-ended conflicts.

In modern times, the A.U.M.F. has stood in for a declaration of war. But an A.U.M.F. is even better than what the Constitution asks, because it can be written in all sorts of ways -- very narrowly-targeted or wide-reaching and open-ended. In other words, Congress doesn't just have to vote "yea" or "nay" on war, they can micromanage it to a certain degree. This is what they are now refusing to do -- until, perhaps, after they get re-elected... if there's time, that is.

Time is another facet to this congressional cowardice that needs closer examination. Republicans have been howling for President Obama to act against the Islamic State for months now. This howling reached a crescendo when two American journalists were beheaded. But in the midst of all the cries of how "Obama is dragging his feet" or "Obama should have acted before now," you know what didn't happen? Congress didn't return from its six-week vacation. There was absolutely nothing stopping Harry Reid and John Boehner from informing all their members: "Since Obama has not acted, we are calling a special session of Congress starting tomorrow to debate a war resolution which will force the president to act." Instead of doing this, they preferred to "stay on the sideline" and carp, for all of August. Now, some are whining that they only have so many legislative days left on the calendar, and there simply isn't time to have a full war debate in Congress.

Hogwash! Poppycock! They are returning to Washington for something like two weeks. Then they will adjourn once again to hit the campaign trail in earnest, likely for all of October. So, for the period of August, September, October, and the first week in November, Congress will work an exhausting total of two weeks. Nice work if you can get it, eh? There is plenty of time for Congress to act, there is just a serious shortage of scheduled work days, that's all. Which is a problem of political nature, really -- not temporal.

Democrats and Republicans both have what they consider valid political concerns about any sort of war vote. Democrats still remember the political toll the last A.U.M.F. vote (on Iraq) had on certain members of their party (see: Hillary Clinton, 2008). They live in fear of getting it wrong again, to put it bluntly. Republicans have a different political calculation. They definitely don't want to vote for anything which could help Obama, especially not right before an election. They have a lesser fear of being responsible for a war vote later on, if the war goes sour, because they can blame any problems on Obama's execution. They also have a significant isolationist streak within their own base (see: Paul, Ron and Rand), which they are fearful of enraging.

You know what? I don't care. Yes, it will be a hard vote. It should be -- this is war we are talking about. As for a war vote before an election, the last time Congress voted on such a motion (to invade Iraq) was in mid-October -- right before the 2002 midterms. Congress wasn't happy about voting on war right before an election, but they did so anyway because the president requested such a vote. It was their duty to respond, either affirmatively or not, and they stepped up and did so. So why can't they do so now?

Many are cheering the strong language President Obama used in his speech this Wednesday. America is going to "degrade and destroy" the Islamic State. Few, however, are asking questions such as: "How long is that going to take?" or "What is this all going to cost, in the end?" This is how the war drums almost always beat in America -- act fast, consider consequences later.

Obama mentioned two countries where American air power is already bombing terrorists -- Yemen and Somalia. Can anyone predict when we will declare victory in either of these countries and stop bombing? The best example of American military power decisively winning a civil war was not mentioned, because while Libya was indeed a stunning military success (number of American soldiers killed: zero) which clearly achieved its objective of overthrowing a dictator, the aftermath was a train wreck. While it might be argued that Iraq will be different than Libya -- because Obama is already pursuing diplomatic initiatives to force the Iraqis to create a more-inclusive government -- the same simply cannot be said about Syria. We have no clue what would happen in Syria if we completely eliminated the Islamic State fighters, and we shouldn't turn away from thinking about this truth.

War is serious business, and it has serious consequences -- seen and unforeseen, intended and unintended. Even the most extreme anti-government types on the right (those who favor dismantling three-fourths of the federal government, for instance) still admit that "keeping its citizens safe and waging war" is not only a legitimate thing for the federal government to do, but in fact a bedrock responsibility. Our system of government is that we the people elect representatives to go to Washington to debate serious issues and vote on them. If the citizens of a state or district approve of such votes, the politician will be re-elected to continue representing them. If the voters disapprove of important votes, someone else is elected instead. That is the way it is supposed to work, folks.

Republicans in Congress can't have it both ways. They can't whine and moan about Obama dragging his feet when they are only going to be working for a pathetic two weeks in a three-month period of time. If war is truly that important and speed is of the essence (what Republicans have been arguing for weeks), then do your duty and vote on it. Force the president's hand! Pass an A.U.M.F. with teeth, that lays out exactly what you want done, and then hold him to it! There is nothing stopping you from doing so, and there has indeed been nothing stopping you from doing so previously. Obama asked for the half-billion dollars for the Syrian rebels months ago, and only now you're getting around to voting on it -- as a Band-Aid measure intended to cover up your boo-boo of not voting on a real A.U.M.F. So when in search of foot-dragging to denounce, please look in the mirror first.

Democrats aren't any better, mind you. Quivering in your boots over what happened to Hillary Clinton when she tried to defend her previous war vote on the campaign trail is not exactly a profile in courage. The future is unknown -- deal with it. Nobody knows, when casting a war vote, whether it'll turn out well or whether it will become a fiasco, over time. Such is the nature of life, and such is the nature of being a political leader. Not "we'll listen to our constituents only after they re-elect us." That is not leadership, that is pathetic. America is always prone to Jingoism, meaning the public gets into a war fever quickly, but can also fecklessly (and just as quickly) move against a war which is not turning out well. 'Twas always thus, though. That's the job you ran for -- interpreting both your constituents and your own conscience on votes with often-fatal consequences.

Republicans have been howling for weeks for Obama to present some sort of plan to defeat and destroy the Islamic State (while doing nothing in Congress to achieve that end themselves). Fine and good. Now Obama has done so. Which means now it is time for Congress to weigh in on the incredibly important issue of entering a war with no end in sight and no aftermath planned whatsoever. Now. Not after the election.

There are Democrats who support this war, and Democrats who do not. The same is true for Republicans -- it is a divisive issue, but not a strictly partisan one. That is excellent, because that is how it is supposed to be. War is so serious it should never really be any sort of political football to be kicked around. People are going to die -- lots of them. That is as serious as it gets.

No matter how you feel about this new war, the public should be outraged if Congress doesn't vote on it before the election. Ducking such an important vote -- for purely political reasons -- can be seen as unpatriotic political cowardice by the most "bomb them back to the Stone Age" hawk and the most "war is never the answer" dove. The outrage should cut across all ideological and partisan lines. No matter what position you take on the war, no matter what your personal politics, you should feel entitled to Congress weighing in on it before you are asked to cast your ballot to return them to office. There is simply no valid excuse for delaying such a vote, in fact.

Congress needs to vote on this war. They need to vote not just on a budget item to move some money to some rebels, they need to vote on a clear Authorization for Use of Military Force resolution. And they need to do it before the midterm election. There is no excuse for delay, other than "I'm afraid of this vote," which should be seen as nothing short of downright pathetic and completely unacceptable by the public at large.

War is serious business. Congress should treat is as such. Now.

-- Chris Weigant

 

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Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground
Cross-posted at: The Huffington Post

 

78 Comments on “Friday Talking Points [319] -- Slouching Off To War”

  1. [1] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    It would be unreasonable to believe that this will turn out as anything other than another Libyan pool party. Saudi Arabia and UAE should have to foot the bill for this impending disaster, but I guess we'll be putting it on the credit card. Or maybe we can offset it by eliminating the Ex-Im and NPR. If not, whatever. At least we'll be crushing and destroying the evildoers.

  2. [2] 
    TheStig wrote:

    CW-

    Happy 7th, and let me add that was one fine essay on congressional cowardice/dereliction/irrelevance.

    Could you add a virtual slicer for that tasty looking cake?

  3. [3] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    TheStig -

    Here you go. A fine product made in Ireland...

    I cut my wedding cake with a knife exactly like this.

    :-)

    -CW

  4. [4] 
    Michale wrote:

    Hogwash! Poppycock!

    Moose Poop?? :D

    Well said on the commentary, CW..

    My only nitpick is your opinion on Libya. It was the best case outcome if, and ONLY if, your military mission is to not get any of your soldiers killed.. In that, and in that ONLY, was Libya a success..

    Libya was and is an unmitigated disaster. It shows quite perfectly what happens when America is in charge in only one aspect of the war.. The air war...

    America simply cannot lead from behind because then the US has no control over the peace..

    I said it at the time. If we advocate leadership, then we give up our seat at the table in the aftermath..

    Which is EXACTLY what happened in Libya and is directly responsible for the mess that Libya is today..

    Libya was an unmitigated disaster in EVERY category, save one.. As you say, no American soldiers were killed..

    While that is a good thing, I submit that we could have achieved the exact same goal by doing nothing..

    Other than that minor nitpick, excellent commentary.. You pulled no punches and, VERY appropriately and fairly, laid the blame evenly.

    Once again, you provide anecdotal evidence that confirms what I have said all along..

    A politician is a politician is a politician.. Be they Dem or GOP, there isn't any difference.

    A politician is a politician is a politician...

    Michale

  5. [5] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale -

    You are selling the American military short, my friend -- something I'd never thought I'd be accusing you of.

    Purely as an American military mission, Libya was a smashing success. Of course, the aftermath was a Charlie Foxtrot, so to speak, but that wasn't the fault of the US military, was it?

    The military was given the (limited) mission: air support for the Libyan rebels, with the ultimate aim of ousting Ghaddafi. "Regime change" to put it another way.

    From where I sit, they did an excellent job, right up until Ghaddafi was killed. Then they bugged out, mission accomplished. They did what they were told to do, and with the one exception of friendly fire killing some Libyans who were trying to help a downed American pilot, I don't recall a single instance of anything going seriously wrong at all during the war (while the American military was active).

    Of course, I am not arguing that the political aftermath was handled correctly -- I don't think anyone would or could argue that.

    But seen solely through a military lens, Libya was indeed a complete victory. The "no deaths" things was just one factor of that victory, not a goal. They achieved their goal, though. The miltiary is not the State Department, and once their goal was complete, blame can be laid elsewhere. Feel free.

    But, seriously, dude, Libya was -- militarily speaking -- a total success. There was zero "mission creep" (at least, after we admitted we were there for regime change and not just to protect civilians). It was a clear goal, a clear mission, and it was fully met.

    Argue with that, if you dare.

    -CW

  6. [6] 
    Michale wrote:

    Purely as an American military mission, Libya was a smashing success.

    Again, IF the mission was ONLY to insure that no American lives were lost.. If THAT was the mission, then yes. It was a smashing success..

    But we could have achieved the same goal by not going there at all..

    The mission in Libya was two-fold. To use air assets so that rebel forces could remove Daffy from power and have him replaced with a stable democratic government in Libya..

    The first part succeeded, the second part was a dismal failure...

    Of course, the aftermath was a Charlie Foxtrot, so to speak, but that wasn't the fault of the US military, was it?

    It wasn't the fault of the US Military.. It was the fault of the US leadership...

    The military was given the (limited) mission: air support for the Libyan rebels, with the ultimate aim of ousting Ghaddafi. "Regime change" to put it another way.

    That was HALF the mission..

    But, seriously, dude, Libya was -- militarily speaking -- a total success. There was zero "mission creep" (at least, after we admitted we were there for regime change and not just to protect civilians). It was a clear goal, a clear mission, and it was fully met.

    You yourself argued in the immediate aftermath of the "smashing success" that now the US has a seat at the table to bring Libya into the 21st century. I argued at the time that, due to the abdication of leadership by US (so-called) leaders, we DON'T have a seat at the table..

    But at the time, you recognized that the mission was NOT over..

    It might be semantics, but I don't think that ANYONE can look at Libya in the here and now and claim that it was a success, smashing or otherwise...

    The initial components achieved their goals, that much is true.. But we left Libya worse off than it was before, as the death of our ambassador and support personnel in Benghazi readily attest to..

    So, I will grant you that the initial foray was a success... But the aftermath was, as you say, a Charlie Foxtrot..

    I am simply saying that the aftermath was part and parcel to the same mission..

    And, in a military mindset, half a loaf is NOT better than nothing... Again, as Benghazi readily affirms..

    To put it another way, Bush's "smashing success" in Iraq is no longer applicable because of the major Charlie Foxtrot that Iraq is today..

    It's all part and parcel to the same mission goals. A stable and democratic Iraq...

    Michale

  7. [7] 
    Michale wrote:

    Argue with that, if you dare

    You know me.... :D

    Michale

  8. [8] 
    Michale wrote:

    Purely as an American military mission, Libya was a smashing success. Of course, the aftermath was a Charlie Foxtrot, so to speak, but that wasn't the fault of the US military, was it?

    Vietnam, purely as a military mission, was also a smashing success.. Yet, we lost the war...

    We won every battle in Vietnam. But our political leaders screwed up the victories..

    So it was in Libya...

    You CAN'T win a war leading from behind and just with Air Power..

    It's not possible..

    Michale

  9. [9] 
    Michale wrote:

    “Civilization as we know it today would be in jeopardy if the Republicans win the Senate.”
    -Nancy Pelosi

    Yea, no fear-mongering there, eh???

    Michale

  10. [10] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Yea, no fear-mongering there, eh???

    Going to cite the source? I dare you! I double dare you!

  11. [11] 
    Michale wrote:

    Going to cite the source? I dare you! I double dare you!

    Challenge accepted!! :D

    Bill Maher
    youtube.com/watch?v=NFiEE09gnzY

    Now, pay up..

    Do the Ice Bucket Challenge and post the video... :D

    http://sjfm.us/temp/IceBucketBetina.mp4

    Michale

  12. [12] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Happy anniversary, CW ... where's the party?

    I guess we'll be putting it on the credit card

    Yeah, where's the bill on how we pay for this mess?

    The good news is that we won't be hearing about deficits for a while from Republicans. Kind of like how all the Obamacare attacks went the way of the dodo.

    Looks like the new Obama attacks harken back to the 'ole "Liburulz is weak!"

    Wheel out Dick Cheney some more! Maybe he'll accidentally shoot someone.

    -David

  13. [13] 
    Michale wrote:

    Yeah, where's the bill on how we pay for this mess?

    Isn't that a question for the Obama administration??

    I am sure ya'all will be as diligent pursuing this as you were when Bush was POTUS...

    Right?? :D

    Michale

  14. [14] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Now, pay up..

    I'm not one to succumb to internet fads, but in this case I think you missed a step. Aren't you supposed to be challenged by your wife(?), do the challenge yourself before challenging other people?

    But it's funny how quickly that Nancy Pelosi quote is being kicked around the conservative blogosphere as serious when it's blatantly a throw away line for some quick laughs. Not that Pelosi should quit her day job and join the comedy circuit...

    But it does bring up the question of why you are trying to pawn it off as serious...

  15. [15] 
    Michale wrote:

    I'm not one to succumb to internet fads, but in this case I think you missed a step. Aren't you supposed to be challenged by your wife(?), do the challenge yourself before challenging other people?

    Actually I did it to, but the video was embarrassing so I posted the wife's instead.. :D

    But it's funny how quickly that Nancy Pelosi quote is being kicked around the conservative blogosphere as serious when it's blatantly a throw away line for some quick laughs. Not that Pelosi should quit her day job and join the comedy circuit...

    THAT is your story??

    It wasn't serious???

    Yea... Just like it wasn't serious when Pelosi said, "You have to pass the legislation before you can learn what's in it."

    But it does bring up the question of why you are trying to pawn it off as serious...

    because it's part and parcel to the same old fear mongering that the Hysterical Left excels at..

    "Republicans are terrorists!!"

    "The planet will be destroyed!!"

    etc etc etc...

    Michale

  16. [16] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    I just watched. It was a "joke" (on a comedy program). Scary.

  17. [17] 
    Michale wrote:

    I just watched. It was a "joke" (on a comedy program). Scary.

    Of course it was a "joke"...

    Just like Pelosi's "You have to pass the legislation before you can learn what's in it." was a joke..

    Just like ALL Democrats in Congress are a joke..

    But that doesn't mean that Pelosi didn't mean it...

    Let's face the facts here people.. Ya'all completely AGREE with the statement...

    Michale

  18. [18] 
    Michale wrote:

    It reminds me when one of the eco-morons claimed that all we should only use one square of toilet paper after we do our business..

    After the world resoundingly ridiculed her, she came back with, "It was just a joke"...

    It's only a "joke" AFTER it falls flat...

    Michale

  19. [19] 
    Michale wrote:

    Wheel out Dick Cheney some more! Maybe he'll accidentally shoot someone.

    Why do we need Cheney when we have Obama who will delay rescue missions and guarantee that more reporters will get beheaded??

    Michale

  20. [20] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    "Well . . . people should be more sophisticated? How are you gonna get that done?" - Jerry Seinfeld on Real Time with Bill Maher 9/12/14

  21. [21] 
    Michale wrote:

    Bashi,

    'Sides.. Wasn't it you who said that Jon Stewart's Comedy News was actually real news???

    :D

    Iddn't it funny how your own words come back to Gibbs-slap ya upside yer head.. :D

    Michale

  22. [22] 
    Michale wrote:

    "Well . . . people should be more sophisticated? How are you gonna get that done?" - Jerry Seinfeld on Real Time with Bill Maher 9/12/14

    NOW yer getting the hang of it!!!

    I am not sure the relevance of the quote, but at least yer quoting!! :D

    "..but hay.. At least we're talking."
    -Sam Winchester, SUPERNATURAL, The French Mistake

    :D

    Michale

  23. [23] 
    Michale wrote:

    Why do we need Cheney when we have Obama who will delay rescue missions and guarantee that more reporters will get beheaded??

    Maybe we can send Pelosi to Syria where she can learn first hand EXACTLY what "un-civilized" means..

    Maybe she can preach how peace-loving and non-dangerous Muslims are...

    Ahhhhh perchance to dream... :D

    Michale

  24. [24] 
    Michale wrote:

    Ooooooo Jaguars are playing the Redskins tomorrow...

    Any bets for a Jags victory??? :^/

    Michale

  25. [25] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    'Sides.. Wasn't it you who said that Jon Stewart's Comedy News was actually real news???

    It's a fake news show that spoofs on real news. You know, humor. Like make jokes about current events. Kind of like what Pelosi was attempting to do without a comedic bone in her body...

    Iddn't it funny how your own words come back to Gibbs-slap ya upside yer head.. :D

    You mean like not getting a comedy show is comedy?

  26. [26] 
    Michale wrote:

    Does anyone DISAGREE with Pelosi's statement??

    {{chirrrp}} {{chirrrppp}}

    Face it people.. Pelosi said EXACTLY what ya'all are thinking..

    You just are afraid to face up to the face that Democrats are as much fear-mongers and scare-mongers as ya'all accuse Republicans of being...

    Michale

  27. [27] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Does anyone DISAGREE with Pelosi's statement??

    I think with better delivery it might have been funny.

    Are you seriously asking if I think “Civilization as we know it today would be in jeopardy if the Republicans win the Senate.”? I mean I've heard of not getting the joke, but really?

    But to answer you question, no I don't think Civilization as we know it today would be in jeopardy if the Republicans win the Senate. It will be two years of the same divided government we have had for a while now, just more so.

    You just are afraid to face up to the face that Democrats are as much fear-mongers and scare-mongers as ya'all accuse Republicans of being...

    Look in the mirror, dude. Look in the mirror (or just read a few of your own posts...)

  28. [28] 
    Michale wrote:

    But to answer you question, no I don't think Civilization as we know it today would be in jeopardy if the Republicans win the Senate. It will be two years of the same divided government we have had for a while now, just more so.

    OK, that's one who doesn't agree...

    Anyone else?? :D

    Look in the mirror, dude. Look in the mirror (or just read a few of your own posts...)

    For example?? :D

    Michale

  29. [29] 
    Michale wrote:

    It's a fake news show that spoofs on real news. You know, humor. Like make jokes about current events. Kind of like what Pelosi was attempting to do without a comedic bone in her body...

    So, what you are saying is that everything Pelosi said on Bill Maher's show was a joke and can be discounted as not being true..

    OK.. I can live with that.. :D

    Michale

  30. [30] 
    Michale wrote:

    It's a fake news show that spoofs on real news. You know, humor. Like make jokes about current events. Kind of like what Pelosi was attempting to do without a comedic bone in her body...

    So, what you are saying is that everything Pelosi said on Bill Maher's show was a joke and can be discounted as not being true..

    OK.. I can live with that.. :D

    Michale

  31. [31] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Any bets for a Jags victory??? :^/

    Might be the only time I'd bet on 'em this year :).

  32. [32] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    For example?? :D

    The list is long but currently anytime you mention Obama as a messiah qualifies. Immigration qualifies. Actually it's a rare political subject that you do not spin up with hyperbole to fear-mongering levels. It's your shtick. I say embrace it, just don't think that because you checked a box on an election form that your methods are any different than those you accuse...

    So, what you are saying is that everything Pelosi said on Bill Maher's show was a joke and can be discounted as not being true..

    Now you are just being dense.

  33. [33] 
    TheStig wrote:

    I feel the need to point a few things that have gotten a bit muddled in the comments:

    NATO intervened in Libya to enforce UN Resolution 1970, which demanded the Libyan government cease all acts of violence and intimidation against the civilian population.

    NATO was authorized by UN Resolution 1973 "to take all necessary measures, notwithstanding paragraph 9 of resolution 1970".... "to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya,including Benghazi, while excluding a foreign occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory."

    UN specified means to achieve the objective included, but were not limited to:

    A no fly zone
    Commercial flight restrictions into out of Libya
    An arms embargo
    An Asset freeze
    A Panel of Experts to judge compliance

    CW-(5) The UN DID NOT specify "air support for the Libyan rebels, with the ultimate aim of ousting Ghaddafi" That was the means NATO chose to meet the UN objective.

    M(6) The UN DID NOT tell NATO "use air assets so that rebel forces could remove Daffy from power and have him replaced with a stable democratic government in Libya.." Indeed, by demanding no foreign occupation force, the UN effectively left the fate Libyan governance to Libyan factions, once the threat of Ghaddafi government violence to, and persecution of, civilians was effectively ended. This was not accident on the UN's part, it was a practical recognition of what was both possible and practical. The UN was looking to avoid a civilian bloodbath leading to a mass refugee exodus into Egypt.

    NATO executed a brilliant little war that demolished the Ghaddafi military as the necessary means to implement UN resolutions 1970/73. That is a military victory.

    The Libyans didn't achieve a good central government, but a potential humanitarian crisis was averted, and the political fate of Libya is, for now, mostly in Libyan hands. The UN and NATO pushed the historical reset button. That's what wars traditionally do.

    I think Captain Kirk would approve of NATO ingenuity, and would be philosophical about the of the messy outcome as a necessary evil associated with the sometimes long march to viable of self determination.

    http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N11/268/39/PDF/N1126839.pdf?OpenElement

  34. [34] 
    Michale wrote:

    The list is long but currently anytime you mention Obama as a messiah qualifies.

    That qualifies as "fear mongering"??

    On what planet???

    Now you are just being dense.

    Translation: You hit on the flaw in my argument so I would rather insult you than concede defeat..

    :D

    But, since I have you hear, let me ask..

    When Pelosi and many Weigantians et al referred to Republicans as terrorists or arsonists etc etc etc....

    Were they joking then too???

    Enquiring minds want to know. :D

    Michale

  35. [35] 
    YoYoTheAssyrian wrote:

    "We won every battle in Vietnam. But our political leaders screwed up the victories.."

    Not true Michale, but expecting you understand history is like expecting a squirrel to read Shakespeare. It just ain't ever going to happen.

  36. [36] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://nypost.com/2014/09/14/obamas-ship-is-sinking/

    Out of the mouth of Democrats...

    YoYo,

    Not true Michale, but expecting you understand history is like expecting a squirrel to read Shakespeare. It just ain't ever going to happen.

    As usual....

    Claim I am wrong, offer absolutely NO FACTS to support the claim and then insult me...

    Same ole same ole... :D

    In other words, I am dead on ballz accurate, but no one is willing to admit it.. :D

    Michale

  37. [37] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://nypost.com/2014/09/14/obamas-ship-is-sinking/

    Out of the mouth of Democrats...

    YoYo,

    Not true Michale, but expecting you understand history is like expecting a squirrel to read Shakespeare. It just ain't ever going to happen.

    As usual....

    Claim I am wrong, offer absolutely NO FACTS to support the claim and then insult me...

    Same ole same ole... :D

    In other words, I am dead on ballz accurate, but no one is willing to admit it.. :D

    Michale

  38. [38] 
    Michale wrote:

    In other words, I am dead on ballz accurate, but no one is willing to admit it.. :D

    It's a bear I must cross...

    Or something like that.... :D

    Michale

  39. [39] 
    Michale wrote:

    Bashi,

    So you don't think Pelosi was serious???

    Remember, this was the moron who referred to Republicans as "terrorists" and "arsonist".. This was the dunce who said, "we have to pass the legislation to know what is in it"...

    Why would you think she wasn't serious about her "Republicans will end civilization as we know it" idiocy???

    She has aptly proven her elevator doesn't go all the way to the top floor...

    Why would you think she wasn't deadly serious??

    Michale

  40. [40] 
    Michale wrote:

    TS,

    (33)

    So, NOW UN resolutions are sacrosanct??

    I guess only when it's a POTUS with a '-D' after his name that UN resolutions are important, eh? :D

    Michale

  41. [41] 
    YoYoTheAssyrian wrote:

    If you really want to discuss the Vietnam war I am ready and able Michale, the problem is that you throw your ignorance around and then expect me to patiently lecture you to the tune of a 400 level college course.

    You are willfully ignorant, the information is out there, go find it yourself. I know for a fact, that your knowledge of history barely approaches that of a fifth grader, and I'm not going to bother to lecture you because you're too damn stupid and lazy to get your information from anywhere else other than fox news.

    Don't wanna get insulted? Go read a book and kindly shut up when you you know nothing about the topic being discussed.

  42. [42] 
    YoYoTheAssyrian wrote:

    And this is just to troll you, but it seems the cops in this country can't even go 1 month without killing a black male.

    Autopsy shows he was shot in the back.

    Relevant paragraph from the article:
    Randall Edwards, an attorney for the Hunt family, said Saturday that an independent autopsy was performed at the family's request. He says it shows that Darrien Hunt was shot "numerous times, all from the rear."

    http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865610896/Investigators-Saratoga-Springs-man-was-shot-after-lunging-at-officers-with-sword.html

  43. [43] 
    Michale wrote:

    And this is just to troll you, but it seems the cops in this country can't even go 1 month without killing a black male.

    AGAIN with the race card...

    Tell ya what, YoYo... When you prove you can be objective about the issue by addressing BOTH sides, then I'll be willing to listen..

    But until then, all it is is another racist screaming RACISM where none exists...

    From your own link

    "There is currently no indication that race played any role in the confrontation between Mr. Hunt and the police officers."

    When you have some solid evidence that race was a factor, come talk to me..

    But you NEVER have ANY evidence of racism..

    NOT... ONE.... SINGLE.... TIME.....

    If you really want to discuss the Vietnam war I am ready and able Michale, the problem is that you throw your ignorance around and then expect me to patiently lecture you to the tune of a 400 level college course.

    TRANSLATION: I have no facts to rebut your claim so I will just resort to childish personal attacks and immature name-calling.

    You are the LAST person to lecture me on military matters..

    I would think that has been proven beyond any doubt whatsoever..

    When you have more than two and a half decades of service under your belt, come talk to me..

    Until that time, your just another person speaking from ignorance..

    Michale

  44. [44] 
    Michale wrote:

    Here ya go, YoYo...

    http://sjfm.us/temp/racecard.jpg

    Don't leave home without it.....

    Michale

  45. [45] 
    YoYoTheAssyrian wrote:

    "AGAIN with the race card."

    Yes AGAIN, you patently ignorant thug. Race is not a switch that conservatives can turn on and off when it suites their rhetorical fancy. It permeates our American culture, it influences everything from legislation to the police to freaking housing policy. Wake up and smell the roses Michale, only racists bemoan the "race card," Because they know everytime the discussion comes to how race is influencing an event they're going to mouth off and show their true racist colors. Stop being a racist, and then your won't be terrified of race.

    I give not shits about your "experience" Michale, I judge you on the words your say. And when it comes to history you peddle pathetic myths and fallacies that have discredited decades ago. The united States military was not "stabbed in the back" by nefarious politicians. It was entirely complicit in shaping and fighting the Vietnam war, which it then LOST.

    Instead of acknowledging and learning from that experience, you mutter darkly about "politicians," And expect us to defer to your "experience" as a dumbass with a gun.

    Grow up, read a book, and stop glorifying ignorance, violence and racism. Maybe then you'll get taken seriously.

  46. [46] 
    Michale wrote:

    Randall Edwards, an attorney for the Hunt family, said Saturday that an independent autopsy was performed at the family's request. He says it shows that Darrien Hunt was shot "numerous times, all from the rear."

    Oh??

    I thought the "Relevant paragraph from the article:" was

    The statement was issued a day after Darrien Hunt's mother told the Deseret News that Saratoga Springs police killed him because he was black.

    That seems to be how it is with racist morons... Thinking everything is racism just because a black person is involved..

    So, I guess all the attacks on Condelezza Rice, Herman King and Dr Ben Carlson from Democrats is because Democrats are racist, eh???

    Democrats, the Party of the KKK, racist...

    Who would have thunked it, eh??

    Michale

  47. [47] 
    YoYoTheAssyrian wrote:

    Stabbed in the back mythology is actually quite common when an actor, state or otherwise, loses a conflict.

    You see it in the German response to world war one, Michale's example from Vietnam, It can also be seen in Russia when they talk about the cold war.

    Generally, but not always, it's peddled by right wing cranks who cannot reconcile their ignorant jingoism with the facts and consequences of defeat. To do so would call into question their worldview at is very core. Sicne they can't do that an "other" must be created and vilified for the defeat. In germany it was the jewish people, in michale's narrative it's "politicians," In the Russian it's a weird combination of ethnic minorities in the former USSR along with the CIA and NGOs.

    In any case the "stabbed in the back" myth is both well documented and widely understood as a societal response to the consequences of defeat. But watch as ignoramus in chief michale repeats it ad naseum rather than y'know learning, or trying to understand.

  48. [48] 
    Michale wrote:

    Wake up and smell the roses Michale, only racists bemoan the "race card,"

    No, son..

    Only racists USE the race card..

    Only racists see racism where non exists..

    Michale

  49. [49] 
    Michale wrote:

    I give not shits about your "experience" Michale,

    Of course you don't..

    because if you acknowledge the experience and the training and the expertise, you would also have to acknowledge that you are full of no shit...

    And, gods know you would NEVER acknowledge that... :D

    Michale

  50. [50] 
    TheStig wrote:

    M-(40)

    "I guess only when it's a POTUS with a '-D' after his name that UN resolutions are important, eh?"

    Let's see, GHW Bush, (R) Desert Storm, UN Resolutions 660,661,665,668( another "all necessary means")and 687.

    Then there's GW Bush, (R) Invasion of Iraq, Resolutions 660, 661, 678, 686,687, 688, 707,715, 986, 1284 and 1441.

    I'm going to say NO. Presidents of both parties find the UN to be a useful hook for hanging their casus belli.

  51. [51] 
    Michale wrote:

    Do you have ANY facts to support your claim of racism??

    No, you don't...

    Do you have ANY evidence to support your claim of racism??

    No, you don't...

    Without facts or without evidence, why are you even blathering on and on about racism that doesn't even exist???

    Michale

  52. [52] 
    Michale wrote:

    I'm going to say NO. Presidents of both parties find the UN to be a useful hook for hanging their casus belli.

    But the Hysterical Left only gives credence to UN Resolutions when it's THEIR guy who is POTUS..

    That's all I am saying... And it is undeniable..

    Heard anything from the anti-war Hysterical Left recently???

    Me neither...

    Michale

  53. [53] 
    YoYoTheAssyrian wrote:

    And right on que we have the Michalian response on racism.

    Democrats KKK and few token black people of republican worldview.

    SOUTHERN STRATEGY you fucking dumbass.

    If I've said it once I've said it a thousand times. Democrats used to control the south. Then came the civil rights movement of the 1960s and democratic support for such initiatives, led by LBJ. This had two major consequences both demographically and politically. First racist white southerners moved en mass to the republican party, where they reside today. REPUBLICANS ARE THE CURRENT PARTY OF RACISTS. Second, liberal Northern republicans were gradually squeezed out of the new republican party because they don't share the worldview of ignorant bible thumping racists from the south. This leads to the current political divide where the former confederacy votes reliably republican in EVERY ELECTION.

    Michale, the only person I've ever encountered who can ignore 40 years of political history and still think he has anything relevant to say.

  54. [54] 
    YoYoTheAssyrian wrote:

    Take Strom Thurmond as an example.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strom_Thurmond

    From the first and second second paragraph:

    Thurmond represented South Carolina in the United States Senate from 1954 until 2003, at first as a Democrat and, after 1964, as a Republican.

    Thurmond switched parties because of his opposition to the 1964 Civil Rights Act, disaffection with the liberalism of the national party, and his support for the conservatism and opposition to the Civil Rights bill of the Republican presidential candidate Senator Barry Goldwater.

    Where did conservative segregationist democrats go? To the Republicans. Now Like everything in America, The democratic party has historical issues with race, but so do republicans and a pathetic a-historical attempt to refute the very existence of people like strom thurmond is sad.

    Deal with it Michale. Your pathetic protestations cannot change history. Why don't you go join the rest of the conservative cause and just straight up admit that an accurate view of history blows your ideology out of the water.

  55. [55] 
    YoYoTheAssyrian wrote:

    http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/curriculum/2014/08/college_board_statement_on_ap.html

    Republicans and conservatives, where ignorance is not just defended, it's the only thing that keeps them afloat.

  56. [56] 
    Michale wrote:

    Why do you go on and on about attacking Republicans??

    I don't give a rat's ass about Republicans..

    Are there racists that are Republicans??

    Yes, there are..

    Are there racists that are Democrats??

    Yes, there are...

    Was the Democratic Party the Party of the KKK??

    Yes, it was...

    These are all facts.. You know?? Facts?? Relevant facts??? Something you should have in your comments??

    Here's another fact..

    You have absolutely NO EVIDENCE that Sanford, Ferguson or your latest outrage in Saratoga Springs has ANYTHING to do with racism...

    NO... EVIDENCE... WHATSOEVER....

    So, why don't you give your race war a rest and keep your race card in your pocket for a change..

    Michale

  57. [57] 
    Michale wrote:

    David,

    http://online.wsj.com/articles/were-number-32-1410729349

    Makes sense to me...

    Your thoughts???

    Michale

  58. [58] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Sorry, Michale. WSJ won't let me read that article w/o subscribing.

    p.s. Glad I didn't place that bet on the Jags ...

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/jacksonville-jaguars-washington-redskins-20140914028/

    And not trying to be an ass or anything. I really thought the Jags had a shot. You can make fun of me any time you want over football. I've been a Bills fan since the '80s so I know heartache. All you have to do is say Scott Norwood :)

  59. [59] 
    Michale wrote:

    p.s. Glad I didn't place that bet on the Jags ...

    You'll never lose money betting on the Jags losing :(

    Michale

  60. [60] 
    Michale wrote:

    The Great Unraveling
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/16/opinion/roger-cohen-the-great-unraveling.html?_r=0

    Wow...

    If there is a better or more apt description of the times we live in, I have yet to find it..

    Just... wow...

    Michale

  61. [61] 
    Michale wrote:

    Sorry, Michale. WSJ won't let me read that article w/o subscribing.

    Yea, I hate that..

    Basically it said that the US is nearly dead last in taxes to businesses and corporations. By that, I mean taxes that make it harder for businesses to DO business.

    In other words, the US is making it harder for businesses to succeed and therefore said businesses are taking their business overseas, a practice you are on record as saying you dislike...

    Here is a commented copy of the above link which explains things better than I could..

    http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2014/09/us_ranks_32nd_in_tax_burden_on_business.html

    Michale

  62. [62] 
    Michale wrote:

    Here is a commented copy of the above link which explains things better than I could..

    Allowing for the obvious right-wing bias, of course.. :D

    Michale

  63. [63] 
    YoYoTheAssyrian wrote:

    "You have absolutely NO EVIDENCE that Sanford, Ferguson or your latest outrage in Saratoga Springs has ANYTHING to do with racism."

    Again, and totally not surprisingly, wrong. See Michael you have a fundamental intellectual problem, you fervently believe that is you ignore facts, then somehow there is no evidence.

    Sticking your head up your ass doesn't disprove the existence of the sun just because you can't see it, to put this phenomenon more bluntly. And the fact that willful ignorance is your only defense against the unwelcome reality of the 21st century bores us all to tears.

    Proof of systemic racism in Ferguson.

    A police force of roughly 55 people, of which 50 are white, policing an area that has a 2/3 african-american majority.

    A police force which stops african-americans at a rate of 90% of ALL incidents.Not only is that widely out of line with the population demographics. It's bad police work. White Americans were more likely, by about 10%, to have "contraband" on them when stopped by police. The explanation for is systemic racism perpetrated by the overwhelmingly white police force.

    If people officers in ferguson weren't racist thugs, then the breakdown of police stops would align damn close to 60%, accounting for that that the white residents of Ferguson were far more likely to generate evidence for prosecution.

    Mor evidence for racist bias. The release of the video footage from the convience store. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE. Agrees that the only thing that officer knew at the time of the killing was that Michael Brown was jaywalking.

    Everyone. Including his own boss. It had no relevance to the shooting. So why release it? After the fact racist justification for an officer who shot a teenager for jaywalking.

    And bfeore you trot out the racist bs about his "broken" face, realize that that was debunked by CNN of all places. there is no x-ray, there is no evidence, it's just made up bullshit by racist white people who desperately need michael brown to be character assassinated in order to justify his killing.

    That whole incident is further evidence of racist bias in the ferguson pd.

    And then we have the huge, literally huge, amount of evidence of systemic white police harassment of the black community, ranging from how every black person knows not to drive through ferguson at night because it's redneck cops will sop you for no reason. And in some cases will beat you bloody and then charge you with destruction of police property for bleeding on them.

    Beating a black man, and then charging him for bleeding on you is RACIST.

    And then we have the very obvious difference in outcomes for armed white people, and unarmed black people when they interact with police.

    For example, when police officers in Colorado stopped a white teenager on the street. WHO HAD A LOADED SHOTGUN, and further REFUSED TO GIVE ID, he was escorted home to parents. In an ohio walmart on the other hand, a black man with a toy bb gun was gunned down police. In that above article, a man running away who was holding a toy sword was shot in the back repeatedly. In Ferguson and unarmed black teenager had the top of his blown off while his hands were in the air. In new York a black man was choked to death for allegedly selling loose cigarettes.

    Ironically, it was only the white kid who POSED ACTUAL IMMINENT THREAT. He's also the only on that survived. That is systemic racism.

    What's also racist is referring to dead human teenagers in the same way you would refer to ten point buck. There is NO SUCH THING as a "good kill." The fact that you believe such a thing exists and THEN only apply it to dead black teenagers, is racist.

    Racism has informed every step of these crises and killings. You don't see that, but you're a racist, so who cares if it doesn't meet your "standards." Your're standards are that of a defender of killers and thugs, you spew racist bile constantly, and so has everyone else who defended that officer. Everyone here knows you for what you are, sees you for what are and hears you for you are. All they have to do is read your words.

    The fact that you could see a dead black teenager at the hands of white person with authority and then ignore a history that extends back past Emmett Till, and the lynchings of the early 20th century and late 19th, and the KKK, and reconstruction and slavery and just say "good kill" is racist.

    Not to mention dumb, and another example of sticking your head up your own ass and then screaming, "everything is dark, THE SUN HAS CEASED TO EXIST!"

  64. [64] 
    YoYoTheAssyrian wrote:

    Context Michale, Context context context.

    Or to put it phrasing you'll understand, just because you stick your head up your ass, doesn't mean the sun has ceased to exist.

  65. [65] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Here is a commented copy of the above link which explains things better than I could..

    The problem I see is the foundation doing the study is "non-partisan" but anti-tax and connected to conservative groups. The study seems to only take into account the top rate of 39%. The problem with comparing corporate tax rates is the US has a variable tax rate that ranges from a lower middle rate, about 15% up to one of the highest rates compared to other countries, 39%. Then has some of the most convoluted set of deductions of any country which pushes the average rate that corporations actually pay, better known as the "effective corporate tax rate", to one of the lower rates of about 13.4%, though not the absolute lowest compared to other countries. The other thing they are not mentioning is in the 80's the US did specifically lower it's corporate tax rate to make US corporations more competitive internationally and everyone else also lowered their corporate tax rate to counteract that move. Just lowering the corporate tax rate is just a race to the bottom rather than an effective strategy. Or at least has proven so in the past...

  66. [66] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/17/world/middleeast/isis-airstrikes-united-states-coalition.html

    So much for the NO BOOTS ON THE GROUND promise, eh??

    Bashi,

    The other thing they are not mentioning is in the 80's the US did specifically lower it's corporate tax rate to make US corporations more competitive internationally and everyone else also lowered their corporate tax rate to counteract that move. Just lowering the corporate tax rate is just a race to the bottom rather than an effective strategy. Or at least has proven so in the past...

    I see your point and it's a good one..

    So what's the solution??

    Personally, to a economic knuckledragger like me, ONE of the solutions is not to demonize corporations who take their business overseas due to the unhealthy tax climate here in the US...

    I mean, let's face reality.. Corporations are in business to succeed, not for public welfare..

    It's a great thing if Corporations can do both, but if the choice is between the public good and company survival.....

    Well, corporations are going to choose the latter every time...

    It's ridiculous to expect that corporations will fall on their swords and demonize them when they refuse...

    Wouldn't you agree??

    YoYo,

    Context Michale, Context context context.

    Fine..

    If you can explain the context without being emotional and hysterical, by all means. Do so...

    Michale

  67. [67] 
    Michale wrote:

    CW,

    I am constrained to point out that it's not only Congress who is "slouching off to war"...

    Obama's administration is definitely giving mixed signals over whether it's a war or not..

    Call a spade a spade, I always say...

    Michale

  68. [68] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Basically it said that the US is nearly dead last in taxes to businesses and corporations. By that, I mean taxes that make it harder for businesses to DO business.

    Ah. Yeah, I know the argument. It goes like this. The corporate tax rate is 35%. This is too high compared to other countries. Etc, etc.

    What they never mention is that they don't use the Effective Tax Rate. The ETR is what corporations actually pay after all the breaks and loopholes.

    The ETR in the U.S. is 12.1%, the lowest since 1972.

    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052970204662204577199492233215330

    This is much lower than most people pay, btw. And some companies, Apple and GE to name a few, contribute nothing to our country in the form of dues.

    A practice you are on record as saying you dislike.

    True. Mostly because it's making the people of our country poorer.

    The real reason companies are moving overseas is cheap labor. Let's be honest.

    The 1% solution to this is that we have to compete by paying people here less and getting rid of their benefits.

    I don't believe this is right.

    There was a time in our history when we only chartered corporations for the good of our country. To build railroads. Or ships. Or different types of trade.

    If you read the history of the Boston Tea Party, there was a company called the East India Trading company. They were bigger than the Walmart of the day. The colonists were undercutting their Tea monopoly in the new world and they didn't like it. So the EIC influenced the British government to pass the Tea Act of 1773. In a sense, the Tea Act gave the EIC a monopoly on tea by making any other tea more expensive.

    Anyways, long story short. After the war for independence, we were so afraid of monopolies like this that we basically banned them. There were no corporate charters for 100 years or so. And when we started introducing them, you had to have the approval of both state legislatures and the governor. They would also expire in a short period of time, like 5 or 10 years and had to be renewed if you wanted them for longer. It was also a privilege to be a corporation.

    What's the point of all this?

    Well ... what's happened is that a lot has changed. Corporations now last forever and we've lost that sense of them existing to serve the public good. Some do, some don't. But charters no longer say these entities have to return anything to our country.

    Of course, they're going to tell you that "selfishness leads to the most good."

    But when I look around, I don't see this. I see our country getting poorer. With the exception of a very few people at the top.

    We work more and get paid less and have less benefits.

    Keep in mind neither the Dems or Reps are even talking about things at this level. But this is what is happening.

    What I'd like to see happen is for us to remember our history. To remember that we are a country "by and for the people". All of them. Not just a few at the top.

    And we can write the rules for corporations any way we want. If they're not doing any good for our country, maybe it's time to start pulling their charters. If they want to use our resources and access to our markets, I think they ought to pay back when they succeed.

    Now the big argument that you brought up is, but they'll take their game and go somewhere else. I don't think they will if they want access to our markets. There are ways to stop this race to the bottom.

    Markets are a great thing when they're set up right. But if they're not set up right, they tend to corrupt very easily.

    Anyhoo ... something to think about. Again, it's way beyond anything Dems or Reps are talking about. But thought you might be interested.

    -David

  69. [69] 
    Michale wrote:

    If you read the history of the Boston Tea Party, there was a company called the East India Trading company.

    Yea, I know about that. I saw PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN

    :D

    I see what you are saying, David. And I agree to a certain extent..

    Corporations SHOULD think of the public good before the survival of their business...

    The only area where we disagree is that you think it's OK for the Federal Government to FORCE corporations to operate that way..

    I don't...

    The market has a way of taking care of this. Those corps that DO think of the public good are rewarded by more business..

    Those that don't, aren't...

    It's not a perfect system and it sometimes doesn't work.. But it's the best thing going...

    And it's infinitely better than having the Federal Government run things...

    We KNOW the incompetence that the government brings to businesses they run...

    Michale

  70. [70] 
    akadjian wrote:

    And it's infinitely better than having the Federal Government run things.

    This has nothing to do w/ the government "running things". It's how we structure markets. We can either structure them so they work for our country or we can structure 'em so they work for a very few people.

    I want to structure them so the Burger Kings of the world aren't relocating to Canada to avoid paying their dues. Which, btw, why are they moving to a "socialist" country?

    The market has a way of taking care of this. Those corps that DO think of the public good are rewarded by more business.

    Heheh ... well, I know this is what they tell us :)

    In all fairness, it does work pretty well when things are structured right. But when corporate influence gets too powerful and when you get monopolies or monopoly conditions, it breaks down.

    A good recent examples is Obama's appointment of Tom Wheeler to the FCC. Basically, a lobbyist is in charge of the regulatory agency. This is why we will likely see the creation of one of the biggest monopolies running: ComWarner Cable.

    What's going to happen in our future when a company gains control over our water supply? Do you think they're going to sell it back to us at a good price out of their kindness and good intentions?

    Oh well ... I don't want to get into an argument over this today so I'm gonna check out. Thanks for at least entertaining the notion. My fight really isn't with you, Michale.

    -David

  71. [71] 
    Michale wrote:

    This has nothing to do w/ the government "running things". It's how we structure markets. We can either structure them so they work for our country or we can structure 'em so they work for a very few people.

    I want to structure them so the Burger Kings of the world aren't relocating to Canada to avoid paying their dues. Which, btw, why are they moving to a "socialist" country?

    So, basically, you want the Government to make decisions for Corporations..

    How is that not "running" them??

    In all fairness, it does work pretty well when things are structured right. But when corporate influence gets too powerful and when you get monopolies or monopoly conditions, it breaks down.

    The problem as I see it, is who decides what is "too powerful"??

    For that matter, who decides what is the "public good"??

    All too often, politics makes those decisions.. Democrats decide that the "public good" is what's best for the Democratic Party and "too powerful" is when things are decided that don't conform with the Party agenda..

    Republicans do the same...

    Oh well ... I don't want to get into an argument over this today so I'm gonna check out. Thanks for at least entertaining the notion. My fight really isn't with you, Michale.

    Never entertained the notion for a micro-second that it was..

    But you illustrate the problem perfectly with your Wheeler point..

    Michale

  72. [72] 
    akadjian wrote:

    For that matter, who decides what is the "public good"?

    Who decides it now? Basically, a couple hundred give or take extremely wealthy people.

    In a Democracy, we do.

    Who decides what is "too powerful"?

    Who decides it now?

    In a Democracy, the people do.

    That's what the vision of our founding fathers was and what I believe anyways.

    And yep, it sure is gonna be a stretch to get there. Cuz it sure ain't now. But I think it can be done.

    -David

  73. [73] 
    Michale wrote:

    Who decides it now? Basically, a couple hundred give or take extremely wealthy people.

    Actually, no... It's the Democrats who decide it now..

    In a Democracy, the people do.

    And if we lived in a Democracy, they would..

    But we don't, so they don't...

    The problem here is that, with our so-called leaders, partisan politics takes precedence over most anything..

    ESPECIALLY, the public good...

    So, right now, Democrats decide what is "public good" and what is "too powerful"...

    After January 2015, it's going to be a tug of war between Congress and POTUS as to what is "public good" and what is "too powerful"...

    All us peons can do is hang on and hope we survive...

    Michale

  74. [74] 
    akadjian wrote:

    All us peons can do is hang on and hope we survive...

    We can do more than that. We can vote to get our corrupt representatives out of office.

    -David

  75. [75] 
    Michale wrote:

    We can do more than that. We can vote to get our corrupt representatives out of office.

    Plucky....

    But it does no good to vote corrupt representatives INTO office to get the corrupt representatives OUT of office..

    Power Corrupts And Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely..

    Be honest. Has ANYONE you have ever voted for lived up to your expectations?

    I would be willing to wager the answer is no...

    It's like what's going on in Scotland.. The Better Together campaign is promising Scots the moon for their vote..

    If NO wins, how much do you think will change??

    So it is here in the US. Politicians will promise you the moon to get your vote.. Once they get it and get elected, they become just as corrupt as the politicians they replaced..

    And so it goes and so it goes..

    What's the solution then, you might ask??

    Beats the hell outta me....

    Back in 2008, I thought Obama was the solution. He is a perfect example of what I am talking about. Remember what I said??

    "It's going to be a heady time to be an American"

    Race relations, National Security, Economy... It's all worse....

    How wrong I was...

    Michale

  76. [76] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Has ANYONE you have ever voted for lived up to your expectations?

    Heheh. Yes. But this is a really good question.

    I can say this only because I've learned what to expect from politicians. Politicians get elected, do what they can given the environment, and try to get elected again. The nature of the beast.

    Many people think politicians create "change" but they rarely do. They respond to the environment. Typically what happens is social change occurs first, then political change, then policy change.

    What's the solution then, you might ask?

    The solution is, it ain't just up to the politicians.

    If we really want democracy and a working economy, we're gonna have to fight for it.

    -David

  77. [77] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Be honest. Has ANYONE you have ever voted for lived up to your expectations?

    Yes. I know you will dismiss him just because he has a D after his name, but I grew up in Leon Panetta's district. He was a great member of the House. Very strong on Budget issues and helped pass many bill I approved of...

  78. [78] 
    Michale wrote:

    Yes. I know you will dismiss him just because he has a D after his name, but I grew up in Leon Panetta's district. He was a great member of the House. Very strong on Budget issues and helped pass many bill I approved of...

    I would never dismiss anyone because of the -D or -R after the name..

    The fact that he is a politician is sufficient for dismissal.. :D

    Michale

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