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Saturday, August 6, 2011

Anyone for Tea?...

Well, they did it. Before anyone accuses me of playing the "blame game," I am again merely asking that responsibility be acknowledged. Anyway, its really unnecessary as that small band of ruthlessly dedicated fundamentalists are celebrating their David and Goliath feat. Their unswerving faith and adherence to their cause has demonstrated to the world how seriously they need to be taken. Once again a pillar of our financial institutions lies in smoking ruins. The irony, of course, is that their martyrdom is irrelevant as their avowed aversion to revenue hikes in our budget, the very principle with which they and their Right Wing conspirators, brought about this tragedy, is moot. China has said that she must insist we include them in our budget. Now, instead of doing the logical thing and finding a reasonable compromise ( the very one suggested by our President,) in a timely and independent manner, this once great nation must bow its knee to the whim of another and when asked to jump, must reply, how high? The Right has been consistently saying over the last few weeks that the Left have been using " scare tactics" and that all of this is no big deal. I hope they are right. I am simply concerned that with our global reputation downgraded for the first time in history, there will be severe consequences, and that we will begin to count the very real human cost in the lives of the needy for years to come.

79 comments:

  1. Responsibility? Okay. It’s a bipartisan bill/law—so BOTH PARTIES are to blame. Yes, the members of Congress who support the Tea Party movement had a role, but so did the Democrats who supported it. Did you even notice who voted for and against the bill? Members of Congress who support the ideals of the Tea Party voted AGAINST it (as did some liberal Democrats). Check the Congressional Record; it will tell you who voted for the bill and who voted against it.

    Incidentally, have you given any thought as to who might be to blame for all of this mishegas? Nowhere have I seen anyone besides Obama imposing August 2 as the “drop dead” date for the passage of a debt ceiling bill. If we’re talking about when the United States hit the debt limit, guess what—it happened back in May. Did we have a huge hue and cry over “the sky is falling” then? No. Yes, the debt ceiling needed to be raised in order for the United States to meet its financial obligations globally, but major banks stated that it didn’t have to be done by August 2; it was Obama himself who imposed that deadline. By doing so, he set the country (and Congress, and global markets) into panic mode—and look what happened.

    While we’re at it, why don’t we take a look at why the nation is in this bind? Why did the Democratic-controlled Congress vote to extend the Bush tax cuts last December? You’re looking for new revenue streams—and blaming the Tea Party movement for Congress’s inability to raise taxes—the Democrats had the chance to eliminate tax cuts (which would have increased revenue) but chose not to. Not only that, but the last time I checked, we’re still involved in “Bush’s Wars”; why is Obama (and Congress) continuing to support this conflict through appropriations? Again, the Democrats controlled both houses of Congress the first two years of Obama’s presidency; they had their chance to fix the problem and chose not to do so. And if your response is “not all Democrats supported Obama and his ideals”—guess what. Not all Republicans support the ideals of the Tea Party.

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  2. Luv u Charles on vacation. You are absolutely right just like you are when it comes to religion. Lol have a great day. Hello Joan, Karen, Lilly and all. Have fun with this blog.

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  3. I've watched this spectacle for quite some time with growing angst. Although it, too, concerns me-- your colorful rhetoric paints a vivid, and I'll say accurate depiction of our current affairs-- I wonder at the timing of this tea party and how long they allowed themselves to brew (no pun intended) before releasing their full fury on the current Democratic administration. I believe it was Benjamin Franklin who warned our forefathers of the perils of the party system; I believe his suspicions are proving themselves worthy of note as our political parties, namely the extremists, bash heads rather than promote and protect the welfare of our country. As we climb higher into debt and financial instability, I hope the children currently in Congress grow up quickly and run our government like the adults they claim to be.

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  4. Thank you Charles for this very enjoyable read. I hope you do more when you have time since you are very busy with other things as well.

    I read this at night as part of my bedtime reading hour. With a cup of green tea and a pastry on the side of course.

    Thank you once again for sharing your views. It's quite inspiring.

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  5. @petit agneau: It was James Madison in Federalist #10 who warned about the dangers of factions (the Tea Party movement is closer to a faction than an actual political party). George Washington, in his Farewell Address, warned against the evils of political parties, having seen the turmoil they caused in his own administration. If Benjamin Franklin ever said anything about political parties, it probably was in jest--Franklin would be considered a moderate today, because he did see both sides before making a decision (and he would have come out on the winning side regardless of who won the War for Independence).

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  6. Thank you, Karen. Both the Tea Party and very liberal democrats were against the bill. Obama did enough with his scare tactics, 'I can't guarantee Social Security checks will go out,' which of course was bullsh*t. There is plenty of revenue every month to cover SS and Medicare. It was just his way of scaring people.
    Politics are politics, and we need to shut off MSNBC and the Fox News and all the other biased channels, and start watching senate debates, congressional debates and read non-biased papers and websites (if there is even such a thing) and start seeing the forest for the trees. I think Roseann Barr was actually right (I agreed with Roseann - definitely one of the seven signs of the apocalypse...LOL) when she said she's running for president. Jay Leno asked her which party. She said neither because they both suck and they're a bunch of criminals.
    The sooner we realize that the politicians really don't give a rat's patooty about anyone, the better off we'll be. Oh, wait, the republicans only care about the rich - who will help their career - and the democrats only care about the very poor who are on the entitlement programs -who will help their career, and guess what? No one gives a rat's ass about the middle class. (That's more like it.)
    Ranting and raving on a Sunday morning. woot woot!!!
    T-

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  7. Yeah...what Trish said!! With one point, I'm not sure that the Democrats are "for the poor" either. I think they're both for the wealthy and the corporations...my friend calls then Corportatocraticans.
    I agree about turning off the biased tv..and reading for yourselves. Look at the voting records..it's amazing how many politicians will rail against a bill/war/cause du jour, and yet when you look at their record...they voted for that very thing! The Patriot Act is my favorite recent example of that, listening to liberals talk as if Bush put that thing out there by executive order, while they begged him not to do it! The Senate vote was 98-2!!! One no vote, one out on maternity leave. And last time I checked, the R's didn't have a 98-2 majority in the Senate then.
    The thing that frustrates me most in this whole situation, is the continued belief by many on the left that Obama is a great statesman, a born leader, one who is working like a dog trying to come up with plans and those evil Republicans keep stopping him! I read Huffington Post's main stories daily(I know...yet another sign of the Apocalypse), and I've watched Obama's base "turn on him" since the Health Care debacle.
    To me(and my opinion is worth just what you paid for it), the problem in this country isn't right vs left, R vs D...it's the politicians against the people. As long as there are those who will still blame "the politicians on the other side" for every problem, they will continue to hurt us. It actually benefits them, because it distracts us from watching what they're really doing.

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  8. As you all know I do listen to my Local news radio when I am working at night doing my job. But I have to say, the Tea Party is now starting their battle cry to elect more conseritive people into office. This bill they passed was not the best!!! it killed every single one of us. From the rich to the very poor. Everyone will suffer now that our credit rating dropped. And they decide to head out of town and leave the FAA without a new contract or bill for them to bring in over a billion in taxes for the country. I commend Obama to get those idiots off their butts to return to washington to get that bill set so the country wont be LOOSING more in tax revenue.

    Now for both parties, they need to set at the round table and talk out on how we can make more revenue without taking it out on everyone. As of right now, All of use who owns a home and still paying on it, has a credit card, who has student loans, car loans, etc. All that will end up going up. And this was partially to blame by the Tea Party. Cause of them backing the rest into a corner, the debt ceiling bill would have passed by a week sooner, and it would have been the 4 billion dollar reduction!!!!!! Both what Obama and Bahnor wanted. If anything, I think we need to re-look at the ideas of the Tea Party and make a voice next year to get them out of the politcal lime light before they take our fine country and put it into the toilet!!!!

    To sum it up, we made the mistake by listening to the ideas of the tea party. Thinking they were going to do good. This deal is a prime example on how one party can hurt everyone. Not republican, not democrat. Yes Obama made mistakes by allowing some bills to be extended (Patriot act and Bush tax cuts bill). These bills were passed when we needed to come out of our recession. Saddly, we should have revisited those bills in the begining of the year. We might have saved all of us.

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  9. Charlie i love to read the thing's you have to say i have learn so much about politics reading everyone's comment's but i dont think there is really a middle class any more i feel there has not been one sence's the late 90's i mean every one i have talk to tell me how they can't make end's meet so that tell's me we have the poor are we have the rich i never hear anyone say i get buy and isn't that what middle class is just getting buy haveing enought to pay the bill's and put food on the table and close on thier back the poor can't do hardly any of that and the rich well they do it all vacation's new car's what ever 2 to 3 yr's country club's ect,so i'am con fussed what do we think middle class really is some one who make's what 50 to 100 thousand a yr' and you know we alway's look at what some one makes to decied wearther are not thier poor ,middle are rich but what we never look at is how much some one really bring's home a month come on if i make 35,ooo a yr i don't bring home 35.ooo to live on i just don't know why we don't think about what we really have cash wise to spend every month well the bottom line is if some one who makes 50,ooo plus tell.s me how much they can't make it and my husband and i make 35,ooo and we can't make it is this like one of those thing's wear the skinny girl tell's the fat girl i'am so fat and the fat girl is sapose to say no your not i wish i looked like you because if it is then as the fat girl i say you know your wright you really should loose that weight.

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  10. Well Said, especially liked the part about bowing to China and not looking locally for help! And the costs of the human suffering toll that is yet to come. Consequences are already ensuing within days. Is sad that some may think is not a big deal. We don't yet know the full extent or ramifications this will cause of the country as a whole. Is tough to watch lady liberty falling to her knees, hoping she will be able to stand up once again. Agree with Jo, now there is a pleasant surprise. Is it Republican or Democrats at fault of is it the politicians not looking out for the best interest of the people. "All" the people not just the poor. Wishing they would hurry up and grow up before more suffering happens. We sure need all the blessing we can get. May i add, Charlie seems to smart to be Just an actor. Glad that he is doing hyperspots. Good that he has some other creative outlets. ps Just made some sweat tea, think i will go have a glass.

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  11. woops! Sweet tea, not sweat tea!

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  12. As far as a tea partying goes, thinking i will have to pass!

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  13. Well, Charlie, I think I can just quit posting and let you post for me. Well said. Thank-you!

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  14. To heck with tea, let them eat some crow! Sorry, takes me a while sometimes to catch stuff. I am sure they will have a dose of own medicine before all this mess can be cleared up.

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  15. And can we all stop talking about Tax HIKES. Language is so important and so misused. We need to understand that we need to end the Bush Tax CUTS that, in 2003, cauterized pre-existing revenues flowing INTO the economy. The Tea Party objected to a return to a Tax plan that even Ronald Reagan agreed was necessary. The compromise that was rejected simply included an END to a fiscally irresponsible Revenue CUT, not a new Tax hike. Big Difference, people!!

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  16. ...and another thing..we all keep talking about the people versus the politicians! We, the people, are the ones who voted IN these politicians, remember!!! In the last election we voted these anti-politicians IN to Congress and they are doing our bidding by sticking it to anyone who wants anything to do with revenues. Of course these same people, who elected these anti-pols, will be the first to bleat when FEMA doesn't rebuild their home, or medicaire doesn't pay for their medecine or their social security check is late...but I guess that's just human nature.

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  17. Charlie--I'm just astounded. I agree that the tax cuts should end--but you are overlooking the fact that they were extended last December, while the Democrats still controlled both houses of Congress (and before the people who were elected in November took office). They KNEW that the Republicans would take control of the House in January; they chose not to do something about it when they had the chance--just like they chose not to end the Patriot Act or to withdraw from the two costly conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    Second, the whole "we" voted them into office--the last time I checked, 2010 was not a national election. The people who live in specific congressional districts voted for a Congressman who they thought would best serve their interests, and people from a state elected senators. Perhaps they were reacting to the fact that the promise of "hope and change" wasn't happening while the Democrats were in control of both houses of Congress and the presidency, so they saw a need for change. In my case, I did vote to reelect our Republican Congressman (who is not a Tea Party supporter). Our incumbent senator was defeated in the Democratic primary, so I knew he would be replaced—as it turns out, by a Republican (who also is not a Tea Party supporter).

    Finally, getting back to something you mentioned in the blog post—I’m having a bit of trouble finding information related to China insisting that “we include them in our budget.” All I can find is that China has stated that the United States should reign in spending—which is quite different from demanding to be included in the U.S. budget. In other words, China seems to side with what the Tea Party advocates…which, I will admit, is a rather scary thought.

    Anyway, thanks again for sharing your thoughts. I guess you can see that I enjoy the exchange of ideas, even if I sometimes wonder if you’re avoiding the questions I ask.

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  18. OUCH! The guy drives one hard bargain! I know i will be whining if i don't get my son's disability check and if a hurricane blows the roof off my house. And we did put those guys in office so it is All OUR faults. Guess we keep trying to play the blame game and point fingers over and over. No one party wants to be held accountable for flushing our county down the crapper. Perhaps we ALL have had a hand in it at one time or another or in an indirect way.

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  19. Good reading all. I believe I will leave it to Karen and Joann to pretty much say how I feel because they are pretty dare close to what I believe. I tend to get to annoyed and irritated with some people's one-sided thinking. Some of you are just tooo stubborn to listen or read for that matter. Yep its all the Tea party fault and President Bush so typical to blame then to really look at the truth. Charles again read what Karen says she pays very close attention to what is going on. You seem to refuse to acknowledge anyone's facts but your own. Also good to hear another side too Trish. Also the majority put our politicians in office that means that who I might have voted for may not be in office. Look at the Governor in Illinois, no one wants him there except for Chicago politicians, mostly Democrats (if Blagovich wasn't enough). Which just so happens speaks for the rest of us in Illinois conservative or not.

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  20. Charlie you hit the nail on the head with this comment and yes maybe i did vote for some of these idoit's but i was blinded by thier word's and i hope i will learn by my misake i guess it's true what they say some time's you have to hit rock bottom before you wake up and smell the roses i just hope that we can go up from hear i really can't see it getting any worst but i guess i can be wrong if i am god help us all it is really sad when you don't know who to trust and even more when grown men can't get along they act like little kid's and when one does not get thier way then they don't wont to play any more i feel like i'am damn if i do and damn if i don't.

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  21. O.K. I'm back!

    I know I can't speak for Charlie (or can I), but I think he and I both realize who voted for this bill. We also know that the Dems who voted for it certainly did not do so because they felt that this was the best deal for the nation. They knew, however, that under the circumstances it was the best deal they were going to get. As undesirable as it was, they voted for it to keep the nation from defaulting. Yes, there were Republicans who voted for it also, but although they did not get everything they hoped for, they came out pretty darn good. The Dems and the TP’s who did not vote for the bill did not do so for entirely different reasons. The Dems had given up way too much and the TP’s were not willing to give up anything.

    The August 2 deadline was set because it was projected that this is when the U.S. Treasury would run out of funds to pay its obligations. It is true that as the date neared some economic analysts argued that daily tax receipts were more than anticipated and therefore obligations could be met for a longer period of time. However, the Treasury vehemently denied this theory. They said that as of August 2, the U.S. would exhaust borrowing authority and therefore could not guarantee that it could meet its obligations after that date. Whether or not that date was truly set in stone, then, is a matter of opinion, however, such circumstances were inevitable and also close at hand. If the date had been extended, it would have only served to lengthen the time of debate, but in the end I do not have any doubt that we would have found ourselves in the very same circumstance.

    Although it may be true that a Democrat congress extended the Bush Tax Cuts for all income levels, they did so only after a failed attempt to pass them for the middle and lower income levels only. Doing so was also a bargaining chip to extend unemployment benefits during an economic crisis.

    In the end, Standard & Poor’s downgrading of our credit rating was only partially due to the agreement of congress having fallen short. It was not that they felt we were unable to meet our credit obligations, but rather that it has become more likely that because the debt ceiling has become a political bargaining chip, we will CHOOSE not to. They have lost faith in the ability of the two political parties to be able to reach future agreements concerning our budget. When a portion of congress has vowed not to compromise, I believe S & P’s assessment is correct. Another disheartening fact about S & P’s report is that even after being downgraded, we are still on negative watch.

    I agree with Charlie (surprise) that we all do a lot of blaming of the politicians, but the fact is that it is the people who vote them into office. It is the people who swing back and forth between ideologies and want to blame a President for every bad thing he has not been able to correct in two years. It is the people who are impatient and unwilling to make sacrifices.

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  22. Oh by the way the remark about politicians. I didn't vote for Obama or just about any one that represents our state, maybe a few senators I believe. So I cannot agree that the state of our country had anything to do with who I thought were the best politicians. So don't just assume that all of us who are blogging etc had anything to do with what has happened in this country in the last few years. The only thing I can see is all that hoopla about change hasn't really happened. Oh no another broken promise surprise, surprise. I can't believe people can be so naive to believe such bull.

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  23. @Jeannie...THANK YOU!! Your post was very informative. I'm a health science/Bible junkie, NOT a finance one(you should see me trying to figure out my mom's estate!). I was much better at talking to the doctors and nurses.
    I do have some questions/comments though. From what I'm reading...Standard and Poors gave the junk mortgage bundles(derivatives?) a AAA rating which directly lead to the housing crisis and investors being led to believe that the derivatives were a sound investment. How can they be trusted to provide an accurate rating? I'm reading that there are nations who are worse than us, who didn't get a downgrade?
    As for blaming Obama for all of this..I've tried not to do that. I don't like his policies, but it's CONGRESS who makes the rules and the budgets...just like it was with Bush. The "bash the POTUS" really took on a life of its own with Bush, and what you're seeing may just be a backlash to that. And Obama pointing the finger at Bush at every turn doesn't help that either...it "forces" people to say "Listen buddy, this is your car now. Drive it or shut up". Obama didn't "inherit" this mess from Bush, he "inherited" it from the Congress, many of whom are still there. He was even a part of it for a while(when he wasn't campaigning). The left made Bush the Scapegoat for all that was wrong(and he did do many things wrong), so perhaps it's only natural now for the right to do the same.
    And while I don't agree 100% with the Tea Party, they ARE correct in wanting to CUT THE CRAP SPENDING. I think that's where the people are supporting them, not this "limo measuring contest" we just witnessed. At least from what I read online/hear in real life...it's the SPENDING that has us riled up. We understand that we have to render unto Caesar for necessary protections and services...but Caesar is spending the money on luxuries, bribes and a big pork dinner. Why would we give them MORE money? We want them to take a look at the money vs expenses they already have, and make changes. THEN we can talk about more money. And yes, the wealthy can afford to give more, but we don't trust it will end with them. It will STILL not be enough money, and then the "income level that needs to sacrifice" will get lower and lower.
    There has also been a lot of outcry about corporations that do not pay any taxes. They are doing nothing illegal, they are following the tax laws..written by Congress. Meanwhile, sitting in Congress and in big positions in DC..are folks who are REAL tax cheats! The Dems never do want to answer the Tim Geithner question, but maybe you will, Jeannie. How are we supposed to believe/respect an administration that vows to fix the corruption, then chooses a guy who can't figure out Turbo Tax to be the head of the Treasury? Doesn't inspire much confidence.
    One of Charlie's fans is with me in the "I hate them all/I'm such a cynic" camp, and sent me a link to a video. I know we can't post links here, but if you google "Dylan Ratigan how did we get here?" you'll find a 2-part video. It makes perfect sense and blames both sides for their part. The only thing I wish he'd done is mention 9/11, which really did change the economy, at least here where I live..and 9/11 also makes the "war spending" a little more understandable(even though I think the Iraq business was ridiculous).

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  24. @Jeannie: I commend you for responding to many of the questions we have been asking Charlie. However, I’m still a bit bothered by a few things. About the August 2 deadline—are you sure that date wasn’t selected because that was right before Congress was going home on recess? After all, financial analysts have stated that the nation was not in danger of failing to meet its financial obligations on August 2; that was the view of President Obama and the Treasury Department. Now if they had waited until August 15, that would have been another matter, and I agree that it would have lengthened the time to debate—but it also would have meant that Congress and the President could have possibly worked out a resolution that would have been more permanent than delaying the true impact until after the 2012 elections.

    When you talk about people who “swing back and forth between ideologies,” why do you think people do that? Could it not be because they see that one way isn’t working, and want to try something else? Not everyone thinks “it’s my way or the highway” and “anything that is different from what I believe is wrong.” And those of us who “want to blame a President for every bad thing he has not been able to correct in two years”…well, I guess I can be counted as one of them. I still can’t understand why Obama supporters complain about everything that Bush did while in the White House, and somehow he gets a pass because he’s only been in office two years and Bush was there eight. FDR was unable to undo twelve years of Republican policies (or inactivity, depending on your perspective) in three months when he took office in March 1933. Obama has had more than two years, and all I’ve seen is a continuation of Bush’s foreign policy, of Bush’s tax cut, of the Patriot Act, etc. You cannot blame the Tea Party for what occurred in Congress before they took office in January 2011. The people of those districts elected those representatives (and of those states elected those senators) because they didn’t see change happening; all they saw was a continuation of Bush’s (and Clinton’s) policies, and they saw that the Democrats really didn’t appear all that interested in changing the status quo.
    It’s not that I’m impatient; it’s just that I know some presidents have been able to accomplish a lot during their first two years in office, just like some presidents were not able to get their agenda through Congress (and suffered political backlash because of it). In many ways, what I am seeing is a return to the early 1960s, when JFK had lofty visions of the future direction of the nation, but he was unable to get any domestic legislation passed because of a coalition of Republicans and Southern Democrats—and it wasn’t until after his death that a lot of these programs were passed (and it wasn’t because he died too soon; it was because there was remorse after his assassination, and, well, LBJ was much more effective at rounding up the votes than JFK was). In Obama’s case, it’s his political inexperience that is becoming a factor, and the fact that some members of his own political party are starting to question his ability to compromise speaks volumes.

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  25. It is my understanding that one of the main reasons to come to an agreement was so the debt ceiling would be raised and the U.S. would not default and the credit rating would not be lowered. After all of the bickering, etc., it was all for nothing? So everyone could fight later about cuts? That is very sad.

    President Obama probably should have jumped on the debt issue a lot sooner than he did. Like maybe when he took office. Closing Gitmo and overhauling healthcare were not the #1 issues. The economy was the #1 issue then and still is now. That is why he won the election - to fix the economy. He could have avoided being backed into a corner and forced to make "deals" to obtain votes.

    Maybe I am being naive here. I know you can find out who voted yes or no on a bill, but isn't there a way to find out who the senators are who held out for so long and were offered deals in exchange for their votes on raising the debt ceiling? And, what did they receive for their votes? Isn't the public allowed to know that? The deal making sounds more like "legalized bribery." So find out who they are and vote them out of office as soon as the opportunity presents itself.

    Furthermore, AAA or AA+ rating, this is still the greatest country on the planet.

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  26. wow! that makes much sense as well gals! And Kudos to Jeannie, Joann, & Karen!

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  27. First of all I want to assure you that I do not want to take over answering for Charlie. However, on the last blog it was both Charlie and me that were accused of not addressing questions. With that in mind, I will tell you that I will answer some, but not all of the questions posed here. Also note that when I refer to the people whether in this or previous comments, I am speaking in general terms. I am not saying Republicans and I am definitely not implying that any of you fit the category being discussed. Maybe you do, maybe you do not. Only you can determine that.

    Actually, no! I am not 100% certain why the August 2 deadline was chosen. As I stated, it apparently is debatable. However, I am quite certain that Congress would not have reached a better and/or more permanent solution had it been extended to August 15 or any later date. The negotiations as they stand showed that there were certain individuals who were immovable. With that in mind, I think the bill was the best it was going to be under the circumstances—circumstances that were a result of Tea Party members signing a pledge of non-compromise. I know Charlie does not want us to post links, but I am going to go out on a limb and assume that he might not mind a link to the Standard & Poor’s website. Its full report is available for everyone to read. It is very informative. Here is the link http://www.standardandpoors.com/home/en/us. There is a button at the top to the right of the picture that will open a PDF version of the report. If Charlie does mind, the link can be edited out. I will understand.

    (cont.)

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  28. I will also say that Democrats are as concerned about the national debt as Republicans. They also understand that spending is an important part of the discussion—remember how Obama consistently spoke of a ‘balanced approach’ to solving this crisis. Balanced meant cutting spending and increasing revenue. Unfortunately, the final agreement was not balanced. If the Republicans and/or Tea Party’s true concern is the debt, why don’t they do more to solve the problem? Further, I am afraid that when Republicans promote spending cuts, they are really only promoting the cutting of social programs. A true balanced approach would also include cutting spending across the board.

    As far as swinging back and forth from one ideology to another, I can understand that there are those who are not of the mindset ‘my way or the highway’. But, I also feel that there needs to be some realism in the discussion. Perhaps FDR was able to turn around 12 years of Republican policy within just a few months, but today we live in a global economy that I am sure amplifies the difficulty of the situation. In addition, not only did Obama take the reigns of a fledgling economy, but also the impact of the housing crisis was only in its infancy. Foreclosures are still currently taking place; they were not already complete when Obama took office. Obama was handed a crisis that was like a snowball gaining momentum as it headed downhill. I suppose there was no President or Congress that could stop its damaging effects.

    As far as the Tim Geithner question is concerned, I cannot take that question on because it is not an issue that I have researched much. I will concede, however, that corruption does take place on both sides of the aisle. All Democrats are not saints and I will not defend them until my dying breath. Likewise, I absolutely do not believe that all Republicans are corrupt. I am sure that equal corruption can be found on both sides. I am not defending any particular person; I am defending an ideology that I believe in. I think it would be wonderful for instance, if we could turn welfare and charitable issues over to churches and private entities so that the government would not have to oversee it, but I have VERY serious doubts that those who can afford to give would give enough to meet the needs. I guess that is where I am mostly cynical. I think that we live in a culture of greed and that there are many who claim they would give if not coerced by the government. I am sure that many would, but unfortunately, I believe that there are probably many, many more who would not. I believe we have a societal responsibility as well as a personal responsibility to care for the poor.

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  29. Lilly your last remark hits it right on the head. We still live in the best country. I just think people have forgotten what the best means. Just the idea that we can share our opinions is one thing. People just don't appreciate what they have.

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  30. This is not directly related to the subject at hand but I spent the entire morning trying to avoid reading the articles and watching the news videos about the 22 navy seals that were killed. I knew it would deeply depress me and make me ill. Eventually, though, I gave in and I was right. The rest of the day has been downhill. 22 souls. 22 too many. Now these are the guys who put their lives on the line so we are safe and have the freedom to sit here and discuss anything we choose to. They worked as a TEAM.

    Then I think about the clowns who are in Washington who also benefit from the protection provided by such brave men. They can't even agree on dollars and cents and what is best for the country.

    Maybe our congressman should be required to go through seal training (or something like it) just to show them what teamwork is.

    Forgive me - just venting.

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  31. @jeannie If you weren't 2,000 miles away, i think i would kiss you right now. Good thing or you may would think i am a weirdo. ps don't worry, i am not that way. lol thank goodness for computers. In other words, yeah what she said ditto for me.

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  32. Bad news as well as scary that the Dow has been steady falling!

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  33. Why do you guys think the Brits have lost their minds over there?

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  34. @jess2289 Great question! Well from what i read on news started with some police shootout and a man named Mark Duggan was killed. Then protesting began and apparently has turned into a type of rebellion. But take heed, we should definitely pay attention. If my understanding is correct the people are upset about high unemployment rates and sharp cuts in public services due to deficit spending. Sounding kinda familiar? We could soon follow suit, but hopefully not. Perhaps Charlie could shed more light for us since he was recently there.

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  35. Lilly you don't have to apologize we all feel ur pain and the pain of all who lost their family members.

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  36. My heart goes out to the British people. Hoping the rioting will end soon. Turning on each other is just going to add more troubles to the mix. The damages are heart wrenching. Shot down navy seals, this has been a pretty tough August so far. There is so much going on in the world, seems troubling times for everyone alive now!

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  37. Let's see! Charlie goes to Massachusetts and they have tornadoes. He goes to the UK and they have riots. Charlie, please don't come to Vegas. (Unless, of course, it is to talk politics--that could be fun!)

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  38. Wow! Not sure where to even begin -it has been a roller coaster ride these days with uncertainty where it will end up. Stocks falling hard, US credit rating downgraded (for the first time in history - ugh!),stocks falling lower,Fed says interest rates stay, stocks up, but concerns of US and global double dip recession. Enough to turn your stomach in knots. With all of this said, Charlie to answer your question about 'Anyone for Tea?..' - well if it is a party for tea - no thank you, but Earl Grey with you any day :).... After the last few days it is hard to have a sense of humor, it is so unsettling. While I realize nothing in life is constant except for change, this has been a whirlwind of events. So we are here because of the past decade of irresponsible tax cuts, ruinously expensive wars,and failures of regulation. The way out is to end the tax cuts, end the wars, and spend on job creation. This is the only viable solution and hopefully, the politicians that have been standing in the way of this will realize this is the only way to move out of this or the country is going to be gravely hurt. The US has the money to pay for the debt, has not defaulted on the loans, so the Standard and Poors downgrading is political not economic.

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  39. Skat 35 Dow went up 420 yesterday

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  40. So now Boehner and Mcconnell have made their appointments to the Super Committee. I guess it should not be surprising that all six have pledged to support Grover Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform refusing to raise taxes on even the very wealthiest. As Charlie pointed out, we are not really talking about raising taxes, we are talking about removing TAX CUTS and closing loopholes. Question: Do Republicans acknowledge there is a deficit problem? Please do not tell me YES because I have seen no evidence of it. They acknowledge a spending problem which is not synonymous with the deficit problem for it only acknowledges one side of it. If they are really so concerned with the deficit problem, why don't they fight it with everything they have available to them?

    At least Nancy Pelosi has not picked her three committee members. I hope she chooses wisely!

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  41. Thank you, Diane. People dying is bad enough. But losing military members and the suffering that brings to their families - it hits a particulary personal spot for me.

    What Ms. Vaughn, whose Navy Seal husband died, is going through I can tell you exactly. Two children won't know their father. Ages 2 years and 2 months I believe. My husband was in the Air Force when he died. Our daughter was 6 months old at the time. I crumble at seeing military funerals. To this day I can't even listen to taps being played. When I hear it (like if "From Here to Eternity" is on tv), I hit the mute button and when I'm sure Montgomery Cliff is through playing on his bugle, I turn the sound back on. I am NOT kidding. It leaves you with a permanent scar. That is probably why I talk about God and religion so much. I don't know where I would be without my faith. Now, if I have managed to depress anyone, I am truly sorry. Its just that I get very emotional about our troops and the sacrifices they make. We should all be greatful for at least what we do have.

    And Skat35, I heard the same thing about the people in London. They are angry about education costs going up, cuts and unemployment. We had rallies where I live about the cutting of college courses - at least there were no riots. And I thought the same thing you did. London's problems sound a lot like what is going on over here - without the riots. Will we see that type of rioting here in the U.S.? Maybe not now but what about 5 or 10 years from now if things do not get better and instead get worse? Its hard to imagine it happening here but when people are desperate, they will do things they never thought they were capable of.

    I am an optimist, though. I really believe things will get better. Whether under President Obama's watch or someone else's, things WILL get better. They have to.

    Take care, everyone.

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  42. @Jeannie: So, if the blue dog Democrat appointed by Harry Reid supports the Republican viewpoint, it's the Republicans fault, correct? Just want to make sure that I'm understanding this correctly.

    (not just to Jeannie): One thing that still bothers me about all of this is that somehow the Democrats are presumed innocent, and the Republicans are presumed guilty. I'm still a bit troubled (astounded?) that somehow the Democrats are not responsible for the continuation of the Bush tax cuts. They had a majority in both houses of Congress, yet they could not get legislation through because they didn't have a magical "super-majority"? Please, somebody, explain to me why the Democrats could not accomplish this, unless you are willing to admit that not all Democrats supported the Democratic agenda--just like not all Republicans signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge (and not all of the signatories are Republicans, in case anyone cares).

    By the way, as a side note to Charlie (this is referring to comments you made in the Guy Spy article posted on Wednesday) I know there are conservatives on the blog who are willing to debate and discuss, but sometimes it seems like a one-way street in which we provide evidence to support our argument or ask questions for clarification, and somehow that is interpreted as we're disinterested in debate. Unless, of course, there is a new definition for debate—as in unless you agree with me, I don’t want to hear your side of the argument.

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  43. I think I had words put into my mouth, because I did not say anything about the blue dog Democrat that Harry Reid appointed supporting the Republican viewpoint. I simply asked if Republicans understand that there is a deficit problem, because I only hear them talking about a spending problem. Spending is only part of the problem. With that in mind, Karen, I would say that no, you are not understanding me correctly.

    I will attempt to explain the Bush Tax Cut Extension again, this time including a few more specifics. At the end of 2010, there were 58 Democrat and 42 Republican Senators, so yes, the Democrats held a majority. Congressional Democrats unsuccessfully attempted twice to extend the Bush Tax Cuts only for middle-income families while restoring upper-income earners to previous tax rates. For the first attempt the cutoff was set at $250,000 and for the second it was set at $1,000,000. Both proposals were able to pass the House, but considering that all Republican Senators voted against them, neither were able to obtain the 60 votes needed in the Senate for cloture. In the meantime, all Republican Senators vowed not to allow any other legislation to move forward until the tax issue was resolved. One vital piece of pending legislation was that concerning the extension of unemployment benefits. Because of the importance of this legislation and because time was of the essence, Democrats reluctantly agreed to the extension for all income levels.

    As I recall, President Obama said that the middle class were being held hostage to high-income tax cuts. He went on to say that it is tempting not to negotiate with the hostage takers unless the hostages get harmed—then people will question that strategy. Actually, I remember Jon Stewart doing a very funny segment on this issue. He questioned whether or not Obama understood the hostage taker/hostage dynamics. Anyway, with all of this in mind, I feel very comfortable continuing calling them “The Bush Tax Cuts”. Nevertheless, I would not assume that all Republicans signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, nor would I assume that all Democrats would agree to raise taxes on the wealthy. I would presume, however, that generally speaking, Republicans are opposed to ending tax cuts on the most wealthy and Democrats are in favor of doing so.

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  44. @Lily I was thinking the same like 5 years of so down the road. We agree on something. Now this is progress. I hope it does not happen too. Don't think i could wrap my head around what could happen if there was another depression in US or worse a global recession. When people get desperate they tend to commit more crimes. Scary thoughts of civilizations maybe dividing or even falling. Strangers things have happened. The end of Mayan calendar anyone? Hope not! The end of the world as we know it. Just hoping we all do indeed feel fine.

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  45. @Jeannie: Thank you for the explanation of the Bush Tax Cut extension. However, the cloture vote is only necessary to end a filibuster (in other words, to limit debate); it is not necessary in order to pass a law. Considering that there were a few Republicans who consistently voted with the Democrats on some of these issues (such as Scott Brown and Olympia Snowe, among others), I’m still a bit confused as to why the Democrats kept insisting that they needed the 60 vote “super majority” before moving forward with legislation—unless, of course, they didn’t want debate to occur. After all, it’s not like the Democrats have never held up passing legislation by filibustering….

    By the way, I didn’t say that Baucus supported the Republican viewpoint; I said “if” he supported the Republican viewpoint (which he has done in the past; otherwise, he wouldn’t be considered a blue dog Democrat). I did notice that you didn’t comment about Harry Reid’s choices; you just complained about the Republican membership on the committee.

    About the deficit problem—I think both sides agree that there is a problem. The key question/dispute appears to be how to address it: one side (Republicans) wants to reduce spending; the other side (Democrats) wants to increase taxes (and removing tax cuts does increase taxes, as does eliminating loopholes). Both of these are ways to reduce the deficit; personally, I think a combination of the two is necessary. And for those of you who automatically jump to conclusions and interpret “reduce spending” as “eliminate funding for social programs”—there are other ways to reduce government spending than to cut welfare, Social Security, etc. If you haven’t seen the movie “Dave,” I highly recommend it. The “acting” President comes up with a creative solution to finance a pet project of his—one that certainly would fit into the category of “social program”—without raising taxes.

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  46. @Charlie..I hope it's ok to quote your interview here(from GuySpy). You said "The Conservative side of the argument, the status quo side of the argument, they’re inherently disinterested in debate. By nature, they distrust anyone who wants to engage in conversation.” !!!! Are you serious? Look at these blogs!! We have several conservatives here, trying to debate/discuss these issues, defending our positions, admitting when we disagree with the politicians, and more importantly asking for clarification when we do not understand what you're trying to say! We ARE trying to engage in conversation, and only Jeannie is trying to help by answering some(and asking us questions in turn, which we answer). Please...do some research, move beyond HuffPo telling you "what conservatives want/believe" and ask some REAL people what's going on.
    To prove my point, Karen and I have been researching/discussing the Norquist Pledge for a few days now..and we DON'T LIKE what we're finding. We're also reading that many of the politicians who signed it are not voting in lockstep. It's easy to say "they signed a pledge" but read some more to discover that this pledge has many interpretations. The whole thing stinks, to call a group "Americans for Tax Reform", then call any attempt at "reform" a tax increase...well BS to that. From what I'm reading, conservatives had really never heard of this pledge before this latest debt debate, and are reading...and are not happy. We understand the need to (sadly)raise the debt ceiling and def. see the need to let the Bush Tax Cuts expire and remove the tax loopholes and "legalized tax evasion". And yet(as I read on HuffPo yesterday), Obama is moving right along with a deal with Panama that will provide even MORE tax shelters for the rich!
    @Jeannie..this is where I get angry. The Dems are NOT for the middle class, they just SAY they are. Every chance they have to do something for the people, they back down and blame it on "Republican obstructionism". I don't see how anyone could have witnessed the way the Health Care Debacle was handled, and still claim that the Dems want to help the middle class and the Reps are for the corporations! Obama made back room deals with insurance cos and PhARMA right out of the starting gate, let the public option be removed, and ended up having to bribe his own people to vote for that POS. And what did he say? "I had to compromise because the Republicans wouldn't help me"!!! After he said "I won" and "Elections have consequences", then proceeded to lock the Republicans out of the meetings.
    I just can't wrap my brain around this continued faith that "if we just let the Dems do their thing" it will all be ok. They are as corporatist as the Republicans(who are at least honest about it). They don't WANT to mess with the tax loopholes for the rich and the corporations..because it would cut off the lobby money and campaign contributions. This is ALL a big show, on both sides of the aisle.
    Ok, rant over...time to get to work. ;o)

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  47. Is anyone else noticing Lilly's pain other than myself? This is what goes on in real life in this country, not debates. She suffered so much and now she is seeing more families suffer. We need to appreciate the fact that we live in a free country and can speak our thoughts. So much complaining about our economy and such a lack of appreciation. I understand people's concerns and the lack of cooperation on both sides, Jeannie (you are so one-sideded). Your type of thinking is placing blame on Republicans only. Really, the whole mess in our country is just the Republicans fault? Karen again gave you info and you choose again to ignore it. Maybe this is what it is all about the Dems ignore what the Republicans say and do what they want. Like Karen said at one time the Dems had the House, Senate and Presidency and nothing has changed. Jeannie are you ignoring this fact too? Now I try to look at both sides and I have to be honest the Dems just don't stand what I believe in(again I said what I believe in) and I won't even get started about the abortion issue because I know what a mess that causes. So again we find ourselves in a mess and no one wants to try to clean it up because we are too busy blaming. As for Lilly I so feel for you and am so sorry you are in so much pain. I will say a prayer for you and don't forget there are people out there that truly feel your pain. I was wondering how your life is now? Well stopped to check on the blog during vacation. Take care all and God Bless America for those of us who still believe in him.

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  48. @Diane

    You say I am so one sided and this certainly is not the first time you have said that I (or Charlie) have been given proof and refuse to accept it. I would like to know what proof Karen gave me of anything. She asked a question and I answered with FACTS! How is that one sided?

    Furthermore, in a previous blog when we were talking about how Republicans got 98% of what they wanted, you accused me of listening only to Liberal media. I showed that, in fact, I got my information from Fox News' Mike Huckabee. Jo looked it up and found that it originated from Boehner. Your response, "Joann did her homework and did not get bogged down by the liberal media crap." So, I heard it from Huckabee, Jo found that it originated with Boehner, and you called it 'liberal media crap'. Who is not looking at proof? You accuse the liberal media of lies. How can you be 100% certain you are not getting lies from Fox News?

    Furthermore, you would be surprised at how much I debate FOR Republicans. I come from a very Democrat family. I am constantly sharing the Republican side of the issues with them, much to their dismay.

    Last of all, I consistently acknowledge that there exists corruption and non-corruption on both sides, positions to which all members of a party do not adhere, and that spending needs to be cut. I do, however, align more with the Democrat party. How is that more one-sided than you?

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  49. @Karen

    You are right that the Democrats were trying to avoid a filibuster on the Bush Tax Cuts. Remember that in December 2010 we had a lame-duck Congress who was trying to push through other legislation, i.e. extension of unemployment benefits. As their time was limited, they did not want to use it in long debate. But, of course, Democrats have used filibustering to delay legislation on many occasion.

    I know you did not say that Baucus supported the Republican position, but I did not understand how the question had anything to do with what I said. I do not blame everything on Republicans, however, that does not mean that I feel that their widely held position on taxes is not hurting this nation, so yes, I do blame some things on them. However, I must say, that as much as I believe that tax cuts should be ended, doing so will not miraculously cure our problems. There are a lot of issues that need to be addressed.

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  50. Obviously my heart goes out to Lily and all of the families who have lost loved ones in the process of fighting for our country. We cannot put a price on their sacrifice. They are real husbands, fathers, sons, brothers, and friends. They are loved and missed. I don't think hearts ever really heal from such a loss. It is tragic! I wish that no person ever again had to lose their life in war. Somehow calling them heroes does not seem like enough!

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  51. @ Jeannie Again instead of listening you become offended whenever anyone disagrees with you. Ok you win everything you say is true. I know how to do this I will just agree with you and no ones feeling get hurt. I can't get too excited I am on vacation and having a good time. Take Care All. Lilly hang in there thinking of you.

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  52. Hmmm! Well Diane, no one got offended. I simply asked you to back up some of your statements. Apparently you had nothing with which to do so. I find it disheartening to think that it is o.k. for you to call me out on my statements, but I am not given the same courtesy. It seems hypocritical. Because someone disagrees with you, you automatically assume that they are offended or angry. I am the only one on here who is defending my position and so I think it is easy for you to take your frustrations out on me. As I stated before, I am o.k. with that. I have tried to state my position in an objective and fair manner without insult. I do not hold my opinions to offend anyone, but if they do, I cannot apologize.

    To All:
    Nevertheless, considering that we are accomplishing nothing by this continued dialogue and because I have fallen behind on laundry, I now officially bow out. Most of you know how to reach me if you really feel the need to add anything to your comments. I welcome your ideas and consider you friends even in disagreement.

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  53. Okay, I'm still a bit confused here. Why is it so difficult for people to understand that blaming one party accomplishes nothing? Both the Republicans and the Democrats are equally responsible for the mess this country is experiencing right now. Both parties' leaders in Congress have dug in their heels and basically are waiting for the other side to blink, which it doesn't look like will happen any time soon. You can't blame the debt crisis on the Bush tax cuts (even if they were extended because of negotiations to get an unemployment bill passed), just like you can't blame the debt crisis on "Bush's war" (which, again, was continued under the leadership of Democratic President Obama and the Democratic-controlled Congress). If you choose to do that—why aren’t you looking at the fiscal/banking policies developed during the Clinton administration, which also contributed to this mess? Why are the majority of Obama’s economic advisors bailing on his administration? It can’t just be because they are tired of dealing with Republicans in Congress. Both parties are equally responsible! In some ways, this whole mess reminds me of those Lite Beer commercials from the 1980s—Great Taste versus Less Filling, when they argued over why they drank the beer—but they did agree that the beer was good. In this case, both parties recognize that there is a problem; they just differ on how to solve it. By the way, as a parting thought on this topic (at least for now)—I’d love for the liberal participants in this blog to explain why they seem to overlook the fact that not all Tea Party supporters are Republicans. Tea Party and Republican are NOT interchangeable terms.

    And Lilly—while I personally have not felt your pain, I do admire your courage. I have not had any family members who have died in combat (at least none that I have known personally), but I have had students who were killed in combat (and received their college degrees posthumously). Our university requires first-year students to be engaged in some sort of service activity, and my first-year classes have collected supplies for National Guard troops from the area who are deployed in the Middle East.

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  54. @Lily I am also sorry for your loss. Jeannie was right in stating sometimes we may not understand what makes folks tick because we have not been through the same trials. I am sorry if i offended anyone also with my ideas. But i am me do to trials that i have gone through too made me think they way i do. I don;t trust people, so perhaps makes it hard to trust in God.
    Unfortunately this blog now reminds me of why the two parties cannot seem to get along. Let's all become independents. Wish it was that easy. I think you guys were to hard on Jeannie though. Blogs are places to post opinions and she is being singled out. Worries me if we can argue this much on a blog, ain't any wonder there was a civil war in this country. Respect your opinions and all but don't know how to respond anymore. Guess you guys have a hostile blog takeover. Knew i can't change your minds. Just trying to expose you guys to others ideas such as mine. We are who we are and set in our ways i reckon. Can see you guys are not interested in any other ideas. This is not suppose to be who is right and who is wrong. If i want to debate like that i will go to a redneck bar and brawl some. Sure i can find some wrongs there to try and right. I prefer to let them party instead. Who am i to judge them in their company? I am there too.

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  55. Luv you all and Jeannie you have been a great debater. Everyone have a great day. Hey Lilly just was wondering how you are doing? Hope you are hanging in there. We truly care about you. Jeannie haven't really backed up any of my statements because Karen does such a fine job and I am on vacation and trying to not think of such things. When I feel as though I am fighting a losing battle, I usually just give up. I don't dislike you or anything like that. You seem to be a very intelligent person and a fine debater. Since Charles is busy he is not here to back you up, so lately you've been on your own. Kinda know what that feels like with my religion opinion on a few blogs ago. Well I just couldn't let it bother me as I am going to believe what I believe and don't really care what others think when it comes to religion. I have studied religion much more than politics. No problem here with you, just didn't want to keep upsetting you.

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  56. There's really so little to talk about anymore. During the Bush administration, the world as we knew it was sent into a head spin so extreme that many will find themselves caught up in the idea that simply having a democratic president fixed the situation. What it did for many was give them a much sought after reason to once again bury their head in the sand. (not said in a negative tone, they’re perhaps better off?) Others are very well intended, running around wide awake on watch at all times in an effort to never let what happened ever happen again. Though, unless the core of the problem is known they are doing nothing more than attempting to stomp on lit fuses... those fuses go nowhere, the bomb has already gone off, we’re still in the fallout. What the nightmares faced during the Bush administration did for people like myself was make me very awake to the fact that there is a great deal of corruption taking place in the world. A few but very powerful, greedy people out there still making a lot of profit on these endless wars, same people profit during any crisis situation to include but not limited to economic turmoil. Obama has only proven that the president is no longer employed by We The People but bows and caters to those in control, aka those with money. This situation we've found ourselves in was predicted by the wise men who founded this nation, by way of direct, to the point warning. Franklin detailed the clues in which to look for in his writing of "Rules by Which a Great Empire May Be Reduced to a Small One". Madison really hits home with these brief and sadly all too applicable words... "Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes. And armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended. Its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force of the people. The same malignant aspect in republicanism may be traced in the inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war. . . and in the degeneracy of manners and morals, engendered by both. No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare". Seems some of us tend to get caught in the web that has been spun, looping in the vicious circle of talking points, but fail to see the forest for the trees. This forest is ablaze on all sides. There is no one in office that is working toward putting it out. There are a scarce few that have been shouting the realities from the rooftops for over a decade, but of course because they are the minority their cries are ignored. I am not talking about party lines or the fact that there are more of one than another, I am talking about people from differing parties that share the same concerns about the future of this country as a result of today's realities of yesterday's warnings. It’s out of control because it’s out of our control... and has been for a very long time. I am not here to argue or tell anyone they are right or wrong, this is a song from a random bird that happened to be flying over your neighborhood. I am in no way a member of the Tea Party. I am a pacifist, liberal that gave up on labels a long time ago. I will end this by saying, I’ve learned the true meaning of living in the moment and taking time out to smell the roses. All love and well wishes, “be the change you want to see in the world” waiting around for others to create it has proven foolish. I cannot end their manufactered wars, but I can do what I can to not be a part of our own. Tea Party seems quite intent on taking the opposite approach. Living in some strange times. Hold tight to the truth... "only love can conquer hate".

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  57. There's really so little to talk about anymore. During the Bush administration, the world as we knew it was sent into a head spin so extreme that many will find themselves caught up in the idea that simply having a democratic president fixed the situation. What it did for many was give them a much sought after reason to once again bury their head in the sand. (not said in a negative tone, they’re perhaps better off?) Others are very well intended, running around wide awake on watch at all times in an effort to never let what happened ever happen again. Though, unless the core of the problem is known they are doing nothing more than attempting to stomp on lit fuses... those fuses go nowhere, the bomb has already gone off, we’re still in the fallout. What the nightmares faced during the Bush administration did for people like myself was make me very awake to the fact that there is a great deal of corruption taking place in the world. A few but very powerful, greedy people out there still making a lot of profit on these endless wars, same people profit during any crisis situation to include but not limited to economic turmoil. Obama has only proven that the president is no longer employed by We The People but bows and caters to those in control, aka those with money. This situation we've found ourselves in was predicted by the wise men who founded this nation, by way of direct, to the point warning. Franklin detailed the clues in which to look for in his writing of "Rules by Which a Great Empire May Be Reduced to a Small One". Madison really hits home with these brief and sadly all too applicable words... "Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes. And armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended. Its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force of the people. The same malignant aspect in republicanism may be traced in the inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war. . . and in the degeneracy of manners and morals, engendered by both. No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare". Seems some of us tend to get caught in the web that has been spun, looping in the vicious circle of talking points, but fail to see the forest for the trees. This forest is ablaze on all sides. There is no one in office that is working toward putting it out. There are a scarce few that have been shouting the realities from the rooftops for over a decade, but of course because they are the minority their cries are ignored. I am not talking about party lines or the fact that there are more of one than another, I am talking about people from differing parties that share the same concerns about the future of this country as a result of today's realities of yesterday's warnings. It’s out of control because it’s out of our control... and has been for a very long time. I am not here to argue or tell anyone they are right or wrong, this is a song from a random bird that happened to be flying over your neighborhood. I am in no way a member of the Tea Party. I am a pacifist, liberal that gave up on labels a long time ago. I will end this by saying, I’ve learned the true meaning of living in the moment and taking time out to smell the roses. All love and well wishes, “be the change you want to see in the world” waiting around for others to create it has proven foolish. I cannot end their manufactered wars, but I can do what I can to not be a part of our own. Tea Party seems quite intent on taking the opposite approach. Living in some strange times. Hold tight to the truth... "only love can conquer hate".

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  58. Candi, thank you! "A few but very powerful, greedy people out there still making a lot of profit on these endless wars, same people profit during any crisis situation to include but not limited to economic turmoil. Obama has only proven that the president is no longer employed by We The People but bows and caters to those in control, aka those with money." and to add to that, those same people are the ones funneling money into the campaign coffers on both sides(hey, it's a win-win for them!). And it's also why I agree with the Tea Party on some level...these same profiteer pimps with their politician prostitutes should NOT be given any more money to squander, to waste on pork, to create even more broken bureaucracies. The problems are real, and we need to find a way to create safety for those who CAN NOT take care of themselves, and those who need a temporary hand up. The mess that exists now is broken beyond repair.

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  59. Oh, my goodness. I just go back to this blog after my last post. A lot of fireworks going off. Is it usually like this? First of all, I feel a little embarrassed about having gone on about my own personal loss. For those of you who responded, that was very thoughtful. Thank you. Sometimes I get very emotional after watching the news. And, Diane, I am O.K. You are very sweet. Hope you are having a lovely vacation.

    Skat 35, I noticed you mentioned maybe we should all become independents. How funny because I was going to mention I am a registered independent. And why is it not easy to become an independent? For me the Democratic party was just too liberal on some issues and I do not agree with the Republican party on some issues. So what is a person to do? Did you notice no one every blames independents for anything? We rarely get mentioned. But that does not mean we do not have any power. Every time there is a presidential election, it is the independents who could potentially make an election go a certain way.

    There is so much intelligence and passion coming out of all of you. Its great because I am learning a lot about politics. Some of it I do not like very much. It is like a necessary evil in our society. My opinion is both sides have some blame for the economy. Democrats did have control of the White House AND Congress and were still crippled. So what happened?

    I really believe Jeannie truly believes in what she is saying. And you do here Republicans talking more about cutting than spending. But in a way, isn't it simple in theory? For an individual or company in debt to get back on its feet, you have to stop spending so much and increase what you bring in. I think that is the same for the nation and the economy. You have to do both.

    And here is something to think about. If it is hard for some individuals on this blog to agree on things, how hard it must be for Congress with so many members and so many different views to agree.

    Take care.

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  60. I just went to the GuySpy website that Karen referred to so I could read the interview with Charles. Gee, I wish someone would have explained as to what type of a cite that is just because I was not expecting that. At first it looked like a guy's health club. Sorry, but I just do not like to be shocked like that.

    Anyway, after some painful clicking, I did find the article. And yes, Karen, you are right. Charles' remark about the conservative side not wanting to debate was stunning. Charles likes to give his opinion about the problems with, lets say, the Republicans and the Tea Party for example. However, I do not see a lot of debate coming from him. In his defense, maybe he is trying to be a gentleman about it so he does not get into the middle of an argument. However, since it is his blog you think he would be more open to discussion and debate on an opposing viewpoint. Dare I bring up religion? In any event, if your view disagrees with Charles, its most likely he will not get involved. And then yet, maybe he just likes to see each of you go at each other! Actually, it CAN be quite entertaining at times.

    Goodbye!

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  61. Ok, I am back from the UK. So happy I am an American!! Some of you are upset that I am not answwering back on some of these comments. Well, a.) it would be impossible to deal with every issue. b.) a lot of them seem to be "he said, she said" type arguments. Facts are tricky things and some of you are simply seeing "facts" differently from me and others. e.g. I see the facts as the Republican side of the aisle deeply committed to blocking any kind of revenue deal ( letting tax cuts run out,) and some of you see this as Democratic demagoguery. So....I will leave well alone and say only that I seem to be in agreement ( most of the time,) with Jeannie and Candi for the most part. As for my comment in the "Guy" magazine, it was pretty well misquoted. What I DID say and DO believe is that my it's definition the Conservative or reactionary POV defends the status quo and, as such, is inherently suspicious of the Liberal or progressive POV. You only have to compare the "my way or the highway" , " you're either wi' us or agin' us" quotes from GBW with the endless talk of compromise and debate as used to death by Obama. The conversation always looks to the liberal voice to move the goalposts in morality, sexual orientation, social reform, racial reform, etc. and the conservative voice tries to slow it down as "godless", immoral, dangerous and subversive. That has nothing to do with the lively debates we have here or that occur all over our society. But it is, I believe, an accurate assessment of the opposing POV's.

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  62. Whew! Happy to hear from you again. We needed a blog author life raft! Happy you are an American too. Jeannie is pretty upset at this point. Hoping she will be returning again. If i know her she will. lol Great summary comment there! And i so agree. (What a surprise?) You really cut to chase which was good & needed. We tend to stray off the main points sometimes. Namely me! Thanks for putting us back on clearer heading.

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  63. Please be assured that I am NOT upset (unless, of course, that would entitle me to special treatment by Charlie. In that case, I am grief stricken!)

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  64. Ha Ha! Yes, grief stricken here as well. Had to console Jeanie online half of last night. We are temporarily emotionally impaired due to only-connect blog. Where may we file a grievance?

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  65. I am so happy to hear from you! I was starting to think you found another blog to argue your opinions on.I love coming on here and reading what everyone has to say although I am one of the few on here with a different opinion. I admit I don't really post on here as much as I would like to it feels a little overwhelming on here at times. But it has gotten me interested in learning more about government the ins and outs of it I guess you could say. I hope to read another blog from you soon. Maybe something other than politics, since the debt ceiling situation has been taken care of for the moment. Can't wait to watch Happily Divorced on Wednesday the previews looked really good.

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  66. If that's the way you truly feel, Charlie, why do you even bother posting a blog for us to comment and discuss/debate issues with you? Because it's inherently clear that you don't want to read or consider any other perspective than your own, and you are stuck in the "Bush is/was evil" mindset that is typical of most liberals I know. You refuse to answer any questions we ask for clarification (well, at least the ones I have asked for clarification), and I'm beginning to wonder if it's worth the time and effort to follow and participate in this blog. I do have to remind myself that you are not this angry and bitter in person as you are on the blog (at least you haven’t been when I have had the pleasure of meeting you).

    By the way, for those who are interested, “conservative” and “reactionary” are NOT interchangeable terms. Conservative means reluctant to accept change, while reactionary means opposed to change (just look up the terms in a dictionary—these are not my definitions). There is a difference; conservatives will accept change but will do so kicking and screaming (kind of like a child being sent to bed); reactionaries will not budge. In contrast, “liberal” and “progressive” CAN be considered interchangeable, since one of the definitions of “liberal” is progressive in political and social matters (another definition is tolerant of different views and open-minded—certainly not something I have seen from Charlie on this blog). Yes, it’s a matter of semantics—but it is an important distinction. In some ways, then, Democrats who don’t want to consider spending cuts are just as reactionary as Republicans who don’t want to adjust tax rates.

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  67. Wow Charles, Karen is so intelligent when it comes to politics and has done her research but she just keeps getting overlooked. You may not always agree with her but you have to give her credit for all she does know and it is not always for Democrats side. Its too bad. Hey Lilly, Joan, Jeannie and all, hope all is well. Have a great day. Lilly, we all have a sad story to tell, we just want someone to hear us. Take Care. Luv you guys and I have learned alot from all.

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  68. I really don't want to get dragged into answering EVERY comment simply because there is one of "me" to a lot of "you," and I am not ignoring Karen, but when you say that the Dems are opposed to spending cuts after the dems have proposed MORE cuts than the Republicans did only to have it rejected BECAUSE they also included and end to the Bush CUTS, it makes it moot for me to comment. Also, semantically, I really don't see any more than a fine-hair-split between "reluctant to accept change " and " opposed to change," but maybe that's just me. And, once again, I am delighted by the debate , so keep it coming!!..just don't expect constant replies. OK?

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  69. I think only Karen can answer your reply but still am not clear. I know we don't expect you to answer us everytime because you are busy. But you will not budge even an inch when she provides facts to you that are different than your own. Sorry Karen I tried. Take Care all and God Bless all of you.

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  70. Charlie: Thanks for replying. I can give you an historical example to show you that there is a clear difference between reactionary and conservative. In the 1760s and 1770s, colonists were divided on how to respond to changes in British imperial policy (increased taxation, more efficient enforcement of the Navigation Acts, quartering of soldiers in the colonies, restricting settlement, etc.). Revolutionaries--those folks who ultimately brought us the Boston Tea Party as a reaction to what today we would call a corporate bailout with the Tea Act--were reactionaries in the sense that they objected to any change in the relationship between the colonies and England. They weren't just rebelling against taxes. They were upset that the Proclamation of 1763 limited settlement west of the Appalachians (and thus would keep the colonists closer to the Atlantic coast, where colonial officials could more closely watch their activity). They were upset that Parliament was passed revenue measures (including both direct taxes like the Stamp Act and indirect taxes like the Townshend Duties) without the colonists' having a voice in the discussions and debates (this is where the cries of 'no taxation without representation' develop, as the colonists did have functioning assemblies in which residents of the colonies elected representatives who passed laws that included levying taxes). They were angry that violations of trade laws (and failure to pay taxes such as the Stamp Act) would result in being tried in Vice Admiralty Courts, where there was no trial by jury. Colonists didn't understand why troops had to be stationed in the colonies--and, if they were quartered here to protect the colonists from Native American attacks, why they were in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, etc. and not along the frontier. They didn't like the change that was occurring, so they rebelled. In a sense, they wanted a return to the status quo, a return to the times before Britain had to cope with the challenges of administering a global empire, a return to the era of salutary neglect.

    In contrast, at the same time there were colonists--Conservatives--who understood that Britain did have some financial issues following the French and Indian War, but they didn't like the new regulations and revenue measures that Parliament was passing. Ultimately, when it came time to rebel, these Conservatives generally didn't join in the fray. They wanted reconciliation with Britain, even after shots were fired in Lexington and Concord. They later would be called Loyalists and/or Tories, and they would pay the price for their support for England, both physically and financially.

    So Charlie, you might not think that there really isn't much of a semantic difference between Reactionary and Conservative, but there is. And certainly Loyalists whose property was confiscated, homes were burnt to the ground, and whose bodies were physically assaulted, were well aware of the difference between opposing change and reluctantly accepting it. As a side note—there were no “liberals” at this time, because the last thing the Founding Fathers wanted was social and political equality.

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  71. So basically, then sir...Deidre is right. This is mud wrestling for intellectuals(big wink).
    I just really wish I could wrap my brain around having a corrupted, bought and paid for by lobbyists and special interests government...and still thinking giving them more money is a good idea. I really wonder what would happen if they sent 6 liberal progressive women and 6 conservative women into a room with that budget...what we could do. We'd have the pork slashed out of there in no time, and probably have coupons to get a discount on the things we do need to spend on! Then we could see the necessary expenses vs. the income...and go from there. It just seems so common sense to me, but maybe I'm oversimplifying it because I'm not a finance person. The politicians are NOT going to increase the taxes on the rich...they won't bite the hand that feeds them. Therefore, cutting spending seems to be the only viable option, and then we need to step up to the plate and create help where it is cut...and it will probably be more efficient too.

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  72. Charlie, sometimes I think you just enjoy throwing us into a mud pit and watching us wrestle. I hope it was as entertaining for you as it was for me.

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  73. What?? So watching us sweat it out was all for the sport of it? Oh well, wouldn't be the first or worst time i have been used by a great looking guy. And hopefully not the last. Mud wrestle away. Hopefully i can tag along with you all intellectuals. Or join in your Tag team that is..

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  74. Okay so maybe i suck at politics. So would i even be considered on the intellectual tag team or more like the blog cheerleader? A rabble rowser? Egg-er on maybe? Just trying to figure out where a redneck would fit in round here. Or do i? The blog pest maybe?

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  75. @jeannie I think you have a point there, but isn´t that what blogs are about?
    I´m enjoying and learning through all your comments and haven´t commented on this blog as the material is somewhat too complicted to register for an outsider and if I don´t have a good answer I don´t post LOL.

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  76. Charles, I am so glad you returned back from your trip to visit your mum safely. That is the pleasant part.

    Now, the unpleasant part. I thought maybe your ignoring certain questions on this blog might be because you prefer to respond to those who you think are on the same intellectual level as your own. But when I see Karen being ignored and how intelligent she is, I know that can't be true. That would mean you think most of us have IQs equivalent to that of cave dwellers.

    Here is the scenario:
    You post your blog topic and give your overview. Then the comments start rolling in. Once in a while you will pop up and give a pat on the back to those who agree with you. That is not debating. The only debating that goes on is between the ladies themselves. You never debate or step up to the plate to answer some tough questions by your more conservative bloggers. If patting on the back is all you want to do, then give a little to those who come up with the opposing point of view and put themselves out there (that takes courage). Then they will not feel slighted by you.

    Earlier, when facts were presented to you, you stated "facts are tricky things." What? What is that suppose to mean? Facts are facts. Either you have them or you don't. If you don't want to face them, thats something else.

    Your reference to "there is one of 'me' and a lot of 'you'" is strange. How many do you consider a lot? There does not appear to be an overwhelming amount of people here and it is usually the same people most of the time. I don't think anyone expects you to respond to every little comment. We know you are busy. However, I will bet most of your followers are also busy. Most people have families, jobs, some are single parents - yet take out the time to share opinions/views on your blog (as you have encouraged us to do). Why? Because WE LIKE YOU, Charles.

    I hope this post does not sound too harsh. I am not even angry; just a bit disappointed. Charles you are a dear and I respect you no less now than I did the first day I started blogging on this site (and even before that!).

    Take care.

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  77. Charles,

    There is no way to get hold of you privately so this is my only recourse.

    When I did not see my last post up from Sunday, August 14th, I thought it may be because you were really offended by it. Then I put one up on the Corporations are People addressed to Karen and when that did not show up I thought he must REALLY be angry. It really hurt to imagine you might "block" me off the site.

    Thinking about it, I thought how harsh and possibly rude that must have sounded and I regretted ever sending it. Then I got to thinking, I'm GLAD he did not publish it. So I decided to send an apology and was stunned to see Sunday's post up today. My heart just sank. Ouch.

    Anyhow, I am truly sorry. I'm sure you feel some of what I said was really not my place. So it shows a lot of character for you to put it up there. I just wish now you had not.

    Its a reminder of how you instructed everyone to make sure of what you want to say before you hit that send button.

    Thank you for your time.

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  78. Very well said Candi! Wonderful comment and so dang true!

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