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Saturday, February 23, 2019

WASHINGTON — Right before our eyes, American conservatism is becoming something very different from what it once was. Yet this transformation is happening by stealth because moderates are too afraid to acknowledge what all their senses tell them.

Last week’s Supreme Court oral arguments on health care were the most dramatic example of how radical tea partyism has displaced mainstream conservative thinking. It’s not just that the law’s individual mandate was, until very recently, a conservative idea. Even conservative legal analysts were insisting it was impossible to imagine the court declaring the health care mandate unconstitutional, given its past decisions.

So imagine the shock when conservative justices repeatedly spouted views closely resembling the tweets and talking points issued by organizations of the sort funded by the Koch brothers. Don’t take it from me. Charles Fried, solicitor general for Ronald Reagan, told The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein that it was absurd for conservatives to pretend that the mandate created a market in health care. “The whole thing is just a canard that’s been invented by the tea party … ,” Fried said, “and I was astonished to hear it coming out of the mouths of the people on that bench.”

Staunchly conservative circuit court Judges Jeffrey Sutton and Laurence Silberman must have been equally astonished, since both argued that overturning the law would amount to judicial overreach. Yet moderate opinion bends over backward to act as if this is an intellectually close question.

Similarly, House passage of Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget, with its steep cuts in the tax rates on the wealthy and sweeping reductions in programs for the poor, is an enormous step rightward from the budget policies of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. Faced with growing deficits, Reagan and Bush both supported substantial tax increases.

A small hint of how this push to the right moves moderates away from moderation came in an effort last week to use an amendment on the House floor to force a vote on the deficit-reduction proposals offered by the commission headed by former Sen. Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, former chief of staff to Bill Clinton.

You only learned in paragraphs buried deep in the news stories that the House was not even asked to consider the actual commission plan. To cobble together bipartisan support, sponsors of the ersatz Simpson-Bowles amendment kept all of the commission’s spending cuts but slashed the amount it prescribed for tax increases in half. See how relentless pressure from the right turns self-styled moderates into conservatives? If there’s a cave-in, it’s always to starboard.

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100 responses to “The Right’s Stealthy Coup”

  1. montanabill says:

    Mr. Dionne, who writes pablum for the far left (be sure to include the word ‘radical’ and mention the Koch brothers) declares that even conservative legal analysts expect the Supreme Court to let the ‘Affordable (for whom) Health Act’ stand. It appears to me that anyone who could believe it should stand needs a refresher course in the Constitution. Hopefully, the Court will come down on the side of the Constitution. I would say that it would then be possible for the Congress to work on a truly bipartisan health care program, but history has shown that each and every time Congress meddles with health care, things get worse.

    • digoweli says:

      No, history doesn’t show that at all. Check out the VA.

      • montanabill says:

        You’re kidding, right? At my age, I know lots and lots of veterans of wars from WWII through Nam and the Desert. Not one would use VA if they didn’t have to.

        • Dave_dido says:

          I take it you are on Medicare at your age, Montanabill. Do you know why Medicare came to be? It was because the insurance companies got more and more selective and didn’t want to insure older Americans. If you think you’d be better off trusting your healthcare to private insurance companies rather than your government-run program, you’d better think twice. And why is it OK for you to be covered by my tax dollars but it’s not OK for me to get coverage with my tax dollars?

          • montanabill says:

            I could be on Medicare, but some years ago I made up my mind that I was not going to be a slave to either Social Security or Medicare and took steps to make sure that never happened. I had to do without some of the things I thought I wanted back then but today I need neither Medicare or Social Security. If they went away, I would not be affected. I feels pretty good.

          • Dave_dido says:

            So who pays the bill if you happen to get cancer and run up a medical bill of $800,000?

          • montanabill says:

            I do.

          • Dave_dido says:

            So, rather than turning the bill over to Medicare,which you have anyway,you plan to pay the $800,000 out-of-pocket ?

          • montanabill says:

            Sure I’d turn the bill over to Medicare, but if Medicare denied it and my supplementary insurance that I also pay for, denied it, I would be responsible for it. Medicare and insurance are both group risk insurers. They will lose on some, gain on others. The point is that at times in my life I have had major illnesses not covered by Medicare or insurance. It took time, but I paid them off and learned to prepare for an unknown future. I paid into Medicare (still do) because it was required, but if Medicare had not been invented, I would still be all right.

    • mnhistoryfan says:

      No, history does not show that at all. Would you like to give some examples?

    • mnhistoryfan says:

      Since educated, experienced, and credible lawyers and judges don’t agree with you, it obviously is not that simple. If it were, we wouldn’t need justices at all. Might be better off; let the legislation Congress passes stand.
      This isn’t a Constitutional issue. It’s Koch-driven, ALEC-driven, CATO-driven attempt to keep the power in the hands of the insurance companies. And we all pay.

      • montanabill says:

        Since you obviously don’t buy insurance for a group of employees, you wouldn’t know that we are already paying more, substantially more! Who do you think is going to pay for the 4000 IRS employees hired to check on whether people have insurance or not, not to mention the other thousands of bureaucrats needed to administer all the new government positions required by that bill. The ‘credible’ legal types are either Democrat appointed or ambulance chasing trial lawyers. The Constitution isn’t difficult to read or understand. The Supreme Court has generally given way to following ‘precedents’ rather than going back to the original document. So once as bad precedent has been set (e.g. the wheat farmer/commerce decision), subsequent decisions based on that precedent result in a future erosion of our freedoms.

  2. Eleanore Whitaker says:

    Paul Ryan needs to be impeached from his office. He is directly linked to “Americans For Prosperity”, an organization of the rich, for the rich, by the rich who preach the gospel of prosperity for the 1% by using the 99% as the means to protect wealth and continue its growth. It’s not the responsibility of the 99% to grow the wealth of the 1%. Americans For Prosperity is funded, like the Tea Party, by David and Charles Koch. So, Ryan is preaching the gospels of two billionaires who also are attempting to savage the independent think tank, CATO Institute, for no reason other than the Koch billionaires demand that their obscene wealth control the government and the people of this country. The Kochs are also behind the push for that Keystone Pipeline. This is where the kind of wealth of the Kochs becomes dangerous. That’s when money alone isn’t enough satisfaction and power is the ultimate goal of the few over the many.

  3. Of all the things Republicans dislike in the health care reforms known as “Obamacare,: nothing has been attacked as passionately as the individual mandate and the penalty for those who are eligible, but resist buying, health insurance.
    It is a Republican article of faith that this one provision represents an assault on the Constitution and our individual liberties. Court challenges to the law rely on this line of thinking.
    It is ironic that in 2005, an enthusiastic Republican Congress passed health insurance legislation with exactly this same provision. When the popular Medicare prescription drug plan (Part D) was passed, signed off on by a proud President George W. Bush, Congress wanted to make sure that the risk pool would be as large as possible (the exact thinking behind the individual mandate in Obamacare).
    In order to enroll as many participants as possible, it decreed that anyone who was eligible, but chose not to enroll, had to pay a penalty when they did finally sign on. Now that the Democrats have used a strategy that comes straight out of this playbook, the Republicans argue that a line of reasoning that was once a virtue (theirs) has become a vice.
    The assault on Obamacare is but one example of a concerted Republican strategy to be as obstructionist as possible. Being shrill and hysterical seems to count for more among Republicans than debating ideas. In the end, shame on us voters who put up with his nonsense.

    • thomasbone63 says:

      If it was called Bushcare, you would be all for it.

    • Drew_a says:

      Mandates in the past would make money for insurance companies that goes straight from insurance lobbyists into republican pockets. THAT IS THE DIFFERENCE! Mandates have never been conservative in nature but they definately cause a massive dollar cause and effect, and will all know how republicans believe that few people controlling all the money is better for them I mean the country.

  4. thomasbone63 says:

    Paul Ryan needs to be voted out of office when his time comes.

    • viewfromtheleftcoast says:

      when does is time come???

      • CrankyToo says:

        Ryan stands for re-election this year – and every year until the good people of Wisconsin jettison his sorry ass. Go get him, Wisconsinites! But first give that other Repugnican, Scott Walker, a proper beatdown this summer. Oh, and don’t forget that Fitzgerald clown who’s been spreading Walker’s hate and discontent all over your statehouse. Throw all those turds out this year. (I think you folks up there in WI would be surprised to learn how many people across this country are watching you now. Get them!)

        • CrankyToo says:

          I meant, of course, that Ryan stands for re-election every TWO years (lower chamber congresspeople are elected to 2-year terms). My bad.

    • CrankyToo says:

      All Repugnicans need to be voted out, whenever and wherever they stand for election or re-election. Kick those dirtbags out!

  5. howa4x says:

    Romney said on Jay Leno that people are responsible to have health care insurance, when asked about a man going into an emergency room with no insurance and a heart attack. He said at that point he meaning the man would be out of the game.( not clear what that meant) If this is not an endorsement of the individual mandate I don’t know what is. So in his administration there would not be a law to have insurance but hospitals could chose not to treat you if you don’t. Romney also endorsed the Ryan plan, so it will be intersting to see how he defends the cuts to lower income people in favor of the 1%. (him)If we want to get ahead in the intelligence race we need people to be educated and eliminating Pell grants for lower income people to get higher education isn’t going to get us there.Plannned parenthood is a given but head start feeds many low income kids and provides pre school education. Why cut that? The Republican party is becoming the one of older white males who are greedy and selfish. There will never be a clearere choice then this election

    • digoweli says:

      Romney doesn’t sound like a follower of Jesus to me. Jesus had a whole different connection to the poor and he had a few things to say about the wealthy born as well. The regular evangelicals now avoid those passages unless you swear allegiance to their group. If Romney is a representative of his faith, a bishop, then it seems that they are as much followers of Jesus as the wealthy minister who once told me that he was responsible for the souls of the poor, not their bodies. I see no reason to follow fanatics of any ilk. If they are not representatives of their faith then they should clean house as they demanded of Obama with his church. Otherwise they are just scummy people.

  6. SeaSurfer says:

    Rep Ryan paid for all of his college costs with Social Security Benefits he received at an early age when his old man passed away with a heart attack. Rep Ryan gladly accepted Government Tax money for himself to pay all of his college costs and now he wants to cut benefits to seniors and poor by privatizing medicare, cutting medicaid and other radical right wing plans. Rep Ryan Social Security College Payments were better than a Student Loan as he didn’t have to pay one penny back to the taxpayer. What a typical Republican Hypocrite! Rep Ryan, pay the government back all those tax dollars your received!

  7. digoweli says:

    Mainstream journalism is owned by the rich. Why would they play along? Ever since the advent of the current 1% with the Kochs and the Mellon Scaifes enabled by the neo-conservatives and their extensive network of thinktanks and publications there has been no serious press on the left. MSNBC is the only possibility and it slips around.

    The left wing is rudderless and broke in spite of Obama’s war chest. One president and a war chest does not a governing coalition make nor does it promise one in the near future. The Democrats will never have the discipline to freeze governing the way Republicans have done and they won’t arm themselves either, but that is what it would take. Armed Democrats and armed liberals walking home preparing to meet the Republicans and conservatives at the OK corral. When the gun laws are finally taken away by the the scummy Supreme Court I will certainly arm myself. It’s been lovely living in a peaceful New York City but the Republicans will none of that.

  8. ObozoMustGo says:


    More of the same old crap out of you, huh EJ? Did Obozo call you and all the radical leftist nutjobs in the press asking to step up your hyperbole and fear attacks on conservatives becuase he took a public shellacking on the issues last week? Throw out “radical” and “Koch brothers” words to work up the usual cadre of useful idiots? All of this is designed as a fog to distract people from Obozo’s failed record. Here’s just a few to ponder:

    1) Had complete control of the government for 2 year. NO BUDGET PASSED WITH COMPLETE CONTROL, just continuing resolutions to jack up spending to way over TRILLION dollar deficits.
    2) His only crowning achievement in his first 2 years was Obozocare, which was bitterly opposed by at least 60% of Americans. AND STILL IS, YOU DOPES!!!
    3) A RECORD DEFEAT of his ideas in the 2010 mid-terms.
    4) Gasoline prices are more than DOUBLE since the day he took office, yet he denies the Keystone Pipeline that would increase supply. He has denied or delayed permits allowing offshore and onshore drilling that would increase supply. KNOW THIS —> YOU IDIOTS ON THE LEFT THAT THINK INCREASING SUPPLY WOULD DO NOTHING TO GAS PRICES BECAUSE WE ARE IN A GLOBAL MARKET ARE EATING YOUR OWN VOMIT ON THAT RATIONALE. WITNESS…. A GALLON OF GAS IN SUADI ARABIA IS $0.91 PER GALLON.
    5) Unemployment would NOT go above 8% if they passed his money laundering… errr… Stimulus Package… Sure, sure… How’s that worked out? In truth, America has lost a net 6 MILLION JOBS under this loser-in-chief’s management. They keep lowering unemployment because they are making the denominator of the equation smaller. Dont believe me, look it up. Real unemployment is around 12 %- 15% if you look at the U6 number. BLS has the info.
    6) Obozo comes into office $9T in debt. 3 years later, $16T in debt
    7) Promises to close Gitmo…. instead, he spends $750K on a soccer field for terrorists.
    8) Real inflation rates are close to 8% or higher. Who measures inflation without food and fuel??????? Obozo does!
    9) SOLYNDRA!!!!!!!! need I say more?
    10) Fast and Furious!!!!! If this was a Republican Admin, all of you nutjobs that write on this web site would be going justifiably ballistic!! It would be the lead story on ABC, CBS, NBC, MSLSD, CNN, etc. etc.

    I’ll continue to refocus the discussion on what is important and not these foolish smokescreens the left throws up to obfuscate Obozo’s true failure as a socialist in the White House.

    Have a nice day!

    • digoweli says:

      Think lies about Iraq and 100,000 thousand dead and trillions lost. Ireland and Spain had surpluses but following your lead they are now bankrupt. It took Bush 8 years to screw everything up. You must think Democrats are supermen to fix it in three.

      This is just too dumb to even contemplate.

      The only answer is for the left wing to arm itself and get ready for those conservatives shooting their children and breaking down the doors for “homeland security.” It wasn’t a liberal who broke into that Unitarian children’s theater in Knoxville. Homeland Security? For Republicans a Republican idea. How much did that cost? How much business are we losing from Homeland Security and the outrageous tuition’s that make training our children impossible? Republicans. Gated communities and crony corrupt capitalism. It’s not accident that the 8 most corrupt states in America are run by Republicans. No matter how you cut it, how much money you accrue, you will never be free because of what’s between your ears. Same with Ron Paul.

      • ObozoMustGo says:

        It may have taken Bush 8 years to screw things up, but Obozo has SMASHED his record in 3 years by screwing everything up WORSE than even Bush did.

        For you, digoweli, everything is always about R vs. D. For me it’s not. I dont give a damn about parties. Only principles. I am for liberty and freedom, fiscal responsibility, and free market economic choice. You are for big government, class warfare, and socialist redistribution of wealth, and central government planning and control of the economy. It’s pretty simple, isnt it?

        Crony capitalism??? Do you have any idea what you’re typing even means? How stupid can you be? What do you call Solyndra and all the other loser businesses Obozo and his cronies have sunk taxpayer dollars into? What do you call it when Obozo takes your tax dollars (oh, that’s right, loser leftist nutjobs like you most likely are takers, not payers) and invests in companies that are funded by his wealthy leftist campaign donors? What do call it when Obozo takes taxpayer dollars and sends it to all the Unions who in turn fund his campaigns with those very tax dollars? ANY OBJECTIVE PERSON KNOWS CRONYISM WHEN THEY SEE IT, AND OBOZO AND HIS CHICAGO THUG MACHINE ARE THE WORST, MOST CORRUPT CRONIES IN AMERICAN HISTORY!

        So, digo, go back to your crack pipe. And for heaven’s sake, dont wander out into traffic today!

        Have a nice day!

    • Drew_a says:

      1) He looked for bi-partisan solutions
      2) He killed Osama and got us out of Iraq and killed gaudafi
      3) That’s just American ignorance, that is being rectified by the GOP primary
      4) The pipeline doesn’t increase American supply but American access, at the same time it’s dangerous to the most important infrastructure our planet. He has no way to control gas prices except lowering demand by investing in a sollyndra that actually has a business plan.
      5) Unemployment is fixing itself, I don’t blame the stimulous for it, but your cmment makes it fair game to saay so.
      6) Comes in with an unbalanced budget and no one lets him fix it! (tax rate/loopholes)
      7) Terrorrists don’t exist! The whole situation started Americas approval is because our previous intervention made there lives SUCK. unwavering support for Israel our connection to the USSR expansion, etc.
      8) Inflation without food and fuel remains low. Now why would food prices increase? We have no issues with our farming. We have no issues sustaining the food for our population. The problem here is the same as our probem with reliance on oil which is we take a capitalistic redistribution of wealth to the rich approach.
      9) Yup you don’t have to say more, but shedding reliance on oil is imparitive.
      10)Republican Leader would have taken a different approach to all of these problems. I don’t like Obama BUT… you are being unfair to him, and our a little nutso on your socialist rhetoric.

    • Dave_dido says:

      Regarding point#4 of your diatribe, Mr. ObozoMustGo, are you aware that The Keystone Pipeline will be transporting product taken out of the earth in Canada by a Canadian company, taken to the Gulf of Mexico for refinement and then shipped to China? Where is the benefit for America? The only outcome for us is the possible pollution of one of the biggest sources of freshwater in the Midwest. If you believe the oil companies who say it will create 20,000 jobs, you are gullible. The jobs it will create will be very temporary; the permanent jobs that will remain will probably be less than 50. It appears to be not worth the risk and President Obama was wise to put it on hold until more impact studies could be done.

      • ObozoMustGo says:

        Dave, let’s play a rational thinking game. You’re Canada. I’m China. You could build a short pipeline to a BC port. I as China could send ships to the northwest coast to load up the crude oil. OR You could build a much longer and more expensive pipeline to Houson, TX. Then I could send tankers all the way south to the Panama Canal. Send them all the way up the Gulf of MX to Houston to fill up with gasoline that the Americans refined and pay a lot more for it, then send it all the way down the Gulf and back through the canal and then all the way across the pacific. Hmmmm…. which way do you think is better? The cheaper, quicker shorter route? Or the much longer, more expensive and difficult route? You know the answer.

        The point is that the whole “we’re just going to send it to China” thing is a foolish smokescreen to cover the ass of Obozo who is on record as saying that under his policies, energy costs will necessarily skyrocket. He admits it. His own Sec’y Chu is on record saying we should have gas prices like Europe at $8 – $9 per gallon. Why dont you guys on the left see this? What is so hard to understand? Increase supply to the point that it outstrips demand and prices WILL come down. This is not rocket science. These are basic economic laws.

        The number of jobs it creates is speculative, in my opinion, and is not the primary argument for the pipeline. Although, certainly steel workers and concrete producers and construction guys will all be in considerable demand for a long time on this project.

        Re: the aquifer… we already have piplines that run over it and all over this country. There is NO more threat with Keystone than there is with any other. It’s a strawman argument.

        The reason Obozo is taking a beating on gas prices is precisely because HE SHOULD be taking a beating on it. This is a mess of his own creation. His admin has not approved ANY new drilling permits either on shore or off shore, and they have denied and delayed hundreds or applications. All permits on federal lands that are producing today were approved by Bush. Now you see Obozo running around out there claiming credit for what Bush did. Sheeeesh! The irony is stunning.

        Have a nice day!

        • Dave_dido says:

          Your rational thinking game doesn’t work. The Canadian company has said it would not be feasible to build a pipeline to BC. The refineries are in the Gulf. You need to do more research and not rely on your homespun logic. Did I complain about the price of gas? Why do you keep putting words in my mouth? I don’t give a darn about the price of gas. Until it goes to $8 or $9/ gallon Americans will continue to drive their SUV’s and Hummer’s on unsustainable fossil fuels.”Drill,baby, drill” is no solution to our longterm needs. Thank goodness that President Obama is not acting on political expediency and selling our future and the future of our grandchildren.

          • ObozoMustGo says:

            Dave, I didnt expect rational thinking to be a thing of the left. It is, after all, one of the key characteristics of those on the left, IMHO.

            What’s wrong with driving SUVs or Hummers if that’s what you want?

            Actually, drilling is the only way to increase the supply of oil and therefor temper prices or bring them down. If you want to know the truth of the matter, the equivalent of a gallon of gasoline in CNG costs about $2 per gallon. That’s coming much quicker than you may think.

            Obozo is still an idiot, though.

            Good discussion Dave. I gotta run. Have a nice day!

          • Dave_dido says:

            You’re getting nicer, Mr. Obozo. Maybe Americans with different opinions can actually respect one another and get along. I’ve got to get to work as well. You have a nice day, too. And I mean that.

          • ObozoMustGo says:

            Sshhhhhh…. dont tell anyone, Dave. I need to uphold my evil reputation on this site. It’s actually very satisfying. 🙂 Only 3 or 4 actually know I’m a pretty nice and reasonable fella. But just keep that between us, please. You have a great day, as well, my lefty friend! 🙂

  9. 1AmericanHoney27 says:

    All my life I’ve heard that $$$$$$$ talks & B.S. walks. With the Republicans especially Romney the saying holds oh so true. As always the fat Cats only think of themselves & their own while the little people keep up the struggle.

    • ObozoMustGo says:

      Something tells me, AmericanHoney27, that you have had WAYYYY more than your fair share of shots of Wild Turkey’s American Honey. Better yet, there’s a koolaide called “Class Warfare Koolaide”… looks you’ve been hooked on that your entire miserable leftist life… too bad.

      Have a nice day!

      • Drew_a says:

        Insulting people with absoluetly no argument at all defeats your purpose to be here. Class warfare IS warranted!

        • ObozoMustGo says:

          Drew, you’re probably right about insults. I’ll try to do better, but it’s hard to keep my snide and sarcastic side completely at bay with so much leftist hyperbole and false beliefs. I will take your advice, though. As to class warfare, it is NOT at all warrented to pit one group of Americans against another because of some percieved level of financial success.

      • 1AmericanHoney27 says:

        Sounds to me that instead of Obama going anywhere it should be fools like BozoMustGo should go and keep on going to some where other than the U.S. I guess my Fat Cat remark hit too close to where you live. How much and which Fat Cat pays you for your idiotic babble? Bet your one of those that don’t pay your fair share. How hard is it for you to look at yourself in the mirror each day ” Bozo “…….? We can all see you don’t believe in fairness or equality. Bet you were dumb enough that you didn’t vote for Clinton either. You must be a ” Bush Baby “…..

        • ObozoMustGo says:

          What exactly is my “fair share”? And no, I dont believe in equality of outcomes. There is no such thing except in the utopic fantasies of the leftist nutjobs like you, you dope! Now, go back to your bottle. It’s the only thing that will get you over your hangover.

          Have a nice day!

          • 1AmericanHoney27 says:

            So the Fat Cat Bozo Babbles on. Come in out of the rain stupid. Can’t you see your kind is all washed up. Also if I did drink it would be an American made product. Could you say the same? So babble on if you must cause losers like you aren’t worth the time of day. People like you are all mouth and rear-end with very little for brains.

          • ObozoMustGo says:

            I can never seem to get a leftist nutjob to answer seriously the question of what is my “fair share”?

          • Dave_dido says:

            Why don’t you tell us what your “fair share” should be?

          • ObozoMustGo says:

            I’m not the one complaining about paying a “fair share”. I always hear you leftist nutjobs whining about the ‘rich dont pay their fair share”. So it’s natural to ask, what is the amount that constitutes having paid a “fair share”? I never get an answer to that question. Why?

          • Dave_dido says:

            I think you should pay 0% Mr. ObozoMustGo since you obviously hate our government and it makes you so unhappy to pay taxes. Just let the rest of us pay for the roads and highways, the postal service, the judicial system,the military and all the services that enable us to be the world’s largest economy. I personally earn about $25,000/yr and pay about 35% of that in taxes when including state, local, property and sales taxes. I don’t resent it because I feel blest to have lived in this great country. I’m self-employed and the only thing I ask of my government is a healthcare system that’s fair. Last week I wound up in the emergency room with a kidney stone. The hospital charged me over $5,000 for the two hours that I was there. This included $3800 for an ultrasound. Does that seem fair to you? Bear in mind that United Health Care would only pay about $800 for that same ultrasound. Fair? Yet when some very brave politicians try to help people like me by reforming this lousy health care situation, you call them socialists and leftwing nutjobs. Evidently you don’t need any of the services that government offers so I say you should pay 0%.

          • ObozoMustGo says:

            Dave, sorry to hear about your kidney stone. They hurt big time! 🙁

            Not sure what state you live in, but 35% of only $25K in income seems exhorbitant and not real. Dude, go see H&R Block.

            As to your healthcare costs, dont you realize that it’s a complete lie and a pipedream for you to think that more government is the solution to ruducing the costs of healthcare? Dont you realize that everything the government gets involved in, the costs go higher and the quality goes down? The quickest way to reduce the cost and increase the supply of something is to allow for greater competition and less government intrusion. This doesnt mean I support anarchy, but it does mean that the government should be a referee of the the game and NOT also a participant in it. And I’m sorry about the costs, but it’s YOUR healthcare, not mine.

            Besides, answer this for me… Why do I personally owe you anything that you have not earned from me? Why do you have a right to the fruits of my labor? Why do you support the concept that politicians can “help” you out. Why in God’s great name does the notion that you would even want government help with supporting your personal needs even ocurr to you? I dont get that way of thinking, except if I allow myself to be jealous and envious.

            And yes, I would like 0%, but that’s not real either. The Fed Government has legitimate functions like military, justice, and some oversight. But the government has no business in picking winners and losers in industry, it has no business using taxpayer dollars to prop up or bail out bad business, it has no business in healthcare other than the FDA for drug approval processes. The Fed Government really doesnt need to be in almost everything that it is involved in. It just doesnt.

            Add up all the crap our government is involved in and should not be and it’s no wonder we are so far in debt we’ll likely never get out of it without great turmoil.

            I know you dont make a lot of money, but you make what is yours and I make what is mine. (no, I am not a rich fat cat as you guys like to say. not even close). If I knew you personally, I would offer to help you. But I dont know you personally. And to have this never ending faith in the power of government and distrust of other Americans who have achieved some financial success is mind boggling to me.

            Ask yourself this question, Dave: Who has done more damage to humankind? Power hungry politicians or greedy business men? Be honest. Who?

            Have a nice day!

          • Dave_dido says:

            #1. Did I ask you for the fruits of your labor? No. I told you I think you should pay 0% I’m not asking anything from you, Mr. Obozo. I support myself and always have. #2 I’m not asking the government to take care of my needs, either. I’m just asking the government to perform a legitimate function of government and that is to regulate public health. With 1 million people filing bankruptcy due to medical bills I think it is in the public interest for government to be involved. In all the European countries combined not 1 person has gone bankrupt because of medical bills. Not one. So all you doomsdayers who say the European socialist states will fail, guess what, we’ve already failed 1 million people with more on the way. #3. I don’t accept your premise that government ruins everything they get involved in. Ask the 68 yr.old widow who has diabetes if she would rather depend on private insurance or keep her Medicare. Private insurance will never solve our healthcare problem because they are selective about whom they will insure. Private insurance was failing the seniors back in the 60’s and that’s how we got Medicare.Why would it be any different today.#4 There is no escaping the self-employment tax- it’s 15.3 percent of net business profit and $25,000 is my net. You figure it up then add 2% city tax, 6% state sales tax, state income tax and county property tax, license plate tax, gasoline tax, etc. Can I help it that I’m honest and don’t cheat on my taxes. As I said, I’m grateful to my country and don’t resent paying taxes. I don’t intend to, but if I were to ever get anything from the government, I’d say I paid my dues. So please reserve your Tea Party rhetoric for someone more deserving of your rancor.

          • rustacus21 says:

            Ms AmericanHoney, please- the best thing we all can do is leave ‘thebozo’ to his devises & simply humor ‘it’. Having obviously an obsession 4 all those, um, ‘refreshments’ he so fondly conjures up, but never – EVER has he remained consistantly coherent, over sustained periods. Like most Cons, he finds reality, facts, information & intellect far 2 complex 2 deal w/which is why the preferences 4 ‘inebriation’ over intelligent , THOUGHTFUL dialogue, w/more than just the monitor…

  10. mmuoio says:

    Should We Embrace Compulsory Voting?

    Wisconsin citizens have certainly had an interesting political environment since the last general election in November of 2010.

    In the last general election only 52% of eligible voters in Wisconsin actually voted.

    Governor Walker received 1,128,941votes out of 4,360,844 eligible voters or 25.9% of all potential votes. Interestingly, about the same number signed the petition to recall Governor Walker.

    It seems very odd to me that we, as freedom loving people, would render ourselves to political control both in our State and Federal Governments with elected officials that only muster slightly more than 25% of the potential vote.

    It actually causes me extraordinary concern that so many of our forebears fought, shed blood and died in wars to defend our right to have a say in our Democratic Republic through voting.

    Clearly, a great national sacrifice has been made to keep us free from the Revolutionary War that cost over 25,000 lives, to the Civil War, that consumed over 625,000 Americans, to World War I and II that took 521,915 of us.

    We owe the patriots that have sacrificed so greatly to establish and maintain the Republic, the sacred act of casting our vote with regularity to protect and preserve the Republic.

    Voting in most democracies is considered a “right of citizenship” as we do in the United States.

    But in 32 countries around the world, voting is not a “citizen right” it is a “legal obligation”.

    The idea is not new with compulsory voting dating back to 1892 in Belgium and 1924 in Australia.

    In Australia, where mandatory voting is strictly enforced, turnout is in the 95% range for all eligible voters. When an eligible voter does not turn up to vote, they face fines of $20-$50 and may face imprisonment if the fines remain unpaid.

    I would submit that mandatory voting would enhance our Democratic Republic in many ways.

    Mandatory voting in a democracy really is a “moral obligation” not just a right. It is also a form of respect for all of those that sacrificed to create and preserve our Democratic Republic.

    Mandatory voting justifies and legitimizes the government we live with, as the majority of us will grant it legitimacy via mass endorsement.

    Mandatory voting diminishes the need for massive campaign expenses such as getting the vote out.

    Mandatory voting would decrease the strong polarization we have endured. The far right and the far left would not play as large a role as the general electorate.

    Mandatory voting in free and open primaries instead of “closed party primaries”, as we have in 40% of the states, would encourage independent voters to participate in the primaries.

    This would limit the radical and ridiculous behaviors we have endured from the candidates as they try desperately to appeal to their respective highly skewed “bases”.

    Mandatory voting would ensure that the maximum number of voters actually vote. This is in direct opposition to the various devious schemes that have been employed to limit voters from casting a free ballot.

    Mandatory voting would make the very act of voting much more important and a very serious matter for all citizens.

    Mandatory voting with “same day registration” would greatly enhance total turnout. In Minnesota during the 2008 election they implemented “same day registration” and Minnesota proudly led the nation with a 78% voter turnout versus 41% nationally.

    In addition to mandatory voting, we need to make the actual act of voting easier.

    We have incredible technology today and we should use it to enhance turnout every way we can. Mail, phone and e-mail should be used to get voter counts up once we move to mandatory voting.

    When we see deliberate acts of voter suppression including gerrymandering we need to challenge them aggressively to preserve the legitimacy and credibility of voting.

    As we approach our recall vote, we need to summon the words of President Franklin D. Roosevelt who led us through the Great Depression and World War II:

    “Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting.”

    If that is not enough to get you out of your easy chair, consider the men and women that gave their lives so that you have the right to vote.

    As for me, I will not only be at the poll to cast my vote, I will encourage everyone I know to get out and vote.

    In addition, I will continue to advocate for compulsory voting that will reaffirm our Democratic Republic and ensure it’s longevity and legitimacy.


    • ObozoMustGo says:

      Only in leftist nutjob world would “mandatory” voting be considered in a “free” society. Then again, with nearly 50% of Americans being NET TAKERS of tax benefits, pretty soon, compulsory voting would be the final curtain call in the death of America based on liberty and individual freedom, and the rise of America based on complete socialism. Exactly what you leftist nutjobs want. We are in that transition now, with Obozo at the helm. We can only hope to throw him and his socialist czars out of power this November. Maybe then we will have chance to turn this ship around. Maybe.

      Have a nice day!

    • jonnakonki says:

      Here’s how I undrstand it. Mandatory voting would require a constitutional amendment, which is something the Republicans can always block because amendments require a two-thirds majority just to clear the legislative stage. Republicans would block it, because low voter turnout always favors Republicans. That’s why they favor the picture ID laws and other measures aimed at frustrating voting. A similar situation exists with regard to the District of Columbia. Republicans have always resisted an amendment giving representation to those taxpaying citizens of the United States because DC is one of the most liberal jurisdictions in America. Granting DC residents the right to vote would work against their self-interest.

      Yes, it’s a shame that voter turnout in America is so low. It’s a perfect disgrace. But I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for measure aimed at increasing it.

      Thanks to the Teapot Dome scandal,the Democrats should have walked away with the 1924 election. Instead, they so besmirched their image, failing on ballot after ballot to emerge with a candidate during the convention, that the Republicans won in spite of everything. Will Rogers quipped that he didn’t belong to an organized political party. He was a Democrat. Maybe this year we’ll finally see an improvement on that situation? That’s a question.

  11. ncal says:

    Like Joe Biden said on Face the Nation: “For the first time, the Republicans aren’t hiding the ball. They’re saying exactly what they think. They’re not talking about ‘compassionate conservatism’. They’re not talking about the need for healthcare in America. That we have a different way. They’re not talking about public education being the key to economic growth and stability in the country. They’re just saying straight up, straight out what they believe.”
    btw, Paul Ryan’s 2013 budget, passed by the house Friday, converts Medicare to Obamacare. A NYTimes reporter asked the question straight out and they didn’t refute it.

  12. I was somewhat surprised to hear Scalia referring to the massive 2700 age bill that was too much for him to read and to the Cornhusker Compromise. The 2700 page version has extra wide margins and is double spaced, whereas the 974 page PDF put out by the Government Printing Office looks like normal text and in fact can be read in a leisurely afternoon session. As for the Cornhusker Compromise it was removed in the reconciliation.

  13. Svengelska says:

    In most civilised countries there is a clear division between the legislative , executive, and judicial arms of the state, and in most western, democratic countries the judiciary does not become involved in politics. Further politicians do not need to be millionaires to seek entry to the legislature. The USA fails these tests in many areas, but continues to invade and influence many nations with their battle cry, “DEMOCRACY”. I really don’t think that many Americans, particularly Republicans even know what democracy is about.


  14. Svengelska says:

    By the way I forgot to mention that Sweden is a socialist country with free education and healthcare; its social security and unemployment payments are more than satisfactory. There are no poor in Sweden unlike the USA that boasts 46 million inhabitants living in poverty. Sweden is rank third in the World for technical development, and ranks above the USA in net wealth per adult. It exports over 40% of its manufactured products, and 36% of its labour force is employed by local or national government. It is highly taxed with progressive personal tax starting at 33%, and sales tax of 25%. Our Finance Minister was ranked Number One in Europe by the FT. Further our budget balances. Yet all that I’ve described flies in the face of the Republican and Tera parties.

  15. viewfromtheleftcoast says:

    this is the most “right on” column I have read in a while……….history has a way of clearing away all the noise

  16. viewfromtheleftcoast says:

    this is the most “right on” column I’ve read in a while…..history has a way of clearing a path through all the noise

  17. PaulCindy says:

    Yeah, Rep. Paul Ryan is a real right-wing extremetrist. He had passed the S.S. lock-box to keep greedy politicians’ hands off it, put through the Cut, Cap & Balance budget thet Obama said is: “Dead on Arrival.” Trying to get a Balanced Budget amendment to control spending & debt, ALL opposed by the Democrats & Obama. Who are the extremists that are ruining our country by ignoring all these serious problems just to stay in power and more Fed. Government control?

    • ObozoMustGo says:

      PaulCindy… are you EVER going to stop talking all this common sense? Are you? Leftits nutjobs are convulsing everywhere.

    • Dave_dido says:

      Perhaps it is the Republican extremists who created these problems just to stay in power. After all, the deficit could be erased just by letting the Bush tax cuts expire, but Republicans would maintain that “serious problem” rather than fix it. Have you considered the possibility that the Dems rejected the Ryan budget because it favors rich over poor and ignores the Simpson-Bowles suggestion to raise revenues? Yes, Ryan talks about closing loopholes, but I’ll believe it when I see it- it’s just talk. He’ll never do anything that would hurt his wealthy sponsors.

  18. Alice Enix says:

    Most Important, in your words, is how the left will be defined in the election. How will the bill, that could possibly pass might effect your reelection chances, is SOOO much more important that saving this country and our lives from complete failure and bankruptcy. Is this really what you were trying to explain? This is sad and scary to read…. God Help Us All. Sincerely

  19. ryan= another zit needs popping

  20. TheOldNorthChurch says:

    The problem with the “Ryan Plan” is that it is still fundamentally flawed in that it just treats the symptoms and not the illness. I read nine separate budget plans developed in the past two years, plus the President’s budget plans. They all have one underlying theme, “Don’t really change anything, as it will undo the power our power and let the people know that we have been lying to them all these years. The “Political Class” has only one end game, retain power for themselves and their crony’s.

    You rightfully highlighted Eisenhower in this article. The American people should endorse his fundamental approach to governance. His administration was the last to reduce the over-reach of the Federal Government and reduce real spending to a level that made sense.

    What would happen if we had a serious proposal that addressed the 80% of government that is in need of fundamental reform (Defense + Social Security + Medicare + Welfare + Interest)?

    A proposal that will fundamentally change our taxation system to one of fairness. A system that was tied to these government programs and created a stronger more secure America?

  21. nomaster says:

    Paul Ryan needs to educate himself more properly in how a capitalist society works. He is consistently attempting to destroy the safety nets for the poor and the working middle class. (End the unnecessary wars, draw back the military industrial complex throughout the world and you will save the trillions you want). The man is however consistent in his ploy to reduce taxes for the wealthy and destroy the medicare and social security system.
    I would say that it is far past time that the man must be removed from the house during his next re-election. This silver-spoon Tea Party sweatheart needs to go somewhere else.
    It is sad that the Obama Heathcare plan is being attacked by so many out of ignorance. Justice Alito was less than professional is his jokes and demeanor. This healthcare plan with all its problems is better than nothing.

    • mnhistoryfan says:

      Paul Ryan has educated himself, and all of this is a deliberate attempt to destroy the middle class, working class, and pull any remaining safety nets out from under the poor. He’s not dumb, just evil.

  22. Someone should ask these so-called “conservatives” what exactly it is they are “conserving.” They are certainly not conserving what used to be known as the American way of life — which used to be noteworthy for fair play and pluralism.

    Today’s Republican Party is no longer “conservative.” It is a weird mixture of religious cult and criminal enterprise.

  23. William Deutschlander says:

    It is called, hear no evil, see no evil, do no evil, just lay back and be ignorant!

  24. rustacus21 says:

    Not withstanding the fact there’s nothing subtle or ‘new’ about the current crop thugs sitting atop Republican leadership this days, Conservatives, overall, are still the same hateful, selfish, authoritarian, racist, class-obsessed ‘confederacy’ they’ve been since opposing the institution of the United States of America, during the colonial period. U can see their strain of thinking in the opposition to emancipation (of slaves), women’s rites, worker rites, economic equality, access & opportunity, voting access & generally behaving w/’intelligence’ in a Democratically-oriented civil (societal) setting, since the nations’ founding. There’s truly something wrong w/Conservatives, it must be pointed out, if they can, w/a straight face, ignore the role they & their party played in masterminding the nations economic collapse & THEN, standing in opposition to (President Obama’s) efforts to undo the damage & return the economic & business & employment climates back to a reasonably functioning, fair & transparent system. Imagine the savings gained to ALL employers & employees alike, w/universal health care? Or how about the billions ‘returned’ to the nations treasury, once the wealthy & corporations paid their FAIR, DUE & JUST share of taxes they OWE, by virtue of citizenship? Or the uptick in business activity by implementing another stimulus – this time in businesses addressing ‘FUTURES’ initiatives, which lay the foundation for technologies on the drawing board – transitioning quickly to the showroom floor? Where are Liberals/Progressives w/these ideas anyway?! Under fire & under the gun, being threatened by the ‘Stealthy Coup’ that is ever in the offing, b/c the American people are SOOOOOO divided, they can’t even think straight, due to anxieties, paranoia, SUSPICIONS & hate 4 & of 1 another! Its 2 late to B confused about the benefits of Democracy. The opposing alternative IS at the door NOW & Conservatives have awaited this moment for 236 yrs, to destroy America’s Democracy & the ‘Social Contract’ concept & will settle 4 nothing less – & the American people had better get smart & QUICK!!!

    • montanabill says:

      Lovely rant, but you do know the economy went south when the Dems got control of Congress and the purse strings in 2006? I thought not.

      • ObozoMustGo says:

        montanabill… you are my brother in arms!

      • rustacus21 says:

        … the ‘deep south’ turn occurred immediately when the last administration began dismantling the successes of the Clinton administrations. I know this. U know this as well, but propaganda is the foundation of U’r opines… regrettably, b/c it keeps U fearful, anxious & beneath the bootheels of Conservatives who only need U for votes, but neglect U after they’ve made their own millions & billions for their rich & corp puppet masters. Its complicated, I know, but when Conservatives come to & feel the touch of ‘enlightenment’, their reaction is ALWAYS ‘how could I have been so naive’? There’s hope, even 4 U… & KEEP READING – it’s going to penetrate… eventually…

    • 1AmericanHoney27 says:

      Your words touch me. My sentiments exactly & I applaud you. Wish more Americans felt like you for this country would surely be the paradise other countries believe us to be.

      • 1AmericanHoney27 says:

        Rustacus21 I was so in awe of your words I forgot to say to whom I was replying. After President Obama finishes his 2nd term would you consider being his replacement?

  25. the right wing mobsters are trying to force an armed revolt so they can get on with the plan to reduce our population by 80%. if you ain’t rich better make damn shure you got a good hide-out. we are living one incident away , from military rule as it is now , with the so-called “patriot ” act. thank your founding fathers for the 2nd. amendment, or they would already be in your living room, as well as your bedroom and pockets. this is not new it’s just gotten totally in your face, nixon at least tried to keep the gun behind his leg. the bushits just stuck it in and broke it off. wethepeople need to set-up the gillotene on pensylvania ave, and wall st. lop a few nazi heads. might get some justice that way . shure as hell can’t get it from the courts or the government. stop paying the ileagal income tax and buy ammo with the money, you are going to need it. if you think otherwise look at the differnce in police reaction to the kentucky riots, and the occupy wall st movement. drunks rioting? no bigge, citizens protesting the rape and pillage of our nation? bring on hundreds of club weilding, pepper spraying gestappo…….as one of our most beloved philosiphers said ” th th th thats all folks “

  26. sleeprn01 says:

    When 2 justices (Scalia & Thomas) attend a meeting that was sponsored by the Koch brothers you get Koch brother rhetoric from the bench. I think that what we are seeing from the bench is an example of judicial activism and over reach, which is deeply deplored by the GOP.

  27. Yappy2 says:

    I find it ironic that Paul Ryan is trying to do away with Social Security and Medicare, being he was able to take advantage of Social Security Survivers Benefits at the age of 16, when his father passed away at the age of 55.

    • montanabill says:

      I find it ironic that you have no idea what Ryan has proposed yet write about it.

      • Yappy2 says:

        I don’t have to see what he wrote in his proposal, I hear what he is SAYING.

        • montanabill says:

          Then you should be hearing that he is proposing restructuring not ‘doing away’. Do you think that Obama is saving Medicare by removing funds from it or saving Social Security by having a ‘tax cut’ that starves the fund? It is one thing to talk about options and quite another to actually be doing the things that will kill Social Security and Medicare.

          • Yappy2 says:

            Restructuring is another word out of his Republican mouth for getting rid of medicare and Social Security. George W Bush tried putting it on Wall Street. I believe the” tax cut “you speak about is a temporary thing until the economy picks up, and if the Republicans weren’t so intent on obstructing everything that would probably occur a lot faster.

          • montanabill says:

            Spouting nonsense doesn’t make it so. Restructuring means restructuring not some evil plan as put forth by the likes Debbie Wasserman-whatever. If a ‘tax cut’ was truly needed, why wasn’t it a real tax cut instead of a game. There was no need to stop funding Social Security. It could have been actual taxes that were cut. As far as helping the economy, it was like using an eyedropper on a forest fire.

          • Yappy2 says:


        • montanabill says:

          Perhaps you would like to compare Ryan’s plan with a point by point comparison with the Democrat’s budget.

  28. viewfromtheleftcoast says:

    GOOD, I hope the people of Wisconsin are still aware and awake when November comes………

  29. rustacus21 says:

    Ok- that’s progress! At least we agree on sumthing – that ‘gibberish’ is an actual form of communication… of Conservatives… What the authors of the Constitution intended, was to not get complicated. No greed. No authoritarianism. No dictatorship. No PREFERENCES. That as Americans , we all have equal justice, liberties, opportunities, equal access thereof, freedom from ignorance, to be enlightened @will, or thru the state (education system), which provides the very best knowledge transference the citizenry requires. A FREE & UNCONFLICTED press (media), where information, truth, honesty, takes priority over profits & ideology. Thats the ‘response’ to the Ryan budget ‘gibberish’ which, like U, he 2 acknowledges we’re in a problem – his perspective is defective, however. He sees no way out. We Liberal/Progressives don’t think in defeatist terms. Better yet, since U play w/numbers somewhat, run comparisons between that 2001-2009 Conservative group which resided at 1600 Pennsylvania vs. the Clinton administration – pic any category, any dept, yr by yr or all together & see what U come up w/. One got handed the world on a gold platter. One got handed a world of… not so good stuff AND THEN, proceeded to transform the not-so-good, in2 the greatest of ALL TIME (or comparatively, close to FDR type miracles). B/c Ryan & his ‘confederates’ are stuck in 1775. It all ‘looks’ impossible. Til U understand the problem. & again, we both know what THAT problem is…

  30. solver63 says:

    First and formost, “path to prosperity” – Really? If you are a corporation or a 2%er. If you listened to President Obamas AP speech on 4/3 you know that the POTUS did the math for Ryan (whom apparently failed that in college in lieu of creative writing courses) The math is true and scary for the PEOPLE of this country, the ones that do the working and voting in this country. The bought and paid for politicians are only concerned with creating a society of “free enterprise” – not so much for the new and small business’, But for the corporations that exist and make huge profits at the failing of the middle class and the government. They want to have a Plutocratic country in 20 years, plain and simple. Romney says he’s about small business and enterpreneurism but doesn’t show it. If in fact he cared about the less than 1% he would be for single payer health insurance to get ALL business out of the healthcare business. He can’t, health insurance and Hospitals and Dr’s are too much a commodity and that common sense to save everyone money is far too “socialized”. He would stand up for the government that makes the country a country, not the corporations doing business in it and their owner/traitors buying elections and “pay to play” push the bills through politics. I hope Mr “sketch” takes Ryan on as his Veep-Mate , it would be MARVELOUS. Romney gave a speech about omelette’s and eggs – heres the rub Romney, We the people want the omellette and we like the eggs, we need a plain old cheese and bacon breakfast dish – NOT – The poached eggs and smoked salmon with Hollandaise and caviar you and YOUR people eat. The GOPTEA are clearly looking to destroy our middle class and country – plain and simple – it’s the GOPBaggers aim and if elected (or Re-elected) will turn us into indentured servants.
    The voters out there better realize that we have the smart guy in the position, Willard and all the others who campaign for the jobs WE give them pale in comparison (not just in physical appaerance) but in performance. We have the “FIXER” – we don’t need the ones that want to regress and oppress. Then we have the right wing bought UN- Supreme court – I don’t know how they will rule on healthcare but considering Bush V. Gore (gave Bush what I call the DAMAGE years) Citizens UN – United and some other BS calls can not make it any clearere that the GOP side of the ball is all about payoffs and corruption is an understatement. We don’t want 4 more years of Pres. Obama we NEED more like 8 more years of him to fix all the breakage and the last 3 years of not having a Congress. Thats another subject, a long subject.

    • ObozoMustGo says:

      solver… you are a complete moron and probably one of Obozo’s paid campaign workers. Who controlled the House and Senate from Jan 2009 to 2011? That’s right, Obozo did. Why did he get his ass kicked in November 2010? Because he tried shoving socialized medicine down America’s throat with huge public outrage against it. He proved himself not fit to have the reigns of government in his complete control. AND he will get his ass thrown out in November as well.

      Have a nice day.

  31. Dave_dido says:

    Mr. Obozo,your “rational thinking game” doesn’t hold water. The Canadian oil company has said that a pipeline to BC is not feasible. The refineries that have the necessary capacity are in the Gulf. You should do more research and not rely on your homespun logic. Did I complain about the price of gas? Why do you try to put words in my mouth. I don’t give a darn about the price of gas. My feeling is that until gas reaches $8 or $9/ gallon Americans will continue to run their SUV’s and Hummers on unsustainable fossil fuels. “Drill, baby, drill” is a fool’s solution and not a good longterm strategy. Thank God that President Obama didn’t succumb to political expedience and sell our future and that of our grandchildren to satisfy Americans’ demand for cheap fossil fuels. It’s high time for the addict to go through rehab.

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