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Sunday, October 23, 2016

Search the phrase “the most powerful man in the world” and what comes up are photos of grotesquely over-developed weightlifters; also Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin. Awfully ironic under present circumstances. It’s a cant term TV news anchors use to describe U.S. presidents, enhancing their own self-importance as chroniclers of the great.

But have two politicians ever looked less like demigods than Presidents Obama and Putin? “Things are in the saddle and ride mankind,” Emerson wrote. The unspeakable tragedy in the Ukraine and underscores that brute fact.

However, it’s not an existential point I’d like to make, but a political one.

The American cult of the presidency has always had overtones of magical thinking. We imagine our presidents responsible for events over which they have little or no control. Technically, President Obama commands the world’s most powerful military establishment, for all the good it’s done anybody in Amsterdam or Malaysia.

Often, it seems as if being the “world’s lone superpower,” to use another cant phrase, actually means that superpowers no longer exist.

Not democratic ones, anyway. America’s military superiority appears to have relieved many citizens of the need to think coherently about foreign policy at all. Not that they ever did.

The paradoxical situation in which President Obama finds himself has been correctly diagnosed by Kevin Drum. According to a recent Politico poll, fully two-thirds (67 percent) of Americans want U.S. military power used only to address immediate threats to national security. Just 22 percent think the U.S. has a moral duty to protect democracies around the world.

Three-quarters of American voters want out of Afghanistan, ASAP. People who want less involvement in Syria’s civil war outnumber those who want more by 42 to 15 percent. A strong plurality wants a smaller American role in Iraq’s struggle against ISIS militants—a group too extreme for al Qaeda.

More pointedly, just 17 percent think the U.S. should do more to deter Russian aggression in the Ukraine. Any wonder why Putin felt emboldened to arm drunken separatist militiamen with sophisticated anti-aircraft missiles — the rough equivalent of giving strategic bombers to the KKK?

In short, Americans broadly agree with President Obama’s policies. But they also trust Republicans more than Democrats on foreign policy by 39 to 32 percent. “Bottom line,” Drum writes “…Americans prefer the actual foreign policy of Democrats, but they prefer the rhetorical foreign policy of Republicans. They want lots of bluster and chest thumping, but without much in the way of serious action.”

Bluster and chest thumping they’ve been getting aplenty. You almost can’t turn on the TV without seeing Senator John McCain and his sidekick, Senator Lindsey Graham. Last year Mother Jones listed fifteen countries The Very Angry Senator has wanted to “bomb, invade, or destabilize” since about 2000.

McCain’s become as predictable as a cartoon character. Had he gotten his way, the U.S. would currently have the proverbial “boots on the ground” in five Middle Eastern countries — Libya, Syria, Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan — along with Nigeria and North Korea.

Oh, and the Ukraine too. The latest thinking in advanced GOP circles, see, is that Putin’s ill-fated adventurism was prompted not by Western indifference to border disputes in Russian-speaking areas of eastern Ukraine. Nor by domestic politics, although Putin’s nationalist posturing has driven his approval rating among Russians to 83 percent — even higher than George W. Bush’s numbers at the time of his “Mission Accomplished” aircraft carrier stunt.

It definitely helps Putin to have a state-run news media whose staggering dishonesty makes Fox News look like the BBC.

Writing in the Washington Post, former Bush speechwriter Marc Thiessen lays down the GOP party line: It’s purely Obama’s fault. “Putin saw that Obama did not have the stomach” to bomb Syria “and knew that he would face no real consequences for destabilizing Ukraine.”

Thiessen performs the remarkable trick of scolding the president for weakness while praising his U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power for her “searing indictment” of Russian brutality, dishonesty and incompetence.

Quite forgotten, meanwhile, are all the paeans to the Russian leader’s manly decisiveness emitted by name-brand Republicans.

“I think Putin has outperformed our president time and again on the world stage,” Mitt Romney told NBC News last January. “And I think most observers of the international political scene suggest that Russia has elevated itself in stature and America has been diminished.”

Fox News pundits have been virtually unanimous in describing Putin as a he-man action hero. Sarah Palin sounded as if she’d like to get to know the Russian president a lot better.

“People look at Putin as one who wrestles bears and drills for oil,” she said, “and our president wears mom jeans and equivocates.”

Meanwhile, the most powerful men in the world appear defeated. Confronted with an act of mass murder whose brutality is exceeded only by its slack-jawed idiocy, Obama looks careworn, exhausted; Putin dead-eyed and unsure.

AFP Photo/Maxim Shipenkov

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Copyright 2014 The National Memo
  • Dominick Vila

    The positions that most politicians and political leaders take are consistent with their ideology, the expectations of their constituents, circumstances, and in cases such as this, what is best for the national security of their countries.
    Putin could have stopped the violence in Eastern Ukraine the moment it erupted. Not only did he ignore it, he promoted it and supported it. The downing of the Malaysian passenger plane, two Ukrainian planes, and the death of hundreds of people on both sides of that conflict are largely of his own doing. Is he defeated? I doubt it. His goal seems to be consistent with the history of Russia, and what an ex-KGB boss would have supported. He is counting on the West European countries that depend on Russian natural gas exports to stay warm in Winter, to throw in the towel, which they would have already done had it not been for the pressure we are putting on them to at least show a facade of outrage over tactics reminiscent of the Soviet era.
    Obama’s actions are consistent with the positions his predecessors have taken in the face of Russian and Chinese expansionism in the past. The problems in Chechnya and Tibet come to mind. The truth is that most Americans are indifferent to what is going on in Ukraine, and are as determined as ever to end our tendency to intervene and sacrifice the lives of young Americans in quests that seldom produce anything positive for us. Considering the political climate in the USA, our focus on economic issues, and our indifference to what is happening thousands of miles from our country, the only thing a U.S. President can do is condemn atrocities, impose sanctions that seldom change the minds of the aggressors, and pretend they are taking a tough stand when in fact they can’t do anything about what is going on. Obama is as impotent to stop the mess in the Ukraine, as Bush was to stop the upheaval in Chechnya and Tibet…and the Russian and Chinese leaders know it.

    • mah101

      Most Americans, I propose, could not find Ukraine on a map of the world. They likely are little aware of the importance of Ukraine to the former Soviet Union, and how the independence of Ukraine tests Russian identity. They are likely even less aware of the Kieven Rus and its critical position in the formation and identity of slavic states, including modern Russia.

  • Eleanore Whitaker

    I turned on the TV to catch the weather this morning. First channel? War in the Middle East. Flipped to another channel? War between Russia and the Ukraine. Strike two. Flip the channel again and some redneck drawling, swaggering Confederate is preaching his Stars and Bars anti-Obama war rhetoric. Strike three.

    Out of the seven TV channels I tried to catch weather reports from, one didn’t report war or war related news.

    Now, I ask you. Is a steady diet of war all the media plans to report? This has been going on for far too long. All Americans wake to each day is war, murder, heinous human rights violations and conniving, sniveling Confederates all trying to become Masters of the Universe.

    Sorry to vent. But, a lifetime existence of war and animosity wasn’t my plan.

    • Independent1

      But stealing tax money and reveling in violence is all the GOP likes to do these days. It’s what they’re all about!!

      And unfortunately, I don’t see it changing unless more Americans wake up to the fact that the GOP is taking them down the road to turning America into a quasi third world country just like Somalia.

      • Bob Williams

        Wait a minute! Obama is NOT a Republican – he is a Democrat. Same with Harry Reid. They are the one trying to change America into Kenya. Remember it was Obama who said that he planned to “fundamentally change America”, and he is doing his very best to make that happen.

        • BiteMeLiberals

          Voting for a third world President got us a third world country.

          • Independent1

            Sorry, it’s GOP states that demonstrate just how much the GOP is trying to lead America into the 3rd world category – all you have to do is start with Texas which rates in the bottom 10 when comparing states on 23 socio/economic categories like, the percent of its residents living below the poverty level, not providing adequate police and fire protection to its residents, having the most polluted environment in the nation, the one of the lowest percents of its residents who have a college degree, having the highest percent of its residents without health insurance, providing the least per capita dollars to its school systems, and on and on.

          • Sand_Cat

            Yes, he is the “wrong” color for you. No doubt you’re a “birther,” too.

          • Joseph Hemphill

            Ha, it was republicans who trashed the economy and republicans who refuse to help the average American recover, Blow it out your blathering pie hole…

          • Sand_Cat

            Listening to third-grade, third-rate minds like yours is what got us the problems we have today, and is what is accelerating our decline to the third world.
            Stop letting your genitals do the thinking for you; if you want some rough sex involving biting, go to a site for perverts like yourself.

        • Sand_Cat

          Yeah, you bet, genius. If the GOP had gotten its way the last six years, Kenya would probably look pretty good by comparison.

          • Independent1

            Red states are great examples of comparing America to Kenya in that they virtually lead the nation by having the shortest life span projections, by having the highest rates of infant mortality, by having the highest incidences of all forms of violence including all forms of homicides, by having the highest percentages of people living in their states who do not have health insurance, by leading the nation in states with the most polluted environments, by having the most states in the top ten of those who have their public officials convicted for some type of crime, for providing the least personal security with respect to police and fire protection, and on and on.

          • joe schmo

            Hey, I have a great idea. Why don’t we separate. You take the Blue states and we take the Red.

            We kick out any freeloader who needs government assistance with the exception of the disabled or woman with small children. We set up daycare programs for women with small children so that they can get a good education. If we have welfare, people have to work for it and be trained in having some skill to make them a viable part of society or they will get kicked out. The Blue states can take the rest. You keep all those social programs and losers living off the system.

            We lower taxes and maybe implement a sales tax and set up import taxes for countries like China.

            We won’t need the IRS. You can have it. We don’t outsource we begin to produce at home so there won’t be any government breathing down the backs of businesses. We also connect with businesses internationally to export and visa versa. We reinstitute the Pledge of Allegiance, and pride in the Flag and America.

            We get back to reading, writing and arithmetic in the schools. Children LEARN about American History and exceptionalism. Children are taught to be responsible and disciplined. If parents want to send their children to parochial schools or home school then it is their choice.

            We build up a strong military and don’t go into fruitless wars that we have nothing to do with. We close up the border tight and reinstate the ‘quota.’ So immigration will be fair for all that enter. You can take all the dummies in you want. We will restrict the influx to people who SPEAK english, are mostly educated and we bring in migrants to work and then leave. They have to stand in line like everyone else.

            Drug addicts will be kicked out, and drug cartel will not be allowed. They will be stopped at the border or shot.

            We will actually let the police do their jobs. We will reinstitute chain gangs and death sentences. Punishment will be swift and chain gangs will be unpleasant and an embarrassment. Criminals will hate prison and never have any desire to return.

            All the amendments including the 2nd will be recognized.

            That’s about the extent of it…..

          • Independent1

            Let’s see. Given that many red states are surviving now on their convoluted tax structures only because they’re sucking millions of fed dollars and would sink into bankruptcy without them; and are having the Feds support as many as 20% of their residents on food stamps and welfare (20 of the 23 states with more than 15% of their people living below the poverty level are red states who clearly couldn’t support themselves without the federal dollars they’
            re sucking); I doubt seriously that even 5 of the current red states would not fall into total bankruptcy within a couple years on their own.

            You have to remember, there are only 3 red states that send more tax dollars to Washington than they get back in federal subsidies, and those 3 states are still getting over 95 cents back for every $1 they send to Washington. it’s the 14 blue states, many that get around 60 cents back in federal help that are basically supporting America. There’s absolutely no way that a confederacy of red states could stay afloat without a drastic change in tax philosphy.

            There’s a reason that red states lead the nation violence and murders already; that’s because they’ve pared back monies going to their police forces to the bone, allowing their residents to run amok. And it’s basically why the life expectancy of people in red states is as much as 5 years shorter than people in blue states; because they refuse to spend the money providing medical care to people who drastically need it – allowing them to die prematurely. And the same goes for infant mortality – 12 of the 15 states with the highest incidences of infant mortality are red states because they won’t let the many women in their states living below the poverty level get the healthcare they need while pregnant.

            Anyway you want to look at it – red states are nothing more than one disaster after another waiting to happen. Why do you think America has fallen to around 50th in the world in life expectancy – because of the 5 red states where longevity is to age 75 and another 5 where it’s to only 77. No Blue state has a life expectancy of less than 78 and 9 blue states have a life expectancy over 80 while only ONE red state (Utah) has a life expectancy to 80.2,.

          • joe schmo

            Rather doubt that they would fall off the face of the earth.

            Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R), coming off a year as chairman of the Republican Governors Association, has been a tireless proselytizer for his party’s conservative approach. Red states, he said, are “doing better economically, they’re doing better with credit ratings, they’re doing better with people moving into their states. . . . I’ll sit here all day and talk to you about how Republican policies and Republican-led states are doing better.”

            California and NY are the lowest on the list of desirable states to live.


            For A Better Future, Live In A Red State-intelligence2 debates


            Oh and by the way, Utah is one of the up and comers…..LOL Can go both ways……

          • Independent1

            And just in case you doubt my word about red states leading the nation in violence, here’s a little excerpt from an article that says:

            Texas ranks among most dangerous states in America

            (CultureMap Austin) — Texans have no shortage of state pride, but a new survey has knocked down the Lone Star State a peg. According to the number crunchers at Wallet Hub, Texas is among the most dangerous states in America, falling in the bottom five on the 2014 list of Safest States To Live In.

            For the personal finance website, the term “safety” does not refer exclusively to protection from violence and crime; it encompasses various categories, including workplace and traffic safety, natural disasters, home and community stability, and financial security. To determine its rankings, Wallet Hub looked at 26 key metrics for all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

            Texas landed at No. 47. Only Oklahoma, Tennessee, Arkansas and Nevada fared worse on the survey. Texas earned its poorest marks for financial security and emergency preparedness.

            And when you add the states of South Carolina, Mississippi and Louisiana to the red states in the top 10 most violent list; that makes 8 of the 10 most violent states in America – red states. And when you add Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky and Arkansas to those in the top 15; that makes 12 of the 15 most violent states in America – red states. The only blue states on the list of the top 15 are New Mexico, Delaware and Maryland.

          • joe schmo

            Hmmmm….not sure where you are getting your information….

            Just in:




            You lose again:)

            Texas is the most dangerous?….how many illegals are fluxing in from the border daily ….and that includes drug cartel…’s a huge state. California is also at the helm of crime and it is a large state with many migrants…. Most of the crime committed in our community is committed by Hispanics.

            You are talking about only one aspect within a community and not the community as a whole….

          • BillP

            First you start your comment with a lie “I have a great idea.” Your simplistic so called solution is the fantasy of someone not living in the real world. Of all your ridiculous statements this one is the most laughable. It’s never going to happen, too many of your red state people don’t want to leave the US.

          • joe schmo

            I am being cynical. Guess you don’t get that because you have no sense of cynicism.

            ……and you have REAL solutions? No you don’t. Haven’t heard one on this site. No yours is the world of Government hand held LaLa. Things are just great at the moment aren’t they and you would say they are just grand (again, I am being cynical) If anyone is living in a delusional fantasy land it is you. A euphoric utopia created by the Liberal magic wand…..LOL ‘Ain’t it grand. We all love it sooo much.

          • BillP

            Schmooey I doubt you are being cynical, you write way too long comments and way to funny. Made me laugh a lot. You should try getting out into the real world every once in a while, you have such delusions. Can you elaborate on Government hand held LaLa, it’s such a typical statement by you.
            Things are better now then they were back in 2007/2008, you do remember when monthly jobs losses were 600K – 800K, the stock market was diving along with the housing market. For a reality check why not look at the current stock market indices like S&P500 or the Nasdaq (here’s a clue they are much higher than in 2008 up 100% or more), over 4+ years of monthly private sector job growth, more people having health insurance and a continuing to improve housing market. Those are real facts that you can find out about by looking a real newspaper or valid websites. I know you will not do this because it would burst your fantasy bubble world of everything is horribly bad since Obama became the president.
            Your silly-assed comments about euphoric utopia or Liberal magic wand jut shows you have nothing of value to add to the conversation, just little childish clichés.

          • joe schmo

            Your latest comment is….need I say more….

            Better….hmmm I guess that is why every single liberal I talk to in LaLa Land is a bit concerned. Little delusional isn’t it? They see it you don’t. Who’s being smarter?

            Remember what I said about the stock market. Watch out… may lose your ass…LOL I prefer safer investments…..

            I predict…housing market burst and stock market will regress.

            Where have you been. In a protective bubble. Look around for a change. Go ahead….go down with the ship. I could care less.

            Good luck! LOLOLOL

          • BillP

            You can laugh all you want, I just keep smiling when I read my investment statements, they keep going up and up. That’s in addition to the profits I have made with my investments already. Sure there will be corrections or profit taking but in the long term I will be smiling more than you will be laughing. Over a year ago some Libertarian website claimed there would be a huge sell off in the market, still waiting. Your knowledge of the stock market is so infantile but then again everything about you is childish.
            To deny things are better then they were in 2007/2008 is to ignore real facts but that’s what you do. You never back up your ludicrous claims with any provable facts.
            Again you make these statements about everyone you talk to in LaLa land is a bit concerned is pure bs. You know you can’t count your imaginary friends as real.
            As for your predictions whatever happened to your post 7/1 prediction, as usual nothing. Keep laughing, I’ll keep smiling

          • joe schmo

            Well, keep smilling dude. Better cash in before it is too late.

            I already have enough to suffice:)

            Never said it was great in 2007-08 Never stated that at all.

            What’s the matter. You don’t like LaLa Land because that is where you reside. Just keep those wires on your eyes… You’ll see…. Just keep smiling that Cheshire Cat smile. It won’t last forever…. Never does.

          • BillP

            I’m still smiling and will continue to do so, in the long term the stock market has been a great place to invest. Your investment acumen is atrocious that it’s laughable. Check the entire history of the market and you will see that the averages for the S&P500 and Nasdaq have been positive. Over the long term it does last.
            My reference to 2007/2008 had nothing to do with you, though I have noticed you get a bit egocentric about comments. It was base point to compare now to, in 2007/2008 the market was falling badly, unemployment was soaring (600K or more jobs loss per month) and the housing market was collapsing. Now the market is doing very well, unemployment is down and consumer confidence is at highs not seen since late 2006.

          • joe schmo

            Sand_Cat is this always the only response you give. That is, to unintelligently debunk Conservatives….. Kind of stupid isn’t it?

          • Sand_Cat

            Yes, what has happened to this country for the last 14 or 15 years really is stupid, but it hasn’t taught people like you a thing. As the saying goes, you can’t fix stupid. And when – as in your case – one adds extreme right-wing views… well, actually they predominate among the ignorant and stupid, which is why the GOP is always whining about education costs and teachers. Why do I even bother to answer your delusional screeds?

          • joe schmo

            Really, you even want to go there. Made matters worse on your end. You progressives are Commy’s.

            Can’t fix stupid…..fits you to a tea. Sorry you are part of the ‘collective.’ I think more independently than you ever will. I don’t need the government to hold my hand because I am too lazy to make my own decisions.

            Education costs and teachers? LOL are the kids doing any better or learning any better. You know change is hard to take especially since Liberals have held the reins on education for so long. 32 out of 32 countries in reading….sorry. Time to rethink the wheel. New ideas are need to be implemented, let’s get rid of old humanistic ideology. Humans hate change, but change promotes progress. Why not simplify….reading, writing and arithmetic sound familiar. Let’s get rid of ‘Common Core.’ All children do not learn in the same manner. Why not challenge exceptional students and spur on competition. It’s the way life away from the comfort zone of school is. Tough, competitive and challenging. I have been an educator so I know that being creative and demanding quality is important.

            You don’t answer because most Liberals have a problem with questions. All you really know how to do is berate. No solutions. A little small minded isn’t it?

          • Sand_Cat

            Can’t take it when you get back what you’ve been giving for decades, Joe?
            Why should I bother to “answer” a nastily delusional racist neo-Nazi who projects his faults on everyone else? I give you the answers you deserve. In fact, they’re far better than you deserve.

          • joe schmo

            Hey, that education system is your baby. It ‘ain’t’ working is it?

            Bringing in uneducated people from the South is your baby. They have more rights than citizens and your side will claim you will raise them up when all your side does is pacify stupid. You want to keep them ignorant because you prey on the naive, the innocent and the ignorant. How hard do you want me to laugh.

            All money dished out to social programs results in no progress anywhere else. Specifically in job growth or small businesses which are taxed and regulated to death. Where’s the money going to come from when everyone is poor.

            I have dealt with poor immigrants when I taught. They cannot think or dream big. That takes decades. The best they can do is technical skills like auto repair, welding, hairstylist, shop keeper, maid and landscaper, food service worker etc…. They cannot think beyond the stars. Is that the wave of the future that you want to see?

            High taxes will not allow the middle class to grow. It keeps the masses poor. Unions 8-5’s keep people lazy and noninnovative.

            You’ll see this will all be a bigger mess before long…..

            You have been fed bullshit by your media. Learn to explore other aspects of the web and do some research before you answer ignorantly because it is obvious to me that you are.

          • Sand_Cat

            Auto repair and welding as the wave of the future beats the hell out of the ultra plutocracy/corporate kleptocracy ruling over millions of the poor and desperate who used to be middle class that we’re headed for, and for which – of the two sides, neither of whom are saints – it seems to me your side is stomping on the accelerator a lot harder. Yes, the Dems are lily-livered corporate shills as well, but at least to this point don’t seem quite so enthusiastic about it as the GOP.
            And boy, do you have it wrong: bringing in uneducated people from outside the country or shipping jobs to people in other countries who will work for lots less than starvation wages here is the CORPORATE wet dream, not mine. Again, neither party is innocent, but the GOP is the torch-bearer for corporate America for the time being. Do they really give a rat’s ass for small business? Small business – just like employees of massive corporate polluters – make wonderful human shields for cutting CORPORATE taxes to nothing.
            Unions provide at least a small counterbalance to corporate power, which is why the servants of corporate power – overwhelmingly the GOP – are determined to destroy ALL OF THEM.
            The countries in Europe all exceed our incredibly stingy social programs, but somehow several of them manage to have happier and more relaxed lives for more people with actual manufacturing and economic growth often better than ours. I believe statistics show that US economic growth has been consistently better under Dems than the GOP for at least the last few decades. Sorry, money spent on social programs can and does help economic growth, as well as helping those who are in temporary difficulty pull through. I realize the GOP’s philosophy seems to be that people who are starving, harassed by collectors for mountains of bills they can’t pay, and humiliated at every turn will work harder to find jobs – not very productive when there are none, or aren’t enough – but I doubt if that approach can be supported by evidence.
            You may not agree, but it seems to me that THE two most important things which must be realized and codified into law if we are to escape disaster are
            1) Corporations are not, and never have been “persons” as defined by the Constitution and its amendments, and should have their “rights” limited, with the possibility of the death penalty for particularly egregious crimes
            2) Money is NOT, and never has been speech, and so long as it is considered to be so, our government will grow more and more corrupt and self-serving (if that’s possible) as it is progressively bought up.
            I should add a third: government is not a business, does not serve the same purpose as a business, and cannot be run as a business except at the very lowest level, and only if that does not interfere with its functions as a government.

          • joe schmo

            Wow, sand_cat you actually wrote something. I’m impressed:) Can’t believe this is coming out of that sand-grain brain of yours.

            Welding and auto-body the wave of the future? Doesn’t leave much room for innovation, dreaming big and living the American Dream does it? That’s almost like NO progress. Why not inspire youths to become more than they can be? Concept? You cannot advance in a society if you take away the very thing that made us great. That is start-ups. Start-ups that start small and grow big. I agree with you on the fact that Corporations have been getting away with a lot but truth is our laws have sent them packing. Specifically manufacturing. You take away Competition and you no longer know how to compete with the BIG boys of the world. Then what? You have to give US companies incentives to stay here and foreign companies to want to come here and employ the masses. With the ‘uber’ high taxes and regulations you want to be able to invite companies to come here and stay and for those already here you want to encourage them to stay. That is something you don’t quite understand.

            TOTAL SHARES

            More companies bail on U.S. for lower taxes.

            A person usually starts at the small business stage and then builds up. What? you want to punish those companies for wanting to grow? Your ideology is cutting the American throat.

            Why don’t you give me some examples of European work ethics?
            1) I am in a business where countries are offering subsidies which invite companies over, however; one problem is mamy of these countries are having a hard time coming up with the amount of money and are starting to make deductions.
            That business is the film industry. It is outsourced to death.
            2) Other countries like China, India etcc…offer only low wages.
            3) Countries like Germany. A country that has lived through 2 wars (and I can imagine that the same fact goes for other countries as well) knows how to budget their money. They are exceptionally good at juggling.

            I’m not saying cut out social programs entirely because that would leave people starving and on the streets, but I do feel some know how to work the system, I believe if a person is able bodied they should work for their welfare check.. I am not so heartless that disabled people and mother’s with no income should not be taken care of. All I’m saying is that the program is warped and needs revamping. Trust me, I could make it work with NO wasteful spending.

            Well, the economy under Dems….maybe it used to work for ya, now it is not and there has to be new solutions. Remember the world is always changing specifically now that your side is trying to allow all these uneducated types into the country. How do you suppose we are going to keep up the social programs when we feed more people than people working?

            Unions want too much. They have become corrupt. Our country is economically unstable. I believe when the economy goes down, to lessen the burden on society, wages also need to go down. That way people can keep their jobs. When the economy gets better those higher wages could be brought back up. You are mislead if you think social programs drive the wheel of an economy. Wow, that’s kind of ridiculous. A good money making economy turns the wheels of progress and therefore allows a greater amount to help the poor. If you have it the other way around you have a few rich and a mass of poor. That is what we are seeing now.

            At least you admit there are NO jobs and that our government is corrupt and getting worse. Who should we blame? Both sides. We know that all too well. No jobs, higher food prices, higher fuel prices, wages that haven’t gone up since 1997, higher taxes, no revenue, no production, = no money, competition or economic growth. Where does that leave us….. with many poor folks and very few rich because you can’t stand them anyway. Money drives the economy. Companies drive the economy why not give them incentives to stay?

            One thing I have to say is that your side weighs to heavily on the GOVERNMENT. They were not meant to be THE entity of the United States. The people were.

            Someone uploaded this reply the other day on a Conservative blog. Before you debunk that it is from a Conservative, read it please….

            “The UNITED States of America will be transformed into the DIVIDED
            States of America?” I think we’re ALREADY divided and have been for
            quite some time now. But we probably have’nt seen anything yet compared
            to what it’s gonna be. Even Ben Franklin had his doubts if the country
            would last. At the close of the Constitutional Convention when leaving
            after the final day of deliberation he was asked, “Sir, what have you
            given us.. a Republic or a Monarchy? He responded, “A Republic, if you
            can keep it.”

          • Sand_Cat

            I suppose I deserve the gratuitous insult.
            Of course, you deliberately misinterpreted what I said about the future of the country: no surprise there. The point is that the massive corporation endangers your “liberty” – and probably most of the other values you espouse in you note other than dislike for people who want a living wage for often difficult and sometimes dangerous work – far more than the “government.” At least the government nominally – and occasionally, actually – answers to us; the corporation answers to no one.

          • joe schmo

            I agree to some extent that Corporations have gotten out of hands. I know that most Conservatives believe that, however; we draw the line in the sand when it comes to taxes and regulations. This is a large source of our outsourcing.

            The Liberal government only answers to itself and it’s own Marxist agenda that you go along with….

        • Independent1

          Really!! List for us how he’s doing that; I don’t think you can come up with much.

          Is Obama changing America into Kenya –

          .By having saved the country from the GOP’s 2nd created world-wide depression by saving the Auto industry?

          .By having presided of an economy which has seen more jobs created in the past 5+ years than Bush created in 8?

          . By having reduced Bush’s deficit spending faster than any previous presidents since Truman?

          .By actually cutting deficit spending more than in 1/2 in 4+ years just as he promised?

          . By having taken it upon himself when the GOP Congress would do nothing, cutting the banks out of the student loan process so HS students could get cheaper, more affordable loans to go to college?

          . By having worked with the oil and gas exploration industries such that America is pumping more gas and oil than at any previous time and is now the largest oil & gas producer on the planet?

          . By having started a war on fraud in the defense and healthcare sectors, bringing more crooks to justice and recovering more fraud monies than any two previous presidents combined?

          . By having his administration round up and deport more troublesome illegal aliens, those actually costing the U.S. big money, than any previous president?

          . By creating a thriving alternative energy sector via his stimulus package which is transforming America’s energy consumption which is on the brink of making fossil fuels (oil,gas and coal) almost obsolete??

          Just how is Obama transforming America into Kenya when he has clearly accomplished more in the past 5 years than any previous president in office since FDR????

      • Bill

        The GOP cries about the debt, caused buy two unfunded wars by the GOP. They refuse to create jobs and now all they can do is cry for more wars. They starve the economy to reduce the debt they created. If war is what they want, give them a gun and ship their ass out. How can anyone support these assholes when all they do is lie about the Government to try to make themselves look good, saying the President can do nothing right. Wake up and compare the economy of the GOP Presidents against Clinton and Obama.

        • ORAXX

          And, by and large, the American public doesn’t seem to learn a damn thing from it.

      • Eleanore Whitaker

        Today’s employers are all a bunch of shameless, soulless skanks. Look at how Walmart pays zero salaries: First, they pay employees such low wages and then encourage them to use welfare supplements and food stamps to fill in the gap left by Walton billionaires who stiff their employees. But gets even skankier..these same employees are also contributing every pay period to SS, Medicare and Medicare in addition to FICA and other payroll taxes, right? So, in effect, Walmart gets all that money right back. How? The Walmarts all make sure they get the states they locate in to hand them tax exemptions in the hundred millions. The loss of that revenue comes from their employees and the rest of us. A skank is a skank and a shoe up their butts is the only thing that shakes their brains back to normal.

      • joe schmo

        Stealing tax money! WOW!…..and Obummer and his wife fly separately on the taxpayers dime all the time. Give money to Countries to keep oil on their soil. Obama also wants more and more tax money. The GOP? The ball is not entirely in their court.

        Just who is turning America into a 3rd world country with his idea of ‘sharing the wealth,’ uneducated illegal influx, taxes and regulations ( the highest in the world) for businesses big and small, outsourcing….and the list goes on and on and on. Millions on unemployment, welfare without jobs.

        The Conservatives have nothing to do with the above. Obama is an anti-colonial/communist.

        Geez, are you out of touch…..

        • Independent1

          You really are clueless aren’t you!! Sorry but:

          Obama’s not trying to pass tax cuts every chance he gets just so the weathy can steal more tax dollars by not paying their fair share of taxes.

          And Obama isn’t trying to pass legislation every time he turns around that feeds more tax subsidies to corporations that are already making billions in profit which is nothing more than stealing more taxpayer money.

          And Obama isn’t trying to start a war every chance he gets just so his rich cronies and donors in defense related industries can get no bid contracts that allow them to steal the taxpayers blind by overcharging for everything they provide like Haliburton charging $100/gal for gas to fill up jeeps; or to not even start or finish rebuilding contracts a company has received millions to complete.

          And Obama isn’t always trying to cut funding for programs like Social Security and Medicare just so he can further cut taxes and allow his rich buddies like Reagan did to pocket even more hard earned taxpayer dollars.

          And Obama isn’t refusing to revisit the tax code in order to redo some of the tax loopholes that are clearly nothing more than giveaways to the rich which allows them to get away with stealing even more taxpayer money by not paying their fair share of taxes.

          Everything considered the GOP is nothing more than the American version of the Italian Mafia. The only difference is that the Italians are more honest and admit that they’re stealing while Republican legislators are not honest enough to admit it and pretend to actually be politicians – which is something they don’t have a clue about how to be.

          • joe schmo

            Don’t you think the middle class deserves a tax break?

            Corporations cannot pay all the taxes and follow those tough stringent regulations yet still keep people employed in the US. Has already killed some businesses and doesn’t leave any room for small business to grow.

            He doesn’t start wars but he has reduced our military to barely anything and he has gained no respect globally.

            I have had medicare since I was in my early 20’s due to chronic illness. It really hasn’t changed all that much that I can tell. If anything it has gotten worse starting with Clinton. So that’s a misnomer that Obama hasn’t changed a thing. I think it has actually gotten a bit worse as far as coverage goes.

            Again, Why not cut the taxes on the middle class and leave the rest alone?

            Yah, the Italian mafia is really honest. Their version of the law or lawlessness is nothing short of what the Dems corruption looks like. No longer is the Democratic party there for the sake of humanity, but rather for the sake of promoting their own political propaganda. Emotional compassion is a ruse. If anything the Conservatives have been trying to follow the laws while the liberals break it. If Nancy Peloser is any indication, I think that the Libs are losing it.

            We are disposable and ‘insignificant.’ How arrogant!


          • Independent1

            Just to start with, NO! I don’t think anyone in America deserves a tax break. Americans already pay the lowest rates of taxation of virtually any similar industrialized countries on the planet; especially when you consider all the tax loopholes which we have that other countries don’t.

            According to the IRS for 2013, the average multi-millionaire paid an effective tax rate of 20.4% of his gross; the average person earning $50-100,000 paid an average of 8.8% and those earning $30-50,000 paid all of 4.7%. Give me a break – most Americans seem to think living in a 21st century is supposed to be free. What utter crap!!

            And the rest of your post is silliness – trying to get me to believe that Medicare coverage isn’t light years better today than 30 years ago. Medicare covers procedures for free that used to have a hefty co-pay. And it covers procedures that doctors didn’t even dream of 30 years ago. And Medicare is saving seniors thousands on their drug costs since Obamacare by starting close the donut hole. If you really believe it’s not better you’re just proving how clueless you are!!!!

        • Sand_Cat

          Obummer? Don’t be stupid trying to look clever when you’re not. You probably can’t name a single bad thing Obama has actually done – not that you or some wing nut imagined – not already done at least as badly by your buddies. That flaming liberal Bush got us into a completely unnecessary war: more expense than all of the travel expenses of all Dem presidents since WW II put together and tripled, plus lots of people died.

          • joe schmo

            Obama spends our money on himself

            Mr. and Mrs. Barack H. Obama have the wildly inappropriate habit of spending our money on themselves. In particular, they seem to enjoy expensive vacations — at Martha’s Vineyard in the summer and Hawaii in the winter — as well as junkets to other parts of the world, aboard Air Force One. (And of course, when the Obamas go on a family vacation, they don’t have to get groped at the airport before boarding a plane.) The rest of the country is suffering through a recession which will continue until Obama leaves the White House. (Is that Barack Obama’s fault?
            Yes.) Mr. Obama also spends a lot of time on the golf course when he should be working, and more recently has traveled aboard Air Force One to events that are obviously campaign
            appearances leading up to the 2012 elections. The Democrats pretend to “watch out for the little guy”, constantlywailing about the gap between the “haves” and “have-nots”, and they want you to believe they fight for the poor and downtrodden. In a recent speech, President Obama said he believes the greatest threat facing our country today is income inequality.*
            If he truly believes that, why does he flaunt his wealth and soak the taxpayers for his semi-annual vacations?

            The Guardian reports that Obama has clocked more than 20,000 miles on Air Force One to
            travel to the fundraisers, at an estimated cost to the U.S. taxpayer of more than $6 million. In contrast to Obama’s 30 trips, the Guardian
            says presidents of both parties previously averaged only 13 fundraisersin the equivalent period of their terms. George W. Bush attended just 11 similar events, Bill Clinton managed 18 and Ronald Reagan only 10.

            Bush was a psuedo Repub. We were just as sick of him as you were at the end of his 2nd term.

          • Independent1

            Obama doesn’t go on any more expensive vacations than any other president – and if he does, HE PAYS FOR THEM!! Taxpayers DO NOT pay for president’s vacations beyond getting them to where they want to vacation. All the expenses incurred while on vacation are PAID FOR BY THE PRESIDENT!! Just like the president and his family pay for EVERYTHING THEY EAT WHILE AT THE WHITE HOUSE!! They get a bill each month for all the food that’s been consumed unless it has been for some government related purpose like dining a visiting dignitary. So get off talking about Obama’s vacations, especially since he’s taken the fewest vacation days of any president since FDR!!!!!! And FAR LESS than any of the last 4 GOP presidents!!!!!

          • joe schmo

            Why don’t you produce where you got that information.

          • Independent1

            And by the way, Bush Jr used Air Force One to travel back and forth between Washington and his Texas Ranch 78 times during his 8 years – running up more travel expenses than all previous presidents. Not to mention the Bush families 5 trips to Africa – 3 of them by Laura Bush and his two daughters. 5 trips which cost more than all the trips Obama has taken.

          • joe schmo

            Didn’t have to pay to stay in his own home. Did have to pay for secret service. Bush never took overly lavish vacations. Reagan did the same he flew often to his ranch in the hills out of Santa Barbara. I remember this well because I lived near Reagans Ranch and I remember that Secret Service had to be housed. However, these were not lavish vacations. They went home.

            Obama on the other hand HAS taken lavish vacations and he HAS used the taxpayer money to enjoy them. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind. You would think that due to the downturn in our economy he would curb some of his travel time.
            How many Democratic Fundraisers has he attended lately?

            Example of One trip to Hawaii cost the taxpayer close to 4 million.

            1)Michelle traveling separately cost taxpayers !00,000 in travel expenses and security.

            2) According to the Air Force, it apparently
            costs $181,757 per flight hour to run the nation’s most secure (and probably its most lavish) aircraft. Thus, the total for the nine-hour trip from Washington to Hawaii and then back again, on Air Force One will come in at $3,271,611.

            3)USAF C-17 cargo plane is also needed to bring Presidential limos, helicopters and other essentials along. This, too, comes at the tune of thousands of dollars.

            4)A team of between four and six Marine Corps will travel along on a separate flight and require per diem and hotel, coming in at $258,000 (estimated).

            5) The Obamas do cover the expense of their own housing while in Hawaii, but secret service housing costs for rental homes runs close to $21,600 per home.

            TOTAL COST: $4,113,038 (estimated).

            The Obamas have spent over 44 million dollars in taxpayer money on travel and vacations. Some are even calling him the “most well-traveled, expensive” president in our nation’s history.

            As Americans head off for the long holiday weekend, let’s take a look back at some of the president’s holiday spending.

            Our president vacations a lot — we’re talking $44,351,777.12 worth of “a lot,” with most expenses charged to the American taxpayer.

            As of March 2014, Obama has spent more time traveling internationally than any other president, taking 31 trips since assuming office in 2009. The 119 days spent overseas have cost taxpayers millions of dollars.

            As of March 2014, Obama has spent more time traveling internationally than any other president, taking 31 trips since assuming office in 2009. The 119 days spent overseas have cost taxpayers millions of dollars.

            At the same point in their respective presidencies,
            George W. Bush had spent 116 days on 28 trips, Bill Clinton had spent 113 days on 27 trips and Ronald Reagan had spent 73 days on just 14

            Maybe… time do some more research?

          • Independent1

            Sorry! Not buyin ONE WORD of your garbage diatribe!! The taxpayers DO NOT PAY for presidential vacations other than the travel expenses because the President has to take with him a sizable security contingent BY LAW!! And the taxpayers pay to house the security detail BUT THAT IS IT!!!!!!

            And Bush never took lavish vacations after his 1st couple years in office because had he left America he would have been arrested and tried for crimes against humanity except for travel to Africa.

            And when Bush did take a trip to England, the British papers said his contingent was like that of royalty, because he brought with him a contingent of over 700 staff members. FAR MORE than when Obama took a trip to England.

            You can take all your made up fairytales and stuff them you know where!!!!!!!!!

          • Independent1

            While you’re so hellbent on trying to fight for the GOP hypocrisy why don’t you explain to all of us here why we would want a GOP-run government when they are virtually destroying the country – attested to by the fact that 8 of the 10 most corrupt states in America are GOP-run states, all 10 of the most miserable states in America are GOP-run states and living in a GOP-run state will take 2-5 years off your life. Explain that to us will you!!

            See these stats:

            8 of the 10 most corrupt states are GOP-Run states: Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee,
            Illinois, Pennsylvania, Alabama, Alaska, South Dakota, Kentucky and Florida.

            9 of the 10 most miserable cities in America are in Red States: Huntington/Ashland, WVA, Charleston, WVA, Redding, CA, Spartansburg, SC, Hickory–Lenoir-Morganton, NC, Beaumont/Port Arthur, TX. Columbus, GA/AL,
            Shreveport/Bossier City, LA, Mobile, AL, Evansville, In/KY.

            All 10 of America’s poorest cities are in Red States: Brownsville-Harlingen, Texas, Dalton, Ga., McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas, Gadsden, Ala., Lake Havasu City-Kingman, Ariz., Albany, Ga., Monroe, La., Cumberland.W.Va., Fort Smith,
            Ark.-Okla, Pine Bluff, Ark;

            While 9 of the 10 richest cities are in Blue States: San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif.,
            Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, D.C.-Va.-Md.,
            Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Conn., San
            Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, Calif., Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, Mass.-N.H.,
            Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, Calif.,
            Anchorage, Alaska, Honolulu, Hawaii,
            Manchester-Nashua, N.H., Napa, Calif.

            All 10 of America’s most miserable states, those with the least “well-being factor” for their residents are GOP-Run states with the worst being West Virginia and then: Kentucky,
            Mississippi, Alabama, Ohio, Arkansas, Tennessee, Missouri, Oklahoma and last
            but not least – Louisiana.

          • Independent1

            Add to the facts I just gave you the fact that GOP-run states also lead the nation BY FAR in violence and homicides.

            § States with most Gun Violence per 100,000 – 2012:

            § Homicides/Assaults/Violent Crime

            § LA-9.53/99.51/555.3

            § AK-4.22/80.47/606.5

            § AL-5.92/40.50/420.1

            § AZ-4.24/57.36/405.9

            § MS-6.91/51.69/269.8


            § NM-3.69/87.26/567.5

            § MO-5.59/88.90/447.4

            § GA-4.57/58.64/373.2

            § AR-4.53/100.56/480.9

            Why do you think that America ranks about 50th in the world in life expectancy and healthcare outcomes??

            It’s because of the 25 plus disasters in America call RED STATES!!!!!!!!!

          • Independent1

            And even disregarding gun violence, 7 of the 10 states that lead the nation in overall violence are
            red states or blue states near DC which is a magnet for crime being the nations capital:

            7 of the 10 most violent states are red states

            Violent Crimes per 100,000 Population – 2012


            And if that’s not bad enough for you, red states even lead the nation BY FAR in auto fatalities per million miles driven:

            23 of the 25 states with the highest auto fatality rates are Red States. Here’s a list of the 1st 10:

            Auto Fatalities per One Million Miles Driven – 2010


          • joe schmo

            OK, you win. Good luck with all that Comrad. U ARE the dividers. This country is already gone. One system government is what you want and what you will get. No more Constitution, no more amendments. God is devoid (good luck with that one) A whole new modern globalized utopian America under the watchful eye of the U.N. Your decadent wish unfolding. You hold the reins of suppression in your very hands. You must be so very proud. How long will it last….. Well the United States of America only lasted less than 250 years. Tragic. Rome lasted 2000 years and ended its onslaught of decadence with a ‘Dark Age’ which lead right back to, that dreaded word in your camp, ‘religion.’

            God who would have thought we would have been taken down by the very people who the ‘republicans’ helped save. I guess revenge is fruitful after all. Some human groups never forget no matter how much you try to help them. May your efforts to save the planet come back to slap you right up side the face. We the Conservative base (not our representatives because they are just like your side) are already reeling in this muck. Just remember you are the very individuals that sold this country down the drain. You should be so proud. Freedom really isn’t free after all…… Whatever that means.

    • BiteMeLiberals

      Still better than watching Hardcore Pawn.

      • Sand_Cat

        Some taste! Maybe there’s hope for you, after all.
        There is, of course, the off switch, too.

        • BiteMeLiberals

          Shows the people that you support.

          • Eleanore Whitaker

            Yes…We do support people..Not penis brains who think with their zippers before they complete a simple intellectual sentence. Perhaps, that antebellum culture is eroding your brain?

          • BiteMeLiberals

            So how many fathers did you have?

          • Eleanore Whitaker

            I’m guessing that’s your real problem…Big Mama was spreading her legs and out you popped…like the idiot ball of white supremacy she and one of your many fathers of the Confederacy taught you. Grow up. Your flea brain posts are boring to the max.

      • Eleanore Whitaker

        I would imagine a CON soaked brain like yours would be titillated by hardcore pawn. The single issue most Americans don’t recognize is the real reason CONs are so selfish, self-centered and sociopathic: Most are boozers who were born from boozers. Some graduate to la la land of narcotics. Others merely satiate their neuroses with pawn..So..tell us…which one of these is your template for CON mentality?

        Only the freeloading lazy asses of conservatism have expectations of free living, free labor, freedom to dictate and any other free BS they can muster in such damaged brains.

        • BiteMeLiberals

          The reference was more a comparison of the free loaders that you support, watch it to see. Of course it went right over your stupid liberal, hippie, free sex, and drugged mind. Peace baby!

          • Eleanore Whitaker

            Why didn’t you say so? You must have loved it when that GOP Senator was “fracking” those Congressional pages back in 2003. You must have been thrilled when that VA Congressman spawned an illegitimate Venezuelan child. Wow..and you must have danced a jig when that OH GOP Senator got caught waiting for “his” in that men’s room.

            Get a life loser. CONs are the biggest male sex offenders…for one reason..bloated male egos. Proven by their ridiculous support for MY tax dollars to pay for Viagra men on Medicare get for “free.”

            Try again genius boi…your CON platitudes are sinking faster into a cesspool than the Titanic.

          • BiteMeLiberals

            It was all just fine when Bill Clinton did it… right?

  • bernieo

    They want Obama to be a tough, decisive leader the way Reagan was. You know, withdrawing troops after our Marine barracks were bombed killing hundreds, doing nothing after our embassies were bombed and not returning immediately from vacation after the Soviets shot down that Korean airliner killing hundreds including a US Congressman. After all he brought down the Soviet Union single-handedly with this kind of toughness.

    The dishonesty of the Republicans on this issue is astounding. The Daily Show had a great segment showing Republicans praising Reagan’s quick response to the Korean airliner downing, declaring that he immediately returned to DC to respond. Only Chris Wallace was honest enough to say it took four days for aides to get Reagan to leave. In his diary Reagan expresses his regret – about having to miss those 4 days of his 25 day vacation!

    Anyone know if Joe Scarborough has admitted he got this wrong? I can’t stand to watch him anymore.

    • Independent1

      What’s astounding to me is that so many millions of Americans can live through history in the making and yet be so terribly misguided with respect to what actually took place – reality. It’s like they walk around in a dream world of their own making – not seeing reality but rather what they want to believe.

      This can be seen in the polls where more than 50% of Americans view Reagan favorably, even though he did more to destroy the American way of life than any previous president in setting America on the downward path that the GOP keeps leading us on even today.

      • ORAXX

        Disposable income for American workers fell under Reagan…..for the first time since the great depression. He presided over the greatest transference of wealth in American history.

      • Irishgrammy

        Independent1, I agree with you so completely!!!! I lived through Reagan, I was politically involved and saw that verbal destruction from the beginning. “Government” being the problem garbage, and you are completely right, it has been a “downward path” ever since!!! The GOP has and continue to insure that sickening ideology as their “battle cry” as they obstruct, defund whatever programs they can get away with, refuse to govern with Democrats, have vilified this President with the most outrageous rhetoric ever heard, condemn ad nauseam, let alone the “trickle down” voodoo economics, which has been factually proven a failure…….We are living in the Hell in great part created by and started by Ronald Reagan’s “voodoo economics” get the rich, richer and stick it to the middle class and poor, better yet attack the poor and minorities for being the problem…..And since his death, the GOP has made a concerted effort to “canonize” Ronny as they try to remake him into their “version” of a desperately needed “Republican hero” or the GOP’s weak imitation of a FDR! Republicans “created” this has been affable actor to play a role….WELL GOP, Ronald Reagan is NO Franklin D. Roosevelt, never was, never will be. FDR did more in his 63 years to move this country forward for everyone, as Reagan did in his 80 plus years to destroy people faith in governance and creating a false scenario of trickle down economy that NEVER trickles at all and only enriches the already rich, resulting in the obscene perversity of allowing the rich to amass/buy far more power to continue to where we are today……with the greatest disparity in income ever. What is hilarious and twistedly ironic, as we all know, this GOPTP wouldn’t even allow Reagan to speak on a stage anywhere today, he would be booed off and ridiculed mercilessly for being far too “liberal” with the exception of condemning government, now that would get him applause still……..

        • ralphkr

          I happened to live in California when Reagan was elected governor. While he was governor my income went up $300 (nationwide raise along with with everyone else my rank) and my state income tax went up $500. What a deal!!! Our great anti-tax Republican was s-o-o successful that I think a lot of Californians voted for him as president just to get him out of California.

          • Independent1

            I wasn’t aware he raised taxes, but I am aware that he almost tripled California’s debts in his 8 years as governor; and another Republican almost duplicated his feat: Arnold. I’m not aware of the numbers for Reagan, but Arnold took over one set of CA debt that was about 28B when he took officeand turned it into 81B during his 8 years.

          • ralphkr

            That is the beauty if tax withholding. Nobody notices increases in fact, altogether too many people think that they pay no taxes because they get a refund. Another thing is just think what would happen if at the end of the year you would suddenly discover that you had to pay $15K to $30K in taxes. Yep, tax with holding enables much higher tax rates.

    • ORAXX

      Reagan had devolved into a right wing cult figure, whose actual record bears no resemblance to the myth. By any objective standard, Reagan was one of the worst presidents this country ever had. The war against the middle and working classes, begun by Reagan, continues today.

  • FT66

    Well written article as usual Gene Lyons. You have really made my day especially where you wrote: “It definitely helps Putin to have a state-run news media whose staggering dishonesty makes Fox News look like the BBC”.
    AND ALSO where you wrote:
    “Any wonder why Putin felt emboldened to arm drunken separatist militiamen with sophisticated anti-aircraft missiles”.
    where you have written: “Fox News pundits have virtually unanimous in describing Putin as a he-man action hero”.
    Here is my question: Do they still say the same now after downing Malaysian Airline jet?
    Keep up the good job you are doing Gene Lyons. It is quite impressive.

    • ralphkr

      The chances are that those missiles were fired by Russian Army men as they are very sophisticated systems that take a lot of training to operate. The plane was at 33,000 feet and shoulder fired missiles are completely ineffective on craft at that altitude. At first, the separatists claimed that they had shot down another Ukrainian military craft and immediately recanted when they discovered that it was a civilian airliner. There was also a reasonably creditable report of sighting a Russian Army missile launcher under the command of a Russian Army Captain trundling back from the Ukraine into Russia with one missile tube empty.

  • plc97477

    The biggest problem with our world is that everyone wants their religion to be the only religion and will fight to the death anyone who thinks otherwise.

    • BiteMeLiberals

      Really? Who are the Christians fighting these days?

      • Allan Richardson

        The “Christians” in America are “fighting” (metaphorically, except for the occasional clinic bombing, doctor murder, or gay beating) everyone who is not their kind of “Christian” including other Christians. As the late Episcopal bishop James Pike said in the 1960s, “Thank God for the atheists in America, who keep us Christians from killing each other.”

        If we had no First Amendment (and there are some among this group, called Christian Dominionists, who not just wistfully but literally favor such a change), they would form a national state church and “get medieval” on everyone who disagreed.

        • BiteMeLiberals

          Did you not understand “these days?”

        • BiteMeLiberals

          What part of “these days” didn’t you understand?

          • Allan Richardson

            If “these days” refers to our mutual lifetimes, I would consider clinic bombings, murders of doctors and gay beatings to death (as in Wyoming) “fighting.” And leaving the US for a moment, the admittedly rare incident a few years ago of the Scandinavian “freedom fighter for Christ” as he saw himself killing all those citizens of his nation because they were NOT carrying on a crusade against all Muslims, shows that SOME people who call themselves “Christians” are indeed in a mood to fight those who are not “Christian” in their minds, physically when possible, politically when not.

            As for Christians in general, including you (I assume) and me, fortunately most Christians are tolerant of other faiths, just as MOST members of other faiths are. Our mutual problem is the attitude of SOME people in EVERY faith that everyone else must be like them or else.

            Despite our differences, I hope you will pray with me for peace.

      • Sand_Cat

        Maybe if you actually read something and thought (gasp!) about it, you might not have to ask such questions.

        • BiteMeLiberals

          Source it if you are so smart.

    • Sand_Cat

      Not everyone.

  • longtail

    I find it fascinating that the right fauns all over Vladimir Putin but they certainly have displayed that they are capable of hurting the U.S. in order to damage any Democratic president.

    • BiteMeLiberals

      No one has to damage goods that has always been damaged. You drank the Kool-Aid now live with the consequences.

      • longtail

        I drank the kool-aid and now I’ve run out of wars and the economy is recovering……..damn.

        • BiteMeLiberals

          Yeah, and now you are drunk. Look again Einstein.

          • longtail

            I’m looking but, unless you are a hopeless right wing fanatic willing to sacrifice the nation for partisan politics and racial hatred you can’t help but see that the country is better off in an admittedly slow recovery from the Bush years. You don’t have to be Einstein.

          • BiteMeLiberals

            Really, I guess it depends on what you call better off. I say it is much worse off.

          • longtail

            I agree. It absolutely depends on what you call “better off”. I say it is much,much better.

  • midway54

    One of the warhawks among the rightwing buffoons (I believe it was the usual contemptible blather of Graham of South Carolina) called the situation as between the community organizer and the former KGB colonel and we all know what that implies. We should all be relieved to know that our former FBI agent Chairman Mike Rogers of the Intelligence Committee and his self-perception as patriot extraordinaire will soon leave the House and become a newly minted rightwing talk-radio disciple of the plutocracy to beat the military drums. He will of course be aided and cheered especially by our best known chicken hawk military experts, the unspeakable and contemptible Cheney revising the history of his outrageous gang of clowns and the grinning countenance of Billy Kristol as he verbally spreads his brand of pure plutocratic excrement from the platform granted him by the network media gang that gives us the Sunday morning noises from the talking heads. But not to worry. Perhaps the warhawks will dredge up a former CIA man to deal with the old KGB man through media appearances and inform us all what to do about the situation. After all, both agencies know something about undermining governments and installing stooges (think Mossadegh quickly toppled after his election in Iran admittedly by the CIA and then replaced by the Shah,much preferred by the U.S.—but ultimately run out of the country.This activity in part led to the enraged students’ taking our embassy personnel hostage in that country).

  • rustacus21

    Over the howls of laughter & the shrieks of hysterical amusement, we again see our insights & anticipation confirmed, that the GOP is ‘occupied’ by a bunch of N-U-T-S!!! Initially, I was stunned thinking what it really must mean that people of this nation – citizens by birth – lovers – supposedly – of this great land of Democracy, uplifting some foreign guy who calls fair elections the one’s he always wins (wait! Hasn’t that been the conservative perception as well, since the days of Richard Nixon?! Whose celebratorial anniversary of being KICKED OUT OF OFFICE is coming up in just weeks? Of which they’re still trying to erase from history by NOT TALKING about it…)? This guy, who jails opponents & then ‘inherits’ their companies & vast wealth & though supporting rebels in a neighboring nation, doesn’t know if that ‘support’ includes weapons or soldiers from his own nation, was being upheld as a ‘greater leader’ than our own current president? That was just this past March & April, If memory serves? Those of us when THEN called conservatives crazy THEN, even while the broad corporate media parroted these every same themes, we are now REDEEMED & can feel better approaching the election w/the mindset that Liberal/Progressives continue to have a firm grip on reality to the point that our policies, always lining up w/the Constitution & the faithful who believe therein, ALWAYS WORK for the GREATER GOOD of 100% of the citizenry. So, even an atrocious office ‘occupyer’ as GWB getting the benefit of the doubt, we never EVER publicly compared him to Saddam or Assad, though the comparisons were undeniable!!! Thats the difference between Liberals & conservatives – we have CLASS!!! (& HUMBLY I might add)…

  • ExRadioGuy15

    The article’s point about the mythology of political leaders is right on point.
    And, the sad fact of the matter is that the GOP’s political ideology matches that of the Russian government: a Fascist Christian Plutartheocracy.
    I’ll not go into a long explanation as to why it’s true, it’d take too long.
    You’ll notice how the GOP mostly aren’t blaming Putin at all for what’s happening in Eastern Ukraine, even though the fact that he’s supporting the Pro-Russian Ukrainian Separatists is clearly obvious. In their minds, President Obama is to blame.
    Seriously, GOP Progressives and Moderates: you need to stop voting for the insane GOP politicians (which is nearly all of them across the country) and vote for the politicians who TRULY represent you now: Democrats.


    Americans trust Republicans more on foreign policy? For god sakes why? G.W. Bush presided over the most disastrous foreign policy in American History and left American esteem in the world at an all time low.

    • holyreality

      The Reagan narrative is a powerful zombie indeed. Duhbya implemented the Reagan plan to the fullest extent possible and the massive failure still echoes, but dumb Americans STILL believe in the narrative.

      • ORAXX

        Indeed they do, and I fear by the time they finally figure it out, it will be too late. Sadly, I don’t really think Reagan was the problem, because I think the man’s grasp of policy….any policy….bordered on the nonexistent. He played a president on TV, and that’s what people remember. His handlers set today’s mess in motion.

        • Independent1

          Reagan was no Bush 2. He knew exactly what he was doing – he was without question the most devious person to ever sit in the oval office.

          He was so devious that he actually convinced those leading the Screen Actors Guild into electing him as their president, until it became clear that he hated unions. Why would a union hater want to be president of a union unless he had ulterior motives?

          I’m convinced that Ronnie knew exactly what he was doing when he did everything in his power to start the transfer of wealth from the middle class and poor to the already wealthy by first purposely destroying the Air Traffic Controllersl union through devious means (pretending to want to negotiate with them, then summarily firing the entire union because they violated the law which said they could not negotiate). And then, he went a step further and purposely appointed two union haters to the NLRB which did even more to start the demise of America’s unions. And then of course he cut the max tax rate by 2/3rds so he and his already rich cronies could keep more money in their pockets – which has also contributed to Americas wealth transfer.

          Ronald Reagan, the worst president America has ever had, considering that what he started is still snowballing 3 decades later destroying more and more of the fabric of America. He was an absolute pariah!!!!!!!!

    • itsfun

      He never drew a red line and said he didn’t.

      • ORAXX

        He lied this country into invading Iraq, and put over two trillion dollars on the national credit card in the process. I think that’s a teensy bit more significant than an imaginary red line.

    • Irishgrammy

      BRAVO! My sentiments exactly! After two failed wars in Iraq, based on lies, and Afghanistan based on machismo……..with a 3 trillion dollar price tag and growing along with untold future needed and required veterans care funds, which I might add the Sanders/McCain Veterans Bill. is, last time I checked is, STILL STUCK IN COMMITTEE IN THE HOUSE, disgraceful…………………..HOW can ANYONE with a brain think the GOP is better on foreign policy, unless it’s the ” phony manly-man tough talk” weak minded people are impressed with ……..sickening.

      • Independent1

        Sadly, most Americans get their information on what’s going on in the country while on the fly; they’re too busy filling their lives with entertainment and/or doing everything they can to keep their kids entertained. So the grasp bits and pieces of what’s happening via snippets of news here and there and since the most frequent snippets come from Faux News and the Republican biased media, that’s what they grab onto and remember. Unfortunately, it’s going to be an uphill battle for Democrats unless more media outlets come under the control of independents, progressives and liberals. Right now, it’s Ruppert Murdock, Clear Channel and other right-wing biased media outlets controlling the airwaves despite the lies about the media having a liberal bias – which is clearly a blatant lie.

  • JanNH

    I don’t think Obama looks careworn; I think he looks like most Democrats —
    We honestly can’t believe that the Republicans hate President Obama — especially after his second win — so much that they publicly laud Putin in front of the rest of the world. McCain the Loser calls the President of the United States a “coward.”

    Bush’s bluster was easy.
    What Obama is doing — restraint while in possession of enormous power — is far more admirable.

    • Allan Richardson

      Today’s Republicans, if they time traveled back to World War II, would praise Hitler over their own President Roosevelt. I suppose we are lucky Roosevelt was pure white, or else they would have gone so far as to cause us to lose the war. Not because a black president would not be capable, but because, as the TP nuts have shown, being black keeps him from getting the co-operation to do a good job.

      • 1standlastword

        They are determined to phuck up the legacy of the first black POTUS…and what should we have expected given our nation’s history of race relations. All that said, what they fail to comprehend is that they have written themselves into history as a confederate of bigots the same as those gone before them.

        Obama is a pioneer as the first. If there is ever another racial minority in the position of POTUS, that person will have Obama’ presidency to reference as a formula for how NOT to deal with elected insurrectionists.

        Republicans have effectively given Obama the worse presidency of all past presidents. No other POTUS I can think of has had it so awful. They should be proud

  • howa4x

    Putin was emboldened by his soul mate GWB, after he invaded Georgia with no repercussions at all from the US. Bush never gave a speech at the UN or anywhere about the invasion, and neither did Graham or McCain.
    That sent a green light to Putin. The overthrow of the Ukrainian leader gave Putin and opportunity to annex the Crimea citing concern for Russian speaking people’s safety. He took a page out of another dictator’s playbook namely Hitler, who invaded Chezch republic for the same reason to protect German speaking people. The issue isn’t whether the US will defend the Ukrainians but what will Europe do? Ukraine want the join the EU not another state of America. This is their issue and there is no reason we should bail them out militarily. They are even afraid of severe sanctions and Putin knows this. They prize his gas above the lives of their citizens. Obama is doing what we can by imposing sanctions, but in this case he cannot effectively act if Europe doesn’t help. McCain and Graham offer no solutions and continue to get drunk on Neo con cool aide. It is the media’s fault by always hosting McCain who rants unabated on the morning talk shows with no hard questions ever being asked of him. It is just so easy to blame Obama that the press can’t resist and there lies our problem.

  • You could just as easily say Putin was emboldened by all of the Republicans who had barely-concealed raging orgasms for Putin after his crackdown on “homosexual propaganda.”

    You could, but of course, as Republicans, they believe they are literally incapable of doing anything wrong (even if it’s something they once attacked Democrats for supposedly having done too).

  • Jim Myers

    Being popular doesn’t necessarily mean doing a good job.

    We have already seen that any idiot can run around thumping his chest and basking in glory while destroying the American economy and reducing our standing in the International Community.

    A record even the Extreme Right is too embarrassed to talk about.

    The real problem with President Obama, as far as the “Conservatives” are concerned is that he has had some modest level of success, despite their most ambitious attempts to sabotage his every move.

    The “disaster” of Obamacare is a glaring example.

    The disaster, (to the so called “Conservatives”), is that, despite all of their horror stories and attempts to destroy it, Obamacare is exceeding the greatest expectations of the President and everyone else who fought to give it birth.

    This is one case where they have attempted to provide an abortion for at least 40 times, and FAILED every time.

    And still managed to pass less legislation than any Congress in American history.

    Truly great leaders, in their own minds.