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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Spreading holiday cheer, a Western tradition for hundreds of years, no longer engages our so-called conservatives as the end of the year approaches. In fact, the innocent phrase “Happy Holidays” only serves to infuriate them.  The new Yuletide ritual that excites the right is the “War on Christmas” – an annual opportunity to spread religious discord and community conflict, brought to us by those wonderful folks at Fox News.

Once started, wars tend to escalate and intensify — and the War on Christmas is no exception. The same right-wing Christian ideologues enraged by any multicultural or ecumenical celebration of the season — the people trying to transform “Merry Christmas” from a kind greeting into a mantra of hate — are now merrily inflicting additional misery on the nation’s downtrodden.

Just in time for the birthday of baby Jesus, they are cutting food stamps and unemployment benefits. It’s all for the benefit of the poor.

Just ask John Tamny, the Forbes magazine columnist and Fox News personality. During a Dec. 17 appearance on The Daily Show, Tamny endorsed the congressional decision to cut $5 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program by declaring, “If I were in control, I would abolish SNAP altogether. I think food stamps are cruel.” Looking very well fed himself, he explained that if people were “literally starving,” they would be saved by a “massive outpouring of charity.” That will happen, said Tamny, when “people have literally distended bellies where they’re getting almost nothing.”

He sounded oddly let down when he added, “We don’t hear about the poor in this country starving on the streets.” That probably won’t happen immediately, even with the scheduled cuts, but maybe we can look forward to such Dickensian scenes by next Christmas if Tamny and the Republicans get their wish.

As for the unemployed, food stamps are not the only source of succor that will soon be snatched from them and their Tiny Tims. The Republicans have insisted on a budget that discontinues emergency unemployment benefits beyond 73 weeks, which means that millions of families will soon stop receiving the minuscule payments – usually a few hundred dollars a month – that kept them from destitution.

According to Republican theory, as articulated by Senator Rand Paul, helping jobless workers and their families for longer than the 26 weeks ordinarily provided by most states is just as “cruel” as giving them food stamps. “If you extend it beyond that, you do a disservice to these workers,” the Kentucky Republican said recently. “When you allow people to be on unemployment insurance for 99 weeks, you’re causing them to become part of this perpetual unemployed group in our economy.”

Actually, the absence of work is what causes long-term unemployment – not the presence of unemployment benefits. But in North Carolina, the right-wing state government has applied Paul’s theory by cutting benefits drastically. The result, as Bloomberg’s Evan Soltas has shown, has been to drive more people out of the state’s labor force, which has shrunk sharply, rather than somehow forcing people to find nonexistent jobs. To receive benefits, after all, it is necessary to prove that you’re seeking a job.

Facts are not about to deter statesmen like Paul or philosophers like Tamny. The spirit of this holiday is supposed to stimulate charitable concern for everyone, including the very least among us. What we are seeing instead is a real war on Christmas – not a silly struggle over greeting slogans or public displays, but an aggressive drive to deprive those who have almost nothing of the little we provide as a society.

The true enemies of Christmas – and of Christian hope, as articulated in this season by Pope Francis – are those who pretend to befriend the poor by taking bread from their children’s mouths. Both the mean old Grinch and Ebenezer Scrooge were saved from villainy before their stories ended. Our modern political misers, clothed in self-righteousness, have no such prospect of redemption.

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  • 4sanity4all

    Since not everyone who is broke qualifies for SNAP benefits, and since those benefits have been cut, the demand at the food pantries around here has gone way up. And I am happy to report, that people have been responding to the need with an outpouring of generosity. Republicans may be willing to let people starve, but people around here are not willing to let our neighbors go hungry. Either I will pay higher taxes to support higher SNAP benefits, or I will donate more to local food pantries. Either way, I, and I suspect most Americans, will not stand by to see if the hungry start dying in the streets, as John Tamny seems to be anticipating with great relish. People like Tamny seem to think that the citizens of this country are just smacking their lips, trying to ride the gravy train of public benefits. I guess no one has explained to him that fraud has been reduced to a very low figure in the SNAP program, but the corporate welfare has not undergone similar scrutiny, although it should. I find it odd that a single mother who needs food raises his hackles so much, but he is strangely silent about those who get millions from the government for letting land lie fallow.

    • Germansmith

      I am a Republican and I contribute my time and money to help the truly needy.
      I prefer to give that personal touch….do you? Or is it just claiming for government to do it for you.
      I just do not trust government and their employees determining who needs it or not. Churches and Secular Charities organizations, who are closer to those in need have been doing this job for centuries before Big Brother want it to become everything to everybody and control your life.
      And as far as unemployment goes. It was supposed to be a temporary help until the displaced in their dignity found another job in his field OR something else, and NOT a permanent crutch for those no longer interested in looking for a job.
      You get what you pay for. if you pay for unemployment, you get unemployment
      If you pay for dependency, you get dependents, anybody who have raised children learn that. Why haven’t you?

      • gvette

        nicely put. Unfortunately it falls on deaf ears on this site. These demonrats
        that hang out in here, have no idea what you’re talking about. Sane people know,
        that demonrats are only generous with other peoples money.

        • Germansmith

          I would not call the “demonrats” but I believe in what Churchill said
          “if you are young and not a liberal, you have no heart. If you are older and not a conservative, you have no brain”

          • dpaano

            Basically, if you’re young OR old and are a conservative, you seem to have neither a heart NOR a brain!

          • Germansmith

            WOW !!! You thought that all by yourself?
            I am so proud of you !!!. See, I told you that if you stop drinking, taking drugs and engaging in bestiality your brain may eventually recover.
            Keep at it, Do not tax yourself , you may have a relapse.

          • dpaano

            Yes, I did, thank you. By the way, I’m 68 years old, drink a glass of wine occasionally, never have taken drugs, and am happily married to a man (although I don’t have any problems with people married to the same sex), so my brain is doing just fine, thank you. I’m also a retired Army Major….so I’ve been through much in my life and am not brainless as you seem to suspect!

          • RobertCHastings

            Nicely put.

      • dmhlt_66

        Shorter Germansmith (especially apropos at this Holiday Season) straight from SCROOGE himself:
        “Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?”

        • Germansmith

          No, but I am sure there are places where they can understand the point you may be trying to make.
          clarity is a virtue

      • 788eddie

        People either believe that people are basically good or they aren’t. You either trust people to do the right thing or you don’t.

        I find it very difficult to trust people who are not willing to trust others. If they can’t trust others, it’s because they see the avarice in their own heart and naturally believe that everyone else is the same.

        Trusting someone is not the same as watching them closely. I trust my government (made up of ordinary people), but at the same time I watch it closely.

        In this country, we have freedom of the press, and as a result we have lots of others who are watching. When dishonesty occurs, It will eventually come to light and the perpetrators are brought to justice. We see this happening regularly in the news.

        I want my government to do the things that I, as an individual cannot do. This includes helping less fortunate people do better with their lives. In the long run, I believe that this strengthens our country.

        Unfortunately, our government cannot help to soften the hearts of those who are unwilling to educate themselves as to the plight of those who are, because of various circumstances, less fortunate. I can only pray for them.

        • Germansmith

          Good point
          I do not trust our government BECAUSE I watch it closely.
          By your post, you must be an extremely naïve person…that is Ok, I am sure Santa will bring you goodies on Christmas for your trusting soul.

          • 788eddie

            I am not naïve, but I am trusting. I see that as a good Christian quality.

          • Independent1

            No, he’s not an overly naive person, you are a super PARANOID!! Just like the vast majority of you tunnel vision, bigoted, egotistical, self-centered Republicans!!

      • FT66

        I do think you are quite wrong.Those who have no jobs don’t work because jobs are available. Jobs are not there. I will tell you something: If jobs are available people change their jobs as much as they want. Jobs are very scarce or are not there at all. How can you blame those who have no jobs that they depend on Government? Tell us, what do you want them to do?

        • Germansmith

          If there are NO jobs available, why do we have 11 million illegal immigrants mostly working in this country?. Why do corporations request thousands of working visas for foreign workers because they can not get those jobs filled by Americans?.

          Why are they people that lost their jobs, reinvent themselves and open a business? while others just complain they got layoff.

          Why would you want to work when in some states between unemployment and other benefits is more beneficial to stay unemployed than to go out and find a job.

          And Yes, I have worked for minimum wage at times and it is a wonderful incentive to find a better job

          • FT66

            Having 11 million immigrants working doesn’t translate to jobs every and each individual has to do. Where did you train those 11 million for the job? Do you think trained and untrained all of them fall in the same category? You should also ask yourself why do we have people trained in different careers?

          • Germansmith

            I was trained as a soldier, then as an electronic engineer, afterward a System Analyst and now I own my own Insurance/ Benefit Firm….do you see my point?
            Illegal immigrants do not plan a training for a job…they just do work and change and adapt as they go along. There are no Mexican Lawn Mowing training schools. They just work, get their own lawnmower and become business owners.
            I am sure similar opportunities are available to American born people…unless of course somebody pays them NOT to work so they be eternally grateful to the party that keeps them in bread and beer.

          • ralphkr

            Well, Germansmith, you seem to forget that Americans are not used to living in cardboard boxes or dugouts in the side of ravines the way the illegal immigrants were raised. Even the poorest of American citizens expect to live in a building of some sort and that expectation calls for a pay of greater than $15 an hour.while the poor immigrant shall settle for $3 or $4 and hour and happily send money home to his less fortunate relatives who work for $1 a day or less.

            As to your “no Mexican Lawn Mowing schools” comment I would like to point out that for a few years my parents had 3 highly educated people from the U.K.(they were harder to understand than the US born Hispanics who replaced them) taking care of their quarter acre yard because they charged less than the Hispanic Contractors. Where I live now, PNW, the going rate for mowing the lawn is over $50 an hour so that pays about 5 times what Walmart pays their employees who do the actual work. Of course, to be able to do yard work you have to invest in a truck, lawnmower, trimmer, blower, tools, & business cards first.

      • dtgraham

        There’s no way that private charity could ever fill the need. SNAP spending last year was 80 billion. Private contributions to food banks were 5 billion. Most of SNAP benefits go to people who work. If you want to decrease SNAP, raise the minimum wage. The program has increasingly become a taxpayer supported wage subsidy to corporations.

        • Germansmith

          of course, you have probably not being in the supermarket when somebody with lots of gold jewelry in their arms uses the food stamp debit card to buy junk food and then climbs in a late year Chrysler 300. If you see this and similar a couple of times, you wonder if all people in food stamps are really “needy” or just very good at playing the government give away game…?

          • dtgraham

            No I haven’t seen that where I live, but I’d have a hard time believing that people with incomes low enough to qualify for SNAP are buying gold jewelry and luxury cars.

            If you’re talking rare cases of sophisticated fraud, no one supports that.

          • Germansmith

            Where do you live , the state of Utopia?
            Do you believe all income is declared?
            How about drug selling profits? Do you think they file a 1040?
            Do you believe that all mothers that claimed to be single and unemployed really are?
            Do government workers go to your house to see if what you put in the application jive with your style of living?
            There is no need to be sophisticated to cheat government, it is actually pretty easy

          • Paul Bass

            If so it is fraud, so then the IRS will eventually catch you!

            Republicans have been lying about “welfare queens” since Ronald Reagan…

          • Independent1

            There you go again with that over blowing everything!! Studies have shown that fraud in the SNAP program is under 1.5%. Which is quite a low fraud rate for virtually any benefit type program private or government. We’ll always have our crooks with us.

          • shawnthesheep

            Yes, we get your racist bullshit. Just come out and say it. Drug-dealing blacks with gold chains and luxury cars are ripping of the system. That’s what you keep hinting at it without saying it.

          • dtgraham

            Canada, which is definitely not utopia. The poor are issued cash up here instead of stamps, so you wouldn’t notice it at the supermarket, although I’m very glad to see the U.S. move to a debit card format as it’s less conspicuous and less embarrassing for those down on their luck.

            We see the odd modest income pensioner with her government pension slips where I work, but very few unlike where you work.

            Like the U.S. there’s also a plethora of government programs for lower income people up here as well, outside of general welfare payments—such as the Earned Income Assistance, the Guaranteed Income Supplement, and mostly covered–or free–prescription drugs under Pharmacare. The difference is that I have no idea what the internal fraud mechanisms are, nor do I care. I just assume that it’s looked after in that way.

            This idea of welfare and poverty payment fraud gets exactly zero coverage in the Canadian media. It’s never, ever, talked about on television or in the papers. That’s all I can tell you. I’m glad because I have no problem paying more taxes for this. I’m a member of a political party that pushes for even higher levels of income equality and I fully support that.

          • Susan Dean

            Have you ever actually seen such an incident?

          • Germansmith

            Yes I have
            In my role as a financial advisor, I have seen fraudulent cases of people milking government that would make Al Capone squirm.
            Unfortunately, I am limited by financial confidentiality from doing anything about it UNLESS they are doing money laundering (in that case I am require to file a SAR).
            But, I always choose not to work with them.
            Believe or not is no skin of my nose.

          • daniel bostdorf

            As I read your posts I ealize you are a social media troll. A social media troll as someone who seeks to lure or bait people into negative, disruptive rhetoric for their own edification or to commandeer an otherwise free-flowing discussion among colleagues. They don’t recognize anyone that may be interested in discussing something that bores them and opt to criticize or yell “boring” instead of engaging in the discussion. They choose to belittle those who seek the information and discourse as well as those who try to provide it. They simply have no interest in anything that is not self-serving. Trolls will defend their focus on expressing contrary opinions as an honorable attempt to rid the online community of fake-experts, get to the truth of a matter or enlighten their followers; however, their intent has nothing to do with community building or public enlightenment.

          • Ramona Hauenstein

            Bull. Welfare Fraud is illegal. There is no “financial confidentiality” for fraud. If they are getting money illegally, you are laundering it for them which is also illegal. If you know it for a fact, you are should (if you are not required to) report it. Otherwise you’re making this up.

          • latebloomingrandma

            An actual real poor person would have no need to seek a financial advisor. If there is fraud going on, don’t blame the poor schmucks who have no money .

          • Germansmith

            You are making my point.
            If you can benefit from a financial advisor, life insurance, advise on employee benefits and their 401K… are NOT really poor. Therefore government benefits are NOT FOR YOU…but some get them anyway.
            Real POOOOR people do deserve some help and I do not have any problem with them getting food stamps or other support and unemployment for a limited amount of time if appropriate.
            You may be late blooming…there may be hope for you yet.

          • Independent1

            You are missing the point clueless!!! SNAP does not dictate that people have to be poor. It only requires that people are currently struggling to get by and have limited liquid assets. So the vice-president of a bank who is currently on unemployment with limited income and little liquid assets will qualify for SNAP to help him or her get by a current down situation in the economy until they can get back on their feet again. What makes you so clueless and judgmental???

          • Independent1

            Do you know how many CEO types lost their jobs during the Bush debacle?? Many of them had great positions and then had nothing. SNAP is based on current income. People that have very little income today and need SNAP may well have been making 500,000/yr a couple years ago. Nothing in the SNAP program says that they have to devoid themselves of their possessions to qualify for SNAP; they only have to have a limited about of liquid assets. So it’s quite possible that folks qualifying for SNAP may well still own expensive cars and expensive cloths. That doesn’t mean that they’re not struggling to get by otherwise while they’re hoping the economy will turn around and they will find another position that allows them to keep what they already have. Why are you being so judgmental???

          • dpaano

            Germansmith: You’ve been listening to too much propaganda.
            That ISN’T the norm! Sure, I’ve heard many stories about this, but I’ve never seen anyone in the grocery store buying junk and getting into their Escalades. It’s a myth as far as I’m concerned! And, perhaps they had those items BEFORE they lost their jobs and weren’t able to find other ones! Did you ever consider that? AND, junk food is a lot cheaper than buying meat and produce….trust me, I know.

          • Bodine666

            When have you seen this. I find it rather disingenuous that CONServatives feel the need to manufacture fictitious tales to support their ridiculous claims. Welfare Queens anybody?

            But then what else can these CONS do? The strawmen they manufacture to complain about simply do not exist. Since it’s so difficult to complain about something that doesn’t exist, they just create things in their minds and play pretend. The silly part about it is that these cons actually think that people believe these fictitious tales of theirs. But then, some do believe them. Other CONS, of course!

          • Germansmith

            I do not manufacture stories and you claiming doubt about the existence of “Fraud Queens/Kings” milking SNAP, Medicaid and SDI payments does not offend me in the least, It just prove you are an idiot that chooses to bury your head in the ground while continuing to hold to outdated and stupid theories on how to improve society.
            You can take a cow to water, but you can not make her drink

          • Paul Bass

            “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink”

          • Germansmith

            you miss it

          • daniel bostdorf

            see my comment above…

          • 788eddie

            Then, if that does indeed happen (which I tend to doubt), it should be fixed; you don’t scrap the whole damn program for the few who may be abusing it. YOU FIX IT!

          • Germansmith

            I am not suggesting we scrapped. What I am suggesting is that now that there is less money for it, an effort be made to make sure it goes to the people in need
            Same as a budget for any household. Less money to spend force you to prioritize items.

          • 788eddie

            There would not have been “less money,” indeed we would probably be in a much better state, if discounts in tax rates to the very wealthy had not been given by those in control.

            Those at the bottom, and even those in the middle are being shafted by those in control.

            A similar state of affairs existed before the French Revolution and the Russian Revolution.

            It’s a good thing that we live in modern times and that something like that couldn’t possibly happen again.

          • Germansmith

            Are you being sarcastic?
            What makes you think that in a country with over a billion privately own weapons there could be no revolution.
            Do you believe Americans to be more intelligent or less passionate than people in Egypt or Ukraine?
            God knows we are better armed

          • 788eddie

            Good point, Germansmith. Let’s hope everyone read your post and reflects upon it, Especially the “leaders who helped put us in this situation.

            Remember what Bob Dylan and Janis Joplin said of the poor; “When you got nothin’, you got nothin’ to lose.”

          • shawnthesheep

            Less money means less food to those who need it. You must make a shitty financial adviser if you don’t understand this basic fact. Less funding for SNAP will not reduce the rate of fraud (which is already very low). If you were really concerned about fraud, you’d be pushing for reforms on how benefits are paid and how income is verified.

          • daniel bostdorf

            You are a very unique facistic thinker are you not? You take a single bizarre theory based in a lie about people on food stamps and apply it to the mass population of those in poverty.

            Conason calls you out:

            “Just in time for the birthday of baby Jesus, they are cutting food
            stamps and unemployment benefits. It’s all for the benefit of the poor.”

            You perpetuate right wing propaganda. You intentionally lie over and over again and distort reality to fit your agenda:


            ““If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”…… written by none other than Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels

          • Germansmith

            – Not propaganda, facts, I see it every week as a financial advisor
            Believe what you will.
            -There is no certainty when baby Jesus was born. We know is the end of the fiscal year for most companies…that is a fact.
            -And I agree with you about propaganda. It seems that most people here just want to see what they want to see and fail to see reality. Maybe you guys ought to spend some time in the street and you be amazed the fraudulent use of government benefits there is out there.
            I am dissent in case you are NOT aware. Propaganda is what you guys been drinking all alone by buying the state party line.

          • daniel bostdorf

            You are simply a troll. No original thoughts. Pathetic right wing apologist.

            Conason tells you this:

            Look In The Mirror, Right-Wing Scrooge”

          • Germansmith

            Ho Humbag !!!
            What are you an eco chamber for Conason?
            The truth hurt, you do not have to face it, poor baby
            Keep dreaming of your pink angels

          • daniel bostdorf

            every time you post you prove you are what Conason tells you you are:

            Look In The Mirror, Right-Wing Scrooge”

          • Independent1

            Daniel, the people Germansmith is describing are not necessarily frauds. The may well have been CEO/president of the bank type people who were suddenly out of work and the SNAP program does not demand that people sell their cars, houses, fine jewlery etc. in order to qualify for food stamps. It’s based on current income and a certain amount of liquid assets depending on the number of dependents. So the people that Germansmith is carping about could well have been someone who two years ago was president of his local bank who was earning more than enough to have a nice car and fine jewelry but then lost their job and hasn’t found another and in the meantime has chewed up enough of their liquid assets to qualify for food stamps because they only job or jobs the family can find are minimum wage type jobs.

          • daniel bostdorf

            first of all—germansmith or whoever it is a disruptive element here. Second, until I know the real name posting, especially those who throw reckless propaganda out as opinion….I simply call them trolls. He or she intentionally replies to postings with inflammatory statements and personal attacks.

            No…germansmith’s is not engaging in dialogue or free exchange of ideas….it is called being a bully on the playground of National Memo commentary.

          • Sand_Cat

            Sorry, but if you think saying CEOs are collecting food stamps is supposed to bolster support for the program, you’ve lost at least one booster. Fired CEOs generally receive “severance” worth more than you and I and several other people combined are likely to earn in our lifetimes, not to mention the grotesquely overinflated wages and “performance” bonuses usually paid whether there’s performance or not, plus the usual pass on criminal charges, even for those fired for criminal activity. In my opinion, many of them truly deserve what the right-wing wishes on the poor and unemployed middle class: humiliation and starvation. They are, after all, the people who paid the bills for the spreading of the slanders the GOP put out on those who need public assistance.

          • Independent1

            Good point. I wasn’t thinking of the CEOs you describe who run major corporations and end up with golden parachutes when they drive a company into the ground. I was using the the term CEO to describe the heads of larger than 50 employee companies that had been forced out of business by the Great Recession and some of the idiot budget cut backs the GOP has pushed through especially in Red States who have found themselves out on the street looking for a job and needing some kind of government assistance jus like hundreds of thousands of everyday peon workers.

          • Independent1

            The reason more than 75% of food stamps go to residents in Red States is because GOP governors and legislators cut budgets and other state services so quickly and deeply that they stalled demand in their states which threw a lot of people onto unemployment. A lot of these people were families with two people working – sometimes both bread winners lost their jobs and the family was struggling and may well have had little money in the bank even though they had nice cars and cloths, being a family of say 4 with two bread winners out of work and both having to work minimum wage jobs, their income would qualify them for food stamps!!!

            So these people you are seeing are not frauds!!! They are mostly red state residents who have been forced to take food stamps due to no fault of their own – it was their nitwit GOP governors and legislators that let them down!!!!!!

          • shawnthesheep

            That tired old talking point. Seriously, even if every republican who claimed to see one of “those people” driving a fancy car to the grocery store to spend their food stamps actually saw what they said, it would still represent a tiny majority of people who get SNAP. The majority of people who receive SNAP benefits are children, seniors and the disabled. The overwhelming majority of able-bodied adults who receive SNAP benefits have jobs. The little good you do by donating your time and money to the poor pales in comparison to the harm you cause by supporting Republican policies.

        • sigrid28

          Corporations like McDonald’s and Walmart, I might add, businesses that could well afford to pay their employees a living wage and provide health benefits.

      • jointerjohn

        You want me to trust churches more than government to be fair and just in assisting those in need? Hahahaahahahahahahaha, that’s a good one!

      • mah101

        Two points:
        1) It is our societal responsibility to ensure that people have care and opportunity

        2) Private charity, while a great benefit and kindness, is insufficient to provide care to those who need it. In other words, its a wonderful supplement but cannot solve the problem.

        We, as a society, as a people, as a nation, have a responsibility to our fellow citizens. We have a responsibility to ourselves to create a nation that cares for its people.

        • dtgraham

          Amen my brother or sister, amen.

      • dpaano

        Germansmith: Do you NOT understand that where we are with the jobs and economy is not the normal standard…..the GOP has cut so many jobs with their ridiculous austerity measures, it isn’t that easy to find a job any longer. It has taken many people over a year to find a job….some even longer. When you have a family to support, you can’t just take any low-paying job that’s available! As for dependents….many people without jobs never dreamed they would be in this situation when they had their children….why doesn’t the GOP see that. As I said earlier, I’m not sure where their brains are (if they even have them). We certainly already know they don’t have hearts!

      • daniel bostdorf

        “Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice. Like Slavery and Apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings. Sometimes it falls on a generation to be great. YOU can be that great generation. Let your greatness blossom.” ……Nelson Mandela

      • charleo1

        So, you do not trust government to determine who needs it. (help)
        You understand then, when others do not having enough confidence, or trust in you, or those such as yourself, to determine who need it?
        It’s an honest position, that acknowledges your cynicism. But, due to
        the importance of the matter, and our own knowledge of the situation.
        We’ll take this one.

    • tax payer

      No one is going to die of hunger, if a ( % ) of their $800.00 in benefits was cut from their SNAP. Some of these recipients get more in SNAP than what you earn in a week, so there is no way they will die of hunger.

      • shawnthesheep

        Not sure where you get your figures, but the average SNAP benefit is less than $150/month. Reducing that benefit will cause people to go hungry.

        • tax payer

          An Elderly couple I know used to get each $20.00 because of their income of about $1,000.00 a month. They refused SNAP after two months. A family of seven isn’t going to make it with $150 a month, so multiply that figure by seven, so it’s going to be much higher than $150.

  • montanabill

    So, instead of crying that you can’t get enough money from China or by ever increasing taxes, why don’t Progressives simply pitch in with their own time and money?

    • Independent1

      You just love distortions don’t you Bill. Do you even realize that China’s portion of America’s debt has been falling steadily for the past couple years?It’s getting very close to be only 1 trillion dollars or about 6.5% of our debt.

      Or do you realize that due to keeping spending down which has cut deficit spending over the past 5 years from 1.9 trillion in Bush’s last budget to around 680 billion for 2012-13 while GDP has gone from 14.7 trillion to almost 16.9 trillion yesterday, that America’s debt to GDP ratio according the the CBO is now around 73%. Which given that virtually every other similar industrialized nation on the planet runs a dept to GDP of over 80% with Canada at 87% or higher, means the U.S. despite it’s debt load, is the least indebted non communist, non 3rd world country on the planet?? And you’re carping about getting enough money????

      I’m not trying to suggest that the debt isn’t a problem, BUT IT’S NO WHERE NEAR THE PROBLEM YOU AND THE REST OF YOU RIGHT-WING NITWITS ARE TRYING TO MAKE IT OUT TO BE!!!!


      • commserver

        Why do you think that “China’s portion of America’s debt” has been falling? Part of the reason is because of the unhappiness with the printing of money, as described in China.

        China is trying to diversify its basket and getting out of the US debt.

        • Independent1

          Do you realize that China prints 7 times the money that the fed does?? Sorry, that’s not why. Chinese investors have pulled back money from U.S. investments for a quite logical reason: the Chinese economy has been booming and they’d just as soon invest in their own country. (By the way. Printing of money in the U.S. is on a par with printing of money in virtually every other similarly industrialized country.)

      • Facebook User

        Between 2009 and 2012, the federal government recorded the largest budget deficits relative to the size of the economy since 1946, causing federal debt to soar. Federal debt held by the public is now about 73 percent of the economy’s annual output, or gross domestic product (GDP). That percentage is higher than at any point in U.S. history except a brief period around World War II, and it is twice the percentage at the end of 2007. If current laws generally remained in place, federal debt held by the public would decline slightly relative to GDP over the next several years, CBO projects. After that, however, growing deficits would ultimately push debt back above its current high level. CBO projects that federal debt held by the public would reach 100 percent of GDP in 2038, 25 years from now, even without accounting for the harmful effects that growing debt would have on the economy. . . . Moreover, debt would be on an upward path relative to the size of the economy, a trend that could not be sustained indefinitely.

        • Independent1

          Anyone who doesn’t think that the economy is going to get reved up again such that tax revenues rise sharply and wipe out deficit spending has their head in the sand. Deficit spending has already come down by more than 1/2 in 4 years. And is going to continue to fall unless the American people are so stupid as to not vote the GOP out of the House in 2014 and vote in another drunken sailor spending Republican in 2016.

          • Tom_D44

            Simply put, if we are still borrowing money to pay our bills, or printing it for that matter, then deficit spending hasn’t been reduced enough. Spin it however you like to satisfy your ideology, but this is an unsustainable situation and it is going to catch up with us – eventually. And when it does the results are going to be very, very bad before it gets better.

          • Harold L. Harris, Sr.

            This latest budget include more than 47% on Defense Spending and that is what we can’t afford. Yes we need a strong military; however Defense spending is out of control because we are being sold more toys that really does nothing to improve our readiness. Our major problem is our infrastructure and might I suggest that to focus on rebuilding it would increase employment, raise more tax dollars, take many off the unemployment rolls and out of the SNAP program. However that is not the program that our Congress wish to pursue because it just might shine a positive light on; first the good Government can do for the nation and second and dare I say most important, it will make this President look good. We can’t govern by emotion and to continue to vote for those that do not have the best interest of this nation as their priority but their next election up front is not the way to make a once great nation; great again. It will take us a while to get out of the hole the GOP has dug just to make a failure of a popular President. When Government fail, our nation is the victim.

          • dpaano

            Do any of your right wingers realize that it isn’t the president doing the spending…..he can only spend what the Congress allows him to spend. So, quit blaming the debt problem on our president and start looking at where it all starts! It amazes me that most of you don’t even know what the Constitution says or what branch of government has what responsibilities!!! The Congress is the purse strings to our government….the Congress is the House AND the Senate!

          • Facebook User

            sequester had a lot to do with it as well as tax increases……

            Projection and reality seldom meet there are too many variables like inflation that could kill the debt payments. When we have a coherent leader who actually leads….. the economy will get revved up….right now they change their
            mind and policies daily. The difference between theprojected and actual debt in 2011 can be largely attributed to:
            $3.5 trillion – Economic changes
            (including lower than expected tax revenues and higher safety net spending due
            to recession)
            $1.6 trillion – Bush Tax Cuts (EGTRRA and JGTRRA), primarily
            tax cuts but also some smaller spending increases
            $1.5 trillion – Increased
            defense and non-defense discretionary spending
            $1.4 trillion – Wars in
            Afghanistan and Iraq
            $1.4 trillion – Incremental interest due to higher debt
            $0.9 trillion – Obama stimulus and tax cuts (ARRA and Tax Act of

        • 788eddie

          You seem, on the face of it, fairly intelligent Facebook. Why not take a look at the economic situation that caused that debt to “soar” as you put it.

          Could conducting two wars, and not accounting for them in the budget, and the collapse of the housing market (engineered by the Wall Street crowd) have anything to do with it?

          • Facebook User

            The government also repealed or implemented several laws that limited the regulation of the banking industry, such as the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act and implementation of the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000. The former allowed depository and investment banks to merge while the latter limited the regulation of financial derivatives. National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), the arbiters of the Business Cycle, presented “Did the Community Reinvestment Act Lead to Risky Lending?” The economists compared “the lending behavior of banks undergoing CRA exams within a given census tract in a given month (the treatment group) to the behavior of banks operating in the same census tract-month that did not face these exams (the control group). This comparison clearly indicates that adherence to the CRA led to riskier lending by banks.” They concluded: “The evidence shows that around CRA examinations, when incentives to conform to CRA standards are particularly high, banks not only increase lending rates but also appear to originate loans that are markedly riskier.

          • 788eddie

            We agree that the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act and implementation of the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 should not have taken place. THey seem to have only benefitted the very wealthy.

            Hopefully, we (i.e. our lawmakers) can learn from our mistakes.

          • dtgraham

            I haven’t seen any data on the “riskier” part, but I’ll look it up. When the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission issued their report in January of 2011, they stated that the “CRA was not a significant factor in subprime lending or the crisis.” Many subprime lenders weren’t subject to the CRA and only 6% of subprime proxy loans had any connection to the law. It was found that CRA regulated lenders were half as likely to default.

      • dtgraham

        I’m with you but the only thing that I would add is that the 73% figure is debt held by the public, which is a little misleading. That number excludes State and local debt. When intragovernmental debt is added to debt held by the public, the general government gross debt was 108% of GDP in 2012.

        That’s still not out of line with most of the rest of the world. Italy is also a little over 100%, Germany is at 80% and Japan’s gross debt is about 240% of GDP amazingly. U.S. budget deficits continue to steadily decline under Obama but it’s too bad that this had to come about via steep reductions in spending after 2008 rather than through a better mix of tax increases and adjusted spending. It stalled the recovery. U.S. tax revenues are still at very low levels historically as a percentage of the economy.

        BTW, I agree on China. They show only 20% debt to GDP federally, but they’ve really rung up their debt through banks lending money to the Provinces who, in turn, went on a wild infrastructure spending spree. Their true debt is closer to about 80% of GDP.

        • Independent1

          The CBO calculated a 73% debt to GDP ratio because the government owes more than 4.5 trillion to itself as mainly accounting adjustments which are not included in the debt when calculating Debt to GDP.

      • montanabill

        You can yell, “ISN’T SPENDING” all you want. It still won’t be true.
        You while you are yelling about that and the GOP doing nothing about jobs, you can read about these bills passed by the GOP House:

        Review of Federal Regulations
        H.Res. 72 – Passed by the House (391-28) on February 11, 2011

        Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act
        H.R. 872 – Senate has taken no action to date

        Energy Tax Prevention Act
        H.R. 910 – Senate has taken no action to date

        Disapproval of FCC’s Net Neutrality Regulations
        H.J.Res. 37 – Senate has blocked a companion measure by a vote of 46-52

        Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act
        H.R. 2018 – Senate has taken no action to date

        Consumer Financial Protection & Soundness Improvement Act
        H.R. 1315 – Senate has taken no action to date

        Protecting Jobs from Government Interference Act
        H.R. 2587 – Senate has taken no action to date

        Transparency in Regulatory Analysis of Impacts on The Nation
        H.R. 2401 – Senate has taken no action to date

        Cement Sector Regulatory Relief Act
        H.R. 2681 – Senate has taken no action to date

        EPA Regulatory Relief Act
        H.R. 2250 – Senate has taken no action to date

        Coal Residuals Reuse and Management Act
        H.R. 2273 – Senate has taken no action to date

        Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act
        H.R. 3094 – Senate has taken no action to date

        Regulatory Accountability Act
        H.R. 3010 – Senate has taken no action to date

        Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act
        H.R. 527 – Senate has taken no action to date

        REINS Act
        H.R. 10 – Senate has taken no action to date

        Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act
        H.R. 1633 – Senate has taken no action to date

        Small Business Paperwork Mandate Elimination Act
        H.R. 4 – Signed into law by the President on April 14, 2011

        3% Withholding Rule Repeal
        H.R. 674 – Signed into law by the President on November 21, 2011

        Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act
        H.R. 3630 – Senate has taken no action to date

        U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation Act
        H.R. 3078 – Signed by the President on October 21, 2011

        U.S.-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation Act
        H.R. 3079 – Signed by the President on October 21, 2011

        U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act
        H.R. 3080 – Signed by the President on October 21, 2011

        Southeast Arizona Resource Utilization & Conservation Act
        H.R. 1904 – Senate has taken no action to date

        The America Invents Act
        H.R. 1249 – Signed into law by the President on September 16, 2011

        Veterans Opportunity to Work Act
        H.R. 2433 – Signed into law by the President on November 21, 2011

        Small Company Capital Formation Act
        H.R. 1070 – Senate has taken no action to date

        Small Banks’ Access to Capital Act
        H.R. 1965 – Senate has taken no action to date

        Entrepreneur Access to Capital Act
        H.R. 2930 – Senate has taken no action to date

        Access to Capital for Job Creators Act
        H.R. 2940 – Senate has taken no action to date

        Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act
        H.R. 3012 – Senate has taken no action to date

        Restarting American Offshore Leasing Now Act
        H.R. 1230 – Senate has taken no action to date

        Putting the Gulf of Mexico Back to Work Act
        H.R. 1229 – Senate has taken no action to date

        Reversing President Obama’s Offshore Moratorium Act
        H.R. 1231 – Senate has taken no action to date

        Jobs and Energy Permitting Act of 2011
        H.R. 2021 – Senate has taken no action to date

        North American-Made Energy Security Act
        H.R. 1938 – Senate has taken no action to date

    • stcroixcarp

      We already do give, both money and our time. Don’t assume progressives are as stingy and mean hearted as you are.

      • montanabill

        An assumption made because progressives seem to want to rely on government to do their charity for them, usually by wanting to tax someone else.

    • latebloomingrandma

      I do! I can only speak for myself.

    • 788eddie

      We do, Bill. We just don’t bitch about it.

      • montanabill

        Taxes don’t count.

  • WhutHeSaid

    Greedy, bitter old Republicans are nothing new. Charles Dickens knew all about them.

    Sadly, one fact of human evolution is that there are always stragglers. Like Republican complaints about the so-called war on Christmas, right-wing knuckle-draggers always seem to complain about things for which they themselves are most guilty.

    For example, take the incessant right-wing crying about ‘entitlements’ and ‘freeloading’. You would think from their caterwauling about public benefits that they actually oppose them. But the reality is that right-wing scrooges are the biggest users of entitlements, with the ‘red’ states sucking up far more than they contribute in tax dollars at the expense of the more productive ‘blue’ states.

    The war on Christmas is no different. While right-wing, knuckle-dragging Neanderthals complain about an innocent expression of good will like ‘Happy Holidays’, they are the real grinches who begrudge hungry babies getting fed or unemployed veterans getting a little assistance during hard times, while snorting up public benefits like there’s no tomorrow and whining continuously about paying their share. All this at a time when taxes are the lowest they’ve been in over 60 years.

    Yep, greedy Scrooges are nothing new, and Dickens would have a bit to say about the vile and despicable public-benefit-snorting Tea Bigots, who add their sordid hate for all other people to their greedy, irresponsible and despicable demeanor. Christmas is about more than words.

    Bah Humbug indeed.

    • Independent1

      Great post!! Well said!!

    • 788eddie

      To WhutHeSaid:

      Awesome post! Thank you.

    • Susan Dean

      As conditions in America continue to approach those in early Victorian England, I keep hoping that a 21st-century Dickens will appear to document our hypocrisy and lack of concern for others. And every Christmas I’m amazed at the number of people who will pay exorbitant prices to see the ubiquitous stagings of “A Christmas Carol” and then come out of the theater having completely missed the point.

      • daniel bostdorf

        Great post…I vote for Nelson Mandela as the “Dickens” of our time:
        ““Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice. Like Slavery and Apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings. Sometimes it falls on a generation to be great. YOU can be that great generation. Let your greatness blossom.” ……Nelson Mandela

        • Susan Dean

          Thanks, Daniel. It’s a great quote that deserves to be more widely known.

          • daniel bostdorf

            I really appreciate your civility posting….it is refreshing given the trolls who are here….

            we need to get national memo to get rid of “facebook user” because we cant reply and when you flag nothing is done.

            Have a great holiday…

          • Susan Dean

            The trolls are just Scrooges before his change of heart. We can hope that they’ll all be visited by ghosts on Christmas Eve.

            “But you were always a good man of business, Jacob,” faltered Scrooge . . ..

            “Business!” cried the Ghost, wringing its hands again. “Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were all my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!”

            You have a great holiday, too.

          • Sand_Cat

            However obnoxious, the trolls have a right to speak. Besides, they often make our arguments for us.

          • daniel bostdorf

            You have NO right to post at private website likw national memo owned by joe conason…IT IS A PRIVILEGE …joe can ban whomever he wwats. As he has done with over 2 dozen trolls….you need to get facts separated from your misinformed opinion…

          • tax payer

            This person wants the Blog to himself, so everyone needs to be banned. What is going on and who is this God. Oh, I forgot there is no God. Sorry!

          • daniel bostdorf

            troll you be

          • Sand_Cat

            My “misinformed opinion” is that people should have the right to speak [write] their piece, however obnoxious, ill-informed, or delusional you or I may find it, just as we are free to ignore or ridicule, or even answer it. The right-wing lunatics are always projecting their intolerance and need to silence the opposition on us; I object to providing them ammunition, private site or not.

          • daniel bostdorf

            Restating very clearly for you :

            People have no “right” to post at private websites nor do they have a “right” to post audio/video/photos at private websites. Especially if those posts have appeared years ago and are simply cut and pasted into dozens of websites year after year—as was the case with all of those recently banned here….

            People have no “right” to badger or bully anyone with any post. This leads to being banned…as was just done by NM editors with “taxpayer.”

            Posting here at National memo is a PRIVILEGE …especially when it can be anonymous without verification of who really is behind the post….

            I generally appreciate your animosity towards right wing propagandists….

            But your animosity still gives you no “right” to post here….

            Let us hope that the tone and nature of postings here are well thought out and free from personal attacks and bullying….otherwise….NM editors will ban you and your IP addresses….

          • Sand_Cat

            Restating clearly for you: someone’s “right” to ban posters from “his” website doesn’t make it right.
            Frankly, I disliked Tax Payer’s “views” a great deal, but if people can’t write what they want, why have a comment section at all? Do you want an echo chamber?
            Germansmith on occasion made some sense, and I don’t recall his/her posts’ ever being abusive or intimidating. For that matter, Tax Payer just said things I thought were false and parrotted the party line for the GOP; I don’t recall his attempts to intimidate or silence anyone. While trolls may attempt to derail conversations into irrelevancies, no one is forced to answer them, and if no one did, they’d probably lose interest and go away, anyway.
            You seem like a bright guy, but by supporting the silencing of those we all may find annoying from time to time, you play right into the hands of those right-wingers who try to project their intolerance and totalitarian tendencies on us by giving them credibility.

          • daniel bostdorf

            replied at top of page…Appreciate your view—we simply disagree….in a respectful manner…

            Have a great year ahead!

        • Independent1

          Daniel, in your reply to me on Germanship, you mentioned that you believed I was mistaken about people being able to get SNAP benefits and still own a nice car and nice clothes etc. Here are the qualification guidelines on SNAP and aside from always excluding the value of a home and lot in the calculation of assets, some states (39) totally exclude the value of a vehicle in the calculation of assets as well. Many guidelines vary by state.

          (And thanks for doing the basic research on these trolls such that some of their idiot posts are being deleted. I agreed completely with virtually all of your comments except that I was mistaken about some people using SNAP appearing to not be poor because they qualify based on current income and the absence of liquid assets; which could happen to someone who had a nice job and was driving a nice car and was still well dressed but who had lost their job in the past couple years and have chewed through much of their savings while on unemployment.)

          Here are the basic guidelines:

          Households may have $2,000 in countable resources, such as a bank account, or $3250 in countable resources if at least one person is age 60 or older, or is disabled. However, certain resources are NOT counted, such as a home and lot, the resources of people who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the resources of people who receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF, formerly AFDC), and most retirement (pension) plans. The procedures for handling vehicles are determined at the state level. States have the option of substituting the vehicle rules used in their TANF assistance programs for SNAP vehicle rules when it results in a lower attribution of household assets. A number of States exclude the entire value of the household’s primary vehicle as an asset. In States that count the value of vehicles, the fair market value of each licensed vehicle that is not excluded is evaluated. Currently 39 States exclude the value of all vehicles entirely. 11 States totally exclude the value of at least one vehicle per household. The 3 remaining states exempt an amount higher than the SNAP’s standard auto exemption (currently set at $4,650) from the fair market value to determine the countable resource value of a vehicle. For more information concerning State specific vehicle policy, check with the State agency that administers the SNAP program.

          (I apologize for responding here, but when they deleted Germansmiths posts, they also deleted the ability to reply even to those who had responded to him.)

    • dpaano

      What I don’t understand is why “Happy Holiidays” is such a problem….there are many multi-cultural holidays celebrated this season; i.e., Kwanza, Hanaukkah, etc. It doesn’t make a difference to me if you say Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas…..they all work and get the point across. Right-wingers are getting so touchy lately about EVERYTHING!!! I think they need a break (another one)!

  • Russ49

    Christmas – The Flip Side
    by Russ Martin

    I like the lights and ornaments on Christmas trees.
    I like how the corporations decorate their stores
    and make a lot of money
    leading up to Jesus’ birthday.
    Did I miss something?

    Christmas is a festive and warm time when people get together.
    And talk about Christmases past and present.
    Sometimes there is an argument
    which resulted from too much drinking.
    Then people go home without any joy.
    If no one pulls a gun and shoots them first.
    Why are there more gun deaths at Christmas than any other time?

    People love to give gifts and receive them.
    People seem to want flat screen TV’s more than anything.
    They don’t want another button down shirt or tie
    regardless of the thought.
    Thoughts don’t count for much anymore.

    Many kids would like to receive iPads
    Poor children make believe they got them
    when they write on that slate that Santa put in their stockings.
    They don’t understand why Santa gave the rich kids iPads
    and they got a piece of stone to write on.
    Seems Santa likes rich kids more than poor ones.

    Then too, I like all the baked goods, especially chocolate deserts.
    I have a pension and can afford them
    Christmas is fun with all the delicious foods.
    Many old people will be eating stale cookies
    that they got off the day old rack at the supermarket
    They only have Social Security.

    I also like egg nog, gourmet coffee and hot chocolate.
    They remind me of my childhood.
    It was a good!
    My parents and grandparents filled our living room with gifts.
    Poor kids may get one toy from the Marines.
    Things could be worse.
    Some don’t even have a Marine Santa.

    Some people decorate their houses really nicely too.
    They may spend thousands of dollars on lights and inflatables
    I like to look at them
    I rarely go to the poor areas
    They’re boring
    They don’t have Christmas lights or inflatables
    They can’t afford their electric bills

    Think about how fortunate we are, and how those less fortunate may be “enjoying” the holidays.

  • SeekingOut

    As someone said, Republicans seek to incentivize the poor by giving them less (handouts) and the rich by giving them more (tax breaks and other regulatory support). Does anyone see some hypocrisy or dishonesty here?

  • dpaano

    Yeah, nothing says Merry Christmas like taking food and unemployment benefits from needy people. Thank you, GOP, for your kindness and compassion (sarcasm, of course). How their brains work is beyond me……although I sometimes doubt they actually HAVE brains (or a heart). Merry Christmas to all….everyone be safe.

  • daniel bostdorf

    Thank you Joe for this remarkable dead on column about who is really waging war….

    I especially liked your statement: “The spirit of this holiday is supposed to stimulate charitable concern
    for everyone, including the very least among us. What we are seeing
    instead is a real war on Christmas – not a silly struggle over greeting
    slogans or public displays, but an aggressive drive to deprive those who
    have almost nothing of the little we provide as a society.”

    i simply cannot fathom the depths of depravity being shown by the far right.

    Have a great holiday..

    i also want to thank National Memo editors for recognizing that montanbill and about a dozen others are serial posting the same cut and pasted materials onto dozens of other website using fake names as well as answering their own posts using a fake name.

    We need a free exchange of opinion by fair and balanced minded people who recognize facts from right wing propaganda….

    • Germansmith

      So basically you just want fair and balance people as long as they agree with your point of view. Anybody with a conservative view need not apply.
      You obviously have a twisted understanding what the words “fact” “fair” and “balanced” means.
      You kind of remind me of those communists and fascists I met in my youth

      • daniel bostdorf

        “Look In The Mirror, Right-Wing Scrooge”….Joe Conason

  • daniel bostdorf

    We are unable to respond to “facebook user” and this must be addressed by National Memo.

    “facebook user” is posting quoted information below from various other postings made under differrent names.

    Here is one site:

    Now–look at the screen shot attached. It is verbatim…

    So–who is facebook user? Postings sound alot like other fake name posters that come here and have been banned…

    • daniel bostdorf

      Editors: when are you going to respond?

      • Germansmith

        Censorship…..the mark of a true communist

        • daniel bostdorf

          Look In The Mirror, Right-Wing Scrooge…Joe Conason

  • howa4x

    In America we created a new kind of Christianity far from the story of Jesus. Here we tended to embrace the protestant ethic that meant hard work was a virtue and that if you made more that was because god loved you more and you would have a higher place in heaven. This is why Christians in the south could embrace the notion and practice of slavery. The white Christians were the blessed ones and the black slaves inferior beings. They found gospel and scripture to support their twisted logic. The civil war was a truly religious war with the north thinking they were doing gods work and the south protecting a Christian tradition and culture they created.
    Later, this thinking allowed early capitalists like Rockefeller to order the shooting of striking miners at Ludlow Colorado killing over 100 men women and children. Rockefeller believed in the protestant ethic and he thought he was truly blessed by god and that allowed him to carry out this heinous act. Early industrialists chained children to machines because just getting wealthy no matter how, made their place in Heaven higher. Union workers were labeled socialists and their organizers beaten by police. It wasn’t till government stepped in finally to put an end to such barbaric practices but It wasn’t the church who stopped it. After all it was the church who supported slavery and the Klu Klux Clan rode with the sign of the cross on their robes. They became the defenders of the white Christian race at least in the south.
    It was our perverse Christian faith that allowed us to march across the continent killing every Indian we could find. After all is was manifest destiny.
    So the evangelicals of today are descended from this brand of Christianity and this is why they support every war, and the end of food stamps. They don’t see the suffering only lazy people refusing to go to work, never mind that is the children who suffer the most. After all their faith allowed children to be slaves, and if it was gods will to have you born to an unwed mother birthed in sin than you must suffer. The tea party and the evangelicals are just doing what their religious history taught them to do. Hatred is ok as long as it is for god’s glory.
    This is not the Christianity of Jesus but rather a Christianity built in America for capitalism.

    • daniel bostdorf

      You have articulated an interesting opinion. I am thanking you making it your own opinion, not regurgitated from some other post…or right wing propaganda blog…

      i particularly agree that you are insinuating the right wing Christians are to blame:

      “So the evangelicals of today are descended from this brand of
      Christianity and this is why they support every war, and the end of food

      As Joe Conason so perfectly summarized about right wing scrooges:

      “The true enemies of Christmas – and of Christian hope, as articulated in
      this season by Pope Francis – are those who pretend to befriend the
      poor by taking bread from their children’s mouths. Both the mean old
      Grinch and Ebenezer Scrooge were saved from villainy before their
      stories ended. Our modern political misers, clothed in
      self-righteousness, have no such prospect of redemption.”

    • midway54

      Yours is a strikingly well-stated and accurate viewpoint. The exploitation of religion and the implications that Jesus supports the quasi-fascist, Mussolini style, ideology of our past and clearly present plutocrats, complete with modern robber barons, is simply obvious to anyone with a talent for critical thinking and the use of just plain common sense.

      • howa4x

        Nice to see other critical thinkers like you

  • Allan Richardson

    According to Republican logic, beaches should not have lifeguards (it makes the swimmers “dependent” on others to save them) and ocean liners should not have lifeboats (it removes the incentive to learn to swim across the ocean to the nearest shore), and airplanes should not have parachutes (how else are they going to learn to fly?).

    • daniel bostdorf

      That is a wonderful analogy! Have a great holiday season!

  • tax payer

    When people stop saying ” Merry Christmas ” that should have eliminated Christmas Day. ” Happy Holidays ” makes no sense on Christmas Day. Why celebrate Christmas when your children can’t even celebrate that day in their own schools without a prayer. You give up too easily and have no Pride.

    • daniel bostdorf

      off topic

      • tax payer

        You are off topic too because who died and make you decide who is off or on topic.

      • tax payer

        The word ” Christmas ” is in the Title, so it’s not off topic.

  • Justin Napolitano

    My initial response was to blister the Republicans with as much hatred and four letter words I can think of but then I decided that that kind of response plays into their purpose.
    So instead I will say to the Republicans: keep messing with the poor; that have the guns you want every American to own, and you might just push these people to use them against you.
    You can only push people so far and then they will push back. If armed insurrection, by the poor, is what you want then continue forcing them into desperation by your programs of uncaring hatred. Is it not enough that so many are destitute that you have to rub it in? This article suggests that you want them to beg for charity. A man on his knees will shoot you in the groin so I would suggest you wear body Armour.

  • tax payer

    I have always wondered why people that disagree with you always end up calling you a troll. If they don’t like what you say you are a troll and nothing else. What a bunch of morons or should I say trolls.

    • daniel bostdorf

      Your comment that is off topic qualifies you for being a troll.

      A reminder of definition:

      A social media troll as someone who seeks to lure or bait people into negative, disruptive rhetoric for their own edification or to commandeer an otherwise free-flowing discussion among colleagues. They don’t recognize anyone that may be interested in discussing something that bores them and opt to criticize or yell “boring” instead of engaging in the discussion. They choose to belittle those who seek the information and discourse as well as those who try to provide it. They simply have no interest in anything that is not self-serving. Trolls will defend their focus on expressing contrary opinions as an honorable attempt to rid the online community of fake-experts, get to the truth of a matter or enlighten their followers; however, their intent has nothing to do with community building or public enlightenment.

      • tax payer

        One thing you can do is skip my comments and ignore me, so how hard is that for you to do? Do you see me commenting on others that I know don’t make much sense? No, I only respond to those that reply to me and I really don’t expect a response, but they come in numbers. Those that are banned are banned because of the crybabies they meet in these blog and they want to think you are wrong, so they contact Mr. Joe to have you banned from his blog. So, what you are trying to say is everyone has to be a ( yes man ), so why have this blog; if everyone is going to have to agree with what you and everyone else comments. That is like being a puppet and having Obama tell you what to say or do. That happens only in Congress and that’s because puppets are voted in by voters that don’t know what they are doing until it’s too late.

  • irishtap

    I can’t fathom being a member of a political organization whose motto is “CAN’T”. These people are so distressingly negative about anything that provides a modicum of financial relief, to the growing masses stressed by a sluggish economy, deliberately made so by the GOP. This propaganda is designed to continue the downward slide of the poor and shaky middle class, by overwhelming people with fear so that we’ll accept ‘any and every low paying crap job out there’. This of course will have the affect of driving ‘already depressed wages further down’.
    The GOP has become an organization urgently seeking to implement any legislation that will “hurt ordinary working Americans”. These inhumane traitors hate any subset of Americans whom still carve out a good living. The workers are ‘always the greedy ones’; forget about the sinfully bloated budget of Department of Defense or billions in subsidies going to obscenely wealthy oil companies. They have no conscience for their menacing – destructive ways. They treat truth as their kryptonite. They laud the best lie they can design; tell it and repeat it with every rancid breath they expel.
    The GOP is hapless yet effective. Receiving largess from the One True God whom they worship – the mega rich. Republicans are enemies to the progress of humanity. The GOP is to Jesus, as dark is to light or hell is to Heaven.

  • tax payer

    Those that want to provide to others they should have an account set up just for them and they can submit money every month to help those in need. This will allow the tax money to be used for more important projects and everyone will be happy. This will never happen, but it seems like it can work because we have so many people that are willing to let the tax money help these people.

    • daniel bostdorf

      The topic is who is waging war on Christmas…not your off topic posts.

      Joe Conason:
      “The true enemies of Christmas – and of Christian hope, as articulated in
      this season by Pope Francis – are those who pretend to befriend the
      poor by taking bread from their children’s mouths. Both the mean old
      Grinch and Ebenezer Scrooge were saved from villainy before their
      stories ended. Our modern political misers, clothed in
      self-righteousness, have no such prospect of redemption.”

  • daniel bostdorf

    Who is waging war on Christmas….and the free exchange of ideas at National Memo?

    To Sandcat and others:

    Doesnt’ matter what you think about who gets to post and who doesn’t.

    That is the job of the editors and owners here. And they are enforcing the standards Joe Conason has established. Not me.

    Free exchange of opinion, with original thoughts, with civil respectful discourse is being enforced by National Memo. So what is wrong with that? Nothing…

    If you cant handle NM posting guidelines, you do have the opportunity of expressing you displeasure. And I fully support that.

    Sandcat: I do like your responses generally. You and others must be careful, however, that your rhetorical skill doesn’t cross the line of bullying and badgering as is the case of most trolls here who were banned. Sure—they may develop a fake persona again and try to post, but NM editors wont tolerate it.

    The posters you mention below (including those not mentioned like montanabill and obozomustgo) are part of an orchestrated attack upon the free exchange of ideas as evidenced by their cutting and pasting their right wing propaganda, and posting it year after year to dozens of sites at once. Using 6 to 12 different user names anonymously.

    NM editors discovered this and are simply exercising their right to ban this conduct which I fully support…

    What trolls do is not free exchange of ideas….it is a form of fascistic thinking, harassing and bullying behaviour that wont be tolerated by Joe Conason and his editors. National Memo editors have strict policies regarding allowable posting as it is their right since they own NM.

    They do the banning, not me.