Obama Watch - Keeping an Eye on U.S. Leadership

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Re: Obama Watch - Keeping an Eye on U.S. Leadership

Postby murnut » Mon Sep 06, 2010 1:53 am

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Re: Obama Watch - Keeping an Eye on U.S. Leadership

Postby You Can Call Me Ray » Mon Sep 06, 2010 3:54 pm

Access Denied wrote:Hang in there Ray, you just might get you chance to start bashing Republicans! :)


I most certainly will bash them when (not if) they start doing their usual thing of trying to legislate morality and all those other things that pander to their religious right base. But I do not think I will be bashing them on what it takes to get the economy (which is based on the MARKET) going again. Interesting that Obama is now starting to sound like a Republican now that his back is against the wall and NOTHING he has done has had much effect... tax cuts for small business? Wow...from a Democrat. :lol:

To that end I’ll be voting for Carly Fiorina (R) over Barbara Boxer (D) for US Senate here in California… even though her actions (specifically the merger with Compaq) as CEO of Hewlett-Packard led to one of my best friends being laid off from HP before he could retire.


Agreed. Mur's cartoon sums this one up for me. I am not so much voting for Fiorina, as I am voting against Babs. At least one could hope Fiorina would bring a market-based approach to her job, as opposed to the elitist Boxer who always thought more government was the solution to anything that ailed the market.

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Has Obama Suddenly Become Republican?

Postby You Can Call Me Ray » Tue Sep 07, 2010 10:50 pm

This is just too funny... you couldn't script it any better:

Obama to introduce another business tax cut

In another move aimed at stabilizing the still-shaky economy, President Barack Obama on Wednesday will introduce a new $200 billion tax cut giving businesses across the country an incentive to buy new equipment in the short term, according to a senior administration official.

The tax cut would allow businesses to write off 100 percent of new investments in plants and equipment made between now and the end of 2011, according to the senior administration official.

The new tax cut will be in addition to a $100 billion permanent extension of the business tax credit for research and development, as well as $50 billion in new infrastructure spending included in a package that the president will officially unveil Wednesday during an economic speech in Cleveland, Ohio.


Uhhhh...methinks someone is flailing. And even one of Obama's own is also breaking with his former boss about the Bush tax cuts:

Orszag Breaks With Obama on Bush Tax Cuts

Former White House Budget Director Peter Orszag is breaking with President Obama on the controversial election-year issue of whether the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy should be scrapped, declaring in a New York Times op-ed that failing to extend the tax cuts for the rich would "make an already stagnating jobs market worse over the next year or two."

To be sure, the crux of Orszag's argument is not complete music to the ears of Republicans because he's proposing a compromise by which all of the Bush tax cuts are extended for two years but then will be ended altogether, something the GOP does not want to endorse


Maybe he just needs to throw out a little more of the "Hope and Change" mantra...he hasn't been using that much! :lol:

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Re: Obama Watch - Keeping an Eye on U.S. Leadership

Postby You Can Call Me Ray » Tue Sep 07, 2010 11:06 pm

http://www.centerforpolitics.org/crystalball/

Overall, though, a strong bet is that 2010 will generate a substantial pendulum swing from the Democrats to the Republicans. It is not that Republicans are popular—most polls show the party even less liked than the Democrats. Many observers find it amazing that the less-liked party is on the verge of triumphing over the better-liked party.


In systems engineering we have another, more simple, term for a system that exhibits a tendency like this. We call it "unstable" due to it being "180 degrees out of phase." The future outlook of such a system exhibiting these types of tendencies is not very good at all.

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Re: Obama Watch - Keeping an Eye on U.S. Leadership

Postby murnut » Fri Sep 10, 2010 3:33 am

http://baselinescenario.com/2010/09/09/ ... l-message/



What Is President Obama’s Fiscal Message?

with 74 comments

By Simon Johnson

President Obama is finally attempting to cut through some of the disinformation and confusion that surrounds US fiscal policy in general and taxes in particular. His suggestion this week is: let’s (effectively) raise taxes on relatively high income people – by letting the Bush tax cuts expire for those people – while introducing temporary tax breaks that will more directly stimulate business investment and presumably hiring.

Any way you cut it, the numbers involved are not big enough to impact unemployment significantly by November, but these ideas – and the Republican rival suggestions currently on the table – are more about symbols, messages, and midterm votes than about accelerating the economic recovery. Seen in those terms, the president is still missing a key argument in both economic and political terms.

The president’s point is simple. If you are arguing to keep the Bush tax breaks for upper income groups in order to support the economy, his proposal represents a direct and reasonable challenge – there are better ways to “use” (i.e., for the government to forgo) tax revenue to help reduce unemployment.

The bigger issue, of course, is the budget deficit and the president feels the need to tread gingerly because the 2010 deficit will come in around $1.3 trillion, according to the Congressional Budget Office, i.e., almost 10 percent of our gross domestic product and over the last two years we have run the highest deficits since World War II.
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No Change In Health Care Spending

Postby You Can Call Me Ray » Fri Sep 10, 2010 2:21 pm

Not too many pages ago on this thread, AD was all so certain about how the new health care laws were going to bring down costs. Are you ready to admit you were wrong, yet, Tom?

Health Outlays Still Seen Rising

The health-care overhaul enacted last spring won't significantly change national health spending over the next decade compared with projections before the law was passed, according to government figures released Thursday.

The report by federal number-crunchers casts fresh doubt on Democrats' argument that the health-care law would curb the sharp increase in costs over the long term, the second setback this week for one of the party's biggest legislative achievements.


Seeing as how this is Reality Uncovered I think it is time we agree to what the "reality" was behind the Democratic motivations in passing this law. Oh, sure, they were HOPING that this CHANGE would bring down costs. But that was never really their primary goal. The primary goal was enacting a new entitlement. FORCING everyone to have health insurance as part of a larger wish to gift their voter base (people who already pay no taxes) with "health care for all." The fact that they knew they could not give this gift without increasing federal spending did not matter. And while the rhetoric was flying wildly about how it was going to save everyone so much money, they all knew (and some of us here knew) it would not.

Chalk this up for another one in this thread that I predicted the real outcome. Despite AD's smoke and mirrors.
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Law Of Unintended Consequences

Postby You Can Call Me Ray » Fri Sep 10, 2010 6:53 pm

What follows is my own story which illustrates that, no matter how good the intentions are of government to help people out with legislation, there will always be unintended consequences for the federal government trying to intervene to help individuals or groups of individuals directly. But first, let me give you some light reading that explains...

Why Obama's mortgage-relief program failed

The U.S. Treasury launched HAMP in March 2009 to offer incentives for loan servicers to modify the terms of mortgages facing foreclosure. The idea, President Barack Obama said, was to give up to four million homeowners lower mortgage payments through a modification over three years.

(snip)

Instead, we have HAMP, which was touted as an inexpensive way to get bankers to face facts, yet has merely managed to torture already aggrieved homeowners.


And this is a good spot to begin to relate my recent story. First, let me point out something that those who know me on this forum will not find surprising: Being a fiscal conservative, I am not only NOT underwater in my mortgage (despite the value of my home falling like everyone else's), but I am also one of those "walk-on-water" consumers that banks love to lend money to. My FICO score is just about as high as one can get. This information will help you understand why the bank did what it did to help me...someone who didn't REALLY need help.

Three weeks ago I got a FedEx letter from my mortgage bank that has always taken great care of me (Chase...and I know Ryan hates them, but it is all relative). In that letter they were offering a no-doc, no-reappraisal, no out-of-pocket refinance of my home that would cut my 30 year fixed rate by over an entire percentage point. To make a long story short, I closed on this deal last Friday and it ends up saving me over $450/month in debt payments. So good was this deal that it also allowed me and my stellar credit to take advantage of Toyota's year-end clearance incentives and buy a 36 MPG new Yaris for 0% financing for 5 years. I was planning to buy a new small commuter car in the next 2 years, but I figured with this refi deal and with the "free money" (0%) incentives, it makes a lot more sense to have this bird in the hand now, rather than wait a couple years when I might not get the same financing deal. So my monthly car payment will be less than $250/month, which still leaves me an additional $200/month savings from my refi to apply to early paydown of other debt (such as my Colorado property).

The interesting thing is: Chase will be given "brownie point credits" as part of the HAMP program cited above...even though they are helping out a person who really needed NO HELP AT ALL. Now, folks here can say that I am "evil" or "greedy" or whatever. But it just ain't true. Rather, I view this as that I have been such a responsible person when it comes to finances (and my FICO proves this), that I am merely taking advantage of opportunities presented to me, to help myself. So then some might say that Chase is "evil and greedy" for extending me the offer. Nope. They are just being smart. With 30 year fixed rates having dropped into the low 4% range, and with my kind of credit record, they were betting that I might jump from their ship and find someone else to loan me money for a refi. And they were probably right. So it was a NO BRAINER for them to make me the offer, just to keep a guy like me, who always pays his bills and is in absolutely no danger of default, on their books. And since the GOV will allow them to take credit for my refi under the HAMP program, why wouldn't they?

The people who are really more stupid than anyone is evil or greedy are the people in the federal government who setup this program on whim, without a proper understanding of what the result would be. My situation, and my refi is part of the unintended consequences that the Feds never thought of. Because I was never in danger of losing my home, I am quite certain the Feds didn't give a s^~t about me. And yet, here I am benefiting from their stupid decision, while the people who REALLY need the help can't get it, as related in the article above.

Go ahead. Call me greedy or evil, or whatever. I don't care. I prefer to view myself as a survivor, who will always be smart enough to keep myself out of trouble, take care of myself, and be wiley enough to see when I can take an action that will further improve my position. It is just too bad more people do not think about how they are going to take care of themselves, and ensure their own future before they make decisions they will regret (i.e. buying way more home than you can afford, or having those kids that you will not be able to afford to raise properly).

I am a big proponent of Darwin. As a teacher I try to help people learn how to be self-sufficient and adopt conservative policies towards their own life situations. But people are stubborn, and it is so much easier to simply rely on government to bail you out when you make stupid decisions. Unfortunately, that is also a case of "stupid is as stupid does."

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Re: Obama Watch - Keeping an Eye on U.S. Leadership

Postby murnut » Fri Sep 10, 2010 7:12 pm

I'm not convinced your refi was part of the Hamp program.

Hamp is a modification program, yours was a refi...totally different depts.

Your refi was just Chase not wanting to lose you as you said, and it is a feature of low rates currently.

That being said, Hamp is a disaster probably causing more foreclosures than it stopped


Edit to add.....


Hamp is a stealth bailout of banks allowing them to stagger their foreclosures rather than flood the market....which would have totally crashed the housing market.....and the govt is paying the banks to do it.

It has allowed the banks to slowly take the loses on the collateral...rather than all at once.

If the banks had to mark the assets to market, all the banks are insolvent.....but Hamp allows a pretend and extend plan...delaying that mark to market hoping the value of real estate stops sliding
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Re: Obama Watch - Keeping an Eye on U.S. Leadership

Postby You Can Call Me Ray » Fri Sep 10, 2010 7:17 pm

Could be, Andy. I don't know for sure. All I know is what the loan rep told me after closing. What I am sure of though is that Chase is still making a tidy sum, if even only in arbitrage given the essentially free money they can dip into from Treasury and sell to me in this refi package. Good for them. Whatever the market will bear, ya know?

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Re: Obama Watch - Keeping an Eye on U.S. Leadership

Postby murnut » Fri Sep 10, 2010 7:24 pm

Sorry for the late edit above
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Re: No Change In Health Care Spending

Postby Access Denied » Sat Sep 11, 2010 4:37 am

You Can Call Me Ray wrote:Not too many pages ago on this thread, AD was all so certain about how the new health care laws were going to bring down costs. Are you ready to admit you were wrong, yet, Tom?

Absolutely not, this is the Republican’s watered down version of the health care bill, not the one Obama and I originally supported… you know, the one that was designed to work with the public option?

To wit…

[from the article you linked to]

The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that insurance companies have proposed rate increases ranging from 1% to 9% nationwide that they attribute specifically to new health-law coverage mandates.

Democrats signaled they would ratchet up pressure on the companies. "Insurers are using the consumer protections in health reform as a cover for their own greed," said Rep. Pete Stark (D., Calif.), chairman of the House Ways and Means health subcommittee.

Had Republican’s not killed the public option with fear mongering, private insurers would soon be forced to compete against it… currently they enjoy an unresticted (with the exception of the new coverage mandates like covering prexisting conditions) monopoly (tyranny is more like it). This was one of the predicted consequences of removing the public option in case you forgot.

That said, all is not lost…

U.S. health spending is projected to rise 9.2% in 2014, up from the 6.6% projected before the law took effect. New mechanisms kick in that year to expand insurance coverage. The report estimates 92.7% of U.S. residents will have health insurance by 2019, up from 84% this year.

Once the insurance expansion begins, U.S. health spending is expected to grow slightly more slowly. Between 2015 and 2019, the report predicts, it will increase 6.7% a year on average, down from the 6.8% projected before the overhaul passed.

By the way “US health spending” isn’t just by the government, it includes what we spend for private insurance and out of pocket expenses.

And finally…

The law is expected to slow growth in Medicare spending by 1.4 percentage points because it contains lower payments to health-care providers.

That’s better than nothing but remember our last debate about the budget?

Medicare: Cost and funding challenges

Medicare spending is growing steadily in both absolute terms and as a percentage of the federal budget. Total Medicare spending reached $440 billion for fiscal year 2007 or 16% of all federal spending and grew to $599 billion in 2008 which was 20% of federal spending.[45] The only larger categories of federal spending are Social Security and defense. Given the current pattern of spending growth, maintaining Medicare's financing over the long-term may well require significant changes.

[…]

The present value of unfunded obligations under all parts of Medicare during FY 2009 over an infinite horizon is approximately $36 trillion. In other words, this amount would have to be set aside today such that the principal and interest would cover the shortfall assuming the program continues indefinitely.

What do you propose to do about it Mr. Health Care Is Not A Right Fiscal Conservative? Pull the plug on Grandma's Medicare?

Personally I didn’t think the original health care bill went near far enough and is nothing more than a temporary band-aid with the bonus that more people will be covered… we’re going to have to go to a single payer system and remove the for profit, no value added, middle man (the private insurance industry) like the rest of the civilized world eventually. We simply can’t afford not to…

You were saying? :)
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Re: No Change In Health Care Spending

Postby You Can Call Me Ray » Sat Sep 11, 2010 4:39 pm

Access Denied wrote:
You Can Call Me Ray wrote:Not too many pages ago on this thread, AD was all so certain about how the new health care laws were going to bring down costs. Are you ready to admit you were wrong, yet, Tom?

Absolutely not, this is the Republican’s watered down version of the health care bill, not the one Obama and I originally supported… you know, the one that was designed to work with the public option?


We shall deal with the "public option" non-competetive issue later. But what is really instructive here is that we see exactly how much damage can be done (by EITHER party-in-power) when they MUST "force thru something", even if it totally misses the mark of their campaign rhetoric. You do realize, I hope AD, that doing nothing (no harm) is better than doing something bad just to make you look like you are "doing something"? I also hope you address that, because I always see a tendency for you to not address the main points I make in posts...but rather take it off on your own tangent.

Had Republican’s not killed the public option with fear mongering, private insurers would soon be forced to compete against it… currently they enjoy an unresticted (with the exception of the new coverage mandates like covering prexisting conditions) monopoly (tyranny is more like it). This was one of the predicted consequences of removing the public option in case you forgot.


Yes, I know... "the party of no" (and you rail on me for regurgitating Repub talking points and phrases). This is how our system works, and always has. If the minority party (and its constituents) see problems and are opposed to those problems in the majority party's plan, they are actually doing the bidding of their constituency in fighting it. What I find interesting is that the media allows "the party of no" rhetoric to favor only the party they "like". For example, we could easily classify the Dems as "the party of no" for the last 2+ years in totally saying "no" to small business tax cuts that the Repubs were pushing for as a REAL form of economic stimulus. But the Dems made sure it would not see the light of day... except now that Obama/Pelosi/Reid's economic blundering has failed, Obama is basically championing things Repubs have tried to make happen, and pretending it is his great idea. So just like you will enjoy when Repubs have control of at least one chamber and I rail on their failures, I will be happy to see you calling the Dems the Party Of No when they do the same thing in trying to prevent Repub legislation from getting thru. In fact, we will all be able to chant "Obama is the President of No" when that happens.

Now let's deal with:
the public option with fear mongering, private insurers would soon be forced to compete against it

The fallacy of "competing with the government" when it comes with a compulsory funding sources (the taxpayers' wallets) from which it can draw money to subsidize its "public option" health insurance to undercut the competition. What they are really doing with that tax money is hiding their own government bureaucratic inefficieny that stems from GOV workers getting a job and not being able to be removed for non-performance. What eventually happens is what we see in all entitlement programs: The REAL market cannot compete with a subsidized operator (there are lawsuits between Boeing, Airbus and the respective governments on this sort of thing!), and so the private market collapses. Once that happens, the government inefficiences mount and we have insolvent Medicare/Medicaid, and when users of the service outnumber the people who can pay into it (a la Social Security) it goes bust. IT NEVER WORKS IN A DECLINING WORKING POPULATION. It is unsustainable.

currently they enjoy an unresticted (with the exception of the new coverage mandates like covering prexisting conditions) monopoly (tyranny is more like it)


What a joke! As if the government with their power to pass laws that dip into our pockets is not the only REAL monopoly at work here!?!?!?!? You do realize, I hope, that they are NOT really a monopoly (there are more than one firm offering the services across the company, and they DO actually have to meet regulations...you just may not think the regs are strong enough, and I can respect that)...but please? MONOPOLY? And if you insist upon calling it a monopoly, then perhaps you can explain to me why Dems said "no" to one of the Repub ideas that would use a market-based approach to soften monopolostic activities? Yes, I am referring to the wish to allow health care insurers to compete across state lines. This is a VALID and MARKET-BASED remedy for bringing down costs that does NOT need to take the socialized medicine route. But in this case, the Dems were truly the Party Of No. Why? Because all they could focus on is their socialist goal of having GOVERNMENT IN CONTROL OF THE WHOLE HEALTH CARE MARKET!

By the way “US health spending” isn’t just by the government, it includes what we spend for private insurance and out of pocket expenses.


Believe me...I know. And I don't have the same cushy GOV options that you already do, AD.After the Obama bill passed, our open enrollment at NorGrum happened in June. BIG jump in my employee contribution to the PPO plan that I have maintained since I started at NorGrum in 2003. A jump I could not justify paying for mostly because I NEVER use health services but maybe once per year. Because as all conservative libertarians, just like in the case of my fiscal policy, I do all I can to protect my own health...rather than living like some people who ignore it and decide they can use their health care insurance for any little thing that comes up. So I had to change to the "low budget plan" and just hope that nothing major medicalwise shows up in my body before a new open enrollment period.

The present value of unfunded obligations under all parts of Medicare during FY 2009 over an infinite horizon is approximately $36 trillion. In other words, this amount would have to be set aside today such that the principal and interest would cover the shortfall assuming the program continues indefinitely.

What do you propose to do about it Mr. Health Care Is Not A Right Fiscal Conservative? Pull the plug on Grandma's Medicare?


And this failure of Medicare is PROOF-POSITIVE for the unsustainability fact that I cited above. Thanks for that. You have just PROVEN that you can't constantly give out entitlements from the federal coffers and expect them to be sustainable as population demographics change. But yet, the Democrats always think GOV is the solution, even when in cases like this it is PROVEN to be unsustainable. Go figure. I think the Dems are the Party of No alright...NO COMMON SENSE. They cannot see failure of their entitlements staring them in the face, so they propose a bigger entitlement. The ONLY viable answer is market incentives. You CANNOT get cost out of the system by making the GOV the only payer. All you will do is encourage WAY MORE corruption, which funnels MORE money away from Grandma and into politician and corporate pockets. It has been proven over and over and over and over again...it is MUCH easier for ALL private companies to game the GOV for their entitlement money, than it is for companies to try and game each other via open competition.

Personally I didn’t think the original health care bill went near far enough and is nothing more than a temporary band-aid with the bonus that more people will be covered… we’re going to have to go to a single payer system and remove the for profit, no value added, middle man (the private insurance industry) like the rest of the civilized world eventually. We simply can’t afford not to…

You were saying? :)


And with the GOV as the only payer, pray tell EXACTLY HOW we will prevent the same travesties that we see in Soc Sec, Medicare, and Medicaid? I really do wanna know how you avoid this, because your entire argument does not address this. And if you want to point at other countries, I certainly hope you are not claiming there is no corruption there, and that quality of service has not suffered as a result of such a system? Entitlements are ALREADY the largest portion of our GOV's capital outlays. And you want to add more? Sheesh... I think you need to drop the GOV teat you are already on, and see how one has to make due in the real, open-market, commercial world!

And BTW... my point about how you fail to address my points?
Oh, sure, they were HOPING that this CHANGE would bring down costs. But that was never really their primary goal. The primary goal was enacting a new entitlement. FORCING everyone to have health insurance as part of a larger wish to gift their voter base (people who already pay no taxes) with "health care for all."

The point is that for Dems it was NEVER about lowering costs. Even though it was a campaign promise for Obama, the extant facts now show that this was the first promise they knew they were not going to meet. He lied, they lied. It was a wolf in sheep's clothing...telling voters they were going to fight for them to bring down costs. And that false rhetoric even continues in the talk about how "Dems are going to put the squeeze on insurance companies.." uhhhhhh huh. Sure. I just want you to admit, AD, that with Dems it is ALWAYS about pandering to their voter base which are the people on the "take" end of most entitlements. Their FIRST GOAL was ALWAYS to get more people covered, the people who vote for them to get handouts. And so when they could not deliver on reducing costs....oh well, they gave away their voter gift...they never intended to deliver the cost reductions...just give a new entitlement. Please address that reality which has been uncovered (yet again).

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Re: Obama Watch - Keeping an Eye on U.S. Leadership

Postby Swamprat » Sun Sep 12, 2010 12:58 am

U.S. Poverty on Track to Post Record Gain Under Obama's Watch

Published September 11, 2010

Associated Press

The number of people in the U.S. who are in poverty is on track for a record increase on President Obama's watch, with the ranks of working-age poor approaching 1960s levels that led to the national war on poverty.

Census figures for 2009 — the recession-ravaged first year of the Democrat's presidency — are to be released in the coming week, and demographers expect grim findings.

It's unfortunate timing for Obama and his party just seven weeks before important elections when control of Congress is at stake. The anticipated poverty rate increase — from 13.2 percent to about 15 percent — would be another blow to Democrats struggling to persuade voters to keep them in power.

"The most important anti-poverty effort is growing the economy and making sure there are enough jobs out there," Obama said Friday at a White House news conference. He stressed his commitment to helping the poor achieve middle-class status and said, "If we can grow the economy faster and create more jobs, then everybody is swept up into that virtuous cycle."

Interviews with six demographers who closely track poverty trends found wide consensus that 2009 figures are likely to show a significant rate increase to the range of 14.7 percent to 15 percent.

Should those estimates hold true, some 45 million people in this country, or more than 1 in 7, were poor last year. It would be the highest single-year increase since the government began calculating poverty figures in 1959. The previous high was in 1980 when the rate jumped 1.3 percentage points to 13 percent during the energy crisis.

Among the 18-64 working-age population, the demographers expect a rise beyond 12.4 percent, up from 11.7 percent. That would make it the highest since at least 1965, when another Democratic president, Lyndon B. Johnson, launched the war on poverty that expanded the federal government's role in social welfare programs from education to health care.

Demographers also are confident the report will show:
_Child poverty increased from 19 percent to more than 20 percent.
_Blacks and Latinos were disproportionately hit, based on their higher rates of unemployment.
_Metropolitan areas that posted the largest gains in poverty included Modesto, Calif.; Detroit; Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla.; Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

Lawrence M. Mead, a New York University political science professor who is a conservative and wrote "The New Politics of Poverty: The Nonworking Poor in America," argued that the figures will have a minimal impact in November.

"Poverty is not as big an issue right now as middle-class unemployment. That's a lot more salient politically right now," he said.

But if Thursday's report is as troubling as expected, Republicans in the midst of an increasingly strong drive to win control of the House, if not the Senate, would get one more argument to make against Democrats in the campaign homestretch.

The GOP says voters should fire Democrats because Obama's economic fixes are hindering the sluggish economic recovery. Rightly or wrongly, Republicans could cite a higher poverty rate as evidence.
Democrats almost certainly will argue that they shouldn't be blamed. They're likely to counter that the economic woes — and the poverty increase — began under President George W. Bush with the near-collapse of the financial industry in late 2008.

Although that's true, it's far from certain that the Democratic explanation will sway voters who already are trending heavily toward the GOP in polls as worrisome economic news piles up.

Hispanics and blacks — traditionally solid Democratic constituencies — could be inclined to stay home in November if, as expected, the Census Bureau reports that many more of them were poor last year.

Beyond this fall, the findings could put pressure on Obama to expand government safety net programs ahead of his likely 2012 re-election bid even as Republicans criticize him about federal spending and annual deficits. Those are areas of concern for independent voters whose support is critical in elections.

Experts say a jump in the poverty rate could mean that the liberal viewpoint — social constraints prevent the poor from working — will gain steam over the conservative position that the poor have opportunities to work but choose not to because they get too much help.


Read more:
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/09 ... mas-watch/
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Lay Claim to Constitution - or Lose It?

Postby You Can Call Me Ray » Mon Sep 13, 2010 3:23 pm

By FRANK MIELE/Daily Inter Lake

Frank wrote:Every time I write about some constitutional issue, I inevitably hear from some smug liberal scoffing at how "Frank the Constitutional Scholar" knows more than the judges and congressmen who reign in Washington. Apparently we are supposed to be comfortable with the idea of letting President Obama, Harry Reid and the judges they appoint and confirm tell us what the Constitution means.

This is a scary thought. First, it is the judges, congressmen and presidents in Washington which the Constitution is supposed to protect us from. It codifies the LIMITS of their power over "we the people." Second, why should anyone in America be made to feel ashamed for holding up the Constitution as their shield of liberty? Should it not be as familiar to us, and as vital, as the air we breathe?


And if you do not think we are in (or at least approaching) a Constitutional Crisis, think again:

The ruling elites have used the Constitution as their equivalent of a get-rich scheme for too many years, and the people are sick of it. Now, finally, we are seeing signs that "we the people" will not go down without a fight.
And a terrific fight it promises to be. We could even be in the midst of the country's most serious constitutional crisis since the 1800s.
As many as 33 states are in some stage of suing the federal government over the federal health-care "reform" law, which adds billions of dollars in burdens to state treasuries and also forces citizens to buy health insurance, whether they want it or not.
On another front, Arizona is the first of what will probably be several states to pass statutes to essentially demand that the federal government fulfill its duty to uphold the laws on immigration.
And here at home, Montana was the first state to pass the Firearms Freedom Act, which argues that if a gun does not cross the state line, then the federal government has no regulatory power over it.
And in both the Arizona and Montana cases, the federal government is contemplating lawsuits against the states for claiming the rights guaranteed to them under the 10th Amendment.


and now let us turn our attention to some of the things that Obama said on the campaign trail that some people would rather ignore or not deal with:

Indeed, some politicians seem to find the Constitution a bit inconvenient, whether it was George W. Bush with the Patriot Act or Barack Obama with the Health-Insurance Mandate. There is an oft-repeated story that President Bush dismissed the Constitution as a troublesome "piece of paper." That may be apocryphal, but there is ample evidence that his successor did call the Constitution "an imperfect document and ... a document that reflects some deep flaws in American culture."
Perhaps that view of the Constitution is why President Obama once famously pledged that if elected that he would be "fundamentally transforming" the United States of America.
After all, it would not be possible to "fundamentally" transform America without altering or doing away with the Constitution.
"Fundamental" change means change which affects the "foundation," and the foundation of our country is the Constitution given to us by our FOUNDING Fathers. There is really no other interpretation possible.


How else does one "fundamentally change" that which our Constitution laid out?

Consider, for instance, these words from the Declaration of Independence:
"Prudence... will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security."


and now let the Declaration of Independence serve as notice for this president who wants to so badly "fundamentally transform" the USA to his own liking:

There is indeed another eerie echo in the Declaration of Independence which reverberates mightily in response to that foul chord. It comes in the list of excesses of King George III which the colonists submitted to the world as evidence of tyranny, and notes that the king had given "his assent to ... acts of pretended legislation" that had the effect of "taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering fundamentally the forms of our governments" [emphasis added].
Whether a president or king should not matter. Neither has the authority to either "alter fundamentally" or "fundamentally transform" the nation we live in. Anyone who reads the Constitution and the Declaration already knows that. Maybe that's why some people don't want us to read them, or to understand them.


Obama is not only no better than Bush... he is worse than Bush, because he seeks federal control over your life in so many ways.
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How Obama Thinks

Postby You Can Call Me Ray » Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:02 pm

by: Dinesh D'Souza, 09.27.10, 12:00 AM ET

Theories abound to explain the President's goals and actions. Critics in the business community--including some Obama voters who now have buyer's remorse--tend to focus on two main themes. The first is that Obama is clueless about business. The second is that Obama is a socialist--not an out-and-out Marxist, but something of a European-style socialist, with a penchant for leveling and government redistribution.

These theories aren't wrong so much as they are inadequate.


It is hard to deny that the POTUS we got is nothing like the POTUS we were promised. But given disconnects between what he says and what he does do not seem to make coherent sense, one must understand what he is really wanting to do..and where it comes from:

A good way to discern what motivates Obama is to ask a simple question: What is his dream? Is it the American dream? Is it Martin Luther King's dream? Or something else?

(snip)

What then is Obama's dream? We don't have to speculate because the President tells us himself in his autobiography, Dreams from My Father. According to Obama, his dream is his father's dream. Notice that his title is not Dreams of My Father but rather Dreams from My Father. Obama isn't writing about his father's dreams; he is writing about the dreams he received from his father.

So who was Barack Obama Sr.? He was a Luo tribesman who grew up in Kenya and studied at Harvard. He was a polygamist who had, over the course of his lifetime, four wives and eight children. One of his sons, Mark Obama, has accused him of abuse and wife-beating. He was also a regular drunk driver who got into numerous accidents, killing a man in one and causing his own legs to be amputated due to injury in another. In 1982 he got drunk at a bar in Nairobi and drove into a tree, killing himself.


And what did Obama Sr. have in mind? Lots of good detail in the article, but it boils down to:
Obama Sr. was an economist, and in 1965 he published an important article in the East Africa Journal called "Problems Facing Our Socialism." Obama Sr. wasn't a doctrinaire socialist; rather, he saw state appropriation of wealth as a necessary means to achieve the anticolonial objective of taking resources away from the foreign looters and restoring them to the people of Africa. For Obama Sr. this was an issue of national autonomy. "Is it the African who owns this country? If he does, then why should he not control the economic means of growth in this country?"

As he put it, "We need to eliminate power structures that have been built through excessive accumulation so that not only a few individuals shall control a vast magnitude of resources as is the case now." The senior Obama proposed that the state confiscate private land and raise taxes with no upper limit. In fact, he insisted that "theoretically there is nothing that can stop the government from taxing 100% of income so long as the people get benefits from the government commensurate with their income which is taxed."


So how does the son realize the "Dreams From My Father"?
It may seem incredible to suggest that the anticolonial ideology of Barack Obama Sr. is espoused by his son, the President of the United States. That is what I am saying. From a very young age and through his formative years, Obama learned to see America as a force for global domination and destruction. He came to view America's military as an instrument of neocolonial occupation. He adopted his father's position that capitalism and free markets are code words for economic plunder. Obama grew to perceive the rich as an oppressive class, a kind of neocolonial power within America. In his worldview, profits are a measure of how effectively you have ripped off the rest of society, and America's power in the world is a measure of how selfishly it consumes the globe's resources and how ruthlessly it bullies and dominates the rest of the planet.

For Obama, the solutions are simple. He must work to wring the neocolonialism out of America and the West. And here is where our anticolonial understanding of Obama really takes off, because it provides a vital key to explaining not only his major policy actions but also the little details that no other theory can adequately account for.

Why support oil drilling off the coast of Brazil but not in America? Obama believes that the West uses a disproportionate share of the world's energy resources, so he wants neocolonial America to have less and the former colonized countries to have more. More broadly, his proposal for carbon taxes has little to do with whether the planet is getting warmer or colder; it is simply a way to penalize, and therefore reduce, America's carbon consumption. Both as a U.S. Senator and in his speech, as President, to the United Nations, Obama has proposed that the West massively subsidize energy production in the developing world.


And thusly, please say hello to your REAL POTUS, America, and what he intends for this country:

Colonialism today is a dead issue. No one cares about it except the man in the White House. He is the last anticolonial. Emerging market economies such as China, India, Chile and Indonesia have solved the problem of backwardness; they are exploiting their labor advantage and growing much faster than the U.S. If America is going to remain on top, we have to compete in an increasingly tough environment.

But instead of readying us for the challenge, our President is trapped in his father's time machine. Incredibly, the U.S. is being ruled according to the dreams of a Luo tribesman of the 1950s. This philandering, inebriated African socialist, who raged against the world for denying him the realization of his anticolonial ambitions, is now setting the nation's agenda through the reincarnation of his dreams in his son. The son makes it happen, but he candidly admits he is only living out his father's dream. The invisible father provides the inspiration, and the son dutifully gets the job done. America today is governed by a ghost.


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