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April 23, 2014

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Letter to the editor:

Reward GOP’s obstructionism?

Another view?

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My conclusion, after reading David Brooks’ column Wednesday, “Our crystal ball sees either stasis or reform,” is that we should elect Mitt Romney president because we can count on Democrats to have the interests of the country at heart and will compromise. We should not re-elect President Barack Obama because we can count on the Republicans to remain intransigent so nothing will be accomplished. Did I get that right?

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  1. The House under Speaker Boehner passed a plethora of bills that went to the Senate and stalled under dirty harry. If democrats retain control of the Senate after November 6, the same will still happen. President Obama and his administration complain about the "do nothing" House. The stalled Senate, under Majority Leader Harry Reid wins the award for it. For all time!
    CarmineD

  2. Wow! Must be news from a parallel universe. As usual,

  3. "Wow! Must be news from a parallel universe. As usual,"

    The Wall Street Journal: "Harry Reid's Graveyard." Monday, October 29, 2012. Read it.

    CarmineD

  4. Kevin - I think you got that right.

    Romney's so-called "bipartisan" strategy he supposedly demonstrated while governing Massachusetts included vetoing 800 bills and having almost all overridden by the Legislature. Some were overridden unanimously. In fairness Mitt did inspire some bipartisan action in the Legislature to override his vetos.

    Apparently the voters of Massachusetts do not share Romney's fond memories of his tenure as Governor. Presidential poll at the end of October was Obama 59% - Romney 40%.

  5. CarmineD

    Wow! The Wall Street Journal, under the same corporate umbrella as FAUX NEWS, as an unbiased news source. You gotta be kidding!

  6. Oh I already did before I posted at 4:42 and as usual you interpretation of it is based on your own skewed frame of reference. Oh well.

  7. David Brooks recognizes what I hope most Americans realize. For the first two years of his Presidency, the President could have passed a good deal of what he talked about during his campaign. He didn't, which disappointed many on the left. Instead he passed a poorly executed (by Congress) stimulus bill. He did not lead, but outsourced the execution of a very big and important expenditure to Congress. He did the very same thing with the ACA. He did not lead and we got poor legislation in an area that needed reform.

    When Americans looked at what had been done in the first two years, they reacted by electing many R's to Congress. Most of those elected felt (mistakenly) that they had a mandate to oppose most of what the President proposed. The Senate, under Harry Reid took the stance of opposing most anything the House proposed. RESULT: A stalled economy and gridlock.

    The problem could be addressed by voting out most incumbents in Congress (both House and Senate) but that's not going to happen. If President Obama is re-elected with only slight changes to Congress, we are going to get the status quo, which is gridlock.

    President Obama has shown little inclination to compromise and neither has the House or Senate.

    Brooks is saying that Romney 'might' be the moderate he now claims to be and 'might' be able get the R's in the House and the D's in the Senate to compromise. He might also be wrong.... but we've seen for at least two years, virtually total gridlock... with each side blaming the other...while the truth is that both sides are responsible. That may be ok with both parties, but it isn't ok with me and it should not be ok with most Americans.

    Michael

  8. In answer to the letter writer...Yes. The comments by right wing posters are just the usual babbling.

  9. Enjoyed the letter, Mr. Wilcoxon. Totally agree. I don't want to reward the Tea/Republican Party for ANYTHING.

    I just want to vote every single one of them out of power for what they have done to damage this country in the past two years. And all indications show if they retain even the slightest bit of power, they intend to continue to suck the lifeblood out of this country. Til there's nothing left.

    To prove my point, the Tea/Republican Party majority in the House of Representatives has been the direct cause for why this 112th Congress has been certified to be useless, incompetent and only contributes to absolutely nothing being accomplished these past two years. Their approval rating has fluctuated between nine and 17 percent approval rating. Let's flip that. That means that at different times, just about anywhere between 83-91 percent of the American people think they are not doing their job. And I guarantee their approval rating went up only because of one thing happening: They went on recess and couldn't directly screw up something else.

    You vote these bums back into power, how do you expect a different result?

    I'll answer that. You can't. It'll be the same ole same ole block this, obstruct that, fillibuster that, just say no, no, no, SCREAM NOOOOOO!

    Enough.

    Get out there and vote, people. THIS is the time when you have a say in Government.

  10. "Massachussets is for Obama 59% to 40%" and that means, what? That a state that consistently puts in office dopes like Michael Dukakis, weirdos like Barney Frank & "Lady Killers" like Ted Kennedy is loony enough to want to keep Osama Obama in office speaks louder than any thing else I can think of. And, don't kid yourself, what Frank & Kennedy did affected far more than just their moronic state voters. It affected us all. Frank, along with Chris Dodd, created the housing "bubble" that has nearly brought down the entire U.S. economy with the use of their powers as chairmen of the Senate & House banking committes. Kennedy, the alcoholic, skirt-chasing, cowardly killer of Mary Jo Kopechkne, pursued an agenda so perverse as to be unbelievable in a country founded on individual liberty and freedom and he was lauded for it as being "The Lion of the Senate." BS! This is what we face in Tuesday's election as we try to restore the honor, dignity and essence of what the Founders of our country intended. We must rid ourselves of Osama Obama and his fellow travelers or pay the consequences. And they will be shocking if the guy with the "Cheshire Cat" grin is reelected!

  11. The re-election numbers for the President are compelling.

    Mitt Romney campaign supporters will travel to the battle state going to the polling site to challenge voters who do not produce an ID. Any type of intervention from a private citizen to hinder a registered voter from voting is illegal.

    Steps are being taken to counter any type illegal hindering of voters at the polls. The Justice Department has been notified, and the Sec. of State in the targeted State polling areas have be notified and are under the spot light to do their jobs.

    If, and this is a big "IF", if voters are not hindered by illegal tactics from Republicans and Mitt Romney supporters, the President will win this election by 6 to 8 points.

    Responsible people with legal authority are monitoring for illegal activity at the polls and will take immediate action on anyone who attempts to hindered a register voter from voting.

  12. Longtimevegan,

    I will be surprised if either of these guys can win this election by 6 to 8 points. It could happen of course, but it seems unlikely. I hope that the guy who wins does so by a wide enough margin that the other side will gracefully accept the results.

    Michael

  13. For those of you who have an illness, with or without insurance. Why would you vote against The Affordable Care Act? Better known as Obama Care, named by Rep. Michelle Bachman.

    Why would you vote against the ACA when you, a person with short or long term illness, would be "at risk" of losing your current heath care because of limits on liability, or pre-existing condition, or just because the insurance company calculates your costing to much because of your illness!

    Why would you vote against the The Affordable Care Act? Why?

    Well, some might be saying, I didn't vote against the ACA. I was not in congress. I didn't have a say on what is in the ACA, and/or I don't know what is in the ACA!

    So, why would you vote against something you don't know about? Or something you know about, or something you know little about?

    A responsible person, one who takes his or her duties in a responsible way as a US Citizen, would research and learn about the most important Health Bills past by the US Congress in American History!

    Mitt Romney said he would repeal the ACA on day one! He said repeal, on day one!

    That means, for those that are sick with long term illness, or considered uninsured by insurance companies, or who have pre-existing conditions, or who's current health insurance exceeds the cap of liability limit,....you could be at an extremely high risk of being dropped or labeled uninsured.

    In short, you could either lose your current insurance or be denied insurance, or be dropped if either of the above fits your current situation.

    If the Affordable Care Act is repealed as Mitt Romney said he would do, if he becomes president on day one, you are at a high risk of not being insured are losing your insurance depending on your health situation.

    The Affordable Care Act prevent insurance companies from dropping your insurance or being denied insurance!

    So the larger question to those who fit any of situations, or description listed above, why would you vote against your own interest? Again, many might say, I am not voting against my interest.

    Well, if your voting for Mitt Romney, your voting against your health interest. Your voting against care that could prevent an illness, or care that can save your life!

    Think about that for a moment. Think hard.

    If you have suicidal thoughts, or care not about yourself, please think of family members or friends who need Health care and those who currently do not have insurance.

    Bruce Springsteen said it best, "We Take Of Our Own, Where Even This Flag Flown."

    President Obama win re-election by 6 to 8 points.

  14. Michael

    I agree with your 8:39 post. The last thing we need is a replay of the 2000 election and the Presidency being decided by a Supreme Court 5-4 vote.

    Jim

  15. Michael, your right in having your conclusion.

    The margin I continue to post are extremely optimistic. I use a calculation that considers many things outside the National Polling. My conclusion are from the numbers in a matrix from the data collected.

    You are also correct in saying we need either candidate to win by a convincing margin. This country needs healing from areas not being discuss by the either party. A margin of 6 to 8 points is a healing margin.

    See Michael, we agree on something.

    As with all Americans, in the end we will agree. I am optimistic we will see a convincing agreement on who will be our President at the end of the day on November 6, 2012.

    Respectfully;
    President Obama wins re-election by 6 to 8 points.

  16. "CarmineD

    Wow! The Wall Street Journal, under the same corporate umbrella as FAUX NEWS, as an unbiased news source. You gotta be kidding!"

    That's what they make factcheck for. Keeps the parties and political leanings truthful [for the most part].

    CarmineD

  17. Bradley,

    Under normal circumstances I'd agree with you. However, we are in debt, and it isn't a static debt. It increases every second of everyday. One of these seconds, that ever increasing debt is going to reach a point where it will begin affecting every single American who isn't very wealthy in ways we will not like.

    We cannot afford continued gridlock. As I said, one solution would be to throw everyone out of Congress but that isn't going to happen.

    Each party has gone on a 'war' footing and they have done a terrific job in moving most Americans onto the same 'war' footing. There is 'nothing' good about the other side and your are either 'for' us or 'against' us. That is why we have people claiming that if one side is in control, government will control everything and we'll all go socialist. The other side claims that if the we put the opposite side in charge, the EPA and most other government agencies will be abolished tomorrow and the seas will run black with oil.

    Their are some Americans (I don't know how many) that haven't gone to the 'dark' side with either party and know the nightmare scenarios preached by both sides are highly unlikely under our system of government.

    I did not sleep through my government and political science courses like too many others did, so I KNOW and UNDERSTAND how my government works. I KNOW that unless most of Congress and the President were avowed Socialists, we are not going socialist. I also know that unless most of Congress and the President were all Gordon Gekko clones, only in real life, that all government agencies are not going to be abolished.

    I also KNOW that at some point, no matter how big we are, if we continue to borrow and print money, our currency will be de-stabilized and our economy will begin to function so poorly that our society will collapse. I don't know where that point is, but I feel we are nearing it.

    Therefore, although in other times and circumstances, stalemate was and is ok and even advantageous, this not one of those times.

    Michael

  18. With an average annual expense to pay Congressional salaries and allowances of $812 million a year, it is time that Congress stop acting like toddlers throwing partisan tantrums, and start doing some bipartisan compromising, passing some major legislation like budgets and the jobs bill.

    We, the taxpayers, are not paying Congress to work for Grover Norquist by obstructing progress!

    Wasting $812 million a year for little to nothing should send everyone into the streets, in my opinion!

  19. The media's definition of bipartisanship is Republicans compromising. Not the other way around. Since when did the media get to define bipartisanship and since when did the american people stop using their heads to think!

    Here's part of a comment here, with it reversed. This could never happen right? It could never be the other way around right?

    If, and this is a big "IF", if voters are not hindered by illegal tactics from Democrats and Barack Obama supporters, Mitt Romney will win this election by 6 to 8 points.

  20. We have a history of bipartisanship as a guide, and the media only to the extent they report on real bipartisanship.

    That means both parties have to find where compromise is possible. It means both parties get some and give up some.

    However, in all that, it is the people that must be the focus, everyone.

    Right now, anything is possible for good and for bad by both parties. It is the nature of partisanship.

    IF the public was practicing good citizenship, all would be far better informed, and function in a way that they were the one's telling their representatives what they want and would be heard.

    As long as our representatives belong to lobbyists, and other big money special interests, we the public are subjected to paying for nothing good on our behalf.

    We will only have a chance if we can get our representatives back to actually representing us.

    The system is broken and nothing will change as long as it remains broken.

    The same goes for Presidents.

    The electorate gets what it puts into the process and system.

  21. "When many people are recklessly casting their votes for these unethical retches [both candidates], they are in essence, driving through heavy fog at high speeds not even realizing the fatal financial cliff is almost right in front of them." - BChap

    How much more so are those who blindly vote a straight party ticket without doing any research at all on individuals? Even my wife, a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat and proud socialist, perked up at the Sun's endorsement of Heck in CD3 and said she would have to look into just how bad the Democrat must be in that race for that to happen.

    Neither major party has a platform that I can accept in its entirety, and certainly neither has a complete slate of candidates that I find acceptable. As of right now I plan on voting NOTA for President, Heller for Senate, and Titus for CD1.

    There is something to be said for the idea that the less Congress can accomplish, the less harm they can do to us.

  22. Bradley,

    I respect the way you feel and share your concerns about our most vulnerable and programs they depend upon. It would be morally wrong to just end programs quickly and let the chips fall where they may.

    That said, if nothing is done, the day will come when all the programs for the truly needy and everyone else will end because the countries money has been debased to a point where they just cannot be supported.

    Congress, as it always has been is the key player. Without direction and a President who leads and asks for the people's support, Congress will march us right into financial oblivion.

    One of our Presidents is going to have to realize that he or she cannot effect the changes necessary without Congress enacting them. Since it isn't going to be popular and is going to be painful to do what is necessary, Congress will not do them until pushed. The President, alone, simply cannot force Congress to do much of anything under our system. The President, with the strong support from most Americans, can force Congress to compromise and act. But the President must call out all of Congress (both sides) and then ask the American people to help him force, yes force Congress to their their jobs.

    I didn't vote for President Obama but I was nonetheless proud that we could and did elect a black man as President. I also realized he had been elected with the greatest popular mandate since John F. Kennedy, plus he had control of Congress. I hoped that he would use that mandate to go to the American people, level with them about where we were, come up with a bold plan, sell it to the American people and then ask their support in putting pressure on Congress to compromise and do the jobs we elected them to do.

    It was a lot to ask. Reach across the aisle to people like Mitch McConnell, who said his job number one was to make Obama a one term President (what an idiotic comment from another one of these numnuts we keep re-electing). Talk to Nancy Pelosi and say 'Nancy, I know you've waited years to be able to enact your dreamed of proposals but they are going to have to wait until we solve the nation's grave problems.

    As it turned out, it was too much to ask or hope for. I think President Obama is a decent man, but he was ill prepared for the role he was thrust into. He did not use his mandate to rally the American people to a grand cause and use their power to force both sides of Congress to compromise. He made some attempts at compromise and was rebuffed. Then he did as Nancy Pelosi and many of the far left wanted. He used his power in Congress to force things through, over R's objections. When he lost the majority in the House in 2010, he had a chance to do a Clinton and move to the center and rally Americans for a grand cause. He did not do it... and here we are.

    I am not saying Romney would or will do any better, but we need someone that leads.

    Michael

  23. Michael,

    I think it is safe to say that throughout President Obama's term the real leader of the Democratic Party has been Harry Reid for all intents and purposes. To be fair, I doubt Romney would have much better luck reining in the House Republicans that Obama has had with Reid.

  24. Boftx,

    I don't have a great deal of faith that Romney can get Congress to compromise and do their jobs either.

    But let me use a baseball analogy. If I have an inexperienced hitter that is batting 150 and we are in game number 155, and I have another hitter to try, I'm going to try him.

    He may be better and he may be the same and he may even be worse, but we cannot afford not to try him.

    Michael

  25. Michael,

    Agreed, but unfortunately Reid isn't up for election this year. And thanks to those three moron Republican Senate candidates there is little chance that Obama will have a fully Republican Congress like Clinton did when he got the most done.

  26. Bradley,

    Two points to your above comment.

    One. I agree that Hillary was much the better candidate and supported her in the primary. If you read the link I posted earlier today, it says that Hillary and then Sen. Obama were both opposed to NAFTA and were in something of a pissing contest over who was more opposed. Hillary was NOT in favor of it, and even former President Clinton has said it was a mistake for him to enhance it.

    Two. I agree with you that NAFTA and similar trade agreements are not good. But what is even more disturbing is that Obama's action with regard to the South Korean trade agreement (KORUS FTA) is not an isolated incident. In that case, he ignored objections from the AFL-CIO and several other groups in favor of the UAW. In a similar vein, he once again ignored labor objections and listened instead to the smaller environmentalist groups in regard to the Keystone pipeline.

    On a broader note, given the reports of the Chicago memo to Canadian entities and later refusal to act on NAFTA, followed by his open mic comments to the Russians, it is difficult to think of Obama as being any more trustworthy than any other politician. Those are two clear examples of saying one thing to the American people while telling a foreign government it is just a dog and pony show for the masses. (Sounds a bit like a 47% comment when you think about it.)

    On a broader note still, Obama has kept in place, and even strengthened, some of the more unpopular policies first put in place by former President George W. Bush. (To be fair, you and I might be in disagreement over the virtues of the Patriot Act.) Obama has been Bush Lite in some ways.

    I would extend your observation and objection to a more general level than just the one issue. That is why I can not support Obama for a second term any more than I can support Romney for a first. Neither one represents any change.

    On the other hand, A change in leadership in the Senate might be worthwhile, whether it be by the Democrats replacing Reid with Schumer, or the Republicans taking control.

  27. boftx & Michael,

    I won't claim to be all knowledgeable about NAFTA, so I won't claim knowledge at all.

    However, I have some questions for you both, based on the premise that NAFTA, and other trade agreements cause job loss in the US to outsourcing, depressed wage growth, export/import imbalances, and the fact that more trade agreements are supported by both candidates for President, through multiple Administrations of both parties. None repeal the agreements.

    Are they now a fact of life in the US economy? They appear to be working for some forms of business or there would be an effort to end them. Someone is profiting. Who would that be?

    If trade agreements are a global reality now, is that not an indication that a change must be made in the economic realities in our country?

    If that is the case, should we not be developing a different competitive economic engine, and focusing on development of the means, technical, industrial, and in higher skill levels?

    If jobs and industry are moving to cheap labor sources, are we sure that we want the American worker to compete with cheap labor elsewhere, or do we want to advance to a higher level of development, including our labor force?

    If we choose to advance, should we not invest in serious advancement in our education system at all levels? Discipline? Expectation?

    It seems to me that if we don't make the necessary investments for the future in people, we are going nowhere but down.

    Just a few thoughts that come to mind. Thank you for your thoughts on my questions, realizing I am thinking beyond the immediate problems with NAFTA. I appreciate your responses.

  28. boftx & Michael,

    Some more thoughts/questions.

    With increasing global trade agreements coming about, if we cancelled NAFTA, for example, and it brought jobs back to the US workers, how would they compete with still cheaper production in countries utilizing cheap labor?

    Would it require US worker wage reductions to sell via exports to other countries who could make their own agreements after we repealed NAFTA or any other trade agreement?

    I don't understand how that would benefit American workers now.

    All of this seems to be a race for cheaper labor, products/services and higher profits. It never ends in a global market with global competition.

    Is there an objective global evaluation of the state of country's advancement which propels them forward? If yes, where are we positioned?

  29. peacelily,

    The idea behind the so-called "free trade agreements" is that two trading partners will have little or no barriers (i.e. tariffs) on goods they exchange. In theory this will lead to more exports for us. The truth is that we, the US, usually pay a significantly higher tariff on goods we export compared to what we impose on imported goods.

    Look up the terms of the South Korea agreement (KORUS FTA) that was started by Bush and renegotiated by President Obama.

    Under the current terms, Korea will pay a 2 and 1/2% tariff on cars exported to the US, and the US will pay a 4% tariff on cars exported to South Korea (down from what was 8%.) Both tariffs will disappear after five years. But let's be honest, why should S. Korea pay a significantly lower tariff than what they impose on us? Their cars are already much lower priced than ours to begin with thanks to cheap labor.

    Also, part of the inducement to get the deal done was for us to drop our desire for lower tariffs and fewer restrictions (quotas) on exported beef to them.

    NAFTA was even worse. It allows companies here to bring in sub-assemblies from Mexico and Canada with no import tariffs for final assembly. The problem is that Mexico has essentially NO import restrictions from China or other countries with very low cost of labor. Sub-assemblies are imported by Mexico then shipped into the US without any tariffs being imposed.

    At first that sounds good. But what happens is that companies that manufacture the sub-assemblies offshore sell the goods to the domestic arm at a relatively high price and keep the profits essentially tax-free in the foreign division thanks to our tax code.

    That is how GE has managed to avoid any tax liability on tens of millions of dollars of profit.

    This is what the OTC calls "fair trade." I call it male bovine manure.

  30. peacelily,

    With regard to us developing higher skill levels, you have to keep in mind that even though we might invent something here, i.e. the iPhone, it will be manufactured overseas, and the technology is immediately known to the host country to adapt (steal)and compete with.

    The end result is that there are very few jobs that can not be off-shored.

  31. peacelily,

    One more thing. Do a little research into H1B visas and then ask yourself what would happen to the salaries of people working at Microsoft if Bill Gates is successful in his effort to have ALL annual limits on the number of H1B visa issued removed.

  32. El_Lobo,

    Thank you for confirming that Harry Reid is a master obstructionist. :)

    After all, he invented the practice of having a single member present to call a session to order and then immediately adjourn every third day to prevent a recess appointment (which President Obama eventually ignored.)

  33. Thank you very much for all your interesting comments. Sounds like we are lost, boftx!

    I know about H1B visas because the same applies to doctors.

    Btw, I found an old video tonight that is a bit off the NAFTA topic, but still with ramifications for our country's economy.

    It is like being trapped in a freaking global web!

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424...

  34. peacelily,

    We are not lost, but we need leaders who fully understand the ramifications of having us entangled in the WTO instead of truly putting the US first.

    Yes, it is a global economy, and it always has been. Our leaders (and citizens) need to understand that our international competitors have little incentive to look out for our best interests. "Free trade" is a myth when it comes to international trade.

  35. Particularly galling that two people whining incessantly about "obstructionist" Harry Reid were both proud Sharron Angle voters in 2010.

    Angle's role in our own Legislature was Obstructionist-In-Chief, and she would have had unprecedented power in the Senate to place secret holds on nominations and bills.

    Her strict, unforgiving ideology would have guaranteed LESS cooperation and bipartisanship in the Senate.

    And those whiners? They voted for her, and they voted for a more polarized Senate.

  36. "...unprecedented power in the Senate to place secret holds on nominations and bills."

    Really? Do you really mean to say that Angle could have done something that no other Senator could and does do? That sounds like a bit of a stretch.

    As I mentioned earlier, it might be a good thing to have Congress locked up more often than not. As Will Rogers put it: "So when all the yielding and objections is over, the other Senator said, "I object to the remarks of a professional joker being put into the Congressional Record." Taking a dig at me, see? They didn't want any outside fellow contributing. Well, he had me wrong. Compared to them I'm an amateur, and the thing about my jokes is that they don't hurt anybody. You can say they're not funny or they're terrible or they're good or whatever it is, but they don't do no harm. But with Congress -- every time they make a joke it's a law. And every time they make a law it's a joke."

  37. Harry Reid has already promised not to cooperate if Romney is elected.Reid is such a pleasent little guy.

  38. Peacelily,

    NAFTA and trade agreements like it are only a part of the reason we have employment troubles here. To try to make it THE reason is to take a complex problem and look for a simple solution.

    Our people like and buy inexpensive goods and services and those are provided by other nations. That is a large problem. If we erect trade barriers, we could reduce that but we'd be hit with retaliation, which would hurt our exporters and that would reduce employment in that area.

    There are many nations that enact policies that work to keep certain American products and services out of their countries. We do little about that and we should do more. We also allow China and other nations to steal our intellectual property. We fight it but our efforts are ineffectual.

    We are going to have to change our economy to one that creates higher paying employment but everyone wants this to happen overnight and it just isn't going to. Just as the loss of employment here happened over decades, the changes we must make will also take time to happen. It is just one more reason that it is imperative that we deal with the deficits and debt.

    Congress is again the main problem. Very powerful forces use money and lobbyists to manipulate Congress into passing legislation that is good for them and bad for the country as a whole and this includes poorly written trade agreements. Until we reform how money is necessary to maintain a congressional seat and how lobbying is done, we will continue to have these problems.

    Michael

  39. @BChap,

    "And by the way, the middle-class residents of Staten Island in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy had to go on national television and beg FEMA for help. Just more proof the middle-class means nothing to our government." (Bradley Chapline)

    The state affected must initiate the action. The President made it clear, that FEMA is ready to assist all those who need help. First, the Governor of the state must ask for help. That's how it works.

    The government, under President Obamam loves the middle class, and is fighting to help the middle class rebuild economically. The number one priority is getting the middle class back to work. Education is the key!

  40. El_Lobo,

    I like your counter arguments. Challenging and direct. Plus you have done your homework in a lot of areas. Good stuff my friend. Keep it coming!

    A friendly reminder,
    President Obama wins re-election by 6 to 8 points.

  41. Bradley,

    I hope you keep commenting. What we badly need on both sides, is many more people willing to find fault with 'their' side and willing to see some 'good' with the other side.

    Conservative's positions on many social issues are very out of sync with today's society. If they want to remain viable in the future, they need to compromise on these positions. (I can see Conservatives frothing at the mouth as I say that)

    Progressives need to realize there are still many Americans who may not be part of an organized religion, but are very uncomfortable when government forces people of faith to participate in doing things that violate their faith. (like it or not, people of faith will be with us and disrespecting them will not change that)

    Most of all, each side needs to realize and admit that 'their' elected representatives (especially in Congress) are no more immune to the money and lobbyists provided by powerful interests to get legislation they favor than representatives on the 'other' side. The 'people' are not the real problem; the system is. Since that is so, a solution, as proposed by each party, which is...vote all 'our' guys in, is no solution at all. It is instead, an insurance policy for the status quo.

    We must stop buying the absolute nonsense, put out by both major parties, that the problem is that too many of us vote for the 'wrong' party. NO, the problem is that we have a broken Congressional system, and when representatives we elect do an absolutely horrible job, we re-elect a good many of them over and over again.

    I am always told we cannot send people in Congress home because they are long serving and powerful and benefit our state where a new person would not have any of that. While that is true, and I can certainly understand giving support to an incumbent when the other candidate stinks, that attitude completely ignores the other side of the equation.

    These long serving members are cemented in to this corrupted Congressional system and will NEVER work to change it. In fact, we are rewarding them for keeping the system in place by re-electing them, over and over again.

    We have to stop buying the bull, stop rewarding these people and do what we can to force a change in the system.

    Michael

  42. Bradley,

    I was not a Marine or even in the armed forces, but I salute you anyway. Jeff and so many others just find it extremely difficult to criticize 'their' side. Our present situation should tell us all that 'our' side is none too good. Jeff and the others have decided to vote and picked a candidate... and I never have a problem with that. I also honor your decision to not pick either guy.

    You and I will disagree on many things but I can usually have a debate with you 'because' you are open enough to admit mistakes made by the side closest to your views. Without that, real debate is not possible and without real debate, compromise is not possible.

    Look at our country, our parties, our politicians and our citizens and the close-mindedness is breathtaking... and sad.

    With Jeff and others, a debate is impossible and so would compromise be. I don't understand what it is that keeps so many people from being able to support a candidate or a party and still be able to see and be willing to admit where the candidate or party is wrong and where the opposite side may actually have a better idea.

    Doing so doesn't change your support, your vote or anything else. It just means that you have an open mind and look at all information instead of just what is convenient.

    If we cannot change that.... well, let me put it this way... as I got older I never liked it...but today...in some ways I am glad I am almost 60... because if this is the future...I hope I don't have to live in it for too long.

    Michael

  43. Jeff,

    Let me stipulate that I believe Mitt Romney has changed positions in this campaign. You call Bradley a flip flopper because he has changed somewhat on his support and actually criticized the candidate of your choice. Oh my!

    President Obama was against a health care insurance mandate as candidate Obama but for one as President. Gitmo 'had' to be closed said candidate Obama, but he kept it open as President Obama. Candidate Obama said we must leave Afghanistan immediately but President Obama approved 30 thousand more troops for a surge. I could go on.

    People change their minds for a variety of reasons (some good, some not so good) and since we are not mind readers, we can only 'guess' at the reasons.

    My logic told me President Obama would not do everything he said he'd do in his campaign and I was right. Should Romney become President, the same will be true of him. Let's face it, electing a President is a crap shoot, since we can't force the person to do as he said he would.

    Bradley is 'open' enough to take in new information and let it affect his view. I suspect the same is true of President Obama and would be true of a President Romney. I actually like people who can change their minds and would not want a person that could not change their mind.

    You really need to be a little more circumspect when throwing around the word flip flopper regarding those who take in new information and then change what they said in the past.

    Michael

  44. "Really? Do you really mean to say that Angle could have done something that no other Senator could and does do?"

    Really? No other Senator could or does put anonymous holds on legislation and bills? You're surprisingly ignorant of senate rules, Jim.

    "Under Senate rules, a single senator is allowed to anonymously keep a bill from advancing toward a vote with what is called a "secret hold.""

    "Under the Senate's arcane rules, any individual senator can anonymously block votes on nominees for any reason, from principled ideals to political extortion. "

    "And when things are running smoothly, the system works quite well. When they're not, though, that creates the opportunity for a single senator to block legislation from the floor simply by objecting to a unanimous consent request. One objection is obviously all it takes to destroy unanimity, and without that, the bill can't come to the floor for debate."

    Try again, Jim.

    Reid temporarily suspended secret holds in 2011, but the practice has a long, storied history in the Senate. And, given that you opposed returning Senator Reid to the Senate, where he suspended the holds, had Angle been elected in 2010, as you voted, she would have had the power to object to unanimous consent.

    In reality, anonymous holds are still in practice... and was done just a month ago.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/20...

    The more you know...

  45. No, Kevin, YOU try again. You specifically said that Angle would have had "unprecedented power." She would have nothing of the sort, only that which any Senator is entitled to.

    Your response wasn't even close.

  46. Mr. Chapline:

    Didn't NAFTA start somewhere in the 90's? All this time you were a vocal and staunch supporter of Obama. I must have missed some of your posts. Why now?

    In my case, having no inkling on how presidential decisions are or must be made, I admitted that it is way beyond the purview of a peon like me. I did not base my choice on Obama's failures and successes. It was a simple look at their core beliefs.

    That was it. Made my life easier.

  47. Bradley,

    Do not hold your breath for either side to admit their party is not for the people. They just don't get it.

    We would not be where we all our if the people we elect to office did what was best for the country, instead of what is required of them to get the money and support of powerful interests so they can retain office.

    It is foolish to believe all this carnage, that continues election after election, is the result of only one side. Hopefully, one day, more people will realize this.

    Michael

  48. Nancy,

    What you 'believe' are the core beliefs of each candidate can be used in your decision, but it should not be the only or main criteria.

    What Bradley is saying is that in his opinion, NAFTA is not good and should be repealed. Candidate Obama said he believed this as well. When he became President, he not only did not repeal NAFTA, he signed additional trade deals like NAFTA. To Bradley, when NAFTA started is unimportant.

    I pointed out to Jeff several areas where President Obama said one thing in the campaign and did another as President. Jeff did not address this but eliminates Romney from consideration for changing his positions (which he has done). This is backward logic: Make a decision and then ignore anything that might put your decision into question and embrace anything that validates your decision.

    With decision making like that, it's no wonder we are in a mess.

    Michael

  49. Michael:

    There is no way for us to know how and why decisions are made by those in power. I have no defense if I questioned those decisions. We, of course, have a better idea (in our minds), but not knowing the myriad of circumstances surrounding each issue, we cannot, literally influence those decisions. We should know this by now.

    So, in the same token, I place my trust on people who in my gut would make decisions for the benefit of the larger segment of the populace, not just a few. That is all I need to go on. That is what is real to me. That is how I keep my life simple.

    Any change I want to make, I begin with myself then work on those I have influence over. My message to those I teach is simple: Learn Respect, Responsibility, and Resilience - the corresponding three to the academic 3Rs.

    Here's my educational philosophy: Children are like droplets of rain. Droplets make a puddle. As each droplet falls, the puddle gets bigger and bigger. One day the puddle will encompass lakes, rivers, and oceans and will meld into one big push for change. My power to effect change lies in each droplet.

  50. @Jumbo,

    "Longtimevegan your comments about the Affordable Care Act(Obamacare) are right on. And since we're talking about Republican obstructionism let's look at what the Republicans did in response to Obamacare.) (Jumbo)

    Jumbo, your entire post tells the truth about how the Republicans have blocked the President from helping Americans. The Republicans say they are blocking the President, but they are blocking Americans. The Presidency represents America. If your blocking the President, your blocking Americans.

    This should not be the results of democracy!

    Democracy, in the end, helps the people through our representatives. We are in the process of changing representing who we believe will help the people.

    Again, in the end, Democracy helps the people.

    Good post Jumbo, good information. Keep it coming.

  51. Where is the logic of registering to vote and then refusing to vote for any candidate on the ballot?

    How is your voice being heard, or how is your protest with log or making a difference? This sounds stupid. This is stupid!

    This is the actions of an irresponsible voter, a citizen who takes for granted a duty one must perform to preserve and protect a expanding democracy.

    Jeff, your right. One who does this is just being a dupe!

  52. Nancy,

    You seem to be a philosophical person who is drawn to big ideas and overall themes. I am, by nature, practical and as logical as a human being can ever be (we all are illogical at times because we are human beings). I feel there is a place for both types of persons in this world.

    In some situations, I'd prefer to have the philosophical person. In others, I'd prefer the practical, logical person.

    I'm not going to agree with you on much I think, but you have your right to see things as you do.

    When you taught, I hope you placed as much emphasis on reading, writing and arithmetic as you did on Respect, Responsibility, and Resilience. I studied to be a teacher and worked as a teaching assistant in elementary schools and I saw way too little of the former and way too much of the latter (a good balance of both would have been better).

    Respect, Responsibility and Resilience are good qualities and ones to be encouraged, but when most Americans cannot locate Iran on a map, can't correctly name the vice president, have zero idea about how their own government is organized and operates, they are easy dupes for whatever malarkey our two political parties pass off as the 'truth'.

    I don't have any words to express how dangerous that is.

    Michael

  53. Bradley,

    Way to hang in there against the attacks. I still think Obama will likely be re-elected so all the people piling on you will be happy. Then maybe they will stop attacking you. If Romney should win, look for more vitriol directed your way.

    As I have said, disagreeing is healthy and good. We all make value judgments in our heads. I have opinions about the intelligence and knowledge of some of the letter writers to the Sun that I am sure are as bad as what they have toward me... and many have often expressed to me. The difference is that I keep those thoughts and opinions in my head. I remain respectful because I know that is the right thing to do and I want to keep the discussion going.

    Perhaps some day, the people attacking you will take that option too.

    Michael

  54. Michael: you must have missed the phrase .... Corresponding to the academic 3Rs. If you have been trained as a teacher, you must have heard of integration and differentiation of instruction.

    Unless you are directly involved with those who make decisions, there is not much you can do. All we do here is talk, talk, talk, and we have been doing it for years, yet nothing really has changed. In fact, it seems to get worst. Politics is not a vehicle for change because people are corrupt. What need to change are individuals. It may not happen in our lifetime, bur slowly, the pendulum will begin to swing.

    Good luck.

  55. @BChap,

    "The only ones in this entire discussion room who are STUPID are those who cast a vote a "Obuma"." (Bradley Chapline)

    Mr. Chapline, the stupidity comes into play when an informed person registers to vote and then refuses to vote. In addition to being stupid, it's being irresponsible.

    If one registers to vote, one can reasonable assume one knows what one is doing and what it means to register to vote.

    Taking this literally, it's called being stupid, or being irresponsible, take your pick. Either one, does not justify not voting if your an informed registered voters. As most of commentators on the Sun editorials claim to be.

    If a person is not going to vote, that person should not register to vote.

  56. Referencing the title article main point.......

    .....Being an informed person on the issues...registering to vote, and then refusing to vote is a form of obstructionism?

    Obstructionism does not protect an expanding democracy. Obstructionism in the face of threatening challenges to the foundation of democracy can result in revolution.

    Democracy is not threaten by the Tea Party or citizens expressing change, but by Big money from sources not known, hiding within the corporations under US laws. This is the real threat, this will threaten democracy, this is the obstruction we are faced with, this is the challenge.

    However, this can be fixed legally, and by the people. We start first by being informed. Next, being organized, then we choose reasonable responsible people to represent the majority interest (not the 1%) and we change rulings like Citizens United. That's how one fights Obstructionism.

    This the reason why one votes. Be responsible, vote!

  57. @Kepi,

    Please do not be disappointed. For those that change position and cannot support any current or previous position, they earn the label posted below:

    ""So from now on, it can be reasonably assumed when reading anything you post, be it in your words or from a source you reference, your just providing information that you like, and not necessarily true and clear information, or not information you truly believe, or information you can explain.""

    Kepi, you can change all the words "You" and place the name of the party you what to reference. In short, the commentator is a Bullsh__er.

  58. "You specifically said that Angle would have had "unprecedented power." She would have nothing of the sort, only that which any Senator is entitled to."

    Has she ever had that much power before? No, thus she would wield unprecedented power. You know you've lost the argument when you devolve into the grammar police, Jim.

    I notice you never refuted my main point: you and Casler whine about bipartisanship and cooperation yet gladly voted for and were major cheerleaders for the most partisan candidate to run for Senate in Nevada history.

    You voted to give her the ability and power to block nominations and legislation, which both you and I know she would have done. Given her history in the Nevada Legislature, I have NO DOUBT she would have abused that privilege to an UNPRECEDENTED degree.

    Class dismissed.

  59. Kevin Sandoval,

    Who are you responding to on your post on Nov 4, 2012 at 3:07pm?

  60. Nancy,

    "Politics is not a vehicle for change because people are corrupt. What need to change are individuals. It may not happen in our lifetime, bur slowly, the pendulum will begin to swing."

    You hit the nail on the head! However, I would hope it would be an evolution, rather than the pendulum, since it can keep on swinging. ;-)