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December 21, 2014

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Letter to the editor:

Don’t ever give up on compromise

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I hope many Americans saw the “60 Minutes” interview of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Both men calmly and smugly, I think, sat there and told Steve Kroft that things have changed so much that compromise is impossible. What complete nonsense. Compromise doesn’t happen because it isn’t in the interests of Congress’ leaders. Many Americans say they want compromise, but when we validate people like this by re-electing them over and over again, our votes say just the opposite.

Whichever man we elect president, we need to send a loud and clear message to Congress that if lawmakers do not start to compromise and get things done, we will do what we should have done long ago, which is remove the leadership of both parties.

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  1. I didn't see the interview. I don't think much of either McConnell or dirty harry, but less of harry. IF the dems keep the Senate, it will because a number of the new democratic Senators are compromisers and will break ranks with dirty harry.

    CarmineD

  2. Future is right about Harry Reid, but Mitch McConnell is no better.

    Most Americans are clueless about how Congress 'really' works. In each chamber (House and Senate) there are two people who comprise 'leadership'. In the House, it's Boehner - R and Pelosi - D. In the Senate, it's McConnell - R and Reid - D. All four people in 'leadership' tell their House members and Senators how to vote (based often upon what powerful lobbyists want and whether or not to compromise with the other side). If members buck 'leadership', they are punished with a lack of money and support for re-election, blocked paths to chairmanships and primary challenges.

    Americans are blind to it, but we essentially have an elected body of 535 House members and Senators, who are controlled by 4 people in 'leadership', who are completely partisan and are themselves heavily dependent on people who lobby them for powerful interests.

    We really could not have a more dysfunctional and corrupt Congress if we 'tried' to construct one.

    Watching these two 'smug' characters on 60 Minutes turned my stomach and it should do the same to every American.

    I'll repeat it once more. It's both parties, not just one, that perpetuate this system that is destroying America.

    Michael

  3. Election Day is appropriate for the following story:

    Low interest rates and low taxes had characterized the previous ten years. The Federal Reserve
    held down interest rates throughout a decade.

    The gap between higher and lower incomes widened, with much of the population earning the minimum income necessary for a decent standard of living and a fifth of the people living at a bare subsistence level. Half of all Americans had no or little savings.

    The Republican nominee for President was born in the Midwest to a family belonging to a smaller religious denomination. He graduated from a prestigious college and went on to make a fortune in private enterprise and gained a reputation for exceptional business savvy that eventually led him to public service.

    You might think I'm describing the election environment of 2012. In a way I am, but the situation I'm really describing is the election of 1928 and Herbert Hoover was the Republican nominee for President. And then stuff happened. Facing a major financial crisis and a depression, Hoover's response was inadequate and, in some cases, made things worse.

    So, here's the moral of the story. Like Hoover, what you know won't cause you to fail. What you don't know that you don't know will.

    And as we face uncertainties in the years ahead take comfort in those uncertainties. It's the certainties (like housing prices will always rise)that present the real dangers.

    Vote your conscience today and good luck to us all.

  4. Re Future. "...negotiate and pass any of the 30 of the jobs bills the house has passed". Enlighten me on said house jobs bills passed. Thanks.

  5. Remember, while President Obama was being sworn in the leaders of the GOP/Tea Party, Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, Eric Cantor planed to undermine his administration in secret meetings that very same day.

    The only possible scenario bringing both parties to gether to compromise would be some outrageuos drastic event.

    The GOP/Tea Party has shrunken down to pasty faced angry old white dudes subscribing to xenophobia, race baiting, Obama Derangement Syndrome and psuedo-neanderthal-doctors spouting nonsense about women's sexuality. There was a time when these small minded simpletons performed hysterectomies to calm a women. If that didn't work, insert a needle and a hook into the eye socket and remove a frontal lobe.

    The GOP/Tea Party is damaged and stained from the incredibly assinine social issues they injected into these rounds of debates. I saw this happen in 2008 over TARP and years earlier when the Birchers pulled such stunts. It may take years to recover from the far right radical insanity, especially attempting to pull hispanics, blacks and other minorities over to their side. I'll say it one last time, Ronald Reagan COULD NOT pass this parties litmus test!

  6. The fact that there are so few responses to what I wrote and virtually none that agree that the leadership on both sides in both chambers are terrible and that Congress is completely corrupted spells doom for this country, in my opinion.

    The view I stated in this letter should have brought many comments of agreement, if so many were not wearing partisan blinders. Instead, I read that it's those R's or those D's -- completely ignoring how Congress really works.

    This foolish refusal to see what is really going on and insistence in believing the lies each party tells will be the undoing of this once great country.

    This is exactly the response I expected and I am sad that I was right.

    Michael

  7. We need a new Congress, not a new president.

    Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid are strictly acting to obstruct measures to protect the parties positions.

    More so with McConnell. Mitch McConnell sole mission as minority leader in the senate is to say no to anything with a Democrat attachment. And even when it seems McConnell has compromised, he has done so knowing the firewall in the House will be there to stop anything out of the senate. Making McConnell appear to be person willing to compromise. But it is not true. John Bohener, the Speaker of House, plays the same compromise game.

    After the election John Bohener and Mitch McConnell can no longer hide using the extremely right of the House Republicans as cover. They, not President Obama, will have to make the hard decisions to fix the Fiscal Cliff situation and the up coming Debt Ceiling issue.

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

  8. I DVRd the interview and watched it last night. I hope that Republicans will have the courage to admit that they are primarily responsible for our current gridlock. Too many long-standing moderate GOP legislators were defeated in 2010 in Republican primaries by Tea Party candidates.

    It's a sad state of affairs when someone like Olympia Snowe decides not to seek re-election because she can't work with people in her own party.

    And let's not start with the false equivalencies -- there is nothing on the left that remotely compares to the radicalization that has occurred on the right.

  9. Emthree,

    That is where you and others are soooooo blind. If what you believe were true, the Tea Party that you despise would never have been able to elect so many people to the House. In addition, they would all be defeated this election cycle, which looks very doubtful. And finally, Mitt Romney would not even be in this race for President.

    Look at reality!!!!! With rare exceptions, nearly every contest is a 50/50 proposition with one side barely prevailing.

    It is my continuing belief that many many Americans do not actually favor the far right or far left positions often espoused by each party. We all have to pick a side and when we do, (many, like me, unhappily), it comes out about 50/50.

    All the the above puts the notion you offer in the category of 'wishful thinking'.

    Michael

  10. Emthree is a a victim of a misconception. The TEA Party is actually non-partisan and works to defeat any politican, Republicrat or Dumbocrat, that it believes does not have the interest of the public, not party, in mind. The reason they generally side with Conservatives is many on the left despise the traditional values many of us grew up with and are actively working to destroy them. They cloak their true intentions as they know the majority of thinking Americans are non-partisan and would never, if they realized the "progressives" true aims, stand for them. I side with Republicrats in most instances but I don't give a hoot about the Republican Party as I perceive it is as corrupt as the Dumbocratic Party in that its leaders, first, want power and, second, to keep it above all else. We desperately need federal term limits so we can churn the political class and take back our country. Both sides have worked for years to Gerrymander their districts so as to make one side or the other invulnerable to being ousted. How does that benefit those of us who pay the bills? It doesn't.

  11. Hi Michael. If your premise is that a majority of Americans are really interested in legislators willing to compromise, then I have to respectfully disagree.

    The success of the Tea Party shows that a significant part of the population is, in fact, looking for representatives who will NOT deviate from their strict ideology. Grover Norquist is the perfect example. His philosophy is simple: no tax increases on anyone for any reason. Period. End of story. War? Doesn't matter. Crushing debt? Too bad. Massive unemployment that begs for a jobs bill? Sorry.

    There is simply no equivalent on the left. We're going to see exactly what I'm talking about in January as we approach the "fiscal cliff." Democrats have already put massive spending cuts on the table, and are looking for compromise on the revenue side. Taxes are at an 80 year low, yet I can guarantee you that the GOP members of the House will reject ANY tax increase. Doesn't matter if it's 0.000000001% increase on income over a bazillion dollars a year.

    If you favor a balanced approach to deficit reduction, I don't see how you can side with the ideologues in the GOP.

  12. Massive spending cuts????Hello 9%+ unemployment.

  13. The problem with politics is that everyone has a different opinion on what should be done and the country is divided down the middle.

    Mr. Freeman and many others didn't like the stimulus. I see it completely differently and think the government should be throwing money out of airplanes.

    In the last several years the banking system has been stabilized and banks are again making money. The domestic auto industry is back on firm footing. Corporate profits have been nothing short of outstanding and companies are sitting on record levels of cash.

    There has been positive GDP growth every quarter since Obama took office. Job creation has taken place every quarter since Obama took office. Americans lost nearly $20 trillion during the financial crisis. Approximately $5 trillion of that has been put back into people's pockets with a stock market that has risen thousands of points

    In addition Obama is the only president in the last 50 years to have improved the deficit every one of his four years.

    I can't think of a single metric that has not improved in the last several years, yet the Republicans bark about Obama's failed economic policies.

    If Romney wins and can boast the above after his four years in office he will have done an outstanding job.

  14. Another statistic that will be very important for job creation going forward is that a report came out that domestic manufacturing was at a 15 year high. Companies have actually started coming back to the United States. This has more to do with explosive wage growth in China than anything else but it's still good for the United States. My new air-conditioning units are made in Tyler Texas. Some socks I bought at Walmart carried the made in USA label. Even the knives and forks that I used at the Chipotle Grill were made in the good old USA.

    If the economic contraction that is ravaging the rest of the world doesn't spread here you could see unemployment back to normal levels in 10 to 15 years. That seems like a hell of a long time but at least it's progress.

  15. Emthree,

    We often don't get to elect what we really want. I didn't attend Tea Party rallies, but I did watch and listen. What I often heard were people who did not like what they saw as a move away from traditional American values and others who were afraid of the run away spending and power of the Federal government.

    I don't support Grover Norquist and the view that taxes can never be raised on anyone. I also don't support the view that we can solve our fiscal problems while leaving Medicare and Social Security exactly like they are for future retirees.

    R's lie when they say we can solve our fiscal problems with tax cuts across the board, more defense spending and changes to SS and Medicare for future recipients. D's lie when the say we can solve our fiscal problems with a small tax increase on the wealthy, much more government spending and no changes to SS and Medicare.

    Mathematics should tell everyone that both scenarios are pure fantasy. Either enough Americans are going to figure that out and demand better solutions, or we are all going to learn how easily fantasies turn into nightmares.

    For you to think that the D's have not moved to the left by a healthy amount as the R's have moved to the right is just not seeing reality.

    The Tea Party was a reaction to the lurch to the left taken by D's and Obama. They are an overreaction in many cases, but it is up to all of us to pull the country back to the middle, where I feel it belongs and does best.

    Michael

  16. Gerry,

    10 to 15 years to get back to normal? Maybe we could reduce that to 7 to 8 years if we developed and used all the energy resources new technology has allowed us to get access to, while at the same time, have government invest in green energy 'research', not non competitive green energy 'retail' companies, some of which fail.

    President Obama is not going to do this. Mitt Romney would. I didn't expect Obama to stop deficit spending during his term, but we are 6 trillion dollars more in debt and still spending over one trillion more than we bring in. I didn't expect miracles given where we were but I think a better job was possible he Obama did not do it.

    Michael

  17. Ref....The "Johnbtaylorblogspot"...come on!!!
    To get substantial private-sector job growth you need GDP growth in the 3% range. That's not in the cards given we are in the midst of what could be another global recession. In addition our economy is 70% consumption. Consumption has been reduced by the massive financial losses that people endured several years ago.

    Private-sector job growth will only occur in large numbers when there is a substantial pickup in aggregate demand. I don't see that happening anytime soon.

    Michael... The Philly fed put out a report last year that reflected the following;

    If we could get GDP growth to 3% or better it would take 12 years to get the unemployment rate back down to 5%. Currently GDP growth is running 1.4% and there is very little employment growth. 10% of our economy is exports. Companies like DuPont that are huge exporters are getting killed by the global downturn. This is why in the latest polling 41% of companies are considering layoffs in the near future. The global economy is lousy. No amount of public investment or private investment can offset this. The global economy is $70 trillion. Our GDP is about $16 trillion. We are spoke in a big wheel. If the world goes down the tubes we are likely to follow. I hope this doesn't happen but every day that the recession worsens increases the likelihood that a recession will occur here.

  18. Ref... What we need and what our economy is capable of producing are two different things. Given the global environment plus the fact that we are a mature economy with an aging population and facing massive entitlement costs 1.4% or 1.6% GDP growth might be about as good as it gets.

    We have the lowest birth rate in recorded history, an anti-immigration policy, and record numbers of people over 50 years old. That's a slow growth scenario if I've ever heard one.

    The current goal should be to keep the economy growing at all costs. This is starting to look like a 1929 to 1932 scenario. The 1929 financial crisis hit. Then there were several years of recovery followed by another collapse. It took decades to recover from the second collapse. If we slide into another recession unemployment will probably rise several points as it has in the rest of the world and then we've really got problems.

  19. Gerry,

    We are one country that is 22 % of the global economy, which is struggling. This is all the more reason for us to go with a 'real' all in energy policy, instead of the one Obama has. It would pick up employment here which would also help the world as a whole if our economy picked up.

    Michael

  20. The energy sector provides very high paying jobs to Americans. It's a great place to work. I completely disagree with Pres. Obama's energy policy. It's ridiculous.
    Crude oil prices are close to $90 a barrel in an environment of slow global economic growth. When the global economy comes back Americans are going to see gas prices the likes of which they can't imagine. It's time to prepare for that now. High gas prices can kill an economy.

    A wonderful day to all, it should prove to be an interesting night.

  21. lvfacts101 - "The TEA Party is actually non-partisan and works to defeat any politican, Republicrat or Dumbocrat, that it believes does not have the interest of the public, not party, in mind."

    Complete nonsense, they all run as Republicans and caucus with Republicans. Once again proving, the truth and facts don't matter to some.

  22. Mr. Casler, your assessment of how Congress really "works" ( for a lack of a better term) is spot on. Since every member of Congress votes with their respective leadership over 90% of the time, it is completely irrelevant what candidates for the House and Senate believe in. The only thing voters need to know about candidates is whether they are Republican or Democrat. Anything else that a politician tells you is complete BS.

  23. Dustman44,

    It's amazing and sad that so few people know how Congress truly works. That is exactly why so many people are unwilling to unseat these incumbents (especially in leadership) and demand that changes be made to how Congress works.

    Michael

  24. Vernos,

    If what I just described about how Congress works is true, the Tea Party people, as well as non Tea Party R's and D's are told by their leadership.... vote 'this' way...or no chairmanships, no moving up in rank, no assistance at re-election time ... and in the worst case, you'll have a primary challenger.

    You just said the Tea Party people caucus with R's and vote with R's.

    You see, the real problem isn't the Tea Party...the real problem is the way Congress works...on both sides. Over 90 % of the time, members vote with leadership. Do you really believe that on either side, 100 % of of House members and Senators agree with leadership 90 % of the time? Of course they don't, but they vote as if they do? Why? Because they have to.

    Vernos, the system is corrupt and you're focused on the wrong thing.

    Michael

  25. Michael Casler:

    Enjoyed AND understood your letter and subsequent comments, some of which were informative. Amazing, isn't it guys, that I, a bona fide "Cook County Chicago Democrat" and "senior citizen" understood what he was talking about???

  26. Det_Munch,

    Thank you. I am not asking D's or R's to change their vote or party of support. I am simply pointing out how Congress really works, versus how we are educated that it works.

    Both parties have a big vested interest in us not understanding how Congress really works because that makes it quite easy to pit us against the 'other' side, which allows them to keep this corrupt system in place.

    Congress has been corrupt for a long time, but financially we are reaching the place where for our own survival as a nation, we cannot let the corrupted Congress continue to operate the way it does.

    When you add the influence of money and powerful special interests with lobbyists, you should be able to understand why our representative democracy is dysfunctional and benefits special interests and our elected representatives and disadvantages the American people and our country as a whole.

    Michael

  27. Compromise is important to getting things done. But just as important is the ability to make, recognize and accept a logical argument that can have no other conclusion.

    The biggest problem we have in Congress is the blind adherence to ideology instead of engaging in rational debate. This is the root cause of the outright hatred that is displayed by the public.

    Nothing will change in Congress until the rational members of the public get far more involved in the political process. This means not just voting, but becoming active in the local political clubs of whatever party they prefer (which includes the minor parties) and helping to select reasonable, responsible candidates.

    That is the only way we are going to see a slate of candidates presented to us that allows us to vote for the best, instead of choosing the least worst.

  28. wtplv - "Vernos, the system is corrupt and you're focused on the wrong thing."

    You misinterpret my response. I was responding to what lvfacts101 commented on. I know congress is broken, especially the House who spend their two years in office on vacation campaigning for donations and finances.

  29. Vernos,

    No I did not misunderstand your point and you just confirmed it again. You say you know Congress is broken but then immediately launch on the House. You think 1/2 of Congress is broken... the half that is the House and the part that contains R's and the Tea Party. That makes you 1/2 right. You still don't want to acknowledge that both sides are broken and you believe that a fix could involve just removing the Tea Party. You need to reevaluate !

    Michael

  30. Michael,
    I did see 60 minutes on sunday. The only thing that Sen.McConnell and Sen.Reid seemed to agree on is they were both wearing dark suits and red ties.That was about the extent of it.

  31. wtplv - "You say you know Congress is broken but then immediately launch on the House."

    Again you misinterpret my comments. By saying the House spends two years trying to garner donations applies to both sides of the aisle. How can anyone govern when they spend the bulk of their time fund raising?

    And yes, across the street is the Senate, which I believe a single senator has far too much power to put things on hold by secret votes or filibusters. The entire system needs a revamping.

  32. "Now that PRESIDENT OBAMA was re-elected and
    HARRY REID is still the SENATE MAJORITY LEADER,"

    And Pelosi can caddy for the president. Because she will NEVER have a leadership role in the House again.

    CarmineD

  33. Bradley,

    Sadly, this is what I believe. I believe that so many people 'still' have it so good in this country that they are unwilling to deal with the issues we face, and are willing to 'let it ride', as they say in these parts.

    It is a given that if you don't control events, then events control you.

    So, and I hope I am wrong, but I believe Europe will continue to be in trouble financially and economically and that will continue to affect our economy. I believe the President and Congress will not properly address the deficit spending and the debt and will 'kick the can down the road', which is really what Americans continue to vote to do, although they say otherwise.

    Events will control us until enough people in America don't have it so good anymore that they will wake up and say: 'what happened?'. At that point, it may very well be too late to do much that matters.

    I just hope I am dead before that day arrives. I feel sorry for the children of today. And I am not saying here that the election of Mitt Romney would have changed any of this. It would have taken a lot more than that.

    Michael

  34. @wtplv,

    "Many Americans say they want compromise, but when we validate people like this by re-electing them over and over again, our votes say just the opposite." (Michael Casler)

    Mr. Casler, today is a day for celebration and to move forward. But after reading your past comments, and reading comments by you, there is a strong conclusion your an instigator hiding in the middle.

    Now this is not a slam on you. But many times you seem take the side of an argument that sounds the best. The majority of the time the argument is misleading with a distorted point or view, missing information to bring about a balance debate. In many cases, you and others will not provide comparing information. It can be said your actually debating an argument with yourself.

    Look, you are a leading commentator on many subjects posted on the Sun. You should consider taking a real stand on the issues you respond to, and the issues you bring up. Like the leading article posted above.

    You cannot remain lukewarm. Take a stand, a real stand, and stop being an echo to other commentators on the Sun.

    You have taken a leadesrhip role. Be that, or just be who your really are.

  35. El_Lobo,

    I have asked Carmine to provide he thinking in predicting Mitt Romney would win. It would be good to know why the Mitt Romney supporter choose Romney.

    I would also suspect you will not heard from the people opposed the President for no good reason. The President has always been solid with the American People. Mitt Romney has not.

    The People have spoken.

  36. ...El_Lobo, I use a voice recognition software to post my comments. Many times it misses the complete words. Sorry about the hard read.

    LTV

  37. ...." just hope I am dead before that day arrives. I feel sorry for the children of today. And I am not saying here that the election of Mitt Romney would have changed any of this. It would have taken a lot more than that." (Michael Casler)

    ...Your lukewarm, the appearance of changing positions, not taking a stand.

    Some people call this talking out of both side of your mouth.

  38. Longtimevegan,

    You say I am an echo of other commentators on the Sun. You're kidding, right?

    Other commentators on the Sun, almost without exception, consist of those that toe the Conservative line or the Progressive line. You need to remove the blinders and take another look.

    Michael

  39. Now that the campaigning and election is over,it is time for these career politicians to prove their motives and meddle. May it be revealed WHO they really serve...those who hold the financial wherewithall to finance these astronomically expensive political campaigns! May the truth behind politics and the governance of the United States of America be discovered and revealed. May the minds and hearts of the American public be ready to receive this information and be ready and able to do something about it.

    Some interesting facts behind American politics can be found in the public television presentation by Bill Moyers and Company on the "Winner-Take-All Politics" found online at:

    http://billmoyers.com/episode/encore-bro...

    Blessings and Peace,
    Star

  40. Longtimevegan,

    The most important comments I ever make, in my opinion, concern not the President, but Congress, such as the letter leading this line of comments.

    If you'll note, these letters always elicit the same responses. Nobody addresses the fact that huge money is required for Congressional elections, people and groups with lobbyists provide that money and then use it to influence leadership of both parties in both chambers of Congress and the leadership then requires that their members vote the way leadership tells them to, totally corrupting Congress...the branch of our government that makes all our laws.

    Instead, I get one each side saying it is only the fault of the other side. And you think I echo those views. Oh my!

    Each side is given to calling people who believe what their side tells them as cool-aid drinkers. The truth is that, whether you are Progressive or Conservative, if you believe the poor performance of Congress is mostly the result of the Tea Party, far right or far left members, you are drinking the cool-aide. Both sides serve cool-aid, and it works tremendously well in keeping us fighting each other instead of tackling the real issues in Congress. The place needs reform and we're never going to see it as long as the cool-aid works.

    Michael

  41. Michael,

    You don't have to defend yourself with me. My opinion is only my opinion. Your doing ok. However, I know you can do better.

    Two points. Leadership and clarity.

    You have taken a leadership role with your commentary. Having leadership role requires a clear position. You have the one, but not the other. Be firm in your concluding comments. And most importantly, show the comparables to your position.

    I know this is only a comment board, but your about 70% of the comments on political issues. And your out in front with your identity.

    Your strong and most valid argument is the one about money in politics. Your spot on with your assessment of taking the money out of politics. Couple your opinion with both sides of the issues.

    Just a friendly suggestion to a spirited and information seeking person..which is you, one Michael Casler.

  42. ...in addition, many of the commentators will not return now that the election is over. I suspect you will stay, if so, I look forward to reading your comments.

    LTV

  43. @BChap,

    "Begin an immediate progressive early troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. Enact more comprehensive programs that care for combat veterans. Provide veterans preference in job opportunities and housing." (Bradley Chapline)

    Mr. Chapline, the president has a plan for all that wrote in the paragraph posted above. The only difference is your reguest of being "progressive."

    Clarify your meaning of being progressive?

  44. Bradley,

    I agree with some of what you suggest and disagree with other things you suggest. President Obama will probably try to get some of what you suggest passed in the 2nd term. I think he shied away from controversial issues in his first four years because he wanted to be re-elected (SOP).

    My problem is that much of what I feel the President will try to pass will be very expensive. Even with some passage of higher taxes on business and higher income individuals, not nearly enough tax revenue will become available to pay for the additional spending without adding even more to the deficit spending and increasing the national debt.

    This is what both parties do. They lay out 'priorities', some valid, some not, which cost a lot of money and then they are unwilling to take steps to spend less in other areas and or increase taxes on everyone enough to cover the new 'priority' spending, plus the old spending, plus have some left over to pay down the debt.

    There is only so long we can play this financial shell game before our financial chickens come home to roost.

    For example, both Obama and Romney called for increased training programs, etc. to help people train for new jobs. It's a laudable goal, but if we invoke many of these new programs and simply add to the debt, we are going to kill ourselves economically.

    The bottom line is we cannot afford to pay for everything government is doing and some things are going to have to go away. Our politicians are never going to take these steps if we don't demand that they do.

    Honestly, I am convinced we will do nothing that matters until the inevitable financial 'crash' takes place.

    Michael

  45. Longtimevegan,

    I will continue to write letters and you may find some interesting and you may not. I will not however be 'firm' in my closing comments, as I believe you and most others define 'firm'.

    We have two main parties and unless you wish to support a 2nd tier party, you must support one of the two 'when you vote'. Most people want everyone, regardless of what opinion they express on any subject, to conclude with which side best supports that opinion.

    I totally reject that notion. I don't have any words to express what abject failures both parties are. They both run in lockstep with the corrupted system in Congress and have zero interest in changing it. I will continue to point that out for what I consider an important reason.

    If you note, almost nobody that comments has much criticism for 'their' party, only the 'other' party. These parties are not sports teams to be rooted for, as if they can have no direct effect on the lives of their fans. These parties, so completely supported, by their fans, are systematically destroying my country. I will not view them like a sports team where I am some silly fan.

    Michael

  46. El_Lobo - "You swore that "mittens" was going to win more that 300 electoral votes and it now looks that "mittens" will safely have a little more than 200 electoral votes...."

    That's what happens when you spend your life in a bubble ignoring reality. I told my friends months ago Obama would win because the GOP went off the deep end. An opinion that was published here in the Sun back in 2009.

    Vernos Branco, Las Vegas
    Friday, Dec. 25, 2009 | 2:03 a.m.

    Where did the Republican Party that I once knew go? What's happened to thoughtful, open debate?

    Now elected Republican officials seem to be afraid of backlash from the fringe right. People have come to "tea party" rallies carrying weapons in open view. Why is that allowed? I just don't get the hatred being spread like an uncontrolled virus.

    People on the far right label you as liberal when you disagree with their political views. Is that a matter of relativity? Is anything left of extreme right considered liberal and, thus, no longer moderate?

    And when do lifelong Republicans become not Republican enough?

    Christine Todd Whitman, Lawrence Wilkerson, Susan Eisenhower, Lincoln Chafee, Colin Powell and Christopher Buckley all have been lifelong Republicans who have thought the party was heading in a wrong direction. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina was recently judged by the far right as not being Republican enough.

    A member of the Republican National Committee recently proposed a 10-point purity test that Ronald Reagan couldn't pass. Is this what's expected from here on in? What has happened to our politics? There are no longer debates, just opposition.

    If you believe the planet is more than 14,000 years old, or that global warming or evolution exists, are you automatically an unfit Republican? Is there a future for Republicans not associated with the "tea party" movement? Will "tea party" members elect competent leaders? I simply wonder what the outcome will be. Do we actually need a third-party format, or just exercise common sense?

  47. Vernos,
    "where did the republican party that I once new go?What's happened to thoughtful, open debate"?

    I have been fighting with myself for the past couple of years over these same feelings.I switched over just month's ago after realizing that the republican party that I once knew is not coming back.
    To hear that tea party republicans are carrying weapons out in the open at rallies, is a bit scary.Earlier this year(April 2012) rocker Ted Nugent stated that if Pres.Obama is re-elected that he will either be dead or in jail.These kind of actions can only breed hatred and possible violence.

    Sen.Rep.minority leader Mitch McConnell stating a few years back that.It should be job number one to make sure that Pres.Obama is not re-elected to a second term.Actions such as these have turned away loyal republicans in droves to the democratic party.

    There may still be some time left to salvage this one time great party. Wake up republicans the country has spoken to you with the results of last nights re-election of Pres.Obama.If you want to lay the blame on someone,look no further blame yourself.

  48. Bradley,

    I agree that alot of savings are possible if certain actions were taken. However, we must always keep in our determinations of what is and isn't possible, the following:

    Let's say you and I open ice cream shops down the block from each other. Yours is efficient, well run, and offers good tasting ice cream at a reasonable price with good customer service. My ice cream parlor is inefficient, poorly run and offers mediocre ice cream, bad customer service and I charge more than you do.

    Competition from your parlor will cause one of two outcomes for me. I will correct deficiencies so I can compete and am profitable or my customers will become your customers and my business will fail and disappear.

    People who favor government rarely want to recognize that without competition, you get inefficiency, high cost and poor service. Government has no competition and therefore much of what you'd like to see it do more cost effectively and with greater efficiency just isn't possible in a system with no competition.

    Michael

  49. Bradley,

    Thank you for the kind words. Health Care is an area where my thinking has evolved quite a bit.

    When I had excellent insurance provided by my employer, Hughes Aircraft, I was all for the 'private' system, as I was of course clueless about people that did not have what I had. Once I had to purchase insurance in the private market and I wasn't 25 anymore, I realized the system we had wasn't very good for many people and even employers were beginning to struggle to cover health care insurance costs.

    I still believe the ACA was and is a poor solution but President Obama deserves credit for trying to modify the system and make it better.

    The main reason I find it problematic to be a supporter of the D party, is not their stands on social issues, many of which I agree with, but their reluctance to recognize that the profit motive and competition do not exist in government. Without a profit motive, people tend to do less than their best work and without competition, there is little incentive to innovate, improve or provide outstanding service.

    I saw this when I worked in Aerospace, which was funded by government spending, and I now see it in my interactions with the court system.

    Government is absolutely required in a society for a variety of very good reasons. But when we start to expand government into many areas where it really isn't necessary, we create less incentive to innovate, improve or provide outstanding service and we increase costs.

    The R party 'says' they recognize and believe that, but they just 'talk the talk' and don't 'walk the walk' and many on the far right want to take the concept way too far. The D party, in large part dismisses the lack of a profit motive and competition in government and speeds ahead with expanding government into places I think it is ill suited to be.

    For these reasons, I find little difficulty disliking and criticizing both parties, a position which draws fire from many directions.

    C'est la vie... as they say.

    Michael

  50. Bradley and Jim,

    I am assuming here that you are both referring to the Whig party that Jim told me about before.

    Here is my feeling about a viable 3rd party. As long as America was operating relatively smoothly for a good majority of Americans, as it was until about 2005, a 3rd party never had a shot. The R and D supporters could just be told and they believed that any 'bad' patch was just the result of the 'other' side acting stupid. The message was 'just put us back in and everything will be fine'.

    Now, we have had a R's mostly in charge from 2000 to 2008, D's mostly in charge from 2008 until 2012 and D's will be mostly in charge until at least 2014 or 2016. During this time, the lives of more and more Americans have changed for the worse. By 2016, I expect it to be little better, and maybe a lot worse.

    If that is the case, the old argument of both parties, that it's those other guys, will become more and more difficult to make with a straight face... and it will be one more and more Americans will not buy.

    That will be the opening for a viable 3rd party, if they offer quality candidates that do not come with a checkered past or ideas totally out of the mainstream.

    The time of the 3rd party is coming...I suspect.

    Michael

  51. Teamster,

    Challenge the unreasonable. As you can see, many of the "number posters" have disappeared.

  52. GOP doesn't need to compromise--they have already compromised us into bankruptcy, insolvency, endless debt. We MUST cut spending.

  53. I Am Puzzled
    The "Bush Tax Cuts" were a roll back of Clinton's taxes..including taxes on the middle class
    So why does Obama not want ALL of Clintons' taxes?
    I bet that no matter what Boehner tries to do..Reid will not agree..When we go over the fiscal cliff..with high taxes and deep cuts..the Democrats will step in..save Big Bird..leave the taxes high and blame the whole mess on the Republicans..

  54. Longtimevegan
    I bet Obama was going to win..

    When the issues are ...Big Bird and Dancing Vaginas ..?

    No one ever lost a bet by underestimating the intelligence of the voters

  55. Roberta,

    I agree that spending must be cut, and it will be, either voluntarily or by force when the nation goes broke.

    However, the GOP does need to compromise. They have tried telling Americans that the Progressive agenda of President Obama and the D's is not the right one. Slightly over 1/2 of the country does not believe the R's and the recent election confirms that.

    The GOP is going to have to stop pushing the evangelical social issues, concentrate on fiscal matters, and compromise enough so D's cannot so easily label them as obstructionists.

    The tax the rich, redistributionist agenda of the Progressives is NOT going to be able to right our economy. If the GOP will just let the Progressives try some of what they want to try, when the economy is still running very slowly and our debt is still heading for 20 trillion dollars, the ice cream will fall off the Sundae, Americans will be open to listening again.

    When the R's offer cooperation, they just need to continually do it publicly with this caveat: We are doing this because we realize we need to move forward, but make no mistake, we do not believe this is the best course. All Americans need to look closely at the results and decide for themselves.

    Michael