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Skin-Deep Politics

September 15, 2011 by  

Skin-Deep Politics

Forget reality television; we have the seemingly interminable pre-primary segment of the 2012 Presidential race to watch.

Critics unload heaps of inane trivia. Cartoonist Garry Trudeau wants you to compare former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin to Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota: Who has the better front end? Meanwhile, candidates display themselves like peacocks, trying to distract potential supporters from whatever flaws they may be squirreling away with magnificent displays of political plumage. For example, Mitt Romney has real executive experience fighting intransigent liberals within sight of the Kennedy Compound; but he hopes you won’t notice that during his Gubernatorial reign in the Bay State, he developed the State-level precursor to the abominable Obamacare.

While the Democratic Party has a long record of candidates who possessed the intellectual depth of Tupperware (does anyone know where Senator John Kerry can “get me a huntin’ license?”), the Republicans generally shied away from cosmetic appeal in place of legitimate competence. Witness Senator Bob Dole’s loss to President Bill Clinton in 1996: Clinton won with only a plurality of the vote, due in part to the fact that Dole was nearly as captivating a stage presence as shower mold. Of late, the GOP has begun to play the electoral version of “The Dating Game,” offering up candidates like President George W. Bush, whose folksy charm and 80s-action-film attitude supposedly made up for his mercurial policy directives, if not his tortured enunciations.

Taken to a logical extreme, this sort of political pageantry ratchets up the degree of difficulty for a quality candidate with strong ideas and sound principles, especially if the candidate in question looks like an aging college professor (Representative Ron Paul) or a guy who cuts his own hair (former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson).

As 2012 approaches like the T-Rex chasing the Jeep in “Jurassic Park,” we are welcomed to the aforementioned logical extreme. For those who think I’m overstating the case, say hello to the current field of Republican candidates and the two men leading the way: Governor Rick Perry of Texas and former Governor Romney. The very idea that the GOP is seriously considering these two men for the post of Leader of the Free(ish) World is testament to the barely subcutaneous levels to which most voters are ostensibly willing to venture in search of a true statesman.

Watching the remarkably telegenic Perry and Romney tear into each other during the course of the past two Republican Presidential debates has been the political version of Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em ROBOTS®.  Oh, they got testy with each other, but I kept wondering if there was someone behind the curtain, furiously tapping on a video game controller. “The Corporate Media and the Current State of American Politics Present: The Republi-Ken Dolls!”

Both offer curricula vitae chock full of crony capitalism and flashes of statism. Romney’s infamous “corporations are people” miscue was a telling moment, while Perry’s political appointee roster shows an almost 1-in-4 ratio between campaign donors and appointments. And perhaps Perry really didn’t try to force STD inoculations on the preadolescent female population of the Lone Star State on behalf of Merck Pharmaceuticals; let’s just say it sure would have been convenient for Merck’s profit margins – not to mention Perry’s campaign coffers.

That sort of backscratching is common in Democratic circles. Nearly 200 of President Barack Obama’s heavyweight “bundlers” are now enjoying the sweet taste of plum patronage. As an example, the current U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom is Democratic whale and former Citigroup exec Louis Susman, whose previous experience with the Brits is limited to the bar at the Connaught Hotel. But the Republicans ought to be running from such backscratching like Donald Trump would run from a crowd of helpful citizens after his limo breaks down in South Central Los Angeles.

If it comes down to a choice between Romney or Perry and the current tenant squatting in the people’s crib on Pennsylvania Avenue, I will obviously vote for – um – “change that matters.” But there are better choices than any of those three. They are easy enough to spot, if we’re willing to look a little deeper.

–Ben Crystal

Ben Crystal

is a 1993 graduate of Davidson College and has burned the better part of the last two decades getting over the damage done by modern-day higher education. He now lives in Savannah, Ga., where he has hosted an award-winning radio talk show and been featured as a political analyst for television. Currently a principal at Saltymoss Productions—a media company specializing in concept television and campaign production, speechwriting and media strategy—Ben has written numerous articles on the subjects of municipal authoritarianism, the economic fallacy of sin taxes and analyses of congressional abuses of power.

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  • s c

    Hopefully, the coming media and money orgy that makes politics what it is will seem short and improved over the last one. Like it or not, money spent on an election – especially when we’re looking for a new prez – [God, please let us have a real president this time] is an investment.
    Truth rarely gets a chance in a big election, and so we tend to get the lesser of two evils. Whatever happens, let us unite and elect people who work for us. People who think we work for them are too easy to find, and I suspect most of them either never had a real job and they can’t be trusted to put more effort into getting rich while in Washington.
    Up the rebels, and mucho true social justice upon those who hate freedom and dare to preach leadership in the same bad breath.

    • FreedomFighter

      You’ve got to vote for someone. It’s a shame, but it’s got to be done.–Whoopi Goldberg

      Laus Deo
      Semper Fi

      • EyesWideOpen

        What we need to find out about anyone up for election is what organizations they are affiliated with. Free Masonry is the common denominator in the groups that are pushing the One World Agenda: The Illuminati (yes, it still exists), Masons, Shriners, Rotary Club International, Trilateral Commission, United Nations, Council of Foreign Affairs, Bilderberger Institute, Labor Unions, Vatican, and the National Conferences of many Protestant religions! To see a list of the people that belong to these groups just enter “the worlds’ richest people” into your search bar on the internet. These people know that in order to get the citizens of the countries of the world to accept this One World System that they must first crush the economies of each country so that we will accept this system rather than starve to death. But know that anyone that is not part of their group will become enslaved! Just look at what is happening today, open your eyes and see the truth!

        • Michael J.

          Hello EWO,
          If this is really you, give us a sign. Make the lights go dim, make a door eerily creek closed or fill the room with a bone chilling chill. But don’t re-post the same words repiticiously. You’re beginning to sound like a broken record, broken record, broken record…

        • Meteorlady

          Eyes is right about organizations ruling thing. I’m sure the Bilderbergs don’t meet once or twice a year to have a nice bottle of wine and dinner. AND what about the fabled 8 people that above that groups?

        • BarleyWheets

          The goal of Bilderberg Group

          Total control of the world and take the world towards globalization. In fact most of the elite of the world think alike specially those who are interested in totalitarian regime or world .Though not all elite want this type of scenario, a handful number of elite,powerful enough to influence the world economy, think they are controlling the world economy. What else can be better than globalization if some of the elite have the total control of world politics and economy.

          This group works as a forum for interviewing and selecting of the potential future world leaders Like Obama, Clinton., so that their main purpose of accumulation of wealth and power remains in their own hands.In 2008 both the US presidential candidates Barak Obama and Hilary Clinton had a meeting with Bilderberg group in Westfields Marriott,Virginia

          A few leading members:

          Henry Kissinger, ColinPowell, Bill Clinton, Chuck Hagel, John Edwards,Barak Obama. our current President -2008

          Rick Perry (2007), Governor of Texas 2000-current

          Mark Sanford (2008), Governor of South

          Ben Bernanke (2008, 2009), Chairman of the Board of Governors of the United States Federal Reserve

          David Rockefeller, Sr. Former Chairman, Chase Manhattan Bank

          George Stephanopoulos (1996, 1997), Former Communications Director of the Clinton Administration (1993–1996), now ABC News Chief Washington Correspondent

          Bill Gates (2010), Chairman of Microsoft

          Donald E. Graham (2008–2010), CEO and Chairman of The Washington Post Company, Board of Directors for Facebook

          Jun.08, 2010 inBilderberg

          These are the people who brought you the swine vaccine hoax
          faked up wars on Iraq and Afghanistan
          the 9/11 Osama bin Laden scam
          7/7 bombing and others
          the Tony Blair & George Bush fiascos
          the financial meltdown
          chemtrails
          gave away your country to foreign nationals
          mercury poison in your teeth and vaccines
          flouride and chlorine poisons in our drinking water
          the muderous attacks on the peace aid convoys for Palestine
          compulsory homosexual teaching for our kids
          no- news dumbing down and control
          the holocaust nonsense

          and this is just a partail list!
          VOTE NO for Perry

          • Dave B.

            You are a loon. That is all there is to say.

          • ron

            And it seems S. Palin had a meeting with Glenn Rice and the Mich. basketball team.Big deal.

        • BH

          Free Masonry is the overarching group? I don’t think so. I’m not a Mason, but I can assure you that Masonry is pretty milquetoast. Yeh, guys meet other powerful people through Masonry, but the organizations are more insipid than corrupt. The Vatican opposes Free Masonry because it looks to internal self improvement rather than to God, so seeing them under of the thumb of Masonry is just not so.

          The truth is, the various groups that support a “One World Order” each want to be at the top of that New Order. None want to be taking orders from another.

          Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia were both Socialist, with extremely similar goals. Their main difference was that each wanted to dominate. So more lives were lost in what, from an American perspective, was a “secondary front” between the two of them than were lost where Americans were fighting. We can hope for similar fights between those who want to dominate us in the current era.

        • JLC

          EWO — Maybe I have been running with the wrong crowd but, in my going on 9 decades of life, most of the Masons with whom I have had anything to do have been pretty decent people. Conceded that there a few bad spuds in every sack, but I haven’t run into many of them. Me? I’m a 4th degree KC.

        • http://marcum1@wildblue.net coal miner

          EyesWideOpen
          Is that you?You don’t sound like the old EYES I used to known.

  • Sam I am

    If people go for looks and charm and hoopla over a candidate’s principles, then we are screwed.

  • Free Mind

    Since the candidate for President is ‘picked’ and not really voted for, we should chose from mainstream america. Pick a common retailer or oil field worker or nurse to be President for 2 yrs. Preferably someone with no party affiliation to the ‘republicrats’; Sort of like the draft. Couldn’t be any worse than what we have now.

    • Michael

      I owned a book of short stories at one time, one of which included a country whose leadership was chosen similarly. They picked someone who had no interest in public service, appointed them President and then at the end of their term a vote was held as to the quality of government provided. If the vote was good he went home, if not he was taken around back and shot. Sounds good to me, provided congress is included.

  • http://www.easyinvest.co.za peter

    A truly masterful presentation of the horrific problem that faces the voters at the polls next year. There are definitely better choices than those three. In fact,it probably would not need that much digging but simply a change in direction. I am sure there is one honest tiger left in the USA, but he/she needs to be found. No more soap opera stars please. Time to be serious ladies and gents – please realize that the problems need solving and we need a real CEO to take charge if we have not already left it too late. Talk about bringing on the clowns? They are definitely here in abundance. I still cannot fathom how you find time to make so light of these peoples shortcomings Ben, but thanks for the laughs anyway.

    • eddie47d

      That’s a big problem that so many of you overlook with trying to elect someone with business experience or as you imply a CEO. Considering that CEOs have high demands for exhorbant salaries and fringe benefits that would put a pirate to shame do you really think they would want a measly White House job? ($400,000 vs $5-500 million) Sure some Presidents write books and end up being millionaires yet they receive nothing like our over glorified executives in the private industry receive.Besides CEOs only have to keep their eye on the competition in a similar field and the President has hundreds of issues to contend with. Such as how many new wars can we start. How do we appease Canada and Mexico. How can we hold hands with Christian Conservatives and gay right activists?Which state gets the most money. Who wins the big prize unions or the Chamber of Commerce? Who gets a free pass to pollute and who gets fined? Who gets hammered in taxes and who escapes the tax collector? Should we take Social Security and Medicare away from grandma or refresh the programs? Will I allow a 12 year old to take a handgun to school? How much money should I pay a company to move out of the USA? Which legal citizen shall I allow to vote and which ones will I stop? I believe that an ordinary American has better answers to most of those questions than most CEOs. What CEO in their right mind would want the job anyway? CEO Bush dropped the ball on jobs and non-CEO Obama hasn’t done any better. We need someone in the White House that is smarter than a 5th grader.

      • http://Personalliberty Tony

        To eddie47d:
        Most Presidents are already millionaires/rich before they come to the White House. Just food for thought. Thanks!!

      • Wyrdwolf

        When you think about it do we really need a CEO to be The POTUS? Think about it ( Enron, Merrel Lynch, GM, Crysler, ect……) they are mostly psychopaths of different degrees. A magazine ( Fast Company )had an interview with a prominant phycolagist that was studing phychopaths in prison, and the article showed how a lot of CEOs had the same symptoms. After reading that I really started looking at the politicos and we are in deep stuff.

      • MNIce

        Why do professional athletes at the elite levels (MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, etc.) command such huge salaries? Answer: there are not very many people who can play at their level, and people will pay to watch them play. Why do CEO’s of major corporations command such huge salaries? Answer: there are not very many people who can persuade Boards of Directors that they can be trusted to manage billions of dollars worth of assets so that shareholders will receive a maximal return on investment. Those who do reach this level are in sufficient demand that they can pick which company they want to manage. Hence the large salaries offered to attract and keep them. Even so, just as highly touted draft picks may be duds on the playing field, so recently hired CEOs may find they have been promoted beyond their level of competence. Corporate boards can and do make bad choices, but if them make too many bad choices they tank the company or get canned by irate shareholders.

        It generally takes years of hard work and demonstrated competence to develop the skills and reputation to attract the attention of a major Board of Directors. If we voters put as much effort into recruiting quality members for our national “Board of Directors” (Congress) and CEO (President) as the more successful corporations do, the nation would be in somewhat better condition.

        eddie47d is spewing the same tired old class warfare hate-the-rich mantra that shows he really doesn’t know how the other half lives. I’m not part of the other half (the rich one), but I’ve studied the way corporations work as part of my investing hobby. Sure, there are crooks in some corporations, and some corporations have become innately crooked (especially those who employ undue political influence to obtain government contracts, grants or loans). But there are also many that come by their wealth honestly by providing useful goods and services at prices the market judges to be affordable. Such companies deserve their wealth – it’s the reward that gives them the incentive to do more and better for their customers.

        Perhaps we are not attracting the best and brightest candidates for President because we don’t offer sufficient incentive for them step up and serve. Mr. Obama may one day be sorry he was attracted to the trappings of the Presidency. At a minimum, he’ll have a lifetime of security hassles. He’ll have the calumny of being a total failure in his responsibility to uphold the Constitution, if not also a ruined personal reputation. (How many thinking Americans over 45 can recall Jimmy Carter or Richard Nixon without shaking their heads or having a related reaction?) The best among us probably don’t want the job, even if they did not have better opportunities. Recall how reluctant George Washington was to take the office. Or, for that matter, General William Tecumseh Sherman (USA, Ret.), who responded to an attempt to draft him for the Presidency, “If nominated I will not run; if elected I will not serve.”

        A high salary and perks and powers of office are probably not the incentives we want to use – we’ve seen how the latter recently attracted the wrong sort of candidate. We need someone of common sense who is seeking the office for the satisfaction of doing what is right by the American people and desire to faithfully execute the laws of the nation wisely in accordance with the Constitution. It will take a special strength of character to say “NO!” to the numerous “power brokers”, and even sterner stuff to use the veto threat to force Congress to make real cuts and really eliminate unconstitutional agencies against the inevitable howls of outrage from entrenched constituencies. Not many people are willing to engage in the necessary confrontation. I see two candidates in the field who perhaps fit these criteria: Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul. (Don’t snicker at my pick of Mrs. Bachmann – anyone who has successfully dealt with the tantrums of as many two-year-olds as she has should have the necessary firmness!) Rick Santorum and Herman Cain also merit some examination, although both have prominently fumbled a few ideas along the way, and Santorum may not be able to take the heat.

        Perry and Romney talk a good game, but their playing records as governors are questionable at best. In Perry’s defense, he does seem to understand there is a major distinction in powers between a state governor and the Presidency, and that the Presidency ought to be significantly more limited than the governors in domestic affairs. Huntsman seems to be too often on the wrong side of the field; he doesn’t even seem to understand that we have a problem with an unlawful Central Government that needs to be cut back to its proper federal role. It is true that all three have executive experience, such as in successful investment corporations. But there is a large difference between managing a group to pick good investments for customers and distinguishing good Acts of Congress from bad or overseeing the agencies responsible for executing the laws in a manner that “ensures the blessings of liberty are preserved for ourselves and our posterity.”

        Of what significance is a person’s wealth in running for public office? It may signify the candidate has earned the rewards of persistence, integrity and hard work intelligently applied in the marketplace. George Washington was a successful manager of his family’s farm and accrued sufficient wealth to live comfortably by the standards of his day. On the other hand, it may signify something shady. Barack Obama became a millionaire working primarily as a political activist in Chicago, and he didn’t do it by acting as a high-priced consultant to the campaigns of other Democrats. There are not very many avenues to accrue wealth honestly through politics in the USA; it is not supposed to be a high-paying career.

    • Bus

      Throw some names out. I hear a lot of complaining about the field of candidates but lets hear who would be better? Do you want The Donald back in the race? Palin is apparently making too much money to be interested.

  • Rosco1776

    And the only statesman is being ignored again but the others are parroting him because he was/is right.

    Ron Paul 2012 or BU$T !!

  • http://aol.com sean murrey ILLInio

    As long they get the job done and throw out obummer idont care if they are like peacocks.

    • Brian

      As long as they throw out Obama. Yeah, tyranny is fine with you as long as it comes from the right wing of the Establishment Party. Listen, there is little difference between Barry and the GOP field (save Ron Paul). They are all globalists who believe the solution to our problems is more government. They all support worthless fiat money and they all think it perfectly fine to bomb foreign nations in pursuit of Empire. Voting for Perry or Romney or any of the other phony Republicans will do nothing but change the name on the White House letterhead.

  • Robert A Hirschmann

    It’s a real shame that the common folks vote for the ‘pretty people’ rather then the ones that will be best for us. The two leading RINOS are just that, Republicans In Name Only. I’ve been a republican all my life but since the Tea Party started I am now a proud Tea Party member. My choice is Ron Paul because he is the only candidate that will turn this country around. Everyone knows that Obama is leading us towards destruction but just voting republican will not be the answer. We need a republican that will make a difference. We need a leader that will follow the Constitution (as in ‘I swear to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States’) as pledged when taking office. As I see it Ron Paul is that leader. If he is not nominated as the republican candidate I can assure you that there will be ‘business as usual’ in Washington in 2012.

    • MNIce

      Please explain why you don’t think Michele Bachman could or would do what is necessary to help us restore and keep our Republic.

  • 4-just_us

    If Ron Raul don’t get in NOTHING WILL CHANGE.

    • ron

      Ron Paul, isolationist, gold lover, and space ship hunter. He is electable only in the state he represents, and that states governor wants to split from the union. Wow, what a country.

  • Donald

    The electorate goes for the good looker. That’s why Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich (sp?) can never get anywhere in their own parties. Who nowadays would vote for anyone who looked like Abe Lincoln?

    Whoever get’s elected will be advised by people we never heard of and know nothing about. So much for Democracy.

    • Jibbs

      We are not a democracy, We are a Republic!

  • BH

    The reason why Ron Paul is unelectable is that he tells the truth.

    Of course our Middle East policies encouraged the 9/11 terrorists to select the US as a target. It is only logical; and the 9/11 Report even says so. (If it is only opposition to freedom, why don’t they focus on Switzerland?) But who wants to hear such a thing? We simply have to get angry at him and lash out, falsely claiming that he is not holding the terrorists responsible.

    He tells us that we cannot outlaw U235 any more than we can outlaw gravity. He dares to point out that short of invasion looking for WMD that may not even exist, we cannot prevent nations from going nuclear. The other candidates answer the belligerence of potentially nuclear nations with belligerence; we feel pleased at their hatred, ignoring the fact that such behavior only decreases our safety.

  • Alex

    I don’t think telling the truth makes him unelectable. But it certainly gives the media amunition to portray him as unelectable.

    Let me point out, and not for the first time, that blogs and forums across the internet are abuzz with Ron Paul. The Tea Party and Grassroots movement is behind him. College kids are behind him. During the debate Monday, every time they panned to one of the off site locations, there were Ron Paul signs everywhere in the background.

    The only place where he isn’t in the top tier is the media. In the arena of real people who want change, this is one of the first elections I’ve seen in my lifetime where so many people were so ardent for one specific candidate. The others are mere show pieces for the media.

    Ron Paul is the only viable candidate, and there are more people behind him than the media gives him credit for. He’s absolutely electable, and I will not be surprised to see him win the primary, or the election for the President of the United States.

  • Altaica

    Violence only begets more violence.

    I’m still standing by Ron Paul. He’s the only candidate I have seen that makes sense.

  • CLARENCE SWINNEY

    9711 Brian Montopoli Left Behind Who’s To Blame For Wealth Divide
    cbsnews.com/2101-503544_162_20202289.html?tag=.

    Top 20%=own 84%
    Bottom 20%=0.1%
    Bottom 40%=0.3%
    Median White Wealth–$113,149 in 2009
    20X Black $5677 18X Hispanic $6325
    largest gap since started tracking in 1984
    2007—largest Income Inequality since 1929
    CIA World Fact book—USA only 38 of 136 have less equitable distribution of income
    More equitable distribution are Russia-Turkmenistan-Yemen
    1% took 12% of wealth 25 years ago and nearly 25% today
    Over the past decade, 1% income grew 18% and middle income fell
    In 2009, per Politifact , net worth of top 400 was higher than bottom 50% of households
    One sentence explanation—Decisions made by elected officials in Washington,many themselves are in the top 1% . Congress became a Millionaires Club
    A bias toward the desires of the wealthiest has resulted in policies that exacerbate the wealth and income divide—reduced capital gains tax rates—deregulation of the financial system—reduction of tax rates on high earners—repeal of Glass Steagall which most economists say contributed to the 2008 economic meltdown with so much wealth in a few banks. Today, the majority of deposits in 7600 banks are in just fewer than ten “too big to fail” super banks.

    Many politicians largely serve the wealthy and leave those on the bottom behind like the Minimum Wage is today lower than it was 30 years ago after inflation.

    A study by Professor Bartels reveal in his book, Unequal Democracy, that senators are fairly responsive to preferences in the upper third of income distribution. Surprise?

    Rep. Jan Schakowsky said: “The growing wealth gap is not an accident or a force of nature, it’s clearly a result of public policy. Today, the Republicans are on a crusade against low income people.”
    She introduced a bill to increase marginal tax rates on $1 million income to 45% and going up to 49% for income over $1 Billion. Good luck Jan! They want a Tax Cut not Increase.

    In 2008,Top 20% paid 30% of income in federal-state-local taxes. Overtaxed? Middle Class paid 28%.
    Conservatives use all types of rationales to justify redistribution. Globalization. Job Creators.
    Earned it keep it. High top rates cause economic damage. They impact the low income earners.

    .America Enterprise Institute scholar (?) says focus should be on poverty, not inequality; he calls it “immoral” philosophy to push a “spread the wealth” philosophy.

    That genius ever meet Jesus Christ of Nazareth???????

    Today, America ranks 25th of 29 OECD nations on Equality. In 1980, America was in top 5.
    Today, America ranks 26th as least taxed (% of GDP) nation in 28 OECD nations.
    Today, America takes 9% of GDP in federal revenues. Lowest since 1953.
    Today, American corporation pay 1% of GDP in taxes for lowest since before Mae West.
    In the Good Old Days they paid 6%.
    In the Good Old Days they paid 30% of federal revenues and 9% today.

    Has anyone ever noticed that since this Great Redistribution of Income and Wealth began in 1980
    we have borrowed 13,000 Billion. That can create a bunch of Billionaires. Like an increase of
    4000 percent.
    Since 1980 what did we gain as a nation?
    600B budget to 3600B
    1000B of Debt to 14,000B
    99,000 net new jobs per month. Carter had 218,000.
    Involvement in 10 foreign conflicts with millions of innocents killed
    In a recession in part or all of seven years. All Republican. Ouch.

    Bottom Line—INEQUALITY LEADS TO END OF DEMOCRACY——
    How much further must we go?

    5% own 62% Net Wealth—80% own 15%
    20% own 93% all Financial Wealth—80% own 7%
    25% take 67% all individual income—70,000,00 take 13%

    What is our Breaking point by Middle Class and Poor?
    It goes by name of SAFETY NETS
    Eliminate Safety Nets how many millions of families are thrown into poverty?
    How many Seniors go into Poverty?
    How many more die from lack of health care?

    Stick around long enough—cities will hear BURB BABY BURN
    olduglmeanhonest political historian madmadmad at Inequality in America

    • George

      Your numbers are way off, do some REAL research, instead of parroting Msnbc.

    • Jeep

      “Bottom Line—INEQUALITY LEADS TO END OF DEMOCRACY——” Well, I suppose its a good thing that we live in a Republic!

      Grow up Clarence. How can a poor person in America possibly be kept down by the “system”? Last time I checked, more than 50% pay NO taxes. Yes, they get to keep, or get a rebate on 100% of any tax receipts. So, is it still taxes keeping the poor…well, poor?

      Okay, so you say it is minimum wage…really? As a teenager I made minimum wage working at McD’s ($2.10 an hour to start). But, I went to school (paid by me) and now oman considers me to be rich! It’s called….wait for it…work! Striving to do better each and every year. Not because govt “levelled” the playing field, I succeeded in spite of the govt!

      So, Clarence, grow up, go to work, take responsibility for yourself, stop worrying how much the other guy is raking in and cherish your freedom before progressives succeed in taking it all away in the name of “fairness”. It’s America man, go somewhere else if you want cradle to grave coverage.

  • BH

    @CLARENCE SWINNEY:

    So, what do you recommend? “Perfect equality”, where everyone makes the same amount, independent of contribution? A totally failed policy; why bother to work if you can receive the same amount by sitting on your butt all day in front of the TV?

    The width of the disparity comes from government advantages given, as you seem to understand, to the rich over the poor. The answer is not to also reward the poor for sloth; but rather to totally remove the dispensing of favors by the federal government. Return to the limits defined by the Constitution. Abolish the Federal Reserve, which benefits bankers over the rest of us.

    • Stunned at sunset

      BH: You’re absolutely right about the current “socialist paradigm” but I don’t think that Clarence is speaking to that. You wouldn’t see the statistics Clarence referenced if this system of things wasn’t rigged and wholly controlled. That’s where the “inequality” is. Why should lest than 5% of humanity control the destinies of the other 95%? It wasn’t that way during the “Frontier Era” and the common man overwhelmingly contributed to the National Progress. Who is asked to fight the wars that these oligarchs start? The top 5%? Not on your life!

  • BH

    @CLARENCE SWINNEY:

    You said: America Enterprise Institute scholar (?) says focus should be on poverty, not inequality; he calls it “immoral” philosophy to push a “spread the wealth” philosophy. That genius ever meet Jesus Christ of Nazareth???????

    ANS: Where in the Bible does Jesus promote a “spread the wealth philosophy”? He speaks in favor of charity. But government redistribution of wealth is not charity. It is not charity to rob Peter to pay Paul. It is charity when you give your own hard-earned money to the poor. It is a violation of the Commandment “Thou shalt not steal” to support programs that take from the rich and give to the poor. Indeed, it is “immoral”.

    • eddie47d

      Considering how dishonest the wealthy can be in achieving their booty then I do believe Jesus would be extremely angry at them.

      • Meteorlady

        So if I’m wealthy I’m dishonest? WOW I didn’t really know that. I run my business honestly, give my employees a fair wage, pay for their health care and give them vacation. What’s dishonest about that? I also contribute to campaigns, most recently Ron Pauls. People like you that lump “rich” into a category never cease to amaze me. I give the charity and I also work for Habitat and Hood County Children’s charities. These are all run without payrolls to anyone. All the money goes back into the charity. What do you do for your community? Where do you volunteer and how much have you give of your time and money to local charities in our communities.

        • eddie47d

          Good for you Meteorlady at least there is on honest business person in America.(I know there are more) I have to get back at those who constantly harp on Liberals as all bad or all unions are evil.I explained my giving to charity awhile back and got ripped a new one.One said I had no right to “brag” about what charities I give to. They are the ones who asked but didn’t like the fact that I did give. The latest was Song who accused me of not giving back to the community and that I’m only a taker. I once again called her out and proved her wrong and she said so what it doesn’t matter. I know this is a tough audience and some are wearing brass knuckles so I throw a little back at them.

          • BH

            I hope you agree that there are more honest business people than honest politicians.

            A politician’s purpose is to gather increasing amounts of power and control over others, and in the process, money as well. (They claim to be working “for the greater good”, but hopefully few on this site believe that.) A business person’s purpose is to serve their customers, and in the process, gather money as well. One of necessity involves coercion; the other does not. But when a business person gets involved in politics to give their company an advantage, the core element of seeking to serve customers is overwhelmed by the political goals of power and control.

  • independant thinker

    “The very idea that the GOP is seriously considering these two men for the post of Leader of the Free(ish) World…….”

    I do not know that the party is seriously considering them at this time as much as the MSM (Main Stream Media) want us to think that is the case. If you notice this is just like the last election where all you heard from the MSM was Hillary-Obama and Obama-Hillary and the only thing you heard about the other candidates was when they dropped out. However, as time goes on with the continued discriminatory push for these two by the MSM while ignoring the other candidates You will certainly become correct Ben.

  • H-Cubed

    Wouldn’t it be nice if the presidential primary was on one day in 50 state? Right now a small handful of states set the tone.

    • ace

      EXACTLY!!!!!!!!!!

  • Meteorlady

    Ron Paul is the only person running that is honest, doesn’t have media consultants, image consultants and 100 speech writers employed. He does not participate in the congressional retirement plan or health care plan and gives back a portion of his office expenses every single year. He has also resigned to run stating that his constituents deserve representation while he’s campaigning. Meanwhile our Commander in Chief is in constant campaign, golf, campaign, vacation, campaign, golf. Not one single speech he has given is written by him.

    • ace

      THAT:S A BIG 10-4!!!! HE:S TOTALLY WHORTHLESS OBUMMER!!!!!!!!!

  • chuckb

    do you ever notice how swinney never touches on barry and his distribute the wealth scheme. how about some current deficits and waste caused by the jackass in the white house hmmm?

    • eddie47d

      Swinney had a good post and now you want him to do your work too? Start digging for your own facts since the upper crust has continually taken an extra helping from the vaults of our economy.

    • JeffH

      chuckb, political activist of sorts, hardcore progressive Clarence Swinney makes his living writing and blogging…considered by some to be a political historian, he’s a professional liberal blogger/writer…Huf-Po, Democratic Underground, etc.
      President-Lifeaholics of America, advocate with the Campaign for America’s Future http://ourfuture.org/

    • bob wire

      “do you ever notice how swinney never touches on barry and his distribute the wealth scheme.”

      Hmm, Well Chucky, maybe it because “wealth distribution” is not a scheme, but the backbone of venture capitalism and been in effect and active since the world population exceeded 10 people.

      Wealth has “no value” , gold has “No value” if it can’t be acquired, given or transferred. It can be wheat, stones,dirt, ears, beaver pelts, wood, personal favors, labor, craftsmanship,haircuts, lube job, Knob job ~ whatever ! If it can’t “offered” it it’s value is little.

      Everyone has to have a “reason” Chucky. You can’t expect people to do anything with a good reason. Short of a A$$ whopping, wealth transfer works best unless you are willing to extort people to create a “reason” and there is people that traffic in extortion, blackmail, etc. to transfer wealth. Government is good a extortion

      Obama was addressing the “FACT” that the top 2% of American wage earners has enjoyed a very disproportionate wealth transfer in the last 30 year and especially in the last 10 years as the buying power and the standard of living for the majority of American has been in steep decline over this same period of time.

      A poor choice in words perhaps, he said something to the effect of we need to “sharing the wealth” or “spreading the wealth” needing to take place.

      AND IT DOES! There was no mention on “TAKING away” or “Denying” the wealthy or of “GIVING” to the undeserving.

      We need MORE OPPORTUNITY FOR MORE PEOPLE AND NOT FOR JUST A FEW.

      Government working hand and hand with big business has extorted the American PEOPLE and this needs to change. That what Obama was addressing.

      Opportunity is wealth. wealth is opportunity. A cord of firewood is wealth, a cord of firewood is opportunity.

      Now you can keep barking that same bark, but most of us GOT IT when he said it. Swinney sees no reason to address the obvious.

      and you’ve caught me with a few minute to burn or I’d ignore it myself.

      • BH

        @bob wire said: Everyone has to have a “reason” Chucky. You can’t expect people to do anything with a good reason. Short of a A$$ whopping, wealth transfer works best unless you are willing to extort people to create a “reason” and there is people that traffic in extortion, blackmail, etc. to transfer wealth. Government is good a extortion

        Answer: No, wealth transfer works best as a strictly voluntary process. The person who has found a way to offer his personal services and support himself with that activity decides to hire others to assist. They get wealth “transferred” to them. But it is in return for their labor, not free gratis. The key here that you don’t seem to see, and neither does Obama, is that the main result of business activity is the CREATION of NEW wealth, which is, in the process of its creation, “spread around”. The business owner gains wealth, the employees gain wealth, and so do those who purchase the products (they would not purchase if they did not value the products more than the money/wealth they are trading for it).

        Conversely, when the government transfers wealth (by force / extortion as you recognize), there isn’t a net creation of wealth. Quite to the contrary, there is overhead in the transfer process (IRS agents, bureaucrats to make sure that money isn’t given to those who do not qualify, etc.).

        So when the transfer is forced, there is a net loss of wealth, and no creation at all. Furthermore, taking wealth from the productive business person decreases the number of jobs (look around you) and giving it to those who are not working encourages sloth.

        The real bottom line isn’t that voluntary transactions (the free market) results is greater wealth and forced transactions result in destruction of wealth (although this is clearly true). Voluntary transaction are ethical. Forced transactions are unethical / evil / sinful / wrong.

  • Bimbam

    The MOST important thing is must ask your candidates where they stand on the 2nd Amendment.

    Are they for the Brady Bull, er Bill. Are they comfortable to be under the UN for gun control? Which basically means you can have no guns.

    ASK THEM, it is the most PATRIOTIC thing you can do!!!!

    See what they say then make your OWN decision.

  • bob wire

    “If it comes down to a choice between Romney or Perry and the current tenant squatting in the people’s crib on Pennsylvania Avenue,”

    You haven’t a “respectful” bone in your body Crystal.

    I’ve learned that a person that shows such little respect like it was nothing at all, have little respect for anything.

    I read you as such a person, holding few and nothing in high regard and simply going through the motions for a pay check. You have crossed a line of which there is no return.

    I know you have a small following that you pander too,~ they deserve you. Keep it up and maybe Rush will let you shine his shoes.

    I’m done with mining for nuggets in your dig buddy.

    • Jeep

      See ya…don’t let the door hit your nuggets on the way out!

      • bob wire

        Speaking of people with “no respect” yum, yum, eat it up Jeep ! He is your kind of guy, you have displayed it often! He write for people just like you. He’d wipe his backside with you if it serves his purpose and think nothing of it. All in a days work.

        Trafficking in poison and hate is a narrow and selective market, but you don’t to have green teeth and date your sister.

        You are the kind of guy that would fall for a cheating woman thinking that you are somehow special.

  • Jeep

    Ben, I just wanted to point out (referring to the Jurassic Park reference) that the Jeep may have taken a beating, but it did eventually outrun the Rex!

  • chuckb

    eddie47, swinney is full of it, he’s nothing but a propagandist for the dnc. he doesn’t dare comment on barry, it would destroy everything he commented on, trying to blame other administrations for the very things that barry has caused himself. the only difference being is the things that are happening today are worse than any administration in the past, far worse, record deficits, record spending, record corruption of which is about to reveal itself. if your messiah makes it to the next election, that will be a miracle in itself. look for your queen hillary to run against and get the nomination in next years democratic primary. i said this two years ago. people like swinney are as dense in the head as barry himself. as far as his posting past records, that’s easy, i can paste records too, i can paste in most cases records opposite of what swinney post. why? what does it prove, everyone knows barry is all through, blaming bush is not going to get it done. we can see current events that are real not some ideologues spin in accounting.

    • Jeep

      You’re spot on chuckb. There will be little discussion from the dnc on the current state of economic affairs. Even the most dense progressive can see that our economy is shot, and it is a no braner that it is a direct result of three years of this clown and his buddies. Before all you progressive weirdos jump on the “Bushes fault” bandwagon, just stop. Oman owns this chaos, it’s his and the democratic party. Period. Get over it. Anyway, the only plays left in the progressive playbook are race, class warfare, past Republican sins and maybe global warming!

    • ron

      That’s very american what you said chuck. Very damm american. Birthers for life!!!!!!!!

  • MNIce

    Don’t vote for the pretty face, vote for what’s behind the face.

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