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Author Topic: Obama Spits on the Constitution
hobsen
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What do you do if you're President and you want to nominate an extreme leftist to be in charge of American banking and consumer lending?

By law, the position requires the advice and consent of the Senate, and you know that your candidate for the job will never be confirmed. Many in your own party won't vote for her. It will be a big public relations mess.

Here's what you do, if you're Barack Obama. You appoint her to a much lower-level position, an advisory one that doesn't require Senate confirmation. But then you instruct the Secretary of the Treasury not to interfere with any of her decisions and make sure they're carried out.

Technically, she doesn't have the position that requires Senate confirmation (i.e., she doesn't have the title or the salary). But she has all the power of that position, and the cabinet officer who was confirmed by the Senate has been told that this appointee has the ear of the President, which is code for "stay out of her way."

The extremist who has been unconstitutionally given authority she has no right to hold is Elizabeth Warren, who is effectively running the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau without any checks and balances whatsoever (unless we count Obama's "firm hand").

Now, if Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner had any spunk at all, he would resign his position over this. Obama's action is unconstitutional and politically stupid. It shows his contempt for the Constitution. It shows his ignorance of and contempt for American business.

Something as vital as consumer credit is no longer under the supervision of our elected representatives -- now Obama and his cronies can do what's "good" for us, without our opinions mattering at all.

As the Wall Street Journal puts it: "Remind us again why the tea party critique of Obama governance is crazy."

If the Republican Party had any spunk, they would respond to this outrage by introducing a resolution of impeachment in the House of Representatives. President Obama has clearly shown by this action that he despises his oath of office.

He promised in that oath to "faithfully execute the office of President of the United States," and avowed that he would "to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Circumventing the advice-and-consent role of the Senate is a clear violation of the Constitution. Instead of preserving, protecting, and defending the Constitution, he is doing his best to erase it, to make it meaningless.

And the fact that the Democrats in the Senate are sitting still for this shows what depths the Democratic Party has sunk to. There was a day when, regardless of party loyalty, Congress would have acted at once to block a President for a power grab like this.

After all, what is to stop him from appointing all kinds of unconfirmable radicals, morons, and otherwise offensive candidates as "advisers to the President" and then instruct cabinet officers to look the other way as these illegal appointees do whatever they want?

This is what dictatorship looks like, boys and girls. And Obama has been doing it all along. What do you think his "czars" are? But this case is so obvious, and so dangerous to the economy as well as to our freedoms, that it cannot be allowed to stand.

But even if Obama decides to withdraw this unconstitutional appointment, we must not forget that this is what he wants to do and how he wants to govern.

Even a brainless, rubberstamp Congress like this one seems to annoy Obama too much for him to put up with that silly "Constitution" stuff. What will Obama do when he faces at least one house with a Republican majority? When the Democrats lost Congress in 1994, Bill Clinton suddenly discovered how conservative he had been all along, and coopted all of Newt Gingrich's achievements so that he could get reelected.

But Obama? He's shown that he'll simply ignore the Constitution.

The question is, how far can he go? At what point do loyal, oath-keeping government officials say, "I will not follow that instruction because it's unconstitutional"?

Better to be fired by this President than to remain in an administration that is determined to govern as if we had a Dictatorship of the Proletariat instead of a Constitution.

Note by Hobsen - this essay seems to have been misplaced on the first page of the Ornery American Forum, so I am copying it here for comments.

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LetterRip
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Might be better to link to the article, and have it in quotes.

http://ornery.org/essays/warwatch/2010-09-19-1.html

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OrneryMod
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Thank you for providing a good link to the column. But when I go to ornery.org, the page still begins:
quote:
September 19, 2010
Obama Spits on the Constitution

If history has taught us anything, it is that when fanatics announce their intention to kill Jews as soon as they get the means to do it, and then get the means, they kill Jews.

That is the beginning of the August column, not the current one. Anyway, so long as readers can get to the correct content, that should do well enough.

OrneryMod - hobsen

[ September 25, 2010, 01:39 PM: Message edited by: OrneryMod ]

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drewmie
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OSC's article shows just how completely out to lunch he is. His hypocrite ideology won't allow him to see the blatant ways that the previous administration spit on the Constitution, even though the Supreme Court itself agrees that they did.

On the other hand, he raises constitutional issues that no reputable constitutional scholar or judge would support. At most, it's an issue of procedural ethics. But if the president's cabinet appointee has the power, then anyone under that appointee can carry out those powers. Yes, they can refuse to delegate when the President asks them to. But they don't have to. There's simply no constitutional issue here, regardless of what you think of Elizabeth Warren.

This article wins my award for OSC's most pathetically indefensible ideological rant.

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TomDavidson
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Is there a trophy? Like, maybe a little gold man with his fists raised, ranting at the sky?
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Pyrtolin
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Additionally, the article doesn't even touch on the question of what the president should do if Congress fails in its duty to offer said advice and consent on appointees due to completely non-constitutional (not "un"- there's an important distinction that seems to get lost) procedural obstruction.
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Star Pilot 111
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I've been away for some time ( recovering from 3 major operations, plus 1 hospital stay because of the doctor's mistake, all in less than one year ) But it's nice to see that "drewmie" is still a clear voice of reason. way t' go !

Wow, Card really does have his conservative panties in a bunch this time. Sometimes I'm amazed that he doesn't realize that life is more valuable than money. When Bush violated the constitution and declared war causing thousands of innocent people to die Card went along with it. But now, when Obama is trying to straighten out the finacial mess left over from the Bush Administration Card's making fanatical statements. His rantings make me think he's a little bit crazy.

In the long run we won't be praised for how much money we could control, or even if we're wealthy or homeless (thanks to reagan). It's how we treat and serve other human beings that is praise worthy. Card knows this. It's in his brain somewhere. He must have been taught this at some point in his life.

The Constitution says the Government is to serve and protect. The last administration took too much pride in protecting us from adversaries outside our borders while they didn't protect us from the ones within our borders.

One more thing,every time there's a so called conserative in charge the homeless population substatially increases. Coincidense? I think not.

I'll shut up, for now I need to go lay down.
Check you out later.

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Paladine
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So just to be clear, suppose a conservative Republican wins the presidency next. He wants a crazed fascist bloodhound as Attorney General, but the Democrats and many of the Republicans in the Senate would never in a million years vote for the guy. Instead he appoints an empty suit who wins an easy confirmation as AG, and appoints his bloodhound as a deputy assistant, but tells the AG that he's to do whatever the guy says. You mean to tell me that you people wouldn't have any problem or reservation about that?

I'm not saying that a federal judge should reach in and smack this appointment down; it does comport with the letter of the law. That aside, it does set a very dangerous precedent, and I know that many of you will howl when the shoe's on the other foot. Certain positions require advice and consent because of the power and influence they wield; when you effectively appoint people to those positions but give them different titles to avoid the process, you make a mockery of the system and deprive another of the co-equal branches of government its legitimate influence over such appointments.

That's what Card means by spitting on the Constitution. If you have a serious response to that argument, please do provide it. The kneejerk attacks on Bush having nothing whatsoever to do with the issue at hand are getting even older than the mindless criticisms offered of this site's host. I'm not saying that you need to agree with Card, but the condescending and flat-out mean tone adopted by people in his virtual living room is really shameful. You're posting on a site which he started and pays for; disagree respectfully or keep quiet, but have the basic courtesy to leave petty unsubstantive insults at the door.

quote:
Additionally, the article doesn't even touch on the question of what the president should do if Congress fails in its duty to offer said advice and consent on appointees due to completely non-constitutional (not "un"- there's an important distinction that seems to get lost) procedural obstruction.
The Constitution gives the Senate the power to make its own rules on procedural matters. You won't find filibusters or committees anywhere in the Constitution, but they're legitimate exercises of a legislative body's power to structure itself and the method by which it passes legislation and approves appointments.
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OpsanusTau
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As drewmie said, it's an issue of procedural ethics. And as such, we are all free to either like or not like it. I don't really have time to follow politics and policy these days, so I'm not sure what the problem with this lady is. Regardless, if she is as described it seems like what's going on might be questionable.

"Spitting on the Constitution" is a little bit ridiculous, though.

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Paladine
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quote:
"Spitting on the Constitution" is a little bit ridiculous, though.
No, it's not. He's spitting on it by subverting the constitutional procedure for nominating someone to a high government post. My guess is you'd see that a bit more clearly if he were trying to stuff a Creationist in as Secretary of Education but, unable to pass the Democratic Congress, instead decided to give that person the power of the confirmable post without the formal title. These people have broad power to impact the lives of millions of American citizens; the way they get that power is supposed to be through nomination by the President and confirmation by the Senate, not by presidential fiat.
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JoshCrow
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If this is seriously the most compelling issue Card has thought to write about in the past month - I mean, the most significant thing he can think of to say something about - then he's really not following what's going on in the world. If I had a column and a readership, you can bet I wouldn't have wasted my breath on some paltry personnel issue. It isn't like Obama slipped a socialist fanatic into the Supreme Court for life without a hearing. I wish Card would broaden his news-reading horizons instead of being obsessed - like my puppy with the neighbor's pug the next yard over - with everything Obama.
I guess when you're trying to prove that someone is the Great Satan and you think he's got the entire world fooled, I understand that makes one a little bit determined. I just don't care about his little grudge against the popular kid in class. It's like reading the scorn-filled notes of the brooding kid with no friends.

[ October 03, 2010, 02:02 AM: Message edited by: JoshCrow ]

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OpsanusTau
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quote:
My guess is you'd see that a bit more clearly if [....]
Well, no.
Like I said, I do see that it might be questionable. And actually I couldn't care less if a Creationist were Secretary of Education or the power behind the Secretary, as long as that person did not have an agenda of promoting or requiring the teaching of religion instead of the scientific method. I actually have approximately equally low regard for people who teach unquestioning acceptance of even well-supported hypotheses and theories as for people who teach unquestioning acceptance of dogma.
(Aside: my good friend preached a sermon, written with non-trivial input from yours truly, a few months ago about Doubting Thomas as the apostle for the scientists - that whole passage, John 20:24-30, tells me very clearly that it's okay to look for truth in empirical evidence.)

Regardless - that's all a little bit of a digression.
I do see why people might feel like this is an unethical thing to do. But it's not contra-Constitutional in any way that I can see.
quote:
He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.
That's the relevant passage, right?
If Congress thought proper to vest the appointment of this inferior officer in the President alone, then that's the way it is - fully in accordance with the Constitution.

I do think it's strange the way people of a certain bent are just convinced that anything they don't like is contrary to the principles of the Founding Document. It's like it can't be a bad thing if it's not expressly forbidden by the Document.

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KidTokyo
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Paladine said:

quote:
So just to be clear, suppose a conservative Republican wins the presidency next. He wants a crazed fascist bloodhound as Attorney General, but the Democrats and many of the Republicans in the Senate would never in a million years vote for the guy. Instead he appoints an empty suit who wins an easy confirmation as AG, and appoints his bloodhound as a deputy assistant, but tells the AG that he's to do whatever the guy says. You mean to tell me that you people wouldn't have any problem or reservation about that?

I'm not saying that a federal judge should reach in and smack this appointment down; it does comport with the letter of the law. That aside, it does set a very dangerous precedent, and I know that many of you will howl when the shoe's on the other foot. Certain positions require advice and consent because of the power and influence they wield; when you effectively appoint people to those positions but give them different titles to avoid the process, you make a mockery of the system and deprive another of the co-equal branches of government its legitimate influence over such appointments.

That's what Card means by spitting on the Constitution. If you have a serious response to that argument, please do provide it. The kneejerk attacks on Bush having nothing whatsoever to do with the issue at hand are getting even older than the mindless criticisms offered of this site's host. I'm not saying that you need to agree with Card, but the condescending and flat-out mean tone adopted by people in his virtual living room is really shameful. You're posting on a site which he started and pays for; disagree respectfully or keep quiet, but have the basic courtesy to leave petty unsubstantive insults at the door.

I actually agree with most of what you say here Paladine. But with two important caveats:

1. Blaming any politician for taking the opportunities available to him or her - however those opportunities become available, even if by the inaction or failure of others in their own duties - is like blaming a shark for biting the bloody chum thrown its way, and

2. Card repeatedly call for Obama's impeachement, and call his acts unconstitutional, even though he presents no evidence that Obama broke any laws whatsoever. It is not illegal for Obama to make this appointment, nor illegal for him to issue those instructions. Obama's instructions have no power to transform the constitutional authority of those he issues them to - they are independent authorities whose constitutional power is constant, regardless of what any else tells them to do. Card is obfuscating the very important distinction between "failing to act with constitutional zeal" and "violating constitutional law."

The whole reason we have our Constitution is that it anticipates the inherent ruthlessness of the political animal, and in fact depends on it - i.e., that the oppositional nature of the different offices and branches will check and balance each other. Its provisions are there to protect the people from despotism and chaos. Obama does not violate the Constitution for behaving like a normal politician when everyone around him is a useless jellyfish.

[ October 03, 2010, 12:28 PM: Message edited by: KidTokyo ]

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Star Pilot 111
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JoshCrow
I guess when you're trying to prove that someone is the Great Satan and you think he's got the entire world fooled, I understand that makes one a little bit determined. I just don't care about his little grudge against the popular kid in class. It's like reading the scorn-filled notes of the brooding kid with no friends.
_____________________________________________________

Well said.

That's why he seems a little bit crazy. Or maybe Glenn Beck has become his mentor. [LOL]

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Star Pilot 111
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KidTokyo
...avoid the process, you make a mockery of the system and deprive another of the co-equal branches of government its legitimate influence...
____________________________________________________

Sounds like the Bush Administration [Wink]

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M Lite
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"He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur."

Speaking of abdicating Constitutional responsibilities, the Republicans in the Senate, cheerled by Mitt Romney (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/05/AR2010070502657.html), are threatening not to approve the New START treaty with Russia based purely on politics. This is pretty unprecedented, in that the reduction of nuclear weapons and allowing inspections of Russian nuclear stockpiles has been a bi-partisan effort and was a major cornerstone of Reagan's foreign policy that Card credits with ending the Cold War. They offer straw men arguments, such as that this treaty does not limit Russian tactical weapons (this is a "STrategic Arms Limitation Treay") and that Obama is pushing a naive agenda towards nuclear disarmament...again a far off goal pursued by Ronald Reagan. Mr. Romney's lack of knowledge and seriousness was revealed when he faulted President Obama for not limiting Russia's ability to mount ICBMs on bombers. This is the nuclear weapons equipment of strapping a tank onto a wagon, theoretically possible but patently ridiculous. To me, these kinds of issues are far more serious than the President working within the rules (however abused by both parties) to overcome lockstep Republican opposition to anything he does. This is an office to protect consumers, and however you feel about it, it's not to my mind as dire as the threat of huge and under-secured nuclear stockpiles. If you turn away from the noise-machine of tv news and talk radio, you realize that the issues they choose to focus on are not always the most pressing or important.

That a man (Mr. Card) who offers such sensible and witty commentary on day to day life could be so unhinged in his political views is unfortunate. He even seems to be blinded to the strategic lessons he imparted in his books; the idea that Al-Quaida might be thrilled that we veered off into an unrelated war in Iraq brought to my mind Achilles in the Bean series bleeding India before China invades.

As an aside, Mr. Card's viewpoints have unfortunately turned me off of his new works (I tried to read Empire...). For full disclosure, I'm gay, so I soured on Mr. Card when he wanted to re-criminalize my existence as some sort of abstract "example" for "the children" based on the idea that sexual orientation is a choice and that the government must be seen to oppose it so more kids don't "go gay" (I'm paraphrasing here). I'm also Jewish, so historically I take a dim view of laws purely to set certain groups apart from the general population. For someone so concerned with individual liberty and government tyranny, this seems somewhat incongruous to me.

Yet I'm here because, despite all that, I like to check in on ornery Uncle Orson in the hope that he'll come around, because despite everything, his books were a big part of my life growing up and I still like to see what he (and other readers) think. LOL Sorry for the rant.

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TommySama
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quote:
For full disclosure, I'm gay, so I soured on Mr. Card when he wanted to re-criminalize my existence as some sort of abstract "example" for "the children" based on the idea that sexual orientation is a choice and that the government must be seen to oppose it so more kids don't "go gay" (I'm paraphrasing here).
That essay is breathtakingly messed up. Its a pretty good example of the fascist right (sorry word police).
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drewmie
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Besides the pathetic and constitutionally ignorant arguments OSC makes regarding the constitution, he also fails to reveal anything wrong with Elizabeth Warren.

I'm a relatively conservative guy. I don't want corruption, monopolies, under-the-table deals, and anti-competitive behavior. I also don't want anti-business, anti-corporate people pushing businesses around in this country. Both are recipes for economic sluggishness.

But OSC offers no evidence that Elizabeth Warren is anything of the kind. Yes, she is very critical of illegal, unethical, and exploitative business practices. She wants accountability, transparency, and some regulation. But I've heard her speak more than once, and she strikes me as a very intelligent and reasonable person. I'd be happy to have her as the first person to lead the new Consumer Financial Protection Agency.

After all, I'm pretty ticked that we haven't broken up "too big to fail" companies, re-instituted the Glass-Steagall wall between banking and investment, or even fully forced derivative markets into the light of day. The agency wouldn't even have authority in those areas, but it certainly could do something to address the inevitable bad consequences of those idiotic holes in our system.

However, I'm very willing to hear any evidence to the contrary. Has Elizabeth Warren said or written anything that is highly partisan, ideological, or anti-business?

[ October 05, 2010, 01:48 PM: Message edited by: drewmie ]

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Star Pilot 111
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KidTokyo
1. Blaming any politician for taking the opportunities available to him or her - however those opportunities become available, even if by the inaction or failure of others in their own duties - is like blaming a shark for biting the bloody chum thrown its way
_______________________________________________________
So do you feel it's OK for this behavior? Is it like, everyone else is doing it so it's ethically O.K.?
Does the blame belong to the voter's, because they believed what the politicians told them, and then elected them (clowns)?

It seems to me we have two choices, the clowns who favor the "too big to fail" coporations, and accuse the poor of gaming the assitance programs. They even created the name "Entitlement Program" so it implies greed rather than gratitude coming from it's recipients.
OR The ones who try to help "all" the people and still hope to be able to fix the economy. Who feel the wealthy should be greatfull because, they could not have become wealthy in any other country but the U.S.A. They themselves being wealthy, feel compassion and care could easily come from the top 3%to5% on the economic ladder by letting Bush's tax breaks expire. It would also help pay down some of the debt.

I'm not an economist, so I wouldn't take that last sentance to the bank [Big Grin]

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KidTokyo
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quote:
KidTokyo
1. Blaming any politician for taking the opportunities available to him or her - however those opportunities become available, even if by the inaction or failure of others in their own duties - is like blaming a shark for biting the bloody chum thrown its way
_______________________________________________________
So do you feel it's OK for this behavior? Is it like, everyone else is doing it so it's ethically O.K.?
Does the blame belong to the voter's, because they believed what the politicians told them, and then elected them (clowns)?

Actually, my point was that the behavior is quite conventional, and appropriate for a political animal. My point was that Obama has done nothing wrong. My point is that any half-way decent politician does his or her best to influence people. This is normal.

Let's revisit Card's accusation:

quote:
You appoint her to a much lower-level position, an advisory one that doesn't require Senate confirmation. But then you instruct the Secretary of the Treasury not to interfere with any of her decisions and make sure they're carried out.

Technically, she doesn't have the position that requires Senate confirmation (i.e., she doesn't have the title or the salary). But she has all the power of that position, and the cabinet officer who was confirmed by the Senate has been told that this appointee has the ear of the President, which is code for "stay out of her way."

The extremist who has been unconstitutionally given authority she has no right to hold is Elizabeth Warren, who is effectively running the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau without any checks and balances whatsoever (unless we count Obama's "firm hand").

I boldface the good bits so you can see the sequence of hyperbolic twaddle. The charge amounts to the following: Obama legally appointed Warren, and told Timothy Geitner that she "had his hear."

Apparently, telling a senate-confirmed official that an underling has the "president's ear" is a violation of the Constitution. [Roll Eyes]

No, this is normal presidential behavior. And if someone is so afraid of an underling with the "president's ear" that he can't do his job, then he's a useless, spineless blancmange who shouldn't be running a high school, much less the U.S. Treasury.

quote:
It seems to me we have two choices, the clowns who favor the "too big to fail" coporations, and accuse the poor of gaming the assitance programs. They even created the name "Entitlement Program" so it implies greed rather than gratitude coming from it's recipients.
OR The ones who try to help "all" the people and still hope to be able to fix the economy.

I only count one choice.
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cb
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quote:
One more thing,every time there's a so called conserative in charge the homeless population substatially increases. Coincidense? I think not.
Since there hasn't been a true Conservative in office since Reagan, lets focus on Reagan. This site http://www.ronaldreagan.com/nr_13.html gives a great breakdown in the real numbers during the time Ronaldo Magnus was in office. It just goes to show that the media can say anything they like and it is accepted as fact, when in actuality, they skew every statistic to suit their purpose.

And, BTW, though the homeless rate among the individual homeless has dropped from 2008 to 2009, the number of homeless families has increased by as much as the individual rate has dropped. This is under Obama and after the stimulus. So your stance that homelessness only increases under "conservative" presidents is false.

[ October 08, 2010, 01:33 PM: Message edited by: cb ]

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cb
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quote:
OR The ones who try to help "all" the people and still hope to be able to fix the economy.
quote:
However, I'm very willing to hear any evidence to the contrary. Has Elizabeth Warren said or written anything that is highly partisan, ideological, or anti-business?
I juxtaposed these comments because the answer to the second is found in the first illustrating the single most rankling characteristic of progressives for us conservatives.

Elizabeth Warren was on PBS Newshour on Oct 5th and I happened to catch her. I didn't know who she was at the time as I came in after the interview had started, and I had not seen pictures of her till that moment so I had no preconceived opinions of the woman As I listened to what she was saying...by the end of the interview I wanted to throw something at the TV. Here is what she said:

quote:
"I want to eliminate the trips and traps of the industry, (bring) lots of transparency - allowing the consumer to really being able to read and evaluate the products"
quote:
"(I see my job as) making sure families have the power to make good decisions"
This attitude - that we, the non-elite, the uneducated, the drubs that simply cannot exist without someone like Elizabeth Warren to "make sure" we "have the power to make good decision", are the same ones "who try to help "all" the people"!

The idea that we consumers must be PROTECTED from trips and traps by the GOVERNMENT - THE AUTHOR OF TRIPS AND TRAPS --- HELLO!!!

Ever since the first man set up shop to sell something to his neighbor there have been "trips and traps"...thus the Latin phrase "Caveat Emptor" - buyer beware. And thus has the market operated over the ages...smart consumers avoid trips and navigate traps, the dumb ones become the rubes. It's called live and learn.

But today, the "rubes" MUST be PROTECTED from themselves. And here is Big Sister Lizzy to save the day! She will make everything "easy to understand" (using 500 million of our dollars yearly and setting up another unregulated bureaucracy to do it) so that we are protected from our own stupidity.

She made the comment "Try it, compare four credit card contracts and tell me which one is the least expensive". When I was 19 I didn't do that. In fact I got myself in a hell of a bind running up a bill on a high interest department store credit card while having little means to pay it back. Luckily, I was smart enough to learn my lesson with only $300 owing, I got rid of the card, eventually paid it off and have been VERY careful ever since.

I didn't need Ms. Warren to save me from myself(while using $500 million a year herself and handcuffing financiers with the onus of responsibility that belongs to the consumer). And I don't need the federal government to "help" me any anyway...I need Ms. Warren and her unregulated bureaucracy and the federal government to get out of my private decision and LEAVE ME ALONE!

[ October 08, 2010, 02:39 PM: Message edited by: cb ]

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KidTokyo
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cb,

If the government left you alone completely, credit cards would not exist. Nor, for that matter, would banks.

I am curious to know why you think Reagan was a "true conservative." Many on the libertarian end thought he was a fraud.

I'm not surprised homelessness increased after Reagan. The pro-corporate trends which began with his administration only accelerated under Clinton and the Bushes - with astonishing continuity.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Ever since the first man set up shop to sell something to his neighbor there have been "trips and traps"...thus the Latin phrase "Caveat Emptor" - buyer beware. And thus has the market operated over the ages...smart consumers avoid trips and navigate traps, the dumb ones become the rubes. It's called live and learn. [quote]
And then this Adam Smith guy came along and point out how that, along with enforced monopolies, was an economically damaging policy, and that instead a market built on moral and honest exchanges without government sponsored monopolies would lead to better growth and profits for all people.

[quote]Whenever the legislature attempts to regulate the differences between masters and their workmen, its counsellors are always the masters. When the regulation, therefore, is in favour of the workmen, it is always just and equitable; but it is sometimes otherwise when in favour of the masters.

quote:
Consumption is the sole end and purpose of all production; and the interest of the producer ought to be attended to, only so far as it may be necessary for promoting that of the consumer
There's a more direct quote of the general principle somewhere by I can't remember it well enough to find it at the moment. But the upshot is still the same- eliminating Caveat Emptor was one of the fundamental necessities of a free market; one of the fundamental duties of the government is to impose regulations to protect consumers from dishonest business practices because individual consumers otherwise can't compete with industry collusion.
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Funean
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quote:
"I want to eliminate the trips and traps of the industry, (bring) lots of transparency - allowing the consumer to really being able to read and evaluate the products"
I'm baffled that anyone would be opposed to requiring industry to make enough information available to consumers for those consumers to make educated choices about their purchases.

I mean, heaven forfend. I guess you're okay with finding out whether that package of mushrooms at the grocer's is okay by watching whether or not your family dies after eating it? After all, if it turns out the producer was either malign or incompetent, you'll never buy from THAT farm again, nor will all the other families that died, and they'll go out of business. That'll show 'em.

Honestly, there ARE some legitimate roles for government. Regulating large entities who's sole motive is profit is one of them. I remember what my home state looked like back when the coal companies were essentially unregulated. It wasn't that long ago.

[ October 09, 2010, 12:52 PM: Message edited by: Funean ]

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cb
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quote:
Originally posted by KidTokyo:
cb,

If the government left you alone completely, credit cards would not exist. Nor, for that matter, would banks.

I am curious to know why you think Reagan was a "true conservative." Many on the libertarian end thought he was a fraud.

I'm not surprised homelessness increased after Reagan. The pro-corporate trends which began with his administration only accelerated under Clinton and the Bushes - with astonishing continuity.

You will have to qualify your remark about banks. Historically, banks or lending institutions, or money lenders have been around since time immemorial. If our government collapsed today, there would still be money lenders. If there were no credit cards do your think we would be better off as a society or worse??

Reagan was a close to a conservative as we've come since Coolidge and Hoover.

Did you read the link I gave you? Homeless statistics are nothing but hokus-pokus and can manipulated to say whatever the power that controls the media wishes them to say.

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TommySama
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quote:
I'm baffled that anyone would be opposed to requiring industry to make enough information available to consumers for those consumers to make educated choices about their purchases.
...
Honestly, there ARE some legitimate roles for government. Regulating large entities who's sole motive is profit is one of them. I remember what my home state looked like back when the coal companies were essentially unregulated. It wasn't that long ago.

I can think of one good one. Heard about the milk labeling controversy (or GE in general)? Basically, big business uses state labeling laws to keep consumers in the dark about what they are buying.
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KidTokyo
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quote:
You will have to qualify your remark about banks. Historically, banks or lending institutions, or money lenders have been around since time immemorial. If our government collapsed today, there would still be money lenders.
Oh, sure. You can always borrow money at astronomical rates from the local mobster to buy potatoes. But banks in the modern sense, upon which our civilization depends, could not exist.

quote:
If there were no credit cards do your think we would be better off as a society or worse??
I'm surprised to hear a Reaganite conservative arguing for the good of society over individual choice. [Razz]

My honest answer is - I don't know if "society" would be better off without credit cards. I think we could benefit from a more strictly-regulated industry, fersure.

quote:
Reagan was a close to a conservative as we've come since Coolidge and Hoover.
Fair enough.

quote:
Did you read the link I gave you? Homeless statistics are nothing but hokus-pokus and can manipulated to say whatever the power that controls the media wishes them to say.
All statistics of any kind are open to that charge. That being said, your link doesn't really support the very broad statement you make. It is authored by a Heritage wonk, so it has a pro-Reagan agenda.

That's not to say I can discount it outright -- some Heritage folks do very good work. But the article really only argues that:

1. The claim of 3 million homeless is unsupported empirically (which I agree with), and

2. That low-income housing outlays were not affected by Reagan's budged cuts in the manner "the Left" was then suggesting. This second point is interesting, but I'd need to investigate it further. This is *exactly* the kind of statistic that I've seen conservative authors do a little of their own sleight-of-hand with. Of course, he could be right.

But even giving the author the benefit of the doubt, there is nothing here to back your claim that all statistics about the homeless that you hear in the mainstream media are necessarily complete fabrication.

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drewmie
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cb, you really aren't making the conservative case look very good here. An Economics 101 course is in order. As Funean said, "Caveat Emptor" and American free market capitalism are very much at odds.

A more appropriate principle is "arms length transaction." This economic principle assumes independent, free, informed parties with reasonable alternatives who choose to do business because it is in the self-interest of both. This is a basic capitalist principle, necessary for Adam Smith's "invisible hand" to be effective. But it has been seriously undermined in recent years by Wall Street. They have conspired for years to privatize the reward and socialize the risk.

I'm not interested in stifling American ingenuity and free markets. I'm interested in maintaining them for my children in spite of those who would blabber about encroaching government regulation while at the same time spending billions to fight for more regulations when it suits their business plan and gives them competitive advantages.

In short, you're simply wrong. Elizabeth Warren isn't interested in saving people she considers too stupid to take personal responsibility. She's interested in saving free markets themselves from those who no longer believe in making an honest buck through an honest, transparent transaction. They would rather find clever ways of keeping their customers in the dark, or at least leaving them with fewer options. For such people, requiring a true "arms length transaction" would destroy their entire business model.

If American capitalism dies, it will not be at the hands of over-regulation by leftists (much of which I do oppose, by the way). It will be at the hands of those advocating their own corruption and one-sided interest in the very name of free markets and American capitalism. It's my own economic version of a quote often attributed to Sinclair Lewis:
quote:
When facism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.
After all, any wolf with any intelligence will always don the sheep's clothing. In fact, he'll convince himself he's the real sheep.

[ October 12, 2010, 03:14 AM: Message edited by: drewmie ]

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kenmeer livermaile
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Hilarious that this tiny thing catches attention. Obama has ignored the Constitution in many larger ways.

And Elizabeth Warren is one of the few friends an American has in government.

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Star Pilot 111
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I've been away for a while sick.

The following is not a statistic. I worked in San Francisco for 3 years with a man who worked there during and after Reagan's term as Gov. He told me that during Reagan's term the homeless population exploded, mostly from the mental facilities, because the criteria to be an inpatient was raised. All of the marginally mental people, who had no one who could afford to care for them and didn't know how to take care of themselves, were put on the streets.

Didn't Reagan call himself a Christian?
I guess that was his christian thing to do.

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cherrypoptart
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> StarPilot

> Didn't Reagan call himself a Christian?

> I guess that was his christian thing to do.

I assume that if you wanted to know more about the issue you would have looked it up already, but just in case that assumption is incorrect:


http://msgboard.snopes.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=37;t=001063;p=1

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LetterRip
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cherry,

interesting link thanks for the information.

After reading the thread, this seemed the most informed response,

quote:
The law that Reagan signed was the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act (LPS), passed by the legislature & signed into law in 1967 by Governor Ronald Reagan. The idea was to "stem entry into the state hospital by encouraging the community system to accept more patients, hopefully improving quality of care while allowing state expense to be alleviated by the newly available federal funds." It also was designed to protect the rights of mental patients. It was considered a landmark of its time--a change in the attitude toward mental illness and its treatment.

The law restricted involuntary commitment, among other things. It allows people to refuse treatment for mental illness, unless they are clearly a danger to someone else or themselves. It facilitated release of many patients---supposedly to go to community mental health treatment programs.

Reagan's role, besides signing the bill, was using it as a reason to cut his budget. What Reagan did was, at the same time the bill was passed, to reduce the budget for state mental hospitals. His budget bill "abolished 1700 hospital staff positions and closed several of the state-operated aftercare facilities. Reagan promised to eliminate even more hospitals if the patient population continued to decline. Year-end population counts for the state hospitals had been declining by approximately 2000 people per year since 1960."

This law presumed that the people released from hospitals or not committed at all would be funneled in community treatment as provided by the Short Doyle Act of 1957. It was "was designed to organize and finance community mental health services for persons with mental illness through locally administered and locally controlled community health programs."

It also presumed that the mentally ill would voluntarily accept treatment if it were made available to them on a community basis. However, because of the restrictions on involuntary commitment, seriously mentally ill people who would not consent to treatment "who clearly needed treatment but did not fit the new criteria or who recycled through short term stays -- became a community dilemma. For them, there was nowhere to go." Once released, they would fail to take meds or get counseling and went right back to being seriously ill.

Also, unfortunately, at the time LPS was implemented, funding for community systems either declined or was not beefed up. Many counties did not have adequate community mental health services in place and were unable to fund them. Federal funds for community mental health programs, which LPS assumed would pick up the slack, began drying up in the early 1980s, due to budget cutbacks in general. The Feds shifted funding responsibility to the states.

Sources:

http://ist-socrates.berkeley.edu/~cmhsr/history.html
Reform of the Lanterman, Petris, Short Act


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cherrypoptart
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Thanks LetterRip. I also found that post to be very educational.

I won't deny Reagan his share of the responsibility for what happened, but he was just one piece of a big puzzle, and things aren't always as simple as they seem. That's a lesson I could probably stand to benefit from regarding my own viewpoint and accusations concerning President Obama and many others.

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LetterRip
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cherry,

agreed. Most folks (myself included) occasionally oversimplify and tend to attribute more of the 'blame' to those they are ideologically in disagreement with.

Ie it is fairly clear for the financial crisis that both parties had a significant hand in creating an environment where it could happen, but most folks attribute almost all of the fault with the actions of their political opposition.

[ January 31, 2011, 04:18 PM: Message edited by: LetterRip ]

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Star Pilot 111
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Federal funds for community mental health programs, which LPS assumed would pick up the slack, began drying up in the early 1980s, due to budget cutbacks in general. The Feds shifted funding responsibility to the states.

____________________________________________________________________________________

Who was the man in charge of the Fed Gov in most of the 1980s. Reagan!
When he left the presidency U.S. homelessness had exploded during his terms. It's a shame how he's unfairly associated with Homelessness in California and America. However it happened, it still comes back to him. He was at the helm.

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