Grow Up America

I am less than bemused by Glenn Beck and his ever more insane antics. Yesterday while perusing Free Republic as I do nearly daily, I came across the clip courtesy of Instapundit, home of the gay American conservative, of Mr. Beck pretending to douse with petrol an actor (a very bad one at that) and then setting him afire. The cause for this insanity on the part of Mr. Beck was the President's decision to tackle immigration reform that will include a path to citizenship for most but not all of the nation's twelve million plus illegal immigrants. Grow up, Mr. Beck. If you're opposed to moving forward on immigration reform then state your case. Spare us the antics. (Dave Neiwert over at Crooks and Liars has the whole sad episode with a transcript)

This past Fall, a European friend of mine went to a Sarah Palin rally in Colorado Springs. I asked him about it. He told me "Charles, you can see the fear in their eyes. They have lost their country and they know it." My friend, I think, is right. Conservative America is not unlike the Afrikaner of 1990. The writing is on the wall. They have lost the battle of ideas and just as important they have lost the demographic battle. They talk of a silent majority by pointing to the electoral results by county that still show a wide swath of America as "red" but those are the empty spaces, the rural part of the country that may cover 85% of the country in terms of acreage but accounts for about 40% of its GDP. The America that is coming is going to be more diverse and more liberal and open-minded.  This development seems to frighten the closed, self-centered, conservative mind. They talk of going Galt, we talk about moving forward to solve energy issues, providing healthcare for all and narrowing the growing social inequality that threatens to tear the nation apart. Like petulant children, an increasing number of conservatives wail incessantly about non-existent threats and bizarre world government conspiracies. Grow up and get real.

Yesterday in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, a Baptist preacher by the name of Eric Schumacher said that gay marriage in Iowa was more destructive than a 500 year old flood.

Last June, a "500-year flood" ushered millions of gallons of water through eastern Iowa. In Cedar Rapids alone, more than 25,000 individuals were displaced in one day. Hundreds of millions of dollars in property damage was done.

The Flood of 2008 is arguably the most destructive disaster that the state of Iowa has seen -- at least, that is, until last Friday.

On April 3, the Iowa Supreme Court unanimously ruled that a state law limiting marriage to one man and one woman violates the equal protection clause of the Iowa Constitution. Licenses will be issued to homosexual couples April 27.

It is not hyperbole to say that this ruling has the potential to be the worst disaster to strike the state of Iowa.

Flood waters destroy houses, ruin offices buildings and displace families. Yet, recovery happens. Houses are rebuilt. Businesses relocate. Families eventually find housing.

Legalized "homosexual marriage," on the other hand, does far more pervasive and irrecoverable damage. Civilization itself is eroded as marriage, the central building block of culture and society, is redefined. Soon, our sons and daughters are confused about what it means to be male and female, as "homosexual marriage" gains both legal status and visibility in neighborhoods and the classroom.

Far worse, the Gospel message is confused. Marriage is established by God to be a living picture of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the husband representing Christ and the wife representing his church. "Homosexual marriage" presents a distorted picture, a false Gospel, promoting a blasphemous message.

Flood waters erode the soil. "Gay marriage" erodes the soul. A flood impacts for a decade. "Same-sex marriage" destroys generations. A flood draws a community together. "Homosexual marriage" tears the family apart. Communities recover from floods. The promotion of un-natural unions has an eternal consequence.

Let's see if I marry, civilization collapses. Grow up, Mr. Schumacher, grow up.

Then there these "spontaneous" tea parties. Spontaneous even though they are pushed by Free Republic, Michelle Malkin, Erick Erickson and now even Fox News. Spontaneous is the Twitter-enabled protests in Chişinău, the capital of Moldova.  These tea parties are little more than the death cries of an irrelevant conservative movement bereft of ideas and threatened by liberal values of tolerance and fairness. Conservatives argue that this tea party phenomenon is based on an idea, that of small government and personal freedom. Interesting that their composition is nearly all white, mostly male and generally over 40. That America is the America of the past.

As many of you know, I am from Colombia. It's not always been easy to be a Colombian. In the 1980s when I came of age, the country came undone as a result of long-standing social injustice and then all of a sudden we had to contend with a multi-billion illegal drug industry that we have been fighting with modest success ever since. In 1991, Colombia adopted a new Constitution and as a result the political process was opened up. For the first time in our history, we elected directly mayors and governors. More than anyone, it has been the mayors that have changed the country. One of these mayors was Antanas Mockus. Mr. Mockus, the son of Lithuanian immigrants, was a mathematician and the rector of the Universidad Nacional which in the early 1990s was unruly and beset by student strikes. At a forum when student activists wouldn't behave properly, Mr. Mockus got up and mooned them. They promptly shut up.

That episode garnered him international attention and launched his iconoclastic political career. As Mayor of Bogotá, a city of seven million, he tried some rather unusual programmes. He launched a "Night for Women" and asked the city's men to stay home in the evening and care for the children; 700,000 women went out on the first of three nights that Mr. Mockus dedicated to them. When there was a water shortage, Mr. Mockus appeared on TV programs taking a shower and turning off the water as he soaped, asking his fellow citizens to do the same. In just two months people were using 14 percent less water, a savings that increased when people realized how much money they were also saving because of economic incentives approved by Mr. Mockus; water use is now 40 percent less than before the shortage even though the city has grown. Incidentally, Bogotá is now one of the greenest cities in the world. So change is possible. But it must begin with each one of us.

In contrast to these tea parties of the recalcitrant among us and the reason I bring Antanas Mockus up is that as mayor, he did something very very unusual. He asked people to voluntarily pay more taxes. He created a Bogotá 110% Club where citizens pay 10% more and could direct the expenditure towards a specific project.  To the surprise of many, 63,000 people voluntarily paid the extra taxes in the first year alone. A dramatic indicator of the shift in the attitude of Bogotanos during Mockus' tenure is that, in 2002, the city collected more than three times the revenues it had garnered in 1990. The changes have been dramatic if unexpected. Bogotá is a city transformed even if its challenges remain daunting.

In my time in the United States, I have always admired its civic culture. I now find it lacking. I believe that one of the primary reasons that propelled Barack Obama to the Presidency was in fact a cultural one. Mr. Obama was asking the nation to look at itself and "set aside childish things". Mr. Beck pretending to set someone ablaze surely must qualify as one of the most sophomoric if not moronic stunts ever performed, and it was a performance, on an American television "news" programme. It's time to grow up and tackle the multitude of problems that we face.

At the end of March, I attended a lecture by William Greider, the national political correspondent for The Nation. He was on tour talking about his new book, Come Home, America. Those of us of a certain age might recall that Come Home, America was also the refrain of the 1972 George McGovern campaign. That speech is worth revisiting.

From secrecy and deception in high places; come home, America.

From military spending so wasteful that it weakens our nation; come home, America.

From the entrenchment of special privileges in tax favoritism; from the waste of idle lands to the joy of useful labor; from the prejudice based on race and sex; from the loneliness of the aging poor and the despair of  the neglected sick -- come home, America.

Come home to the affirmation that we have a dream. Come home to the conviction that we can move our country forward.

Come home to the belief that we can seek a newer world, and let us be joyful in that homecoming, for this "is your land, this land is my land -- from California to New York island, from the redwood forest to the gulf stream waters -- this land was made for you and me."

So let us close on this note: May God grant each one of us the wisdom to cherish this good land and to meet the great challenge that beckons us home.

And now is the time to meet that challenge.

Now indeed is the time to meet that challenge and tomorrow we have a chance to move America forward. A New Way Forward is holding planning forceful, creative actions all over the country tomorrow at 2 PM EDT (1PM CDT, Noon MDT and 11 AM PDT). The idea for the site and the demonstrations on 4/11 came while Donny Shaw and his girlfriend were watching Bill Moyers' interview of economist Simon Johnson which aired in mid February. As Donny told me he and his girlfriend just thought that there needed to be a strong public movement, stronger than a contact-Congress type campaign, to demonstrate to the Obama Administration that there is strong public support for tackling the banks structurally, intervening on insolvent ones, rather than continually bailing them out. In Donny's view, the right was really owning the anger over AIG, but the left has an actually message -- real structural change of the financial sector. I agree the ideas are ours. It is the progressive movement that has vibrancy, optimism and energy offering concrete proposals, not just the failed rhetoric of Reaganism.

I hope that tomorrow you will attend one of these rallies that are being held across the nation, demonstrating the maturity of the left and the vibrancy of our ideas. It's time to grow up and come home America. The journey that George McGovern foresaw has been delayed by four decades. We can delay it no longer.

Update [2009-4-11 0:25:1 by Charles Lemos]: I am relieved that there are many conservatives appalled by the antics of Glenn Beck. In this light, Rick Moran of Right Wing Nut House deserves credit for noting that "anyone who believes we may be headed for dictatorship is a loon." Thank you. Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs too deserves praise for calling Mr. Beck on his "over-the-top irresponsible extremism and conspiracy theories." Thank you. We on the left can criticize Mr. Beck ad naseum but it is really up to the right to engage him and to challenge him on conservatism stands for.

Tags: A New Way Forward, Civic Culture in the United States, Glenn Beck, Tea Parties (all tags)



Re: Grow Up America

They are only now really beginning to wrap their brains around the idea that they have lost the House, the Senate, the presidency and the majority of state Governors seats, and they did so without ever really achieving any of their treasured social goals. They gave money, manned phonebanks and canvassed for a bunch of people who used them and threw them tokens. Nothing.

I understand their anger, but I don't feel sorry for them. They were and are vile, and they supported politicians who were vile, throughout the process. Newt Gingrich? Duke Cunningham? Rick Santorum? Tom DeLay? Dick Cheney? George Bush? Oh, please.

They managed to slime the Christian church by welding it to a political party, staffed by a bunch of hypocrites, who wrapped themselves in the flag and carried a cross. For that the rubes got bubkes.

I'm just waiting for the next Oklahoma City bombing or Ruby Ridge. The well-armed delusional and senselessly violent more often seem to reside on the right. They act out their anger in group psychotherapy and the rest of us have to suffer the consequences. Maybe the Patriot Act and warrantless wiretapping can be put to good use, after all.

by lilysmom 2009-04-10 07:47PM | 0 recs
great post

I started to watch that Glenn Beck clip but only made it about halfway through. The paranoia and complete lack of perspective is incredible. He says he feels like Obama might as well just come shoot him and suggests that Obama is setting him on fire.

I was going to blog about that Cedar Rapids preacher, but I was at a loss for words. It is such a bizarre mindset to think that other people getting married is going to bring down civilization.

by desmoinesdem 2009-04-10 08:09PM | 0 recs
Re: great post

Just watched a recent Glenn Beck clip that has an actor dressed up as Thomas Paine (yeah, right!), exhorting Americans to 'take their country back' on April 15.

At one point, Mr. Paine says something like:

"We thought they'd never bomb Pearl Harbor, but they did. We thought they'd never fly two planes into the WTC, but they did. We thought they'd never get passed the best defenses in the world and fly into the Pentagon, but they did. We thought they'd never pass the largest spending bill in history against the will of the majority, but they did."

I guess I don't have to explain what they're doing there . . . crazy.

by vadasz 2009-04-11 12:12AM | 0 recs
Functional healthcare plan needed

The #1 way that working people are stripped of their equity these days is through health costs. Typically they have uncovered costs or through loss of a job that leads to bankruptcy. Then it is just one step away from living in a tent city. You can't rent with bad credit.

Obama is just so full of hot air if he does not make healthcare a right, for everybody, NOW.

Many people feel that he is a fake, which makes the politicos laugh, but that actually could end up being true if he endorses the private healthcare model being forced upon him by his contributors of the multinational healthcare cartel.

Their healthcare domino theory holds that US must retain the private model at all costs.

by architek 2009-04-11 05:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Functional healthcare plan needed

Unfortunately Obama cannot snap his fingers and pass the health care we want. If you care about getting good health care you need to keep your eye on the Blue Dog Senators, especially Ben Nelson and Evan Bayh who do not support using budget reconciliation to pass legislation. Know why? Their "moderating" vote would no longer be needed.

by Lolis 2009-04-11 06:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Functional healthcare plan needed


Literally through his DOZENS of Bash Obama for not delivering Single Payer with a wave of his magic wand of liberal transformation dairies, I have yet to see Archy mention Nelson, Bachus, Bayh...He's honestly just a stuck in the primary Clinton partisan, is if SHE could have forced Bachus and Bayh to the left on health care.

These are Democrats who are closer to Ronald Reagan politically then they are Franklin Roosevelt.

It will be a battle royal to get the baby steps Obama is proposing through the Congress, but if it is blocked by those Conserva-Dems, I am sure Archy will propose the cause was that Obama didn't push for Single Payer...

As if SOMEHOW that would have gotten MORE votes out of the same DINO crowd.

by WashStateBlue 2009-04-12 10:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Functional healthcare plan needed

You may be right (about health care costs), but I'm not really sure what that has to do with the way Beck has been conflating him with terrorists.

Would you say that Obama's failure to pass health care reform in the manner of your choosing at your preferred speed makes him a terrorist?

by vadasz 2009-04-11 07:37AM | 0 recs
Re: great post

Glenn Beck thinks himself a modern Thomas Paine. Beck is I hear writing an update to Common Sense. I'll bet anything that if Beck has read any Paine, it's probably just Common Sense which was written in early 1776 and provided an argument against monarchy and separation from Britain.

If Beck were to read Paine's The Rights of Man written in 1794, he'd find a much more radical Thomas Paine. Beck would probably call Paine a socialist or a fascist or whatever other term that he doesn't fully understand that he chooses to throw out as an epithet. Paine, who was the only one of the Founding Fathers born in Britain (Alex Hamilton was born in Bermuda) and one of the few that had a working class background, has been for most of US history really been the forgotten Founder. In part that's due to Paine's atheism and the radicalism he espoused during his French sojourn. Teddy Roosevelt would call Paine "a filthy little atheist." While on occasion American politicians of the left such as Henry Wallace and Eugene Debs would cite Paine, the right generally ignored or outright dismissed Paine. That change when Ronald Reagan quoted Paine in his 1981 Inaugural Address. Reagan quoted "We have it in our power to begin the world over again." That's from The American Crisis, a series of pamphlets that Paine wrote beginning in the Autumn of 1776 as Washington retreated across New Jersey after the Battle of New York.

If Paine were alive today, I'm sure that he would be bemused by the right's attempt to usurp him but I have to think that he would be mortified by Glenn Beck's attempt to reinvent what cannot be reinvented. Thomas Paine may have been born in England, Thomas Paine may have taken up the quill on behalf of the cause of American liberty but in the end the legacy of Thomas Paine belongs to the cause of human freedom, a concept that is beyond the grasp of the feeble mind of Glenn Beck.

by Charles Lemos 2009-04-11 04:11PM | 0 recs
Re: great post

Great comment.  Only problem is the assumption that Glenn Beck reads.

by fogiv 2009-04-11 09:49PM | 0 recs
Re: great post

Well said.

And similarly with his (and the right's) appropriation of Jefferson (see his inane pirate rant).

I know that 'ownership' of the country's symbols is a highly contested area, but it would be nice if they knew what they were talking about . . .

by vadasz 2009-04-12 02:49AM | 0 recs
Re: great post

It is such a bizarre mindset to think that other people getting married is going to bring down civilization.

But not surprising; the same sort of fears were often expressed - by educated people, no less - in the earlier decades of the 20th century regarding immigration and inter-racial marriage. The fabric of our society would be weakened and eventually destroyed by "mongrelization."  Gay is the new yellow or black, and the fear is the same - that they will mingle with us - with our sons and daughters - and thus adulterate the purity of our group, which will be disastrous to our nation, since the natural superiority of our group is self-evident (our group is, at the same time, both superior and very frail and vulnerable!)

by Rob in Vermont 2009-04-11 06:15AM | 0 recs
So Dramatic

One election is won between an arguable socialist and the first African American president and the ideals this country was founded on are failed?  You complain, like me, about Bush, but when Obama does the same thing you cheer.  

What guides your decisions(besides politicians)?  

I am sorry, but the majority of the people at these tea parties stand to see tax increases before tax decreases with the policies they are asking for.  You see they want ownership in this country and feel it is wrong for the few to pay for, and therefor run, this country.  The only way to take back control of Washington is to take ownership of it with a fair taxation on all.  Once people have a share on what DC spends its money on, spending can be brought into line again and the special interests will lose their grip.

You misunderstand why the Republicans have been so disliked.  Half the country followed behind the democrat party in hating them while the other half split with half blind followers and half with eyes wide opened who see how Bush and all of Washington is brainwashed with Keynesian economic policy.

You ignore how the Fed, through its updated directive to loosen the money supply whenever unemployment goes over 3%, lead to a huge bubble.  You disregard any argument proving the GSE's involvement in our current crisis.  Even the only progressive argument of lax regulation of the finacial arena is being ignored in favor of saving the big companies and exerting control over them.

What is the quickest way to shrink the middle class?  Cause inflation.  

When the goal seems to be have 90% of the population equal in poverty with the remaining 10% being the ruling class, how can you say you have new ideas?

You talk of solutions, but on energy Obama (incidently McCain wasn't too different, they both were for cap n trade) wants to make all forms of energy more expensive.  You and I both know there is no magic bullet to "save the planet".  It is funny how the market can be so vilified, but both parties understand it works.  The true goal is for everyone(but the ruling class) to use less energy.

Demand side economics have hurt our economy, but it is not the end of the world.  Only politicians use these "crisis's" to centralize power.

You must remember some reason why you came to this country, it is about time we stop trying to change the country and we get on track to fix Washington.

FYI - The gay rights issue is actually a step back toward federalism.  States rights is becoming popular again and the constitution still is held high in most circles.  Hell I think Glenn Beck even praised it in Vermont on those grounds.

by Classical Liberal 2009-04-10 08:19PM | 0 recs
Re: So Dramatic

The people at the tea parties care a lot more about ideology than policy. These aren't fiscal conservatives, they're social conservatives. The deadenders, the Obama conspiracy folk. They talk a good game about the economy, but if you cornered them, you'd learn the truth.

by vcalzone 2009-04-10 09:27PM | 0 recs
Re: So Dramatic

Here you go, video from one of the Tea Parties. In this one, a man thinks that Obama is the product of a 50 year conspiracy by communists. He goes on to blame George Soros and thinks that cable boxes have been set up by the govt to brainwash Americans. Then after than the crowd chimes in and it really gets going.

The Fifty Year Conspiracy.

This Tea Party was held in Copley, Ohio. Outside Akron.

by Charles Lemos 2009-04-10 10:42PM | 0 recs
Re: So Dramatic

Where did you get they where social conservatives?  
I really have not seen that anywhere.  I think you are dead wrong.  

While there is a lose national movement it is based on individual liberty and each party is independently run.

You might be right about ideology over policy, but  what is wrong with that?  It is hardly republican events, many events are asking republican politicians not to come.  The ideology is capitalism, limited government, and individual liberty.  

Instead of allowing your opinions to be formed by others, why don't you read about the events in your city.  I am sure there is one planned in your area.  All politics is local and this centralizing of power which has been increasing under Bush and hyper accelerated under the President is not good for the country or its people.

by Classical Liberal 2009-04-11 05:59AM | 0 recs
Re: So Dramatic

Considering Obama has cut most of their taxes in the stimulus, why exactly would these people be out there on tax day? did they protest the Bush tax cuts? No. Did they protest the Bush bailout? No. They are out there protesting Obama, based on strange conspiracy theories that no fiscal conservative with brains would embrace.

by Lolis 2009-04-11 06:45AM | 0 recs
These events are not focused on Obama

Please elaborate, I have no idea what you are talking about.

Look...those that pay - control.  You see it with AIG and it is no different with only taxing the top 5% of the population.  These events are asking for a fair tax and as I said before it would mean that the people at these events would actually pay more until everyone has an ownership in government, then people will demand less spending and accountability in Washington.  

You obviously have no idea.  These same people did scream about the Bush tax cuts or more appropriately about the lack in spending reduction to go along with them.  

Oh expert on "fiscal conservatism", whatever that means, what "strange conspiracies" are you referring to?  Limited government, strong states rights, equality under the law, individual liberties?  

by Classical Liberal 2009-04-11 08:12AM | 0 recs
Re: These events are not focused on Obama

You have no idea about any of this, do you.

by Jess81 2009-04-11 04:09PM | 0 recs
Re: These events are not focused on Obama

I know Michael Steele is not invited.  I know the GOP representatives that are going voted against the bailouts.  I know Republicans have worked in conjunction with the Democrats in centralizing power and welding it to get their way.  I know since Theodore Roosevelt the Republican Party has been just as "Progressive" has the democrats.  I know the people have continuously lost there voice in Washington.  I know both parties have drinkin the Keynesian cool aid.  I know Obama is following Bush's lead.  What do you know about?

by Classical Liberal 2009-04-11 07:06PM | 0 recs
Re: So Dramatic

Well, the CBO predicts we will have deficits totaling around $9 trillion over the next 10 years, so it's not too hard to figure out taxes will be going up for everybody.

by tpeichel 2009-04-11 06:18PM | 0 recs
Re: So Dramatic

You could have fit all that stupid into many less words.  

by lojasmo 2009-04-11 05:21AM | 0 recs
Re: So Dramatic

Thanks for your thoughtful retort.  Love the depth of your political discourse.  

by Classical Liberal 2009-04-11 06:00AM | 0 recs
No one wants to play Ayn Rand was right

and Reagan was the greatest president ever with you right now, CL...

If you want to pontificate on the beauties of Trickle Down (I call it, pissing on our heads) Economics, I think this is really the blog site for you:

by WashStateBlue 2009-04-11 12:25PM | 0 recs
What do you get when you don't have trickle down?

Demand side economics and Consumerism (Sure fits well with the green message when the only way the country can function is if people continue to buy crap they don't need - lol.)  

by Classical Liberal 2009-04-11 12:33PM | 0 recs
A functioning economy and healthy democracy.

by Jess81 2009-04-11 04:10PM | 0 recs
Re: A functioning economy and healthy democracy.

Until the continuous string of bubbles get to big and the citizens can no longer buy crap they don't need on debt and the whole thing comes crashing down as the government continues to devalue the currency.  Does history mean nothing to you?

by Classical Liberal 2009-04-11 06:55PM | 0 recs
Re: So Dramatic

I don't argue with idiocy.

by lojasmo 2009-04-15 02:52PM | 0 recs
Re: So Dramatic

"When the goal seems to be have 90% of the population equal in poverty with the remaining 10% being the ruling class, how can you say you have new ideas?"

What a preposterously ridiculous but revealing statement.  Could you be any more melodramatic or wrong, or, for that matter, dittoheadish?  We are not going to see even close to European socio-economic conditions (Germany, Scandinavian countries, Netherlands, et al) during the two Obama terms, and none of those countries embrace a doctrine of creating "90% of the population equal in poverty to the remaining 10% being the ruling class."

Conservative Democrats would be well advised to purchase less of the senseless hyperbole spouted by right-wing pundits and engage more in critical, logical thinking.

by devilrays 2009-04-11 07:03AM | 0 recs
Quit trying to politize this

Stop pretending this is only about Obama.  Your defensiveness is not allowing you to think and this has been a bi-partisan parade toward centralized power.

Why don't you think through how collectivist ideas will be implemented and enforced?  What topic would you like to discuss?

by Classical Liberal 2009-04-11 08:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Quit trying to politize this

But it is all about Obama.  None of these groups had anything to say when Bush was increasing spending on a scale far beyond anything Obama has done.  None of them were organizing protests when Clinton implemented the marginal tax rates that Obama wants to return to.  And if they're simply for a regressive tax, then why start the protesting now?  Did any of them send tea bags to Ronald Reagan?  Of course not.  If we are to take them at their word then they would have been consistent, but since they haven't been we have to draw our own conclusions.

What do you, Glenn Beck, Stormfront, and Rush Limbaugh all have in common, besides thinking these demonstrations are hunky dory?  You all hate Obama.

by Jess81 2009-04-11 04:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Quit trying to politize this

Correction, the Bush administration ran deficits that maxed out in the $400 billion range, while the CBO estimates President Obama will run deficits in excess of $1 trillion and over the next 10 years, each year the deficit will be higher than any year during President Bush's tenure.

by tpeichel 2009-04-11 05:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Quit trying to politize this

Way to use fuzzy numbers.  Are you aware that Bush did not include war spending while Obama does?  Maybe you should compare apples to apples here.

by devilrays 2009-04-11 07:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Quit trying to politize this

President Obama just asked for an a supplemental  $83 billion for the war, exactly like President Bush did. cle.aspx?id=53886

WASHINGTON, April 10, 2009 - President Barack Obama yesterday forwarded the White House's $83.4-billion war supplemental appropriations request to the U.S. House of Representatives.
"We face a security situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan that demands urgent attention," Obama stated in a letter addressed to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. "The Taliban is resurgent, and al-Qaida threatens America from its safe haven along the Afghan-Pakistan border."

by tpeichel 2009-04-11 09:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Quit trying to politize this

Go ahead and read it for yourself.

A little tidbit in case you don't want to follow the link:

The cumulative deficit from 2010 to 2019 under the President's proposals would total $9.3 trillion, compared with a cumulative deficit of $4.4 trillion projected under the current-law assumptions embodied in CBO's baseline. Debt held by the public would rise, from 41 percent of GDP in 2008 to 57 percent in 2009 and then to 82 percent of GDP by 2019 (compared with 56 percent of GDP in that year under baseline assumptions).

by tpeichel 2009-04-11 09:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Quit trying to politize this

No these people work and don't protest, but they have been boycotting the GOP.  And yes I did complain about Bush spending.  You are ignoring the fact that the GOP lost many of those people, do you not remember Bush's poll numbers?  This isn't because he was too conservative.  You are the one being inconsistent.  You fail to see the similarities of Bush - Obama.

by Classical Liberal 2009-04-11 06:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Quit trying to politize this

Can you address my post AT ALL without the loony hyperbole?  As I said in the previous post, Obama won't come even close to European "equality" situations, and there is not a single country in which the stated goal or the practiced reality is to "have 90% of the population equal in poverty with the remaining 10% being the ruling class."  That was just you having a senseless right-wing Glenn Beck outburst.  Try to think without the spoon fed Limbaugh/Hannity talking points for once, and even you would realize how ridiculous and laughable the hyperbole quoted above truly is.  

by devilrays 2009-04-11 07:46PM | 0 recs
Every time

I read your comments, I feel that I am back in graduate school working on my dissertation reading material out of the 1870s.

I get the feeling you were born a century and a half too late. Don't misunderstand me, you argue your case well but the problem is that the world you envision no longer exists and isn't likely to return in the near future.

by Charles Lemos 2009-04-11 04:19PM | 0 recs
That has always been my arguement with CL

His ideas for a libertarian gov would be great if this was agrian Virgina circa 1813...

What has happened since, that folks like the CATO and the Ayn Rand true believers have to ignore is, the invisible hand is not free anymore, because of the ability of the wealthy to make policy that shifts the risks to their favor, there IS no self- correction possible in the scheme we have now?

AIG got too big too fail by paying politicians to change the laws that would have KEPT them from getting that big after the disaster that happened in the 1930s.

One of the ONLY honest moments I have seen on CNBC in the last years was a reporter for the Economist, no left wing rag, state in response to Kudlow's wailing about socialism was...

(this was in response to Larry claiming that bailing out Long Term Capital Management was NOT welfare for the corporations, it was "neccessary business policy...")

"Larry, most of the world knows America already has socialism. It's just socialism for the corportations and the very rich, while the middle class taxpayers are forced to play in a loaded free market economy that is leveraged to the rich already...."

by WashStateBlue 2009-04-12 10:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Grow Up America

I think if progressives are going to move forward we need to stop obsessing over idiots like Glenn Beck.  They're not in charge.  And we're not the opposition party anymore.  We're the governing party of the United States, and it's our duty to make sure our citizens are provided basic economic and domestic security. Mocking Beck and Tea-Bagers, as easy as it is, is not our job as people interested in the majority party governing our nation.

by West of the Fields 2009-04-10 08:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Grow Up America

It is important to point out the McCarthy's of our time, regardless of their political affiliation, if any.   This faux-populism is different from the loudmouth Morton Downey Jr. bringing his brand of populist rage to a very limited audience.  Between them all the bloviating gasbags can shape policies, primary politicians to drive out moderates, and, in extreme cases, cause disaster by scaring the stuffing out of already seriously deranged right-wing nutbags by making them believe that we are embarking on a dark phase of bootstrapped Nazi-like enforcers coming to confiscate their guns, obliterate their voting rights, take away the voices of their right-wing radio darlings, are about to abolish the Dollar as our currency, set up internment camps for conservatives, and so on.  

It not only important to make note of this current phase of conservatise derangement (their grief stage has now moved from denial to anger on their way to depression and acceptance) but to point it out to the world.  The media can't be entrusted with this task, as they love themselves ratings-creating controversy and believe in equal time and creed given even to nutcases to appear impartial (except for FoxNews.)

by devilrays 2009-04-11 07:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Grow Up America

I feel for them, if only because it happened so quickly. One day their viewpoint was not only acceptable, it was the norm. And then things just... shifted. Like someone flipped a switch. And suddenly everything was different.

The reasons behind this are pretty simple, of course, there had been such grassroots pressure to move in this direction that by the time the government and media came around, most of the people were already there. In 2006, it seemed like a pipe dream to expect Americans to put Democrats in charge.

by vcalzone 2009-04-10 09:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Grow Up America


The Corporate Media pandered to them, making them believe their rhetoric about representing the majority was actually true.

They believed their own hype, basically.

by Bush Bites 2009-04-11 03:36AM | 0 recs
So its okay?

They only can expect pity from the new administration? I suppose they might just all end their misery right now on national TV.

Mass seppaku?

The US doesn't want to make widgets anymore.

This country is only for the heartless.

All others are not wanted?

by architek 2009-04-11 05:43AM | 0 recs
Obam and McCain

seem to have both hailed from different branches of the same "party".

We have a defacto one party system, with a massive PR effort to convince us otherwise.

by architek 2009-04-11 05:45AM | 0 recs
Re: Obam and McCain

"Like petulant children, an increasing number of conservatives architeks wail incessantly about non-existent threats and bizarre world government conspiracies."

Seriously architek, with your last diary and recent comments you really are treading into black helicopter territory.  You're the left wing version of the mindset that Lemos is talking about in this post.

by thatrangeofshadesbetweenredandbluestuff 2009-04-11 08:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Obam and McCain

The hilarious thing is that the one guy who rec'd you did so because he thinks that both Obama and McCain are socialists.

Like I said, none of you guys agree on anything, except that you all hate the same guy.  That's the organizing principle behind these demonstrations.

by Jess81 2009-04-11 04:18PM | 0 recs
They've been taught to be afraid

"Charles, you can see the fear in their eyes. They have lost their country and they know it."

They have been taught to be afraid. I grew up in a house full of Republicans. I was taught to be afraid of different views, races, religions, etc and to defend yourself when you feel like you're being threatened by them, and by threaten that includes outnumbered.

by DTOzone 2009-04-11 12:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Grow Up America

So you all support granting amnesty to people who violated our laws came here illegally? We should just give in to Mexico's insane demand to let their people stay here just because? Wrong....ana the majority of americans dont agree with amnesty. What does it say to all those who came here legally and had to wait years for citizenship after following the rules?

I know the democratic way is to just make everyone people are utterly clueless...

by adb67 2009-04-11 05:43AM | 0 recs
Supply and demand - during depressions

Nations always cut back on immigration durng recessions. Its insane not to.

Seriously. The only explanation for doing that would be that the leaders want to keep wages down and people unemployed.

The Obama healthcare policy backs that theory up. If healthcare is tied to disappearing jobs, anybody with a sick family member is terrified.

Its the Obama PRers theories that are ridiculous, mine are backed up by solid economics.

Supply and Demand

by architek 2009-04-11 05:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Grow Up America

Ut is a dicey and divisive issue, but the public CERTAINLY does not support rounding up all 12 to 14 Million illegal immigrants in this country, processing them and sending them all home.  That is a right-wing pipe dream you might as well forget real soon.  It would NEVER happen that way, not with any administration in any setting (even if the GOP held any or all power.) 2007-04-18-illegal-immigrants_N.htm

Public favors giving illegal immigrants a break

A USA TODAY/Gallup Poll taken last weekend found that 78% of respondents feel people now in the country illegally should be given a chance at citizenship.

by devilrays 2009-04-11 08:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Grow Up America

If they are allowed to stay than at least they should be required to pay back taxes on all wages earned. They shoudl also be required to identify their employers who will be subject to taxes and fines for taxes not paid.

by adb67 2009-04-12 04:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Grow Up America

Fear of the Hispanic immigrant is really a belief in the decline of the American "Afrikaaner," the white race in America. Immigration reform is really a racist issue.

Thanks for this diary. It may just take a Columbian to get us to self-reflect on just what America is all about and just where the antiHispanic, i.e., anti-immigration forces are coming from. The fight since Johnson's Civil Rights Act of 1964 started it, goes on.

by MainStreet 2009-04-11 05:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Grow Up America

Immigration reform is a racist issue? The desire and need for our country to secure and defend its borders is racist. The  country needs to insure that those who come here are documented and follow legal requirements to become permanent residents and citizens? How is that racist? Why because you think everyone has a right to come to this country and use taxpayer provided services? I think not. I have no issue with those who come here legally.....stop with your racist nonsense.....

by adb67 2009-04-12 04:45AM | 0 recs
Beck is filling a slot for the wing nuts...

Rush, while he is a great curmedgeon ideologue for the wacky right, has a personal life that is not acceptable. Multiple divorces, drug addiction, his bust with enough Viagra to float a weekend party at the Playboy Mansion...

But, Beck, now, HE is not only even more loony then Rush, his personal life passes muster...

Yes, he divorced his first wife, but he was an alcoholic then...and the Conversion to Mormon IS problematic, but probably better to be pious then non-religious like Rush...

I mean, he's not ideal like Sarah:white, multiple mom, born again,and hot enough to send Rich Lowry into a swoon; but he will do!

by WashStateBlue 2009-04-11 12:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Beck is filling a slot for the wing nuts...

I didn't know that Beck converted to Mormonism.

I am torn as to whether his antics are sincere or an act. Listening to him, I feel I am hearing a five year old speak or alternatively someone with advanced dementia, basically either an untrained mind or a diseased one.

by Charles Lemos 2009-04-11 04:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Beck is filling a slot for the wing nuts...

I think about 75% is the real deal and the rest is an act.

by tpeichel 2009-04-11 06:23PM | 0 recs


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