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Letters to the Editor

Subterfuge

June 20, 2009

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To the editor:

President Barack Obama said upon entering the White House his would be only the most transparent administration, a vague reference to the Bush administration who was accused of being anything but transparent.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is upset, claiming the Congressional Budget Office is forecasting the worst-case scenario with the government budget and spending which we must assume this administration and Congress feel is completely warranted and necessary and which will have no negative consequence for future generations.

Back-room meetings, last-minute decisions, firings and votes are commonplace now in this Congress and White House. Every move, every day, comes as news to an American public overwhelmed with our government’s breathless agenda of change. The corrupt liberal mainstream media, which is slavishly devoted to Obama’s success and have very few questions and an apparent aversion to the truth, even appears to be a bit overwhelmed but still performing their service to Obama.

A different word comes to mind when I think of the Obama administration: subterfuge.

Comments

Brent Garner 5 years, 4 months ago

Permit me to provide some evidence. Three IGs terminated under questionable circumstances and in probably violation of a law Dear Leader voted for. The word for that is corruption.

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grammaddy 5 years, 4 months ago

Nancy-Tom your disdain for our President is disgusting.You seem to think you are so much smarter than he is.If you can do a better job, why don't you run??As the saying goes..Lead, follow, or GET OUT OF THE WAY!!! Your constant trashing of Obama is old and stale.

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Ralph Reed 5 years, 4 months ago

Tom, This would be the start of an adequate article, but as it is, your letter is just chock full of logical fallacies. The first paragraph is adequate, but is simply an appeal to ignorance. I see the second paragraph as bandwagon and probabilistic fallacy. The third paragraph is simply a red herring. The last sentence is argumentum ad hominem directed against the current administration as a whole.

I say this earns a D-, simply because you did turn something in.


Brent, Your response is "poisoning the well," simply an extension of argumentum ad hominem and red herring. Please rewrite.


Please refer to the handout found at http://www.fallacyfiles.org/taxonomy.html.


Gentlemen, this is simply an attempt to improve the quality of debate on the LJW foums, nothing less.

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jaywalker 5 years, 4 months ago

" your disdain for our President is disgusting.You seem to think you are so much smarter than he is.If you can do a better job, why don't you run??As the saying goes..Lead, follow, or get out of the way!!! Your constant trashing of Obama is old and stale."

Irony. Hypocrisy. Idiocy. A triple threat! Change the name in the last sentence, grammaddy, and that post could be directed at you just a few months ago.

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Ralph Reed 5 years, 4 months ago

Thank you Liberty-One for your argumentum ad hominem anonymous critique of what I wrote. Read it again and you'll see I simply expounded on your first post. Please keep in mind that unless there is evidence used logically there is no conversation.

I must say though that your 1153 leads me to believe you don't want improvement in the quality of debate on the LJW forums.

No harm, no foul however.


Tom, I could say the same thing about the Patriot Act that you said about the stimulus bill. Brent still has no evidence.


I'm me. Who are you behind your hood of anonymity?

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Ralph Reed 5 years, 4 months ago

Tom, sorry about hijacking your thread.


Liberty, I don't think I said anything about proof, controlled experiments and the like. Empirical evidence obtained by experiment is obviously not available when discussing politics, economics, religion and so on. I think we're all aware of that. My point is being able to engage a logical debate; I believe there is a difference.

The only Latin phrase I've used consistently is argumentum ad hominem, essentially defined as attacking the person, not what the person said or how they said it. I use that phrase quite often here and you're the only one recently I remember questioning my use of it. Why is that?

As a note, your paraphrase of my tag line doesn't really follow as you're still posting anonymously.


I'm me. Who are you behind your hood of anonymity?

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Ralph Reed 5 years, 4 months ago

Tom, I'm leaving this thread as it's becoming a discussion of me, rather than what you said.

My apologies.


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Roadkill_Rob 5 years, 4 months ago

It sounds like Tommy boy is suffering from delusions of granduer.

We like ourself today, don't we Tom?

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Kathy Getto 5 years, 4 months ago

Ah, Ralph, not many here understand the rules of debate and often resort to argumentum ad hominem. It is out of your control if a few mistake your intelligence and clear understanding of debate, for arrogance.

Here are a few friendly tips for those that struggle with form: Avoid using absolutes Don't disagree with obvious truths Attack the idea, not the person Avoid exaggeration If it is an opinion, say so Don't represent opinion as fact Keep your perspective, you are just debating, right? :-)

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Flap Doodle 5 years, 4 months ago

In other news:

"The Obama administration is fighting to block access to names of visitors to the White House, taking up the Bush administration argument that a president doesn't have to reveal who comes calling to influence policy decisions.

Despite President Barack Obama's pledge to introduce a new era of transparency to Washington, and despite two rulings by a federal judge that the records are public, the Secret Service has denied msnbc.com's request for the names of all White House visitors from Jan. 20 to the present. It also denied a narrower request by the nonpartisan watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, which sought logs of visits by executives of coal companies. "

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/31373407/

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Roadkill_Rob 5 years, 4 months ago

What did I say that was hypocritical, Tom?

Should I take lessons from you and accuse people of Bush Derangement Syndrome while suffering from Obama Derangement Syndrome?

Are you so brainwashed that you don't see this?

I'll listen to whatever the right wing media has to say, but I get tired of the doom and gloom fear-mongering and conspiracy theories. That seemed to work when Bush was president but the American people are sick of it and don't believe it any more.

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Godot 5 years, 4 months ago

Here is an example of the subterfuge and hypocrisy practiced by the Obama administration:

On Monday, Obama told the AMA: "No matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise to the American people: If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period. If you like your health care plan, you'll be able to keep your health care plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what. .....If you like what you're getting, keep it. Nobody is forcing you to shift."

As scrutiny and analysis of Obama's health care revolution progressed throughout the week, it became quite clear that Obama was not telling the truth when he made those statements.

On Friday, we get this, "White House officials suggest the president's rhetoric shouldn't be taken literally: What Obama really means is that government isn't about to barge in and force people to change insurance."

Reminds me of when Obama said 95% of citizens will get a tax cut, and no one making under $250,000 will see a tax increase, not one dime, and when he said we were facing the worst financial crisis in history and the only way out was to pass his 1000 page stimulus plan without knowing what was in it, and how he said he did not want to run the car companies, and how he says now that he does not want to control the economy.

Now I understand. It is not that Obama lies; it is that we are stupid enough to believe him in the first place. His own staff tells us we are not to take his grandiose promises "literally." He's just playing us.

Please tell me, how will we know when we should take Obama literally, and when we should just wink and nod and say, "yeah, right." I suggest we should do the latter every time Obama speaks.

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tangential_reasoners_anonymous 5 years, 4 months ago

Liberty: "Basically this amounts to a heap of unsupported conclusions."

,;-D

... "unsupported conclusions" ... I'm fertilizing my garden with 'em.

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feeble 5 years, 4 months ago

bkgarner (Brent Garner) says…

Permit me to provide some evidence. Three IGs terminated under questionable circumstances and in probably violation of a law Dear Leader voted for.

You are remarkably misinformed.

One IG has been fired, at the request of his parent organization's bipartisan board of directors. One IG working on a temporary six month contract was not renewed, once again, by the parent organization. No other IGs have been terminated or let go, and none of the terminations have been done at the request of the Administration.

Walpin: "The White House's decision to fire the AmeriCorps inspector general was set in motion by a unanimous request it received from the board of the Corporation for National and Community Service, which asked the White House to review the IG's performance, according to a board member.

According to the White House's letter, the board's request for a review of Walpin's performance was unanimous. The co-chairs of the board are Alan Solomont, a Boston entrepreneur who has been a major Democratic fundraiser, and Steven Goldsmith, the Republican former mayor of Indianapolis. Its other members also come from both parties."

http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/06/americorps_board_member_we_initiated_ig_firing.php#more

2.Barofsky: The second IG is Neil M. Barofsky, but he hasn't been fired. Rather Treasury has requested a legal opinion stemming from a FOIA request from Fox that was mirriored by Barofsky.

FOX news filed a FOIA request for documents relating to the AIG bailout, and got about 10,000 pages of documents that Treasury heavily redacted based upon attorney-client privilege.

When the IG asked for the documents, Treasury asked Justice for an opinion on whether giving them over to the IG would waive their ability to claim the privilege against FOIA claims.

An April 7th memo from Barofsky made it crystal clear that Treasury and SIGTARP were working this out through normal channels. Conservatives are trying to foment a scandal between Treasury and SIGTARP.

  1. Gwynn: The other IG is Judith Gwynn, who was informed by ITC Chairwoman Shara L. Aranoff (a Bush Appointee) that her contract would not be renewed. Gwynn's is an interesting case for the following reason:

"Gwynn is a career ITC employee who previously held positions with the IG's office and the budget office. Agency officials appointed her acting IG in January 2008 and have extended three temporary six-month contracts to her since then. Her current agreement expires next month. Though Aranoff terminated her contract as IG, Gwynn can apply for another position at the agency if she chooses to do so, because she is a career employee."

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/federal-eye/2009/06/third_case_of_watchdog_interfe.html

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georgiahawk 5 years, 4 months ago

Yawn! Tom, you said you didn't give it a thought, it just "came to me". This is the understatement of the blog!

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jumpin_catfish 5 years, 4 months ago

Tom, its called Chicago politics and we ain't seen nothing yet. The liberals love Obama and their love blinds them to the methods this guy used in Illinois and now he is using as the leader of the free world. Hope and change........excuse me, I just threw up a little in my mouth. Hope and change if your deranged.

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sandersen 5 years, 4 months ago

Funny, why has nothing that feeble posted at 4:22pm in reference to the supposed "IG firing-fury-subterfuge-escapades" been refuted or addressed?

Just curious...

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Godot 5 years, 4 months ago

In response to Feeble, Obama hath investigated himself and found himself, once again, not only to be innocent of any wrongdoing, but to be transcendent in his glory.

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sandersen 5 years, 4 months ago

Why the necessity to throw in a religious connotation, or slur? I hath found your response to refute nor address a single point of the post that was referenced...

Still curious...

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feeble 5 years, 4 months ago

Godot (Anonymous) says…

In response to Feeble, Obama hath investigated himself and found himself, once again, not only to be innocent of any wrongdoing, but to be transcendent in his glory.

What are you, waiting for a brain? All of this was instigated by other actors, many of whom are Bush appointees.

I gladly admit, I would like to see more details from the AmeriCorps board on Walpin, but even with the information and official documents available, none of the current goings-on rise above the level of standard bureaucratic wrangling. But since you're so interested in the OIG and corruption, how about we talk about Janet Rehquist's tenure in OIG-HHS:

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/01/22/eveningnews/main537492.shtml

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/03/04/politics/main542782.shtml

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/17138667/bushs_lap_dogs

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bearded_gnome 5 years, 4 months ago

Walpin: “The White House's decision to fire the AmeriCorps inspector general was set in motion by a unanimous request it received from the board of the Corporation for National and Community Service, which asked the White House to review the IG's performance, according to a board member.

According to the White House's letter, the board's request for a review of Walpin's performance was unanimous. The co-chairs of the board are Alan Solomont, a Boston entrepreneur who has been a major Democratic fundraiser, and Steven Goldsmith, the Republican former mayor of Indianapolis. Its other members also come from both parties.”

---immaterial. even the junior Senator of Missouri admitted that Walpin's firing looked wrong, and violated the applicable law. a law, BTW, that Obama voted for while in the Senate.
violated because it mandates for example that the whitehouse give congress thirty days notice of intent to fire an IG.

they did none of the kind.

so, membership of the board, unanymity, all irrelevant. this is obama's violation of his own law.


Tom, I agree with the sense of your letter but agree that some hard facts would've strengthened it.

also, my experience with Ralph Reed makes me pretty sure he's not one of the "zealot" or nutty left loons.
you may recall I caught one heckuva lot of flaming from them on my blog "fired for being conservative" including flaming me for not posting what I didn't know, I had an ulterior motive, I am just like Rush and Ann (hilarious), ad nauseum. Ralph was one of the few sane voices posting respectfully from the left.


I am me behind my anonymity, and boy am I happy after all that amazing flaming.

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lctchr1 5 years, 4 months ago

Boy howdy, our government (going back several administrations), has done an excellent job fooling and dumbing down its citizens. We spend all of our time and effort battling back and forth. Only a few are taking up the fight that should be fought. Our system is broken. Neither party cares about fixing our very real and very serious problems. We need term limits. We need an end to "career politicians". We (citizens) need to hold them (our elected officials) accountable. Instead, we will just waste time bickering back and forth, and nothing will ever get done. My husband and I, and our two young children, thank you all!

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grammaddy 5 years, 4 months ago

Okay, I'm sorry. I will stop trashing Bush when Obama uses lies and deception to get us into an unnecessary war and sends our troops to fight it without the proper equipment. Or when he waits to come off of vacation while New Orleans drowns. Or when he sits reading"My Pet Goat" while our nation is under attack. Or when he gives the entire Bin Laden family safe passage out of the country. .Any other reasons I should stop. Don't worry I'll wait.

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vega 5 years, 4 months ago

I don't share Tom's views at all, but he looks like a perfect candidate for a new Kansas governor - Sam B. is an amateur compared to T-Nancy.

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