Letters to the Editor

Facts lacking

June 13, 2010


To the editor:

I opened up the editorial/opinion page on Wednesday to see the following highlighted in big bold letters on the Cal Thomas opinion piece: “The president’s declining polls numbers reveal the disillusionment that has begun to sink in among the politically unsophisticated.”

So I read the column. I may or may not be among “the politically unsophisticated” but I’m smart enough to know that not once was a poll cited to support this statement.

The only citation was Politico. Now, I don’t know if it’s Mr. Politico or Mrs. Politico, or Ms. Politico, or Master Politico or what.

Who knows how reliable this “Politico” reference is.

I may or may not be “politically unsophisticated” but I know when I’m being hornswoggled with distortion by indirection.

I enjoy opinion pieces, I just like opinion to be based on some facts that I can verify. This column seems to be lacking in said facts.

For the record, I generally look at the Real Clear Politics website a couple of times a week. I just checked the numbers. Obama is at 47.5 percent approval. About where he’s been for over six months.


Tom Shewmon 8 years ago

Fred's right. The lamestream media actually IS doing a fairly good job with damage control for Obama. I could not agree more. The Anointed One nose-dived hard and fast from about 69% to 47% the first year, but the NBC's and CNN's of this great nation were able to stop the bleeding--for now. This won't be the case in a year, a can assure you.

Maddy Griffin 8 years ago

And you've been predicting doom and gloom for years.Did you ever come up with anything to back you up on that "He's shredding the Constitution" remark you made yesterday. Yes, I'm still waiting.

rtwngr 8 years ago

How about the signing of a healthcare bill that penalizes a person with additional taxes if they choose not to purchase health insurance?

KSManimal 8 years ago

John McCain...remember him? He proposed taxing folks $5,000 more if they didn't buy private health insurance. Yet, no outcry from the rightwingers then...? I've been waiting a couple years for one of you to explain that to me.

Or how about the fact that I am "penalized" if I don't loan a few thousand to the finance company that manages flex spending accounts.... If I choose to do that, I "save" income tax on that money; if not - "penalty". Call it what you want, but the government has been "penalizing" people in order to manipulate financial behaviors for a long, long time.

My hypothesis is that the right wing didn't care about this...until a black guy was president; then suddenly it amounts to "shredding the constitution". I'm waiting for someone to falsify that hypothesis.

Still waiting......

Maddy Griffin 8 years ago

Me,too.Would you like some coffee while you wait? I think it might be a while.Cream or sugar ?

Maddy Griffin 8 years ago

The Constitution is not finite. Our forefathers set it up to be amended because they knew they could not see far enough into the future.I think healthcare should be a right along with education. And yes I do think he had a right to oversea the re-structuring of the auto- making industry. It was the taxpayers money after all. What solutions are you offering?

Maddy Griffin 8 years ago

No solutions. Just as I figured. More name-calling. And why on earth would anyone take Woody Allen's remarks seriously.?

tomatogrower 8 years ago

Tom, read the part below about promoting the general welfare. How is not making sure that people have good health care not part of the constitution? But I suppose the new Texas textbook will delete that part of the constitution, since it doesn't fit their very partisan conservative views. "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence,[1] promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

Liberty275 8 years ago

General welfare and individual welfare are not the same. That's exactly the problem; the federal government should not by any stretch of the imagination control or support any individual's life.

No solutions

Solution: cut federal spending by 80% and cut taxes. Reduce the federal government to the minimum size able to satisfy it's constitutional mandate. Quit mortgaging our country to the Chinese.

ivalueamerica 8 years ago

George Bush was corrected for violating the US Constitution more times than any President in history of our country.

Liberty275 8 years ago

The latest Gallup has obama at 44%.

jafs 8 years ago

The health care bill doesn't make health care a universal right - expanding Medicare or a similar federal program funded with taxes would be more in that direction.

And, if a major corporation seeks major funding from the government, don't you think the government should have input on how it spends the money?

Just to be nice, the constitutional question is what gives the federal government the right to require that all Americans buy health insurance.

Richard Heckler 8 years ago

Cannot remember in my lifetime that a president walked into a huge pile of corruption such that the Wall Street banks were pulling off that sank this economy into disaster.

It's is odd that republicans go to any length to deny their choices Reagan/Bush/Bush/Cheney have taken our country down the economic tubes by way of war for oil,the savings and loan heist and the Wall Street bank fraudulent activity.

Repubs scream tax cuts then force taxpayers to bail out mismanaged financial institutions,GM,Chrysler etc etc etc.

Repubs scream tax cuts then march off to war for oil aka trillion dollar war for oil subsidies

Repubs scream tax cuts yet they won't leave the big government payroll with socialized medical insurance.

Repubs scream out tax cuts yet the country has lost millions upon millions of jobs under Reagan,Bush and Bush = tax cuts do not create new industry nor new jobs.

Show me how tax cuts saved millions upon millions of jobs from going abroad under the Repub Global Economy scenario. Seems like the USA contribution was the exporting of millions upon millions upon millions of USA jobs.

Explain to me how a country shipping tons and tons and tons of jobs abroad keeps america employed in such a fashion that the nations ability to generate new wealth is not curtailed?

How does anyone expect a president to fix a pile of fraud in two years? Have we lost all sense of reality?

Richard Heckler 8 years ago

Repubs scream out tax cuts yet Jeb Bush, George Bush Sr., and his son Neil Bush have all been implicated in the Savings and Loan Scandal, which cost American tax payers over $1.4 TRILLION dollars (note that this is about one quarter of our national debt).

Repubs scream out tax cuts yet Jeb Bush defaulted on a $4.56 million loan from Broward Federal Savings in Sunrise, Florida. After federal regulators closed the S&L, the office building that Jeb used the $4.56 million to finance was reappraised by the regulators at $500,000, which Bush and his partners paid. The taxpayers had to pay back the remaining 4 million plus dollars.

Repubs scream out tax cuts yet Neil Bush was the most widely targeted member of the Bush family by the press in the S&L scandal. Neil became director of Silverado Savings and Loan at the age of 30 in 1985. Three years later the institution was belly up at a cost of $1.6 billion to tax payers to bail out.

Repubs have never cut taxes NOR big government spending.

Repubs cannot live without big government tax dollars to bail out corporate america yet they spread the same old lies about wanting tax cuts and smaller government. What a load of crap!

In essence repubs are full of crap.... face it!

Stuart Evans 8 years ago

Merrill, you more than anyone, should know that Obama didn't walk into this job. He was cherry picked for this position. He is not the opposition to the corruption, he's a critical part. Yes, the Bush family is knee deep, all the way back to Prescott, just as the Kennedy's were. All of this healthcare hype, and media back and forth is a game. We are the pawns, and it's our job to be distracted.

tomatogrower 8 years ago

And the Republicans made sure he was elected, because they didn't want to clean up the mess that Bush and co. had created.

Stuart Evans 8 years ago

you don't seem to get it. There is no difference between the parties. They are all THEM, and we are not.

Richard Heckler 8 years ago


The beginning banks, the first nine, the big banks, they all got their money one day after a meeting with Henry Paulson, in which he told them, “You’re taking this money.” But after that, the process was much more convoluted. And some banks lobbied for the money.

Other banks didn’t lobby for the money but were told they were taking it. It all—what we basically concluded early on, that there was really no plan to this at all. While Treasury said that the purpose was to get credit flowing back into the system, the fact of the matter is, the way they went about this made no sense at all.

JAMES STEELE: Paulson actually called that meeting. He called the heads of those banks the night before and said, “I want you here tomorrow in Washington.” He was very vague as to what the purpose of the meeting was. But once they got there, he told them, “You are taking money. We are going to buy stock in your banks. And we need to get this economy going again.”

Some bankers objected, saying by accepting this money it would look like they were weak. Others simply said they didn’t need it.

The fact of the matter is, one of the things we concluded very early on in this whole process is that while Treasury was trying to create the image that there was widespread weakness in these banks—and then there was a credit freeze, there’s no doubt about that—the way they went about this, just throwing the money out there in hopes that that would get the economy going, is not really what this was all about.

There were just a handful of institutions that were terribly weakened. AIG the insurer, Bank of America, Citigroup, those three were clearly in very weakened form. So, many of the other big banks were not.

AMY GOODMAN: Don Barlett, this meeting of the big nine, with Vikram Pandit of Citigroup, Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase, Kenneth Lewis of Bank of America, Richard Kovacevich of Wells Fargo, John Thain of Merrill Lynch, John Mack of Morgan Stanley, Lloyd Blankfein, who succeeded Paulson as head of Goldman Sachs, Robert Kelly of the Bank of New York Mellon and Ronald Logue of State Street Bank, went to the secretary’s conference room. It was even difficult to find this information out. But what did he lay out for them there? And how does Paulson, who was former head of one of these banks, fit into it, as well?

DONALD BARLETT: Well, reduced to its simplest terms, he laid in front of them, each of them, a sheet of paper and saying, “Write on this the amount of money you’re going to take, and you are going to take it. Otherwise,” the implication was, “regulators will be looking at you and finding something wrong there. This is one of those areas in which you have no choice. By the end of the day, you will sign that you’re taking this amount of money. You know, call your boards, do whatever you need to do, but you will take the money.”


Richard Heckler 8 years ago

If anyone is truly concerned about economics and jobs for america it is likely anyone paying attention would NEVER vote republican again. Since Watergate the repub party has been a lot about high crimes. Iran-Contra illegal sale of weapons under Reagan-Bush is one more example.

If you study the facts you likely would not vote republican for several decades.

Study these facts and you will understand my position. Repubs are not repubs. They became radical right wing in 1980 and never looked back. All the while ripping apart our economy and watching millions upon millions of jobs go abroad.

The Global Economy and Reagnomics are absolute failures for the USA!!!

This is what I mean:
1. The Reagan/ Bush Savings and Loan Heist http://rationalrevolution0.tripod.com/war/bush_family_and_the_s.htm

  1. The Bush/Cheney Wall Street Bank Fraud on Consumers http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2009/0709macewan.html

  2. What did Bush and Henry Paulson do with the $700 billion of bail out money? http://www.democracynow.org/2009/9/10/good_billions_after_bad_one_year

  3. Why did GW Bush Lie About Social Security?( This would cost taxpayers $4 trillion,place taxpayers insurance money at risk and wreck the economy) http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2005/0505orr.html

  4. Still A Bad Idea – Bush Tax Cuts - The ENTITLEMENT program for the wealthy at the expense of the middle class http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2001/0301miller.html

  5. The "tea parties" BTW are part of the wreckanomics program funded by the Koch Brothers... well known oil billionaires. These thinkers back a tax payers bill of rights which is another scheme to reward the upper 1% which is designed to wreck local and state governments: AKA The Other ENTITLEMENT Program for the Wealthy http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2005/0705rebne.html

The Tea Party is an effort to appear to the public that republicans have changed or are some grass roots organization looking for change. WRONG AGAIN. The ultra wing is still ruling the repub party behind the scenes. Nothing new about it. It's know as deception.

Richard Heckler 8 years ago

Remember Lehman Brothers was allowed to go down as it should.... as all of them should have.

Oddly on the Lehman Bros payroll was Jeb Bush and cousin George Walker.

Too many Bushes(and Bush family of politicians) = financial disasters consistently

Who is among the Bush Familiy of politicians?

Elliott Abrams / Gary Bauer / William J. Bennett / Jeb Bush /

Dick Cheney / Eliot A. Cohen / Midge Decter / Paula Dobriansky / Steve Forbes /

Aaron Friedberg / Francis Fukuyama / Frank Gaffney / Fred C. Ikle /

Donald Kagan / Zalmay Khalilzad / I. Lewis Libby / Norman Podhoretz /

Dan Quayle / Peter W. Rodman / Stephen P. Rosen / Henry S. Rowen /

Donald Rumsfeld / Vin Weber / George Weigel / Paul Wolfowitz /

Behind the scene:

Newt Gingrich / George Herbert Walker Bush / James Baker / Vice Adm John Poindexter

jaywalker 8 years ago

Wondering if there's anyone anywhere that posts with the frequency of merril only to have them all go virtually unread. It's like having huge gaps of non-white space to scroll past to get to readable material.

devobrun 8 years ago

I've noticed this too, jaywalker. I start to read merrill and I get this impersonal feeling that he is a computer program that generates democrat party lines and fills in with links.

It comes across as non-human. Without origins in human thought. rat-a-tat spewing of a mantra: repubs are bad. repubs are bad. Well maybe they are merrill. But your posts are quite unconvincing.
Are you human? We want to know.

cavtrooper 8 years ago

Oh my.... Remember kiddies: Nothing is true, everything is permitted.

devobrun 8 years ago

Seven hours ago I asked merrill if he was a computer. The previous hour he had spent 45 minutes composing quite a list of bad republicans and why we should hate republicanism.

In the past 7 hours....nothing. I guess he produced his propaganda and needs not to respond to any inquiries.

Or maybe his computer program isn't set up tp respond as a human.

Or maybe he has no idea how to engage in a discussion without simply quoting pundits and opinion pieces he reads in the papers.

I think merrill is not human. I think merrill is a computer program that emulated a human pretty well, but is not advanced enough to engage in real human debate, so he doesn't respond as a human would.

What do the rest of you think....merrill human or merrill artificial intelligence?

He sure can bring forth a lot of democratic propaganda, with links, in 45 minutes. I choose computer.

devobrun 8 years ago

Hey ah merrill, take a look at this:

"Van der Sloot's Facebook picture is a near-empty bottle of Johnny Walker Red whisky, corked, with a powerboat at rest in the ocean as a backdrop. He likes the rapper Notorious B.I.G. and pop singer Katy Perry, the TV show South Park. He has 160 kills in the game "Mob Wars" and likes "Pissing in random places when totally drunk/wasted," Texas Hold'em Poker, Heineken beer and Barack Obama. "

By FRANK BAJAK, Associated Press Writer June 13, 2010


What does it mean merrill? Am I a republican stooge? No. Is the AP report a polemic against Barry? What does it mean merrill?


Just like your posts, or did I miss something. Did I miss something, merrill? Are your posts human generated, or are they computer based demo-prop?

devobrun 8 years ago

Thanks Tom. I've noticed merrill for years now. But I start to read his entries and just glaze over. They don't make me mad. They don't make me think. They don't offer new insights. They are amazing in their banality.

After I feel guilty for my existence, I wonder how merrill exists. Eureka! He doesn't exist. He is a virtual reality. 'Splains a lot.

Liberty275 8 years ago

Every bit of pablum merrill spams on the board are from irresponsible left-wing advocacy mouthpieces. Do you really trust a website run on a subdomain of tripod.com? There's a reason nobody bothers reading them.

devobrun 8 years ago

Sure are a lot of facts in this LTE and the responses. LTE sites facts. Merrill sites facts. Beo, edjayhawk, all siting facts.

Are you sure these are facts? Or are they links to web sites that state that these are facts. Lets see: A relationship sited in a weblog, sited by another guy who sounds like a computer program.

Look, I've never been a Bush fan, nor a republican fan...but if the left wants to win me by giving me facts, then they should be more clear about what is termed a fact..

Most of those links given by merrill are quite unconvincing.

From the Democracy Now entry:

"It’s been exactly one year since the onset of the financial crisis and the passage of the Bush administration’s $700 billion bailout of Wall Street. But what were the factors in deciding who received bailout funds? And what happened to all the money? The answer to those two simple questions is: We don’t know."

Now that's honest reportage. We don't know. Doesn't sound like facts to me. The rest of the article is speculation and assertion.

Sigh. People so convinced of their knowledge. Facts. Bologna.

weeslicket 8 years ago

i pretty much skip over anything that starts with merrill or tom shwemon. that saved me a lot of time on this thread.

fred cleaver says: I enjoy opinion pieces, I just like opinion to be based on some facts that I can verify. This column seems to be lacking in said facts.

anyhoo-- this is the link cal was quoting from. http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0610/38219.html (don't you just love it when an editorialist quotes from the first two paragraphs of someone else's piece. digging deep, brotha'. digging deep.)

check out this quoate from that politico article: "Once the exchanges open and the tax credits become available in 2014, many of the low- and middle-income people who use limited-benefit plans are likely to qualify for the credits. But that’s after three years of limbo."

after reading this piece, i am left wondering if maybe conservative people would have applauded a public option. just wondering.

hope this helps.

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