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Republicans Put Wars Ahead of People

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Posted on Sep 2, 2011
AP / John Bazemore

Two men use a boat to explore a street flooded by Hurricane Irene in Manteo, N.C.

By Bill Boyarsky

Republican spending knows no limits when it comes to going into debt for failed and useless wars. But it’s another story when it comes to providing federal assistance for victims of Hurricane Irene or other catastrophes we may face in the months ahead.

Nothing has exposed the Republican determination to put people last more than the reaction of the House Republicans’ No. 2 leader, Eric Cantor, to federal aid for those hit by one of the nation’s most costly disasters. He wants those governors, mayors and others in charge of disaster relief to beg for help.

“This is a time, an appropriate instance, where there is a federal government role,” Cantor said. “We will find the money if there is a need for additional monies. But these monies are not unlimited, and what we’ve always said is we offset that which has been already funded.”

Obviously, he means existing programs, ranging from medical aid to unemployment assistance. So for every dollar the storm victims get, subtract money for assistance to victims of a recession caused by his party. If Cantor has his way, as he usually does, each dollar spent to clean up and rebuild parts of Vermont, New York, North Carolina and other hard-hit states will have to be balanced by cuts to programs targeting the needy.

What can you expect from a party featuring a presidential candidate, Michele Bachmann, who said the hurricane and the recent East Coast earthquake were God’s warning against deficit spending? Claiming to quote the Lord, Bachmann preached, “He said,  ‘Are you going to start listening to me here? The American people are roaring right now. ... They know government is on a morbid obesity diet and we’ve got to rein in the spending.’ ”  Just joking, she said later.

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The cost of Hurricane Irene, insurance industry sources told The New York Times, is between $7 billion and $10 billion. The total bill for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, according to CostofWar.com, is now $1.24 trillion. If you add Pakistan operations, the wars will cost Americans between $3.2 trillion and $4 trillion, including medical care and disability for current and future war veterans, according to the Eisenhower Research Project based at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies. If the wars continue, they are on track to require at least $450 billion more in Pentagon spending by 2020. Without these wars, there would be plenty of money to clean up after Hurricane Irene.

Democrats share some of the blame. When President George W. Bush led the country into war, too many of them went along. They either believed the administration’s lies or feared being tagged as soft in their next election campaigns. But the Bush administration was the driver, the sole provider of information and the author of the war strategy. With the exception of anti-war Rep. Ron Paul and a few others, Republicans were supporters. They did not question the justification of the war. They did not consider it would wipe out the surplus created by the Clinton administration and thrust the country into deep debt.

This history is well known. The question now is how candidates will address these problems in the months ahead.

On the disaster issue, we can assume that common sense and decency will not prevail with congressional Republicans, and they will fight Obama’s efforts to provide disaster aid and to adequately fund the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The other big question is what the presidential candidates will do about the Afghanistan war and future conflicts. Obama has begun an agonizingly slow withdrawal of American troops, but it’s unclear how long American trainers and special forces will remain, not to mention the private “contract” fighting personnel. At least he resisted the military’s demand for an even slower withdrawal.

Neither Mitt Romney nor Gov. Rick Perry, leading in the polling for the Republican presidential nomination, has shown any willingness to do that. Romney told the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention, “In Afghanistan, the president has chosen to disregard the counsel of the generals on the ground. ... That puts the successes of our soldiers and our mission at greatest risk.”

Perry also spoke to the VFW meeting, held in San Antonio. I saw the whole speech, thanks to the Texas Tribune website. He is, by the way, a surprisingly uncharismatic speaker, somewhat flat except when he talked about the troops who have fought in Afghanistan and Iraq. He looked toward heaven at that point, his voice becoming funereal. Insincerity radiated from him.

He said we should “respect our allies” but “we cannot concede the moral authority of our nation to multilateral debating societies.” On Afghanistan, he said in another speech, “I think the president made a huge mistake by signaling to the enemy that we’re going to leave at a particular time. That’s bad public policy but more importantly it puts our kids in harm’s way.”

The post-hurricane period and the Perry and Romney speeches provided a close look at what the country faces if the Republicans win the presidency and both houses of Congress next year. House Speaker John Boehner and Cantor will revel in saying no to the needy, no matter how sudden or severe the disasters that strike them. Romney will defer to the generals no matter how much it costs in lives and dollars. So will Perry. Bachman will wait for the word from God.

What a bunch. The question is: Will the American people fall for their line? That’s something to worry about.


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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, September 4, 2011 at 9:33 pm Link to this comment

tsk tsk mrfreeze, September 4 at 9:25 pm- Your whining
is deafening.  Of course you have the right and duty to point
out the flaws in our country.  What have you done to make it
better?  Whining will not do anything except make your belly
ache. Be careful…and take a good look in the mirror, you
might just be among those dimwits.

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mrfreeze's avatar

By mrfreeze, September 4, 2011 at 9:25 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous - Such rubbish….....I not only have the right but also the “duty” to point out that our country (yours and mine) has become a joke and those living here just keep getting dumber and dumber by the day. Those, such as yourself, who wish to wave the flag, drink the koolaid, pretend that “everything is OK” and then criticizes someone (such as myself who pays his taxes, stays involved and actually tries to understand the issues) because he thinks that maybe, just maybe, we aren’t living up to our “empire” status….well, you’re a fool. You remind me of all the Mormon assholes I grew up with in UT whose mantra was the same as yours: “if you don’t like it here, then leave…..” Wow, you know, I did leave and my life has been far better because of it…And since you mentioned it, I’ve been diligently working on leaving the U.S. and all it’s fundamentalist religious stupidity, Walmartesque materialism, its everywhere-looks-the-sameness, its I’ll vote for the Palins, the Bachmans and the Perrys absurdity because they’re such great Americans. We have become a nation of dim-wits, propagandists and profiteers….....a land of lowest-common-denominators….........sad, sad, sad.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, September 4, 2011 at 8:06 pm Link to this comment

mrfreeze, September 4 at 2:45 pm with such disgust it
is a wonder why you insist on calling it “your” country or
continue to live in it?  There is a high probability it won’t
miss you for even a second should you decide to leave.

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By ardee, September 4, 2011 at 7:24 pm Link to this comment

...however, this administration has spent a pittance on the wars compared to his predecessors. And unlike them, the spending was forced out into the open once Obama took office, whereas GWB’s reign of incompetence kept the wars off-the-books.

Well, perhaps Obama has spent a bit less than Shrubya , but only because he hasn’t had the full two terms yet. I believe a bit of research might decry the assumption you make regarding that spending being “out in the light”. It is still not a part of the budget, and much of our spending is hidden from view in secret budgets and such. In fact, many report that this administration is even more prone to secrecy than was that of Bush/Cheney.

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mrfreeze's avatar

By mrfreeze, September 4, 2011 at 2:45 pm Link to this comment

madisolation - I don’t disagree with you regarding Obama following in the footsteps of GWB; however, this administration has spent a pittance on the wars compared to his predecessors. And unlike them, the spending was forced out into the open once Obama took office, whereas GWB’s reign of incompetence kept the wars off-the-books.

I think it’s fair to say that we are a dying empire and the profiteers intend to make as much money as possible on the Military Welfare Complex before the golden goose is dead.

Personally, I’m disgusted by my country, it’s leaders and it’s ridiculously disengaged, disinterested and ignorant citizens.

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anaman51's avatar

By anaman51, September 4, 2011 at 1:27 pm Link to this comment

Simply put, there’s no profit in rescuing wet people. On the other hand, the Republican Machine is adept at providing for the needs of the military manufacturing segment of American industry. This is done by selectively locating their facilities in the respective districts of elected officials that have quietly come into possession of multiple grocery bags filled with hundred dollar bills. This buys the wholesale cooperation of the dirty congresscritter, and at the same time provides the company with lots of locals hungry for employment. The few engineers and techies they need can be brought in from the company headquarters, and the locals are paid minimum wage to do the (often dangerous) grunt work. The dirty politician gets a slush fund, the filthy rich factory owner gets the gold mine, and everyone else gets the shaft.

It’s business as usual in America. Ending the wars would be as detrimental to the warmongers’ profits as, say, curing cancer would be to the profits of the pharmaceutical companies making cancer drugs.

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By GW=MCHammered, September 4, 2011 at 12:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hang Up on War
http://nwtrcc.org/phonetax.php

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By christian96, September 4, 2011 at 12:03 pm Link to this comment

I would have titled this article, POLITICIANS
PUT MONEY AHEAD OF PEOPLE.”

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Clash's avatar

By Clash, September 4, 2011 at 11:49 am Link to this comment

To complain or to think there is any way one can differentiate between the elites, and for that matter, between the species homo sapiens, that continue down the path of destruction they set out on so many century’s ago is ludicrous. Homo sapiens, here to be known from now on by their evolutionary path, PIGI RATS, by the way very fitting, omnivorous vermin, have separated themselves from humanity due to there voracious appetites. They and their social structures, are bent on this destruction as if a madness has infected the whole species. To expect rational thought, or empathy from any of them is to play into their insanity. Would it not be better to try to be human, resist their madness, act on knowledge, empathy, and understanding?

To live a life resisting the PIGI RAT’S seems to me the most human thing we can do, as the PIGI RAT’S do not seem able to perceive or understand that the end of their path is in sight.

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By madisolation, September 4, 2011 at 10:34 am Link to this comment

Republicans are the ones who put war ahead of people, huh? Read this praise for Obama’s Libyan War:
. “It’s very smart. You don’t put boots on the ground. You don’t commit trillions of dollars to a war in Iraq,” he said. “You do it with the other tools that we have that frankly work much better over the long term because you don’t get a lot of public resistance—drones, special operations forces, use of intelligence agencies. That’s exactly what he did.”
Got that? “Other tools” that “work much better,” like drones and special ops, which aren’t met with “a lot of public resistance.” Who said that? The head of the RNC? No. None other than Howard Dean, who was a leading voice against Bush’s wars…until 2008, when he magically morphed into an Obama-lovin’ drone-droppin’ manly chickenhawk.
I don’t want to hear any of this nonsense about how Republicans are the big war lovers. Democrats have out-warred the war party under Obama, and my, my, don’t look absurd, strutting around, trying to be the Warriors of the Left? They look pathetic. May they be mocked and vilified.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, September 4, 2011 at 9:46 am Link to this comment

Excellent observation berniem.  If you wouldn’t mind,
may I rearrange your perfect descriptors this way:
Prejudice, Ignorance, Greed. and Intolerance? The acronym
formed is PIGI.  Then adding Racist, Arrogance, Thuggery,
you get the equally perfect PIGI RAT.  It goes with my new
invented word corporatocrat.  It all seems to fit Republicans
to a Tee.  Pigi Rat Corporatocrats.  There’s a symmetry there
that is aesthetic.

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By berniem, September 4, 2011 at 8:37 am Link to this comment

The DNA molecule is made up of essentially four distinct proteins which in different combinations constitute the genetic codes of all organisms on the planet. The more I learn of the essence of the republican/concervative/libertarian, or what have you species the more I am convinced that due to some horrendous mutation this creature seems to have morphed its primary building blocks into four mutated substances which may be identified as Ignorance, Intolerance, Prejudice, and Greed. Those of this species have their genetic code made up of varying pecentages of these elements as can be observed nfrom their relative status in society ranging from the ideologically stunted third worlder so readily found below the Mason-Dixon Line to the pathological and amoral predator prowling on Wall St. and the corporate boardrooms and/or governmental offices.

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Clash's avatar

By Clash, September 4, 2011 at 8:24 am Link to this comment

Some real crap here today, that anyone still perceives this cultural structure as something that will or can be changed by the elites or by the stupid people we seem to be, is just foolish rhetoric. The republican emperor, through specious speech has managed to stall at every turn any reform that might have made a difference in the lives of stupid commoners like myself. Obama is the best the republican candidate for emperor the elites could want, a man who boxes at shadows while the empire continues to, by example to be the greatest purveyor of poverty and terrorism in our time.

The brighter side, empires fall, social systems degenerate, the question could be how much will be left for starting over when they are done?

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By Campaign Season, September 4, 2011 at 7:33 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It’s becoming pretty apparent that Truthdig is on the campaign trail for President Zero.

A lot of Bush Cheney nostalgia lately; nearly every article emphasizing the “Republicans” as the sole bad actors.

This website has seen better days.

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RayLan's avatar

By RayLan, September 4, 2011 at 6:45 am Link to this comment

@christian98
“The
bottomless pit may very well be a black hole.  Have
a good trip. “

The Devil quotes scripture.
Ah yes , the typical Christian - plying his self-righteous pretext for hatred and condemnation - sullying the name of Jesus.

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RayLan's avatar

By RayLan, September 4, 2011 at 6:39 am Link to this comment

The business of selling wars of choice cares no more about the innocent deaths it causes than big corporations care about the safety of their products, except in the latter case, there are laws in place.
The purveyors of violence are busy on both side of the (fake) politcal aisle.

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By ardee, September 4, 2011 at 5:41 am Link to this comment

Angel Gabriel, September 3 at 4:22 pm Link to this comment

Ardee, Where am I from? and why is that important to you? Where are YOU from?

Born in the Bronx, now living in California, since returning from Vietnam all those years ago. At any rate I am a citizen in “the belly of the beast”.

I ask because your posts declare you to be abstracted from this nation and your views, regardless of their weight or lack thereof, indicate you to be outside looking in. Care to answer now?

As to another in the same vein:

Most of the people in every country in the world are too stupid to do anything about politics.

Way to form alliances and make progress! NOT.

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By Marian Griffith, September 4, 2011 at 2:59 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

@christian96

I would recommended you find good mental help.
Not because of your fanatical faith, mind, but because thinking other people are the devil in disguise is a dangerous mental condition (though generally treatable if you seek help before men in white and padded cells get involved).

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By Marian Griffith, September 4, 2011 at 2:53 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

@ardee
—-Expecting solutions from our elected leader, oh no, we cannot do that now , can we.—-

A solution to the current mess? No, we can not expect that. Starting to work on it though? Yes, we must expect that and Obama has not done even that little. He has ‘minded’ the store and putting his faith in the people who are part of the problem rather than listening to new voices now it has become painfully clear that the old ones are making things worse rather than better. See below though why he may have been tempted to do so.

—Gee, a half century? Why not a full century, or even two? ....maybe the Jurassic.—

Nope, about half a century. That is when the ‘government is evil’ and the insane trust in ‘the market’ philosphies got traction, and when politicians began relinguishing control to commercial interests.

—So, in addition to apologizing for Obama you actually declare that doing nothing is safer than doing something.—

Actually, I did not say that at all. I said that trying to do something unilaterally would make things worse. For all the power the successive presidents have been granted by a spineless house of representatives, they are still not dictators. And the power of the American president with the rest of the world reaches no further than trying to influence other countries, several of which will oppose the USA out of principle or out of misguided short term interests.
No single country can get out of this mess, the banking sector can not get out of this mess alone. But as everybody will have to pay, and dearly, to clean up nobody is willing to move for fear of short term consequences even if the brightest know full well that ignoring it will not make the problem go away.

—Actually many have more than a faint idea and the financial community is actually and absolutely in control, of our money, now theirs, of our government as well. I might suggest you read more, use a search engine and a bit of time and you will soon find excellent suggestions from very smart folks, many with actual degrees and stuff.—-

If you believe the financial system is still in control you have no idea what the underlying problems were that lead to the krach in 2008.
But that aside, what I really was saying is that the politics and central banks no longer have any control over the financial sector. All those CDFs, derivatives, insurance products and all the esotheric ‘financial products’ were created by the banks without any form of supervision, control or even understanding, yet they are treated as ‘real money’ by the financial sector until proven otherwise.
Failure in trust of those financial products caused the economic collapse, and what did the banks do with all those billions of bail out money? Why, they created even more incomprehensible products to pay back their debts to the central banks. In other words for every billion dollar bail out money they created tens if not hundreds billions worth of financial derivatives that nobody, not even the banks themselves, has any clue of what is underwriting them. It is all tangled up in that mess of collaterised good and bad money, shares that can go up or down 10pct on nothing more than an easily dispelled rumour and insurances that are so ‘refinanced’ that nobody can even figure out anymore who is supposed to pay who for what.
For the financial businesses anything is legal and unregulated unless laws are passed that specifically regulate something. They are sitting on a huge money spinning machine (keep in mind that money and value are two entirely different things even though money only works if we delude ourselves into thinking that they are the same), and thanks to the idiocy of Clinton and the wholesale idiocy of the Little Shrub government all brakes have been removed from that machine. And now we are in a situation where money is created in mind-boggling quantities.

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By Don Henshaw, September 3, 2011 at 10:59 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You’re just figuring this out now? We - that is the rest of the world - figured that one out before the first Gulf War. The only thing you got wrong is that it isn’t just the republicans it’s also the democrats. Americans love and worship war and military adventurism like no one else, or at east none we’ve seen since the Mongol hordes reduced eastern Europe to a shambles way back when. You people have a love of war that borders on the psychotic, or at least obscene, which would account for the incredible sums you not only spend on waging war but on your pentagon to dream up new ways of waging war. It’s absolutely sick. I mean really, BORROWING money so that you can invade another country or two - or even three - and putting your entire economy down the toilet rather than even think about curbing military spending? You people really do need therapy…

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cpb's avatar

By cpb, September 3, 2011 at 9:58 pm Link to this comment

Hey there c96!

Full circle now huh?  Back to the bible quoting.

When do we get more biblical ultimatums and threats of impending christian world conquest?

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Angel Gabriel's avatar

By Angel Gabriel, September 3, 2011 at 8:11 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous, I wish I had a nickel for every comment that is a carbon copy of
your weak excuses to explain the reason American’s are so apathetic! “We can do
nothing about our situation” Oh poor us, leave us alone in our misery (back of the
hand to forehead) Oh poor us!!!
If you don’t have the ability to come up with something original here - why on
earth do you bother writing ANYTHING?? Go be a big strong soldier for the
Country, wave a flag, shoot sumpthin, kick a dog, trip a crip… ANYTHING Prove
your stuff!

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, September 3, 2011 at 7:16 pm Link to this comment

Most of the people in every country in the world are too
stupid to do anything about politics.  So the country that
does not educate their citizens deserves what it gets in the
way of government.  Most of the people in America are
scratching for a decent living and don’t want to use their
off time to become sophisticated about sh*t politics they
feel they don’t have any control over, so they ritualistically
vote for the local a**hole who speaks the loudest, who has
learned to say the magic words to the stupid people then
things proceed from there.  Most of the American people
don’t have the time to sit at computers all day self-expanding
and whining about politics and how stupid the people are. 

It is up to those who are not so stupid to enlighten those who
are about the struggle to the death they are in with the
Republicans.  Defeating the Republicans is the only way the
American people can regain their lives and their integrity.

http://boldprogressives.org/home

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By Morpheus, September 3, 2011 at 6:31 pm Link to this comment

Republicans put everything before the people and this country. The problem is, the people are too stupid to do anything about it. So they deserve what they get. To bad for the people that are being dragged along for the ride.

Memo to America: Stop waiting for Democrats and Republicans to save you. It’s bad for your health and your future. Can’t you tell?

“WAKE UP PEOPLE!” 
Read “Common Sense 3.1” at ( http://www.revolution2.osixs.org )

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By ardee, September 3, 2011 at 4:32 pm Link to this comment

By Marian Griffith, September 2 at 5:33 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

@ardee
I will agree with you if you say that the Obama administration should have attempted to do more, and do it a little more forcibly.

Yup I say it, over and again.

Obama certainly believes way too much on the possibility to reach a compromise.
But, a severe recession can easily take a decade to recover from, and the one we are currently living through is quite different from the little blips of the past 4 decades that could ignored by giving the population more loans to buy more bling. This one is going to fundamentally alter the principle underneath our economy (no more seemingly unlimited cheap money). As such we will have to learn to pay our debts before acquiring new ones both individually, nationally and internationally. This is going to be a long and painful process and more so because the population (i.e. the voters) has not given any indication that they are going to accept that new reality lying down. Of course neither did the rich and powerful (corporations and individuals).


If I were to define Obama in the shortest sentence I would note he is just not up to the task. A three year term in the Senate as his entire national portfolio, laughable and tragic as well.

If I were to tackle the effects of this recession upon the future I could do it in an even shorter sentence. No freaking change to much at all. In that I mean the road to third world status stretches far behind us and continues into the foreseeable future.

Seen in that light, it is a bit unreasonable to expect of Obama to solve an economic mess that has been half a century in the making and that no other country or economic block has even started to try and find a solution for.

Expecting solutions from our elected leader, oh no, we cannot do that now , can we.

Gee, a half century? Why not a full century, or even two? ....maybe the Jurassic.

Anybody trying to untangle the knots keeping them tied to the mess is likely to send the whole thing plummeting over the edge before they are even halfway started untangling themselves.

So, in addition to apologizing for Obama you actually declare that doing nothing is safer than doing something. What can one say to such as that?
Oh, I know, I could remind you of your very first sentence in which you agreed with me that Obama should be doing more….

It is all hair triggers and panic and huge amounts of money that nobody has the faintest idea anymore which is real and which is entirely fabricated by a financial and banking system gone completely out of control.

Actually many have more than a faint idea and the financial community is actually and absolutely in control, of our money, now theirs, of our government as well. I might suggest you read more, use a search engine and a bit of time and you will soon find excellent suggestions from very smart folks, many with actual degrees and stuff.


One thing is fairly certain though. Driving more people into destituency and draining more money out of the economy (either to off-shore tax shelters or by blowing it up in yet another big war) like the republican candidates propose is about the worst thing that can be done right now.

I applaud you for adding such a terrific word to our language..destituency, it does roll off the tongue rather trippingly. Thanks much for it. I will contemplate using it with your permission.

Look,Ms. Griffith, about forty percent of the people are going to continue to vote GOP and a like amount Democratic. So its kind of up to those of us who see a better way to actually work for it. I call it civic responsibility, but what do I know?

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Angel Gabriel's avatar

By Angel Gabriel, September 3, 2011 at 4:22 pm Link to this comment

Ardee, Where am I from? and why is that important to you? Where are YOU from?

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By ardee, September 3, 2011 at 3:57 pm Link to this comment

Angel Gabriel, September 3 at 3:23 pm

So, besides Heaven, where are you from?

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Angel Gabriel's avatar

By Angel Gabriel, September 3, 2011 at 3:23 pm Link to this comment

Taken from above - talking about Republican’s hate for Obama..  is their hate
for Obama blinding them?”
The way I see it is - American’s aren’t happy with anyone! Democrats hate
republicans who hate Democrats, who hate Republicans that hate Democrat’s.
The Red Under the Bed, Those fuckin long haired Hippy pinko faggot commie’s,
Fuckin Niggers, fuckin Honky’s, fuckin queers, fuckin ( add name of the
President here. ) Jews, Suits, Corporations, Farmers, Teacher’s, Tailors, Soldiers,
Sailors - everybody gets it in the neck! If you American’s would make a start
now at killing off everything or everybody you hate - the world wouldn’t have
environmental difficulties, Famine,  War’s, Financial Crises, you get the picture
yet???  I bet within a year of the start date you only have a handful of Buddhists
standing on top of a hill somewhere in Vermont looking around with a big
WTF??? on their faces after you all killed off your hates! I’m sure there’s enough
guns and ammo to get sufficient fire power in the hands of everyone big
enough to hold em and squeeze a trigger. Face it - you folks are fuckin
dangerous, violent and have enough hatred built up from pointing hateful
fingers at each other to exterminate the whole human race! Which I can see
you’re already hard at work accomplsihing!
He said, she said, he did, she did, they did!!! God, get a grip wouldja!??? You
poor mistreated, misunderstood, misjudged, unappreciated exceptionalist
Moralist WANKERS! Wake the hell up and learn to play well together, or PLEASE
just go kill yourselves and get out of the way, so the rest of this world will stop
taking examples from you and be able to live in peace!  Terrorists are the very
least of your worries folks - You are the number one danger in this world and it
comes from your perceptions of protecting your undefined interest, so you just
for the gusto and claim everything, whether it belongs to you or not as “YOUR
INTERESTS” that way the globe is covered and the entirety of mankind is you
potential enemy to safeguard your interests against - God it would be
laughable if it weren’t so damn serious watching you bunch of idiot finger
pointers meltdown the globe protecting your interests!

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By christian96, September 3, 2011 at 11:26 am Link to this comment

I overheard the following conversation down town:

Oil Companies—-Another natural disaster.  Thank
Mother Nature for another opportunity to raise
prices at the pump!  We worship you O’ Goddess of
nature.

Average Joe—-But wait, O dishonorable oil companies. how did Hurricane Irene hurt your
dishonorable industry?

Oil Companies—-Oh, shut up Joe.  Go back to watching your ballgame or movie. We ave more deceitful than you.  There was a hurricane and
we’ll raise gasoline prices to honor Americans
lost in wars. This is Labor Day.

Average Joe—-Which Americans are you going to
honor by raising gas prices?

Oil Companies—-Those who own stock in oil companies Joe.  Put the American flag in front of your house,
fill up your tank, drive up and down the road singing “God Bless America.”  Try to run out of gas
so you can fill up again, and again, and again, and
again.  We depend upon you “average Joes” to keep
the money flowing into our pockets.  Fill up again,
Joe. Ha! Ha! Ha!

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By dean1981, September 3, 2011 at 10:34 am Link to this comment

Another example in this direction is the response of Republican state legislators
and governors to the Obama Health Plan. Many haven’t gone ahead to establish
health insurance exchanges. See this chart for a state-by-state update on this:

http://www.verisi.com/resources/decision2012.htm#s4

Imagine being unemployed or underemployed and having tp insure yourself &
your family. You can use COBRA but that’s often too expensive. OTOH if you have
a pre-existing condition, private insurance isn’t an option.

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By Hollywood Russ, September 3, 2011 at 9:23 am Link to this comment

Dear Peace Piper-

Calling the author of this piece names doesn’t seem like pacifist behavior. You are
a hypocrite. You don’t like to hear the truth. It was Bush who came up with TARP-
a 800 billion dollar plus handout to the rich. TARP was a thank you note to the
people who despoiled our economy, who bet that it would tank. A large portion of
economics is attitude. If people start believing in America again, America will start
working again. I truly believe that. As for you Peace Piper, why don’t you meditate
on how you can bring peace to the world, instead of insults and childish name
calling.

Thank you, Hollywood Russ

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By ArizonaChris, September 3, 2011 at 8:45 am Link to this comment

WHy is it that so many americans support those wars?  Do you think anyone really
notices or is their hate for Obama blinding them

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By Roger Lafontaine, September 3, 2011 at 4:33 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

War is profitable. People are ‘a burden’ - except for the few who are ‘job creators’. We owe it to them not to let the ‘burdens’ get in the way of profits.

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By Elroy, September 3, 2011 at 1:10 am Link to this comment

Sorry, I mis-matched Bill Boyarsky’s name with that of
Jeremy Scahill in the opening line of my post at 12:05 am.
The Scahill link, though, is valid.

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By Elroy, September 3, 2011 at 12:05 am Link to this comment

Several posters here see Jeremy Scahill as being biased
for saying, for example, this: “Republican spending knows
no limits when it comes to going into debt for failed and
useless wars. But it’s another story when it comes to
providing federal assistance for victims of Hurricane
Irene or other catastrophes we may face in the months
ahead.”

If he seems to go easier on Democrats it is probably
because Democrats are NOT seeking to weaken catastrophe
assistance. As for war funding, we have the House vote in
June, 2009, to approve another $106 billion dollars for
the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan: 30 Democrats against, 5
Republicans in favor. That’s the only scorecard we have
so far, and Scahill himself called the Democrats paltry
oppositon as “shameless” in his original report on the
vote at the time:

http://www.alternet.org/world/140715/shame:_the_’anti-
war’_democrats_who_sold_out_/?page=entire

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cpb's avatar

By cpb, September 2, 2011 at 11:31 pm Link to this comment

That there are differences between the two heads of the snake I am willing to acknowledge.  That “putting war ahead of people” is one of them?

Bollocks.

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Angel Gabriel's avatar

By Angel Gabriel, September 2, 2011 at 10:38 pm Link to this comment

Maybe the American People won’t fall for the lies, but I bet those Diebold voting
machines will!

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By Big B, September 2, 2011 at 6:26 pm Link to this comment

I just got my Rollerball season tickets in the mail! The first game is Exxon-mobile at Monsanto. Should be a real barnburner.

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By berniem, September 2, 2011 at 5:32 pm Link to this comment

Face it, the republican party is Amerikan fascism and the vast majority of demcrats are Quisslings! War, promulgation of mindless fear and prejudice, and blatant lies meant to confuse and mislead are their stock and trade! I predict that the election of 2012 will be fraught with crises and instigated occurrences of violent civil which will result in massive police crack downs and the possible declaration of martial law. All of the elements of authoritarian control are in place and merely waiting for the go ahead to overthrow constitutional government(as if it hasn’t already happened)and imposition of corporate totalitarian rule. How else could a cheney blatantly admit to crimes against humanity and be actually lauded for it by our supposed “free press”? And it seems unfortunately that a sufficient number of our fellow citizens have been rendered ignorant and gullible enough to actually believe that what is to come is for their own good!

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By traynorjf, September 2, 2011 at 4:40 pm Link to this comment

Write in Bernie Sanders for president. A civil war has been long overdue. Let’s get
to it.

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By CalBear, September 2, 2011 at 3:42 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Actually, Eric Cantor has taken a big step toward putting people FIRST with his “YouCut” citizen review of government. People just love voting for the wasteful spending they’d like to see cut - they can even suggest items!
Funny, I never saw anything like “YouCut” under Pelosi. Would have been the perfect chance to objectively measure the percentage of Americans who favor defense spending cuts.

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By John, September 2, 2011 at 3:39 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Many wars were also waged by democrats as well.  To say only the Republican love wars is misleading.  The fact is all administrations after JFK seemed loving wars, from Lyndon Johnson right down to Obama - both democrats admins.  My speculation is that the US government has been controlled for a very long time ever since after JFK by shadowy figures and the presidents are merely the shop keeper or the CEO for a glorified name.  What human beings can think of human beings will do.  Think about 911.  What a crime!  It is evil and savagery beyond any description.  Ever since that day the world has been a totally different place from the one we knew before.  My lovely home country, Australia, is now gradually being run into the ground by the same mob who also controls the US, Britain and, I guess, Canada as well.  The apocalyptic vision of the future of the world must haunt us all.  With the savagery of 911 as a precedent and imagine all those nuclear weapons America has in their stockpile human beings are in a peril unprecedented in all the human history.  The world is a very dark place indeed!

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By Archie1954, September 2, 2011 at 2:42 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The President believes that if you broke it you own it. The US broke both Iraq and Afghanistan and are working hard on Pakistan. President Obama inherited these broken countries and now he has to fix them. Unfortunately he doesn’t know how to. The only thing we know for sure is that to continue Bush’s “plans”, if there were any, is to guarantee failure.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, September 2, 2011 at 2:32 pm Link to this comment

The unvarnished truth - Blaming the Republicans is the
solution to everything. 

The Republican Party is the Party Against the People

4 more years will bring at least 4 more wars Elaborate,
or is it just partisan politics hot air?

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By bogi666, September 2, 2011 at 2:03 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The aid to Israel should be used to offset to pay the USAn’s for the damage done by Irene. Zionist 1st Cantor would go ballistic as he wants to make aid to the Israeli Zionists automatic. As far as the possibility of economic recovery, its simply not in the cards and is simply propaganda buzz words for the mindlessness USAn’s the same old happy talk, psychobabble optimism that trumpet failure as success such as the current strategy of deficit reduction to increase unemployment purposely by the Repubicans and continuing the Herbert Hoover Repubican policies of the great depression. Quite simply put, the USG is funded by the forced contributions, withholding taxes. by taxing labor. Increasing unemployment reduces the forced contributions because their is less labor to withhold taxes from. The amount collected from the forced contributions by taxing labor is reduced. So under the current ObomberBush/Repubican bipartisanship to continually increase unemployment will result in less labor to force contributions from since it is labor that funds the government. As usual, Wash., DC politicians expect, or pretend to expect, results other than the continued failures from doing that which has always failed expecting results different than failure. If this seems insane it is because it is, according to Einstein’s definition of insanity which is “doing the same failure repeatedly expecting a different result”.

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bonito's avatar

By bonito, September 2, 2011 at 1:42 pm Link to this comment

Question is will the american people fall for their
line?  That’s something to worry about.

Why of course they will!  H.L. Mencken once said, ”
No one throughout history ever lost a dime
underestimating the intelligence of the American
people ”  I firmly believe that, everything that has
transpired within politics for many years, seem to
verify that. So wave the flag as fast as you can and
then build some more memorials to our present Wars
until there is no longer room in Washington to build
more. We are a Warlike people and tend to view
Military Action as some sort of Computer Game enjoyed
by all unless We happen to be the one giving our life
to enforce this Insane Foreign Policy.

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Hollywood Russ's avatar

By Hollywood Russ, September 2, 2011 at 1:20 pm Link to this comment

You are so right on every point! The sources of your information are nonpartisan.
Please be careful though. You don’t want to rile people up with facts, now that
they’ve made up their minds.

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By Laurence Tribe, September 2, 2011 at 12:57 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I love it! You all are determined to make one of the two parties spending this nation into oblivion somehow better than the other one.  Schools have done a great job of making us believe we have a two party system that functions with we, the people in mind. Long dead, I’m afraid. The corporation that lends us our money is the power behind the thrown, and it wants to print and disburse the world’s currency. The people, contrary to popular myth perpetuated by the government schools, have absolutely no control over government or the FED. Once the sun never set on the British Empire, but it went into hock to “the harlot of threadmill street” and never recovered. The long lasting “recession” is simply a means of reducing this nation’s standard of living to make a one world government look promising.

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LocalHero's avatar

By LocalHero, September 2, 2011 at 12:43 pm Link to this comment

Obama has more blood on his hands than Bush & Cheney in their wildest dreams. Every damn one of them (and about a hundred others) should be tried for War Crimes and hanged.

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RedwoodGuy's avatar

By RedwoodGuy, September 2, 2011 at 11:35 am Link to this comment

I had to read all that to get to, “Republican Bad, Democrat Good?”

Blah, blah, blah, blah. Man, this stuff is just endless. Is there a big room with a thousand monkeys and a thousand typewriters somewhere where all this Boyarskyism is generated?

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By felicity, September 2, 2011 at 11:28 am Link to this comment

“If we cannot correctly analyze causation we certainly
cannot find solutions.”  ardee.  As long as too many
Americans continue to believe that America is the
“greatest nation on earth,” that “America can do
wrong,” we won’t correctly analyze causation, we will
even deny that there might have been a cause.

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By gerard, September 2, 2011 at 11:24 am Link to this comment

Fools put war ahead of people.  People who work at the Pentagon or in the military-industrial complex put war ahead of people. Most politicians put war ahead of people. People preoccupied with national ego put war ahead of people. Not all of them are Republicans.
  The vast majority of policymakers and citizens cannot even imagine how wars could be avoided. They are “conditioned” to believe that “wars are inevitable” and wish not to be bothered with any alternative ideas. It will take a combination of political and spiritual leadership to wake them from their nightmares.

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By Mad Rabbit, September 2, 2011 at 11:02 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

In case anyone is interested, here is a link to Mark Twain’s “War Prayer”:

http://warprayer.org/

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By balkas, September 2, 2011 at 10:58 am Link to this comment

personal and religious supremacists of the world put wars,
exploitation, lies, wrong selfishness, selfpromotion, power
over working class, etc., ahead of people.
and they always will!!

one cannot split asunder supremacism and/or their one and
only ideology into two kinds of supremacists and two kinds
of ideologies; to wit, ones of the democrats and republicans.

both of these two wings of one goose share exact same
basic thoughts. when it comes to trivial, or less important
issues or tactics [how to skin the cat and not over not to skin
it] , they do scatter in dozens of schools.

yes, i am aware that possibly as high as 99% of american
children/adults see some difference between dems and
repubs.
i do not because i have not been educated in u.s or canadian
schools and thus had not been conditioned to behave like
pavlov’s dog.

fortunately for the dog, pavlov had eventually deconditioned
[or shld have, in case he had not] the dog to the degree that
the dog once again cld espy the reality he cld adjust to, for
living day to day and thus survive.

not likely that klerofascists, who now rule most lands, wld
ever—if left unbothered/unchallenged, id est—decondition
americans to the degree to be able to see the reality and
thus find more peace, satisfaction, and enhance own survival
on this planet. more cld be said. tnx

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By Tom Semioli, September 2, 2011 at 10:02 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

...and they couldn’t have done it without the help and
cooperation of the Democrats.

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By TruthDigger, September 2, 2011 at 9:32 am Link to this comment

Man I hope they take them out of office in 2012!

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By Michael Cavlan RN, September 2, 2011 at 7:29 am Link to this comment

Why I am shocked, shocked I tell you.

One more Democrat apologists article and author at Truthdig. Why one would swear that TruthDig was just one more shameless propaganda site for the corporate overlords. In the same vein as Faux News, MSNBC, Air America.

Oh I get it now. At TruthDig, you have to dig real hard to gain a kernel of truth.

Damn. Guess I have lost the latest TruthDigger of the Week Award again.

grin

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By Mad Rabbit, September 2, 2011 at 6:55 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

With respect to Mr. Boyarski, the Democrat in executive office has proven all too willing to accept ownership of our various wars—what a commentor here referred to as one endless covert action. Indeed, even publicly acknowledged wars are fought covertly now,  thanks to popular media’s thorough disinclination to perform their duties, and to a government only too happy to keep war out of the national consciousness. Republican rhetoric may seem unpalatable, but Obama’s taste for prolonged engagement, expanded international interference (i.e., Libya), and increased domestic surveillance of ordinary Americans is far more troubling to me than the empty rhetoric of a few presidential hopefuls.

As for Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry, I would suggest they read Karl Barth if I thought either of them capable of reading. The theologian explains the dangers of invoking God in the name of tribalism. Barth points out that before World War One all nations, including Germany, invoked the Lord’s name with piety and conviction, certain they enjoyed His divine favor and approbation. The results of that war proved otherwise, however. I doubt God has any urgent opinions regarding the budget expenditures of a nation less than three hundred years old, especially one that spends enormous sums to keep its bootheel on the throat of weaker nations. Perhaps, if anything, the hurricane expressed God’s wish for us to heed scientific evidence of global warming, or to disengage from our numerous needless bloody conflicts, or to choose political leaders that do not genuflect to the least whim of corporate power. Or perhaps God was attempting to convey displeasure at Perry’s record of state executions in Texas, or Bachmann’s unchristian sentiments regarding homosexuals. It is quite easy to interpret natural phenomena as a sign from God, especially when He tells us precisely what we wish to hear.

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A Bird in the Hand's avatar

By A Bird in the Hand, September 2, 2011 at 6:30 am Link to this comment

Seriously truth dig? The whole being a ‘shameless tool for the NOBAMA propaganda machine’ is NOT working out for you all..

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tropicgirl's avatar

By tropicgirl, September 2, 2011 at 5:55 am Link to this comment

Republicans???? Seriously, republicans??? The writers on this site are really skating on the thin ice of deliberate deception. So now, black is white?

And we don’t have “wars” anymore. Just one, endless covert action.

In the news today…

CIA lawyer: Obama ‘endorsed’ nearly all Bush-era programs

  Posted on 09.1.11
  By Stephen C. Webster
  Categories: Featured, Nation

In a preview of a forthcoming PBS Frontline documentary, John Rizzo, one of the top attorneys for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), claims that President Barack Obama has “endorsed” nearly all of the controversial Bush administration secret warfare programs.

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By peace piper, September 2, 2011 at 5:50 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The only thing certain about the next “election” are that rewarding Mr. Hope and Change with 4 more years will bring at least 4 more wars.

Clowns like Blutarsky (whatever) are delusional beyond all redemption, and therefore part of the problem.

Welcome to 2011, Blutarsky

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By Marian Griffith, September 2, 2011 at 5:33 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

@ardee
I will agree with you if you say that the Obama administration should have attempted to do more, and do it a little more forcibly. Obama certainly believes way too much on the possibility to reach a compromise.
But, a severe recession can easily take a decade to recover from, and the one we are currently living through is quite different from the little blips of the past 4 decades that could ignored by giving the population more loans to buy more bling. This one is going to fundamentally alter the principle underneath our economy (no more seemingly unlimited cheap money). As such we will have to learn to pay our debts before acquiring new ones both individually, nationally and internationally. This is going to be a long and painful process and more so because the population (i.e. the voters) has not given any indication that they are going to accept that new reality lying down. Of course neither did the rich and powerful (corporations and individuals).

Seen in that light, it is a bit unreasonable to expect of Obama to solve an economic mess that has been half a century in the making and that no other country or economic block has even started to try and find a solution for.
Politically and economically speaking the world is standing on the edge of the abyss right now, all twisted up in a gordian knot. Anybody trying to untangle the knots keeping them tied to the mess is likely to send the whole thing plummeting over the edge before they are even halfway started untangling themselves.
It is all hair triggers and panic and huge amounts of money that nobody has the faintest idea anymore which is real and which is entirely fabricated by a financial and banking system gone completely out of control.
One thing is fairly certain though. Driving more people into destituency and draining more money out of the economy (either to off-shore tax shelters or by blowing it up in yet another big war) like the republican candidates propose is about the worst thing that can be done right now.

The sad reality is, though, that the majority of americans who can be bothered to vote may still be too delusional to see rational truth and that things will have to get a lot worse before they can get better.

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By exploitedtimes, September 2, 2011 at 5:25 am Link to this comment

Echoing another comment, blaming Republicans is no solution to anything. We all know (those who can think) that the 2 party facade is nothing but a distraction and propaganda. Perpetuating the 2 party myth here is sad and no different from yelling ‘Ford!’ or ‘Chevy!’ at a monster truck rally - it is neither constructive nor particularly intelligent.

As Chris Hedges and other thinkers have repeatedly written, the sooner we abandon the distraction of these political entities and their charades, the sooner we can address real problems.

If Truthdig is simply anti-Republican that is a shallow stance; I am sure Scheer and Hedges go beyond this.

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By ardee, September 2, 2011 at 4:40 am Link to this comment

With all respect to Mr. Boyarsky I might note that it has been three years into the Obama administration. Thus the war and the plunging economy are now owned by this administration regardless of who started the damn thing. Lest we forget Clinton played a role as well in signing off on the cancellation of Glass-Steigall.

His mild rebuke of the democrats for going along with Bush seems pale in comparison to the cowardice displayed then and since. The free pass for the financial community alone, after they crashed our economy in a signal example of illegality and venality, plays no part in this articles condemnations.

If we cannot correctly analyze causation we certainly cannot find solutions.

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