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Samantha

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Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 9,314

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Economic Treason: The definition of "treason" and could Republicans be guilty of this crime (Part 2)

On May 14, 2011, I wrote a thread here at DU entitled the same as this thread. Here is a link:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=439x1104652

We have had several discussions recently on this subject, and I decided to go back and review the contents of my thread and the replies I received. This was prompted by a discussion on another thread in which 2naSalit and I became very interested in the subject, although the thread in which we were participating was of a different nature. So we decided to jointly start a thread on this specific question rather than hijack that discussion. This is that thread.

I hope if you are reading this, you will take a minute out and look at the contents of the linked thread and read some of the responses. Even today, I find the arguments initiated by some of the posters in response to my question very informative and interesting. I think you will too.

For those of you too busy to check out the link, here are a few paragraphs:

"Why is not the threat to make the U.S. government default on its debt the equivalent of economic treason? Every time one of the Republicans steps out and threatens to vote no on raising the debt ceiling, is he or she not giving aid and comfort to our enemies?

If a terrorist group boasts it will destroy the U.S. Government by breaking it economically, as the late Osama bin Laden himself repeatedly said he would do, is an American citizen threatening to cast a vote which will prevent the lifting of the current debt ceiling not giving aid and comfort to the enemy?

Keep in mind it is the Republicans themselves who boast that the late Ronald Reagan took down the Soviet Union simply by destroying its economy. By doing so, they imply this technique is an effective but non-violent approach to destroying one's political enemy.

When the Republicans started threatening to do this initially, I froze up with fear to think of the ensuing collapse. Of course, soon thereafter, I realized that was their purpose in making this threat: instill political paralysis through threatening to collapse our economy until they get what they want.

Of course, in order for a charge of treason to be made, we must be in a time of war. As we know, a formal declaration of war has not been declared by Congress. Still, with the recent "elimination" of Osama bin Laden, the use of extreme conduct by our military as so ordered by our Commander-in-Chief came with the explanation of that conduct being justified as acceptable in times of war. It would be awkward at best to make a legal case excusing a person charged with treason by a technicality that war has not been declared when arms of our government publicly speak in terms that we are.

I took my question a step further by looking up the term to find the precise definition. Here is a link to a full explanation. It is easy to see how a legal case could be argued either way under this definition, but please read it for yourself and let me know your reaction."

and here is a sampling of the diverse responses:

Poster #2: Are some of our trade agreements treason? They certainly have weakened our manufacturing capacity and therefore, our ability to be independent and self-sufficient as a nation.

Poster #30: Yes, if they deliberately default on the debt to punish the nation for political purposes.

Poster #32: As far as I'm concerned treason can only constitutionally be defined as giving actual aide to an enemy that the United States has declared war.

It's why the Rosenbergs were charged formally with treason, but "conspiracy to commit espionage." Same reason why Jonathan Pollard wasn't charged with treason.

Given the way this word has been thrown around loosely to target progressive activist, much to the detriment of our democracy, I'm not comfortable to doing the same thing even with people I think are horrible human beings. I'm for a very narrowly and strictly defined definition of treason.

This does not fall within in it."

Please note: the discussion on treaties alone is very interesting.

But another question that arose last night concerned whether or not the citizens of this Country could initiate a class action civil suit against the Tea Party minority determined to shut down our government. This question was prompted by the fact they cannot be impeached because the House has a Republican majority and the DOJ would probably never initiate any investigation because the hue and cry that would arise by the Republicans would accuse President Obama and his Attorney General of using the power of their offices to retaliate against their political opponents.

So if you have any thoughts you would like to contribute to issues in this thread, please share your thoughts. The question I raised with 2naSalit last evening was could the Tea Party Republicans be sued for malfeasance in office:

“ Malfeasance has been defined by appellate courts in other jurisdictions as a wrongful act which the actor has no legal right to do; as any wrongful conduct which affects, interrupts or interferes with the performance of official duty; as an act for which there is no authority or warrant of law; as an act which a person ought not to do; as an act which is wholly wrongful and unlawful; as that which an officer has no authority to do and is positively wrong or unlawful; and as the unjust performance of some act which the party performing it has no right, or has contracted not, to do. ”
—Daugherty v. Ellis, 142 W. Va. 340, 357-8, 97 S.E.2d 33, 42-3 (W. Va. 1956) (internal citations omitted).

"The court then went on to use yet another definition, "malfeasance is the doing of an act which an officer had no legal right to do at all and that when an officer, through ignorance, inattention, or malice, does that which they have no legal right to do at all, or acts without any authority whatsoever, or exceeds, ignores, or abuses their powers, they are guilty of malfeasance."

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=3765139

In summary, I have the feeling that if our politicians cannot remedy this type of behavior soon, the citizens of the Country need to step up to the plate and hit back at those who think shutting down our government is acceptable. Many, many people are going to be hurt by this. I think many of you will say that the way to hit back is at the polls, but that might be too late.

So the question is what can we as citizens do?

Thanks for reading.

Sam

THANK YOU, TYRONE

I was born in Washington, DC in 1950. My mother was ill and wanted to move back home to be near her family. She had two children, and a heart condition threatened her life. My father, a young man who had done the unthinkable to try to make a living for his family, had relocated from Tennessee to Washington, DC and had obtained a job working for the IRS. But he listened to his wife’s concerns and agreed to move the family back to Tennessee. There he make his living driving a milk truck.

They were a remarkable couple. She was a beautiful woman with auburn hair, beautiful green eyes, very petite and with an Irish ancestry. My father was six foot 3 inches tall, and the Cherokee blood in his genes perhaps five generations preceding his birth were very evident. He had hair so dark brown many called it black, large brown eyes that also looked black and very dark skin. They both loved music, and enjoyed playing the piano and singing together. They adored each other.

My mother passed away a few years after she had moved back home. Despite her condition, she had become pregnant twice again, and left my 28 year-old father alone to raise four young children ranging in age from 9 months to seven years of age. In order to keep the family together, we subsequently all moved in with my grandparents. My father made too little money to pay anyone to take care of his children while he worked his route as a milk man. Living with his parents was the only way he could find to keep his family together.

All of this is to explain how and why by the time I was around 8 years old, I believed African-Americans hated white people and would kill us if the opportunity arose, all Jewish people didn’t believe Jesus Christ was the son of God and were destined to go to hell upon their passing, and Catholics and Baptists held each other in utter contempt. This type of information was in the conversations of older people who were my grandmother’s friends.

Upon my father’s remarriage, again he did the unthinkable, moved from a very red, conservative state to the heart of the Nation’s capital. When I was enrolled in the nearby school in DC, upon observing I was the only Caucasian child in that school, I became literally chronically petrified someone there would kill me if given the opportunity.

Why in the world had my father moved me to a city among all the people I had been taught (not by him but through hearing the conversations of my grandmother’s friends) would try to hurt me or even kill me?

My first day as I was walking toward my classroom, a smiling, handsome young African-American boy started walking toward me. I froze in fear. What was he going to do? He stopped right in front of me and smiled even more broadly. “Can I carry your books, he asked?” Quietly, I handed him my books and as I continued to walk towards my classroom, he walked by my side, smiling all the while, and waving at his friends we passed along the way. Once we arrived at the classroom doorway, he handed me the books, smiled and said goodbye.

Everyday I went to school, Tyrone waited for me, carried my books, and said very nice things to me. He had never met a girl with white skin and reddish hair, and that was what made him walk my way to begin with.

Tyrone was very popular in the elementary school, so easy-going and always smiling. After he befriended me, some of the girls invited me at recess to jump double-dutch jump rope. “But I don’t know how,” I said. “We will show you.” Soon, I was loving the art of double-dutch and the sweet girls who also befriended me. If I was okay with Tyrone, I was okay with them. And so all of my fears and the things I had learned as a youngster growing up in a very conservative state melted away.

My family moved to another location in the Washington, D.C. area at the end of the school year, and thus I had to leave my newly-found friends. I have never though forgotten Tyrone and the friendship he gave me when I first entered school here in the East.

So many times since I have been at DU, I have thought when reading threads about prejudice of whites against blacks, I felt ashamed that I had been one to harbor these prejudices as a young child. I always thought one day I would write a thread to talk about it and what influences changed me as a young person. Today is that day.

I do realize though that there are many young children like the one I used to be who are raised in environments where they are taught many untruths. Some will be fortunate enough to broaden their horizons and open their eyes to the equality of all men and women, regardless of skin color, regardless of nationality, regardless of sexual preferences, regardless of religious beliefs -- but sadly many will not.

Approximately five years after I met Tyrone, I was walking through the living room of my parents house when I heard the voice of a man named Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. saying, “I have a dream…." That speech mesmerized me. I listened in rapt attention.

Through that speech, I really understood what was going on in this Country. While it has always been acknowledged how much this man did for the advancement of African-American civil rights, I would like to personally acknowledge how much he also did for young people as I was then who had never fully and truly understood what had been going on between the different people of African-Americans and Caucasian communities in these United States for decades.

But I personally also feel so indebted to a young African-American boy who befriended me, a transplanted child from the south, and through that friendship made me belong. I have always had a special place in my heart for Tyrone for the life lessons he taught me not in words but in actions. So it seems very appropriate on this day to write this thread I have been meaning to write for so long now to say one thing.

Tyrone, I don’t know where you are today, but I have never forgotten you and I never thanked you for being my friend. You taught me more than you will ever know. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Sam

Just a short update

Today I received the first contributions by mail. One is a money order for $60.00 (Du #1 contributor) and a check for $5.00 (this is either DU #3 or DU #4 but the return mailing address is Fayetteville, AR - if you live here please pm me).

Additionally, we have $235.00 directly on deposit at the hospital: DU'er #2, DU'er #6, DU'er #7 and DU'er #8.

Total on hand $300.00. Probably the balance will arrive shortly.

I will be calling the clinic to make the appointment to have all the kittens treated the same day. They must all weigh at least 2 pounds. Two I am sure are there (Monet and Sunny), one is probably there (Dane) and two will soon be there (Elise and Bo).

I want you to know these kittens are thriving. It has been extremely difficult to balance everything, but I am committed and I have the wonderful support of those of you who have backed me up with donations, advice and even thread-bumping. We all did this together.

I am starting to reach out for interested adoptive parents. Started zealously approaching this yesterday in anticipating of having the surgeries done soon. This afternoon, I received an inquiry from a sound potential possibility who is interested in Monet or Elise.

I will keep you guys posted as I can.

Once again, I cannot thank you enough.

Sam

For the love of a cat named Nikita:A message for cat-savvy people (part 4 continued from the Lounge)

Perhaps you have seen the threads I have been posting the last few weeks about a cat who adopted me. I have always owned dogs, and when I opened my door one day and found this beautiful little cat meowing at me, I in my naivety did not know what she wanted from me. "She wants food, but if you feed her, you will have a cat," my neighbors said. I looked back at her earnest face and emaciated body and asked of my neighbors, "What is the alternative?" I promptly left and went to the store to buy some cat food. And that was the start of a very, long arduous journey which is culminating with this thread today and the ensuing two to three weeks.

Here are the threads if you wish to review them, and here is a picture of the beautiful cat who I have named Nikita who climbed the steps to my doorway that day.



Thread 3 at http://www.democraticunderground.com/1018434376
Thread 2 at http://www.democraticunderground.com/1018337627
Thread 1 at http://www.democraticunderground.com/1018319954

If you have had the opportunity to follow her story, you know one of the enduring questions that arose as the story progressed was this: was she pregnant. In the meantime, some of my neighbors became upset that now a cat was hanging around in the neighborhood and upsetting the applecart. I persisted in my determination to help this cat with whom I developed a deep bond. I did a lot of research, and asked that DU'ers who had a lot of information and advice to answer my questions along the way. The overwhelming amount of support I received from our community of cat-savvy people is truly impressive. They donated their time and helped me progress in my journey with Nikita to a very positive end.

But then one day, Nikita left. I was devastated. I did not see her for 2 days. When she finally returned, I was shocked by her appearance. She had dropped an incredible amount of weight suddenly. So I knew she must have had a litter. People told me that cats often hide their litter for protection from predators and the elements. You can read what happened next in either Thread 2 or 3.

But I recently took the advice of what DU'ers pushed me to do, I had Nikita spayed, given all her shots, tested for HIV, ears cleaned, nails clipped. This was done at hospital in Laurel, Maryland. Today, Nikita is thriving and for the first time in her life has a name, an address, a permanent home, a human being that loves her and tons of DU'ers who have followed her story. She also has 5 kittens:



May I introduce from left to right:

Monet (so beautiful, white with patches of color so brilliant one thinks of a painting by Monet); my very first impression of her was the stunning look she carries seems simply to give her the appearance of a truly beautiful work of art;

Dane (front and center) gray with lighter thin gray stripes and beautiful blue eyes;

Sunny (behind Dane) so golden, so beautiful she lights up the space;

Elise (named from the enchanting Beethoven piece) because she too is enchanting, colored similarly to Monet, and she is "kissing"

Bo (to the right) strikingly black with a white stripe down his nose and white paws with some white also on the stomach area.

I call them collectively Nikita's kids.

Today I start a fund-raising appeal to ask those who have the ability and willingness to do so to help me get the same treatment for each of Nikita's kids that I was able to get for Nikita herself. This will not only be a great thing for their health, but it will further the adoption process. I had an opportunity to put these kittens in a colony, but I chose to keep them. I wanted to find them wonderful homes. So I should mention here if you have a place in your heart and your home to love one of Nikita's kittens, if you are anywhere near the DC metro area, I would love to hear from you.

Our own Animal Control facility is stacked to the hilt and cannot take in any more animals. But I wanted to take the responsibility for Nikita's kids in finding good homes for them.

I have already received some offers from a few DU'ers to help. My estimate was that I would need to raise $325 for the 5 kittens. That is based on the fact that Nikita's cost $65.00. I have been discussing this matter with SPAY NOW, an Animal Surgery Clinic in Laurel, Maryland. Here are the figures they quoted me:

Feral females cost $60 for exam, spay, FVRCP (distemper), rabies, deworming, and ear clean
Feral males cost $50 for exam, neuter, FVRCP (distemper), rabies, deworming, and ear clean

Tame females cost $65 for exam, spay, FVRCP (distemper), rabies, deworming, nail trim, and ear clean
Tame males cost $55 for exam, spay, FVRCP (distemper), rabies, deworming, nail trim, and ear clean

I want to take them all at the same time, so today I am officially asking if you are reading this thread and are willing to make a contribution, no matter how small, please respond to this thread or send me a private message. Because the rates are different for males and females, I am not sure what the final total will be. But I will keep everyone informed as to how much is collected and what the final bill will be.

There will be 3 ways to donate, so you can private message me with questions. The way I am hoping most choose is to call the clinic, give them a credit card number and make the donation that way. One person has suggested I set up a PayPal account. I can see the appeal in that, but I do remember there are fees assessed and I would like to funnel every penny to the treatment instead of the payment mechanism. However, if enough people want this, I will pursue it. The third way is simply to send me a check. I would be thrilled with even $5.00. You can private message me and I will give you my name and address.

So keeping just as a working number the $325 I started with, I would like to let you know I have a pledge of $100 from a very generous DU'er who has followed Nikita's story who wants to help her kids. This means I only need to raise $225.00. I also have a couple of people who said they will donate, but left the amount hanging.

So I apologize for the length of this thread. I know some of you do not get down to the Lounge often and may not have been following this saga. But if you have it in your heart and can afford to make a donation for Nikita's kids, please let me know. As this effort continues, I will keep people informed of how we are progressing. I will also post updated pictures of the kids as I can capture decent shots. I leave you with these snaps of Bo for now.



This is Bo playing his favorite spot. Looks like a cage, but it is not, just a wire plant stand I had that he found and immediately staked a claim on. Stay tuned for more pictures and updates, and please help if you can.



Here Bo is sitting on his security blanket -- what else but a Mickey Mouse towel!

Thanks for reading.

Sam








Hey Cat-Savvy Du'ers -- For the Love of a Cat named Nikita -- a continuation (Part 3) UPDATE

Two earlier threads I posted for cat-savvy Du'ers pleaded for advice and assistance in taking care of a cat which had suddenly appeared on my doorstep.

Thread 1 at http://www.democraticunderground.com/1018319954

Thread 2 at http://www.democraticunderground.com/1018337627

These threads discussed my quandary in taking care of the cat since I had never owned one. Several generous posters here gave me invaluable assistance. Additionally, I have received private emails from concerned Du'ers. Lastly, the last update request I received I could not accommodate for reasons you are about to discern, but I do apologize for that. But one pending question that was left in suspense will now be answered.

Was she or wasn't she pregnant?




May I introduce from left to right:

Monet (so beautiful, white with patches of color so brilliant one thinks of a painting by Monet); my very first impression of her was the stunning look she carries seems simply to give her the appearance of a truly beautiful work of art;

Dane (front and center) gray with lighter thin gray stripes and beautiful blue eyes;

Sunny (behind Dane) so golden, so beautiful she lights up the space;

Elise (named from the enchanting Beethoven piece) because she too is enchanting, colored similarly to Monet, and she is "kissing"

Bo (to the right) strikingly black with a white stripe down his nose and white paws with some white also on the stomach area.

I call them collectively Nikita's kids, and I am sure you will intuitively realize why I have not had the time to post an update! They will be seven weeks old Sunday.

It has been a wild ride for me and I will describe more of it in a thread to follow soon. But I want to mention I am looking for loving people who might want to adopt a beautiful child of Nikita's. If you live anywhere in or near the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area and you have room in your heart and your home for a another kitten to love, please let me know. I am just now starting to look for homes for them and I know there are a lot of people here who would be the kindest of caretakers for one of Nikita's kids. I am reaching out through several venues but I specifically wanted to tell cat-lovers here. Why? The cat-lovers at DU are the most knowledgeable and kindest people I have ever encountered.

Additionally, I thank you all who helped me survive this journey. I did not have the tools in my toolbag to go it alone, and you guys helped me so much. It has been extremely difficult, not ever having owned a cat. But I have developed an extreme bond with the cat who adopted me, and she will become a permanent part of the household, along with my dog Cheyenne and perhaps one of these beautiful kittens.

But all of the hard work, homework, research, sleepless nights -- all of it was done for my love for the cat named Nikita who one day decided to adopt ME. Labors of love for the beautiful Nikita ...



Thank you, thank you, thank you for all your coaching and caring.

More later, but I hope to see some comments on Nikita's kids from those of you who helped me on my journey.

But let me leave you with just one note of a hilarious moment. If you were a participant on those previous threads, you might remember the second day Nikita lived here, she saw Cheyenne and I come out the door for our walk. As we walked down the sidewalk towards the street, she fell in line behind us. Much to my amazement, she tagged along for the whole walk. My neighbors thought this was a riot. She continued to do this each day.

One day, a car stopped suddenly and the driver said to me, "Ma'am, are you walking a cat?" I just looked at him and said, "I am walking my dog, and the cat has decided to come along for the ride." He laughed and pulled away. A few nights ago, I came out of the house with Cheyenne for our evening walk. I wondered if Nikita would follow, but I was unsure since she had moved her family to my porch (she had relocated the litter twice and I just met them!). I waited until we had gone a few steps and turned around to see. Nikita had walked to the end of my sidewalk, and was giving her version of the cat-mom meow to her kittens, the one the says "come to me."

Oh, my God! She was not only going for the walk, she was summoning her five babies to fall in line behind her. A visual appeared before my eyes of me walking down the path, Cheyenne beside me on her leash, Nikita trailing behind as was her habit, and FIVE SIX WEEK OLD KITTENS TAGGING ALONG BEHIND NIKITA. Panicked at the mere thought of taking these newborn cat babes down the streets, I hurriedly picked up Cheyenne and walked quickly back to the house. So everything ended well since I short-circuited the walk but I was left wondering how to deal with this plan of Nikita's. The next day, I took Cheyenne out in the back yard, but we did not walk. The following day, pretending the incident with the follow-me meow call by Nikita to her kids a few days before never happened, I started again with Cheyenne and headed towards our path. What do you think happened? I am thinking I probably do not have to tell you!!! So Cheyenne's daily walks are on hold for now until ... until????

Stay tuned for the future updates of the "daze of my and Nikita's lives" which will answer other pending questions such as, "What ever happened to the Big Gray cat" and reveal the destiny of the dreaded Black Cat that hissed at me when I warded him off from trying to mate with Nikita and eat her food....

With love,

Sam

UPDATE: This morning I received part of the information I have been seeking from the organization that treated Nikita. She was spayed, tested for HIV, given a rabies shot as well as all the other shots she needed to have. She had her ears cleaned out and a flea treatment.

I am going to post a thread in General Discussion asking for help with getting this same treatment for the 5 kittens. This probably will happen later tonight or tomorrow morning when they give me the rest of the information. So for right now, could you please let me know if you would be willing to contribute. I am trying to make it possible for people to donate 3 different ways. It can be in a small amount if that is all one can afford.

The cost for Nikita to get all of the above was $65.00. If I have to pay that much for 5, I would need to raise $325.00. However, I already have a pledge of $100, so that takes it down to $225.00. Also, the person from the rescue organization told me he might kick in a few bucks. I have two other people who have mentioned they wold like to give.

But I asked for a rescue rate (the man who trapped the kittens and Nikita told me to use the name of his organization and ask for the rescue rate) so I am not sure if they will charge me per kitten or give me an overall discount collectively for the 5.

The age of the kittens can be less than 14 weeks but each one has to weigh 2 pounds. I cannot begin to guess their weight. But I do know this. I will be taking them all at once. I need to do this not only for their health but to facilitate the adoption process.

So if you are willing and able to give anything, please email me and let me know the amount and the preferred manner of payment. The way I am hoping most people will donate is to call the organization (I will supply the name, address and number) and give them a credit card number to be credited to my account for "Nikita's kids". That way, when the number is reached that I need to reach to take them all down, the bill will be paid.

I would pay for this myself, but my budget is extremely tight and I just don't have a lot of resources. I am also spending money for litter and their food, and I will continue to do this while I have them

So if you want to participate, please let me know. You can post it here or send me an email. So please help if you can, but if you cannot and you have posted advice for me on these 3 threads I have submitted, I thank you for that help. I couldn't gave gotten this far without you guys. So -- complete fund-raising appeal will be posted in General Discussion when I receive the last of the info from this organization, but for now, I would like a preliminary idea of what might be doable, so email me or post on this thread. And a big THANK YOU.




I agree with you

She might not be well educated for whatever reason but she is very smart. She knows exactly what the defense attorney is trying to do and she has successfully blocked him a number of times.

Who can blame her for rolling her eyes when he repeatedly asks the same question, obviously hoping she comes up with a different answer than the first or second or even the third time he asked that question earlier. She recognizes the traps he sets for her and successfully navigates her way out of them. I cannot believe how many times she simply looked at him and said, "I do not watch the news" after he prefaced several questions with "When you heard on the news" implying she was testifying to information she heard broadcasted as opposed to information she had from her own personal knowledge.

The so-called legal experts on cable have said he has made some inroads on painting her as a liar. She did not tell the truth to the victim's mother about why she did attend the funeral service. She said she went to the hospital. She did not go to the hospital but simply used this as a reason for excusing her absence. The truth of the matter was that she did not want to see her friend's body on display in a casket. So imagine if she gave the literal truth as the answer to the mother's question -- that would have shown a lack of sensitivity for the mother. So instead she gave a false statement to avoid making a cold-hearted statement to Trayvon's mother. I call that a compassionate untruth.

And yes, she did mislead initially about her age but that was in the interest of protecting her privacy. I certainly can understand that. That is also the reason she signed the letter to Trayvon's mom with a "pen" name. When listening to the reasons she has given for the issues the defense attorney has chosen to discredit her credibility, her responses to him have come across as extremely reasonable, not deceptive or vicious.

For anyone here to call her stupid as I have read is to deny this young woman the credit she deserves for deflecting the defense attorney's moves to put words in her mouth, trick her into changing prior statements or simply changing her story.

Not only did she serve herself well but in so doing, she also served the best interests of her slain friend by refusing to allow the defense attorney to derail her efforts to help achieve justice for that friend and and all those that loved him.

Sam

Late night rumblings from Inside the Beltway -- a lulu of an idea!

In the South, an often heard term is the word “corker.” That slang term is defined by the Urban Dictionary as “something that will stop any debate on the subject.” Merriam-Webster prefers to define that term as a “hummer, knockout, lollapalooza, lulu.”

In recent times when I visited with my step-mother in Tennessee and she made flattering remarks about Bob Corker, all I could think to say was I would imagine it would be awkward being a politician in the South having the last name “Corker.” She laughed and shrugged it off. Bob Corker is a fine, Christian man and everyone loves him, she said.

My silly wisecrack came to mind this evening as I watched the rerun of Chris Hayes’ show. He covered the latest compromise being floated which might allow passage of the Immigration Bill.

Chris Hayes tossed the idea around with Ezra Klein trying to explain why the inclusion of all of the additional border guards and equipment (which costs a gazillion million dollars) has suddenly appeared as a compromise in order to try to promote Republican support of the bill. The humorous part came when Hayes' initial focus zoomed in on Bob Corker. To illustrate the bizarre incongruity of the possible inclusion of a gazillion million dollars to the Immigration legislation, Chris showed several video clips of Corker "preaching" austerity. "We all know Washington has a spending problem ... yada, yada, yada. Onward with the cuts!"

Whoa, politicos! Suddenly Corker no longer has an inclination to continue down the austerity road because he might be willing to get on board with the Immigration legislation as long as this compromise is included. The compromise in Corker’s small mind will send the right signal to all the right people, thus providing political cover for Corker's posterior (loosely paraphrasing here) to support this bill! Apparently, dollars for food stamps are Biblically forbidden like the fruit from the forbidden tree but a gazillion millions dollars to cover Corker's political posterior is manna from political heaven! Forget austerity!

So to eliminate possible political exposure in the next election, the appeasement platform may be mounted by Corker and other like-minded Republicans. Consequently, Republicans supporting the legislation can point to the increased border guards and equipment to prove to the people who really matter the United States Government has got that border covered to squash future crashes from people wanting to come here illegally to take our jobs or to smash us like a bug.

When quietly questioned, one unnamed person (perhaps an unidentified Union official?) interviewed in connection with this sudden willingness by Corker and others to sign on to the spending of the gazillion million dollars despite our dire financial straits was quoted as having said words to the effect, "We don't think this is the perfect solution to this problem; however, it will add a lot of jobs and create a stimulus to the economy, something the Republicans have been unwilling to do up until now. So we are just going to roll with it.”

It is a lollapalooza of an idea but perhaps that is what Washington needs to get the real Corkers and other Republican hummers onboard…so I am just going to roll with it as well.

Sam

I don't think Ariel Castro should receive the death penalty

Should he decide to avoid a trial and just plead guilty, I think he should be imprisoned for life, with no possibility of parole. He should be confined in a below-ground dark cell, where the only human he sees is whoever tosses him some food periodically. He should additionally have leg irons attached to his legs. Every ten years he serves, he should be allowed out of the cell to see the daylight for a short period of time.

He is only 52 years old. With any luck, he could possibly live 30 years. That would amount to a ten-year sentence for each of the hostages he held.

I think of myself as a compassionate person, and I really try to be kind to my fellow human beings. Not this time.

Sam

Rather than dancing with those that "brung" him, Obama eyes making a deal with the Devil

If one wants to go with the theory President Obama's budget containing the Chained CPI to Social Security is a bluff, that type of bluff is a fatally flawed maneuver. A Democratic President who even gives the appearance of being willing to implement the equivalent of a Social Security cut permanently scars the Democratic party's image and reputation to protect the planks of the New Deal.

If one wants to go with the theory President Obama used as bait a cut in Social Security to lure Republicans in exchange to agree to revenue increases, that is a catastrophic maneuver. Social Security in an integral part of the Democratic party's platform, and to use bits and pieces of it as chips with which to bargain for other lesser important things is both stupid and callous.

Either way, genuine offer or not so genuine offer, it hands the Republicans a tool with which to batter Democrats in the 2014 and 2016 elections.

Many Americans are aware that the deficit has already started to drop from 10% of GDP in 2008, down to 7%, and we have heard economists say before this debate started it was on the way to 5% if everything continued on schedule the way it had been going. Nevertheless, Social Security cuts should not be used to reduce the deficit because a huge portion of that deficit, at least 10.5 Trillion Dollars plus interest, was accrued by George W. Bush* in fighting two wars and implementing Medicare Part D (read gift to the pharmaceutical companies). He kept that amount off the general ledger so the public would not know the degree to which it was accruing. Think Enron-type accounting.

When President Obama came into office, he announced about 3 months later he was moving that amount onto the general ledger so everyone would know immediately where things stood. With that statement, this Country moved out of an era in which we heard Dick Cheney say "Deficits don't matter" into an era where President Obama was chronically bashed for (a) not working hard enough to reduce the deficit; and (b) spending too much money. It was all Obama's fault.

The end result of all that is that essentially we are being asked to compromise a part of our future Social Security COLA increases in order to effectively pay for the Bush wars and Medicare Part D. How outrageous is that? The truth of the matter is that is makes me LIVID to think anyone would try some economic hocus-pocus to divert a portion of Social Security benefits to pay for Bush's war of choice.

But putting all of the above aside, it is a betrayal to President Obama's base either way. His reputation with those that truly put him in the Oval Office is forever damaged. That is the consequence of rather than dancing with those that "brung" him preferring instead to deal with the Devil.

Regardless of how this budget battle ends, President Obama will never regain tomorrow that which he had from us yesterday. And that is tragic for all of us.

Just my opinion.

Sam

What about this?

Executive Order 11423 of August 16, 1968

http://www.state.gov/e/eb/rls/othr/exec/114274.htm

"b) With respect to applications received pursuant to subsection (a)(i) above, the Secretary of State shall request the views of the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Defense, the Attorney General, the Secretary of the Interior, the Secretary of Commerce, the Secretary of Transportation, the Interstate Commerce Commission, and the Director of the Office of Emergency Planning. \1\ (FOOTNOTE) With respect to applications received pursuant to subsection (a)(ii) above, the Secretary of State shall request the views of the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of the Interior. With respect to applications received pursuant to subsection (a)(iii) or (iv) above, the Secretary of State shall request the views of the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Defense, the Attorney General, and the Secretary of Transportation.

***

(f) The Secretary of State shall issue or deny the permit in accordance with his proposed determination unless, within fifteen days after notification pursuant to subsection (d) or (e) above, an official required to be consulted under subsection (b) above shall notify the Secretary of State that he disagrees with the Secretary's proposed determination and requests the Secretary to refer the application to the President. In the event of such a request, the Secretary of State shall refer the application, together with statements of the views of the several officials involved, to the President for his consideration and final decision.

***
Sec. 3. The authority of the Secretary of State hereunder is supplemental to, and does not supersede, existing authorities or delegations relating to importation, exportation, transmission, or transportation to or from a foreign country. All permits heretofore issued with respect to matters described in Section 1 of this order, and in force at the time of issuance of this order, and all permits issued hereunder, shall remain in effect in accordance with their terms unless and until modified, amended, suspended, or revoked by the President or, upon compliance with the procedures provided for in this order, by the Secretary of State."

Food for thought.

Sam
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