T. Shields: To answer some questions

Norman Smith’s letter of June 24 asked a number of questions when responding to my letter of June 19. My answers follow.

I have noticed that Democrats have a different way of looking at thrift, logic and unprejudiced facts.

I want to make it impossible for the fraudulent or unqualified to vote. Your candidate should not be defeated by such people. In Maine it is still too easy to slip past the current regulations. We need better proof of eligibility, and if this is an impediment to voting, it is only because you do not take elections seriously.

Why should “independent” Angus King donate funds to any political party? However, he endorsed and contributed to Barack Obama and that ought to tell you something about this liberal spender.

President Obama has shown that he is racist and inexperienced, among other unfavorable characteristics. Should state officials accept his nonsense?

The United States government historically has functioned on a two-party system, with transient third parties appearing and disappearing. Other countries have multiple parties and usually need to form awkward coalitions to get anything done.

FOX is the only TV network that is fair and balanced. I take it as a compliment that my questions reminded Smith of FOX. The other networks have a bias and listeners eventually consider that as balanced, thus making FOX look like a radical right wing organization.

Thomas F. Shields, Auburn

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Betty Davies's picture

Voter fraud is extremely rare


It's very comprehensive, and debunks the folks who are trying to discourage voting by pretending that voter fraud is common. Instead, it's exceedingly rare.

I encourage everyone to review this article.

 's picture

Inexperienced is an understatement.

He's the beggar-for-spare-change-in-chief.

RONALD RIML's picture

One can't reason with lunatics and drunks.......

Which are you, Dr. Shields?????

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Not very neighborly, Veritas.

Not very neighborly, Veritas. Is there any compelling evidence to suggest that he is one or the other, your being in disagreement with his opinions, notwithstanding?

RONALD RIML's picture

Not the Neighborly 'Neighborhood Watch' Program.....

Smiley face

But one learns a thing or twa' after mucking around with various characters in Mr. Rogers Neighborhood for several decades or so....

 's picture

That's a bizarre question ...

... coming from a member of both groups. Reason is always the least element in your comments.

RONALD RIML's picture

But I drew you in like a fly to honey......

You, recognize reason???


 's picture

ROTFLMFAO - emphasis on the F

Yup, that's the usual activity of drunks and loonies. So you, unlike Obama, speak from experience.

Q: How does a sailor know when he's had too much to drink?

A: He tries to brush something off his pea coat .. and it's the deck.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Leave it to Thomas Shields to

Leave it to Thomas Shields to stimulate the 'willy-wackers'.

 's picture

The left can't shoot the message ...

... so they shoot the messenger.

How ObamaCare works ...

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Liberals, democrats,

Liberals, democrats, environmentalists; eliminate any two of the three and watch America kick ass.

AL PELLETIER's picture

All agree.

After years of reading Dr. Shield's partisan opinions I think we can all agree, they border on the fringe of lunacy and he certainly does not read these comments regarding his letters. If he does, he never responds.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Who among us does NOT write

Who among us does NOT write with a certain level of partisanship, Al?
Is it possible that Dr. Shields' lack of response to our comments regarding his letters may be due to his engaging in flights of higher intellect?

RONALD RIML's picture

Flights of Higher Fancy........

But - go ahead and compare him to YOUR intellect all you wish....

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

The Pirate is capable of

The Pirate is capable of listening to the "William Tell Overture" without thinking of the Lone Ranger. Is Veritas?

RONALD RIML's picture

Not since those "Thrilling Days of Yesteryear....."

You, luckily, must have heard it way before then.......

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

"Return with us, now, to

"Return with us, now, to those thrilling days of yesteryear when, out of the past came the thundering hoof -beats of the great horse, Silver; the Lone Ranger rides again!! HIYO, SILVER...AWAYYYY"!!!
I used to listen to that stuff on the radio.

AL PELLETIER's picture

I heard this today

And today we are reliving those thrilling days with the swishing flaps of a parrots wings and the thundering cry of the pirate, "I'm a Republican and don't you forget it" and Ta hell with Tonto, he was a Democrat, as he sails into the sunset. I read this every day!
Happy 4th from Sweet Fern.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Hahaha....that's pretty good,

Hahaha....that's pretty good, Sweet Fern.
I would make one minor correction, however. The Pirate was once a democrat up until the time James Earl Carter became president. The Pirate has never been, is not, and never will be a republican.
All conservatives are not republicans; all republicans are not conservatives.
Tonto, more than once, showed signs of not fully understanding who was feeding him.
Bet you don't know the name of Tonto's horse. Googling it will be considered cheating.

AL PELLETIER's picture

OK, Paul

You won the bet. For the past two days all I could think of was "Paint" as that's what they call a calico horse. After racking my brain I cheated and went to Google. F-----G SCOUT! Piss me off, former American sailors don't like losing to Pirates.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

LOL....The Lone Ranger would

LOL....The Lone Ranger would holler, "Hiyo, Silver" and Tonto would shout, "Gittum up, Scout!!" Fun stuff.
BTW--Pirates are sailors too.

 's picture

Mr. Shields -

I noticed you mentioned Gov. King's donation to Mr. Obama but didn't mention anything about Gov. King's donation to George W. Why is that? Please explain why the President is racist. I can understand why you didn't, since you watch Fox News and they make unexplained allegations constantly. As far as multiple parties not being about to get anything done, this Congress has had only one objective - defeat the President, while ignoring the needs of the country. It is the worst do-nothing Congress in the history of the United States of America.

Zack Lenhert's picture

"FOX is the only TV network

"FOX is the only TV network that is fair and balanced."

hahaha. That's a hoot.

...and Florida is the only state with good mountains to climb.

 's picture

Dr. Shields normally fills this paper with the usual Repub

talking points - lies. This letter though tops his usual fantasies.

"In Maine it is still too easy to slip past the current regulations." This has been investigated by his Party in a purely partisan way and no evidence was found that anyone had committed voter fraud in Maine and no election results had been affected by voter fraud. I suggest a more frightening concern is the imposition of Sharia Law in Maine by the Iranian government with the aid of the once domant Know Nothing Party of Maine and seer stones.

"President Obama has shown that he is racist and inexperienced, among other unfavorable characteristics." What other characteristics - that he's black? This statement is unpatriotic, unAmerican, and should be offensive to anyone who supports this country. Calling President Obama a racist is an old KKK trick. Obama is our duly elected President of the United States and will be again unless Republican efforts to suppress the legal vote steals the election for them. Dr. Shield's conclusion which is not based on a shred of evidence reflects his opinoin and has nothing to do with the truth or facts.

FoxNews is fair and balanced now that just defies common sense. The head of FoxNews, Roger Ailes, is a long time Republican operative, starting in the Nixon Administration, who has said on TV that his goal is to defeat Obama and elect a Republican President. Every show on Fox implements that view. Nothing on Fox is unbiased and they admit it. Hell, they coordinate stories with the RNC and Republican Congressional leadership. Fox News is nothing other than a Republican SuperPac giving the Republicans free coverage.

 's picture

Nothing on ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, CNN, ...

... is unbiased and they don't admit it and never will.

It is precisely because I support this country that I feel it's my duty to criticize the president when I think he deserves it. The left spent eight years criticizing GWB .. heck, hanging him in effigy .. every day and, according to them, that was the height of patriotism. You can't have it both ways, although that truth has never yet slowed down a Democrat.

Thanks, Jon, for finally realizing that this is the opinion section. Your blather is just opinion, too, although you insist on wrapping it with the pedantry of the dispassionate analyst. You're not fooling anyone, except perhaps yourself.

 's picture

Besides the point.

Dr. Shields said that FoxNews is fair and balanced. I showed by their own words that they aren't. ABC, NBC, MSNBC has nothing to do with the issue at hand. But if you want a comment - MSNBC and its hosts constantly state that their opinoins are factual and liberal. No contradiction.
Of course, the President must be critized. Do it all the time. Changed party registration because Obama's positions were incompatible with the truth and good policy. I criticize him all the time on Health Care, Taxes, Debt, etc. Dr. Shields is not critizing him for a difference in policy; he is attacking him personally without a single shred of evidence to support Dr. Shield's conclusion. I critized Bush. Called him a fascist. Documented why and why it was not about him personally but about his policies. Never called him a Nazi or compared him to Hitler because those were never true and they were misleading.
The difference between my "blather" and Dr. Shield's lies is that you can do any research you want and find all kinds of information supporting my "blather" as fact, a fair characterization. I'm willing to change my views when facts contradict them; you aren't. You dismiss anything that does not fit you model of the truth. You will not challenge your own assumptions.
Hell, I read libertarian economics weekly. Its easy for me to reject their conclusions (President Andrew Jackson was an anti-government libertarian) easily because they do things like this - "Mainstream Historians thought Jackson was a xxxxx. But recently Historians changed their view and see him as a libertarian." (not an exact quote but I don't have the book with me). Close enough. You would think the "historians" who have recently changed their view are part of the Mainstrem Historians mentioned before. Nope. The footnotes explain that the recent historians are libertarian historians who never held any other view than that he was a libertarian and who have never changed their minds and the Mainstream historians also have not changed one iota. The author intentionally mislead his reader. See this trick all the time in right-wing propaganda.

 's picture


I like the "inexperienced" part. Does Rmoney have presidential experience?

AL PELLETIER's picture

Of course he does, Mark

He brought Romney Care to Massachusetts so he should know how to manage Obama Care.

 's picture

He's campaigning on repealing Obamacare

If Romney ran as the Gov. of Massachusetts and on his record that would be one thing; but he's not. The good he did - providing health insurance to all children and 98% of the adults in his state and proving the value of the individual mandate he has thrown away because he represents a political party dedicated to the destruction of the middle class.

AL PELLETIER's picture

Just noticed

RMONEY, that's much more imaginative then oBAMa!

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Yes, if his name were RAMONE.

Yes, if his name were RAMONE. Actually, it was pretty good, Al. BTW, how've you been?

AL PELLETIER's picture

Hey Pirate

I've been fine but my lap top s--- to bed. I never backed up my business files so I had to bring my new one to the pros. to transfer my info. from my old hard drive to this unit. God, it's great to be reading, and being a part of, this great gossip again!

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

I wondered what had happened

I wondered what had happened to you. The parrot was afraid you'd moved to Seattle.

 's picture

Glad to hear you are enjoying it.

But sorry your laptop is now a boat anchor.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

How much presidential

How much presidential experience did the campaigner in chief have when he was coronated?

 's picture

About the same as the outsourcer-in-chief has

One term as Governor; State senator and then Federal Senator. Pretty even. But I'll readily admit Obama has nothing close to the experience Romney has in firing people, looting pension funds, getting Federal subsidies, bankrupting successful companies, or cutting workers' compensation. Romney certainly is one of America's most experienced Mafia capitalists.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Great letter, Dr. Shields.

Great letter, Dr. Shields. Keep up the good fight.

JOANNE MOORE's picture

Good fight?

What the hell is good about being a bigot and a liar?

PAUL ST JEAN's picture



RONALD RIML's picture

From one Old Fart, er.. Fighter to Another.....


PAUL ST JEAN's picture

"Apology accepted!!",

"Apology accepted!!", bellowed the pompous parrot.

Jason Theriault's picture

Your full of it

" In Maine it is still too easy to slip past the current regulations. "

Really? Produce some examples of this "rampant" voter fraud. You can't because it doesn't exist. You're chasing this issue because it gives you a reason to disenfranchise the opposition. We covered this already. There was no voter fraud last election unless you count people voting Democratic as fraud. Which, in that case you're REALLY going to hate this election for all the fraud.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Let's cover it once again for

Let's cover it once again for those who may be 'get it' challenged.
The only legitimate reason for being against voter ID is that it denies those so inclined the opportunity to cheat.The democrat mantra of 'vote early, vote often' is not merely a myth. Absence of apprehensions and convictions is not proof non-occurrence.

Jason Theriault's picture

That's crap

Prove to me that it will stop fraud(that also includes proving that there is fraud to stop) and I'll vote for it.

However, there is no fraud, and even if there was, this wouldn't stop it. This is just making it tougher for people you don't agree with to vote. And the current voter ID laws are just to make sure you are who you say you are. Most states will take any form of picture ID, even ids that don't establish residency, like a college id.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

If you say it, it's wisdom.

If you say it, it's wisdom. If someone else says it and you don't agree with it, it's crap. You make it difficult to take you seriously at times. You know damn well, they'll cheat whenever they can, because that's what democrats do.

 's picture

You mean this November?

You got it backwards. After it's over, you'll trot out your usual explanation: They stole the election! When Democrats lose, it can't possibly be because voters don't like their policies.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Let’s put an end to those

Let’s put an end to those claims – “They stole the election!”; support voter ID.

 's picture

I know you want to put an end to the fact that Republicans

stole the 2000 Presidential election and are now working their tails off to steal this one. The Republican majority leader in the Pennsylvania House confirmed that fact a few weeks ago - that voter id laws had one and only one purpose to elect Romney President by denying legal voters their rights - stealing the election. I hope they don't succeed. Romney will be America's worst President since dare I say Bush II and he was the worst President since Hoover.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Bush won that one Jon. You

Bush won that one Jon. You might want to work on getting over that. "Let it go", the parrot's psychoanalyst used to say.

 's picture

Sorry, he stole it

Preventing hundreds of thousands of eligible voters from voting; failure to count all legal votes; sending Republican thugs to Florida to prevent the recount from being completed (made it to the cover of Time Magazine); and the court resolving a election issue when all precedent, all former court opinoins, and the court's own majorty opinoin stated that what they were doing was unconstitutional constitutes a conspiracy to steal the election. He was appointed to the Presidency and he was never elected.

 's picture

just like Obama!

Obama's own birth certificate, provided by him April 2011, demonstrates that he is a dual citizen, not natural born. That fact alone makes him ineligible for the Presidency based on the wording in Article 2, sec. 1 of the U.S. Constitution. TAKE NOTE - I am not saying Obama is not an American citizen. I'm pointing out, by HIS OWN ADMISSION through provision of the birth cert HE provided, that he is a dual citizen by that document and has provided NO documentation to verify the contrary. So, you want to point fingers at parties/people stealing the Presidency, let's point them at the DNC and Obama of '07-'08 who did NOT properly vet candidate Obama. I'll even go so far as to say the Republicans are complicit because they didn't clamor for proper verification and sat on their hands - and they STILL aren't rallying for that! So, in my opinion, we don't have a 2 party system - and we haven't for a LONG time; we have a homogenized system of lawyers (largely) who all have each others' backs. Further, I offer this up to you all - take a study of the word "taqiyya." When you do and then compare it to what is happening within this administration and the fact that there is no documentation/verification that Obama's allegiance is to the United States, we begin to see the culmination of the erosion of our great nation from the current occupancy of the highest office in our country. The fruition of that word search certainly explains a LOT!! To anyone trying to discredit my claim, offer the PROOF that he's NOT a dual citizen still. Good luck with that, considering that he's sealed all corroborating documents. By definition of that word "taqiyya," anyone practicing that is deliberately covering things up and deflecting attention from their real goals, which is to further Islam and adhere to the Islamic principle of either converting everyone to Islam or eradicating the "infidels." There it is - PROVE me wrong!

 's picture

Just to make certain

SFW. I don't have to prove you wrong. 200 years of tradition, law, and the Constitution don't give you a leg to stand on and every court that has look at this nonsense has rejected it as frivolous - not worthy of even a discussion. Obama is by the Constitution both Article 2 and the 14th Amendment a natural born citizen of the United States. His alligience to the United States is proved every single day. These paranoid delusions of taqiyya originate with the Beck-John Birch Society-fundamentalist Mormon wing of the racist, white Republican Party as a way to discredit Obama even though the man has managed this Government as a moderate Republican for the last 4 years. Even John McCain, not a good campaigner but a great American, has told people with this view that they are wrong; totally factually, completely wrong.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

...the man has managed this

...the man has managed this Government as a moderate Republican for the last 4 years."
Gee, if he's managed things like a moderate, I'm sure glad he didn't decide to behave like a liberal republican.
If oBAMa's a moderate, Clinton was a right wing extremist.

 's picture

name one liberal thing he's done

Closest might be ending the war in Iraq.
ACA is an idea out of the Heritage Foundation with a long list of Republican conservative and moderate supporters. Created as republican alternative to Clinton's health care. On and On

 's picture

only one?

How about with the singular stroke of a pen instead of the due process of Congress making some 800,000 people citizens who shouldn't be without going through the immigration process like everyone else? No? How about stonewalling then rejection of Keystone XL ? Further, how the hell do you figure he's natural born, even by the 14th amendment? The 14th Amendment talks about all persons born or natural-IZED being considered citizens of the United States, which I stated he was. It doesn't mean he fits the qualification of being NATURAL BORN, which by his own birth cert that HE provided proves he's not - he's a dual citizen and there has been no other documentation to prove otherwise. The 14th Amendment also provides us with the safety of due process (hmm, where have we heard that before?). NOWHERE does the 14th Amendment circumvent what Article 2, sec. 1 states as being the qualifications for the Presidency. Just because a bunch of pundits, regardless of what camp they bloviate from, say that's anything but worthwhile doesn't make it unworthy of discussion. As for the court argument you use, most of those courts are presided over by known liberals; of course they're going to say its foolishness. I don't care who it is saying it; a plain reading of Article 2, Sec. 1 is CLEAR as to the qualifications of anyone attempting to become President of the United States and they must meet that threshold - otherwise, they are discredited, period. The minute we justify ignoring our Constitution as the law of the land, we have no freedoms. As for your claim of precedence, WHEN has there been anyone else who has not been properly vetted reaching the authority of the Office of President of the United States? Until Obama, there hasn't been anyone else who's occupied the Presidency who isn't qualified by Article 2, sec. 1. More from the Alinsky playbook - deflection to avoid addressing the REAL issue. Hmm .... sounds a LOT like "taqiyya!" Are you Muslim, Albrecht? If so, you've learned well, Padawan.

 's picture

blah, blah, blah

"singular stroke of a pen instead of the due process of Congress making some 800,000 people citizens" No such event has occurred and certainly Obama has done no such thing. Obama who has deported more undocumented immigrants than any former President suspended the deportation of individuals who through no fault of their own find themselves in the US. No one has been made a citizen or given a path to citizenship.
The argument that he is not a natural born citizen under the 14th amendment and the original Constitution has been thrown out as frivilous by every court that has had the misfortune to hear such a petition. Dual citizen is irrelevent. His father being a Nigeria citizen is irrelevent. This is all a racist panic attack. Most of the Federal Bench is occupied by known Conservatives. Less than 20% were appointed by Democrats. Obviously you apparently don't think you owe any alliegence to the Constitution or the Courts. Funny and hypocritical for someone making a Constitutional argument.
Natural Born Citizen is not defined in Article 2. So your whole argument that it is very clear what is meant is obviously ridiculous. The Congressional research Service stated, "The weight of legal and historical authority indicates that the term “natural born” citizen would mean a person who is entitled to U.S. citizenship “by birth” or “at birth,” either by being born “in” the United States (my comment - parents don't matter) and under its jurisdiction, even those born to alien parents; by being born abroad to U.S. citizen-parents; or by being born in other situations meeting legal requirements for U.S. citizenship “at birth.” Obama easily meets this criteria.
And if we needed any more proof off you irrational paranoia - the Alinsky Playbook. That was re-written by Beck right. Deflection from the real issues is standard fare of the Republican PR machine of which you are an obvious victim.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Only a liberal

Only a liberal environmentalist (redundancy, I know) would have thwarted the Keystone Pipeline project.

 's picture

Anyone who can think would have thwarted the

Keystone Pipeline proposal. Governors of Nebraska and Kansas are opposed and either have sued or have threated to sue if it is approved. The only known tar sands spill is still not cleaned up have 2 years and the river into which the tar sands oil spilled supports no life at all. Estimates based on the age of existing pipelines planned for the project, experience at the tar sands facilities, and experience with more easily distributed oils; spills of major dimensions will occur several times a year along the pipeline (this is a conservative estimate since tar sands are moved through the pipelines at higher pressures and temperatures and with more corrosive diluting agents than any other type of liquid piped). There is no known technology to clean up a tar sands spill. A spill in the midwest would pollute the world's richest farming aquifer forever.
The Keystone Pipeline will reduce diesel fuel prices and increase gasoline prices.
The Keystone Pipeline will cost jobs after construction is completed.
Until the proposal is significantly improved its risks to the nation far out weigh any private benefit that might accrue.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

No matter what label you

No matter what label you assign, I end up with fewer freedoms and less money at the end of the day. That I can measure.

Better living through smaller government.

 's picture

Ho do you figure that

Unless you are a major corporation ACA will have little or no impact on you. If you have insurance now it has no impact. If you don't its your choice what you get. The government can't collect any penalty if you choose not to get insurance. But you do get no discrimination for pre-existing conditions, children on parents health care insurance until they should be on their feet, and dozens of other improvements that will save you money and perhaps your life.
Small government means taking the cops off the economic beat. You do that and the economic actors will do what people who are unchecked will always do - loot the system

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

"The government can't collect

"The government can't collect any penalty if you choose not to get insurance."
How do YOU figure that? Why, because it's a tax, not a penalty? The penalty mandate was upheld by SCOTUS as being constitutional on the basis of it being a tax. How can the government not penalize me if I don't get insurance?

 's picture

No, Pirate because I read the law and I listened to the

testimony of the IRS Commissioner at the time the legislation was debated. The law specifically prohibits the IRS from collecting the penalty through a lien on property or garnishment of wages. The IRS Commissioner testified under oath that as written he had no authority to collect the penalty. He also stated that the 15,000 new employees needed to collect the penalty was an estimate without any foundation in fact.
The confusion here is that the original bill allowed the collection of the penalty, but amendments adopted before passage precluded collection.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

You have to read closely. Jon

You have to read closely. Jon said because 4 justices took that opinion its constitutional, he does not know that 5 is the majority not 4. Therefore, that is not the majority opinion, and therefore, not ruled constitutional.

If I were Parrot, I would not turn my back on Jon.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

The parrot, an avowed

The parrot, an avowed liberal, claims he read somewhere that 5 out of 4 people don't know squat about fractions.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

What, the parrot is a

What, the parrot is a liberal! I’m sorry to hear the parrot is ill.

I heard that liberalism is a mental disorder.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

It's what allows us to remain

It's what allows us to remain 'fair and balanced'. 0O:-)
I once heard it said that liberalism was a perpetual state of adolescence compounded by a profound absence of rational thought.
Needless to say, it wasn't the parrot that said it.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

“Small government means

“Small government means taking the cops off the economic beat.”
There is much we can cut from the federal government before it impacts local budgets, such as law enforcement.

“You do that and
the economic actors will do what people who are unchecked will always do”
Just speculation, how about an empirical study.

The system is looted now, so if I half the budget, I at least half the looting.

 's picture

As you know the cops I referred to are not local

The cops are the Federal regulators - SEC, FED, etc. True its just speculation because no one has done as far as I know an empirical study. But I suggest that if a empirical study was done it would only re-enforce about 10,000 years of human experience. Just one example; the SEC was told more than a dozen times that Maddoff was running a ponzi scheme with verifiable numbers. SEC staff started investigating and were pulled off by Christopher Cox former Republican Congressman because as he said; "if he is stealing, he is just stealing from jews." The investigation was closed and Maddoff turned a $1 billion pnozi scheme into a $65 billion ponzi scheme. Another example this one much more inline with Republican thinking, "Die Hard with Vengence", kid says after stealing some ice cream. Look around there isn't a cop for 20 blocks; you could steal City Hall. When you fail to monitor people's public behavior they will do what they please and test the limits of acceptable behavior. If no one is there to stop them they will exceed those limits. Read the Federalists. or any political science book.
" The system is looted now, so if I half the budget, I at least half the looting." Nope. Simple math is well a magic bullet. If you end regulation its not just the Federal Budget that will be looted. Its the economy as a whole. Fed budget < 20% of GDP. End regulation and you open 4 times as much to be looted. And Looting is just the symptom. The real social cost is the empoverishment of the middle class and with it the progress, economic growth, innovation, and power that come from the effective utilization of the thinking of our nation as a whole. Juran and others have demonstrated that dictatorships' (in economic organizations) real cost is the inability to use the creative capabilities of the work force.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Bush was able to keep the

Bush was able to keep the dems from stealing it, so in the process he stole it? Typical left wing logic; I prevent you from stealing from me, so I'm the thief. I love it.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

I’m not sure who repeats a

I’m not sure who repeats a message more precisely?

Someone engaging in partisan politics or Parrot.

Looks like Parrot has competition.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

The parrot claims to be

The parrot claims to be peerless. When I tell him he's unique, he tells me he's from Trinidad; not France. What a wack-job.

 's picture

Excuse me

Where was the Dems trying to steal it. Everything in my previous comment was a action taken by the Republican Party.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

How conveniently we forget.

How conveniently we forget. During the recounts of the votes, the dems wanted to count only the democrat votes, but Florida courts ruled that ALL votes would be counted. Of course, that was swallowed by the left as Bush having stolen the election when in fact he had prevented the dems from stealing it. You people can misrepresent it all you want, but it only went down one way.
But, before you get too carried away on this one, Jon, explain to us how the oBAMacare mandate is not a tax, but the 'penalty fees' will be collected by the IRS and the IRS has hired 15,000 additional agents to collect the 'fees'.

 's picture

Last will be first

1. The individual mandate is a penalty as are hundreds of other penalties in the IRS code. Justice Roberts did not say it was a tax just that it could be "characterized as a tax". He wanted that so that he could make his point - to support the law without any Constitutional basis having just rejected the Commerce Clause which of course was the real basis for supporting the law. This way Robert could do great damage to the Commerce Clause and the Constitution without creating a war over the ACA. Its purely political not Constitutional.
2. Romney agrees that it is a penalty. Obama thinks its a penalty. The law says its a penalty. And since you only are subject to it if you don't buy insurance it is a penalty - a punishment.
3. The penalty will not be collected by the IRS. The law specifically states that the penalty can not be collected by the legal means available to the IRS.
4. The IRS has hired no one to collect the fees. The 15,000 additional agents was an guestimate made by the Republican opponents to the bill in 2009. The head of the IRS testified to Congress under oath, the Republican politicians were not under oath, that since he was barred by the law from collecting the fees he obviously would not be hiring any agents to collect them. But if he had authority the number was closer to 400 and they would not be new hires but people transferred from other duties because of the other changes in the tax code.
Now the first, as you write, the Gore campaign asked the courts to limit the recount to COUNTIES where the count was most in dispute (Counties that used forms that were difficult to read and interpret). The Florida Courts rejected that and the Dems agreed. Hardly stealing an election. It is completely false to write that the Gore Campaign wanted only Democratic votes counted.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Just saying the IRS has many

Just saying the IRS has many penalties is not sufficient. Can you give just one example of a federal penalty for simply not purchasing a private corporation product – just one?

Would you argue since the IRS does have penalties, then it defector as power to create a penalty for any reason whatsoever? Can you get penalized for not raking the fall leaves from your yard for example?

Ostensibly no; therefore, we have established there are limits. This law exceeds those limits.

 's picture

First, it is sufficient for the issue

Second, the Federal Government has required people to buy products from the moment of its creation. 1792 Militia act required every militia member to supply his own musket and accessories. If he couldn't afford one, the Government would subsidize his purchase and if he could afford a gun but failed to provide it he was subject to militia justice. Identical to the individual mandate except founded on the Constitution's military/militia/defense authority rather than the commerce clause (which I think is unnecessary support in this case; its overkill. The Constitution includes more than a half dozen specific powers dealing with different aspects of the economy most would provide support for this law which is only a regulation of the private insurance market.).
If the Government found that raking leaves was necessary for the defense of the country or the health of the economic system and Congress passed a law to that effect, then yes the law could be written to have a penalty included in the tax code. No different than thousands of local laws, coop agreements, etc. No different than the recent SCOTUS decisions on eminent domain. Except Congress would have to show that it was related to one of its two Constitutional goals.
Are there limits on either defense or economic activity. SCOTUS has found almost none in the defense area. I would suggest that the same is true of the economic sphere.
This law comes no where near any limit.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Paul, To that, I'll add that


To that, I'll add that Jon should respond in 50 words or less.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Agreed, but can't be done.

Agreed, but can't be done. Getting hard to keep the parrot awake during those often informative, not necessarily always factual, but lengthy essays.
Given the recent decisions that have come out of SCOTUS, perhaps it's time to change the acronym to SCROTUM.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

My thoughts precisely; I

My thoughts precisely; I thought SCOTUS was like athletes foot of the scrotum – sounds like it burns and itches…

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

I wonder if oBAMacare covers

I wonder if oBAMacare covers burning and itching of the SCOTUS.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Really, who the hell cares at

Really, who the hell cares at this point, 12 years later. Again, let’s get back to creating policies and practices, so the country does not repeat history.

The phrase “You win some, you lose some” has context here.

 's picture

That's why we should care so it doesn't repeat

A really unelected President is again a direct threat to the country. He undermines the credibility and legitamacy of the Country. Voter ID does nothing to solve that problem and everything to compound it.
You want policies:

1. Legislation making the results of an election non-reviewable by the courts except where proof of corruption is beyond a reasonable doubt.
2. Legislation requiring testing of ballot forms, equipment and procedures for understandability, efficiency and accuracy. Some states do a good job on this many do not.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

You elect a president who

You elect a president who presided over America's credit rating being dropped below AAA for the first time in its history, and then you want us to get excited about the possibility of history repeating itself?

 's picture

He also presided over a full eclipse

is that any reason not to re-elect him. No. Had the Republicans performed their duty to the Country and sought solutions to our problems which they primarily created; Obama would be an easy winner in November, unemployment would be at 6% and falling fast, growth would be at 3.5%. The new Health Care law would be addressing the many insurance problems and making businesses more competitive. Comprehensive immigrantion reform would be law. The war in Afghanistan would be just about over. The US would again be the predominate world military and economic power. Oh! can't have that if you are a Republican - sabotage the country and the Obama Presidency with it..

MARK GRAVEL's picture

…and come January 1, 2013 the

…and come January 1, 2013 the country falls of a tax cliff and back into recession.

I saved your prediction, and the parrot and I will feed it to you with a side order of crow in January.

Enjoy your Independence day and don't lose any fingers playing those legal fireworks.

 's picture

Please do

There is no "tax cliff" in January. There is a fiscal cliff. I think the Republicans had something to do with building that cliff and I suspect if we fall off it they will have had something to do wiith that too.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

I've heard that the

I've heard that the republicans have tried to sabotage the production lines at Pepsi, because their logo (Pepsi's) so closely resembles oBAMa's campaign logo.
(Just noticed; spell check must be a liberal. Every time I type in oBAMa, I get the red underline. Nice.)

 's picture

Just another

Just another conspiracy theory like "Fast and Furious".

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Would you face the family of

Would you face the family of the deceased Border Patrol Agent and tell them that their loved one was killed in the line of duty by a 'conspiracy theory'?
Holder should be removed from his position, but hey, he's a brother, right?

 's picture

The conspiracy came after he died.

Removed for what? He did his duty and he did it correctly. Any AG would have done the same things. Nothing illegal or even wrong was done. The ATF asked prosecutors if they could pursue gun purchasers (get search warrants, etc) that they believed were "straw buyers" and the Prosecuters said "no". A buyer who buys 50 AK-47 and then walks out to the parking lot and gives them to third parties was according to the Prosecuters just changing his mind. That when he bought them in the store he intended all those guns for his own personal use. In Arizona according to the Prosecuters there is nothing illegal about that. It only became illegal when those folks in the parking lot smuggled the guns into Mexico which the ATF agents were barred from pursuing. The Prosecuters decision is well documented in the Fortune article.
The deceased Border Patrol Agent was doing his job andthat what they family should be told. Much the same situation as Pat Tillman except the government was not involved in his death.
The people who should be investigated are Wayne LaPierre and the NRA who have helped create the legal environment where law enforcement could not pursue criminals while engaged in their crimes.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Ahh, so it's the NRA's fault.

Ahh, so it's the NRA's fault. They're such a nasty bunch. It's awfully comforting to know that we have an administration protecting our borders whose methods of conducting 'affairs' are as clean and white as freshly washed Klan sheets.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

My suggestion is not to waste

My suggestion is not to waste anymore effort on his thread, but ostensibly, that is up to you.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

I thought I'd done a fair job

I thought I'd done a fair job of pelucidly displaying the sardonic nature of my post, but one man's rain cloud is another's silver lining.

 's picture

So you read and verified the Fortune Report

So good to here; but a bit surprising although I don't understand the Klan reference. They do appear very active in Arizona.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Some of the parrots best

Some of the parrots best friends are crows. He may be reluctant to partake of the feast your refer to, Mark.
There are some who believe the country has already gone back into a second recession. I think I heard the other day that we've had 6 straight months of negative economic growth, which supposedly constitutes a recession.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

I did not mean to offend the

I did not mean to offend the Parrot. Perhaps we can find some road kill to substitute for crow.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

No offense was taken. He does

No offense was taken. He does enjoy pecking on donkey carcass, which I find sort of amusing since he IS a liberal.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

I would not re-elect him

I would not re-elect him primarily because I would not have elected him in the first place. He's an incompetent race-baiting liar and unfortunately, there are enough lower echelon mammals of voting age out there that will probably be sufficient in numbers to re-elect the bungling boob. He's an embarrassment. God help America.

 's picture

Could you just surprise me some more!

I'll agree his first few months were pretty ragged. I'll agree that he was inexperienced. I'll agree he was not prepared for the White House. I'll agree that he was naive enough not to believe that the Republicans would do anything including wreck the country to limit him to one-term. Bungling boob - hardly. "Lower echelon mammals of voting age" - great statement of Republicanism. Although you have find something to substitute for mammals; that implies evolution and as we all know the Republicans neither believe in nor practice evolution.
With a Second Term Obama will be remembered as one of America's great presidents who did not preside over a great war. Placing him in the top ten.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

I'm becoming concerned for

I'm becoming concerned for your well being, Jon. Your last paragraph causes me to wonder if you've replaced the liberal Kool-Aid with fairy dust.
"Bungling boob-hardly"
Ever hear him say "Masstwozits"? Ever hear him say "corpseman"? Ever hear him tell of the 57 states he campaigned to?
I'll concede the boob thing. Let's just say he may be educated beyond, way beyond, his level of intelligence.
If he is elected for a second term, I doubt he'll complete the term.
Your frequent reference to republicans suggests you might think I am one. Wrong again. Never have been, am not, never will be.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Isn’t funny how Jon, Ron, and

Isn’t funny how Jon, Ron, and Claire so quickly throughout the “Republican” word if you disagree with their opinion. Like it is suppose to mean something, what I don’t know.

Here is a new word for you - Libertarian.


Better living through smaller government.

 's picture

I probably knew libertarian before you knew libertarian

You see 50 years ago I read Ayn Rand, National Review, and Human Events (constantly). They were the crucible of my communitarianism. First, the Russian anti-philosopher, Ayn Rand, whose hatred for what the Russian Revolution did to her family rejects religion, adopts radical rationalism but then rejects all philosophy after Aristotle; more than adequately demonstrates a defective mind, one severely injured by war. Pedophiles are people who have because of tramatic experiences stopped psychosexual development at a specific age (6, 8, 10, 12). Libertarians are similiar in that their psychosocial develpment stopped at that age when they are completely self-absorbed children. Then they combine that with the fantasy economics of Austrian School also known as the "I think therefore I can dream up any law of economics and it will be true" also known as the "Depression-builders". The result is a philosophy that rejects Americanism, society, history only to replace them with a false foreign ideology.
But I will admit Libertarianism is the greatest threat to Constitutional government since Communism. Its no longer just a cult of irresponsibile children sitting at the feet of their mother-god Rand.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Perhaps I’ll let readers

Perhaps I’ll let readers decide how to best interpret this rant. I will likewise let the readers judge the mental stability of the writer and the validity (or lack of) the writer’s claims.

Libertarianism is a threat to the big government view, which is not necessary a bad thing.

 's picture

So you deny

That American Libertarianism is based on Randism even though virtually every one of its followers like Alan Greenspan, Congressman Ryan, Ron Paul and his son Rand Paul (wonder why Ron picked such an unusual first name for his son) has said repeatedly that they are believers in Ayn Rand's mindless philosophy.
I did notice Mark that instead of answering my point you chose to personally attack me obviously because you know as I do that my point is spot on.
Libertarianism is a foreign anti-intellectual, anti-government, anti-rational philosophy built on irrational and childish hatred. You can feel it, can't you.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

I'll support 1 and 2, and

I'll support 1 and 2, and raise you 3 – Voter ID...

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Okay, lots of partisan

Okay, lots of partisan talking points in this message.

Given that you think Republicans stole the 2000 Presidential election, you should be in favor of implementing election changes, like voter ID, to ensure election rules are iron clad and undisputable.

Take the Minnesota State Senate race between Al Franken and Norm Coleman where 900 ballots were disqualified due to people ineligible to vote in the election casting votes. Since Coleman lost by a few hundred votes, fraud changed the outcome of that election.

Your assertion that requiring voter ID will disenfranchise voters is simply groundless. Basically the claim is lame is reminiscent of someone who encourages fraud.

 's picture

Sources please

I've reviewed dozens of stories on the Franken-Coleman race none of them mention anything about "900 ballots disqualified due to people ineligible to vote". I find exactly the opposite; 953 absentee ballots which were rejected because of ineligible votes (some problem with how the vote was recorded) which were during the recount and court case included in the vote. No story mentions any votes by ineligible voters.
The 2000 election was stolen in the Supreme Court. Don't think voter ID will work there.
That voter ID laws disenfranchise legal voters is well established by dozens of empirical studies and common sense. The harder it is to do something that is voluntary the few people who will do it. Particularly this is true when people feel uninformed or confused - a primary Republican campaign goal. Saying this is groundless doesn't make it groundless.And again, even elected Republican officials have admitted on tape that the only reason to adopt voter id laws is to suppress the vote so that losers like Romney can be turned into winners.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

There are always two sides to

There are always two sides to a story, so perhaps you should also mention the opposing side trying to guess the intent of a voter if the chad as not punched in the 2000 Presidential election. Shenanigans will be present within both major parties if not held in check.

The takeaway here is that if there is that much confusion at the polls, then one is obligated to take steps in making the process less disputable. Voter ID is one tool.

You need photo ID to accomplish many tasks in life; in fact, one cannot participate fully in this society if they lack a photo ID. Using a photo ID to receive a ballot makes sense. Are people that incompetent to comply with the rules?

In closing, anyone that is strictly partisan as you and think their political affiliates are above reproach should serve as a red flag to all readers.

 's picture

Yes there are two sides to every story but sometimes

one side has nothing to do with the issue. chads or methods of recording a vote have nothing to do with voter id. A problem with the method of voting can not be fixed by voter id. Voter id does not make the process less disputable. I always believe we need a cop on the street in every situation involving humans. We already do and it works. The problem with voting is too few people participate not that too many do. 20% or less participate in primaries and less if there are few questions, popular candidates, contested races.
If everyone was issued a photo id which was updated every five years then we become South Africa with "pass books" that you have to use everywhere you go (in the past of course these have been eliminated I believe now that South Africa is free). Using photo id's is opposite fundament conservative principles and my primary principle - we are free; the government only need to know what I do and when if it has a "compelling reason" to know which is a very high legal standard. The partisan nature of these photo id was exposed in Texas where a locally issued concealed weapons permit is OK but a student photo id issued by the state is not.
I've never said that Democrats don't do anything wrong. As I said I'm no longer a registered Democrat. But in 58 years of participanting in campaigns I have never seen anything like 2000 or this effort to disenfranchise voters except the Jim Crow laws in the south and those states are now all Republican aren't they.
Voter ID laws solve no voting problem.And threaten to become national ID cards which are opposed by every supporter of constitutional government.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

What was the theme of my

What was the theme of my message? Message is to take action in order to make elections less disputable, that covers both in my opinion. In the case of voter ID it greatly diminishes the argument of invalid votes cast.

“Using photo id's is opposite fundament conservative Principles”
Good thing that I’m not a conservative.

“..threaten to become national ID..”

I actually support a national ID, like a revamped social security card with biometrics, that must be used to receive any government benefit, get employment, and of course, vote.

 's picture

sorry I thought you supported small government

a national ID is the biggest of big government intrusions. No greater threat to personal liberty exists and vast experience supports that claim. I oppose the Pledge of Alliegence because we, the people, establish government. Government needs as it does through the oaths to defend the Constitution to pledge alligience to us not we to them. Nothing in the Constittion supports a National ID and everything opposes it.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

I think your priorities are

I think your priorities are missed placed, perhaps dramatized, or a bit of both.

Use of drones on U.S. soil, the indefinite detention bill signed into law by this President, ubiquitous video cameras with facial recognition, use of phone records without obtaining a warrant, ..., etc. should be on your list above national ID as threats to privacy.

Perhaps you have forgotten that you already have a national ID; it is called a social security card.
That said, you are human and, like others, tend to dramatize to support your point of view.

I understand; however, the Pirate and I are not biting.

RONALD RIML's picture

Drones operate on 'Soil?'

Damn! I always thought it was in airspace!!!!

Who'da thunk it....

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Do you mean like in the

Do you mean like in the airspace between your left and right ear lobes?

Just kidding Ronald; we all respect you. Enjoy the 4th.

 's picture

Hope not

Unarmed drones used above US soil is no different then using airplanes to catch speeders. Been done for very long time. Indefinite detention - compltely, unconstitutional and a serious threat to basic constittional freedoms no justification for it at all could be if we were invaded by another nation but nothing less than that. Videao cameras with facial recognition angain technique used for many years no difference between that an a cop observing as public place using a photo of a "suspect", but in some context should be illegal invasion of privacy. Phone records without warrant - unconstitutional without exception. But above a National ID smartcard with RFID and GPS capability no way more important an invasion of privacy (you know the thing that isn' in the Constitution but we all assume is). Even no RFID and GPS and its still unconstitutional and a serious threat.
Social security card is not a national id. First, legislation prevents its use as national ID. Second, SS system never designed for that purpose and some SS #'s duplicated because of it. But I accept your point it could become a National ID easily if the system abused.
Of course, I dramatize but I don't stray from the truth. That you understand says that you know I don't. You may not be biting, but you will not admit it but you know I have a point.


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