Friday, October 08, 2010

Light at the End of the Tunnel Turned Off by Governor Christie

Governor Shows no Understanding of Economic Cycles

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie put an end to the building of a tunnel connecting New Jersey and New York City, along with an expansion of New York's Penn Station that would have created 6,000 jobs. The Governor is either playing crass balanced-budget politics or has no understanding of economic cycles.

Does Christie think that these 6,000 workers can just go across the street and get jobs? Is he trying to keep unemployment rolls high? Drive New Jersey and New York back into recession?

What has Governor Christie done? By clutching idealism instead of acting pragmatically, he is pushing New Jersey and New York into a longer and deeper recession. Of course, the Federal Government will probably rescue this project and Christie can look like the budget-cutting tough guy while he complains about Federal Government spending.

Despite Reaganomic theories, economic cycles cannot be done away with. Periods of growth and recession will always be with us. However, the depth of the recessions can be lessened. John Marnard Keynes taught us how.

I lived in Indianapolis during the economic downturn of the early 1990s. Indianapolis got lucky. They had several large building projects under way when the downturn struck. While many cities struggled, due largely to those projects Indianapolis barely saw the downturn.

I moved out to Denver and watched the city blow its chance to balance the economic cycles. While the economy was going great guns, Denver built a new baseball stadium, a new football stadium, a new hockey-basketball arena, and a new art museum.

Now, during our current great-recession, construction in Denver is in the dumps; right when we need these projects to reduce the depth of the recession.

Your city or state can protect themselves against recession by saving big building projects for when they need them. Don’t build the stadiums when things are going great. Rather, design them (preferably with labor intensive designs) and put them in the drawer. These projects need to be shovel ready when needed.

When the economy turns toward recession, pull out your new stadium, bid it, and start building it.

You don’t over stimulate the economy when it doesn’t need it and you do stimulate it when you need too. Yes, it is difficult to determine where in the cycle the economy is, but we have to try.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Last-Man-Standing Politics

The Plot to Push the Middle Away from the Polls

Newt Gingrich started Last-Man-Standing Politics in the 1980s. The goal was to make the average voter so disgusted with government and with politics in general that he wouldn’t bother to vote.

The plan is simple: The Republicans have the larger loyal base of voters, so if people don’t vote, leaving only the parties’ bases, Republicans win.

Remember, the American political system is based not a majority vote, but on a plurality vote. The candidate that receives the most votes, even though less than a majority of eligible voters actually vote, is still the winner.

By convincing people that their votes didn’t matter, Gingrich convinced the average American to sit on his hands on election day. We had some of the lowest voter turnouts in American history and the Republicans won just enough seats, relying on their base, to take over the congress in 1994.

Karl Rove continued Gingrich’s plan by aiming the Bush campaigns directly at the Republican base. In the past, politicians generally tried to attract independent voters, but Rove was able to disgust enough Independents and get just enough base voters to support his candidate to barely win. In fact, Al Gore won the plurality of votes in 2000.

Independents turned out in droves in 2008 and Obama swept into the Whitehouse. Now, the Independents are disgusted again. Why? The Republican Party has stopped everything in the Senate and all most voters see is that the government can’t get anything done.

This year, the same group throws out bizarre accusations, like throwing spaghetti at a wall, to see what sticks and what will lead to voter disgust with the process. Many voters will sit out this year’s elections. Many others, like beagles, will blame the party that’s in power for every problem, no matter who caused them.

Having pushed the average voter away from the polls the Republicans will be the Last-Man-Standing.

Friday, September 24, 2010

A Pledge to an Ideal Rather Than to the People

Perhaps I’m nitpicking, but I can’t help but notice that the Republicans made a pledge to an ideal rather than to the American people.

The Pledge to America is not titled A Pledge to the American People; a pledge to someone; a pledge they’d need to honour. Rather it’s a pledge to an ideal; something that doesn’t really exist; a pledge that need not make sense nor be honoured.

The Pledge to America is a pledge to their ideal of an idyllic America that never existed. They’ve pledged to take the country back to the time when the government didn’t interfere with business and businessmen treated their employees with fairness and dignity and sold quality products at fair prices.

Of course, they’re really dreaming of the 1800s when children were employed at starvation wages to clean mortar shells because their hands were small enough; a time when there were no safety regulations and a laid-off or crippled worker was on his own.

Pledging to an ideal rather than to the people allows the party to make meaningless promises because the promises aren’t made to any identifiable people.

*** Notice that I ignored the Republican’s fanciful math here … like … where budget cuts of $100 billion will wipe out a deficit of $1,400 billion dollars. oops.

Monday, September 13, 2010

We Shouldn’t Be Allowed to Vote

Polls show that the economy is the number one issue to Americans; that Americans, by a ten percent margin, blame Republicans for the state of the economy; that people approve of Democrats over Republicans by a nine percent margin; and that, by a ten percent margin, Americans plan to vote for Republicans over Democrats this fall. (CNN Opinion Research poll, Sep 1-2, 2010) (NBC - Wall Street Journal poll, Aug 5-9, 2010). (Gallop poll, Aug 23-29, 2010).

WHAT ???!!??!?!?

People are upset with the Republicans, but they’re going to turn the government over to them? Are we out of our collective minds? Is the United States actually the insane asylum for the planet?

We’re mad at the President and the Democrats for not getting enough done to turn the economy around, but we also seem to understand that the Government is currently run by the minority party in the Senate. Republicans are on pace to triple the greatest number of filibusters by a Democratic minority. (ABC News, Mar 1, 2010). Filibusters have stalled critical appointments, only to be followed an almost unanimous vote in favor of each appointment. The Republican Party is using a tactic of stalling and stopping to make the Democrats look ineffectual. Are we really dumb enough to fall for this?

We Americans realize that, in December 2008, we were headed for the second great depression; a calamity which will take years to fix. Yet, here we are, in a mere recession, beginning the long haul out of the collapse.

Do we want to reward those who held off economic Armageddon? No. We want to put those who crashed the system back in power, with the same policies that caused the crash.

To borrow from the president: This is like taking a kid who crashed the car because he was texting and giving him the keys to the repaired vehicle and a new cell phone.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Spaghetti Politics

Following the Shirley Sherrod story, I have to wonder how far some people will go to plant ideas in our heads.

Which brings me to Spaghetti Politics:

Spaghetti politics is the old idea of throwing the plate of spaghetti against a wall just to see what will stick.

Andrew Breitbart created the edited, out of context, video showing Sherrod to be a bigot. Then he threw it against the wall to see if it would stick. It did.

Today’s spaghetti politics involves an accusation that the White House supported the release of the Lockerbie Bomber. In fact, the White House opposed the release of Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, the only conspirator convicted of a crime in the bombing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988. So far, it doesn’t look like this pasta has stuck.

One of today’s other spaghetti politics is the false outrage over Barack Obama not attending the National Boy Scout Jamboree. Let’s see how far this one goes.

The constant beat of pasta flung against walls is, of course, that Obama is a racist or a socialist or born in Kenya.

Whenever you see a report that sounds a little off, check to see if it has sauce dripping from it.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Are State Balanced Budgets Helping Our Economy?

This is an important question that has not been featured in the national news. The simple answer is … No, state balanced budget rules are deepening the recession.

The Fiscal Times tells us that a study by economists Joshua Aizenman and Gurnain Kaur Pasricha found that fiscal contraction in the states offset almost 100% of the fiscal stimulus at the federal level in 2009.

This fiscal contraction has been primarily caused be balanced budget rules in the various states.

Here, in Colorado, we have a strict balanced budget requirement, including a virtual prohibition on raising state revenues. The TABOR Amendment to our state constitution prohibits increases in state revenue that are greater than the national inflation rate plus the state population growth. During an economic downturn, the state must severely cut its budget and then cannot simply return to a normal budget afterward. (see below).

According to Keynes, to keep an economy out of depression, government needs to borrow and spend during a recession. Following the recession, during the period of growth, government needs to pay off the debt to put the government’s finances back in order and lessen the next recession.

The Federal Government has lived up to its duties during the current great recession. So have many other countries. However, the states are gumming up the works.

We tend to forget … Budget cutting means cuts in jobs. The largest cost, by far, of most things is labor. This is especially true for government which provides many more services than goods. The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) predicts a shortfall of 21 percent for FY 2011 in Colorado. Due to our balanced budget requirements, that means the State will have to cut its budget by 21 percent. This means cuts in jobs.

So, while the Federal Government is borrow and spending large amounts to keep us out of depression, the states are fighting against this fiscally sound policy. The CBPP found that states will have a shortfall of $200 billion in FY 2010. The states will have to cut their budgets by a similar amount; spend $200 billion less. That means that the states are reducing the Federal Government’s $800 billion stimulus by $200 billon.

Balanced budgets are important, but only over time, not at all times. If the states temporarily suspend their constant balanced budget rules and help the Federal Government by doing some temporary borrowing, we could get back to national economic growth much more quickly. Then we pay off the debts during the good times.

What’s wrong with TABOR? (1) The national consumer price index has little to do with inflation in government services and does not necessarily apply to Colorado. For example: Schools spend most of their money on construction and professional salaries. While the CPI remained relatively flat during the 1990s, the cost of construction and professional salaries soared, but school districts were not allowed to keep up. (2) Increases in population do not reflect increases in the cost of government. For example: Even if a school were to have constant enrollment, it will eventually have to replace its boiler. Because the school district cannot raise its revenues or spending, TABOR does not allow for replacement costs. (3) TABOR does not allow for recovery. During an economic downturn state revenues will automatically decrease. Following the economic downturn, the state cannot simply go back to the revenue level prior to the downturn. For example: The CBPP indicates a shortfall of 21 percent in Colorado in FY 2010. TABOR thus requires budget cuts of 21 percent. If the recession ended this year, the state could only raise revenues next year by inflation (3.00 % in 2005 (before the recession started)) plus population growth (1.81 % in 2009) or 4.81 %. This is only enough to keep up with inflation and population growth. We’ll never catch up.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Beagle Politics

Just like between 1992 and 1994, we’re in another age of beagle politics.

What is beagle politics?

Years ago, while working as an engineer, I did a survey of the University of Illinois’ veterinary medical school.

In one room I found 20-25 beagles in cages. Those that were awake looked bewildered, sad, or angry and they were all looking at me as if I was to blame for their captivity. In the next room I found 20-25 more beagles. Those awake all blamed me for their captivity. In the third room I found 20-25 beagles and one cat. The beagles were mostly mad at me. The cat didn’t care.

Beagles tend to blame whoever’s in the room for their plight or their joy.

So, Beagle Politics is stoking the anger of the electorate, knowing that the voters will blame whoever’s in office regardless of whose fault the situation is.

Coming out of 2008 people were angry with the economic state of the country. Although Obama has made most of the right moves, keeping us out of an outright depression, he’s still being blamed the economy as it stands. Regardless of the Gulf oil spill being due to lax oversight by the Mineral and Mining Service under Bush and arrogance on the part of BP, Obama is being blamed for not swimming down and capping the well himself.

Between 1992 and 1994, Republicans and right-wing pundits stoked the growing anger from Bush-41’s violating his pledge not to raise taxes and redirected it toward Clinton and the Democratic Congress. Now, they’re stoking random anger just so people will be furious with the government and in a throw-the-bums-out mood in November.

Beagle politics: Convince the electorate to bite whomever is in the room.

Monday, May 31, 2010

A Memorial Day Message

On this Memorial Day, I’d like to make a plea for some forgotten people.

Humanitarian aid and development workers deserve benefits similar to what military veterans receive.

These people perform an invaluable service for our country, helping others in war-torn, impoverished, and devastated areas of the world. Wherever they go, they give everything they’ve got to the populations they work with and everything they do improves the standing of the United States around the world.

Increasingly, they are coming under attack. The group Médecins Sans Frontières spent 24 years in Afghanistan (since the beginning of the Soviet-Afghan war), only pulling out after the deaths of several doctors. Dozens of Red Cross workers have died in areas of man-made and natural disaster.

Most humanitarian and development workers make little if any money. Peace Corps workers, for example, are volunteers. All they get is a temporary deferment on their student loans while actually working for the Corps.

Although many are private contractors, our government should provide them with at least the education and healthcare benefits our soldiers are rewarded with.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Rand Paul Raises a Good Question

Rand Paul’s opposition to the Civil Rights Act raises a primary question that we’ve all been avoiding.

Paul said that he supports equal rights, but that a business owner should be allowed to discriminate. So, the question he raises is this:

Whose freedom?

Requiring a restaurant owner to serve someone he doesn’t like impinges on his freedom, but allowing him to discriminate impinges on the individual’s freedom.

Forbidding a kid from walking across my grass impinges his freedom, but requiring me to allow it damages mine.

Walking down the street in a bikini would impinge on the freedom of someone who doesn’t want their child to see it, but requiring a woman to cover up infringes on her freedom.

No matter what the issue, freedom is always a balancing act. A restauranteur must serve someone of another race, but he doesn’t have to allow him in his house. A woman needs to cover up in court, but when she walks down the street, dad can cover his child’s eyes.

I’ve heard many knee-jerk reactions to Rand Paul, but whatever the issue, we’ve got to look at both sides and find a proper balance.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Can Emmert Bring Real Honesty and Integrity to the NCAA?

The NCAA has chosen its new leader: Mark Emmert. He’ll be faced with many issues in his job. Should there be a Division 1-A football playoff? Should the basketball tournament expand and by how much? These issues will resolve themselves if the NCAA school presidents commit to sports through honesty and integrity.


NCAA rules are based on athletics as an extracurricular activity. Let’s be honest. Football, basketball, baseball, hockey, soccer, and lacrosse are not extracurricular activities; they are academic programs.

Kids go to college to become entertainers in many fields. Potential actors, singers, writers, and journalists can go to school and major in programs training them for their chosen profession. Potential professional athletes, however, are required to do a double major: football and business for example. Most of us wouldn’t do a double major, so why should athletes be required to?

Let’s stop squeaking athletes through programs they’re not interested in and shouldn’t pass through. Instead of worrying about a school’s graduation rate in second majors, just grade athletes in their chosen profession. Any football player that will be drafted by the NFL would receive an A level grade point average, a great success. Players who aren’t headed toward the NFL can transfer into other programs as they near graduation. Many players would make great teachers.


The NCAA supposedly exists for the student-athletes, yet the NCAA has allowed its Olympic sports programs to be decimated. I’ll use a program I’m familiar with as an example: Men’s Gymnastic has lost over ninety percent of its programs

Although the World’s toughest sport (World’s Toughest Sport, Men’s Fitness March 1996), ranking even above the Ironman Triathlon, Men’s Gymnastics has declined from over 200 teams in 1969 to just 17 in 2010. Only five teams exist west of the Mississippi. There are now less than 15 athletic scholarships available for gymnasts each year … nationwide. Only the very best get to compete in college. This costs the sport numerous quality coaches for junior programs even though more boys compete in gymnastics than ever before.

The NCAA just signed a new television contract for the NCAA basketball tournament for an estimated $11 billion. That’s plenty of money to support the nation’s Olympians.

The NCAA schools should meet their professed goals, acting with honesty and integrity. Convert professional sports to academic programs and develop Olympic sports programs around the country.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Whaddya Mean WILL?

I’ve been watching media figures raise debate over whether the current climate of real and feigned anger will push someone to attack the government.

What do they mean WILL? It’s already happened!

In February, in an attack shockingly akin to ‘Oklahoma City’ and ‘9/11’, Joe Stack flew an airplane into a building in an attempt to kill Internal Revenue Service employees. Why have we forgotten this attack on the government?

Are we ignoring this attack because Stack screwed up and only killed one other person? Would we still be talking about this attack if Stack had killed hundreds?

Hell, CNN, you did a special on Joe Stack and then, the next day, asked whether Tea Party anger could push someone to attack the government. Maybe your correspondents should confer with each other once in a while.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

What Obama Needs to Explain --- Keynes

It’s a pretty quiet week, so for the moment, let’s continue our discussion of systems we live with. A while back we discussed the proper definitions for the basic political and economic systems under which our communities are organised (

This time, let’s talk about John Maynard Keynes. I’ve discovered that most people who want to discuss the economy, the federal deficit, interest rates, taxes, and government spending do not know who Keynes was. I’m not exactly sure how you can have a well thought out opinion on these topics without being able to at least identify the leading economic theorists:

1. Adam Smith – The Wealth of Nations
2. Karl Marx – Das Capital
3. John Maynard Keynes – The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money

The theory we need to dig into here is Keynesian economic policy. If you don’t know, Keynes was the guy who pulled us out of the Great Depression. His theory kept our economy strong for fifty years beyond that, until our government failed to follow the rules.

Before the Great Depression, the American economy was governed by classical economic theory. The classical theory held that the short term is unimportant because in the long run the economy is in balance; full employment, no inflation, etc. This laissez faire theory espoused that the economy will operate fine if the government leaves it alone.

The classical theory was proven wrong with the Crash of 1929. When Franklin Roosevelt came to the presidency, he turned to Keynes. Keynes’ famous reflection on the classical theory was that “in the long run, we’re all dead.” The short term IS important; we all live in the short term, not the long run.

Keynes was proven right in the 1930s, in the 1970s, when Volker pulled us out of Nixon’s recession, and now with the Great Recession of 2008. Fortunately, Obama is a Keynesian, but I’m worried that due to Republican stoppage of government, he’s backing away the Keynesian policies that have thus far kept us out of the Great Depression #2.

So, what is Keynes’ theory?

Short Term Keynesian theory deals with the business cycle. The higher the peak of a cycle, the deeper the trough will be. Keynes tries to calm the waves by minimizing the troughs and peaks in the cycle. Peaks and troughs are caused by increasing and decreasing net spending in an economy.

There are three ‘parties’ who spend money: (c) consumers, (b) businesses, and (g) government.

Spending = Spending(c) + Spending(b) + Spending(g)

In a country of 300 million people, it takes forever to change the spending habits of consumers and businesses, but the government can change its level of taxation and spending almost instantaneously. It’s up to the government to maintain balance in the economy.

When in recession, we need more spending, in a growth period, we need less spending. In recession the government will deficit spend, spending fictional money by creating debt. In growth, the government will pay off the debt created during the recession.

Where Keynesian economic has failed is in the failure of government to pay off the debt during good times. We’re so afraid of raising a tax that we use only monetary policy to balance the economy when we should be using fiscal policy and paying off the debt.

If you look at what Obama is doing, it’s this: He’s cutting off the trough by spending fictional money and raising the country’s debt. But, at the same time, he’s proposing to cut the deficit in Fiscal Year 2011, thus slowing the coming peak and paying down the debt so we can deficit spend during the next recession. I just hope he remembers Keynes in 2011.

Next, we’ll get into long term Keynesian theory.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Update 2: Order for Serbs to Pay for Mosques Overturned

The District Court in Banja Luka has overturned its order for the Republika Srpska and the city of Banja Luka to pay $42 million for the destruction of 16 mosques in Banja-Luka during the 1992-1995 war. The reason given was that the suit had been filed too late. The Islamic Community of Bosnia and Herzegovina has since appealed to the Supreme Court of the Republika Srpska.

It’s incredible that a suit for a war crime has a statute of limitation.

As posted earlier, ( Karadzic's Destruction of Bosnia Lasts Long After War), Bosnian Serbs destroyed every mosque in the Serb controlled city of Banja-Luka. Banja-Luka is now the capital of the Republika Srpska autonomous region of Bosnia-i-Hercegovinia.

The most prominent of the mosques, built in 1579, the Ferhadija Mosque was on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites and is being rebuilt.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Our Collective Alzheimer’s

(with apologies to those who actually have the disease)

Barack Obama’s administration bailed out Goldman Sachs, Fannie and Freddie, and AIG, created the TARP spending, passed irrational tax cuts that ran the national debt beyond $10,000 billion, and allowed Enron to get away with accounting atrocities.

No wait … uh … wasn’t that the other guy? What was his name? Right … that was all before January 2009 …. George Bush, that’s it.

We seem to have collective Alzheimer’s where we think everything happened yesterday. Obama took the oath of office on January 20, 2009. TARP, and the bailout of the banks, Fannie and Freddie, and AIG were all done in 2008, prior to Obama taking office.

The government ran a budget deficit of $1,400 billion in FY 2009, which we’re blaming Obama for. But almost all of the spending in FY 2009 is attributable to George Bush.
In 2001, Bush budgeted a ten-year federal budget down to 0.5 percent to justify $1,600 billion in tax cuts. For just one year’s budget, anything less than plus or minus around 20 percent is irrational. Budgeting a ten-year budget to on-half of a percent is criminal.
The only spending that’s really attributable to Obama is the bail out of GM and the stimulus package; about $200 billion in FY 2009.

The biggest factor in the national debt is that when we should have paid off the debt, Bush instead created completely irrational tax cuts which now leave us deep in debt for generations looking forward and unable to do much of anything for the American people.

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Blame Obama for what’s he’s done, but blame Bush for what he did.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Republicans Have a 41 Percent Majority in the Senate

Thanks to the perpetual Republican filibuster, the election of Scott Brown to the Senate now brings a screeching halt to all progress. During the Obama presidency, the monolithic Republicans have used the filibuster on all major legislation in the Senate and put anonymous and non-anonymous holds on numerous appointments simply to prevent Obama from accomplishing anything.

The worrisome thing is that the ‘mainstream’ media continuously blames the President for this lack of progress. CNN even tells its viewers that, although the Constitution requires only a majority vote, it takes 60 votes to pass legislation in the Senate. My math may be off, but I’m pretty sure 41 is not a majority of 100. Of course, the Republicans do think of themselves as the miracle party.

To Wolf Blitzer and Anderson Cooper: It takes 51 votes to pass legislation. Start blaming the right parties for the current failures of our government: The Newt Gingrich inspired, minority, Republican Party.

To Harry Reid: Forget the cloture votes. Let them do a real filibuster. Let’s see how long one of them can endure the torture of standing for days at a time.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Feels like it's 1978

2010 feels like 1978. Fortunately without the lime green leisure suits.

We have a president who could be transformative; who came into office with an unprecedented slew of problems, the solutions to which could get him replaced in the next election by a fringe candidate.

Jimmy Carter took office in 1997 with an economy in shambles, a shambles which had never been seen before. Carter inherited Nixon’s recession which was a mix of stagnation and inflation. He appointed Paul Volcker as Chairman of the Federal Reserve and Volcker had the courage to push interest rates above ten percent, finally breaking the back of the double digit inflation. This was extremely painful, but necessary; Carter will be forever condemned.

Meanwhile Carter was left to deal with the government’s failure to deal with Iran, starting with Eisenhower’s replacing a democratically elected president with the brutal dictator Reza Pahlavi. Following the Iranian revolution, Carter helped to exile Pahlavi, a move that was misunderstood in Iran, resulting in the hostage crisis. Ronald Reagan eventually got credit for the release of the hostages even though they were boarding a plane before he was sworn into office.

In 1980, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan and Carter put an embargo on all grain sales to the country along with a boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games. The grain embargo and boycott tipped a dying economy over the edge and allowed Mikhail Gorbachev to end the cold war in 1986.

Carter also created cabinet posts for Energy and Education, helped bring peace between Egypt and Israel, began a program of clean energy research, and introduced human rights into US foreign policy. All of this meant nothing to the average voter who was legitimately more concerned with his pocketbook.


Due to the inherited economic woes, foreign policy failures, and general anger with government stemming from Watergate, Carter was turned out of office. The 1980 election was a perfect storm. The Republican party managed to nominate a radical, but glib, Goldwater conservative as their candidate and people voted with their pocketbook. At no other time could Reagan have become President.

Reagan came in with a majority in the Senate and working majority of Republicans and Dixiecrats in the House. Together they stopped the green energy research (now we’re feeling the consequences) and rammed through deregulation and irrational tax cuts generating monstrous national debt. The Reagan tax cuts and deregulation created investment bubble after bubble, the savings & loan crisis, skyrocketing government, corporate, and personal debt, massive bank failures, and Enron. We’re only now dealing the national debt that was created during the Reagan and Bush-43 presidencies (or more to the point, once we’re past the current recession).


Now, we have a President who came into office with an economy headed toward a second great depression, few allies, enormous debt, and a failing ‘war’ on terror.

Working with majorities in both the House and the Senate, Obama and the Democrats passed a stimulus package that turned the next Great Depression into no more than a Great Recession. Obama won a noble peace prize for bringing our allies back to us. And, he has been taking the ‘war’ to the actual terrorist groups, rather than some random country.

Meanwhile the Republicans have succeeded in stopping all progress. Senate Republicans have used a perpetual filibuster to stop almost all legislation. They and their media cohorts belittle the White House with half-truths and lies at every opportunity. The American people can no longer see through the political smog anymore.


Could Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, or Mitt Romney really be headed toward the presidency? If the American voter struggles as he did in 1978 to comprehend the complex issues facing the USA, it sure looks it.