It all begins with R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Bonnie Willis's picture

Arguably, some of the most inspiring words in a speech were when President Obama stated, “We are not a collection of red states and blue states. We are the United States of America.”

Because of those words, many Americans believed he would bring about healing to our nation and help bridge our economic, racial, and socio-political divide. Six years later, however, just the opposite has happened. There are even greater numbers of poor and dependents, and the political and social discourse is even more divisive, caustic, and non-productive than it has ever been.

Gone, it seems, are the days when one could have a discussion with someone of differing political viewpoints, be congenial, conciliatory, or even come to a point of agreement. How did we even get here? How did it become so bad that many average citizens have abandoned the political process all together out of sheer disgust? Like me, they feel the political process is no longer about working together for the American people; it’s about gaining leverage over one’s political opponents.

But personal experience has taught me that it is essential to work from a position of mutual respect. It is never helpful, for example, to denigrate the intentions of my husband — no matter how wrong I may think he is. Likewise, the same might be true for having constructive dialogue in the political arena.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not advocating avoiding debate. Quite the opposite, out of respect there ought to be open communication that allows for genuine and substantive debate. It is fair to identify the results and consequences of one’s policies and decisions, and question whether they are right or wrong. But it is quite another thing to label opposing groups, or viewpoints as racist, hateful, or narrow-minded, no matter how emotionally satisfying it may be. Such a tactic is not only divisive, it shuts down future discussions. If one can be labeled a racist extremist or obstructionists, their arguments no longer matters, no matter how well-reasoned they are.

I have heard it argued that Congress does not want to work with the president, and many including our U.S. Attorney General, Eric Holder, have claimed that our president is being more disrespected than any other president in history. However, things are said against every president like Reagan being an idiot, Clinton referred to as “Slick Willie,” and George Bush not caring for Katrina victims. Every president has faced harsh criticism from his political opponents, but these presidents still seemed to build direct relationships Congress in order to identify solutions for our country.

Currently, I see a president who has met with Congress less than a dozen times in the last five years, consistently blames them for issues, denigrates their ideas, and pressures them to accept what he wants or he will, “act on his own.” Rather than foster respect, these actions seem to be disrespectful, and as the president I do hold him more accountable for setting the political tone in our nation.

Rather than planting seeds of racial, political, and economic division through rhetoric and political bullying, I long for the day when the president, despite being the most powerful man on the face of the earth, would take the humble position and accept his responsibility for the truly divided course our nation is now on.

I long for him to set a congenial tone and meet with Congress and demonstrate how we, in his words, can work “calloused hand in calloused hand” to build up our nation again. I long for him to demonstrate that he does not serve one political party by attending dozens of fundraisers, but recognize that he serves all Americans - Republican and Democrat, black and white, wealthy and poor.

If we are to have any hope of our federal government working together, it is the president who has to lead by example and show some R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

[Bonnie B. Willis is co-founder of The Willis Group, LLC, a Learning, Development, and Life Coaching company here in Fayette County and lives in Fayetteville along with her husband and their five children.]

h39291
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NUK1, yeah I guess I should

NUK1, yeah I guess I should have said most people I know... not most people.

Spyglass
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Who are you talking to?

?

h39291
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Nuk1

Nuk1...that's why I started with NUK1.

h39291
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Congress Proposes

Say what you will, but those of us who voted for Pres. Obama in 2008 did so because he said he would get us out of Iraq. HE DID. John McCain said we needed to stay there for another 100 years...which was a crazy idea. Those of us who voted for Pres. Obama in 2012 did so because he said he would keep Ben Bernanke. He did. Mitt Romney had said a number of times that job #1 for his Presidency would be to get rid of Ben Bernanke...which was a crazy idea. These were reasons enough to vote for Pres. Obama. For these two reasons alone I will never regret my decisions to vote for Pres. Obama...Maybe instead of complaining about the Democratic President, Republicans should instead try to find better candidates to support.

AtHomeGym
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h39291 & Results

Yes, we're "out of Iraq" and isn't it doing just swell!

h39291
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IRAQ

AtHomeGym...Iraq, as we all know, is not doing very well at all. However that's not our problem. We cannot be the "world's policeman". We've already flushed $1.7 trillion down the toilet there (not to mention those KIA, MIA, or maimed for live). Most reasonable Americans predicted this very result 10 years ago! And you know what? We were right!
We should have never been there!

So my question to you AtHomeGym is this: Should we stay in these foreign countries with populations that do not want us there while spending trillions of dollars we don't have, only to watch that nation crumble when we eventually leave as we surely must?

You are entitled to your opinion, I am entitled to mine. My opinion, and my vote went to the candidate who pulled us out of a place we should have never been.

hutch866
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h39291

Obama says no combatants will be used in Iraq, so I guess all the airstrikes he's using are by drones? Maybe pilots don't count?

h39291
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F-18s

Pres. Obama says no ground forces and I hope he sticks to that pledge. The F-18s we are seeing on the news of course are piloted but then you knew that...

the fact is Pres. Obama did remove 140,000 troops from Iraq. What would you have done Hutch666? Do you think we should have stayed there and wasted another $1.7 trillion, which we don't have, on people that don't want us there?

MYTMITE
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No we should not have stayed there and we should not be there

now--airstrikes today--ground troops tomorrow. Our people there are being killed by people wearing uniforms of people who are supposed to be working with us to build back their country. One more American either in the air or on the ground is one American too many to lose. We are not going to change anything in these countries which have been fighting each other for hundreds of years; and who are we to say which side is right or wrong. Very often we are behind a regime that should be ousted, yet we back them--we are not always altruistic in our actions. It is time to take care of our country and our own. Build up our own country and resources so we can be ready when and if we are attacked on American soil. We are foolish to think we can police and finance the whole world. And after each military action we end up with the refugees from those countries on our shores. It has got to end sometime.

AtHomeGym
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mtmite, Iraq & Afghanistan

Are you getting those two confused? Haven't heard of any of our troops being killed by Iraqi soldiers.

AtHomeGym
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h39291 & F-18s

When we announced our complete departuere from Iraq and gave the date, it was a message to ISIS that they could now complete their organizing and preparation to attack & occupy key Iraqi cities in pursuit to establish an Islamic caliphate. You must realize that this is not just an Iraqi problem, it is a Terrorism Problem that will migrate to the USA if left unchecked. So my position is "do what we have to do to stop/destroy them before they reach our shores with their International terrorists who hold passports that will allow them to enter our country.

h39291
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your opinion

Using your logic AtHomeGym we should go to war with the entire middle east, parts of Asia and much of Africa? Iran, Isis, Saudi Arabia, Taliban, Pakistan, Egypt, Somolia, Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Algeria, Brunei, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Indonesia and on and on. How do you intend to pay for all of this? Will you sacrifice yourself or your children's lives to wage this war on everywhere? We will be paying the $1.7 trillion we flushed down the toilet in Iraq for decades.

We have been engaged in these areas for generations...hasn't helped, and seems to have stirred up a hornets nest. Maybe it's time for a different plan?

btw there weren't terrorists threatening the U.S. in Iraq prior to "Shock and Awe". Terrorism against the U.S. in Iraq is a problem Pres. Bush created.

AtHomeGym
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h39291 & Opinion

Yes, it's my opinion and shared by many others much smarter than me. OK, let's see your strategy--make yourself POTUS for a minute and tell us what you would do.

h39291
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athomegym

This foreign policy to-do list looks good to me:

1. The European allies are far too dependent on Russian oil and gas, a dependence that constrains their willingness to stand up to Mr Putin when he behaves badly, as he is wont to do. What is needed is a trans-Atlantic energy initiative, one that involves increased US exports of both oil and gas and increased European production of shale gas. The US would be better positioned to suggest France start fracking and Germany reconsider its opposition to nuclear power if the president were willing to put aside politics and support the Keystone pipeline.

2. Expanded trade would boost economic growth and provide new strategic ties to Asia, Europe, and Latin America. How about a major White House commitment to and push for Trade Promotion Authority?

3. A modest increase in defense spending coupled with long overdue reforms of military retirement, healthcare, and veterans programs should be on the table. Let's take better care of those who we have sent into harms way.

4. Syria is a strategic and humanitarian disaster. We need to act to reduce the fighting and the absolute and relative strength of the jihadists, who are threat not just to Syria but to the entire region and the world. It is time to extend greater intelligence help to the non-jihadist opposition and to put forward a diplomatic plan that accepts the reality of Alawite primacy and Mr. Assad's position for the immediate future.

5. Afghanistan will soon have a new government. Let's re-establish a regional diplomatic mechanism that includes its immediate neighbors (including Iran, which has a stake in a stable Afghanistan) as well as Russia and India to increase the odds the new government does not fail. Keeping 10,000 or so American troops there, as the President is now calling for, looks both possible and desirable.

6. Speaking of India, the United States should be reaching out to the recently-elected government. A joint declaration in which Congress and the president welcome the new prime minister and expressed a commitment to closer US-Indian relations would be one way to start. So, too, would suggesting regular, high-level consultations on economic and strategic issues.

7. And speaking of Russia, President Putin seems to be feeling the pain of sanctions and realizing the risk of a failed Ukraine. This would be the moment to work with the new government in Kiev to put forward a comprehensive offer that extended political guarantees and assurances to all of Ukraine's citizens and neighbors.

8. There are growing signs that many in China are coming to see North Korea and its reckless leader as a strategic liability rather than an asset. It would be worth initiating a quiet dialogue with Beijing and Seoul on the future of the Korean peninsula, including the conditions under which all would support unification.

9. New technologies have increased US production of oil and gas; higher automobile mileage standards have reduced consumption of oil. US dependence on foreign oil imports is way down, as are carbon emissions. Shifting large trucks from oil to liquified natural gas would reduce American consumption of oil by millions of barrels a day; exporting that oil would weaken world oil prices, something that would weaken governments in both Russia and Iran. This is a rare three-fer: good for the economy, the environment, and foreign policy.

10. Corporate tax reform that encouraged American companies to bring their profits home rather than park or invest them abroad simply to avoid relatively high US taxes is long overdue. These funds could build plants and create jobs here in the United States, all of which makes sense and might even be popular.

11. Comprehensive immigration reform would go down well in Mexico and, more important, make this country more competitive and productive, both by attracting and keeping larger numbers of talented people and by allowing the millions of undocumented individuals resident in the country to become full participants in the society.

12. Put a serious plan for entitlement reform on the agenda. If we don't prepare for this now, the next president will likely face a large and growing debt crisis as boomers age and retire and as interest rates rise. Financing this debt will further crowd out investment in people and infrastructure and defense. In addition, allowing a large dependence on imported dollars to emerge at a time this country has done so much to reduce its dependence on imported oil would constrain us in future crises just when we had begun to move beyond such constraints.

NUK_1
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Wow....pretty good list of priorities

I am in total agreement with about 90%. Obviously, you put some serious thought into this and kudos to you.

h39291
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Nuk1

It is, but I will not take credit for it. It's a list I found somewhere online and I liked it, so reposted here. I tweeked it in a few places...

AtHomeGym
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h39291 & Foreign Policy

Not bad--I could get behind most of what you propose.

Davids mom
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Reasonable agreement

You see. its not impossible! Why can't the 'leaders' that we pay out of our tax dollars do this? I wish you guys could go to Congress!!!! Most informative discussion. Thanks!

h39291
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IRAQ

AtHomeGym...Iraq, as we all know, is not doing very well at all. However that's not our problem. We cannot be the "world's policeman". We've already flushed $1.7 trillion down the toilet there. Most reasonable Americans predicted this very result 10 years ago! And you know what? We were right!
We should have never been there!

So my question to you AtHomeGym is this: Should we stay in these foreign countries with populations that do not want us there while spending trillions of dollars we don't have, only to watch that nation crumble when we eventually leave as we surely must.

You are entitled to your opinion, I am entitled to mine. My opinion, and my vote went to the candidate who pulled us out of a place we should have never been.

hutch866
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h39291

Better check your sources again, Janet Yellen would be surprised to find out she isn't the head of the Fed.

h39291
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hutch866

That wasn't my point hutch666, of course Janet Yellin became the Fed chief when Ben Bernanke decided to retire after his second term as Fed chief ended. (Pres. Obama wanted him for a third term but Ben Bernanke wanted to retire).
My point was that many of those who voted for Pres. Obama did so to keep Ben Bernanke as Federal Reserve Chairman. Mitt Romney just didn't "get it" when it came to the severity of the 2008 financial collapse. Mitt wanted to get ride of Bernanke... I believe history will show Ben Bernanke as the man that saved Western civilisation from total financial collapse. The ultimate rationale for a central bank is to be the lender of last resort and on this score Bernanke was fast enough, very innovative and sufficiently bold to rescue the world from a depression that would have made the 1930s look like a doddle.

hutch866
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h39291

BS, do I need to spell that out? Obama gave up on Bernanke, and while maybe the party line was he wanted to retire, the fact was his choice was retire or be fired. Mitt had nothing to do with Bernanke. That was exactly your point.

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hutch666

Oh I see Hutch666 you have some secret contact in the Oval office that tells you Pres. Obama gave up on Ben Bernanke and made him retire. Tell us more secret information.

The fact is President Obama liked Ben Bernanke, liked his policies. Why else would he have chosen Janet Yellin, who believed in the same monetary philosophy as Ben Bernanke?

If Pres. Obama didn't like Bernanke as you say why wouldn't he have chosen some other Fed chief, someone who didn't believe in the $85 billion bond purchases or low interest rates?

There were plenty of other qualified candidates for Fed chief that didn't believe Ben Bernanke was doing the correct things.

Answer me that oh wise Hutch666. I'm only going on public facts so you apparently have the advantage with your secret information.

NUK_1
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LMAO at Ben Bernanke

You really think that most Obama voters have any idea who the hell that guy is? Seriously?

Fred Garvin
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Grinding America Down

If you've wondered why America has been falling apart from within, this movie will clear things up. Please share with everyone you can and order a few copies to give to pastors, representatives, and conservative leaders. America needs to see this film!

AGENDA: Grinding America Down

Its a long movie, but well worth watching from beginning to end if you care about the future of America.

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The only R-E-S-P-E-C-T, I'm

The only R-E-S-P-E-C-T, I'm willing to give any Republican office holder, is to vote them out of office.

On the evening of President Obama's first inauguration, top Republican lawmakers and strategists met at 'The Caucus Room' steakhouse and made a pact to obstruct the president. IMHO, this strategy is what prevented the President from working with both sides of the aisle in the legislative branch and the result of it has hurt the country as a whole.

So lets not try to rewrite the history on this. R-E-S-P-E-C-T is a two way street but the Republicans decided to make it a "One Way."

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Gort & Respect

Nice rehash of Puffington Host article containing excerpts from the Robert Draper (author & writer for the NY Times)book. If this in fact happened, the POTUS has helped them by refusing to initiate contact, negotiate or compromise.

borntorun
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Respect

I agree with you Bonnie....but your assertion that the gridlock is 100% Obama's fault is asinine. And I say that as no fan of Obama.

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Bonnie Willis
Quote:

Gone, it seems, are the days when one could have a discussion with someone of differing political viewpoints, be congenial, conciliatory, or even come to a point of agreement. How did we even get here? How did it become so bad that many average citizens have abandoned the political process all together out of sheer disgust? Like me, they feel the political process is no longer about working together for the American people; it’s about gaining leverage over one’s political opponents.

It's unfortunate that this is your reality. There are many in our country who are having these discussions, with respect and not finding it necessary to blame all on an ineffective Congress or President. There are issues where Americans, liberal or conservative agree regarding the current action/inaction of our government leaders.

Quote:

It's's the President who has to lead by example and show some respect

Really? Do you recall an elected representative calling the POTUS a liar in a most disrespectful manner? As well as some disrespectful statements by some citizens of Fayette County? There are citizens in our country who can disagree with respect. Respect is the responsibility of all persons in a reasonable debate. All American leaders should show respect. This used to be a given in our Congress. Before each statement made on the floor, it was usually stated " I disagree with my distinguished colleague - or some statement to that effect. The statement 'you lie' is not a respectful way to voice disagreement. IMO. Thanks for sharing your opinion.

PTC Observer
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DM - yes

Totally inappropriate, but was Rep. Wilson wrong about Mr. Obama's character?

After all he was given the lie of the year award, and it got him reelected.

Time will tell how much the American people love our President and his party.

Earl E Bird
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Respect is earned

Yes respect is needed for true productive debate/negotiation. If you don't trust the person that you are negotiating with not much can be accomplished. And true respect must be earned. Or the rest is just a sham. As we have seen from this "leader".

mar66cla
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.

.

mar66cla
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Words of Wisdom. I have to shout....

Amen!!!

brooksdad
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R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Yet another outstanding article by Ms. Willis. I just pray we can recover from all the damage lying barry has wreaked.

Just waiting for the race troll to appear on this one, slinging elbows and dribbling the same tired old lecture on cooperation and her experiences....ugh!

Fred Garvin
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50 Things Barack Hussein Obama Has Done Wrong

1) Because of Obama’s policies since he became President, 11,472,000 Americans have left the work force.
2) “Fewer Americans are at work today than in April 2000, even though the population since then has grown by 31 million.” — Mortimer Zuckerman
3) The number of Americans on welfare has hit record highs.
4) A record 20% of Americans were on food stamps in 2013.
5) The almost 11 million Americans getting disability payments is now approaching the population of Cuba
6) Our nation lost its AAA credit rating because Obama is spending so much money.
7) Not only was Cash for Clunkers a wasteful government program that “cost $1.4 million for every job it created and did little to reduce carbon emissions,” destroying the “clunkers” helped dramatically jack up the cost of used cars for the rest of the country.
8) After BP had a huge oil spill in the Gulf, Obama not only bungled the clean-up process, he slowed oil production from other companies that had done nothing wrong which led to higher oil prices.
9) Obama has helped drive up the cost of gas by blocking the Keystone Pipeline.
10) When he was running for office in 2008, Obama claimed that, “Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes.” He lied.
11) Through 2013, the Obama Administration had imposed new regulations on businesses that cost 46 billion dollars a year.
12) Taxpayers lost 25 billion dollars on Obama’s bailout of General Motors and Chrysler. Chrysler isn’t even an American company any more. It’s now owned by an Italian company, Fiat.
13) When he was running for office, Obama called Bush “unpatriotic” for adding so much to the debt and promised to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term. Yet, the national debt is up 7 trillion dollars since Obama became President. That’s more debt than all U.S. Presidents from George Washington through Bill Clinton combined.
14) Obama’s administration gave guns to Mexican cartels that were used to murder hundreds of Mexicans and border agent Brian Terry. The Obama Administration has refused to cooperate with the investigation or hold anyone accountable for that illegal behavior.
15) The NSA has spied on Americans under Obama.
16) Under Obama, the CIA spied on the Senate.
17) Obama’s campaign contributors at Solyndra were handed 535 million dollars of taxpayer money that the Obama Administration knew they would never be able to pay back before they gave it to them.
18) The IRS targeted Obama’s political enemies including Christian groups, pro-Israel groups, and most prominently, Tea Party groups. The Obama Administration has refused to cooperate with the investigation or hold anyone accountable for the illegal behavior.
19) Numerous donors to Mitt Romney were audited by the IRS after giving him large contributions.
20) When the EPA and IRS were asked to provide emails requested by Congress as part of an investigation into their illegal activities, they’ve claimed over and over again to have lost the information because of “hard drive crashes.” Given that it’s quite easy to back up a hard drive and that they’re required by law to retain that information, it seems likely that they’re habitually destroying evidence to hide their illegal activities.
21) Veterans received poor health care and even died because of the incompetence and cover-ups of Obama’s VA.
22) Even Barney Frank admits Barack Hussein Obama shamelessly lied to the American people to get Obamacare passed – and lie, he did. He promised that Americans could keep their insurance plans, that they could keep their doctors, and that Obamacare would save the average family $2500 per year. Not only were all of those lies, Obama knew they were lies when he made those promises.
23) Barack Hussein Obama has broken the law repeatedly by making at least 23 unilateral changes to Obamacare.
24) Obama has been illegally trying to force Christians to pay for abortifacients via Obamacare.
25) Obamacare has been a disaster that cost millions their insurance and sent health care costs spiraling into the stratosphere.
26) Obama is taking 700 billion dollars out of Medicare to put into Obamacare.
27) The website portion of Obamacare, healthcare.gov, was a non-functional disaster for months when it rolled out and Obama claimed he was completely unaware that there was anything wrong with it.
28) Instead of calming people down, Obama helped to turn Americans against each other racially be inserting himself into the Trayvon Martin case.
29) Obama created so much racial animosity by attacking the police when they had done nothing wrong in the Henry Louis Gates case that he had to have a ridiculous “beer summit” to try to undo the damage.
30) The Department of Justice failed to pursue a voter intimidation case against members of the New Black Panthers because they were black and liberal. Former DOJ official J. Christian Adams quit over the case and “accused his former employer of instructing attorneys in the civil rights division to ignore cases that involve black defendants and white victims.”
31) George W. Bush quit playing golf in 2003 because he didn’t want the mother of some fallen soldier to see the Commander-in-Chief out playing golf. He also said he thought playing golf during a war sent the wrong signal to the American people. Through June of 2014, Obama was up to 177 rounds and is on pace to play twice as much in his second term as his first term.
32) Obama chose tax cheat Tim Geithner to be his Secretary of the Treasury and then has had the audacity to spend his whole presidency pushing for higher taxes.
33) After promising to unite America when he was running for office in 2008, Obama has been the most hyper-partisan President in decades.
34) Despite the fact that Barack Hussein Obama claimed to believe that marriage should be between one man and one woman when he was running for President in 2008, his Department of Justice asked states attorney general to refuse to defend their states’ bans on gay marriage in court.
35) The Department of Justice has worked overtime to help increase voter fraud by fighting against voter ID. This is despite the fact that you need ID to buy alcohol, drive a car, fly on a plane or even to use Obamacare.
36) He’s the reason why countless Americans have been groped, molested and harassed by the TSA, even though agents never caught a terrorist sticking their hand down anyone’s pants.
37) He’s responsible for the dumbing down of our education system with Common Core.
38) We first landed on the moon in 1969, but because of Obama, we’re no longer even capable of going into space.
39) His servile bowing to other world leaders is embarrassing and un-American.
40) Barack Hussein Obama engaged in an illegal war in Libya without the permission of Congress that helped turn that country into an unstable basket case run by radical Islamists. How bad is it? America, Libyans and the rest of the world were better off with Muammar Gaddafi in charge. That’s how bad it is.
41) Radical Islamist Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan “described himself as mujahedeen” and yelled “Allahu Akbar” as he murdered 13 of his fellow soldiers at Fort Hood. The Obama Administration labeled that as "workplace violence" rather than admitting there was a terrorist attack on his watch.
42) He released 5 Taliban terrorists In exchange for deserter Bowe Bergdahl.
43) Americans died at Benghazi because Obama’s administration didn’t take their repeated requests for additional security seriously.
44) Russia annexed Crimea while Obama did nothing of consequence to discourage it from invading. That’s not a surprise for a President who is fond of throwing out “red lines” that don’t mean anything.
45) Obama’s premature pull-out in Iraq and foolish refusal to get a status of forces agreement in Iraq left the country vulnerable and led to the terrorists in ISIS taking over a large portion of that country.
46) Barack Hussein Obama unilaterally implemented the DREAM Act that Congress didn’t pass and illegally handed out work permits to illegal aliens.
47) Obama is threatening to bypass Congress and simply “legalize” millions more of illegal immigrants even though it’s illegal and unconstitutional and it hurts the American people and will further encourage even more illegal aliens to surge across the border.
48) The fence on our southern border was supposed to be completed by 2009. The Obama Administration has made it clear that it doesn’t intend to finish it during his presidency.
49) Barack Hussein Obama is deliberately creating a crisis on the southern border by refusing to deport illegal aliens crossing into our country.
50) For all practical purposes, Barack Hussein Obama has already unilaterally implemented amnesty in America because “at least 99.92% of illegal immigrants and visa overstays without known crimes on their records” aren’t being deported.

h39291
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Nice list

Nice list Fred. Here's mine.

President Obama:
1. got us out of Iraq. (the Republicans wanted to stay there)
2. kept Ben Bernanke. (Mitt Romney wanted to get rid of Bernanke)

These two reasons trump your list of 50.

Iraq cost the US $1.7 trillion! That waste of money far exceeds your list many times over.

Many experts agree that Ben Bernanke's monetary policies, which have been continued under Janet Yellin, have saved the world economy.

h39291
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another list for Fred

The Iraq list:

189,000: Direct war deaths, which doesn't include the hundreds of thousands more that died due to war-related hardships.

4,488: U.S. service personnel killed directly.

32,223: Troops injured (not including PTSD).

134,000: Civilians killed directly.

655,000: Persons who have died in Iraq since the invasion that would not have died if the invasion had not occurred.

150: Reporters killed.

2.8 million: Persons who remain either internally displaced or have fled the country.

$1.7 trillion: Amount in war expenses spent by the U.S. Treasury Department as through Fiscal Year 2013.

$5,000: Amount spent per second.

$350,000: Cost to deploy one American military member.

$490 billion: Amount in war benefits owed to war veterans.

$7 trillion: Projected interest payments due by 2053 (because the war was paid for with borrowed money).

$20 billion: Amount paid to KBR, contractor responsible for equipment and services.

$3 billion: Amount of KBR payments Pentagon auditors considered "questionable."

$60 billion: Amount paid for reconstruction, (which was ruled largely a waste due to corruption and shoddy work.)

$4 billion: Amount owed to the U.S. by Iraq before the invasion.

1.6 million: Gallons of oil used by U.S. forces each day in Iraq (at $127.68 a barrel).

$12 billion: Cost per month of the war by 2008.

$7 billion: Amount owed to Iraq by the U.S. after the war (mostly due to fraud).

$20 billion: Annual air conditioning cost.

Missing: $546 million in spare parts; 190,000 guns, including 110,000 AK-47s.

40 percent: Increase in Iraqi oil production.

$5 billion: Revenue from Iraqi oil in 2003.

$85 billion: Revenue from Iraqi oil in 2011.

$150 billion: Amount oil companies are expected to invest in oil development over the next decade.

$75 billion: Approximate amount expected to go to American subcontracting companies, largest of all Halliburton.

0 = Nuclear Weapons of Mass Destruction found (though a bunch of chems were discovered).

Perhaps most importantly, this list doesn't account for the emotional damage caused to service members and their families as well as the destruction to the homes, social fabric, and psyche of the Iraqi people.

Fred Garvin
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Kevin

Yeah right. Iraq was a peace-loving shangri-la before we got there. Suddam was a real pussy-cat that was just minding his own biness.

h39291
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Iraq

Fred, Iraq just wasn't a threat to us. It was a total waste of $1.7 trillion we didn't have. Are you really going to argue that the war was a good idea? Really?

Davids mom
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Congress Proposes ?

To correct the 'wrongs' of Obama?

Obama is president until 2016. What can Congress do? What can the Republican Party (united and cooperative with one another) do?

mudcat
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Yea Fred when you put it that way it really looks bad for Presbo

Cause the reality is pretty bad. And as good as your list is, it will probably get longer.

Those youthful defenders of our worst President ever are about to speak up and sneer What about Bush or some other drivel. Let me point out to them that Fred's first point about 11 million leaving the work force and the second and third points too - what that means mr. 20 something liberal is that there are 11 million people not contributing to your future social security benefits or even more likely, your future welfare benefits. Everybody thinks they are getting their own money back when they collect social security and medicare. Not so. It takes at least 3 workers contributing at the maximum level to support 1 retiree. It is a simple math problem not covered by Common Core. But as you grow up and live with the disaster this man has wreaked upon this once great nation - you will probably get it. I really don't think we will recover from this. And when the Federal finances look like Detroit's there will be revolution and it won't be pretty.

h39291
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Common core

What is it about Common Core you don't like Mudcat?

It sounds like you are a Republican? Common core was developed in part by the National Governor's Council, of which there is a large Republican majority.

Common core is supposed to establish consistent educational standards across the states as well as ensure that students graduating from high school are prepared to enter credit-bearing courses at two- or four-year college programs or enter the workforce.

Much of the syllabi is taken from countries that have a much better record of math, science and language scores. What exactly do you not like about Common Core? Be specific.

Davids mom
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Please conservatives

Help us!! What do you propose to do so that Garvins predictions/facts are not realized? You have the answers. Please share. Obama will be gone in 2016. What can you offer us poor illiterate progressives? Help! Please get your Tea Party and contract signers to save our country. Thank you!

SilverStar
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Looks like these things have

Looks like these things have already been realized, and it may be too late to reverse course. This quote (of disputed origin) neatly summarizes the problem:

"The danger to America is not Barack Obama, but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the Presidency. It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their president. The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails America. Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince. The Republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools such as those who made him their president."

Davids mom
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Nixon

Yup, we survived him! The truth is, today, even Reagan would not feel welcomed in today's GOP. Guys, where is the wisdom in continuing to berate Obama? Please help the United States. What is your plan for salvation ?

mudcat
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I think he needs to be neutered

or maybe neutralized by putting Harry Reid and his Democrat enablers on the shelf this fall - Get a Republican Senate and a lot of Obama's freelancing can be curtailed. This President is a huge failure and it has nothing to do with the color of his skin, instead it is the content of his character and the warped minds of his handlers who have a much different view of the world than anyone I know - family, friends, neighbors.

Davids mom
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Mudcat

Nice rhetoric. What will the Republican Party do to save our country? Neutering our president does not answer that question. If the Republican Party succeeds in November - what dramatic change can we expect?

mudcat
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The dramatic change would be to stop the bleeding

First rule of first aid. Stop the bleeding.

Get this silly caricature of a leader out of the White House. Then put Gingrich, Romney or another Bush into the White House. No, none of them would be my first choice, but who among us would argue that any of them could possibly be worse than this community organizer?

I'd much prefer Hil or Biden if we have to elect a Democrat to protect the underclass - and we will since half the country is on the dole. In fact I'd prefer anybody from the cast of Cheers over this egomaniac of what we now have to call our leader. What a disgrace.

Don't you agree we need a change?

Davids mom
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The Underclass Mudcat ?

When a family of four are considered living in poverty with an income of $50,000 a year - that underclass has suddenly become the shrinking 'middle class'. How is your six figure salary treating you?

mudcat
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You may be looking at this the wrong way

What I see is a family of 4 (3 kids from 3 different fathers plus a mother) receiving welfare, food stamps, earned income credit and breeding fees for her 3 little fetuses. And when that totals up to $50,000, yes I believe we have a problem.

Fred Garvin
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Mudcat

You never stated race, yet the town purveyor of everything racial could'nt help itself and had to drag it into the conversation. Barack Hussein Obama is not black, he is half white, half black. "The browning of America is here"? What a hateful, racist comment to make. It sounds like the racial genocide that Hitler was calling for. Really sad.

Davids mom
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Fred Garvin
Quote:

"The browning of America is here"? What a hateful, racist comment to make. It sounds like the racial genocide that Hitler was calling for. Really sad.

You find it hateful to state a truism that was the title of a Time Magazine article almost 20 years ago? It is not a hateful statement except to those who fear the reality of the statement. What happened Fred? Did the discussion get too 'agreeable' for you? Do you resent that people with different opinions can find areas where they agree? The concrete suggestions and opinions shared recently in this discussion have very little to do with race, except when it comes to the denigration of our President. He is a 'black' man. He is a Democrat. He is a scholar. He is a caring father. He respects his wife. He has brought young men and women home from a war. He has helped all students with the cost of their student loans. He, his political party, and MANY REPUBLICANS are seeking reform to our tax structure; our immigration policy; our job (unemployment) situation; etc., etc., etc. Racial genocide? Please. Today in communities throughout our country, persons of all races are living and worshipping peaceably together as Americans - especially here in Fayette County. The professionals, the craftsmen, the professors, the retirees, the young families who come to Fayette County will be representative of the United States - diverse, seeking decent housing, good/great schools, safe streets, and intelligent citizens who can acknowledge that in 2014, the United States is a diverse country composed of the descendants of immigrants (except for the Native Americans) I'm not alone Fred. Most citizens could care less regarding the 'color' of our president. . .except for those who must denigrate him whenever asked for a solution to our problems.

Quote:

Barack Hussein Obama is not black, he is half white, half black

If you saw him walking down the street - would you identify him as 'half white'? If we ran your DNA - would you be 'free' of 'black' blood? No one cares, except for insecure Americans who cannot accept a neighbor except that they look like 'them', think like them, etc.

I'm leaving the country for a while - and I will be identified as an American - until I return, and then others will feel it necessary to give me a hyphenated label. Mudcat didn't mention 'race' - true. But RACE is the elephant in the middle of the room! Again, I will return home to Fayetteville in Fayette County Georgia - and I will enjoy my neighbors of all races; I will enjoy my church family of all races; and I will celebrate this community that is a role model for American living at it's best. The citizens of the United States will work together to find solutions to our myriad of problems - and we will continue to progress and achieve. Signing off as a Democrat who would vote for Obama if he could run again. (And I enjoy living with and discussing issues with my Republican friends - always an education being exposed to different opinions.)

Davids mom
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Mudcat

Wake up. There are teachers in our communities who have four children, husband out of work or under employed who are desperately trying not to file for food stamps, etc. The well orchestrated campaign to make the total underclass in 2014 unwed mothers is why Obama would be re-elected if possible. Unbridled fear of those who don't fit the image of what Americans should look.like in 2014 is known as racism / elitism/ etc.- no matter what other ism is used to hide this fear. Look around you. The browning of America is here. Our president is an African American, raised by a 'white' family, who with the insistence of a 'white' mother, achieved the American dream. The world was proud of this achievement over American apartheid ! It is interesting how the same words by this president are used to support him and denigrate him. The truth will be acknowledged by historians , just like the truth of the positions taken in the Civil Rights movement has been acknowledged by history. The passion born of the election of a 'black' man to the White House has been an eye opener to the world. Obama's re-election was heralded around the world. Putin tried to checkmate our democracy, but Americans are better chess players - and the truth is difficult to hide. It is interesting that a different viewpoint is now being expressed in FC. My way or the highway is not the way in democracy. We, as Americans, must learn to listen to others and RESPECT their point of view - respect their right to a different point of view, and learn to live side by side in peaceful respect.

Davids mom
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Mudcat

Stop the bleeding. First, when did it start? Did 'trickle down' economy work? Why hasn't this powerful Republican presence in the leaderless House been able to accomplish this stopping of the bleeding? You know, there are some leaders in Congress who have been trying, but Lo and behold, when so-called bi-partisan bills get to the floor, some of those who contributed to the writing vote against the bill. (They signed a contract which they display proudly on their office wall, while forgetting their obligation to the American people. ). The Republicans failed in their attempt to remove Obama. Now in their attempt to tarnish his legacy, they're failing the American people and the GOP. The Grand Old Party is viewed in 2014 as it was during the Nixon era. Politics above ethics. We need the Conservative thought in our country. We need balanced thinking and action to preserve our democracy. Now here comes the crap - united we stand, divided we fall. Good night everyone. God bless you and God bless America.

Davids mom
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Oops!

.

Davids mom
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Brooksdad

Thank you for your respectful comment.

PTC Observer
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Ms. Willis - Reinventing America

No surprise here Ms. Willis, this is all part of his plan to "reinvent" America. Aka, another run at raiding the the treasury.

It is very important, as you know, to look at what a person does, not what they say they will do. Mr. Obama is ethically and morally challenged, pure and simple, but he has a motive in it all. Personal wealth.

No Ms. Willis, our only hope is that we throw them all out and replace them with people less interested in getting rich off other citizens. Mr. Obama will leave office a very rich man and will become even richer after leaving office. That's also his plan, to get rich off the backs of his fellow citizens. We have been warned many times about professional politicians. Note that Mr. Obama has no previous qualifications of running anything but political driven entities. He has no leadership skills, he is a media created aberration that we will pay for over decades. He has created no value and has been a net negative to our society.

Here's some interesting reading for you on political professionalism.

http://www.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/pubs/pdf/pa151.pdf

There is no basis for dialog with someone who wants to rob you and pay off his cronies, so he can get paid later.

Davids mom
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PTCO - THE TRUTH

FROM YOUR ARTICLE: THANKS!

I

Quote:

Is term limitation the antidote for professional politics in America, as many are suggesting? Of course it is not.(104) Term limitation is only the first response to the problem of professionalization that increasingly permeates the entire American political system. Periodically throwing the "rascals" out of office will do little to remedy the other pressing problems of professional politics.(105) Term limitation alone is not enough, but it is a start, especially if accompanied by serious state and national debate about the causes and consequences of professionalized politics. America needs to "get serious" about the burgeoning, immortal bureaucracy; the explosive costs of political campaigns; the irrelevance of political parties; the skewed proliferation of organized interest groups; the dependence of candidates and officeholders on political consultants; and the supremacy of legislative staff in addition to grappling with the rise of
legislative careerism. A comprehensive approach to the poison of professional politics would be ideal, but nothing in American history would lead any sensible observer to conclude that such a course is probable, or even possible.
Thus, as usual, we must settle for incremental improvement. Greater appreciation of the reasons for the American tradition of rotation in office can smooth the way for term limitation as the first step on the arduous road to the restoration of political institutions capable of nurturing representative democracy, democratic citizenship, and the ennobling art of self-government.

PTC Observer
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You're welcome DM

Thanks for reading it. Professional politicians like Mr. Obama are destroying the country, we don't need to change the Constitution, we need to expose these leeches for what they are.

Bit by bit their capitalist cronies, power protective regulations and the tax collectors will suppress all opposition against the government. We need to throw them out and change the system if we want to remain a free society.

You merely need to look at every other socialist regime to see how it is done, the US progressive movement is no different.

You can think that Mr. Obama is an honest man or you recognize that he is merely ruthless in his pursuit of an ideology.

Davids mom
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PTCO

Personal wealth? Against the reality of quickly diminishing health- for the service to our country and our world? The individual who serves as POTUS is hardly paid enough for the stress of this office. It is true, if this president could run again, he would be reelected. Why? To a vast majority of VOTERS, this president tries to serve the citizens of the US, not the power brokers. Remember how far off the polls were in the last presidential election? It's the voters who make the decision. Remember Eric Cantor? Ethnicity? This president still has the support of the majority of women, youth, as well as the ever growing minority (racial). Just expressing a different viewpoint.

brooksdad
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a different viewpoint...really?

No, DM, it is the same crap (respectfully speaking). You and your likes are unable to call lil' barry out for what he is. A liar, a socialist, a traitor. Nothing respectful about him. And in your deafening silence, you endorse and approve of lil' barry's continual trampling of the constitution.

This clip reinforces the fact of his incompetence. So sad, so pitiful...

http://rare.us/story/abc-reporter-asks-president-obama-does-it-bother-yo...

Davids mom
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COOPERATION - CRAP?

How does non-cooperation work in your family?

Davids mom
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ANYBODY READ PERDUES 'LIE' ABOUT HIS OPPONENT?

She is climbing in the polls - along with Jason Carter. The TRUTH is always more effective. It is an insult to the voters to assume they will always believe untruths. In today's technical world, the truth is so easy to find. In respectful sharing, many - liberals and conservatives - are realizing that this government founded by our founding fathers can work when we COOPERATE with one another in seeking the best way to serve the American people. Our politicians in Washington - from both parties - are taking a long time to realize this truth - and we, the American people suffer from their 'slowness'.

meanoldconservatives
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Mrs. Doubtfire and Little Jimmah

According to the AJC, Mrs.Doubtfire and Little Jimmah spoke yesterday at the Democratic Convention in Dublin. While apparently working their base up into a lather, Jim Galloway from the AJC offered this astute observation:

"One last thing to note: Neither Nunn nor Jason Carter, the Democratic candidate for governor who followed her, uttered the words “Barack” or “Obama.”

Now, why would that be???

Davids mom
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Brooksdad

Yes -REALLY! You have the right to interpret as your opinion directs. The majority of the voters do not/ did not agree with your interpretation.

The presidents answer from your article:

Quote:

“I never have a green light, I’m bound by the Constitution, I’m bound by separation of powers…There are some things we can’t do. Congress has the power of the purse…,” Obama told Karl.
“What I am consistently going to do, is whenever I have the legal authorities to make progress on behalf of middle class Americans or folks working to get into the middle class…”
President Obama says that his preference was to work with Congress, but that he would seize any opportunity to help the American people.f

I respect your opinion. History will deal with the facts of the actions of this administration. (And Congress) Please keep responding. Your definition of disagreeing respectfully is educational.

SPQR
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PTCO

And if he could run for a third term he would be reelected. Barry is the symptom not the problem.

PTC Observer
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SPQR - Yes

I totally agree.

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