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Your life under Obama

Posted Tuesday, December 1, 2009, at 3:36 PM

Do you consider your life better, worse or about the same since President Obama took office?


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I can't see how it is any better. Taxes are going higher and the country is losing it military might. But, the question is, does Obama care if we the people are better or worse? I don't thinks so. Besides if you put him and Bush in a bag and shook them up, then reached in all you would draw out is a politician. Thats how it looks from out on the farm...

-- Posted by outonthefarm on Tue, Dec 1, 2009, at 5:59 PM

I find that my life is much more hopeful with Obama, he shows concern for us the people of this country instead of just scratching the backs of the high and mighty big business type the last administration backed. Obama may not do everything perfect while in office, no president ever has or well but I do feel his loyalties and intentions to do what is best for America and ALL her people is the right direction for him to be working. I hope and pray that the rest of the government will get on board and put the same care into including Americans in their concern and goals instead of just fighting anything Obama . They don't need to just blindly do what Obama says but consider the suggestions open mindedly and when they don't agree offer real options that may work, be a part of creating solutions rather than being set on creating division for the sake of their party first mentality that demands they "just say no" to any and all things Obama / democrat.

-- Posted by wonderwhy on Tue, Dec 1, 2009, at 6:01 PM

I'd have to say about the same Bo, I don't let whoever lives in the White House have much of an effect regarding what goes on at my house. Besides, I don't consider this liberal clown to be my President anyway.

-- Posted by Tim Lokey on Tue, Dec 1, 2009, at 6:01 PM

My Life? Obama has little to do with it. I am responsible for that.

My country? Much worse! I consider our freedoms, and constitutional democracy to be much more at risk now than they have ever been.

Power grabbing, control everything, and bent towards socialism seems to be the order of the day for the Obama administration.

More deficit spending, more taxes, more censorshipship, more government = less freedom.

Bush brought us the same things so not much difference there in my opinion.

-- Posted by Liveforlight on Tue, Dec 1, 2009, at 6:53 PM

I do not think that we will begin to notice a difference in our lives for a while. Just wait until the health care bill passes. The goverment is already involved in far too much of our lives, but just wait. We are headed for socialism. We saw Bush getting us deeper in debt, but nothing to compare with our present administration. For those that voted for Obama, because he promised change, you will definately see change.

-- Posted by cookie on Tue, Dec 1, 2009, at 7:28 PM

My life is a little better. Gas prices are down, electric bill is down, my taxes so far isn't any higher.

It always takes longer to get out of messes than it takes to get into them. It took 8 years to get into this mess so it will take a long time to get out of this.

-- Posted by reap what u sow on Tue, Dec 1, 2009, at 7:44 PM

I agree completely with outonthefarm! This nation is in dire need of a statesman.

-- Posted by big daddy rabbit on Tue, Dec 1, 2009, at 7:46 PM

Gas prices went down? When? Oh for like a month...yea, forgot. Wait, they are back up!

-- Posted by driedleaves on Tue, Dec 1, 2009, at 9:19 PM

Yes from $4.00 a gallon down to $2.48 now, I'd say that is a drop in price and makes a big difference in a tank of gas.

-- Posted by reap what u sow on Tue, Dec 1, 2009, at 9:54 PM

For eight years of the Bush administration my personal financial situation was not good. Prior to his administration, I received a raise each year on my pension. After Bush took office, I received NO raises and my wife's business started a downward spiral to the point she had to sell a once thriving business by his sixth year in office. Regardless of how you voted, the economy is at least struggling to improve, we are making better decisions concerning the Bush concocted war. (I'm a war President!) and (we have won the war in Iraq)I believe the economy would have continued to be in good shape had Bush not been too eager to go to war with Iraq. I had a belly full of George W and anyone else looked good to me. I almost voted for McCain until he said he could forsee the US fighting a war in Iraq for 50 more years. I am a proud Veteran and I fully support and appreciate our troops, I don't support the reason we are at war. I think history will look on this war as Bush's folly. We won't attract a statesman in this country as long as we make a sport out of tearing down each party. If we want to move this country forward, I think it is time to eliminate the two party system. Find the best qualified man, publish his resume, let the top three vote getters debate, and vote for the best qualified. Then there is no losing party to tear down the President.

-- Posted by chs61 on Tue, Dec 1, 2009, at 9:55 PM

The jury's still out,I guess.

I haven't seen the rent-to-own,bail bondsmen or loan companies cut back or shut down.

The charities and government agencies haven't run out of clients or complained about how they're going to spend their surplus before the end of the year.

I don't see a lot of repair and restoration on old buildings or bidding wars on reviving Madison Street,bringing in new employers and businesses,etc.

I agree we need time to heal.

I agree we need hope and optimism.

I agree we need statesmanship and a common goal to serve our country and our planet rather than our own egos and interests.

Obama can't lead us to prosperity or down the primrose path without our co-operation.

If we sit down and wait for things to happen,we are participating in our own downfall.

If our country has dug itself into a hole,the first thing we do is stop digging.

After that,we can start piling the dirt into something we can use to climb out before it all caves in and smothers us.

In between,we can use our ingenuity and strength to sell enough earth sheltered homes,subways,underground malls,bomb shelters,etc. etc. to prove to anyone that we can overcome any obstacle through diligence,wisdom,integrity and caring.

Waiting for a wizard to answer our needs or turn us into toads isn't going to work.

We have to "be the change we want to see in the world."

The people we have in office are part of the process-not the whole thing.

It matters less what our government has done for (or to) its people than what we are accomplishing through our own efforts.

We have tackled wars,economic debacles,scandals and natural disasters.

We never overcame through complacency or despair.

We have succeeded to the degree we took responsibility for the welfare of our country and saw our neighbors as allies in a common cause.

If Obama or any of his ilk want to take part in our task,fine.

But,giving a person a fancy hat and a baton doesn't accomplish much good or bad when no one else is marching in the parade.

-- Posted by quantumcat on Tue, Dec 1, 2009, at 10:45 PM

Actually gas prices started dropping in October 2008 before Obama was even elected much less before he took office so I don't think Obama had anything to do with that..The National average in November 2008 was 2.07 (keep in mind Obama took office in Jan 2009) Here it is December 2009 and the National average is 2.48 my math isn't that great but that sounds higher to me than this time last year.

http://blogs.consumerreports.org/cars/20...

I don't know where you are getting your electric service from but mine have been almost double what they were in the summer of 2008 in fact my electric bills have been higher this year than they have EVER been. And BTW Obama was President in the summer of 2009.

The American working people haven't paid taxes yet for 2009 so the jury is out on if you will be paying more taxes or not. If you are counting that big 10$ extra on your check let me assure you that you will be paying much more than that back to cover 800 Billion stimulus.(who do you think is going to pay it back?)

Unemployment is still rising... stimulus money wasted.. people still losing their homes to foreclosure... health insurance rates rising ... benefits being cut.. we are STILL in Iraq and sending more troops to Afghanistan... no increase in SS benefits in 2010 for Seniors.

Yep it's change alright and life really is a bowl full of cherries.

-- Posted by Dianatn on Wed, Dec 2, 2009, at 12:44 AM

Ha ha! Yes gas prices started going down a month before the election. The Republican Party made sure they dropped and thought the public would be stupid enough to forget about the constant rising gas prices since 2001. On average they raised about a dollar every year. Rest assured if there was a republican in the white house now gas prices would be a lot higher than $2.48. Gas prices do fluctuate some and I seriously doubt you will ever see it below $2.00 a gallon again but it's still a lot better than $4. By the way I bought my heating gas for $1.30 a gallon this year, first time since 2005 that I was able to get that price. I know Bush was in the white house then and the year before that I got it for less, but you can't argue with the fact that everything started going up with the Bushes and kept going up every year. Like I said earlier it's going to take a while to get out of this mess. At least it's a start.

As far as the electric bill, the difference is in the fuel cost adjustment and the TVA environmental charges. Mine are considerably lower than they were a few months ago. It's a start in the right direction.

-- Posted by reap what u sow on Wed, Dec 2, 2009, at 6:45 AM

LOL . . . I don't Bush or Obama has any actual affect on gas prices. That is dictated by stability in places where oil production is located and how the market relates to supply and demand. Anyone that actually believes that Obama or Bush can just push a little button and make gas prices fluctuate up or down must be either really naive or just stupid.

My life hasn't change much either way since Obama took office . . . I just cringe a little more when Congress decides to act on something because I know it will influence certain life factors(health care, higher electric bills due to climate change legislation) in the future. I pretty much agree with Dianatn.

-- Posted by jaxspike on Wed, Dec 2, 2009, at 8:46 AM

The president has almost zero effect on the economy, taxes, or certainly the price of gasoline, electricity, or heating gas.

Congress passes the laws that affect and control all of these. Guess what a DEMOCRAT majority has controlled both houses of congress since 2006.

Guess when the economy started to tank?

-- Posted by quietmike on Wed, Dec 2, 2009, at 8:50 AM

The stimulus plan has not worked. Yet liberal Dems are talking up yet another one. The unemplyment rate that they said would not go higher than 8.5% is now 10.2% and climbing. The budget defecit shot from 584 billion to 1.4 trillion in less than 9 months. 56% of Americans are against the health care bill, but they insist on pushing forward with it anyway. The cap and trade bill will add an average of $1,800 per calender year to your utility bills. They are moving forward with this even though global warming has now been proven to be at best, a fairy tale created by junk science. Providing for our national defense is supposed to be their number 1 priority, yet they openly state that doing so will interfere with their proposed social or entitlement programs. This administration is bound and determined to grant illegals anmesty and federally fund abortions. Obama himself has aligned himself with every type of anti-American left wing radical imaginable. They've siezed control of the banking industry, the auto industry and the mortgage industry. They now want complete and total control of our health care. Once socialism takes hold in this country, communism won't be far behind. Listen to the cries of OOPS, from those that voted him into office...those cries are getting louder by the day. His approval ratings have dropped like a stone.

-- Posted by Tim Lokey on Wed, Dec 2, 2009, at 8:52 AM

I really tried to evaluate my feelings at this time on President Obama's capabilities at running this country. Presently, I feel he is attempting to undermine the many years of our country's struggle to maintain a superior defense capability. I disagree with disarmament programs and necessary research programs needed to remain on top. I also disagree with civilian disarming programs or any program design that would create a police state. No community should subject themselves to dominance by a police or national guard force.

He, of course, is only the figurehead for our type government as he has no power other than that granted by the congress. His attempts to correct the economical problems are, of course, on the backs of the working middle class through taxations in various forms. Income tax being the least effective, is a political football, used to opinionate the public and hide other less publicized taxes on goods and services. Healthcare reform is not needed, cost of service, cost of medical supplies and medicines needs to be nationalized and limits placed of associated cost. Insurance reform is needed and cost controlled as well as mandated payment to the providers who care for the insured.

I expect him to try and place the Banking system of the U.S. under a one world banking system. One world currency soon to follow. His attempt at one global governmental entity will be harder, but, he seems headed in that direction.

I simply do not trust him with my freedoms, yet, I am more concerned with the Congress giving him free reign over these matters. I believe if the people control thier representatives then they will control the President.

So, as a Citizen, I feel the conditions needed to improve my situation is missing and my way of life threatened and loss of some personal freedoms endangered. I feel overall I am in worst condition, than before he took office.

-- Posted by dipperdan on Wed, Dec 2, 2009, at 9:23 AM

Ha ha! Obama has no effect on the good things that have happened since he has been in office yet, gets all the blame for the bad things you don't like. Oh that's sooo funny!!!!

If you can't give credit, you can't give blame.

-- Posted by reap what u sow on Wed, Dec 2, 2009, at 10:56 AM

The president is a figurehead and little else. The one thing the president does is represent the U.S. and set the tone of our diplomacy while visiting foreign lands.

For that job I give obama an F, based on his constant bowing and apologizing to foreign leaders.

-- Posted by quietmike on Wed, Dec 2, 2009, at 11:59 AM

Better. For those that do not like Obama - now you know how I felt about George W. Bush when he was President.

-- Posted by Grit on Wed, Dec 2, 2009, at 1:31 PM

This is not a popularity contest and not a matter of who you like or who you don't like. This is about job performance and quite honestly Bush nor Obama would have made it thru the 90 day probation period.

I have no problem giving Obama credit for the good he does and as soon as he does something good, I will give him the credit.

-- Posted by Dianatn on Wed, Dec 2, 2009, at 1:41 PM

Ha ha! Obama has no effect on the good things that have happened since he has been in office yet, gets all the blame for the bad things you don't like. Oh that's sooo funny!!!!

If you can't give credit, you can't give blame.

-- Posted by reap what u sow on Wed, Dec 2, 2009, at 10:56 AM

So, please inform us all about these "great" things Obama has accomplished since he's been in office. I'll make it easy for you...name one.

-- Posted by Tim Lokey on Wed, Dec 2, 2009, at 2:27 PM

Tattos one of the greatest things he's done is gotten the back stabbing republicans that did Bush's bidding out of there. Tell us other than letting the Twin Towers get hit and lie his way into a war what good did Bush do for us the people of AMerica? I'm not talking about the likes of Black Water, Haliburton, China or the oil companies he pandered to to and helped get richer I'm asking about US THE PEOPLE???????

You do realize that after all the damage Bush caused and left behind it's going to take many years of recovery, the demise his actions caused is still coming to a head, Obama has slowed the damage and we are beginning to see a slight come back, had your buddies stayed there we would still be in the free fall they created.

-- Posted by wonderwhy on Wed, Dec 2, 2009, at 4:56 PM

Dianatn, lets be honest here there is nothing Obama can do that you would agree with, there is nothing you would EVER admit he did right, he could end all wars and bring the whole world to peace and you and your haters would still spread your hate for him and all things to do with this administration. That is what your party stands for and it's mission to do - hate the opposition at all cost,

-- Posted by wonderwhy on Wed, Dec 2, 2009, at 4:59 PM

Tell us other than letting the Twin Towers get hit and lie his way into a war what good did Bush do for us the people of AMerica?

Obama has slowed the damage and we are beginning to see a slight come back

-- Posted by wonderwhy

So multiple unanswered muslim terrorist attacks during the nineties while clinton was too busy with interns to see to America's security leading up to 9/11 and its bush's fault???? that must be that "liberal logic" I've heard about.

Bush gave a tax cut to the group of people who pay the vast amount of taxes in our country..the same ones who are also responsible for the majority of jobs in the U.S. as well.

Not one successful post 9/11 terrorist attack on American soil. Too bad the most holy and anointed obama can't say the same.

What indicator are you referring when you say the damage has slowed and we are coming back??

Unemployment has risen.

defecit spending has exploded

Food stamp use is at record numbers

BUT AT LEAST WE HAVE A PRETTY SWEET TALKING PRESIDENT!

bush was not a good president and he wasn't a conservative by ANY stretch of the imagination, but he was still a far sight better than the idiot in office now whose only accomplishment is to be able to read a teleprompter.

-- Posted by quietmike on Wed, Dec 2, 2009, at 5:35 PM

So multiple unanswered muslim terrorist attacks during the nineties while clinton was too busy with interns to see to America's security leading up to 9/11 and its bush's fault???? that must be that "liberal logic" I've heard about.

Posted by quietmike on Wed, Dec 2, 2009, at 5:35 PM

Great comment quietmike. The muslim terrorist also knew they must pull it off early into Bush's term once he was elected. They knew Bush would not continue to let their efforts go on unchallenged as Clinton had for almost a decade. Bush did a wonderful job building up our National Defense which is really the only thing the Federal government should be concerned with in the first place. It is a shame that all that Bush done was so quickly torn down with Obama's gutless apologies.

Monika must have blown a pretty mean horn to stop up Willie's ears like she did. I have heard she could even play Dixie on a horn.

-- Posted by somecommonsense on Wed, Dec 2, 2009, at 5:57 PM

Wonder why every time someone asks about the good things Obama has done they answer with the bad things that Bush did?

According to the congressional investigations, the economic collapse was caused by the housing bubble bursting and the collapse of Freddie and Fannie. Who is to blame for that? GOVERNMENT both Dems. and Reps.

Bush made government bigger, bad move for the OUR freedom.

Obama is making government bigger. Is that now a good thing? Has a bigger more powerful government ever been good for the people, other than for defense? I don't think so.

Does anyone expect more government to make our life better? I certainly do not.

-- Posted by Liveforlight on Wed, Dec 2, 2009, at 5:59 PM

Dianatn, lets be honest here there is nothing Obama can do that you would agree with, there is nothing you would EVER admit he did right, he could end all wars and bring the whole world to peace and you and your haters would still spread your hate for him and all things to do with this administration. That is what your party stands for and it's mission to do - hate the opposition at all cost,

-- Posted by wonderwhy on Wed, Dec 2, 2009, at 4:59 PM

When and if Obama does any of these things then we will talk about it but he hasn't so it is a mute point.

And FYI I have been a Democrat my entire life so what party are we talking about here?

-- Posted by Dianatn on Wed, Dec 2, 2009, at 6:23 PM

Dianatn shows she is humble enough to admit that Obama has not lived up to her or her party's expectations. Give her credit for that.

-- Posted by somecommonsense on Wed, Dec 2, 2009, at 7:03 PM

Dianatn shows she is humble enough to admit that Obama has not lived up to her or her party's expectations. Give her credit for that.

-- Posted by somecommonsense on Wed, Dec 2, 2009, at 7:03 PM

I appreciate the comment but I have to be honest here Obama was not my choice for President even though I am a Democrat. My choice was Ron Paul and I am wishing he was more people's choice also. I do aline with a lot of Obama's policies but he has not done anything to push any of his promises forward.But I felt Ron Paul would have made things happen for the people and I still feel that way.

-- Posted by Dianatn on Wed, Dec 2, 2009, at 7:33 PM

Thanks for the comic relief Lewis.

-- Posted by nathan.evans on Wed, Dec 2, 2009, at 8:38 PM

"Do you consider your life better, worse or about the same since President Obama took office?"

Marginally better

-- Posted by darrick_04 on Wed, Dec 2, 2009, at 10:27 PM

Since we've brought up colored people,what do the greens think of our president?

Is he really pushing the agenda of the reds?

Is his foreign/military policy too yellow?

Is it easier to lead a lavendar life now than a year ago?

Would more people classify themselves as blue since he's been in office?

I'd find it more credible to critique a sitting president over what he has or hasn't done in the performance of his duties than how his spouse looks or the fact that he utilizes the same protective services for his family that have been in place for over a century.

We'd need to have a lot more people passing background checks and taking training in Georgia if all our children had Secret Service protection.

(Why do I suspect that such caregivers would be resented as too intrusive?)

I may not be an expert on airborne critters but the last I heard,a sound left wing and a sound right wing are needed if they ever get off the ground.

-- Posted by quantumcat on Thu, Dec 3, 2009, at 6:41 AM

Wonderwhy . . . you are just as full of political rhetoric as the supposed "haters" that you posted against. I am like Dianatn in that I was a Democrat also until I saw that it was being taken over by the far left radical wing which to me is no better than the radical right wing . . . they are both very polarizing and have their own agenda which does not serve the will of most Americans. I voted for Clinton both times and even John Kerry but did not vote for Obama because I could see through the glossy exterior and see that his promises were mostly mute and that his agenda was of one that would promote inequality in taxes and that would make government even bigger than Bush did. To disagree with that does not make me or anyone else a "hater" . . . it makes me smart and informed and an American who has the right to an opinion.

-- Posted by jaxspike on Thu, Dec 3, 2009, at 7:40 AM

Do you consider your life better, worse or about the same since President Obama took office?

My life has been better but in saying that I cannot give the credit to the President nor can I place the blame of my down fall on Bush (as much as I would like)

I am, for the most part, happy that Obama is trying but I also believe that it will take more than one man and more than 4 years.

-- Posted by Juju35 on Thu, Dec 3, 2009, at 11:00 AM

Can't see much difference I was broke before, I am broke now. I continue to make less money each year and things continue to go up except my pay each year no matter who is president. I am struggling to get by day to day. Nothing has changed yet.

-- Posted by Thatsmystory on Thu, Dec 3, 2009, at 12:11 PM

How typical of liberals to continue to harp about Bush when you point blank ask one of them to name one single thing this great "messiah" Obama has accomplished sice taking office. Ann Coulter was 100% correct when she said that when arguing with a liberal, just use facts. Liberals absolutely can't stand facts, so instead they resort to blame, name calling and attacking the person presenting the facts. I'm going to give you Obama supporters another chance to redeem yourselves. Please tell us one great accomplishment of Obama's...just one. See if you can do this without mentioning the Bush administration, attacking anyone or side stepping the question. Come on now...just one. I'm waiting.

Now ANYONE who is honestly waiting on some politician in Washington to make your lives better...my advice to you would be, DON'T HOLD YOUR BREATH.

-- Posted by Tim Lokey on Thu, Dec 3, 2009, at 12:51 PM

Obama taking on individuals and corporations that attempt to hide income that they do not want to pay taxes on via off shore accounts is a good thing Obama has done.

-- Posted by nathan.evans on Thu, Dec 3, 2009, at 1:56 PM

Obama taking on individuals and corporations that attempt to hide income that they do not want to pay taxes on via off shore accounts is a good thing Obama has done.

-- Posted by nathan.evans on Thu, Dec 3, 2009, at 1:56 PM

Kudos for Obama in seeking out tax evaders!

The government needs all the revenue they can get. UNCLE SAM WANTS YOU! Or at least your money:) LOL

-- Posted by Liveforlight on Thu, Dec 3, 2009, at 4:18 PM

And all this time I thought that is what the IRS was for

-- Posted by Dianatn on Thu, Dec 3, 2009, at 4:37 PM

Actually this function is performed by the United States Department of Justice Tax Division.

-- Posted by nathan.evans on Thu, Dec 3, 2009, at 6:01 PM

Where do you think all that wealth that the 10% hold comes from?

-- Posted by nathan.evans on Thu, Dec 3, 2009, at 6:28 PM

Where do you think all that wealth that the 10% hold comes from?

-- Posted by nathan.evans

Do tell us. It couldn't come from their hard work, perseverance, and saving as they would have us believe. [sarcasm]

-- Posted by quietmike on Thu, Dec 3, 2009, at 7:04 PM

wonderwhy - "Tell us other than letting the Twin Towers get hit and lie his way into a war what good did Bush do for us the people of AMerica?"

Ok, first of all Bush didn't let the WTC get hit. Clinton had the opportunity to have Bin Laden and chose not to take that opportunity. Had he done so, the WTC would not have been hit like it was. I'm sure that some terrorist would have eventually pulled something there, but it probably wouldn't have been as devastating.

Secondly, Bush was in office for less than 8 months when that happened and he's responsible for it? I suppose that makes Obama responsible for everything that's happened in the USA since September of this year...right?

You also mentioned the China connection too, right? Guess who opened the door for all of that prosperity that the Chinese government has had over the past eight years, look up the U.S.-China Relations Act of 2000...who was President in 2000? Oh yeah, it was Clinton.

-- Posted by Thom on Thu, Dec 3, 2009, at 7:05 PM

"We better be thoughtful of the 10% that carries the load for the 90% of us".

I like to think of myself independent enough to survive without that 10%. Anyway, was that not the reason most of our forefathers left Europe and came to America - to escape their wealthy overlords. Eventually settleing in Tennessee.

-- Posted by Grit on Thu, Dec 3, 2009, at 7:07 PM

How many "wealthy overlords" reside in Washington DC? As a percentage, how many rich millionaires make up our government?

Do you really believe they will tax themselves more? More than likely they will have exemptions and loop holes "shovel ready" so they will be able to avoid being under the same rules as we the people.

Isn't that what they are doing with the proposed healthcare reform?

We have the foxes watching the hen house and we wonder where all the chickens have gone.

-- Posted by Liveforlight on Thu, Dec 3, 2009, at 8:55 PM

it's been a mixed bag so far.

the number one positive has been to restore at least some respect for the us around the world. my view obviously differs from many, at least in part because my long career in athletics afforded me a more international exposure. not that childish arrogance & impotent bluster would have struck me as an effective or desirable way to present ourselves to the world in any case. at least i hope not.

i am not a supporter of the economic stimulus concept, since i dont think it will have any significant effect. but that idea is bipartisan. it would have happened no matter which major party won the election. the ego stroking belief of elected officials that their actions control the economy is far too self-serving to be abandoned. needless to say, i can hope that i am in error. after all, this is where i live and things would be better for everyone (including me) if it does succeed to at least some extent.

i will have to concede a grudging admiration for his continued pursuit of health care reform. after all, it goes against anything i believe about politicians to do something guaranteed to be politically damaging. sure something needs to be done. it is somewhat embarrassing for the worlds richest nation not to be among the leaders in taking care of its population. but the truth is, this is not going to happen now. things are not bad enough yet to overcome the might of the insurance companies. they own too many politicians and people who still have access to health care are too easily swayed by the simple propoganda they can finance.

i appreciate his having the good judgement to not abandon what was finally a successful strategy in iraq. with a little luck, we can exit with dignity, after which iraq will soon be pretty much the way we found it, except with new names on the organizational chart.

afghanistan i dread. it is arguable if it was winnable 8 years ago, but i dont see any chance of changing things now. again, my view is influenced by my international contacts. i knew several veterans of the soviet attempt to occupy that country. the soviets went at it with no concerns about bad media coverage, popular discontent, exit deadlines, or limitations on force, yet utterly failed. i dont see how we can expect to do better.

but the worst part has been to see the republican party lose the last of its integrity. admittedly, they were already suffering the ravages of the talk radio mentality. talk radio is like refined sugar. it tastes good. it pushes all the right buttons to remove the complexity from viewing the world. but it is not healthy. however the current strategy of doing everything in their power to cause national failure & banking on a coalition of extremists; racists, conspiracy theorists, anti-intellectuals, single issue voters, and plain old nut cases to provide enough motivated voters to win the next round of elections is the ultimate in placing party ahead of country.

so i see a mixed bag so far. but drawing any conclusions as to how the obama presidency will measure up in the end is premature. it is a shame we cant face these challenging times with a thinking republican party, with john mccain as its unquestioned leader working in concert with a democratic party that saw compromise from a position of strength as a show of good faith, to seek the betterment of our country, not the primacy of their respective parties as an ultimate goal. unfortunately hate, fear, and self-righteousness are so much easier to sell.

-- Posted by lazarus on Thu, Dec 3, 2009, at 8:56 PM

So, please inform us all about these "great" things Obama has accomplished since he's been in office. I'll make it easy for you...name one.

-- Posted by Tattoos & Scars on Wed, Dec 2, 2009, at 2:27 PM

Last year I purchased 290 gallons of propane for my home and paid $638.59. This year I got 331 gallons for $430.49. That's $208.10 less and I got 41 more gallons. I have 3 vehicles that I fill up every week sometimes twice a week. I sure didn't enjoy $4.00 a gallon gas. Paying $2.48 a gallon is like getting a raise. That enough is good enough for me for the first year in office. As I stated before it's a start. We will have to wait and see on the rest of it.

You say the president doesn't have any control over prices, but yet that's really the only thing that's changed since last year. If he doesn't have any effect on anything how can you blame him for the economy not getting better. It took 8 years for the economy to go bad and you expect him to fix it in 90 days, but yet you say he has no power. It's going to take 8+ years and more than one president to fix this.

I've said my piece and won't comment any further.

-- Posted by reap what u sow on Thu, Dec 3, 2009, at 9:04 PM

Last year I purchased 290 gallons of propane for my home and paid $638.59. This year I got 331 gallons for $430.49. That's $208.10 less and I got 41 more gallons. I have 3 vehicles that I fill up every week sometimes twice a week. I sure didn't enjoy $4.00 a gallon gas. Paying $2.48 a gallon is like getting a raise. That enough is good enough for me for the first year in office. As I stated before it's a start. We will have to wait and see on the rest of it.

You say the president doesn't have any control over prices, but yet that's really the only thing that's changed since last year. If he doesn't have any effect on anything how can you blame him for the economy not getting better. It took 8 years for the economy to go bad and you expect him to fix it in 90 days, but yet you say he has no power. It's going to take 8+ years and more than one president to fix this.

I've said my piece and won't comment any further.

-- Posted by reap what u sow on Thu, Dec 3, 2009, at 9:04 PM

So ...Reap how do you attribute the reduction of your fuel cost to obama? Did he wave a magic wand. No he has allowed the value of the dollar to fall and the economy to shrink. This in turn cause a drop in the demand for fuel by industry.. So the great savings fro you came from job losses by others. So before you claim the name "reap what u sow " you may want to sow what you reap at least that the opinion from out on the farm

-- Posted by outonthefarm on Thu, Dec 3, 2009, at 9:38 PM

Last year I purchased 290 gallons of propane for my home and paid $638.59. This year I got 331 gallons for $430.49. That's $208.10 less and I got 41 more gallons.

-- Posted by reap what u sow on Thu, Dec 3, 2009, at 9:04 PM

That really is more of function of supply and demand. When the supply is high and the demand low, the price goes down. Nothing Obama has done can be attributed to that. Just as nothing Bush did can be attributed to the high price.

Actually, when gas was so high, that was partly caused by the commodity speculators betting that demand would stay high. Also, as long as the demand was high, OPEC kept raising prices of crude oil to fill their countries coffers. Then you also need to factor in our inadequate number of refineries and the environmental laws which affected the type of gas the refineries produced.

So, you really can not blame Bush for the high prices, or credit Obama for the low prices. Unless, of course, you just want to ignore the Laws of Supply and Demand.

-- Posted by Midnight Rider on Thu, Dec 3, 2009, at 11:27 PM

I agree that the drop in gas prices is the single most effective thing that has improved our economy.

Yet Obama did not announce any strategy to bring those prices down nor has he tried to take credit for it which I am sure he or the media would have done.

Everyone wants to blame Bush for the economy and say it took eight years for him to ruin it. Actually the economy was quite good for the majority of the Bush admin. with the stock marketing hitting 14000 for the first time in history. My stocks did very well then. It was in the last two years that things went sour. What changed?

Lazarus mentioned talk radio but said nothing of Fox. These are all desenting views to the current admin. and for that Obama attempted to ban Fox from white house press conferences. If Bush had done that he would have been blasted from every angle.

Trying to silence opponents is the mark of a dictator or communist regime. WE HAVE THE FREEDOM OF SPEACH. Talk radio and Fox have gotten more popular because more people believe in their reports.

An attack on the freedom of speach and other freedoms, such as bearing arms, are only indicators of where the government wants to take us. They have no constitutional authority to "MANDATE" that we buy health insurance yet that is what they are attempting to do.

We have a constitutionla lawyer as president. He is very craftily trying to circumvent that constitution with every means possible to advance his agenda.

That will not make the lifeof the country better under Obama in my opinion. There is far more at stake than how much money you have in your pocket.

-- Posted by Liveforlight on Fri, Dec 4, 2009, at 4:46 AM

Here we go, another pointless political debate.

-- Posted by driedleaves on Fri, Dec 4, 2009, at 3:01 PM

"Do you consider your life better, worse or about the same since President Obama took office?" Bo Melson.

I had considered answering this question until I read this question.

Where do you think all that wealth that the 10% hold comes from?

-- Posted by nathan.evans on Thu, Dec 3, 2009, at 6:28 PM

I believe this is a much more poinant question, given our current state of politcial polarazation.

Not only how you answer this question determines where you stand politicaly and idealogically, but also how you ask it.

"all that wealth" Am I the only one who sees this as the battle flag of 'class warfare'?

"the 10% hold" This implies that those who are wealthy keep it, as a squirrel hords way nuts. Not spending, investing, starting companies, making payroll etc.

Even those who have a lot of money, and in my opinion don't deserve it, i.e. Paris Hilton puts her money back in the market everytime she needs a new teacup poodle.

"How have those in the top 10% became so weathly?" Some inherited it. Some were born into the right family and merely have to try not to loose it. Others, and I'd say a majority, have made good decisions, made sacrifices, denied themselves instant gratifications. Made the right combinations of hard work, smart work, diligence, and optimisim in the face of faliure long enough to "EARN" the amount of wealth that puts them in the top 10%. Hoping one day that their children will inherit that wealth and that their childrens' children will be born into a family where they may not have such an uphill struggle, but if they do they will look to those that have more and say, "How can I do that?" instead of "How can I take that?"

This was not a personal attack against Nathan. While he may be a liberal he is also a Marine and as a citizen. I will alway be grateful for your service to our country. Your question did however give me a good place to shoot from. Thanks.

Oh, and to Bo's question. The best things in my life have nothing to do with the president, neither do the worst things. Only GOD and myself have control over my actions and destiny.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

-- Posted by Junto on Fri, Dec 4, 2009, at 4:51 PM

Obama taking on individuals and corporations that attempt to hide income that they do not want to pay taxes on via off shore accounts is a good thing Obama has done.

-- Posted by nathan.evans on Thu, Dec 3, 2009, at 1:56 PM

This is at best, laughable. After all, just how many tax cheats went to work for the Obama administration? Being a radical left wing extremist and proof that you cheat on your taxes is a job requirement when you go to work for Mr. Obama.

By the way, how many people honestly believe that taxing employers to death is the right way to create jobs?

-- Posted by Tim Lokey on Fri, Dec 4, 2009, at 7:01 PM

SAME OLE STORY THE RICH STILL GETTIN RICHER AND THE POOR GETTIN POORER . THATS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE HAVE AND THE HAVE NOTS.

-- Posted by nanax5 on Fri, Dec 4, 2009, at 8:49 PM

Jobs: Employers cut 11,000 jobs from their payrolls in November, the Labor Department reported Friday morning. It was the smallest number of job losses since the start of the recession in December 2007 [remember, this was when Conservatives were saying there was no recession] and a surprise to economists who were looking for employers to cut 125,000 jobs in the month.

Job losses in September and October were also revised lower by a total of 159,000.

The unemployment rate, generated by a separate survey, fell to 10% from 10.2% in October. It was the biggest one-month decline in more than three years. [But of course, the stimulus package isn't working] Economists thought the unemployment rate would hold steady at 10.2%.

http://money.cnn.com/2009/12/04/markets/...

-- Posted by darrick_04 on Fri, Dec 4, 2009, at 11:04 PM

Of course, this administration did tell us that if the stimulus package didn't pass, unemployment might go as high as 8.5%. After passing this massive spending bill, unemployment rose to 10.2%. More than 3.4 million jobs have been lost since 01/20/09. Since passing the stimuls bill, actual numbers indicate that they've only created about 300,000 jobs, mostly in government. Yep that there stimulus bill sure is working! Keep em coming!

-- Posted by Tim Lokey on Sat, Dec 5, 2009, at 4:17 AM

As usual, you take a little bit of good news and try to spin into this negative doom and gloom. It's amazing how you and others blamed the "liberal" media for bringing us into a recession, back in 2007; now all you want to do, is keep us there.

-- Posted by darrick_04 on Sat, Dec 5, 2009, at 8:59 AM

President Obama has four years to show us all what he can accomplish, then we can all go and vote again.

-- Posted by nathan.evans on Sat, Dec 5, 2009, at 9:27 AM

Consumer spending is up and companies are adjusting to the new demand. I would say that is because gas prices are down so we have more to spend on other things.

We alreay identified that gas prices are probably the single largest change affecting the economy since 2007. Prices in 2008 being about $4.00/gal.

Forgive my ignorance, but what did Bush do that caused this, and what has Obama done that reversed it?

It would seem to me there are other forces at work here beyond the scope of either administration.

If "we the people" allow our rights and freedoms to errode, allow the government to "mandate" what we buy (insurance for example), then we are selling ourselves out and our children for the sake of money. That will affect our lives far greater than any temporary payoff.

-- Posted by Liveforlight on Sat, Dec 5, 2009, at 9:50 AM

Good point Nathan. Now I'll make just a wee bit of a prediction. we aren't going to have to wait for the 2012 election to witness voter reaction to this administration. The mid-term elections in 2010 will result in mass firings of both liberal Democrats and Republicans, leaving Mr. Obama nothing more than the remainder of a lame duck, one term presidency. I honestly don't know why it has taken so long for coservative Americans to arouse themselves from their lethargy, but they are now wide awake, and the backlash at the polls in November will be overwhelming. Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Barney Frank and many other's days in Washington are indeed numbered.

-- Posted by Tim Lokey on Sat, Dec 5, 2009, at 11:32 AM

One more point to make here. Those who profess support to this pending health care bill state that it will create fair competition among the insurance companies. If you honestly believe this to be true, I'd like to challenge you to a friendly game of poker. Bring 3 or 4 friends with you who share your beliefs. Of course, in this poker game, I'm going to have all the money and I'm making all the rules. Still want to play?

-- Posted by Tim Lokey on Sat, Dec 5, 2009, at 11:38 AM

If "we the people" allow our rights and freedoms to errode, allow the government to "mandate" what we buy (insurance for example), then we are selling ourselves out and our children for the sake of money. That will affect our lives far greater than any temporary payoff.

I would like to know what freedoms you have lost? I'm fifty years old and I still have all the freedoms now that I had when I was born. The government hasn't mandated that I buy anything. I pay car insurance because it's the law but the government doesn't make me. There are plenty of people driving around without it. I have to pay taxes and social security but that was in place long before I was born so for me nothing has changed.

-- Posted by reap what u sow on Sat, Dec 5, 2009, at 1:59 PM

Junto, I realize that you were answering Nathan, but I hope you (or he) do not object to me "shooting" back.

I agree with you that the wealthy are not necessarily bad people. The problem to me is not class struggle or envy. The problem lies in the constructed environment that all of these things take place within.

Most of that 10% have, without a doubt "made good decisions, made sacrifices, denied themselves instant gratifications. Made the right combinations of hard work, smart work, diligence, and optimism" in order to achieve their status. However, they have as a rule, also been very apt working within a system that systematically funnels wealth upwards. It is not their hard work and persistence that I personally find objectionable, but the end results of that diligence.

You see, those who are able to invest may do so, but not to satisfy any lofty ideology. They invest, start businesses and make payroll with the hopes of increase. There is nothing wrong with that in and of itself. Invariably though, that gain is achieved at the expense of those who have the least to contribute, and then distributed upwards with the majority of the elusive gains ending up in the accounts of those who are best understood as the masters of the 10%.

The way I see it, the majority of the top 10% should not even rightfully be considered as the ultimate beneficiaries of their efforts. Like most of us, they are simply doing their parts to ensure that the feudal lord receives the grain he demands, the plantation owner brings in the crops, the colonies mine the tribute, capital grows or governments expand. It is always the same equation, with only slightly different variables.

There have always been overseers and house servants. The upper middle classes today simply represent this same group of people who have traditionally reinforced and propagated the very realities that they were also confined by, albeit a little more comfortably.

Tattoos & Scars, That is a very good analogy for health care, either now, or with the reform. I wonder if you would agree that our entire economy in general is very much the same though.

-- Posted by memyselfi on Sat, Dec 5, 2009, at 2:27 PM

I would like to know what freedoms you have lost? I'm fifty years old and I still have all the freedoms now that I had when I was born. The government hasn't mandated that I buy anything. I pay car insurance because it's the law but the government doesn't make me. There are plenty of people driving around without it. I have to pay taxes and social security but that was in place long before I was born so for me nothing has changed.

-- Posted by reap what u sow on Sat, Dec 5, 2009, at 1:59 PM

One freedom, at least I consider it a freedom,that I lost was prayer in school. I remember when it changed we observed "a moment of silence". I would have to think about it some to remember more.

What I am saying is we are on our way to loosing more. The immediate one that has been under attack for some time is the right to bear arms.

The right of free speach was attacked by Obama by attempting to block Fox from white house press conferences.

Car insurance is required because you may damage my property with your car. Health insurance mandates will force me to buy something for myself that I don't want, or penalize me if I don't.

I am sure that if these things pass my children won't know they lost those freedoms either. To find out what freedoms have been lost you will need to speak with someone older than you or perhaps put more thought into it.

-- Posted by Liveforlight on Sat, Dec 5, 2009, at 3:28 PM

Lost freedoms? I believe there have been many. My grandchildren aren't allowed to pray in school. The federal government has mandated that as early as the 4th grade, they be led to believe that being a homosexual is normal. There are certain things that one can no longer say out of fear of being judged as being politically incorrect. No matter how qualified one might be to obtain a job, if the employer has not met his minority quota, a member of an "oppressed" minority with less qualification will be hired. In some parts of this country the ACLU has successfully sued people for the offense of flying an American flag, displaying religous symbols during the holidays or openly displaying the ten commandments, which are the very basis for our system of justice. There's hardly any outdoor activity one can participate in without first paying a government mandated fee for the required permit. Adults today are deathly afraid of children. Just last summer, as I got out of my truck outside a store in Tullahoma a very young girl in the vehicle next to mine asked me if I were a stranger...it broke my heart to say the words "yes I am". Now the government wishes to control every single aspect of our lives, up to and including how we obtain our healthcare. Two days ago, our President gave a speach in which he stated that "we", meaning the government is going to have to do something about companies who are using less employees to produce the same amount of products, as if these companies are obligated to provide jobs and ignore the reason they got into business in the first place...to make money. I realize that I may sound like a paranoid old fool, but socialism has arrived in America and outright communism can't be far behind. I can only hope that I don't live long enough to see it.

I don't necessarily blame any one political party for any of the above. I blame instead the voters who stayed home and believed everything coming out of the idiot box in their living rooms on election day.

-- Posted by Tim Lokey on Sat, Dec 5, 2009, at 7:41 PM

Indeed Tattoos, it is really something how things can change gggrrraadduuaalllyyy and no one seems to miss what was lost.

Then something as blatant as mandated insurance, automobile industry take-over, or banning a television news cast comes along. That should be an eye opener for even the most liberal person that our government is gaining too much control over our lives.

Health care costs needs to be cut! That means reform primarily to insurance costs. Not forcing everyone to buy insurance.

A large part of the costs is due to lawsuits. Lawyers, insurance companies, pharmicutical companies, I wonder which group has the largest presence in Washington, not counting the ones seated on either side of the isle.

These folks cannot relate to the common man because they are not common men. That is what is missing from our government. The can relate to big money because that is how they got to where they are.

Who is to blame? WE THE PEOPLE our greed for money leads to these multi-million dollar lawsuits where everyone except the common man gets rich. The common man is left paying the bill in the form of higher healthcare costs and insurance premiums so that the plaintiffs, lawyers, judges, doctors, hospitals and drug companies can get theirs.

Reform these, and healthcare cost will go down. That is the reform we need, but I don't see that happening. Instead their answer is public and mandated insurance. Fuel to the fire!

-- Posted by Liveforlight on Sat, Dec 5, 2009, at 8:20 PM

memyselfi I'm curious. In your post you refer to "feudal lords" and "plantation owners" et al. Who represents these in today's economic structure?

-- Posted by Tim Baker on Sat, Dec 5, 2009, at 9:43 PM

Neither I nor my children have lost the freedom to pray. We pray anywhere we want, anytime we want. I don't have to have an audience to pray. I feel religion is a private matter and I keep it private and to myself. Nobody is stopping me from praying. Also, the government or teachers can't lead my children to believe anything much less what to think about homosexuality. I have taught my children to think for themselves. Sexuality is a personal and private matter. I for one am tired of hearing people gripe about it. You can't make someone be a homosexual get a grip.

You still have freedom of speech. I haven't heard of any laws in the works to stop it. Some people may not like what you say but unless you are seriously threatening someone I haven't heard of going to jail for speaking your mind. I own my property and can display a flag or put up a cross if I want. Matter of fact, I see them on display everyday, everywhere I go. We haven't lost the right to have guns. That's one thing we have more freedom with. You can now go through the required course and get the permit to carry a loaded gun with you to Walmart. As far as license, permits and fees if you want to play you have to pay, that's not a loss of freedom it's a choice. I'm not a lawyer but if I'm not mistaken you can hunt on your own property without a hunting license.

The companies I have worked for has pretty much hired and fired as they pleased. There are loop holes and ways around stuff like that and pretty much use it to their advantage. I don't think the government is going to make you have health insurance. If you don't have any they want to make sure it is offered to you. Nobody can force you to use it. They can't even make you go to the doctor. I don't have a clue what children asking you about strangers have to do with your freedoms. lol

-- Posted by reap what u sow on Sat, Dec 5, 2009, at 9:45 PM

I don't think the government is going to make you have health insurance. If you don't have any they want to make sure it is offered to you.

-- Posted by reap what u sow on Sat, Dec 5, 2009, at 9:45 PM

You have not been paying attention have you? There has been plenty mentioned about imposing fines on those who do not elect to take coverage. You might answer that that is still a choice, but when the fines may possibly be as much as the premiums, or if they are an annual occurrence, that is in defacto forcing one to take health insurance.

Personally, I would like some affordable health insurance, but I do not want to be forced to buy something I don't want just because the government says I have to.

I will say that it is not heath care reform that is needed, it is health insurance reform that is needed more.

-- Posted by Midnight Rider on Sat, Dec 5, 2009, at 10:15 PM

Jobs: Employers cut 11,000 jobs from their payrolls in November, the Labor Department reported Friday morning. It was the smallest number of job losses since the start of the recession in December 2007 [remember, this was when Conservatives were saying there was no recession] and a surprise to economists who were looking for employers to cut 125,000 jobs in the month.

Job losses in September and October were also revised lower by a total of 159,000.

The unemployment rate, generated by a separate survey, fell to 10% from 10.2% in October. It was the biggest one-month decline in more than three years. [But of course, the stimulus package isn't working] Economists thought the unemployment rate would hold steady at 10.2%.

-- Posted by darrick_04 on Fri, Dec 4, 2009, at 11:04 PM

As usual, you take a little bit of good news and try to spin into this negative doom and gloom. It's amazing how you and others blamed the "liberal" media for bringing us into a recession, back in 2007; now all you want to do, is keep us there.

-- Posted by darrick_04 on Sat, Dec 5, 2009, at 8:59 AM

darrick_04, kudos to your positive attitude, but the outlook is still very poor. Holding at 10% is not a good thing.

A little bit of good news? A very tiny bit! But, if you do attribute this to the stimulus package, which you seem to be implying, it just magnifies all the more what a colossal failure it has been.

And, I wonder, who blamed the "liberal media" for bringing us into a recession?

I read here http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091206/ap_o... that "The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the (jobs-added by me) package and Obama's speech were being developed. The officials emphasized that Obama probably won't mention in his speech every job idea he will eventually support, and that his address is meant only as one step in a debate that's sure to keep going."

Maybe, just maybe, this is where Obama's focus should have been from the day he took office instead of trying to build some legacy that would portray him as a great reformer.

If he would have concentrated on jobs right away, maybe we would not be at 10% unemployment, and maybe, just maybe, he then could have garnered somewhat more support for health care/insurance reform.

-- Posted by Midnight Rider on Sat, Dec 5, 2009, at 10:36 PM

You see, those who are able to invest may do so, but not to satisfy any lofty ideology. They invest, start businesses and make payroll with the hopes of increase. There is nothing wrong with that in and of itself. Invariably though, that gain is achieved at the expense of those who have the least to contribute, and then distributed upwards with the majority of the elusive gains ending up in the accounts of those who are best understood as the masters of the 10%.

-- Posted by memyselfi on Sat, Dec 5, 2009, at 2:27 PM

"You see, those who are able to invest may do so, but not to satisfy any lofty ideology. They invest, start businesses and make payroll with the hopes of increase."

What do you define as a lofty goal, and why does it have to be so?

First, anyone can begin investing-for any purpose they desire. You don't have to be rich. Companies offer stock purchasing plans that can let you start for as little as $50 dollars. The same with mutual funds.

I don't know, but I think the main reason that people invest to start their own business is because they want to work for themselves, rather than someone else. And what is wrong with the business increasing? I would think that would be a good thing.

The more business they have, the more people they need, the more jobs they will create. Some will be very good paying jobs, others will be at minimum wage. If you want the better paying job, acquire the skills, knowledge, and abilities necessary to obtain those jobs. Hard work? Sure it is, but in the end it will pay off.

"There is nothing wrong with that in and of itself. Invariably though, that gain is achieved at the expense of those who have the least to contribute"

Can you clarify this statement? I mean if you are talking about minimum wage workers, what do you propose we do? Higher minimums? Living wage? Redistribute the wealth? Are you willing to make a little less money so that someone lower than you can make a little more?

"Invariably though, that gain is achieved at the expense of those who have the least to contribute, and then distributed upwards with the majority of the elusive gains ending up in the accounts of those who are best understood as the masters of the 10%"

Again, can you clarify this statement?

This, especially when you use the word "masters" seems to contradict your opening statement:

"I agree with you that the wealthy are not necessarily bad people. The problem to me is not class struggle or envy."

Yes, I know, I have left off your last sentence about the constructed environment, but your post really does seem to be about class struggle and what people should or should not invest in, or the purpose of their investments.

However, if you want to talk about the "constructed environments" Please explain to us what they are and give us your proposed alternatives. I open to listening because I agree with Christ, we do need to help the poor.

-- Posted by Midnight Rider on Sat, Dec 5, 2009, at 11:15 PM

I'd like to know how you will be able to "keep your doctor" as Obama blatantly stated. How in the world is this possible when doctors treating those receiving this "free" health care are going to be reimbursed at a substantially lower government mandated rate? Any doctor in his right mind will drop free health care patients in droves and selectively treat those with private insurance companies that offer a higher rate of pay for services. We have learned this bitter lesson in our own state, or have you not noticed that a lot of physicians no longer accept Tenncare patients? The only thing the government will have to offer as a solution will be to mandate exactly who a doctor treats and when. Let's say you are having an appendectomy for example. Your government plan pays your doctor a set fee of $10,000.00. The guy in the next room is having the same procedure that afternoon, only his private insurance will pay the same doctor $30,000.00. It does not take a genius to figure out exactly who's going to get better care.

-- Posted by Tim Lokey on Sat, Dec 5, 2009, at 11:25 PM

I'd like to know how you will be able to "keep your doctor" as Obama blatantly stated.

-- Posted by Tattoos & Scars

The arrogance of such a statement was amazing to me.

Allowing us to keep our doctor/insurance plan.... well thank you very much mr. hussein!!!

Can I make more of my own decisions please?

-- Posted by quietmike on Sun, Dec 6, 2009, at 3:35 AM

It seems to me that a lot of the posts here are aimed at the attack of people who have wealth. The majority of millionaires in this country are first generation. They achieved this by working hard, going to school or starting a small business and doing well at what they do. These are the people who have gotten off their collective asses and made something of this country, rather than sitting on their butts and complaining about not having what they think is due them from every tax payer that payes into this welfair system. I can't remember the last time a person that made $20,000 dollars a year gave me a job when I needed one. I can't for the life of me remember the last time someone that was on government assistance hired me and paid me enough to feed and house my family. To hear some of the crap being spewed in these posts, you would think everyone who owns a business is out to rape this country and every worker in it. This sounds a lot like the bull that was being spread just before the Bolshevik's took over Russia in 1918.

-- Posted by docudrama on Sun, Dec 6, 2009, at 7:40 AM

Neither I nor my children have lost the freedom to pray. We pray anywhere we want, anytime we want.

-- Posted by reap what u sow on Sat, Dec 5, 2009, at 9:45 PM

There are many children who have to meet outside the school at the flagpole at our school to pray. You cannot pray anytime and anywhere. This is not allowed in the school during school time. Of course you can still do it if you are willing to risk a lawsuit.

The children and parents are even told what clothes to wear. The teachers should have the freedom to pray with the class, discipline those who are dressed inappropriately, etc. but instead these choices are taken away and mandated by the state.

All these laws and lawsuits benefit one group of people specifically LAWYERS.

Of course you can do anything including murder if you don't mind working outside the law.

Our freedom of speech and to bare arms are guaranteed bt the constitution. If not for that they would already be gone. The founding fathers wisely wrote that in.

Obama tried to ban Fox. The other networks realizing his error stood with Fox. This was WE THE PEOPLE in action.

Gun control is still in the works. WE THE PEOPLE are fighting against it. Without these rights written into the constitution we wouldn't have a leg to stand on legally.

Gun control is still advancing through the ammunition supply.Tried to buy any ammuntion lately? It is getting very expensive.

One of the ammuntion companies that used spent military brass has already fallen because the government stop selling them the brass and instead shreds it to sell to China as scrap for less money. Why on earth would they do that? Results are lost jobs, lost revenue for the government, and higher ammuntion costs.

Obama is a constitutional lawyer and he is constantly testing the limits of his power and pushing for more as is all of the government.

WE THE PEOPLE are sovereign in this country only if we hold the government accountable.

-- Posted by Liveforlight on Sun, Dec 6, 2009, at 8:13 AM

The sky is falling, the sky is falling!!

-- Posted by nathan.evans on Sun, Dec 6, 2009, at 11:58 AM

The sky is falling, the sky is falling!!

-- Posted by nathan.evans on Sun, Dec 6, 2009, at 11:58 AM

How true nathan...how true, and when it hits some people right in the middle of their numb skulls, they will only then wish that they had done a bit more research before stepping blindly into the voting booth...if they had even bothered to vote at all.

-- Posted by Tim Lokey on Sun, Dec 6, 2009, at 2:09 PM

Blah, blah, blah!

-- Posted by nathan.evans on Sun, Dec 6, 2009, at 2:49 PM

Tim Baker, I am guessing that you already know the complexity of any answer that I could provide, but I will try.

I guess we could assign some blame to the uppermost elite of the 10%. They certainly do their share to ensure increase for themselves. In a more general sense, we could lay much blame at the feet of the hedonists, utilitarians and eventually Darwin, Spencer and those who came after with a philosophy of scientific self gratification, and even more generally, the devil (if you believe in such) for tempting us with a philosophy that is apparently so much a part of our nature in the first instance.

I could also write about the history of empire among currency dependant populations manipulated and driven by those who possess advantage, but I doubt that is what you are looking for either.

Unfortunately, in this particular instance, the masters of the system are the people who live within it. To find the abstract masters, we have to look no further than the people with retirement accounts, shoppers who look to save pennies while at the same time sacrificing their own job security, voters who do not recognize that there is but a single neo-liberal political party represented and a population that depends more upon sub and counter culture conditioning, than they do the public education offered them for their understandings. More specifically though, the masters are the entities who represent the people, the governments we elect and support, and the businesses we trade with, work for and invest in. In short, it is those combinations of political and capital power who extract the most resources from the population, while providing very little in return.

As governments expand (in both size and scope), a greater commitment from the population (or another population) is required to allow for that expansion. As capital continues its never ending exponential increase, those increases must also be shouldered by the population. Further, when capital and government become intertwined in a cycle of co-dependant self preservation, it is necessarily the population that must pay. Where does your money (and more importantly that money which you are responsible for generating) go? There is where you will find the lords of today. You will know them when you find them; they look a lot like you, me and everyone else they represent. The only difference is that they are certain that they know best how to focus the efforts of the masses and to concentrate the power of many into the hands of a few in order to bring about the greater good, which appears to be simply further concentration from greater masses.

The way I see it, we all (even the least of us) have been placed squarely in opposition to our own long term interests by a system that rewards our most base instincts while discounting (or at best treating as neutral) any more substantial ethical or moral motivations in order that our daily undertakings continue to focus on funneling our wealth and labor upwards. That being said, we do live within a relatively free and democratic society. If we allow that society to be administered in any particular fashion, it is not only at the hands of those who gain the most. The bulk of the responsibility actually lies directly with the majority who provide the most.

-- Posted by memyselfi on Sun, Dec 6, 2009, at 3:07 PM

Midnight Rider, There is a difference between satisfying lofty ideology and satisfying lofty goals within that ideology. For example, I can envision a scenario in which a person who lives within a cannibalistic culture hunts down and cooks his neighbor with the goal of feeding his family. I do not use that analogy lightly. In a very general sense, that is the objective of increase and advantage, for those with $50.00 or $50,000,000.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with allowing markets to work by letting selfish desires be the motivation for efforts exerted, provided markets provide a level playing field for all participants. The problem comes when small advantage leads only to more advantage. Eventually, that advantage becomes dominance and those with that advantage accumulate all, leaving everyone else beholden to and dependant upon them. When free markets become administered markets and segments of society are not bound by market forces, as they themselves create the markets they desire, we have handed over our democratic society to unaccountable capital power whose single objective is increase, regardless of societal cost or consequences.

I imagine that you are correct about the motivations of most small business owners. The problem is that most small business owners do not really work only for themselves. They usually find themselves paying dearly for the opportunity through taxation and overhead that eventually finds it's way to well established larger businesses. The increase of any particular business (small or large) is not a bad thing necessarily. It can be though, depending on the effects of the business taking place, and the source of the profits.

The way I see it, the answer to the plight of the laborer is not a higher wage that is spent for higher priced commodities. It is a higher true wage based more upon the noble strengths of labor and fair market forces, with protections in place to ensure labors voice, as opposed to a continually muted and undermined labor force. If our laws were as concerned with protecting our own labor market from those who would exploit it, as they were with expanding and dominating other markets for exploitation, we would not see the realities we do today.

There are currently as many people in our society who live on the dole than there are not. There are basically only two ways of looking at it. Either our economic and political systems have propagated this reality intentionally, or through their abject failure. No matter which way you look at it, the status quo should be seriously examined.

I wish I had the ability to provide an alternative, but I do not have one. I think the most that we can hope for, will be that the generations of the future take seriously their responsibility to themselves and their society. Education, political involvement and serious introspective individual moral groundings would be beneficial replacements of hollow materialistic ambitions and the basing of our self identity on pre-packaged and easy to assimilate understandings.

-- Posted by memyselfi on Sun, Dec 6, 2009, at 3:49 PM

Actually I thought my question was relatively straight forward requiring only a straightforward answer. "It's (insert name of offending group here)".

I would argue that a system that "rewards our most base instincts" also allows us to inspire and aspire. While we may trod occasionally into choppy moral waters this same system also allows the opportunity for innovation that benefits the society as a whole. This innovation could not be possible in our current existence without the promise of upward mobility. Class mobility is a fundamental premise in American society, both upward and downward. I don't see this as opposition to our long term interests. On the contrary, I see this as promise for our future.

I do somewhat agree with your statement:

More specifically though, the masters are the entities who represent the people, the governments we elect and support, and the businesses we trade with, work for and invest in. In short, it is those combinations of political and capital power who extract the most resources from the population, while providing very little in return.

A large portion of our population has now substituted government for religion as the "opiate of the masses". Much of our population now believes that government can and should provide even basic essentials with no regard as to where this capital is extracted. Unlike many assets capital, both intellectual and otherwise, is mobile. We have seen this with our manufacturing base. When one group feels they are targeted by those in power in an almost punitive way, they pick up and move on. In their wake they leave behind wrecked cities and what appears to be broken promises.

I would argue the promises that were broken were those made by those who seek to extract the last drop of blood from those individuals and companies. Those powers, which we help to endure by the ballot, do the society a disservice by limiting opportunity and fostering a sense of dependence. This is true immorality.

-- Posted by Tim Baker on Sun, Dec 6, 2009, at 4:50 PM

Tim Baker, So I will offer a few Socratically inspired, straight forward questions in return.

1.) Are our resources so limited that even the most basic essentials should be held by the few and reluctantly distributed only at the cries and demands of the many?

2.) If all capital is fully mobile, why does our collective support of it remain so constant?

3.) Is it really the case that we as a society, or any other society, can only be successfully motivated by our own greed, used against us to further concentrate political power and wealth?

4.) What is the best way to foster dependency, and why would anyone be motivated to encourage it?

-- Posted by memyselfi on Sun, Dec 6, 2009, at 5:25 PM

Those powers, which we help to endure by the ballot, do the society a disservice by limiting opportunity and fostering a sense of dependence. This is true immorality.

-- Posted by Tim Baker on Sun, Dec 6, 2009, at 4:50 PM

I couldn't agree more. When you increase the numbers of those dependent upon the taxpayer dollars for their very existance, you also garauntee yourself a win on election day. A welfare dependent voter is not going to support any candidate who favors cutting these and other entitlement programs.

-- Posted by Tim Lokey on Sun, Dec 6, 2009, at 5:42 PM

As far as license, permits and fees if you want to play you have to pay, that's not a loss of freedom it's a choice.

-- Posted by reap what u sow on Sat, Dec 5, 2009, at 9:45 PM

If you want to play you have to pay. NOTHING FREE ABOUT IT.

I am employed, and I am running a small business on the side. A business i would like to grow.

Here is my situation: I get most of my money from my employer. Out of that pay I have income tax, social security, and medicare withheld. Approx. 20% of my income. Then I go pay my utilities which are aslo full of fees, taxes, and (if late) penalties. )All of these utility companies have used my tax dollars to build their business by the way.) Now I buy my fuel, groceries, clothing, and insurance. All of these also contain government fees and taxes.

Now I begin to try to start a business with what is left. I have to buy my business license, equipment I will need (on which I pay sales and use tax) then I must file the equipment as personal property and pay property tax on that equipment just because I have it. Now that I have the equipment and make some money with it I must pay income tax on that as well as self employment tax and the social security and medicare tax.

IF YOU PLAY YOU PAY NOTHING FREE ABOUT IT. I think this is why more people quit playing and wait on a government check. Taxes, licenses, fees,penalties, and confinement are the tools of control of WE THE PEOPLE.

You ask how can the richest nation in the world not provide healthcare.Trillion dollar debt and deficits. How can that be in the richest country in the world? Someone will have to pay. Still think your free?

Thats all I got to say about that!

-- Posted by Liveforlight on Sun, Dec 6, 2009, at 6:09 PM

OK memyselfi:

1) As you know, there is always a limit to any resource. The question I would pose is also a moral one. Is it just to take from those that have and give to those who do not? Notice I use the word take. That implies an act of force or coercion. And who sets this appropriate level of basic needs? The few...the many...?

2) Capital is leverage. Regardless if it's baseball cards, a bank account or an idea. Just like any other lever, this allows the movement of great masses in a direction. We support it because of the things that can be accomplished with it. But since it's mobile, the society in which it operates usually derives the most benefit. As we have seen, it can also bear the brunt of it's negative effects. As with any machine, care must be used.

3) I don't believe any society can successfully be motivated solely by greed. I think if you look at the most successful entrepreneurs today you'll see that they are also some of the world's great philanthropists. Surely if greed were their only motivation this contradiction could not stand. My question to you is what is the difference between greed and ensuring one's security? Who determines this?

4) The most efficient way to foster dependency is to simply provide a resource with an open ended commitment. This is without regard as to the source or the scarcity of the resource. It is crippling to both the provider and the recipient. The only body which truly benefits is the third party making the promise. The recipient looks to this third party for the resource and will work to ensure the third party stays in this position. The provider, usually in the minority, can only use the remainder of the limited resources he has to try for a more equitable system.

-- Posted by Tim Baker on Sun, Dec 6, 2009, at 10:32 PM

Holy cow, some of you have entirely way too much time on your hands...go out and spend your stimulus money already!

LMAO!!

-- Posted by driedleaves on Mon, Dec 7, 2009, at 12:01 AM

"There is a difference between satisfying lofty ideology and satisfying lofty goals within that ideology."

-- Posted by memyselfi on Sun, Dec 6, 2009, at 3:49 PM

But that is not what you said, and does not answer the question I asked.

"For example, I can envision a scenario in which a person who lives within a cannibalistic culture hunts down and cooks his neighbor with the goal of feeding his family. I do not use that analogy lightly. In a very general sense, that is the objective of increase and advantage, for those with $50.00 or $50,000,000."

-- Posted by memyselfi on Sun, Dec 6, 2009, at 3:49 PM

Pretty jaded, or cynical, or both. That is pretty broad brush you use to paint any one who invests, whether it is in the stock market or opening a new business.

Tell you what, why don't you come over for dinner, you bring the liver. I have some fava beans and, I will open a nice bottle of Chianti. Before dinner we can discuss investing. lol.

-- Posted by Midnight Rider on Mon, Dec 7, 2009, at 12:31 AM

The sky is falling, the sky is falling!!

-- Posted by nathan.evans on Sun, Dec 6, 2009, at 11:58 AM

Sorry nathan, I didn't realize you wanted to talk about Al Gores global warming and the Crap and Trade bill. :)

-- Posted by Liveforlight on Mon, Dec 7, 2009, at 6:26 AM

Have any of you seen a proposal in the new healthcare bill that is being considered in the Senate that would put a cap on what health executives can earn? While I might agree that many may make too much, since when is it the governments job to dictate the amount of money someone makes? Before you know it they will be placing a cap on what everyone makes which is a sad thing to think about.

I just don't know . . . we are definitely going in the wrong direction.

-- Posted by jaxspike on Mon, Dec 7, 2009, at 7:43 AM

I see no difference between putting a cap on what someone can make and putting a floor on what is the minimum an employer is allowed to pay.

Neither is the business of government-both should be left for the market to decide.

-- Posted by quietmike on Mon, Dec 7, 2009, at 8:44 AM

Now that is a good solid point quietmike.

The market should dictate both.

-- Posted by somecommonsense on Mon, Dec 7, 2009, at 10:27 AM

Midnight Rider, I took pains to answer all of your questions, save one. I avoided it entirely, as the implications of any answer I offered would only lead us away from the political and economic issues I would rather focus on. If you like, I can try to answer tonight when I have some time, after I respond to Dr. Baker. Some of us are compelled today to generate all the stimulus money that driedleaves is so eager to spend.

I could be jaded or cynical, but if so, it is only because my experiences have led me to it.

I will have to respectfully decline your offer to "share" a meal with you. I doubt I could come up with a liver that would be palatable anyway. That being said, if I find myself obliged to participate in this one sided transfer of wealth, I could probably come up with a large fatty ham or two for you to gorge yourself upon. ;)

-- Posted by memyselfi on Mon, Dec 7, 2009, at 12:02 PM

As the old Buffalo Springfield song goes, "You better stop, hey what's that sound? Everbody look whats going down". The resident lost me when he said'"I am what you've been looking for". It is time for him to start taking some blame/credit instead of blaming everyone else. And I will never put on one of his brown shirts.

-- Posted by cherokee2 on Mon, Dec 7, 2009, at 2:38 PM

Tim Baker,

1.) I do agree that all resources are limited, but not necessarily scarce. When the forces of supply and demand are manipulated, we witness scarcity that is artificially created for the gain of those who would increase from it. - Of course it is never just to take from those who have, in order to give it to those who do not, but to me, it makes no difference if the taking is through coercion from taxes, or market pressures. It is exactly the same, and the way I see it, it is the poorest among us who have the most taken. Not only in their own lifetimes, but the generations that came before them, and will come after them as well. - I imagine the appropriate levels of basic need are set firmly in history, with small culturally specific variables. A strong and flourishing society needs a strong and healthy population, as opposed to a weak, sickly and malnourished one. This should be understood by the few and the many. The many for their own direct stake, and the few for their indirect stake. What good is a territory without anyone to provide tribute from it?

2.) I agree capital is leverage, however, I do not believe we support it because of the things that can be accomplished with it, but because we currently have no other option. Virtually everything we do supports capital investment and represents a percentage of collective wealth being extracted from society to be used in the future to extract even more wealth from society. That is no accident, and it does not take much insight to imagine where the process will lead. - I am not quite as sure as you are that the society in which capital (particularly given the neo-liberal understandings of the last century) operates within, derives any benefits. As a matter of fact, there are very few societies that could demonstrate this reality, save the select societies who hold the advantage. - I imagine care is used, but that care is extended to protect investments, as opposed to protections of population.

3.) Greed is a very good way to motivate society. Even with that being the case, there are many types of greed to be satisfied. Cephalus remained self serving to the end, although his motivations were changed. I imagine a similar evolution in most of the philanthropists you point to. There is no contradiction; it is the very same greed with a different face. - There is very little difference between greed and security, save some differing cultural understandings, and then measured only in degrees. You neglected to include the last part of my question in your reply though, which was an important aspect. "used against us to further concentrate political power and wealth"

4.) No, no, no and four times no. The best way to create dependency is to weaken an entity to the point that a resource (no matter the scarcity) becomes leverage. It is crippling only to the recipient, as the provider is allowed fantastic gains in the transfer. There is not a third party involved at all, save the house servant who comes to resent the field hands for increasing his work, while never quite understanding that the labor provided in the fields is the source of not only his position and well being, but his masters as well.

-- Posted by memyselfi on Tue, Dec 8, 2009, at 8:26 AM

I believe Winston Churchill was once quoted as saying that if you were a liberal at age twenty you probably didn't have a heart, and if you were still a liberal at age forty, you definitely do not have a brain.

-- Posted by Tim Lokey on Wed, Dec 9, 2009, at 12:36 AM

New jobless claims rise more than expected to 474K

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091210/ap_o...

You see this is my biggest problem with this new media and administration with one breath they tell you one thing and the next you get a different story.

-- Posted by Dianatn on Thu, Dec 10, 2009, at 9:29 AM

Tale of a classic flip-flopper....while still a Senator, Obama described President Bush's raising of the debt cieling as being absolutely immoral. Yesterday, the now President Obama suggested raising the debt ceiling by more than 1.8 Trillion dollars. (I would suppose that it is not so immoral now that Obama is suggesting it) While a candidate, Senator Obama shouted from the roof tops his support of Americans purchasing cheaper medicines from countries like Canada, the now President Obama, out of fear of losing drug companies support for his health care bill, is now against this idea. But, of course you won't hear about this from any members of the liberal "elite" media that he carries around in his pockets.

-- Posted by Tim Lokey on Thu, Dec 10, 2009, at 12:26 PM

From the link posted:

"The four-week average of claims, which smooths fluctuations, fell to 473,750, its 14th straight decline and the lowest level since September 2008.-- improvement

If current trends continue, Shepherdson said, claims will fall below the 400,000 mark by February, which would signal that the economy is actually generating jobs. Even more optimistic economists say that net job gains could come in January or this month.-- improvement

The number of people continuing to claim benefits fell by 303,000 to 5.16 million, the lowest level since February. The total unemployment benefit rolls have fallen in 11 of the past 12 weeks."-- becoming a trend...

The link provides a ton of information, it just depends on whether or not you focus on the negative info or the positive news, which is what the bulk of the article was about.

-- Posted by darrick_04 on Thu, Dec 10, 2009, at 10:01 PM

I want to remind everyone that fuel prices dropped and are lower this year because the demand for fuel is lower due to many being out of work and not driving as much. It is simple supply and demand that controls pricing.

-- Posted by dunroamin on Fri, Dec 11, 2009, at 12:51 PM

Statistics show that the actual unemployment rate is 17.5% if you also consider those who are underemployed (those individuals who found jobs which paid far less than their previous jobs).

Just because you can now afford to pay only half your electric bill instead of none doesn't mean that you are actually doing better . . . those individuals are still doing without and ca not make ends meet.

Also, dunromain makes a very accurate point about gas prices but certain people will never listen to actual facts and reasoning.

-- Posted by jaxspike on Fri, Dec 11, 2009, at 1:25 PM

Check the reports of U.S. Commodity Future Trading and the ironic timing of when Goldman Sachs was betting on $150/barrel oil and when reports came out that inventories were higher than reported, and demand hadn't changed.

A noticeable trend happens once Goldman Sachs and others begin selling their oil stocks, because they know the truth is about to be unearthed. They originally bet oil prices high causing them to be inflationary, and sold just their oil stock as the market was capsizing.

Most businesses reporting year over year profits right now are those who were most negatively effected by gas prices the previous year! Imagine that. Could also be a reason the economy is improving, because no longer is the oil addiction controlling Wall Street. Thank you Goldman Sachs, and other commodities futures trading insiders for gouging the consumer. You're welcome for your TARP bailout too (2008).

-- Posted by darrick_04 on Sat, Dec 12, 2009, at 9:10 AM

I want to remind everyone that fuel prices dropped and are lower this year because the demand for fuel is lower due to many being out of work and not driving as much. It is simple supply and demand that controls pricing.

-- Posted by dunroamin on Fri, Dec 11, 2009, at 12:51 PM

I don't know where all these no driving people live. I haven't seen it personally. The highways and interstates are just as crowded as they've always been. All the kids 16 and older drive personal cars to school everyday. Went on vacation it was as crowded as ever, one and a half to a two hour wait for a table at a restaurant for dinner. All those people drove to the restaurant and it's not like it was the only one in town. The place is full of restaurants. Oh well, I hope all those no driving people keep on not driving, maybe gas prices will go down to 1.50 a gallon and the roads will be empty by next year. :)

-- Posted by reap what u sow on Sat, Dec 12, 2009, at 12:53 PM

Tatoos and Scars, you stated:

"I believe Winston Churchill was once quoted as saying that if you were a liberal at age twenty you probably didn't have a heart, and if you were still a liberal at age forty, you definitely do not have a brain"

I do not believe Churchill stated this. From what I found it was attributed to a Francois Guisot (1787-1874) Who stated "Not to be a republican at twenty is proof of want of heart; to be one at thirty is proof of want of head"

The republican in the quote is with a little r.

If you can attribute this quote to Churchill, please do.

-- Posted by Grit on Sun, Dec 13, 2009, at 10:16 AM

If I have to equate my life's "well-being" to a president-elect, then do I even have "free-will" in the first place? I'd like to think that my choices in life, and my hardwork and dedication play some role into my well-being/livelihood. I mean seriously, he's one person--granted not the brighest bulb in the pack--still just a person.

It takes a lot more than one lone man to run this country into the ground, or pick it back up again once it's there. If you're putting all your eggs into one "Obama" basket hoping for a "better tomorrow" then you might as well quite your job and borrow enough money to play the lotto and wait for that big jackpot you know you're going to win...

-- Posted by shawna.jones on Sun, Dec 13, 2009, at 11:19 PM

http://www.ilike.com/artist/Ray+Stevens/...

-- Posted by genewells on Tue, Dec 29, 2009, at 10:20 AM


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Bo Melson is a retired sports and police beat editor of the Times-Gazette.
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