WDEL Blog: Allan Loudell

Open Friday / Weekend Forum

So which stories / issues / topics are of interest to you this weekend?

After announcing cutbacks in Delaware, AstraZenecA announced another 23-hundred lay-offs around the world by 2016. Blame primarily the expirations of valuable patents.

Wilmington Mayor Dennis Williams delivered his first State of the City address. It was the shortest such speech in recent memory, just about nine minutes, devoid of the budgetary details packed in past mayors' speeches. (Echoes of Tom Gordon's speech?) Still many question marks. No property tax hikes, but a 12% increase in water & sewer rates, while stormwater charges will go up 11%; no lay-offs of city employees; no cost-of-living increases for city employees for the fifth year in a row. But step raises for all eligible employees will continue.

Not in the speech, but afterwards, the mayor told me the Clifford Brown Jazz Festival is on - with substantial private underwriting - and so would be the 4th of July festival & fireworks.

A bill to raise Delaware hourly minimum wage to $8.25 over two years clears the Delaware Senate. The state House considers it next. State Senator Bobby Marshall (D-Wilmington) originally sought to hike the hourly minimum wage to $8.75 over two years, and an esclator tied to inflation. Each side in the minimum wage debate has raised the usual arguments.

The NEWS JOURNAL reports President Obama will declare a three-part national monument in Delaware, seen as a precursor to the creation of a national park for Delaware. Designated sites: The Woodlawn property in Brandywine Hundred; the old New Castle County Courthouse; and the Dover Green. Of course, Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) has championed Delaware joining the other 49 states in getting a national park. The rest of Delaware's Congressional delegation supports Carper.

I confess I still fail to see the advantages to such a designation.

As I type these words, President Obama is wrapping up his visit to Israel... headed to Jordan for a meeting with Jordanian King Abdullah, certainly the most pro-U.S. Arab leader (probably to his own detriment!). Both re-elected with the prospect of having to deal with one another for years to come, President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had reasons to begin a warmer relationship.

President Obama told Palestinians they "deserve an end to occupation" and an "independent state of their own" during his visit to Ramallah, the seat of the Palestinians' West Bank government. But Palestinian critics castigated the president for failure to pressure the Netanyahu government to constrain Jewish settlements; and drawing up definitive borders.

Of President Obama's nine new Cabinet appointees, three are women and one is Hispanic. The chair of the Congressional Black Caucus - Representative Marcia Fudge (D-OH) - complains in a letter to the president that his appointments "have hardly been reflective of the country's diversity." She said members of the CBC have heard from constituents. But a Delaware Valley member of the CBC - Representative Chaka Fattah (D-PA) - notes Eric Holder, an African-American, remains Attorney-General (causing great angst among conservatives) and (duh!) the president is black!



(An 'overwhelmed' David Ranta left prison with a small bag of belongings and family members ecstatic to see him outside his cell. His conviction began to fall apart when it was revealed that case detectives used questionable tactics in his case, including coaching witnesses...)

"An innocent man was sprung from prison Thursday -- more than 20 years after he was wrongfully convicted of killing a beloved Brooklyn rabbi.

David Ranta, 58, could barely contain his excitement, smiling broadly at relatives who hadn't seen him as a free man since his 1991 conviction. Ranta was found guilty of shooting Rabbi Chaskel Werzberger in a botched jewlry heist in Williamsburg.

The conviction crumbled after a year-long investigation revealed case detectives coached witnesses, did not keep notes, and gave incentives to felons who provided information..."

The world Anglican Communion - Church of England (Episcopalians here in the United States) - has a new spiritual leader. The new Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, was formally enthroned today. Like new Pope Francis, Justin Welby is seen as a strong advocate for social justice. It'll be interesting to see to what extent the new Archbishop of Canterbury criticizes the UK's austerity budget. It'll also be interesting if this new Archbishop and the new Pope develop a unique rapport based on common ground.

In an interview with the BBC, the new Archbishop stated his opposition to same-gender marriage:

"The Church of England holds very firmly, and continues to hold the view, that marriage is a lifelong union of one man to one woman." Yet, Welby also condemned homophobia. And he declared some gay couples have loving and monogamous relationships of "stunning quality".

A court in Butler County, Ohio, has "indicted" Pennsylvania's Punxsutawny Phil for failure to predict the "start" of Spring. Indeed, this winter has been like "Groundhog Day", hasn't it? Endless sub-freezing mornings, and winds creating wind-chills even on sunnier afternoons. So Phil has been sentenced to death!

Posted at 8:21am on March 22, 2013 by Allan Loudell

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Comments on this post:

Fri, Mar 22, 2013 8:40am
"Blame primarily the expirations of valuable patents."

Bull! Blame corporate greed. And greed is nowhere more evident than in the pharmaceutical industry. Bill Gates, who knows a thing or two about avarice, bashed the industry for it's millions for baldness but not one cent for malaria (which continues to be a major killer in the 3rd world) philosophy.

These patents are so "valuable" because Big Pharma engages in price gouging of the US consumer. Even after "valuable patents" expire, these companies hire former cheerleaders to go to doctor's offices with swag, invitations to token conferences in luxury resorts and honoraria (Latin for pay-offs). These goodies go to high prescribing docs - yes the pharmaceutical companies know what docs prescribe and they reward docs who provide them with captive customers. Ever notice how resistant your doctor is to writing prescriptions for generic drugs (after all, it's not his money you give the drug store).

I am at a loss to explain Allan Loudell's sympathy for AZ and those high paid suits their fancy building up in Talleyville. Either he has a great drug plan with his health insurance that covers drugs with "valuable patents." Or maybe he owns stock in AZ. AZ stock is at close to a 52 week high but Wall Street loves it when companies ditch employees. They talk about "job creation" but they reward job elimination. Go figure.

Allan Loudell
Fri, Mar 22, 2013 8:49am
Bill Smith:

Don't misunderstand. I share your disdain for the "high paid suits".

It always amazes me how highly-paid executives - needing to constrain costs - can come up with something no more original than laying-off workers.

I hold no stocks. Even if I had the money, no way!

And I did get my doctor to write a prescription for a generic for the single medication I take. I just asked her (when a generic became available). And she did it.

But kavips (below) raises good points too!

Allan Loudell

Fri, Mar 22, 2013 8:50am
Although I would be inclined to agree with Bill on his take of the big picture of Big Pharma, the point still stands, that cutbacks must be made because of patents expiring.

If your structure is supported by 20% markup on a common pharmaceutical, when you competition begins competing with something 20% less, you are going to lose revenue.

One simply can't keep staff on with lost revenue and survive. Greed or no greed.

Second, as an aside, it is hard to be too mad at a company that during Delaware's hard times, has keep our state's special group of non-profits afloat in cash... Without AZ's generosity, things would have been worse.

Fri, Mar 22, 2013 8:54am
Really? Allan. An interesting story would be what's up with these two short budget talks? Perhaps two interviews today could shed light on whether this is just an accidental random occurrence, or are there underlying factors or pressures (like the understandable unfamiliarity with all the moving parts) causing these to occur back to back?

I did crack up an Amy's Tweet saying "Thanks Dennis... Now I have to anchor the 6:30 news cast.."

Fri, Mar 22, 2013 9:08am
Those who fail to see value in having a national park should look backwards to why national parks were created in the first place.

To protect. With the full force of the government of the United States of America. In practical terms what that means is that if developer John Z wanted to his house on Dover's green, and bought his permissions in the acceptable way, he could. Any state law can easily be changed...

Now, the price for change has gone up to buying out Congress. There is a much better chance that shall not take place, with Federal oversight...

As all remember, the cost is minimal, and hopefully as we begin ridding ourselves of the Republican National Debt, more Delaware additions can be added... Some state-wide cost savings could be found turning over some Delaware State Park sites to the Interior Dept...

I was surprised and impressed to find how much Colonial influence Delaware played. I think my biggest surprise was that Peter Stuyvesant, whose picture graced my fourth grade text book as Governor of New York, was actually the human being who laid out the streets of New Castle when he was governor here..

Local people always take their local area for granted and negate the benefit of any national parks in their area. In that case, Delaware is very much like Yellowstone....

Biden gave us the Vice Presidency. Mike Castle gave us quarters. And Carper will be known here forever as the guy who got us a park....

Mike from Delaware
Fri, Mar 22, 2013 9:10am
Those National Monuments are a cheap way to give Delaware something while giving it nothing.

Given the budget problems Obama isn't going to open a national park in Delaware now. It will have to wait until the economy and the budget are in better shape. I can't imagine any Republican faulting Obama for not starting a National Park in Delaware at this point in time, and any fiscally responsible DEM wouldn't either. It will just have to wait for a better time.

Fri, Mar 22, 2013 9:20am
Yes, I agree. Workers get pink slips. Execs get bonuses. When in doubt, fire people.

Maybe this is a half-full, half-empty distinction but is it patents expiring or a company failing to develop new patents?

And being a company town is a mixed blessing. And Wilmington is a company town. It used to be one company, but now it's a group. They provide some beneficence, yes. But with strings attached, including substantial control. Corporations give money to things that are nice. And they get even more in tax breaks and corporate perks. Everybody else makes up for it in taxes to pay for things that are necessary. For big corporations, charitable giving is a calculated business decision - not something done out of the goodness of one's heart.

When these corporations give, they not only let the left hand know what they right is doing, they let everybody else know too. And much of what they give is money donated by employees (under pressure) as part of company campaigns, maybe some of the same employees now unemployed.

Fri, Mar 22, 2013 9:47am
"A court in Butler County, Ohio, has "indicted" Pennsylvania's Punxsutawny Phil for failure to predict the "start" of Spring. Indeed, this winter has been like "Groundhog Day", hasn't it? Endless sub-freezing mornings, and winds creating wind-chills even on sunnier afternoons. So Phil has been sentenced to death!"

Is this true?...or was it a joke? They are really going to kill Phil?
Weathermen & women may want to switch careers soon...just in case.

Fri, Mar 22, 2013 9:57am
"Biden gave us the Vice Presidency. Mike Castle gave us quarters. And Carper will be known here forever as the guy who got us a park."

Biden also "gave us" AMTRAK...

Bill Roth gave us the Roth IRA...I'll take that over Carper's National park (why aren't State Parks enough?), Castle's quarters or Biden's trains.

Mike from Delaware
Fri, Mar 22, 2013 10:33am
I'll take the train, what a wonderful way to travel.

A few weeks ago, we took a trip from Wilmington to Tampa via AMTRAK. Good food, there's beer/wine/booze/softdrinks, coffee/tea/water, each seat has an AC outlet so you can plug in your lap top and enjoy the computer (while wearing headsets so to not bother other travelers), read a book, walked the length of the train a number of times just to be able to move around (try doing that on an airplane), good conversations with folks: met a retired White House reporter for CBS News [she was there during the Clinton years], a farmer from Minnesota [who took the train from Minnesota to Florida], a musician who plays with the former lead singer of the Temptations who has his own band now, etc, etc.

The seats have tons of leg room, a wonderful trip all around. Also you don't have to go to Philly or Balt to get the plane and the train sure beats the heck out of driving 1020 miles each way between Wilmington to Tampa.

My wife and I are already talking about our next trip and yes it will be on the train.

Fri, Mar 22, 2013 10:58am
I always wondered who paid for Biden's daily commute on the Metroliner-Acela between Wilmington and Washington (round-trip). At current prices, it would run up to $436.00 a day. At 200 working days a year, that's $87,200. I always suspect he got special "consideration" from Amtrak in return for promoting their interests.

Those long-distance runs on Amtrak are huge money-losers and there is no justification for them to be operated under a government-subsidized service. Amtrak does make money on its corridor services but those prices are kept high to help cover the long-distance trains. Taking a long-distance train is tantamount to being on welfare.

I love trains. I get nostalgic about trains. Then I ride Amtrak and I get over it. The kindest thing to stay about Amtrak is air travel is so much worse.

Keep in mind that some people prefer road trips. For me, a big advantage is not having to talk to people. Another is setting my own schedule.

I once considered taking the train to Phoenix. It would have taken a day-and-a-half longer and several hundred dollars more. Hours were inconvenient and I would have spent several periods sitting in train stations waiting for another train. When I do go to the station for a Northeast Corridor train or commuter train and look at the board, I notice the long-distance trains are usually late - often several hours late.

Fri, Mar 22, 2013 12:51pm
The 11% increase in storm water charges and 12% increase in water and sewer are de facto property tax increases.

When the city was granted (by the state legislature) the right to develop and implement a stormwater plan, it was specified that the money raised was to be used solely for stormwater matters.

A group of property owners here in Wilmington tried to introduce legislation a few years ago to redress some of the problems with the stormwater program that the city is ignoring. For example, the city charges my company nearly $2500/year for stormwater charges, even though there are no stormwater drains anywhere near our property. While the legislation failed, we learned during the hearings that the city does not and will not provide documentation on how much of the revenue goes into stormwater services, and how much goes into the general city funds.

It is my feeling that all the money collected from stormwater charges goes into the general fund, thus these increases are a property tax increase.

Fri, Mar 22, 2013 1:05pm

I get tired of the race baiters trying to impose a quota on the cabinet for President Obama. What difference does it make whether you have three women and one hispanic? Who cares if it's all white male as long as they do the job? The quota crowd is very racist in opposing white men for top positions in government. Imagine if they were opposing women of color for top positions? Would that be politically acceptable?

I have a dream that one day we can judge people not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

Fri, Mar 22, 2013 1:09pm

P.S.: If it's okay to have a Congressional Black Caucus, would it be okay to have a Congressional White Caucus?

Mike from Delaware
Fri, Mar 22, 2013 2:28pm
Billsmith: I just looked and an Acela train from Wilmington to DC is $113. each way (depends on day of week and time of day too). But in any case it's not cheap, but cheaper than air travel and far less hassle.

Who pays for the second home (apt) most Congress people have in DC? Probably the tax payer, so Biden's trips may actually have saved the taxpayer money as it is cheaper to commute via AMTRAK than own a home or apartment in DC.

Fri, Mar 22, 2013 2:56pm
MikeFromDelaware: I checked the early morning and late afternoon commute times, which, I understand, is when Biden traveled. Those trains have higher fares than at off-peak times. I also figured he went first class instead of business class.

Taxpayers do not pay for members of Congress to maintain a home in DC. They do receive compensation for one round trip home per session.

Biden could have taken the 7:15 a.m. Northeast Regional for $81.00 or the 8:07 a.m. for $47.00. Rather than the 7:34 a.m. Acela for $145.00 (business class) or the 8:31 a.m. for $97.00. The Acela saves him maybe 15 to 30 minutes and costs approximately twice as much (even more in first-class where they bring food and drink to his seat and he rides with senior corporate execs and lobbyists).

No matter how you add it up, it's a pretty expensive commute for somebody who supposedly makes $174K and lives in a fancy neighborhood to begin with. Biden had a record of representing banking interests but nobody ever bothered to follow the money in his direction.

Who pays for MCs fulltime homes in Washington (most of them have only token residences in their districts or home states, visit only for campaign appearances and never go back once they leave Congress)? Excellent question. And what strings are attached?

Fri, Mar 22, 2013 3:05pm
Teatime: No more or less racist than any other form of "affirmative action." I grew up believing discrimination was wrong and back then it supposedly worked in my favor. Now I'm supposed to approve of discrimination when it works against me? Makes no sense at all.

Obama is the first affirmative action president. The MSM likes to trumpet him as the "first Black president" (or African-American president). Actually, he's mixed-race and grew up in a state when a large percentage of the population is mixed-race. He is the descendant of slave owners, not of slaves. Somewhere along the line, he discovered the advantages of presenting himself as Black. And it's worked for him. A lot of other people have learned to play the quota card, too, and we hear from them anytime there is a cabinet or Supreme Court vacancy.

Sonia Sotomayor didn't have the best grades in her high school graduating class but the nuns who ran her school thought it would be nice to have an Hispanic valedictorian. Over at NPR, the guys all have good voices and most of the women have breathy, nasal, little-girl voices and clearly aren't ready for prime time. All this doesn't seem to bother a lot of people, unless they become personally affected.

Fri, Mar 22, 2013 4:02pm

@billsmith: There was an interesting story about Obama's ancestry a few years ago. The article noted that Obama did have a lineage to slave--but from his mother's side of the family. Obama's father was from Kenya and descended from free people. However, from his white mother's side of the family there was slave ancestry going back about 150 years.

As far as 'affirmative action' is concerned, I wonder why there is not a hue and cry over the lack of white people in the NBA? If we're supposed to be diverse, and reflect our society, some 70 percent of the NBA should be white, but that's not the case. There should be 'affirmative action' programs that groom more white people to play professional basketball.

Fri, Mar 22, 2013 5:35pm
This is why you can't trust the MSM. A "court" in Ohio did not indict Punxsutawney Phil. A county DA (an elected official apparently looking for publicity) did. This all ignores that in Ohio neither courts nor prosecutors indict, grand juries do. And Phil is a resident of and made his predictions in Pennsylvania, so an Ohio court would have no jurisdiction.

It is one thing for a political office holder to engage in a ridiculous stunt, but to a say a "court" (i.e. a judge) did so demeans the dignity of a judge's robes and could constitute contempt. Maybe an Ohio "court" will cite Allan Loudell. Maybe he should go through Kentucky instead of Ohio on his next road trip. Don't take Amtrak either: All their trains West pass through Ohio.

Fri, Mar 22, 2013 5:54pm
Teatime: Right on. March Madness would get even madder. Same would apply football and baseball - but not to hockey, of course. For hockey, we need a quota on non-Canadians.

And what about the lack of White rap and hip-hop recording artists? At the same time there are very few Black country singers, so maybe some kind of mandatory trade should be arranged to even things out.

Then there's all the hue and cry about the absence of girls (aka women) in the geek majors - math, engineering, physics. Some groups cried "discrimination" and wanted to increase the number of female math majors, despite evidence that women with science and math aptitude tend to prefer more social disciplines like medicine. University veterinary programs are dominated by women. Maybe we should force some of them to become math majors "for the cause" and make guys like those on the Big Bang Theory become veterinarians - even if nobody in their right mind would let Sheldon take care of a sick puppy.

The article I saw about Obama cited the 1840 census which showed Obama's maternal ancestors owning a farm in Kentucky and the household including several "three-fifths persons." Notice when Obama went to Ireland a couple of years ago, he presented himself as Irish-American. I also read that boxer Muhammed Ali, born Cassius Clay, has a greater percentage of Irish ancestry than African ancestry and is descended from the family of Henry Clay (maybe the great man himself). The Irish are known for producing great fighters.

How come it's OK to say Blacks disproportionately excel in music and sports but not OK to say they disproportionately don't excel academically? A few years back, several Black organizations campaigned to place a quota on Asian students admitted to the University of California system - too many Asians were getting in - to make room for more (less qualified) Black applicants. Irish and Asians have their own histories of discrimination in this country, but somehow nobody seems to think they should benefit from affirmative action.

Fri, Mar 22, 2013 10:17pm
Dear Representative Marcia Fudge (D-OH)
Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus


Affirmative Action was intended to give various minorities a seat at the table. I'm black. I'm the boss. I control the table. We are well represented.



Sat, Mar 23, 2013 10:42am
Allan: Much to my dismay, you've not mentioned anything on the blog about the recently-defeated proposals in Cyprus to confiscate (steal) money directly from people's bank accounts.

I hope this serves as a warning to all Americans. If government does not get spending under control and start reversing its debt, that very same thing will happen here, except that Obama or any future president regardless of party affiliation will just bypass Congress and issue a directive to the IRS to do it. And I suspect it will be a lot more than the 6% or 10% proposed in Cyprus.

Sat, Mar 23, 2013 10:45am
billsmith: It could be that AMTRAK just gave Biden free rides without collecting the fare rather than the taxpayers actually paying it. But then, it would actually make sense to do that, and government almost never makes sense.

Sat, Mar 23, 2013 11:34am
MrPizza: He wasn't entitled to travel expenses for his daily commute. So, either he paid for rides or somebody else did. Somebody else would campaign contributors, special interest groups or Amtrak. If Amtrak lets him ride free, it is because he supported Amtrak? Or did he support Amtrak because they let him ride free. Either way, clear strings attached and conflict of interest. And while he rides free twice a day, other passengers or government subsidies make up for the lost revenue. It doesn't amount to much per passenger but still... freeloading is freeloading. New, he flies and we do pay for that. Back to his nice house purchased thanks to a sweetheart loan from the banks he supported.

The way to reduce the deficit is to go back to the top 91 per cent tax rate - like in the very prosperous 50s under a Republican administration. And increase capital gains rates - like Reagan did.

Sun, Mar 24, 2013 7:15am
Mr. Smith/Rice: Your idea sounds good in theory, but if you "tax the rich" at 91%, you can bet a majority of them will leave the country and their money and jobs with them.

How about government stop living beyond its means and cut spending like the rest of us have had to do?

Sun, Mar 24, 2013 10:57am
Well, the rich people didn't leave last time. And remember we have a graduated income tax. The 91% is the top bracket and applies to income above a set amount. The DuPonts and others hated it. They paid accountants, lawyers and lobbyists to reduce their taxes. But they didn't leave.

Government living beyond it's means? Thank Dubya for that. The Clinton administration had five years without a deficit and was on it's way to retiring the deficit run up by previous administrations - until Dubya came along.

The government, however, is no different than corporations or individuals. Corporations borrow. Household's borrow. People have student loans, car loans and home mortgages plus credit card debt. Look at the figures. So, when right-wingers call for the government to act financially like us, it does. How do you think banks can afford all those fancy skyscrapers in downtown Wilmington and fancy office parks around Wilmington? How do you think bank execs afford those fancy homes in Greenville? Probably even you practice deficit spending.

Mike from Delaware
Sun, Mar 24, 2013 3:26pm
Billsmith: Well said.

IF we need to cut, why do they always want to cut the things that actually help the little guy, never the big guys.

Instead, lets cut Congressional staffs, limos, perks, benefits, pensions, etc,. Cut foreign aid other than food/water/medical humanitarian aid. Let's cut corporate welfare - do the oil companies really need tax breaks, etc, etc.

I agree also that the wealthiest 2% should be paying more as THEIR incomes have skyrocketed during the past 30 years as the rest of ours have been stagnant or in decline.

Sun, Mar 24, 2013 11:16pm
"They paid accountants, lawyers and lobbyists to reduce their taxes. But they didn't leave."

Exactly... One more case of how higher marginal tax rates do create jobs. Ir requires a lot fo people to figure out the best way to avoid paying high taxes. It takes no one to figure how to pay low taxes when taxes are low. Now, try to find somewhere where lower American tax rates created one job... And China doesn't count...

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 2:56am
billsmith: I used to do deficit spending until 2008 came along. I've been de-leveraging ever since. I'm not asking government to do anything I wouldn't or don't do.

As far as Dubya is concerned, he's no longer there. Even if he is the originator, he's been out of office for five years now and his successor has borrowed more than him and all previous presidents combined. Doesn't seem like responsible management of the people's money if you ask me.

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 7:25am
"As far as Dubya is concerned, he's no longer there. Even if he is the originator, he's been out of office for five years now and his successor has borrowed more than him and all previous presidents combined."

Wrong, but thank you for playing. As a consolation prize, we'd like you to have a case of Turtle Wax and a copy of our home game. Better luck next time.

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 3:40pm
I have yet to find a divorced man still paying off the humongous debts of his ex, who still doesn't blame her for his misfortune...

Mr. Pizza. You claim goes against reality.

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 6:10pm
Kavips: Looks like you and billsmith (markrice) have become pretty good friends here.

Tue, Mar 26, 2013 1:49am
As long as Obama has Bush for a scapegoat, he'll never have to accept responsibility for his own actions. Amazing to me the way he's been able to fool the people to an extent Bill Clinton could only dream of.

Well, I didn't fall for him in 2008, and I ain't fallin' for him now. I know a pathological liar when I see one.

Tue, Mar 26, 2013 8:01am
"I know a pathological liar when I see one."

That's easy when all you have to do is look in a mirror. Hate Obama all you want. Vote however you want. Your statement that he borrowed more than all other presidents combined is not accurate. Besides, borrowing and spending are done by Congress. And historically, the biggest borrowers have been Republicans.

Tue, Mar 26, 2013 12:00pm
Just curious billsmith...did our current president cut our debt in half (as he promised) or has he instead dramatically increased the debt of our nation to 16.7 TRILLION?

Tue, Mar 26, 2013 12:03pm
btw, i was not for Bush's spending habits either...especially the auto/bank bailouts and TARP.

Tue, Mar 26, 2013 1:12pm
Earl: Credit where credit is due. Presidents can do little about spending, taxes or deficits. They can propose and they can veto. That's it.

Congress passes taxes and budgets. Those bills must originate in the House. Guess which party controls the House (and can stop anything from happening in the Senate).

Bush also wanted to fight two wars while cutting taxes, after Clinton had been reducing the deficit he inherited.

People who complain about government spending are among the first to complain when something they like, want, or feel necessary, gets cut. They complain about the debt but want the Pentagon to get all the toys it wants. They create an uproar when the Post Office tries to save money by closing an unnecessary sorting facility. This is what brought us to needing the sequester.

Tue, Mar 26, 2013 6:43pm
billsmith: Just for the record, let me remind everybody that the Post Office is "off budget" and receives no taxpayer subsidies. It must sell goods and services to support itself. The only thing it gets from Congress is a line of credit, and at this point, that's been maxed out.

You're right about the limitations of Presidents to spend money, but this particular one is a Soviet-style dictator who gets what he wants by threatening and bullying. Unfortunately, the Republican establishment is afraid to stand up to the bully, which is what I voted for them to do.

It's all gonna burn, man!

Tue, Mar 26, 2013 6:45pm
Oh, one more thing. I don't think Bush WANTED to fight two wars. Whether real or perceived, he felt it was NECESSARY to fight two wars.

In my mind, the jury is still out on that one.

Mike from Delaware
Tue, Mar 26, 2013 9:25pm
Mrpizza: From what I've read, Bush was looking for an excuse to go get Saddam after he threatened his Pop; 9/11 provided him with that opportunity and he used it.

Tue, Mar 26, 2013 10:03pm
"Soviet-style dictator who gets what he wants by threatening and bullying."

Oh, come on, Dude. This guy's batting average at getting what he wants is pathetic.

Whom has he threatening or bullied and how? Mostly he caves in before he even starts. The characterization of him as the world's worst poker player is far more accurate.

Where do you get this stuff? Not even Rush goes off the deep end like this, even when he's on Oxy.

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