Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The First 100 Days: 100 of Obama's Lies, Blunders, Gaffes, and Abuses of Liberty

Photo by Pete Souza

For the first hundred days of President Barack Obama's administration, here is a complete list of 100 blunders, mistakes, gaffes, and public policies that threaten our freedom:

100 Blunders in 100 Days:

1. Promising to "publish all non-emergency legislation to the website for five days... before the President signs it," then breaking that promise over and over again.

2. Despite promising to keep lobbyists out of his administration, Obama has broken his word again and again (making 17 exceptions to this promise in his first two weeks).

3. Obama promised to eliminate income taxation for seniors making less than $50,000 a year. He has broken this promise despite numerous opportunities to keep it, including the economic stimulus package and his administration's first budget proposal.

4. The President also boasted during his campaign that "During 2009 and 2010, existing businesses will receive a $3,000 refundable tax credit for each additional full-time employee hired," and has failed to keep his word.

5. Obama made it part of his agenda to "allow withdrawals of 15% up to $10,000 from retirement accounts without penalty (although subject to the normal taxes). This would apply to withdrawals in 2008 (including retroactively) and 2009," but didn't include this measure in the stimulus package or his budget proposal.

6. Obama broke his promise to recognize the Armenian Genocide.

7. Obama did a shameless 180 degree turn on earmarks by sharply criticizing them (and bragging that he would pass legislation without a single one) and then signing a spending bill with literally thousands of them.

8. Obama promised a $4000 tax credit for college tuition, but backpedaled when he signed a much smaller $2,500 college tax credit into law.

9. Obama called presidential "signing statements" (letters of interpretation and recommendations attached to Congressional legislation) unconstitutional... then attached a signing statement of his own to a $410 billion spending bill.

10. Obama promised a different tone in Washington D.C. and a move past bitter, partisan rhetoric. It took him less than a week as president to berate Republicans and sully the dignity of his office by picking a very public rhetorical fight with a private citizen, Rush Limbaugh.

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11. In his first private meeting with Congressional Republicans, instead of "reaching across the aisle" and seeking earnest dialogue, he smugly told them that he should have his way because "I won."

12. The White House violated the custom of keeping private meetings private by leaking this comment to the press.

13. Taking a page out of the Bush Administration's playbook, Obama applied shrill, frantic, fear-mongering rhetoric to assure passage of his stimulus package.

14. Obama revealed the duplicity of his rhetoric and the arrogance of his character when he took off on a ritzy Valentine's Day vacation in Chicago for the weekend instead of signing the stimulus bill that he said needed to be passed as soon as possible to avert an irreversible economic meltdown.

15. Obama did not criticize Congress for its secrecy and closed-door committee meetings in crafting the stimulus package despite his calls for greater transparency in Washington.

16. Obama's appointment of Hillary Clinton to the office of Secretary of State was unconstitutional.

17. His movement of the United States Census out of the Department of Commerce and under the direct control of the White House was unconstitutional, politically motivated, and a dangerous, undemocratic expansion of executive power.

18. Obama's decision to continue Federal funding for religious organizations that discriminate on the basis of religion is unconstitutional and just plain unseemly for a "liberal" Democrat.

19. One promise Obama has kept is in his distribution of TARP II funds to non-financial institutions, which is contrary to the stated intention of those funds in the legislation passed by Congress, making his action illegal, unconstitutional, and an expansion of unlimited executive power.

20. Despite the buzz surrounding Obama's closing of Gitmo, indefinite detainment and torture are alive and well under Obama's administration with his chilling executive order to continue the practice of "CIA renditions" -secret abductions and transfers of prisoners to other countries where they are detained indefinitely and their interrogations are outsourced to other governments.

21. Backing "the continued imprisonment of enemy combatants in Afghanistan without trial."

22. Asking "the Supreme Court to overrule long-standing law that stops police from initiating questions unless a defendant's lawyer is present, another stark example of the White House seeking to limit rather than expand rights."

23. Limiting "the rights of prisoners to test genetic evidence used to convict them."

24. Despite claiming our environment is in a state of crisis, Obama's extravagant inauguration alone emitted over 500 million pounds of CO2.

25. His lavish inauguration also cost $170 million.

26. After saying "We can't drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times... and then just expect that every country is going to say okay," journalists discovered that Obama cranks the thermostat in the Oval Office.

27. Obama's Earth Day flights burned more than 9,000 gallons of fuel.

28. The Obama Administration ended funding for Washington D.C.'s school voucher program, while suppressing a study that showed it delivered better results at a lower cost.

29. Obama's daughters however, attend a private school in Washington D.C., enjoying the freedom of educational choice that the Obama administration has denied to poor children who live in Washington.

30. Out-of-control deficit spending.

31. Blaming Bush for America's deficits, but then increasing spending.

32. This is after saying on the campaign trail: "There is no doubt that we’ve been living beyond our means and we’re going to have to make some adjustments."

33. Made a big show of challenging his cabinet to cut a measly $100 million from the Federal budget (a .0027% cut in Federal spending).

34. Admitting that this doesn't even represent a spending cut by saying that it will free up more money for Federal spending on other things like health and education.

35. Moving to convert U.S. Federal loans to banking institutions into common stock, effectively nationalizing major portions of the U.S. banking industry.

36. Forcing U.S. banks to accept TARP money, then attaching strings ex post facto.

37. Acting to oust corporate executives like the CEOs of GM and Citigroup.

38. Promising that the U.S. government (i.e. American taxpayers) will guarantee GM's warranty.

39. Every time Obama talks about the economy or signs economic legislation, the stock market tanks.

40. "We can't go back to a bubble and bust economy." President Obama on April 14, while touting the kind of inflationary monetary policies that cause bubble and bust cycles.

41. "The Obama administration is signaling to Congress that the president could support taxing some employee health benefits, as several influential lawmakers and many economists favor, to help pay for overhauling the health care system. The proposal is politically problematic for President Obama, however, since it is similar to one he denounced in the presidential campaign as ‘the largest middle-class tax increase in history."

42. Increasing the timetable for withdrawal from Iraq beyond his campaign promises and leaving 50,000 troops in Iraq after the "withdrawal."

43. Deploying 17,000 more troops to Afghanistan, then several thousand more on top of that.

44. Obama calling on European leaders at G20 to provide more troops for the war in Afghanistan: "Europe should not simply expect the United States to shoulder that burden alone. This is a joint problem it requires a joint effort."

45. Using Bush-era war rhetoric and tactics.

46. Officially changing the name of America's vast, expensive, and endless overseas wars to "Overseas Contingency Operation."

47. "President Barack Obama asked Congress on Thursday for $83.4 billion for U.S. military and diplomatic operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, pressing for special troop funding that he opposed two years ago when he was senator and George W. Bush was president. This would push the costs of the two wars to almost $1 trillion since Sept. 11, 2001."

48.
"President Obama’s plan to require private insurance carriers to reimburse the Department of Veterans Affairs for the treatment of troops injured in service has infuriated veterans groups who say the government is morally obligated to pay for service-related medical care."

49. Appointing Tim Geithner to the office of Secretary of the Treasury, even though he was a part of the problem with the economic status quo and evaded his taxes for years.

50. Selected Annette Nazareth for the position of Deputy Treasury Secretary, who withdrew after a month long probe into her taxes.

51. Appointed Tom Daschle to the Department of Health and Human Services, who had to resign his nomination for the position because of tax evasion.

52. "Barack Obama has been embroiled in a cronyism row after reports that he intends to make Louis Susman, one of his biggest fundraisers, the new US ambassador in London. The selection of Mr. Susman, a lawyer and banker from the president’s hometown of Chicago, rather than an experienced diplomat, raises new questions about Mr Obama’s commitment to the special relationship with Britain."

53. Appointed Nancy Killefer for Chief Performance Officer, but she had to step down because she didn't pay her taxes either!

54. Samantha Power resigned from the Obama campaign f0r calling Hillary Clinton a "monster," but was later hired by the Obama Administration for a position on the National Security Council.

55. Appointed Rahm Emmanuel as Chief of Staff, who failed to report five years of free rent at a US Congressman's property in accordance with IRS policy and congressional ethics rules.

56. Adolfo Carrion, Director of White House Office of Urban Affairs, "pocketed thousands of dollars in campaign cash from city developers whose projects he approved or funded with taxpayers' money."

57. Appointed Janet Napolitano to the office of Secretary of Homeland Security, who was clueless enough to falsely claim that the 9-11 terrorists came into America through Canada.

58. “The willingness of a small percentage of military personnel to join extremist groups during the 1990s because they were disgruntled, disillusioned or suffering from the psychological effects of war is being replicated today.” — Department of Homeland Security intelligence report

59. Transparency: "Administration Permits Only One Question, No Follow-Ups About Extremism Report"

60. Appointing Attorney General Eric Holder, who said "Though this nation has proudly thought of itself as an ethnic melting pot, in things racial we have always been and continue to be, in too many ways, essentially a nation of cowards."

61. AIG's second biggest campaign donation beneficiary: Barack Obama, who acted angry about the results of a bailout he helped to craft as U.S. Senator.

62. "For months, the Obama administration and members of Congress have known that insurance giant AIG was getting ready to pay huge bonuses while living off government bailouts. It wasn’t until the money was flowing and news was trickling out to the public that official Washington rose up in anger and vowed to yank the money back."

63. Giving Henrietta Hughes a house instead of downsizing the government to free up productive capital that could be used by businesses to employ her so that she can afford her own living arrangements while providing value to other Americans.

64. Warmly greeting, smiling at, and shaking hands with Venezuela's brutal, autocratic dictator- Hugo Chávez.

65. Bowing to Saudi King Abdullah. U.S. Presidents do not bow before foreign monarchs.

66. Then a White House aide poorly and awkwardly lied about it: "It wasn’t a bow. He grasped his hand with two hands, and he’s taller than King Abdullah."

67. At their first meeting, U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown's gift to Obama: "an ornamental pen holder made from the timbers of the Victorian anti-slave ship HMS Gannet," and "a framed commission for HMS Resolute and a first edition of the seven-volume biography of Churchill by Sir Martin Gilbert." Obama's gift to Brown: a box set of 25 classic American DVDs... that don't work on European DVD players.

68. Used "England" to denote the U.K. -a gaffe that people from Scotland, Ireland, and Wales don't appreciate and chalk up to American ignorance and parochialism.

69. Repeatedly reminding House Republicans that none of them voted for the stimulus package. He's really going to regret that during the 2010 midterm elections when they'll be the ones reminding America.

70. "The White House says the president is unaware of the tea parties-" either they're lying or the President is clueless. Pick one.

71. "Mr Obama is an accomplished orator but is becoming known in America as the "teleprompt president" over his reliance on the machine when he gives a speech."

72. This has lead to numerous gaffes such as Obama thanking himself for being invited to speak with the Irish Prime Minister, as well as...

73. The bizarre spectacle of the President "arguing with" a teleprompter during a recent speech.

74. "I’ve been practicing bowling. I bowled a 129. It was like the Special Olympics or something." -Obama on The Tonight Show

75. Choosing purebred dog, "Bo" for the White House family's "first dog" instead of adopting a dog from a shelter like Obama promised.

76. Gaffe: "I didn’t want to get into a Nancy Reagan thing about, you know, doing any seances." -President Obama

77. False: "More than 90% of the guns recovered in Mexico come from the United States." -President Obama

78. What? "If we do everything right, if we do it with absolute certainty, if we stand up there and we really make the tough decisions, there’s still a 30% chance we’re going to get it wrong." -Vice President Biden

79. Clueless: "You know, I’m embarrassed. Do you know the Web site number? I should have it in front of me and I don’t. I’m actually embarrassed." -Vice President Biden, who should be.

80. Scary: Obama to Rep. Peter DeFazio, one of the Democratic congressman who voted against the stimulus package, "Don’t think we’re not keeping score, brother."

81. Airforce 1 panics New York City residents with extremely low flight plan for photo op and no public announcement.

82. Obama's perpetual campaign. The only thing our President has ever really led in his life was his campaign... instead of actually governing, he's been sticking to what he knows for the past 100 days- campaigning.

83. Obama's perpetual campaign failing.

84. Brushing off, laughing at, and dismissing a serious and valid question about the legalization of Marijuana and its impact on our economy.

85. SCHIP.

86. The regressive cigarette tax that falls mostly on lower income households to fund SCHIP.

87. Buying into and perpetuating the swine flu hysteria.

88. Allowing the Department of Homeland Security to take the lead in managing the swine flu. It should be the responsibility of the Department of Health and Human Services. Flu epidemics are not national security issues- they're health issues. Conflating the two is a dangerous precedent that puts too much power into the hands of the DHS.

89. Making a big flashy deal out of releasing the President's and Vice President's income tax returns (Oooohh- transparency!), which every President has done for years now.

90. Being totally shown up by the Bushes- according to their respective tax returns, the Obamas gave 6.5% of their 2008 income to charity while the Bushes gave 23% of theirs to charity in 2007. Embarrassing.

91. Supporting and signing The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Stimulus Package)

92. The health provisions in the stimulus bill.

93. Actually believing and preaching to others that consumption, not production, drives economic growth.

94. Obama's war on small business.

95. Bragging about his tax cut for 95% of Americans and not realizing (or conveniently not addressing) the fact that if it's funded with deficits and debt, it isn't really a tax cut because taxpayers will have to pay off the debt eventually (with interest) and the tax cut is offset by the rising prices of inflation.

96. Echoing Bernanke and Geithner's line that the economy needs more credit, while running trillion dollar deficits that hog up the credit market.

97. Timothy Geithner getting owned by Congressman Michelle Bachmann during his testimony in Congress.

98. Blatantly and unambiguously supporting policies that take from poor and middle class Americans to give to wealthy businesses and corporate executives.

99. Justifying these policies by saying that these businesses support poor Americans by giving them jobs and that they are simply "too big to fail."

100. Not realizing how suspiciously similar his argument sounds to "trickle-down," supply-side, Reaganomics.

25 comments:

gjw1684 said...

I guess you can now add all of the various powers that he's allowing DHS to have during the swine flu "epidemic"

Anonymous said...

What a pathetic whiny list. Obama becomes President during the worst economic downturn since the 1930's and after 100 days that's all you got? I'm sure you and your libertarian followers (all 6 of them) would have done a better job. Where is the list of positive achievements? Somali rescue, etc. Obama has a 65% approval rating while the unemployment rate grows monthly due to a downturn that started in 2007. Must be doing something right.

gjw1684 said...

While I agree that the list is somewhat premature since President Obama has only been in office for a hundred days, I took this list to be more of a casual and somewhat humorous glimpse into the various gaffes of the current presidency. My assumption was that by the title of the article, it was assumed that it would only be the negative aspects of Obama's administration. Just my $.02.

To the anonymous writer, why do you think Obama has a relatively high approval rating despite high unemployment? Do you think it's due specifically to the policies that he is implementing (which would also mean hope in the success of those policies) or do you think it's because things have not been as bad currently as some people have predicted? Or do you think it could be an indirect result of the fact that the Republicans are not a viable option at the moment (due to their hypocrisy and failed policies) and appear hellbent on happily watching Obama fail at his job?

Nikki said...

When did President Obama ever guarantee to make good on all his promises and campaign stances in the first 100 days of office? Has any other President ever made good on every single promise they made? How about in the first 100 days of office? The first 100 days are out of 1460 days to his term, and even in an “average” job a new employee isn’t expected to show full ROI in the first 6 months. It seems like tossing the baby out with the bathwater at this point in time.

Rather than throwing stones and pointing out what’s wrong, why not list solutions and help make them happen? As my father told me, if you don’t like something; step up to the plate and do something about it. Give up your time, your money, and your energy to make that change and to make a difference. And if you are too busy, or just can’t do anything, be quiet because you have no business complaining about things that you can’t be bothered to change.

gjw1684 said...

Nikki,

I definitely agree with you that a president is not expected to fulfill all of his campaign promises within 100 days; however, there are campaign promises that are an issue of ethics and not simply policy. For instance, President Obama did promise to publish legislation on his website before he signs it. This is something that doesn't require a full-term to accomplish. Other examples would be presidential signing statements and his stance on earmarks, as well as the events surrounding the first stimulus package that he signed. There are campaign promises that are not criticized here, such as the re-tooling of public education, civil service, and new jobs, because that will take years to implement. However, those extended promises were not criticized; the errors that were criticized were targeted towards those campaign promises that abuses liberty by libertarian standards and his own standards.

In terms of solutions, I'm not sure how often you read this blog, but there have been a number of solutions given to the various problems mentioned in the list. A lot of the solutions to these problems are simply forcing President Obama to not compromise his promises for political expediency and political convenience. In regards to economic transparency, HR 1207 has been implemented as a method to increase transparency, as well as giving economic reasons on why having a central bank is destructive to our economy. In terms of foreign policy, there have been numerous articles that emphasize the unintended consequences of blowback and to use a much more peaceable, measured, and noninterventionist policy. For budgetary matters, our budget could be sliced dramatically if we rescaled foreign policy from being an aggressor nation to a sensible nation. Other issues regarding civil liberty has been discussed in other blog entries.

I would also say that one of the best ways to help a president is to be a watchdog over the president. Obama himself said that he expects the American citizens to watch him very critically since he is capable of being corrupted. One of the largest problems that we have had with various presidents in the past is that people become complacent when their favored president is in office and simply go with the programs without offering critical analysis of programs. In my opinion, this was the biggest problem with the Bush administration. In my opinion, tt was the constant criticism under the Clinton administration and Carter administration that made them more effective presidents than any of the Republican presidents of the past 30 years (since Republican presidents are not widely criticized as Democratic presidents). What is most important is that our criticism of political leaders cannot be biased to our party affiliation, which seems to be the error of many Democrats now. On this site, criticism has been on both Democrats and Republicans for violating their promises on protecting liberty, which is the proper role of government.

Everyone has their role to play in keeping the executive power limited in scope. One person may critically analyze current policy, another person may implement policy, others may volunteer, others may do grassroots, but to simply say that criticism of a president is unconstructive limits solutions to the problems. Of course, we try to implement our ideas, but what happens if our ideas are blatantly ignored and at times, despised, derided, and mocked? Should we simply sit down and be quiet since no one will take our advice or should we continue to press on with our ideas and criticisms? I, as well as many libertarians, take the latter route and continue to offer criticism until we are able to implement our policy.

jms4liberty said...

Thank you. This was quite entertaining, as well as a good jumping off place for some good research.

How do we get our elected officials to abide by the law of the land ie. the Constitution?

Anonymous said...

I got another Obama one, this is not really a say as to what he has done in the white house so far, but has anyone noticed that he never had any real government experience to begin with, the first two years in senate don't equate to anything in anyone's term, and the other two years he was running for president. Before that, he worked for a company called A.C.O.R.N., who is one of the main parties responsible for allowing individuals who shouldn't be able to attain loans, the ability to receive sub-prime mortgages, and that is his own shit that he has to eat now. But he is not good with money this is obvious, maybe because he is a lawyer that never practiced law, and has never had to run a business in his life. Looking at this, it is easy to say that he is slowly sucking dry the individuals that make this country work, small business owners. Small Business owners are 90% of businesses in this country, and that is not being respected.

W. E. Messamore said...

First "anonymous" and Nikki- I have read your comments, but I guess I don't really have anything to add to gjw1684's responses. Thanks, gjw1684. You essentially wrote exactly what I was going to! And thanks for your suggestion- I put it in at #88.

jms4liberty- no problem. To answer your question, we the people have to start caring more. We start by changing hearts and minds one person at a time, with the goal of creating a vigilant and fiercely just electorate committed to liberty and the Constitution. We create a country and a political climate in which it is electoral suicide for a politician to subvert the Constitution. Why on Earth it isn't already that way- I have no clue!

Last "anonymous" -you're right that this isn't quite anything he's done since assuming office, just a disqualification that makes you wonder how he got there in the first place! I did touch on it though in item #82.

SuzieD said...

#57 Janet Napolitano also stated that veterans, pro-lifers, and those who oppose illegal immigration posed a potential threat of domestic terrorism. Later she apologized to the veterans.

#64 That was sickening.

#69 Unfortunately none of the people who were uniformed enough to vote for him will remember that, because the press will conveniently forget. If the free market improves our economy at all he will be a shoe in for another term.

#75 Just like the book that exposes liberal hypocrisy "Do as I say, not as I do"

#90 Research and studies show that as much as liberals grip about cold-hearted conservatives we still give more to charity than they do.

Norman said...

Great list, although, you forgot that he ordered his first murder within merely days of taking office:
http://libertarianchristians.com/2009/01/23/obama-orders-first-murder/

I'd say that's quite a mega-blunder...

W. E. Messamore said...

Suzie, thanks for your analysis. I couldn't go very deep on any of these because the list is 100 long, but I was hoping they'd spark great conversation in the comment thread, which they have.

57) This stuff is starting to get scary. 64) I know! 69) I hope you're wrong. I think it'll hinge on who the GOP picks. Another McCain? They'll lose. Another Reagan? Obama will get cartered- er- excuse me, clobbered. But how many Reagans do we have today? 75) Yeah, I just can't believe how much he's lied and broken promises in such a short period of time. 90) Yep. Though they are statistically better tippers as I understand it.

Norman, you are quite right. #45 has been amended accordingly. Thanks.

Nikki said...

It's interesting that my questions on what anyone has personally done have not been responded to. Talking/complaining is cheap and easy; I hear it every day from the parents of kids in the organizations I volunteer with. When you ask them to step up and do something to help make the change they want, then suddenly it’s a different story. Although only an analogy, it seems that way in every organization lately. Talking about issues and problems is a nice little start - the next step is to make a difference and talking doesn't make for change.

Look at our forefathers; they risked and even sacrificed all they had for liberty. It was well beyond just simply caring more. No offense intended; you cannot change other people. We can only change ourselves, hopefully in ways to make others want to change themselves. To make them think, and feel, and reconsider. Change has to come from within each individual. Every child that is raised to believe that what we have now is right will continue to believe so as an adult. That is, unless they choose to change their beliefs, which is very rare. This is part of what tore the nation apart during the civil war – people coming to the realization that things were very wrong with how our nation was running slamming up against the preconceived beliefs people were raised with and lived by.

But, I digress. I will go back to jms4liberty’s question. The reply to his question was a nice warm fuzzy, but doesn’t tell me what he or anyone else is actually supposed to do. Should he be writing his congressman and representatives? Should he be stopping in on the meetings that they have with the public to voice his opinion and drive home what really matters? To ask questions at those meetings and make other people think and reconsider? How about finding and joining the local libertarian chapter if they haven’t already, or start one if there isn’t one? Then what? An actual plan of action seems to be lacking. To quote Antoine de Saint-Exupery, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.”

Norman said...

Nikki: Umm, gjw1684 did answer you... Were you looking for something else?

gjw1684 said...

Nikki,

I guess I will be more specific in what I personally do and others can add in. I am an active member of Colorado section of the Campaign for Liberty (for more information, go to www.campaignforliberty.com). In this chapter, we spend a lot of time talking to potential elected leaders about supporting legislation that is designed to curb the size of the federal government and to increase transparency (HR 1207 is an example of this). It has been slow process but HR 1207 has reached 100 cosponsors in the House, including some Colorado House members so that's progress. Now we are also trying to target our senators.

I'm also a part of an organization called DownsizeDC. Although I don't agree with everything they do, they spend time proposing legislation that I believe is very important. One piece of legislation is given the nickname "Read the Bills Act" and the purpose of this bill is to force congressional leaders to read legislation instead of simply reading the executive summary of bills. The number of cosponsors to that bill is also increasing so there is progress and some Colorado House members are also supporting that bill.

Another portion of what I do involves education of the general populace. For some reason, free markets and liberty are being blamed for a lot of the problems we have and the solutions given are based on central economic planning and a much larger federal government. I spend a good deal of time teaching people about sound economics from an Austrian perspective and illustrating how history has backed my suggestions. This also means asking very serious economic questions at town hall meetings. Since I'm a graduate student, I spend a lot of time on college campus explaining in detail the impossibility of socialism, the tyranny of the merger of big business and big government, and to stand for their individual rights.

I'm also an advocate for homeschooling so I've been working with several groups in Colorado (and back in my home state of Georgia) to change state legislation to take the limits off of home schooling. Fortunately, the Campaign for Liberty helps a lot in these endeavors. I also use a lot of the information from the Independence Institute and Mises Institute to make my arguments for economic liberty much stronger.

Also, because I am a Christian living in Colorado, I spend a good deal of time trying to convince conservative Christians to either get of the GOP or to demand a much high standard for their leaders. So I will say that a large portion of my time and money are spent in these endeavors.

As I mentioned before, everyone has their role to play. I definitely agree with you that the state of affairs in our society is a direct result of the people in our society. What that also means is that before any policy can be put forth, we have to fight an intellectual war and hope to persuade others. There are numerous fallacies that people are taught and most libertarians spend the vast bulk of their time simply refuting the nonsense from others. This intellectual battle is fought largely on blogs because most mainstream media won't present another perspective. So I have to disagree with your sentiment that this blog is simply talking and complaining. It's part of a larger fight that we are all fighting. So I will toss the question to you: what specific action are you doing to change the situation we are in?

Dave said...

Ya know, there's really something about this whole thing that really grinds on me.....

I was once told by a man much wiser than I, that continuing to do something over and over again that doesn't work, and expecting at some point to get a different result is the definition of insanity. While this may not be Webster's definition, it certainly fits.

We continue year after frustrating year to make ourselves heard to our representatives and members of congress, but always with the same result. No matter how shrill our screams for reigning in government insanity (and promises made us regarding same) we continue down the same path, stuck in the same ruts, administration after administration.

What logical sense then, does it make to continue to try to reform government with "government approved" methods (political means)? Permitted protests, writing your congressman, attending "town hall" meetings, proper use of the "initiative process", even VOTING, serve only to placate the masses. You feel involved, but you are merely playing in a "sand box" while "Mommy and Daddy" (congress, the executive branch) take care of the "important" stuff.

I think the fact that Obama was going to forget about his campaign promises was a foregone conclusion, long before the election was over. Thinking otherwise is like really believing that Internet chain letter will make you rich. You HOPE it will, but in your heart you know it's all hype.

I guess all I'm saying is, what logical sense does it make to continue on this path? What we need to do, (since it's painfully obvious at this point that our "leaders" are just a bunch of spoiled brats who insist on having their way, regardless of the consequences to society) is start by boycotting any corporation, bank, insurance company, car wash, or whatever that took one single dime of "stimulus money". Expand the flourishing free market system we already have in place, (liberals and neo-cons call it the black market) to include everything from soup to nuts, eventually starving the regulated market to death.

This will not by any means be easy, but it is incumbent upon each one of us as freedom loving individuals to do everything in our power to thwart socialism, as it kills and impoverishes wherever it's cancerous malignancy is allowed to grow.

Obama's a liar? No big surprise there for anyone with a brain stem, but the real question is: What will we do in response?

Regards to all,

Dave

Anonymous said...

Dave

Great post

Anonymous said...

How can someone abuse liberty when we don't have liberty?

How can someone "threaten our freedom" when we are already under tyranny?

W. E. Messamore said...

Dave, yours is a great comment and I share in your frustration. I totally agree that the freedom movement needs to pursue different, radical, and unconventional means of changing society. But I do want to be clear about one thing. You say: "What logical sense then, does it make to continue to try to reform government with "government approved" methods (political means)?"

I know of course, that you're not implying any kind of violence by this, but out of an abundance of caution, and for the sake of anyone reading this who may misunderstand (or deliberately twist) your words- we do not advocate the use of violent force to change our society.

And most recent anonymous... I suppose you're right. It's not so much that he threatens our liberty as he enlarges our oppression.

Stephen said...

Wow... number 16? Are you kidding me? You started out with such a fair list and now you're getting into this crap?? Why don't you complain about Obama's birth certificate while you're at it? Obama's opponents keep insisting on behaving like conspiracy theorists.

BTW Clinton was reelected in 2006... which means that the pay increase was not done during her most recent term. You can't disqualify someone from being in the cabinet FOREVER if they are in Congress for a single pay increase.

Ben Bryan said...

Stephen,
While I understand that focusing on such a seemingly minor issue may seem petty, I think this small matter is a symptom of a deeper problem: people just don’t care about the Constitution. It really disturbs me that the response of so many people to the issue of the constitutionality of this appointment is apathy. If someone wants to argue on some grounds that the appointment does not in fact violate the constitution, then that’s an argument we can have and we can talk about what the Constitution says and how it applies in a particular case. But simply ignoring the issue or writing it off as unimportant seems to me to demonstrate a profound lack of concern for the Constitution and the rule of law that it embodies. I worry that your response displays a similar indifference. It is impractical, you seem to be saying, to enforce this particular constitutional requirement. If this is in fact the case, the solution, it seems to me, is to amend the Constitution to change the requirement, not to ignore it.

Stephen said...

No, if you look closer at my comment, it's quite clear that I said the requirement the Constitution has on this issue is only relevant if the Senator has voted for a pay raise in their *current term.* This interpretation of the rule is obvious once you consider that it would be ridiculous to refuse a Senator who voted for a pay increase of the Cabinet once 26 years ago to enter the Cabinet. It has nothing to do with "not caring" about the constitution -- I'm certain they checked this out. Putting these ridiculous kind of claims on your site harms your credibility. Maybe you should have cut your list down.

Ben Bryan said...

Ok, I see, you are indeed arguing about the proper interpretation. I apologize for suggesting otherwise. I worry, however, that your interpretation is built on convenience. It would be crazy, you argue, to prevent someone from being in the Cabinet because they voted for a pay raise years ago. This may indeed be crazy, but it may be the proper way to understand the text. That said, after looking at the text I'm inclined to think that the text of the Constitution itself actually refers only to a present term.

All of this, however, is perhaps of little concern. In looking back at our original article on that issue, I've noticed a comment (posted a couple of days after this post went up) that points out that they appear to have reduced the salary of the position to attempt to deal with the problem. This demonstrates a concern for the constitution, at least in regard to this issue. Tomorrow I will issue a correction of this matter.

Thanks for keeping us accountable!

Anonymous said...

great job to everyone who got suckered in by a smooth talker that has literally no idea what he got himself into. i never thought i would see one man single handedly destroy the nation that so many have sacrificed everything for

Anonymous said...

At the end of Obama's term as president you will see a country flipped upside or possibly at war with itself! Why do I say that? Simply answered! The simple fact that a stimulus packaged was passed so fast w/out, might I add, a 100% comprehension of what was being passed! The Senators and Congressman that are elected to be the voice of the people have ignored the people for to long. Demanding that states take money from the stimulus! It is now time to wait to see what happens to a country so many have fought to protect along with the thought of democracy.

Anonymous said...

The liberals lie alot and we mus tdo sometime to stop them from taking over the US.

1. The Liberals lie alot
2. The change numbers and data to better suit them
3.The are Socialist
4.They will increase taxs
5.They will and did increase spending
6.The Liberals will make our country worse off then at any time in our history
7.They destroy Liberty
8.They want us to depend on them