Forgotten scandal of the Obama era  

Forgotten scandal of the Obama era  
  • 1040
  • 92
  • 10

My Recent Posts

From Benghazi to the IRS there are plenty of ugly scandals that the Obama Administration found itself embroiled in.  However, there is one scandal that received very little press but was the most glaring and potentially the most threatening to his presidency…The Standard & Poors Scandal.

 

My advance apologies to anyone familiar with Standard & Poors (S&P). S&P is a rating agency and rating agencies are responsible for letting investors know credit worthiness.  By way of example, Standard & Poors top rating is ‘AAA’ meaning the creditor has an extremely strong capacity to meet financial commitments. Their lowest rating is ‘D’ for default.  A ‘BBB’ rating means adequate capacity to meet financial commitments.  Any rating less than “BBB” is considered not to be investment grade and any ratings BBB or above is.

 

At the height of the housing bubble S&P was frequently giving ‘AAA’ ratings on housing debt that eventually defaulted.  However, the same can be said of all the rating agencies.  There are many analysts that believe the rating agencies are the most to blame for the great recession, because without their blessing all of those securities would have been unsalable.  I think it was a group effort with Fannie Mae being my top choice for most responsible, but I digress.

 

On August 5th 2011 S&P downgraded the U.S. Credit Rating from ‘AAA’ to ‘AA+’.  None of the other ratings agencies downgraded US creditworthiness.  The ratings downgrade brought plenty of negative attention on the Obama Administration and put our financial health on notice that things were deteriorating.  In addition, the downgrade occurred just days after a debt ceiling vote.  Immediately following the downgrade the stock market declined by over 5%. 

 

Two weeks after the August 2011 S&P downgrade, SEC and Department of Justice announced that S&P was under investigation.  On September 19th, 2013 the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a lawsuit against S&P for its actions during the housing boom.  None of the other ratings agencies were sued despite the fact all of them were giving investment grade ratings to what eventually became junk. 

 

S&P claims the lawsuit was a politically motivated retaliation for the 2011 downgrade and counter sued the DOJ.   Translated: the Obama administration used the DOJ to silence and intimidate a private business…a business that’s in the business of merely providing opinions.  

Comments

Todd Flora Added Jul 20, 2017 - 6:27pm
Oh, brother. You might as well have just said Obama caused the housing crisis (which he INHERITED). The REAL scandal -- if you remember the scene in The Big Short where Steve Carrell goes to visit the woman and, I believe, S&P or Moody's, played by Melissa Leo -- is that the ratings agencies kept grading traunches of mortgage backed securities AAA or AA, etc. despite knowing they were full of shitty mortgages. Nobody had the guts to call a spade a spade, and warn about what was happening with sub-primes and other mortgages that were failing. But sure ... let's find something for which we can blame Obama while the country burns down under Trump. 
Phil Greenough Added Jul 20, 2017 - 6:43pm
My article actually blames/credits the ratings agencies (cartel) for playing perhaps the largest role in the great recession.  The fact of the matter is that a lot of things played a part in the collapse.  The reason I wrote cartel was because the government, even before Obama came along, anointed only a few companies qualified to rate securities.  Government mandated monopolies are never good. 
 
None of your comment or my response has anything to do with my article.  You tell me, why do you think Standard and Poors, and no other ratings agency, was targeted by the Obama Administration?
George N Romey Added Jul 20, 2017 - 7:29pm
Was it tit for tat?  Wouldn't shock me.  The rating agencies are another fine example of really stupid, highly educated people that will do anything for a buck.
Melina Ahl Added Jul 20, 2017 - 7:52pm
"From Benghazi to the IRS there are plenty of ugly scandals that the Obama Administration found itself embroiled in."
 
And none of them happened here in the real world. Funny how you desperately need to create imaginary scandals; it's almost as if you know you couldn't find any that actually happened. LOL! Funny!
Cliff M. Added Jul 20, 2017 - 8:15pm
Phil it was all part of corporate imperialist deal where every body walked .
Phil Greenough Added Jul 20, 2017 - 8:40pm
George;
In fairness to the rating agencies, I think they also got caught up in the housing euphoria that led to the Great Recession.  As to you labeling what happened “tit for tat,” I couldn’t disagree more.  S&P should have the right to rate US credit however it damn well pleases without fear of retribution. 
 
Melina;
For hard core liberals, I understand how your bias can cloud your judgement as to the many scandals which occurred during the Obama era.  However, let’s focus on the subject at hand, why do you think S&P, and not Moody’s, was targeted?
 
Cliff;
So it’s your opinion S&P wanted to be targeted by the DOJ?
Cliff M. Added Jul 20, 2017 - 8:48pm
Phil, What was the result? Correct me if I am wrong but I don't recall anyone from the finance industry being punished. They had a big part in ruining millions of lives and wound up getting rewarded with a do over.
Matt Added Jul 20, 2017 - 9:45pm
It is just normal capitalist speculative behaviour, when investment in industry is negative because of downward trade. Capital is useless if not put into exploiting wage slaves to produce surpluses for the parasite class. In the absence of those sort of opportunities then speculation really gambling, in 'bubble' ventures occurs aided by the deregulation started in Regans presidency. It all happened before and will do so again .
Eileen de Bruin Added Jul 21, 2017 - 2:11am
S&P should have the right to rate US credit however it damn well pleases without fear of retribution.
 
Phil:  then wherein lies the objectivity and integrity of measures?  If these entities may do as they damn well please then it merely illustrates the reasons for distrusting them.  
 
Without regulation, that which the US government is the cheer leader since Reagan's time, it means that such bodies can do as they damn well please. Which usually means setting up the nation and its fall guys, being the ordinary people following their advice, in order to make a quick buck or many for them, the few.
 
It says Fuck you fellow Americans, if you're poor it's your fault and we are cleverer and wear nice suits and get loads of money out of misinformation and lying.
 
So, what is your point? That integrity doesn't matter at all anymore anyway?
 
 
 
Phil Greenough Added Jul 21, 2017 - 8:03am
Cliff;
This is not an article about who to blame and what punishment should be given to those at fault for the financial collapse.  This is an article about the Obama Administration targeting a private company for issuing an opinion it didn’t like. 
 
Matt;
Your comment has nothing to do with my article. 
 
Ellen;
I couldn’t agree more, all the ratings agencies shouldn’t be trusted.  However, that discussion/argument is different than allowing them to speak their mind.  So I’m not talking about all financial companies being to do what they damn well please.  I’m talking about a company that’s hired to release opinions on credit worthiness, not being able to voice its opinion.  Do you understand my point now?
Mike Haluska Added Jul 21, 2017 - 12:17pm
Todd - in response to your statement:
 
"You might as well have just said Obama caused the housing crisis (which he INHERITED)."
 
I would say this - Obama was certainly responsible for investigating the corruption surrounding the crisis and didn't prosecute a single person involved.  As far as who was responsible, I lay that solely at the feet of the Democrats for passing the stupid Dodd-Frank legislation that practically forced lenders to make mortgage loans to unqualified borrowers.
 
Carole McKee Added Jul 21, 2017 - 2:45pm
This article is so very "Trump'like." When the finger is pointed at him, he immediately points the finger at someone else. 
 
Bottom line is: No administration is perfect, and every one of them have some type of scandal--even Saint Ronnie. But this administration? OY Vey! It's just plain hideous. All prior scandals, including Watergate, pale in comparison. Trump, his spoiled children, and his minions just disgust me. From Pussygate to Russiagate, this unpresidential president has made us the laughing stock of the world. Make America great again? That will only happen if he gets the hell out of the White House and takes his corrupt gangster colleagues with him.
Phil Greenough Added Jul 21, 2017 - 3:25pm
Unlike 95% of the political articles you’ll read on the internet today, this is not an article about Donald Trump.  I was just bringing up something that I’m outraged about, that I don’t want to be forgotten.  Should you feel like writing about Watergate or a Donald Trump scandal, you should write that article. I already know what my comment will be: What’s the big deal, just look at all the scandals Obama was embroiled in (sound familiar).   
Carole McKee Added Jul 21, 2017 - 3:41pm
Yeah. It sounds like what Trump would say. I don't deny scandals happen. I haven't forgotten any of them. But I kid you not, when I tell you that I can overlook every one of them, since this administration took office. Now the 'scandals' in which you refer, during the Obama administration? Some were tragic and others were upsetting; I agree. But now the S&P downgrading the U.S. Credit Rating from ‘AAA’ to ‘AA+’? perhaps I'm not understanding this fully. But why is this Obama's fault? 
Phil Greenough Added Jul 21, 2017 - 9:30pm
Carole;
The downgrade caused the stock market to plummet and made it more difficult for Obama to continue to borrow from the next generation so our generation could live high on the hog. It was a very big deal.  As retribution, Obama had the DOJ bring charges against S&P. Politicizing our legal system is about the worst thing a president can do.  
 
John;
If downgrades are irrelevant why did the DOJ lash out at S&P?
George N Romey Added Jul 21, 2017 - 9:31pm
The rating agencies like Wall Street are scum buckets in expensive suits.  The American people are seen as far, stupid lazy rednecks that deserve to be taken advantage of.
Phil Greenough Added Jul 21, 2017 - 9:34pm
George;
I don’t think they’re scum.  One thing we know is that when one of them finally did their job the way they’re supposed to, they got sued by Obama’s DOJ. 
Spartacus Added Jul 21, 2017 - 10:15pm
Massive corruption in the Democratic party.  Voting Trump into office was the single, most profound rejection of this obvious corruption and dereliction of American freedoms.
 
So many Democrats refuse to accept the narrative now of the democratic party.  The MSM just isn't reporting it.  Big changes happening and the legacy corruption would never acknowledge this revolution.
Micahel Dolan Added Jul 21, 2017 - 11:44pm
With each passing day of President Obama's second term he continued to consolidate power and undermine any notion of conventional democratic norms.
 
Not only did Obama make history as the first black president, he made history by winning a second term despite less than optimal polling numbers, divisive tactics, failed policies, an abysmal economy with high unemployment and gas prices, and breaches of promises to the American people.
 
Obama spent eight years of telling Americans how bad America is. Hussein Obama as of today is back and he is dumping on America again.
Paul Robbins Added Jul 22, 2017 - 2:35am
Phil Greenough,
From what we now know regarding the previous administration, the probability of investigating S&P was right up their alley of throwing the Govt weight against  of anyone that was negative to the administration.  What we call scandals in some cases were felonies
Eileen de Bruin Added Jul 22, 2017 - 5:04am
I’m talking about a company that’s hired to release opinions on credit worthiness, not being able to voice its opinion. Do you understand my point now?
 
Phil, yes, I understand now.  If these agencies are government controlled and tweaked, then they are useless as independent measures. It does seem that economies depend on the hype and bluff tactics with little independent overview.
More of the same then. From afar, Obama's tenure seemed to be a constant battle in trying to change the way America behaves globally and sees itself nationally. Lobbyists rule it seems to me and their power comes from the monied class who seem to be Republican. 
 
If the motivation of such entities as S&P is politically orientated......and everything is politically motivated...then was it just another Republican attack on the Obama administration? He really seemed to be under attack at all times and he was so busy digging in that he forgot middle Americans.
 
Trump's current treatment of the judiciary certainly isn't inspirational, nor is his courting of th SA arabs whilst treating all others as terrorists. How is his administration treated by the credit ratings agencies by the way? Or is it a given that such entities are Republican anyway?
 
How would you propose or assert that these agencies are or can be independent of politics? Why, in your view, would Obama feel,obliged to pursue S&P? It is too facile to imply that he was just "wrong". 
Eileen de Bruin Added Jul 22, 2017 - 8:31am
Excuse me, I have missed something, what is PDT?
Phil Greenough Added Jul 22, 2017 - 8:57am
William;
I agree that the incriminating DNC emails that the Russians leaked were the main reason she wasn’t able to corral Bernie voters, causing her to lose.  However, I don’t think non-Republican members of the general public, cared about the scandals, otherwise Trump should have won in a landslide. 
 
John;
If the rest of the world started doubting American creditworthiness, it would be more expensive for us to borrow.  So the coupon rate can’t be just any number the government chooses, set it too high and there will be no buyers. 
 
Michael;
Your comment has nothing to do with my article.
 
Paul;
I couldn’t agree more.
 
Eileen;
Credit agencies are private companies.  However, the government only allows three agencies to rate credit, hence the ratings cartel label.  The scandal I’m trying to explain is that the S&P did something that wasn’t politically motivated and Obama targeted the firm because he was politically motivated to do so.  Do you understand my point now? 
 
Commander Chief;
Your comment has nothing to do with my article. 
Micahel Dolan Added Jul 22, 2017 - 9:55am
Eillen--UM.-Well your article mentioned Obama presidency. Hussein Obama was and still is an enemy of America. President Trump has done more for America in his 6 months as POTUS than Hussein Obama did in eight very very long horrible years-of treason.
George N Romey Added Jul 22, 2017 - 12:25pm
Phil the rating agencies took on the very profitable role of rating MBS without understanding MBS or putting the time and money into reviewing the securities.  In plain English, scumballs.
Dino Manalis Added Jul 22, 2017 - 1:12pm
S&P was the scapegoat for all ratings agencies, I hope the entire financial industry understands simple lending regulations should always be enforced to avoid another banking crisis!  Banks are businesses that are supposed to lend and take risks, but not at taxpayer or depositor expense!
Saint George Added Jul 23, 2017 - 3:03am
wherein lies the objectivity and integrity of measures?
 
There is no objectivity in ratings. It's all opinion. That, of course, doesn't mean there can't be integrity.
 
If these entities may do as they damn well please then it merely illustrates the reasons for distrusting them.

True. And true of government — and government regulators — even more so.
 
Without regulation . . .
 
Credit Rating Agencies (CRAs) have been regulated by the SEC since 2006, and further regulated by the Dodd-Frank bill as of 2010. Like all government regulation, the only thing this has accomplished is to make the big, incumbent CRAs — Moody's, S&P, and Fitch — safe from competition by smaller CRAs trying to break into that sector, since all that regulation acts as an effective barrier to entry. Under real capitalism with little or no regulation by government, "integrity" is a by-product of competition, and not a result of threats by wise regulators admonishing their private-sector subjects to be meticulous and honest "or else . . .!"
 
Once more:
 
If these entities may do as they damn well please then it merely illustrates the reasons for distrusting them.
 
True. And true of government — and government regulators — even more so.
Phil Greenough Added Jul 23, 2017 - 8:31am
George;
The housing collapse caught just about everyone by surprise, ratings agencies included.  So long as prices were going up, AAA ratings were perfectly understandable.  So all I read from you is 20/20 hindsight.  Besides, this article isn’t about laying blame for the Great Recession, it’s about Obama punishing a private corporation for political reasons. 
 
Dino;
S&P was targeted because the company suggested the US Government might be a credit risk. 
 
John;
“The rest of the world isn't lending the government anything. They put their $ into treasuries to get a higher return.”
 
Those sentences are in conflict with each other.  Regardless as to the reason why they put their money in to treasuries, treasuries were purchased.  Nobody would buy them at those rates if they thought the US Government might default.  So to continue borrowing at the lowest possible cost, Obama needed the US to be AAA. 
 
Saint George;
Was any of that directed towards me?
George N Romey Added Jul 23, 2017 - 11:25am
If one bother to do a little research they would realize the credit rating agencies got into the MBS business not because they either had expertise or were willing to gain that expertise.  It was solely a function of easy money.  The "purpose" of the rating agencies is to give a fair appraisal of whatever they are rating.  If they had (like others that made a fortune off selling shorts) reviewed just a smidgen of the loan files they would quickly realize how bad these securities were.  Defending them is like defending the SEC against Bernie Madoff.
Tamara Wilhite Added Jul 23, 2017 - 12:34pm
You are right that this needs to be more widely understood. It is part of the pattern of political interference and manipulation of businesses, whether the federal government altering the GM bankruptcy to give unions more money than bondholders or the CFPB essentially shaking down businesses for fines based on allegations of discrimination/fraud.
 
Phil Greenough Added Jul 23, 2017 - 9:03pm
George;
Again you’re all 20/20 hindsight.  From the ratings agencies to the individual home owners, everyone was profiting form a upward real estate market.  When the market went south they all got killed.  If you think you could have predicted the market correction before it happened, you’d be one of the few that profited from the correction.  
 
Tamara;
While I don’t think the government did anything illegal in relation to the GM bankruptcy, it’s an excellent example of why government should not mettle in the affairs of private enterprise. 
 
John;
I have no idea what you’re saying anymore.  The Government borrows money to finance its spending.  The rate of interest it must pay to borrow this money is dependent on our credit rating. 
Saint George Added Jul 24, 2017 - 2:26am
Pure drivel and sophistry. You're hopeless.
Saint George Added Jul 24, 2017 - 4:29am
Your brain-rot is growing. Now your'e not even completing sentences.
 
By the way, for whom do you shill?
Phil Greenough Added Jul 24, 2017 - 8:10am
John;
So it’s your belief the government doesn’t borrow money?  If so, when things like the national debt, national deficit and debt ceiling are mentioned, your response is what? 
George N Romey Added Jul 24, 2017 - 8:38am
The entire business model of the "recognized" big three is corrupt. Having the issuers of the debt pay an agency to rate that debt can only lead to corruption.  The model should be investor groups pay for independent research that is unbiased, fair and accurate.  
Eileen de Bruin Added Jul 24, 2017 - 8:49am
Yes, Phil, I understand your point now.
But it is hyperbole which runs governments and smoke and mirrors.
There is nothing truthful about the political system in the US and if anything good tries to emerge it is slated and berated by people like Sara Palin whose influence on the American peoples is totally unjustifiable and wholly based on her all American look. 
She is light on intellect and huge on influencing people with lies and economic measures which will keep the polarisation going. Ditto in the UK, by the way. They are on your wagon and wave lengths.
 
Obama: I do not know enough about this man at all. I remain surprised that he seemed not to be able to effect the kind of change needed. He seemed to be an idealist and then got embroiled in so many dark things.
 
Politics is not a truth-telling discipline at all. It is only about the pecking order and the hype. When might we address this I wonder?
George N Romey Added Jul 24, 2017 - 9:13am
Eileen Obama was quickly taken in by the "intellectual class" because he sees himself as the ultimate intellectual.  However, as history has proven it takes more to move a country in a successful direction than a pedigree education and attending events like Davos.  Obama did quickly forget what he ran on.  He put the plutocrat crowd (Larry Summers, Tim Geithner) in charge.  He was naive to the opposition he would face and simply caved in rather than fight and get the American people on his side.  We needed a street fighter like FDR and we got the Professor from Gilligan's Island.
 
Presidents whether we want to admit it or not are victims or successes based upon how most Americans feel. When Watergate came along Americans were already fed up with soaring inflation, escalating gas prices and shortages.  Watergate gave them the opportunity to take out their frustrations.  Conversely, when Clinton was found guilty of lying about very sleazy sexual encounters with a very young and impressionable intern we were in an economic expansion the likes of which this country hadn't seen in decades. Americans were much more forgiving albeit sickened by his behavior.  This may not be fair but it is what it is.
 
Even some of Trump's early vocal supporters have now turned on him.  He appears totally lost in the world of cut throat DC politics and doesn't seem to understand the "miracle" of his election has now gone beyond a stale date.
 
I assume there are parallel events in the UK.
 
Carole McKee Added Jul 24, 2017 - 10:19am
George: I never thought about why Clinton's indiscretion was more or less forgiven. but I guess you're right. However, sleazy sex with Monica isn't even in the same ballpark as having sleazy relations with Russia. 
 
Eileen: Obama is an idealist. He's a good man with good thoughts. He care about people. But that just doesn't work out too well in politics. He was what the people needed at the time, but not what the country could withstand.
George N Romey Added Jul 24, 2017 - 10:33am
My sense is that Obama is not a street fighter.  FDR was successful with much of his agenda (which did alleviate some of the suffering) because he was more than willing to get into the political muck and mud.  He loved a good fight.  Unfortunately by 1944 his health was failing and he should have bailed out.  Instead he allowed Henry Wallace to be forced off the ticket in favor of a hapless, ill prepared Harry Truman.  
Phil Greenough Added Jul 24, 2017 - 10:56am
George;
I don’t think the entire business model of the big three ratings agencies are corrupt.  Much like a real estate appraiser, the ratings agencies have a reputation to uphold in order to stay relevant.  That being said, I think your idea has merit, but I have no idea how it would be implemented. 
 
Eileen;
Sarah Palin has nothing to do with the conversation at hand, nor do I think she has much influence on Americans.  That being said, I respect Sarah Palin and nothing negative to say about her and lots of negative things to say about Obama.
Carole McKee Added Jul 24, 2017 - 11:15am
Well, the nicest thing I can say about Sarah Palin is that she has a screw loose somewhere. But of course, Phil; you are right. She doesn't belong in this conversation (or in Washington).
 
I have plenty of good things to say about Obama. Someone who is concerned more about wealth and Wall Street wouldn't be, I suppose. Obama has a heart, and he cares about people. For a politician, that doesn't work out so well. This country used to be all about what was good for people. Not anymore. People like Obama and Bernie Sanders are criticized for wanting what is best for he citizens. It's all about money and greed now.
Micahel Dolan Added Jul 24, 2017 - 3:38pm
Sarah Palin Bad-Crooked EMAIL BENGHAZI HILLARY---GOOD.
 
Gee the great Obama gave Iranian terrorist Nukes-Gee the great Obama had the worst economic administration ever-Obama turned his back after every Islamic attack in our states he refused to say Islamic terrorism.
Best for the citizens- well not for Americans.
 
Hillary- took care of herself-Foundation Hillary sold out America every chance she had. Traitor Hillary-Traitor Barry Jr.-Got President Trump elected-put that in your Bong and smoke it.
Eileen de Bruin Added Jul 25, 2017 - 7:00am
George and Carole, thanks for those explanations, it helps. Yes, the UK signed up to the same model as the US in the early eighties....sold out and only now very apparent.  Economically, a low wage economy and polarisation between rich and poor is a very bad thing for a country, so the US and the UK are heading for the same holes.
 
Phil, Sara Palin is the type of empty headed, low intellect, get your hair done and wear a nice suit politician which fits the facile political elites of this time in both our countries! She is symptomatic and emblematic of the age!
 
Obama ... what a waste and a sham or a shame. To address the original issue of your thread then, Phil, is this your only gripe with Obama's tenure?
George N Romey Added Jul 25, 2017 - 11:00am
Eileen, Palin, Obama, HRC, Schummer, Ryan, Pelosi, etc. are nothing more than characters in a carefully crafted play.  The play has been written by the elites.  The play goes something like this you all pretend to give a damn about the average American, get nothing done and let us, and us alone, prosper.  Anyone that thinks there is much difference between Sarah Palin and Nancy Pelosi, other than smoothness are part of the "sheep" in this country that are totally clueless. 
Carole McKee Added Jul 25, 2017 - 1:05pm
George: LMAO!! You are right.
George N Romey Added Jul 25, 2017 - 1:27pm
Carole look at Elizabeth Warren. Since going to the Senate she has become silent on reinstalling a form of Glass Steagall, reinstalling usury laws, curbing lender abuses, putting derivatives out in the open. Its like they get to Washington and immediately forget why they went there in the first place.
Carole McKee Added Jul 25, 2017 - 1:39pm
Right again, George. They are all like that. Did you ever see that happen in the workplace? It happens. Person sends a fantastic resume, comes in for an interview, talks him/herself up, making giant claims and promises, the gets hired. After the hiring, the new-hire proves to be worthless. I've seen it, I've interviewed it, and I fired it--quite a few times. Now...if it were possible to fire them in government, I think we would have a much better leadership. forget the reelection. To keep the position, all they usually do is find dirt on the opponent--true or not. We should just be able to fire them. 
 
I think a review committee of say, 100 people should be appointed every year. No pay, just expenses if they have to appear in Washington to do a review. They review the job done so far by a congressman, and if not satisfactory--OUT! Not exactly how the government was designed, I know. But what goes on in Washington now is not exactly how it was designed either. 
 
(Can you tell that I am one angry constituent?)
George N Romey Added Jul 25, 2017 - 1:44pm
Carole I'm angry too.  I remember when this country got things done. New highways, the space program, new airports, building of colleges, good educational system, opportunities for those willing to work for them, a future for our college grads.  Now look at us.  Our infrastructure is shot.  We have a sea of part time $12 an hour jobs. Good jobs for the experienced, educated, and tenacious are hard to come by.   But yet we always seem to have money to bomb some third world country that could never pose a threat to us or bailout greedy bankers. 
Carole McKee Added Jul 25, 2017 - 2:04pm
Right, again. And look how much is spent on "Congressional Entitlements." The fact that they can retire at full pay just fries me. Their employers (us) did not approve that. they should have to pay into Social Security and receive benefits when hey retire. That sure would fix social security, wouldn't it? Healthcare? They should have the same plan we have. Healthcare coverage would be fixed, then, too. Perks? Expenses? Bullshit! Budgets for hiring should be cut. Take a look at these salaries for D.C. government public employees: 
https://dchr.dc.gov/sites/default/files/dc/sites/dchr/publication/attachments/public_body_employee_information_06302017.pdf
The number of employees they are allowed to have is just ridiculous, but the salaries paid are off the charts. Really , when I think about it, the people we elected aren't even doing the work. It's these other people we have never heard of. Those we elected just sit back and rake in their ridiculous unearned salaries. Even interns makes an average of around $33,000. Gee, when I interned at a hospital, and then again at a school,  I got a free lunch, but no pay.
 
George N Romey Added Jul 25, 2017 - 2:32pm
Carole it just demonstrates the Banana Republic we've become. We spent years looking down on countries like Haiti, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Thailand, Vietnam, etc. because they were run by corrupt cabals while most of their citizens suffered on a daily basis.  We are quickly morphing into these countries no how much we want to deny it or think just some changes on the margins will do.
 
I have no issue giving Congressmen and Senators nice perks and staff IF they are passing legislation that is bettering our country and solving problems.  We did it for decades and it seems since the new millennium our politicians get nothing done unless its something for their big money donors-like the trillions in bailouts to Wall Street.  
 
I can't stand to see them pontificate on cable news.  I just want to scream shut and go do your job.  You and everyone else stop acting like spoiled children and do your job.  There is no more leadership.  The two party system despite their differences made the US a great country in the past.
 
Again, I think this is the will of the shadow government and included in that big money donors.  They do very well with an ineffective government at the helm.
Phil Greenough Added Jul 25, 2017 - 2:39pm
Carole;
The thing that annoys me most about liberals is your moral superiority complex.  The belief you and your politicians have a heart, while mine don’t is ridiculous.  It’s also ridiculous to believe your politicians care about what’s best for the citizens, while mine don’t.  For whatever it’s worth, I give your politicians the benefit of the doubt that they care, the problem is that their policies serve to keep the poor, poor and dependent on government handouts for their livelihood. 
 
Eileen;
What is it with you liberals and the ease at which you sling insults the other side?  I have plenty to be critical of Obama about, I chose to focus on an issue everyone let slide under the rug. 
 
George;
Sarah Palin and Nancy Pelosi are as opposite as two politicians could be.  This proves the only clueless one in this thread is you.
George N Romey Added Jul 25, 2017 - 2:46pm
Have you ever listened to Palin and Pelosi.  Nothing out of their mouth makes the least bit of sense.  As I said Pelosi is more polished but there is no substance.  This is why our country is in so much trouble. We can't accept the fact we are being duped by the political machine all playing a charade.  Palin the conservative halfwit from Alaska and Pelosi a notch above at best from SFO.  
Carole McKee Added Jul 25, 2017 - 3:35pm
Phil: I'll gladly be classified as having moral superiority, rather than be classified as being morally and emotionally bankrupt. Actually, I never considered having morals means being a liberal. If that's true, I guess I'm a liberal, and proud of it. I like the fact that I have high moral standards.
 
Personally, I don't believe politics belongs in issues like healthcare, or women's choice on what they do with their bodies. But I know, at this moment, my likes and dislikes have nothing to do with politics. I don't care what party Trump was affiliated with. He's an ass. An embarrassment, who has made us the laughing stock of the world. The only feelings that sociopath has are for himself. And what I have against the Republican party is that they are still behind him. The conservative party is letting a jackass, who is anything but conservative, run roughshod over our country; humiliating himself and the people. We would be better off having Puppy-Baby-Monkey in the White House.
 
And George is right. Palin and Pelosi may say different things (I think, but who can tell for sure?), but neither of them actually say anything. How the hell Pelosi keeps getting elected is beyond me.  
George N Romey Added Jul 25, 2017 - 3:50pm
Carole thanks for the endorsement and yes you are right.  The issue is that labels have come to restrict good thinking.  If conservatives really believed in the work ethic they would create a system in which all have livable wage jobs.  People would be dependent upon their occupation to sustain themselves not a voucher from the government.
 
There is no shortage of smart, tenacious people in this country that want to be doing better.  Why is that we have no money for this but when Wall Street needed a bailout trillions not billions were found to make them whole.  In that case within six months its like the September 2008 meltdown never happened.  If we can have a Manhattan Project for a very few unbelievably wealthy bankers then why not one for the American people?   People that just want a decent job and a modest life with a few luxuries like a yearly vacation and a comfortable home.  
 
Or why do we always have funding to blow up the world multiple times over?  Are we expecting to go into outer space to wage battle?
 
Unfortunately people like Phil worship at the altar at the cabal thinking they really do have the interest of not just the country but the world at heart.  They do not.  They see the world as a place to pillage, plunder, rape and exploit.  In the past we had leaders like TR, FDR, Eisenhower and JFK to keep them at bay.  Today we have a narcissist like Trump playing right into their hands.
 
TR and Eisenhower were Republicans, FDR and JFK Democrats. Its not a party issue, its a commitment issue.
 
 
 
 
Phil Greenough Added Jul 25, 2017 - 4:03pm
George;
I have listened to Palin and Pelosi and disagree yet again.  I understand what each is saying quire well.  Neither is duping us and they both clearly aren’t on the same side of the political divide as you previously asserted.  Again, I think the only halfwit in this discussion is you.  If you wanted to be treated respectfully, next you comment quit it with the insults and smears. 
 
Carole;
I said you have a moral superiority complex, I don’t actually think you’re morally superior.  Oh and by the way, I also think you’re an ass.  What is it with you liberals and your inability to behave and speak respectfully about the people you disagree with?
Carole McKee Added Jul 25, 2017 - 4:12pm
George: Absolutely! Right or wrong should have nothing to do with political party. 
The living wage subject is almost laughable. There are jobs hat are considered "menial," and those are the jobs that pay menial wages.yet, they are also the jobs that nobody wants to do. when a person accepts one of these jobs, the person should be given a decent wage, just for accepting a job nobody else wants. That might also cut down on illegals getting work. If the pay were better, more out of work Americans might consider it. 
 
And again, you're right about the 2008 meltdown. Why were the banks bailed out, yet many poor and infirm people suffer and sometimes die because of lack of funds? Back in 1992 to 2002, when my son was terminally ill, I cashed in my retirement fund to pay for medical expenses. Where was my bailout? Whenever anyone loses their job and can't get another one, they lose their house and all assets. Where is their bailout? It seems that those who have nothing, get nothing, and those who have, get more.
 
Ecuador is looking better and better.
George N Romey Added Jul 25, 2017 - 4:12pm
Phil myself and Carole have been very respectful and shown restraint, particularly Carole.  Yeah, call her an ass.  Typical self indulged wannabe intellect. By the way, I've noticed that on this article and your thread about hugging a lobbyists you've gotten no support from a multitude of people here on WB.  I wonder why?
 
And yes they are duping us.  Palin come across as this anti government self sufficient women when she has used government to propel her desire for fame.  She is about "independent" of government as those "welfare queens" she so decries.  Pelosi tries to come across as this woman of the people when the only people she gives a damn about are the rich tech people that live in SFO and give to her campaigns.  My mother loved her father, the major of Baltimore years ago but considered Nancy Pelosi a charlatan.  

George N Romey Added Jul 25, 2017 - 4:17pm
And back to the original subject.  Phil if you did your research you would know that there were many people within the rating agencies that saw the implosion coming.  They were told to zip it up, the profits were just too good.  Watch the movie or better yet read the book, "The Big Short."  
 
That somehow the rating agencies just couldn't see what was happening (along with everyone else on Wall Street) is just laughable. Taking the time to investigate the subject from a wide variety of sources would quickly prove otherwise.  I suggest going to your local public library and looking in the finance and money section.
Carole McKee Added Jul 25, 2017 - 4:21pm
Thank you, George. Don't be too concerned about the insults. Any time a person doesn't have a leg to stand on, he usually retaliates with name-calling and insults. Just like the president. I can think of two other political figures that did the same thing. Reagan and Hubert Humphrey did it. When someone asked Reagan a question he couldn't answer, he made fun of the person asking. Humphrey did the same thing. It doesn't take party affiliation to make a person rude, crude, or foolish.
Saint George Added Jul 26, 2017 - 8:07pm
For whom are you shilling, John G?
We'd all like to know.
Eileen de Bruin Added Jul 27, 2017 - 3:55am
x
Eileen de Bruin Added Jul 27, 2017 - 3:57am
What is it with you liberals and the ease at which you sling insults the other side? I have plenty to be critical of Obama about, I chose to focus on an issue everyone let slide under the rug
 
Phil G. does this imply that you are not a liberal and, by default, a republican? I have no idea what being a "liberal" means in your context! I am giving a viewpoint from afar, that is all.
 
The one issue that, apparently, everyone let slide under the rug, why is it so important to you? Where does it rate say between gun legislation and the fact that the wealthiest country on earth lets millions of its own people die ( more than die in war or terrorist attacks) through lack of good, basic health care? And justifies all of this by constantly peddling the American Dream that if you work hatd enough and are clever enough, you can be like Trump too?
 
The fundamental issue here is not only the mechanisms of government but the fundamental will of the people as a whole. So, let us return to S&P: they downgraded the US's credit rating, apparently without guile or political controversy, but for the good of the nation, whilst Obama was its President.
 
Oh, did they now? And the point is?
 
Phil Greenough Added Jul 27, 2017 - 9:30am
George and Carole;
You both haven’t been respectful in the slightest.  The two of you continue sling insults and slurs about the politicians I respect and admire.  You might as well be calling me a “halfwit” and an “ass” when you do that.  You want to say something negative about Pelosi or Trump, please quote him or her and explain why you disagree.  But so long as you launch childish disrespectful slurs, I will be disrespectful and treat both like the children that you are. 
 
John;
What is the problem with you liberals and your insults?  I believe that free market capitalism works.  One does not need to be on either political wing to agree with me, common sense alone should get you there.  Now take your "cheap" Marxist garbage elsewhere, this comment thread is already stinky enough.
 
Eileen;
I’m clearly not a liberal and think of myself as an independent.  That being said, there are only two choices on Election Day and I’ve never voted for a Democrat. 
 
I have no interest in discussing gun legislation, health care or any of that other stuff you just brought up. As for Standard & Poors and their decision to downgrade US credit, I believe my point was made in my article.  You tell me, why do you think Standard & Poors was investigated and Moody’s wasn’t?  Are you doubting they downgraded US credit while Obama was president?
Carole McKee Added Jul 27, 2017 - 11:00am
Phil: Ah...and here lies the problem. Going back in time, as far back as you want to go, there has always been criticism of politicians. People have always disagreed on who was a quality leader and who was not. But not any more. Any criticism of Trump brings on the attacks from people like you. Why is this? Why are there so many knuckle-dragging minions out there who are willing to go to battle for Donald trump? 
 
I can think of possibly two reasons: Either you realize he is wrong for the country and you are embarrassed that you voted for him; or you don't think he is capable of defending himself. 
 
Whatever your reasons for becoming so nasty in defending him, let me clarify something. He is NOT the second coming of Christ, and he is NOT the Fuhrer. And I'll bet if I had said something negative about Obama, you'd be okay with it. 
 
And another thing: There are a lot of people who have a lot of respect for me, and would be angered about the things you said about me. But they wouldn't react like you did, because they are a lot more dignified and have so much more class than you. 
 
 
Saint George Added Jul 27, 2017 - 6:06pm
You're a fascist of the left shilling for Russia.
 
I hear it's good work.
Eileen de Bruin Added Jul 28, 2017 - 3:24am
Phil, points taken and understood. I cannot subscribe to being a liberal, but I am neither Republican nor Democrat, nor the UK equivalents! Most of the people in our governments are clearly light on depth or practicalities, but highly self seeking and self aggrandising, it is all a Muppet show or a Spitting Images show, but no where near as funny.
 
Donald Trump is who he is and pretends nothing at all. He deserves respect because he is what he says he is and who can argue with that? 
 
His self image is so important to him though, that it emerges as his First Loyalty. His family and its placement in his self styled cabinet is his Second Loyalty. His Third Loyalty is to SA and Russia. Then comes Congress and the Americans and only then the Judiciary, in particular, right down there with climate issues.
 
He wouldn't use the judiciary to conteol the credit rating agencies, so he must be the Greatest US President ever.
 
George, I think that your many points about Obama are highly illuminating and very good. I have long wondered why he seemed not able to capitalise on the people's vote and trust. So he wasn't street wise enough and that is a crying shame for America. A crying shame for the world, actually. Shame on you, Obama because you had so many people in the world supporting you.
 
Carole, you are clearly balanced and insightful and treading water in these absurd  political seas of our countries on each side of the Atlantic. I feel this way, so perhaps we share the same time realisation, quite Orwellian it all is.
 
Ah well, as long as S&P is happy. By the way Phil, are they doing ok now under Trump?
 
 
Phil Greenough Added Jul 28, 2017 - 8:37am
Carole;
There is only one thing I want to discuss with you and that’s establishing who launched the first insults.  The answer to that question is you.  After deciding you’re morally superior to me, on July 25th you described Donald Trump (a politician I approve of) as an “ass,” “embarrassment,” “sociopath” and “puppy-baby-monkey.”  Accordingly, I called you an “ass” and now you’ve twisted this thing into thinking your some innocent bystander to my “attacks” and that I’m the “nasty” one.  Grow up.
 
John;
If you don’t consider yourself a liberal what do you consider yourself to be?  Do you like Trump and the policies of the Republican Party?
 
Eileen;
For whatever it’s worth, I think Trump has many flaws but I like him a lot more than the typical Democrat.  I don’t think he’s loyal to the Russians, however if you had evidence to support such an outlandish accusation like that I’d be happy to hear it. Scratch that, this is not an article about Trump or Russia.  If you understand the points I wanted to make in this article, let’s leave it at that. 
Eileen de Bruin Added Jul 28, 2017 - 9:51am
Ok Phil, but if your feathers are ruffled at the way Obama's administration treated the S&P - is that the only thing that you find "against" Obama as president. Is is so overridingly bad that he should be slated for this? I realise that people, president or otherwise, cannot do everything right or get everything right; I despised the Bush administration and George W couldn't even put a sentence together without help.  JFK was a great president - in the world's eyes - and yet he had so many flaws.
 
So why oh why is the "attack" upon S&P so important to you?  For example, the attack on the British NHS - which has been ongoing since the nineties - is extremely sad because the entire organisation has been unravelling and is unravelling in front of the eyes of the nation. But the nation is so taken in by the right wing and republican and US  model press (think Rupert Murdoch types), they have no idea about the truth!  And yet the truth is there if it is looked for.
 
What is the truth about this escapade with S&P that is really bothering you?  That is a simple enough question.
Eileen de Bruin Added Jul 28, 2017 - 9:52am
So, er, sorry - No, I am not entirely understanding the points that you are wanting to make in your article. And I am trying really hard.
Phil Greenough Added Jul 28, 2017 - 2:20pm
Eileen;
This article’s title is “Forgotten scandal of the Obama Era.”  That’s another way of saying, there were a lot of scandals, this happens to be one that was mostly forgotten and I don’t want it crossed off his record.  Of the many scandals that occurred under his watch, the worst I believe was the IRS scandal.  As for George Bush, he was an excellent public speaker, Obama’s the one that couldn’t give a speech without a teleprompter. 
 
I know nothing about any NHS scandal.  The S&P scandal is important to me because it’s clear evidence Obama’s economy was built on smoke and mirrors and that he illegally bullied private businesses. Obama should go down as a very corrupt president with this being one scandal among many that should have tainted his record.  If it wasn’t for the fact the MSM was a bunch of liberals too, I believe the general public would remember Obama as I did.  Instead, front page stories like the IRS and S&P scandal, found their way to page 7. 
Thomas Sutrina Added Sep 2, 2017 - 9:28am
YOUR NOT LOOKING IN THE RIGHT PLACE.   
"A powerful “real estate lobby” — a political juggernaut consisting of the real estate, home builder, apartment owner and banking industries — denounced public housing as un-American. . . . Various FHA programs and legislative initiatives followed. Perhaps most successful, the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act required banks to invest in underserved communities; by 2008, it had spurred more than a trillion dollars of lending, much of it in mortgages. Habitat for Humanity, ACORN Housing Development Corp. and other nongovernmental efforts also provided financial and technical assistance to low-income buyers.
But homeownership ideology ultimately undermined the larger goal, set out in the 1949 Housing Act, of “a decent home and a suitable living environment for every American family.”"  https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/made-by-history/wp/2017/07/20/the-false-promise-of-homeownership/?utm_term=.226b022984b8
 
"In a recent meeting with the Council on Foreign Relations, Barney Frank–the chair of the House Financial Services Committee and a longtime supporter of Fannie and Freddie–admitted that it had been a mistake to force homeownership on people who could not afford it. Renting, he said, would have been preferable. Now he tells us.
Long-term pressure from Frank and his colleagues to expand home ownership connects government housing policies to both the housing bubble and the poor quality of the mortgages on which it is based. In 1992, Congress gave a new affordable housing “mission” to Fannie and Freddie, and authorized the Department of Housing and Urban Development to define its scope through regulations.
Shortly thereafter, Fannie Mae, under Chairman Jim Johnson, made its first “trillion-dollar commitment” to increase financing for affordable housing. What this meant for the quality of the mortgages that Fannie–and later Freddie–would buy has not become clear until now.
On a parallel track was the Community Reinvestment Act. New CRA regulations in 1995 required banks to demonstrate that they were making mortgage loans to underserved communities, which inevitably included borrowers whose credit standing did not qualify them for a conventional mortgage loan.
To meet this new requirement, insured banks–like the GSEs–had to reduce the quality of the mortgages they would make or acquire. As the enforcers of CRA, the regulators themselves were co-opted into this process, approving lending practices that they would otherwise have scorned. The erosion of traditional mortgage standards had begun." 
https://www.forbes.com/2009/02/13/housing-bubble-subprime-opinions-contributors_0216_peter_wallison_edward_pinto.html
Carole McKee Added Sep 2, 2017 - 12:45pm
Republican/Democrat...Conservative/Liberal. These are just labels. We need to stop labeling people and start focusing on what is right and what is wrong. 
 
And if bringing up the S&P issue makes you able to overlook racism, bigotry, Russian interference in the U.S., a president who admires Putin and Kim Jung Un, white supremacy, Nazism, and the KKK influence in the White House, so be it. Knock yourself out.
Phil Greenough Added Sep 3, 2017 - 5:36am
John;
Who are you most likely to vote for on Election Day, a Republican or a Democrat?  Warning: whomever you say, that’s the party you most closely align to.  Say nobody and that means you’d prefer others choose the people that represent you. 
 
Thomas;
Spare me the copy and paste job.  If you have a point to make, make it and also provide the link if you think it’s necessary.
 
Carol;
Speaking of labels, didn’t you just label Trump a racist, bigot, Putin-file, North Korean-file, Nazi, white supremacist and KKK member?  I think it’s high time you practice what you preach.  As for me, I don’t mind the use of labels, especially when the person being labeled agrees with the label. 
Bill H. Added Sep 3, 2017 - 11:04am
Yes, labeling is stupidity and childish for sure. Also is voting for a candidate simply because they have a "D" or "R" after their name.
Party politics have turned people into puppets that simply vote for a party and blindly follow whatever platform is laid out. Blame is always put on the other party and these days both parties simply do the opposite of the other party. As an example, Trump seems to enjoy eliminating all laws and restrictions against pollution and other environmental concerns, just because the other party enacted them.
Most Presidents have left some negative legacies, but have also done some good while in office. Both parties are corrupt and out of touch at the moment. Obama is not the President at the moment. Get a life! Rather than throwing blame around, take a real-time look at what is going on now and try to help make some changes for the positive.
Carole McKee Added Sep 3, 2017 - 2:53pm
Phil: I may have referred to Nazis, the KKK, and white supremacy; but that's what they are, and that's what they want to be known as. I mentioned racism, and bigotry, but I believe I didn't attach any name to it. You made an assumption. Trump has stated that he admires Putin and Kim Jong Un. That's fact. No label involved.
 
As far as labels go...do you vote for the Republican or do you vote for John Doe? I never vote party. I see people, hear people, and research what they stand for. Those who pull the lever to vote straight Democratic or straight Republican are voting for the label. 
 
Now, it is no secret that I despise Donald Trump. Every time I make that known, I get called names like Libtard or Snowflake. Yet, I am not against the party. It's him I despise. That doesn't mean I'm a Liberal or a Democrat, but yet that's how I get labeled. It simply means that I do not like Trump, and I feel he should not have been elected. 
Micahel Dolan Added Sep 3, 2017 - 4:08pm
Carol, Obama's biggest achievement as president-Giving nuclear weapon to Iranian terrorist-and sending a billion dollars to a nation of killers. OH, the 13 Muslim attacks that killed Americans in our states under Hussein Obama Jr.. Hussein Obama-Barry Soetero Jr. YUK--
Phil Greenough Added Sep 4, 2017 - 8:18am
Bill;
For the record, I don’t think labeling is childish or stupid.  However, I do think calling people names and insulting them (as Carol continues to do) to be childish and stupid.  Also, Trump does not enjoy eliminating all laws, in fact, he hasn’t eliminated any laws (fyi…retracted executive orders are not laws).  As far as restrictions are concerned, the less of them we have the better.
 
In light of how much you hate Trump, do you throw away your vote on Election Day by NOT voting for the person most likely to beat him (the Democrat)?  A Republican/Trump hater like yourself, of course you don’t, so stop behaving like you rise above party politics. 
 
Carole;
Don’t play stupid, we all know exactly who you’re talking about in all your insult laced rants.  While insulting you and your favored politicians would put a smile on my face, I have better things to do with my time.  I offer you the same comment I wrote to Bill about you being as being a part of the Democratic machine.  Or did you vote for Jill Stein? 
Bill H. Added Sep 4, 2017 - 10:22am
Phil - I am not a Republican hater, as I have voted for Republicans in the past. I simply despise Trump and also some of the new directions the party is headed. And yes, I always vote on election day.
You have labels in your mind.
Carole McKee Added Sep 4, 2017 - 12:29pm
Bill H: I don't hate Republicans either. I have voted for them in the past and probably will in the future. Trump is not a Republican, even though he ran on the GOP ticket. He's not a true anything. He stands where he thinks it will do him the most good. He says what he thinks will make him look good. 
 
Phil Greenough: Don’t play stupid, we all know exactly who you’re talking about in all your insult laced rants. We all? No, just you have made an assumption. I purposely worded my original post the way I did, so as not to call any one person a racist or a bigot. You took it upon yourself to decide who I was talking about. I guess you associate those words with Trump? And furthermore, I don;t believe I mentioned who my favorite candidates are; but I'm sure you will tell me, since you are the know-all-see-all of American society.
 
Michael Dolan: Yeah, that was a bad move on Obama's part. He should have given everything to the Russians.
Phil Greenough Added Sep 4, 2017 - 7:11pm
Bill;
I just read some of your comments and past activity on this site and you take the Democratic Party’s position on nearly every issue and oppose the Republican Party’s position on nearly every issue.  That being said, if you don’t like being labeled a Democrat, I won’t label you against your wishes.  Just out of curiosity, when was the last time you voted for a Republican for President?
 
Carole;
When you wrote “And if bringing up the S&P issue makes you able to overlook racism, bigotry, Russian interference in the U.S., a president who admires Putin and Kim Jung Un, white supremacy, Nazism, and the KKK influence in the White House, so be it. Knock yourself out.”
 
What President were you referring to?  C’mon, you’re like the most dishonest person I’ve ever encountered to continue the farce that you haven’t been targeting Trump in all your slurs. 
Bill H. Added Sep 4, 2017 - 10:11pm
 
No Phil - I take my own position on issues. Just because they may differ from your obviously Republican dictated issues on things, it is no reason to throw a label on me. In this day and age, how can one with half a brain simply subscribe to either screwed up party? Many of us do not have our eyes glued to either Fox News or MSNBC and actually do some research and thinking on the issues. Apparently you are locked-in on Fox, because you are in the labeling mode and are certainly programmed by the Right.
Your have selected the Orange Buffoon as your hero and savior, as Fox News has commanded you to do so. Do what you must, but leave us free thinkers to do as we please.
And get away from the labels, OK?
Bill H. Added Sep 4, 2017 - 10:12pm
Oh, and I did vote for Ronald Reagan way back when.
Satisfied?
Phil Greenough Added Sep 4, 2017 - 11:14pm
What is it with you people and the ease at which you resort to insults?  I also take my own position on issues and research those issues.  In addition I’m not locked-in on Fox News and don’t consider Trump a hero or savior.
 
There is only one difference between you and me as it relates to labels…honesty.  Because I don’t generally vote for Democrats, I recognize what I am and you continue the charade that you’re some kind of independent despite not voting for a Republican for 30 years.  
 
Oh and by the way, you clearly have never watched Fox News.  The channel has been a vocal opponent of Donald Trump.  If you recall there was very public dispute between Trump and Fox’s rising star Megyn Kelly (until NBC paid her a boatload to leave the network).  Esteemed primetime pundit Charles Krauthammer probably been the most critical of all. 
 
QED…you big blue stupid* bafoon.
 
*I generally don’t resort to insults but you opened the floodgates by saying I have half a brain.
Bill H. Added Sep 5, 2017 - 11:27am
 
"You People". Ahhh, the classic boxed-in response!
Yes, I watch Fox, CNN, MSNBC, BBC, RT, and also do quite a bit of listening on my R-390 shortwave radio. I constantly look for different viewpoints and ideas. I also find the foreign viewpoints interesting.
I also support firearms rights and support the death penalty. I also am against ALL immigration into the US, not just from Mexico or the Mideast. How could this possibly be if I am a "Trump Hating Democrat" (One of those people). I simply despise Trump and despise corporate control of society.
Damn! I must be a Commie Pinko Leftist Progressive freak!! 
 
Carole McKee Added Sep 5, 2017 - 12:19pm
Phil Greenough: racism, bigotry, Russian interference in the U.S. There is no mention of a president in this statement at all. Or are you indicating that racism and bigotry are only present when a president is involved? 
 
a president who admires Putin and Kim Jung Un, white supremacy, Nazism, and the KKK influence Yes, I mentioned a president here, because your Fuhrer has stated that he admires Putin and Jung Un. And he refused to speak out against White Supremacists, Nazis, and the KKK until his staff urged him to do so. 
 
I am not dishonest--I am precise. You are the one who is making Trump the source of the indignities. The fact is, the racism and bigotry in the country was held in check as much as possible until Fuhrer von Trump got elected. Because of his views, these groups now feel that they have the go ahead to come forward and rear their ugly heads. Trump may or may not be bigoted or a racist. he says he isn't. But those charming groups believe he has given them the okay.
 
Here is what is kind of funny. Trump wouldn't commit to either side being wrong in Charlottesville, and his followers, like yourself, felt that he was being honest and fair. When I remain uncommitted to a view, you call me dishonest. But you can call me whatever you want--I do not want to be on the same pedestal you have put Trump on anyway. 
 
"You people?" Well, well, well. Not surprising.
 
*I generally don’t resort to insults but you opened the floodgates by saying I have half a brain. Oh really? You have been insulting me since I joined this discussion, and I have not called you any names. But it is clear that you are a Trump worshiper. Any time someone says something he doesn't like, he resort to insults. You do the same thing. 
 
 
Micahel Dolan Added Sep 5, 2017 - 2:26pm
Barack O gave the Iranian terrorist access to nuclear weapons
Bill Clinton gave North Korea access to Atomic weapons-you can see them being fired each day.
President Trump inherited this STUPIDITY. of Obama and Clinton.
Carol are you ready to blame Obama and Bill C for the Korea mess.
Or is Trump at fault.?
Phil Greenough Added Sep 5, 2017 - 9:54pm
Bill;
With the exception of your opinion of Fox News and Trump, I’m not accusing you of being misinformed.  Quite the contrary, I think you’re very informed and intelligent.  Most of the time I converse with the Left I come away thinking the person is an idiot and insane.  My issue with you is with your honesty.  Oh and by the way, I have no problem with immigration and I’m still ecstatic over Trump’s victory.  I recognize that no politician can share the same views as myself on every issue.  However, more often than not, Republican politicians are fighting the good fight. Who's fighting the good fight for you, Gary Johnson?
 
Carole;
I see what the problem is.  You actually believe all the garbage dished out at the liberal websites you frequent.  Trump is no racist and no fan of Russia or North Korea.  I’m sure that information is mind blowing, but it’s true.  The problem is you’re simply so far up the ass of the Democratic Party, you’ll never see the truth.  Long live the resistance!  
Carole McKee Added Sep 6, 2017 - 12:18pm
Phil Greenough: How crude. Typical, I guess. I heard Donald Trump say, on television, live, that he admired Putin. I also heard him say, out loud, that Kim Jung Un is a leader that he would like to sit down and talk with. I DID NOT  get any of this from a website. I heard him say it. What I find totally fascinating is that he will say something out loud in front of the press, on television, and then he will deny ever saying it. And those who follow him believe he didn't say it! Just because he said he didn't say it. Amazing! 
 
And...I also heard his speech after Charlottesville. It was live, on television. He would not denounce he White Supremacists. He did during the second speech, as he was advised. But at the end of the written speech, he went rogue. did you catch the speechwriter's expression? 
 
And one more thing, Mr. Greenough. I do not have time to tour Democatic party websites or any other website. I'm a busy person. And I am smart enough to know that I can't believe everything in print. But when a person speaks, live, on television, I assume it's him speaking if his lips are moving. Everything I believe to be true about Donald rump has come from his actions and his words.
 
So stop assuming things. You on't know anything about me.
Bill H. Added Sep 6, 2017 - 3:13pm
Trump knows that many of his supporters happen to be racist. He has also shown his racism in the past (refusing to rent to blacks). His father was a racist and allegedly a former Klan member. It is also quite obvious by his actions past and present.
What am I supposed to surmise?
 
Carole McKee Added Sep 6, 2017 - 4:16pm
Yeah, what Bill H. said. Donald Trump's father was arrested at a KKK rally once. He was all dressed up in his white sheet and pointy hat.
Bill H. Added Sep 6, 2017 - 5:07pm
 
And we know he loves Mexicans "So....So Much!"
Carole McKee Added Sep 7, 2017 - 3:15pm
And Muslims, too. 

Recent Articles by Writers Phil Greenough follows.