“THE DONALD” DESCENDS INTO BIRTHER MADNESS

No one can say Donald Trump is lack luster.  But what can be said is that he has little, if any, chance of becoming the Republican nominee for president in 2012.  Perhaps that is why he threw in his two cents on the lingering “birther” non-issue – perhaps hoping to generate some support from the extreme far righties.

Flaunting a true inability to correlate one idea with another, the Donald jumped back onto the birther bandwagon, albeit indirectly, by noting:

“Let me tell you, I’m a really smart guy,” Trump said. “I was a really good student at the best school in the country. The reason I have a little doubt, just a little, is because he grew up and nobody knew him.”

“You may go back and interview people from my kindergarten,” he continued. “They’ll remember me. Nobody comes forward. Nobody knows who he is until later in his life. It’s very strange. The whole thing is very strange.”

Under Trump’s convoluted  mental gymnastics, the lack of knowledge about Obama’s upbringing – including knowing who his friends were at every step of the way – must mean he wasn’t born here.   How else could it be explained that Obama’s childhood friends were unknown?

Trump labels himself a “really smart guy”, yet a really smart guy would be able to demonstrate some type of correlation between not knowing about Obama’s childhood and Obama’s birth in a foreign country  – if that is what Trump is intimating.  The flip side that Trump is pushing is that if one knows all about an individual, then that person surely must have been born here.

Here’s my correlation for the Donald – since there isn’t  a correlation, maybe, just maybe, Trump isn’t a really smart guy.  Now that is a correlation I like.

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About Charlotte A. Weybright

I own a home in the historical West Central Neighborhood of Fort Wayne, Indiana. I have four grown sons and nine grandchildren - four grandsons and five granddaughters. I love to work on my home, and I enjoy crafts of all types. But, most of all, I enjoy being involved in political and community issues.
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85 Responses to “THE DONALD” DESCENDS INTO BIRTHER MADNESS

  1. According to CNN’s August 2010 poll, “Forty-two percent of those questioned say they have absolutely no doubts that the president was born in the U.S., while 29-percent say he ‘probably’ was.” In other words, Trump joins the remaining 58% of Americans who are uncertain about the birthplace of our president, including 15% of Democrats. Madness? No. But definitely a PR nightmare for the Obama Administration.

    (source: “CNN:Quarter Doubt Obama was born in the U.S.” http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2010/08/04/cnn-poll-quarter-doubt-president-was-born-in-u-s/ )

    • Nick K says:

      THe question the birthers should be asking themselves is this:

      What makes them think that the FBI, CIA, NSA, both the DNC and the RNC, the McCain Campaign, the Bush administration and the Clinton campaign all missed something about where Obama was born? Seriously that’s what you think? Oh please, its time for your side to start using some logic and critical thinking.

      He is the President, deal with it. And none of you birthers have any actual evidence showing he was born in any other country other then the United States. And his birth certificate has been released.

      So its time for the birthers to worry about things that actually matter. Like how the Republicans are attempting to destroy the middle class.

  2. Dave MacDonald says:

    Jim,

    Thanks for the links but I doubt it will quell the issue.

  3. john b. kalb says:

    If “the one” would release his cadre of lawyers who, at great expense to someone (who is paying?), are attempting to see that none of his historical records see any public scrutiny, we could end all this nonsense! I, for one, agree with the 29 % who suspect that he was NOT born as a United States citizen.

  4. John:

    There is no cadre of lawyers; however, there is a cadre of Obama haters in this country so venomous, spiteful, and vindictive who just will not be convinced no matter the source. See the list of sites above. I would almost bet that you will ignore them and still say you have doubts.

    That cannot be changed no matter the evidence. If you were to be given the opportunity to actually touch the birth certificate, I would imagine you would still find a flaw somewhere.

  5. Suzanne says:

    I have two sisters-in-law who were born in Germany because their very American citizen parents lived there at the time. If Obama’s mother was a US citizen, it doesn’t matter where he was born; he’d be a citizen.

    As for the Donald, I heard him interviewed recently. He was asked about his claim that he never tasted alcohol, and he said it was true. When asked why he never tastes alcohol (words the interviewer used), his response was that he’s never been tempted to drink because he doesn’t like the taste. How would he know that if he’s never tasted the stuff??

  6. Jim says:

    Hi there John!

    You evidently chose not to read any of the dozen or so links posted above. Every non-partisan, independent source — without fail — (as well as a great many pro-Republican sources) have come to the same conclusion. President Obama was born in Hawaii.

    A dear right wing friend of mine (one of the kindest people I know) has put it this way: “I can find plenty wrong with President Obama without playing these absurd, tinfoil hat games. I disagree with his policies, but am certain he is both an American citizen and our legitimate President.”

    I can only conclude the birthers, despite the insanely overwhelming evidence to the contrary, actually WANT their conspiracy theory to be true. I had much the same experience dealing with nut cases who thought President Bush was behind 9-11 or loons who believed and spread multiple conspiracy theories (all discredited) about the Clinton Administration. (My favorite involved Clinton’s secret deal with the UN to have UN and “Soviet” — yes, “Soviet” {LOL} — troops occupy the United States. The chain emails claimed it was ‘already underway’.)

    These people — right or left — have no proof. It’s simply that they WANT it to be true, because it suits their own hateful and bigoted agendas and presuppositions.

    But hang in there, birthers. Even though the birth certificate HAS been shown…don’t be satisfied. Hell, if I were you guys, I would demand to see the placenta.

  7. john b. kalb says:

    Charlotte and Jim: You are correct – After reading all the sites you have furnished – I STILL believe that “the one” is a phony – i.e. he was not born in Hawaii!

    And Jim – Just where is this birth certificate you are saying “has been shown” ? I believe you are being “hoodwinked” again by “those people out there”!

    And Suzanne – Your sisters-in-law are citizens of the USA, but they are NOT elegible to be president because the consitution says so!

    • Arthur Lewis says:

      Hey John, what color is the sky in your world? What’s it like to live in LaLa land?

  8. Arthur Lewis says:

    Hey Everybody! Trump’s a really smart guy. Just ask him.

  9. John:

    As noted, there isn’t anything that will convince you, so it really is a moot issue at this point. Birthers have lost any shred of rational thinking and objectivity, if any ever existed in the first place.

    The funny thing is that Trump calls himself a really “smart” guy but just can’t analyze this entire issue with any objectivity. Maybe he isn’t so smart after all.

  10. john b. kalb says:

    So, Charlotte – Since “the one” chooses not to allow his birth certificate (if such a thing even exists!)be seen, therefore it’s existance is a “moot issue”. If you are involved in “rational thinking and objectivity” how in trhe heck can you make such a statement??? I would rather be (as you call it) a “birther” than be believe in an outright liar who speaks out of both sides of his mouth depending on what issue happens to be current – witness, ” The president does not have the authority to start a military conflict without congressional discussion” as said when a senator and then do just that when Commander-In-Chief!”.

    • John:

      Again, you are dismissing dozens of websites in order to perpetuate your hatred of Obama. My birth certificate is very similar to the one for Obama. Does that mean it may be a fake?

      Your choice of referring to Obama as “the one” really shows your thought process. Is it really that difficult for you to call him President Obama? Whoops, I forgot, if you did that, it would mean you were accepting him as president, and, God forbid that would happen.

      It must be aggravating for you and other birthers to think that you are spending four years under a man you do not recognize as president. And, if he is re-elected, eight years of your life will be spent drinking the birther kool-aid, fuming about his “illegal” assumption of the office, and plain resentfulness. That is an awful lot of hatred and wasted energy.

    • John:

      Actually, the War Powers Resolution Act gives the president the authority to commit our military. He must then report to Congress within 48 hours as to his actions.

      The sad part is that so many candidates and officials – Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, etc. – make statements they later cannot defend. Way too many candidates or officials say things that come back later to bite them.

  11. Jim says:

    Hi John!

    You can see pictures of the actual birth certificate in several of the links I provided.

    Are the many conservative Republicans who say President Obama was born in Hawaii also a part of the conspiracy to “hoodwink” us?

    Take care, friend!

    Jim

  12. John:

    So what you are saying is that Barack Obama was born in Kenya, and his parents, from Kenya, had the foresight to contact relatives back in Hawaii and insert a “fake” birth announcement in the newspaper? After all, the newspaper announcement is informal evidence, so it could be tampered with. But, wait, let me guess, your response will be one of two things – 1) it was a fake implanted by his relatives here just in case Barack Obama ever wanted to run for president, or 2) the announcement was planted years and years later when Barack Obama decided to run for office. His friends in Hawaii engaged in a conspiracy to go back in time and, using the same old type font, somehow insert it into the news paper.

    Here is another question for you. We have FBI, CIA, and heaven knows how many other investigative agencies. Do you honestly think with all the technology and investigative services at hand, that the issue would “slide” by without being detected?

    I am sure you will find a way to dance around this one, too.

    As to Suzanne’s sisters-in-law, then, according to your statement, John McCain was not eligible since he was born in another country on a naval base. George Romney was born in Mexico, Lowell Weicker was born in France, and there are a number of others born outside the United States to U.S. citizens who have entered presidential races. All of those individuals were then wasting their time and our time in running for the presidency.

    The requirement of natural born has been modified by the 14th amendment and by various court decisions. Although there are many who still argue the meaning of natural born, it is no longer as interpreted as being born on this soil.

  13. john b. kalb says:

    Jim – A “Certificate of Live Birth” is NOT recognized as a legal birth certificate. And if the governor of Hawaii has seen the long form birth certificate – why does “the one” insist on keeping it hidden? Can’t you or any of your Obamaites even come up with any answer other than, “he doesn’t have to”?

  14. John:

    You are, once again, incorrect on the certificate of live birth. Many states call their birth certificates “certificates of live birth” since this is the certificate completed immediately after a baby is born and is the one sent to the state for filing. This is a legal document, so you are incorrect when you say is not recognized.

    If one needs proof of birth, he or she goes to the county office or online as can now be done and requests a copy. No one will be given his or her “long form” certificate, so I am really puzzled by the insane focus on the “long form” for Obama.

    The follow-up copies are usually computer generated and are called birth certificates or certificates of birth registration. When you request a copy of your birth certificate from the relevant county office, it will be a short form certificate. Why should President Obama be required to furnish any more than a regular citizen would receive if he or she requested his or her own certificate?

    I have copies of my birth certificate in two forms: the large one (approximately 6″ x 9″)and a small, laminated one. The information provided is as follows (obviously I am not disclosing my info):

    Name:
    Place of Birth:
    Date of Birth:
    Child of:
    Birthplace of Father:
    Birthplace of Mother:
    Record was filed:
    Date issued:

    No attending physician’s name, no hospital address, etc. Does this mean I am not a natural-born legal citizen of the United States? I would like to hear your arguments that I am not a natural-born U.S. citizen since my certificate of birth registration is rather sparse. My birth certificate is certainly no more extensive than the one Obama has provided. You tell me. I can take this birth certificate with its limited amount of information and use it as proof for my driver’s license, and any number of other items for which I require proof of birth.

    Perhaps you would like to argue that I truly do not exist since my birth certificate doesn’t meet the criteria set by the birthers.

    If you are a birther, then you and the others have gone off the deep-end. Obama has provided sufficient evidence of his birth in Hawaii. You may continue to rale all you want, but no one else needs to provide a “long form” for anything and Obama should have to either.

    I guess I am curious as to why you think Obama should be made to provide a long form birth certificate when no one else is put to that test. To assuage the fanatics? I don’t think so.

  15. Jim says:

    Exactly, Charlotte. No need for me to repeat what you have already enumerated so effectively. A COLB essentially *IS* a birth certificate in some states, Hawaii included.

    What I really need to ponder is why this matters to John (and many others) so much. He seems like a very nice man, so I can’t believe it is hate-based. I have a hard time thinking it’s purely political, since even most Republicans — people who hate Obama’s policies — are not wearing the tinfoil hats on this issue.

    I just can’t figure why certain people WANT it to be true.

    As to me being an “Obamaite”, that’s amusing. It’s like calling me a Clintonite. No thanks, on either count. I’m more of a Sherrod Brown-ite or a Russ Feingold-ite. I’d actually LOVE to have a liberal President for once in my life. But, since that’s clearly not going to happen, I’ll hold my nose and support the lesser of two evils.

    If my Republican friends can resurrect the corpse of Jack Javits or persuade Mark Hatfield to come out of retirement, I might even switch parties! 😉

  16. Norma says:

    Obama’s mother was an American and as far as I’m concerned, that makes him eligible to be President. However, just about everything else in his past seems to be fake or completely hiddenincluding his authorship of 2 books, so I’m not surprised people question his birth. There are just not enough birthers to support Trump as a candidate.

  17. Jim says:

    Hi Norma!

    Could you put a bit more flesh on the bones of your assertion that “just about everything” concerning Obama is “fake”? I’m not clear what you mean.

    If his books were ghost-written, that’s a pretty common practice. The same could be said of most pols in both parties. They tell the story to an author, who writes the story. It remains under the name of the teller, since it is his or her story. I don’t care for the practice, but recognize the pragmatic nature of the business.

    Is there something else that strikes you as “fake”? I’m not exactly a major Obama fan, aside from having to support him by default for lack of any better option. But as politicians go, he impresses me as being at least as genuine as any Republican in the current field. I recognize, of course, that the terms “politician” and “genuine” are often polar opposites! 🙂

    Thanks, Norma!

    Jim

  18. Judy says:

    Norma,
    Why are you questioning Obama’s authoring of his books? The first he wrote as the result of his years at Harvard and his election to head the Harvard Law Review. Have you read the books? I found them very interesting and crammed with info about his childhood, his family, his education, and finding the purpose of life. He spent a year of studying many philosophers and books about religion. When Obama studied the Bible, the Word of God converted him to Christianity (as the Scriptures say will happen to anyone who seeks the truth).
    I cannot understand the hatred directed to this president. It is fueled by those determined to destroy him. The owner of Fox News, Rupert Murdoch, even stated this goal during an interview in England, but shown here as I saw on tv. President Obama has been able to get the Affordable Health Care passed into law–following most of the details sponsored by Republican Senators in 1993 and promoted by bipartisan former leaders including Bob Dole and Tom Daschle at the beginning of the last debate of the legislation. But a few wealthy men such as Dick Armey and the Koch brothers organized opposition and swayed public opinion.
    John Kalb shows how difficult it is to persuade the hard-hearted of even the most evident of truths when people refuse to believe facts and rely on emotion to believe only what they want to believe.

  19. john b. kalb says:

    Jim – ” I just can’t figure why certain people WANT it to be true” – And I just can’t understand why “the one” doesn’t just release all his history to prove “certain people” wrong! WHAT THE H DOES HE HAVE TO HIDE???

  20. John:

    Even those in Trump’s corner are telling him to get off the topic. Pat Buchanan mentioned the other morning on “Morning Joe” that all Trump has to do to verify that the newspaper announcement is fake is to look for the passport and entry papers of Obama’s mother. Those will show if and when she entered the United States. No response from Trump.

    It wouldn’t matter to the birthers if Obama produced God to verify that Obama was born in the U.S. The birthers would just find a reason to question Obama’s birth.

    Trump is selling his TV program, and I doubt he will run for president. If he runs – despite his second place showing in a recent poll – he will be blown out in the early rounds.

    His statement, “I wish I didn’t have to do this” is nothing short of reflecting his egotistical inflation of his own importance.

  21. Judy says:

    John, What if President Obama is “the one” blessed by God to lead our nation? Even if not, where can you read in the Bible that people are to hate their leaders and try to discredit everything they do, and even who they are?

  22. Jim says:

    Howdy John!

    Thanks for the reply.

    I have offered multiple links to non-partisan web sites that vetted and investigated this issue. Even Hawaii’s Republican-appointed auditor has confirmed Obama’s birth in that state. And for the record, Hawaii is one of several states where a “Record of Live Birth” is legally regarded as a birth certificat. In 1961, that was the only record kept at the time.

    You haven’t answered the question, my friend. Why do you want it to be true? Why do you — against even Republican insistence — plug your ears like a child and sing loudly so you cannot hear or understand the facts on their face?

    I understand plugging my ears and singing loudly when some tells me it’s time to get up and go to work or school…and I want to sleep in. Or when someone says I have to pay taxes, when I don’t like how my tax money gets spent. But why here?

    Is President Obama so awesomely perfect in policy and praxis that you can’t find anything about him to criticize? And therefore, have resorted to fiction? Color me shocked. I can find plenty I don’t like about the guy…such that I needn’t resort to tinfoil hattery.

  23. john b. kalb says:

    OK, Judy: In Isaiah we read that the “ungodly” king Cyrus was placed as governmental head of the Children of Israel – Isaiah told them that Cyrus, a heathen king, was God’s anointed- but for a reason! To show His people how not to lead!
    Is it not possible that the same thing is happening in our country with “the one” at the helm?? – and isn’t it working?? – As of this week, Obama’s approval rating is down to 35%!

    And I do place Obama in the “heathen ruler” category!

    John B. Kalb

  24. Jim says:

    Good afternoon, John!

    There’s no question we agree on the fact that God raises up and brings down rulers. Cyrus is an excellent example. Some theologians might debate whether or not this changed with the advent of the Church Age, but I am not a dispensationalist and I just can’t seem to “get there” intellectually or spiritually.

    Are you suggesting that God allowed President Obama to ascend to the Presidency for the sole purpose of showing Americans how not to lead? Or are you suggesting something more? If so, we need to know what that is before the discussion can continue.

    While I agree with you that King Cyrus was anointed by God and allowed to control the destiny of many of the children of Israel, I’m not sure where you’re getting the idea that he (Cyrus) was chosen to serve as an exemplar of poor leadership. Didn’t he facilitate the return of the exiles? Are you thinking of Darius or Nebuchudnezzar instead?

    Regardless, the Israelis had no shortage of evil rulers long before the exile, yes? (Kings Jehoiakim and Zedekiah come to mind.) So they hardly needed a Persian or Babylonian to show them how NOT to lead! And I would just dearly LOVE to have a conversation here about how God quantifies a good King or ruler. Let’s, by all means, have THAT discussion…

    As to President Obama being an instrument of God’s wrath or a “teaching tool” about poor leadership…then I would think an omnipotent deity could have made a better choice. I can’t imagine the Father of Jesus doing anything in a half-assed manner, if you’ll pardon the expression. This reminds me of how the “Reverend” Pat Robertson, in the 1990’s, “prophesied” on CBN that God was going to “pour out his wrath” on the city of Orlando, Florida because it celebrated Gay Pride week.

    When no hurricane, earthquake or tornado occurred…Robertson backpeddaled and claimed that his prophecy was fulfilled. Orlando had seen an increase in mosquitos that year. About two percent. Oh, the horror.

    The point being, if God wanted to give America an incompentent and bumbling President, God could have moved in the hearts of lawmakers to roll back the 22nd Amendent and in the hearts of the people to re-elect George W. Bush to a third term. We’ve never had a less competent President. But who knows, John? You may yet be proven right. Donald Trump could be elected President in 2012. And, after all, who could be more incompetent that one of the only businessmen in human history to actually lose money in the casino industry?

  25. Judy says:

    So, John, you “judge” that President Obama is a “heathen ruler.” President Obama says he is a Christian, and that he became a Christian by reading God’s Word and being convicted of the truth therein. President Obama says he prays every day for guidance and for his family and his country.

    Perhaps you should reread the book of Romans. Perhaps you should pray for God to bless and give wisdom to the elected leader of the United States of America.

  26. Bollywood says:

    You made a number of nice points there. I did a search on the matter and found nearly all persons will have the same opinion with your blog.

  27. john b. kalb says:

    So, just what was this all about? Was that sooooo hard to do – and why wasn’t it done 30 months ago?? Do we now find out that the “sealed records” at Oxidental and Columbia were issued to a “non US” citizen student due to the requirements of a scholarship he used to pay for the education he was pursuing? Or is his poor grades that he wants to hide?

    • Ah, I see you are already anticipating your next hate-filled rant about Obama’s past. Get over it, he is our President. While I don’t agree with everything that he has done, you and the other hate-filled birthers have made me decide to work as hard as I can to get him re-elected.

  28. John:

    It really is time you came off your hate wagon. Obama is president; he has now released a “certificate of live birth” which is a far greater requirement than any other candidates have been harangued into releasing.

    You know, John, he shouldn’t have had to do this at all, but those out there who cannot stand the thought of a black man in the White House, let alone one whose father was born in Kenya, moaned and whined and spread hatred and innuendo to the point where Obama was required to do something that none of our other presidential candidates have been required to do.

    What a shameful episode in this day and age. My birth certificate is no where near as lengthy as Obama’s, but, funny thing, I can use to get a driver’s license, as proof for employment as well as a number of other things.

    Obama has now released an extensive document, so what will you next gripe be?

    Now, let’s see if the Trumpster releases his financial records. Wasn’t that what he said? If Obama provided the birth certificate, he would release his financial records?

  29. Judy says:

    John, your hatred of our president is so apparent. Why? Can you not reflect that perhaps you should reevaluate your beliefs in this matter?
    Are you anti-scholarship? Are you anti-affirmative action? That is what Trump is now using his carnival barker’s platform to gain attention. While at Columbia Obama spent a YEAR, as he wrote in his auto-biography, studying the writings of many philosophers, religious books and the Bible. God’s Word brought him to his Christian faith. Perhaps his grades suffered during this odyssey? Or there are many reasons presidents have not released their undergraduate transcripts.
    But Trump said he has wealthy friends who could not get their children into Harvard; therefore, how did Obama get in? He is pandering to the far right that hates Affirmative Action. Remember, Obama’s father attended Harvard and there is the legacy program (that’s how G.W. Bush got into college). No matter how Harvard decided to admit Obama, no one can dispute his successful completion, graduating Magna Cum Laude. His classmates’ esteem bought him the elected position of president of the Harvard Law Review.
    President Obama is an extremely intelligent individual who continually tries to get Congress to work WITH him to govern our country. Hopefully we can all turn our attention to the issues facing our nation, and work together to solve them, with God’s blessing.
    Marlin Stutzman was quoted in today’s newspaper that when members of Congress walk a necessary route for them in Washington, D.C., , they are belittled, yelled at, and generally shown disrespect. This is terible! How can our Congress function with constant disrespect and even death threats to them and their families? Somehow we must get back our American civility, and that can begin with us!

  30. Jim says:

    Hello John!

    Congratulations on your adroit sidestep and your deft recall of “the next big thing”. College records are reliable, if somewhat predictable and pedestrian, turds to toss in the punch bowl. I was, quite frankly, hoping for better.

    Are you sure you don’t want to demand that the President produce his birth mother’s placenta? Perhaps you might want to hatch some other flight of fancy. Hey! It just occurred to me. Maybe President Obama had Vince Foster murdered.

    Keep up the good work, Skippy. Us pups do love our chew toys.

    You know, I say that rather flippantly. But actually, I am disappointed for all of us and sad for you. At first, I thought we might have be able to have a congenial, good-faith discussion — particularly when you hinted at being a person of faith.

    The sad thing, John, is that the only thing you are doing is helping persuade a watching world that people of faith are as prone to hate, bigotry and intellectual bankruptcy as anyone else. And speaking as a person of faith, that’s a shame.

    Jim

  31. Jim:

    I think John and the birthers have lost all credibility at this point. Obama owes nothing more – he has already done more than any other white candidate has ever had to do to run for president. No calls for birth certificates from Ron Paul, Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, or Mitt Romney – or for that matter any number of others who have run for president.

    The birthers are a racist group loosely held together for the express purpose of attacking and discrediting President Obama because his father was born in Kenya and Obama is black.

  32. john b. kalb says:

    Charlotte, Jim, and Judy: Why do all three of you assume that “hate” is the rationale behind my comments?

    First – The main reason that I wanted “the one” to be found not to be a natural born US citizen was because I wanted him to be out of the president’s office before January of 2013!

    Second – The reason for my wanting this is the very real belief that our Nation is going to be totally taken apart by “the one’s” actions and inactions. I cannot support him any more than I could have supported the “dictatorial” ruler of any past or present country on our earth. The reasonse can be enumerated:

    1) He acts as if he is above some of the laws of our land – for example: telling the Justice Department to selectively enforce our immigration laws. (Yes, I know thyat George W. Bush did the same type of thing with his “signing statements” – that was not correct either – but, he is no longer our “president in office”.

    2) All three of you allude to your feeling that “the one” prays each day for our country – but, then, how do you explain why he has “bad-mouthed” our Nation in so many of his diatribes? And then placed Muslum celebrations at higher levels at the White House than Christian ones? I don’t remember any president that did things like this!!!

    3) “the ones” use of absolutely untrue “facts” in his talking to the citizens- Examples include:
    a) Obamacare will save the nation and it’s citizens money.
    b) You can keep your present health insurance under Obamacare
    c) The jobless rate will not go over 8% if you pass the stimulas(porkulas!) bill.
    d) I will close Gitmo.
    e) I will end the “war?” in Afganistan in less than a year.
    f) Quaddafy must go!
    g) et al

    I guess that all three of you do not want me to have these feelings. Well you can help me – WORK TO REMOVE “the one” FROM OFFICE. That will end my negative feelings for sure!

  33. John:

    Do you see anywhere that I said he prays for the country each day? You have made any number of statements with no support. Please provide citations for the bad mouthing diatribes statement, the placing Muslim celebrations at higher levels, etc. Funny, how now that Obama does something that Repubs don’t like, and we remind them that W or some other Repub did the same thing, the response is “well that was then, this is now.” Perhaps you all need reminded since you apparently have selective recall.

    Have you not gotten used to the idea that presidents make statements and later change how they do things? Don’t tell me you bought into everything Bush said or did?

    I suggest you review the history of other presidents before you make a statement like “I don’t remember any president who did things like this.” I am sure history is littered with the deeds and actions of presidents that didn’t square with what they originally pledged to do. Or do you know of a president who was perfect?

    You have lost the birther battle, and now you must live under the truth that Obama is legitimately the president of this country. If you can’t do it, then I feel sorry for you. There are millions of us who had to suffer through the ridiculous decisions and actions of W, and we survived. You will survive.

    Personally, I am fed up with the birther nonsense, and this has been a shameful, racist movement against Obama. No other presidential candidate or president has been harangued or harassed to the point of producing a long form birth certificate or any birth certificate for that matter. Shameful, shameful, shameful. Did we demand the birth certificates of John Edwards, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, Hillary Clinton, or any of the other candidates?

    And, you can skip bringing up McCain. That was an entirely different situation. He WAS born in another country. That issue was the definition of natural born. Obama is a natural born citizen, and, but for the hatred by those who simply cannot accept a black man in the oval office, this entire disgraceful episode should never have taken place.

  34. Jim says:

    Good morning, John!

    Let me interact with a few of your comments. First, you said, “The main reason that I wanted “the one” to be found not to be a natural born US citizen was because I wanted him to be out of the president’s office before January of 2013!”

    Thank you for admitting to what many other conservatives won’t own up to. I applaud you. If I read you correctly, it would have been better for him to be impeached on the basis of a lie than to be defeated electorally. Such candor is refreshing, if morally-challenged in substance.

    You further offer, “The reason for my wanting this is the very real belief that our Nation is going to be totally taken apart by “the one’s” actions and inactions.”

    So what you really want is him out of office? Well why didn’t you say so, old chum? Lots of people want that. Some days, *I* want that. I voted for a liberal and got a center-right corporatist. Bernie Sanders, he’s not. Unfortunately. But here’s the thing, John. Why on earth couldn’t you just say — “The guy’s a lousy President and I want him defeated at the polls in 2013” right from the beginning? I mean, is the far right so bereft of intellectual heft and argumentative substance that they must don tinfoil hats whenever they can’t stand the heat? I realize it’s happened before. Bill Clinton had Vince Foster murderer, you know. Hillary performed Satanic rites in the Oval Office. Good God man, just argue the issues. Say, “Obama is made of fail and I want him gone”. Yeah, a lot of folks would debate you on that, too. But at least you wouldn’t come off looking like a crazed televangelist or someone’s weird uncle living in a bunker on MRE’s and twinkies.

    You add, “I cannot support him any more than I could have supported the “dictatorial” ruler of any past or present country on our earth.”

    Do you smell that? It sounds like you have a heapin’ helping of Godwin’s Law warming up in the oven. Is Obama another Hitler, John? Or is he more like another Pol Pot or Joe Stalin? If so, would you kindly point us to the concentration camps and the list of banned books?

    Continuing, you say…”He acts as if he is above some of the laws of our land – for example: telling the Justice Department to selectively enforce our immigration laws. (Yes, I know thyat George W. Bush did the same type of thing with his “signing statements” – that was not correct either – but, he is no longer our “president in office”.”

    Such matters are easily addressed through the courts, John. If the President breaks the law, and the DOJ refuses to do anything about it. I’m sure our conservative-dominated Supreme Court would relish the opportunity. I wonder why they’ve not accepted such a case? Could it be because Presidents are permitted legally to function in this manner? Could it be that there is such enormous precedent that even ol’ Clarence Thomas knows his goose would be cooked, litigiously speaking?

    Putting words in my mouth, you suggest…”All three of you allude to your feeling that “the one” prays each day for our country”

    Did I say that? Where? It’s awfully late, so perhaps I am missing it. If so, I apologize in advance. Fact is, while I would HOPE he prays, it sure wouldn’t influence my vote one way or the other. I know Atheists who would make exemplary Presidents, John. I’d love to introduce them to Jesus, so they could know the joy I know. But that’s personal. If a President is Christian, fine. If she is a Pagan, fine. If he is a Muslim, fine. Or an Atheist. I care that he or she does what’s right as President. If I mentioned President Obama’s faith, it is simply to state the fact. He professes to be a Christian. He bases that profession on his claim that he believes God sent His only Son to die for our sins, reconcile us to the Father and set things to rights in the world. Whether he says this to please his prayer breakfast crowds or feels it deep in his bones is something I can never know. You can’t either.

    You opine, “how do you explain why he has “bad-mouthed” our Nation in so many of his diatribes?”

    He hasn’t. You might want to stop reading Whirled Nuts Daily and “News”Max. It will degrade whatever grey matter remains.

    You further kvetch, “And then placed Muslum celebrations at higher levels at the White House than Christian ones? I don’t remember any president that did things like this!!!”

    Debunked here: http://www.snopes.com/politics/stamps/eidstamp.asp

    And here: http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/prayerday.asp

    Fact is, President Obama has observed every Christian holiday in an official capacity. And his Easter Prayer breakfast is a first — one he has said will be an annual tradition. He has officially recognized Muslim holidays, like Eid and Ramadan. So did both Presidents Bush, President Clinton, and President Reagan. Now, you may wish to initiate a discussion about whether the USA is an inclusive nation or one that is (or was intended to be) for Christians only. Let’s do have that debate.

    You insist President Obama lied when he made various statements. And you are certainly correct. Presidents lie. Are Obama’s whoppers different in some way from those of previous Presidents? Of course, in many instances, what we’re talking about is a promise broken…often because it was made presuming control of both houses of Congress. And the same rubric applies to Republicans. But whether something is an out and out lie, a broken promise, a partially fulfilled promise or an honest mistake…President Obama has proven to be no less and no more prone to falsehood and inaccuracy than any of his predecessors.

    Why do you believe otherwise, John? Do you regularly peruse Politifact.com and Factcheck.org? I’d recommend it. You learn that Democrats lie. And so do Republicans. Both also tell the truth. And none seem to have a monopoly on either. Though, based on my own experience as a journalist, I have to say that conservatives win hands-down when it comes to the bizarre and the conspiratorial. Didn’t used to be that way. But ever since Bill Clinton and the advent of talk radio and the intertubes…

    Ah well. So it goes.

    As to working with you to remove President Obama from office, you can count me out. Oh, don’t get me wrong. I’d much prefer a President Sherrod Brown or Bernie Sanders. What this country needs is a liberal. And President Obama is definitely not that. But unless Republicans are able to resurrect the ghost of Jack Javits or persuade Mark Hatfield to come out of retirement, chances are pretty solid you and I will be pulling the lever in different directions in 2012.

    I do presume correctly, John? That you are talking about removing President Obama from office *that way*. And not some other way? I hope so. Not only for the sake of the President and our country, but for the sake of your soul. You aren’t advocating violence, are you?

    Hopefully,

    Jim

  35. Judy says:

    So, John, I am the one who relayed Pres. Obama’s claims to be a Christian and to pray each day. I hope this is so, but only God knows. We can only see Obama’s actions. I judge his actions to be following Jesus’ teachings. Jesus taught us we have responsibility to treat “the least of these” in compassionate ways. The Affordable Care Act follows closely the health care proposal sponsored by Republican Senators in 1992 or 3, including Senator Lugar. The “individual mandate” was then called “individual responsibility.” The main ideas were reemphasized by a group of three as the ACA was written–Bob Dole, Howard Baker, and Tom Daschle. In the past the Congressional Budget Office’s predicitions have been accepted by both parties, and proven true–like the unfunded cost of the prescription drug law passed during the Bush years. Why are the CBO’s numbers now discredited when they predict a savings from the ACA? And the benefits to millions of Americans cannot be denied. Mark Souder said he felt all Americans should have access to the best health care in the world, but they shouldn’t expect others to pay for it for them. How does that fit into Christ’s teachings? And isn’t that why we buy health insurance, so that others will pay if we need it? Yet many are denied the ability to buy insurance. In Paul Ryan’s plan, how can anyone with a pre-existing condition get any insurance, especially with the amount of money given in vouchers? Since Medicare passed the length and quality of life has greatly increased for our population as a whole. Without it that trend will reverse.
    I’m not sure what you mean by immigration, but it could be that you want anyone with a foreign accent or the appearance of a Hispanic to carry papers with then at all times to prove they are in our country lawfully. Seems like that follows one of Hitler’s plans?
    As to dictorial, if that were true, Obama’s campaign “promises” would all be law. You know that our nation is a representative government where laws are passed by Congress, then signed by the president. Throughout history our greatest gains have been made through compromise, starting with agreed upon principles, then compromising from the rest of the ideas. This works only when there is respect and communication, and not when the law-makers divide into camps with lines drawn in the sand around them.
    President Obama was elected by a clear majority of American voters. I believe it is anti-American to want to remove from office a person so elected before the term is over. Like Jim I wonder if you are calling for assassination? Pres. Obama receives 200 times more death threats that any other president in our history!!! I certainly hope you would not call for the death of our commander-in-chief. Wouldn’t that be treason?
    Right now the polls are indicating a strong possibility that Pres. Obama will be elected to a second term. I hope so, even though his positions have been too centrist or even right of what I beleive is best for our country. If he is reelected, will you then accept him as our president, one to be respected and honored?

  36. Judy says:

    Also, John, if President Obama were to leave office for any reason, the policies you find reprehensible would still be the objectives of President Biden! Would you want to see his birth certificate, his college transcripts? Or would you want to get him out of the office so that Speaker John Boehner would be our president. I would find that much more frightening that the current situation! Two removed in order for the opposite party to take control of the White House??? Even when Nixon and Agnew had to leave, Speaker Ford, of the same party, became the president.
    As Jim said, if there were legal reasons for Obama to be taken from office, it would have to go through court action, beginning with the votes in Congress of impeachment and guilt, and/or perhaps the Supreme Court would finalize the action.

  37. john b. kalb says:

    Judy,Judy,Judy- Yes, I looked back and found that you were the only one of the three of you that commented on “the one’s” prayers. My error – completely.

    If the American electorate puts “the one” into office for another four years, I will lose all respect for the collective “them”! Obama sounds more and more like Carter every time he opens his mouth (and Carter still sounds like he is from outer space). Ther correction will be made in November of 2012 and I have made a note on my 2012 calender on November 7 to remind the three of you about this happening (and encourage you to make a simular note on your’s to call me out if the low probability of my being wrong happens).

    Were you suggesting that the English words, “mandate” and “responsibility” mean the same thing?? That’s a real STRETCH!

    The Congressionl Budget Office’s predition on the Medicare Prescription Drug Act (MMA) has NOT proven to be correct. The outlays for this act’s funding have been way below what they had predicted. The total out of General Revenue has been running an average of $38.7 billion per year. The CBO had predicted in 2004 an expenduture for the first ten years of $54.9 billion each year. That’s a $16.2 billion per year savings.

    As to your comment on Christ’s teaching as applied to the way our government has operated with the liberal, progressive thinking in use in DC for most of the last 75 years – you might want to re=read the parable that our Lord taught about the Samaritan man who aided the fellow who had been waylayed, attacked and injured. This kind man did not pass the problem to the government of his time – but, he cared for the guy by himself! A “compassionate” response is a personal thing – not a governmental edict!

    I should have included the instructions of “the one” to AG Holder telling him not to defend section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act. This could also be titled “The Unnatural Marriage Provision of The Justice Department”.

    With your comment about “wanting to remove a sitting president from office before their term is up” means you feel that the impeachment of Richard Nixon was “anti-American”? Wow! I’m impressed by that – and if you really feel that way, we disagree on another topic!

    And, Judy, your charge that I don’t accept “the one” as our president is not true. I just believe we need to replace him as soon as we can- we may have to wait until Novmber of 2012 to accomplish this – but, so be it. (I do earnestly believe that the actions taken by our Commander-In-Chief ordering the take-out of Osama Bin Laden last Sunday was a very commendable, presidentual activity!)

    I do diagree with you on V.P. Biden – he is no clone of “the one” in an intellectual way! I too would find John boehner to be almost as frightening as Obama in charge! (Hey, that’s something we agree on!)

  38. John:

    Now that the ridiculous issue of showing a birth certificate has been laid to rest – well, at least for most sane Americans – your true hatred is showing. Obama is president and legitimately so. I can only surmise that your continued irrational hatred and continuous referral to President Obama as “the one” is based on something far deeper than the birth certificate issue. I would say downright bigotry and prejudice.

    And, don’t bother flailing your arms and spouting nonsense about “how dare you accuse me of being racist” – your own attitude and words indict you rather harshly.

    I am curious, though, just what is it in your mental and psychological makeup that drives you to the extreme of referring to President Obama as “the one?” It must take an awful of hate and resentment to continue on this path.

    You will be sorely disappointed and devastated if and when Obama is re-elected.

  39. Jim says:

    Hi there Charlotte!

    Just fyi — the nomenclature of “the one” for President Obama is quite popular among fundamentalist and evangelical Christians who believe him to be the antichrist. I have relations who talk that way — when they are not calling him “blackie” or the “n*gger-in-chief”.

    Very Christian of them.

    But I am ultimately not sure it is all race-based. Certainly, that is some of it. But I remember almost the exact same syntax applied to both Bill and Hillary Clinton in the 1990’s. And the wild conspiracy theories about them were every bit as crazy and pathetic as the ones being cooked up to injured President Obama.

    I wonder if John was as deluded then. I suspect the answer is yes.

  40. john b. kalb says:

    Jim – The difference back during Bill Clinton’s days as “suckee – in- chief” is that Bill had his own personal”servicer” right in the East Wing of the White House. I guess that I wasn’t the only “deluded” one at that time. He was not found guilty by an attempt to “clean-up” the future impression of our head man (oops)in DC.

    • Jim says:

      Hi there, John!

      If your only complaint about President Clinton was that he betrayed his wife and lied under oath (aside from whatever honest political differences you might have), then you and I have something in common.

      I felt Clinton’s behavior was morally reprehensible and must have been a deep wound in the hearts and lives of both his wife and daughter. As a Dad, I can think of few things worse than having my little girl know that I betrayed her mother.

      What I was getting at, however, was that both President and Mrs. Clinton were the target of dozens of scurrilous and unsubstantiated rumors…and bizarro conspiracy theories. Interestingly, some of the same tinfoil hat urban legends were warmed over during the Gore and Kerry campaigns.

      Now, it’s President Obama who is “the man of sin”. What gives? Are Republicans so bereft of intellect that they have to cook up this sort of crapola? I realize that Bill Buckley and William Safire have both shuffled off this mortal coil. But you guys still have George Will. Even the bowtied Tucker Carlson is capable of occasionally approaching erudition.

      I realize your smart bench is terribly thin, but I am sure you can do better than birtherism, end times mumbo jumbo and “ZOMG de black folks is comin’ after their reparations!”

      Cheers!

      Jim

  41. Judy says:

    John, I can only hope you have some spirit of an open mind.

    First, why do you lump Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama together for distain? I don’t think it is because they are Democrats, because you didn’t mention any others. So the main theme I see between the two men is that they both, unapologetically and humbly, proclaim that they pray each day for guidance. Are you afraid that God is leading them? Both men worked hard to get health care access for all Americans. Carter’s plan was a beginning–including catastropic insurance coverage for all. But Ted Kennedy was able to get that defeated because he felt it was not sufficient. It would have been a good start and we would be better today if health care reform had started then. Carter also started to chart a course for energy planning and freedom from foreign oil.

    Individual mandate and individual responsibility as related to health care reform do mean the same. Under the Republican plan of 1992 or 3, all citizens would have been required to purchase health insurance. It was labeled the responsible thing to do.

    The CBO predicted the prescripton drug benefit would cause the deficit to rise, and it has. The CBO declared the Affordable Care Act would cut the deficit.

    As to respect, I would hope you could reflect on the past and be a leader for giving respect to elected leaders. You vilified Tom Hayhurst for asking presenters before City Council to be respectful and to present facts and opinions in a civil manner, as well as to listen to research findings the Council members had accumulated. When our elected Representative, Marlin Stutzman, says he cannot walk between buildings in Washington, D.C. without being heckled, we need to wonder how a democratic republic can survive when citizens do not urge leaders to work together to set the course for our nation. President Obama was elected by a clear majority of voters, and yet you disrespect him and therefore the voters of 2008. If he wins again in 2012, you say you will disrespect your fellow Americans, but don’t you already do that?

    As for President Nixon and Spiro Agnew, they were charged with crimes against the way our government is to operate. President Obama faces harrassment because of his personhood–a false accusation of where he was born, a denounciation of his religion, and very apparently, the color of his skin. President Obama has reached out to all Legislators for working towards the common purpose of keeping our nation great. After the last election Republican LEADERS stated a main goal of making Obama a one-term president. They also pledged to do everything possible to create jobs, but quickly veered onto the agenda to impose their social beliefs.

    Jim could elaborate much better than I about the parable of the Good Samaritan. Jesus chose a Samaritan to demonstrate that a person should be judged by his actions, not by his ethnicity. Samaritans were considered to be of lower class than the Jews to whom Jesus was teaching. It was the Samaritan, however, who stopped to help a fellow traveler–one not a Samaritan–and with his sufficient wealth paid for the wounded man’s treatment. The real wages of the middle and lower classes have declined during the last ten years or more. Medical costs have tripled in that time. Most individuals cannot pay for their friend’s medical needs. Even churches cannot pay for such things as one day of medical tests costing $8,000 for those individuals they would like to help. When we all buy insurance, we all are helping to pay for medical care for us, if we need it, and for others who are also insuring their future needs. The large majority of Americans do have health insurance, but others cannot buy, for pre-existing conditions, lack of money, or just the decision they don’t need insurance. These are the 45,000 who die each year, or those who have us pay for emergency treatment because we have laws that ER’s acannot deny life-saving care. So how is the Good Samaritan parable related to buying health insurance?

    So you applaud the Obama administration’s actions to take out Osama bin Laden? That decision was made in the same way as all of Obama’s decision, after much research, compiling of facts, seeking opinions from a variey of knowledgable people, and with prayer. As the Obama team watched the live feed of the SEAL’s action, there was prayer. I can only hope that people of all religions would pray for peace and actions that benefit all. And that we would help each other, as the Good Samaritan helped the traveler.

  42. Judy says:

    Just watched a YouTube of Paul Ryan’s Town Hall meeting in Racine in which he admitted that his new Medicare voucher program would include an individual mandate. Medicare would create a list of private insurance companies, the senior citizen would choose from the list after studying the benefits/costs, the insurance company could not deny coverage (pre-existing conditions), the government would issue vouchers to the individual,according to financial need, with a maximum voucher dollar amount. The senior citizen would be required to use the voucher and his own money to purchase insurance. Ryan said it would be like the current Medi-Gap or Medicare Advantage Programs.

    So much for decrying individual mandates.

  43. john b. kalb says:

    Judy – Just how can you interpret Ryan’s plan as a mandate? Individuals still could opt out of Medicare – just as at present!
    You are defineing a “mandate” at less than an absolute requirement! How can you do that weith the “King’s English”?

  44. John:

    From the research I have done, seniors cannot opt out of Medicare. Doctors can if they choose not to participate, but all seniors must enroll for Medicare at the age of 65. Now, if you mean, “I’ll be darned if I am signing up”, then fine. But if you follow the mandate, and yes, it is a mandate, you are required to sign up for Medicare at the age of 65.

    Ryan’s plan is nothing more than an attempt to line the pockets of his insurance industry buddies. The logic of Ryan’s plan is laughable. Apparently he doesn’t mind taking vouchers from the “Government hand”, but yet he despises the government paying for the health care directly. No middle insurance company to rake in profits. No favors to be returned.

    This is simply the continuing love affair of the Republicans with those corporations with power and their incessant nattering about privatization and the free market.

    You know as well as I do that there never has been an absolutely free market, and it really is time to get off that wagon.

  45. Judy says:

    John, Did you watch the YouTube of Ryan explaining his health care plan? Just as Charlotte said, one cannot opt out of Medicare. Who do you know over 65 and not part of Medicare, or where did you find that Medicare is optional? Ryan gave his plan, just watch it.
    I note you are not disagreeing with my previous post? I hope we have found some common ground.

  46. Judy:

    Another issue I thought of is the supplemental coverage that is available to pick up what Medicare doesn’t. I suspect that private insurance companies – profit driven that they are – will not pick up the tab for medical expenses if a person has simply refused to sign up for Medicare.

    They would demand that any other coverage available – in this instance, Medicare – be used first. Let’s face it, why would they pay out if they don’t have to?

  47. Judy says:

    http://www.elderlawanswers.com/Resources/Article.asp?ID=9017
    This article gives info updated in March, 2011, about dropping out of Medicare. The judge cites the mandate for all seniors to be part of Medicare that has been in effort for over 40 years. This should be relevant to the “individual mandate” for health insurance for all.

    Though I haven’t found any evidence of this in my research, there may be an exception for religious groups such as the Amish. The Amish take care of their own, which is a type of insurance, and they do not purchase insurance. They may not be required to participate in Medicare.

    Charlotte, that is a good point. Would any insurance company sell insurance to a person over 65 who did not participate in Medicare?

  48. john b. kalb says:

    It is available to opt out of Medicare part B, and always has been. This is the part of Medicare that the enrollee has to pay a monthly premium (or under a Medicae Advantage plan, the Federal Government pays the entire premium under some plans).
    Ryan’s plan does make Part B (and Part D)mandatory. I am not in favor of this but it is encouraging to see that the CBO indicates that the plan is sustainable, as Ryan outlines it. That’s sure better than Obamacare is evaluated by the CBO!
    And Judy , I have not yet completed my answer to your May 4th post, but am working on it.

  49. Part A is not an option, and it is free.

    Of course you are in favor of Ryan’s plan; it panders to private profiteers. I am still trying to figure out how Ryan and those who support his plan see any difference between the government paying for hospital care and the Ryan plan requiring the government to provide vouchers. The money is coming from the government in either case.

    This is simply a sham plan to transfer wealth to the private insurance industry and the devil with those who won’t be able to afford ample coverage and will be left at the whim of the insurance companies.

    And, just as an aside, how is Medicare an entitlement if premiums are paid for coverage?

    • john b. kalb says:

      Charlotte: I am guessing that, like most so-called progressives, you are “anti-profit”? It just so happens that our government is NOT CAPABLE of running anything with even a modicum of efficiency! That goes for Federal, State And Local governments – THEY SHOULD JUST STAY OUT!!!! And that’s the difference between Ryan’s plan and Obamacare. Run pivately will cost less. Why has it been that health care costs have exceeded the inflation rate (by up to three times)ever since Medicare/Medicaid came into being? Why did my parents never have heath insurance for which they paid the premium? Only when my mom and dad were given free health coverage by their employer, did we have health insurance – and then it was only “Major Medical”. The assumption by liberals that health care is totally the government’s responsibility cannot be supported legally!

      The very small premium paid for elective Medicare part B (and also Part D) by the insured is about 1/7th of the cost of this coverage – the rest comes out of General Revenue (or really is covered by debt purchased by China, et al). My wife and I are presently covered for Part B and Part D at a cost to each of us of $97.50 per month due to our being enrolled in an Advantage Plan – general revenues pay significantly more than we do for this insurance and more efficient, non-governmental personel handle ALL our claims activities. And this is one of the present plans that Obamacare is going to eliminate!

      • Judy says:

        Medicare covers 99% of all American seniors with 20% less overhead than private insurers. It has been such a successful program that our average life expectancy has risen greatly.
        Seems to me our military is doing great. Our land grant colleges provide innovations admired worldwide. Our space program has brought new discoveries in many fields. Our Center for Disease Control has contributed to medical diagnosis and prevented imported communicable diseases from creating epidemics here. Our Dept. of Agriculture has food inspectors that keep the food we buy relatively safe compared to other countries. The TVA provides energy more efficiently and at less cost. Our national parks are inspirational to people froom throughout the world. I could go on for pages. Why aren’t you proud of our nation’s attributes?
        Medicare Advantage is a boon to insurance companies at taxpayers’ expense, as I have stated previously.
        One reason health care costs have risen is the medical advances due to research. Then the paperwork needed for a multitude of different forms from insurance companies add need for more staff for doctors and hospitals. Medical tests are not kept in a computer file for all who treat the patient to access, so more tests are run. Torte reform would help because some tests are purely protections from malpractice suits. Doctors and other medical personnel have tremendous college loans to repay. A big reason for increased costs is that people don’t see their GP regularly, often because they cannot afford the office call and tests, and they wait to receive ER care at a much greater cost.

      • Judy says:

        John, I just read that GM reports earnings tripled during the first quarter this year. Revenues are up 15%. This is a case when the government saved a private company and made it private again. And now GM is competing well in the world market. A success story!

  50. Judy says:

    John, The CBO evaluates The Affordable Care Act to decrease the federal deficit, and the Ryan plan to increase the federal deficit. This information is everywhere when you search, so I won’t list a source.
    Charlotte, The Ryan plan costs the government less because the amount given to those over 65 to purchase vouchers varies according the the person’s wealth, so public and private funds are used to purchase the insurance. So in the reasoning given by some Republicans about mandatory payments being taxes, the “wealthy” will pay much more taxes to purchase insurance. Of course with our ER policy that critical care cannot be denied, taxpayers end up paying more for care, and seniors who have to wait for ER care will die sooner. So it is the ones with less wealth (another blow to the middle class) that have a higher percentage of their assets gone to pay for medical care, and those very poor relying on Medicaid which will be controlled by individual states with fewer federal dollars and fewer federal regulations.
    The Ryan plan also continues to protect pharmaceutical companies, for there is no bidding for prescription drugs, a process that saves the VA millions each year.
    John, I hope you have found some common ground in our opinions.

    • Judy says:

      The Ryan plan that the CBO says increases the deficit is the entire budget he proposed, not the Medicare elimination part. My sentence above was not clear on that point.

  51. Judy – thanks for the info. One of my main concerns is that this transfers the “program” to the private insurance industry. This instantly brings to mind the main goal of private companies which is profit.

    From what I am reading, nothing prevents the companies from upping premiums and curtailing coverage. I am still wondering why the Ryans of the Congress believe it is perfectly acceptable to shaft seniors by using private insurance companies as opposed to providing the program using government funds.

    To me, this is purely a grab by private insurers to increase their wealth and expand control over insurance issues.

    I am not worried about the rich being able to foot the bill, it is our seniors who struggle from day to day to survive and those younger as they age to have access to health care as they grow older. The rich will always have access to health care – they have the funds to pay for it.

    We also need to get off this kick of specialization and increase our access to GPs. Many health issues are those that can be dealt with by a family doctor. I go to a GP and have all my life. Specialization only adds to the cost of health care.

  52. Judy says:

    Charlotte,
    The profits of private insurance companies have risen over the years. Today’s newspaper states the recent increase. Executive compensation in the top companies is in the millions per year–$26 million n one case. Ryan feels that competition between the companies wil lower premiums, but that is difficult to believe. Today we have few choices to make between companies. Each state regulates the insurance allowed in that state. I believe Indiana has one major insurer for health insurance and few other choices. By offering insurance exchanges the Affordable Care Act sets the standards an insurance company must meet to participate. This seems better than the ability to “purchase insurance across state lines” the Republicans clamored for during the ACA debate.
    Actually a single-payer option would save millions, but private insurance companies would lose. Medicare is much more efficient than private companies. The individual mandate with vouchers would be a windfall to private insurance companies.
    Mark Souder at his Town Hall meeting here concerning insurance reform said that all Americans should have access to the best medical care in the world, but they shouldn’t expect others to pay for it for them. So the wealthy can pay for their care, but those in the middle class especially will go without needed care. Medicaid will help those without assets, but Ryan cuts those funds and federal regulations.

  53. John:

    I am not anti-profit – I am anti-profiteering and gouging. And, you slam the government for not being able to run anything, and then you want to turn over health care to industries that had to be bailed out? Seems to me the fact that Hartford, Prudential, Allstate, Ameriprise, Lincoln National and Principal Financial Group (just to name a few) had to be bailed out establishes that they don’t know how to run anything.

    And, you unprogressive right-wingers want to turn more over to them? As I said, this is a sham to allow Ryan and the Republican Guard to pad their buddies’ pockets.

    I had coffee with a friend today who is on Social Security, and I asked her how much she pays for Part B – $115 a month. That is almost $1400 a year. I don’t where you get your money, but my Social Security sure doesn’t allow me the luxury of $115 a month for Part B.

    So what if the government picks up the tab for a portion of Medicare? They pick up the tab for corporations all the time by providing subsidies and allowing tax loopholes that give corporations the opportunity to pay no taxes. And, you begrudge elder Americans health care coverage? You and the Republican Guard know that it is easier to pick on groups that have little power in our system.

    Ah, and let’s not forget the love affair of the Republicans with the free market (which has never existed) and unbound capitalism (which creates class struggles and inequities).

  54. john b. kalb says:

    Charlotte – We get our money from Social Security plus savings accumulated over 50 years of working – other than the little bit that my wife makes working part-time at JoAnn Fabrics. My employer did not have a retirement plan, but we put as much as we were allowed each year into IRAs. Some of our IRAs are invested in the mutual funds, some in life insurance, and others in bonds.
    If you didn’t put any of your earnings into some savings plans during your working life, then you and you alone are responsible! By what life’s rule can you claim anyone else’s hard-earned savings? How can you claim that I need to provide you with your Part B premiums? You and the rest of our citizens made your own bed and now you get to sleep in it!!! So get off your “high horse” and pay attention to what is going to happen to your socialistic desires!! You might even learn some facts to replace your unreasonable fiction!

  55. John:

    What a truly, charitable Christian view you have. I am assuming you are a Christian, perhaps I am wrong. Your statements:

    “You and you alone are responsible!” and
    “You and the rest of our citizens made your own bed and now you get to sleep in it!!!”

    That’s what I love about quasi-Christians – let me go to church every Sunday and pretend I believe in Christ’s teachings, but don’t ask me to really believe in them. Thank you for clarifying your view of being a Christian.

    When you make statements like that, you do a disservice to all those – in this country and in every county around the world – who have had very little control over their circumstances. I assume you blame all those people in third world countries for not having access to food or medical care – those who live in squalor and filth – those who die from parasites and diseases rampant in their countries.

    And, those in our own country who suffer from the same circumstances.

    I am not claiming your life’s savings. It’s yours – keep it.

    I have some savings, but I do not have any faith in the stock market. Years ago, I watched a friend lose $20,000 in one year, and she never recovered it.

    You aren’t providing me my “Part B” under our current Medicare system anymore than you would be under the glorified Ryan plan. Just where do you think the vouchers are going to come from – the Easter Bunny?

    The vouchers will be paid for by the government. The difference is that your Republican Right-Wing Guard will be stuffing money into the pockets of the insurance companies so that the insurance companies, in turn, can stuff money in the Republican’s pockets.

    I have asked a couple of times now, and you have not answered me. What is the difference? The money is going to come from our government, yet you are willing to accept the vouchers because they enrich a private enterprise.

    That is total hypocrisy.

  56. john b. kalb says:

    Yes, Charlotte – “The money will come from the government”, but the difference (and it’s a huge difference) is that competition between entities will exist with Ryan’s plan! With the government running the entire program IT WILL BE INEFFICIENT and UNCORRECTABLE like ALL government programs are! Witness our Federal Education Department (Just where is our graduation rate going?), our Federal Agricultural Department (at present, there are MORE people employed in this department than the total number of farmers in our country!), our Federal energy policy (gasoline prices near all-time highs and almost no new drilling permits in our country), Housing and Urban Developement Department (home values approaching level where 60% of home mortgages at underwater), and so on!
    As to my practice of my Christian faith, Jesus said, “give to Caesar that which is Caesar’s and unto God that which is God’s”. Our Lord never indicated that any government was to take over the Christian’s responsibility to “love his neighbor as he loves him (or her) self”. When a government takes over these responsibilities, human nature leads people to place more and more dependence on it and less and less on God. Therefore, it encourages dependency on the “corporate others” and less and less on the individual – and we end up with less that 50% paying anything for the cost of our governance- and even some percentage “living off the public dole”. Our country’s forefathers were worried that we would some day be in our present situation, where a majority of the electorate would have a major portion of their financial support coming from the government. That’s why we have a Federal Constitution – and it is under attack like never before -witness the Appeals Court in Virginia hearing the appeal of the Florida Federal Judge’s opinion striking down the Obamacare law this week.
    Additionally, my comments about responsibility were dirrected at those that believe that “the world owes them a living” and they don’t have to do anything for their own benefit. I can follow Christ’s teachings WITHOUT having to go through any governmental agency!

  57. John:

    But Jesus acknowledged that Caeser was due something. The world was a different place in Jesus’ time. The definition of “Caeser” has evolved. I wonder if Jesus were alive today that he would say that no assistance is needed when people don’t have enough to survive.

    As to competition, what competition? If you have followed the issue of health insurance competition you know that in most states two or three mega companies control the health insurance business. There won’t be increased competition – that would hurt the mega insurance corporations, and the Republicans want their thousands in contributions from the mega monsters.

    http://www.ama-assn.org/ama1/pub/upload/mm/368/compstudy_52006.pdf

    Seriously, John, competition would be nice, but it doesn’t exist now and it won’t exist under Ryan’s so-called plan. All that will happen is just what the AMA fears, we will end up with fewer and fewer companies, which will, in turn, decrease competition even further than it is now leading to decreased services, increased deductibles, and increased premiums.

    Many of the agencies to which you refer have issues. But to correct the issues, appointees should not for the most part come from the industry. That is the fox guarding the chicken coop. But to allow corporations to wander in this world unchecked and unbridled would be disastrous. Their bottom line is profit, and most of them don’t care how they get there.

    To blame the agencies for all failures is misleading. Parenting starts at home – that happens whether or not there is a federal Department of Education. The first five years are considered to be the most crucial – how do you blame the DoE for lack of parenting?

    There are plenty of drilling permits in this country. The oil companies lease millions of acres of land and only choose to drill on a fraction of what they lease. For some crazy reason, they would rather build towers over a mile or two above the ocean floor and then once they get to the ocean floor, drill hundreds of feet down. Why not drill on land where the depth would not be as great?

    I know you and others who are die-hard capitalists and free marketers don’t like to acknowledge this, but we have a class society and almost every study that has come out in the last heaven knows how many years shows that the divide between the rich and everyone else is getting wider and wider. You may want to live in a plutocracy where the rich govern through their monetary power, but I do not.

  58. john b. kalb says:

    Charlotte – You are not going to find your “utopia” in the section of North America that we call the United States of America! At least while true patriots still exist in our country.
    And as far as the divid happening in our society – IT’S BECAUSE OF THE PUSH OF THE SOCIALIST-MINDED people like yourself! Man cannot control how other men behave – that’s the only reason we are an orgainized society and why we have to have governments.
    As to the lake of competition in the health care area – IT ONLY exists when you are using a government program! There are many, many health insurance companies trying to serve businesses in our state. When I was working, our company was contacted by many companies trying to get our business. The only time you are limited in a state is when Medicaid is involved – and that’s because the states are the ones furnishing that aid.

    As far as your comment about “parenting begins at home”, I agree! Therefore WHY THE HECK DO WE NEED A FEDERAL EDUCATION DEPARTMENT? Since I retired, I spend 3 hours per week, during the school year, volunteering at Nebraska and Washington schools, helping third graders with reading. Some of these young people do not have a father (and in some cases not even a mother) figure to influence them at home. The money that has been poared into our local public schools over the past 20 or 30 years HAS NOT HAD ANY effect – yet I see dedicated teachers, in the two schools that I have helped at, that are trying to provide that influence! And at that level – IT IS WORKING – I see it every week – ALL third graders CAN learn to read!! But I see no method coming down from Washington that is even making the job easier – only more difficult. Join me some Tuesday or Thursday morning at 9:30 in Mr. Cooper’s third grade class in room 207 at Nebraska school – it’s a brisk walk from your home.

  59. John:

    My, my, just exactly what is a true patriot? You must have an extremely high opinion of yourself or whoever it is you think are “true patriots.” Reminds me of those egotistical individuals who belong to “the only true religion.” It is not up to you or anyone else to tell me that I am not a patriot. Because I don’t agree with you is not an indicator of lack of patriotism – that is unless you believe you have the exclusive right to define patriotism.

    The competition in health insurance doesn’t exist, and it has nothing to do with government funding. You apparently haven’t worked for a while. In today’s world, mega insurance companies control the offerings in the health insurance field. It has to do with the monopolization of the field by those companies. Do you see much advertisement for health care insurance? How many ads do you see for auto insurance? Once in a blue moon, I see one for supplemental insurance, but you sure have your eyes closed.

    Did you bother to read the AMA article? Oh wait, I bet you think it was written by socialists. It surely couldn’t have been written by upstanding, patriotic American doctors. Right?

    Of course, I know where the Nebraska School is located. Volunteering is really nice of you, so I hope you keep it up. Dedicated teachers? I am sure they are, and I wonder if you were on the front lines of wanting the end of collective bargaining. Funny how that works.

  60. Jim says:

    Hi John!

    I’m impressed by your boldness. Not many self-respecting people would so flagrantly spit on the Preamble to the Constitution, which describes…not a utopia…but the closest thing this side of the restored and just rule of Jesus over Planet Earth. What is it about the Founding Fathers’ vision that you consider so frightening or dangerous?

    Is it the concept that America is a “WE” rather than an “I” that keeps you up at night? I realize “we the people” does sound a lot more like a collective than “I the person”.

    Or perhaps you are troubled by the notion that we strive, as a society and a group to form a more perfect union. Ouch. There’s that word again. Union. We don’ need no steeeeenkin’ unions…

    Of course, the call to “establish justice” maybe makes you wring your hands a bit and tighten the old shirt collar. The call to create a just society for all people — rich and poor, all races, etc. — definitely frightens you Ayn Rand folks. You can chuck the Constituion, though. But then you’re up against the witness of Jesus Christ and the Old Testament prophets…all of whom had much to say on the subject.

    Insuring domestic tranquility probably doesn’t make you fret that much. As long as THOSE PEOPLE keep their place and don’t disturb your tranquility. Unfortunately, the founders knew it was a two-way street. So looking again, maybe that little clause doesn’t appeal to you very much either.

    Same goes for providing for the common defense. That word “common” just sounds so…so…socialisticky, to paraphrase Caribou Barbie.

    And then comes the killer. Then comes the idea held so dear by our founders that must make your blood boil. Promote the general welfare. Oh man. Not just the welfare of you and people just like you. But the GENERAL welfare. And welfare! Heaven forefend! Where is Ayn Rand when you need her?

    Thankfully, you can take some refuge and comfort, John, in the call of our founders to ensure the blessings of liberty. Liberty is what the Tea Party, Anarchists, Anarcho-Libertarians and many of today’s Republicans are all about. So much so that no small number of them have said (are you among them, John?) that President Obama should be assassinated because — as the sign says — the tree of “liberty” is thirsty for the blood of tyrants. And “the one” as you call him is surely a tyrant.

    Yes, I am glad you like liberty. Except you (speaking of your movement) likes liberty for people just like themselves. For the poor and women and minorities, not so much, eh?

    And then those pesky founders had to ruin everything by using the phrase “for ourselves and our posterity”. Oh no! It’s not all about me and mine after all. Ourselves…not myself.

    Sorry John. You are part of a political movement that has a simple mantra: “I’ve got mine, Jack. Now root, hog or die.” It’s fine if you want to own it and if you want to celebrate. You’re right. That’s liberty — being able to say and think whatever you wish without fear of reprisal. But what you are not allowed to do is pretend that this idea — what Rand called “The Virtue of Selfishness” — is either American or Christian. It is neither. It is objectivist. It is anarchist. It might fairly be called Libertarian. And it certainly represents the modern Republican view. (Though not the historic one, thank God. The pre-Reagan Republicans were real statesmen who understood the founders’ words and wisdom.)

    Anyway John, if I have called you on your bizarre conspiracy theories and tinfoil hattery…I could scarcely fail to hold you to account on something far more pivotal to what it means to be an American.

    Cheers!
    Jim

  61. Jim:

    Thank you for your excellent response. I had gotten to the point of being fairly frustrated. I am tired, and I am glad you brought the thoughts back to what is truly important by using the Preamble.

  62. Judy says:

    John, I found you are right about the number of insurance companies offering health insurance in Indiana. This is Indianapolis:
    http://www.ibj.com/article/print?articleId=10846
    I have seen other comparisons, by state, and usually there are three or less companies representing most of the market.

    While listening to NPR today, a caller made an excellent point. She waid that the budget of the U.S.A. shouldn’t be seen only from a business prospective. The budget represents what we want our country to be. Jim’s points from the Preamble certainly fit into that thought.

  63. I am not sure how we have competition in Indiana when one company controls 42.5% of the market. The number of other companies is minimal compared to what we have shoved down our throats by auto insurance companies.

    There are very few companies in Indiana to offer health care insurance. In fact, what I read last year is that two companies control almost all of the market, leaving a tiny sliver for the others.

    And, since my family had a grocery business and had to compete against “big”, I know from firsthand experience that the bigger the company the better the prices they can offer. The smaller the company, the higher the prices.

  64. Judy says:

    Just watched the Mitt Romney speech on health care. He tried to separate his plan in Massachusetts from the ACA. He started by saying that the founders wanted limited federal government and set up strong states’ rights. He failed to mention that after the Civil War the federal government was strengthened because the banner of states’ rights almost destroyed the U.S.A.
    Romney said that in Mass. the health care law met the needs of the state, but that all states have different needs. He denied that allowing people to buy health insurance from the state with the lowest standards, with corresponding lowest premiums, would lead to a race to the bottom. He said voters of states attempting to lower health care standards would vote out those who would so weaken the health care system. He felt that Mass. needed an individual mandate, but that each state would need to decide whether that was the case in their state.
    The most ludicrous part is that companies should allow employees to purchase their own policy so it could go with them if they went to another job. The employee could choose the policy and premium best for them, and would receive the corresponding tax deduction that the company now gets. But now large companies negotiate with insurance companies to get low premiums with employees getting the same policies. Individuals would benefit from market competition, according to Romney. But individuals with differing policies would not be able to negotiate lower premiums as Romney suggests. He thinks insurance companies will lower premiums to individuals because of competition. Does he consider the huge increase in paperwork the insurance companies would have?
    Romney also feels theie should be co-insurance, so that instead of a set deductable for medical care the person would always pay, say 20%, of all medical expenses. That way we would go to various hospitals and compare prices and because we would benefit financially we would go to the one with the lowest cost. Who would chose health care for himself/herself or family to the lowest bidder? I know I would go where my doctor suggested. And I would not chose a doctor based on the lowest cost of an office call!
    There were other problems, but enough for now!

  65. john b. kalb says:

    Charlotte: First of all – Where did I ever question your patriotism? I only called out that true patriots will not allow your idea of utopia to exist in the USofA. Actions of patriotism outshine patriotic ideas of patriotism. With regard to a definition of a true patriot I would,like Jim refer you to the preamble of our Constitution where “We the people ……do ordain and establish this Constution for the United States of America….. (to) secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity). True Patriots are those that support, unconditionally, this statement!

    Judy has already covered my contentions on health insurance competition in Indiana and has concured with my comments, so I don;t believe more discussion is necessary on this topic. (I don’t consider a 42.5% market share as “non-competitive” it it sounds like others agree)

    I have read the AMA article. Our personal family physisian is not a member of the AMA, and he is joined by 80% of the practicing doctors in our coiunty! (Of the approxamately 675,000 practicing physisiasns in the USofA, only 136,000 arer members of the AMA – or 20%! So I read anything authored by someone claiming to be an AMA member a not necessarily representing the doctors in our county! That’s why the doctors have such poor rersults from their lobbying efforts. Also, the MD’s in our congress are not pushing Obamacare! The 20 of them include 16 Republican Representatives, three Republican Senators, one Democratic “delegate from the Virgin Islands and one Democrtic Repesentative from the State of Washington, Jim McDermott. The previous congress, the 111th, had 7 Democratic doctors – two of which did not re-run and 4 who were defeated in November of 2010. So, is the single Democratic House member who is a doctor the opne you want me to listen to as a “true patriot”? Or, is the female family doctor from the Virgin Islands that person?

    As to your last point – Yes, I was on the front lkines desiring the end to collective bargaiuning with public employees! You would be suprised if you talked to some of our really great teachers as to what they think of the local teachers union (also ask them who they voted for in the November, 2010 elections – you might be shocked at how few voted for Democrats.

  66. Judy says:

    theloop21.com/politics/why-the-gop-has-mean-streak?page=1

    Here’s more about Tea Party and others’ philosophy. This is contrary to the Preamble cited by Jim above.

  67. john b. kalb says:

    Jim: “Flagrantly spitting on the Preamble?” In what possible way did I accomplish this? For the record, Charlotte’s “utopia”, where nobody requires assistance will NEVER exist – this side of Heaven! Jesus said “The poor will be with you always: – because sin entered the world, we will never on earth live where government is not necessary! So the writers of our Constuttion, realizing this fact, put down on paper what they felt was the best way for aunion of states to govern under a Consatitution which LIMITS the powers of the central government to only those they are spec ifically charged to govern. They also set up the method of modifying these limits using a “major-majority” accent.
    How in the heck did you align me with Ayn Rand and her “Objectivism”? Yes, I did read both “The Fountainhead” and “Atlas Shrugged” but Rand’s anti-faith beliefs did not match my Christian faith, so I did not ever become a disciple of her philosopy>
    “We the people” is a collection of individual states – not an amalgamation! Each individual state retains it’s rights- they are not deeded over to a governmental agency! “A More Perfect Union” means a better funtioning collection of states with an agreed upon Constution, enabling, for Posterity, the continuience of this Union.
    “Establishing Justice” is the function (the main one) of any government! We are a society of secular law with the desired result being Tranquility. The erstablishment of a common defense for the Unio of States was deemed necessary by the writers because individual states could not manange some of the tasks involving all the states in a uniform manner.
    “The Promotion of the General Welfare”, as laid out in the Constitution dated September 17, 1787 and it’s first 10 ammendments (The Bill of Rights) dated December 15, 1791, is to allow individual states to use any means of Welfare promotion except those that these documents assigned to the Congress of The United States of America. And even with the 17 additional ammendments (including two which off-set each other) plus some of the recent actions whiuch are up for examination as to their constitutionality, this still stands as the basic “Law of the Land”! “General Welfare” includes the well-being of all- and ios not intended to pit one economic lkevel with an other. What the “Common Good” is for one group or individual CANNOT be applied to all groups and individuals in a society without “stepping on someone’s toes”. You can’t relieve an individual or group shortcoming to the externt that it kills that entity’s desire to pursue correction of that problem!
    And your charge that “no small number of Tea Party Republicans desire the assassination of “the one” is baseless. This “fall-back” contention is fast becoming the new “Godwin’s Law” in it’s use by “the ones” supporters.
    Your contention that I proscribe to the “I’ve got mine, Jack – now root, hog or die” mantra comes from where?? My wife and I support many “help-the-needy” programs with our prayers,our time, and our financial support. What we object to is using our tax dollars to support those that feel that the rest of society “owes them a living”!
    And, lastly – A Union as used in the Preamble is a confederation of nations or states – not an Organization of Workers!

    • Judy says:

      How can anyone reason with someone who believes “We the PEOPLE” really means “We a group of STATES”???

  68. Jim says:

    Hi there, John!

    You spit on the Preamble by asserting that we are not a union, but rather, a nation made up of rugged individuals who are dependant solely on themselves and God. This is a flawed understanding of American history and runs counter to the vision laid out for the role of government in the Preamble (and in Scripture).

    The “union” in the Preamble is definitely not a labor union. We agree! It is broader than that. It includes labor unions. But it also includes churches, businesses and taxpayers. Why do you wish to exclude taxpayers and businesses from this union?

    I’m delighted to know you and your wife contribute to programs that help the needy. You’re already way ahead of the curve compared to most of the far right conservatives I know, so I heartily applaud you.

    That said, it is logistically and physically impossible for churches and private charity alone to meet the screaming needs of America’s poor and oppressed. Government must have a place at the table. Scripture teaches this same concept in both the Old and New Testaments. I can’t WAIT to have that conversation.

    But Scripture aside, the sheer weight of the societal need is too great. Under President Clinton’s wrong-headed “welfare reform” initiative, it was argued that churches would “pick up the slack”. They didn’t. A few tried. Most didn’t bother, opting instead to build gymnasiums, concert venues and do other infrastructure improvements to their own campuses.

    Fool me once, shame on you. I won’t be fooled a second time.

    I remain, within my own denomination, an ardent advocate of church-based charity and social justice programs. But I recognize that to deny government a place at the table is sheer folly.

    Easteride blessings,

    Jim

  69. Jim says:

    Apologies, John and all. I meant to write, “EasterTide blessings”. As the kids like to say, “my bad”!

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