An Open Letter To Newt Gingrich From A Black Kid Who Grew Up In A Poor Neighborhood

Dear Newt Gingrich,

I recently saw you stand up in front of a group of people and allow some of the most
idiotic, unfounded, racist, and ignorant words pass your lips that I’ve ever heard
from a member of a group of the most unqualified presidential candidates America
has ever seen.

To have the audacity to say that poor kids, and let’s be clear that’s republican speak
for black and brown kids, “have no habits of working and nobody around them who
works” is not only an insult to me as black man who grew up in one of those “really
poor” neighborhoods you spoke of, but it’s an insult to my mother. And it’s an insult to
many other black, brown and white children, adults, and hard working parents(often single
parents) who get up every single day to try to provide a better life for their children in
poor neighborhoods.

As a child who grew up in Compton in the early 90’s, one of the most dangerous
neighborhoods in America at that time, I watched my mother work tirelessly, sometimes juggling multiple jobs to provide for myself and my sister. Day in and day out like many other parents in poor neighborhoods, she did what she had to do in order to provide for us. You know what that turned into Mr. Gingrich?

A son who received academic and athletic scholarship offers from three Ivy League schools
and countless other universities, a son with a college degree in Criminal Justice who
graduated with honors from every school he attended, and a daughter who not only
attended a Gifted and Talented Education high school, but is one year away from
completing a degree at UCLA.

This is not just the case for my family. I know I speak for many other hard working
black, brown, and poor white families who have the same experiences in the poor
neighborhoods you look down upon from your elitist 1% out of touch pedestal. To say that
an entire community “literally has no habit of showing up on Monday” or “they have no
habit of staying all day” I say that is a load of shit.

Millions of poor children watch their parents show up Monday and many of them
sometimes have to suffer from the fact that their parents have to stay at work ALL DAY.

And lastly, you suggest that to remedy this “problem” as you so blindly see it is to make
poor kids assistant janitors and pay them to clean the restrooms? Your solution is child
labor. Degrading young children by suggesting they clean toilets while painting all union workers as lazy leeches. It’s a shame they don’t have the work ethic of hard working Americans like Kim Kardashian who worked so hard in her sex tape before we crowned her a role model for young girls and showered her with money and adoration or Paris Hilton who was forced to clean so many toilets as a teen to learn “work ethic” before her parents handed over the millions.

This not only echoes the depth of your ignorance, but just how truly unqualified
you are to ever be president of this country. Your assumption that poor people have no
ingrained work ethic and “have no habit of ‘I do this and you give me cash’ unless it’s
illegal” is not only dangerously ignorant but it proves you have no connection with the
true heart of this country.

I believe I speak for most if not all of “poor” America when I say Mr. Gingrich you have
no habit of performing, thinking or speaking in a manner that warrants becoming the
leader of the free world and the 45th president of these United States of America. You
represent a party of greedy, selfish, out of touch, wealth protecting, non tax paying,
destroyers of the middle class. You know nothing about us. But your words in your
speech in Des Moines told us everything about you.

Which is why I hope you win your party’s nomination. So that poor and impoverished
families can at least experience four more years of a man working diligently to help
them and the communities they call home that you have proven to know nothing about.
president number 44.

PS. You look like someone poured mashed potatoes into a suit :-D

[Update 12/14/11] This is for all the “how is that racist” and “he’s not talking about black people” comments. Click the link in the middle to watch the video(No Flash on WP blogs sucks.) Nobody does it better than Team Stewart.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Newt Gingrich’s Poverty Code
www.thedailyshow.com
http://media.mtvnservices.com/mgid:cms:item:comedycentral.com:404236
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog The Daily Show on Facebook

[Update 12/13/11] First and foremost, thank you all who have read, shared, and commented on this post.  I try to respond as often as I can and as soon as I see the comments but cant get to them all due to time spent working on other projects. As a note to future commentors in defense of Newt, please read my response comments below. I also want to acknowledge that I am well aware of the excessive amount of poor white Americans(I mentioned above) and I support your struggle and triumph just as aggressively as that of my own community. However, the reason the letter has a more black/brown focus is because this was a product of directly defending my mother who is a black woman and I grew up around black and brown poor people. Thank you so much for reading!!

Also, the mashed potatoes line is only a joke. I am a stand up comic and I leave a little humor in everything I touch. Consider it a little mental palate cleanser to remove the dirty taste of Newt in your minds!

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About Travon Free

Stand-up comedian, actor, and writer. Ivy League brains with none of the student loan debt. This is the home of my opinion. Everything I love. Everything I Hate. This blog is about TRUTH and INSPIRATION. I hope you packed your sense of humor...
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1,597 Responses to An Open Letter To Newt Gingrich From A Black Kid Who Grew Up In A Poor Neighborhood

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  9. David says:

    You’re just one. How about the ones Gingrich was talking about? The hopeless, useless cockroaches that DON’T go to Ivy League schools because, “they be too busy repazentin.” (Being niggers.)

    Your argument is invalid.

    • Ann says:

      You’re an ingrained bigot. You disregarded the entire letter and what he had to say, in order, to leave your racist post with ebonics. You’re a sadsack. Unfortunate. You couldn’t just internalize what was said, but had to leave the slur. Do you feel better? Has it improved your feelings of self-worth?

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  12. maxwelldog says:

    Late to the party, was I?
    OK, first, let me say Newt had a terrible time growing up, too.
    His family tried to bring him up with only one butler and two nannies, so, he had already made sacrifices, you see.
    He is still just a little angry.
    I mean, can you blame him?
    First, he plays Mr. GTwoshoes and over President Clinton…wants to impeach him, for crying out louud, eating up taxpayer money as fast as he can get his hands on it. But then the Ethics committee catches he and several other “creative accountants” in Congress practicing a thing known as kiting a check. (Which i don’t get, anyway. It’s paper. If you want to make a kite out of your checks, why not? It won’t go very high…)
    Anyway, poor ol’ Newtie looked at it as punishment, so, he tried out some of that illicit sex stuff. And HOW he tried it out. He must have figured that, since President Clinton had become FAMOUS by being a prick, that maybe HE shuld become a prick, too.
    He had all the earmarks for it, too.
    Sick wife in bed with cancer, messy divorce.
    Second wife…a little on the side, goodbye second wife.
    Now he has that smiling short haired Barbi doll (sorry, Barbi) but then…whatever happens in the next few years, ol’ Newtie is hoping the pre-nup isn’t as ironclad for ex-congressmen.
    Then, he jumps on the bash Muslims parade.
    People hate him
    He thinks it’s the wrong group, so he tries bashing Mormons.
    DANG! People STILL hate on him.
    So he gets real sad on a Sunday news broadcast and talks from the heart.
    And people hate on him even stronger than ever before. I mean, they are looking for a tree and some rope!
    And then make poor kids work as janitors???
    Heck, next thing you know he’ll be wanting a moon base.
    Which would be a good place for a LOT of politicians, I’de tink.
    Racism doesn’t seem to be R or D (I’m an R, though I have only seen ONE R worth voting for, but he pardoned the crook, so, screw that!)
    I see racism hiding in the ranks of D…in different forms, but it’s still racism.
    Bayh was a racist.
    Gawd, you coldn’t have ever seen such a WHITE man, ever!
    But he absolutely was a racist.
    Or stupid, one.
    He’s the guy who, along with Diane Feinstein, thought it a good thing to double marijuana penalties against medicinal users. I look at most ALL prohibitionists as racists because it was Harry J. Anslinger’s idiocy that got the laws established.
    And WHY did he hate marijuana and WHY am I calling it racist?
    “Smoking reefer makes darkies think they’re as good as White men”

    I dunno…
    Sounds racist to me.

    But that poor ol’ Newtie.
    What a piglet HE’S turned out to be.
    HEY!
    You know what tastes good on a smashed baked potato?
    BACON SPRINKLES!!

  13. jp says:

    just so you know; that is not a picture of gingrich (the sour-puss face guy at the top of the page). i recognize the dude though, he’s an actor. been in a lot of movies

  14. gr8xpectations says:

    Today’s conservative leadership believes so wholeheartedly (and misguidedly) that every kid born has equal access to opportunity, that they imagine the only reason a person could end up poor is to be lazy and/or irresponsible. But 75% of families receiving food stamps have at least one steady paycheck coming in. They simply have no concept of the challenges faced by so so many hard-working Americans.

  15. Mary says:

    Newt Gingrich is a pig. It doesn’t matter which of the Bozos wins the GOP nomination. None of them have had the spine to stand up for working people so they are all as guilty as he is of indifference to poverty. They have no clue what real people in this country want and need. Vote Obama 2012.

  16. You are doing a great job and keep fighting for equal rights for all people. I look forward to hearing a lot more from you in advancing people of all backgrounds and ethnicities that may think the voices of leadership are silent today. However, I think you are doing a great job letting people know that the voices are claiming leadership and will not be silent.

  17. Monique says:

    Wow!!!! this letter is very well written. I think you nailed it on the head, especially about parents having to take on more than one job just to make ends meet. I was offended as a working mother of two. I guarentee my kids and many other kids can tell you hard their parents work. The really sad thing is that this guy has people that support him (TRUMP). Unbelievable!!!!!

  18. Victor says:

    Thanks for writing this. I hope many people read it. It’s funny how the little tells about racism in political leaders are always there. I couldn’t agree with you more. His “first generation” comment was completely out of line. Although that makes it sound like he’s targeting Hispanics more than African-Americans.

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  21. Shawn Williams says:

    All I know is Bush didn’t do anything for the poor black white or whatever. On top of that he appoints Clarence Tomas to the supreme court. Now Clinton did things to hurt the poor also, but he always got white washed. The poor get screwed no matter which party wins because all politicians are rich and all they see is money as the bottom line. They won’t make any real changes that might jeapordize their status. I get sick of people arguing political party because all politics is corrupt no matter where on Earth you are. However if I’m going to choose the lesser of all evils I will vote democtrat until the republicans start talking about plans to help the poor, which I don’t hear happening.

    • You should read some Frederick Douglas. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick_douglass
      He is the face of the Republican party as much as MLK jr and Sara Palin. In fact you will see their ideologies are nearly identical.

      Don’t parrot liberal charicatures of what a Republican is.
      Why do you think people like Bob Geldoff or Bono say Bush did more for poor people in Africa (particularly aids) than any living human being?

      And remember this: These people who smear Republicans with the Democrats KKK past are Klan-party apologists. There is just no other accurate way to describe them.

      • patt304 says:

        What planet are you on? The R’s of today are nowhere near, not in the same neighborhood, as the R’s of yore. President Eisenhower warned of the military industrial complex. Today’s R’s think war is realy good for business.
        Klan apologists? Hardly, the Dems have stepped as far as possible from this heinous part of US history. Would that the R’s could do that. But, no, there are just too many threads of connection to this, that they, the R’s, cannot step away from.
        And, President Clinton has also been a huge and wonderful figure in the fights against AIDS, poverty and so many other things for the disadvantaged peoples of the globe.

      • S.C. says:

        Are you referring to his time period of being out of touch with the realities? For the most part, during his lifetime he was definitely what they called then a “northern republican”. I think you were blindsided by that one section. Also, Sarah Palin??? You must be mad!

        As for parroting liberal caricatures…in these times a Republican is a Republican is a Republican especially when you are Newt Gingrich.

        http://dppmw.org/history-of-the-democratic-party-part-3/

    • Jason says:

      As someone who is far from being considered rich, I just don’t understand this whole political helping the poor b.s. There are programs out there that help provide for the basics until you get back on your feet. The problem is, everyone is looking for someone else to help. What The Hell is wrong with helping yourself. When will we learn. Being from just outside of New Orleans I have seen first hand what waiting for someone else to come help(the Government) does. Anyone heard of Katrina?

      Man, get off of this help me bullshit. If the job you have does not pay enough. Get a better one. If you are not qualified too. Do what you must to receive those qualifications. Get an education. There are government supported programs out there to HELP you do that. What else do you want? You can lead a horse to water. But you can’t force it to drink. Drink for yourself.

      • wilcry80@yahoo.com says:

        Jason Before you tell someone to get off their butts and get a better job come on down to SC and sit a spell. As a self employed female in the transportation industry I always run into the Old Guard Dogs that some major companies have inplace to keep people of color out. An Old Guard Dog is the really racist Male or female he/she may be old or young who’s been around the office since 18 b.c. these individuals have no tact and very little education. Their job is to hire their family and close friends and make life a living hell for anyone who doesn’t look like them. If you’re someone other then white and you happen to slip through the guard dog process by way of GOVERNMENT PROGRAM, The guard dogs will make your life at work a living hell until they find and excuse to fire you. Every company has one. In your state he/she may be Becky or Bill the individual who thinks that touching the hand of a person of color will give them kids with a tan. If only some of our Truckers of color could speak on this issue so they could tell you how going to companies in Nebraska, Georgia, Delaware,South Carolina, Detroit etc. can be difficult because of the staff, who refuse to take a load from you becuase you’re not white. so they give them the wrong information or screw up their paper work and then file complaints to keep from paying for the delivery. The disgust of walking in to a Large company with only white employees and having your load paper work thrown on the ground because the employees there hate you for your race and refuse to touch your hand. One might say why do business with these companies? Well little do most of us know these are some of the companies that provide us Cars, clothing, food, yes we’re talking major companies. We buy from these companies while the Guard dogs patrol the Plants/warehouses. Yes there are jobs out there but first we must get rid of all the Guard Dogs. Until then being self employed is the way to go

      • patt304 says:

        Really? Its that easy, is it? Just go out there and get on a program, or move and get a better job? Maybe you haven’t heard, but there’s a recession/depression going on right now. Jobs are in short supply, especially good paying jobs. And, it costs money to move to another location where there might be jobs. Being unemployed/underemployed tends to leave one with very little money for moving. And those programs you describe are being cut on a regular basis by the GOP governors on the state level, as well as our Federal government pulling back on them. Hell, they don’t even want the long-term unemployed to get UE benefits after a few weeks, even tho’ every worker pays for it (look at your check stub). Just to try to drive the point home a little, do you realize that the poorest states in the union also tend to be red states? Those red states are now doing all they can to throw people to the curb, including union busting, killing retirement programs, pulling back health care benefits. Now they’re trying tricks with voting rights to ensure they will retain control into the next term. Oh, yeah, the poor have it so easy. Just ask Mitt or Newt. Maybe you could take a look at those two, they don’t have to work so they are so in tune with the rest of us who can’t work or can’t earn enough.

  22. This beasr repeating:

    Here is the bottom line my friends:

    If you are trying to obscure the Democratic party’s relationship to the KKK, La Raza, MECHA, the New Black Panthers and every other organized racist group in the nation?
    If you are trying to portray this as a bipartisan or Republican issue? Falsley shifting the record from the actual party responsible for organized racism, as your party has done for 60 year now?

    If that shoe fits YOU?

    You are a Klan-party apologist.
    Period

    • Angie says:

      Learn some history, you are ignorant.

    • patt304 says:

      The Dem party, from the time I was a child (and I’m old), was known for being on the side of the common man, and has now expanded to include the common women and people of color. It is true that the two parties have crossed over each other from the origination of the parties and, that the R’s were at one time the more liberal and the Dems more conservative. But it’s been a long time since that happened. The Dems have long ago condemned the KKK, far from being apologists for that group. And, are you serious calling MEChA (the proper way to spell it) or La Raza “organized racism? These are groups (actually, they are both the same group) that work toward human rights for minorities, hardly “supremacist” groups like the KKK. The “New” Black Panthers actually don’t exist. This was a made-up label applied by R’s to some small group of young Blacks in the Philly area. By your definition, any group that organizes to support their culture and history is “organized racism”, including all those religious groups that support Jews or Christians, or the Polish or Italian community groups. So, I politely suggest that you get your head out of your butt and try putting some knowledge in it.

  23. “Show up on Monday” says it all for me. We the hard working poor frequently show up on Saturdays, Sundays, and then Mondays. Great post.

    • patt304 says:

      And you think the 1% will let you into their club? I know working hard. I know that I will NEVER be allowed into the club. But you jus’ keep praying, ok?

  24. Dan Lewis says:

    I wish the author of the note to Gingrich well, but I wish someone had been allowed to edit the note. It’s too long. It’s too wordy. ‘Blindly see’ ?? Come on.
    The writer’s message would have been 10 times more powerful if it had been made more succinct.

  25. Johnny says:

    As an old fart who began working as a youngster, I’ve had a job almost as far back as I can remember. I was taught early on about the ethic of hard work. I learned that doing a good job was it’s own reward and that getting paid for doing a good job was a bonus. I learned to take pride in my work. Perhaps, most of all I learned that my reputation as a hard worker reflected on my family. That if I was a lazy piece of crap who didn’t pull my weight it would be a negative statement on not just me but my Mother, Father, siblings and so forth. My parents set the example. They worked hard and while we had what we needed most of the time, we were poor.

    I think Gingrich’s statements are exactly as you characterized them. The man is as slimy as he is fat and doesn’t have a clue.

    But, I have to admit, reading your post, you had me right up until the comment about giving President Obama 4 more years. That’s where you’re color blind, bro. You honestly think that President Obama gives a flip about you and all the rest of us who are hurting out here? Really?? Seriously??? You really believe that? Based on what? The amount of melanin in his skin? And I thought I was biased. Good lord man, snap out of it.

  26. I mean seriously.
    How can Democrats hide behind white sheets for over 100 years, then appoint a La-Raza member to the US Supreme Court, then talk down to others about racism?

    Do you guys really think nobody will notice?

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  28. Trent says:

    FUCK YOU!!!!!! I’ve been working since before I had the right to drive and my mother has been keeping multiple jobs to this day just to make ends meet, she and my father and my 4 extremely poor siblings are the hardest working people in the world. Given the financial opportunity I’m positive we would all surpass these people with a silver spoon born in their mouth. They are the lazy ones, People like Newt Gingrich have never had to consistently or realistically work for a damn thing in their life. Its the opportunities they recieve from their rich elders and connections that give them power, not their hard work. I could be a wealthy asshole too if my father’s budget allowed it. So disconnected it makes me sick.

  29. Sean Wilson says:

    As I have stated to numerous feeds. Being poor has nothing to do with the application of ones self. If someone from a poor neighborhood wishes to succeed, they will, regardless of the status quo. More power to you Mr. Free. I applaud you.

    • google says:

      Well Gingrich assumed that being poor, meant the parents in the home were not working, that is a big load of crap.My husband I worked extremely hard in any type of weather to provide for our children , and made sure they got high education, all of them have their masters and one is on her way to getting her PHD , We weren’t rich. But with hard work we make sure their life would be better than ours. We never took anything from the Government, and paid our taxes, So when Gingrich says those things it angers me to the core, he is a insensitive, racist toad, And if I had a personal life that he has, I would hide away, but he is so shameless, he honestly believe he can become President. This whole country is not like the Racist morally bankrupt souls in South Carolina, who voted for him, This man have no ethics, he knows his base and will say what they want him say, so he could get the nomination, if he thought he could win their votes by saying he will bring back slavery of blacks, he would shout it from the roof tops. But the nasty little innuendos he makes is music to their souls. This is a hateful and despotic man, and a serial adulterer. Imagine His wife being the first lady, how sickening.

  30. anonymous says:

    Best P.S. ever

  31. I would highly suggest readers contextualize this morons racist remarks by visiting the National Black Republican Association.

    http:\\NBRA.info
    Here you will see how the Democrats have used what Obama calls “plantation politics”
    You will see why people like Allen West, Thomas Sowell and Hemran Cain have left the plantation.

    In fact. This is why Dr Martin Luther King Jr was a Republican.

    • Specifically, take the “Black History test”
      Find out how much you have been brainwashed by the party of the Klan.

      http://nbra.info/DYK-HistoryTest

      • Colin Lincoln Holloway says:

        Hello?
        That hasn’t been true for, oh what, 43 years!
        Get a grip, it was referred to as “The Southern Strategy” by Nixon when he impressed the South that He, and His Republican Party, were the REAL racist pricks, not the mamby pamby dixiecrats.
        Dixiecrats were the last vestige of Jackson’s racist party.
        And now, since the deaths of Bull Connors & George Wallace, the seemingly interminable race has become extinct.
        Republicans also once stood for po’ folks & workers’ rights too.
        So much has changed.
        The question is, are you ignorant and uneducated or are you just sadly unintelligent?

        • BS
          You had Klan leader (and former dixicrat) in the democratic party all the way until 2010.
          KKK member Hugo Black served on the USSC until 1971.

          “Klan associate” (see wikipedia) Wallace ran as a segregationist and Democrat(except one 3rd party run) in every presidential election until 1976.

          When President Obama appointed a mexi-klan “La Raza” member to the US Supreme Court in 2009, how was that any different than when FDR appointed a KKK member to the US Supreme Court in 1943?

          Save your Klan-party apologetics for someone who doesn’t know any better.

          • Colin Lincoln Holloway says:

            Alright you little compensating-for-something twerp, that pushes the envelope.
            You think you can get away with implying I’m a fucking racist without me bitch slapping you?
            Firstly, if you weren’t illiterate, you very well might have read that I addressed Herr Wallace.
            So, let’s talk about today. David Duke a Democrat? I don’t think so, fuckchop.
            And if the Democratic party is the party of socialists/communists why did Virgil Lee Griffin get in a little war with communists in North Carolina.
            Yeah, and Thomas Robb and the American terrorist David Wayne Hull are total Dems, Sure. You fucking moron.
            Don’t you realize that you are in such a minority in this world, being so intentionally, intransigently fucking ignorant? That you couldn’t convince a starving man to eat the swill you’re selling?
            You can go on until you keel over and no one will ever believe you have a scintilla of intelligence, a pot to piss in or two brain cells left to rub together.
            Folks have given you the benefit of the doubt that you might have a centilla of reason.

        • PS…
          And don’t even get me started on Nixon. After all. he was the guy whom federalized the revised 1969 Philadelphia Plan, implementing affirmative action thouought the Federal Government in order to remedy the fact that Democrats had fired ALL BLACKS from the Federal Governement 50 years earlier.

          How does this prove in any way that republicans were “the real racist pricks”..you ignorant klan-party apologist?

          • Colin Lincoln Holloway says:

            Oh for Christ’s sake, you mindless lunatic. Again, you’ve more than crossed the line with me, calling me a Klan apologist.For the record I come from a long long line of anti-fascist, anti -racists. My grandfather was personal friends and biographers of Mohandas Gandhi and Jan Masaryk. My entire life has been dedicated to justice. Hell, I’m barely a fucking Democrat (nice assumption, you sure do make an ass of yourself, as the word seems to imply).
            Nixon would do anything and everything that he could that was politically expedient. Aside from that the plan was initially developed in ’67, in ’69 Nixon was barely in office, His appointed man, Arthur Fletcher, was the man who implemented a plan, with little revision, from the Johnson administration. And come the fuck on now, like the Republican Party embraces the man, Fletcher, known as the Father of Affirmative Action.
            Nixon also signed into law, the Clean Air & Water Acts.
            That doesn’t change the facts, you godamned idiot, that the “Southern Strategy” existed, that it changed the face of both major parties forever and for good (mind you one of the greatest tectonic shifts, within the Dem party itself, in prior history would have been the ’48 civil rights plank).
            Denying that till your face turns blue can only turn your phrase “you ignorant klan-party apologist” back on your own fat, petulant ass. And it sho’ must be ugly.

            • Ghandi was a Nazi apologist too you ignorant assfist.

              Plus You are factulaly wrong on your Nixon history.

              It is Nixon himself who is considered the father of affirmatie action as it was he who federalized it.
              In fact he “has been called “the greatest school desegregator in American history” by historian Dean Kotlowski due to his compliance with a 1971 Supreme Court ruling mandating desegregation,[23]

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1972_presidential_election

              This WAS the Southern strategy my friend. Real racist eh?
              THis while Democrats were running OPN SEGREGATIONISTS like Wallace who got 1/3 of the vote in the Democratic primary that year and was winning more until shot. His segregationist votes, then measurably and prvably went to the prevailing Democrat.

              Facts matter.

              Here is the botom line my friend:

              If you are trying to obscure the Democratic party’s relationship to the KKK, LA Raza, MECHA, the New Black Panthers and every other organized racist group in the nation?
              If you are trying to portray this as a bipartisan or Republican issue? Shifting the record from the actual party responsible for this bigoty, as iyour party has done for 60 year now?

              If that shoe fits YOU?

              You are a Klan-party apologist.
              Period

              • PS
                My grandfather chased crossburners off the neighbors lawn in the 1950,s with his .45.

                Yet I never have used that as an excuse to become a Klan apologist on some doods blog.

                Your family must be so proud….or oldschool democrats!

                • Colin Lincoln Holloway says:

                  Yeah well too bad the apple fell far, far from that tree.
                  You want to go after my family like that?
                  (and get a clue, wanker, does my Nono sound like he’s an American?)

                  Well, we can be sure your grandfather wouldn’t be proud of you.

              • Colin Lincoln Holloway says:

                Right, so, one more time.
                I’m not now or ever have denied the fact that virulent racism has been part & parcel of just about every damn party in the United States. You want an example of one the most heinously racist parties? Look into the Progressive Party, turn of the last century.
                There has long been conflicts between “worker’s parties” and racism.
                So speaking of racism, Sotomayor & La Raza, give me a break. So does that mean that Kagan is a member of some terrorist group?
                And to clarify, given King V Kentucky I’ve little or no use for either of those two.
                I don’t hide any criticism for Obama. And much to my other lefty friends chagrin I do believe there is a bit of slop in the health care mandate. Not as per commerce or the 10thy but even more ironically to the 13th.
                Can you discuss that?
                Or is it the shit you spew comes from one or two limited, ideological sites?
                Have you no ability to think for yourself.
                As you apparently don’t. Who’s the real supporter of the KKK. Someone who enslaves themselves, intellectually or otherwise. I would proffer.
                As to your other cheap shot (Jesus, you’d think that Christopher Hitchens, the king of the cheap shot, has found a way to communicate from beyond the grave). Please note I was speaking of my grandfather and, let’s get this straight, He nor Gandhi were ever an apologist for that asshole, as many in the Republican Party were, as was Linbergh & Ford.
                Gandhi wrote two letters to Hitler the first states “It is quite clear that you are today the one person in the world who can prevent a war which may reduce humanity to the savage state. Must you pay that price for an object however worthy it may appear to you to be? Will you listen to the appeal of one who has deliberately shunned the method of war not without considerable success?”
                Now he did take shit for prefacing with “My/Dear friend”. Now I bet you haven’t a clue of the historic reference there, do you? HUh? Times up! Here’s a hint, when in school in England, where did a young Mohandas get a great deal of inspiration? What religious denomination did he attend and learn from?
                The Religious Society of Friends. Among Friends (I’m a Feral Friend, a Bad Quaker, as was my grandfather). Historically we address all people as Friend or friend. Friends being a a society of radical egalitarians who were imprisoned in the early years for not using the formal “You & Your” to a laird, instead using the familiar “Thee & Thou” of an equal.
                That’s the context of what idiots have later come to use as “evidence” of being an “apologist”. You want facts? Well them’s the facts. What you have come to “learn” is absolute bullshit, Fascist Propaganda and only a tool such as yourself couldn’t figure that out.

                Like the group that helped inspire Gandhi, he saw the value of using language of acceptance & equality. How could you expect anything less from him? On a personal note, my Nono often spoke of the conversations with Gandhigi, that they loved to discuss what MG referred to as “The Manyness” of things, that their mutual contemplation of the uses of language and many of the beliefs of the Society of Friends remained central to their core beliefs.
                So on a very personal note, fuck you back to the stone ages, in as baad a Quaker way as possible for so impugning myself & my family & my heritage.
                So that ends it.
                I find myself uncharacteristically enraged by your contemptible, intransigent ignorance and don’t see a point in point to point debate as you have, obviously, no desire or ability to go beyond your narrow bandwidth of hate and ignorance. For every time you spew some bullshit, twisted “fact” I can come up, without the use of an ideological website, a counter point fact and still there is no penetrating a cranium which seems so sadly lacking.
                So Hasta La Vista Nunca(as we say here in New Mexico where, yes, I do have friends who were in La Raza and did secure land rights denied them after the abuses of the Treaty of Gaudalupe Hidalgo) Bitch.

                • merchette14 says:

                  Well Sir while I enjoy much of what you write, I must say, I offended that you should use a
                  beloved historical man of peace like Ghandhi in realizing your point, A man who fought for and won independence for his people, He used the strength of words, he suffered at the hand of the British occupiers, and was still able to convince his people that non violence was the only way to attain peace. Heros like Ghandhi and Martin Luther King, are few and far between, let please lets not sully there names, by writing it in a column that have the name of Newt.

  32. jadbperl says:

    Mr. Free:
    What I find so horribly distrubing is the immensely racist comments on your blog. More power to you, Mr. Free.

  33. Sue Gillis says:

    Newt, you just got royally served….. God, we are SO SICK of this mentality!! Very nice Travon – you rule!

  34. thedamari says:

    I’m not black, but did grow up poor in a poor neighborhood. Thank you for this. What Newt said was classist and racist and unacceptable for someone who wants to be the president of us all.

  35. james says:

    I understand your anger because when I look at Newt I get angry as well.
    He is a puffed up self righteous clownish hypocrite who has no business in any kind of public office. Instead he should be doing is Fox News or talk radio or something.
    And he does look like someone poured mashed potatoes in a suit.
    But he is right about kids not learning to work in this country. It is a problem. And there are a bunch of kids like this. We are in a global market place and on a global stage. We need people to participate productively in our society instead of leaching or trying to figure our shortcuts. I suppose the biggest leaches and robbers are probably corporate, big government and religious leaders, so maybe Newt could start “learn to work” campaign with that group first. But he is right about kids learning how to work…it needs to happen. And Obama has done nothing of note except hand the insurance companies more undeserved money. So not sure why you want to see more of him. I hope it is not some kind of racial thing. Two wrongs never make a right.

    • merchette14 says:

      Tell me something, why is Newt right? He advocates violating the labour laws by having young children work, the jobs he wants them to do is to clean toilets, because in his sick distorted mind that’s all the poorer classes can do. Why doesn’t he advocate higher education, or learning a skill that would benefit them in future. This lump of crap assumes that firing the janitors, who are providing for their families, will work well for the economy. Off course he is again playing to his base, knowing any that anything that sounds racist, will rally his people. He is Hitler like, the murderer of millions of innocent Jews, as his people applaud his evilness, given the opportunity, Gingrich would relish being in that position. Then we have is sickening adulterous life style.Is there anything positive about this monster?, no!!!. He is not a good guy. Callista is also another crappy human being, their hypocrisy is astounding. The shameless way they walk around, shows they have no concept of right and wrong.If these two ever get into white house, it will show Americans have also have a limited capacity to do what is right and good. Truly it my make us a close kin to Sadom and Gomorrah

  36. brrro says:

    Hey Travon,
    Truth hurts my friend, but what Newt said is statistically true. Sure, he could have said it in a “better” way; I agree also that not every poor person comes from a “lazy” family. This is why you became so successful. You saw your parents work hard and they were probably excellent parents. However, you and I both know, many poor kids (white, black, blue, red) have very bad parents with very little values. Many of these kids are exposed to drugs, sex, and things that don’t foster love and success. To ignore that obvious point, makes your bias “humor” straight up suck. But hey bud, you’re in good company, most comedians are blatantly liberal anyway.

    • Cal says:

      how big are these little values? You’re just being insensitive toward the vertically challenged I presume.

    • Colin Lincoln Holloway says:

      ENNNNNHHHH! Wrong answer brrro, as to your “statistics”. The greatest portion of chronic poverty goes to white, rural southerners.
      But let’s not let facts get in the way of institutionalized precepts of racism.

  37. Chris says:

    To our dear Republican friends … Please remain loyal to this party if you have a great fondness for your liberties and income diminishing … I know most of you are well educated … THE SHOW IT!

  38. famous Internet Guy says:

    It is incredible to see people whom vote Democrat accusing Republicans of “hidden racism”.

    The US Democratic party, which brought us the Slavery, Jim Crow laws,segregation, lynching, the KKK, The Black Panthers, The New Black Panthers La Raza, LULAC, MECHA, MAPA black liberation theology and Fred Phelps…wants to talk down to others about bigotry?
    ?
    Huh?

    LOL

    • Uhm, the old Democratic Party of the Jim Crow days is actually the Republican Party of today. They switched up some years after the Spanish American War…Which is why most Southern Democrats are actually Republicans at heart. Read some history.

      • Umm, I think you’re a little confused, and that’s really not me being facetious. The split you’re referring to of the Democratic-Republican party took place after the War of 1812. After the Mexican-American War ended in 1848, the Whig party, which resembled the modern Republican party, fell apart, and then anti-slavery Democrats defected from what was left of the Democratic party and formed what is known today as the Republican party. Remaining Northern Democrats split between War Democrats and Peace Democrats during the Civil War, the War Democrats allying themselves with Lincoln’s Republican Party of course. The Southern Confederacy didn’t have any parties. They were simply Confederates.

        During the Reconstruction period following the Civil War, when the Republican Party granted freed slaves new rights, what was left of the Democratic Party capitalized on the resulting resentment that Southerners felt, and during the 1890’s the Southern states formed a Democratic block. In 1913, a Southern Democratic by the name of Woodrow Wilson was the first Southern-born man to be elected president after the Civil War period. Bringing other Southern Democrats into his cabinet with him, he was persuaded to institute segregationist policies for the first time in federal offices and openly stated that he felt segregation was in the best interest of both races.

        Even if you were correct though, and the split did take place after the Spanish American War, that would have been post 1898, and the new state constitutions that were created by the Southern states after the Confederacy was defeated, which solidified segregationist policies, were created between 1890 and 1910, and then of course the Jim Crow Laws continued well into the mid 20th Century.

        • The Democrats of today are liberals. The KKK were not. Plain and simple.

          • Yes, because historically, political parties who have been friendly toward and allied themselves with socialists and communists have been so kind toward Jews, people of color, homosexuals and women. (That was a little facetious, but only because I couldn’t resist, not because I wish any ill-will toward you). You’ll have to forgive me if I’m a little skeptical of a political party led by millionaires and billionaires claiming to represent “the people.” How nice of Susan Serandon and Warren Buffett to show their support for the OWS crowd.

            The last time in history someone stood up and pointed their finger at the wealthy bankers and accused them of being the cause of all a nation’s woes and its economic downturn, that didn’t work out so well for minorities. Just because a party tells you they care about poor people and the under-served doesn’t mean they do.

            But I understand, I really do. I was as liberal as as they come. I was a Rhodes Scholar Professor’s pet and the leader of the Student Union movement in my college when I was an undergrad. It’s natural for young people who give a shit about the world to gravitate toward the Left. It’s expected. Young people who are outraged by social injustice and poverty and hatred and all those things I’m sure you too care about are very susceptible to a group of people who tell them “I care about those things too! And you know who’s fault all this injustice is? Your own country!”

            Lefties love conspiracy theories, so here’s one for you: you are even more susceptible to that same group of people when they have completely taken over the public school system and have been telling you since kindergarten that the old version of history your parents learned was a lie, and they hand you a revised version that tells you that the truth is that your country is evil and corrupt. They teach you things like the old Democratic Party that created the KKK and segregation and perpetuated those policies right up until the mid-20th Century, well they’re all Republicans now, and if Lincoln were alive today, even though he was a Republican, he’d be a Democrat today. This is quite similar, in fact, to what George Orwell warned us of when he coined terms like Double Speak.

            You’re even more susceptible to this indoctrination when you have a grandfather who was a legend in the union. A freaking Teamster hero and Master Engineer in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineer’s Union (don’t let the language fool you–Master Engineers aren’t engineers at all. They’re mechanics and bulldoze drivers. That’s just some more of that creative use of language that Orwell loved to comment on). My use of the word “hero” isn’t hyperbole here. The man was a working class legend who was forced to retire early after he told a bunch Mafioso thugs to get off his job site and tell their boss he can go fuck himself. And what did the union ultimately do for this man who repeatedly, throughout his career, put himself on the line to make sure the workers under his charge had safe working conditions in a very dangerous field of manual labor? Not a God damn thing. That grandparent did NOT die a millionaire. He died in a shack in the middle of the country that was a garage when he bought it and slowly grew into a house as he built a hallway and a couple rooms onto it over the years. Where was the union when my mother was trying to come up with the money to keep him in the hospital when he was dying and needed medical care and his pathetic Medicaid coverage wouldn’t pay the hospital bills? Nowhere to be found.

            And what did the union I was forced to join and pay dues to as a condition of employment in the industry I worked in after college do for me and the thousands of other entry level employees who worked full time and overtime and still couldn’t afford to pay rent in the city we worked in, let alone pay for healthcare? Not a God damn thing. They were too busy every year during negotiations making sure the members who actually made a nice cushy salary got theirs. That’s about the time a young, idealistic liberal looks around and sees that the liberal media looks awfully white, and rich, and overwhelmingly male, and starts to realize that at the highest levels, the party leadership doesn’t look anything like the people they claim to represent but looks an awful lot like the people they claim to be in opposition too, that basically an entire platform of indoctrination is being created by the same Ivy League grads and Wall Street financiers (I’m guessing you are not aware that most of the financial sector is overwhelmingly Democrat) that the entire party believes has been historically, and continues to be, the source of socio-economic injustice.

            The worst part–the party is really good at sweeping all this under the rug where compassionate young people won’t notice it, but they don’t even make an effort to hide the anti-antisemitism that has been the one common element among all totalitarian dictatorships throughout history. Like Famous Internet Guy said, facts matter. Those facts establish a track record and should speak a hell of a lot louder than what someone tells you their motivations are, but unfortunately, it’s usually just enough to say “I care about poor people” to garnish support because who doesn’t want to ally themselves with the group that cares? The group that says they have your best interest at heart? The fact that Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, was an open proponent of eugenics–you know, those people who believed black Americans and the poor should be forcibly sterilized because they’ll just reproduce more poor people–should speak louder than the people who claim her organization cares about the communities they serve, but sadly, it doesn’t. It should be plain and simple, but tragically, it is not.

            • (Excuse me–that was supposed to read Medicare coverage)

            • Brian B says:

              Grind those axes!

              • Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe I’m some bitter old spinster grinding away at her ax. Maybe I’m just disillusioned and hope I can bring some others who have been conned into the light. Maybe I just care about our country and see what a dangerous state it is in, teetering on the brink with an angry youth mob at the helm because they’re pointing their outrage in the wrong direction.

                It doesn’t really matter. Facts are facts. It doesn’t really matter who I am. It doesn’t change the fact that they’re, well, facts.

            • Colin Lincoln Holloway says:

              Just an observation,
              The term engineer was historically used for what you refer to as “a mechanic”.
              “Engineering” degrees, and formal schooling, have been in existence for a very brief time in relation to the term.
              I think that the (hehe) machinations of such terms over the years tell an interesting story.
              ảpxitέktwv (architekton) simply means “Master Builder”. Certainly there are many outstanding architects, however anyone that’s ever worked with them in recent decades can tell you, most couldn’t build their way into a paper bag.
              Such as with the term “Engineer”. Originally it meant someone who got their hands dirty building trebuchet & the like.

              I hope you see this as a bit of a, how should I say, homage, to your gist?

              Yes, things are rarely as they seem.
              So perhaps the point is that it is advisable to go through life with a good deal of skepticism (Greek: ‘σκέπτομαι’ skeptomai, to think, to look about, to consider) in both the philosophical & scientific?

              I do find that to excoriate unions in an attempted argument of relative analysis is to overlook a bit historical perspective.
              Perhaps unions have failed for workers as the Southern Democrats have failed for racists. Once upon a time, though, they did stand for something.

              • That actually is interesting. I’m aware of the roots of “architect” and have come across it in reference to masons, masonry, etc., but was not as well versed in the etymology of the word “engineer.” As I typed out “Mechanical and Industrial Engineers Union,” I anticipated some snippy comment about engineers not being real laborers or something of the ilk, and thought I’d avoid the aggravation by clarifying the term right up front. The added reference to Orwell was more of a stream-of-consciousness afterthought than an argument of relative analysis (attempted, accomplished, or otherwise). It’s definitely not something I would endeavor to write a dissertation on.

                I might agree that to berate unions is to “overlook a bit historical perspective” if any of the criticisms I listed had anything to do with their role in history. I realize that from what I wrote, one may have the impression that I am profoundly more passionate about the subject than I in fact am. I think the only reason my grandfather and the whole union critique even came to mind is because I have spent the last two days spending so much time talking about my other set of grandparents, and the incredibly disparate political views of the two families (in spite of their relatively similar origins), and how those views shaped the course of their lives, and how they ultimately fared so dissimilarly in the end, is fascinating to me, and one might even argue quite telling. But all that aside, I absolutely agree that unions played a crucial role in leveling the playing field and protecting the rights of laborers and empowering an entire working force that was not receiving the fruits of their labor, of which they were entitled to, if you will. Sometimes I like the idea of unions in theory, at least in the context of a balance to the negotiating power of large corporate employers, sometimes I don’t. It all depends on what lens I’m looking at them through in my moment of skepticism (< Late Latin scepticus thoughtful, inquiring (in plural Scepticī the Skeptics) (I was trying to paying you homage, but I have to admit, it just felt a little pretentious when I did it ;) ). I just think in practice, like many organizations of their size and strength, that today, regardless of their original intents and purpose, they are corrupt and serve the few, not the many.

                The present state of unions (no pun intended) is relevant because in spite of the fact that so many of the academic-type liberals are almost completely disconnected from the Blue Dog, working class, union-types, that does not mean the unions aren't still alive and well, shaping policy and doctrine, and even teaching a small few how to rally and organize and then sending them back to their prospective universities to stir the pot and get out in the streets with their puppets and their picket signs. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, Google "sweat shop labor student union" or "united students against sweatshops" and you'll find some interesting information. I myself didn't learn about the movement through Google, or even recently for that matter. I learned about it what feels now like a long, long time ago, directly from the organizers and the participants. If you think the old school union organizers who trained the students in union-sponsored summer camps how to organize and rally and protest did it because they are so concerned about working conditions in El Salvador and Mexico, then I would advise a good dose of healthy skepticism while you "consider" the subject.

                • Colin Lincoln Holloway says:

                  Hey OSW, (being wretchedly dyslexic I derive major gits & shiggles from the initials, as they are readily transposed by my mind into OWS),
                  Hadn’t been around. Found that my dander got up from another poster and backed away.
                  Please forgive my bone picking when it comes to engineers. After all, three of the guys on Rushmore were representatives of my profession but none were engineers. Of course “we” (who, by the way, rarely have union representation) believe that to be significant.

                  Truth be told I’ve my own axe to grind with unions.
                  I’m damn near a one issue voter. Only thing is I keep seeing the need to dispense with other hassles so that we can concentrate on Global Climate Disruption.
                  That unions will stand up for things like the Keystone Pipeline for short term, small time, employment, over the massive employment that retooling the economy to both environmental & economic sustainability would entail.

                  See, I’m really far worse than any Democrat, or Libertine (err, Libertarian), for that matter

                  As to what to do? Well, I don’t reckon we’re going to throw the political process out at this time just because every one who seems to find themselves in Washington is a great bloody git. Reckon that Unions are pretty much the same animal. THat if they’re not responsible to their constituents , then the constituents should rise on up.
                  That their leadership might be seeing a little light these days, if only to protect their own asses, might be a good thing.
                  I kind of think a deal’s a deal. If I had the opportunity to take a job and I was told, well, we’re going to pay you this, ain’t all that much, but you get to retire at a given time with a pension of this, well that’s a deal. If the state/union invests in dodgy dealings in Wall Street.and doesn’t hold up it’s end of the deal, I shouldn’t be penalized for it.
                  Certainly the big muckety muck of the union/state that was at the helm should be the one to lose, not the rank & file/employees.
                  ( I like to use definitions for the purpose of clarifying my, personal, intended use of a word, especially one that those got damned Romans got a hold of((place emoticon here)))
                  So cheers, hope this day, now returning to light & sun finds you well.

            • Tired says:

              WOW! Talk about some conspiracy theory shit. What do you call what you just wrote?

        • PhoebeK says:

          THANK YOU, onlyspartanwomen, for bringing some sanity to this discourse. FIG is full of it and trying to convince people that the Democratic Party during Jim Crow days is the same Democratic Party of today–and distorting and obfuscating while he’s at it.

      • Wrong.
        Aside from Democrats factually being the party that supported Jim Crow laws. The KKK and other organized racist groups were exclusive to the Democratic party (they are basically non-existent now but in their heyday in US govt all the way through the ’70’s) and always have been.
        Democrats ran Klan associate George Wallace in every primary all the way until 1976.
        In 1976 klan associate And Democrat Wallace dropped from the primary and endorsed former segregationist Jimmy Carter.
        Wallace then took credit for keeping the segregationist vote for Carter.

        By this time Nixon had implemented affirmative action in the Federal Government by following the “revised 1969 philadelphia plan” and later Nixon became known as “the greatest school desegregator in American history” by historian Dean Kotlowski due to his compliance with a 1971 Supreme Court ruling mandating desegregation.

        So Democrats factuallly had Klan in the US senate until 2010 and running for US presidents office until 1976.

        I would close by saying that when President Obama appointed former La Raza (aka mexi-klan) member of 6 years Sonia Sotomayor? It was no different than when Democrat hero Franklin Delanore Roosevelt appointed liberal, democrat, KKK member Hugo Black to the US Supreme Court.

        Facts matter.

        Now it seems Democrats want to get preachy about Racism.

        Utterly rediculous.

        • PS

          Klanner and liberal Democrat Hugo Black served on the US Supreme Court until 1971

          “former” “cured” Klan leader and recruiter Robert Byrd served as a Democrat in the US senate until his death in 2010.

        • PhoebeK says:

          FIG, I suggest you place your “facts” in context before you go spouting off about racist, KKK-embracing Democrats. Because your comments contain too many distortions to address them all (IOW, I’ve got better things to do with my time than refute them all), I’ll just respond to your distorted claim that “Democrats ran Klan associate George Wallace in every primary all the way until 1976.”
          Bullshit.
          Yes, racist, segregationist George Wallace ran as a Democrat, but he was NOT supported by the Democratic Party! Duh! His first failed attempt at the White House in 1964 was going to be against an INCUMBENT (John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated in his first term of office). In ’68 he ran as an independent. In ’72 he tried to stir up some interest against Democratic favorite George McGovern and then tried to prevail over Jimmy Carter in ’76. He was NEVER the Democratic Party’s front runner. Ever. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Wallace
          Yes, at one time, the Dems were considered the party of choice by those who would now consider themselves Republicans or independents. Platforms and constituency began to shift during the civil rights era until the Democratic Party became associated with freedom of speech, civil rights (the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and President Johnson’s War on Poverty, which included federal assistance programs) and general liberalism.
          To try to claim that the Democratic Party of the late 20th/ early 21st century even remotely resembles the Democratic Party of the Jim Crow South is ludicrous, disingenuous and plain-old wrong. I don’t know what your agenda is, FIG, or what you’re hoping to achieve with this misinformation campaign, but there are too many true accounts of how the Democratic Party has changed over the years for your distorted, revisionist drivel to muddy it up too badly.
          Nothing to see here, folks. Move along.

    • Tired says:

      There’s nothing hidden about Republican racism – it’s all right out there for everyone to see. And by the way, which history books or documents are you reading? You keep spewing the same crap but nothing to back it up. And keep you LOL’s to yourself. Racism is no laughing matter.

  39. ed says:

    So you’re a stand up comedian??? That explains the ignorant ranting then. You are wrong in SO many ways. After 3 years of the biggest fool in history, how could ANYONE possibly support this guy,,, unless of course you’re black. I ask some of the morons who commented here, how do you like the job his VP, Sarah Palin, has done so far. LMAO, remember the Harlem interviews by H Stern?? What scares the hell outta me, is these idiots are allowed to vote, and they obviously did.

    • Weaponsofmassdeception says:

      Mr. Ed,
      Please list, with supporting evidence from a neutral third party, three things that back your claim that President Obama is, and I’m quoting you here, “the biggest fool in history” That is assuming that you possess a greater intellect than a ‘stand up comedian’

    • Brian B. says:

      uhhh… ‘Ed’ was referring to George Wobble-You Bush “…the biggest fool in history”

    • Travon Free says:

      Fact for fact you will lose every time. And I’m fairly certain this stand up comedian is much more informed about the issues than you clearly are based on the the assertions made in your comment. The fact that you think all black people voted for Obama, or even that I voted for him proves just how deep your ignorance flows. If dem voters are so ignorant then why are all the republican voters jumping ship? Proof—-> http://t.co/tCdDLFzt

  40. Brian B. says:

    jpward001 says that when we invaded Iraq, we were greeted as liberators and the revenue from Iraqi oil paid for the entirety of the military operation….

    pretty sure you’re wrong on that, dude…

  41. Brian B. says:

    Mike Burns sayeth: “I want to keep more of what I make.”
    You sir, are in luck!! Income tax rates are lower than they’ve been since the 1950’s

    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2011/jun/29/barack-obama/barack-obama-says-tax-rates-are-lowest-1950s-ceos-/

    “…I don’t want regulations and red tape to keep me from being able to start a business – this has happened with me. I don’t want the Federal government to determine what is “fair.”

    “And what about crushing government regulations and oppressive taxes, which Republicans perceive as the root of weak growth? The NFIB (National Federation of Independent Business -Brian) survey, not surprisingly, found that these weren’t major concerns for businesses.

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal/2011_12/nfib_vs_gop_talking_points033953.php

    …A new survey of small business owners conducted by the National Federation of Independent Business finds that not only do more small business owners identify lack of demand as the biggest impediment to growth than any other factor, most of those who identify “uncertainty” as an impediment really mean lack of demand. […]
    It turns out that when small business owners say “uncertainty” is an impediment to growth, they mean economic uncertainty, not political uncertainty. And by economic uncertainty, they mean uncertainty about demand.”

    I really wish people like Mr. Burns would learn what the hell they’re talking about before they post.
    I used to be an ‘uninformed republican’ just like Burns -please, Mike, do not point out the redundancy contained therein- and I dutifully believed all the nonsense that Mike Burns is spouting.

    After I returned from the Iraq war, I started schooling myself and learned that (like most people who vote republican, I had NO business in doing so) most of the economic problems we face can be laid squarely at the feet of the republican party. Who the hell do you think paid for the Iraq war, Mike? That was done on the government credit card (to break it down for you, my taxes, your taxes, everybody’s taxes!) Why did we go there again? Weapons of mass destruction? No, scratch that. Iraq attacked us on 9/11? Scratch that too, of the 19 hijackers, 18 were Saudi nationals… how about you research ‘TARP’ and what administration was responsible for it and post what you find here?
    Facts are out there if you choose to find them Mike Burns.

  42. Brian B. says:

    Oh, as a Veteran of the Iraq War and former Republican, I can assure that Rational Thought has a profound inability to appreciate American military strength and foreign policy -I know I’m going to vote for the guy that killed bin Laden.

    • jpward001 says:

      So you are voting for Seal Team 6, they killed Bin Laden not obam0, he was just along for the airtime and ride. Put the credit were it belongs. And what has the imposter and chief doing to help our vets or our current military? Cut funding, help up checks, gut their power.

    • sarum says:

      huh? Bin Laden was dead long time ago. S’wy Benazir Bhutto was murdered? For telling the truth to the international press? I’ve always wondered. Now her husband has suspicious heart condition? This guy you reference is also bringing us treason in form of national indefinite detention and possible murder of citizens without due process based on possibility of being terrorist and that, as you may recall from the Missouri memo, includes all military, and these days has been expanded to include anybody who pays with cash, something lots of us have reverted to because we can’t afford banks anymore – so effectively poor people will get into the FEMA camps first? And how many jobs are being created with new internment specialist positions being advertised?

  43. Brian B. says:

    If his screen name is ‘rational thought’ why, pray tell, is he posting so irresponsibly and irrationally?

    Great post by the way, love the mashed potatoes line… and thanks to Mark L. for settin’ Mammy’s Girl straight!

  44. Thank you Trevon for speaking up to Newt Gingrich’s speech! I think his speech, like you said, just shows us how much more of a moron he is and it is real clear he is not someone who is worthy of running this country!

  45. gary pemberton says:

    Sir,

    Should you ever put this to video, and I highly suggest you do, please send me a link so I can upload it to my YouTube.

  46. kat8163 says:

    Good for you Mark L., because DAMN Mammy’s girl is a joke & my hubby just wanted to add we agree 100% SO Mammy’s girl you were just told off twice…BIOTCH!!! PS. that was from the hubby. LOL!!! Time for someone to open her eyes up.

    • Pete says:

      Try writing in English (instead of Textish or pop-culturish) so people can understand your foolish bullshit a little better. Try to form cogent, intelligible sentences. You’ll be astounded at the positive feedback!

  47. George McCarthy says:

    I am a 75 year old white guy, actually pinkish might be more accurate. I grew up surrounded
    by people who believed the silly claptrap that Mr.Gingrich is peddling. My real life experience
    has taught me that Hispanic and Black workers work harder than any of these upper
    class twits who, as far as I can see, have never broken a sweat. I find Newt Gingrich’s words on the subject of work ethic repulsive, just as I find much of the rest of what he says. He plays to the rabble, a rabble filled with racial and ethnic prejudice. What can you expect? It seems to me the highest form of patriotism would be to struggle for a better life for all of our citizens. What good does it do for me that my fellow humans are deprived of a better life?

  48. Mike Burns says:

    I read your post and you make some excellent points. I am a Republican. I’m not too thrilled with my choice in candidates and think we could have better choices. Isn’t this sad when we can’t even attract good candidates for the position. I believe that there are many who have the same story as you and many who are quickly becoming the poor in America. Your family, (mother) made the best of a tough situation for you and your family. Many others have this strong work ethic that is needed by all of us. I am unemployed, and have been for some time. I have worked jobs and farm in order to scrape enough to pay basic bills. The common denominator between my philosophy and that of you and your mother is “HOPE”. Hope in being able to make something better for yourself and your family. Hope that comes in personal responsibility. I continue to work and at the same time look and interview for work. At this time, I am probably one of the millions who they save have stopped looking for work or just fallen off the roles. I continue to work and to look and I will continue to do so. I have HOPE. Without HOPE I have nothing and trust me it will show in the form of depression and to potential employers. Most importantly, my hope and work ethic do not come from the Federal Government. I want our government to be less intrusive in our lives. I want to keep more of what I make. I don’t want regulations and red tape to keep me from being able to start a business – this has happened with me. I don’t want the Federal government to determine what is “fair”….this always results in corruption and payola. Look at what has happened to Greece. We are headed there fast! I’m an American first and I don’t care what your political affiliation is. I do believe that we have a president that has spent more than any other president. I believe we need private investment not government investment. We need someone who can turn this economy around and right the ship. I do not know what President Obama has done to curb spending and debt and encourage private sectore business success. I don’t ask if I am better off now than I was 4 years ago. I’m obviously not. Is our country better off? NO! Our president has had his opportunity and he has not delivered for America. He has done some things but none of them have had a positive impact.

    • Simone says:

      Have you ever asked yourself, why he hasn’t delivered? In this country blacks has always gotten high positions in the job sector. Blacks have gotten to be presidents of a company, CEOs, Mayor, Lawyers, executives of whatever, yet the whites never allowed them to make any rules, or have any say so in their positions. The whites allowed them to go so far, before they’d pull them back. This is what is happening to President Obama. Yeah, he was allowed to be president, but the white dems and GOP are sticking to their white guns, and holding him back. They don’t want it to go down in history as a black person has changed anything in a white man’s world. That would be unamerican.

    • Doug Tauber says:

      If you believe that this president has spent more than any other president, You obviously have been listening to what the republicans tell you, but you do not pay attention to what they do. This is why middle class republicans have been said to vote against their own interests. They listen to the BS they hear on “Fox “News” and take it as fact. While it’s true that the deficit continues to rise under this president, It’s not because he had anything to do with it, Tax cuts for the rich under Bush are the biggest deficit driver. And your “wonderful” republicans have blocked every attempt to let them expire like they were supposed to. Two unfunded wars by Bush were the second deficit driver. Mind you that Bush inherited a budget surplus from Clinton. The Bush Deficit continues today not because Obama hasn’t done anything about it, but because the republicans have repeatedly blocked his legislation through an unprecedented number of filibusters in Congress. The president can’t get anything done without congress that’s basic civics 101. As for you wanting to keep more of what you make, Taxes are at their lowest levels in the last 50 years. As for regulation, I don’t like red tape either, but I also don’t like my tap water to kill me when I drink it and I don’t want my kids breathing toxic fumes from the chemical plant that’s built next to their school. It’s a big country and it takes a big government to run it. I sure you don’t think it’s too big to send you that unemployment check you get to get you through these hard times and I think you deserve it because paid into it like everyone else. That’s why they call it an “entitlement” because you’re entitled to it. You paid for it and so did everyone else. So before you go out and vote for any of these imbeciles, think about who created this mess in the first place, think about who is trying to take away your unemployment benefits that you paid into. They don’t care about you, they care about the wealthy corporations who fund their re-election campaigns and ship your job over seas. They have lots of cash to flood the airways with their lies and a so called “News” network to spew their propaganda, and it can be very convincing if you don’t pay attention. So if you’re going to listen to what Fox News tells you, you at least owe it to yourself to listen to Rachel Madow, or Lawrence O’donnell on MSNBC and get the other side of the story. I realize that you as a republican, probably loathe these people, simply because they been labeled as Liberals, but hey, I loath Charles Manson too, but if he tells me that one plus one equals two, I’m afraid i’m going to have to agree with him because he is right.

    • Midland says:

      The field of Republicans reminds me of that little circus car wherein the clowns keep coming in and out….

    • Mike,
      If you don’t like Obama, ask yourself how you would like it if you had someone like Newt Gingrich running our country. Do you think he would make things better? You can review his history easily enough. He’s frightening.

      The Republicans have done everything in their power to see Barrack Obama fail. I have never seen such treatment – and now a Ron Paul supporter wishes death upon him and his family. Despicable! But he’s not the only Republican who wishes death on innocent people. How about the Tea Partiers who cheered for the death of the theoretical young man who didn’t have health insurance during one of the GOP debates?

      Look up how many of the GOP politicians are influenced by Ayn Rand–Ronald Reagan was a fan of hers. The whole lot of these people, except perhaps Jon Huntsman, who up until now has avoided the circus, are going to widen the gap between rich and poor even further. Leave it to them and there will be only be those in power, and poor people.

  49. JB says:

    Sounds like the author has a lot of growing up to do!. Not only was this open letter a highly defensive and weak argument, but an emotionally charged one laced with anger and a hint of nihilism on the side.

    I think if you had listen carefully to his words, Newt didn’t say anything about black people and he didn’t say anything about poor people being lazy people or not having a desire to work. many of you had interpreted it as such and it appears to me if his comment do not apply to you, then it shouldn’t bother you.

    taking things personally is the highest form of being self absorbed.

    I’m also in no way defending or offended by what the man said because I’m a leader of service who knows my truth. but what I find most disingenuous about this open letter is here we have a proud so called educated black male whose quick to attack and belittle the messenger, but he’s not smart enough to use his education in devising a game plan or the intelligence to objectively listen to the numbers that support his stance.

    My thing is if it takes a village to raise a child and if every working class parent in every so called “poor” areas were on their grind, then what does it say about the village if there’s astronomically high #’s of unemployment, teen pregnancy, high school drop out, incarceration, and Hiv/ Aids cases that have frankly grown amongst poor people of color in the last 25 years?.

    • Simone says:

      You sound just like a typical good-ol’-boy, who (of course) stand up for your fellowman.

    • hkonnoff says:

      And how about the fact that really poor people don’t have the ability to pay for their children to join sports leagues, or bands, or any of the many activities that middle class or wealthy families take for granted? What about the reality that the working poor often aren’t able to be home when their children get out of school, and once the kids are are 11 or 12 (or in reality, even 9 or 10), keeping them in child care is just no financially sound.
      How about the fact that poor families cannot afford to help with college costs, and financial aid and student loans are barely enough, assuming that you can get through the maze to get them?
      Or wait–here’s one for you! how about the indisputable logic indicating that “astronomically high #’s (sic) of unemployment” is a cause of poverty, not a symptom. I guess that acknowledging any of these realities might interfere with your “so called” argument that poor areas are morally deficient. (And don’t even try to argue that because you didn’t use those exact words, that is not what you are trying to say. You won’t win, so don’t try.)
      How about the arrogant fools who say things like “so called educated black male” any time that they encounter someone saying something that they disagree with because they just can’t muster any actual logic or evidence to support their knee-jerk dislike of anything that interferes with their narrow viewpoint and lack of connection to reality?

    • JCardwell says:

      JB, I’t’s good to live in America where even racists have a right to speak.

    • cld says:

      i think you have really expressed yourself clearly for a village idiot. i’m afraid the author was right on with his analysis, and that you’re interpretation of what newt said is only correct at surface value. would you like to see poor kids doing janitorial work for a big corporation? my guess is yes.
      i really love your last paragraph where you just come right out and scream your racism to the world. have you ever been poor or lived around people that were? of course bad things blossom in those surroundings, and it wouldn’t be any different if white people like you and me were in and had always been in the same situation as black people in this country today.
      please shut up.

  50. Nik says:

    I agree with you that there was a serious level of arrogance and ignorance about what it means to be part of the working poor. These comments shows a complete lack of understanding of the issues that are facing today’s (poor) youth. I worked all through high school, it was extremely hard to balance and my grades did suffer. The hours I spent at work were hours that many of my peers spent studying or in tutoring. I worked 20-30 hours a week because any less than that would not have been worth the expense. (extra bus tickets, loss of support b/c of my extra income etc…poor kids can’t afford to work for free). There was no one to help with that homework and I was usually exhausted when I had to do it. So even though I was a gifted kid I dropped many of the hard subjects; calculus, physics, and chemistry just took more time than I had. So IMHO sending poor kids to work would have been a great solution in the industrial age but today we need more kids, not less, spending more time studying.This plan reeks of a way around fixing really crummy education system by blaming the kids. Lastly, youth unemployment is at an all time high in part b/c there are too few entry level jobs available and too many older people still in those positions who are unable to move up. What we need a more skilled workforce, all Newt’s plan will do is create a larger and more permanent underclass…which i honestly suspect is the intent.

  51. Rational Thought says:

    I want to address poverty a little further, since that’s the core issue under discussion, and presumably something we all want to reduce.
    It must first be noted that most Americans — of all groups — are far better off here in material terms than they are anywhere else in the world. Latins live better here than in Argentina, Germans and Swedes live better here than in Europe, and Africans live better here than in African nations, or in Europe.

    It must further be noted that most Americans – of all groups – are far better off today than in past decades. In the 50’s, the peak years of unions and a supposedly golden, prosperous era, the typical white male made about half as much as he does now. The typical female and minority made about 25% as much as they do now. (All adjusted for inflation.) So everyone is better off today than in the past, especially women and minorities. (There was only a brief period in the early 70’s when white men made as much as they do now, and that had dropped sharply by the early 80’s.) And since women have more opportunities to work outside the home, total household income is much higher.

    We are currently in a temporary economic slump, of course, prolonged by the policies of the current administration, but that’s only temporary. Economic conditions were actually worse in the early 80’s (as a result of decades of liberal economic policy), with higher unemployment, and much lower GDP (national income), both total and per-capita (and median/typical).

    Poverty has also dropped sharply since the 50’s, when it was over 30%, and today generally hovers between 10%-15%.

    The question is therefore why poverty persists despite a generally wealthier society. People may blame racism (even though most poor people are white, and 1/3 of all minority households have higher incomes than the typical white household), or rising inequality (even though median/midpoint incomes have risen overall as well). Or insufficient government action, even though spending has soared since the 50’s, and has also increased since the 60’s. Or globalization and outsourcing, even though unemployment dropped sharply in the 90’s, after NAFTA was signed, and freer trade has given us cheaper food and consumer goods. But the answer is more basic, and is tied to family structure.

    Until the 60’s, out-of-wedlock births and divorce were both rare, in all groups. Today, it has soared, for all groups. 3 out of 10 white kids are born to unwed mothers. 7 out of 10 black kids are born to unwed mothers. And those children, and those families, are far more likely to be poor, and to perpetuate poverty in the same way – especially since poor people tend to have more kids than middle-class or wealthy families.

    So the primary problem today, it would appear, is people making counterproductive reproductive choices that keep them poor, and by definition create more poor people. (One person can live decently on minimum wage. Two people can live comfortably if both are making minimum wage, as they can split housing costs. It becomes much harder when you have an extra kid of two to feed as well as yourself, especially if you’re on your own.)

    This is not a racial issue, it’s a cultural issue. There are blacks and Hispanics who make good reproductive choices, and there are whites who make poor choices. And while those choices are more common in some groups than others, it is the choice that creates the problem, not the ethnicity. This is proven by the fact that being from a single-parent household – of any race – is a far greater determinant of poverty than race is.

    Of course, not all single-parent mothers had children out of wedlock. Some married men who left them, others had to dump abusive addicts. However, while we also need to encourage more responsible fatherhood, much of the problem still relates to unnecessary out-of-wedlock births.

    The best thing the government can do to fight poverty (in addition to avoiding job-crushing taxes and regulations) is to address this problem by teaching children better choices, providing universal and effective contraceptives, and by adjusting support programs to discourage premature reproduction, not encourage it. We could do this by offering financial incentives to poor females who delay reproduction until they finish school or job training (and get married, and ideally reach the age of 25, when people become more stable ). We could also make long-term contraception a requirement for women who are on government support for long periods – especially if they have already conceived a child on support.

    But the bottom line is this: The primary cause of poverty in the developed world today is poor people having kids they cannot yet support. If poor people simply stopped having more kids than they could support, and delayed having children generally until they had obtained adequate educational and work training, poverty could be largely eliminated within a generation. We can assist in that process in simple, fundamental ways, and accomplish that goal with a modest amount of political will, and relatively minor investments.

    This, of course, is highly un-PC today, and will invite all sorts of attacks as somehow “racist” or “classist” or “sexist” or “insensitive.” But that’s not the point. The question is whether we truly want to eradicate poverty and the suffering that accompanies it. And if we do, then we should be willing to acknowledge and address the true causes of modern poverty.

    Some will also claim this interferes with reproductive freedom. However, freedom only exists (morally and pragmatically) as long as one takes responsibility for their choices. Once you start burdening others with the consequences of your actions, they have the right to request adjustments in your behavior as a condition of further support.

    But to simply demand that others pay more and more to support counterproductive choices is completely unreasonable and realistic, not to mention unfair. And it is also ultimately unsustainable.

    (Note that once such unnecessary poverty is eliminated, the money we currently spend on social programs could have a much greater impact on the remaining poor, as there will be far more money available for each family. There will also be a decreased strain on schools, police, prisons, etc.)

    • Grace says:

      Poverty has actually been increasing in the last 10 years. Check the U.S. Census Bureau and get your facts straight. As a master’s student studying social work, we are painfully aware of all ACCURATE data and strive to correct misconceptions such as that one. Also, it is ironic that the welfare system encourages single mothers to get married, and promotes the ideal of a nuclear family – and yet those who support the welfare reform (and all of its flaws – read Sharon Hays’ book, Flat Broke with Children, for more background on the welfare “reform”) frowns upon abortion, refuses to teach responsible sexual education in schools, and forces women to name their children’s fathers regardless of domestic violence or criminal acts from the father.

      By the way, women who already receive welfare do NOT get any additional money if they have ANOTHER child if already on welfare. Additional children are not considered in their family when it comes to more welfare money.

      Can you honestly say you can live decently on minimum wage? Please remember, state minimum wages vary by location as does cost of living. Many work full-time jobs on minimum wage (often multiple jobs) and yet still are considered BELOW POVERTY. Again, check the U.S. Census Bureau for the latest and most accurate data.

      • sarum says:

        Everyplace I have ever lived in US, you can work all month for minimum wage and still not be able to afford studio apartment – much less food, clothing, soap, utilities, transportation back to work.

    • melissa says:

      so what about those people who take contraceptives to try not to get pregnant but end up pregnant because the so called birth control balanced out thier hormones which actually made them more fertile? as the Dr. suggested to me. and by forcing those on assistance to be on birth control kinda reminds me of the state that is under fire for butchering women’s insides becuz the state felt they were irrisponsible but the mother didn’t even have a choice or know about it until she tried having kids later in life and her cause of pregnancy was rape. and then religion comes into play. some people view it as trying to play GOD. so what should the gov say screw ur religion ur on assistance so u have to put this in ur body so the drs and pharmacies can make more money that the already broke gov can pay for? and the arguement about a decreased strain on schools and prisons that would happen with better boarder control and ICE doing their job.

    • Duly Noted says:

      Rational, The majority of people on welfare are children. Clearly, for those kids, getting a job is not an option.

      “We are currently in a temporary economic slump, of course, prolonged by the policies of the current administration.”

      Wrong.. The policies of the current administration have yet to be fully enacted, thanks to the intransigence of the Republican ‘block-everything’ stance. To be clear: Their policies haven’t failed. They have failed to enact their policies though. Who is to blame for that? Republicans, that’s who.

      “But to simply demand that others pay more and more to support counterproductive choices is completely unreasonable and realistic, not to mention unfair.”

      But most Republicans were supportive of an 800 billion dollar bailout for the “counterproductive choices” the idiots in the financial sector made, right? Can you say HYPOCRITE? Gotta love Republicans, so big on personal responsibility, but so small on corporate responsibility. And STILL preaching that American corporations will come to our rescue if ONLY we get out of their way. “Job creators” is a euphemism for “Bosses”. “Red tape” is a euphemism for rules. So whenever I hear Republicans say “job creators shouldn’t be hampered by red tape”, I just translate it as “Republicans believe bosses shouldn’t have rules”.

      “The primary cause of poverty in the developed world today is poor people having kids they cannot yet support.” Problem is, those corporations are too busy with their tax avoidance schemes and outsourcing American jobs to give a hoot.

      Recently the GAO released a 10-year review of the results of a decades’ worth of giving away hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars in subsidies to American corporations to preserve jobs for Americans. The results? American corporations shed 29 million jobs in the last ten years. They created 24 million jobs overseas. Hardly money well spent. But we all knew they didn’t care about Americans. If they did, they’d pay taxes, which 50% of American corporations do not – including GE.

      Nope. The primary cause of poverty is the non-existence of enough jobs paying a living wage with which to support one’s children – NOT the existence of one’s children.

      Another day, another sad headline…

      NY Times: Clothes Retailer Arrested on Labor Charges….“The owner of seven budget clothing stores in Lower Manhattan paid some of his workers less than $5 an hour, refused to pay overtime, and threatened and retaliated against them for reporting the violations to state officials. Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo’s office said it would try to recover $1.5 million in unpaid wages for more than 150 workers and other civil damages.” http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/23/clothes-retailer-arrested-on-labor-charges/?scp=1&sq=car%20wash&st=cse

      Mr. Cohen would not have been arrested if he’d paid his workers the minimum wage (a/k/a poverty wage), even though it’s too low to enable a New Yorker to be financially self-sufficient, hence the subsidies in the form of food stamps and tax breaks provided by the Government – out of our taxes.

      We the taxpayers are actually subsidizing Mr. Cohen, who keeps more of his profits because he doesn’t have to pay his workers a living wage. Why? Because we the taxpayers top them up with food stamps and other subsidies. Private-sector corporations owned by people like Mr. Cohen increase profits because we the taxpayers subsidize the meager wages they pay. Is this really capitalism?

      Exactly why doesn’t the Government require corporations to pay wages high enough to negate the need for subsidies from the taxpayers?

      Another sad headline…

      NY Times: ‘Car Wash Chain to Pay $3.4 Million in Back Wages… A New York carwash chain agreed to pay $3.4 million in back wages and liquidated damages to 1,187 current and former employees. In three previous settlements in the case, more than 200 employees had already received more than $1.3 million in back wages and damages.”

      http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/06/30/car-wash-chain-will-pay-34-million-in-back-wages/

      ..and another…

      NY Times: “Most Low-Wage Workers Are Cheated of Pay, Report Finds… More than half of the low-wage workers in New York City are routinely being cheated of some of the meager pay that is due them, according to a report to be released on Thursday by the National Employment Law Project: “The average worker in a low-wage job in the city lost out on $58 a week, more than $3,000 a year, because he or she was not paid minimum wage or overtime, or because of some other violation of labor laws, according to the report.”

      “One of them, Guadalupe Medina de Morales, a 66-year-old immigrant from the Dominican Republic who worked at the store until 2005, said her only pay in eight years of bagging and delivering groceries full-time for C-Town had been tips from the customers, which amounted to about $125 a week.”

      http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/01/28/patrick-mcgeehan-wage-post/

      My brother Aubrey got laid off from his job in a supermarket after 16 years so that the new owners could cut operating costs by hiring part-timers with no health insurance. If my brother cannot get another job to provide for his family and resorts to shoplifting food at a supermarket, he will risk going to jail.

      Under capitalism, stealing food to feed your children is a crime, but displacing that hard worker just to increase profits from robust to dazzling is not even considered unethical; in fact, it’s considered smart.

      What went wrong? Companies used to serve the interests of their customers and their employers. The shareholders were just along for the ride. Then everything changed and the interests of the shareholders became paramount. Now, companies ditch their American workers and move their factories offshore so they can grossly exploit cheap labour and lower environmental safeguards, just to generate larger dividends for their stockholders. Until relatively recently this would have been considered galling and appalling. Now it’s just business as usual.

      As 66 year old Ms. Guadalupe Medina de Morales discovered during her eight years of unpaid servitude at C-Town, extrapolate “maximize profits” to its logical conclusion and you get “unpaid workers”. Nothing maximizes profit quite like slavery. (It’s why God-fearing Americans took hundreds of years to give it up while blithely ignoring all their Bible’s condemnations of it.) To add insult to injury, “Even though the store paid her no hourly or weekly wage, it dared to extract about $17 a week from her tips to cover its withholding and unemployment insurance taxes, according to state officials.”

      According to the National Employment Law Project, employers systematically cheating millions of poor workers of millions of dollars has reached epidemic proportions. So why aren’t the perpetrators facing prison time? Surely the threat of incarceration would serve as a significant deterrent! But the Government isn’t really interested in locking them up – which is why the enforcement strategy rarely includes prison sentences.

      In fact, the Government appears to bend over backwards NOT to lock them up. Take that car wash chain for example: Previously busted three times for cheating 200 people out of $1.3 million and now busted again, this time for cheating 1,187 people out of $3.4 million. Yet nobody went to jail. Why? Can you think of any other theft involving millions of dollars and thousands of victims that wouldn’t result in a prison sentence?

      A supermarket doesn’t pay a 66 year old worker a penny for 8 years – while collecting wage deductions from her! Nobody goes to jail. Why? What is it about these particular circumstances that would explain that?

      Ten years ago I attended a public meeting with the Manhattan D.A’s Office in Chelsea NYC. The topic of crystal meth use among white male gay clubbers in the neighbourhood was raised. The D.A’s office explained that their strategy was to place offenders in treatment programmes, not prison. Later on a social worker from Harlem spoke, and contrasted that policy with the D.A’s approach to crack cocaine users in Harlem, which was to incarcerate them – and vigorously oppose all efforts to commit them to drug treatment programmes instead of prison.

      Then she asked the D.A to explain the stark difference. He responded that his office believed that for Chelsea’s crystal meth users, “prison would not be a deterrent.” Say WHAT? “Prison would not a deterrent” for white middle-class gay male drug users? Really?????

      It was my first time seeing with my own eyes how the unequal application of justice is engineered, not accidental. Is the reason corporate officers that cheat poor workers don’t go to jail simply that the victims are poor? No. It’s by design. A few get caught, some repeatedly. Big Deal: They pay whatever costs and continue.

      The rank exploitation of low-paid workers is not the big issue here. The big issue is the fact that all the people pumping gas for the oil companies across America, parking cars at car rental agencies, cleaning the offices of America’s most profitable corporations etc., need food stamps and other subsidies to put food on their table and keep a roof over their heads, paid for by you and I and other taxpayers. Thus, billions of dollars are transferred to rich corporations. But we’re not really subsiding those employees, are we? We’re really subsidizing Exxon and all the other wildly profitable corporations, enabling them to keep more profits. Our Government has structured a system that does precisely that.

      Why is that? WHAT is that? It’s not capitalism is it? And it certainly isn’t “responsible” either.

      • Tired says:

        Duly noted – well put and well referenced. Are you interested in running for office? You’d be amazing.

        • Duly Noted says:

          Tired, Thanks for your compliment. No, I wouldn’t, and couldn’t, run for office. I’d be interested in working on a populist campaign though, but I don’t trust any politicians! Except for Obama, who I really think is as honest as the day is long, but even he engages in trickery and shenanigans when it’s politically expedient.

      • sarum says:

        Ditto that Duly Noted, I LOVE YOU!

      • hkonnoff says:

        I will treasure this quote forever! “So whenever I hear Republicans say “job creators shouldn’t be hampered by red tape”, I just translate it as ‘Republicans believe bosses shouldn’t have rules.'” Thank you.

      • kenno says:

        well put . now is ignorance to this information forced on the ignorant buy the evil or greedy. (in essence, the financially poor republican led by his millionaire rep) or are these people really that stupid. I guess it is possible because there are people who make life decisions based on a color shade. and will commit murder based on color. it just seems that way of thinking is on the wane.

      • Midland says:

        Typical “Tea Party” member…Grumpy, angry old man sitting in his living room (in his Fart Stained Barco-lounger) watching Archie Bunker on TV…nothing but negative about America but wearing his American Flag pin….complaining about taxes – sad. Just plain sad.

        • Duly Noted says:

          Psychic, you’re not. (Psychotic, maybe.) I’m the farthest thing from a Tea Party member you could imagine. I’ve never watched Archie Bunker, but I have watched Steptoe & Son, which was similar gibberish.

          “Negative about America”? Nah, just calling it like I see it. Newsflash: After the bottom fell out of our economy, primarily due to our love of buying things we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t know, most of us had the sense to look around us and try to figure out what’s wrong with America. But when I heard the so-called experts say the key to getting us out of the mess was that we SPEND more – which, paradoxically, was also what got us into the mess – I knew the real answers were not going to come from conventional sources. (It didn’t surprise me though: After 9/11, President Bush didn’t call for “sacrifice”. He called for shopping! “Get down to Disney World in Florida,” he said. “Take your families and enjoy life, the way we want it to be enjoyed.” Taken on its own, this wasn’t such a horrible sentiment. But Boston University historian Andrew Bacevich has made a convincing case that it was part of a broader pattern of encouraging financial irresponsibility. “Bush seems to have calculated — cynically but correctly — that prolonging the credit-fueled consumer binge could help keep complaints about his performance as Commander in Chief from becoming more than a nuisance,” Bacevich wrote in the Washington Post)

          I’m still searching to understand the causes. If you doubt how much trouble we’re in, ask yourself this: How did the world’s biggest capitalist economy end up in debt up to its eyeballs to the world’s biggest communist economy? There’s something SERIOUSLY wrong!

          “Complaining about taxes – sad.” Maybe, but missing the entire point YEST still
          writing a rebuttal? That’s pathetic and hilarious!

    • Suzanne says:

      We may be better off than a lot of people in a lot of other countries. I’ll give you that. However, we are SIGNIFICANTLY worse off than the top 1% in this country. C’mon….. what were the startling numbers of Americans currently earning below the national poverty line? We should be ashamed of that! With upwards of 1 in 10 people out of work and significantly more working jobs far below what they are qualified to do, the tired old adage of “people on government assistance are just lazy and entitled” wears a little thin. When Job Fairs occur, and 5 people apply for every job opening, the Gingrich et al drum beats of “if you aren’t lazy, you can be wealthy” sounds hollow. We don’t judge our living standards by comparing ourselves against the Third World. That’s ludicrous. We judge our living standards by those of our countrymen. The income divide is NOT proportionate to the workload in this country. We’re run by hypocrites. Is there anything more telling than a room full of Tea Party reps who cheer when Ron Paul says that someone without health insurance and the means to pay the doctor should be allowed to die proceeded by a Tea Party Freshman Congressman throwing a conniption fit when he finds out his completely subsidized almost completely free healthcare isn’t going to kick in for a whopping 30 days?

    • Euro says:

      Swedes and germans live better in the US than in their home countries? really? have you ever been there? obviously not. The very few swedes and germans who choose to live in the US might do so for personal reasons, but rest assured quality of life is much higher in those countries. High quality education and health care are free, there are no security problems, public infrastructure works, and unemployment is much lower. And guess what, their economies are growing much faster than the US. Don’t believe the interested b/s spewed by republicans who want to avoid paying taxes, the welfare state if managed properly is not only more fair but also more productive than the wild west capitalism they promote (of course government’s bailouts, lucrative public contracts, lobbies etc are most welcom)e. The US is a great country but as of late it is heading in the wrong direction; any politician who does not care about the citizens of the country is a crook. God save America of the selfish bastards who wrap themselves in the flag to try to safeguard their privileges.

    • sarum says:

      Amazing to have so many facts and figures and to still be so WRONG! Refuting point by point OMG – I am overwhelmed with people like you. Where is it that one person can live a decent life on minimum wage? I will move there.

    • Josey Wales says:

      Good choice for you. You BELONG in the GOPTP. Now if you just had a clue what your are talking about, you’d be an even sadder person. Trying to hide bigotry under a sheet doesn’t really work.

    • Tired says:

      Rational Thought – as usual no references no links – only hot air and paternalistic blathering – stop writing – you’re taking up too much room and you’re boring.

  52. ES says:

    Great article. As an atheist, I believe that it’s important to be morally untouchable so that the hypocrites that engulf us won’t have the slightest leg to stand on.

    Yes, between you and me I agree that Newt looks like mashed potatoes.
    But that should have been between you and me.
    I also believe that the comment had no place in your otherwise excellent article.
    This is a fight to the finish – American Civil War II as I call it. And we need all the force on our side – our fight IS a moral one, and don’t denigrate with anything that could be misconstrued or take away from the force of your otherwise superior arguments. i am a musician, but I’m not talking about John Coltrane here. You are a comedian: save it for the stage.

    In Solidarity

  53. So I just want to get this straight–when liberals talk about the “cycle of poverty” and address, as former President Bill Clinton did, the problems of a welfare system that perpetuate poverty rather provide what the recipients of the system (most of whom are single white mothers) really need, which is child care assistance and financial support while they work, it’s called addressing the issues, but when a stuffy old Republican discusses the “cycle of poverty,” it’s racist?

    I agree that to characterize the entire middle and lower income classes as non-working is ignorant, but the point he’s making is that there are factors within an entire subculture of those classes that makes gang violence and illegal activities far more attractive than legitimate work. One error in Newt’s thinking is that he ignores the fact that often those factors generally involve watching a parent or both parents work like dogs and still seem stuck, unable to get ahead. But he’s not entirely wrong either. Everyone’s assuming that Newt is suggesting poor people are lazy, but you don’t have to be lazy to be unemployed. Last time I checked, unemployment is a problem, correct? I’m not suggesting in any way that unemployment is the fault of the unemployed, but a lack of available jobs is harming or country right now, right? And I would guess that the dearth of jobs is hitting the poor harder than anyone else. But everyone’s outrage with his suggestion that young people should work is only proving his point.

    I come from an entire family of individuals who pulled themselves up and out of the ghettos, some of whom survived a level of poverty that is unheard of today. When my grandfather was just a little boy, he came home from WORK with his father to find his mother, his brother, and his sister dead. They died of diphtheria–an illness people used to contract from drinking contaminated food and unclean water. They died of poverty. My father’s mother had to drop out of school in THE THIRD GRADE to go wash porch steps after her father was murdered when he was accused of cheating in a card game, and she had to help her mother support what was left of their family. My father’s favorite lecture to give us growing up was about the time when he was a kid, WORKING WITH HIS FATHER, and he watched his dad fish something out of a clogged toilet, and his dad looked at him and said “Don’t ever be too proud to stick your hand in a toilet bowl son.”

    I had to hear this lecture repeatedly growing up because it was part of the work ethic my parents instilled in us kids. The first dollar I ever earned was when I was 7 years old and helped my grandmother clean hotel rooms which, by the way, involved cleaning toilets. In high school, I had a boyfriend who had a job as–oh my–a janitor at a local college. Holy shit! Can you imagine? Oh–and those grandparents who cleaned porch steps and toilet bowls–they died with over a million dollars in the bank by the way.

    If you could all put your own prejudices and everything you’ve been conditioned to believe about Republicans aside for a minute, you would have heard Newt conclude his statement with a very interesting point. What he said was that the first generation successful individuals he has met generally went to work early in life. When I was a teen (only about 20 years ago), it was pretty much standard as soon as you turned 14, you got your working papers and found yourself a part time job. The fact that this is no longer typical in our society is a pandemic issue FOR ALL THE CLASSES. I see it in the youth today, especially the middle class youth, and they have no concept of responsibility or how to earn their way. If you want to pretend this issue doesn’t exist in lower income neighborhoods, that’s your right, but everything you have said just supports Newt’s point. The fact that you think working as a janitor is degrading and beneath impoverished youth means that this is obviously unheard of to you, whereas there’s an entire segment of society that attributes these kinds of jobs, starting in adolescence, to their own success.

    The author makes the strongest case for Newt’s point:

    “Day in and day out like many other parents in poor neighborhoods, she did what she had to do in order to provide for us. You know what that turned into Mr. Gingrich? A son who received academic and athletic scholarship offers from three Ivy League schools
    and countless other universities, a son with a college degree in Criminal Justice who
    graduated with honors from every school he attended, and a daughter who not only
    attended a Gifted and Talented Education high school, but is one year away from
    completing a degree at UCLA.”

    Ugh-hem. Don’t look now, but you’re agreeing with Newt Gingrich. That’s his point. His point is that when this example is absent, that doesn’t happen–YOU don’t happen. Clearly you are the exception to the rule, or else there would be no poverty and no need to have this discussion. The question is WHY are you the exception? Is it because Newt is wrong–having an excellent role model who demonstrates an admirable work ethic doesn’t typically produce such fine results, and you are simply an anomaly? Or is it because the example your role model set is often absent?

    • Matt Morgan says:

      You’re completely off base with this statement that he somehow is enforcing Newt Gingrich’s point. Plenty of people work their ass off in the country at dead end jobs and can never rise out of poverty because the system is broken. There are also people who work their ass off at decent paying jobs and are forced into poverty because an uncontrollable medical emergency decides to rear its head for the family’s money earner. Newt is saying all poor people are lazy and this is simply not true. It’s a horrible assumption to make. I work about 70-80 hours in a given week between two jobs after having graduated college and barely make enough money to get by at this point because of student loan payments and being lucky enough to have medical insurance to pay for. The poor people are not the enemy in this country nor are the people who stand up for them. Take your rhetoric somewhere else please.

      • I completely agree. If you weren’t so blinded by your own prejudices against people who dare to either partially or fully disagree with your point of view, you would have read the paragraph where I state:

        “One error in Newt’s thinking is that he ignores the fact that often those factors generally involve watching a parent or both parents work like dogs and still seem stuck, unable to get ahead.”

        But please, continue to extrapolate and make broad assumptions about what people believe, attribute false points of view to those who disagree with you based on what you’ve been pre-programmed to think other people believe, because that sounds like a solution. As for my rhetoric, maybe you should examine your own word usage.

        rhet·o·ric   [ret-er-ik] Show IPA
        noun
        1.
        (in writing or speech) the undue use of exaggeration or display; bombast.
        2.
        the art or science of all specialized literary uses of language in prose or verse, including the figures of speech.
        3.
        the study of the effective use of language.
        4.
        the ability to use language effectively.
        5.
        the art of prose in general as opposed to verse.

        The only definition that you could have possibly meant as an insult would be the first one, and if you think any part of the personal experience I shared in that post is exaggerated, then all I can do is suggest you read it again, this time without being blinded by your own visceral response. I mean seriously, did you even read what I wrote? How could you possibly walk away from that thinking I believe poor people are the enemy? My mother grew up driving across the county with her dad and a silver bullet trailer hitched to the back of their car moving from town to town looking for work. That’s not hyperbole. There’s no exaggeration there. That’s a fact, as plain and simple as I know how to state it. Read it again.

        • cld says:

          actually, i think the definition of rhetoric that was meant for you was number 3. you have really used language effectively in your dissection and reassembly of what newt said in order to twist its meaning. go take your bullshit rhetoric elsewhere.

    • Duly Noted says:

      So to summarize: back in your parent’s day, they were able to pull themselves out of poverty by not being too proud to do menial jobs – even if that meant sticking yer hand in the loo. Got it.

      But since then, THIS happened:

      Recently the GAO released a 10-year review of the results of a decades’ worth of giving away hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars in subsidies to American corporations to preserve jobs for Americans. The results? American corporations shed 29 million jobs in the last ten years. They also created 24 million jobs overseas during that same time period. Hardly money well spent.

      But we already knew American corporations don’t care much about Americans. If they did, they’d pay their taxes, which 50% of American corporations do not – including GE.

      G.E. paid no taxes on $5.1 billion in profits

      http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/g-e-paid-no-taxes-5-1-billion-20110325-082417-878.html

      So now what? When is the Right finally going to stop blaming poor people for not having a job? You act as if jobs are still growing on trees. And what will your new mantra be after you finally get it in your head that there are not enough jobs to go around? What will you have to say after you finally admit that giving money to big rich corporations – the so-called ‘job creators’ – has only resulted in them padding their pockets and profits by eliminating almsot 30 million jobs for Americans and adding almost 25 million jobs for more exploitable workers outside America’s borders?

      If this was the Great Depression of the 1930s, Republicans would be blaming poor farmers for the dust bowl! Enough already. You can’t call me lazy if I’ve got nothing to do!

      Ironically, Republicans have little problem with giving away taxpayer dollars to eveybody BUT poor people. Defense contractors, Halliburton, just about everybody has their hand out. Take farm subsidies, for example:

      There’s no need to go to Iowa to see this welfare-for-the-rich in action. You can see it on the Upper East Side, where billionaire elites collect huge welfare checks from the government just for being rich, while a few blocks away, in one of the poorest, most ghettoized districts in the United States, the city’s black population is being purged from food stamp rolls for smoking some dope. Because, as Mayor Rudy Giuliani once said, “As soon as they stop being dependent on the government, they’re moving in a much healthier direction.”

      But brutal freemarket ideas don’t apply to members of Manhattan’s genteel farmer class, even billionaires like Norman B. Champ III, who received nearly a half-million dollars in welfare payments for poor farmers, despite the fact he lives in a multimillion dollar co-op at 828 Park Avenue. From 1995 to 2006, he raked in a total of $405,807 in dairy, corn and soy subsidies via his stake in the Champ family’s dairy farm in Missouri, his home state. Handout-for-handout, even Reagan’s mythic Cadillac-driving Chicago welfare queen and her $150,000 welfare scam got nothing on Champ, who could buy a Lamborghini and still have money left over to reupholster his private jet.
      Norman B. Champ III, 47, was born into a wealthy, upper-crust Missouri family and lived a privileged life (the Champs had a Missouri village named after them in their honor: the Village of Champ). He graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University, went to England for a masters in war studies from King’s College and earned a law degree—cum laude, of course—from Harvard, after which he finally settled down at Chilton Investment Company, a multi-billion dollar hedge fund. He had added three titles to his name—Executive Vice President, General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer—by the time the markets crashed. He lost no time jumping ship to a cushy government job with the Securities and Exchange Commission, coming on board in January 2010 to start a new life as a financial regulator at the SEC’s New York Inspections and Examinations Division. He now leads a team of 100 hardworking investigators in a crusade to crack down on the shady dealings of his hedge-fund buddies.

      An upper-crust billionaire type who lives in one of the nation’s wealthiest ZIP codes and collects welfare meant for struggling farmers? Whatta champ!

      He might not be what most of us expect a welfare queen to look like, but that’s only because we have been duped by the whole poverty thing, convinced that the crumbs we throw the needy are a huge burden on our budget. So we look for any way to cut them off. For those who want to observe a real subsidy queen in his natural habitat, there’s no better place than Park Avenue. I am not trying to be ironic here. The people are literally welfare queens: They live where queens live and take money from the poor like queens do.

      Billionaires Leonard Lauder, Mark Rockefeller and his dad, David Rockefeller, are just a few of the more famous names exploiting their salt-of-the-earth legal status. Over the past decade, however, millions of dollars in corn, dairy, peanuts, cotton, soy and livestock subsidy payments from the federal government have gone to countless rich rank-and-file Manhattanites few people have ever heard of: It’s all right there in the farm subsidy database maintained by the Environmental Working Group. William Lesse Castleberry, a tax attorney who oversees levered buyouts, received $133,680 in cotton subsidies through an Arkansas farm. Mary W. Heller, a photographer with a studio on East 74th Street, got $143,783 via a farm in Kansas for growing wheat and sorghum. William Philip Walsh, who recently purchased a $2.9 million luxury condo with interior design done by Armani, was paid $212,463 to not farm his land. Phyllis A. Joyner, a 77-yearold peanut farmer with a swanky Greenwich Village apartment and over $7 million worth of beautiful land in rural Virginia, received $239,624 for her peanut crops.

      They’re not your typical crusty overalls-wearing farmers. But then, the small family farmers we picture in our heads, who live on their land with their family and rise with the rooster to milk the cows, aren’t around much these days (except maybe in Brooklyn backyard imaginations). And if they are, they probably aren’t receiving any assistance from the federal government anyway, says Ken Cook, president of the Environmental Working Group. “American taxpayers have been writing farm subsidy checks to wealthy absentee land owners, state prison systems, universities, public corporations, and very large, well-heeled farm business operations without the government so much as asking the beneficiaries if they need our money,” explained Cook in 2007, when his organization published a database of farm subsidy recipients from USDA records.

      It wasn’t meant to be this way. Farm subsidies first began as part of New Deal and were designed to help small, family farms struggling through the Great Depression. These days, this well-intentioned program exists only in name. Successive deregulation and various other freemarket “reforms” have turned farm subsidies into just another welfare-for-the-rich program, bypassing the very farmers it was designed to help and depositing billions in taxpayer money straight into the bank accounts of corporations and wealthy Americans.

      Here’s what the New Deal program looks like today, after Reaganism had a couple of go’s at it: From 1995 to 2006, the federal government spent about $200 billion on agricultural subsidies, 75 percent of which ended up in the bank accounts of the richest top 10 percent of farmers. It’s welfare in reverse, taking from the many and giving it to the wealthy. And the richer you are, the more assistance you deserve.

      You can see this logic at work in Manhattan, where the fattest farm subsidy checks are mailed to the richest zip codes. Like the $825,346.56 addressed to Kent M. Klineman at ZIP code 10020, one of Manhattan’s wealthiest, with an average income of more than $500,000: 10 times higher than the rest of America. In fact, Klineman, who got the cash from 1995 to 2006 for growing wheat and sunflowers and raising livestock on a South Dakota cattle-breeding ranch called Eagle Pass Ranch, just might be the most subsidized farmer in Manhattan. But you probably wouldn’t have caught this 77-year-old Harvard Law School grad (this alma mater appears quite often among Manhattan’s subsidy queens) at the ranch, shoveling and trucking manure and inseminating the sows. Judging by SEC records, Klineman is more of a wheeling and dealing finance type, running venture capital companies, private investment funds and assorted dubious finance companies.

      Also keep in mind that in 1974, Klineman was among 13 people indicted on various fraud charges in a 100-million Madoff-style ponzi scheme that involved selling millionaires and movie stars fraudulent shares in an oil-drilling outfit called Home-Stake Production Co., by promising astronomical returns, which were paid out not from profits but from money put in by the newest round of sucker investors. Liza Minnelli, Barbra Streisand, Bob Dylan, Barbara Walters and Mike Nichols, among others, were purportedly bilked for hundreds of thousands of dollars. But it wasn’t just naive Hollywood entertainers that were scammed. The heads of some of America’s biggest corporations, including the president of American Express, the chairman of General Electric, and the chairman of Pepsi, were all caught up in the scam. In the end, the scam’s ringleader—Robert S. Trippett— got away with a scolding and a small fine, while charges against Klineman were eventually dropped.

      Farmers have come to expect preferential treatment from the government. While the rest of us are constantly slapped with new laws, regulations, taxes and fees, farmers have been left to do their own thing because they are too fragile to be squeezed for cash like the off-farm masses. Aside from being exempt from things like zoning laws (a farmer’s property is taxed at a fraction of its market value), they get tax breaks, tax credits, tax abatements and all sorts of other perks that shrink their overall tax exposure to just about nothing, regardless of their wealth. So not only do they milk taxpayers for billions in subsidies, they do not even contribute their fair share.
      Subsidies and tax breaks? That’s free money times two. Naturally, the rich have been exploiting America’s kindly treatment of its farmers from day one, widening loopholes, relaxing restrictions and turning farms into personal tax havens and petty cash machines that allowed them to give less, while taking more.
      Even a Capitalist Hall of Fame family like the Rockefellers, known for their generous charities and contributions to culture, turn out to receive government welfare.
      Mark F. Rockefeller, a fourth-generation industrialist, probably had taxes on his mind when he purchased roughly 5,000 acres of farmland in Swan Valley, Idaho, and started receiving subsidy checks at his capitalist lair in the Rockefeller Plaza. Starting in 2001, the federal government has been giving him $54,500 a year to not farm his land. That’s right: The government gives your money to a member of the ultimate capitalist clan, which has a combined worth of more than $200 billion, to just laze around, not work and let his fields weed over. It’s what they call a “conservation payment” program, in which the government pays farmers to convert their land into something natural, like wetlands or whatever other eco-friendly habitat might be appropriate for the environment.

      It worked out well for Rockefeller. By some strange coincidence, his farmland happened to be right next to an upscale fly-fishing resort he opened up with his wife in 1999. The place, called South Fork Lodge, plays host to groups of rich, middle-aged men who pay $1,000 a day to fish in elegance and beauty with a personal fly-fishing guide. According to its website, “South Fork Lodge rests on a dramatic bend of eastern Idaho’s world famous South Fork of the Snake River in scenic Swan Valley. As you prepare to spend your day on one of the most scenic and majestic fly-fishing rivers in America, you will marvel at the breathtaking views from your room or the Lodge patio.”

      What their guests probably don’t know is that they’ll be paying for some of those views twice: once to South Fork Lodge and once to Mark F. Rockefeller himself.
      Rockefeller gets double the welfare by gaming the generous tax breaks built into agricultural land. It appears that instead of having South Fork Lodge own the land surrounding the resort and suffer the full force of a normal property tax rate, Rockefeller has had the business buy up just enough property to house the hotel’s various structures, while he purchased all the open space the resort needed—riverfront real estate for fly-fishing, outdoor activities and background scenery—in his own name and dedicated it to farming.

      It’s win-win for Rockefeller’s business, allowing South Fork Lodge to offer commercial services on land for which he pays almost no taxes. The lodge charges $1,700 per night for its outdoor safaritype quarters, complete with servants and a personal chef, which they offer to guests who want to rough it in a “gorgeous wilderness retreat nestled in the cottonwoods and aspens of the South Fork of the Snake River Canyon Section.”

      Two of Rockefeller’s spinoff businesses— which provide guided fly-fishing trips—also exploit the tax-free property, using it for private boat-launches, riverfront access and camping. If you were wondering why wealthy guys like him would go all the way out to places like Idaho for a lousy couple of grand in subsidies, do the math: He’s making a fortune off the land. Rockefeller pays a pitiful property tax of roughly $10 per acre, something like 1/60th of what it should be. Adding up the 5,000 acres or so, he gets a massive tax break of $500,000 or more.

      But rich subsidy queens don’t need to travel far to filch their fair share of taxpayer wealth; they can do it right where they live and work. Failed dot-com entrepreneur Craig Winn lives in Albemarle, Va., and paid $1,000 in taxes on a $3.5 million estate by converting its 50 acres into conserved farmland. All his rich neighbors, including pop culture hacks Dave Matthews and John Grisham, enrolled their land in the tax saver program, too. Hell, even Walt Disney World became a farmer by putting some cows to pasture on its land in Orlando to shave millions off its tax bill. Hewlett-Packard opened up a Christmas tree farm on its massive Houston campus, which saved it (and cost Houston) half a million dollars a year in taxes.

      No wonder America is starting to feel like a third-world country. Fighting two wars and bailing out banks is enough without having the rich plundering our country right out from under us. It’s not just property taxes, either. In the past decade, two-thirds of corporations doing business on U.S. soil paid no income taxes. The rich aren’t just not paying their fair share, they’re not paying anything at all.

      http://www.nypress.com/article-21342-the-making-of-manhattans-elite-welfare-farmers.html

      • Umm, I’m not really sure what I said that inspired that tirade, but I’m flattered, I guess? You’re preaching to the wrong person. I’m no corporate apologist. I do not happened to believe that corporations are people and deserve the same rights and privileges under the Constitution that individuals do. Having said that, I don’t have any particular animosity toward wealthy peanut farmers either, but it’s not really a debate I’m passionate about or care to engage in. I happen to believe that small businesses are still the engine of our economy, the bulk of jobs in the United States are still created by small business owners, and our economic policies should be encouraging the growth of those businesses, not necessarily rewarding corporations that take jobs overseas. But you may want to send your data to President Obama. According to the Washington Post, his re-election campaign has raised more money from banks, hedge funds, and the financial services industry than all the other GOP candidates combined. Wall Street money totals a record-setting one-third of his campaign funds, thanks to Jon Corzine of all people.

        I don’t know in what way, shape, or form you think I act like jobs grow on trees. The only statement I made about the availability of jobs was the following:

        “Last time I checked, unemployment is a problem, correct? I’m not suggesting in any way that unemployment is the fault of the unemployed, but a lack of available jobs is harming or country right now, right? And I would guess that the dearth of jobs is hitting the poor harder than anyone else.”

        It might come as a shock to you that I also believe we should have a social safety net and that affordable, available health care is a basic human right, and that there should be a publicly funded option the same way we have publicly funded schools, fire departments, and a police force. Having said that, I do not believe the solution is to mandate individuals purchase health care from private insurance companies. But that’s kind of a whole other discussion. I’m just getting a little annoyed with people assuming they know what I do or don’t believe or think. Oh, by the way, it wasn’t my parents, it was my grandparents, and it was during the Depression when those social safety had only begun to come into existence.

        • Duly Noted says:

          onlyspartanwomen:

          “Oh, by the way, it wasn’t my parents, it was my grandparents, and it was during the Depression when those social safety had only begun to come into existence.”

          …for SOME: The Social Security Act of 1935 excluded from coverage about half the workers in the American economy. Among the excluded groups were agricultural and domestic workers—a large percentage of whom were African Americans.

          “The main focus of my entire post was that janitorial work is not demeaning, going to work when you’re young is not necessarily child labor, and many impoverished people attribute their own success in life to working early in life.”

          Really? If so, agreed indeed. But your original post defended Newt’s assertions that, as you wrote, ” there are factors within an entire subculture of those classes that makes gang violence and illegal activities far more attractive than legitimate work.” One of the supposed factors Newt cited was his claim that “really poor kids in really poor neighborhoods have no habits of working and nobody around them who works.”

          Now really. You don’t find that objectionable? Are there really any places in America with 100% unemployment? Where kids just never see a living soul taking the bus to work in the morning? And if not, why is Newt fabricating? And why are you defending the premise he concocted with those fabrications?

          Generally, gang violence and illegal activities are rarely attractive to people; even less so when legitimate means of employment are available. In fact, even people in gangs don’t find gang violence “attractive”. Gang membership in urban areas is often a necessary way of protecting yourself if you live in a neghbourhood where the young men – America’s most dangerous citizens form a demographic perspective – have formed protective and exclusionary cliques and where not belonging to one can be hazardous to your health. As Sizzla says, “How can we keep the peace if there is no peace to keep?”

          “My family of three happens to be surviving on less than $25K a year in New York State—an income we now share with my sister and her son who have recently moved in with us and are surviving on food stamps.”

          Sorry to hear about your sister’s challenges. You’ve earned my deepest respect for stepping up and taking them all in during their time of need. I sincerely hope Christmas next year will be better and brighter for you and your family.

          Here’s my veiw in a nutshell: There is no America, in the monolithic sense. This country is a hodge-podge of special interest groups whose interest sometimes converge, but more often than not, diverge. That’s why we can’t really agree on even basic things: abortion, school prayer, the pledge of allegiance… nothing! So, since there’s really no America, then there’s nothing politicians can do that will be good for America. For sure, they can help these Americans, or those Americans, but if you lower the tax rate and minimum wage to help business owners, you hurt workers; if you raise the minimum wage, you hurt business owners. If you cut military spending, you hurt people who make their living from the military-industrial complex. There’s always winners and losers. What politicians do is crunch the data, then decide which constituents to serve – and stick it to everybody else. So if they can win re-election without the support of gay people and progressives as long as they have the support of Catholics and blue-collar workers, they’ll come out with an ad against gay marriage, for example. If they need union support more than the support of Big Business, they”ll come out with a pro-union ad. This methodology is very, very divisive, for obvious reasons: It pits the interests of various Americans against each other.

          Which brings us to Newt. I don’t know exactly who and how, but Newt’s message was designed, (literally, by his campaign brains) to play to some groups at the expense of others, in order to solidify his support among his targeted voters. Essentially, it’s wedge issue wrapped in a velvet glove of plausible deniability in case he’s accused of racism and ignorance. Then, when he is – because he was – as he knew he would, he knows that some of his targeted voters will play the white race card by asking out loud why “is it when a stuffy old Republican discusses the “cycle of poverty,” it’s racist?” (Which you might recognise, because it was your first point in this thread.) And Newt knows that NOTHING galvanizes the Republican Right more than the notion that they’re not even allowed to TALK about black people any more!

          • I haven’t forgotten about you Duly Noted. While I can’t agree with all the statements you’ve made, I don’t entirely disagree with either. I would like to give your comment the attention it deserves, but in the midst of all this banter (which I do so love), it came to my attention that I do, in fact, have a real life that some people count on me living! I’m afraid my response will have to wait until after the holidays : )

          • Sorry Duly Noted—I know it’s terrible form and probably violates some blogosphere code of etiquette to respond a month later, but life has kind of gotten in the way of recreational conversation lately. Fittingly, my husband lost the job he has been tenuously holding onto, and we’ve been busy doing the Medicaid/Unemployment/Plan B scramble, again. (I say “again” to make the point that this isn’t foreign territory to us, and I make that point only because apparently I give off the impression to some that I’m living up a life of luxury behind the glimmering fence of some gated community). I do thank you, by the way, for your well wishes. It seems that sometimes things have to get worse before they get better, but I do expect next Christmas to be better.

            I don’t have too much time to delve into all the points you raise, but I’ll start by saying that your summary of the Social Security Act of 1935 reinforces my point that the safety nets we have come to know and rely upon were hardly available to struggling families of my grandparents’ generation, so I don’t think we are in disagreement on this topic.

            As for your next point about my defending Newt’s statement, I have to say that I find it very interesting when you chose to quote me, you left out the entire first half of my sentence that stated, “I agree that to characterize the entire middle and lower income classes as non-working is ignorant.” The sentence that immediately followed the one you quoted went on to say, “One error in Newt’s thinking is that he ignores the fact that often those factors generally involve watching a parent or both parents work like dogs and still seem stuck, unable to get ahead.” I think I make it pretty clear in other statements made throughout my post that I don’t believe unemployment is the fault of the unemployed or a result of laziness. I do, however, believe that a high unemployment rate—again, through no fault of the unemployed—in poverty stricken neighborhoods, carries with it its own devastating psychological consequences on the young people who grow up in those neighborhoods (beyond the resulting poverty itself, which of course is obvious).

            To answer your question, of course there are no neighborhoods with 100% unemployment. There are, however, far too many neighborhoods with 20 and 25 percent unemployment rates, and even up to 40 percent in some of the most devastated neighborhoods like Hunts Point in the Bronx. Hamilton Hill in Schenectady, New York is a neighborhood decimated by drugs, crime, and prostitution. It has become a safe haven for a huge influx of outside gangs and felons fleeing from downstate. The unemployment rate there is 20%, and that of course only accounts for those collecting unemployment benefits. Incidentally, 43% of Hamilton Hill residents self-identify as white. This neighborhood was about two blocks from the Section 8 housing where my sister raised my nephew the first two years of his life. My nephew is currently in prison. While I respect your opinion and fully support your right to express it, I do have to respectfully ask that you don’t lecture me on what factors make illegal activity and gang violence attractive to young people like it’s something I only read about in a textbook.

            When you say that “Generally, gang violence and illegal activities are rarely attractive to people,” that indicates to me—and I acknowledge I may be wrong here—that you haven’t had a lot of direct experience with people who engage in these activities. Unfortunately, and I am not proud to say it, I have. Sadly I have known way too many friends and family members growing up who gravitated toward that path precisely because they found it attractive and appealing. I have known many others who have gotten sucked into criminal behavior not because it was attractive to them, but simply because that’s the environment and culture they grew up in. I do agree with you that most people in gangs don’t enjoy the lifestyle, but that’s usually after they’re in it and the reality sets in and they realized the lifestyle is not what they thought it would be. I can also tell you that while I personally have the luxury of sympathizing with kids who go down this road (and I do sympathize with them), the victims of gang violence and the kids who grow up in neighborhoods plagued by gang violence who are trying to do the right thing and do well in school and get out and make a better life for themselves do not share your and my sympathies for the gang members who made their lives hell growing up. I have a lot of friends and family who grew up in some of the worst neighborhoods in New York, from Schenectady to the Bronx, and you have to be very careful how you express your sympathy if you don’t want to come off as patronizing and offend the rest of the people who grew up in those same neighborhoods and did not choose that path.

            Look, here’s the bottom line: In certain poor communities—certainly not all poor communities—but in the most devastated communities, a high unemployment rate has devastating consequences on the youth who grow up there (beyond the poverty itself, which, as I said before, is obvious). It isn’t about blame or judgment or race—as I pointed out earlier, nearly half those living in Harbor Hill identify themselves as “white.” But a high unemployment rate in a small neighborhood—regardless of who or what is to blame—means that much of the total available working population in that neighborhood is not employed. That shouldn’t be a controversial statement. That’s the definition of high unemployment. The point I was making was not that Republicans aren’t “even allowed to TALK about black people any more,” as you put it. The point I was making was that Liberals know this, they agree with this, and they have a very clearly defined vocabulary and set of concepts they use to discuss this. They celebrate films like Precious which depict this. Their lexicon includes terms such as “urban blight,” and the “the cycle of poverty” (not to be confused with the much more highly controversial “culture of poverty” which, until recently, has been a taboo term in sociology).

            To automatically assume that Newt’s statement only applies to ethnic minorities is basically saying that inner city poor neighborhoods are only composed of ethnic minorities, which is just blatantly false. I can’t speak for black communities, but I sure as hell know and am related to white kids who grew up in poor inner city neighborhoods who were not surrounded by a whole lot of adults who held steady jobs. Again, this isn’t about blame or judgment. And it is a very small segment of the poor community which is generally referred to as the “working class poor.” But this is a reality for SOME people, and ironically, it has been my personal experience that many rich white kids who like to think of themselves as socially conscious and racially sensitive have no problem looking at the families I’m talking about and calling them poor white trash. When those families are rural families, they get called trailer trash, and no one bats an eye. I personally can’t think of anything more demeaning and degrading than to call another human being a piece of garbage, regardless of the color of their skin. Implicit in this phraseology is the underlying premise that BECAUSE they are white, they are to blame for their circumstances, as opposed to minorities who are the victims of their circumstances. If there is one thing I agree with you on is that race is used as a wedge issue to divide the poor. As a matter of fact, following the whole Newt debacle, I sat there and watched an ivy-league educated African American professor go on national television to say that the reason what Newt said was racist is because “inner city poor” was code for “black people,” and then he went on to refer to white rural poor people as “The Bubbas.” Come on. Really?

            Your sentiment that there “is no America” deeply saddens me, and I’m sorry that’s the conclusion you’ve come to. As an Iraq War veteran, there is not enough space on this page to express to you how much I have come to love and appreciate everything that is America—and as someone who once walked the fine line of paths to take in life, I cannot impress upon you enough that my sentiment is not one that came lightly or was simply handed to me because I grew up surrounded by patriots. I think it’s a mistake to equate America with her politicians. At the risk of sounding like Metroman the cartoon, I believe America is better than the people running it because America is an idea, some might even argue a Masonic one, that is the greatest experiment the history of governments has ever known. It is an idea that values freedom over security and has the audacity to assert that when left alone, human beings are not only capable of taking care of themselves, but they are capable of achieving great things, in spite of the infinite differences you yourself have pointed out. It is precisely this “hodge-podge of diverging interests” and disagreements that defines America—the fact that somehow, in spite of these differences, we have found a way to co-exist under one roof, that we have shown the world that a country does not need to be monolithic to live in peace. Politicians suck because they are people and sadly, most people are looking to serve their own interests, but in spite of all the God-awful people who have risen to power in our brief history, somehow every decade America continues to move forward, expand rights, and open doors where they were once closed. Yes, there are still many injustices and wrongs that need to be made right in our country, but in order to appreciate where we are, you have to look at how far we have come from the beginning in such a short span of time.

            Well on that note, if anyone else is even following this thread anymore, I’m sure I can expect a backlash that includes a long chain of hurled insults and commentary on my naiveté following that last bit, but seeing as I spent many years viewing these topics through the lens of the far left, I’ll have to just smile at the irony because I doubt I’ll find another opportunity for rebuttal any time soon. I did promise you a response about a month ago, however, so I wanted to hold good on my promise. Even though I don’t agree with your position Duly Noted, you appear to be sincerely interested in finding answers and making an honest effort at research. Incidentally, I noticed somewhere else on this blog you said you were sincerely troubled by how our country has gotten itself into this financial debacle, and you have set out to find out what happened. You cited an article that proposed a Bush-conspiracy theory, but in the interest of well-rounded research, I would like to suggest you look into Barney Frank’s role in the housing crisis as well. The Boston Globe published an op-ed a couple years back that presents the other side of the argument quite well (http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2008/09/28/franks_fingerprints_are_all_over_the_financial_fiasco/).

            I’m sorry this turned out to be so incredibly long-winded after all. I guess that’s what happens when you wait a month to respond. Maybe next month I can respond to Collin;)

    • I’m really impressed that your millionaire grandmother felt that toilet cleaning in motel rooms was an experience that she wanted to share with you. Guess what–it doesn’t give you special insight in to anything. And the words that Newt said were in fact that “really poor kids in really poor neighborhoods have no habits of working and nobody around them who works.” That is in fact the point the was making–that really poor people don’t have good work habits–which really seems to imply that they are lazy rather than currently unemployed, not that that people can’t succeed without good role models. To try to defend his comments by interpreting them differently is disingenuous, to say the least. I wonder how often he accuses Democrats of class warfare?

      • My grandmmother didn’t “share” the experience of cleaning a toilet with me. She was teaching me how to clean a room. It’s called a job. At the end of the day, I received money for the work I did, and that’s pretty much how it worked in my family. It most certainly did give me some insight. It’s called a personal experience. It may resonate with you, it may not. But the problem with people like you is that the second you encounter someone who doesn’t fit neatly into your ingrained world view, rather than having a discussion about the different point of view and possibly even examining your own assumptions, you resort to personal attacks.

        Instead of actually addressing the substance of what I–or anyone else on this blog with an alternative point of view for that matter–wrote, you just want to spew your venomous hatred and make snide comments to boost your own ego and make yourself feel better about being you. “Guess what, it doesn’t give you any special insight into anything (translation: Who cares. You’re stupid). Nice argument. I stopped worrying about validation from people like you after I spent 15 months dodging Katyusha rockets and shitting in buckets that we later set on fire to disposed of. I should have stopped worry about that when I was 7 years old and had to stick my hand in a toilet bowl for my allowance, but I guess it really sunk in after spending 15 months with people who have no running water and have to go outside to relieve themselves and who have to worry about dying from diseases like tuberculosis and dysentery. The “special insight” I gained from that experience was realizing that indignant Americans from any class seem pretty ridiculous.

        I don’t really care one way or another about what Newt said. As Sick of the Conversation pointed out, it’s pretty irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. What I did get aggravated with was the long list of posters who think that janitorial work is demeaning to lower income families and that suggesting young people should work is to promote “child labor.” If you read what I wrote carefully–instead of full of disgust for someone whose point of view may differ from yours–you’d see that my entire post addresses those views and my personal experience was quite relevant.

        • Hannah K says:

          Telling you that cleaning toilets with your grandmother doesn’t give you special insight is hardly a “personal attack.” If you take that to mean I’m calling you stupid, so be it. That is your decision, not mine. What I’m really telling you is that your experience of having your grandmother pay you to help her with a task that neither of you had to do in order to survive is in no way comparable to anything poor people, who do menial labor in order to have a roof and to eat, experience. And if your grandparents started out really poor and managed to get ahead, good for them. But that is their experience, not yours. You have no personal experience of poverty, and no personal knowledge of what poor people in this country really go through, nor how they really live, nor what values they may or may not have.

          Visiting poor people, even for an extended period of time, is not the same as knowing you are one. It’s really nice that you care about poor people living in horrendous conditions in other parts of the world. So do I. Of course, I have never had the resources to leave my job and home to go help them personally. I’m stuck volunteering at homeless shelters here. (Ever see a foot that needs to come off due to gangrene? I have, here in my own home town. Stinkeeeee!)

          And by the way, I grew up cleaning my own toilets from about the age of 5 on for my allowance, doing and yard work and house cleaning for various elderly freinds of my grandmother’s for money from about 10 on, baby sitting beginning at 12, and getting my first payroll job washing dishes in a restaurant at 14. And I did all of this because my very hard working single mother couldn’t really afford to give me an allowance or buy me clothes and still pay the rent and buy food.

          My grandparents went through the Great Depression, and I grew up hearing about how my grandfather left home at 14 to ride the rails just so his mother-a widow with six children-would have one less mouth to feed, and about how he, at 16, lied and said he was18 so he could go fight the Nazis. Guess what–He did that, I didn’t, And none of his experience magically descended in to my psyche just because he told me the stories.

          “I guess it really sunk in after spending 15 months with people who have no running water and have to go outside to relieve themselves and who have to worry about dying from diseases like tuberculosis and dysentery. The ‘special insight’ I gained from that experience was realizing that indignant Americans from any class seem pretty ridiculous.”-

          -Does this mean that because there are other people worse off elsewhere, you don’t think we should be trying to create a society here where an impoverished diabetic has as easy access to healthy foods as she does to crap? And where a poor person with health problems can go to a doctor without having to go on some kind of government assistance? That if these people would just get off their asses and start working they wouldn’t be poor anymore? Because unless that is what you are saying, I really don’t know where you are going with “indignant Americans from any class seem pretty ridiculous.”

          Not to mention that most able-bodied poor people do work, and work very hard. There are far more people in this county living below the poverty line than there are on welfare. The ones who don’t are more visible, I guess. But even in a neighborhood like the one I live in (I’m no longer poor, but I bought a house in a very poor neighborhood) where you see lots of disheveled people who certainly don’t appear to work walking around all day, the vast majority of my neighbors get up every day and go to work, just like I do. Often, the jobs they go to are the ones that Newt thinks their children should be doing–fast food servers, hotel maids, low level manufacturing, store clerks, nursing aids, etc. A janitorial position is a pretty plumb job in my neck of the woods. In any case, there really aren’t enough jobs to go around right now for the adults. Suggesting that we take the ones that do exist and give them to the kids seems counter-productive. (Not that you suggested that–Newt did.)

          I am certainly snide. I own that. But I am attacking your statements, not you personally. And while I do find your political position repugnant, I assure you that I do read what you say. And I still disagree with it, and with your tone, and with your assumption that your experience gives you a right to pass judgement on others.

          Poor people do all kinds of janitorial and house keeping work–trust me, it’s better than working in fast food!–and they don’t find it demeaning. But when someone from outside comes in and tells you that your only problem is a lack of work ethic, and that your children should be put to work as janitors while they are still in school, that is demeaning. Now I realize that that is what Gingrich said, and not what you said. But you are saying that people shouldn’t be offended by him saying that, and I really don’t think your experience relates to that at all.

          • Same response as I left on the other thread …

            Boy you sure showed me! You’re not blinded by venomous rage at all! I’m spiritually ugly? Did you have to wipe the spit off the keyboard when you were done writing that, cause I’m pretty sure you must be frothing at the mouth by now. From your reaction, I think I made my point, although I’m not so sure you can see through the fog of your animosity.

            If you read my post carefully, then your attention to detail is absolutely horrendous. You have gotten so off topic, I’m not even sure where to begin. But beyond that, the gigantic leaps and bounds you have taken, the incredibly faulty assumptions you have made, based on your own prejudices are astounding. You have taken tidbits of information that I have provided, filled in the blanks, and created such a wildly inaccurate picture in your mind, I reiterate my challenge to you and beg you once again: please set aside your hatred and start examining your own assumptions.
            The main focus of my entire post was that janitorial work is not demeaning, going to work when you’re young is not necessarily child labor, and many impoverished people attribute their own success in life to working early in life. I never in any way, shape, or form said my experience cleaning toilet bowls gave me some kind of special insight into poverty. If that’s what you got out of it, you missed the entire point, which was that there is nothing demeaning about janitorial work or bad about having a job when you’re young. But that is just the tip of the iceberg as far as where you have gone way out into left field.

            Not only did I never say that experience gave me special insight into poverty, I never mentioned my own financial situation at all. Oh, I’m sure you think you have that all figured out because I mentioned my grandparents died with over a million dollars in the bank, but let me light a lamp for you, just in case. I didn’t discuss my own financial situation because it wasn’t relevant at all to the point I made, which clearly went right past you, and because it’s nobody’s business what my income is—I don’t need to submit a financial prospectus or a lifetime resume so that people like you can decide whether or not I’m in the club and deserve a point of view or not. But if for no other reason than I hope, I really sincerely hope, that it helps you realize you need to take a good look at how YOU judge others, I’ll just fill you in on some basic facts that are, again, none of your business…

            My son’s birth was covered by Medicaid, as were my son’s medical expenses the first 18 months of his life. My family of three happens to be surviving on less than $25K a year in New York State—an income we now share with my sister and her son who have recently moved in with us and are surviving on food stamps. I only mention where I live because just how rich or poor an income of $25K a year makes you is, in fact, quite relative to where you live. For example, if we were living in Iowa, our expenses would be dramatically less and we might even have some disposable income. Am I poor? I actually don’t think I am. I think relative to millions of other families living in our own country that I am incredibly blessed and because of the multitude of opportunities I’ve had throughout my life, I think it would be insulting to many people less fortunate than me to refer to myself as poor. But again, whether I am or am not poor is not relative at all to the point I was making, and therefore is none of your business really. And if you can’t fathom how someone whose grandparents died with a million dollars in the bank ended up in the situation I just described, too bad. Learning from other people is a privilege you earn when you show them a certain level of respect that you definitely don’t demonstrate in your communications with people.

            But while we’re on the subject of my “millionaire grandmother,” I’d also like to point out that you don’t have a fucking clue what her or my financial status was when she taught me how to clean rooms, or whether or not it was a job we needed to do to survive. It sure as hell wasn’t a hobby. I said my grandparents DIED with a million dollars in the bank. I also said I was 7 years old when I was cleaning rooms with my grandmother. Which brings me to my next point, and if you pay attention to nothing else I’ve said, please, pay attention here:

            You sincerely doubt my grandparents worked their way out of poverty? You bet they’re like all of the immigrants you’ve known who came to this country and ended up buying a hotel? My grandparents weren’t immigrants. I never said they were. Once again, you took a tiny piece of information I put out there and constructed a picture in your head based on your own prejudices, and in this case what sounds an awful lot like blatant racism. (Just out of curiosity, what country was it you assumed they immigrated from?) You doubt they worked their way out of poverty? I guess you just skipped over the paragraph where I explain my grandmother had to drop out of school in the third grade to wash porch steps after her father was murdered in a drunken card game. One of her sisters spent her entire life completely illiterate. Her brothers made their living either boxing or working at Tyson’s meat packing—oh yeah, in case you haven’t revised the picture yet, all this happened IN THIS COUNTRY. My grandparents didn’t just end up buying a hotel. They worked their asses off and saved their money and BUILT a tiny little 10 room motor inn. My grandmother didn’t clean rooms for fun. She was the housekeeper. And the desk clerk. And the bookkeeper. My grandfather was the maintenance man and whatever other job title that needed to be filled. Technically speaking it wasn’t even a hotel. It was a motel. If you grew up in the industry, I don’t have to explain the difference.

            Oh, there’s one more incredible assumption you made that is so far out there, I have to address it:
            “It’s really nice that you care about poor people living in horrendous conditions in other parts of the world. So do I. Of course, I have never had the resources to leave my job and home to go help them personally.”

            I don’t know exactly what picture you created in your head from what I said. Maybe you think I was on some Doctors Without Borders field trip or something. I thought the comment about dodging Katyusha rockets made it obvious, but I guess not. I was a soldier. The only volunteering I did was to go put my life on the line to fight a war no one at home supported or wanted to fight. No resources required. The Army provided those. No job to leave. That was my job. I did have to leave home though, and I wasn’t entirely sure I’d come back. Some of my friends never did. I have never seen a stinky gangrene foot, but I’m sure it doesn’t smell anything like the charred remains of a soldier who was blown up in her bed while she slept. I did have the opportunity to smell that.

            I am sincerely begging you to set aside your rage and start reexamining your own assumptions. You find my position repugnant? You don’t think my experience gives me the right to judge people? What position? What judgment? My position was that working when you’re young is good, janitorial jobs aren’t demeaning, and that a high unemployment rate, which is not the fault of the unemployed (I clearly state in my original post), makes for fewer working role models. My secondary point to that was that the reactions to what Newt said were by far more visceral than logical and was leading people to make wild assumptions, which you have so beautifully demonstrated with your own assumptions about me.

        • Hannah K says:

          And one more thing. “Indignant Americans from any class are ridiculous?” I assumed you meant indigent, and I read it that way at first. But still pretty funny. We don’t have the right to to be indignant? Really? Aren’t you yourself currently expressing indigence over what I said to you? Sheesh lady. Think before you speak.

          • I know exactly what I said, and I was pretty sure you’d latch on to that. The difference is I’m not indignant with our system or your political point of view. I’m indignant with how you express it. Clearly you don’t appreciate sarcasm any more than anyone else does. I was reflecting your own tone toward Sick of the Conversation back to you. All I had to do was call you a wise ass, and look at what levels that made you sink to on the other thread. You unleashed everything you had. Shit, you went straight after my soul! lol. I think you’re the one who needs to do some thinking about you speak.

            • Tired says:

              Onlyspartanwomen – what exactly does that name mean anyway? I think you have an identity crisis m’dear. You very skillfully play both sides, but what exactly ARE you for? Who are you in this life?

              • Tired says:

                Typical – you meet someone who hits a nerve and you’re too scared to reply. Whatever. I see you and I know who you are.

                • Typically, Tired, when someone hits a nerve, they get an immediate response. When people prattle out nonsense that just makes themselves look stupid, they’re fairly easy to overlook. I am considering making a rule for myself to just completely ignore people who comment on posts they obviously didn’t read, and while you would certainly fit into that category, that is not the reason I haven’t responded to you yet. I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that you are either very young or incredibly alone. Either scenario would explain your behavior and your being oblivious to the fact that some people actually have lives and responsibilities to attend to and can’t sit around on the computer trolling the blogosphere all day long. Duly Noted and Colin were way ahead of you on the list of people who actually deserve a sincere response to their comments, but since you are so eager to find out what I think about your not-so-clever little jabs, I will humor you. In spite of the fact that you appear just as hateful as Hannah, some small part of me takes pity on you, so here it is:

                  The answer to every moronic question you ask, both literal and rhetorical, has already been spelled out in plain English in the posts you’re commenting on. (The first question you answer yourself. I’ll give you a hint. It’s not a fact, it’s a ____ .) I come right out and describe my current economic status pretty clearly, so if you walked away with the impression that I live in a cushy gated community, then I’m going to guess reading comprehension is not a strong test area for you. I am definitely not above pulling out the dictionary while I read and write (most educated people use one frequently), but if you think it’s an insult to tell someone that they write like they use a Thesaurus, then that says more about you than me. (It’s down right entertainment when your last name ends in a vowel and its usually the four-letter words people complain about, not the multisyllabic ones). However, if it will help you with that reading comprehension problem, I will try to use fewer syllables so it is easier for you to understand what you’re reading.

                  As for my moniker, it’s called the 3rd Infantry Division kid. Look it up. If you can figure out what brigade I was in from the handle, I’ll mail you a prize. Not all units in the military allow their female soldiers the honor and the privilege of serving outside the wire. Mine did. I guess you could say I did spend some time living in a gated community, although I’m pretty sure it’s nothing you could imagine. It was on the other side of that gate, however, where I earned that title. I have a slightly different perspective than Hannah of what it means “to have to do a job to survive,” as I believe she put it. If I didn’t do my job, and do it well, people died. Period. “Hard work” to me means working six straight weeks, 14 to 18 hours a day, averaging 4 hours of sleep a night, without a single day off (No time off is pretty much standard operating procedure for all soldiers when they first arrive in country. No choice about it either. I know that the whole having a choice thing was very important to Hannah).

                  The moniker is a historical reference to Gorgo, Queen of the Spartans. The quote was popularized by the movie 300, but anyone who had ever picked up a history book and read about the Spartans before the movie came out would have come across it without effort. Women had a unique status in ancient Spartan society. The moniker is a tribute to my unit, to all soldiers (male and female), to motherhood, and to all women who have the courage to defend their own voice (soldiers and civilians alike). I could write a dissertation on what the quote means to me, but I’m pretty sure I’ve already provided enough material for you to take and prove yourself incapable of understanding when you make some snide comment that surely will make you giggle like a schoolgirl as you type it (that, my dear, is what I meant by making yourself feel better about being you).

                  It’s admirable you want to defend your pal Hannah. If you had actually read through the entire exchange, you would know that she revealed herself to be a racist when she inaccurately assumed, based on ethnic stereotypes, that my grandparents were immigrants—the kind she blatantly stated she can’t stand—but you shouldn’t let something like that stand in your way of defending a person whose position you haven’t actually read. I didn’t call Hannah out because I disagreed with her position, or because she disagreed with mine. If all she had done was left her own pithy little comment on my post, I probably would have brushed her off with a couple sentences like I did with other people who made similar comments. I called Hannah out because someone offered her an olive branch and she spit in his face—after chastising him for being not being a gentleman! You have a choice Tired. You can follow in her footsteps and continue to troll up and down this blog spitting at people who don’t share your views and cheering for those who do, or you can grow up and join the conversation. I know it’s much easier to understand the world if you divide it into “us and them,” but sadly, the world is a complicated place, and most people can’t be so easily categorized. I’m sure I’ve said plenty that contradicts your preconceived notions of who I should be or what I should believe, but please, show me one place where I contradict myself? I pose to you the same challenge I posed to Hannah: start questioning your own assumptions. The idea was apparently so painful for her, she just completely dismissed it. I’m curious if you’re any more up to the challenge.

                  • Tired says:

                    LOL. Damn I bet the military was happy about your end of tour. Could anyone ever get a word in with you around? That aside. You never did answer my question. And you’re wrong as well about who I am. I’m neither young nor lonely, just tired of folks like you. An I’ve plenty of challenges in life, so I’ll take a pass on yours.

        • cld says:

          “But the problem with people like you is that the second you encounter someone who doesn’t fit neatly into your ingrained world view, rather than having a discussion about the different point of view and possibly even examining your own assumptions, you resort to personal attacks”.
          please tell us what planet you live one where you do not recognize this in yourself?

          • The planet where I defend people like myself and Sick of the Conversation against snide bloggers who try to bully people into silence with sarcasm and outright suggest they shouldn’t even express their point of view simply because they don’t agree with it. I don’t agree with all of the statements Sick of the Conversation made, but I’m not going to attack him for it or tell him he should take his point of view somewhere else. Hell, he doesn’t even agree with what Newt Gingrich said, but that didn’t stop someone from lashing out at him. And what did he do when someone confronted him directly? He acknowledged his own overemotional tone, he validated and even agreed with her point of view, and quite sincerely apologized, stating:

            “Forgive me for being ill-mannered about this subject but it does make me angry,”

            What did she do? She responded with MORE SARCASM and CONTINUED to go after him, concluding with the statement:

            “I suggest that since you think others should get over it and move on, you provide an example for all of us by doing so yourself.”

            So yeah, when I see that type of bullying behavior, and that same person makes some snide comment toward me on my own thread, I’m going to call them out on it. That’s the planet I live on.

  54. jay says:

    I took the Blue Line from Ktown in LA to the South Bay every day for a year, a route that took me through Watts right up the the edge of Compton, the exact poor areas the author describes in his rebuttal. I changed trains at the Rosa Parks Station in Watts every day, at all hours and,. I saw hardship and more than my share of mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters dragging themselves home well past sundown, bone tired, world weary and visibly beaten down by a day filled with the type of backbreaking, physical labor that I suspect Newt doesn’t really know exists.

    The only thought that would fill me with fear and dread while passing through one of America’s “poor” neighborhoods is telling the people there that they don’t work hard. Then again, most of them would shrug such a statement off, too busy or tired to entertain the blather of someone so willfully stupid they’re not worth the energy it would take to prove them wrong.

    I know a lot of Americans are also bone tired and weary. I also know that if it ever becomes necessary, we’ll swat our sides and find the energy necessary to complete one last annoying and nagging daily task: showing Newt Gingrich and his ilk off somewhere far away to blather out of earshot of us adults who are actually trying to get some work done.

  55. R. Johnson says:

    Ok, Travon, to begin with…I would in no way vote for anyone, white, or of color, who displays a bias with consideration to race. I have no tolerance for those who blame others for their own situations, or who use their color, or lack of color (those who claim “reverse discrimination) for their current situation. YOU, and many others like Colin Powell and William Jefferson Clinton, have proven that poverty, is not an excuse for becoming educated and moving up and out. May I quote you.
    “A son who received academic and athletic scholarship offers from three Ivy League schools
    and countless other universities, a son with a college degree in Criminal Justice who
    graduated with honors from every school he attended, and a daughter who not only
    attended a Gifted and Talented Education high school, but is one year away from
    completing a degree at UCLA”.
    Despite your color, your financial situation, your single parent status as a child, YOU and your sister excelled! A classic example of what I have told my children since they were small. YOU are only limited by YOUR OWN lack of motivation to succeed. So, instead of wasting your time pointing out the obvious..(yes, Newt, as well as many Republicians (NOT ALL) are bigots), help young people, of all colors. learn what you have, that the opportunity is there, get educated, read read read, and pull yourself up and out. DON’T wait for others to do it for you….not the rich, not the government, not your neighbor, and not your church.
    Thanks for listening!
    RJ

    • Duly Noted says:

      “I have no tolerance for those who blame others for their own situations, or who use their color, or lack of color (those who claim “reverse discrimination) for their current situation.’

      Who gets to adjudicate whether their assertions are valid or not? You? Based on what analytical expertise? To what degree would you agree with this statement: ‘some socio-economic statistical anomalies are, in part, a reflection and manifestation of discriminatory practices’?

      If one child born into abject poverty in the slums of Calcutta somehow manages to rise above it and succeed, does that mean all the others that didn’t only have themselves to blame?

      On what basis do you presume that there’s room in the middle class for everybody who strives hard enough, and good jobs for everybody with the right qualifications? From what I’ve been reading, middle-class college grads are having great trouble finding decent jobs as we speak. Suppose 100 percent of people on welfare in Detroit enrolled in college and pursued a four-year degree, in four years would there be a million jobs in Michigan for people with degrees available? What if every person on benefits in America went to community college and got a degree? Will there be 35 million jobs available when they all graduate? If not, would you agree that ‘education is the road out’ really only applies to some, and so we still need ‘a road out’ for the others? THEN will you stop pretending poor people ” are only limited by YOUR OWN lack of motivation to succeed” and admit that your success formula will only work for a small percentage of people, NOT everybody?

      I’m getting tired of people who act like good jobs grow on trees, enough for everybody. They DON’T – and the more college degrees people earn in America, the clearer that becomes.

  56. ivy league brains do NOT stoop to the level of personal attacks and name calling. i hear you when you say it was only humor, but you would not accept that excuse from gingrich if he were to use it. in my opinion you negated your entire very well written letter with that one ignorant comment.

    • Meghan says:

      Ivy League brains? That phrase is elitist because it’s such a generalization! I, for one, have an “Ivy League brain,” and I stoop to the level of name calling quite often. I think it’s funny sometimes, since having an “Ivy League brain” does not mean I don’t have a sense of humor. And Darryl, if you have an “Ivy League brain” too, then please don’t misrepresent us all by misusing the word “ignorant.” Saying that Newt Gingrich looks like someone “poured mashed potatoes into a suit” is not ignorant, even if Newt is your dad and you love him. I might say the same thing about MY dad, and he would laugh because he has a sense of humor, too (that’s where I get it from! And my “Ivy League brain,” too).

  57. Hinda says:

    Succinct, insightful…one of the BEST responses I’ve read to the latest vitriol from this sorry excuse for a presidential candidate. My best to your mother..she raised a fine son. You Rock!

  58. Pingback: Kids—follow your dreams, whatever they may be. And Mr. Gingrich, clean your own damned toilets | Paging Dr. Thornton

  59. Denny says:

    I dont know how the American people can support the former speaker of the house, that was asked to leave congress, to be President of the United States. We judge pepeople people on moral issues, and their religion values. I think we have the value issues turned around here. I surely don’t wish to have a long winded person you been kicked out if congress, that opens his mouth without thinking to lead this country either.

  60. Amy Smith says:

    Sociological studies have found that the majority of the poor class in the United States is either working or looking for work.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Working_poor

    http://www.trinity.edu/mkearl/strat.html

    http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Introduction_to_Sociology/Stratification

  61. Gerry says:

    OK…here’s the painful truth. There IS an element of truth to what Newt was saying. If there weren’t then we wouldn’t be seeing the problems of black on black crime, gang violence, teen pregnancies, broken and dysfunctional families, and astronomical high school dropout rates. I live in Oakland, CA, and I challenge you to ride just about any public transit bus in this city during the hours of 2 and 4pm. You’ll see examples of those kids that Newt is talking about. If you take what he said as an insult to your mother…then fine. You should. Your mother should be applauded for doing the right thing. But to think these problems don’t exist in the black community is foolish. Instead of getting on Newt for painting a broad brush of this issue, you really should be addressing why the black community has the problems it does.

    The truth is painful.

    • Bee Hyde says:

      Gerry you ignorant a-hole. There is no element of truth to what Newt Scroogerich said. That you believe that there is only speaks to your own, personal prejudices.
      This nation was built by and on the backs of the poor and middle-class Americans. It was their labor, their taxes, their very blood, sweat, and tears that created this country.
      And who defends the life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness that his loud-mouthed fatheadenness (I’m talking Newt the asshole here) enjoys?
      The poor. The middleclass. They are the defenders of America. They have sacrificed their very lives that these ignorant Grand Old Tea Party shit-heads can go around spouting whatever ridiculous bullshit comes into their pea-brains.
      The only problem that needs to be addressed is why so many Americans enjoying the fruits of the sacrifices made by poor and middle-class Americans are so filled with hate.

      • Karl says:

        Why does Bill Cosby basically say the same thing?

        • Larry says:

          I don’t think Bill Cosby says that poor people have no work ethic, and he’s certainly never said that blacks are the cause of their own problems. He’s simply been critical of anyone who blames their problems on someone else instead of taking their life into their own hands and doing something about it. Newt says that in poor neighborhoods people don’t know how to show up on Monday or stay at work an entire day, and that’s just pigheaded and foolish. I doubt Newt’s ever worked a real day of hard labor in his life. He is an out of touch blowhard that is looking out for the concerns of mega corporations and special interests. I started working doing manual labor at age 14, and while I want my kids to learn the value of a hard days work, how are you going to ask a highschool kid from a poor family to compete with a kid from a well off suburban family for a college scholarship if one of them has to work 30 hours a week after school? Get real.

    • Marge Shot says:

      Yeah Newt makes a good point.. grab the mop, stop dealing drugs.. and when you get a wee bit older you can join the military and we’ll send you off to war where you can die like the dog that you are.. Newt Gingrich is just flat out EVIL.. where the hell have you supporters been the last 15+ years.. its obvious to where your heads are up now..

  62. Margaret says:

    Although I don’t agree with what Newt said exactly, this writer of this blog is not in the majority of people coming from poor households. I do believe that anyone can work hard and work their way out of any situation given to them, but unfortunately that often does not happen. Look at the poorer population as a whole, most people from this situation don’t work their way up to Ivy League Schools. This is because of a lot of factors but does also greatly reflect the home life. Although I am sure many of the parents of these children are working everyday, showing up every Monday morning, many of these children are not getting help with homework anymore, are not being read to each day, are not sitting around the dinner table discussing the days events or current events in the world. Of course not every parent or child falls into this category but many do. It is not the fault of anyone, as in order to support a family, sometimes parents must work when the children are doing their HW, need to be read to, or throughout dinner time. Much of education, value in school and furthering education, and aspirations come from what we see and learn from home. If people are not around to help their children, the children often get caught in the same cycle, Fortunately for the writer of this letter, he did not have this same fate. At the same time, as ignorant as Newt sounded here, the author of this letter sounded just as ignorant when he grouped all republicans in the same boat calling telling Newt that he “represents a whole party of greedy, selfish, out of touch…..” people. Practice what you preach sir and just as you thought it was ignorant for Newt to group a whole group of people into one insult, you then did the same thing. Instead of bashing one another, why don’t we come up with solutions to a major problem which is giving these children who often don’t have parents home when they get home from school the proper homework help, dinner table etiquette, family conversation skills, being read to and with, etc…. Let’s help solve the problem instead of turning against one another.. And just to add, on the mention in the letter of Obama– I follow politics and policies very closely as I respected Obama a great deal and was excited to see what he would bring to the table once elected and I must say, he has done nothing, nor proposed anything to help with the “poorer” people in this country. This man is not one to reference to add to your point because he has added nothing to better this country’s less fortunate people the past 3 years.

    • John says:

      Margaret – Wake up call: http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/poverty
      On Day 16 of Obama’s presidency, he signed legislation expanding health coverage to 4 million uninsured children.

      Obama’s immediate response to the ever-rising unemployment rate — which officially stands at 16 percent for African Americans — has been repeated extensions of unemployment benefits. While pushing a contested bill last summer, he said, “We need to pass it for all the Americans who haven’t been able to find work in an economy where there are five applicants for every opening.”

      According to census data, extended unemployment insurance in 2010 kept 3.2 million people above the poverty line. The American Jobs Act calls for another extension, as well as legislation making it illegal to refuse to hire out-of-work job applicants.

      Modeled after the successful Harlem Children’s Zone — which provides charter schools, parenting workshops and weekend community centers to support education from “cradle through college” — the administration’s Promise Neighborhoods grant program helps cities jump-start their own neighborhood interventions. On the higher-education front, the president has more than doubled Pell Grants for low-income college students.

      Plugging several provisions from the Recovery Act, the administration says that its youth summer jobs program for low-income youths employed 367,000 young adults — approximately 40 percent of them African American — in 2009 and 2010. The legislation’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families emergency contingency fund hired 260,000 low-income adults in subsidized jobs.

      In June the Department of Labor announced $39.7 million in grants to help low-income noncustodial parents and ex-offenders gain job skills (and boost their employability) by placing them in temporary, paid work experiences. And the American Job Act’s infrastructure investment reserves $50 million for transportation-related job training for minorities, women and low-income workers.

    • Tired says:

      Margaret – and what are you , in all of your brilliance, doing to solve the problem? Are you out there tutoring, mentoring, or doing anything at all to correct the deficiencies you speak of? Sick and tired of rich folks callin’ people out without doing anything about it.,, Same shit different day……

  63. Martina Dinale says:

    No John , Reagan’s welfare queen was made up. It’s called L-Y-I-N-G ?? I realize your end of the political spectrum is unfamiliar with the concept , as unfamiliar as they are with a basic moral framework ( since to you folks lying is only ever ” whatever is inconvenient to ME ” ) – but I repeat myself – however you could at least TRY to keep up. Noone in their right mind is saying ALL welfare queens or their male counterparts are fictional , we’re saying THAT one was . And that’s a fact . There was no woman , on welfare , in that particular midwestern town Reagan mentioned , driving up to the Welfare Office IN A CADILLAC . That is , if you recall , the kicker of the story , the thing that pissed off everyone who never bothered to find out if it actually happened or not ; that someone on for chrissake WELFARE was driving up to the office in a CAD. It would for a fact have pissed me off too. If it had ever happened like that . The problem is there was no Cadillac .
    But why on earth let facts get in the way of a good , polarizing , poor-folks-blaming , racist story , eh?

    • JMppre says:

      The story is true, There were not one but four Cadillacs out of about 12, in the visitor parking at the County Office and it was in 1973 or so, when it was a bigger deal. Reagan was governor then and trying to reform welfare in our state. The Sac Bee wrote story and it wasn’t about the Cadillacs. It was about how they needed a new building.
      What happened after was the conservative Sacramentans commented about it a lot. M Deaver picked up on it and gave it to Reagan. Reagan used it in a few speeches but dropped it.
      If you did a Sac Bee archive of Metro Sections you could probably find the pic and article. Not and urban legend though, I’ve lived here all my life and it did happen and then got exaggerated. It’s worse now. We have welfare folks pulling down @120K tax free. And not just one.

      • Suzanne says:

        Actually, Reagan used that term throughout his campaign. Here’s the problem. There may have BEEN a kernel of truth in the Sac Bee’s telling, but then every time Reagan mentioned it, the woman’s crimes became more and more outrageous. This is the problem with politics (and has been for decades). It’s about the showmanship, not the actual truth. Yes, there are people who cheat the welfare system. Name a system, and I’ll show you a system that somewhere has cheaters. That said, this “baby out with the bathwater” scenario that a lot of the Tea Party seems to advocate is an unnecessary draconian measure. Let’s talk about that Cadillac. Was it hers? We know that for sure? We saw the registration? Did she get to keep it or was it a bad financial decision that got repossessed a month later?

        The minimum wage in this country right now on a 40 hour a week job is less than $30K a year. That’s wicked hard to live on. I think sometimes geography plays a role to because the cost of living varies wildly. When I tell my friends in SC that people making under $40K a year are granted state health coverage in MA, they call MA a welfare state….. but that could be because rents for a 2 bedroom apartment might run $500 or so there (when I was in grad school, mine was $325 a month, about a decade ago. Figure that has doubled). Rents in MA for the same apartment in the same condition (not great) would run about $2500 a month. Throw in a kid and some day care there and you don’t have a lot left over. Notice I said one kid, not 12. I’m just saying that raw numbers are deceptive.

        • Angiemonster says:

          actually, minimum wage full time for one year (52 weeks) before taxes is only 15,080.00 a year. take away about 15% of that for taxes and soc.security. where I live here in Virginia Beach, I cant support myself on that. my rent is 860 a month (and i live in an apartment complex that even dominos wont deliver to, not that i can afford pizza delivery.) my utilities are included thank god. do the math. i bring in 877.00 a month. i have to have a roomate. so i pay half a months income just to have a roof over my head. i have no medical insurance (cant afford it) i drive a kia which is 6 years old and i pay 300 a month for, but public transportation is so lousy that i cant work at all without a car (my 15 minute commute to work takes 2 hours one way with our current bus schedule and routes. that would turn my 8 hour a day work day into a 12 hour work day. because i am a single female my insurance is 60 a month for full coverage (because i have a lean on my car.) i have a cell phone (not a smart phone) and i pay 40 a month because i have to share a plan with someone else. I have to have a phone for work and emergencies, just like everyone else. this leaves me $47 dollars a month to eat, gas and incidentals. i have no life outside of work, and because i have no children, i do not qualify for assistance. this is the american dream right? oh, forgot, i use the computer at the library to access the internet, i have no pc or laptop or even cable at my house.

          thank god the above isn’t real, it would be a nightmare to live like that!

          • Suzanne says:

            I teach in two schools — one catering to low income students and one….. extremely NOT, let’s say. I see no difference in the work ethic in my students. I have extremely hard workers and extremely lazy slackers in both schools. I don’t “forgive” laziness in either school, but I do understand it more in the low income school as those students often DO have fewer role models. That said, they are all aware that college education is their only ticket out.

            A lot of people (mostly Conservatives) like to point out that these poor kids often have smartphones. They scream and moan about them taking government assistance while they have that “$400 phone.” I would like to defend those students. It never occurs to these Conservatives that that “$400 phone” IS many of my students’ computer. It is their source for the Internet and their only source other than the dozen or so computers their school has in their one computer lab. With cable internet topping $50 a month (and often only if you also bundle other services thus increasing the bill), this is the only way many can do research on the internet. Libraries don’t have reference rooms like they used to….. to access scholarly journals, students must have internet access to the library’s database. They are doing the best they can. Find me a place they can get reliable internet access and a machine for $400 + $40 a month or less, and I will gladly pass that information on to them. They will thank you.

  64. jjarow says:

    Eloquent and shining. Thank you so much for this!

  65. Sick of the Conversation says:

    The wide range of stories/backgrounds in the posts above should be evidence enough that NO generalizations can be made about race, economic status, or upbringing that are always or even mostly true. So everyone needs to shut the fuck up about how it “really is”.

    Douche Gingrich is not being racist, he’s being stupid. And saying that his words are “the most
    idiotic, unfounded, racist, and ignorant…that I have ever heard” makes you sound equally stupid. REALLY??! THOSE words are the MOST racist thing you’ve ever heard?? I seriously doubt that is true if you grew up in Compton in the early 90s. Words have meaning, use them appropriately. The statement should read “I’m mildly offended by words that could possibly be construed as racist and I have nothing better to do than to try and contribute to the media bullshit surrounding the presidential campaigns.” Newt is a fucking idiot and has proven to be unfit to be president HUNDREDS of times. For example, cheating on his cancer stricken wife while accusing then president Clinton of lying about a BJ?? How much in tax revenue was used up by that farce? And THIS incident is what tips you off?

    The truth is many rich kids have terrible role models, as do many poor kids. Some grow up and continue the pattern, some break the mold. STOP generalizing and making stupid fucking claims. “I grew up in blah, blah… and now I’m a blah, blah so that means…” Who gives a shit??!

    A strong work ethic does not mean you deserve financial success. Being really great at and dedicated to, a job that doesn’t pay shit isn’t the government’s or white peoples’ or black peoples’ fault. If you ask a poor teacher? It’s the government’s fault… Ask a poor white man? it’s all the minorities, affirmative action, and immigrants’ fault… Ask a poor black man? it’s whitey keeping them down. And a weak work ethic does not mean that you will be poor or unsuccessful…if you fall ass backwards into something that other people are willing to pay you lots of money for with little or no effort then you got lucky. People are responsible for their own circumstances and that’s just how it IS. You can waste time complaining about how it SHOULD be or you can just accept it and change your circumstances.

    There is REAL racism in the world, and REAL oppression. Using hyperbole and anecdotes about how hard your life is/was in America is fucking sickening. Grow up and move on, this is a non-issue.

    PS. If anyone can guess my race, background, and current economic status purely by the content of this post, then I concede that I am wrong and all posters above me should re-post their entire life stories in the hopes that we may finally learn the secret to racial harmony and peace on earth.

    • hkonnoff says:

      No, I can’t guess anything about you except that you have a different standard of poor than I do if you think that “ask a poor teacher” makes a good argument. By my standards, teachers are middle class. The average teacher income, while not high, is still miles better than that of someone struggling to make it on minimum wage with no benefits, or for that matter, on welfare or social security disability.

      I really think that part of the problem we have is that a lot of people who aren’t poor think that their struggles are really comparable to those of poor people (Yes I recognize that this statement is a generalization).

      They aren’t, and the danger inherent in such thinking is that if a person in household that has never gone without medical care, or lived in fear of eviction, or worried about running out of food or just having no transportation to get to the store to buy food starts thinking that wishing they had money for nicer clothes, a better car, or to buy lunch at work instead of packing a sandwich is struggling with poverty, that person may buy in to the fiction that we all really have the same opportunities in life.

      There is no secret to racial harmony or peace on earth, but not everyone is in a position to “just accept it and change your circumstances.” And frankly, I find your assumption that because you don’t like what the author is saying he must be lying about both his childhood and his feelings to be…well…lets not say stupid, lets just say ignorant and arrogant. (Not to mention ill-mannered.)

      • Sick of the Conversation says:

        Ask a poor teacher was not an argument. Simply an example of the type of whining I was pointing out, not the best one I’ll admit, and definitely a generalization. Teachers DO make a decent living, and have AMAZING benefits. The good ones stick with that job because they love what they do, not because of the paycheck. And it is a CHOICE. Growing up poor is not a choice, but what you do while in that environment clearly IS. The original poster, his mother, sister and father are perfect examples of that fact. My reason for posting was that it’s clear that his background did not dictate his future circumstances, and neither do anyone else’s.

        You’re right, we definitely have different definitions of poor. The fact is that term is relative. Yes, the plights of your hypothetical first example should shame the second’s for simply wanting nicer stuff. But poor people in other countries without the safety nets that our government provides would consider “fear of eviction” and not wanting to walk two miles to the nearest grocery store to trade in food stamps for clean food, equally ridiculous when compared with their very real fears of rape, slaughter, disease, and famine.

        I did not suggest we all have the same opportunities. That is absolutely a fiction. A greater fiction is the idea that this is an attainable goal. Welfare and similar programs by and large do what they are supposed to do: provide a safety net for those that need it, while and when they need it. There are some exceptions of people falling through the cracks, and others gaming the system. Nothing works all the time. This is reality, not utopia, and people do need to accept it. It doesn’t matter how much the government spends or whether the president is praying hard enough, there will always be poor and there will always be rich. Acceptance and doing something to improve your life does not require any pre-condition or being in some “position”. The danger in this type of thinking is that it leads people to wait for someone else to motivate them, or provide the means to do so.

        Your last point is quite the straw-man argument. I did not assume nor say that he was lying about his background or feelings. I can now only assume you’re referring to my statement about doubting Gingrich’s words as being the most racist thing he’s ever heard. I don’t doubt he grew up in Compton and I’m sure his outrage and his feelings were real, and THAT is the problem I was pointing out. The hyperbole that he and many other posters in this thread employ to underline weak points about made up issues make it difficult to point out REAL issues. If this is the most racist thing he’s ever heard from a politician, then what words are left to describe Strom Thurmond calling all black people “Freds”? If everything that happens in this country is described with similar hyperbolic language, the end result is meaningless sensationalized news and a numb public unable and unwilling to sift through the bullshit to find things that actually matter. Forgive me for being ill-mannered about this subject but it does make me angry.

        • “I did not assume nor say that he was lying about his background or feelings.”
          Your exact words sir:
          “REALLY??! THOSE words are the MOST racist thing you’ve ever heard??******** I seriously doubt that is true if you grew up in Compton in the early 90s (read: you are either lying about your background or about your experience)*******. Words have meaning, use them appropriately. ****** The statement should read ‘I’m mildly offended by words that could possibly be construed as racist ….'(read: you are lying about your feelings)******** ”

          And poverty is not relative. It is a well-defined term, based, I believe, on sound statistical analysis. I don’t have the exact specifics, but please, don’t just take my word for it, feel free to look it up.

          Your basic complaint seems to be that you are irritated by reading the opinions of people who feel that their background has some bearing on their feelings or beliefs about what Newt Gingrich did or didn’t say, and that you feel that people who speak of having grown up poor should just get over it and move on.

          I suggest that since you think others should get over it and move on, you provide an example for all of us by doing so yourself.

          • “Your basic complaint seems to be that you are irritated by reading the opinions of people who feel that their background has some bearing on their feelings or beliefs about what Newt Gingrich did or didn’t say,”

            Wow! That’s the pot calling the kettle black, coming from the woman who thinks she’s an authority on what personal experiences do or don’t give an individual insight! (I’m referring of course to your reply on my post: “I’m really impressed that your millionaire grandmother felt that toilet cleaning in motel rooms was an experience that she wanted to share with you. Guess what–it doesn’t give you special insight in to anything.”)

            He’s not accusing the author of lying–the word is hyperbole. Maybe you’ve heard of it. He’s pointing out that the author’s description of his feelings–maybe even the feelings themselves–are EXAGGERATED, and for you to harp on him for that and insist he has accused the author of lying is, well, an example of the kind of distracting emotional overreaction he is referring to.

            “And poverty is not relative. It is a well-defined term, based, I believe, on sound statistical analysis. I don’t have the exact specifics, but please, don’t just take my word for it, feel free to look it up.”

            You might want to look it up yourself wise ass. For example, are you speaking of statistical analysis that defines poverty based on the HHS Poverty Guidelines or statistics that use the Census Bureau’s Poverty Threshold, because they’re different. HHS sets the poverty line for a family of three at $18,530 a year while the Census Bureau sets the bar at $17,374. And I’m pretty sure a family of three trying to survive on $19,000 a year would consider themselves poor, but if poverty’s not relative, then I guess they’re not. As sick of the conversation pointed out, even the “richest” citizens of Iraq view themselves as poor relative to our poorest citizens because our poor don’t have to go to the bathroom in a hole in their backyard or worry about dying from dysentery. But feel free to keep dissecting his language instead of responding maturely to the substance of his argument because that way, only the people who already agree with you will want to listen to your point of view.

            As for the special insight I gained from my grandmother–she didn’t “share” the experience of cleaning the toilet with me. She was teaching me how to clean a room. It’s called a job. At the end of the day, I received money for the work I did, and that’s pretty much how it worked in my family. It most certainly did give me some insight. It’s called a personal experience. It may resonate with you, it may not. But the problem with people like you is that the second you encounter someone who doesn’t fit neatly into your ingrained world view, rather than having a discussion about the different point of view and possibly even examining your own assumptions, you resort to personal attacks.

            Instead of actually addressing the substance of what I–or anyone else on this blog with an alternative point of view for that matter–wrote, you just want to spew your venomous hatred and make snide comments to boost your own ego and make yourself feel better about being you. “Guess what, it doesn’t give you any special insight into anything (read: who cares. You’re stupid). Nice argument. I stopped worrying about validation from people like you after I spent 15 months dodging Katyusha rockets and shitting in buckets that we later set on fire to disposed of. I should have stopped worry about that when I was 7 years old and had to stick my hand in a toilet bowl for my allowance, but I guess it really sunk in after spending 15 months with people who have no running water and have to go outside to relieve themselves and who have to worry about dying from diseases like tuberculosis and dysentery. The “special insight” I gained from that experience was realizing that indignant Americans from any class seem pretty ridiculous.

            I don’t really care one way or another about what Newt said. As Sick of the Conversation pointed out, it’s pretty irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. What I did get aggravated with was the long list of posters who think that janitorial work is demeaning to lower income families and that suggesting young people should work is to promote “child labor.” If you read what I wrote carefully–instead of full of disgust for someone whose point of view may differ from yours–you’d see that my entire post addresses those views and my personal experience was quite relevant.

            • Hannah K says:

              Now for the personal attack, since you started it.. You are a sad, spiritually ugly little woman, and your heart and brain are both withered by your sense of superiority and entitlement. There–that’s what a personal attack reads like. (And yes, I certainly have a sense of superiority to you and to many others who share beliefs similar to yours. At least I really did work my own way out of poverty and don’t just claim that an ancestor doing so entitles me to enjoy being well off while others are not. Heck, I even have the brains to understand that my brains gave me more of an advantage in escaping poverty than hard work ever could. And those I got by luck of the genetic draw, not because I was deserving.)

              Actually, I sincerely doubt that your grandparents actually worked their way out of poverty–in all likelihood, like most of the immigrants I have ever known that have come to the U.S. and ended up buying a motel, they were comparatively well off (not rich, but I bet their neighbors woudl have thought they were) in their original homeland and chose to move here and invest their money in a business. Furthermore, the several immigrant hotel owners that my mother worked for as a cleaner when I was a child were horrible employers, who tended to cheat their employees and their costumers. But I’m sure your grandparents weren’t like that.

              The multitude of formulas to define poverty do not mean that the term is relative, nor do they mean that someone with a teacher’s income anywhere in the US is likely to live below any defined poverty line (I understand that depending on family size this could happen, but I challenge anyone to find statistics to support the contention that it often does.) My income is right in line with teachers in my area, and my life is quite comfortable now. In fact, I consider myself rather well off.

              And I certainly never said that people’s experiences weren’t pertinent to this discussion. The fool you are defending said that. I said YOUR experiences weren’t pertinent to what you were claiming they qualify you to speak on. No pots, no kettles.

              I know having people call you on your bullshit is a disheartening experience for you, but you’ll just have to get used to it. You may be kinda smart, but you really aren’t the brightest kid in the classroom. (HA-now THAT’S a personal attack, just so you can see the difference.)

              • Boy you sure showed me! You’re not blinded by venomous rage at all! I’m spiritually ugly? Did you have to wipe the spit off the keyboard when you were done writing that, cause I’m pretty sure you must be frothing at the mouth by now. From your reaction, I think I made my point, although I’m not so sure you can see through the fog of your animosity.
                If you read my post carefully, then your attention to detail is absolutely horrendous. You have gotten so off topic, I’m not even sure where to begin. But beyond that, the gigantic leaps and bounds you have taken, the incredibly faulty assumptions you have made, based on your own prejudices are astounding. You have taken tidbits of information that I have provided, filled in the blanks, and created such a wildly inaccurate picture in your mind, I reiterate my challenge to you and beg you once again: please set aside your hatred and start examining your own assumptions.
                The main focus of my entire post was that janitorial work is not demeaning, going to work when you’re young is not necessarily child labor, and many impoverished people attribute their own success in life to working early in life. I never in any way, shape, or form said my experience cleaning toilet bowls gave me some kind of special insight into poverty. If that’s what you got out of it, you missed the entire point, which was that there is nothing demeaning about janitorial work or bad about having a job when you’re young. But that is just the tip of the iceberg as far as where you have gone way out into left field.
                Not only did I never say that experience gave me special insight into poverty, I never mentioned my own financial situation at all. Oh, I’m sure you think you have that all figured out because I mentioned my grandparents died with over a million dollars in the bank, but let me light a lamp for you, just in case. I didn’t discuss my own financial situation because it wasn’t relevant at all to the point I made, which clearly went right past you, and because it’s nobody’s business what my income is—I don’t need to submit a financial prospectus or a lifetime resume so that people like you can decide whether or not I’m in the club and deserve a point of view or not. But if for no other reason than I hope, I really sincerely hope, that it helps you realize you need to take a good look at how YOU judge others, I’ll just fill you in on some basic facts that are, again, none of your business…
                My birth was covered by Medicaid, as were my son’s medical expenses the first 18 months of his life. My family of three happens to be surviving on less than $25K a year in New York State—an income we now share with my sister and her son who have recently moved in with us and are surviving on food stamps. I only mention where I live because just how rich or poor an income of $25K a year makes you is, in fact, quite relative to where you live. For example, if we were living in Iowa, our expenses would be dramatically less and we might even have some disposable income. Am I poor? I actually don’t think I am. I think relative to millions of other families living in our own country that I am incredibly blessed and because of the multitude of opportunities I’ve had throughout my life, I think it would be insulting to many people less fortunate than me to refer to myself as poor. But again, whether I am or am not poor is not relative at all to the point I was making, and therefore is none of your business really. And if you can’t fathom how someone whose grandparents died with a million dollars in the bank ended up in the situation I just described, too bad. Learning from other people is a privilege you earn when you show them a certain level of respect that you definitely don’t demonstrate in your communications with people.
                But while we’re on the subject of my “millionaire grandmother,” I’d also like to point out that you don’t have a fucking clue what her or my financial status was when she taught me how to clean rooms, or whether or not it was a job we needed to do to survive. It sure as hell wasn’t a hobby. I said my grandparents DIED with a million dollars in the bank. I also said I was 7 years old when I was cleaning rooms with my grandmother. Which brings me to my next point, and if you pay attention to nothing else I’ve said, please, pay attention here:
                You sincerely doubt my grandparents worked their way out of poverty? You bet they’re like all of the immigrants you’ve known who came to this country and ended up buying a hotel? My grandparents weren’t immigrants. I never said they were. Once again, you took a tiny piece of information I put out there and constructed a picture in your head based on your own prejudices, and in this case what sounds an awful lot like blatant racism. (Just out of curiosity, what country was it you assumed they immigrated from?) You doubt they worked their way out of poverty? I guess you just skipped over the paragraph where I explain my grandmother had to drop out of school in the third grade to wash porch steps after her father was murdered in a drunken card game. One of her sisters spent her entire life completely illiterate. Her brothers made their living either boxing or working at Tyson’s meat packing—oh yeah, in case you haven’t revised the picture yet, all this happened IN THIS COUNTRY. My grandparents didn’t just end up buying a hotel. They worked their asses off and saved their money and BUILT a tiny little 10 room motor inn. My grandmother didn’t clean rooms for fun. She was the housekeeper. And the desk clerk. And the bookkeeper. My grandfather was the maintenance man and whatever other job title that needed to be filled. Technically speaking it wasn’t even a hotel. It was a motel. If you grew up in the industry, I don’t have to explain the difference.
                Oh, there’s one more incredible assumption you made that is so far out there, I have to address it:
                “It’s really nice that you care about poor people living in horrendous conditions in other parts of the world. So do I. Of course, I have never had the resources to leave my job and home to go help them personally.”
                I don’t know exactly what picture you created in your head from what I said. Maybe you think I was on some Doctors Without Borders field trip or something. I thought the comment about dodging Katyusha rockets made it obvious, but I guess not. I was a soldier. The only volunteering I did was to go put my life on the line to fight a war no one at home supported or wanted to fight. No resources required. The Army provided those. No job to leave. That was my job. I did have to leave home though, and I wasn’t entirely sure I’d come back. Some of my friends never did. I have never seen a stinky gangrene foot, but I’m sure it doesn’t smell anything like the charred remains of a soldier who was blown up in her bed while she slept. I did have the opportunity to smell that.
                I am sincerely begging you to set aside your rage and start reexamining your own assumptions. You find my position repugnant? You don’t think my experience gives me the right to judge people? What position? What judgment? My position was that working when you’re young is good, janitorial jobs aren’t demeaning, and that a high unemployment rate, which is not the fault of the unemployed (I clearly state in my original post), makes for fewer working role models. My secondary point to that was that the reactions to what Newt said were by far more visceral than logical and was leading people to make wild assumptions, which you have so beautifully demonstrated with your own assumptions about me.

              • Oh, and just for the record, I didn’t share my grandparent’s experience to establish my credentials to speak on the topic. I was demonstrating the point clearly stated in the beginning of the thread–that the level of poverty they pulled themselves out of doesn’t even exist in this country anymore. It was so horrendous, you assumed they must have immigrated from a third world country.

                ” You have no personal experience of poverty,”

                You’re right. Guess what. Neither do you. You think because you had a single mom who couldn’t afford to pay your allowance after she paid rent and bought food, that means you were impoverished? That your opinion is more credible than anyone else’s here? You did have food though, right? No one in your family died of diphtheria (like my grandparents) or dysentery? You went to school, your mom paid rent and bought groceries? That’s nice. My sister lived in a tiny section 8 apartment in the ghetto and bought groceries with food stamps. Compared to her you sound rich. Oh wait–I don’t actually know anything about you–I’m just extrapolating from the tiny little bit of information you provided. Do I still win the pissing contest though?

                • Hannah K says:

                  You’ve gone on far to long for me to waste my time reading it all. You accused me immediately of resorting to a personal attack,spewing venomous hatred, and not replying to the points.
                  I make a few snide remarks. If you don’t think your tone in your original post, and the tone of the author of the original comment in this chain across come as condescending, off topic, etc., you didn’t read it them way many others, including myself, did.
                  Guess what. Other than those few snide comments, my responses to both of your emails was entirely on point. Sure, the author of this post may have intended to point out hyperbole, but he did so not by saying “surely your statements are exaggerated.” Instead, he decided to use very antagonistic wording that specifically and in fact imply that the author was lying. He was going personal. I was pointing it out. Funny, even he didn’t respond to me in the venomous fashion that you did.
                  Somewhere in your chain of blather, (and yes, I’m being most deliberately antagonistic here. We don’t like each other, so why not?) you say that I’ve made assumptions about you. I haven’t. Shoot, for all I know, you grew up in in a traveling carnival. I really don’t make any assumptions about you, or at least any that I state. Your go-to position seems to be to take a laundry list of things you can accuse people of, and to apply that list liberally to anyone who disagrees with you.
                  You were mortally offended that I thought your story of cleaning toilets with your grandmother was not a good example of why poor people shouldn’t think what Newt Gingrich said was offensive, and I made a snide remark about it. The rest of my response to you contained no personal attacks, no venomous hatred. You responded like a wounded buffalo, and then I saw that you had posted an even longer response, just chock full of personal attacks, to my comments on this post. Clearly I really get under your skin. Got to admit, that gives me a tickle. I’m sure by now we both look completely ridiculous, so this will be my last post here. But seriously, you need look in the mirror. You really like to accuse others of your own behavior.

                • Hannah K says:

                  Ahh crap. Just read your last paragraph and have to break my word. Trust me, your sister is better off than we were. Much better off. We never got section 8. Sorry if she has to live in a ghetto. So do a whole lot of us. Maybe she should work three part time jobs and go to college for six years to get a degree and better employment like I did. At least she doesn’t have to pay her own rent (which, by the way, I don’t begrudge her–Unlike many-not saying you, just the average Republican, and I don’t even know if you are a Republican-I take pride in paying my taxes and knowing that at least some of the money goes to help people have a chance to get ahead). I have in fact had periods in my childhood where I did not have a roof over my head, and where only the kindness of strangers kept me fed. Your fascination with dysentery is kind of odd, by the way…… And your assumption that people aren’t dying of poverty-related disease in this country today is just plain wrong–there are in fact outbreaks of tuberculosis occurring in cities all across the US. No, no one in my family has, but my mother almost died from her gall bladder bursting because during the months of agony leading up to it, she couldn’t pay to go to a doctor. She had a lot of health issues-cervical cancer, bad gall bladder, tumors on her remaining ovary, brown recluse spider bite, and lack of access to medical care meant that every time she was starting to build a good life for us, she would get sick and everything would fall apart. So yes, I have a real, intimate first hand knowledge of poverty, here in the good old US of A. Grant you, many people in Haiti or Darfur or Afghanistan are far worse off. But that doesn’t mean that what’s going on here is ok, and that doesn’t mean that it’s ridiculous for an American to be indignant.

                  • Whoosh! That’s the sound of the point flying straight over your head. But you just can’t help yourself, can you? You simply can’t pass up the temptation to get into that pissing contest and compete for your position, can you? And commenting after you’ve already told me you’re above commenting. Tisk-tisk. Who’s getting under who’s skin again? And after all that time you spent telling me how smart you are. So sad. It’s okay, you don’t need to read what I wrote. I know the truth hurts. You said so yourself–it kinda stings when someone calls you on your bullshit. I wouldn’t really know, but I’ll take your word for it.

                    • Tired says:

                      Spartan women only or whatever – damn you have a sophisticated “rationalization” system goin’ on don’t you? I bet you live in a cushy, gated, community and have all the time in the world to read the thesaurus and write pithy little responses to women like Hannah, et al. don’t cha? Oops! you better stop reading this and get back to figuring out ways to make yourself feel better about being wealthy and smart and educated and all dat!

          • Sick of the Conversation says:

            Hannah,

            I find it hard to believe that someone who frequents a stand-up comedian’s blog has that difficult a time picking up on sarcasm. This leads me to the conclusion that you are well aware of what I meant, and you are willfully ignoring that knowledge in order to strengthen your “position” in an argument that you have invented and are so desperately trying to win. Aside from the sarcasm, my exact words (as you so skillfully copied and pasted) were “I seriously doubt”. That is a far cry from “You’re lying”. You even documented the stretching you had to do to in your response (read: smugly including your baseless interpretations as facts parenthetically), because on the face of it, it’s OBVIOUS that I was not calling the original poster a liar.

            Here’s a “specific” for you:

            Definition of the word poor:
            Lacking enough money to live comfortably in a society.
            I think you would a agree that “living comfortably” can mean many different things, and “society” is clearly not the same everywhere in the world. This is what I and people who own a dictionary are referring to when they say that poverty and being poor is relative. I know that you understand this…stop rephrasing my statements to make them easier for you to disagree with.

            Yes I’m irritated, by people like you, altering the conversation to make it more sensationalized, overblown, and easier for you to feel indignant. It’s not about you or your background. Obviously a person’s background has bearing on their feelings and beliefs, that is not what’s irritating. Inserting your background into a discussion unnecessarily in order to make outlandish claims of racism or “class warfare” is very irritating. It diverts the conversation away from anything meaningful or worthwhile, and steers it towards bullshit outrage, name calling, and dick measuring contests of who has more experience being poor (read: your ridiculous exchange with spartan below). A person’s experience being poor does not make a terrible idea good. Nor does a lack of experience being poor make a good idea bad.

            Grow up and have an adult conversation. You’d be surprised at how easy it is to get things done when you’re not searching for ways to be upset.

            • Marry Me. (kidding of course–I am a happily married woman). Concise, pointed, and relatively dispassionate (a disposition I myself am not always able to maintain). I couldn’t have stated it better myself.

              • Tired says:

                You’re both icky and deserve each other.

                • (Same response as the other thread …)

                  Typically, Tired, when someone hits a nerve, they get an immediate response. When people prattle out nonsense that just makes themselves look stupid, they’re fairly easy to overlook. I am considering making a rule for myself to just completely ignore people who comment on posts they obviously didn’t read, and while you would certainly fit into that category, that is not the reason I haven’t responded to you yet. I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that you are either very young or incredibly alone. Either scenario would explain your behavior and your being oblivious to the fact that some people actually have lives and responsibilities to attend to and can’t sit around on the computer trolling the blogosphere all day long. Duly Noted and Colin were way ahead of you on the list of people who actually deserve a sincere response to their comments, but since you are so eager to find out what I think about your not-so-clever little jabs, I will humor you. In spite of the fact that you appear just as hateful as Hannah, some small part of me takes pity on you, so here it is:

                  The answer to every moronic question you ask, both literal and rhetorical, has already been spelled out in plain English in the posts you’re commenting on. (The first question you answer yourself. I’ll give you a hint. It’s not a fact, it’s a ____ .) I come right out and describe my current economic status pretty clearly, so if you walked away with the impression that I live in a cushy gated community, then I’m going to guess reading comprehension is not a strong test area for you. I am definitely not above pulling out the dictionary while I read and write (most educated people use one frequently), but if you think it’s an insult to tell someone that they write like they use a Thesaurus, then that says more about you than me. (It’s down right entertainment when your last name ends in a vowel and its usually the four-letter words people complain about, not the multisyllabic ones). However, if it will help you with that reading comprehension problem, I will try to use fewer syllables so it is easier for you to understand what you’re reading.

                  As for my moniker, it’s called the 3rd Infantry Division kid. Look it up. If you can figure out what brigade I was in from the handle, I’ll mail you a prize. Not all units in the military allow their female soldiers the honor and the privilege of serving outside the wire. Mine did. I guess you could say I did spend some time living in a gated community, although I’m pretty sure it’s nothing you could imagine. It was on the other side of that gate, however, where I earned that title. I have a slightly different perspective than Hannah of what it means “to have to do a job to survive,” as I believe she put it. If I didn’t do my job, and do it well, people died. Period. “Hard work” to me means working six straight weeks, 14 to 18 hours a day, averaging 4 hours of sleep a night, without a single day off (No time off is pretty much standard operating procedure for all soldiers when they first arrive in country. No choice about it either. I know that the whole having a choice thing was very important to Hannah).

                  The moniker is a historical reference to Gorgo, Queen of the Spartans. The quote was popularized by the movie 300, but anyone who had ever picked up a history book and read about the Spartans before the movie came out would have come across it without effort. Women had a unique status in ancient Spartan society. The moniker is a tribute to my unit, to all soldiers (male and female), to motherhood, and to all women who have the courage to defend their own voice (soldiers and civilians alike). I could write a dissertation on what the quote means to me, but I’m pretty sure I’ve already provided enough material for you to take and prove yourself incapable of understanding when you make some snide comment that surely will make you giggle like a schoolgirl as you type it (that, my dear, is what I meant by making yourself feel better about being you).

                  It’s admirable you want to defend your pal Hannah. If you had actually read through the entire exchange, you would know that she revealed herself to be a racist when she inaccurately assumed, based on ethnic stereotypes, that my grandparents were immigrants—the kind she blatantly stated she can’t stand—but you shouldn’t let something like that stand in your way of defending a person whose position you haven’t actually read. I didn’t call Hannah out because I disagreed with her position, or because she disagreed with mine. If all she had done was left her own pithy little comment on my post, I probably would have brushed her off with a couple sentences like I did with other people who made similar comments. I called Hannah out because someone offered her an olive branch and she spit in his face—after chastising him for being not being a gentleman! You have a choice Tired. You can follow in her footsteps and continue to troll up and down this blog spitting at people who don’t share your views and cheering for those who do, or you can grow up and join the conversation. I know it’s much easier to understand the world if you divide it into “us and them,” but sadly, the world is a complicated place, and most people can’t be so easily categorized. I’m sure I’ve said plenty that contradicts your preconceived notions of who I should be or what I should believe, but please, show me one place where I contradict myself? I pose to you the same challenge I posed to Hannah: start questioning your own assumptions. The idea was apparently so painful for her, she just completely dismissed it. I’m curious if you’re any more up to the challenge.

    • sarum says:

      “A strong work ethic does not mean you deserve financial success.” uh, yes it does. That is part of the contract with America, the American Dream and if it is broken, well then we can just all go home because our reason for coming here has been taken from us.

      By financial success I ONLY mean that you can live knowing that you can meet your basic needs, properly raise your replacements in the workforce and not worry about keeping utilities on in old age or disability and then we can get to discussing whether or not vacations and entertainment are “basic needs” cuz millions of US citizens never get either after working very hard but our CIC has no problem taking them constantly IN OUR FACE! NO MODESTY!

      • Sick of the Conversation says:

        Sarum,

        Again, we’re getting into relative terms that will only lead us down the path of pointlessly arguing over small portions of a person’s statement. A path that Hannah and Spartan have demonstrated more than well enough. This is the beauty (Hannah, read: Sarcasm) of the internet…instead of listening to a person’s statement, absorbing the spirit and point of the statement, and crafting a response, we get to copy and paste and fixate on a detail or two.

        SUCCESS, is relative, as you proved with your need to qualify the statement.

        I agree, there is a social contract between the country and it’s citizens. But it is not “work hard and you will be provided for” as it seems you’re claiming. America agrees to provide an environment conducive to success in exchange for your hard work and innovation (and taxes). Some people excel in that environment and others do not. There are safety net programs in place to help people when they make poor decisions or are just plain unlucky. But their success or failure is not wholly dependent on their work ethic, their economic status when they’re born, their skin color, or any other single attribute. All of these things combine to make up a person’s circumstances. Some we are in control of and some we are not.

        Once again, my original points (which have yet to be addressed) are:

        1) Your background is irrelevant to your point. So stop qualifying all of your statements with your life story. Either your statement can hold water on it’s own or it can’t. Bringing your personal life into it results in people being offended (like the original poster) without warrant, assigning meaning and subtext where it does not exist, and leads us to try and win an argument as opposed to find a solution.

        2) Words have meaning and they need to be used appropriately. Nothing gingrich said (despite how stupid his ideas were) were racist. Throwing that around just weakens a person’s argument and makes them look stupid. The story here should not be, “Gingrich is a racist dick”…it should be “Gingrich has TERRIBLE ideas about addressing poverty in this country”…his ideas (including his belief that prayer is more effective than research) and his actions while in elected office are what make him unqualified to the lead the country. Made-up racism and hyperbole only serve to distract us from this reality.

        To ANY poster: Please at least attempt to consider these points before copying and pasting one sentence and going on a tirade about it.

  66. ANNA bYNUM says:

    This is so much BS. If anyone suggests that people need to take responsibility for themselves and their family and not depend on the tax payer to do so they are racists. That is exactly the reason our country is going to Hell in a hand basket. If there was ever anyone who was not qualified to be president it is BHO. He has proven it day in and day out since he has been elected. Get off Government hand outs and make something of yourself.

  67. John Sarra says:

    Once again, a page from someone out of touch. A proust to the first Amendment. Designed by a REPUBLIC.

  68. David Beadle says:

    What he said may have been figuratively incorrect at least he attempted to propose to help inner city kids who proportionally do not have the same employment opportunities, educational opportunities or even roll models to encourage them to succeed in life as opposed to joining a gang, selling drugs or worse. 1 in 3 black men from the age of 18-25 have been arrested from the inner city. 1-8 have spent time in prison. Michelle Alexander reported recently in the Huffington Post that more black men are in prison today than were enslaved in 1850! (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/12/michelle-alexander-more-black-men-in-prison-slaves-1850_n_1007368.html

    That is under President Obama’s watch and in my opinion doesn’t speak very highly of his undisclosed proposals to help inner city youth. I can’t name one that President Obama has proposed or even addressed in any speech, can you?

    Tell me Travon, exactly what has President Obama done to address poverty in ANY underclass neighborhood let alone the black community underclass….hmmm? NOTHING that’s what, even his adopted home town of Chicago has experienced increased levels of violence since he assumed office. So you may be the “Black Kid” who found it necessary to write a retort to Mr. Gingrich’s statement, at least it was the GOP found it necessary to at least propose to do SOMETHING to assist those in improvished environments in this country. btw, I used to be a Black kid from Oakland California. Let me tell you from first hand experience Oakland as well as Compton are far worse communities today than they were in the 90’s “Brotha”. Let’s be clear, you are the exception Travon not the norm in Compton, Oakland, D.C., Atlanta, Detroit, Chicago and every other slum or impoverished neighborhood in America. So I ask since you made the statement towards Mr. Gingrich…. who really is the one who is full of shit? hmmm.

  69. kiwicafe says:

    I lived in LA between 1990 and 2006, Venice to be exact. I experienced the wealth of LA and the abject poverty. I lived in a small but cool cottage employing a house keeper and at times when I travelled for work, a gardener. Both from non white communities and both people I would trust above all others, boy did they have a work and spiritual ethic, tI considered them family.
    They worked so they could be home for their kids and to put their kids through college. I also mentored a young hispanic guy who is now about to graduate and is a tribute to what makes America a great country. It was because of this and other experiences that I became an American Citizen. Sure there is much wrong however, it is the people who are so right, I love it. And thanx a million for you Blog! And :) they don’t come much whiter than me!

  70. Pingback: A Hollywood Republican » An Open Letter to Newt Gingrich

  71. Rational Thought says:

    P.S.: I speak as someone who grew up in a single-parent, minority immigrant, economically disadvantaged household that received food stamps and other benefits from time to time. While my mother worked hard in school and at various jobs, I also learned that you didn’t really need to work to survive — and I don’t think it was a good lesson. I think that made me much lazier. While I was fortunate (and perhaps inspired) academically, and was actually numerically qualified for top universities and grad schools (ulnike the last three presidents), it’s hard to shake the belief/knowledge that the government will take care of you if you don’t feel like working.

    • hkonnoff says:

      Funny. I too grew up in a single parent household that received food stamps and other benefits from time to time. In my case, my mother had recurring serious health issues and the only way she could get life-saving medical treatment at three points in her life was to go on welfare. What I got out of it was that if you aren’t able to work, it gets really really difficult to survive and everything you have can be gone gone in an instant. I still live in mortal terror of losing my job with good benefits and being forced to go on some kind of government assistance. Interesting that you have such a different viewpoint. My guess is that it must be because you have right wing political views and need to lie to yourself to justify them.

  72. Rational Thought says:

    Let’s break this down:

    1. By global standards, almost no one in America is “really poor.” Ask any third-world immigrant, and they’ll tell you. Most such immigrants (including Africans) work very hard when they come here, and end up with pretty good lives. (America’s “poverty level” is arbitrarily determined, and obesity is a far larger problem for America’s poor than hunger is.)

    2. The only people here who come close to being “Really Poor” are those who choose not to work AT ALL. (I.e., the long-term welfare cases.) This is who Newt is referring to, and there is no question that there are in fact communities dominated by such people. (1/3 of all women who use welfare stay on it for over 5 years. Their children grow up thinking this is an acceptable lifetsyle, with no work ethic.) Newt is clearly not talking about the working “poor.”

    3. If we simply look at the example of poor immigrants, many of whom cannnot even speak english, it becomes clear that there is always some work for those truly willing to work.

    4. Most poverty in this country is created by poor people having kids before they’re able to provide for them. (Poor people have far more kids than non-poor people, compounding the problem, especially since poverty is strongly correlated with low intelligence and mental problems, both genetically influenced and therefore passed on.) Such choices condemn both parent and child to poverty, because they make education and career commitment/advancement more difficult for parents, in addition to dividing scarce resources.

    5. Voluntary/optional jobs for such kids would in fact teach them good work habits, in addition to gettting extra money to their families. Middle-Class kids already have both benefits with paper routes, etc. — poor kids deserve the same.

    6. Janitors, along with teachers and most other union employees, are overpaid by any global standard. Giving some of that money to kids, and otherwise bringing salaries into line with other developed nations, would mean lower unemployment and more money available for more productive areas of the economy.

    7. Whatever one thinks of the wealthy (like Gingrich), they pay almost all of the taxes in this country, and far more than their fair share. This is true even though they are far less likely to use government services, with most federal spending going to the bottom 1/3 of the population.

    8. These are the simple facts of the situation, and we ignore them at our peril. Liberal welfare polices have failed to reduce poverty significantly over the past 40 years, despite masssive spending and unprecedented prosperity during that time. We clearly need a new approach, especially now. Mindlessly attacking those who offer practical, obvious solutions simply because we’ve been brainwashed to hate conservatives, republicans, and those more successful than us will simply lead to more of the same.

    Which is, of course, what liberals want. The more that people are dependent on the government, the more power (and voters) they have.

    • Ed Vigdor says:

      Comparing the salary levels of anyone in this country, doing the same job in another country is nuts and completely off base. We have a much higher standard of living in this nation, due to the DECADES of hard work of the MIDDLE CLASS, upon whose back this nation was built, as was the massive wealth of a minute portion of our nation.

      I pay FORTY PERCENT between Federal and State Taxes. I DOUBT Newt is paying anywhere near that. And the wealthy derive a great portion of their income from the stock market, paying 15% in cap gains.

      Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with someone being successful and wealthy. But they derive their prosperity from THE SOCIETY, not the other way around.

      When did a certain portion of this nation’s population become so uncaring, selfish and only out for themselves? We are the richest nation in the world, well we were before supply side economics destroyed our way of life, we is it so hard for people to understand that one of the things that makes this nation great is our unending ability and desire to help those that can’t help themselves?

      And yes, I know there are many that “game” the system, and agree that that must be stopped. But cutting off aid for everyone, making everyone fend for themselves is NOT what this country was about. It IS about neighbor helping neighbor, no matter race, creed, religion, sexual orientation or any other thing that defines an individual.

      • Rational Thought says:

        No offense, Ed, but you seem confused on several points.

        First, how is it “nuts” or off-base to compare ourselves to other countries? If we only define poverty as the bottom 10%-15% of our country, then by definition it becomes impossible to ever eradicate it. Similarly, in the era of globalization, we clearly need to reference other nations to help evaluate appropriate salaries (unless we want all jobs to be outsourced).

        Second, the reason we’re richer than other nations is because we have a largely free-market system where EVERYONE who worked contributed — not just the “middle-class” but also the working-class, and the wealthy. Moreover, if you understand market economics, than you should realize that the most successful generally got that way by contributing more than others to society. Yes, there are some who game the system, and the humblest worker plays a role, but the most important actors have been people like Ford, Gates, and Jobs — those with the unique ability to transform the humble efforts of others into something truly productive. In a free market, you are compensated according to what you contribute, except where distortions like government, monopolies and unions interefere, usually with negative results. Society derives its prosperity from productive individuals, not the other way around.

        If you pay 40% in taxes, you must be fairly wealthy, but you have no apparent basis for claiming that you pay more %-wise than Newt. (Most wealthy people don’t in fact get most of their income from capital gains — Buffett is an exception.) And even if you did, he probably paid more in total taxes, despite taking no more in government benefits.

        The reason we remain the wealthiest major nation is precisely because of “supply-side” economics and conservative economic policies, which have allowed us to remain competitive despite sharply increased foreign competition. (Even Clinton was a fiscal conservative who was forced to govern as such by the Republican Congress.)

        Finally, the key thing that traditionally makes our country great is most people’s willingness to take responsiblity for themselves, and not try to mooch off others. That willingness to accept individual responsibility helps ensure the opportunities that create our prosperity, and if you want to look at what is truly threatening our prosperity today, it is the growing tendency among some (mainly middle class) liberals to demand that others meet all their core needs.

        No one is saying that all aid should be cut off to the needy. (No one has criticized aid to the truly disabled for many decades.) We are simply saying that if we actually want to help lift people from poverty (instead of simply allowing them to survive in squalor), then we should probably look at the actual causes of sustained poverty. Which are generally not what we’ve been taught to believe.

        Finally, I certainly support neighbors voluntarily helping their neighbors if they wish too, as neighbors can gauge true need far better than distant governments. And I agree we need to stop harping on irrelevant details like race/religion, and focus only on things like income when determining things like jobs and educational opportunities. It’s ridiculous that a wealthy prep-school kid like Bobama receives preferential admissions to college and grad school over poorer, more qualified asian students.

        • Larry says:

          When you say “and if you want to look at what is truly threatening our prosperity today, it is the growing tendency among some (mainly middle class) liberals to demand that others meet all their core needs” you show us how out of touch with reality you are. As a self-employed contractor, I make enough to pay my bills but basically live check to check. I cannot afford health insurance. Although I am a healthy 28 year old non-smoker, It would cost me almost $600 a month for health insurance. Is it wrong that a middle class, tax paying liberal like me thinks that affordable health care should be a basic right? I don’t demand that anyone pay for any of my “core needs”, as you like to say, but at the same time, if affordable health care isn’t a core need, what is? Newt doesn’t want to help anybody lift themselves from poverty. He just wants to protect the big fat piece of the pie that he’s already got on his plate.

        • sarum says:

          Comparing US to other nations is bogus because everything is very different. For years I have been wondering how they had an Orange Revolution? If people here did that they would become homeless in the same amount of time because the banks have no forgiveness. And others that live on $3 a day. Do they need a mortgage? How much do they pay for transportation to work? How much are food costs? These comparisons are ridiculous, take advantage of US people ignorance and serve only to make false points.

    • Not Racist says:

      @Rational Thought:
      Wow, someone who actually has a solution to the problem, not just someone trying to pass on the blame. I agree with you completely. This “article” is a joke and simply an instance of mudslinging. If you want to talk about bad candidates, look at Obama and the Chicago Political Machine. Just because you are black doesn’t make you better than all the rest of us @Travonfree.

      • Tired says:

        Rational Thought (of which you have none) and Not Racist (which you probably are or you wouldn’t need to say you’re not -what do your ACTIONS say about you?):
        You both appear to have been dupped by the conservative machinery that has you panting after their pitiful handouts of a promise that if we just deport all the immigrants, get rid of the gays, abortion doctors, and birth control, ferret out the welfare queens, and get back to GOD, everything will be ok, and we can go back to the Ward and June Cleaver days. After all, everyone was so much happier then. Right? The conservative machinery is playing the oldest game in the history of the US, that is, pit one low power group against another low power group to take the focus of both groups off of those who have the real power, the real greed, and who pose the real threat. I’m a public employee (unionized) who never in a million years, could have imagined a similarly paid private sector employee accusing me of being over paid. First off, if you, as a private sector employee, think public sector employees earn better wages and benefits then get a job as a public employee. Second of all, why are we fighting with each other when we are more similar than different in our life circumstances? Unions were created and exist for a good purpose, that is to prevent the wealthy and powerful from returning all of us to a state of indentured servitude and sub-standard wages. How many private sector employees have had their 401K’s gutted, retirement pensions destroyed, homes foreclosed because of some greedy CEO who shipped their jobs overseas? Are those the people you want running the country? Give me a bleeding heart liberal any day, Obama included. I want someone who can look themselves in the mirror everyday and be proud of who they are, someone who can stand in their integrity and someone who knows that the next decision they make isn’t based on a campaign contribution. What happended to empathy?

        • sarum says:

          Unions have become a corrupt political class too. Screwed us too many times. And stabbed us in the back with their Civil Rights Ride for Illegal Workers driving-down-our wages-and-taking-our-jobs-with-our-own DAMN DUES! Even without the illegal component they all were sold-out long ago. They are not visionaries in any sense of the word – otherwise they would be on top of this psych warfare that has been used against them and they would have fought the predatory workplace culture that often exists in a form of entertainment as we cannibalize our own. IOW we have institutionalized bullying/mobbing as a form of anti-unionism and if they had any brains at all they would have figured it out and started addressing it rather than totally capitulating. But no, they keep cutting secret deals with management and losing ground. They started running their locals like mini-fiefdoms and they perverted the process to line their own pockets and screw the workers repeatedly, changing nothing so they can file again a couple of years down the road and put that addition on the house, put the kids through university, have that vacation that no employee ever gets or can afford. I believe in unions but just like our government I can’t even write what I truly think and feel . . . . yeah, I will, every single one of them should have all their assets removed from their possession and given to their victims, as should our politicians, and as should all those companies & CEO’s that took our bail-out money and then off-shored our jobs. Then we should put them in stocks and let them be tortured to death. And their children. And their children’s children. They are the scourge of the earth paying some lab psychos to make the super flu to kill us off? China remembers the Opium Wars and prosecutes drug dealers with death. Yeah, ain’t the USA great? Everything is for sale! Even the intimate secrets of our drones apparently. The talking heads parrot talking points about “freedom” but pay attention – the only freedom is enjoyed by corporations purveying various poisons that should be outlawed. Food poison. Drug Poison. Mental Poison. Spiritual Poison. Culture? Only when there is financial remuneration, like persuading parents to let their youth go and die for some corporate profit . . . . Are the suicides so high because they have realized the lie? We rot from within in so many ways I almost can’t see a way out.

    • Joe Erickson says:

      “Janitors, along with teachers and most other union employees, are overpaid by any global standard”

      You are full of it. I’m sure you’ll argue that financial planners and hedge-fund managers are NOT over-paid. Since they add SO much value to our society.

      You write like a Trojan soldier.

    • IND4BHO says:

      Not facts idiot. Not even close

    • Honour says:

      A few pieces of data you seem to have misplaced when framing your response:
      Most Low intelligence and mental problems are not genetic. Genetically-based low intelligence is constantly culled by evolutionary forces. Most low intelligence and mental problems in poverty-level America are caused by:
      The fact that impoverished neighborhoods are extremely toxic, carrying a pollutant load that would seem excessive even in communist China;
      The fact that high stress levels, including both income insecurity and threat of violence, directly and adversely affect fetal brain development;
      The fact that impoverished neighborhoods are “food deserts”, where the few stores selling any form of food are both massively under-supplied with fruits and vegetables, and charge from 25% to 40% more for what little they do carry — thus leading to inadequate nutrition to support developing brains both before and after birth;
      The fact that supplemental nutritional programs such as WIC are deliberately made difficult to access and easy to lose, as “cost-cutting measures”, _in spite of proof that they save the public millions in long-term care dollars_;
      And the fact that the single most critical factor in both prenatal and early childhood brain development is adequate access to high-quality protein, the component of modern American diets that is consistently both the least available and the lowest quality in impoverished neighborhoods.
      Oh, by the way: one universally acknowledged cause of overweight is protein deprivation. Your body makes you hungrier and hungrier in a desperate attempt to raise your protein intake. If you’re rich, you Southbeach diet your way to slender health. If you’re poor, the hamburger rich suburbanites buy for $1.79 costs you $3.29, and has _15%_ more fat – thus 15% less protein. So you eat two burgers instead of one, and you gain weight. …And tomorrow, you’ll do it again. Because every neighborhood you can reach with public transportation, or drive a car in without getting charged with “loitering”, still has no place to buy decent veggies or low-fat meat, and the trash they do sell costs too much.
      Last point: I was on “welfare”- WIC and food stamps- for more than five years, because my wealthy husband bought his way out of child support and left me, a disabled Veteran, to raise my handicapped child alone. My IQ is somewhere above 185, I have a college degree, and I started a home business because no one would hire me.
      Summary: you’re wrong.

    • Larry says:

      When you say that the wealthy like Newt Gingrich pay the majority of taxes in this country, and far more than their fair share, did you ever stop to think that they are also the ones who have benefited the most from being in this country? Did it ever occur to you that they’ve accumulated more than their fair share?

      If we’re in a debt crisis right now where we’re spending too much and not taking in enough, doesn’t it make sense to tax the rich (who can afford it, and who are paying lower taxes right now than they ever have since the introduction of the income tax?) instead of the middle and lower classes?

  73. Grammarpolice says:

    In the seventh paragraph, second and third sentences should be combined to read, “Your solution is child labor AND degrading young children… blah, blah.” Otherwise, the third sentence is not a sentence, but a fragment. Excellent letter.

  74. Gary says:

    How can you or anyone else for that matter, presume his comments are racist unless that is how you think. It takes one to know one!

  75. don hunter says:

    y’know, he really DOES look like mashed potatoes in a suit!!

  76. Bronwyn Mccracken says:

    Thank you for this letter. I grew up in the inner city of New York a white poor daughter to parents who both worked so many hours that my brother and I rarely saw them together. My mother ate her heart out daily at the things she could not afford to give us.Stress on how to pay bills and buy food was an overwhelming contribution to her death at 60. I ask America to stop being enticed by the goings on of celebrity and to pay attention who those you elect are!. Demand transparency and question who are their financial backers, as they will be who your elected will work for NOT for you. See that there is a “dumbing” down of America at hand. The younger up and coming generations are more concerned with tabloid gossip crap than what their legacy will be when they become adults. The rich have only gotten richer. There were NO trickle down jobs created with those Bush tax cuts, they held onto that money and grew fatter and richer while average Americans lost their homes, signed up for Government help with food and other basic needs.
    What will it take for average citizens to say enough is enough?

  77. KCS says:

    Well that’s one shoe to drop. I’m waiting for the other one. I can’t wait to vote to see this fool lose.

  78. B Urbick says:

    Well said, Travon Free. I am not a minority, but was also offended by Speaker Gingrich’s comments. As you say, it shows how out of touch he is. And if my agreement with your comments makes me a bleeding heart liberal, I’d rather that than to support ideas that hold us back and do not allow us to move forward for the betterment (hopefully) of all. I want leaders in the world with a positive vision of the future, not those that feel the need to get the support of a far-right group simply in order to get a nomination. That type of pandering is shameful and cringe-worthy.

  79. Bronwyn Mccracken says:

    Thank you for this post and many others. As a white woman who grew up poor in the inner city of New York, to parents who worked so many hours that I did not see them hardly at all. Watching my mother stress and worry and eat her heart out at the things she could not giver her children, I am sure contributed to her death at 60, was a hard lesson learned. Now a mother of three daughters I to struggle since i am in the majority of those that work and still have NO insurance, no savings and little hope that as a nation we will truly be so disgusted that we turn off the Kardashians and take to the streets, the polls and ELECT true representatives of THE people. Not the 1% that we seem to keep electing but to those that are real reflections of us. Demand transparency of your candidates and know who are giving them money, since in the end THOSE are the people they really are serving. Not you or I!
    Bronwyn McCracken

  80. Mrs. Nelson says:

    Poor people work very hard, my father was so poor he wasn’t even born in a hospital he was born in a box car outside of the fields his parents were working in yet he went on to serve his country proudly and get a masters degree. My mother faced a similar upbringing as well living in conditions so 3rd world that she didn’t know what running water was until she was 11-years-old. She too has a college education and they both lived the American dream despite being kicked off their land and being stripped of their identities in their own country. My grandparents worked everyday, back breaking labor that most Americans would NEVER do now. So to say poor people have no work ethic is pretty unfounded. I see more middle class and upper middle class people in American who have a sense of entitlement than I have in poor people. My folks did all of this despite horrible racism and poverty, if they can do it anyone can & no one gave them anything they earned it. Oh it is true he does look like rotten mashed potatoes in a suit.

    • sarum says:

      I love what you wrote but must take exception to this – “if they can do it anyone can ” as it is no longer true. It simply is not possible anymore in most cases. Your point about the sense of entitlement exhibited by middle classers (and up) is SO TRUE!

  81. Conservative says:

    Newt Gingrich is pretty retarded. But a big part of why you got those scholarships and acceptances to those schools in the first place is because you were a poor black applicant. Claim whatever you want but as long as affirmative action exists no one is going to believe that disadvantaged minority students got accepted to prestigious programs by their own right. Can’t have it both ways. Disadvantaged minorities can’t support affirmative action then whine that people don’t regard them as an equals. It’s simple, applicants are accepted despite being subpar because of their race/financial status.

    Gingrich is a conservative, conservatives hate the idea of affirmative action and he probably had affirmative action, not just in the realm schools but on a social level (employment etc…etc..), in his mind when he made those statements. Conservatives hate the idea of handouts to the poor that they feel are undeserved, that’s just part of their platform.

    • Tired says:

      Tireless arguments about the short comings of affirmative action from privileged White folks like you are oh so……tiring. Affirmative action helps level the playing field for poor people and People of Color so that they can compete against the “sub-par” White students who get into Ivy league colleges because their Daddy is an alum, or Daddy gave the University a million dollars for their athletic field, or the White privileged child could pay someone to take their SAT test for them and get a great score, or Mommy was a Chi-Omega, or any of the other 100 reasons why “sub-par” White students get into colleges when they’re dumb as dirt. There is an invisible form of Affirmative Action for White people in America that no one wants to talk about, so unless YOU want to talk about Affirmative Action for White people along with Affirmative Action for People of Color, shut your mouth. You can’t have it both ways.

      • Barbara says:

        Thank you, Tired. Well said.

      • Tyler says:

        This is the most uninformed post I have ever read. Next time when you try and make an argument, try not to completely antagonize an entire race, it is far more effective.

        • Colin Lincoln Holloway says:

          How so?
          Never heard of “Legacy”?
          I was a faculty brat of the Ivy League. I’m here to tell you, despite Tired’s strident tone, (s)he is quite right.
          Children of alumni, Frats (Or “eating colleges at Princeton, Stanford, etc.) are first on the list.

      • kathleen says:

        Excellent response to the ignorance about affirmative action, thanks for your clarity and succinct-ness!

    • WTF?! says:

      YOU ARE A FUCKTARD AND I HOPE YOU BURN IN HELL WITH YOU IDIOT FRIENDS… HOW THE FUCK DO YOU GRADUATE WITH HONORS?! AFFIRMATIVE ACTION?! NO! THROUGH HARD WORK?! FUCK YES! I AM ONE OF THOSE BLACK KIDS WHO WENT TO AN IVY LEAGE… DID I GRADUATE TOP OF MY CLASS IN HIGH SCHOOL THAT HAD A 88% MAJORITY OF WHITE STUDENTS?! YES… WAS IT BECAUSE I WAS BLACK? IM NOT EVEN GOING TO ANSWER THAT. FUCK YOU.

    • ekeshiamaria says:

      You are sad and tired, Mr. Free said he was offered those scholarships on intellectual merit. Read idiot.

    • ANGRY BLACK MAN says:

      WHAT THE…?Are you serious Retard. WOW this guy or Gal “Conservative” can’t be real. Disadvantaged Minorities can’t be smart? Is this in America, or are we talking about somewhere else? I can’t, dude I really can’t. I wonder if he put on his Application “Poor Black Applicant” I can’t believe someone has the nerves to write this sort of thing. WOooooooOW! Can’t have it both ways. So they take Color over grades? Dude/Gal you been smoking too much or snorting too much coke. You Probably saw “How High” with Method Man & Red Man right before you wrote this. You Can’t be serious, thinking that Poor Children are all stupid or dumb. I wish I could catch this person in a debate my God I would thrash your dumb ass. And by the way I’m Black, and was Poor. Probably still poor.LOL. I don’t know what to say any more this comment threw me off.

    • Larry says:

      Affirmative action just makes schools that accept federal money accept a certain percentage of minority students. Academic scholarships, however, are need blind, meaning that you get money based on your accomplishments, not your financial standing. Additionally, on the SATs when it asks race or ethinicity there is a box marked “other” which anybody, including a white person can select, and you’ll get minority status. The only time affirmative action is going to get a minority student into a school over a white student is when they are both barely have the credentials to get into the school and they can both come from families that can pay to send them there. There are no colleges out there throwing out scholarships to C students just because they are poor or a minority. The scholarships simply go out to the most qualified applicants.

  82. Mike S. says:

    Travon bash Newt all you want because I think he would be a terrible choice for the republicans. You’ve got to realize when you point your finger at the republicans you need to take the index finger of the opposite hand and point it right back at the democrats as well. When it comes to greed and the destruction of the middle class the democrats are equally responsible. Remember 7 or the top 10 wealthiest members of congress are democrats. Look at what Jeffery Immelt did while he was Obama’s Job Czar. Look at Nancy Pelosi getting away with insider trading. Look at everything Charlie Rangel got away with.
    My point is we are at a point where people need to get themselves educated over the next 11 months because there are a lot of bad people that need to be removed from congress. If we have people making emotional decisions based on hate speech our problems will not be solved.

  83. Slowdecline's articles on current issues facing us today says:

    Thanks for your posting while not being raised in a poor home I have experienced racism firsthand in my life. As my sister married a black man although in another state as my father disowned her and the state of Florida literally kicked her out I have experienced racism. Working for a fortune 250 company I can tell you that racism is as prevalent today as it ever has been during my life. Some things never change, however let’s hope Newt wins the Republican nomination so we can have President Obama for another term as the People’s President! Also as current polls indicate congress is in for a big wake-up call as even die-hard republican constituents are calling for Boehner and the like to be voted out of office from our republican led do nothing congress.

  84. yaY says:

    To Whom It May Concern,

    The rants about “race” are entertaining and miss the point. The divide of humans by color was devised by the British Colonial authorities in the mid-1600s – There were and are many prior countries/colonies that operated according to the same color principle – however, the British colonials introduced the concept to Anglo-America. If it interests you, check out Nell Irwin Painter’s work, and go online to look up Theodore Allen’s work. And for those who need an actual account of what happened to an African Indentured servant, look for the name Anthony Johnson. According to the accounts that I have read, he started out as an indentured servant, graduated to a wealthy landowner who also owned slaves, and died with considerable holdings; the British colonial authorities ruled that his heirs were not entitled to his wealth and swiftly strip the family of its wealth by declaring that Anthony was never a “real” citizen because he was from Africa, therefore an alien. STUDY THE HISTORY OF THE BRITISH COLONIES IN THIS LAND. THE HISTORY WILL SOBER US UP, IF WE ARE READY TO LEARN HOW AND BY WHOMTHE “CHESS GAME” WAS INSTITUTED.

    • kiwicafe says:

      Study the History of all British aka ‘English’ Colonies and you will see the same divide, it exists here in Aotearoa New Zealand and is perpetrated day in and day out. We have a rate of colored incarceration that would shock most Americans. This is a legacy of the English, not the British :) sure, I am being picky, my choice !

  85. Sammy says:

    I am a first generation college student from a poor white family. I graduated 4th in my class, and I work really hard in school. I was also a part of the gifted program from the 2nd grade on. I agree that Gingrich’s speech shows that he is out of touch with the majority of Americans. I was astounded that he presented the idea of making kids become janitors as if they have no prospects for college or a career. Secondly, he acts as if the adults who are janitors don’t need the wages they are working so hard to earn. Newt Gingrich is one of the many who do not seem to comprehend that working class is the foundation on which the rich and powerful stand. Some people have to do the “dirty” jobs – we need janitors to keep building clean, road workers to keep the roads safe, teachers to educate the children, social workers to to help those in need – all of these underpaid and under appreciated careers that leave families struggling to make ends meet are met with upturned noses from those like Newt Gingrich who say “you should have gone to college and become someone powerful like me if you didn’t want to struggle.” We have news for them; Everyone can’t be a Politician; Everyone can’t be a CEO or executive; just because one chooses a career that people disregard shouldn’t mean they should be paid little and insulted.

    • Barbara says:

      Unfortunately, the white working class has bought into the lies spewing forth from Faux News. Divide and conquer at it’s worst. I am not astounded that there has not been a general strike, as occurred in 1934 by the longshoremen. So many issues have been tossed in front of them, that they work against their own self-interests.

      • Tired says:

        Well put Barbara. I keep saying the same, especially to my parents, but alas they don’t listen, and continue to follow the lemmings as they fall one by one off the cliff…..

    • sarum says:

      Yes I am gathering from some commenters here, and politicians in general that low-wage people would preferably not reproduce according to them.

  86. BabyGirl says:

    Dear Writer,
    Thank you for writing this letter! I am a product of single mother working 3 jobs just to provide and for this jerk to say otherwise is beyond me. He didn’t come up struggling so he wouldn’t know what struggle is if it hit him in the face. He meant to put blacks down but he not only offended people of color; he offended everyone whose had/has to work and sweat for whatever they can get. And to the guy defending his actions, youre just as a racist as he is! Wonderful job!
    Sincerly,
    A Proud Poor Child with a Mastors in Communications

  87. Bernard Kane says:

    I am a middle-aged white man who grew up relatively poor as well, and I was offended all over by Newt’s outrageous thoughts. I know very well that he meant and implied people of color. No doubt about it. For anyone to say that we ought to return to a time of child labor is incomprehensible! There is no justification of any kind that can ever make such a suggestion tolerable. It is saying that e wants us to return to industrial revolution, third-world standards. This is the kind of thinking that will make America great again!? Astounding.

    Newt Gingrich is supposedly the brains, the idea man, of the Republican Party. With this kind of faulty thinking, unreasonable conclusions and terrible deductions, this man should not even be allowed to visit the White House on a tour.

  88. Jordan P says:

    Newt should check this out

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1192636/index.htm

    The story of Kitam Hamm, a highschool student from compton and one of the most impressive humans I have ever had the joy to read about.

  89. Scott G says:

    I’m no fan of Newt, but this kind of crap just makes the blogger look like an idiot. Newt made a generalization that DOES apply to a vast majority of the people he speaks of. Like everything in life, there are exceptions to that rule, but you have to live life looking at the 98%, not the 2%. The word racist being thrown around….did they not define this word for you? Most Ivy Leaguers I know don’t automatically assign a color to the word “poor”. Poor can be any color. Rich can be any color.

    People like Newt are not the reason we are so far from being a color-blind society – it’s you. People who keep wanting to blame things on race, even when they aren’t said. Who gives a damn who is black, white, brown, yellow, or green with purple polka dots. Stop trying to pigeonhole races to make them garner sympathy. It’s archaic and makes you look like a buffoon.

    The mashed potatoes comment was the only thing funny about this post (because it’s kinda true) – that’s the one thing you shouldn’t be apologizing for. Writing the rest of this nonsensical crap, well, there’s where the apology should like.

    • boogie says:

      hey SCOtt,

      how about you shut the fuck up and go fuck yourself!

    • CDC says:

      Scott since you are so sure it DOES (as you put it) apply to the majority of people he spoke of. What proof do you have of this? Do you know the majority of urban (code word Scott) youth that Newt speaks of? I spent my early years living in the projects with two hard working but poor parents. Now, I’m successful and I live in a high-rise overlooking NYC! I’m not trying to as you say “garner sympathy”. Obviously, you’ve never walked in my shoes. Stop trying to tell me how they feel.

    • gpmartin says:

      Seriously Scott,
      Newt did not make a generalization! He spoke with perfect diction, succinct in his dialogue and using words that equal nothing but ignorant racist bullshit!
      It is his ‘racial bias’-that or those characteristics assigned to a class of people for the sole purpose of denegrating such class….geez, maybe it is the knowing too many “Ivy Leaguers” that has you so caught up in ignorance. There should be sympathy for ‘anyone’ and/or ‘everyone’ that has been diminished or otherwise scourged by the likes of Newt Gingrich et al. That children should clean toilets as opposed to paying someone a decent wage in order to teach them an ethic? WTF? To think that you are going to vote for this guy or someone like him, well, it just puts me in a panic!

    • Dave Not Smith says:

      Don’t listen to the haters Scott. You are absolutely right.

    • Donna Barr says:

      So… we are to take it that Mr. Gingrich is color-blind? Wouldn’t THAT be nice? I suppose it must be, in Cloud-Cuckoo Land, where all the nice poor people keep their mouths shut and work for twenty-five cents an hour. And yes, I’ve heard a pissed-off farmer grumble about the pay scale not being on that level any more for the local First Nations people. We don’t have to make up cruel, stupid things about the stuff the GOP says; they will go go go on their own, like mad little wind-up Energizer Bunnies (I’m voting for Obama — again — because I want to vote for people from THIS planet).

    • Mike says:

      Did you read what he wrote? Maybe you just skipped to the bottom when you read the word “racist”?

      I read the story of a family that started at the very bottom of the economic ladder in this country, worked hard, and achieved. No one used racism as an excuse not to be all he or she could be. Then AFTER all this hard work, they heard some millionaire, puffy-faced politician, who’s probably never spent the night in a poor neighborhood, saying poor folks are lazy, This guy didn’t “blame things on race”, or “pigeonhole races” He’s calling Newt on his crap.

    • Colin Lincoln Holloway says:

      Sorry, I’m going to stick this on several posts.
      Listen, these are the facts, most people on welfare are white & live in rural areas, thereby the only logical conclusion to reach, given Newt’s statements, is that the man is a freakin’ racist. He completely disregards the fact that, in his state, that he “represented”, that he should have perfectly well known, that most people living in poverty and receiving welfare are the white folks that were his constituents.
      He wants to be the president such ignorance is inexcusable and can only be a result of being a racist (expletives deleted)

      http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1077/is_n2_v48/ai_12970819/

      http://missourifamilies.org/cfb/briefs/ruralurban.pdf

      http://www.raconline.org/topics/statistics/

    • Tired says:

      As much as we would all like to believe that color doesn’t matter, and that we should be a color blind society, that utopia does not and likely will not ever exist. All of us see color – it’s the first thing we notice about a person, and unless we know a lot of people, personally, who don’t look like us, we will automatically assign whatever stereotypes we have, about that group of people, to the person standing in front of us. It’s not our fault that we may have been bombarded with negative stereotypes about the “others” as we grew up. But it IS our responsibility to educate ourselves about what actually happens on a daily basis in the life of a Person of Color. Do you have any close friends who are People of Color? And I mean people who you hang out with, go to dinner with, who come to your house, your wedding, your kid’s baptism. Do you talk with them about the small and large acts of racism that they endure on a daily basis? To deny someone’s color is to deny them their identity and their daily lived experiences as People of Color, an easy thing to do when you are a well-meaning, well intentioned White Person.

    • kiwicafe says:

      “but you have to live life looking at the 98%, not the 2%.”
      isn’t that the issue here, Newt can’t see the 98%, that is why they are occupying squares around the planet. Living in Venice Beach I remember, not that long ago, Police pulling over a Volvo with a group of Blacks, making them lie on the ground only to find they were all Professors of something some where, did they pull the car over because it was a White Swedish model or because it was full of Blacks? Racism is endemic around the Planet, it doesn’t make it right.

  90. Malika says:

    Kids from poor neighborhoods have no habits of working???? How is that a fact?! Idiot.

    • fast earl says:

      it is sad but the majority don’t

      • HannahK says:

        Unless you actually have spent any amount of time in a poor neighborhood, you really have no moral right to speak on this issue. There are kids form poor neithborhoods that become involved in drugs or crime, or who have childrent early and end up on welfare, but the same is ABSOLUTELY true for kids form nice middle class areas. Think about it for a moment, and you will be able to remeber enough of your highschool calssmates to make my point.
        In my experience, poor kids know they have work and appreciate their jobs, while a lot of midle class kids honesty beleive that their priviledge is a birthright, and when they do graduate from college and get a good job, many of them sit on their asses doing next to nothign and expecting to be praised and promoted just becuse they show up most days. I know. I grew up poor, worked my ass off to get an education, get a good job and make the ranks of middle class, and now I carry the load those middle class kids who never saw their motherworry about how to pay the rent or had to be embarrased in the checkout lane wehn they pulled out the foodstamps don’t think should be theirs. I find that amongst my coworkers, the best and hardest workers tend to be those who grew up poor. I find that when I go out to eat, the trendy restaurants that have nice white middleclass students as servers tend to have shitty servie, while the places that hire people who can’t afford to go to college have decent service. So I really hope you all shut your stupid mouths.

        • johnk says:

          I agree 100%. The Gingriches of our country don’t know how hard they make it sometimes. The man doesn’t understand reality.

  91. Newt Gingrich – “Ignorance will never end. Even those with money can’t buy SENSE!!” Author: Curmilus Dancy II The Political Agitator

  92. Pingback: An Open Letter To Newt Gingrich From A Black Kid Who Grew Up In A Poor Neighborhood – Source: Freedom of Speech « The Political Agitator

  93. Thekla says:

    -He wants “poor kids ” to clean while other kids are going to music lessons, gymnastics, internships, after school tutors, etc. It’s good for kids to have work experience but that is ALL kids, not just his selection.

    • Janet says:

      Thekla, Newt doesn’t want kids to go to music lessons, gymnastics, internships or after school tutors either. I’m sure given the opportunity, he would cut funding for all educational programs. This is all part of keeping people under-educated and reliant on the likes of people like Newt. An uneducated population is much easier to control–black, white, brown and every color in-between. How easy is it to learn when you’re cleaning toilets? Not very–which exposes the truth behind his words.

      • Larry says:

        You are totally right. I think Newt wants us all to watch the propaganda child-labor video from Zoolander that Mugatu uses to get Derek to assassinate the president of Malaysia.

        • Suzanne says:

          Let us not also forget that those kids from underprivileged backgrounds actually NEED those gymnastics classes and music lessons and student office/ time requiring positions on their college resume. Grades aren’t enough to guarantee admission into an elite school anymore. Straight A’s also won’t necessarily get you a scholarship. Look up almost any college and see how they are looking for well rounded students — that means they want the valedictorian who plays the cello and sculpts clay while doing a perfect backflip after participating in Model UN. If there’s one universal about my college freshmen, it’s that they come to college TIRED. I have a 14 year old family member who wants to go to the Naval Academy. At 14, he leaves home at 6:30 am and rarely returns before 6:30 pm — and none of the stuff he does is paid. He wouldn’t have time for a job.

  94. I applaud you young man! My kid is from the hood as well and is now on her second year at USC!!! Si se puede :)

  95. i don’t know how anyone can take politicians seriously these days – but thanks so much for your statement about mr. gingrich … i’m only slightly offended by the mashed potatoes comment, but that’s only because i like mashed potatoes so much.

  96. Lochness says:

    Just thought I’d share my FB post about this:
    I always knew he was a moron, but my jaw actually dropped when I saw this video. “Really poor children have no habit of working…and they have nobody around them who works. They have no habit of ‘I do this and you give me cash, unless it’s illegal.'” Um Newt, how about Russell Simmons and Jay-Z, who grew up in the projects? And how about their mothers, who worked tirelessly to provide for their kids? Did you ever consider that maybe people are poor cause it’s really hard to find a job and really expensive to get a good education, and even if they find one it pays shit money, and that’s why they’re poor????

  97. Kate Sadler says:

    Thank you. Thank you for writing this and so eloquently telling him what an ignorant, pompous asshole he is. Him being elected to office could only do more damage to this country than has already been done.

  98. Dave Not Smith says:

    How on earth is this racist? You and everyone that agrees with you is simply hearing what you want to hear. There are very poor white people, very poor hispanic people, very poor asian people and and, yes, very poor black in America. Too simply assume that he is talking about black people is simply playing the race card. It is a tired and ineffective old trick.
    While Newt is not my favorite person in the world, I absolutely agree with what he says in the brief video you posted. I will make some assumptions of my own. I assume that when he says the poorest people and neighborhoods in the country he is talking about people that are on welfare. Those people don’t work so Newt is right. Children in families that are on welfare don’t learn the habits of work while the family is on welfare. If a child is in a family who is always on welfare they will likely never see experience the habits of work. So again, Newt is right. That, in my opinion, is all he is saying. Are black people the only ones in America on welfare? Nope.
    If you want to support the black interests, stop playing the race card. It simply shows that you are a victim. Nobody likes a victim.
    I will trust that your mother did work very hard and taught you some good lessons. Newt is most likely not talking about her or you. Stop taking it personally.

    • Ron says:

      Sorry Dave, but you are missing the point of this letter. Yes it’s true that there are poor white people. I am one of them. But there was clearly at best a shocking level of insensitivity and ignorance in Gingrich’s speech and at worst an arrogant out of touch man who would be a horrible president. Newt is a shameless self promoter. Travons letter to Newt was from the point of view of a Black person who came from the situation Newt was referring to. It was an honest and heart felt reaction that requires some empathy to fully understand.

      • Dave Not Smith says:

        Ron, you may be right about Newt being a shameless self promoter but that does not make Newt wrong in the clip. Travon’s victim letter to Newt is NOT from the point of view that Travon, the race card player, came from. He said his Mom worked. Newt is not referring to the situation Travon came from. It may be honest and heart felt but it is stil wrong.

        • Simone Cox says:

          wow, Davenotsmith, your comments make me very, very, sad.

          • Dave Not Smith says:

            Why? Please explain. I am honestly interested. I truly can not figure out why this guy’s letter makes sense to some people and why what Newt said is being taken so negatively. I have read many of the posts and almost all of them seem completely out context.

            • Erin says:

              I have worked in social services for 11 years. There has not been a “welfare” system in the United States since Bill Clinton ended it in the 1990s. So the assumption of Mr. Gingrich and you is patently false. There is short-term aid for some really poor people in some states, but no family is living on aid for very long. You should learn about the system before making any comments about it.

    • Mingo1911 says:

      Seriously, if you don’t see the racism in this, at least you have to see the class-ism he is spewing….. And the fact that you believe that people on welfare don’t work, only verify that you are as ignorant as Newt in regards to this….. There is a class of people in this country that is the “Working Poor”. To assume that everyone that is on welfare “don’t learn habits of work” is incorrect to put it mildly. I am sure that there are some people who take advantage of the system, but not all are lazy, uneducated, and worthless. Welfare is a supplemental income source for individuals who need assistance to feed their family, it doesn’t mean you have to be out of work to be able to receive this program, but just not making enough to make ends meet.

    • JT says:

      To say that Newt was only referring to people on welfare is a mistaken assumption. If he meant communities on welfare, he would have said that. He said poor children from poor families.

      Times were hard for me in the 90s and I’m not ashamed to say that I accepted government funded aid to make ends meet for a little while. The entire time I looked endlessly for a job that would meet my financial needs and allow me to quit needing help. To suggest that, just because I was on walfare, I was lazy and had no work ethic is insulting and narrow minded.

      I will not disclose my race to you because it has no bearing on my ability or willingness to work hard to provide for my family.

      • Dave Not Smith says:

        So let me clarify….I am not suggesting that some if not many people on welfare are not hard workers or willing to be hard workers. The reality though is that there are many, many people who consider welfare a way of life. There are generations of families that have been on welfare and it is their way of life. That is a fact. The welfare system rewards unwed mothers to have more children by giving them more money for each child they have. Again, that is a fact. If a person that consider’s welfare their way of life brings children into that system, they are doing that child a huge disservice in life because they do not teach the child the value of work. “Mash Potatoes” Gingrich might be suggesting the same thing.

        • Colin Lincoln Holloway says:

          And those people are white people living in rural areas.
          Not in the inner cities.
          Denying that Newt is speaking in what is thought of as racist coed is pure ignorance.
          But I imagine that you’re a Fauxian?
          Sorry, them’s the stats.
          That’s one of the reasons why we have a census every ten years as mandated by the constitution.

          http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1077/is_n2_v48/ai_12970819/

          http://missourifamilies.org/cfb/briefs/ruralurban.pdf

          http://www.raconline.org/topics/statistics/

        • Tired says:

          Dave Not Smith: and I quote you “The reality though is that there are many, many people who consider welfare a way of life. There are generations of families that have been on welfare and it is their way of life. That is a fact. The welfare system rewards unwed mothers to have more children by giving them more money for each child they have. Again, that is a fact”. You throw out the words fact and reality time and again, yet provide no credible references for your “facts”. Perhaps the reality is that you have not educated yourself about the current public assistance programs, many of which no longer reward women for having multiple children. Perhaps the reality is that reading about White people who might actually be racist makes you nervous about the possibility that you yourself could be racist. And in the end perhaps that fear is why you insist that Mr. Gingrich’s remarks are NOT racist, It is afterall ever so much more fashionable to hate poor people who are not White.

          • Tired says:

            Revision on my last sentence: It is afterall ever so much more fashionable to hate poor people than it is to hate people who are not White.

        • Thom Proctor says:

          You say with certainty that these opinions you are offering are facts. Where is the concrete, exact evidence needed in order for something to be a fact? “Many, many people”? How many, exactly? “Generations of families that have been on welfare and it is their way of life”? Like who, exactly? Where do they live, exactly? How many families, exactly? How many generations back does that stretch, exactly? “The welfare system rewards unwed mothers to have more children by giving them more money for each child they have”? How much more money per child, exactly? What’s the cap on that, exactly? How many women have done this, exactly?

    • TokeJones says:

      very well said… poverty does not invoke a specific race or “color”…

    • Bob says:

      So, Were YOU ever on Welfare? Then Just HOW would you KNOW? MORON!
      I WAS, and The Picture You Paint is Utter BULLSHIT MEdia Garbage, derived from too many stereotypes from TV. I worked Hard, Learned Hard, and Got myself OUT of Poverty. everything the Blogger says is Valid, I am white, and I lived in a Mostly Black neighborhood. ALL of us worked in some way to better ourselves. and yeah, the Code speak Is ALWAYS referring to Black & Brown people, since thay are the Cultural equivalent of Lazy, Shiftless people, as reffered to by Newt, SO Yeah, that WAS a Racist statement. Please Pull Your head out, and get out of Your state of Denial. We Obviously Know that code, and That’s exactly what it was.

    • johnk says:

      In Compton, it’s poor Black and Brown people. That was his context. The poor whites in LA tend to be in the exurbs. The poor Asians are in Long Beach, the SGV, and parts of South Central LA, which are far enough away that he may never have seen them. I’m sure he didn’t mean the criticism to be mainly about race, but about Gingrich’s attitudes and misconceptions about poor people. This essay resonated with me the way the old disco song I’ll Always Love My Mama by the Intruders does.

  99. Amy Pybus says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for this post. It’s amazing that the old rich white guys are still blaming our country’s problems on poor black kids. (Or maybe not.) Keep speaking the truth!!!

  100. Amy Pybus says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for this post. It’s amazing that the old rich white guys are still blaming poor black kids for our country’s problems. (Or maybe not so surprising.) Keep speaking the truth!!

  101. cookteaser says:

    The one thing that is appropriate is his name Newt. a larger lizard has never existed. How despicable can a person be and still receive peoples attention, much less their support. As an American I am ashamed.

    • Lochness says:

      Couldn’t have said it better.

    • Ken Stephens says:

      Like so many other Americans, you refuse to face reality. If you disagree with Newt, state your reasons for disagreement. Don’t nip at his heels with words like despicable
      unless you have facts and sound reasons to say so. As an American you are a mental dropout.

      • S. Collins says:

        Ken,
        I think YOU are the dropout; from Douchebag University.

        yours truly,
        Go fuck yourself

      • Tired says:

        and you my dear Ken have a mental blindfold on.

      • Juanda says:

        Sad reality..yet, an sadder truth is that you are out of touch with society. Face your reality..I can imagine that you employed as executive making well over $50,000. To make a comment like that is an insult to me and mine’s I raised my son on income levels under $30,000 a year yet, I was qualified to earn more. To think that equal opportunities exist you’re blinded by fact that millions are out of work..if you agree with Newt. Why not quit your job that allows you to live comfortable and clean toilets.

  102. Angela says:

    OMG…how can such a bigoted, heartless, out of touch being be allowed to run for President. The republican party should be ashamed of itself. The man is an arrogant talentless windbag

    • Ken Stephens says:

      Angela,
      Every American has a right to run for public office. There is nothing bigoted or heartless or out of touch about running for President. I suggest that before you start calling people names you should search your heart to see if perhaps those terms apply to you. The arrogance seems to apply to you Angela. You don’t have any basis for what you are saying so maybe you are the talentless windbag.

      • SheBlasphemes says:

        Ken,
        Your logic is faulty, at best. It is not THAT running for President denotes heartlessness, being out of touch, etc. It is that Angela believes him to be an out of touch, heartless person who happens to be running for president. I’m sure Angela is just wondering aloud about how this clusterf*ck occurred. If you are looking for some basis for her comments, I suggest you re-watch the YouTube clip.

      • Eric Flak says:

        Every American has a right to run for president. But only people with the means to gather millions of dollars possess the ability to actually do so.
        There is nothing bigoted or heartless or out of touch about running for President, and Angela never implied that there was. She was talking specifically about the bigoted (and I don’t mean racist, but rather classist), heartless, and completely unsympathetic man that Newt Gingrich has always been.

      • Larry says:

        I’m pretty sure that if you google “arrogant talentless windbag” you actually get a picture of Newt Gingrich. If you don’t think he’s arrogant, then you’ve probably never heard him talk. Or maybe you never heard him condemn Clinton for the Lewinsky affair and then get caught in an extramarital affair of his own a few years later. Arrogant and hypocritical! Talentless? Okay, you got me there. He’s extremely talented as a mashed potato impersonator, as well as being talented at being an arrogant windbag. And if you don’t think he’s a windbag, I remind you that the man was once speaker of the house, a job for which being a windbag is pretty much a prerequisite. And as far as being bigoted and heartless and out of touch? The guy said that the poor have no work ethic so we should send their kids to work. That’d at least bring home a consolation prize in a bigoted and heartless talent show.

  103. Sharita Wilson says:

    Idiotic rambling from the latest dork to jump on the political “attack the pack leader” bandwagon.
    You fail, your blog fails, and your comedy fails. Plus you look like a turd someone forgot to clip off of a dog’s butt.

    • marzipan says:

      Wow, Sharita.

      What is wrong with you?

    • Bryan Foster says:

      …and you, my dear, write like a pathetic guest of the Jerry Springer show with a double digit IQ and a 2nd grade education. Have a nice day.

      • wow says:

        I do not see a problem with grammar or punctuation. My guess is that you disagree, and therefore feel a need to be condescending… good luck with that. Oh, and have a nice day.

    • Melissa Amacher says:

      What on Earth makes you feel as though a comment like this is acceptable? I feel terribly sorry for you as your hate will only dig you into a deeper emptiness of anger – what happened to you to make you have such a deep hate of others and a lack of respect for a difference of opinion? I hope that you have a realization one day that treating others like trash only reflects that you treat yourself like trash. Have some respect for yourself Sharita Wilson.

    • Jeff Jones says:

      The Sharita Wilson “comment” must be a fraud. No one could possible be that inbecilic.

      • TokeJones says:

        only an imbecile would use the word “inbecilic”… idiot

        • Colin Lincoln Holloway says:

          im·be·cil·ic
             [im-buh-sil-ik] Show IPA
          adjective
          1.
          of, pertaining to, or characteristic of an imbecile.
          2.
          contemptibly stupid, silly, or inappropriate: an imbecilic suggestion.

          Eh Tu Bruti.

    • Bruce says:

      Sharita, I think your comment is precise, concise and pithy. I also think it’s funny. Criticism is not hateful, it’s just critical. I’m sorry that these politically correct, intellectual zombies are so self-righteous.

    • NYCya says:

      Classy. And we should take you serioulsly
      because…..?????

    • SheBlasphemes says:

      I wonder where Mr Ken Stephens is to critizise this woman for using such language for “unfounded” reasons.

  104. Blkmnrsng says:

    Young brother you keep your stance and you are exactly right, the code words Gingrich are using are clearly targeting minorities. His bigotted and racist past has been clearly documented and the fact that he is being supported by so many says this country has not let go of its racists past even with the election of Obama. He and his Repugnant cronies are a dangerous bunch for this country. We will never go back to the racist past many today in this country seem to want to embrace. With that being said, the Demagogues are not much better. Being an Independant is the only way to go.
    Young brother stay the course and put your words into action by getting in the voting booth and vote your convictions.
    Here is what we do know, Obama is not he greatest but any one on the other side is far worse and the irony is they have told you what their plans are and middle class, the working poor and people of color are not included on anything positve they have to offer.
    Stay positive young brother and remember to pay it forward.

    • Ken Stephens says:

      Newt is intelligent, factual and speaks clearly about how we can dig out of the mess created by liberals in this country. He does not have a racist past. Being from Georgia does not make him a racist. You seem to be the one who is using skin color as the basis for your opinions. We are all in this together, black, white, brown, etc. Start thinking about how we can save our country and stop calling people racists as a way of diminishing their thinking.

      • Travon Free says:

        “dig out of the mess created by liberals in this country” were you in a coma from 2000 to 2008? do you remember which presidents deregulated the banks? Do you remember who signed TARP? Amazing how all of those facts seemed to just vanish into thin air on November 4th 2008

      • sarum says:

        Newt is verbally fast on his feet. That is all. He is a perverter of facts. He creates his own reality. Oh . . . Palestinians are an invented people? Oh, it violates the Constitution to create individual mandates for health care – but we have individual mandates for auto insurance – absolutely everything he says needs to be evaluated – but who has time? He is intelligent – that is ALL I will grant you, and nothing more. He is slinging shit faster than anyone can shovel through it. And I’m sorry, no self-respecting woman could love that man, it’s all about climbing the ladder and nothing more. See how he is constantly checking on his wife, her delivery and how people accept her and what she has said? She is merely window dressing, an accoutrement and nothing more.

  105. Ilana Kleiman says:

    BRILLIANT RESPONSE to a speech that took only 56 seconds to watch to make me sick. Let those people on top live like “those poor people” for a couple of weeks, just as an experiment and see how they deal with it.

  106. Arthur Sharp says:

    You Look like someone
    Poured mashed potatoes
    Into a suit

    Like Frosty
    The Snow Job
    With a Magic Boot

    Let it snow let it snow
    Snorty snort it goes
    Up your snoot

    Borrow more Sam
    Buy more for I am
    A Federal kohoot

    Sacrifice a child
    Desecrate his drive
    Your fairy tail a flute

    Mega-Media praying
    Upon innocent children
    Is your bootee institute

    Your Mother Goose
    Is doing badly as
    Your kind’s becoming moot!

  107. Rian says:

    Why is it that when individuals like Newt Gingrich say things that are flagrantly disrespectful and might I argue that transcend race and land in the heard of the greatest inequity, social class, comments find themselves arguing about President Obama? Mr. Gingrich’s gross misrepresentation and sweeping generalization of low income people is shameful. The largest group of the poor–are the WORKING POOR. These are the people who go to work (often multiple jobs) 6-7 days a week and still reamin under than sham of a threshold the federal government has defined as the poverty line. The comments Mr. Gingrich makes have nothing to do with President Obama or any other individual. They have to do with the heart of man who wants to be the President of a country that survives on the backs of the poor. His thoughts should be concerning.

    • Ken Stephens says:

      Rian, there are millions of families in this country who have sunk into the welfare way of thinking. Every race has representatives in this group. These people have lost the desire to work for what they want and need. There are many who work but don’t earn enough to have big TV’s and Cadillacs, and cell phones, and all the niceties of our gluttonous society. They feel cheated because they don’t have as much as others do.
      The answer for these folks is to get more education and training to acquire skills which are well compensated. They will never get what they want sitting on the sideline whining.

      • SheBlasphemes says:

        Ken,
        I am glad that you admit to our society being gluttonous. Unfortunately, the majority of the working poor [or, generally poor] are worried more about the cost of living and feeding their children than not possessing fancy cars and televisions. They feel cheated because they can’t eat.
        It’s difficult to get an education when the cost of attending school at a post-secondary level is as exorbitant as it is currently.

      • Bob says:

        Ken, You have no idea what you’re talikng about. You are a Bill O’Lielly Vidiot, with Absolutely NO CLUE as what being on Welfare is about. You are a Right Wing Shill, Go home, White boy! and That’s coming from a White Boy Himself.

      • sarum says:

        oh yes, the student loan debt bubble. you are so clueless.

  108. Mikee Chavez says:

    Great post Travon Free. Keep it up! God bless.

  109. Colin Lincoln Holloway says:

    Thanks for this!
    I’m just one of those WASP kids that grew up poor on the northern edges of Oakland when one of my first icons of beauty was the wanted posters of Angela Davis in the post office.
    It’s easy for me, being a white, liberal, Quaker boy, to contemplate racism without having to swim through it.
    For guys like me it’s all to easy to bemoan the fact that Fishbone never made it big rather than to feel the visceral gut stab of something like that wretched performance of Newt.
    And here I thought we got rid of him in the last millennium.

    PS. My first thought of that photo was that the old rascal looks like Mussolini. I think I’ll call him “Il Duce Americana” from now on.

    • Colin Lincoln Holloway says:

      “For guys like me it’s all to(o)(oops) easy”

      I had a wretched work ethic for the first part of my youth. I acquired it from being a faculty brat of a Princeton professor. Growing up (but not being wealthy) around all that idle wealth was quite detrimental to the idea that if you want to eat you got to work.

  110. The Queen says:

    So much here. Don’t know where to start. “Eloquent” has been redefined. But you’re entitled to your opinion, even if it’s not really that informed. I’m not crazy about Newt for several reasons. Foremost in my mind are his horrible progressive philosophies. They scare almost as much as Mr. Obama’s.

  111. Kitty says:

    Excellent argument; so eloquently written. And completely ruined by your P.S. Oh, it’s only a joke? So it’s not OK to denegrate poor people, but it is OK to denegrate those who are overweight? Your P.S. doesn’t just slam Newt, it slams every overweight person. Imagine an overweight young person reading this, agreeing with it, certainly learning something from it–and then getting kicked in the end. Shame on you for doing that. And Shame on you for ruining an eloquently written argument that should be heard. You negate everything you said before the P.S. by exhibiting the same behavior as Newt in the P.S.

    • Dave says:

      Kitty, get over it and into a gym.

    • please look up the first amendment, and as for the P.S. Stating that (it was a joke) he strengthens his point. By stating it was not an insult but a joke, but I guess you can spin it however you like.

    • Nicole says:

      How does “mashed potatoes poured into a suit” translate into an attack on overweight people. I’m a cute little fatty fat and I didn’t interpret it that way at all. Look at the picture of nasty Newt and tell me he doesn’t look like an ugly mass. Also, this is the blog of a comedian….you’re gonna get jokes so get over it. Your assertion that the joke negates his entire post is your subjective opinion and I would disagree with you. “Mashed potatoes poured into a suit” is exactly what he looks like and it’s funny. If nasty Newt, as a public figure with considerable influence, can denigrate the poor on a public forum then he opens himself up to criticism and ridicule.

      • Larry says:

        It’s funny because it’s true. The truth will set you free! It’s not about him being fat, it’s about him being a bland, starchy side-dish on the dinner plate of american politics. Ride that gravy train!

    • Tired says:

      Kitty – I actually don’t think Travon was referring to his weight, I think he’s referring to Newt’s sort of mashed up face and neck. It’s really quite icky and in my mind at least, does resemble mashed potatoes.

    • sarum says:

      Well it is true what you say and I myself have lost my figure due to neuro-endocrine tumor that causes massive weight gain so usually I am the one militantly telling people not to judge one’s character by their weight, or the book by the cover but in this case, Newt is not playing fair by any means so I am willing to let it slide and have a laugh. And really, once one learns about causes of weight issues, how one carries their weight is a huge indicator of their health – and I am surprised nobody has brought this up – because the way he carries his weight tells me that he is very unhealthy, and this can affect mental/emotional function uncontrollably in some cases.

  112. Darcy says:

    The thought of that out of touch douche bag as president is scary beyond belief. The Hitler youth that follows him is even more so.

  113. Jodi Scott-Trevizo says:

    I agree with the stupidity of Newt’s comments, but I do have a bone to pick about your last paragraph and how you and others think that Obama helps minorities. Let me give you an example of what democratic socialism like what Obama pushes has done to a group of people–the indigenous people of North America. After our people were subdued and subjugated, most were put on a reservation and given aid to help “get them on their feet” and adjust to reservation life, and try to assimilate into the white ways of living. What was supposed to be temporary became a dependence on the government for most, if not all, their needs. And this led to the poorest people group in the nation, and one of the poorest in the world. In some aspects, it is still true today. The trickle down effect has been disastrous. For example, the commodity food given to the reservations consisted of white flour, salt, baking soda, and oil. What can you make with that except bread, something our people never ate. We were a people of the corn, and we were told we could not cultivate it like we used to, or the land was so deficient that it couldn’t grow anything. A staple now on the reservation is frybread. Not surprisingly, Native people have one of the highest rate of diabetes and diabetes-related illnesses per capita. And since health care for Native people is government run (socialism), they have a lot of health issues to treat. All problems started from democratic socialism. It created more problems than it solved.
    So for you who are believers in this form of government, take a look at Native history. You might learn something.
    No Newt, no Obama, no Romney. All bought, sold, and owned.
    Ron Paul 2012!

    • Robert Parker says:

      I have heard Ron Paul and Rand want to abolish the BIA and funding to Native Peoples…

      • James Kissler says:

        I am one of those “Native Peoples”. Let me tell ya, the funding isn’t so great. The medical care is horrible. No one lives rent free… The people would probably be better off if they governments help was kept.

        • sarum says:

          This is huge problem that is mystery to outsiders who have not time to study the issue – how can some of the wealthiest tribes have people dying every winter from inadequate housing, inadequate infrastructure etc.,? Inter-tribal reservations seem to have less problems than those that are for one tribe only? We cannot all be authority to judge everything – we have inadequate information – very complex.

    • Colin Lincoln Holloway says:

      Jodi,
      The Libertine (spelling intentional) constructs of the Ron Pauls of this world will only serve to act in the very same ways that those of Dawes Act and other acts of forced “Assimilation”.
      It was not in the spirit of Social Democracy that such acts were committed but in the intent to subjugate.
      Sorry, I very well might not have a right to speak on this. I sure don’t want to be a Wan’na’be or anything, yet I feel compelled to warn against the basic philosophy of the Libertinian Party. In that they speak of deregulation and all it must be understood that the main drive of proposed deregulation only goes to that which protects the moneyed interests from the greater populace. You will find that for every ecological regulation sought to be overturned there will be equal support for the rights of corporations over people and, if not the military, a para military police force to enforce those laws which support a new “Wild West” paradigm. The Libertine Party has no true interest in real freedom, only in the freedom of those who would steal being protected from those who are being stolen from.
      I have no interest in returning to “Wild West”.
      Or, to quote Luther Standing Bear
      “We did not think of the great open plains, the beautiful rolling hills, and the winding streams with tangled growth, as ‘wild’.

      Only to the white man was nature a ‘wilderness’ and only to him was the land ‘infested’ with ‘wild’ animals and ‘savage’ people. To us it was tame.

      Earth was bountiful and we were surrounded with blessings of the Great Mystery.

      Not until the hairy man from the east came and with brutal frenzy heaped injustices upon us and the families we loved was it ‘wild’ for us.

      When the very animals of the forest began fleeing from his approach, then it was that for us the ‘wild west’ began.”

    • tony from philly says:

      specious conclusion to your argument, sorry. Youre going to put your future in the hands of corporate private profiteers? thats the road to feudalism

  114. Zach Wiley says:

    I used to consider myself a democrat but now I consider myself and independant. I finally realized that Obama and the left don’t have all the right answers just as all those republicans and the crazy Christian right( I am a person of faith by the way) don’t have all the answers either. I vote for the man Or woman I think will do the best job. The problem is that no one does a good job. No one up there in Washington gives a crap about any of us working people, democrat or republican. We have a bunch of people who see public service as a meal ticket and a way to get rich for themselves. There is too much party fighting and trying to advance ones own parties agenda when both sides should be worried about their constituents and what is their best interest according to them. no one in Washington is in touch with anyone in middle America. In my opinion, Obama is no better than Ginrich or God help us, the Donald. If it were not for us middle class the rich could not get rich and none of those assholes would be on the hill; and they forget
    that on a daily basis! They are only there because the American people allow them to be there. The only problem is that average Americans do not realize the power they posses when it comes to lawmakers; they do not realize that we are the lawmakers. Middle America does whatever those career politicians tell us to do. People, they work for us! We have every right to kick those people out of office and put someone in who we believe will do a better job! That is what makes our country great, not military might!
    Wake up people, no matter what you believe, let our government know that we run it, it doesn’t run us!

    And now I am probably on the FBI watch list!

    • Gerorge Carlin spent from the early eighties trying to get people to act out then, or at least use the power that they have, but it fell on deaf ears mostly, watch any of his shows and you will hear the truth in them and he said it 20 years ago. I (white/poor/father) fear the government as much my fellow man, both are out to take what ever they can, our real power is in where we spend the few dollars they allow us to have. We need to stop playing video games, and watching reality tv, and controlling our money and not let it control us. This and a return to having PRIDE, SELF RESPECT, COMPASSION, HONOR, DIGINITY, Things that we were taught, or should have been, by our parent(s), those of is who have these things have it worst of all, we have to watch what is happening and try as we might it will get worse. WE ARE AMERICA! COLOR DOESN’T MATTER, SEX EITHER OR AGE. Standing and fighting will not bring us together, it will split us up even more (keep us fighting each other so we will not act as group) and they know this! On a side note I don’t think the profanity is needed, I let my children read these posts, Well, I’ve said enough to get me on several list already so I’ll go back to living, or trying to. lol

      • Sarah says:

        Thank you! Been saying for years that we, as a country, need to get back to basics. The America I see today sure as heck isn’t the one I grew up in.

    • Blue Meanie says:

      I will grant you that both sides are full of power-hungry folks looking for riches. And of course neither party is always right.

      OK, so now what?

      Here’s the thing: One of the parties tries to gain and hold power by doing everything they can to screw everyone else in favor of rich folks. The other party sometimes does that, but also spends a lot of effort trying to get everyone health care, a safety net, and working infrastructure.

      So while we wait for political nirvana to rescue us, which party (as a general rule) would you rather vote for in the meantime? The one that wants gain and hold power by raising your taxes in order to cut taxes for the wealthiest while letting deficits go up forever? Or the one that wants to gain and hold power by giving your health care and more jobs and at least un-skew tax rates a bit?

      Those are your choices, unless you actually want to be one of the folks doing the hard work to change this system for *real*.

    • tony from philly says:

      obama is not the left. far from it. he is middle of the road, leaning right and it sucks

      • Eric Flak says:

        Absolutely. That’s part of the problem. The whole political system has shifted so far to the right that Obama only SEEMS to the left in comparison. If Reagan was running today, he would be considered too liberal to be nominated by republicans.

  115. thecp29 says:

    As a product of post war America my family was on welfare during the 50s. My father had a health problem (heart attack) and couldn’t work so for 6 months so we braved the embarrassment of welfare. After his health problem improved he returned to the work force. Later, in Viet Nam era, I served with the US Army as a Medic. Later, because of GI Bill, I went to night school at Queens College and after 7 long years of work and school graduated with a degree in business. I’ve seen role models up front and real. Mr. Gingrich is no role model nor is he a historian. He is a well paid lobbyist who rewrites history to suit his needs. When he says he was responsible for the downfall of Russia and Communism he is full of shit. When he say his wife is like Mrs. Jackie Kennedy I say this. Mrs. Kennedy would never have an affair with anyone. She has too much class for that crass behavior.

  116. Chrystal says:

    I find your “letter” to Newt, quiet interesting and I appreciate you sharing it with the public – only wish Newt himself could and would actually read it, it may give him a more realistic perspective of how out of touch he really is, not only with the America public, but himself as well.

  117. Martin says:

    ” four more years of a man working diligently to help them and the communities ”

    Are you any better off than you were 3 years ago because of Obama’s Socialist programs?
    We’re certainly no closer to have a Constitutional government. The fact is, it’s not the government’s job to help you. It’s yours. It’s your churches. It’s your neighbors.

    Congress has no Constitutional authority except for those explicitly laid out in Article 1 Section 8

    http://www.usconstitution.net/xconst_A1Sec8.html

    Taxes collected can not be Constitutionally used for anything except “to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States”. That’s very different the Obama’s vision of Specific welfare of some at the expense of others.

    • Suzanne says:

      What, exactly, do you think “general welfare” means? It IS open to interpretation. We believe (well, Democrats still believe. The Tea Party definitely DOES NOT believe) that the education of all citizens is paramount to a healthy and robust citizenry. That’s why we all contribute to public school systems, even people like me who do not have children and do not intend to. I know I DO get something back from the education of others’ children. We believe that the general welfare of the US includes easy transportation between major cities so goods and services can be moved with ease; voila, the Eisenhower Interstate System. Some people believe that the citizenry would be more productive if they could reasonably expect to have access to doctors so that we would not have to face continuing years where thousands of people die because they can’t afford to be treated. Since 50% of all bankruptcies come from people WITH health insurance who are not able to pay for their medical care, I have a tendency to agree.

      • Dean says:

        Suzanne – Maybe those thousands of people who die because they can’t afford to be treated should have taken lessons from the illegal aliens in this country who are provided with free healthcare daily.

        • Suzanne says:

          Do you have a reference book full of Fox News-isms, or is your memory just that good? Look, poor people of any variety do NOT get “free” health care. Sure, they can go into the ER and have acute situations seen to so they don’t die on the spot, same as you and me. That said, they don’t have ANY of the services that health insurance provides. They might get their broken leg set, but they don’t get follow up X-rays or during-the-injury follow ups. They don’t get the ongoing care that can mean the difference between a full recovery and a pronounced limp. Let’s use the example of a broken leg, which I had. ER puts on a splint. This is where the poors’ healthcare ENDS. For me, someone with insurance, I had 4 follow up visits with an orthopedist, each one involving X-rays. I went from the splint to the cast at the first visit, and then into a shorter cast, a walking cast, and a boot. Afterwards, I got physical therapy to strengthen the muscles that had atrophied from not being able to put weight on the leg for 8 weeks. THIS is health care. The “immigrant who gets everything for nothing” WOULD have gotten the splint for nothing, sure, but he would have gotten none of the other necessary treatment for an adult with a big injury. Don’t act like it’s the same thing.

          • Scarykitty says:

            Suzanne, you are a goddess. Cogent, informed, civil but not white-washing the truth. Given the number of knee-jerk reactionaries in this discussion, I just thought you should know that someone appreciates the time and effort you spent in trying to educate folks.

          • Larry says:

            You are so wrong. Dean is right. The last time I went into the emergency room, I had to wait in line for like 8 hours in the “US Citizen Line” with a double compound fracture of the leg, a herniated testicle, and an Obama-care promotional pen shoved into my eyesocket. It cost me $200,000. While I was waiting, about 30 different illegal mexican immigrants waltzed into the Undocumented Alien line and traded a bag of tacos for this card that said free health care for life and they were slamming beers with the doctors and nurses while I was waiting for my treatment. Then this guy with an IRS badge came in and handed them all a big bag of cash, and on the way out, he tried to strangle me with a big old roll of liberal redtape……. NOT!!!!

            Come on man Dean you have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about! It’s not like you can go into a hospital and be like “oh, I’m one of those illegals, so, I get the free health care, right?”

            • Suzanne says:

              Larry, when you went to the hospital, did you see the 7 foot doctor who talks to Michele Bachman?

              (From her town hall @ http://thinkprogress.org/health/2011/11/17/370181/two-minutes-of-crazy-michele-bachmann-unleashes-outrageous-new-attacks-against-health-reform-law/ )

              “One man stood up, he was over 7-feet tall. He was a physician in the community. And he said, ‘I had a little lady in my office and because of Obamacare, I had to call the IRS and I had to get a number to put on a form before I could see her.’”

              • sarum says:

                After WWII all “developed” nations of the world agreed that universal healthcare is a human right. International law will prosecute USA if we deny medical care to illegals. Border town hospitals have gone bankrupt and literally closed their doors due to this unfunded mandate. Meanwhile, US citizens suffer and die for lack of care while out-of-touch corporations brag about qualifying for most US taxpayer funding to perform gratis work around the planet – like free dental care in Mexico while US citizens are dying for lack of it and no program to help them afford – not even sliding scale from entities that also qualify for funding based on the fact that they help low-income people when they simply do not. Overt lies and nobody does a thing.

                Meanwhile, there are plenty of charitable organizations that pick up the ball for illegals without ever telling you that when they take your money. This includes churches as well as organizations under the Umbrella of the United Way. This enables illegals to get all kinds of things that working poor citizens cannot afford ranging from baby seats to get
                their newborn out of the hospital and baby carriages that some of us could never afford for ANY of our babies, all brand new clothing for every member of the family – no Goodwill for our illegals, funding for medical care above and beyond the basics paid for by the government -like vision and dental, and even charitable make-overs with salon services of hair and nails for their “self-esteem.” Also help with language, getting social services, housing – all of it paid for by your charitable donations to the United Way. Their prospectus never tells you things required by law (I thought) like this is only for illegals, this is only for Spanish speaking illegals, and nobody has money to put into enforcing the law.

                So all this help that illegals get is flaunted in the face of the working poor who don’t get it and this blatant inequity fans the flames of hatred. Then of course my landlord hiring illegal Mexicans to do the roof while my neighbor has 10 citizen friends who are unemployed roofers standing out there watching them – no – it’s not a good thing.

                There have been articles stating thousands of new IRS agents hired and in training in order to make sure that people pay for Obamacare. What is true?

                And Suzanne, my memory is that good. Years ago, before illegal immigration got as hot as it is today, our local paper ran a series of articles about how citizens were dying while illegals were getting medical care. I was shocked to read that a young mother of 3 little girls ended up on Medicaid due to kidney problem. A kidney transplant was denied to her because the same monies could be used to fix the broken legs on 10 illegal aliens working in construction. She died and 3 little girls lost their mommy. The truth is clear – citizens die, illegals get to live. We pay into that for our own benefit and then we get denied, we die, and the benefit is given to a stranger, an interloper, someone who took my cousin’s son’s job too. This is all so wrong. It is also why the illegals sneer at us and scream racism at us because they want to keep these benefits and they have no legal standing – so they use the thought terminating cliche of “racism.”

                • Suzanne says:

                  You say, “After WWII all “developed” nations of the world agreed that universal healthcare is a human right.” This isn’t true. Unlike the rest of the developed world, WE decided that humans DON’T deserve health as a basic human right. I think that says something about the Good Old USofA. Unlike every other member of the developed world, and a WHOLE BUNCH of the undeveloped world, we DON’T care about each other. We only, as your post states, do the right thing when we are forced to by international law. If you are proud of that fact….. well, go right ahead for one of these “Let them Eat Cake” monsters the Tea Party has thrown at us. They have sunk to your level of humanity. God help the rest of us.

                  To be honest, the rest of your post made me laugh. When will people learn how ineffective the rhetorical device of “these are all the things we aren’t told as a people….. and here are the newspapers I read it in.” Do you see the problem there? IF the situations you described happened, which I highly doubt, they were in the newspapers because they were anomalies or one-offs. They are NOT the S.O.P. of US hospitals. There is NO WAY that a citizen didn’t get a kidney because a Mexican broke his leg. That didn’t happen. Turn off Fox News. Medicine doesn’t work like that. There might be a finite amount of money available in a charitable organization’s pockets, and they may choose to spend it on who they like, but there is no way an Organ Transplant Specialist was called from the room to go down the hall and set a cast instead. In fact, I believe in our current litigious society, an Organ Transplant Specialist would be fired if he tried to set a cast. Look, I know it’s fun to feel like the only one who “knows” in a society of people who you think don’t question things, but the problem here, for reasons described in SEVERAL previous posts, isn’t illegal immigrants. You make one valid point — that our healthcare money goes to corporations rather than hospitals. This is why when Massachusetts adopted full coverage for all citizens, they passed a rule that said 80% of everything we pay to the insurance company has to be spent on care for a covered individual. If I pay $100 a month, some medical professional has to get $80 of it (not for my care, but for someone’s). The downside to this is that our Health Insurance CEOs are some of the worst paid in the country….. oh well, they’ll make it on a few million a year, if they tighten their belts.

                  • sarum says:

                    Yes, I did mean to correct that first sentence to read except the great USA. Ummmmm . . . I have spent upwards of 3 decades of living at Ground Zero for illegal immigration here in central AZ and I have worked for AHCCCS administration (AZ’s Medicaid program) and my Mexican family are in medical and law enforcement/military so please do not deny our truth. I never said I am OK with it – where did you intuit that from what I wrote? My Mexican family has first hand experience with people including family members dying because the border town hospital closed due to the unfunded mandate of treating border crossers. It is not laughable and it is certainly not something I read about in a faux news article somewhere. WE LIVE WITH THAT RAGE.

                    I think that many people of the USA are finding themselves shaken from their moorings in the sense of what they thought they believed. USA citizens of Mexican descent from the last amnesty are finding their youth in the education loan debt bubble, unable to work at the career they indebted themselves to an education for. IN some cases those jobs have been outsourced to illegals – as in airplane mechanics in TX bordertowns who come across the line daily to work on our major carriers’ equipment, often unable to read the manuals, often with no mechanical training at all – thanks for the job creation Rick Perry! Longtime Mexican descent families that have been citizens for generations are torn between the cause of illegals and the truth of their effect on our society, and yes, what it says about us in so many ways. However, when you live the fact that your education, your facility with USA English, your citizenship, your wealth accumulation etc., can make you a foreigner in your own hometown due to the “Brown Power” movement – to where you are constantly discriminated against while grocery shopping, while taking a walk, whatever you do because you are not Mexican enough despite having suffered decades of discrimination because you are too Mexican – well it has a way of crystallizing your viewpoints. A conservative might realize that Michael Moore had it exactly right when he stated that if we got rid of the health insurance companies and simply put that money to health care directly we most likely would have enough money to care for everybody. In a sense our medicine has been socialized for years with providers of Medicaid spending big bucks with TV advertising for recipients to choose their plan and hard working folk finding Medicaid recipients alongside them in the doctors waiting room. It burns in a way, to work your hind end off and have someone working the system get the same for free, but it is also better that they not be put in a separate system and we must always remember that “There but for the Grace of God, go I;” – any one of us could find ourselves in their shoes at any time.

                    I also believe that US citizens have been subsidizing through their high costs of medical care, affordable medical for other nations. This is why my co-workers can go to Turkey and pay $2 with no insurance, for an Rx that costs them $80 in US AFTER THEIR INSURANCE HAS PAID ITS PORTION. Also why comparisons of US poverty to poverty in other nations are ridiculous if one does not get into these details of cost of living. Also since many of these Rx firms are global or semi-global, there is the dirty secret that other nations are more restrictive and protective of their citizens in terms of questionable ingredients and I personally know people who have dual citizenship and/or receive Rx from 2 nations and they state in no uncertain terms that the US variant of the Rx has more side effects and less efficacy than the exact same label, strength, manufacturer etc of the same Rx from the other nation. No I have no faux news articles to support my premise but it’s not like US people do not talk to citizens of other nations and often, without even bringing the subject up – they do – they WANT us to know we are getting screwed – they WANT us to better ourselves.

                    As far as charitable organizations having finite funds – that is not what I am saying. These charitable organizations are fraudulently collecting your/our monies for discriminatory practices that are written into their mission statements and bylaws of their organizations but not openly acknowledged or stated in the United Way catalogue presented for your information to pick who you choose to give to. This is illegal. This is immoral. This is true. I know it for a fact. I have spoken with attorney about it. Nobody touches it. So in addition to our taxed $ supporting people and things we don’t agree with or don’t know about, even our charitable dollars are being used against our wishes. You are talking to someone who forced United Way to support women’s issues and extend their umbrella to things like rape crisis centers back in the 70’s.

      • James Kissler says:

        Suzanne, I believe your interpretation of “General Welfare” is wider than intended and, in that light, flawed. The way in which the Constitution was laid out is very specific. The “Founding Fathers” feared the usurpation of powers over time, leading to an overly brutish central government. This concern is addressed in Article 1 Section 8, listing specific powers granted to the Fed. Govt. Any powers not expressly granted to the Fed. Govt. is reserved for the individual states.

        What works for Maine may not work for California. What works for California may not work for Arizona (my current place of residence). Each state can determine how to best take care of its citizens, based on its resources and perspective. Most states, if not all, already have some sort of state legislation governing it’s welfare system. The people are being taken care of.

        With that being said, we work for what we have. The notion that “All men are created equal” does not mean that we are the same and are entitled to the same things. There are discriminating factors; some people are shorter/taller, stronger/weaker, more and/or intelligent. These factors are not along racial or social lines. What it means is that we all have the opportunity to work for a better life and seek out what makes us happy (within reason). Some are more successful at this than others. Some find breaks while others are constantly working. Having lived more on the “constantly working” side of the fence, I do not fault those that have done well for themselves.

        Although, I do not agree that the current President has worked to make lives better, I do laud the author, his perspective, and commentary with respect to the pile of mashed potatoes in a suit. -still ROFLMAO at that!

        • Suzanne says:

          “I believe your interpretation of “General Welfare” is wider than intended and, in that light, flawed.”

          No, it’s not flawed; it’s just not YOUR interpretation. The fundamental beauty of the Constitution is that it IS open to interpretation. The Founding Fathers knew one inherent truth that we seem to have forgotten today — society changes and its system of government must also change and adapt or it is doomed to failure. The only iron clad truth in the Constitution is that it must forever be changeable and adaptable to fit a fluid society. It doesn’t surprise me that so many of the “I know EXACTLY what the Founding Fathers meant and it is my way or COMPLETELY WRONG, so help me GOD” Tea Partiers are also charismatic, evangelical Christians who believe that the Bible has only one meaning and that meaning is, of course, their meaning. Never mind that they can’t even see that their “inherent truth in the Bible” is only the latest of interpretations. the Founding Fathers knew they couldn’t envision what society would be in a century or two or three, so they made a document that could be all things to all people. We just need to figure out what we need now. My guess is that it isn’t Newt Gingrich.

          • James Kissler says:

            Perhaps reading the Federalist Papers would clear things up. I don’t need to interpret what the founding fathers meant… they tell you EXACTLY what the meant. “General Welfare” with respect to the country as a Union of individual States… not to individuals within those States and Union. The modern understanding of general welfare with respect to people, programs, etc is very different than the definition and notion with respect to the Constitution.

            The Constitution is absolutely a living document; it has changed and will continue to do so. However, that change does not take place in usurpation of powers nor unchecked policies; the change takes place according to Article V. It is not a simple process. There is a reason for that.

            • gina says:

              Congress has the power to make laws to provide for the general welfare of the entire country and if they see that the country needs a program to aide those persons in need, they can create it…it was also that interpretation which gave the “Union” the power to keep the southern states from seceding from the Union…general welfare is just that…the idea that the Congress should promote our country’s well-being…the interstate system is a great example of that as well as funding for airports and higher education programs. Perhaps someday Congress will give us a healthcare program similar to what they have (oh no that would be like socialism). Congress can decide that our States need assistance or promote the general welfare of its citizenry in any way they see fit. If poorer states were left to provide for their neediest citizens on their own, many would starve. That is why a State like Arkansas or Mississippi gets so much aid while a State like New york pays more per capita taxes and receives less federal aid. It promotes the general welfare of our Union.

            • Larry says:

              The federalist papers don’t tell you exactly what the founding fathers meant – they represent the view point of one faction of the founding fathers.

              • Suzanne says:

                People REALLY like to have claimed they’ve read the Federalist Papers. I don’t think many people have read more than the pulled quotes in a high school history textbook. But it SOUNDS good, doesn’t it?

                I should say this happens in all fields. As an English major, I couldn’t swear I’ve actually read The Odyssey. I know I talked about it for a good half hour in Oral Exams and I was convinced at the time that I had read it in high school….. but I wouldn’t bet my life on it….. I just think I’ve heard the stories so much that it sunk in….. I think this happens with the Federalist Papers….. we kinda get the gist.

    • I would love for you to provide a single “socialist” program that President Obama has created during his time in office. Just one.

      • Dean says:

        In Obama’s latest venture socialism, the Obama administration has offered Obama’s crony buddies over at General Electric (GE), a new program that gives GE a 90% taxpayer-funded guarantee on their accounts payable for foreign exports.

        Washington Examiner reported:
        Largely out of the media spotlight, the federal government operates a network of financial subsidy programs that benefit big banks by putting taxpayer money at risk. And President Obama, that self-styled populist scourge of Wall Street, is increasing this racket of private profit and public risk that Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) aptly dubbed “venture socialism.”

        In its latest act of venture socialism, the Obama administration has offered a novel taxpayer backstop to General Electric, the multinational industrial conglomerate that is famously close to this administration, and that spends more on federal lobbying than any other company. The government accessory in this instance is the Export-Import Bank of the United States, a federal agency that finances U.S. exports at taxpayer risk.

        Ex-Im exists to subsidize U.S. businesses, with most of the subsidy dollars facilitating Boeing sales. Other industrial titans like GE, Bechtel, and General Dynamics devour most of the rest of the Ex-Im subsidy pie. But manufacturers aren’t the only beneficiaries of this little-known federal agency — banks profit from it, too. For instance, when Ex-Im recently approved $1 billion in financing to subsidize Pemex, Mexico’s government-owned oil company, 3M and other U.S. exporters of oil-field equipment benefited, but so did some big banks. Bank of America and JP Morgan financed these sales, and so if Pemex defaults, it’s these megabanks the U.S. taxpayer will be bailing out.

        Now Obama has created a new Ex-Im subsidy for banks. The name is a mouthful: “The Supply-Chain Finance Guarantee Program.”

        Here’s how to understand what’s going on: Imagine I’m a shoe exporter. I ship shoes to stores in Europe, and then I wait a few weeks to get paid by the stores. But what if more orders come in, and I need to restock the shoes right away, before I get paid for my last shipment? I could just borrow from a bank. But another option is that I can just sell my invoices, in effect, to the bank. If the shoe stores owe me $1,000, I might sell Citibank, for $950, the right to be paid by those shoe stores. That’s called supply-chain finance, and it’s a quintessential capitalist arrangement.

        But in the midst of this commerce among banks, exporters, and importers, Barack Obama has inserted the unwitting U.S. taxpayer. As part of his Export Initiative aimed at doubling U.S. exports in five years, the Supply-Chain Finance Guarantee Program to guarantees 90 percent of the banks’ exposure. In our hypothetical example, if the European shoe stores welched, the U.S. taxpayers would cover 90 percent of Citibank’s loss.

        • G.T. Fain says:

          As a South Carolinian, please don’t use Sen. Jim DeMint as any example of anything other than a buffoon,tea party ass-kisser who panders to the multitude of my fellow Carolinians who hate Obama because he is Black. Note that DeMint is the ONLY senator who voted against the bill giving benefits to businesses hiring veterans because he saw it as pandering to a special group and a “Democratic trick”.

    • Please explain “general Welfare”? If that does not mean help, then I do not know what does.

    • John P says:

      Should we also go back to only white men being able to vote? Constitution was written more than 200 years ago, don’t take it as teh gospel, Martin. Try to move on…

  118. Rick Phelps says:

    Are you kidding me. Every word the man spoke was true. He’s not saying every black or brown person, he’s saying that in that enviroment there is no structure. No wanting to do better. No role model. This is exactly why the welfare situation is nothing less then a joke.
    Welfare was ment for people to get back on their feet. It was not ment to be used and passed down for generations. I could go to our local County Services Bldg. and if I had access to personal files, I could find dozens of families recieving benefits, benefits I and thousands of others pay for by taxes that have been on the gravey train for generations.
    I worked in Law Enforcement, and EMS for years, and thousands of times we get a call to render assistance of some kind to a lower income housing development, again paid for by our taxes. They are supposed to be single family dwellings, but I have seen up to three families living in these structures. All on public assistance, but there’s a Flat Screen TV in ever one of them, they all have XBoxes, or Playstaions, and everyone has at least one cell phone. Its absurd, and yet we put up with it. Its nothing less than fruad. Start making an example out of some of these people, no matter what the nationality, and things would change. Thirty days in jail for fraud can turn a lot of heads….again, playing the race card does no one any good. I know many black people who take advantage of the “system”, as well as white people. Just like Obama, he’s not a bad President because he’s Black, he’s a bad President because he’s inexperienced. Why would anyone think a one term Senator would do any better? He’s never been Chief Executive of anything, over 94% of his votes in the Senate he abstained…and all this because he’s Black??? He’d be just as inexperienced if he was Purple. People play the race card because they don’t have a legitimate argument to explain why he has been so inept, and why he has spent us into obliviation. He’s well into his third year, you can’t keep blaming Bush. He is the worst President, including Carter. I would take Newt, hell, I would take Bachman over Obama any day of the week.

    • Solange says:

      As far as fraud goes, I would dare to say that there is more criminality perpetrated at the top offices of Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, Bank of America, etc, too the tune of BILLIONS every year than the fraud you speak of here.

      Crowded housing? Does it even OCCUR to you to address the SKYROCKETING prices of housing? Greedy Landlords that over charge? Predatory Lending? No, of course not, because of course, poverty, in your mind, is a character flaw and not a b y product of a democracy that has been co-opted and distorted to function for the relative few. You mention that Obama is inept and make the argument of his inexperience. Well, it took Bush Jr. EIGHT YEARS to destroy the country- We had a BALANCED budget when Bush took office, and even had a modicum of respect – for eight years he ran the country like his own private ATM and country club, and effectively made us hated WORLD WIDE.
      Those that convince themselves that the poor, working and middle class are not rich because of some character flaw are ignorant of how economics have functioned in this country from the moment the Europeans arrived.

      • GOLDMAN SACHS, BANK OF AMERICA, These are not people they are corps. People did this to each other to try to get ahead, we did this to our selves! We blame a company name not the person who worked there and did what ever they could to make more money, Let’s take the blame like we should because until we do nothing will change, Rick (nothing personal just want to identify who I’m replying to) your right, show me any system and I’ll show you someone abusing it, taxes, police, business, government, so saying that welfare is something special is really out there, We are not the “poor” we are people, call us by name, we are not a number, and a %, living breathing, loving, un-perfect (lol), Lets stop the race card, the poor/rich card, the blame card, we are holding all of them, As for what you saw while working, did you ask where they got these things? Did you ask why they were where they were at? I was on welfare of 2 years while I went to collage and I didn’t get a dime, I got food stamps, and housing, so I and my family could survive, I hated ever minute of it, but I had to support my family, and before you comment I was carrying 17 credit at least each semester. so working was out, I donated plasma, sold things on ebay and went with out when I had to. Also you can only be on welfare for 5 years over you live now. That’s it 5 years.

      • James Kissler says:

        I’m a little fuzzy on your interpretation of a balanced budget. If by balanced budget you meant increasing tax intake while also an getting an annual influx of money from the Fed. Reserve (read increasing the national deficit), then yes… the budget was a balanced one.

      • Tired says:

        Solange – I’m in love with you.

      • Travon Free says:

        Hats off to you Solange. Saying the things the right want to ignore. Amazing how everyone has Bush amnesia.

    • You’re a shiny example of why kids need to not be burdened with janitorial work so they can focus on their schooling. I hope that wasn’t offensive, because I truly “ment” that.

    • If you put these people in jail for welfare fraud doesn’t that mean the tax payers are still paying for them? Not a solution and as a Law enforcement officer shouldn’t you be aware that jail rarely changes peoples habits. All you will be doing is putting people with the same mind set all in a group together to fume over the injustice in their communities. I agree people abuse the system. Even If for every 100 people that abuse the system only one makes it and gets back on their feet, that’s enough for me. Obama is NOT a bad prez. The government as a whole has lost touch with the American dream, and what their jobs are. They should be the ones going to jail for fraud!

    • Head-desk says:

      No offense, but if you’re going write, spell check first. You’re making Bachman supporters look ignorant… oh wait… I don’t think you get it. For people who are THAT poor, that Xbox or flatscreen TV is their ONLY luxury. You KNOW they are playing that one game over and over and over. Look how many we have! I have my TV, a car, I get food on the table everyday, I can pay for a bill now if I have to. However, all this is possible because I was born in the 1%. My one thing is, why am I, offended by all of the repressive, ignorant, Fox-news-ism shit and I have the privilege to ignore all of you, including the government? Maybe because I think this country can be better for everyone, of all races, RELIGIONS and sexes. And yes, I said sexes.

    • Tired says:

      Rick: If welfare is such a gravy train, is so utterly attractive, and fabulous why aren’t all of you gas-bags with your welfare”facts and figures”, quitting your jobs and signing up? Get real with your uninformed selves. Don’t compare the homes of people you run into as a police officer with the law abiding citizens who need the assistance to survive. Ever been in the homes of people who are on welfare who don’t have big screen TV’s, or a washer, or a dryer, or a phone or a vacuum cleaner? Ever spent a holiday with a family on welfare? Ever taken a welfare mom and her kid to the Doctor and watched as she is treated, by the Doctor, like a dead fly on the bottom of someone’s shoe? The majority of people receiving welfare didn’t grow up thinking, “hey I wanna be on welfare when I grow up”. Nope, they like all of the other kids in the wealthy, well-appointed, and clean schools probably had hopes and dreams of being doctors, nurses, teachers, attorneys and business owners just like the rest of us. Only they went to school in run-down, dirty, poorly funded schools without enough teachers to help them achieve their dreams. And maybe, if they had brown or black skin, they ran across a teacher or two who really didn’t think they would achieve much anyway, so didn’t bother teaching them. Quit acting like welfare is such an attractive option that is bankrupting our economy. What’s bankrupting our economy is the damn corporate welfare we hand out with every bail out, tax credit, tax deduction, etc for every Fortune 500 company who cries bankrupt. Leave the poor out of this. All of you conservative christians would do right to be reminded that your Bible says “the poor will always be among you”. So shut up and help the rest of us bleeding heart un-churched folks take care of them. And guess what? If you do, you might just feel pretty good at the end of the day, knowing you helped a fellow human out.

  119. Marci Geller says:

    You don’t just represent every poor American, Newt has as much disdain and misunderstanding of middle America as well. How anyone who is not rich could support this arrogant out of touch moron is beyond me. Thank you for eloquently saying what so many of us are feel and are so frustrated by.

  120. I got what you wish, thanks for putting up. Woh I am glad to mature this website finished google. Thanks For Share An Open Letter To Newt Gingrich From A Black Kid Who Grew Up In A Poor Neighborhood | FREEdom Of Speech.

  121. Good post and I enjoy your writing. I take issue with thinking we should re-elect Obama however. He has accomplished a bank bailout, more adventurism overseas and…and I’m not sure what else. He has not challenged the corporate ownership Of Congress as much as I was lead to believe he would. You can’t “work with” a body that is compromised financially. That said, I voted for Obama in 2008. It will be Ron Paul this time around.

    • Tracy Joseph Bogert says:

      Bailouts started under Bush. War in Iraq ended today. Bin Laden and 8 of top 10 terrorists are dead. Ron Paul is a kook who believes in zero government and zero social programs. I guess Paul would be your man if your fucking filthy rich and can afford to pay cash for everything.

      • Yeah and Paul would suggest what? Collective buying power, economy of scale etc. all of which Big Business uses to make money we can benefit by through government. It is more expensive to pay for our preciously little personal water bottles than to pool resources (time and taxes and wage cap) for quality municipal water. We are government. Big Country, Big Government.

        • Steve says:

          The above is a misunderstanding. Ron Paul is not against social programs. He is against the government controlling them – he argues that the constitution does not give the government the right. He is correct. Having the government run *anything* generally tripples the cost, and lowers the quality of the service you receive. Have you ever seen *anyone* excited about needing to go to the MVA? Or been thrilled that to be contacted by the IRS? You are talking about a doctor that practiced in a time BEFORE medicare, who would take payment in whatever form his patients could provide, or none at all if they couldn’t. I believe he understands quite well the need and application of charity.

          Actually Ron Paul would suggest that we stop spending over a trillion dollars a year in foreign wars and occupations and bring that money back home. He would use that money to shore up social security and Medicare/Medicaid, as well as other social programs that we are currently dependent upon as a country, until we can get back on our feet and no longer need them. He has stated many times that his goal is to completely abolish a personal income tax, and remove the Fed, which is essentially taxing us secretly by printing money to cover our country’s staggering deficit. Every time they do this, it lowers the value of the dollar. How much better off would even the most destitute person holding a job in the country be, when they could take home 100% of the money they earned, instead of giving 33% of it to the government?

          I’m not trying to change your mind, or to tell you to vote for Paul in 2012. I’m just
          suggesting that a little research would show that the congressman has been 100% consistent in this opinion for the last 20 years. He predicted the housing bubble in the early 2000’s, he predicted the devaluation of the dollar as far back as 1998. Do a little research, if for no other reason, than so that you can argue effectively against him instead of spouting crap that has been spoon-fed to you via the ‘other parties’.

          • I can get behind some of Ron Paul’s foreign policy ideas, but frankly, his economics are ludicrous. First, let’s take his idea of re-adopting the gold standard: Many economists believe adopting a gold standard could decrease the U.S. monetary supply by about half. This would cause massive deflation and could threaten an economic collapse. Secondly, do we really want to make the size of the money supply dependent on the success of gold miners? It would also export control of our nation’s money system to foreigners. Over 90% of the world’s gold is produced by foreigners. In 1970’s OPEC cut-off oil, and Russia and South Africa could do the same thing with gold. Why not have our currency controlled by Americans? The gold standard did not work in the past, and no country has ever been able to maintain it. It was abandoned by many nations during major wars and when there was an economic crisis. The government printed too many gold back dollars and then refused to redeem them for gold. Using gold and silver is not going to prevent the government from making bad monetary decisions or creating more debt. The government could still spend too much and it would still have to contend with compounding debt and interest. Despite Ron Paul’s numerous claims, gold and silver are not sound money. They can just as easily be manipulated as fiat currency. The government can easily devalue gold based dollars. They have done that in the past to make our exports cheaper. I could go on, but really, what’s the point? The gold standard is so much worse for our country than our current fiat currency system.

            Paul believes in the Austrian School of Economics which is totally ignored by mainstream academia. The standard economics texts used on the university level do not even mention it. There are no more than 75 scholars worldwide who follow the Austrian School while there are over 20,000 PhD level members of the American Economics Association. Mainstream economists use the scientific method, but the Austrians reject it. Mainstream economists make heavy use of statistics, but the Austrians claim they have little value. Mainstream economists believe in fiat money, while the Austrians believe in the gold standard. Yes, the Fed needs reform, but reform does not mean abolishment.

            Not to mention that Ron Paul has many other conflicting viewpoints from his voting stances. If you actually do look at his records, you can see that. For example, he claims to be against illegal immigration, but has repeatedly voted against the border fence (with one exception in 2006), as well as the E-Verify program to stop employers from hiring illegal aliens. In fact, he is against all laws prohibiting employers from hiring illegal aliens. He opposes Arizona’s get tough policies and the deportation of people who are here illegally. He claims to oppose amnesty but that is what his program advocates.

            None of this has even mentioned his questionable science relating to being a doctor. I have no respect for a doctor who does not value the scientific method (which is exactly what he is saying when he says he doesn’t believe in evolution) or is anti-vaccination. Both things are highly concerning to me as a scientist who studies diseases.

          • Bob says:

            steve says: “You are talking about a doctor that practiced in a time BEFORE medicare, who would take payment in whatever form his patients could provide, or none at all if they couldn’t.”

            oh and every other doctor would act the same way, of course. right? well? the problem with your argument, and Paul’s, is that when you give humans the control, there is chaos. that’s why you need the government that WE elected to handle the chaos. if you don’t like government waste, help to elect those who try to change it for the better and not those like Ron Paul who think complete reliance on inherently-corrupt humans is a good idea. It isn’t. That’s why we have a government.

        • Saying Ron Paul believes in zero government and zero social programs is a lie. Unlike others who rely on secondhand information and bought political candidates, I actually read Paul’s books and listen to his interviews. Paul does not believe in ZERO government, he believes in Constitutional size government and governing being done at the appropriate level (federal, state, local) depending on the issue. Does the federal government have to run every damn thing? The Constitution is NOT a blank check, it’s kind of what separates us from, oh….military juntas. Read it sometime, you might like it. Want a big, bloated government program to do X, Y , or Z? Make an amendment, Einstein. That’s what they exist for. That’s all Ron Paul is saying. But by all means, continue to vote for candidates bought by corporate money. Paul is a libertarian…why do you think there is a media blackout of him?

    • Bob says:

      “He has accomplished a bank bailout” and that’s where I stopped reading your reply since you are clueless.

  122. Pingback: The Reagan Republican Debate Tonight - Page 40

  123. Not a proud republican says:

    Hey Travon – completely agree with everything you said, except one thing. “You
    represent a party of greedy, selfish, out of touch, wealth protecting, non tax paying,
    destroyers of the middle class.” Painting an entire group of people with the same brush is wrong, no matter what the group. It’s wrong when Newt does it. It’s wrong when you do it. Not saying the party is worth defending, but there are plenty of people who are republican that aren’t accurately described by your description.

    • Proud to be a democrat says:

      “Not a proud republican” what you miss tho… is that if a “republican” had any backbone and doesn’t feel the same way as their fellow “republicans” then why do they all vote together in such a coordinated way? I say he can call them all ” greedy, selfish, out of touch, wealth protecting, non tax paying, destroyers of the middle class.” — wanna know why… cause if they weren’t greedy, selfish, out of touch, wealth protecting, non tax paying, destroyers of the middle class — you know what we’d call them then??? DEMOCRATS! —- yes, that’s right, if you are not happy with the republican party, take action and hit them where it hurts – become a democrat!

      • Ragnar says:

        Lmao…its greedy, selfish, out of touch, wealth protecting, non tax paying, destroyers of the middle class…in other words POLITICIANS.
        You guys over in the US are getting screwed from both sides equally and they get away with it because they got all you people b*tching to eachother about which side is better…
        Divide and conquer in a brilliant form…time to wake up?

    • No More Obama says:

      What I guess you want fours more years of the worst president in history, the only president to bow to another leader. No thanks and I am part of the 99 %.

      • Barbara Breidt says:

        I’d just like to know what history you are studying, if any. Don’t speak in generalities unless you can back your point up with specifics. That is what I told my students of history for years. Guess you didn’t sit in my class or anyone who was like me in the classroom. I don’t have to agree with you and you don’t have to agree with me but the facts backed by data not kneejerk reactions must be there if you want to make your case. I can cite at least five other examples of presidents that history have judged faulty but that is only after time and clear, objective judgement have gie us the background or setting for honest evaluation. Obviously, as a retired teacher, I am surely part of the 99% but I’m planning to keep an open mind about the process and not let the media make my judgement for me. What are you doing to stay informed and educated about the big questions?

      • Chrystal says:

        Your comment is incorrect.

      • GEC says:

        Bowing is like shaking hands in some cultures, it is not a sign of submission like in the US. It just shows Obama is one of the only presidents that respects others cultures. The strongest leaders are firm, decisive, yet humble. The emperor of Japan is willing to shake peoples hands, why wouldn’t obama be willing to bow? The emperor certainly didn’t expect it since he is usually the one adapting to the western culture of handshaking. That doesn’t mean the emperor is being submissive, it’s just a way of greeting and showing respect for each others customs.

      • Really? Honoring the traditional greeting of a foreign leader it wrong? No, barfing in his lap is wrong!

    • Thanks for pointing that out. I agree and I’m not a republican.

  124. Dabo says:

    By accident or not it still does the same injury. Of course, a child that is given responsibility early in life has a greater chance of dealing with 9 – 5 existence. But, that child regardless where he/she is has not much input in circumstances inherited. Politicians will expose themselves for varied reasons. Sometimes it’s best to tell the King he’s naked!

  125. The statements made are not by NG. Voice and movement do not match and the voice is someone else. A very false presentation which will get you no where. RonB

  126. Abe L. says:

    “Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.”

    • JD Rockefeller says:

      I think that’s an old Lincoln or Jefferson quote … ??

      The problem is .. or at least one problem is … Capital is no longer the fruit of labor but rather is the fruit of the clever use of law to maneuver money into ones pocket.

    • Funny I have been saying this same thing for days in another forum, unsuccessfully I might add.

    • Vote Obama! says:

      If you are going to talk economics, then I will say according to our neoclassical theory that drive American capitalism. None of this should be an issues bececause. There are no power or class differences, everyone is free to do what they want, with the same opportunities to do it, and there is no need for work. Although everyone wants money, no one needs it and the poor are poor by choice and they are happy that way. Money and fun are perfectly interchangable in Neoclassical economics, and involuntary unemployment can not exist. … And we wonder why our economy is not working?!?!

  127. SCOTT HAMILTON says:

    For instance shouldn’t the public be made aware that Obama, while in the IL state senate dodged voting on abortion issues SEVEN times by taking the cowards way out and voting “present”?

    Shouldn’t the public be made aware that Obama in the Senate voted against a ban on late term abortions? That means any baby born alive after an attempted abortion can be killed. It’s Infantcide, cold blooded murder. Obama voted cold heartly to let that practice continue.

    Shouldn’t the public be made aware that Obama gave $26,000 last year to Trinity Church of Christ and it’s racist, sexist, filthy mouthed Anti-Americcan preacher? Shouldn’t the public be made aware that Trinity Church of Christ hosted and honored black racist Louis Farrakhan in 2003 and Obama was right there shaking hands with Minister “hate Whitey” Farrakhan?

    Shouldn’t the public be made aware that Obama has flip-flopped on Iraq SEVERAL TIMES? First he said he would have all troops out of Iraq “as quick as possible” then “within 3 to 4 months”. Then he said a year. Then he said he would have to talk to the generals in the field and it might take much longer. Now he’s saying removal of some combat troops but we will have a prolonged presence in Iraq!!!

    Shoulldn’t the public be made aware that Obama has flip-flopped on gun control? While he was in the Il Senate he signed a position paper stating he was for banning the manufacture and sale of rifles and guns. In Pennsylvania recently in front of sportsmen hunters he stated that he was opposed to gun control legislation that would change the sale of rifles and handguns. Now he’s siding with the Supreme Court decision to lift the ban on guns in DC!!

    Souldn’t the public be made aware of Obama’s “father figure” when he was going to high school in HI being a Communist Anarchist and Labor activist?

    Shouldn’t the public be made aware of Obama’s mother, Stanley Ann Dunham’s political activities and Communist friends? Shouldn’t the public be made aware that she not only instructed her son on Marxist Idealogy but she also arranged for others to further his study of Communism.

    Shou8ldn’t the public be made aware that Obama while at Occidental College and later at Harvard selected the most liberal Socialist leaning teachers when completing his class schedule.

    Shouldn’t the public be made aware that Obama has already promised to raise taxes? Souldn’t they be made aware that according to his position papers he wants to expand government and government services. That means taxes will have to be raised higher and higher to pay for these programs.

    Shouldn’t the public be made aware of Obama’s friendship with Weatherman terrorist bombers William Ayers and Bernadette Dorhn who both swore to overthrow constitutional democracy in the US and create a socialist state?

    Shouldn’t the public be made aware that Obama and Ayers served on the Woods Foundation board and voted to send money to the American Arab Action league founded by their Communist friends which channeled money to Islamic Terrorists in Palestine?

    Shouldn’t the public be informed that while on the Woods philanthropic board Barack Obama and William Ayers violated the bylaws of the foundation by not recusing themselves, like chairman Stanback did, and voted for a grant for their friends Allison Davis and Tony Rezko.

    Shouldn’t the public be informed that as “payback” for Obama’s arranging a million dollar grant to their company, Tony Rezko and Allison Davis’ company contibuted $70,000 to Obama’s presidential campaign.

    Read more: http://www.city-data.com/forum/politics-other-controversies/379061-expose-obamas-many-faults-mccain-iraq.html#ixzz1ga7epAgq

    • Two-Party Woes says:

      If we were made aware of the entirety of the personal lives of our politicians, we would not elect a single one of them.

    • Fuquin fuquinbe says:

      wow brainwashing works. you should try reading something other than twilight sometime. start with a high school history book.

    • Billy Dojcak says:

      Farrakhan does hate all whites, just whites like you.

    • Linda says:

      I dont think a womans right to abort her fetus is anybody damn business, especially a damn politicians!! I’d do the same thing as President Obama did!!

    • Billy Dojcak says:

      Sorry, meant to say, Farrakhan DOESN’T hate all whites, just whites like you. I’m white and hate all crackers like you. Grow the fuck up and stop blaming your shitty existence on someone else. I don’t care what color a person is or what sort of ‘god’ creature they believe in. We deserve the smartest, best qualified person for the job, not some fucking gunslingers that invade a country ultimately for US (ie. monetary) interests. Using tax dollars for ‘private security forces’ or no-bid contracts. What kind of bullshit is that?
      I grew up poor and both my parents worked. I worked since I was 10. We where very poor in the seventies and very poor in the eighties. The government kept the poor alive to pay taxes by providing food stamps and goverment cheese.Trickle-down bullshit never worked and never will. Tax breaks for the rich only help rich people get more money or are you too fucking blind to see this? They don’t create more jobs. Bringing manufacturing back from China and US ‘territories’ with slave labor will get Americans working again. Or are you content to buy low quality products from walmart all of your life? I’m not, I like nice stuff that is made to last.
      Wages don’t go up, but the prices for everything do. This is leading to more hard working people struggling to pay bills and feed their families. If the US taxpayers ever stop subsidizing the meat and agriculture industries most of you would starve to death. That might not be a bad idea.

    • aro says:

      http://www.scotthamiltonisatool.com, why dont you do a list for gingrich and stop the political masturbation…information FAIL

    • Jeff says:

      What does this disconnected skreed have to do with the topic of this article?

    • Scott I’ll explain it to you like this…. EAT A DICK! Nobody else here is gonna say it so I will… Just EAT A DICK, you idiot!

    • sean says:

      Go back to your pathetic Tea Party rally and cite some legitimate sources…not right wing conspiracy theory blogs.

    • Abortion is not your business, the governments business or the Presidents business. This includes the sometime medically necessary and misnamed late term abortion. The public is aware of the Presidents voting record. Grow up, get a life (your own please).

      Where the President gives his personal money is his business. This is especially true when it is to legitimate religious institutions. You should do a bit of research by the way, Trinity Church has a predominately White congregation. The minister is none of the things you have said, rather he has a clear history if Civil Rights Activism and condemned our participation in unfounded and illegal wars, including the war on “Drugs” and “Poverty” that saw generations of primarily Black and Brown men behind bars leaving their children fatherless. Grow up, get a life study the real history of America.

      If his position has dramatically changed on Gun Control that is unfortunate, where are your facts?

      Where are your facts on his “father figure”? Where are you facts on his mother’s teachings and leanings, were you there? Where are your facts on how he selected his instructors in University, were you inside his mind? By the way, do you actually know what Socialism is?

      There is some justification for specific tax increases, nevertheless which position papers are these and when were they written? Again produce facts.

      The relationship between the President and Ayers, Dohrn, Davis, Rezko has been vetted in the public forum forever and a day. Old news, so what. Got something new?

      Clearly you are dredging, pop your head up.

      • Kernel85 says:

        Pretty sure Scott lives in a fact-free zone. His TV is probably irretrievably tuned to Fox because the remote buttons are obliterated by tea stains and likely jammed with potato chip crumbs.

    • Samuel Fox says:

      You should know that Communism and Islam don’t mix very well, which makes it hard for me to believe there is an Islamic-Communist conspiracy. I’m sure Obama has made unsavory back room deals, he’s a politician. They’re all owned by the same people. They’ll let us fight over issues they don’t care about, it keeps us distracted. Anti-abortion presidents haven’t done anything to change the law, remember Ronald Reagan? Religion and government have been screwing us for centuries because they have been infiltrated by the ruling class and turned into tools of control. We need to take those tools back.

    • Lynne says:

      OooOOOoOOoOooOOoo [insert scary conspiracy theory here]

      Totally nuts.

    • Regina says:

      Shouldn’t the public be made aware that if you sweep any past President’s closet, you will come up with some of the same trash. I don’t know of any politician who has not made any mistakes or done things that his/her constituents wouldn’t cringe over. What I do know is this, you can say exactly what you want but I have never in my over 50 years of living seen a President so vilified and disrespected. No, I am not a true died in the wool Democrat. I am a citizen of the United States that is becoming increasingly embarrassed and disgusted by the politics of this country. Each party has some fault in this. All of them are acting like big babies and playing with the future of poorest citizens in this country.

      Everyone keeps talking about people should get jobs–hell what jobs? Everyone is not lazy that is unemployed or in dire straits. The truth of the matter is that a lot of employers think like some of you…if you are a person of color, you are lazy, uneducated, good for nothing and a poor hiring risk. Such bull!!! Nevertheless anyone who thinks this does not exist is in denial. Any person who thinks that the “race card” should not be played is blind. There are so many disparities based upon race today that it is ridiculous. If you deny it, then you are definitely a contributor to the fast growth of this societal cancer. We need to be honest with ourselves and recognize, galvanize, strategize and cure. That is all that I am saying. No politician is going to do that for us.

    • Tired says:

      Scott Hamilton – actually many of the things you listed are what I like about Obama. So thanks for adding to my “I like Obama because_______________” list. Marxist ideology, communist teachings, awesome! Now he definitely has my 2012 vote.

  128. Ali says:

    I agree with you ShadyRay. Obviously after the last few years, Obama is NOT the answer we need to pull our country out of this mess. He seems like a good guy. He tried. I give him props for stepping up, but his time is over. We need someone like Newt right now who has real, economic smarts. He might put his foot in his mouth from time to time (not always politically correct) but the dude is smart. You can’t argue that. The Left thinks the Republican candidates are awful but what has Obama done for us, other than sink us further into debt. President Obama is like a woman with a shopping addiction. He just doesn’t know when to stop spending! It’s so frustrating! I’d be curious to see what he could learn in an ECON 101 course on free markets. Big government is just inefficient BS. Anyways, I grew up a in a poor, predominantly white and Hispanic neighborhood so I would fall into the category he is referring to. While I believe what Newt said is a gross generalization, I at the same time, think he has a point. Let me be clear that, I DO NOT take offense to his statements even though, we were very poor and my father worked his ass of to provide for my sister and I. Others in our neighborhood did not. SOME poor people work hard, yes, but A LOT MORE don’t. He was wrong to say ALL but he isn’t completely wrong in his opinions. I know people who have collected unemployment for the past 2 years, not because they couldn’t get a job, but because it paid better than if they got a real job so they sit around, doing nothing and become a drain on our society. They were never taught a quality work ethic just like Newt is saying! When you say, “poor kids, and let’s be clear that’s Republican speak for black and brown kids” you are putting words in his mouth to defend your opinion of him as having idiotic, unfounded, racist, and ignorant words to pass along but you are ignorant and unfounded for making it about race. It’s not about race. Get over it. Other people besides “black and brown” kids grow up poor too and don’t get bent out of shape about one little comment that is probably taken out of context. If your article excluded the race argument I would mostly agree with what you said but calling him a racist when you put words in his mouth is idiotic.

    • Two-Party Woes says:

      I’d say the fact that the majority of Republican candidates want to reduce the education budget is reason enough to not vote for any of them. Education should be the primary goal of this country, if people can think for themselves then there is less worry about the government having to do it for them, and less worry about demagogues taking the country by storm and forcing people to vote against their interests. We can delay spending on education and marginalize it in the short-term, but we should be ready to get bitten in the ass again in the future.

    • mambocat says:

      Idiotic to call someone a racist? Putting words in his mouth? It’s certainly not idiotic for me to characterize you as a sexist for saying “Obama is like a woman with a shopping addiction. He doesn’t know when to stop spending?” This is where divisiveness starts. Wouldn’t it have been easy to say, “…SOMEONE with a shopping addiction, people who buy designer clothes they can’t afford, or people who max out their credit cards to trick out a car?” We don’t need MORE divisiveness in this country, and your sexist analogy turned me off to any argument you may have to make.

    • Fuquin fuquinbe says:

      well then since your family didnt need government assistance when you were growing up no one else deserves it either. did u pass economics 101? why pay taxes? we dont need streets to drive on or police to enforce our rights or public schools for the “poor” kids. everyone deserves equal opportunity in this country, it is in the constitution you might want to read the big color book on that in the children’s section of barnes and noble.

    • Linda says:

      Newt is an idiot! He’s the worst kind of hypocrite this country’s ever seen and I cant believe any voter with a brain would even consider the vague possibility of voting for him!! You people are as stupid as he is.

    • Linda says:

      He’s an ignorant right wing hypocrite – enough reason for at least 80% of American to not take him seriously.

    • kevdogster says:

      Newt Gingrich is a dumb person’s idea of a smart person. Using big words and misquoting historical events isn’t smart. Starting sentences with “Fundamentally”, doesn’t mean that you understand the fundamentals. Newt is a jackass who has done more to polarize and demean politics than anyone else in or out of government.

      He doesn’t care how he wins, he only cares that he wins. And that is his fatal flaw.

  129. Two-Party Woes says:

    Scoring points on one another should not be the ultimate goal of this debate, all Americans want roughly the same thing regardless of party. We want an education system that will produce young men and women capable of thinking for themselves and with every opportunity to go to College, we want access to health-care that will support us into our now long-extended lives, and we want access to jobs that will allow us to support ourselves and take advantage of the previous two opportunities. I do not feel that any of the previous three stipulations have been satisfactorily met in this country since its inception, and ceaseless bickering only creates animosity and makes the possibility of these things even more remote than they are currently. Truly, when George Washington said he didn’t want a two-party system, I believe he was justified and reasonable. You should stop arguing about the color of the campaign button you wear, and start considering what this country actually needs.

  130. Chemaine Leon says:

    YOU ROCK!! Simply put. JUST WISH U COULD HAVE TOLD HIM IN PERSON!! ISN’T IT AMAZING THAT IN THIS DAY AND AGE WE STILL HAVE THAT LAYER OF IGNORANCE AND THAT ANY ONE CAN RUN FOR PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!!?? REALLY A DAMN SHAME….KEEP SPEAKING THE TRUTH AND THANK YOU!

  131. zizi2 says:

    To the Gingrich apologists on here, exactly what work ethic does Newt have? Apart from the pure grifter life he has led, selling political access, scamming wingnut rubes, feeding at the government rough, have you taken a close look at his so called academic track record? I have and his rise to power is the most crystallizing insight into white mediocrity ALWAYS fast tracked to unearned prominence.

    I have read the entirety of his 1971 Ph.D dissertation that defends the brutal Belgian colonial rule (of King Leopold II) of Congo (now DRC) as simply the inevitable outcome of “Darwinian calculus.” And the intellectual fraud that he was he wrote this POS (with zero references, methodology, or actual research) that can best be described as a travesty masquerading as scholarship, one that no self-respecting institution then or today would have allowed to pass.

    Yet here we are. He is still spouting his misanthropic belief in a “Darwinian Calculus” re: poor children with the revolting veneer of pseudo intellectual bombast. as Krugman said he is a dumb guys idea of a smart guy. Or as down home folks would say he’s pimping, shucking and jiving a greasy hustle.

    Yeah, so Newt has yet to explain how a mediocre guy like him can justify his current White affirmative action position in this society. After he does this you apologists can get back to us about how poor kids of any color or ethnicity can learn some “work ethic” as exploited underpaid child laborers.

    • sarum says:

      Love your post. I have been proposing for years that the schools help us and themselves by functioning as community job centers during summer. Where I live there are way too many drop outs who also have never held a job and our tax dollars pay for truant officer who has never been seen. We have so many laws preventing teenage entrepreneurship but really teachers could be working during the summer and overseeing these efforts. There are lots of people who need things done here and there and cannot afford a service contract with a company, nor do they need one. But nooooo, there is nothing for the kids to do but they can easily purchase cell-phones with a scale app that helps them to weigh the drugs they are encouraged to sell in hopes they get busted for the prison labor system for a long long time of free labor – corporate windfall? So how much $ are you willing to invest to get a neighborhood of kids hooked on drugs and how much do you pay the police to sweep through and put them all in jail?
      Our kids already are exploited underpaid child laborers if they are selling drugs.

    • Larry says:

      Yeah, you tell ‘em zizi. I guess Newt really does have a heart of darkness….

  132. shana says:

    This is an excellent response, I’m going to share it. The GOP truly is clueless.

  133. Mya Mind says:

    I appreciate that you sat down, and took the time to share your thoughts with the world. However, and I don’t mean to be rude because on a whole I agree with you, I feel the correct word for this kind of ignorance is classist. I am a poor, white, single mother of a disabled child. My first and foremost job in this world is the care, and welfare of my child. No I don’t get paid for this, and therefore it’s not considered a “job” even though coordinating appointments, travel time, therapies, home exercises, ect take up absolutely all of my waking time. I suppose by Newt’s standards he would call me lazy, but I put in more hours a day than most of the working population I know. I fear our current government is completely out of touch with the majority of the people that it’s meant to serve, and perhaps they forget from time to time that it’s “We the people” they have to thank for their positions.

  134. rollhigh says:

    What a bunch of crap. So many of you haven’t a clue about what Newt was talking about. All of you that are exceptions to the rule forget you can’t be included in what Newt was talking about. Blaming Bush and Chaney for what has happen to our economy is so lame. What killed our ecomony started in 1977 and got a boost in 1997. Forcing banks to make home loans to people that the banks knew couldn’t make the payments is what collapsed our economy. Jimmy Carter called it the Community Reinvestment Act and Clinton gave it the boost needed to collapse our economy. Someone has to pay when those loans collapse and now Obama wants to continue the program that has damaged our economy so bad. Government needs to stay out of business.

    • Michael Pomerantz says:

      Fox n fiends has got their money’s worth in the brainwashing of simpletons like roll high

    • Bill Whyman says:

      OMG!- Carter and Clinton??? (REALLY?) I believe one of the only times in recent history where the USA had a National Surplus was during the Clinton Era and also 8 years of peace!!!! (Warmonger!)

      • van says:

        didn’t Newt write contract to america that got budget surplus –

      • kevin says:

        Surplus? We didnt have a surplus under Clinton. He ran deficits every year…….look it up. The last years PROJECTIONS showed a surplus, BUT, the dot com bubble burst and those PROJECTIONS never materialized.

    • FlashLense says:

      Wow, you seem to have all the answers. You should run for Preisdent.

      • FlashLense says:

        I love it! Oh you republicans….you’re so silly. I guess it wasn’t enough to play the blame game and point fingers at just Obama…now you want to say that pretty much all the democratic presidents in the least 30 years are collectively to blame for the current economy? Really? Thats so ridiculous and predictable…lets just blame them for the creation of mullets and chinese drywall while we are at it…anything else you want to add to the list? Lindsay Lohan? Tornados…

    • sctee says:

      Give it up and stop trying to manipulate the deeper truths about how corrupt the Republicans really are.

    • Gainsbourg69 says:

      Buddy, I have terrible news for you. No matter how hard you pull on your boot straps you’re not likely to be rich. The game is rigged against you and you’re breaking your neck to stand up for the people who are making it impossible for you to ever live a decent life.

    • sarum says:

      “Forcing banks to make home loans to people that the banks knew couldn’t make the payments is what collapsed our economy” I hardly think the banks were forced. There is much more criminality going around in this situation – it is much more complex than you write – and I would NEVER make that synopsis of it. Don’t you remember the pressure on people to purchase a home? Didn’t you catch how they were forcefully qualified, often without their knowledge? Ever heard of padding the mortgages? It was a financial win for a lot of people who have come to accept the American way of doing business – and those of us who do not accept the American way of doing business were called all kinds of reactionary names, ridiculed and even accused of being racist or unpatriotic or any other emo term they could attach to our non-compliance. It seemed that EVERYBODY was involved with making this happen – and there was most definitely a patriotism attached to it.

      • Billy Dojcak says:

        When we were house shopping ten years ago the banks wanted to give us $500K to buy a house. Half a million dollars! That was insane. Nevertheless we declined and got a way smaller loan for a house that we love and will be paid of in ten years.

    • JD Rockefeller says:

      … uhh …. except “Forcing banks to make home loans to people … ” … is a crock crap, roll high …. let along ” … that the banks knew couldn’t make the payments is what collapsed our economy.”

      The CRA did not “force banks” to do anything. The CRA said iF … banks wanted to accept Federal Funds being parked in their vaults (after all, the Government needs to store its cash somewhere), you as a bank get to count those funds as part of your capitalization requirements. In return, the bank must loan a percentage money locally.

      No where is is stated the deal must be accepted; the banks always have the option to refuse the near-zero interest money (from which they can loan it at at rates up to 30% as in credit card). No where is is stated loans must be given to folks who can’t pay it.

      With all due respect, I say to you and many others: A little less Carte Blanche acceptance of Hate Radio Rhetoric would be good for the country.

  135. sarum says:

    Redlining lives! Friends of Newt make their profits marginalizing those on low income with late fees and excessive “deposits” for basic needs – utilities and city services – sewage/water because with all their advanced technology they simply cannot adapt their bill cycle for when people get their checks – oh no no! It is much better to call us all chronic late payers and make increased risk so they can charge us more for electricity and water. Class warfare is what it is.

    And Newt, why don’t you take the employers to task, you know, the ones who force employees to rotate shifts constantly and with no notice so any parents of small children cannot find childcare timely? And hello? How about all the employers who don’t allow an employee to get in the habit of full-time except for once per quarter for one week they get full-time just so they don’t qualify for the food-stamps they need since it takes a whole months wage just to make rent?

    And Newt, I watched you the other day state that making an individual mandate to pay for healthcare violates the Constitution therefore you no longer support it. Duh . . . doesn’t every state in the nation enforce an individual mandate to purchase auto insurance? Glib opportunist aren’t you Newt? I don’t support the mandate for health insurance – because too many people would work all month just to pay the insurance and have absolutely zero dollars for necessities like food and rent. And I think that recognition is the truth of why you no longer support it, which tells me that you know it is untenable but also that you have no intention of bettering the work environment, creating jobs, creating sustainable wage jobs, none of the things that would make it possible for us to pay for our healthcare.

    I still don’t hear the candidates for the GOP talking about how they will 100% sure create jobs for US citizens. And we don’t want joke jobs anymore either. No more dumbed down jobs. No more having to go into a lifetime of debt slavery in order to have a career. Re-institute career paths, ways for people to learn on the job and grow a career while working – not this having to move on to another workplace for more of the same shafting whilst losing all the benefits we accrued. We are tired of being considered cogs in a wheel, interchangeable moving parts, working our asses off and being thrown away, every developed nation in the world seems to have more rights for workers now than US. GOP candidates have given us no hope for change. Personally I have no use for the O’Bummer either. Hardliners like to say the American people get what we deserve because we vote for it. HUH? Like what choices do we really have? Voting for the lesser of two evils is still evil.

    There is much about Newt that has not even come up for discussion yet, perhaps because so many have not read his books? Or people are still evaluating the full meaning of Citizens United? Or hard working parents simply do not have time to even know? So what I really want to know is that corporations who now have the same rights as human beings – when that corporation makes a drone, perhaps a walking hearing talking one, does that drone have the human rights of the corporation conferred on it? Is this a future that Newt has wrought us, bought for us? I have posed this question numerous places and nobody with means has bit yet. I think it is highly valid question and needs to be answered. I find it quite entertaining in a way that the Christian right, who cherishes human life more and better than anyone else on the planet according to them, has brought us this potential crisis in their zeal to win at all costs.

  136. David Wiglesworth says:

    ‘Also, the mashed potatoes line is only a joke. I am a stand up comic and I leave a little humor in everything I touch. Consider it a little mental palate cleanser to remove the dirty taste of Newt in your minds!’

    I personally want to thank you for that great chuckle I got from your P.S. to Newt. I grew up in the 80’s, saw the late 80’s produce the early 90’s you spoke about from a safe well to do white neighborhood and just want you to know that not all of us are ignorant pieces of garbage like the hateful words you heard come out of Newt’s mouth. I do sadly admit that I do hear that kind of garbage way too often and that is the primary reason that I left this area at my first chance by joining the Army at 17 and have seriously regretted every time that I’ve had to return.

    Everything you said was dead on and I’m 1000% in agreement with it. I’m white, grew up ‘well to do’, and I was impressed with your passion and how well worded, even restraining yourself, what you wrote was. I’ve said many of the same things but I don’t quite have the experience to express it so eloquently.

    Again thank you for the laugh!
    David Wiglesworth

    P.S. He really does look like mashed potatoes poured into a suit though. That or the pilsbury dough boy if the dough boy was made of sour dough! :P