Perhaps Now Barack Obama Can Be the Sheriff We Deputized in 2008

Categories: Schutze

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Last night, when those final electoral votes rang up on my CNN app, I suddenly thought of Curtis Lockey and Craig Mackenzie, two guys who have been missing from the news for a while.

I told you about Lockey and MacKenzie two years ago. They are developers who brought a formal administrative "false claims" complaint against Dallas City Hall over alleged illegal diversion of HUD money.

They allege that for decades Dallas took hundreds of millions of dollars in federal low-income housing money -- money dedicated by law to racial desegregation -- and diverted it instead to housing for rich people downtown. In the process, Dallas had to provide the feds every year with an official certification every year that it was doing the right thing.

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Eric Gruneisen
Obama riles up supporters in Denver
Lockey and MacKenzie gave HUD reams of what they said was evidence that those certifications were fraudulent. The legal term is false claim, a very serious offense, sometimes criminal, in a law that dates back to the Civil War.

Why was I thinking about them last night? Because I have been thinking about them during this whole Republican jihad against Obama.

Dallas was able to do pretty much what it wanted with HUD money all those years because officials in Washington, both Republican and Democratic, looked the other way. But when MacKenzie and Lockey lodged their complaint, the people I talked to about it all used a phrase they had picked up from Westchester County, New York, where a similar false claims action had pretty much turned that entire county upside down.
The phrase was: "There's a new sheriff in town."

That's what everybody said. No more nudge-nudge wink-wink. No more swearing an oath that you're spending the money for what the law says it's intended for and then sliding it under the table to your buddies instead. The new sheriff wasn't down with that.

Everybody knew who that sheriff was. Barack Obama. No more Mr. Winky-wink. President Obama, through Ron Sims, his secretary of housing and urban development, was going to put this housing question in order and a whole bunch more stuff, too. This was just about the time the White House was making it clear it intended to take the same kind of new broom to Wall Street and to the banking industry and to federal disaster contracting and to a lot of smelly corners in America.

Not quite. Right about then was when we began to see the really big money clouds gathering over America, the mobilization of the top-tenth-of-a-percenters, the cynical co-opting of the old white fools in the Tea Party and the angry ginning up of the Fox News Ministry of Disinformation.

As the forces of reaction gathered strength, I kept remembering that phrase in my head, new sheriff in town, worrying that it had been too triumphal too soon. So last night when those final electoral votes rang up and the talking heads all started talking about the need for reconciliation, my first thought was simple.

Screw that. Reconciliation? Hey, this was High Noon. That new sheriff didn't abandon us after all. He met that bad man in the street and took him out.

So now he's not the new sheriff any more. He's our sheriff. We put that badge on him twice. And we need him to get back to sheriffing, not reconciling.

I need to get back in touch with Lockley and MacKenzie. I sure hope they're still in the game.


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132 comments
TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

I was delighted listening to Hannity yesterday. He sounded soooo disillusioned about the whole election. He just cannot imagine what has happened to the "Happy Daze" version of America that he has constructed in his fevered imagination. Whatever happened to that Norman Rockwell resembling, Christmas celebrating, Jesus loving christian nation we were when we elected St. Raygun? Oh noes! Save us, Ronnie!

 

I also find it funny that since Obama won (again), he now considers the U.S.  "A divided nation" as if we would be a more united people had Rmoney prevailed.

BigBill
BigBill

Republicans should cooperate with Obama because it is Americans who are suffering. The passage of the jobs bills are needed to put Americans back to work. It should be a gift for the holidays that would allow Amercans to enjoy the holidays and do some shopping for their families http://thechno.notlong.com

zombiezombieyumyum
zombiezombieyumyum

Once again, Obama declared that he will cooperate with Republicans.  Once again, to quote from The Terminator:  "Listen, and understand! That Terminator is out there! It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead."  There is no cooperation with Republicans.  Their stated goal was to destroy him, America be damned.  Why can't he understand that you don't, you can't reason with terrorists?

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

Getting back to the original point, wasn't it Obama who said you can't change Washington from the inside?  We missed our chance to let Obama be sheriff instead of president.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

Face it Schutze, you're not advocating for anything democratic here.  Synonyms for reconciliation are: pacify, INTEGRATE, rectify, regulate, restore harmony, reunite, and bring together; all things this country needs.  You're advocating that these things not be done, which means you're advocating for the opposite of these things.  "Screw reconciliation", I think, is your chosen terminology.  You are advocating for subjugation, domination, splintering, fracturing and putting asunder; all things this country has had too much of for the last 20 years (or more).  In short, you are advocating for socialism as it is practiced, not as the concept was conceived.  You're advocating for a brutish, thuggish, dictatorship.  I don't think that is what liberals pursue, I don't think that is what President Obama stands for, and I know that is not what America is all about.

WhiteWhale
WhiteWhale

Schutze expects that a Chicago Machine politician who had a filibuster proof super majority in congress for the first part of his term is going to be a sheriff.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

What grips me is the genuine shock of so many that Obama won re-election; that those people really believe the lies and distortion they hear on FOX and from right-wing talk outlets.  It's depressing.

judd_bradbury
judd_bradbury

Jim I share your desire for cleansing the political palate. I don't think we can glue your desire together with your candidate. Remember that Rezko guy?

 

The Democrats dismantled the best thing the left has created in 100 years. The DLC is no more. It was stunning to watch Bill Clinton cheer on the power structure that dismantled the pure genius of the DLC.

 

Republicans take note of HOW the Democrats set a course for re-entering the White House for the duration. The course was not catering to the extreme elements of the party.(the results of that path are now clear for all to see) Guys like Marco Rubio were available.

CornyDogs
CornyDogs

 @RTGolden1 He wants the Democratic party to grow some cajones and quit compromising with Repubs and have nothing to show for it.  For example, the healthcare debate.  The Dems gave away the "Medicare-for-all" option as a compromise (among many others)...and got no Repub compromised in return.

OMalley
OMalley

 @WhiteWhale When fraud has been perpetrated on the US government and the gov't is made aware of the fraud, by law, they have no choice but to prosecute it or the government itself becomes liable for the fraudsters wrongdoing. 

judd_bradbury
judd_bradbury

 @Myrna.Minkoff-Katz Myrna our federal government is running on temporary continuing resolutions. None of the Obama budgets went through the ringer, were negotiated and passed. All of the previous presidents signed up for this hard work. Clinton knew that passing a budget was important enough to shut the government down for it. This is critically important for the people who rate our debt. Google "US Debt Downgrade". We must change or we will be changed.

judd_bradbury
judd_bradbury

 @Myrna.Minkoff-Katz Myrna it is shocking that a President who failed to submit a budget for the entire first term is still in office. I realize that budgets are not the most sexy or exciting items but they do make your day like sliced bread when you go talk to the debt markets. The markets are expressing their confidence today. I am not a big FOX guy but they did call Wisconsin for Obama with 1% of the reporting in.

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

 @judd_bradbury Judd, very bad idea. You guys need to double down, double down. Your whole problem was not getting far enough out onto the outer edge of the hubcap. Go right, young man, farther and farther right.  I think this thing about asking all the non-white people to go back to wherever they came from is  just terrific. And then, telling them it's for their own good and you're they're real best friend! Great! Plus, you guys need to stick with that line about slappin' them bitches back into line. I think you got that one goin'. I don't know how you lost. CNN stoled it probably. Not just no climate change: no evolution even!  Genius. you were THIS close. Double down, double down. Please. We pray you. 

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

 @scottindallas Really Scott?  You fell for Jim's charade?  When national pundits and the President are talking about bipartisanship and reconciliation, they're not referencing bush league political fraud in Dallas.  They're talking about national politics.  Jim is using national rhetoric applied to local situations to advocate for ..... God knows what.

OMalley
OMalley

 @scottindallas  @RTGolden1 Right on Scott - If Dallas has committed this fraud against the US, you do not reconcile, you prosecute the living hell out of them, civilly and criminally. Strip their pensions and send their ass to jail, if possible. 

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

 @CornyDogs You're mistaken. 1) The Dems already compromise the repubs and give nothing in return. Every time there is a Republican President and a Democratic Congress this happens.  In terms of the healthcare debate, I happen to agree with you, if a national mandate to have insurance was going to be the means of reform, national single payer must be the end we seek.  But President Obama caved in to the insurance industry and the doctors on that, not the Republican party.  Neither the AMA nor the big health insurers were going to get on-board if national single-payer was an option.  2) Compromise is the only way a government of 300 million plus people works without tyranny.  There simply is no other way to do it.  Both parties, especially at their extremes, need to learn this.  3) The only fix for our governmental mess is the introduction of independent parties in significant numbers into Congress.  Libertarians, Greens, Commies, Tree Huggers all need to get elected in droves.  Problem here: the likes of Glenn Beck and Jim Schutze.  and yes, the two are in the same category, entertainment masquerading as journalism.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

 @scottindallas  @judd_bradbury Charismatic clown. And although he may be green, (as in inexperienced) he's got the requisite shade of tan skin that the GOP is going to need in the future.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

 @JimSX  @judd_bradbury If you go far enough out to the right, way out there beyond the outstretched fingers of the Tea Party's right hands, you'll run into Jim, running hell-bent for leather to his left around the circular fiction that is American Politics.

judd_bradbury
judd_bradbury

 @JimSX Smiling as I know we both agree. Keep in mind your guy is the one operating out on the Democratic fringe. Clinton guys with no budget? Clinton guys creating a fiscal train wreck? C'mon. We have banned a couple of catch phrases in our house in the last few months. Double down, as it refers to politics. Girl, in country and western songs.(usually from Nashville)

JRish
JRish

 @TheCredibleHulk  @judd_bradbury You mean the sell-out of his own people? I am not saying that anyone should support or govern to their own, but really troubling when the "token" of the GOP supports discriminatory policies against those other than "angry white guys", which he is, as is his family. 

 

I would choose an "angry white man" over a sell-out of his own people, at least the AWM is loyal to his own. 

 

Rubio is a colored Romney, no core!!!! Flip flopper..........Now he will come out pandering to latinos............right!!!!!! Really genuine!!! 

James080
James080 topcommenter

 @OMalley  @scottindallas  @RTGolden1 More likly they will be put on paid administrated leave for a couple of years, then offered a lump sum settlement and early vesting in the pension plan. Its the Dallas way.

judd_bradbury
judd_bradbury

 @scottindallas  @Myrna.Minkoff-Katz We agree on the deductions cap. It would be a decent bridge to get to an expense based model. If memory serves correct this was a Romney proposal. Know that I have the same concerns about a financial only approach. I am a very strong advocate of local production.

judd_bradbury
judd_bradbury

 @scottindallas  @judd_bradbury  @Myrna.Minkoff-Katz I think it would be fair to understand and think about the policies before making large declarations about them. I understand net versus gross income very well. It really sounds like we agree on expense based deductions. I think it makes more sense to move toward a system where expenses are taken in the year they are purchased. I also think it provides investors with a whole lot more visibility. This policy would be a long way from the poster boy for the financiers and lobbyists. Lobbyists love advanced depreciation schedules and special tax treatments for their clients. I would be happy to talk about commissionaire with you anytime. Taxing dividends and capital gains at an equivalent rate will do the work that needs to be done. Higher effective or nominal tax rates will not help the business community. They chew up profit. Without the profit there is not business and a lot of other things that we really like as a culture.

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

 @judd_bradbury  @Myrna.Minkoff-Katz It should be simpler to understand and pay taxes.  I don't begrudge many/most deductions.  Most are likely inherent and not something that can be given or granted--business expenses are always deductible.  I have a big problem with "special deductions" and would be willing to cap others (like the homeowner's mtg and others)  But, the basic debate is all bad, from both sides. 

 

Though I may sound progressive, socialist, or whatever you want to call me, I believe I am making the only truly "capitalist" argument.  The other proposals are for Financialism, not capital.  We need to understand the difference between utilities markets and the free market, as well as capital intensive production and cap lite.  Cap lite production can suck all the oxygen (capital) out of the markets, making cap intensive (inherently costly upfront) production hard to compete with.  The higher cap gains balances that reward, giving the cap intense producers an advantage.  This also encourages long term investment horizons where cap lite is akin to a scheme or scam.

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

 @judd_bradbury  @Myrna.Minkoff-Katz you're right to want to bring cap gains and income more in line. but you don't get corporate taxation.  Firms pay taxes on net income, so, the higher the tax rate, the greater the incentive to reinvest, here, domestically.  Our effective tax rates are lower than all countries save Mexico and Chile, so you're flatly wrong about international competitiveness.  Furthermore, since we have all the consumers, we have the ability to RAISE tax rates.  Firms won't flee, but rather will increase domestic expenses here.  There's a reason advanced countries have higher rates than backwater, 3rd world states like Vietnam, Mexico and Chile.  

 

Ironically, it's the low tax rates that encourages flight of capital, as low cap gains remove any penalty for selling/liquidating capital.  And, low top income tax rates encourage corporate execs to pay themselves bonuses for liquidating that capital.  Also, higher cap gains means capital intensive producers get a bonus on their depreciation of capital--the higher the rate, the more lucrative the tax credit.  So, what you're arguing for is more financialization, more speculation and a fleeing of capital intensive production.  I hope you will consider this, as your policies are bullshit, advocated by lobbyists, and financiers--who add not a dime to GDP and exert their own private tax on the economy.   A tax that benefits none but them.

judd_bradbury
judd_bradbury

 @scottindallas  @judd_bradbury  @Myrna.Minkoff-Katz However I will grant you that I do think the right to work act for congress, fancy dance, shell game of deductions creating a difference between nominal and effective tax rates is nothing more than rigging the system. This approach creates distrust in all taxpayers. I am happy to borrow your word and call it hogwash. I also make sure I put forward solutions in conversation versus just barking. In this case the solution is scrapping the tax code a replacing it with a simple premise and code, did you make it? Then look up the amount you made in the graduated schedule(income or capital basis) and pay the tax.

judd_bradbury
judd_bradbury

 @scottindallas  @judd_bradbury  @Myrna.Minkoff-Katz Neither of those issues are discussed above but I am more than qualified to discuss them. My real preference is a simplified approach to individual taxation, equivalent tax rates on capital gains and income. Along with it we are wise to bring the corporate tax rate to zero. If you are taxing individuals capital at the same rate of income there is no need for the double dip. Oh yeah and we become competitive with our global competitors.

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

 @judd_bradbury  @Myrna.Minkoff-Katz Judd, the fact is that by raising top marginal rates and raising capital gains, you will get more growth.  After all, investing in growth is DEDUCTIBLE and more lucrative the higher the nominal tax rate.  Further, the greater the spread between nominal and effective tax rates, the greater the discount of deductible avenues.  Your economic assumptions are hogwash and conflate nominal and effective tax rates, and gross and net profits. 

judd_bradbury
judd_bradbury

 @scottindallas  @judd_bradbury  @Myrna.Minkoff-Katz Scott we probably agree that much of it is too fluffy on specifics. But a fact that we all have to come around to is that you cannot get the job done without business growth. The conversations that Greece and the PIGS are all having with the bankers is consistently "but how are you going to pay back the loans?". The answer is always growth because you cannot tax your way out of those jams. Tax some? That is politics, but the sheer weight of the numbers overwhelms the man behind the tree.

judd_bradbury
judd_bradbury

 @scottindallas Ah to quote one of my favorite industrial distribution professors "self made men are in love with their own creator". No you are very wrong about me. Most of my clients are capital intensive businesses. I am afraid that both parties have taken a shine to the easy campaign money of financiers versus real businesses. One need look no farther than the tax code regarding carried interest. Curious if Obama had a campaign promise on that one? Odds on implementation?

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

 @judd_bradbury he embraces an economic model that has destroyed capital intensive production in this country by catering to financiers, professionals and cap lite producers.  You evidently buy it too.  Engage me in a discussion, but please first make sure you know the difference between effective and nominal tax rates and gross vs net profits.  I've run a small cap intensive business for 25 years, who do you work for? 

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

 @OMalley  @scottindallas  @judd_bradburyI sincerely hope that you are right, but there's an old saying, "Nobody ever went broke by underestimating the intelligence of the average American." or something like that.

 

I think that applies, here.

OMalley
OMalley

 @TheCredibleHulk  @scottindallas  @judd_bradbury That is the point. GOP wants him as a token. They are too smart to fall for the GOP pandering, soon to come, to minorities. They (minorities) will choose the party that cared for them, when they weren't forced to - Democrats!!!  

OMalley
OMalley

 @James080  @RTGolden1  @JimSX  @judd_bradbury No, he is advocating a President that prosecutes those that commit fraud against the United States of America!!! 

 

Go figure!!! Who would dare such a thing? You right wing nut job!!!

judd_bradbury
judd_bradbury

 @JRish  @JimSX Well I do appreciate the compliment on the prospects of becoming a host. It is not in my plans right now but I will thank you just the same.

 

I am not a big fan of Fox or Limbaugh but I have always liked SNL.

 

I think the news of the impending death of my breed may be slightly exaggerated.

JRish
JRish

 @judd_bradbury  @JimSX Judd - You should be a host of Fox news!!! 

 

Because your shit sounds so damn stupid, it would make great on SNL, which is the norm of for you Fox News/ Limbaugh guys!!!

 

Seriously, your a young dying breed!

OMalley
OMalley

 @TheCredibleHulk  @JRish  @judd_bradbury Actions speak louder than words, so when Dems support policies for minorities/immigrants/gays/women/transgender/education/healthcare that is what garners the votes. Trust is what created the landslide victory for Obama! 

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

 @OMalley  @JRish  @judd_bradbury Tell me, then. Who is sincere and who is pandering?

 

I submit that BOTH parties pander to their respective bases and NEITHER party is sincere.

OMalley
OMalley

 @TheCredibleHulk  @JRish  @judd_bradbury The minorities know who is genuine and vote accordingly, so pandering to be elected will end in a showing like we saw Tuesday night!!!!!! The GOP will have to redefine itself and it will take minorities years and years before they trust them to vote for them, no matter how hard they pander to them. 

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

 @JRish  @judd_bradbury Nobody ever said he was genuine. He is, after all, a politician.

 

We're discussing elect-ability, not integrity.

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

 @JRish  @TheCredibleHulk  @judd_bradbury Cubans aren't Latinos, at least not the American Cubans.  They hate the island they left, they'd rather every Cuban starve, and are so twisted, they perpetuate what they claim to want to end.  We should not take the council of many Cubans and Jews on Cuban and Israeli policy--vast numbers of both groups are incapable of making objective, sound policy for this country.  Pandering to these groups has created foreign policy nightmares for this country. 

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

 @Sotiredofitall  @judd_bradbury Pretty soon these folks are going to have to learn that the old "Stand in line and wait your turn" model went out with the Cold War. Rubio is the face of the up and coming GOP and he's where they need to invest their support.

 

Did you hear his speech as he introduced Mitt Robot during the convention? Good grief, he had *me* ready to vote for him this election. Big mistake to put charisma like that onstage to introduce the Main Act, and Rmoney looked all the worse for it, too.

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