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MurphTheSurf3 On April - 15 - 2012

Several writers at Planet POV are fond of pointing out how the Main Stream Media shapes the political discussion by choosing what information it promotes and how it shapes the transmission of that information.

The Obama Tax Returns for 2011 are a prime example of this. After watching coverage of the returns on CNN, MSNBC, CBS and Current, I conclude that only Current was interested in a full coverage of what the tax returns meant. Print media coverage has been almost uniformly poor. On line, coverage has been very misleading on the right, and sparse on the left.

The Basic Info:
$5.6 million income; $1.8 million Federal Taxes.
The Obama’s paid 20.1 Percent IN FEDERAL TAXES;
They gave 22.5 Percent TO CHARITY.
That’s 42.6 Percent of their total earnings….Plus
Continuing payouts to 10 Charities from $1.4 Million Nobel Prize Money.

The Obama’s’ overall rate is .5 Percent lower than the median top one percent income earner and is much higher than that of most middle-income Americans. Households making between $60,000 and $100,000 paid on average 8 Percent of their income in federal incomes taxes, according to the Tax Policy Center. Obama’s average tax rate over the last ten years has been nearly 30 percent. Like many of the wealthy Obama has benefited from the current tax structure, and from deductions, most notably those for donations to charity. Obama has also contributed significantly to his own retirement accounts.

The Obama’s donated $172,130 to charities in 2011, 22.5% of their adjusted gross income. The largest beneficiary was the Fisher House Foundation, which received $117,130 — the after-tax proceeds of the president’s children’s book, “Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters.” Fisher House Foundation is best known for the network of comfort homes built on the grounds of major military and VA medical centers. Fisher homes are donated to the military and Department of Veterans Affairs so that families can stay nearby while a loved one is receiving treatment. Additionally, the Foundation ensures that families of service men and women wounded in Iraq or Afghanistan are not burdened with unnecessary expense during a time of crisis.

In addition, there were the ongoing donations from the $1.4 million in Nobel Prize money not included on the form because President Obama turned it entirely over to charity. Nobel pays out its prize money in annual allotments. The Obama’s donated all of the prize money to 10 charities. Full list at http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/president-donates-nobel-prize-money-charity

The first couple paid $31941 in Illinois income tax. Plus undisclosed Cook County Property Taxes.

WHY WASN’T ALL OF THIS IN THE GENERAL MSM COVERAGE? DOES IT MAKE OBAMA LOOK TOO GOOD? How about a comparison with previous presidents? Or with current GOP leadership?

This is the president putting his money where his mouth is.
It deserved fuller coverage.

BUT….the Media in general, even the so-called Progressive media, want (need) a tight race. Tight races sell newspapers, magazines, books, advertising time. They build readership and viewership. They make money. Lots of money.

SO….for example, Fox emphasizes that Obama paid less than the “average” (more accurately the “median”) top one percenter and ignore how small that “less” is and how much the Obama’s gave to charity. Furthermore, most income earners at the level of the Obama’s in the $5 to $6 million range pay taxes at levels far closer to the 14 Percent paid by Mr. Romney last year. Fox has also used the line that Obama’s rate is lower than his secretary’s- a shot at the Buffet rule icon.

Huffington Post, has had two stories on the Obama taxes. The first headlined “Obama Tax Return Released For 2011” is very brief, provides no analysis and invites readers to study the linked tax returns for insights. Ridiculous.

The second HP story has this headline: “Obama Tax Return Claims Mortgage Deduction That Most Helps The Rich”, a reference to a $10,000 home mortgage deduction. Misleading.

So, if they won’t tell the truth or spread the word, those who support the progressive agenda better do the job.

Written by MurphTheSurf3

Proud to be an Independent Progressive. I am a progressive- a one time Eisenhower Republican who is now a Democrat. I live in a very RED STATE and am a community activist with a very BLUE AGENDA. Historian, and "Gentleman Farmer."

41 Responses so far.

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  1. eldave1 says:

    Obama’s tax rate was almost 33% -- not the 20% reported by the White house.


    In my view, the misreporting of his true tax rate is due to (a) a lazy an uninterested media and (b) Obama’s desire to use his tax return as ammunition for passage of the Buffet rule.

    In terms of “b” -- I think the strategy backfired as now most comments or news articles and and blog postings are of the nature of -- Obama is a hypocrite -- really no different than Romney. All in all I think it was a huge PR disaster at best and just out and out dishonest at worst. I am a certifiable lefty, but when our side bends the truth we need to call it out.

    • Also to show the article you quoted is even more misleading everyone quotes the effective tax rate Romney paid the same way Obama did with himself and his secretary. So you indeed have an apples to apples to apples comparison. In the taxes Romney revealed, he made about $21MM gross and paid about $3MM in Federal taxes not counting his deductions either. Like I said before you are trying to use right wing and Romney spin.

      • eldave1 says:

        I wrote the article (blog post) based on Obama’s actual tax returns. It’s not that difficult to calculate his effective rate.

        Romney’s taxable income for 2010 (last available)is here:

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/documents/romney-2010-tax-return.htmlr 2010

        His taxable income was $17,120,067. His taxes were $3,106,043. His effective tax rate was 18.1%. Why was is so much lower than Obama’s? -- Easy -- almost $13 million of Romney’s income is from capital gains, which are only taxed at 15%.

        The story should have been Obama pays an effective tax rate of 33% Romney at 18% -- that would have been apples to apples

        • You still are not getting it. Believe me the MSM would have tried to make the same point you are making if they thought they caught Obama in a lie. The point was the rich get many more deductions. You are claiming to be liberal but you’re implication is that tax loopholes for the rich are what we want. The reason president Obama is pushing the tax surcharges, minimum tax on the rich and even limiting like mortgage interest deductions is to avoid these loopholes and make the tax code more fair no?

          Obama is being consistent. I think you are wrong calling him a hypocrite and implying he’s misleading just because he’s counting his tax rate like every one else is with Romney. Logically speaking there is nothing wrong ethically with an apples to apples comparison and that’s just what the Obama campaign did.

          It’s amazing how some of these deductions have become so entrenched like mortgage interest deductions that many people don’t realize that’s a big government giveaway. I don’t want to get rid of the mortgage interest deduction completely but there should be some what for renters to deduct part of their rent to be fair. That’s how my liberal mind thinks anyway.

          Corporations do the same thing when they decry high nominal tax rates. Once they whittle down their taxes with loopholes they pay in the 30-40% range but that’s NOT their tax burden which is based on on gross profits. When the likes of the Heritage foundation complains about high nominal tax rates that’s why they are misleading people.

          There are plenty of things to complain about with Obama or any pol but to search for obscure ways to complain when they are reporting the facts like everyone else does is counterproductive. Worse you are setting up a false equivalency like the MSM loves to do as well. I not naive all pols spin and lie at some degree of frequency but Obama is not nearly as mendacious as Romney on any level and to imply so is also grossly wrong.

          I have nothing against you personally. I do not even know you. I’m not even arguing the fact you laid out but I think you conclusion is invalid based on the usual way people interpret pol’s tax returns.

          • eldave1 says:

            Wow -- okay -- let me deal with the “liberal part” first since that is the easiest.

            I am a lifetime Dem, voted for Obama, will again and think that Bill Clinton was easily the best president in the last 40 years. I am for gay marriage, against Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, believe we need to immediately repeal the Bush tax cuts, eliminate the special treatment of capital gains tax, a supporter of planned parenthood (need I go on -- if you don’t believe this claim -- just take two secs and peruse by blog topics (www.wordsofwhizdumb.com) for the last 4 months. Let’s at least start with getting rid of the -- you claim you’re a liberal”. Okay -- good, we now can chat lefty to lefty -- moving on.

            These were Obama’s exemptions and itemized deductions:

            STATE INCOME TAXES (31,941)
            PROPERTY TAXES (26,863)
            MORTGAGE INTEREST (47,564)
            CHARITY (172,130)
            PERSONAL EXEMPTIONS (14,800)

            TOTAL (293,298)

            We have never taxed anyone on taxes that they already paid to State and Local government. I assume that you would agree that those are not “tax loopholes”. EVERYONE -- including Obama’s secretary gets a personal exemption -Obama. I assume that you would agree that those are not “tax loopholes”. Charitable donations have always been deductible because you don’t have the income to be taxed in the first place and, while it may be in your social interest, it is not in your economic interest to donate to charity. In Obama’s case, he lost a net of 67 cents for every dollar he donated (i.e., $ 1 in profit, less 33 cents in tax savings by donating that dollar = you lose a net of 67 cents). I assume that you would agree that these charitable deductions are not “tax loopholes”.

            The only item that one could possibly claim as a loophole is his deduction for home interest, which -- If I were king, would not be an allowable deduction (never understood while we gave folks who could afford a home better tax treatment than those who can’t). Anyway, if you recalculate his taxes removing the home interest deduction entirely, you end up with an effective tax rate for Obama of 29.82%.

            I don’t think Obama is a hypocrite on taxes. I think he lied about his taxes to further a tax reform agenda. Ironically -- and sadly, because he misreported his tax rate, 99% of the blogshere is now claiming he is a hypocrite on taxes.

            Okay -- now I have listed all the deductions Obama used to get from his $789,674 Adjusted Income to his $496,376 taxable income (the one that every damn tax book and financial expert on the planet tells you to use when calculating effective tax rates) -- you tell me, which on them were the corporate, rich guys loopholes that are used to avoid paying a fair share of taxes??? Let me know, and I’ll recalculate his effective tax rate for you.

            PS -- as a final note, Newt Gingrich’s effective tax rate was 31%. It would have been pretty much the same as Obama’s except Obama donated far more to charity. As a lib -- how do you like it that folks are walking around saying Newt pays a higher tax rate than Obama, when in fact he doesn’t?

            • eldave1 says:

              Hey Adlib -- First -- thanks for the welcome and thanks for your comments.

              Not quite in agreement with you on much other than that neither of us appears to care for Romney too much (guess that’s a start).

              But there are not two answers on how to calculate an effective tax rate (i.e, one that yields 20% and one that yields 33%). I didn’t make this stuff up. There has been an established definition for effective tax rates for decades and it was wrong for the press to be so lazy is not to apply it for both Obama and Romney. Had they, we would simply be talking about -- “see Obama pays 33% and Romney pays 18% despite the fact that Romney’s taxable income is 20 times larger than Obama’s. Long winded way of saying, that the 20% is not a mathematically indisputable number. It is in fact, inaccurate. And I do believe this -- if Newt had been the nominee and was clamoring how his effective tax rate of 32% was so much higher than Obama’s -- we’d all be educating him on how to correctly calculate an effective tax rate (e.g., don’t include the money you gave away to charity in your taxable income, etc.). But because we happened to be making a point we want to make -- the inaccuracy is okay?? I think not.

              Will this die out as an issue? Time will tell I guess but I do know that folks have taken to pretty much reading the headlines and not much else. If they walk away from the voting booth in November knowing that there are fundamental differences between Obama and Romney -- great -- we win and Obama stays another four years. However, if they walk away believing that Obama and Romney are pretty much the same because they both pay less taxes than their secretary -- well, that’s not so good for our side.

              Finally, I will cede this point. The term “lied” was too harsh and I have removed it from my blog. I’m not sure what the best term of art would be here but there is little doubt in my mind that the data was slanted to support legislation he (as well as me) wants passed. I am not naive -- I know the GOP does this all the time -- I don’t want to be like them. Eventually, it’ll bite us in the ass.

              Take care

            • AdLib says:

              Hi eldave1 and welcome to The Planet.

              My initial thought on all of this is that it’s a kind of splitting of hairs.

              I understand your point about how Obama’s tax rate could be represented as 33%. I also understand KQ’s and CL’s point about how it can be calculated as 20%.

              I think we can stipulate that depending on the basis upon which one chooses to calculate the percentage, there can be different answers.

              Being that one of the mathematically indisputable answers is 20%, it wouldn’t be accurate to call Obama a liar for using that figure.

              I do think it’s a false equivalency to describe Obama as being identical to the pathological lying Romney because you disagree with the basis he used for calculating his tax rate.

              Romney’s entire candidacy and campaign are based on lies. Virtually each day he is proven to have lied in his daily attacks on Obama.

              Putting aside the semantics, I don’t believe that there’s any objectivity in holding Obama to a standard of indisputable perfection and if there is one incident where an assertion of his can be questioned, he is identical to Romney who lies every time his lips are moving.

              Even if you truly believe Obama was intentionally trying to deceive the public on the tax rate in his publicly released tax returns (do you really believe Obama is that unintelligent, to lie about something that he’s intentionally put in the hands of the press and the public?), it would be like saying that someone who has a single glass of wine a couple of times a year is as much an alcoholic as the drunkard who guzzles a quart of Jack Daniels every night.

              Of course your Repub friends will wail about this trivial and disputable issue, they also cried out against him comforting the parents of Trayvon and having the gall to mention his accomplishments like killing Bin Laden. Repubs are desperate and trying to seize onto anything and everything they can exaggerate to attack him.

              This is a non-issue, most of America (including me…and I’m pretty well informed) have not been hearing any big ongoing scandal over the 33% vs. 20%…though I don’t doubt these desperate Repubs are beating this dead horse with gusto on their blogs. Seriously, that’s all they’ve got?

    • The point was all the extra deductions Obama got that the secretary did not get. But then again it’s just easier to make absurd false equivalencies.

      I mean how many working families do you know that can stick away almost $50K/year in a 401k?

      You sound like Romney saying his effective tax rate was over 30% because he gave so much to the Mormon Church.

    • choicelady says:

      I don’t see how his rate could be 33%, and different income IS taxed differently, so his investments from book sales etc.capital investments would be taxed much lower perhaps averaging out to 20%?

      BTW -- I’ve read and heard absolutely nothing about this anywhere, so I’m unaware of this being more than a blip first heard HERE. We are not insignificant, but we aren’t CNN either. I’m not worried.

      • eldave1 says:

        Hi Choice -- no, it’s not that his book sales were taxed at a lower rate. It’s mostly due to the fact that he gave his book sales proceeds away to charity. If you are curious, you can see the actual calculations here on my blog post:


        Basically, the main problem is that the “effective rate” that the media and White house misled you on was derived by dividing his taxes paid by his gross income. His gross income includes all the income he gave away to charity.

        • choicelady says:

          eldave -- first, welcome to the Planet. We’ve not met before!

          Second -- the book sales would have been taxed MORE as self employment income. I have three books in print and get royalties on two, so that tiny -- and I mean tiny -- amount gets calculated HIGHER than earned income and certainly any investment capital gains. What I meant was that he accumulated some capital, invested it, and THAT was taxed at the ridiculously low rate which may have served to reduce the overall.

          I’m not ever interested in the tax rate on gross income but on adjusted income. If he lowered his rate by donating to charity or whatever he did, then he has huge benefits that made his EFFECTIVE rate 20% or thereabout. That is not a lie.

          That is what is behind all this absurd talk about raising rates on “productive income” that the GOP prattle on about. Raising rates on those earning $250K or more is on the adjusted gross income that exists AFTER employers have taken all their deductions for employee expenses including taxes, health care contributions, payroll, capital investments, etc. No one pays on the gross unless they’re idiots. You have deductions. I had a small business for several years -- it was AFTER deductions that the taxes were calculated. It always is.

          So if the gross income rate would be 30-some percent, it’s inaccurate to call the effective tax rate after deductions “a lie” perpetrated by Obama and the White House. It’s simply not true. His point, as KQ notes below, is that Obama had access to deductions his or Buffet’s secretary would never have that lowered the effective rate below what she has to pay. That’s honest.

          • eldave1 says:

            First -- thanks for the welcome Choicelady -- much appreciated.

            You should be concerned about “Taxable Income” -- not “Adjusted Gross Income”. That is because our tax rate tables are based on Taxable Income -- Not Gross income.

            As a quick example, let’s say you won a $5,000 jackpot at a Dave’s casino. Your Adjusted Gross Income is $5,000. Let’s say you lost $5,000 gambling at Choice’s Casino. Your “Taxable Income” is zero. i.e., your $5k win less your $5k loss. Since your Taxable Income was $0 you had an effective rate of 0%. What the press release would say using the same logic that was used for Obama’s taxes as that you had an effective rate of 0% on $5,000 of taxable income. That of course would be silly.

            My point is this -- the white house knows how to calculate an effective tax rate and Obama’s was 33%. However, that did not fit the agenda as he released his tax data right before the vote on the Buffet rule. He thought it was in his political interest to report it this way even though it was a fundamentally inaccurate report.

            What deductions did Obama have access to that his secretary did not? Personal exemptions? -- nope -- they both would have access to them -- all taxpayers do. Deductions of State Income and Property taxes paid? -- nope -- they both get to deduct those. 401K contributions -- nope -- they both get to deduct those. etc.etc.

            On the other hand, the primary difference between Obama and Romney is that Romney made most of his income on Capital Gains and we have a moronic tax system that says if you get your money from capital gains, that your taxes are capped at 15%.

            So, why am I so pissed about this? After all, I support efforts to tax capital gains at the same rate as ordinary income, would have liked to see the Buffet Rule pass, etc. I am pissed for two reasons:

            1. I do not want anyone, even if it is someone I support, to manipulate data towards a political end -- even if I support that end.

            2. I now have to listen to all my right wing friends spew on about how Romney and Obama are no different.

            • Nobody is even saying Obama and Romney are in the same ballpark. They were making the point that Obama and his secretary are not in the same ballpark. I know you think you have some sort of gotcha point but again as long as the Obama campaign is comparing everything the same way it’s valid.

              What you seem to be missing in your analysis is that you are making a conservative argument by trying to count the tax rate after all the write offs most working people don’t get.

            • Spot on CL.

              I could see the criticism if Obama had tried to calculate the percentage his campaign reported a DIFFERENT way then the media calculated Romney’s percentage but he didn’t. Frankly to call it a lie is the only misleading argument.

            • eldave1 says:

              Not -- that is not true Choice. Here were Obama’s deductions:

              STATE INCOME TAXES (31,941)
              PROPERTY TAXES (26,863)
              MORTGAGE INTEREST (47,564)
              CHARITY (172,130)
              PERSONAL EXEMPTIONS (14,800)

              TOTAL (293,298)

              The vast amount of his taxable income was ordinary income just like you and your husband.

              Obama and Romney are not even close in terms of having the same type of income. Apparently you don’t believe me. You can get Obama’s 2011 and ROmeny 2010 tax returns anywhere on the Web -- so, you don’t need to take my word for it.

              And let me state this again. I am totally behind tax reform and am an ardent Obama supporter. That does not change the fact that his press release was factually incorrect

            • choicelady says:

              But that’s not accurate -- you ARE taked on your Adjustable Gross income, and both Obama and Romney have the same types including investments.

              The difference my husband and I pay in theory (gross) and fact (post deductions) is a significant (to us, not to Romney!) percentage difference AFTER deductions.

              Obama paid 20.5% after adjustments and accounting for his preferential rates on certain types of income. His secretary may or may NOT have those types of deductions -- if she does not own a house or has few charitable deductions from her much lower income, her rate will be higher than his.

              He did not lie. Romney’s rate would be higher if his income were qualitatively different and he had fewer deductions for investment losses, etc. which are not readily available to ordinary middle class people. Buffet knows that, too -- I am NOT seeing a lie at all. Obama knows the wealthier you are, the more you get to deduct in absolute and relative dollars. I pay less in taxes than I did years ago when my income was far, far less. That’s in total dollars AND in lower percentages, and I’m not remotely wealthy -- just wealthier than I once was.

              I also have culled Google to find some kind of story about this -- and damned if I can. Obama’s effective tax rate of 20.5% seems to be agreed upon, and I’m just not seeing the problem here.

              Anyone who wishes to say Obama “is just as bad as Romney” is a fool -- Obama is working for greater tax fairness for working families. Romney is working for more in his and his cronies’ own pockets. End of story, IMHO.

      • CL you didn’t see that higher number anywhere because that’s not what Obama payed until you added all those deductions his secretary does not get. All along Obama was comparing the percentage he paid on his gross income to what his secretary paid.

    • Khirad says:

      Which is odd as they were calling him a hypocrite for not paying more or something -- which of course missed the point he was perhaps trying to dishonestly make.

  2. Nirek says:

    Excellent points, Murph!
    Romney delayed his taxes by getting an extension. So we wont be getting a look at where his money goes or how much tax he paid for a while.
    All the while the GOPers call for transparency !

    • MurphTheSurf3 says:

      And that delay will lead many, I hope, to ask: What is he hiding?

      As Axelrod says: Romney is playing ‘I’ve Got a Secret.’

      • Nirek says:

        Today Wed. 18 April the “news” say that it’s a tossup with Obama and Mitt. As far as I’m concerned the “news” is making this up to get ratings.

        Why can’t a “news person “ask questions when someone tells a lie? They just sit there and let the guy/gal hit all their talking points.

        • choicelady says:

          They are no longer journalists but “personalities” sitting like cardboard cutouts to give the “guest” a chance to spout off.

          Cronkite, Murrow, et al. would not tolerate such inane posturing. Questions are the lifeblood of reporting, and unless and until we get someone with the heart of a journalist instead of a “star” to anchor these programs, we will NEVER get information, only propaganda.

          BTW -- this was determined back in the mid 1970s to be the GOAL for newspapers and TV. In “The Crisis of Democracy” limits on a free press were advocated as a critical factor in promoting global capital. That book was written for the Trilateral Commission -- and it has all come true.

          • Nirek says:

            Thanks CL, I was starting to think I was all alone in thinking that the “reporters” of today are not true reporters. Guess I’m not alone.

    • foodchain says:

      But he has to file by Oct 15th and I’m sure he won’t want a big splash right before the election. He has trouble brewing

  3. AdLib says:

    Well done Murph, so simply laid out with a minimal amount of facts and figures needed.

    As we saw from the MSM-manufactured outrage over Hillary Rosen and how that should be nailed to Obama, this tax issue is also all hysteria and no substance.

    Most Americans, especially with tax day approaching, know that their federal taxes are 20% or lower on their gross income and that they take the mortgage interest deduction.

    Despite the RW’s attempt, there is no story here but as they have and will continue to create stories from vapor, it is valuable to knock them down as soon as they’re set up.

    • MurphTheSurf3 says:

      Manufactured outrage, phony issues, and distraction…MSM stock and trade….as you so often point out. There is a good deal of chatter re. how honest the 20.1 percent figure is- but it is his real/effective rate and therefore the one that most are quoting, including me.

  4. jjgravitas says:

    This is just another in the endless string of republican non-issues. Nobody cares.

    • MurphTheSurf3 says:

      Well, their base does and they are good at drawing the low info unconnected people into decisions that work against their best interests.

      • jjgravitas says:

        That’s unfortunately true. Makes me wonder: how many lies does it take to make a truth?

      • Nirek says:

        Murph, you hit the nail on the head with that. Too many people do not pay attention to what is actually happening in politics.
        Being uninformed or ignorant seems to be the way the GOP wants folks to stay. Then they can lie and get away with it.

  5. The point the MSM will never report is that Obama’s policies will raise his own taxes and Romney’s policies will give him a big tax cut.

    Get ready for the MSM to make this election as close as possible. The whole Hilary Rosen nonsense shows how the MSM will help Romney’s campaign.

    • MurphTheSurf3 says:

      Agreed. I really should have included your point re. Obama tax policy raising his rate as the GOP seek to lower theirs (and more importantly, their sponsors).

      A runaway, which the truth would promote, does not serve the MSM interests.

  6. choicelady says:

    Obama, like Clinton, has made many references to his status as the privileged recipient of tax breaks. Obama has said repeatedly that this is unfair, and how HP could NOT be impressed with the responsible way that the Obamas spend their money saved by the tax rate is beyond me. They provide vastly more in donations than do most Americans of their tax bracket -- Santorum gave 1% I believe. They are honorable people, the Obamas.

    The worst legacy of the Bush years? Eternal determination to find scandal everywhere, even without facts. This is a case in point. Whatever our elected leaders do, we will scream it’s somehow a betrayal of…well, we don’t even know. How utterly stupid and exhausting this is. We can’t even see progress and honor when it’s right under our noses.

    • MurphTheSurf3 says:

      If O were not in office I suspect he would be a member of the Patriotic Millionaires. I wrote a shorter version of this story for HP and got lots of hits on it. Santorum, Perry, Bachmann, Cain all have poor records in the area of charitable giving.

      And now O is responsible for what the Secret Service is doing in Columbia….anything but the essential issues that deeply touch us all.

      • choicelady says:

        Obama is responsible for errant Secret SErvice people? Oh? Seems to be they betrayed HIM. They were advancing for his visit, and their behavior could have serious implications if they were diverted from duty by it.

        Now we have to worry about this trip. I have, for various reasons, long believed that the Jonestown Massacre was NOT propagated against Cong. Ryan BY Jonestown people. (Long story I’ll explain some day). Ryan had pissed off some very powerful people in South America all allied with CIA extremists. It would have been the perfect set up since Jonestown would take the blame -- as they did, and as Jim Jones knew would happen when he heard of the shootings. He took the easy, cowardly way out I think -- but I worry that he did NOT have Ryan killed and that the real perps went free.

        I will be very worried until the President is safely home again. This dereliction of duty has me deeply worried.

        • MurphTheSurf3 says:

          Choice…you do realize that I was using my “GOP” voice to say what the GOP is saying….”It’s all Obama’s fault.”

          I suggest that it is Bush’s fault. The Secret Service as part of Homeland Security is not a good fit. Under Treasury it was very well supervised. I will not be surprised if we learn that this behavior by prep teams is not unique since the transfer of supervision. Just guessing.

          I worry about the President every day.

        • Hey CL, I’m pretty sure those agents will be kicked out of the SS. They have already been replaced by more responsible agents. This is a huge black eye for the SS, and I seriously doubt they will let this happen again. At least for a long time.

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