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John McCain - The Keating Five

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moonbeam
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50 posted 10-05-2008 04:22 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Denise, you're either avoiding or missing the point.  What you personally would or wouldn't do is totally irrelevant.  

Perhaps what is more relevant is this question: I'll ask you again: would you on a jury vote to convict a mother for killing one person instead of 100?
oceanvu2
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51 posted 10-05-2008 04:29 PM       View Profile for oceanvu2   Email oceanvu2   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for oceanvu2

Hi Ron!  Re:

"why do you think that same argument is unlikely to be applied to a mother's two-year-old daughter? Nobody need be forced to killer their toddler and nobody need be forced to not kill their child?

Let's face it. Not all things come down to personal choice. Therein, after all, would lie anarchy."

I don't understand the relationship of this first reference to anything I might have or did say, but, because moonbeam also mentions the killing of two year olds, maybe there is a specific something going on I'm not aware of.  Wouldn't be the first time.

On the second statement, I think the reverse might be just as reasonably argued.  Everything can revolve around personal choice, and it doesn't need to lead to anarchy.  Please note I am not making a statement about absolutes.

Below are all four of Websters definitions of anarchy, included so there is not suggestion that I picked out the one which best supports my thoughts.

Anarchy:

1. a state of society without government or law.

Well, I think you, who have made your own personal choices, haven't brought us to the brink of anarchy as defined above.  I don't think my personal choices, even though some have differed from yours, have brought us to the state of anarchy either.  Personal choices resulted in personal consequences and often consequences beyond a given individual.  As a simple example, when I chose to close my greenhouse business, one consequence for me was that I made a substantial amount of money selling off the land.  A consequence for my employees was that they were out of work.

Now, in the '30's, as a germane but not all inclusive example, hundreds of thousands of businesses were closed and millions were left without work.  It was an economically terrible time.  Nevertheless, anarchy did not result.  We still had a government.  There were still laws.

ANARCHY 2. political and social disorder due to the absence of governmental control: The death of the king was followed by a year of anarchy.

This definition seems to describe a concrete, identifiable social condition which has existed historically, and is the condition of some states today.  It doesn't seem to address "personal choice," which is fine, being outside the scope of the definition.  

ANARCHY 3. a theory that regards the absence of all direct or coercive government as a political ideal and that proposes the cooperative and voluntary association of individuals and groups as the principal mode of organized society.

OK, that's a political theory with three components.  The advocacy of no direct government seems impractical on it's face. An anarchist may choose to advocate that notion in a free society.  That doesn't mean anyone has to agree with it, or give it it much creedence.  We're free to choose to dismiss it.

"coercive government" from the definition is thornier.  A government, let's take an elected one, like ours -- has by collective individual decision, a right to make and enforce laws.  And some of these are pretty darned coersive, like the draft when it was in effect.  Not everyone chose to follow this law as we did.  There were personal and social consequences stemming from either choice, but anarchy did not ensue.

The anarchist proposal espousing  "cooperative and voluntary association of individuals and groups as the principal mode of organized society" from the definition" seems to a description of the society which we have.  Does it sound odd or off base to say "Democracy requires cooperative and voluntary association of individuals and groups as the principal mode of organized society"

If one eliminitates emotionally charged connotations of the word "anarchy" our societ seems to work because people "choose" to work together.  There is nothing to suggest that people have to agree about everything.

ANARCHY 4. confusion; chaos; disorder: Intellectual and moral anarchy followed his loss of faith.

The first part of the definition is the description of a state or states of being, not a description of nature or consequences of choice.  The example of the word as it can be commonly used is no more than that.

I'm sorry that whomever the "he" is in the example of usage experienced confusion chaos disorder and intellectual and moral anarchy following his loss of faith.  But the example doesn't flow from the definition, and there is no reason to accept that this anarchic state is a logical, predictable, or invetable consequence of a loss of faith.

It doesn't have much to do with the consequences of free choice either.

I'm glad we have a government.  I'm glad we have rules.  I'm glad we have a great latitude to make free choices within the context of those rules.  I'm also glad we don't have a state religion which it thinks we should or must agree with.  It lets all of us make very personal choices.

I don't mean to put words in your mouth or thoughts in your head which aren't there, but it seems that in your post describing anarchy as a likely consequence of choice, moralistic judgement is the underlying source of the argument.  I wouldn't care even if it were overt source of the argument.  It's a choice anyone is entitled to make.

However, the excesses of a religious based limitation of choices can get pretty scary. In Merry Olde England, there were times when one could be murdered by the state for a) happening to be a Catholic; b) choosing to remain a Catholic; or c), converting to Catholicism.  Similary, in Merry Olde England under Catholic reign, one took one's life in one's hands, or had one's life taken from them, for choosing to be a Protestant. And etc for many past and present societies.  Sometimes, this leads to downright anarchy.

Best, Jimbeaux
Ron
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52 posted 10-05-2008 04:59 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

What I hear you saying, Moonbeam, is that within the bounds of your morality it's okay to kill if doing so prevents someone else from being killed. Okay, fine. Is that the same criteria you want to apply to abortions?


moonbeam
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53 posted 10-05-2008 05:12 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

No not so starkly as that.  All you hear me saying, Ron, is that the sort of dilemmas posed by abortion, and the sort of scenarios I put to Denise are not appropriately resolved in my opinion by imposing inflexible moral, economic, social or religious rules to be applied in every case without regard to particular circumstances.  
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54 posted 10-05-2008 05:34 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
I don't understand the relationship of this first reference to anything I might have or did say ...

The reference, Jim, is in my second sentence. Nobody need be forced to killer their toddler and nobody need be forced to not kill their child? That's a paraphrase, of course, of your earlier sentence. I suggest that nobody need be forced to have an abortion and nobody need be forced to not have one.  I changed your noun from abortion to a two-year-old, but it could just as easily been a newborn or a teenager.

My point was and remains that human law (not religion) necessarily limits human choice. I'm reeealy sorry, now, for even mentioning anarchy (the absence of that human law) and sending you off an a tangent.

The bottom line, Jim, is that I don't think your underlying philosophy -- a very Sixties-ish 'do it, don't do it, it's no skin off my nose either way' -- really addresses the central arguments of abortion. In making it a personal choice, I think you're very neatly side-stepping the question of whether it should be a personal choice.


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55 posted 10-05-2008 05:39 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
All you hear me saying, Ron, is that the sort of dilemmas posed by abortion, and the sort of scenarios I put to Denise are not appropriately resolved in my opinion by imposing inflexible moral, economic, social or religious rules to be applied in every case without regard to particular circumstances.

But doesn't that pretty much go without saying, Moonbeam?

In every scenario you painted, and I'm fairly certain in every scenario you didn't yet paint, a mother who kills her two-year-old is going to go to trial. And, as you pointed out, some might well be acquitted. Therein lies the answer to your "without regard to particular circumstances."

Do you propose putting every woman who has an abortion on trial to determine if the circumstances warranted her actions?
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56 posted 10-05-2008 07:55 PM       View Profile for oceanvu2   Email oceanvu2   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for oceanvu2

Hi Ron -- re "My point was and remains that human law (not religion) necessarily limits human choice."  I think I said that too.  I think I said exactly that.

I don't know why it is hard for me to make what you think is my underlying philosophy clear.  It's exactly the same as yours, give or take a few details.

Best, Jimbeaux
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57 posted 10-05-2008 08:09 PM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

http://es.youtube.com/watch?v=HAzDEbVFcg8
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58 posted 10-05-2008 09:51 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

It does matter what I would or wouldn't do in any given situation because how I would vote on a jury would probably pass through the filter of how I think I would have handled myself in a particular situation.

But just let me add that if the choice were between saving my own life and that of 100 people I would choose to forfeit my own life to save the 100 people. I would not make the decision to forfiet my daughter's life, though, for those same 100 people.

It would be interesting to see a poll asking mothers that same question.
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59 posted 10-05-2008 10:02 PM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

I think it would be interesting if we could get this thread back on topic.
moonbeam
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60 posted 10-06-2008 03:05 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam



quote:
But doesn't that pretty much go without saying, Moonbeam?

If it did, Ron, I wouldn't be having the discussion.  Tell that to Sarah Palin (Denise?  Sorry in advance if I have misunderstood you) the Catholic church and many on what is considered the far right of religious movements, who want to make it illegal in practically all circumstances without discussion, appeal or any recourse.

Sorry Jenn, I'll try and shut up now.
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61 posted 10-06-2008 07:59 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
... who want to make it illegal in practically all circumstances without discussion, appeal or any recourse.

Uh, you mean like killing two-year-olds, Moonbeam?

Of course, in reality, we have trials in this country, as already discussed. There's always discussion and pretty much always room for appeal and recourse. Those special circumstances still have a chance to be aired. So, if that's your only reason for giving women a choice?

(And don't worry too much about Jennifer. I think exploring the issues IS on-topic in a political discussion, and a lot more productive than character slurs. In any event, I'm sure Jen doesn't want to tell people what to talk about.)
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62 posted 10-06-2008 08:03 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K




Dear Folks,

     I just had my first look at the thread.  I notice that it was interestingly enough titled "the Keating Five—John McCain.

     Apparently the subject cannot be tolerated here, because attempts to derail the conversation began almost immediately, first by trying to get the subject off of The Keating Five and Senator McCain"s involvement with that affair and onto the flaws of Democrats. (Plenty to look at there, by the way, though I'm a Democrat of the further left persuasion and don't really like to dwell on the thought.) Then  by shifting the conversation onto Senator Obama's flaws (I'm still waiting to hear from the guy who reported that Obama was a Marxist with a little bit of actual sourcing on that one).  Then to calling Senator Obama names (I thought I heard somebody call Obama a dirty squealer or say he wore cootie glasses, but I must have been mistaken.  Thank goodness), then to talking about abortion.  Nothing funny about abortion.  A sure fire attention grabber.  

     If I didn't have my homework ready, and it was coming time for math class, I think I'd try starting a conversation about abortion and hope the teacher didn't remember to collect the homework on the Keating Five.  I mean fractions.  I meant fractions.

     Though it doesn't look as though folks are willing to allow the subject to return to Senator McCain and The Keating Five, about which I know almost nothing; not anytime soon.

     I have a pretty good idea that most of the stuff about abortion has already been said, and that there are lots of familiar buttons for everyone to push and everybody has well rehearsed conversational gambits that they feel are sure clinchers.  We could beat each other over the head about the exact moment life started.  

     How about everybody bringing out the argument that they think will change the minds of the people on the other side and make them realize how wrong they were all along?  Now I don't have any arguments like that that I could offer either side; but no doubt I'm the only guy here who thinks that way.  

     Or each of us might try to come up with a new argument, an approach that the folks on the other side haven't heard before.  I suspect that I'm not about to change anybody on the anti-choice side with a brilliant logical argument.  If Thomas Acquinas himself were to come up with an argument on the pro-choice side, I seriously doubt it would sway anybody.  If Albert Einstein came out with an anti-abortion argument, my friends and I would probably put it down to an intellectual slump.

     Of course others may see the world as a lot more flexible that I do about such things.

     As for me, maybe somebody could fill me in about the Keating Five?

Yours sincerely, Bob Kaven
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63 posted 10-06-2008 08:51 AM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

My mistake, Ron. I had this crazy idea that the subject heading in the discussion was what the discussion was supposed to be about, that going totally off topic is being rude to the person who started the thread. A little rambling, sure, why not, I do that myself, but hijacking a thread and turning it into a protracted debate about a subject that has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the topic, as has happened in this thread, and then chastising the person who started the thread for merely suggesting they’d like to see discussion get back on topic, seems a bit much to me.

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64 posted 10-06-2008 09:25 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Bob:
quote:
I have a pretty good idea that most of the stuff about abortion has already been said


In that regard I guess its similar to presidential politics?    


quote:
We could beat each other over the head about the exact moment life started.


Nah, its much more fun to beat each other over the head about who is better McCain or Obama.  

  

Really Bob, you could have been content to say "that's not the subject of this thread" than to disparage the content of what has been discussed for the past few replies.  If you want to make a discussion (that you don't particularly like) seem futile, at least be reminded that presidential politics can be charged with all the same foibles and usual futility.

But with opinions of presidential candidates, as with attitudes about abortion and other social crises, argumentation and discussion still influences and changes minds from time to time.  


Back to McCain I say.


Stephen
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65 posted 10-06-2008 09:37 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

C'mon Ron, it's me that specialises in cheap shots (apparently).  What's the point of levelling your toy gun at Jenn and distracting me, especially without any winky faces.

I freely admit I know less about the Keating Five than the Famous Five and I've forgotten how I got involved in this abortion thing now, but then it's about more than just abortion, which is what makes it interesting.  So ...

Precisely Ron; like killing 2 year olds.  Not so long ago in some parts of Africa there were no effective written or statute based laws.  Dubious actions were simply "tried" by a tribal gathering - a mixture of developed morality, social acceptability, historical precedent etc.  Our "civilised" system is simply a written code designed to "go with the grain" of society.  Or to put it in the legal jargon, what the "reasonable man or woman" would expect.  As I said above, there are clearly far fewer circumstances where society would deem it reasonable for a mother to kill her 2 yr old, than in the case of a mother terminating a pregnancy.  One might therefore expect that society would wish to see the presumption of illegality in the former case.  In the latter case it is MY PERSONAL OPINION that there are sufficient complexities and uncertainties (coupled with spin off disadvantages to illegality) to make blanket illegality unwise and unjust.  Nevertheless there are arguments which sway me somewhat in that direction; the "will of god" is not one of them.  
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66 posted 10-06-2008 09:52 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Bob, this thread was introduced shortly after the Acorn thread was initiated, along a tit for tat line...

Interestingly enough, not one lefter had any comment to make on the Acorn thread. One must assume that the facts were so clear and so well known by all that repudiation would be futile, which is what some people do when faced by such a situation.

That is why discussions over topics here are fairly useless, except for letting the poster let off a little steam. One can pretend to be fair and open-minded but, if concrete facts surface which may go against what someone wants to champion, it is simply ignored with a pretense that it doesn't really exist, along the lines of a "if I close my eyes, you can't see me" mentality.

This is Balladeer and I approve this message
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67 posted 10-06-2008 10:08 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K

Dear Mike,

           I don't think I've seen the Acorn thread.  I'll have to look.  It'd be funny if I'd written something there and had lost track, wouldn't it?

     Did you have a chance to have a look at that longish article I sent you?  That did come as a surprise to me and actually felt like a new way of looking at old information.  I really would like to know your reaction.
BK
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68 posted 10-06-2008 10:14 AM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

"if concrete facts surface which may go against what someone wants to champion, it is simply ignored with a pretense that it doesn't really exist, along the lines of a "if I close my eyes, you can't see me" mentality."

You nailed it, Balladeer, good job! That's exactly what happened in this thread!  Posters who wanted to ignore McCain's involvement in the Keating Five scandal,  the topic of this thread, simply closed their eyes and moved on to discussing other things.

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Bob, you really need to work on your sarcasm. You don't do it as well as you could. Of course, if you want to talk about the Keating Five, I think you'll find no one is stopping you. Oh, wait, that's right; it's a subject about which you admittedly "know almost nothing." That's okay, too, though, because once again no one is stopping your from following Jennifer's links early in the thread and learning more.

And just for the record, Bob, we're not really talking about abortion in this thread. I'm not sure how many have figured it out yet, but we're really talking about the justifications and rationalizations we use to support what we "feel" is right. That's the kind of thing I think writers are supposed to talk about?

Jennifer, we do indeed try to stay on-topic, but that's a necessarily ill-defined concept. For example, when you asked about Palin's tax returns very early on in this thread, I'm sure you felt it was in the spirit of the political discussion, even though it doesn't have a whole lot to do with the Keating Five. Ditto the discussion about O'Reilly, Franks, and "McCain's womanizing, adultery and ethics violations, tax fraud." And, of course, while you didn't bring up the issue of abortion, you did join in initially with this: "What you seem to be saying, Denise, is that since Obama doesn’t agree with your personal belief on when life begins, that makes him an immoral man." You went on from there, for several paragraphs. And as far as I'm concerned, Jennifer, you were still very much on-topic.

No one is trying to derail your topic. But neither do you get to artificially limit the scope of what is on-topic. If someone started a thread and titled it "Only Good Things about McCain," do you really think they would be allowed to steer the conversation so narrowly?

We're talking about the issues. Anyone gets to decides what's important to them, but no one gets to decide what's important to everyone.

quote:
As I said above, there are clearly far fewer circumstances where society would deem it reasonable for a mother to kill her 2 yr old, than in the case of a mother terminating a pregnancy.

Okay, Moonbeam (glad you stuck around). So what you're saying now is that some lives are more important than other lives? Would it be safe to presume that a ten-year-old is more valuable than the two-year-old, then? At what point do we reach the apex of what I would guess is a bell curve? I mean, I know darn well I stopped being more valuable than a toddler a long time ago. Even to me.   (just because you wanted a winky face)


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70 posted 10-06-2008 10:58 AM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

Bob, here’s a link to some background info on the Keating Five scandal. The site will point you to other sources if you want to explore the topic in depth.
http://mccainkeatingfive.com/

Thanks for the pointers,Ron. From now on I'll simply ignore posters off topic questions or off topic remarks in threads I start and not respond to them. Perhaps, indeed, that's the best way to keep peace and help keep the discussion focused.

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71 posted 10-06-2008 02:32 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

You're right about what this is about, Ron.  I think it's mainly a male thing though, this desire to convince the world that one's subjectivity is really objectivity, or the need to rationalise the visceral towards something more intellectual or empirical.  Or perhaps it's just to do with self-justification, self-worth.  

I've been meaning to say for a few years that you have a marvellously dogged debating technique which I must say I've rarely seen done as well, except maybe by John Humphrys of the Radio 4 Today programme (you'd enjoy that).  In summary it involves repeated temptations or invitations to the other party to expand upon something that they didn't say in the first place.  Put another way its kinda like handing your adversary a big spade with which to convert a small depression into a ruddy great man trap with spikes at the bottom.  Only in this case the spade is too obviously clumsy, there isn't even a small depression and I'm too lazy to dig.

This reply could get bogged down in all the usual paraphernalia of the abortion debate.  I'm not going there.  However  I will say that "I" haven't said anything about the value of lives.  On the other hand I suppose that if you took a brutally simplistic approach you might analyse the fact that some societies regard it as reasonable to kill a foetus, but generally not a 2 yr old, as being indicative of  a "value" approach to life.  "Value" itself though is, of course, relative, as our banks and politicians are just finding out.  A bottle of mineral water does not have the same "value" to a traveller in Iceland (or maybe it does after today!) as it would to a traveller in the Sahara - the value of the water is determined by background factors.  It seems quite evident to me, based, amongst other things, upon the empirical evidence of society's reaction to the issue of abortion, that the background factors in the determination of whether a foetus should live (if indeed it was living in the first place - one of the background issues) are of a nature to make it far less certain that it should, than in the case of a 2 year old girl.    
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72 posted 10-06-2008 03:28 PM       View Profile for WTBAKELAR   Email WTBAKELAR   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for WTBAKELAR

Our economy, I think still—the fundamentals of our economy are strong." —John McCain, speaking on the morning of September 15

Are you better off today than you were 7 years ago when the Republicans took over Washington DC?
I am.  I pay more for everything, but can you name one time in the history of the USA that prices of anything went backwards?

Then: Overall debt was $5.7 trillion.
Now: The National Debt is $9.5 Trillion!
OK,  look at the previous 8 years,  Did the ND start at 5.7 when Clinton took office?


Then: - A gallon of gas cost $1.56
Now: - A gallon of gas costs over $4.00
Did anyone notice that the cost of gas really started rising when Democrats took over congress 2 years ago?  coinsidence?

Then: - Federal budget surplus over $200 billion
Now: - FY-2008 federal deficit over $407 billion
OK,  look at the previous 8 years,  Did the Budget start at $200 billion when Clinton took office?


Then: - Unemployment was 3.4%
Now: - Unemployment hits 5-year high, 6.1%
Hello,  did nobody notice that when you raise the minimum wage that unemployment goes up.  Always has, always will.  Figure it out.  Also it started going up when Dems took over 2 years ago.  

"One of the giant mortgage companies at the heart of the credit crisis paid $15,000 a month from the end of 2005 through last month to a firm owned by Senator John McCain’s campaign manager"
I'm sorry,  this is weak.  Please describe what company this person owns that receives this money, and why. Many companies make money from other companies. This is how it business works. Why don't you look at the money that the former CEO's of Fanny Mae and Freddy Mac have made. Over $100 million, Both Democrats, Cooking the books to make unearned bonus' and put us in the mess we are in.  Oh, by the way, one of them works for Obama, and another by the way. Check out how much Obama has received from them in donations.  $300,000.  Second highest in history.  

The answer is always NO, Until the question is asked.

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73 posted 10-06-2008 05:41 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Very good points - which will be predictably ignored.
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74 posted 10-06-2008 06:03 PM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

I’ve only had time to check one point in your post, WTBAKELAR.

The price of gas started to rise when Bush took office in 2000 and Congress was controlled by Republicans and it has climbed fairly steadily ever since.

According to the chart, the first big jump happened about 2005, when the Republicans still controlled Congress. But you are right about the spike over the last year. One thing you failed to mention though is that the price is going down again now. Should we give Bush or the Democratic Congress credit for that?

  
 
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