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The Presidential "Race"

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oceanvu2
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since 02-24-2007
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25 posted 10-17-2008 06:28 PM       View Profile for oceanvu2   Email oceanvu2   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for oceanvu2

Hi Deer!  No there isn't any wonder.  It's not the most watched news.  I'm not even sure it is the most watched news on cable.  Either way, "Fox" is a channel, not a program.  Amazing how many millions more people watch their news on ABC, NBC, or CBS.  If you're talking about Fox's "Network" news, that comes in fourth out of four.

Best, Jimbeaux    
Huan Yi
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26 posted 10-17-2008 07:50 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


“In late 2005 and early 2006, Fox saw a brief decline in ratings. One of the most notable decline in ratings came in the second quarter of 2006, when compared to the previous quarter, Fox News had a loss in viewership for every single prime time program. One of the most noteworthy losses of viewership was that of Special Report with Brit Hume. The show's total viewership was down 19 percent compared to the previous quarter. However, several weeks later, in the wake of the North Korean Missile Crisis and the 2006 Lebanon War, Fox saw a surge in viewership and remained the #1 rated cable news channel.[20][21] Fox still held eight of the ten most-watched nightly cable news shows, with The O'Reilly Factor and Hannity & Colmes coming in first and second places, respectively.[22]
For the year 2007, Fox News was the number-one rated cable news network in the United States. It was down one percent in total daily viewers and down three percent in the 25-54 year old demographic, but it still boasted most of the top-rated shows on cable news led by The O’Reilly Factor. For primetime TV Fox News ranked #6 of all cable networks.“

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_and_balanced#Slogan


.
Bob K
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27 posted 10-17-2008 09:09 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K

Dear Mike,

     Since it is legal to quote from Wikipedia, I will quote here from their article of corporate welfare:

quote:


Main article: Subsidy
Subsidies considered excessive, unwarranted, wasteful, unfair, inefficient, or bought by lobbying are often called corporate welfare. The label of corporate welfare is often used to decry projects advertised as benefiting the general welfare that spend a disproportionate amount of funds on large corporations. For instance, in the United States, agricultural subsidies are usually portrayed as helping honest, hardworking independent farmers stay afloat. However, the majority of income gained from commodity support programs actually goes to large agribusiness corporations such as Archer Daniels Midland, as they own a considerably larger percentage of production.[4]
According to the Cato Institute, the U.S. federal government spent $92 billion on corporate welfare during fiscal year 2006. Recipients included Boeing, Xerox, IBM, Motorola, Dow Chemical, and General Electric.[5]
[edit]




     You will note that one of the references quoted is The Cato Institute.  If you check out Google, you will see that the practice is not particularly favored by liberals or conservative, though for different reasons.  One of these is that it takes money out of the hands of middle class people, who are the engines of the economy, and puts it into the hands of the larger corporations instead, at the expense of the country in general.  The amount of the corporate welfare tab is enough to make anything given out to the poor look paltry, which, as you must understand, I believe it is.  I urge you to check into this because it is something that, as a conservative, should upset you.  If indeed there should be money paid out by the taxpayers to help folks out it should be to the middle class, whose small businesses do the majority of the hiring and production.  I believe we are in agreement about this.  

     I understand your objection about democrats holding all the power should the democrats take the presidency and the congress both.  I must say it rings a bit hollow after your joy in the way the Republicans took advantage of the same situation for most of the past eight years, and managed to block much of the legislation in the last two years by threatening to talk the bills to death in the Senate.  The majority is not philabuster proof, and it is democratic, which means that a wider range of views tends to be tolderated without major sanctions being imposed than on the other side of the aisle.  Unless I have my understanding of Republican organizational skills sadly overestimated.  LBJ was an iron handed majority leader, yes.  If you know of any that powerful on the democratic side since, I'd like to know about them.

     I still don't think it's much of an excuse for the low-grade job the democrats have pulled off over the past two years, mind you.

     But if you think Obama's a marxist, I'd sure like to see your proof and your reasoning, because I don't think the man's much more than democratic Lite myself.  Probably as much a Rockefeller Republican as anything approaching an actual fire-breathing democrat, in my opinion.  That's probably as left-wing as the county is willing to handle at this point, given the propoganda about the left that the right-wing has been dishing out over the last thirty or forty years.  We've even got a generation of folks who have managed to forget the christian message about the likelihood of a rich man entering heaven as being about the same as a camel walking through the eye of a needle.  I am completely flummoxed.

Sincerely yours,  Bob Kaven
Balladeer
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28 posted 10-17-2008 11:13 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Bob, I confess I do not know that much about corporate welfare. I can also see how one can technically state that federal money, derived from taxes, going to corporations in reality take money from taxpayers and delivers it to corporations. Fine but that is not what is the most vital in people's minds, I believe. The important thing is that Sam Smith takes home x amount of money each week , most of which is allocated to bills. Sam Smith is looking at the possibility that the figure, under Obama, will be x minus another percentage added on by Obama's tax increase, which will be even less money to pay bills with. That, more than corporate welfare, weighs more heavily on an individual's mind.

Forget about the 250,000 figure Obama is claiming will be the minimum. It won't be. Right now Obama claims it is the right figure to declare people well enough off that they can pay more. Next year he could decide that 150,000 is enough. Besides, records show that over 70% of all small businesses with 10 or more employees gross over 250,000. That's what Obama's tax plan is based on - gross income. Speaking for myself in a service profession, if I hired 10 people that would mean I would have to buy and maintain 7-10 vehicles. I would need 10 times the supplies. I would be paying unemployment on all of them. When all is said and done, my personal income from the business would not be anywhere near being rich, or even very successful. Under Obama's plan, my taxes would go up.

Calling Obama a Marxist is a mistake. I actually start getting confused when I try to understand Marism, Socialism or the other -isms that exist. All socialists advocate the creation of an egalitarian society, in which wealth and power are distributed more evenly, although there is considerable disagreement among socialists over how, and to what extent this could be achieved. Perhaps that is the closest, which is socialism. Whatever it is, it's not American. It obliterates the "American dream". America has always been, and is, a country where people can rise as high as they want to, based on their desire and dedication to doing so by hard work. It is why millions of immigrants have flocked to America over the centuries. Miami has many of these people, Cubans who arrived here without a penny in their pockets and have become very successful thanks to the freedom for them to do so. There are many Asians who have done the same...and still are. Obama is now saying, "You can still be successful, but when you get to the point where we feel you have enough, we are going to take more away from you to give to people who have not worked as hard of you but need it."  Whether that is Marxist, Socialist, Communism or whatever, it is NOT American. It is NOT what made this country what it is and it will be very detrimental if allowed to happen.

I do not see where an excessive amount of philibustering has hampered the democratic congress. Perhaps you were thinking of the democratic philibustering every time Bush came up with a judge nominee. Speaking of that, at a time where up to three Supreme Court justices are headed for extinction, I hate to think what would happen to have a democratic president put up liberal judges for a democratic congress to pass through.

I still find it absolutely astounding that, at a time that so many people are going through rough economic times, a presidential candidate would propose raising taxes.

Ron
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29 posted 10-18-2008 12:46 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
The important thing is that Sam Smith takes home x amount of money each week , most of which is allocated to bills. Sam Smith is looking at the possibility that the figure, under Obama, will be x minus another percentage added on by Obama's tax increase, which will be even less money to pay bills with.

That's one way to look at it, Mike. Another might be to recognize that Mr. Smith has to also pay for those bills his elected officials have accrued in his name. TANSTAAFL

quote:
Perhaps that is the closest, which is socialism. Whatever it is, it's not American.

I don't much like socialism either, Mike. But then, I don't like social security, medicare, national health care, unemployment benefits, welfare, or any of the other dozen or so socialist programs based on taking from those who have and giving to those who have not.

Whatever it is, Mike? It's very much American and has been for more than half a century now.


Bob K
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30 posted 10-18-2008 02:57 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K

Dear Mike,

          The spending oiver the last eight years has been enormous.  A very large portion of it has been in tax rebates to people who otherwise would have been paying a fair share of what it cost to run the country and pay for the war that you've been such a supporter of.  In the meantime, large amounts of money have been given away to the president's friends.  We looked at how some of those dollars were allocated when we discussed how the government was trying to deal with the aftermath of Katrina.  If you review how the contracts were allocated for war spending, you will see the same folks getting the contracts, often no-bid contracts.

     Somebody has to pay these bills, Mike.  I didn't hear you objecting to any of them while they were happening.  Now we have an enormous amount of debt that we've run up over the past eight years and the responsibility of paying it off.  The money that we could have been using to pay substantial parts of it off has been given away to folks who've moved their corporate headquarters to Qutar and Dubai to avoid paying their fair share of what they owe here, and the Republicans have done nothing to stop them.  They still get the contracts that should go to U.S. companies who don't have a record of selling substandard stuff supplies to the Army at pumped up prices and putting U.S. forces's lives unnecessarily on the line in the process.

     Nobody likes to pay back debts, Mike.  It's simply the kind of thing you have to bite the bullet and do.  And teach your kids to do.  That's what Republicans used to say, too, when they felt they could blame the Democrats for running all the debts up in the first place.  I never bought that the democrats were all that profligate to start out with, frankly, but somebody's got to pay back the debt that the Republicans have run up.  It wouldn't really matter who'd run it up in the first place, since we're Americans and our country's signed the markers and we need to pay back the bill.  We're all family, more or less.
We're supposed to take care of each other.

     Then we're supposed to make sure it doesn't happen again.

     Ron's right about the Free Lunch.  

Sincerely, Bob Kaven

[This message has been edited by Ron (10-18-2008 01:11 PM).]

oceanvu2
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31 posted 10-18-2008 03:25 PM       View Profile for oceanvu2   Email oceanvu2   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for oceanvu2

Hi all:  Some of the above comments make me want to go out and picket that old communist, Bill Gates and others of his Silicon Valley ilk!

Not only did Gates redistribute the wealth -- his despicable stock option plans made millionaires out of some of his employes -- and hundred thousand-aires out of many more.  Where does he get off?

And, he had the nerve to donate hundreds of millions through his personal charitable fund to organizations that aren't even political!  I mean, is this guy a Red or what?

"Socialism" is WORD some people find distasteful.  Socialism is a political system some people find distasteful.  And, as Ron noted, "Socialism" is reflected in a significant parts of the government we've got, and have had for some time.  Maybe we should just change the name so people wouldn't get as excited.  How about "Humane Democracy?"  That doesn't sound too threatening.

I don't seriously think anyone sees a threat to Democracy or capitalism when farmers, for example, large and small, form cooperatives to more effectively brand, distribute, and market their products.  It's socialistic capitalism for sure, though.

On the $250,000 hypothetical business example with 10 employees, trucks, overhead, and all that comes with running  small business it couldn't possibly work.  It's an untenable model.  

First, if one had ten employees working at a currently modest wage of $7.00 an hour, the annual payroll would be $145,600, plus the business owner's mandatory "contribution" towards the worker's FICA.  For the sake of this example, lets round labor costs out to $152,00.  Through the owner's Federal and State taxes on $250,000 gross sales, I think we can realistically round the costs so far up to $165,000.  And this assumes that the workers receive no company benefits at all.

Throw in ten trucks, leased, or purchased at say, at $250 a month each.  That's $30,000 a year just to have them sit on the lot you are buying or leasing for $1,000 a month -- the  businessman shoulld be so lucky -- and not putting gas in the trucks.

Now, the small business is up to $195,000 in costs.  Add in a modest S2,4000 a month to insure the commercial vehicles (vans)and routine maintenance, call it $28,000 a year, bringing projected costs so far to $223,000, even if the trucks just sat on the lot and never delivered anything.

Now whatever the type of hypothetical business, service, distribution, etc, there's that tacky problem of paying for inventory or materials and supplies.  Every business dealing in real goods or services -- and the example doesn't seem to be talking about an information/computer based service business, otherwise, no trucks -- has to maintain at least a minimum operating inventory of something, parts or product.

Say the business owner is truly savvy and frugal, and can keep his inventory down to a quick turn, quick replace $10,000.  The operator still has to have the initial $10,000.  The owner would also have to turn that inventory once every two or three days to hit the hypothetical gross.  And we're now up to at least $233,000.

If absolutely nothing goes wrong, an unlikely scenario, the small business owner stands to "gross" $17,000 in annual income -- profit doesn't even enter the picture -- minus taxes.  And no benefits of any kind.  This means the owner, at best, will likely earn less than one of his employees.  Not much of an incentive to go into business.  

The Federal government acknowledges that the concept of "small business" is not what the populace generally thinks of as "small."

Two true examples:  

1. A goat farming business qualifies for an SBA loan by being small if it grosses less than $75 MILLION dollars.

2.  A general contracting business may qualify as "small" if it has less than 1,000 employees.  

These are the maximums possible to stay "small" under Federal Guidelines.  Of course, the SBA -- which guarantees loans obtained through banks and rarely makes even direct micro-loans -- works with much smaller entities.

I think, though, if the post's business hypothetical were taken to a bank, the hypothetical owner would be laughed at, even in the best of times.


Deer -- If a direct address might be permitted, I know you put out notions half in jest sometimes.  I can't always tell when you're joking, so I rag on.

It ain't personal.

Best, Jimbeaux  
oceanvu2
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32 posted 10-18-2008 03:41 PM       View Profile for oceanvu2   Email oceanvu2   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for oceanvu2

John -- I stand cheerfully corrected.  Seems the Fox cable news shows in aggregate attract more cable news watchers than the aggregate of any other individual cable news net work.  There's another possible correllation to which I don't know the answer either:  Does Fox cable news in aggregate attract more viewers than all other cable news channels combined?  That would be a spectacular coup!  Could be a loaded and entirely different question, though.

As to Fox Network news coming in sixth out of six, well, I'm just stunned.  Mainly because I can't think of who the fifth of the six networks is.  I recall ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, and UPN, I think.  Seriously can't recall who the sixth one is, but then, I only watch Animal Planet and football games.

Best, Jimbeaux
Ron
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33 posted 10-18-2008 04:13 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Maybe we should just change the name so people wouldn't get as excited.  How about "Humane Democracy?"  That doesn't sound too threatening.

Jim, I would guess that in 1935, when Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law, the word socialism didn't seem threatening either. After all, it's a pretty innocuous root word? I think its subsequent connotations were probably not imbued, but rather earned. It just doesn't work real well, and I doubt it would work substantially better with a name change.

Oh, and I don't think Gates redistributed the wealth at all -- his customers did, and in a direction very common in capitalism. He has, however, indeed donated beaucoup bucks to many worthwhile causes. That's not socialism, either, at least not in my book. It's voluntary philanthropy -- which I believe is the preferred answer to socialism. Making philanthropy attractive is the RIGHT way to redistribute the wealth. Unfortunately, it's not as easy as just passing a law or two.

quote:
If absolutely nothing goes wrong, an unlikely scenario, the small business owner stands to "gross" $17,000 in annual income -- profit doesn't even enter the picture -- minus taxes.

That's not gross revenue, Jim, it's net. I think Mike's contention -- which I believe is wrong -- was that Obama's ceiling was to be based on gross revenue. Were that true, it wouldn't matter how much business expense was wracked up. The owner's $17K would be taxed in the higher bracket, ostensibly 39 percent. That wouldn't be logical, wouldn't be American, and wouldn't be found anywhere in Obama's literature. See my earlier post in a different thread.


Bob K
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34 posted 10-18-2008 06:17 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Mike,


quote:


Balladeer says:

Sam Smith is looking at the possibility that the figure, under Obama, will be x minus another percentage added on by Obama's tax increase, which will be even less money to pay bills with.




     This is an interesting statement, Mike.  Obama says he will increase taxes for those earning more than $250,000 a year.  So if Sam is in fact earning that amount of money, he will have to pay more.  If you suggest that we're all earning that amount of money, and all of us are that wealthy, you'd be right.  But not too many of us are in that bracket.  And I suspect those who do have accountants who bring that tax bite down significantly.

     These are also many of the same folks who've had a lot of benefits sent their way over the last eight years, so if they've been on their toes, they've made a substantial amount of money off the tax cuts they've gotten during that time.  Aren't these the people who pride themselves on being "nimble capitalists?"  

     This has been a tax cut from money they should have paid already and they have been forgiven.  They've had almost a decade's worth of extra use from that capital that they wouldn't otherwise have had.

     Other than those folks whose taxes will go up, those who earn over $250,000, most of the country will have taxes go down according to the Obama tax plan.  That's more money rather than less.  It's a tax cut for the middle class.  That should be better off rather than worse.

     Depending on how well the economy stays together over the next few years, given the buffeting it's taken from the debts we've run up and must pay off.

quote:


Balladeer says:

Forget about the 250,000 figure Obama is claiming will be the minimum. It won't be. Right now Obama claims it is the right figure to declare people well enough off that they can pay more. Next year he could decide that 150,000 is enough.




     The best information we have about what either candidate will do is what they say right now.  The $250,000 figure may be right or not.  If you have sources of information I don't have, please let me know so I can check them out.  Next year he could decide that $150,000 is enough, yes.  What did Bush say about nation-building in the 2000 campaign?

     I believe that $250,000 is what he intends.  What he can get through the House is something else entirely and nobody knows what kind of opposition he's going to run into, should he win.  Clinton ran into opposition that virtually prevented him from effective functioning as a President through much of his time in office.  Bush had things pretty much entirely his way through much of his term in office.  If Obama is elected, much depends on what sort of congress comes with him.  Much also depends on the man's actual character, which we will need to see unfold.  If he is elected.

     If your taxes go up under an Obama administration, I hope your income goes up enough to more than offset it.  Things are difficult everywhere these days, and I wouldn't want them to be difficult for you; even if we don't have identical politics, you've always been a good guy.


     I have a different understanding of the American dream than you do, Mike.  I think that wealth and power need to be resources that everybody can attain, and that the history of the country has been an effort to make sure that this was possible.

     You have perhaps forgotten that this country started out with the vote available only to white, male property owners on an individual basis.  And that the constitution was only ratified after a compromise was reached to allow the southern states, which had many fewer white, male property owners, to count slaves as part of their voting population when figuring their number of representatives in Congress.  Three fifths of one slave equaled one white male property owner.

     The American Dream is subject to revision.  Renters were allowed to vote.  People of color were allowed to vote.  Women were allowed to vote.  People of color were accorded actual equality — one man one vote, not three fifths of a vote.

     Periodically attempts to concentrate capital in the hands of only a few people were thwarted by reformers.  Some of these reformers were called Republicans, and the enacted anti-trust laws and similar laws limiting the attempts of business to eliminate fair competition.  It took the democrats to take the part of labor.

     The American Dream changed with each of these reforms.  For you to talk about "the American dream" is misleading, because it means freedom from the rapacity of runaway Capitalism as much as it does freedom from authoritarian dictatorship from the left.  

quote:


Balladeer says:

Obama is now saying, "You can still be successful, but when you get to the point where we feel you have enough, we are going to take more away from you to give to people who have not worked as hard of you but need it."  Whether that is Marxist, Socialist, Communism or whatever, it is NOT American. It is NOT what made this country what it is and it will be very detrimental if allowed to happen.




     As I recall. after WWII and until JFK came to Office, the highest tax rate was not in the high 30's, but was 90%, including through the Eisenhower administration.  Republicans frequently think of this time as a sort of Republican Golden Age, though I can understand if you might disagree.  JFK brought the highest tax rates down, but there has been a responsibility in the western world to care for the poor and the underprivileged enshrined in the law for hundreds of years.  This goes back, in England, to the Elizabethan poor laws in 1601, which established a distinction between the deserving and the undeserving poor.
quote:


Balladeer says:

I still find it absolutely astounding that, at a time that so many people are going through rough economic times, a presidential candidate would propose raising taxes.




The idea is to provide relief for those going through tough times (middle class incomes and below) by assessing a fair share of taxes on those who are more likely to be able to afford it, and who have derived the most benefit from the past eight years (those who net $250,000 and above).

     These were not people whom I heard voicing complaints about the redistribution of wealth upwards through tax cuts over the past eight years.  I heard none of them say, this is un-American to redistribute wealth this way.  The rest of the country needs this money as my contribution to making things run well.  Had I heard such loud complaints at the time, I would probably be a bit more inclined to listen now.  All I heard were comfortable moans of satisfaction and requests for more, which were met with occasional increases by the Republican administration and majority.  Increases in tax cuts offered to oil companies that were showing record profits, for example.  Were the government contracts for Halliburton terminated when they moved their home offices to the Gulf of Arabia and were able to stop paying many payroll taxes on their employees in the States?  No.

     All we heard were comfortable moans of gratification.

     I'm sorry, Mike, but the outrage doesn't get much sympathy from me now.  Not that I've actually heard any from Halliburton, mind you.  They may be too well insulated to be affected at this point.


Sincerely, Bob Kaven

oceanvu2
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35 posted 10-18-2008 06:45 PM       View Profile for oceanvu2   Email oceanvu2   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for oceanvu2

Hi Ron -- Wow!  When the business owner gets taxed on the gross business income plus taxed on his personal income -- which I meant by "net,"  -- after reading your previous post in the other thread I see that as being outrageously onerous.

The remarks about Gates were made in jest.  I'll disagree with you a little bit about the distribution part, but it might be just a matter of semantics or viewpoint.  I do want to point out that not even presumably radical I think all Capitalists or Capitalism is/are bad by a long shot.

The only two current Social Democracies, or Socialist governments I have any particular knowledge of are the "cradle-to-grave" systems in Denmark and Sweden (and possibly the states of Hawaii and Alaska   )

The Danish and Swedish systems "work" to the extent that the governments are not on the verge of collapse.  But the trade-off for subsidized housing, full medical care, free education through University, guaranteed employment, child care, and trains that run on time, doesn't seem to be worth it to me.

Under their socialist system the average Danes and Swedes are taxed to within an inch of their lives, and there's not a whole lot of incentive to earn really big bucks, because their government takes it away from them.  In one of the sillier, more publicized instances, the film director, Ingemar Bergman, was TAXED more than he EARNED.  Bizarre.  And we don't want a repressive socialist system like that here.  You're right, and I've never disagreed, Socialism and Communism have "earned" pretty low marks.

I think I'm advocating a compromise, which isn't odd.  I think, though I can't really speak for anyone else, we'd all like to see the best of all posibble worlds.  I can't think of any Utopian systems that have worked either, but we don't need to settle for a Dope-topian system, either, such as we have had recently.  You know, the one that believes in rapacious no-bid contracts, that the office of the Vice President is not part of the Executive Branch, that threatens our individual freedoms under the guise of National Security, and stuff like that.  This isn't nit-picking at particular mishaps.

At least to my mind, these kinds of issues affecting governance and the maintainence of Democracy, are fundamental.

I don't know if the next administration of either stripe can do much to reverse some of the uglier (IMO) recent government actions, but anyone who has the courage to say "Hey, enough! Stop that nonsense!" gets my support.

Best, Jimbeaux  
rwood
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36 posted 10-18-2008 08:43 PM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

Mike,

Personally, I’m happy that Obama beat Hillary, but I don’t approve of Obama’s race card any more than I approved of Hillary’s gender card, whether or not they are necessarily the ones that are pulling such.

I feel candidates should be in opposition of such practices instead of using them to get any votes. To me, it's illogical. It’s a tall order for such a short term of service. One woman can’t make life a dream for all other women no more than one black man can make life a dream for all other black men. Huh! It’s the same thing for the white man! But one term of presidential service from a misfit can surely make life hell on the majority.

If candidates present their resumes to the people, highlighting true qualifications, such as integrity, knowledge and experience, dedication to service, intent and ability to act and uphold a presidential oath of office, and all people truly poured over that resume instead of allowing themselves to be oppressed and barraged with small-minded tactics, we might get bigger minds at work FOR US in our government.  

Voting for a candidate simply because they appear white or black or green or Baptist or republican or liberal or pro-life or photogenic…etc is certainly one’s choice, but a very historically limiting and careless one. “We the People” have been shooting ourselves in the foot for so long now that I don’t know when we’ll ever get a true leg up, but at least we’re still hobbling along. It takes years of effort and bravery to journey the waters of change. It’s the boat I’m concerned with.

If Obama is, in fact, being elected to office solely because of his race by whatever power his ethnic peers possess, how would that be anything different from Bush’s election or any previous election?

If Obama is elected and does not help us in any way to right our wrongs, then will we ALL see we are very much, still, in the same boat. And we’re sunk no matter what color one is.
Balladeer
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The $250,000 figure may be right or not.  If you have sources of information I don't have, please let me know so I can check them out.  Next year he could decide that $150,000 is enough, yes.  What did Bush say about nation-building in the 2000 campaign?

Exactly, Bob. Your finger-point to Bush serves a purpose. The source I have is the fact that politicians will say anything to get elected, which may change drastically after they are in office. I don't care for paying higher taxes to support those who don't work to be one of those points.


  I have a different understanding of the American dream than you do, Mike.  I think that wealth and power need to be resources that everybody can attain, and that the history of the country has been an effort to make sure that this was possible.

You are right, Bob. Everyone CAN attain them...with dedication and hard work. Problem now is that there are many demanding the American Dream without bothering to consider either one of those traits. It appears that now they have a champion knocking on the White House door who wants to deliver that to them by taking it from the people who DID and DO what it took to make something of their lives.

As I recall. after WWII and until JFK came to Office, the highest tax rate was not in the high 30's, but was 90%, including through the Eisenhower administration

True enought, Bob, and JFK lowered taxes to help bring the country back on track. After the disasterous economic aftermath of Jimmy Carter, Reagen did the same. This has a policy of working. Obama would rather take the other road.

  I'm sorry, Mike, but the outrage doesn't get much sympathy from me now

No problem, Bob. I'm not after your sympathy. Save it for the country if Obama gets in. It will need it much more than I.

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If candidates present their resumes to the people, highlighting true qualifications, such as integrity, knowledge and experience, dedication to service, intent and ability to act and uphold a presidential oath of office, and all people truly poured over that resume instead of allowing themselves to be oppressed and barraged with small-minded tactics, we might get bigger minds at work FOR US in our government.

True enough, Regina. The problem for Obama was that that he could not tout his qualifications becase he has none and, based on his past associations and his work as being an ACORN trainer, his integrity is in question. His experience is being a one-term senator. The people he is targeting are not people who will pour over his resume. They are people who will either vote for him due to race or vote for him because they are fed up with Bush and republicans.  He is making sure that the people who will vote for him in the first case will get a nice check for their support. As the saying goes, "If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with..." er, can't remember the last word

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On This Week With George Stephanopolis this morning, it was brought out that the people being targeted by Obama's tax raise is 2% of the country. right now the upper 1% pays 38% of the taxes in the country. It was agreed by all that the tax increase would not even come close to funding the 150,000,000 (and Pelosi want 300 million) stimulus package Obama is proposing.

George Will claimed that Obama will probably say, when faced with this dilemma, something like "I am a man of character and one of my character traits is flexibility."
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Dear Mike,

          Thanks for your reply.  It's always nice to hear from you.

     You quoted my comment about Obama's $250,000 tax cutoff.  Above this point, he says taxes will be raised; below, he says they won't.  We both agree this is a campaign promise, and I even called attention to the fact by mentioning some of Bush's campaign promises from the 2000 campaign.

     Obama has been pretty consistent about his viewpoints, however.  McCain has not.  McCain has even flip back and forth on torture.  You and I have discussed this several times, so you know how upset I was when he came out in favor.  Now he has apparently forgotten he came out in favor of torture and is back to saying he's against it.  He's voted with the President more than 90% of the time and claims to be a maverick.

     Obama says he's going to raise taxes, and the reason why is pretty clear.  There's a massive debt.

     McCain says that Obama's trying to redistribute the wealth.  If Obama wanted to, he couldn't redistribute the wealth as massively as the past administration has in the past eight years.  There is an enormous and growing gap between rich and poor and the administration has been shoveling corporate welfare and tax benefits in the direction of the wealthy for the past eight years to encourage the process along.  The money hasn't been particularly well handled from what I can see.

     Are you better off than you were eight years ago?

     Is the country better off than it was eight years ago?

     If the money were to go as you suggest to support those who don't work, I don't think I'd be as upset about it as you are, but I wouldn't be happy.  Most of those people are children and single mothers and folks who are disabled in one way or another.  I had to research it in social work school.  The number of men who get money fluctuates with the state of the economy and the availability of jobs in the economy.  When the economy goes well, almost all the men are working,  When it's in the tank, the number of guys who get money from the government is higher, as is the crime rate and the number of men on the street.  Most of the folks who get government money on a regular basis — kids, single mothers and disabled folks.

     It's the job of the government it help folks like this.  They contribute to social insurance programs specifically for that purpose, as do we all.  I regard it in much the same way as I regard manditory insurance for drivers.  I understand many well meaning and well reasoned folks disagree with me, and that you probably do as well.  About this, I'm not trying to convince you; I'm stating my opinion.

     What's not my opinion is the massive debt we must pay back.  No matter who's President, that will have to be addressed.  Obama has the courage to face it.  What's McCain's plan for paying it back?  Given what he suggests for health care, it sounds as though he wants to shift the cost onto the middle class, and give the wealthy more tax relief.  It sounds as though he's trying to destroy the middle class.

     It sounds like what Republican's accuse Democrats of all the time:  Class warfare.

     Perhaps you can tell me how it's not.

     One more point:  If you are afraid of Obama changing his mind when he gets into office, and Obama's been pretty consistent, how much more frightening must you find McCain, who changes positions back and forth and gets furiously angry at those who question him about his inconsistencies?

     My fear is that McCain wouldn't have the courage or leadership to start repaying the debt.  That seems an excellent reason to vote for Obama.

quote:
  Bob:
As I recall. after WWII and until JFK came to Office, the highest tax rate was not in the high 30's, but was 90%, including through the Eisenhower administration


Mike:
True enought, Bob, and JFK lowered taxes to help bring the country back on track. After the disasterous economic aftermath of Jimmy Carter, Reagen did the same. This has a policy of working. Obama would rather take the other road.



     Actually, we have been through this discussion before.  There is evidence to suggest that tax cuts are indeed helpful to the economy up to a point.  Until that point, tax cuts, according to the Laffer curve will repay the treasury more than the amount they cost.  If you will check the previous references from The Economist and other either neutral or right-of-center magazines I posted for your examination the time before last, when we had this discussion, we now loose money with our tax cuts, which only repay us about 70% of what they cost the treasury to make.  

     What once made sense is now a loosing proposition and digs us into a deeper hole than before.  Please do some research into this on your own.  Try The Economist, in particular, which is a highly regarded right of center magazine, and famous for the quality of its research.  Don't take my word for it.

     No matter who gets elected, I am very concerned about civil liberties.  The Patriot Act and the  cruel extention of government power into the private realm may be too much a temptation for anybody to set aside.  That will be the real test of character, as far as I'm concerned.  I have no idea if we can pass it as a country.  I hope so,

All my best, Mike,   Bob Kaven
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quote:
My fear is that McCain wouldn't have the courage or leadership to start repaying the debt.

LOL. Not too many people would accuse me of being a strong Republican supporter, Bob, and I think there are a great many things about McCain I can find to question. His courage and leadership aren't anywhere on that list.
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42 posted 10-20-2008 02:26 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Ron,

          People can be wonderful leaders from one type of thing and not another; their courage may be fine for one thing and yet not work well elsewhere.

     I have yet to find somebody who is good across the board. McCain is no different than anybody else in this way.

     I had a somewhat higher opinion of the man's courage when I saw him as standing up against his party and the President on the matter of torture.  He has now resumed this stance.  But for a period of about a year he was running with the pack, and supporting the administration's position that there was nothing wrong with what the government was doing, that it wasn't torture, and that the policy was okay.  If you check my posts, you will see that until he changed his opinion I was very much an admirer of the man.

     Now I do have questions about his courage and his sincerity and his ability to lead that I did not have before. He hasn't even mentioned his change of position, only speaks as thopugh he's always had the moral position against torture that he once held.

     I don't know that I can trust his courage or leadership to raise taxes to pay back the debt that he's helped vote into place.

     To me his courage and leadership around this issue are very much in question.  It's not at all clear that he has the backing of his party, many of whom do not like him at all and who are not supporters.  How is he to rally their support behind him if elected?  It may be appealing to be a maverick as a member of a group; but as its leader, part of the job is setting standards and policies.  Mavericks may have a much more difficult time mustering political support if they cannot offer support in return.

     How does a maverick do that?

Curiously yours, Bob Kaven


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quote:
The people he is targeting are not people who will pour over his resume. They are people who will either vote for him due to race or vote for him because they are fed up with Bush and republicans.


I'm sure your statement is partly true, but too general to cover Four-Star General, Colin Powell.

Powell Endorsement

Powell is an American Icon who helped lead people from all walks of life. I think it would be a great injustice to his duty and service to this country to call him a racist over his choice, but Limbaugh is already on the horn over it which is typical of his disgusting career.


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Don't worry, Regina. If Obama gets in, you will be able to say goodbye to Limbaugh, Hannity and all conservative radio.

The sad part is that some people will call that a good thing.
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quote:
I had a somewhat higher opinion of the man's courage when I saw him as standing up against his party and the President on the matter of torture.

Bob, I don't think courage has a whole lot to do with whether someone agrees with you? I also don't think it comes on a rheostat, varying at the twist of an imaginary wrist. But then, that's just me. I think Senator McCain is a great American and an admirable man even when I vehemently disagree with his stance. We could do -- and frequently have done -- a lot worse.


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Dear Ron,

          Now you're putting words in my mouth, Ron.  Or perhaps you thought that torture was my only disagreement with the man before he first flipped and then flopped back on that issue.  And perhaps you're thinking that I have a black and white view of him now; I do not.

     General Powell and I have significant differences as well.  I was very upset about him for his statements before the United Nations.  I thought that his loyalty was misplaced at that time, but his courage was never in doubt to my mind, nor was his leadership in general.  I wish that he had been a candidate, actually, for either party.  I would have voted for the man and for his integrity and felt that he would do his best to do whatever he thought to be the right thing.  Party be damned.

     I am glad you have such confidence in McCain.  It says clearly that you should vote for the man; and so you should if those are your feelings.  Unless you have reservations that make such a vote impossible, I guess; though I can't imagine what those would be given such an endorsement.

     Myself, I don't share your belief in the guy.

     I found myself admiring him in spite of his position on taxes, on women's rights, on the environment and many other things.  So long as I felt he was willing to make a stand on human rights, I felt it was possible for him to see
and take care of the national debt, and perhaps give women the respect they deserved.  Maybe his supreme court folks would be good legal scholars and not ideologues.

     After his flip-flop on human rights and torture, I feel that his courage and leadership are much more vulnerable to political pressure than I had thought before.  I don't say you shouldn't admire him for who he is.  I am saying simply that I do not.  And that I did not come to this position without some struggle and thought.

Sincerely, Bob Kaven
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quote:
I am glad you have such confidence in McCain.  It says clearly that you should vote for the man; and so you should if those are your feelings.

Really? Would it perhaps surprise you, Bob, to hear that I have similarly strong feelings about Senator Obama? I think he is a man of unusual intelligence and compassion, with no less loyalty to this country than his opponent. Though tested on a different battlefield, I think Obama has also shown courage, integrity, and consummate leadership.

The country is lucky this time around. It's been a while, I think, since we could concentrate on issues instead of character. I'm beginning to suspect we may have forgotten how to do that?


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48 posted 10-21-2008 04:56 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Ron,

           Actually, no, I wouldn't be surprised at all.  I know that you are serious about making your mind up about each thing the way it seems to you, and are not interested in taking party-line positions.  I think that an election decided on positions and not on character assassination would be an interesting change of pace for the country.  In the first election, I think Washington was busy turning down the position of King for eight years, and it may be difficult to use him as precident, but I don't believe there's been an election of the type that we'd both like to see in the history of the country.  Nor do I see one approaching.  The stakes have always felt too high to everybody involved.  Still it would be nice.

     Obama, I think, feels he needs to defend himself against the sort of thing that cost Kerry the election the last time around (many democrats feel this way, and feel it about the election in 2000 as well) and I think McCain feels that this sort of pressure is his only hope.  If he applies it directly, he isn't "Presidential."  So Ms. Palin is in the unenviable position of being the ticket's doberman attack dog.  This gets her points with the party faithful for plain talk, but it stirs the far right a bit too much for what seems to be comfortable for Senator McCain.  This is to his credit.  Unfortunately, he's in the position of riding the tiger.

     The dismount is the most difficult part.

     We can still hope.  Always nice to hear from you.


Sincerely,  Bob Kaven
rwood
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49 posted 10-21-2008 07:45 AM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

quote:
Don't worry, Regina. If Obama gets in, you will be able to say goodbye to Limbaugh, Hannity and all conservative radio.

The sad part is that some people will call that a good thing.



No, that wouldn’t be good but I don’t see Rush being hushed. If pressed, though, he could always take his own advice:

quote:
RUSH: Okay, back to our Barack Obama Audio Sound Bite Marathon. What are we up to now? Let’s see. Oh, yeah. Obama just said he wasn’t sure that he decided he was black, that if you look African-American in this society, you’re treated as an African-American, and when you’re a child in particular that’s how you begin to identify yourself. If you don’t like it, you can switch. Well, that’s the way I see it. He’s got 50-50 in there. Say, “No, I’m white.”
Transcript

So? He can switch. Rush’s got a “50-50 in there. Say, No, I’m [liberal.]”
 
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