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Is the New Bill Stimulating or Pork?

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serenity blaze
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75 posted 02-14-2009 01:28 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Call me curious...

but what would you do?
Denise
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76 posted 02-14-2009 07:05 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

What happened to the promise that everything to be voted on would be on the web for public view for 48 hours prior to any vote? Not even the lawmakers themselves had sufficient time to review the finalized version. They didn't even get a copy of it in a computer file as they have in the past that would enable them to search through it by keywords. They got paper copies that even had items crossed off and replaced by handwritten marginal notes.

And not only did Specter, Collins and Snowe vote for it in the Senate, they also agreed, as a part of their vote, to allow only 90 minutes of debate on the bill prior to the vote.

Listening to Pelosi and Schumer denigrate the Republicans for being non-cooperative and partisan was enough to make me gag. They were the ones who completely shut the Republicans out of any input into the bill at all, from beginning to end. And hearing Obama say that there were no earmarks in this bill only confirms to me that he is either stupid or a liar, and I tend toward his not being stupid. But maybe there is a third alternative that escapes me.

I would, at the very least, have allowed input from the minority party, and open and above board debate, and would have allowed enough time for the finalized version to be viewed not only by all the lawmakers involved, but by the public as well.
Grinch
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77 posted 02-14-2009 08:49 AM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


quote:
They didn't even get a copy of it in a computer file as they have in the past


Are you sure? As I understand it they got it in two parts - both PDF documents.

Not that it matters, anyone who had a problem with the bill or the way it was formulated, debated or delivered would, presumably, have voted against it or abstained. As the majority voted for it we can only assume that they didnít have a problem with any of the above and were happy as it stood.

Itís evidence of democracy at work.

Denise
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78 posted 02-14-2009 01:29 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

It doesn't do much good receiving the files AFTER the vote because they didn't receive them prior to it.

If debate and Republican input had been allowed, perhaps compromise could have been reached and a better bill produced.

But they didn't need a single Republican vote anyway. I'm glad Obama and Congress didn't get the 'cover' they were seeking. Now when this fails, it will be on them and them alone.
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79 posted 02-14-2009 04:15 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

As the majority voted for it we can only assume that they didnít have a problem with any of the above and were happy as it stood.  No, they didn't have a problem with it at all. They didn't read it. They voted for it because it was a democrat package....period.

itís evidence of democracy at work.

Actually it's evidence of a confidence game at work, not democracy. The largest spending bill in history, voted on by Democrats who didn't even see it before hand and rejected by Republicans who were not given the chance to study it before voting on it. Pelosi and Reid have managed to make Bernie look like an amateur, with his paltry 50 billion ponzi scheme. They have taken billions of tax money and shared a good part of it returning favors, paying off debts, enriching their own districts  with a bill congressmen were not allowed to see and in which the American people are completely in the dark about. I can bet you dollars to doughnuts that all of you who are supporting their actions would be screaming bloody murder if it were a republican congress demanding a bill be passed that democrats were not allowed to study beforehand. You would be yelling dirty tricks and you know it.

They say a confidence scheme is not great unless the victim doesn't know he's been taken. Well, in that they have been successful. They have saddled the taxpayers and their children with billions of unnecessary debt for their own purposes and done it in a way where many Americans, and even foreigners, call it democracy at work.

It is nowhere close to democracy at work, in fact, it is the exact opposite. It is the type of action you would expect to see from a third world dictatorship.

Welcome to the St. Valentine's Day massacre - 2009.

[This message has been edited by Ron (02-14-2009 05:08 PM).]

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80 posted 02-14-2009 07:15 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch

quote:
The largest spending bill in history, voted on by Democrats who didn't even see it before hand and rejected by Republicans who were not given the chance to study it before voting on it.


Are you sure?

I thought that the bill came in two parts - a 577 page tax package which was distributed early on Thursday and a 496 page appropriations section distributed and posted on the web in PDF format at 10:45 pm.

Not that it matters, as I said anyone opposed to it for any reason voted against it, everyone else was happy to vote for it as it stood.

quote:
It is nowhere close to democracy at work, in fact, it is the exact opposite. It is the type of action you would expect to see from a third world dictatorship.


A bill was proposed, debated, amended, voted on, debated again, amended again and voted on again, sounds like democracy to me. You canít please all of the people all of the time Mike - just because things didnít go the way you wanted them to doesnít mean democracy doesnít work, in fact when that happens itís good evidence that it does.


Denise
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81 posted 02-14-2009 07:30 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

What is a plausible alternative to Obama stating several times that this bill has NO earmarks in it, an obvious falsehood, other than his being stupid or a liar, Moonbeam or SEA? I'm interested in hearing your opinions to that question, for whatever they may be worth.

~Sigh~ing at my opinion and stating it is worth what was paid for it isn't an intelligent response.

And stating that if he says its not an earmark because he has declared that whatever he wants isn't an earmark isn't a good enough answer either.
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82 posted 02-14-2009 07:43 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch

quote:
What is a plausible alternative to Obama stating several times that this bill has NO earmarks in it, an obvious falsehood, other than his being stupid or a liar


Can you supply a couple of examples of those earmarks Denise?
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83 posted 02-14-2009 09:22 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Examples have already been given, grinch, in several places in these threads. Perhaps you can take the time to read them or maybe you can e-mail Professor Porter at Harvard and ask him what he means...

So when he expresses concern that the US government's economic stimulus package has not targeted the right areas, it's worth listening to his arguments. In his opinion, much of it displays "the usual pork-barrel, favourite projects"

Must be some reason why the BBC picked up on that, I would think.

Trying to pretend there aren't any is really ludicrous in light of the fact that so many people, including over 100 economists, have stated there are.

The whole thing leaves me with a glad/sad feeling. Glad that it will mark the end of democratic rule and sad for what the country is going to go through because of it. While you will be observing we will be living it.
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84 posted 02-14-2009 09:35 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Cut the pork in stimulus compromise

By Yael T. Abouhalkah, Kansas City Star Editorial Page columnist

The stimulus bills passed by the House and Senate contain billions in non-essential spending. That pork should be slashed from the compromise bill that's on its way to President Barack Obama.

But don't bet on that happening.

The Democrats -- led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid -- are using the economic meltdown to seize an opportunity to permanently grow the size of the federal government and of federal spending.

So billions have been stuffed in the stimulus bills for construction projects that won't happen for years, for projects that should be financed by the cities and states, for disease-prevention efforts.

While most of these projects and programs may be "good causes," they are not the kind of targeted and quick spending the current economy needs.

Instead, the federal government will be borrowing billions it shouldn't, then having to repay all that money with interest in the coming years.

Obama ought to insist, privately if he must, to get some of that unnecessary spending out of the stimulus compromise.

That would be a dramatic and much-needed change from the way Washington has been run in the past.
Submitted by Yael T. Abouhal
http://voices.kansascity.com/node/3680
Balladeer
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85 posted 02-14-2009 09:43 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Even the AP isn't buying Obama's claims regarding the stimulus, not to mention his claims about his appointments.

Obama and the Democrats are playing the politics of fear, here. They want to push their spending party through and get it signed right away, under the guise of emergency assistance, before the people of America have a chance to object. This idea that the bill is bipartisan is absurd. As Mark Impomeni mentioned on Randi Rhodes' show yesterday, the conspicuous lack of support from the man who loves Democrats too much, John McCain, is telling.

Anyone paying attention has already seen hundreds of examples of wasteful spending in the nearly trillion dollar package, and that is directed spending. Don't forget the billions in discretionary spending. The Senate compromise version contains $1,100,000,000 in supplemental discretionary grants for airport spending, for example. Gee, I wonder who might have pushed for that? http://news.aol.com/political-machine/2009/02/10/obama-claims-stimulus-pork-free-ap-disagrees/

If you need more examples, grinch, simply type stimulus pork into your google search. You'll find more than enough examples.
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86 posted 02-14-2009 09:47 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

In an interview with Liberadio that was picked up by the Nashville Post, Democratic Rep. Jim Cooper of Tennessee said he was encouraged by the Obama administration to fight against some of the bill's more controversial provisions when it was in the House.

"I probably shouldnít tell you this, but I actually got some quiet encouragement from the Obama folks for what Iím doing," said Cooper, a relatively conservative "Blue Dog" Democrat who opposed the stimulus bill. "They know it's a messy bill and they wanted a clean bill."

Cooper added that he "got in terrible trouble with our leadership because they donít care whatís in the bill, they just want it pass and they want it to be unanimous."

"Weíre just told how to vote," he continued. "Weíre treated like mushrooms most of the time."

The White House "want[s] to keep the Speaker happy and the traditional Democratic leaders, but they've let them know privately they're not interested in all this pork," he said.

Contacted by Politico, the White House press office and the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi did not immediately offer comment on Cooper's claims.
http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2009/02/04/politics/politicalhotsheet/entry4774878.shtml

Even some of the Democrats are honest....

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87 posted 02-14-2009 09:56 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

300M for electric golf carts? 150M for honeybee insurance?

Watch this one, sir, and you will have more than enough examples..
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6M7D9cQv-TU
Huan Yi
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88 posted 02-15-2009 12:48 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


I don't think Obama
is in charge of anything right now.


.
moonbeam
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89 posted 02-15-2009 04:13 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

He's in charge of the crusade to lift a nation's collective mind out of negativity John.

That's all he's really in charge of.

I think he knows it.

I think he's also the right man at the right time.  

I think he knows that too.
Grinch
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90 posted 02-15-2009 06:50 AM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


quote:
Can you supply a couple of examples of those earmarks Denise?


quote:
If you need more examples, grinch, simply type stimulus pork into your google search. You'll find more than enough examples.


That wouldnít work.

You see pork and earmarks arenít the same thing in political parlance Mike, pork is a provision tagged onto a bill that bears no relationship to the subject of the original bill. Normally theyíre added as a sweetener or incentive to persuade politicians who donít care about the original bill to vote for it. The rule of thumb is that if a provision bears no relationship to the purpose of the bill in which it sits then the chances are itís pork.

Earmarks on the other hand are directions within a bill to allocate funds or benefits to a specific source which excludes fair competition or denies access to funds or benefits to others. For example:

If the stimulus bill had a provision to allocate funds to Ball-A-Deer Inc. to promote writing ballads on the internet that would be an earmark in that it specifically allocates funds to Ball-A-Deer. If however there was a general provision to allocate funds to promote writing ballads that wouldnít be an earmark - you might think it was a stupid provision but itís not an earmark.

So is the above general provision pork?

If the billís original purpose is a general provision for writing ballads it isnít pork, even if the bill needs Mike, who runs Ball-A-Deer , to vote for it. If however the billís main purpose is to improve the flood defences of New Orleans the chances are itís pork.

So what is the purpose of the stimulus bill?

Itís been promoted as a bill to stimulate the economy and create or save jobs, you maintain that it contains multiple examples of pork and earmarks. So far however  I havenít read one that meets the criteria for either, there are lots of examples that you think are stupid but none that are at odds with the original purpose of the bill or that are specific to an individual or group to the detriment of others.

300M for electric golf carts?

People are employed to make golf carts, people buy golf carts and everyone who makes golf carts is eligible to benefit - neither pork nor earmark.

150M for honeybee insurance?

People are employed to raise honeybees, people buy honey and everyone who raises bees for honey is eligible to benefit - neither pork nor earmark.

You could of course say that both provisions are stupid but Iíve a sneaky suspicion that anyone who builds golf carts or raises bees for honey isnít likely to agree with you.

btw, I havenít found the ballad writing provision in the stimulus bill yet - if I do Iíll let you know.

  
moonbeam
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91 posted 02-15-2009 08:38 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam



quote:
btw, I haven't found the ballad writing provision in the stimulus bill yet

I think you just put your finger on the fatal flaw Grinch.
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92 posted 02-15-2009 08:56 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Believe me, if I lived in Pelosi's district and if I had raised money for her election campaign, you could very well see the ballad writing provision in the bill. But, then again, I write, use pens that other people manufacture, use paper that I have to buy, a computer that I use to put it online, and one day would hope to employ a publisher, press agent, editor....who knows how many people would benefit from my ballad-writing? According to the laughable examples you have given, it would be a great thing to have me in that bill somewhere.

This should lay to rest any rumors that Obama is a muslim. Since pork is a cultural taboo and prohibited under Islamic law, there is no way he could be.

At any rate, it's all academic now. Congress has passed it, thanks to Pelosi and Reid using tactics that has caused Congress to reach it's lowest approval rating in history since they assumed control. Obama will sign it because he has the two power mongers he is afraid to cross and all of you who feel it is a porkless, amazing creation that will solve the crisis (real or imagined) we live in, can cheer, click your heels, sing songs about the saving of America, or do whatever people do hide their true feelings.

To those of you who are honest enough to see the flaws, the pork and the manipulation and still feel that the good will outweigh the bad, that doing something is better than doing nothing, then thank you at least for your honesty and we will just have wait and see what the future brings.

I think Obama is a decent sort. He is just linked up with Pelosi, Reid and Frank, who are not. Well, they have what they want and they will live or die, politically, with it. It is their baby. Unfortunately it is the American people who will have to raise it.

Grinch
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93 posted 02-15-2009 10:25 AM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch

quote:
According to the laughable examples you have given, it would be a great thing to have me in that bill somewhere.


No Mike, if it mentioned you by name that would be an earmark and wouldnít have any place in an earmark free bill.

As to whether the bill is going to fix the current problems on itís own Iíd have to say no, in my opinion, it wonít. Itís too small for a start and contains too many tax cuts and not enough emphasis on job creation. Not to mention the inclusions in the bill that I think are rather stupid.

But itís a start and a lot better than doing nothing.

I fully expect another similar package before the end of the year as well as a specific bill injecting cash into the car industry.

If either of them contain pork or earmarks I'll be the first one denouncing them.

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94 posted 02-15-2009 10:49 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Irwin Stelzer is a business adviser and director of economic policy studies at the Hudson Institute

If, like John Maynard Keynes, you believe that spending, any spending, will revive a flagging economy, the freshly minted, 1,000-page American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, calling for $504 billion in deficit-financed spending, is for you. Well, not quite. It seems that most of the money will not be spent very soon. About 30% won't hit the economy until 2011, and the balance is likely to be tied up in the procurement processes of the federal and state governments until well into 2010, and beyond. Besides, much of the spending will end up boosting other economies ó subsidies for wind machines will benefit workers in the other countries in which such machines are manufactured, not our very own horny-handed toilers. And much of the spending will not create jobs for the unemployed: laid-off car workers do not have the skills to design the software to manage the "smart grid" that is the apple of the greens' eye.

If you have not jumped onto the new Keynesian spending bandwagon, but believe with Christina Romer, chairman of Barack Obama's Council of Economic Advisers, that tax cuts are more certain than spending to turn the economy round, you should love this bill, with its $286 billion in tax cuts and credits. Well, not quite. True, individuals earning less than $75,000 a year and families earning less than $150,000 will receive credits of $400 and $800, the earned income-tax credit for working families with three or more children is increased, and there is something for pensioners, disabled veterans, families of college students and a host of others.

Reflection suggests, however, the tax-cut contingent is doomed to disappointment. Much of the money will be saved or used to pay down credit-card balances, not bad things, but not very stimulative. Much will be spent in Wal-Mart, earning Congress the applause of Chinese trainer and t-shirt manufacturers. And much will never be claimed: the specific subsidies for college education are simply too small to have much effect on college enrolments.

The explanation for these omissions was simply stated by the president, responding to those who want even more tax cuts and some supply-side stimulus, "We won." Not very satisfying intellectually, but who needs intellectually satisfying arguments when his party controls the White House, the Senate, and the House of Representatives?
http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/columnists/article5734337.ece
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95 posted 02-15-2009 11:16 AM       View Profile for nakdthoughts   Email nakdthoughts   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for nakdthoughts

I listened to an elected Democrat in MD on a talk radio interview yesterday stutter trying to defend his position on voting even though he hadn't read the whole bill... Saying it was better than doing nothing.

I had to turn the radio off...because he wasn't the only elected official to have done that overnight saying they were or had been working on the bill for 3 months so  it didn't matter what was in it just that it had to be passed "now"!
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quote:
Besides, much of the spending will end up boosting other economies ó subsidies for wind machines will benefit workers in the other countries in which such machines are manufactured, not our very own horny-handed toilers. And much of the spending will not create jobs for the unemployed: laid-off car workers do not have the skills to design the software to manage the "smart grid" that is the apple of the greens' eye.

Perhaps not, Mike, but those laid-off car workers certainly have the skills necessary to manufacture those wind turbines Mr. Stelzer wants to send offshore. Doesn't he know that wind energy is near the top of Governor Granholm's wish list? Didn't anyone tell him that Michigan is uniquely qualified to both manufacture the equipment and then deploy it?

"Studies show that the wind potential of Lake Michigan is in the range of 4 to 6 wind class with 7 being the highest. In the central part of Lake Michigan this wind power is estimated to be about 182 GW.  A tenth of this wind power potential  is equivalent to some 20 nuclear power plants." Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center (MAREC)


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97 posted 02-15-2009 12:09 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch

quote:
Irwin Stelzer is a business adviser and director of economic policy studies at the Hudson Institute.


You arenít having much luck when it comes to choosing who to quote Mike, first flim-flam Jim and now flip-flop Irwin.


http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/columnists/article5580664.ece

There are a couple of additional things you should know about Stelzer, the first is he worked for Enron and was well known for defending and supporting them in print when all the smart people were criticising their business practices. The second is that he lives in London, which probably explains why heís giving out all those mixed messages, commonly known as changing his mind to match his mood or making it up as he goes along.

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98 posted 02-15-2009 12:37 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Keep shooting the messengers if you like. You say nothing to discredit the message. There WAS one good sentence in your link...Democrats are, in the end, Democrats and unlikely to be swayed by such as Harvard economics professor Robert Barro, who points out that it might be better to ďemphasise reductions in marginal income-tax ratesĒ. Democrats are Democrats...that says it all.

I have to include this, just for the irony of it..

In a bow to political reality, lawmakers included $70 billion to shelter upper middle-class and wealthier taxpayers from an income tax increase that would otherwise hit them, a provision that the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said would do relatively little to create jobs. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29179041/

Now THAT'S funny!   Whatever happened to the favorite democrat chant about republicans favoring the rich??


You all can talk all you want about defending the package. The facts are this..

(1) Obama declares an emergency so vast that the country will not survive without his plan, even though scores of economists disagree.
(2) He turns it over to Pelosi to write it and get it through congress.
(3) The Democratic congress passes it without reading it, in the interest of getting something done NOW.
(4) We are stuck with it.

As I said, Obama and gang have perpetrated the biggest confidence game on the American people in history....and some applaud it.

Let's see how long the applause lasts.
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quote:
You say nothing to discredit the message.

I thought I did? I didn't know who Stelzer is (thanks, Grinch), but I knew he didn't know what I knew about Michigan. And I'm not even a business adviser, let alone a director of economic policy.

quote:
As I said, Obama and gang have perpetrated the biggest confidence game on the American people in history....and some applaud it.

If it's a confidence game, Mike, I'm afraid it will have to be the second biggest. Or did you forget the WMD we still haven't found?
 
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