Saturday, August 04, 2007

Current Events

All Things Political
The Latest News


deb said...

Marilynn sent me a link to Go Left TV

It's terrific video from a rational point of view. Thought I'd share.

deb said...

Very interesting: Experts do the 'impossible' by breaking speed of light

Question: If this is true why isn't it receiving more media attention? I'd think that this is a major event.

BTW, my pc has had issues. I deleted the old broadband connection data which was apparently connected to everything else. I miss having my kids at home who were my live-in "rent-a-geeks" ;-)

deb said...

Good thing we have the CIA protecting us from reading damaging accounts of the Nixon and Reagan's just terrific to find out how our tax dollars are being spent;)
Wikipedia spots CIA changes See Who's Editing Wikipedia - Diebold, the CIA, a Campaign

Cheryl said...

The Ministry of Truth sure has had a lot of work lately. They edited wikipedia, and news of who did the editing came out. Now they need to find a way to edit who did the editing. Not to mention redoing all those edits at wikipedia.

Cheryl said...

This one article sums up how badly our occupation of the Middle East is going.

Short of Purple Hearts, Navy tells vet to buy own

"Korean War veteran Nyles Reed, 75, opened an envelope last week to learn a Purple Heart had been approved for injuries he sustained as a Marine on June 22, 1952.

But there was no medal. Just a certificate and a form stating that the medal was "out of stock."

"I can imagine, of course, with what's going on in Iraq and Afghanistan, there's a big shortage," Reed said. "At least, I would imagine so."

The form letter from the Navy Personnel Command told Reed he could wait 90 days and resubmit an application, or buy his own medal.

After waiting 55 years, however, Reed decided to pay $42 for his own Purple Heart and accompanying ribbon — plus state sales taxes — at a military surplus store."

Cheryl said...

A fascinating website has been started. It lets you see who has been editing wikipedia anonymously.

Most of the edits are additions, clarifications, and spelling fixes, but some of them are very interesting.

Did you know that someone at Hallmark hates Wil Weaton (star trek actor)? And someone from the same address doesn't think the Brothers Grimm wrote Cinderella?

Richard Yarnell said...

Ah, but even more interest is that people in various Congressional offices are cleaning up bio's, people at the RNC are changing history too, and even Walmart has taken time to restate a description of their wage standards.

Until someone learns to get around Wiki's logging routine and become truly anonymous, this Cal Tech computer geek has saved the communal encyclopedia as a useful site.

deb said...

Great link Cheryl. It looks as if we are paying a huge full time staff of Wiki editors with our tax dollars:-(

deb said...

A bit of proof that the FDA isn't on our side, but the side of big pharma: Microchip implants linked to cancer in animal studies

"Published in veterinary and toxicology journals between 1996 and 2006, the studies found that lab mice and rats injected with microchips sometimes developed subcutaneous "sarcomas" -- malignant tumors, most of them encasing the implants."

"There's no way in the world, having read this information, that I would have one of those chips implanted in my skin, or in one of my family members," said Dr. Robert Benezra, head of the Cancer Biology Genetics Program at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York."

And proof that MSM is all about spin when their biggest clients get caught with their pants down. This is the exact same AP article as published on MSNBC's website, but notice the caption by the picture, and notice that the title doesn't use the word "cancer":

Company didn't tell public of decade-old studies tying device to rat tumors

"Proponents say microchips, when implanted in people, offer security and medical identification benefits. Detractors warn that they're tied to tumors and that abuse of the chips will eliminate personal privacy in the digital age."

deb said...

Pentagon ‘three-day blitz’ plan for Iran

"Alexis Debat, director of terrorism and national security at the Nixon Center, said last week that US military planners were not preparing for “pinprick strikes” against Iran’s nuclear facilities. “They’re about taking out the entire Iranian military,” he said."

Richard Yarnell said...

So, they have a director of terrorism do they? Domestic terror, but of the Republican kind. That probably explains why he's not sleeping at Gitmo.


deb said...

I've often thought that it must be difficult to get newspeople to go along with the charades.

The outing of one of the media's liars:

Subject to Debat: What did ABC Know and When Did It Know It?

"Though Debat, often described in the American media as “a former French defense official,” insisted he would clear his name and sue Riché and his online magazine Rue89 for slander, the alleged fabricated interviews soon became a problem not just for Debat but for ABC. Since 2002, the network has employed Debat as a counterterrorism consultant and sometimes reporter, sending him to far-flung locations to report on Al Qaeda, Iraq, Iran, and Pakistan. (For the past year and a half, Debat has also served as the director of the terrorism and national security program at the Nixon Center; he resigned "for personal reasons" this week, an official with the Nixon Center said.)"

deb said...

Habeas Corpus is being brought up on the Senate floor. Act for a Change has a form petition, or you might want to contact your Senators directly, or both:

Tell Congress: Save Habeas Corpus, Restore our Constitution

deb said...

Greenspan admits Iraq was about oil, as deaths put at 1.2m

Christopher C. NC said...

I'll have to go read that headline. I saw another review of his book that comes out tomorrow. Not very flattering to Bush or the Republicans.

So now he decides to speak his mind. Thanks for nothin.

dan said...

Alan Greenspan gave tacet approval to the Bush tax cuts and looked the other way when Republican's borrowing and spending reduced the Country's finances to 3rd World status.

He harmed the country by selling out his principles for partisian reasons. His "spin" on events ring hollow with me.

Cheryl said...

The last few interviews I heard with Greenspan, he says that oil would be even more expensive if we didn't invade Iraq. So the latest spin is that we invaded Iraq because of oil, but it was to prevent Sadam from holding the world hostage with $100+ a barrel prices.

What a self serving person. Parrot Bush to keep his job, then tease us the almost insults of Bush so that he can sell more books

Cheryl said...

For all the good it'll do, I called mine. Shelby ain't talking, and Sessions ain't ansering the phone.

deb said...

I've sat here a few times watching the cursor blink and shaking my head, just couldn't think of anything to write...but filled with such anguish at what a few powerful people have done. Just thought I'd share.

deb said...

Oh, forgot to add this:

Rather: Government Influencing Newsrooms

Richard Yarnell said...

In partial defense of Greenspan:

He was scrupulous, while in office, to remain "non-partisan." I saw him do three different, and I thought difficult, interviews. By statute, head of the Fed is apolitical. His success in being that during his tenure, can be gauged by the fact that he was reappointed by both Republicans and Democrats.

It was also telling to me that he thought Clinton paid the most attention to the economy generally and money policy in particular and was, of recent presidents, most successful in the economic sphere - witness the surplus. Does he think Hillary can handle the job of President? "Without a doubt." "Then would you vote for her?" "I suspect I'll vote republican."

He also says, and this is my memory, that he approved generally of some tax cuts but with corresponding cuts in spending. He claims he did not, nor does he yet, approve of the tax cuts Bush put in place especially since spending continues to climb.

Cheryl said...

Even when a story is told reasonably accurately, the headlines do enough damage.

Yesterday on NPR, they started a story with something like, "Senate turns down another Democratic proposal." However slight, the Dems do have the majority. They make it sound like the Senate is the Republican party, and the Democrats are yapping about trying to redecorate the room. On second thought, that's not too far off, maybe the title does make sense.

Richard Yarnell said...

I wrote a letter yesterday about that very story, although with a slightly different take on it.

The Democrats didn't "fail" to pass the bill so much as the GOP managed to sustain a filibuster by rejecting the motion to close debate.

In my view, that suggests a strong bias of the writer and gives an erroneous slant to the story.

deb said...

The Senate is still 50/50 in regards to Iraq. Lieberman, even though he caucuses with the dems, votes with whatever the Whitehouse wants for the war. Which, of course, gives Cheney the deciding vote. Joseph Lieberman Congresspedia

It will take another senate seat (at least) and a dem prez for even a chance at ending the least we would find out how many of the dem senators the oil companies have in their pockets if dems had the house, senate, and whitehouse.

deb said...

Speak of the devil...

I just woke to find out about the Kyl-Lieberman Amendment (No. 3017), which appears to be a blank check for a pre-emptive invasion of Iran. Only we have no troops to invade with, so the only option (as I see it) would be an all out nuclear attack.

For those of you who have dem Senators or even moderate repub ones, call them and ask them to get in front of media cameras, and to specifically analyze how we would "invade" Iran, i.e. mention the "nuclear option".

I am in the same position as Cheryl on this one...I will call mine, for all of the good it will do:-(

If we don't encourage every dem senator to say no and bring at least one repub across the aisle, then I believe we are in for a nuclear pre-emptive strike.

I read some months ago where our tax dollars were being spent to see if nuclear winter would offset global warming and thought it some I'm not so sure.

deb said...

A few links:
The Kyl-Lieberman Amendment

The neocons own magazine


deb said...

It was toned down, but still passed the senate (from Alternet):

Cheney's Fondest Pipe Dream Passes in The Senate

Cheryl said...

Clinton voted for the Iran invasion.

Biden & Dodd voted against it.

Obama was too chicken to take a stand. I hear he has a history of ducking out of controversial votes.

Richard Yarnell said...

Cheryl, I think you've overstated the non-binding resolution that has purposes, as it was amended, other than authorizing an attack on Iran - it didn't do that.

Among other things, if there is solid evidence that Iran is the source of weapons that are being used against US personnel and Iraqi citizens, then Iran must be declared a terrorist state before we can legally impose sanctions against its citizens responsible for the supply.

And do remember, this is a campaign season and everyone is missing votes, even some important ones.

Christopher C. NC said...

To me this notion of "Iran is supplying weapons that kill American soldiers" is a load of crap and a smoke screen to further a hidden agenda.

So there may be a few weapons coming from Iran. So what. People who want weapons will BUY them where they can get them.

What percentage of weapons in this conflict are from Iran?

What are the other sources of weapons? China? France? Russia? Saudi Arabia? Syria? Israel? Korea? What is the percentage of other sources?

Who is the main supplier of weapons?

Are US weapons being used to kill American soldiers?

Will any of the other weapons sources be declared terrorist states?

Until questions like these are addressed and answered, I am not buying this line of fear.

Richard Yarnell said...

The few weapons coming from Iran are apparently very sophisticated shaped charge weapons that have been designed to keep up with the armoring of our personnel carriers. I gather they are being smuggled into Iraq for that purpose. The term IED is no longer appropriate. In the beginning, artillery shells and mines were jury rigged together; now there are specialized and very effective antipersonnel mines and rockets being used by fighters (stateless) agaist our guys.

As to percentage, I have no idea.

Again, no idea but I'm sure you're right, rifles and RPG's are common and are not, so far as I know, classified as terrorist in nature. (I know, all weapons terrify me too, but their use requires an operator to stand up in a fair fight.)

I would guess that we and the old soviet regime are. Then there are all the weapons that Sadam had squirreled away that we failed to round up or destroy. The word several years ago is that the soldiers from Sadam's army hid most of theirs when we disbanded that force rather than retraining it.

I have no idea what other countries will be declared terrorist states. But Iran isn't just supporting terrorist activities in Iraq, as I'm sure you've read.

Look, I don't support another adventure into Iran. We'd be foolish to try, and I don't think we have the resources left to do the job even if it were justified. And you know that I did not support what I believe to have been an illegal invasion of a sovereign nation, unsavory to be sure, but not one doing us any direct harm.

Having Iran armed with nuclear weapons worries me a lot. One way to mobilize the rest of the region and the world is to prove that Iran is up to no good, trying to destabilize the region even more than we have done. One way to do that is to show our allies and potential allies that Iran is actively supporting terrorist sects.

Christopher C. NC said...

There is an article this morning on MSNBC about IEDs and the armor piercing one linked to Iran. I do not think we should ignore what Iran is up to, but let’s face it, we have Iran surrounded by destabilized nations on both sides, Iraq and Afghanistan. The Persian Gulf is filled with our military. For us to expect Iran to sit there and do nothing is stupid. Our intent towards them is not friendly or conciliatory.

We also need to come to grips with the fact that warfare against a military like ours will never again be conventional. This is guerilla war fought by people without conventional weapons and armies. This means to me that the definition of terrorist needs to be examined with more scrutiny.

My concern is the simplistic ”Iran is supplying weapons that are killing our soldiers” feeds to easily into the neo-con war machine.

A nuclear Iran does not really frighten me that much. MADD worked with the Soviets and it can certainly work much better with a meekly nuclear Iran. What is a little more scary is an overthrow of Musharaff (sp?) in Pakistan. They are nuclear already. So is India. Do we even know whether the Muslims in Pakistan are Sunni or Shia or some other sect? Pakistan seems to hold more potential for disaster, but they are more likely to blow themselves up first by accident.

I did not think you were advocating another stupid war with Iran. I just think we need to put the breaks on any “Resolution” from a pathetic Congress that a unilateral Executive Decider can interpret as he sees fit.

Richard Yarnell said...

"A nuclear Iran does not really frighten me that much. MADD worked with the Soviets and it can certainly work much better with a meekly nuclear Iran. What is a little more scary is an overthrow of Musharaff (sp?) in Pakistan. They are nuclear already. So is India. Do we even know whether the Muslims in Pakistan are Sunni or Shia or some other sect? Pakistan seems to hold more potential for disaster, but they are more likely to blow themselves up first by accident."

Unless the leadership is mad - did you see that guy's performance last week?

On the other hand, it's more than conceivable that Iran will be willing to supply nuclear technology to "terrorists" (however you want to define them, just as they've been supplying more sophisticated explosives and weapons to terrorists, who, as you rightly point out, are waging a non-conventional battle against us.

Cheryl said...

The Iran hype sounds so much like the pre-invasion Iraq hype that I have a hard time believing any of it.

Iran is definately trying to be a power center in the region, but there are many ways to attain that goal. They have every reason to believe that we might attack, so they are full of bluster. The IAEA believes that they are wildly exagerating the claims of their nuclear progress. Since they were right about Iraq, I find them more credible than our government.

Iran's president may be a crazed zealot, but our president is even worse. At least Ahmadinejad has some checks on his power.

Bush is bored with Iraq, and wants to start a new war that he can claim to be winning as he leaves office. Or, Bush thinks he is the instrument of God and is start armageddon.

Christopher C. NC said...

Ahmadinejad is not and never was the real power in Iran. I have read in several places he is losing some of the power he does have because he has been so controversial. Iran is not a nation bent on self destruction. After their horrible war with Iraq that we egged along when we were pals with Saddam, I doubt they want another one any time soon.

The real source of radical fundamentalist Islamic terrorism is Sunni Wahhabism. This is coming out of Saudi Arabia and Egypt for the most part. This is rarely discussed in the media and never mentioned by the fools in Washington. Instead they want to start a war with a Shia Islamic nation that could be a natural ally. The problem is they can’t let go of the people of Iran booting us out of their country with the overthrow of the Shaw of Iran and the hostage crisis when Carter was president.

Imagine that, a nation with enough pride that they don’t want foreigners meddling in their affairs.

It was a Pakistani scientist who was caught selling nuclear information. No one seems to want to admit that the terrorist are coming more from the nations we have relationships with than those we don’t.

Christopher C. NC said...

Here is an on topic tangent analysis of some of the repercussions of an attack on Iran.

deb said...

Christopher, that link is to

Jeff and I were talking this evening about the repercussions of attacking Iran. The only available method that would have a significant impact is nuclear bombs. Saudi Arabia is barely holding onto their monarchy and our attacking Iran would push it over the edge, maybe not immediately but it would happen. It follows that our oil supply would be cut off and this country is in deep trouble without all of our cars buzzing around.

Congress has a very short memory. When the Iraq war option came before the House and Senate it was touted as being "Reaganesque" in that, just by threatening Iraq, the UN would be allowed to inspect at will and find those WMD (much like what Reagan used to bring down the iron curtain). The words "very last resort" were repeated constantly, but, as we now know, it was just a lie and as soon as the ink dried on the bill we started deploying our war machine to Iraq.

What the globalizers know is that fear is going to win out over logic. They want to destabalize Iran, for at least two reasons: (1, the key reason) the Iranian oil bourse, and (2) The proximity of Israel and the ongoing inability of Israel to establish peace with their neighbors.

The weapons coming through Iran to Iraq are mainly of Chinese origin (some are actually of US origin, but heaven forbid that we actually curtail sales of US weapons). China is our bank and our main supplier of most everything, therefore, if we really wanted to stop the weapons from entering Iran we have the leverage of stopping the flow at the source. Why aren't we negotiating that angle? I'd guess that "we" need those weapons as an excuse to garner support for taking Iran back to the stone age in order to achieve the objectives already stated.

BTW and IMO, an insurgent is a remaining family member of people we have already killed or maimed. A terrorist in Iraq is a member of a group of insurgents who have banded together. The people we are fighting in Iraq have a zero relationship with those who destroyed the WTC, other than hero worship. The people we are fighting in Iraq do not have the organization, money or machinery to invade the US.

I do believe that there are ways to ease this entire hellish fiasco. If "we" elect a new President and Congress who would actually try the neocons for war crimes and make public and monetary apologies to Iraq, turn the oil profits over to the Iraqi people and actually make sure Iraqis' are hired to operate those fields and rebuild their country, we might be able to avert an ongoing war that would last until the middle east is out of oil. The US would need to get their noses out of it almost entirely and let the UN be the main assistance. Of course the price of oil would go through the roof, and then we could finally get our act together and quit depending on it.

Christopher C. NC said...

Hmm. I don't know what happened to the link. This can be copied and pasted.

Deb the latest buzz as of today without me even looking is that Bush will attack Iran before he leaves office. The link above leads to an article by Sy Hersh in the New Yorker. The next election could well be too late.

Cheryl said...

And in our current invasions:

Blackwater Contractor Authored State Dept. Report
The Bush administration has claimed it’s conducting its own investigation into last month’s shooting. But new details have emerged showing that a Blackwater contractor authored the State Department’s initial report. The contractor, Darren Hanner, was working for Blackwater under a contract with the U.S. Embassy in Iraq.

Report: Afghan Violence at Record Levels
In Afghanistan, a new UN report says violence has reached its highest level since the U.S.-led invasion nearly six years ago. Figures show an average of five-hundred twenty security incidents per month so far this year. That’s one hundred more per month on average over last year.

deb said...

This is a petition from Amnesty International to shut down the Guantanamo Bay prison.

What I wonder is how people can be so sick and cruel? How can these same sick/cruel people gain positions of power? How do they get others to go along with it? You'd think that the holocaust would have sickened humans to the point where we would no longer tolerate or go along with such abhorrent behavior.

Cheryl said...

This is going to be a very ugly election. We can now add the Supreme Court to the list of trusted institutions the corporationists have destroyed.

This was posted on

"A law that bars political candidates from deliberately lying about their opponents is unconstitutional, a sharply divided state Supreme Court ruled Thursday."

Christopher C. NC said...

I had to go read that about candidates deliberately lying and the Supreme Court. The State Supreme Court of Washington, not the federal Supreme Court made this decision about a state law.

Cheryl said...

I skimmed too fast when I read the article. It's not quite as bad as I first thought. The federal Supreme Court hasn't gone that far yet, but it is troubling.

dan said...

A few weeks ago I made a hit and run post where I indicated that I supported Hillary Clinton for president. Here's my belated defense of that position.

What will be the state of the union that our next president will inherent?

I see a country so seriously damaged that it may be beyond repair. Seventy two percent of our economy is driven by consumer spending. That spending has been fueled by the artificial wealth created by the housing bubble and interest rates kept low by a Fed chairman more interested in getting a Rep. president re-elected than promoting sound policy. Consumer debt is at an all time high, defaults are rising and in most areas of the country, they can't sell their homes if they want to.

I see a country that has become the world's number one debtor nation. The value of the dollar has plunged 20% in just six years (in spite of that fact that its been propped up by the Chinese and others). If these countries quit loaning us money and sell their dollars, the U.S. will plunge to third world status.

I see a country that has arrogantly shown disdain for the United Nations and diplomacy, choosing instead to threaten the world with our military might. The absolute mess we've made in Iraq (and the consequences
of that invasion) will have to be dealt with.

I could go on (I haven't even mentioned global warming) but my point is that the next president will face a monumental task, and I just hope not an impossible one.

Why Hillary?

To have any chance of solving the problems I've mentioned, the next president is going to have to have the confidence and co-operation of world leaders, as well as leaders from Wall Street, corporations, labor and the United Nations. I don't think the less experienced Obama or Edwards will have the confidence of those groups. They were fairly treated under Bill Clinton and would expect the same from his wife. Hillary is hostile to corporate and Wall Street abuse but not to the institutions themselves.

I feel very comfortable having another President Clinton in the White house.

Having said that, I don't like some of her votes. I don't like her health care proposal. I don't like some of the posturing she seems to feel is necessary to win the general election.

As to the opinion by Deb (and maybe Cheryl) that she is un-electable, that worries me somewhat. I'm hoping that the extreme hostility they've observed is more pronounced in the South. I also recall last election that Howard Dean was labeled unelectable (in the media and believed by many Dems) but we didn't fair very well with Kerry.

In any event, I'll be happy to elect any Democrat to be our next president, but Hillary is my first choice.

John G. said... for anyone interested.

deb said...

It's a little late for Gore to get into the pool. Plus, he didn't stand up and do what was right in 00 with the Fla. recount. He won Fla., but instead of bucking the media with their constant ridicule of hanging/pregnant chads he just let it slide and look where it got us.

Dan, I agree with what you are saying about Hillary, but I also believe that any repub nominee has their best chance if she is the dem nominee. I also think that the repub powers that be are fully aware of this, which is why she is getting such media promotion.

The Presidency is a machine and Edwards or any of the candidates besides Kucinich are going to appoint the members of the DLC (Clintons, Gore, et al) to key positions.

I have joined the Edwards camp because I see him as the most electable candidate and know that if this country doesn't take the helm from the neocons we have no chance at ceasing our fossil fuel addiction, and of course, peace, prosperity and the pursuit of happiness.

Cheryl said...

This is an interesting commentary. It discusses the importance of experience. It doesn't support any one candidate, although the candidates with the most experience also have the most history, and examples to illustrate points being made.

Experience, Experience, Who Has Experience?

Cheryl said...

Is this the lastest attempt to end the occupation of Iraq?

The recent committee vote to condemn Turkey for the Armenian genocide has the war crowd in a tizzy. They say it will make Turkey mad at us, and that we can't conduct the war in Iraq without using airfields and air space in/over Turkey.

This is getting interesting.

deb said...

"So what is this great fount of experience the Clinton handlers keep insisting their candidate has, and why does the national media keep going along with the gag?" (from link posted by Cheryl).

Advertizing, over the past 50 or 60 years, has grown into a science. It started with "Here's a good it", then it transformed into "if you are a good/cool/savvy/etc. person you will buy this product". Advertising agencies have intensely studied human behavior. They've studied how we learn, how we are influenced by emotion, and, most significantly, how we can be manipulated into acting a certain way... encouraging a person to purchase a product, become emotional over some issue, or vote a certain way can be achieved by using the same techniques.

The majority of our media is a cooperative network at this point in history. The few corporations who own our TV, radio and newspapers make sure that ideas, even subtle ones, are repeated so many times that the importance becomes taken "as fact" for the general populace.

The stament quoted above from the article "Experience, Experience, Who Has Experience?" asks why the media keeps falling for the gag. The author is assuming that the media is an innocent bystander and not the manipulative tool that is promoting globalization.

deb said...

NYT The ‘Good Germans’ Among Us By FRANK RICH

dan said...

Well I'd have to agree with Cheryl that "experience" alone should not be the desiding factor in an election. If it were, God forbid, Cheney would be our next President.

Hillary Clinton has my support because all her adult life she's been battling for the causes I care about. She's battled to end the Vietnam war, and bring about women's rights and civil rights. More importantly, she understands that this country will never have security by flaunting its power and showing disdain for the rest of the world. I think that it's shortsighted for progressives to dismiss her because of some of her recent posturing. She has liberal leanings and as president, She'll push that agenda as much as possible. The fact that she's a woman is just a bonus.

dan said...

Re: "The Good Germans"

Debbie, Americans seem to have a 'child-like' view of the world. We're the good guys and any bloodshed we cause is just an unfortunate but necessary consequence of us fullfilling our holy mission. We don't understand the lack of graditude from the victims.

deb said...

I got an e from Edwards today, in it he lists his objectives:




SOLVING GLOBAL WARMING (reduce carbon levels by 80% by 2050)



BLUE STATES FROM COAST TO COAST: "Poll after poll has shown I'm the one candidate who can really help turn America blue. I'm committed to helping local Democrats win office from Oklahoma to Maine, and to holding Congress accountable to our progressive vision."

John Edwards Issues

But, hey, I completely respect the beliefs of everyone posting here.

I intend to give it my best shot to get him the nomination. He has gotten bold enough (or maybe educated enough) to stand up and speak out for what is right and what benefits the masses and not just a select few who seem to enjoy a global domination monopoly game.

I have the greatest admiration and respect for what both of the Clintons have done for this country. I will stand by my belief that Hillary is likely to be beaten by a repub in the general election and Edwards can win.

dan said...

Debbie, Edwards is very fortunate to have you on his team. If he can wrestle the nomination from Clinton, he'll make a formitable candidate in the general election.

I can't imagine that the GOP can win the presidency next year. I favor Hillary because I believe she's best equipped to deal with the train wreck created by 8 years of Rep. rule. Two brillant and widely respected men will help advise her (Bill and Wesley).

I look forward to having a Democrat win the White House regardless of gender.

deb said...

Thanks for the input Dan. I completely agree that the main goal is to get the ones running the gov't now out and completely out. I was so discouraged when Dean didn't make the cut in 04. The media was horrible to him. And they did it with this bogus "I have a scream" speech where he was talking over a roar, but one mike was close enough to catch his raised voice without the background roar.

Hopefully people are waking up...but the reason Kerry took the nomination was because the powers that be in the media wanted him to. He wasn't really in the play until the media picked him before Iowa primary.

Cheryl said...

I hope the rest of the candidates can handle the Colbert challenge as well.


CLAIM: Edwards abandoned South Carolina when he was one year old.

FACT: Edwards was born in South Carolina, learned to walk in South Carolina, learned to talk to in South Carolina, and will kick Stephen Colbert's New York City butt in South Carolina.

"Stephen Colbert claims to represent a new kind of politics, but today we see he's participating in the slash and burn politics that has no place in American discourse. The truthiness is, as the candidate of Doritos, Colbert's hands are stained by corporate corruption and nacho cheese. John Edwards has never taken a dime from salty food lobbyists and America deserves a President who isn't in the pocket of the snack food special interests."

deb said...

I'm proud of Colbert for doing it. SC is a solidly repub state, so he's not hurting any dem by running, and actually may get the young people out to vote...wouldn't it be a hoot for him to get more votes than the repub candidate in the general election? I feel certain that if that happened he would give his electorial votes to the dem candidate if that is possible in SC.

Jeff and I have stayed in SC several times when he is working there. I've lived in AL most of my life and been all over the south. I was completely appalled at the racist attitudes in SC, nothing comes close in any other state in the south. Jim Crow is alive and well in SC.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Hi Everyone,

I've still been watching all the campaigning as closely as possible. Based on what looks possible at this time, I'm hoping the two nominees will be Ron Paul and Barack Obama. As far as I can see, all the other Republican candidates are working for the military-industrial complex. On the Democrat side, I'd like to see Dennis Kucinich as the Vice Presidential candidate, but I can imagine what the late night comedy shows would do with the extreme difference in height between Obama and Kucinich. I suppose that wouldn't be such bad publicity for them, though, and they'd probably both have a good sense of humor about it anyway.

I still mainly agree with the views of Ron Paul, Mike Gravel, and Dennis Kucinich, but so far it looks like Mike Gravel and Dennis Kucinich don't have enough of the mainstream support needed to win the nomination.

The only Democratic candidate I have good reason to mistrust is Hillary Clinton. She is clearly beholden to the oil pillagers and the finance industry (which are actually one and the same). She's not making any secret of the fact that she's as corporatist as Bill was (NAFTA and the Telecommunications Act). To deny that Hillary is just as corrupt as Giuliani and Romney would be incredibly dysfunctional. She is not on our side. Hillary is one of them.

deb said...

Hey Christin! Good to "see" you here:-)

There is a questionaire on the MN Public Radio site that matches how you answer questions to how the candidates answer the same questions.

Select a Candidate

It says that you do not have to answer every question to participate. Here are the candidates answers to the same questions:

Candidate positions

Cheryl said...

Hi Christin,
Good to hear from you.

Ron Paul is the only anti-war republican. His honest and straight forward answers to questions, along with Gravel & Kuncich are a breath of fresh air.

Ron Paul has quite an underground following. There are handmade signs for him all over Mobile. But, take a look at his other positions before deciding for him.

I go back and forth with Obama. Sometimes he looks promising. Sometimes he looks like he is with the corporationists. I would rather have him wait for a later election so we can learn more about him.

My favorite is Kucinich, but Edwards looks the best among the ones with a chance.

We need instant runoff voting, along with public financed campaigns. This is an election, not an auction.

christin m p in massachusetts said...


It turns out my views most closely match those of Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul (in that order) -- with Mike Gravel and Bill Richardson tied for third. Not surprisingly -- Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani, and Fred Thompson were at the bottom of the list. I'm going to go back to the site and check more closely to see the exact answers each candidate gave on each issue.


If John Edwards does win the nomination, I would happily vote for him over any of the other Republicans besides Ron Paul. If, however, Ron Paul were the vice presidential running mate, I would still want to go with his ticket. In his interview with Jay Leno on the Tonight Show, Ron Paul said he would consider such an offer from one of the other candidates if that candidate were to considerably soften his stance on the Iraq occupation. But I don't see how that could happen unless he were to run with one of the Democrats.

Is there such an option -- for one of the Democrats and one of the Republicans to switch to the Independent ticket, so they could run together? If John Edwards and Ron Paul didn't end up being their parties' nominees, would Edwards consider switching to the Independent ticket and offering Ron Paul the vice presidential slot? A John Edwards/Ron Paul ticket would be a win/win for all voters, except for the criminal international bankers and their beneficiaries.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

I also wanted to mention that I'm now a fan of Representative Bradley Miller (D-NC) for introducing HR 3915. How soon can we find out how the vote turned out?

HR 3915 Addresses Many Aspects of Predatory and Other Mortgage Lending

John G. said...

If any of you have not already heard. Georgia cleaned house (mayor's) yesterday and the GOP is probably cleaning their britches today. Oh well, gotta get their attention somehow...

Cheryl said...

That's good news, John. I guess there is hope for the South.

Christin, I doubt that Edwards and Paul would ever run together. The war is about all they have in common. Edwards is a populist and believes in government regulation to create a fair playing field. Paul is a libertarian, and believes in no government regulation.

deb said...

HR 3915 might go to the Congress floor as early as tomorrow. Here is a site with some ongoing information on the bill:

HR 3915 Mortgage Reform Act of 2007

JG: I hope sustainable energy is a priority for the new Mayors. I gave this suggestion to the Asheville dem City Council members:

Use the city bond issue to sell bonds that will put solar panels on city buildings. The city uses the money to install the panels. The city puts the savings of the money they would normally be spending on electricity into a trust until the bonds are paid off with interest. The city can then save money for another 12-15 years from the electricity that the panels are providing.

Richard Yarnell said...

My college class bbs has been buzzing with this, pro and con. I'm curious to know what you folks think.

Several xmases ago, we gave gifts of livestock to needy "third world" families by subscribing to "Heiffer" on behalf of our various kids and relatives. I'm treating this as a similar opportunity.

Negroponte has succeeded in building his "$100 computer" for use, primarily, in the third world. The machines actually cost $200 now
but are expected to cost less as the manufacturing capacity and "market" expand. They have flash memory, a color screen, a power plug that accepts multiple voltages and both ac/dc sources, a modem for local, wireless, networks (in schools), the built in ability to
connect with wi fi networks (a college classmate and an active attorney doing charitable work in Chicago, reports that he sat next to some kids on a train near Chicago, who taught themselves how to operate the computer in a few minutes and, using the wi fi connection on the train, managed to read and return email. It doesn't have a hard drive or even a fan. It's waterproof, rugged, dustproof, and is graphically based, using symbols that were carefully researched to bridge multiple languages.

The deal is, for the next two weeks, you can buy one and get one or you can give both to the
non-profit that's distributing them in the third world. (I think you can donate them one at a time, too. It's a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization. (I'm going to "get one" and try it out - they want feed back - and then give it to Susan's teacher friend to give to a kid in her very needy elementary class. I'll give the one that goes
oversees as a Christmas present to one of my kids, much like I did the
"Heiffer Ark" animals that are given to people overseas who can
support themselves and pass on breeding stock in their communities.) Hopefully, that will prompt Brian and his wife, Nina who is Ethiopian, to donate similarly to needy schools in her country.

Here's the Url: You can pay with a credit card
if you don't have a paypal account. The program and computer are
thoroughly described at the site. The goal, and it doesn't seem so
far fetched now, is to have a computer for every needy kid worldwide. Some South
American governments have subscribed to as many as 250,000 each in the first round for distribution to villages and tribes.

The web site even has a simulation so you can see what the kids will see.

The buzz on my class list included a comment that many places don't have electricity. That's true, but you can bet they have cell phones. I'm a little surprised the computer doesn't sport a thin film solar battery charger on its case, but that may come later.


Cheryl said...

After a brief look, the laptops look good. Their wiki has a lot of info about ruggedness and alternate power sources. The software seems to be open source, which is good. Although it could lead to yet another operating system to learn.

The hardware seems to be tied to one/few? vendors, but with all the open specs, more could be added.

I don't know enough about pricing to have an opinion on the cost.

All in all, it looks like a good idea. I hope this good idea catches on because, otherwise, the laptops will be of limited use.

Richard Yarnell said...

Except for this 2 week period of 2 for one, of which one is considered a donation to the world-wide give-away, I don't think they're intended for general public sale.

The program is to provide entry level computers for third world students.

My correspondent says, among other things:

"Note the water-proof, drop-proof computer:

* runs on batteries that will last 24 hours in normal reading/writing/searching and 6-8 hours of high intensity activity;

* then it needs to be linked to a charger at school, at home or other
location or, the machine does have a retractable handcrank, which had been more visible in the earlier versions, which can add battery power in any location;

* has a screen that has good visibility even in bright sunlight, and is good for reading during the day or at night, when it may be the
brightest light in a non-electricity household (like Abe Lincoln's reading at night by candlelight);

* comes preloaded with about 500 books since most places don't have many books, and the computer serves as a bookreader; in a class, different computers may have the same books as well as different books (such as different encyclopedia letters) for sharing as needed;

* pre-release tested the model over the past 2-3 years in many
settings, starting with a school in Nigeria;

* benefits from Nicholas Negroponte and MIT business, political and
education networks around the world, as the current US state department deputy is his brother, although of bit different world view. For example, in Rwanda, the president of the country has directed education and outreach programs to integrate this learning tool into school and community activities;

* generates a change in learning from rote to learning by doing and
collaboration, which has allowed classes to go on even when teachers not there, and initial response has shown that learning tools are engaging enough so that elementary school participation has doubled in many areas."

The software is Linux based and, as you point out, open source. Apparently most of the applications are being developed as donations.

deb said...

Thanks for the info Richard. Wonderful product. I am spreading the word around about the laptop.

Scrutiny Hooligans

(You might have to scroll down to the laptop article if Gordon adds posts)

BTW, Scrutiny Hooligans is a favorite local blog for liberals/progressives.

deb said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!!!

deb said...

Very interesting article on OPEC, the fall of the dollar, ways to repair the problems, and nuclear:

Dollar Crash: The Real Challenge For OPEC

Bush stumps for Hillary:

Bush: Hillary understands White House pressure

McClellan's tell all book reveals that he lied and was asked to do so:

Former U.S. press secretary: "Bush told me to lie"

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Watch Elizabeth Kucinich discuss the possibility of her husband, Dennis, running alongside GOP Candidate Ron Paul. She also says the 9/11 investigation should be reopened because there are "so many unanswered questions".

Elizabeth Kucinich: My Husband Would Absolutely Consider Running With Ron Paul


deb said...

Ron Paul seems to see the problems, but his answer of downsizing gov't and allowing the free-market economy to just take its course appears to me to be the best way for the rich/corporate to hold all of the cards with no regulation, i.e., furthering the path toward a huge gulf between the economic top and everybody else.

No rules and regulations for corporations, or inability to enforce rules and regulations due to lack of gov't, will also lead to corporations polluting more and virtual slave labor for the rest of us.

I have the upmost respect for Kucinich, but I am not understanding how he and Paul could have a connection. I see Kucinich as socialist leaning and Paul as Libertarian, the big disconnect being that gov't is used for balance in socialism and a Libertarian gov't is every man for himself and if a person or family has needs beyond their capacity they are just out of luck.

I am interested in knowing what I am missing.

I don't have high speed now so I couldn't watch the video, but read the comments at the link.

Cheryl said...

There's been a lot of talk about Elizabeth's comments, so I got curious enough to watch.

She didn't really endorse Dennis running with Ron Paul. She complemented Ron Paul on his honesty and position on Iraq. Then she brushed past something ambiguous about differences in economic policies. It sounds like she was trying to say that Dennis is interested in exploring any option that might end the occupation in Iraq.

dan said...

I think Ron Paul's Libertarian positions have some appeal at the moment because under the stuartship of Bush/Cheney, the federal government is a disaster. If the country was doomed to their policies, I'd be ready to minimize the role of govt. also.

Elizibeth Kucinich was just suggesting that Ron Paul and her husband might have some areas of agreement. She struck me as bright and honest.

deb said...

Dan, I noticed that the forcast for MI is either snow or ice, so I'll wish for snow for you. I am a bit jealous, I was expecting more snow in NC than we have gotten for the past 2 winters...but, maybe I should be careful in what I wish for;-)

dan said...

Debbie, if I had the power, I'd pledge Mi snowfall to S.C. for your enjoyment and to those states that need to replenish their water supply. A few snowflakes on Christmas eve is plenty for me.

Patty and I hope to avoid any snow next week by escaping to Las Vegas for a few days. As a bonus, I'll also tune out of the Republican debate over the "most important" issues facing our nation, illegal imigration, rolling back gay rights, prayer in the schools etc. (I guess the war must be over, everyone has health care, we've paid off the national debt and we've finally achieved energy independence.)

Anyway, I hope that when you look out the window of your new home this winter, you'll have a beautiful blanket of snow covering your mountains.

Cheryl said...

Have fun. We all need a break sometmes.

In other news, Great Britain has just learned about our bounty hunter laws.

"AMERICA has told Britain that it can “kidnap” British citizens if they are wanted for crimes in the United States.

A senior lawyer for the American government has told the Court of Appeal in London that kidnapping foreign citizens is permissible under American law because the US Supreme Court has sanctioned it."

deb said...

I couldn't find the article, Cheryl...but nothing is surprising anymore. We, however, can continue to press the rulemakers into doing it right, or at least let them know that "we" know right from wrong when we see it. Tomorrow the Supreme Court will be judging Al Odah v. United States. Habeas corpus could possibly be restored, but then again the Supreme Court's rulings of late lean toward protecting the criminals that be. Maybe if they are blatently anti-Constitutional we would have grounds for the impeachment of all Justices who find against the Constitution.

deb said...

NC has 2 Repub Senators. One used to send me an e on why their vote would be opposite of how I requested that they vote. He (or his staff) gave up on replying to my requests. But, I will send the request for not allowing further media consolidation.

This should be an interesting vote. It will allow us to see which Dems will choose the corporate money over a free press.

Media Ownership Fight Moves to Capitol Hill This Week

The House is in the picture, also:

Congress Goes After FCC’s Martin

deb said...

Saperstein wrote an alternet article expressing the same fears that I have about Hillary. There is poll data that gives justification.

Hillary Clinton Might Be the Least Electable Democrat

Richard Yarnell said...

NPR reported a poll among women that overwhelmingly supported her. A representative comment: I would not fail to vote for a qualified female.

And to put my two cents in: (Bill) Clinton stated, more or less, "don't let a perfect solution kill a good idea," which I take to mean that you compromise, if you must, to make progress.

With the prospects for a veto proof congress dim (even if the Dems improve on the 1 vote margin in the Senate), that art will be necessary to succeed as a Democratic president. Clinton/Edwards is still my pick.

John G. said...

I do not understand how Sen. Clinton can push a policy which would require people to be insured without first addressing the lacking infrastructure of the healthcare industry and the lack of oversight of the insurance companies. A county north of here is pushing for a new sales tax to pay for indigent care without addressing the root problem of hospital mismanagement and unrestrained healthcare costs. I wish I owned a business where I could get a new tax to pay for my services when customers could no longer afford my services.

deb said...

"don't let a perfect solution kill a good idea," Great advice!

I seriously worked to inspire people to get out and vote for Kerry/Edwards. Kerry was actually my next to the least fav dem in 04 (Lieberman was in the same catagory as a repub, imo). Be that as it may, Kerry was a very hard sell. I worked FL (swing state and all).

It is sad that the people who are uninformed, don't really care, and only go vote because I (et al) call begging them to, are the ones who end up determining an election. This same group can change their minds walking into their voting place.

I have the greatest admiration and respect for Hillary, she is, however, not standing up for the things that I believe in, particularly ending the war and Medicare for all. I KNOW that any dem is going to be better for the economically lower 95% of our population. But, I really am terrified of a repeat of 04.

JG, Mismanagement problems cannot be fixed by gov't. The press can expose the issue (if they would) and people can rally to get it corrected, but we all know that top jobs in sectors where competition is limited tend not to go to the best person for the job, but to who is related to or friends of those with the power. Stay involved, squeaky wheels are more likely to be oiled.

Healthcare costs become more difficult. We, as a society, have to make some tough choices as medicine progresses. Example: Do we treat the 85 yr. old for liver cancer at the cost of maybe a million dollars when we know that the probability that he/she will survive a year is almost zero?

Is it fair that the uninsured and underinsured pay up to 10x the amount for a procedure than Ins. companies have to pay? On the one hand the hospital knows they will be reimbursed by the Ins. co. and that the uninsured will often default, but perhaps they wouldn't default if their costs weren't so much higher. I had an MRI that cost $2,000. Blue Cross paid $300 and the debt was settled. If I was uninsured I would have owed the entire sum. Not fair by any measure, imo.

Christopher C. NC said...

This nation is in the midst of a major Constitutional crisis and the Democratic leadership (wiggle through the ads) have stood by or enabled this administration for too long. Hillary Clinton and her future co-president Bill are part of the establishment problem.

"Compromise, if you must, to make progress."

The time for comprimise has long passed if the constitutional republic we know is to survive. The people of this nation need to stand up and say enough. I will not vote for HRC and her efforts to stay in the center and have no clear opinion or stand on any issue. She is just more of the same in a pants suit.

dan said...

Christopher, I share your dislike of all the posturing that goes on during election cycles (which are almost perpetual). In an ideal world, voters would be well informed and candidates who ran on principled, thoughtful positions and spoke candidly would be rewarded. In this country, the average voter is worse than uninformed, they're misinformed. They demand the "truth" and punish those who dare speak it. We put our polititions in an awful position. How can HRC win your vote and not lose theirs?

I'm confident that President H.R.Clinton will be much better than candidate Clinton. She's been fighting for progressive causes since she graduated from Welsley. She's one of us, she "gets it".

Having said all that, it would be refreshing (and maybe worth it) to have candidates speak their mind and to hell with the consequences. I do get tired of this awful circus.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

I just received this scary video embedded in a message sent by a MySpace friend and fellow Ron Paul supporter. Since I don't know how to embed the video into a blogger comment, I'll just post a link to the video's YouTube address:

Cheryl said...

Clinton's health plan is a gift to the insurance industry. Everyone is required to buy health insurance, whether or not it's worth anything. I'm waiting for her solution to homelessness, everyone is required to buy a house.

The insurance industry is the problem. We get to pay them to make tons of paperwork so that they can deny claims. If we don't demand single payer, universal health care, we're not going to get it.

I keep trying to find something better to like about Hillary than she'll be better than Bush, but she sure makes it hard. The attack Iran vote, and being in favor of the Peru NAFTA are big problems for me.

Christin, what is on the video? Dialup is too slow to watch.

Richard Yarnell said...

I'm only going to say this once more.

Hillary, and a lot of other Senators, were fished by the Bush administration.

It has not been customary for the President to flat lie to the Legislative branch: it did.

The bill was presented to the Senate on the terms that Bush needed a stick in his back pocket to make diplomacy work. He assured the Senate that he would use diplomacy for all it was worth. He didn't do that. In fact, I believe there is a good case made that he'd already decided to attack Iraq before that vote was taken.

You'll recall that he insisted that the UN inspectors be withdrawn even when they were reporting that WMD's couldn't be found. They had their run of the country at that point.

So the vote to allow Bush to invade as a last resort was given in much the same way that it had been given to his father. The difference: George the elder lived up to his word. He built a solid and well funded coalition before attacking Saddam's forces in Kuwait and on the Saudi border.

In the later case, the shrub lied, against which there was no defense.

If Hillary, and the rest of the candidates on both sides are at fault now, it is that they are not vigorously defending their votes on those terms.

While I'd like to see us out of Iraq now, I can understand falling short of trying to defund the invasion. Bush has said already that he'll order DOD to take the funds to operate in Iraq from other sources within the DOD budget (I don't think he'd like to do that because it would be part of the budget, whereas the present operations in Iraq are funded largely by separate appropriations.

Beyond that, most people would see a vote to de-fund the Iraqi operation as an attack on our own troops. Stupid, but true.


John G. said...

That is exactly my point. It would seem when every one is required to purchase health insurance many will purchase plans that do not fit their needs. Insurance as we know it is confusing to the average person. also you will add 50 million plus people to the system which I do not believe can handle that influx. Our healthcare industry is built around the system in place right now which provides financial reward per treatment (or lack of) and lawsuits. Until we develop a system where providers are rewarded for educating their patients to live a healthier lifestyle and treating the causes as opposed to the effects, all the proposals now on the table are simply adding obstacles and inefficiencies to an already strained system. Putting that many trillions into an already mismanaged health care industry would seem to be a recipe for more economic downturns for our nation as a whole. Just out of curiosity, what is the possibilty justification for the invasion was a preemptive strike to prevent Iran from getting their hands on Iraq's seemingly more advanced and US Built WMD program? If they by some covert means had manAged to get hold of that technology would that not have cut years off their development of same WMD? I do not know. That is why I ask.

Christopher C. NC said...

It is one thing to say Hillary and the legislature were lied to about WMD's and Iraq, but it was only a couple of months ago that Hillary voted for the Kyl/Lieberman bill (I think) with the similar wording about Iran that Bush could have used for an attack on Iran using his same I have the authorization logic. Obviously she can't learn from past mistakes or she is so afraid of being called weak on terrorism or what have you that she can't do the right thing.

Until the Democrats stand up forcefully to the illogic of the Right Wing Noise Machine that controls the government and the media they are part of the problem.
A big part of the problem and a lot of the Democrats need to voted out of office too.

Richard Yarnell said...

The three Republican members of the Federal Communications Commission approved new rules that will unleash a flood of media consolidation across America. This despite a huge number of protesting letters on the subject.

The new rules will further consolidate local media markets -- taking away independent voices in cities already woefully short on local news and investigative journalism. In some cases, it will reduce the number of stations altogether.

Congress has the power to throw out these rules -- and if 100,000 people demand it, they'll have to listen. Click on the link below to sign the open letter to Congress urging them to stop the FCC and stand with the public interest.

Our ability to know what's really going on, in no small measure depends on taking some action now.

deb said...

Hi friends, I had volunteer help to work on the last of my trim last week and have been in AL since last Thurs. having Christmas with Mom, all of my siblings, and our children; a rare event and a real treat for my Mom. Of course, I'm behind on reading the blog (again).

Thanks so much Richard. I believe I am petition "signer" 13,211 which means we need more signatures. This is SERIOUSLY important for the alternative is that a select few, who currently have a neocon agenda, have the capacity to educate our fellow citizens as to their reality outside of their homes or workplaces. People do not seek out the truth and they do trust what newspapers and television tell them. Our media is already a sham and this consolidation will compound the problem.

dan said...

Yes, thanks Richard. I agree that Congress needs to overturn the new FCC rules so I also signed the petition.

dan said...

If any of you haven't checked out Christopher's Outside Clyde blog lately , it's well worth a look. He's doing a beautiful job carving out his homestead in the mountains.

dan said...

Christopher, I was also discusted and dismayed by Hillary's Iran vote and the performance of many of the Democrats in Congress. They let Republicans frame every debate, then cower in fear and cave. That is not the performance I hoped for.

But that pales in comparison to the discust I feel for the Republican machine. They've been loyal storm troopers marching to the GWB manifesto of world domination and the creation of a new American aristocracy unfettered by the burdens of constitutional government with the coresponding destruction of the middle class. They must be stopped.

I can only hope that if we elect Democrats in sufficient numbers, and capture the White House, that there is still time to right this sinking ship.

BTW, I admire your outrage. The country wouldn't be in this mess if voters saw things as clearly as you do.

Christopher C. NC said...

I signed the media petition.

Glen Greenwald had a good post about how citizen participation and action was the basis of Senator Dodd's filibuster that temporarily put a halt to the new FISA, domestic warrantless spying bill with telecom retro immunity for breaking the law.

Cheryl said...

Ain't none of them perfect, and any would be better than whoever gets the Republican nomination.

My priorities are populism, anti-corporate, end the occupation, and universal health care. This is how I rank them, at least for today.


I don't know where to put Gravel. I love his honesty and many of his positions, but I'm not so sure about him as president. Maybe a cabinet position.

dan said...

Cheryl, I like your priorities and I would add fiscal responsibility to your list.

I like your candidate rankings except I'd switch Clinton and Edwards. I will take a closer look at Edwards since you and Deb both think highly of him.

I hope you're doing well and that you'll have a fantastic 2008.

dan said...


Jim Hightower has offered to share his Countdown Clock (counting the time remaining until the Bush Admininistration is history) with any interested blog. I think it would be a fitting adornment to Bread Crusts.

Christopher C. NC said...

Dan, I'll have a look and see what I can do. Of course with the destroyed torture tapes the clock may no longer be accurate, but then I have had my hopes dashed before by a pathetic Congress who does not know what "Protect and Defend the Constitution" means.

dan said...

Thanks Christopher. The clock looks if you could only speed it up...

deb said...

Mainstream media has leaned "right" for as long as I can remember. Carter was laughed at for putting solar panels on the White House and turning the temp down. He, being the saint that he is, was a hard guy to criticize, but "they" didn't give him an inch or credit for his accomplishments.

Reagan was hailed as a saint by the media, his early stages of alzheimer's, the Iran-Contra, etc. being conveniently overlooked (or barely reported) by MSM.

B Clinton was attacked from the get go. He had zero guilt in what came to be known as Whitewater, that didn't matter to MSM and the media was used to keep him busy defending himself so he lacked the time to do even more for the country. It also served the purpose of avoiding real discussion on healthcare and other national concerns.

Our media is as guilty concerning invading Iraq as the neocons. Prior to the war Scott Ritter was trying to speak out about the lack of WMD in Iraq. Joe Wilson proved the aluminum tube theory wrong. Some British journalists went into Kurd territory and showed film of the dirt floor "bio-weapons" lab. The French Ambassador to the UN made strong and compelling arguments that invading Iraq would turn out just like it has. Not only did our media ignore the facts presented by these people, the media had a planned, coordinated counter attack that discounted each of the messengers. We began to eat "Freedom Fries" and many in our country quit buying French wines (I bought extra to try and offset someone else;-)

OK, what I am getting at is that HRC is getting a free ride right now and Obama is "their" second choice. The Rupdert Murdock, et al, think tanks haven't changed their stripes. MSM is pro-HRC right now and they DO have a plan.

That said, I agree with Christopher that HRC and Obama would not do justice to the underlying problems. Neither of these people would go after the war profiteers. I do not know if any of the dem candidates would do so. I do know that BC should have destroyed the neocon unconstitutional/illegal machine in the 90's and we wouldn't be in the mess that we are in.

If the next President and Congress prosecuted the neocons I believe the courts would find that the entire Bush Presidency is illegal. From that point it would be easy to overturn every law that has been enacted since 00. Without such a finding it will be extremely difficult to overturn the laws that the neocons have shoved through Congress in the past 7 years, often in the middle of the night.

None of the candidates running are a perfect choice for me. Edwards comes the closest. He (a) is electable (b) would put the middle class to work (c) would try to regulate the huge corporations that own Washington lobbys. He, also, has many other plans that I like in his agenda.

No President can achieve what this country needs without a majority Democrat House and Senate. The Senate is especially vulnerable.

deb said...

USA Today is trying to make Edwards a non-issue: USA Today Squeezes Edwards Out of Race

"In a CNN survey of December 6–9, Edwards beat Romney by 11 points more than Clinton and 9 points more than Obama. He beat Huckabee by 15 points more than Clinton and 10 points more than Obama. Clinton lost to McCain in this polling by 2 points while Obama and McCain were tied, but Edwards beat him by 6. There's not as much of a difference with Giuliani, but Edwards still did 3 points better than Clinton and 2 points better than Obama."

John G. said...

What would be the benefit of John Edwards changing his message a little from one of what corporations, mainly healthcare and energy industries are doing to hurt poor & Middle America to one in which he points out how his policy proposals would help Middle America and corporations as a whole? How would Universal Healthcare help the economy? How would it help the struggling healthcare system especially in poor and rural communities? How would it help businesses that employ Middle America but cannot afford to offer their employees a healthcare plan? Would it take away our position as a healthcare system on the cutting edge or spring it forward. Many Middle Americans that vote have investments in some of the very companies he wishes to abolish or regulate. It is my opinion the issues no one talks about are what help you decide which lever you pull on Election Day. Healthcare affects everybody but at the end of the day are there more voters which know someone who has been hurt or received minimal care due to lack of insurance or even worse died as a result of our system being like it is? Or are there more voters that would lose some investment income due to universal healthcare? Universal healthcare will affect everybody in some way, most do not understand in what way or if it will be good or bad for them. Same thing for Iraq and Iran. People do not like to talk about it, but it affects everyone and the average Voter does not like to lose or the world to view us as if we have and when we are "winning" there is a deep sense of gratification that we paid somebody back for hurting or killing our fellow citizens and soldiers. How do we pull our troops out and do it victoriously. He should develop simple consistent 30 second sound bites that answer some of these unknowns. Imagine walking by a television, radio, or pop up and hearing a John Edwards message that you can relate to and it resonates throughout the day. I want to know how universal healthcare will help my family, my company, my pocketbook and most importantly my country. I want to know what it feels like to work and have a home without the stress and worry of losing it all if a family member gets sick and I do not have the right insurance. No candidate has yet to tell me that, they are telling me what I already know. Healthcare industries are built on profit and when you can no longer help the industry profit, you will be denied treatment and be left to die. Moral of the story- If his message is simple and powerful enough that everyone can relate, the people will seek him out, even if that requires changing the channel.

deb said...

Merry Christmas to all!!!

The changes that the country needs in order for our kids and their kids to not be knocked back to the dark ages are going to effect us now. We can't have universal healthcare without causing those currently working for health insurance companies to lose their jobs. We can't keep the stocks of huge corporations buoyed and at the same time get them to change their stripes from polluting and using what is virtually slave labor.

What CAN be done is to build the middle class by going green. Shifting from massive corporations to smaller, local corporations who employ local people to install green energy devices, create public transportation, build individual transportation, and grow the bulk of our food locally (i.e. a sustainable economy) is the right answer for now and for the future. It will not come without some shifting.

There is no media outlet that allows John Edwards or any other politician to present their "plan", other than the internet. There is no "station" to change the channel to. It IS intentional that the talking heads discuss haircuts and what the politician is wearing rather than policy.

If something is repeated enough, people will eventually take that "something" as "fact". An example: the media is liberal. It is one of the largest lies being touted, but average Joe or Jane believes it. "They" even come up with "proof" from time to time. Example: More TV journalists are registered Dems than Repubs. OK, this is a true statement, but TV journalists (other than Olbermann) aren't writing their own script. The typical journalist shows up at the station, gets their make-up and hair done, goes in front of the camera and reads from the teleprompter. Rupert Murdock, et al, hire think tanks to do the writing, screening, and propaganda for us to hear. Those "journalists" that make the big time are talented enough to convince us of the "reality" and importance of the statements that they read. The real fact finding journalism of the past is hard to find.

Once a real fact is out in the open then these same think tanks spend their time convincing us that the fact is trivial or unimportant. The best example lately is the destruction of the CIA torture tapes. People who read and care about humanity are screaming that this is criminal; while our media is playing it down, pretending that the destroying of the tapes was an accident, that there really wasn't any "torture" on those tapes, acting like it's OK to torture, and changing the subject to which famous 16 year old got pregnant.

I recommend going to each of the candidates websites and reading their stance on the issues. If you like what you read then share that info with others.

Cheryl said...

Catholics United has a good summary of all the presidential candidate posistions. It's worth a read even if you're not Catholic.

Dan & Christopher, thanks for the countdown clock, great idea. I just hope the next president will change things. If we get another "the past isn't worth bothering with" like B Clinton, I don't have much hope.

Deb, I followed pretty much the same reasoning to choose Edwards. Also, I like a president with the humility to admit when he has been wrong. After I saw the story about USA Today squeezing Edwards out, I started noticing that most of the media is doing the same thing. If Edwards gets mentioned at all, it's in passing, and with a dismissive tone of voice.

JG, I agree. How do we reconcile the fact that we are employees or small business owners, as well as consumers, as well as investors, as well as patients? The corporationists do a good job of playing one interest over the other. Assorted talking points to remember when play this tactic.

- Our major souce of income is the paycheck or small business profit.

- What is good for big corporations is ususally very bad for small businesses. Most of the regulations give small businesses a fair chance to compete. Regulation that big corporations want (like NAIS) will make it impossible for small businesses to stay in business.

- Health care concerns prevent many people like me from starting a business. It also prevents many people from working for a small business. I need the health insurance I can get from a big company.

- Health care costs are also hurting big companies because companies in other countries don't have that enourmous expense. You could say the same thing about our invasions. Even the military contractors are both profiting and paying for the war. Only a few top executives have a net gain from the wars.

- We do have some income from investments, especially after retirement. Responsible regulations will not destroy the companies. It might affect next quarter's balance sheet, but it will make them more likely to be stable for the long run. The average person does not profit from a volatile market where companies compete over who can get away with the most. We want them to compete over who can produce the best products.

- Cheap imports are really expensive. When Wal Mart moves in, and shuts down the little stores, more people end up on welfare. When we offshore environmental disasters, we get unsafe food, and lead in our toys. Tax revenues go down as incomes fall. The list is endless.

- I don't know how we are going to get past the pride of admitting that we were wrong to invade Iraq. We've reached a point in our history where we need to grow past the illusion that we are perfect in all ways. We need the maturity to recognize that we have lost sight of our ideals, and that we need to start towards them again.

deb said...

Thanks for the link Cheryl. I found an issue that Obama supports that I did not know about: "Introduced legislation that that would increase the production of liquid coal."

Use of coal in any form needs to stop. My Male ancestors were coal miners. My Grandfather died in a coal mine cave in. My ancestors all had black lung, even the women, at least to some degree. The current method of mountain destruction to harvest coal is destroying the beautiful Appalachian Mtns. (check out the Google Earth environment link). These are a few of the problems with coal that start even before we begin to burn the stuff.

Cheryl, your list tells it like it is. We are currrently experiencing the results of a nation that was "enroned" (a term I coined for the rape of an economy)

Cheryl said...

Ya'll gotta read this.

The Republican debates through a 9-year old's eyes.

See if you can figure out who Sarge, Wrinkles, Bunny Ears, Oily, Beagle Eyes, & Carrot Face are before the end.

deb said...

Astute kid, thanks Cheryl.

Wondering about "super delegates"?

2008 DNC Delegates

deb said...

The webs the media spins:

Humbled in New Hampshire?

deb said...

Uh, freedom of speech anyone?

Whistleblower effectively gagged by FBI

Cheryl said...

Informative articles, Deb. The party candidate process is worse than the presidential election process.

A couple more along those lines,

"While the world’s oldest democracy, the United States, spends trillions of dollars claiming to bring democracy to Afghanistan and Iraq (through the barrel of a gun), what have we got here? A process driven by major donors shoveling huge sums of cash into the troughs of television broadcasters, who are holding the electoral process hostage through their control of the public airwaves. The same broadcasters arbitrarily exclude viable candidates from their so-called debates, elevating themselves to kingmaker."

"Two crucial developments in U.S. constitutional jurisprudence — the grant of Bill of Rights protections to corporations, and the extension of First Amendment protections to commercial speech — have enabled corporations to invoke the First Amendment to defend their right to hawk goods, so long as they are legal, by almost any means short of outright lying or clear deception.
Pharmaceutical companies purchase the information from data-mining companies, the largest of which is IMS Health. Pharmacies track what drug is sold to each customer. IMS buys the data from the pharmacies, deletes all patient names, combines it with data that enables the identification of prescribers for each prescription, and aggregates the information."

Cheryl said...

I am so bummed about Edwards dropping out.

Christopher C. NC said...

Sorry for your loss Cheryl. I sure hope this helps Obama big time.

John G. said...

The problem with the pharms data mining is there is no intelligent way for them to track the growing black market for their goods. ER'S pass it out like candy to clear the waiting rooms; doc's do the same with samples and win on the back side once they write an abundance of scripts. There are so many shut out of regular health maintenance & this is in a culture where everyone takes something that a large percentage self medicate. Even many with some kind of coverage are abusers, either through use or selling off excess. If you figure in imported counterfeits there is oversupply, more than enough to fill the growing demand. It says a lot when a child that cannot purchase cigarettes has no problem getting prescription drugs. Industry and Government leaders perpetuate this cycle and act clueless as to the eventual outcome from both a national and economic standpoint. 6 days before Super Tuesday? All is not as it certain.

Richard Yarnell said...

I go back to my original choices: Clinton/Edwards.

Jobs 1 and 2 are foreign relations and economic policy. The Clintons are well respected around the world where we'll need every friend we can dredge up. Grand rhetoric won't cut it - performance in a very tough environment is what's needed. It's no longer a matter of the US saying "This is the way it's going to be."

As for financial policy: there was a time (93-2K) when we managed to reduce the deficit and actually build a surplus. We actually reduced the debt some in the last couple of years. Don't kid yourself, it wasn't all due to a boom - there were some hard choices made and Clinton was around, probably participating in the debate.

Clinton, during her first term in NY, made real headway in the northern counties. The rap that she can't form coalitions doesn't stand up to the support she managed to get from traditionally GOP strongholds.

Obama needs to serve a longer apprenticeship before he's entrusted with the Presidency. We've just lived through 7 years of inexperience with an alleged collegial guy. Haven't we learned anything?

Christopher C. NC said...

To compare Barack Obama's resume to GW Bush is ridiculous. One is a slacker/addict who used family wealth and name to get to the top while hiding consistant failure. Barack worked hard, achieved success in his academic career, then worked his way up through the Illinois legislature to the Senate.

Nothing will tell the world in a more dramatic way that the US has completly shifted course from the Bush years than electing Obama. The Clintons are a return to the past.

Yes the Clinton's are masters of the political game, but they carry too much baggage that will be the target of continued assault and divisiveness from the right wing. We as a nation can not afford to be distracted by that any more. Time is of the essense.

Hillary's negatives are far to high. She could easily lose the election by many pissed off Democrats staying home and refusing to vote.

Do you want a Democrat in the White House or not?

John G. said...

If there were a Clinton/Edwards Ticket they would probably win by a significant margin. Personally I have spent the past few months building Edwards up as a common Americans candidate, not an easy task in a heavy GOP state like GA.
Been called a few new words in the process (and I grew up with these people) But I can be very persuasive when I really believe in something especially when it's America your talking about. You can imagine the disappointment when he dropped out 6 days before Super Tuesday and the snide remarks I received the day after. I found myself looking for clues as to why he would do that, "suspended" "Elizabeth" "Independent" "Vice President"... Yesterday was a little different the conversation shifted to Barrack and Hillary I stayed pretty quiet during the conversations for obvious reasons, I no longer had a candidate to support and the GOP is nothing to brag about. This is what I heard. We had an African American car salesman elected 8 years ago as Mayor to a local city; he promised change, improvements to infrastructure, and a break from the status quo and more equality for the inner city as well as fiscal transparency. This is what happened in short order, crime shot up, the city surplus evaporated to the point they had to borrow year after year to make payroll, the city finance chief who was hired out of Chicago was eventually charged with misconduct and remains under federal investigation, relations between the mayor and city council deteriorated to the point of non existence, the mayor spent more time in sister cities in Africa than he did at home, he sent tens of thousands of dollars and equipment to these same sister cities, the airport was put on probation, the city bond rating was lowered, pensions for fire and police were cut resulting in an exodus of officers in already understaffed dept's, large solid employer's boarded up and left one after the other, new construction and infrastructure improvements came to a halt, police cruisers were not replaced, to add pain to injury the mayor eventually converted from Christianity to Islam and made the announcement with a slur (he drank heavily), he sponsored Islamic prayer meetings at city hall and finally he pledged solidarity to Hugo Chavez on city letterhead and announced it the very week we were burying 3 local soldiers from the 48th that were killed in Iraq....The list goes on but you get the gist of it. This is what locals see in Barrack, not his fault of course but same people do not want the nation to go the way of this city. In retrospect the car salesman probably could have done a great job but I do not believe he or anyone else could have counted on the culture shift that followed his taking office. Growth of the city shifted north into the county and away from the historic downtown and her suburbs, people of means sold out and left town, investments in substandard housing left with them, vagrants and gang members became emboldened, Taxpayer funded entitlements went up, Healthcare quality at the local hospitals went down, the mayor felt (yes it’s true) & promised to reverse the ratios of convictions of minorities over those with the resources to defend themselves and stay out of jail, no county land was annexed into the city for 8 long years even as surrounding communities were annexing there counties with breakneck speed each time changing voting demographics. All federal grants went to the poorest neighborhoods where the impact for the community as a whole was the least and even then and up to now those funds are under investigation and for the most part unaccounted for. The mayor had no and made no attempt to make allies with community leaders past and present to solve existing and developing challenges the community was facing. The argument he was voted in by minorities and the only winners were minorities and in reality they had nothing to show for their “gains” now had merit. The city could not get anything done from the stigma he inadvertently created. He was elected with no experience and only the promise of change which was apparent at face value. The result was voters; Minorities, GOP, old, young, men and women came out in record numbers to vote a white democratic lawyer in with record turnout and 96% of the vote vowing never again. Regardless of who wins my feeling is there are Historically GOP voters out there who do not have a candidate they are confident about voting for, Edwards was their guy.
If it is Hillary or Obama we can count on and should prepare for a culture shift, the America we live in today will promptly go away and the shift will start day one inside of all Americans. All the things candidates promise today will no longer matter on day two after taking office. The pres.- elect better have a back up plan and considering the enormity of the office (machine) Americans will be less anxious if that candidate has some experience within his/her machine. All things considered Teddy, Kerry, Hollywood and the SEIU historically make Americans anxious. We are tired of the decades old hierarchy but we are more weary of local politics being escalated to the national level.
I apologize for the book and I hope it is not too convoluted but the dems are riding a wave of optimism lately and they may be overlooking all the little communities similar to the one described above, by themselves they do not matter and no one cares. collectively they can shift the mood of the country overnight and when that happens the dems are more likely going to maintain there lead if they have experience in the Whitehouse and someone like Edwards as V.P. A young African American from Chicago with teddy and Kerry as advisors is not at all comforting to the average Joe. Moral of the story: Do the Dems want the Whitehouse back? Do they want one term or two? Americans do not want the nation to mirror the city I described above and if that is what they end up with they will throw the dems out of the White House and the Capitol with 96% of the vote and toss the key. Promise of change is not enough, Americans like their stability or illusions of stability more. Which candidate has the machine to provide them with that stability? Now and in the long term?

Richard Yarnell said...

I didn't intend to compare resume's, rather the charisma factor. Although I never found Bush charismatic or even likeable, apparently many did.

Obama's success is his due, in large part, to charisma and rhetoric. Even if there is substance behind it, I don't think he's got enough practical experience, especially with regard to foreign relations, to be able to do the job. If he gets himself appointed to the right committees and/or takes a cabinet job where he'll get some executive experience, I'll be on his local committees in a flash.

Judy said...

It is Clinton for me....
although I do like Obama....
His stand on teachers pay being tied to student performance is the big difference between the two as far as their issues go,

deb said...

I've been bummed, too. An article in Alternet this morning expresses my thoughts fairly well: Super Tuesday: Where's the Candidate That Represents Me?

Cheryl said...

Very good summary of the way many people are thinking. Thank you.

My candidate of hope is still Edwards. He had a clue about what is causing our problems, so he had a chance at fixing them.

I don't much care between Clinton or Obama. They are both corporate owned.

Clinton offers the hope of a return to the glories of the 90's. Obama offers the hope that we can click our heels three times & say "yes we can" to fix our problems.

Obama can inspire people with his speeches, his cult following scares me. Clinton looks to fix the pothole in front of us, but she fires up the rabid right.

Their health care plans are pretty much the same. They both keep the insurance companies. Clinton tells you upfront about the mandates. Obama lets you wait to get sick before telling you about the mandates. He won't put it in any of his official literature, but he has admitted that people who opt out of insurance will have to pay some sort of back insurance payments if they get sick.

Christopher C. NC said...

After seven years of a functionally illiterate president and the slow creep of Double Speak into political discourse and the media it may be understandable for you to be skeptical of Obama's gifts as a motivational speaker and his ability to motivate us, the American people to take back our government and our ideals as a nation.

John's tale of the mayor of his city sounds like the Bush years on the national level.

In regards to foreign affairs experience the last governor from Texas and before him a governor from Arkansas had no more experience in foreign affairs going into the presidency than Obama's world view, education and willingness to be informed holds for him now. That experience is held in the people he would appoint to key positions and how he thinks we should treat the rest of the people of this planet.

Executive experience is being displayed as we speak in running a campaign that has "She who was Inevitable" on the ropes.

Policy directions are one thing, but if you can't motivate your party members and the Congress as a whole to enact them, they don't mean didly.

Congress for all intents and purposes is broken. The president just admitted publicly to war crimes and Congress will not do anything about it because they are still too afraid of the Republicans.

Which is why Hillary won't be able to get us out of Iraq. She lacks a pair in the political and metaphorical sense and will cower in the face of the "Weak on Terror" charge that the noise machine will hurl her way no matter what she does and no matter what public opinion actually is. The Beltway has become a closed think tank system.

Obama is not afraid of the Republicans. He just may be the backbone the Democrats are missing.

I am beyond ready to click my heels three times and return to reality.

John G. said...

Very compelling posting. But it does leave one with the sense we are to vote for a candidate not based on credentials but more of a disdain for the credentials of the "beltway" I have listened to Barrack and no malice intended but I do not feel inspired by his speeches, it is almost as if about the time you think you are fixing to get the punch line he's gone. I do however like the one "We are one Nation & our time for change has come!" Again, one is left wondering how...exactly? The big names within his campaign are not known as change agents and certainly are not inspiring, most importantly you do not want some of them in the White house. I am not intending to be argumentive as I respect your opinions to the millionth degree and as always think you are a political genius, Just trying to insert some healthy discourse because as I stated before all the times I have heard Barrack I still walk away wondering what in the heck he stands for other than change. the riff raff he has attracted along the way scares me more than (s) he. Barrack took my state and did it with 90% of the African American vote and a healthy percentage of the white GOP men. I doubt very seriously the majority of African Americans cast a vote based on informed issues and the white guys would vote for my dog if it meant keeping Hillary out.
Regardless, beyond domestic issues we do live in a world where extremism is an ongoing & gathering threat (this was admitted by both dem candidates in the last debate) and the most important issue we need to consider is the #1 job of the next tenants of the white house will be commander in chief, or those 10 and 11 year old kids being trained by AQ will render all other issues mute within two decades. I do not want a Commander in chief that will pull us out of a conflict because it is not popular; adversely putting into question our nations resolve only to reinsert us into Darfur because what is happening there is morally wrong. What are your feelings on the “Fair tax”? It is very popular in our state right now. My uneducated take on it is the little guy and small business will pay more and people of means will pay less. The little guy and small business will pay more through big ticket items and credit when they pay back the interest on the debt borrowed to fund their purchases. The big guy will simply do what they did with mfg. purchase offshore with a series of complex transactions tailored to avoid the tax and the service consumption industry that drives our economy will eventually go the way of the mfg. sector that drove our economy for so many years. Again, my uneducated view is if we want to help the economy there is more than a trillion inefficient dollars being poured into an equally inefficient healthcare system. A trillion dollars, just sitting there. Right now that is controlled by a few sales people and the upper crust and we are considering candidates that want to legislate we give them more. How do we put those trillions back into the economy?

Christopher C. NC said...

Change happens one step at a time. Changing the face and tone of the president both domestically and internationally is a big first step. Hillary can’t do that. She is mired in the politics of the past. If you have listened to Obama you should have heard him say, change will not be easy and will require sacrifice. It will take more than clicking our heels three times.

I agree with you John, that after listening to Obama I did not get what all the “inspiring” hype was about. He was good, but hardly extraordinary. His speeches are better when read as text.

There is little to no policy difference between Hillary and Obama and his credentials are more than adequate. The credentials of the Beltway are shameless self interest and corruption on both sides. Why would I want to return one of the key players back to the top?

Radical Islam is a stateless ideology. Our occupation of an Arab country for oil and for the profit of a few military contractors only fuels the recruitment for AQ. It is a stupid response to the threat of Radical Islam and is only weakening this nation militarily and financially. In the big picture this is a war within Islam itself. We can not win it. We can only protect ourselves from it.

I don’t really know what the Fair Tax is. I can just tell you that an economy based largely on consumption is not sustainable. Our economy needs to get back to more production.

Half the Democratic voters have now been called a cult and riff raff. Think about that.

dan said...

The United States is in the 28th year of policy domination by the Republican Party (with a short pause when President Clinton wielded his veto power so effectively). The result, a massive unnatural disaster, to our environment, our institutions, infrastructure, constitution, human rights, economy, foreign relations etc., all the while, taking on massive debt. I can’t imagine a more difficult job than the one facing our next president.

There are no magic bullets to undo this damage and no painless solutions. Our next Democratic president will be ousted after one term if he/she doesn’t prepare the electorate for some very tough times ahead.

I’ve heard Obama’s speeches and have been inspired by them. He’s certainly bright and articulate. But his emphasis on unity, his consolatory tone and his “yes we can!” strike me as premature.

I’m for electing Hillary Clinton to do the difficult job of mending our domestic and foreign policy and convincing Americans that we can’t borrow our way to prosperity. Let her take the heat for some tough but necessary measures. I think she’s up to the task and the party wouldn’t risk ruining the career of its most promising young talents.

In any event, I’ll work equally as hard for either of them in the general election.

John G. said...

That was passionate...Iran is far from stateless. Cult and riff raff are not terms applicable to any voters. Personally I just do not have a preference to Kerry or Teddy nor the SEIU. (I agreed with their contest just not changing the rules after submissions closed. It was kind of “Read my lip’s”)
There are some, due to the simple nature of this election, that are looking past the candidates and more at the machine they will carry with them into the white house.
All the hype about the candidates is necessary but at the end of the day we should not be surprised if it comes down to the one with the most promising organization and all things considered their choice for V.P. It will be interesting to see which candidate recognizes this and puts together the best P.R. for the voter’s. Right now the most viable candidates are still operating as if it is all about them and the milestones in history they could potentially set. As I previously stated, day two none of that matters anymore because although change is a one step at a time process, voters are the exception to that rule, they will change their attitudes overnight and when they do the presidency better have a back up plan. The last guy did not and fortunate for him he was already in his second term…

deb said...

I, too, will work as hard for either of them in the general election. I only wish I could be working for a President that would truly fight to bring democracy back to this nation.

We did have good years when BC was Prez. He did a lot to bring people out of poverty which also caused the middle class to rise altogether.

I now know that there were many "behind the scenes" things happening that were wrong, seriously so, that he did not work to change. He should have gone after the neocons for their guilt during the Reagan admin. He should have shut down the School of the Americas. He should have restored our monopoly laws, lobbyist oversight, and (of course) the Fairness Doctrine.

If we get the "trifecta" that the Repubs had for 6 years, and dems don't diligently work to correct the basic system of government, then those of us who are now working for dems must work equally as hard to remove the "corporate" dems and replace them with dems that represent the masses.

JG, Iran is not radical Islam, although there are factions of radical Islam living there. May I suggest reading "Reading Lolita in Tehran"? Or any other numerous books written about real people living in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan Pakistan, etc. 9/11 was conceived by a small group. The US has effectively taken away the money from that group. Granted, the terrorists could enter this country and attack again, but it would still be a small group. They do not have the planes, ships, or even armies to invade us. If we spent a fraction of the money that this war has cost we could prevent that small group from doing any harm to our country. Ivading another country and murdering another million or so people isn't the way to prevent attacks like 9/11.

Why did we invade Iraq? Oil and war profiteering. Why are the neocons out to get the Iranians? The Iranian Oil Bourse...same goes for Venezuela along with Chavez wanting his people to reap the benefits of their oil, btw.

One thing that I do know is that every last Republican on the national level is bought and paid for, with one exception...Ron Paul. No matter what they have said they will or won't do, when it comes to the voting they have consistantly voted in unison for the most horrible legislation that this country has ever passed. McCain said he would never support torture and then voted to allow it. The list is too long to type, but check it out, the repubs are one huge, bought team.

Republican voters, on the other hand, are some of the nicest people that I know. They just watch too much TV and forgot that the Bible says "Thou shalt not kill". How long will people keep believing the talking heads on TV when the heads are being proven to be liars time and again?

Richard Yarnell said...

Regarding evangelical voters (I'm reporting what Susan told me of a series of interviews on NPR):

Hucklebee uses biblical quotations and references throughout his speeches and even his impromptu responses. A curious reporter wondered how many, in his audience, knew what the candidate was talking about. Among the 5 allusions, almost none were recognized by supposedly devoted bible readers and church goers. Among them, Davide vs Goliath; widow's mite, and even feeding multitudes with a couple of loaves and fishes. Astonishing.

Cheryl said...

We heard the NPR story about Huckabee's Bible references. My kids recognized them all. So much for Catholics not knowing the Bible. The problem may have been that there were too many New Testament references. For the only OT reference I heard, it took me a little while to connect "smooth pebble" to David & Goliath.

My understanding of the FAIR tax is that it will replace the income tax with a national sales tax of 20-30%. What a grocery bill that'll make. To make it less harsh on the lower income people, there will be some sort of pre-rebate that you can file for. If you don't file this form (that will look remarkably like the current 1040), you don't get a pre-rebate. The rich will make out like bandits because they can afford to save much of their income. Any income not spent is not taxed.

To sum it up, only middle and lower income people will have to file tax forms. The rich get a big tax cut. We still an IRS-like department to audit the "rebate" forms. Few politicians will make their tax forms public because they won't have any forms to report. We lose our best method of finding out who politicians are getting paid by.

Richard Yarnell said...

The "Fair Tax" is both not fair and clumsy.

For a long time I've advocated a "universal" sales tax that is applied to every single transaction, no exceptions and does not require an expensive rebate or even record keeping system.

20-30% is obscenely high and suggests to me that its author doesn't understand the relation between GDP and cash flow in our economy. @007 GDP was in the neighborhood of 13 Trillion.

However, if you add up the transactions in the domestic economy, that amount pales.

Applying any sales tax at that level is most assuredly regressive.

The "Universal Sales" tax (and the calculations on which this number was based are out of date) need be in the range of only 1/2 to 1% of any transaction. That amount is not enough to discourage or harm anyone for the following reason: the poor spend their income only one time where as the rich tend to spend their income many times, especially if you include investment purchases and sales.

So let's assume that someone making $20K per year spends most or all of it, their share of the annual tax would be $200 at the 1% level. However, the more wealthy among us would pay tax on everything including the activity of their savings and investment.

Someone who receives interest on a municipal bond would pay 1% on that payment; they'd have paid 1% on its purchase. Not only that, but every transaction associated with that bond would be taxed at the point it was transferred. The same is true of manufactured goods (and this is why my original calculations showed that the rate could be below .5%) all transactions necessary to produce a widget would be taxed at that same fractional amount. No need to keep track of "net" anything. Industry would begin to pay its fair share and the wealthy would pay theirs since their "savings" would not be sheltered. Even assuming you buy a $1 million CD and leave it in place, the interest it earns would be taxed. It is unlikely though, that those savings would remain in just one investment. People make purchases and sales of stocks and bonds as the market changes. It is therefore probable that the same dollar is going to be spent by the wealthy several times over.

I've had people tell me that collecting the universal sales tax would be expensive: I don't think so. As soon as income is recorded, that tax is calculated. The black market could become a problem, but it's pretty much excluded from income tax as it is.


Richard Yarnell said...

The "Fair Tax" is both not fair and clumsy.

For a long time I've advocated a "universal" sales tax that is applied to every single transaction, no exceptions and does not require an expensive rebate or even record keeping system.

20-30% is obscenely high and suggests to me that its author doesn't understand the relation between GDP and cash flow in our economy. @007 GDP was in the neighborhood of 13 Trillion.

However, if you add up the transactions in the domestic economy, that amount pales.

Applying any sales tax at that level is most assuredly regressive.

The "Universal Sales" tax (and the calculations on which this number was based are out of date) need be in the range of only 1/2 to 1% of any transaction. That amount is not enough to discourage or harm anyone for the following reason: the poor spend their income only one time where as the rich tend to spend their income many times, especially if you include investment purchases and sales.

So let's assume that someone making $20K per year spends most or all of it, their share of the annual tax would be $200 at the 1% level. However, the more wealthy among us would pay tax on everything including the activity of their savings and investment.

Someone who receives interest on a municipal bond would pay 1% on that payment; they'd have paid 1% on its purchase. Not only that, but every transaction associated with that bond would be taxed at the point it was transferred. The same is true of manufactured goods (and this is why my original calculations showed that the rate could be below .5%) all transactions necessary to produce a widget would be taxed at that same fractional amount. No need to keep track of "net" anything. Industry would begin to pay its fair share and the wealthy would pay theirs since their "savings" would not be sheltered. Even assuming you buy a $1 million CD and leave it in place, the interest it earns would be taxed. It is unlikely though, that those savings would remain in just one investment. People make purchases and sales of stocks and bonds as the market changes. It is therefore probable that the same dollar is going to be spent by the wealthy several times over.

I've had people tell me that collecting the universal sales tax would be expensive: I don't think so. As soon as income is recorded, that tax is calculated. The black market could become a problem, but it's pretty much excluded from income tax as it is.


deb said...

Hi all, I was bummed more that I realized I would be with Edwards not getting the votes needed to stay in the game. I DO want out of Iraq, I DO want Medicare for all, I DO want the rules in play so that the kazillionaires are required to pay their employees a living wage, and Richard, I even want that transaction tax. I thought it was the best idea yet when we were blogging at SEIU. The problem is that as long as those with the most money control the gov't then these things will not happen. As long as the candidates are accepting money from Wall Street, Ins. Co.'s, Pharma Co's, etc. then nothing much will change and the spiral into civilization which contains a bourgeois class, the poor and little in the way of a middle class will continue. Especially since our media continues to convince people to vote against their best interests.

FYI: Groups Launch Nationwide Multimillion Dollar Iraq/Recession Campaign

deb said...

It Does Happen in America
The Political Trial of Don Siegelman

While searching for the original of this story I am (yet, again) appalled that newspapers across the country aren't reporting that a chief player in our gov't is "witch" hunting elected dems to the point where they are having them incarcerated. How bad does it have to get before the populace demands justice?

One thing that does give me hope is the fact that there is no honor among thieves. If we grab one by the tail, he/she is going to squeal on their cohorts. Perhaps some good Alabamians will go after the players to the point where Rove is up on charges.

Cheryl said...

Bumper sticker I saw today,

Sorry W
I'M the decider
Dems 2008

Richard Yarnell said...

Have had one on the Prius since last February (2007).

However, since we don't vote a primary until May 11, I may not have much input in the decision. PA looms large before then.

John G. said...

There is an article circulating that states they are putting one Mars rover to sleep and cutting the other's activities due to budget cuts. First civilization in history to achieve the scientific know how to put these little wonders on another planet & then shut them down for such a trivial issue especially when we waste that on toilet seats in a day. What a wasted opportunity. No one even answered the most important unintended question these lil booger's have provided us. If they were designed to last only a few months and are still going strong years later, what on Mars allows them to do that? I fear we are stopping 3 foot from a pot of gold and we are too foolish to realize it. Why don't they look for alternate funding sources. I would be the first in line to donate...

Richard Yarnell said...

Spirit and Opportunity are both in service. Spirit is about to hibernate for the winter, as scheduled. Both have exceeded their service lives by more than 36 months.

Spirit is lame with at least one wheel motor or bearing dead. It takes more juice to work around that limitation.

In order to survive the winter, Spirit has to be oriented toward the low altitude of the winter sun. If it can't collect enough light to stay warm, it will become inoperative. Because of last summer's severe dust storms, the collectors are not working at full capacity. I understand that it is now in position and is expected to survive.

You can keep track of the mission at:

John G. said...

Thanx for the link. There is a bigger one due to land (on Mars) in May. There is one due to arrive at Pluto in 2015. That one promises a few surprises as well, we'll call it "Pluto's revenge" when it reveals them... Do you not find it interesting that there is possibly a black hole at the center of all galaxies pulling everything in due to their immense gravitational pulls while at the same time the universe and all her collective galaxies expand and grow farther apart? Thanx for posting...I was starting to wonder if you fine folks had left the galaxy and gone into hibernation as well :-)

christin m p in massachusetts said...

We've got to make sure this woman never loses her seat in Congress:

Rep. Marcy Kaptur D-Ohio Toledo on North American Union Cintra

Cheryl said...

Marci Kaptur is my new hero. I plan on learning more about her.

Cheryl said...

Reading is Fundamental (RIF) has begun its annual beg for continued funding. I was shocked to find out that Jeff Sessions supports something so worthwhile.

deb said...

"The first step in taking control of a nation is the simplest. You find someone to hate" Brandon Sanderson

"And own the media" deb

Hi all, JG wrote me an e pretty much wondering if I still exist, which I do. I know that we all have gained from our interactions with each other for almost 3 years now. We became a group of friends, 2 of which I've had the pleasure of meeting in person. Christopher, of course, because he moved down the road from me and recently I had the pleasure of meeting Cheryl, her hubby and son when I was visiting Jeff at the Gulf Coast.

My connection speed is own fault actually because I decided to opt for a phone card instead of satellite, being as the dish was too expensive. The problem with the phone card is that it is only as good as the tower it feeds off of and since I live in such a remote area the only tower does not have the bells and whistles of towers in high density places. When I'm in a real town the phone card is great.

That said, I just don't spend time on the net. I read my e's and the news headlines (and maybe a few articles). I had actually gotten into a rut with knowing all that we know and not being able to change anything. I had so hoped that the dem House would at least put up a fight, but most are afraid of being raked over the coals by the media and so they don't, or maybe they don't get it (like Heath Shuler who won this county in part thanks to me).

And I'm scared that "we" are going to nuke Iran and scared that we aren't going to act fast enough to protect the future atmosphere. So, I suppose, due to many factors I am taking a break as it seems that most of our group has done.

Just wanted to share and I will be checking from time to time in case anyone posts.

Christopher or Cheryl, it would be easier to check with new threads.

hugs to all,