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Fri 11 Nov 11 #1 
jmaxg
Contributor


Ok folks, we are up for a new election here in the United States of America. Scheduled to happen November of 2012.

Candidates? Well, from the Republican side of things (note to the rest of the world - US politics is based on a two party system - republicans and democrats - that's it) we are VERY advanced with many candidates having thrown their hats in.

On the democratic side.....well, there may be some but the news isn't covering them.

But on the Republican side, we have a few and the news outlets have been flying thick and fast on all of them.

So, of them, here's a bit of a summary.....

Mitt Romney - Former governor of Massachusetts who is now employed as....err.....a professional presidential candidate I think. He was a candidate in the 2008 election anyway. Mitt is a Mormon who was one of the more powerful financial players back in the 1980s having been a top executive in the Baines Corporation.......a company created to take advantage of Reagan's "trickle down" financial deregulation. Mitt seems to be the most stable of the candidates even though he is not seemingly preferred.......especially by extreme right wing conservatives.

Ron Paul - A libertarian, Ron is another professional presidential candidate. Ron is a bit of a phenomenon in that he always polls fairly respectably, yet never makes it to the finish line. Some point to his penchant for "straight talk" or him trying to cut through the bullshit. Maybe. The problem is for Ron, the sharper his anti-bullshit knife gets, the more bullshit there is to cut through and the press seems determined to keep it that way.

Rick Perry - The current governor of Texas. Despite a strong start, Governor Perry has stepped on about 10 banana skins since then and his latest may be the one that sinks him. He came across at first as a deeply religious but determined career civil servant who at one time suggested the succession of Texas from the Union......something he prefers not to talk about now. Governor Perry also, at one time, ordered that ALL girls 11 years old and above within Texas be inoculated for the human papillomavirus (HPV). An honourable idea......except it was found out that the company that made the inoculation not only contributed to Governor Perry's re-election campaign fund repeatedly BUT also that Governor Perry's Chief of Staff left to get another job......with the company that made the HPV inoculation. In all fairness, Governor Perry DID amend his order to make the inoculation voluntary but ONLY after the rest of the country screamed like a stuck pig. Since beginning his campaign, Governor Perry has had to defend himself against racism allegations and a seemingly complete lack of debating skills.......the latest faux paux having been described as watching someone "wet his pants in front of an entire country". His pros? He seems to be a really friendly fella. His cons? He seems to continually forget that he is supposed to look like he can do something for a living.

Herman Cain - A gentleman of African-American origins and that, in and by itself, is historic relative to the Republican Party. But, as was stated in a stinging parody of his campaign by the Funny or Die website, neo-Republicans love crazy people more than hating blacks. And if there is one thing Herman Cain is, it's he is crazier than a shit-house rat. A former CEO of the Godfathers Pizza chain here in the US and a former Chairman of the National Restaurant Association, Herman has recently written a book. Some say that was the real reason he became a presidential candidate in the first place and I tend to agree with that. As for where he finds himself at this particular point in time? As Heath Ledger said when he played the Joker: "I am like some dog chasing cars. I wouldn't know what to do if I caught one!" That about sums Herman Cain up. There is also some sexual harassment allegations circulating about good old Herman. But as either complainants testimony is sealed, with unknown women popping up now that any statute of limitations has expired, common sense demands you give it the stature it deserves.

Newt Gingrich - Newt is a former speaker of the US house of representatives. Newt is also a fairly cagey and intelligent operator. Apart from that, Newt has about as much chance of becoming the president of the United States as I have. Newt's problem is that he was very vocal on various issues in the past. Now the political climate has changed. Newt's "ceiling" is kinda low when questions start being asked about his positions back before neo-conservatism took over.

Michelle Bachmann and Rick Santorum - Putting them together as they are both crazy ultra-religious and neo-conservative senators and nut jobs. They are so confused as the political spectrum adjusts that they don't know what they stand for. Ill-timed statements and mis-observations is the order of the day for those two. I mentioned Michelle Bachmann in a previous post as nothing but a "noise-maker" and I stand by that. Santorum I place right along side of her.

Jon Huntsman - Actually, I would not be surprised if he emerged as the only serious challenger against Mitt Romney. Another Mormon, he was a former ambassador for the Obama administration. He is quietly spoken, but he doesn't miss-speak. He should be watched closely, I think.

So there you have it. I expect in the following posts we can argue about their various positions on economics, foreign policy, domestic policy and whatever.

But....it's official......the race has begun.

This should be fun. :-)


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Fri 11 Nov 11 #2 
sally906
Contributor

Didn't one hopeful have a bad experience when he could not remember what major area he wanted to abolish if he was successful? Vaugly remember something on the news this morning.

I'm afraid my eyes glaze over when the USA election stuff comes over. I don't get a chance to vote so why should I be subjected to the propaganda from both sides for what seems like years? Enough political idiots in Australia to keep me occupied, but at least I have a say in the outcome there.

I have been wondering if the USA no longer is the powerful nation it thought it was but no one has bothered to tell them.


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Fri 11 Nov 11 #3 
jmaxg
Contributor

That was Governor Rick Perry.

He offered the three federal departments he would get rid of as president. Unfortunately, he could only name two of them. For the rest of that open forum, he looked like a shag on a rock.

20 minutes later, he caught up. Too late.......as far as the press were concerned, he had just wet himself in public.


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Fri 11 Nov 11 #4 
kevg
The Grumpinator

Having discussed American politics in some depth with a Factacular colleague I have come to the conclusion that all candidates are mad. Every single one of them, from both parties, have pasts as murky as any billabong. Not unusual in politicians of any country but in US they do stuff grand style.
Left wing Democrats are communists.
Centre Democrats are similar to our Labour party.
Right wing Democrats are almost our Conservative party, as are left wing Republicans.
Centre Republicans equate to the lunatic fringe of our Conservative party.
Right wing Republicans are God bothering Neo Nazi's.
For a country that, as we do, is supposed to separate church and state it seems the religion of the candidate is a big deal. It is also important to get your local church behind your candidate ? That is because churches pay no taxes and have vast amounts of money to give to the candidate they prefer ?

ooo Shall I do some digging and come up with the good and bad points of each chappie ?? Even O'Bama has skeletons rattling in his cupboard !!
I think I just might !!


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Sun 13 Nov 11 #5 
TABBYTOES
Contributor

this proud wooly liberal kind of agrees with you kev [boy am i worried]but you have complicated matters somewhat cos previously i considered American political parties as like two wings of conservative party[GB].....plase dont mention Southern democrats!


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Mon 14 Nov 11 #6 
Doctor Factenstein
Evil Genius

I've never liked the term Leader of the Free World for POTUS. I live in the free world. If he wants to use that title then I damn sure want a vote.


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Mon 14 Nov 11 #7 
kevg
The Grumpinator

Good point Stu, not sure who actually appointed the US leader "Leader of the Free World" but I doubt very much if any of the European leaders see it that way. Pretty sure the Chinese don't and as they are democratic to the core (???) that's one country out, as are the other democratic nations such as Russia. umm seem to be shooting meself in the foot here. Anyway, just how exactly do the US lead the free world please ?

Just cos they dress in suits don't make them Conservatives Tabbs. Cameron isn't a Conservative and he leads the party !!


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Mon 14 Nov 11 #8 
TABBYTOES
Contributor

cameron is less 'conservative' than blair! [the small c aint deliberate]


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Tue 15 Nov 11 #9 
USS Palladin
Contributor

Well, your post is certainly revealing about one thing.


Race, religion, gender still are front and center in our political system.

You mention the religion on two of them, race on one and I guess there really isn't too much to guess about sex when your name is Michelle.

So obviously the race is gonna focus more on the above rather than on the issues, which is actually how I suppose the real people in power want it.

That all being said, I guess I will bring up the recent editorial in IBD. Sadly, it is written by Anne Coulter ( not that far from being a tool) but it raises some disturbing questions as to the actions that both parties take to remain in power. I don't know if any of the following is true, but it is really, really quite sad if it is. I don't think Herman Cain is a viable candidate but I don't think he should be treated this way if any of the following is true.

IBD Editorials

David Axelrod's Pattern Of Sexual Misbehavior

By ANN COULTER
Posted 06:59 PM ET
Herman Cain has spent his life living and working all over the country — Indiana, Georgia, Minnesota, Nebraska, Kansas, Washington, D.C. — but never in Chicago.
So it's curious that all the sexual harassment allegations against Cain emanate from Chicago: home of the Daley machine and Obama consigliere David Axelrod.
Suspicions had already fallen on Sheila O'Grady, who is close with Axelrod and went straight from being former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley's chief of staff to president of the Illinois Restaurant Association (IRA), as being the person who dug up Cain's personnel records from the National Restaurant Association (NRA).
The Daley-controlled IRA works hand in glove with the NRA. And strangely enough, Cain's short, three-year tenure at the NRA is evidently the only period in his decades-long career during which he's alleged to have been a sexual predator.
After O'Grady's name surfaced in connection with the miraculous appearance of Cain's personnel files from the NRA, she issued a Clintonesque denial of any involvement in producing them — by vigorously denying that she knew Cain when he was at the NRA. (Duh.)
And now, after a week of conservative eye-rolling over unspecified, anonymous accusations against Cain, we've suddenly got very specific sexual assault allegations from an all-new accuser out of ... Chicago.
Herman Cain has never lived in Chicago. But you know who has? David Axelrod! And guess who lived in Axelrod's very building? Right again: Cain's latest accuser, Sharon Bialek.
Bialek's accusations were certainly specific. They also demonstrated why anonymous accusations are worthless.
Within 24 hours of Bialek's press conference, friends and acquaintances of hers stepped forward to say she's a "gold digger," that she was constantly in financial trouble — having filed for personal bankruptcy twice — and, of course, that she had lived in Axelrod's apartment building at 505 North Lake Shore Drive, where, she admits, she knew the man the New York Times calls Obama's "hired muscle."
Throw in some federal tax evasion, and she's Obama's next Cabinet pick.
The reason all this is relevant is that both Axelrod and Daley have a history of smearing political opponents by digging up claims of sexual misconduct against them.
John Brooks, Chicago's former fire commissioner, filed a lawsuit against Daley six months ago claiming Daley threatened to smear him with sexual harassment accusations if Brooks didn't resign. He resigned — and the sexual harassment allegations were later found to be completely false.
Meanwhile, as extensively detailed in my book "Guilty: Liberal 'Victims' and Their Assault on America," the only reason Obama became a U.S. senator — letting him run for president — is that Axelrod pulled sealed divorce records out of a hat against Obama's Democratic primary opponent, then against Obama's Republican opponent.
One month before the 2004 Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate, Obama was way down in the polls, about to lose to Blair Hull, a multimillionaire securities trader.
Then the Chicago Tribune — where Axelrod used to work — began publishing claims that Hull's second ex-wife, Brenda Sexton, had sought an order of protection against him during their 1998 divorce proceedings.
From then until Election Day, Hull was embroiled in fighting the allegation that he was a "wife beater." He and his ex-wife eventually agreed to release their sealed divorce records. His first ex-wife, daughters and nanny defended him at a press conference, swearing he was never violent. During a Democratic debate, Hull was forced to explain that his wife kicked him and he had merely kicked her back.
Hull's substantial lead just a month before the primary collapsed with the nonstop media attention to his divorce records. Obama sailed to the front of the pack and won the primary. Hull finished third with 10% of the vote.
Luckily for Axelrod, Obama's opponent in the general election had also been divorced.
The Republican nominee was Jack Ryan, a graduate of Dartmouth and Harvard law and business schools, who had left his lucrative partnership at Goldman Sachs to teach at an inner-city school on the South Side of Chicago.
But in a child custody dispute some years earlier, Ryan's ex-wife, Hollywood sex kitten Jeri Lynn Ryan, alleged that, while the couple was married, Jack had taken her to swinger clubs in Paris and New York. Jack Ryan adamantly denied the allegations. In the interest of protecting their son, he also requested that the records be put permanently under seal.
Axelrod's courthouse moles obtained the "sealed" records and, in no time, they were in the hands of every political operative in Chicago. Knowing perfectly well what was in the records, Chicago Tribune attorneys flew to California and requested that the court officially "unseal" them — over the objections of both Jack and Jeri Ryan.
Your honor, who knows what could be in these records!
A California judge ordered them unsealed, which allowed newspapers to publish the salacious allegations, and four days later Ryan dropped out of the race under pressure from idiot Republicans (who should be tracked down and shot).
With a last-minute replacement of Alan Keyes as Obama's Republican opponent, Obama was able to set an all-time record in an Illinois Senate election, winning with a 43% margin.
And that's how Obama became a senator four years after losing a congressional race to Bobby Rush. (In a disastrous turn of events, Rush was not divorced.) Axelrod destroyed the only two men who stood between Obama and the Senate with illicitly obtained, lurid allegations from their pasts.
In 2007, long after Obama was safely ensconced in the Senate, the New York Times reported: "The Tribune reporter who wrote the original piece (on Hull's sealed divorce records) later acknowledged in print that the Obama camp had 'worked aggressively behind the scenes' to push the story."
Some had suggested, the Times article continued, that Axelrod had "an even more significant role — that he leaked the initial story."
This time, Obama's little helpers have not only thrown a bomb into the Republican primary. They also are hoping to destroy the man who deprives the Democrats of their only argument in 2012: If you oppose Obama, you must be a racist.


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Tue 15 Nov 11 #10 
kevg
The Grumpinator

As long as the focus is on private life rather than politics this sort of stuff is always going to happen. Does this mean that there are no policies in US politics ? Whichever side wins it seems that it's more about not beating your wife/employee than actual politics. Never understood what all the fuss was about over Nixon, he was a crook but so is just about every other politician. He lied ? erm he was a politician.
Far too much attention to personal life and not enough about policies. First one to say he will invade Iran gets my vote (if I had a vote). Oh no, now I'm a sexist, that's me out of the race !!


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Wed 16 Nov 11 #11 
jmaxg
Contributor

Interesting points Skip. Any article from the "cazy-cat-lady" (Anne Coulter) may sometimes be ignored owing to her rather unhinged conduct. Especially after her comment lately about how "OUR (conservative) blacks are better than THEIR (democratic) blacks". I know the comment was extracted from the original context, but I saw the whole thing and it really was a stupid and unthinking thing to say regardless of the publicity impact she intending for it to have. Coulter really is a publicity hound as some of us know. Especially when she has another book release coming up.

Having said all that, she does raise some interesting points and I DID notice that Axelrod has all but disappeared from the press circuit after doing the rounds quite busily prior to the sexual harassment allegations.

BUT, it should be remembered that the National Restaurant Association DOES have two sexual harassment settlements on its books and both of them involved Herman Cain. That is a matter of record. BUT it should also be remembered that these were settlements and so none of the claims made by the claimants has ever bore the scrutiny of a proper investigation. As most would know, a settlement may not necessarily infer any guilt or innocence. They happen to make something just go away.

Again, having said all that, the sexual harassment stuff may be a moot point anyway. Besides wondering why someone would try to shoot to shoot Herman Cain down on purpose anyway (it's not like he was ever considered a serious candidate despite what polls said), his recent performance in front of a Wisconsin newspaper's editorial board may have exposed his lack of "presidential qualities" (whatever those might be) in the eyes of the public.

When asked by the editorial board if he agreed with President Obama's response on Libya, Cain spent the next five minutes pregnantly pausing, umming and arring, trying to redefine what appeared to be a simple question, pausing again, then answering finally with something that amounted to "it depends".

Like watching a five minute train wreck......ya just couldn't rip your eyes from the screen. If Perry has wet himself in public, Cain had filled up his "Depends", fitted a replacement adult diaper, and filled that up too.

"The Late Show with David Letterman" had a brilliantly funny take on it. As they played the clip, a space appeared on Herman's huge forehead showing what was happening in his brain....

Nothing......then a spinning ball with "buffering".....followed by "connection lost".

Finally, a dialog box appears: "The program Herman Cain has experienced a problem and needs to be shut down".

Sounds like he needs a network upgrade to me.

:-)


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Fri 18 Nov 11 #12 
saguingoira
Editor

I'm still trying to re-open the Herman Cain program. It may be permanently broken. Too bad. Would have been a gas in the General.

As to leader of the free world, that's just a media description. It's not like in the Constitution or anything. I think it means something like "mine is bigger than yours." You know, like the guy with the biggest sword was always considered The Man.


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Fri 18 Nov 11 #13 
JMK
Editor

New Zealand has an election next week. The thing that is occupying the press' attention the most at the moment is a cup of tea.


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Sat 19 Nov 11 #14 
jmaxg
Contributor

We had a similar thing happen semi-recently when former presidential candidate Donald Trump had pizza with somebody.......it might have been Sarah Palin....not sure now.

Anyway, so as to allow a clamour of press coverage they took their pizzas outside to the al fresco tables at which point microphones were everywhere and cameras videoed and clicked away.

What did they discuss? Nobody knows. What they talked about paled into insignificance compared to the REAL issue which was......

Why the hell were they eating their pizzas with knives and forks?

Scholars are still trying to work out where this incident belongs in the tapestry that is American political history.

:-)


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Sat 19 Nov 11 #15 
jmaxg
Contributor

More information on Newt Gingrich......

He quoted in a televised debate recently how he had advised the Freddie Mac Housing Loan Corporation of the folly of loaning housing funds to less than qualified applicants putting that forward obviously as Newt trying to offer sage advice to a miscreant organisation.

He forgot to mention that he was being paid by them at the time and had been for quite a number of years after being thrown out of the US Congress.

Newt's solely created organisation had been paid $30,000 per month by Freddie Mac. When making the comment in the debate, it was supposedly followed by a thousand "spit-takes" all across the United States......some by press, some by employees and former employees of Freddie Mac.

And now we find out that another Newt firm had been providing advice to the Health Insurance industry prior to him resigning to become a 2012 presidential candidate. Some of this firm's advice became central platforms of what is now known as the Health Reform legislation of 2009. Price for this advice over the years? $36,000,000.

Now Newt Gingrich would seek to repeal that Health Reform legislation entirely.

I gotta admit......it takes balls to be so lacking in any fundamental direction at all like that.


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Sat 19 Nov 11 #16 
jmaxg
Contributor

More information on Herman Cain.....

It has been proposed that Herman Cain's campaign is not real, but in fact an "art project".

At the Republican Debate in Iowa, Herman Cain quoted in closing:

"Life can seem a challenge. Life can seem impossible.
It's never easy when there is so much is on the line.
But you can make a difference.
There's a mission just for you.
Just look inside and you will find,
Just what you can do.
The power of one begins with believing
That you hold the key to all of your achieving."

Herman said in his closing address that this came from the closing ceremony of the 2000 Olympics. It didn't. It came instead from the opening credits of "Pokemon 2000 - the Movie".

Recently as well, Herman Cain has been heard repeating the mantra "I am a leader, not a reader".

President Ranier Wolfcastle from "The Simpsons Movie": "I was elected to leeeeed. Not to reeeeeed."

I dunno......whoever is proposing this may just have something.

:-)


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Sat 19 Nov 11 #17 
USS Palladin
Contributor

Hmm...don't forget. He likes flowers too......... :-)

Anybody catch the SNL parody of Rick Perry and his "oops" moment?

Pretty good.


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Sat 19 Nov 11 #18 
Proofreader
Member

The Republican array is such a goldmine for comedians. Ann Coulter is a vituperative virago. Jon Huntsman would probably be their best candidate, but .....what is this dislike of Mormans about with the God Squad people? Some say they are not Christians. REALLY???


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Sat 19 Nov 11 #19 
kevg
The Grumpinator

Different God apparently.


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Wed 23 Nov 11 #20 
jmaxg
Contributor

No...same deity. Just a different story about the offspring.

And reference Proofreader, it's not a dislike either.....I personally treat them all the same. ;-)

Now, with the Mormons, God's son Jesus has a titanic battle with Satan on some faraway planet.

Or was that a comic book I once read?

Nope......checked it out......JC and Satan dooking it out IS the Mormon doctrine....just the part they don't like to talk about.

Same as the Scientologists:

Xenu, intergalactic DC9s, souls dropped into volcanoes, individual infection by lost souls detected by "e-meters" - they hate actually discussing that part.

And the Nation of Islam:

Yakuba, UFOs, the white race was "created" by a mad scientist - again, they are unhappy with discussing this directly. Especially with white people.

I think they're all loopy. But at least some of the religions discuss their doctrine happily and at length......Christianity, the Australian Aboriginal "Dreaming", Buddhism, and many others.

But some don't like to talk about it and that's obvious. They will talk about what they can do for you. But the central doctrine itself is off-limits. To me, that is very telling.

Yet here's the rub......if you believe in ANY ONE of them, then from a purist's sense, you have simply no right to look at another and say "that's unbelievable" because in doing so, you undermine the central religious foundation of faith.

On the other hand, us agnostics? We can quite easily lean back and giggle at the whole lot of 'em. :-)

(Yes, I am aware I said "agnostics" and not "atheists" and there is a reason for that)

I personally do not think a spiritual belief system has any part in politics. The separation of Church and State is sacrosanct and well discussed by the United States Founding Fathers. But it's a fact that since the advent of the slimy world of "neo-conservatism" (William F. Buckley, Lee Attwater and later Karl Rove), religious votes have been pandered to for no other reason than "making up the numbers" and as such, devotees will stoop to any level to do exactly that.


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Wed 23 Nov 11 #21 
mapmaker
Contributor

democracy happens once every 4 years in USA and 4/5 years in UK. Careful what you wish for (Egypt etc etc) Look what we ended up with... a woolly coalition led by rich, white, never done a days work in their life morons, and then theres the Labour party!!I'm moving to New Zealand for a cup of tea!
PS just back from Egypt, 2 weeks of splendour, you should hear what the locals think of Uncle Sam!! Suspect its same in Libya etc.


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Wed 23 Nov 11 #22 
kevg
The Grumpinator

Jehovah's Witnesses are definately a different God, I know that one.
We didn't pay politicians til the early (very) 20th century, might have been the same shiftless self-centered buggers but at least we weren't paying them for it.
As for what the Arabs think, who actually cares what they think ??


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Wed 23 Nov 11 #23 
USS Palladin
Contributor

We have been paying the President and Congress compensation since the enactment of the Constitution in the late 18th century so I don't know how you folks across the pond have done it.

Fine line between not paying them/paying them too little and paying them too much. Needless to say you want good people in office they can't subsist on altruism alone. Pay them too little they are prone to corruption, pay them too much they are prone to ridicule.

I am not a Mormon but the way the naysayers approach this thing you would think they were a cult. Pretty damn big cult I say. I guess all religions start out as a cult when you think about it.....

Buckley slimy???? You are throwing the baby out with the bath water on this one.


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Wed 23 Nov 11 #24 
mapmaker
Contributor

Kev,
I know what you mean but USA/UK plus a few European countries spent an obscene ammount of money getting rid of Libyan leadership and spout on about Arab spring, just careful what you wish for when we have 10 Iran's.


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Tue 29 Nov 11 #25 
jmaxg
Contributor

Speaking of obscene amounts of money, the political commentators report that the anti-Obama interests are revving up.

For those that don't know, a famous relatively recent decision by the US Supreme Court stated that "corporations" should now be counted as "citizens" under the US Constitution. Current electoral rules state that any "citizen" can do whatever they like to undermine or promote any candidate for presidency. And so, that means that any corporation can contribute as much as it likes to any fund or Political Action Committee (PAC).

I may be a dummy, but I don't think contributors under this scenario would be all that interested in the current President's agenda.


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Tue 29 Nov 11 #26 
USS Palladin
Contributor

He has an agenda?

Where is the change? Or was that just election mumbo jumbo? He is or has taken as much money from Wall Street as any candidate. So exactly who is running the government????

I actually like the guy, tough times, very tough job, but he didn't do much when he had the majority in Congress his first two years except for a controversial health care plan so I don't know. Pulling a Truman to get re elected isn't exactly making me shout for joy.

And yes, corporations should have a voice, but regular citizens have limits on how much they can contribute and that should apply to corporations too. Tell ya the truth PAC's should be outlawed, but that is just me.


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Tue 29 Nov 11 #27 
shortbreadforme27
Contributor

Wake up people the only person who has a real chance of becoming the next president is sitting right under your noses u just don't know it or want to believe it. A very real threat to BO the self annointed Leader of the Free World.


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Tue 29 Nov 11 #28 
sally906
Contributor

Who is that Shorty?


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Tue 29 Nov 11 #29 
kevg
The Grumpinator

Me of course !!


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Tue 29 Nov 11 #30 
scmwns
Editor

Hop on a fast clipper then, and head east. Can't be any worse than what we've had lately. Don't worry about the birth certificate, I think they're being phased out.


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Tue 29 Nov 11 #31 
USS Palladin
Contributor

I think going west would get you here sooner, the current solar cycle is affecting the Puffin's reading of the earths magnetic field. :-)


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Tue 29 Nov 11 #32 
scmwns
Editor

Actually, east is the better way since we want some one reasonably acquainted with global goings-on. Not to say that Kev isn't, but he needs a smattering of Chinese so so as to stay on top of the trade deficit.


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Tue 29 Nov 11 #33 
USS Palladin
Contributor

Ah good thinking!


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Tue 29 Nov 11 #34 
kevg
The Grumpinator

ah Chinese drug trading, just like the good old days for Roosevelt's family


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Wed 30 Nov 11 #35 
southshoregirl

LOL It is great to read all these 18 days after they began. I personally liked Herman Cain as a person very much but when this fourth sexual accuser came fourward today and accused HC, calmly, of a 13-14 year affair I have to say "Hey! Herman, get your act cleaned up befor you run!" Jeez! Am I going to talk politics here? Not on your life. But I will say that Barack Obama will not be getting my vote because he is unfit for the job. Ann Coulter? She is a boob....or maybe two. I sort of like Jon Huntsman. It is too soon to tell. Romney is an American-only disease I think.


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Wed 30 Nov 11 #36 
southshoregirl

What are the Brits going to do about the attack on their Embassy and Ambassador's home in Tehran?


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Wed 30 Nov 11 #37 
kevg
The Grumpinator

Tell the Iranians they are very naughty I suppose. Whilst the lads on the ground are as good as any the guys at the top have University Degrees and NO Balls.


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Wed 30 Nov 11 #38 
saguingoira
Editor

The lads on the ground are for certain as good as any but the guys at the top need both balls and brains.


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Wed 30 Nov 11 #39 
kevg
The Grumpinator

Well that is surprising !! We've brought our diplomats home and told Iranians to get out ?? Germans have brought back their chaps as well ? Anybody got a price on Israeli strike in next few days ??


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Wed 30 Nov 11 #40 
USS Palladin
Contributor

With stuxnet and strategic explosions outside the gates of essential military facilities, don't you think they are already there?


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Thu 1 Dec 11 #41 
southshoregirl

Probably things are getting really heated up in preparation for "something". WTH.


What is stuxnet?


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Thu 1 Dec 11 #42 
jmaxg
Contributor

"Stuxnet" was a worm, a computer virus that somehow made it into the Iranian nuclear facility control intranet. It might have been a fortuitous internet-to-intranet jump OR the more likely scenario is that an operative installed it off of a flash drive or something.

Anyway, this little sucker had very annoying effects. For example, when a nuclear material centrifuge was turned on and revved up, at the point it was told to slow down, it kept on revving higher and higher until the equipment itself broke down....or maybe just blew up.

Recently, there have been reports of more explosions in and around Iranian nuclear facilities. Whether this is due to Stuxnet still infecting their system or something else remains to be seen.


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Thu 1 Dec 11 #43 
shortbreadforme27
Contributor

Hilary Clinton.


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Thu 1 Dec 11 #44 
southshoregirl

Hillary Clinton is my last choice, absolutely unqualified, not ever having held political office except for two years as US Senator from NY and then her stunning performance as Secretary of State.

Thanks for the explanation of stuxnet, jmax. I had never heard of it but I have heard there are some explosions in Iran.


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Fri 2 Dec 11 #45 
sally906
Contributor

Hillary is my husbands 3rd cousin - I kid you not. Her grandfather and my husbands great grandfather were brothers in Northumberland.. One went off to America and the other to Australia. In Northumberland they were both Roddam - her side became Rodham ours became Roddom. We have actually corresponded a few times as we both hooked up chasing the family tree. We are on Christmas card exchange level. I know nothing of her politics, we never ever discuss it to tell the truth. When Bill was still president and they came to Oz we were invited to a big reception in Sydney along with a few other Aussie Roddoms. I didn't like Bill he had sweaty hands and talked to my cleavage rather than me. Hillary was very nice as a person to talk to - again know nothing of her politics or her grasp of International politics. On a personal level I would rather her than Bill - he is a sleaze.

Is Palin still a contender? I do hope not. Wouldn't sleep easy at night if she had control of the red button!


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Fri 2 Dec 11 #46 
JMK
Editor

The prospect of Palin in charge of anything is the stuff of nightmares.


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Fri 2 Dec 11 #47 
USS Palladin
Contributor

No worries, Cain's problems pale in comparison to Palin's.

Apparently they are both pretty darn frisky.

Bill staring at your cleavage....ha ha...imagine that.....

As to stuxnet, from what I can gather this is a transforming event, sort of like the atom bomb. The genie is out of the bottle. Out of stuxnet we have Duqu, even more powerful and deadly. Since so much of our world runs on computers and the internet, these are very, very serious threats.


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Sat 3 Dec 11 #48 
southshoregirl

Duqu even sounds deadly. I would say even deadlier than I would be if Bill Clinton even looked in my direction.


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Sat 3 Dec 11 #49 
southshoregirl

Hey, jmax, I just want you to know that I despise what Obama and his band of Chicago thieves had done to this country. If it weren't 2:49 AM I would say more but he is a loser! I don't care who gets elected, just as long as they can speak to a class of 6th graders without needing his teleprompters. I am sick of him taking away my freedoms. He sucks.


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Sun 4 Dec 11 #50 
jmaxg
Contributor

Hilary Clinton - she is close to being named the most effective states person for the last 50 years. Impressive.

I don't think she'll ever go for president again......more's the pity. But she currently has public service ideals so we'll see where that leads her.

The missus and me personally admire the lady. Sweet and jovial in front of the cameras, but like a bear trap inside closed doors is what we have heard. Works for us.

By the way, Herman Cain has just stepped out of the race owing to the lady that claimed she had carried on a sexual affair with him for 13 years. The unfortunate thing for Herman is that this all took place, the announcement and subsequent furore, while he was on election tour and away from his wife. Why is that bad? Because it seems that Herman's wife had no idea that this lady existed. Oops! I think Herman's meeting with his wife should be very interesting.


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Sun 4 Dec 11 #51 
jmaxg
Contributor

SSG......there is obviously nothing I can do or say, no matter how many congressional records I produce, no matter how many legislative records I refer to, regardless of any congressional tallies......there is simply nothing I can do or say that can dissuade you from your stance and so I will not even bother.

All I can hope is that Speaker of the House John Boehner and Senate Opposition Leader Mitch McConnell invite you to their cocktail party in which case, you can all get together, have a whale of a time and compare notes.

You wanna hate the guy, then hate the guy. Just remember he is President of the United States of America and as such, should be accorded the proper respect.

George W. Bush was president too once and as my wife will attest, I went out of my way to remember the office he held.


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Sun 4 Dec 11 #52 
jmaxg
Contributor

Bloody interesting stuff about Bill though.


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Sun 4 Dec 11 #53 
USS Palladin
Contributor

Yeah the times they are a changin....back in 92 twern't nothin to have a an affair, just ask Gennifer Flowers.....

Now days you can't even get to the primaries.....

Yeah that Bill Clinton.....interesting...interesting guy.....


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Sun 4 Dec 11 #54 
jmaxg
Contributor

I love the "Family Guy" approach on him.

I wonder if it's true?

One question that hasn't been asked of sally906 though.....

Do you have an amazing cleavage?

I mean, it DOES happen! Really! All us guys will attest to that.

Just like Mick Jagger and you ladies trying to figure out if that was rolled up socks, a cucumber, or for real.

:-)


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Sun 4 Dec 11 #55 
jmaxg
Contributor

Before anyone says it, yeah this has taken an interesting turn.....uh-huh, gotcha, whatever.

Normal transmission should resume at any time.

:-)


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Sun 4 Dec 11 #56 
southshoregirl

Everyone in politics has an agenda and Hilary Clinton is no exception. She is an Alinsky-ite, which I do not like at all. And I do not like Obama's hate of our country and his associations and close ties with people like Van Jones, Bill Ayers, Bernadette Dorn, , Loius Farakkan, Reverend Wright, Rezko (who was just sentenced to 10 years in jail and had split a piece of property and sold it to Obama), oh, there are so many more. The entire "Arab Spring" was, in my opinion, engineered by the US with the most eloquent Ms. Clinton speaking for us and what really happened is that our tried and true ally in the Middle East, Israel, is now in a terrible position and has been insulted and ignored by us, and the terrible former leaders of Egypt and Libya have been removed. OK, so who is replacing them? The Islamic Brotherhood, the very radical group which will do anything it can to promote radical Islam. That's just what we need. I am not talking about Muslims, I am talking about radical Muslims. No, I am sorry. H. Clinton is a radical left winger and she is a poor public speaker and I don't have a high opinion of her. And I will have respect for a president when it is deserved. I see no particular reason to respect Obama. Everyone can think what they will of him but I stick to my original opinion. I have no idea for whom I will vote. It will not be for Clinton or Obama.

I have no interest in John Boehner since I am none too happy with him either and I doubt I will be invited to any Republican holiday parties since I am a registered Indepedent. I think it's time for term limits for all the congressmen and senators. It should be their honor to serve, not our honor to have them stuck in the job forever.

I don't know what happened with Herman Cain. He was certainly a very likeable man and I don't know if the accusations mad were true or not but so many presidents, have been womanizers it is hardly an issue to anyone except between husband and wife. Hell, Franklin D. Roosevelt died with his girlfriend present and do I even have to mention JFK? Eisenhower had a babe but Mamie was too drunk to care from what I have read. Affairs? Keep your mouth shut and make sure you can trust your buddy.

Normal transmission has resumed. PLEASE! DON'T CITE CONGRESSIONAL RECORDS! DON'T! DON'T! don't


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Sun 4 Dec 11 #57 
jmaxg
Contributor

A normal press conversation with Herman Cain.....

Press: "So you espouse a sales tax of 9%?"

Cain: "Yes"

Press: "On top of the usual state sales tax?"

Cain: "No. That's apples and oranges."

Press: "So, you will adjust the current sales tax to 9% which is higher than most state sales taxes".

Cain: "No"

Press: "So therefore you have to place it on top of existing state sales tax. Right?"

Cain: "That apples and oranges."

Press: "Maybe, but the average 6% plus your federal 9% equals 15%. Doesn't it?"

Cain: "I said, that's apples and oranges."

Press: "But you are not saying whether anybody will have to pay that or not. You are simply refusing to answer and stating "9 - 9 - 9" instead."

Cain: "9 - 9 - 9"

Press: "ok....whatever."

I think it's a good thing he's NOT in the race.


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Sun 4 Dec 11 #58 
USS Palladin
Contributor

Yeah time for Cain to go but his idea about reforming the tax code should live on.

No it doesn't have to be 9-9-9, but I am for simplifying the tax code and getting everybody....everybody to pay some form of income tax, if we are going to have an income tax. 50% of the people in this country don't pay any income tax yet they get to have all the benefits of the same government paid for by the 50% that do pay. Not fair.

Hilary has been a very good Secretary of State. What we need are good Secretary's of the Treasury.......


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Sun 4 Dec 11 #59 
southshoregirl

My idea of a good Secretary of State is not someone who wrote a dissertation on her hero, the communist, Saul Alinsky. I still espouse capitalism as our economic system. I thought Henry Kissinger was the consummate Secretary of State. A true SOS projects the country's views, not her/his own.

I totally agree that we need new and excellent Secretary's of the Treasury as well as a new Attorney General.

jmax, your Cain episode you wrote was very funny!


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Sun 4 Dec 11 #60 
southshoregirl

For the record, I have no gripes with any individual Factacular player who posts here. I am just speaking freely and am not trying to offend anyone. I have to feel as free to state my positions as everyone else.


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Mon 5 Dec 11 #61 
USS Palladin
Contributor

Hmmm, granted it is from Wikipedia but it is cited.

Alinsky did not join political organizations. When asked during an interview whether he ever considered becoming a Communist party member, he replied:
"Not at any time. I've never joined any organization—not even the ones I've organized myself. I prize my own independence too much. And philosophically, I could never accept any rigid dogma or ideology, whether it's Christianity or Marxism. One of the most important things in life is what Judge Learned Hand described as 'that ever-gnawing inner doubt as to whether you're right.' If you don't have that, if you think you've got an inside track to absolute truth, you become doctrinaire, humorless and intellectually constipated. The greatest crimes in history have been perpetrated by such religious and political and racial fanatics, from the persecutions of the Inquisition on down to Communist purges and Nazi genocide."[4]

Socialism is a bit different from Communism you know. :-)

Kissinger was ok as SOS, he basically got played by the North Vietnamese.

I think I would rank George Marshall ahead of him.

Too my way of thinking what somebody writes and says while in their college years is informative and can provide insight into their character but as folks age and learn their views can change. I think it would be interesting to see if Hilary still felt the same way about him now as she did then. From my own standpoint of view he probably isn't my type of guy but I do admire and respect grass roots organizers and what they can and do accomplish. From what I gather he has inspired a lot of this and I don't think that is a bad thing.

A true SOS should reflect the constancy and consistency of a country's foreign policy and its current manifestations as dictated by the current administration which should reflect the will of the people since they have elected that executive.

I wasn't aware that Hilary was promoting her own views over that of the President or the nation's as a whole. When did she do this?


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Mon 5 Dec 11 #62 
southshoregirl

You are correct, of course, that Hillary is promoting a shared agenda. As far as Saul Alinsky goes I refer you to do a search on his name, not rely upon Wikipedia. Try this one:

infidelsarecool.com/2008/09/obama-and-the-communist-teachings-of-saul-alinsky/

It has an offensive sidebar whish is embarassing but the article itself has a lot of information about the method of community organizing with which Obama is well acquainted. There are many sites if you do a simple search of Saul Alinsky. Apparently there is a Saul Alinsky link on Face Book (infidelsarecool) but I didn't go there.

Saul Alinsky was a member of the Communist Party.


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Tue 6 Dec 11 #63 
USS Palladin
Contributor

Ok, even your link doesn't say he was a member of the Communist Party, it states he was an ally. Heck the U.S was an ally of the Soviet Union in WWII. :-) Are we all communists then?
I looked up the cited reference where Alinsky himself says he is not a member of the Communist Party and it was published in Playboy in 1972, this is in reference to the Wikipedia article I quoted earlier.

Below is an article from a Chicago History website. It states that Alinsky was allied with the Communist Party but then again so was a Roman Catholic Bishop.

And being a member of the Communist Party is not against the law but that doesn't matter here since he wasn't a card carrying member.

Was he a Marxist or a radical leftist. Yes but like I said, nothing wrong with community organizing, but he wasn't a communist however you can dislike him for his leftist leanings, he wouldn't be my cup of tea either. :-)


Communist Party
Daily Worker, 1924
The American Communist Party was born in Chicago in 1919 and headquartered there until 1927, when its headquarters and newspaper, the Daily Worker, moved to New York. During the 1920s, Chicago's party members dealt with factionalism, reorganization, and police persecution. Before 1925, membership hovered around 2,400, organized into 36 neighborhood and union groups in the needle, metal, and building trades; printing; railroads; and food industries. Through party-organized workers' schools, foreign-language federations, fraternal organizations, and literary, youth, and theater groups, party influence extended beyond its membership. The party also fought racial discrimination in factories, and in October 1925 organized the American Negro Labor Congress to bring African Americans into the labor movement.

In the 1930s, the Communist Party in Chicago reached its largest audience through organizing the unemployed and protesting evictions and cuts in relief. Black Belt organizers recruited protesters at Washington Park, while Communists in Back of the Yards built alliances with community activists like Roman Catholic bishop Bernard Sheil and Saul Alinsky. When police killed two black workers protesting an eviction in 1931, Communists led an interracial funeral procession estimated at 60,000 by the party and 15,000 by the Chicago Daily News.

Chicago's party members also succeeded in organizing industrial unions in meatpacking and metals despite periodic police harassment. During the Popular Front of the late 1930s, Communism's popularity increased among artists, writers, and intellectuals. By the end of the decade, the party claimed approximately 3,000 members, exercised influence in cultural organizations, and published its own newspaper, the MidWest Daily Record.

The Nazi-Soviet pact of 1939 suspended antifascist alliances. After the war, the Taft-Hartley Act required unions to purge Communist leaders. In 1956 numbers and influence decreased further as Khrushchev denounced Stalin and the Soviet Union suppressed the Hungarian Revolution. After the 1989 disintegration of the Soviet Union, prominent party members split off and formed the Committees of Correspondence, which had its founding meeting in 1994 in Chicago. A small Chicago Communist Party remained at the close of the twentieth century.

http://encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/318.html


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Tue 6 Dec 11 #64 
kevg
The Grumpinator

Sorry guys but I'm with SSW on this one. Whether he was a card carrying member or not is not relevant, he was a communist. It's a state of mind, you don't need to buy a ticket. Some of the stuff he's done and supported is good but his ideology is undoubtedly communist. I think they had the same situation in many South American countries when the church got involved (re bishop). Similar in many ways to church backing IRA in it's early years.


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Tue 6 Dec 11 #65 
USS Palladin
Contributor

I think we can all agree, and SSG is right, he is a leftist radical, but since we have been through McCarthyism, and people were accused of being members of the Communist Party when they were not, I always think it is important that this get thought through.

While his writings and works sure show his communist leanings, the man himself says, and as far as I can tell, WAS never a member of the Communist Party. So to call him a member is just not true.

SSG is conservative, has taken many conservative viewpoints here on Factacular that doesn't make her a member of the Republican Party either for she has stated that she is a registered independent.

What does happen here that just because a politician happens to believe in some of what he writes, and uses it effectively in his hometown to get minorities some attention and help, he gets smeared with a Communist label when in fact Alinsky was not a member of the party and states he wasn't in favor of joining any political organization.


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Wed 7 Dec 11 #66 
southshoregirl

I cannot believe how naive you are to think he is not a communist! I will find proof and I could swear that I saw that written in that article but if not, I will say only that, as kevg says, it is a state of mind and I will tell you guys about stories of community organizing which I witnessed first hand while I was in college. I can't do it now because my battery is low.


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Wed 7 Dec 11 #67 
USS Palladin
Contributor

You said he was a member of the communist party, which he states he is not.
You have conservative principles but that doesn't make you a Republican.

Does he have leftist leanings? Yes. Does he believe in communism? Probably, he states in my quote that he doesn't believe in any ideology but his actions and writings may prove otherwise.

You want to believe he is a communist, I can't fault you on that and for the most part I would agree with you up to the point where you say he was a member of the communist party, which he wasn't.

What do you have against community organizing? I would be more interested in that rather than disputing whether or not some dead guy was a member of the communist party. :-)


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Thu 8 Dec 11 #68 
jmaxg
Contributor

This all great! I hope people are reading this.....I am.

Gotta back the Skippuh despite the pressure rhetoric of SSG and kevg.....

You have to state "I am a Communist!" to be called a communist. It's not that Alinsky had similar ideals anyway. He promoted "community", not "communism". You wanna go that road, then the existence of Jesus Christ is gonna present some ideological problems.

But that's the problem to some extent. Possibly a large extent. People who say who they are aren't really who they say they are in the clinical sense.

The USA is a perfect example. The statistics say that 80% of the population of the United States of America are god believers. Of that 80%, it could be argued that a certain percentage say that not because they do actually believe, but because they state that due to public pressure. So let us, just for the sake of argument, remove that portion.....

Let's say that we reduce the 80% to 70%. 10% of people that say they believe in God just say it because they think everybody else says it and because this is America, they don't wanna get tarred and feathered, their house burnt to the ground, their kids taunted and bullied in school, a small percentage thinking that people might actually put big rocks on their chest (refer Arthur Miller's The Crucible) and the rest who would prefer not to be singled out by Fox News and called a "pinhead".

Of that 70%, we should acknowledge which sort. Conservatively speaking again, I would say of the 70%, the number that constitutes actual Christianity, including fundamentalists would be 50%.

So now we have different figures.......50% (possibly less, possibly more) of the United States actually believe and follow the teachings of Jesus Christ.

That means 20% believe in God.......just not Jesus Christ.

Now, of the 50% of the population that purport to believe in Jesus Christ? I think we could safely say that a percentage of that is doing so again for community pressured reasons. BUT, in this case it is JESUS CHRIST and NOT God about which we are talking so therefore we should be able to cut that percentage down from maybe 50 to 35%. Why more? Because the argument is not specifically about God, it is about Jesus. As dumb as it sounds, it's been proven that a section of the population believe in Jesus and not God........or feel pressured to do so.

Why refer to all this? Neo-conservatives love to "number-crunch". That's the reason neo-conservatives became all god-fearing in the first place. Karl Rove a born-again Christian? Yeah, right! And I am Howard Hughes!

George W. Bush born again? I believe that....I actually do. But only because the "Prince of Darkness" Rove told him to. Bush took it seriously. Rove thought "Eh.....whatever, suits me."

It's all about the numbers based on the reasons above with religion being part of the equation but not necessarily being the only part.

All of which contributes to the tapestry that is an American Election.

Funny thing is, I have never once perceived any election in Australia being influenced in any way by religion even though we have no constitutional clause that is supposed to forbid it.

Nuffin'.......not even a boney finger pointed and a "Godless Heathen!"


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Thu 8 Dec 11 #69 
kevg
The Grumpinator

You leave us Godless Heathens alone !! I do take issue with the comment "You have to state "I am a Communist!" to be called a communist" if only for the reason that any Soviet spy is unlikely to say it. Equally many of our "community leaders" in UK are, to me, communists. Without a doubt playing to their own agenda, not sure how they translate to USA but probably would be burned at a stick.
Unbelievably I can see why a poorer nations people would support Communism, after the Robber Barons have taken the lot and you are left with a pigs foot to eat who wouldn't., but in USA/UK they are not needed or wanted. In certain peoples eyes this means anybody to the left of centre but that is a matter of opinion. Which begs the question, what is centre ??


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Thu 8 Dec 11 #70 
jmaxg
Contributor

I think secular and of greatest benefit.

I think most Americans feel that but also feel pressured. That's what neo-conservatives are banking on.

If left to their own devices, I think the majority of Americans vote in the interest of most other Americans.


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Thu 8 Dec 11 #71 
USS Palladin
Contributor

Well, I think W. made the change long before Karl but I don't know for sure.

Liberals don't crunch numbers? Hmmm....I bet Rahm Emmanuel knows how to crunch those numbers. :-)

Sadly with the advent of computers and more sophisticated algorithms, Rove is probably the go to guy here, the majority of the American Electorate is ignored, candidates are only forced to speak to issues that involve the "base". And while the "base" can be large on a particular issue it can also be very narrowly focused but if you can make the base seem like the "silent majority" then you can probably get elected because you know what districts to target in certain key electoral states. Candidates are not forced to run a national campaign and we all suffer from that.


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Thu 8 Dec 11 #72 
jmaxg
Contributor

We miss Barry Goldwater, don't we Chief?

An actual fiscal conservative who advocates the restriction of government influence in his life and promotes the right of privacy.

Other conservatives these days will say "Why are we different?"

"Get your male ass outta my daughter's womb and then I'll agree, you're different." is what Barry would say. Any other way of stating it is impossible. He's Barry Goldwater.

But that was back in the days when REAL opponents met on the field of battle. Not screw ups like Newt Gingrich.


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Fri 9 Dec 11 #73 
southshoregirl

I think Laura made W find Jesus to stop his drinking or else she would leave him.

Listen, I am a pagan, deist, non-religious person, yes, a fiscal conservative but largely social liberal, but I have to say that you can be a communist with that small "c" there, without officially joining a party or carrying a card. It is pretty damned clear that the so-called community organizing in this country is trying to totally change our economic system from a laissez-faire free enterprise capitalist system into a very far-left government-involved/controlled system. Obama said yesterday that "Capitalism doesn't work." Huh? Jeez, it sure as hell worked for a lot of American people for a long time. Screw Communism, screw Socialism, screw Obama. Screw all the thieves and soon to be convicted criminals in Obama's administration. Think about Rahm Emmanuel, Eric Holder, Bill Ayers, etc, etc, the organization Acorn, George Soros, Axelrod, Trumpka and the list goes on. Sorry, this is not MY America. I don't like this stuff and I have no respect for these people and if Jiminy Cricket runs against Obama I will vote for him. I have just had a belly full of Obama's pompous "I" speeches and his draconian speeches about what he will do. He does nothing. How about that Keystone Oil Pipeline? How about the jobs that we can get from that project? Can't go through Nebraska? Go around it. But solve the problem, don't just put it off and let that project siphon the oil off to China. I could go on and on but I know that no matter what I say you, jmax, will find fault. Go right ahead. I am finished talking about it here. The whole Obama administration is corrupt. I hope Obama gets slammed in the election.


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Fri 9 Dec 11 #74 
USS Palladin
Contributor

Barry was interesting but I don't know if I agree with all his conservative views. In fact I don't know if later Barry agreed with the 60's Barry. I think time had softened some of his harder views. That doesn't mean they didn't affect a lot of people, folks like Reagan who did go to win the Presidency and whom many would claim is at the root cause of our current problems. I don't know if I would go that far but Republican or Democrat, you can't spend money like there is no tomorrow. Yeah Bill Clinton did balance the budget and such, but things of have changed, war on terror, disasters and just plain politics with the all consuming 24 hour news cycle.
The purpose of giving the rich tax cuts is that in theory they will take that money and invest it, plants, equipment and people to get even richer. Doesn't seem to work that way though so I say screw em, you want the tax cut prove to me that you deserve it or start paying up, because tax policy is economic policy, it is either an incentive or a detriment but it seems the incentive part isn't working. Start taking away those incentives, make the rich pay more, than I guess we will have to have the government sector dole it out to create jobs which helps create market which helps create more jobs. Or they can smarten up and start hiring folks and keep the government out of it, which would be my preferred method, and lighten up on some regulations. Honestly do I really need to protect an employee from drinking white out? There is a regulation for that you know and a big fine if you don't comply.
In the end I too am a fiscal conservative and social moderate. My heroes are Teddy Roosevelt and I am beginning to have a lot more respect for the Eisenhower Administration.
Time to think out of the box or please...PLEASE fix the rules of the Senate, what a joke!!!


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Fri 9 Dec 11 #75 
southshoregirl

Don't forget that Clinton had a Republican House to help him balance that budget. I can't imagine that, you, Pall. would want to give any of your freedoms and rights away to anyone, least of all a far-left (and I do mean FAR left) administration like Obama's. Yes, the purpose of giving big businesses tax breaks is to let them have money to create new jobs, create new products, etc. Yes, the rich get richer, and that is okay, because they also HAVE to create JOBS and HIRE people because fat cats have to
oversee their investment (their business) and when they hire people and they don't have a government such as we have today, an over-regulatory government people get hired, are given benefits which the employer can afford, not those dictated by the government. That is what is so wrong with Obama's hare-brained ideas. He wants to control everything or else he is purposely trying to destroy our country. We just don't need all the government regulations his type of government mandates. It is insane. It has created a climate that absolutely stifles small businesses and THEY are the real backbone of America. It is so sad to see them closing. There are great inequities in our tariffs. Slap some tariffs on Chinese imports and see what happens.

You cannot count on a corrupt government to "dole out" the tax money they collect from the super rich. This government will lose it. Or spend it . Or take a vacation! No! Those people worked for it so tax them but be fair and be fair with everyone. No inequities. I don't think there should be loopholes for them and I certainly do not believe in government bailouts. There are bankruptcy laws for reorganizing debt. Let companies utilize them.

Look, I know this is rambling. I am tired and this is just stream of consciousness. I can write much better but I don't think our system if tremendously broken, just bloated and in need of a great trimming. I will try to be more adroit with my writing and organized with my thoughts tomorrow. By the way, I was a small child when Eisenhower was President and it was a great time.....for a 3 year old! I wonder how I would feel today!

PS: If someone is stupid enough to drink White Out, screw them!


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Fri 9 Dec 11 #76 
Doctor Factenstein
Evil Genius

I'm always intrigued by the US system of registering as a democrat/republican/independent. The last intrigues me more than the others. As I don't really understand the system it always seems a bit like those people who call up a TV phone-in opinion poll to register a vote of "Don't know".

So, for me the distinction between someone believing in the tenets of communism and being a card-carrying member of the communist party is a blurry one. To take a parallel, I think that if you believe in Jesus Christ as the son of God then you're a Christian. You don't need a membership card from your local church, or even to attend church, for that to be the case.

Like I said though, it's a different system over there and I'm always a little puzzled by it.

Anyhow, SSG, I'm curious as to whether you've ever voted for a democratic presidential candidate and, if so, when the last time you voted for a democrat was. Obviously, I respect the principle of the secret ballot so if you'd rather not say then I quite understand.


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Fri 9 Dec 11 #77 
kevg
The Grumpinator

Did I ever tell you that we in UK regard the Yanks as our retarded cousins ?? Certainly seems that way when I look at your elections, all that whooping and hollering over nothing. I'm getting the impression that not everybody pays taxes in USA, which is ludicrous. Do you mean to say that "rich" people pay no taxes in the belief that they will somehow spread this money about ??
Now I know that you are our retarded cousins !!


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Fri 9 Dec 11 #78 
Doctor Factenstein
Evil Genius

Well, this year, HM Revenue and Customs let Goldman Sachs off £10m in interest on failed tax avoidance schemes and waived a tax bill of around £6.75bn for Vodafone.

So, maybe we're not too bright either.


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Fri 9 Dec 11 #79 
kevg
The Grumpinator

No arguement from me there !!


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Fri 9 Dec 11 #80 
USS Palladin
Contributor

The purpose of capitalism isn't to spread the wealth, just let wealth find its most natural distribution through markets. I honestly can't say that 1-2% of a countries population controlling 95% of its wealth can truly be pure capitalism, more like a oligarchy than a democracy.

Honestly did we all get in this economic position because we had way too much government regulation? No, no we didn't, we got here because the rich bought themselves the right to securitize mortgages back in the late 90's and proceeded to get greedy and when Brooklyn Born brought this to the attention to Alan Greenspan, Arthur Leavitt and Larry Somers, they basically screwed her in front of Congress. Turns out she was right about derivatives and they were wrong, dead wrong. You certainly can't be happy about any of that SSG and you shouldn't. Our banks now get to borrow money from the Fed at almost 0% and then turn around and loan it back to the government at 3-4% when they buy Treasuries. Great scheme eh? Plus to do this all they do is print money which makes the dollar worth less and less. I don't think this is time for less regulation or even more regulation, I think it is time for enforcement. The really rich, the super rich, know this and that is why they are blocking the appointment of the head of the Consumer Watch Dog Agency in Congress. This sort of crap makes me feel more disconnected from my government and if I didn't have a job and was forced to eat a bunch of austerity measures, I would want them to be distributed fairly. Sorry, they are taking the tax breaks and NOT creating jobs because they want to hold the country hostage. Tax breaks, printing money aren't good enough, they want even more, less regulation, less environmental control etc, etc. As if free money isn't enough. The last three years they have had it there way with no budging of the employment rate, time to put up or shut up.

As to the pipeline. It does need to be re routed. You can't take the chance of polluting one of the biggest aquifers in the country. The oil companies just don't want the expense of a 40-50 mile re route and they scream about this and say we won't build it and you will loose jobs if we don't and by the way can we have another tax break? Bah!

Is Obama socializing the country, yeah, probably. Just the way the pendulum swings, it will swing back when folks realize they really don't want government to tell them what to do with their bodies, where they can live, what they can eat, etc, etc, etc,. For now I just wonder why any of these wonder boys from Wall Street that did all this continue to play with the house money.

Interesting thing I was listening too last night in regards to gun control since we had another shooting yesterday. The speaker was discussing gun rights in the U.S. and I didn't get to listen to the whole thing but what caught my ear was he said that mandates were actually nothing new in U.S. politics. We hear about people getting all excited by the health care mandate and such. According to Mr. Winkler the very first government mandate was in 1792 with the Militia Act. It mandated gun ownership. How bout that?

It was an interesting talk. Here is the link if anybody is interested:
http://www.kuow.org/program.php?current=LI


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Fri 9 Dec 11 #81 
Doctor Factenstein
Evil Genius

I've been listening to the talk for the last half an hour and it's all very interesting. One thing that he's just said which I find remarkable is that the current gun control laws in Tombstone, Arizona are more liberal than the gun control laws which were in place at the time of the gunfight at the OK Corral.


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Fri 9 Dec 11 #82 
southshoregirl

They are probably that way because they want to defend themselves against the frequent violence which occurs in that part of the country or else just because the populace out west seems to be subject to freer gun laws than many eastern states, though certainly the southern states have free gun carry laws.

Yes, Stu, I voted for Clinton once, the only time I ever voted for a Democrat. I really didn't have a strong interest in politics in those days and I didn't vote for him for his second term. I generally vote Republican but if a very good Democrat were to run, and he/she convinced me that we shared common goals for America I would not look at the label.

As far as the Christian business goes, I think is is all a bit appalling when you realize that the followers of Bachmann and the true fundamentalist Christians actually believe that evolution did NOT occur. Astounding. How can they believe that? It staggers my mind. But they truly believe it and so I must call them a backward cult of some count, some oddball group of people who have decided upon some twisted explanation for things like dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals. Odd. I don't get it at all.

You are so right, Pal, I don't like any of that stuff. It is wrong and destructive and manipulative and a few people in positions should not be deciding the future of the financial well-being of our country. It pisses me off. I hate it, in fact, if that is a stronger statement. Do you know why it was require that everyone owned a firearm in 1792? So the people could rise up and discipline the federal government if they ever got out of control. That was why. The fed was not trusted the way it is today (not trusted but feared) It was second to the states governments and that is the true constitutionalist view, but I am sure you know that.

Finally, I have to run, the registration in a political party, Stu, is mainly so they can hit you up for money and primarily so you can vote in primaries. I have never voted in a primary. I have never donated money to a politician either!


Yes, we are the dumb cousins, I suppose. The ridiculous things brought here by the ridiculous religious rejects of Europe live on til this day. I was asked once while living in Wilmington, NC where I went to church on Easter Sunday and when I said I hadn't gone, a youngish fellow was absolutely dumbstruck. Well , that's his problem, not mine. It only took me until I was about 6 to tell my parents I would NOT be going to Sunday School anymore. End of story.


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Fri 9 Dec 11 #83 
USS Palladin
Contributor

Well, no they weren't passed by Congress so people could be armed and rise up against the government, quite the contrary. Here decide for yourself. From Wikipedia, again, because I am too lazy. :-) But it makes sense after I read it so I will go with it.

History

The Militia Acts were passed in response to the overwhelming U.S. losses at St. Clair's Defeat.[1] There were, in fact, two Militia Acts passed by the U.S. Congress in 1792.
[edit]First Militia Act of 1792
The first Act, passed May 2, 1792, provided for the authority of the President to call out the militias of the several states, "whenever the United States shall be invaded, or be in imminent danger of invasion from any foreign nation or Indian tribe."[2] The law also authorized the President to call the militias into Federal service "whenever the laws of the United States shall be opposed or the execution thereof obstructed, in any state, by combinations too powerful to be suppressed by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings, or by the powers vested in the marshals by this act".[3] This provision likely referred to uprisings such as Shays' Rebellion or the Whiskey Rebellion in opposition to the judicial collection of debts and taxes.
[edit]Second Militia Act of 1792
The second Act, passed May 8, 1792, provided for the organization of the state militias. It conscripted every "free able-bodied white male citizen" between the ages of 18 and 45 into a local militia company overseen by the state. Militia members were to arm themselves with a musket, bayonet and belt, two spare flints, a cartridge box with 24 bullets, and a knapsack. Men owning rifles were required to provide a powder horn, 1/4 pound of gun powder, 20 rifle balls, a shooting pouch, and a knapsack.[4] Some occupations were exempt, such as congressmen, stagecoach drivers, and ferryboatmen. Otherwise, men were required to report for training twice a year, usually in the Spring and Fall.

The second act was the mandate part I found interesting. Able bodied, between the age of 18 and 45? Welcome to the militia and you had better own a rifle.


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Sat 10 Dec 11 #84 
southshoregirl

As much as I look down upon Wikipedia and think it is the poorest source next to none, I will ask you a rhetorical question: Why do you suppose that second act, passed May 8. 1792 would need or want militias aside from defense and if for defense, what did they need to defend themselves against aside from the obvious answers such as Native American attacks or foreign attacks? Do you think because way back then the states rights were much more important than they are today and they didn't want the federal government to overstep it's bounds? I suggest that it was. The Fed was next to nothing back then. State and local were far more important.


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Sat 10 Dec 11 #85 
southshoregirl

Kevin, fat cats pay taxes but too often they manipulate tax laws to reduce their tax bills to next to nothing. General Electric paid NOTHING last year which is absolutely wrong. Most wealthy people pay a healthy chunk of their incomes. One of the bigger problems we have here right now is the only half the population pays taxes. We have too many people who are paying nothing whether because they are tax manipulators or people who are on welfare or for some other reason. My husband and I sure pay and we aren't loaded. I know of plenty of people in cash businesses who never declare their incomes. That is a wonderful position to be in but if you work for someone you are not able to get away with that. It's a mess and inequitable.


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Sat 10 Dec 11 #86 
Doctor Factenstein
Evil Genius

SSG - why overlook two obvious reasons in order to find a third, less obvious one?

The Bill of Rights was drafted just 6 years after the fledging US had won independence from Britain (now to be considered a foreign power) in a war which relied heavily on the contribution of civilian soldiers and militia.

The second amendment suggests that the right to bear arms is necessary for the security of a free State. I think what that means is pretty clear, particularly in context, and in this case, as often, the most obvious answer is most likely the correct one.

After all, if fed was nothing back then, what kind of paranoid mind would consider federal over-reach more of a risk than a Europe full of imperially minded super-powers?


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Sat 10 Dec 11 #87 
USS Palladin
Contributor

Yeah and Infidelsarecool is a refereed, fact based site..........

Sorry, Wikipedia has its problems but at least it is refereed and has a better chance of getting its facts straight over what you are quoting. Just the way I see it.

Hmm...the Fed didn't come into existence till early in 20th century and the U.S. didn't even have a national bank in the late 18th century so I don't think they were rebelling against big government money policies.


As to 1/2 the population not paying taxes. That is not correct as this was pointed out to me in a recent discussion with a member on this site. He was correct. 1/2 the population don't pay INCOME tax, but all do pay some tax. Sales, property, etc, etc, etc.

As to GE's tax bill. Yeah way too low but they did pay.

http://features.blogs.fortune.cnn.com/2011/04/04/the-truth-about-ges-tax-bill/


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Sat 10 Dec 11 #88 
saguingoira
Editor

Thank you for mentioning this Pall. In addition the working poor also pay social security and medicare taxes. When I hear people rail about the large number of Americans who pay no Federal Income Tax I like to remind them that the tax code allows for exemptions and deductions to allow for the necessities of life to be free of income tax. It is only the income above the bare necessities that is subject to income tax. The real shame is that there is such a large number of Americans whose incomes are not large enough to be taxable.


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Sat 10 Dec 11 #89 
southshoregirl

One point about my remarks.....when I said the Fed I meant the federal government. The people certainly were protective of the state rights. They still are. Wait and see what will probably happen before long in this country.

Wikipedia is a poor source, not acceptable in most decent universities as a reliable and correct reference.

Yes, people do pay sales tax, property taxes and other taxes if they have expendable income. I agree, sag, that it is a shame that there are so many people who are too poor to have to pay income taxes. There should be a decreasing number of poor in this country not an increasing number.

I will look at your site, Pall, referring to GEs tax bill.


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Sat 10 Dec 11 #90 
kevg
The Grumpinator

I should point out that the non-paying tax people I was thinking about are the rich ones. I'm assuming you have a cut off point that when you are poor you don't pay tax, same as us. It hadn't actually occurred to me that anybody would think the poor should pay tax. As Sag says, it would be so much better if we were all doing well enough to pay tax.


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Sat 10 Dec 11 #91 
USS Palladin
Contributor

More acceptable than infidelsarecool.com I dare say, but heck on short notice, and if you take the time to look at the cited references, it is good, very good on certain subjects. Show the reference citations in the web site you quoted? Don't strain too though, because you won't find any.


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Sat 10 Dec 11 #92 
JMK
Editor

Used with caution wiki can be quite good. It is a lot better moderated these days than in the early days. Any site needs to be cross-checked. If I want quick info I use wiki first then cross check with another site or two. Obviously not for anything that needs citing in my research work but for general info it is usually fine.


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Sun 11 Dec 11 #93 
southshoregirl

Yes, in most cases though some entries are still very bleak. I will have an explanation for the Second Militia Act of 1792 in a short time. I have been busy shopping and making supper.

Yes, Kevin, there is a cut off point after which people do not pay taxes but the main beef people have right now, I think, at least I do, is when the very wealthy pay next to nothing. That is wrong. I don't think they should pay for everything but they should pay a fair tax.


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Sun 11 Dec 11 #94 
jmaxg
Contributor

D'OH!

I was gonna point out about the "50% of Americans don't pay tax" bit but you guys worked it out all by yourselves!

Remember too that the statistic, as with all statistics, should be broken down....

Of the 50% that don't pay tax, a certain percentage is because of those that are rich, have creative accountants, and don't pay tax simply because they don't wish to.

Then there are the others that own companies and defer taxes for 20 years.....privately owned companies that have a turnover that approximates multiples of a billion dollars........again, the US tax code at work.

USS Palladin said:

"Honestly did we all get in this economic position because we had way too much government regulation? No, no we didn't, we got here because the rich bought themselves the right to securitize mortgages back in the late 90's and proceeded to get greedy and when Brooklyn Born brought this to the attention to Alan Greenspan, Arthur Leavitt and Larry Somers, they basically screwed her in front of Congress."

No......we got this way because of too little regulation and that has been the problem since Reagan.

I don't even know what "securitizing mortgages" means BUT if it has something to do with the ability to accept (note I said "accept") a debt and then sell that debt to another party, then that practice should finally be called what it is......immoral and illegal.......as it is in fact in a great many countries including Australia.

Because of de-regulation, creative assholes saw that they could do that now it it was legal. They not only traded in debt, they traded in bundles of debt. Why? Because they assumed that their insurance policies would cover it all if it went wrong and defaulted. As a matter of fact, the bigger the default, the better the payout. Only one problem.........the big insurance companies were doing it too. And they had to payout on the defaults.

It was all just a big, un-regulated, morally deficient, profiteering mess and George W. Bush's administration got caught when the music stopped and that is why the TARP fund happened.

But one thing as well.....

HER name was BROOKSLEY Born and yes, she reminded and reminded Allan Greenspan about this and Allan basically patted her on the head and reminded her that she was a female.

As I have stated before.......Greenspan is the criminal here. A well advised but dismissive and possibly sexist criminal.

Andrea Mitchell? I apologise if I have insulted your good judgement.


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Sun 11 Dec 11 #95 
jmaxg
Contributor

The Chickens are Coming Home to Roost

The inherent administrative problem with "derivatives" is the administrative problem which has been associated with it all along.

Who "owns" the debt?

With all the "passing the parcel", who is it that can actually claim to hold a ticket?

American courts are wising up to this and interesting developments are afoot. Developments that are causing the big financial giants to maybe consider the thought that THEY are gonna have to take a big bite of a shit sandwich and maybe, just maybe, some people are gonna get to own their homes, free and clear, due to court order.

Really! I cannot tell you how concerned I am.

After all their frenetic and robotic processing of bad debt, I really am so sad that some courts may actually be saying "hang on a sweet second....".

Awwwwww.......didn't do ya paperwork, you big banks and finance companies, you? Diddums.


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Sun 11 Dec 11 #96 
USS Palladin
Contributor

Uh?

There was plenty of banking regulation under Reagan as the Glass Steagall act was still enforced. It was only under the Clinton administration that the regulations were lifted allowing investment banks which up to that point had not been allowed to do commercial banking, thus allowing them to securitize bundles of mortgages or as they are called on the Street, derivatives.

As soon as Robert Rubin acting as Clinton's Secretary of Treasury got this passed he resigned and took over Citibank which than started buying up everything.

So up to exactly that point, when investment banks were let loose was when the crap was able to hit the fan. Brooksley Born as head of the Commodities Exchange Commission did think derivatives, which were trading without regulation, should be regulated and that is when the boys said no. I agree to all that, but there was regulation up till 1999. The rich bought themselves a Secretary of the Treasury and he got them what they wanted.

Look this up, take a guess or gander at the resumes of the last few Secretary of the Treasury, if most of them don't have Goldman Sachs on their resume the next drink is on me. In fact a better question would be when hasn't there been a Secretary without Goldman on his resume except for the current one. Granted they all probably have to come from Wall Street or business but most of them all start out as investment bankers.

And quite frankly the derivative thing would have worked and so would have the insurance as sold by AIG had the banks done their due diligence. You can't sell a $500,000 dollar house to somebody with $20,000 in yearly income, the banks know it and damn it so should the person who makes that much. Greed on both parts but once that person can't make their mortgage payment, the whole house of cards starts to fall.

But you also have to wonder, seriously wonder about the ratings agency. What a crock, S&P, Moody's and Fitch were all rating these bogus mortgages as triple AAA or better, in essence giving their word as impartial auditors, that yes, these folks with $20,000 incomes could actually pay off this debt. HAHAHA. They are just as bad as the U.S. Congress when they don't put war debt on the book, rob the Social Security Trust Fund and leave IOU's and assume the debts of Fannie and Freddie.
Watch the bond market, they know months...MONTHS ahead of time what is going to happen and why. The ratings agencies just put the final nail in the coffin.

Go ahead and apply the Guidotti–Greenspan rule to U.S. debt, U.K debt, any countries debt. Apply it to Canada and Australia and after your done, you probably will be wanting to back your bags because low and behold you are living in Argentina, a country that knows default all too well.

And yes some folks will be getting their houses back, not that they want them have after having to leave them. All this because banks couldn't pull their head out and understand Obama's program to help folks with their mortgages. Others won't or won't want too because who wants to go back to house that is still underwater mortgage wise.....uh...nobody!

Our economy has the same problems, brought on by the same issues that brought down Japan and they have been a zombie economy for almost 20 years now. We will be lucky if we end up with just a lost decade but since soo much of your economy is tied up in housing it will be a long, long time and demographics are not favorable, not at all. Keep an eye on China, methinks they have a property/real estate problem too.


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Sun 11 Dec 11 #97 
jmaxg
Contributor

Skip.....all of the above is right wing, and confusingly left wing rhetoric.

Ya wanna solve this problem? Tell me at the exact point where the regulations approved taking on a debt and then giving that debt to a third party.

What is so bloody difficult about this? In days of old, the company you entered into an agreement with about debt, be it a bank or a finance company, was THAT company until the debt was expunged OR the company itself changed hands.

I mean, I realise everybody is ignoring the fact. But is it because I am missing something or is it because everybody thinks they are smarter than me?

Ok.....I'll say it outright.......THAT and THAT ALONE was the problem.

Whatever lack of regulation that enabled that conduct was the origin of "derivates".


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Sun 11 Dec 11 #98 
jmaxg
Contributor

My advice to anybody currently involved in property foreclosure here in the United States....

Believe nothing. Wait for the court order.

Attend the court hearing and demand "habeas corpus".

Upon being presented with the agents of foreclosure, demand to see their documents of ownership.

AT THIS POINT, remind the court that the original agents on your documents are not the same as those being presented.

As with the writ of habeas corpus, the identity of EVERY interceding owner of the document is required and the supporting documents as to WHY AND HOW.

IF this can be established, then follow the court order. If not, and if the court rules against you, do NOT give up the house. Go to appeal.

Go back to the writ of habeas corpus and confirm to YOURSELF, NOT just to the court or anyone else, who ACTUALLY owns the right to your property.


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Sun 11 Dec 11 #99 
jmaxg
Contributor

If any ONE of those documents......

Even if it's a wrongly-crossed "T" or a badly signed whatever, it is tantamount to an irregular submission.

Object to every single instance.

In essence, if you find yourself in that position, it is to say before a court "He or she says they own me. Prove it."

If they can't, the court should rule in your favour.


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Sun 11 Dec 11 #100 
jmaxg
Contributor

What? I got awards for doing my job.

I see this stuff as my job.


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Sun 11 Dec 11 #101 
jmaxg
Contributor

"Our economy has the same problems, brought on by the same issues that brought down Japan and they have been a zombie economy for almost 20 years now. "

Absolute rubbish.

Unregulated greedy pricks are at work here combined with little or no government interference.

You seem to sort of get that. But the lesson overall seems to allude you.

Stop greedy pricks from doing whatever they like and we might have the basis for a system of government.

I mean, I think I get it. And I am pretty freakin' dumb.

:-)


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Sun 11 Dec 11 #102 
kevg
The Grumpinator

Sorry I've completely lost track of what we were talking about .


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Sun 11 Dec 11 #103 
Doctor Factenstein
Evil Genius

Jmax - did you really post 5 un-answered posts within the space of 2 hours or has someone been deleting the posts that go betwewen them?


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Sun 11 Dec 11 #104 
USS Palladin
Contributor

Geez dude do some research.

The Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act of 1999 repealed the Glass Steagall act.

Here I will make it simple for ya, oops gotta use Wikipedia but I have other things to do today than argue about what is done is done.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glass%E2%80%93Steagall_Act

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gramm%E2%80%93Leach%E2%80%93Bliley_Act

On the last link read the controversy part very carefully.

An what you are talking about in regards to home mortgage debt is pretty antiquated. Companies bought and sold mortgages all the time, they just weren't banks and more importantly investment banks. I have had several houses, my original mortgage never ended up with the original lender, but that doesn't mean the terms had changed I just paid to a different party.

The fundamental reason for the collapse of 2008 lies in the repeal of Glass Steagal and its replacement by Gramm-Leach and that age old problem of human greed. Add unethical behavior and there you have it.

I am sorry you don't understand the Japanese economy but it had a real estate bubble of immense proportions in the late 80's early 90's. Folks took on huge mortgages and than the market collapsed. They are still trying to work out from under that debt load despite MASSIVE government intervention and their economy still does not grow. Throw in a tsunami and it can't get much worse.

And you can't fix greed, nobody ever has and nobody ever will and you can't regulate it either, because just like taxes and the lowering and or raising of rates, it is in effect a shift of the tax burden to something or somebody else, it isn't tax relief.

We can agree on one thing about greed and that is is fiscally irresponsible and it is fiscal responsibility that we all need, it is just the when and the how. I am not sure now is the time to get rid of government stimulus/intervention but there will be a time and even your hero Obama has been saying that for the last three years.


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Mon 12 Dec 11 #105 
Doctor Factenstein
Evil Genius

On the issue of the buying and selling of debt, I went through a few books by Dickens recently and the buying and selling of debt happens in some of them.

Obviously, that's talking about works of fiction but Dickens was a social commentator with an intimate knowledge of debt. So, I'd think it's safe to assume that the buying and selling of debt occured in the 19th century and was likely not a new practice.


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Mon 12 Dec 11 #106 
kevg
The Grumpinator

I'm open to offers on my debt.


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Mon 12 Dec 11 #107 
Leo McKern
Member

Talking about works of fiction... have you seen the party manifestoes of our own major parties..
I had an email from one B. Eisler, recently, an American, who told me of a quandary... A Democrat Senator and a Republican Senator are arguing in a Marina, and they both fall in the water. You look around but can only see one lifebelt, so you can only save one of them..The Question is
a) would you find a seat and start the crossword...or
B) would you go to the pub.?


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Mon 12 Dec 11 #108 
JMK
Editor

Difficult decision... it's a bit early in the day for the pub.


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Mon 12 Dec 11 #109 
kevg
The Grumpinator

a good time to begin an auction I would think


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Tue 13 Dec 11 #110 
southshoregirl

I am keeping my mouth shut. I do not know enough about the debt problem to enter into this. I only know that mortgages are routinely sold to other institutions or banks. There is nothing unusual about that at all.


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Tue 13 Dec 11 #111 
kevg
The Grumpinator

Yup but they buried the bad mortgages in the package which is what caused the run on the banks


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Tue 13 Dec 11 #112 
Leo McKern
Member

I agree Kev...sub prime mortgages was the main contributor to the worldwide slump, but it's not a bit of wonder that we bought them up cheaply without asking too many questions when you think of the other big financial decisions that were taken.. how about RBS. Didn't they have anyone on their staff who could have said "You want to buy ABN Amro bank for £49 BILLION and you're not going to check on whether it's worth it'. (The phrase used was "WIth Limited due Diligence") and then to have the affront to whinge when you find out it wasn't worth £49 Billion bloody Pence..Never mind losing their jobs...Somebody should swing for that.. And they didn't even forfeit their bonuses.. I could pull the trigger..


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Sat 17 Dec 11 #113 
southshoregirl

I don't even care about the bonuses so much as I care that people were duped into buying houses which they could not keep paying for. They were duped by the banks. All those brokerage houses work on bonuses at the end of the year. Consider it a commission. The brokers make money whether the people buy or sell. The theft was from the American people who are now paying for the Dodd-Frank crap which let people buy unaffordable houses. The banks were given mortgage "products", as they call them, and they sold them to unsuspecting people. There has to be a down payment requirement on home purchases. There was even one which allowed people to borrow 103% of the home's value so the buyer could fix it up a bit. That means no equity, no nothing! They can't pay they can walk away. In the end the chickens come home to roost.


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Sat 17 Dec 11 #114 
Doctor Factenstein
Evil Genius

Whilst the banks certainly share some blame, surely there's no duping involved. I know what I earn. I can work out my outgoings. I know what I can afford to pay better than any bank.

It was irresponsible lending by irresponsible borrowers. Banks should've done better but the home buyers must take some personal responsibility, surely?


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Sat 17 Dec 11 #115 
USS Palladin
Contributor

Yeah I agree Stu, surely the old adage there is no such thing as a free lunch still holds true as well as buyer beware, always look a gift horse in the mouth etc, etc, etc,.

But SSG makes a good point, irresponsible of any mortgage lender, bank, investment house, financial firm, to loan on a house that somebody can't possibly make the payments on and utilize the Freddie and Fannie system we have here to guarantee mortgages so in the end it is basically a massive fraud committed against the U.S. taxpayer.

BTW I notice the war of words between the respective governments of the U.K. and France over the European financial situation. Pretty strong stuff coming from France, time to take the HMS Victory out of dry dock? :-)


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Sat 17 Dec 11 #116 
Leo McKern
Member

We must remember and put yourself in their shoes..If you have nothing to begin with and someone offers you a good deal.. why wouldn't you accept it. The Banks should have known better than to lend it, but I can't blame the individual for accepting it.. It annoys me that they take it yes, but for them,How worse could it get. They are no worse off now than they were before..I don't agree with it , but I can't blame them. We have a person in this country who is on benefits and lives two doors away from Stella Macartney. It's costing the public £7800 per month to keep him there. It's a disgrace but if you're daft enough to do it then you can't blame him for accepting it. One of the problems of benefit is that with a high percentage of people the amount of benefit they receive, is a lot more than they could earn in the jobs market..


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Sat 17 Dec 11 #117 
kevg
The Grumpinator

Must agree with Leo there, the people accepting the mortgages probably couldn't believe their luck. A house they knew they couldn't afford (in some cases had no intention of paying for) handed to them by banks anxious for the bonus payments. I would have snatched their hands off meself. Can't believe that the people didn't know they couldn't afford it but it's a gift really. Then the slimy buggers buried the rubbish in complicated packages (or not that complicated) which they sold on for more bonuses. It's a great life for some innit.
Niece is "earning" £300+ per week plus rent and heating, so over £500 to taxpayer. never worked but she has 4 kids to 3 guys. None of whom work obviously (the guys not the kids).
I've worked all me life til I had 3rd stroke and get £90 a week.
Nobody ever said life was fair.


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Sun 18 Dec 11 #118 
Leo McKern
Member

You have put into the system kev, so you have the right to take it out.. though you obviously don't know how to work the system. Every sunday I go to the local Rugby league supporters club and I see men on benefits drink a gallon+ of beer. If they're on benefits they shouldn't be able to afford to waste that much on drink. What incentive have these people to go out to work when you hand them this standard of living on a plate without working. The chap I mentioned above, His last job was a postman, everyone boasted that they were going to remove him from his nice big house,but, regardless of what the politicians preach, he's still there, and I'm told he has a newish 4x4.If you're on benefits then you should not be able to dictate where you live. He should be provided with accommodation in a rundown estate anywhere, which only costs the taxpayer £ 400 per month to house him. If he wants to stay where he is, then he should find a postman's job that pays £150.000 per annum..I've finished whinging now .I have paid a lot of tax in my life, and I begrudge it going to Somalian (supposed) refugees and people who just won't have work, but I CAN understand why they are doing it, if they can get away with it. We lead the world in civil rights, but the dumplings who are making the rules now, leave me in.............


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Fri 23 Dec 11 #119 
jmaxg
Contributor

Ok....so I have been told.......thanks to my terribly restricted knowledge (i.e. I was born and raised in Australia).......the buying and selling of debt was apparently a common experience.

Except of course, it wasn't. Companies have been buying companies for a long time. Buy a company, you take all the assets and the liabilities. In the other direction, when a company goes under, you pick and choose what parts of the carcass you want.

That is not the same thing as the legal transferral of ownership within the context of a legally solvent company selling a single, particular mortgage to someone else or something else.

Imagine that but without the "legal transferral" part and multiplied by 2,000 or more and you are closer to the problem.

I know you guys want me to see it in a more complicated context. But I am sorry. I refuse to.

The buying and selling of debt is wrong.

When congress gave the green light to buy and sell individual debt agreements, then they gave the green light to bundle them. When bundling them, you have all the massive insurance agreements coming into play.

I saw the movie "Too Big To Fail" on HBO. Insurance companies became finance companies, finance companies became banks.

Once upon a time, "banks" stood for something.

These days, apparently according to the regulations, they are simply a way out.


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Fri 23 Dec 11 #120 
USS Palladin
Contributor

You continue to make this more complicated than it really is.

Although you do have a lot right.

Debt has always been traded and should and will always be traded, it is how bond markets work. Debt has always been traded but it had not been traded in the form of bundled securities till Gramm Leach came along. There was a good reason for Glass Steagall and it had served the country well since the Depression but many in government and the private sector thought that something like the Great Depression could never happen again, so they allowed entities to speculate in businesses they had no business being in and in ways that have never been done before with mortgage debt via derivatives.

The derivatives fail leading to financial collapse not because of any failure of legal transfer of ownership, they fail because banks/investment houses/mortgage companies wrote mortgages to folks who took them because they could but also because they thought real estate prices would rise forever. Banks made bad investments because they allowed people to own a mortgage that they could never pay back and people took these mortgages more as an investment rather than buying a primary residence. Basically they were playing the housing market just like a person would play the stock market. Probably all would have worked had the prices kept rising. Pay 5000.00 down for a 500,000 dollars house, pay just the interest on you loan for a year and then sell it for 600,000 the next year. It is called margin investing when you do it in the stock market and it can be very profitable but watch out for the margin call. If the stock falls and you need to cover you had better be able to come up with the cash, which of course these poor folks couldn't so they default and this leads to the derivative failing thus causing it too fall in price and the domino effect starts.

Actually bundling of the mortgages, different people able to make loans to homeowners should be a good thing. It is a bad thing when you use government backed agencies to guarantee these loans especially if they have been made to folks that cannot possibly make the payments under the worst case scenario and secondly when you rely on crooked ratings agencies such as Standard and Poors rating these derivatives as triple AAA (the best) when they have done ZERO research on them and were paid high fees by the brokerage houses to rate them this way so that they could be sold. This is called FRAUD and you should ask yourself that three years after the financial collapse the best the Obama administration has been able to do is pass Dodd Frank. They have not prosecuted nor have they investigated anybody involved in Lehman, Goldman Sachs, Bear Stears, etc. Goldman Sachs was busy playing both ends against the middle, selling the derivatives long while turning around and telling other clients to short them. Sound like FRAUD to you? Of course I can look at any of the current candidates and the incumbent and see financial PACS and Wall Street Firms contributing, but then I guess we don't care.....

And because these guys wrecked the debt market with their shenanigans the system froze up and no loans continue to be made at half the scale they were before the collapse. Believe me, small business RUNS on credit, no credit, no short term paper, NO BUSINESS. Hence TARP, but it hasn't fixed it except to enrich GM and Chrysler and the banks who borrow at 1% and loan it back to the government by buying 30 year Treasuries at near 4%. BAH!!!.


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Fri 23 Dec 11 #121 
jmaxg
Contributor

You are wrong and you are right.

I will expand when I do.

But geez Jon.......you have never given me such fodder until now.

This is gonna be fun.


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Fri 23 Dec 11 #122 
kevg
The Grumpinator

bout bloody time !!


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Fri 23 Dec 11 #123 
Doctor Factenstein
Evil Genius

John - you're saying that the transfer of debt is just plain wrong and that that alone was the cause of all the problems. It's a bold claim and you haven't really said anything to justify it.

Why is it plain wrong? Why was that, and that alone, the cause of the problem? Can you explain? By all means respond to Jon's points but even if you prove categorically that some of what he said was wrong I don't think that's going to mean that you're right. So, could you explain?

Personally, I don't think there's anything wrong with buying or selling debt. There's nothing intrinsically wrong with it, is there?

Let's say that I, Doctor Factenstein PhD MFEG (Member of the Fellowship of Evil Genius') decide I need some financial backing to create my new monster. I turn to the Bank of USS Palladin. The very nice manager there agrees to give me a loan of a million dollars, using my vast gold bullion reserves (which I'd rather not sell to finance my creature) as capital. Half way through the term of the loan, the Bank of USS Palladin decides it needs to boost its cash reserves and so sells a bunch of its loans, including mine, to the KE Venture Group (Ticker symbol: KEVG). My loan is then transferred to KEVG. I continue making payments under the same terms and similarly, KEVG have the same recourse to my collateral if things go bad.

What's wrong with that?


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Fri 23 Dec 11 #124 
kevg
The Grumpinator

Nothing wrong with that at all so long as everyone pays, always a few who don't of course but that is usually factored in. The bit that went wrong was that these guys sold on loans knowing that there was no collateral (or at least not enough to cover the loan) and that the loans would be defaulted by the majority of the clients. Because they sold them in first place to people who simply couldn't afford them. To my mind that is fraud but maybe that is how banks work.
I was actually astounded to find that Investment banking and High Street banking were allowed to function as one entity, only now are they being split. Somehow I don't think it will matter in the long run but who was subsidising who ??
Just as a side point I remember my dad being bankrupted by Customs and Excise chasing taxes (only a small business) but see that major companies are now let off huge amounts to settle tax claims. There truly is one law...............


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Fri 23 Dec 11 #125 
Doctor Factenstein
Evil Genius

Exactly KEVG...err...I mean, Kev. Nothing wrong with it at all.

The lack of appropriate collateral or ability to repay would have been a problem whether the loans had been sold on or not - all that's changed is who it's a problem for.


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Fri 23 Dec 11 #126 
USS Palladin
Contributor

Well they maintained there was collateral but the real estate appraisers were just as fraudulent as the ratings agencies.

You here story after story of appraisers coming forth now about bankers strong arming the appraiser to make sure the house was worth the loan. Although a lot had changed in to regards to home lending in general banks still had a few regulations they had to meet and the house generally had to meet some sort of value to loan ratio.

I have a hard time believing that somebody, at least in this country, doesn't understand EXACTLY what their obligation is going to be under the Truth and Lending Act. EXACTLY. That said I will say it all boils down to greed and irresponsibility. On the part of both parties. I have a friend that bought 5 houses in Las Vegas at the very top of the bubble. He lost them all and he will admit that it was all greed, good money chasing after a very bad investment. His arm wasn't twisted, he knew what he was doing, he gambled and lost. But he gambled and lost with my money too as those home loans were federally guaranteed to the bank so now I have that debt obligation in the form of the ever lovely U.S. Government debt.


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Fri 23 Dec 11 #127 
USS Palladin
Contributor

More fun stuff about banking an debt.

Read the following today, it just never ends.....

"Banking is such a fun topic. I feel like a kid whose mom allowed him to play in the mud after a rainstorm. What a great big, fun, wonderful mess!

For example, there's Royal Bank of Scotland and Blackstone Group. They're cooking up a neat little scam, which appears to be perfectly legal. RBS is selling Blackstone 25% of a portfolio of loans, described by RBS as "sub-performing." Blackstone is paying a 30% discount to face value. But RBS won't have to write down the remaining loan values by 30% because Blackstone is only buying 25% of them. So RBS is retaining majority ownership. Since ownership didn't change hands, the transaction isn't required to result in a writedown of the loans' value. How convenient. It's as though someone sat down with the rulebook and said, "How can we use this to hide the truth?"

Lloyd's pulled a similar trick by selling loans for discounts of up to 40%... but without having to write down any loan values, due to previous writedowns.

In other words, the rules are allowing these two banks to get away with lying about the value of their assets."

Nothing has changed..

And how bout this:

"Why the U.S. was downgraded…

• U.S. Tax revenue: $2,170,000,000,000
• Fed budget: $3,820,000,000,000
• New debt: $ 1,650,000,000,000
• National debt: $14,271,000,000,000
• Recent budget cuts: $ 38,500,000,000

"Let's now remove eight zeros and pretend it's a household budget…

• Annual family income: $21,700
• Money the family spent: $38,200
• New debt on the credit card: $16,500
• Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710
• Total budget cuts: $385 "

Government can't do it, and yes I realize government is a bit more involved than banks and households, still.....they can't seem to manage either so why expect banks and people to do the same and yet Wall Street and Washington laugh at the Occupy Folks.


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Fri 23 Dec 11 #128 
Doctor Factenstein
Evil Genius

I'm the first to admit that I don't fully understand the whle Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae thing in the states.

But I still don't understand why jmax believes that the selling of debt and that alone was at fault. Nothing I've seen has lead me to believe that there's anything intrinsically wrong with buying and selling of debt obligations.

I realise that you (Pall and Kev) weren't trying to explain that to me. I'm harping on a little because I really want an explanation of what I'm missing.


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Fri 23 Dec 11 #129 
kevg
The Grumpinator

Home loans are guaranteed by the government ??? To the lender ?? So he gives out a bad loan and the government bails him out ?? Is that right ?? If it is you need some serious accountant training over there, no wonder the country is in trouble.


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Fri 23 Dec 11 #130 
USS Palladin
Contributor

Freddie and Fannie are government agencies that backstop banks when they make mortgage loans. Essentially it is a home subsidy program by the government. Banks would be reluctant to make loans to certain people. This can range from those whose income may be less than optimal to those that are self employed to those that have great seasonal variations in income (farmers for example). Because they are there they can assure banks that they will be paid.

The buying and selling of debt as derivatives is what caused the crises. When investment houses were allowed to do this under Gramm Leach mortgage underwriting exploded in this country. Investment houses up till this point were not banks and would not leverage themselves to the degree that a bank would. Not that banks don't get overleveraged, they do, but the FDIC regulates banks, there was no regulation of the investment houses or derivatives as John as pointed out and the one attempt to try to regulate was severely put down. The investment houses proceeded to use these derivatives to overleverage themselves many, many times over what they should have done and were allowed to count these derivatives as assets when in fact they were a failing asset class. Lehman may have claimed they were worth for example 100 million but since people stopped paying the mortgages that where underlying this security they were in effect worth much less. Because they could not be sold for what Lehman said they were worth, they couldn't meet their obligations, especially to one of their money funds. The basic rule of a money fund is you don't break the buck, the NAV never goes below $1.00, you always need to shore it up, no matter what to keep that value at $1.00. Lehman, Bear Stearns could not do this because the value of mortgage derived derivatives (securities) was much, much less.

Realilze that banking does not work without leverage, the economy doesn't work without leverage. Most conservative banks they will at least leverage your money 10:1 but not 60:1. The FDIC makes sure their banks don't do this, well maybe they do, considering the number of banks that have failed this year you have to wonder how well they are regulating, but investment houses didn't have regulations in this regard.

Did investment housed oversell derivatives to investors? Probably, and since they were bundled as a security that could be bought and traded, even on margin (imagine loans against loans) this can get you into even more trouble if and when the margin call comes and what if you are shorting them...OMG.

So yes the buying and selling of debt did cause the problem as it was being presented in new and variable ways and allowed the system to become unbalanced due to greed by any number people. You pick who you want to blame, there is enough to go around. Buyers and sellers of debt obligations (derivatives), fraudulent ratings and appraisal industries, fraudulent government (lack of oversight into a crucial new area), lack of ethics and good business sense...Wall Street, buyers of houses they really couldn't afford.....naive or greedy investors....you have to pick.


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Fri 23 Dec 11 #131 
Doctor Factenstein
Evil Genius

With that explanation, I can see how the unregulated buying and selling of debt would have lead to the problems.

However, you could just as easily say that the problem there was the lack of regulation on the buying and selling of debt as you could that buying and selling of debt itself being just plain wrong.

So, I'm still wondering where that conclusion comes from (and until John comes around to answer I'll wait patiently for the rationale).


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Tue 27 Dec 11 #132 
jmaxg
Contributor

Ok Stu, I have to concede and admit I come from a part of the world where such conduct simply did not occur to my knowledge - albeit maybe it did at a higher, commercial level.

But I was at the "Mr & Mrs Smith, 24 Main Street" level and I can definitively state that when I was conducting loan transactions with various agencies (2 cars I think...maybe three...not all at the same time...a home loan transaction and numerous personal loans), I never got any notice at all that the loan agreement I had with one entity had been passed to another.

And since I have been at the legal age to conduct such transactions, I had never noticed any reference to such activity by the press, friends, family, acquaintances or anybody or anything else.

Now, of course, that does not mean it didn't happen. It may mean just that agencies I did business with either didn't do it, didn't need to do it, maybe did do it and didn't tell me about it, or even that Australian regulations didn't allow it in the first place.

But if it DID happen, then I have some question like.......when I sent in my repayments, why didn't they tell me that they didn't own the loan anymore?

And therein lies my problem with the administrative aspects of all this. If it is happening, where are the letters to all parties that the circumstances have changed? What impacts, if any, has this transferral had on the conditions of the loan and is that in and of itself, legal? Why isn't there notices such as:

* Notice of change of collateral ownership - from:to - clearly marked "this is a legal document"

* Notice from the new entity about where and who to send repayments

* Notice of conference should aspects of loan conditions be affected (including instructions regarding any challenges).

That's the part that worries me. I don't particularly mind that there is a legal mechanism to allow a loan transferral. What I am worried about is that the "pass-the-parcel" style at large here and that the party most vulnerable, the one who hopes to actually own something at the end of an agreement, is the one who gets screwed and is getting screwed en-masse because the commercial entitities doing all this are making out like bandits either because of insurance payouts or the scooping up of assets.

Already the American courts are getting choked with ownership/loan agreement battles and by all accounts, it's gonna take years and years to sort out.

But that why I said above that if you are in that position as a house resident and loan party, maintain your position and stake your claim. The courts are getting very, very pissed off with the lack of documentation offered by commercial agents and residents are being handed their homes outright in many instances.

But even an idiot can see claims and counter claims lasting for way longer than a few years.


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Tue 27 Dec 11 #133 
southshoregirl

John, Having bought and sold a number of homes, I can assure you that it makes no difference in the USA who buys your loan. You will get your payment coupons in the mail and your mortgage contract will be honored explicitly. It is entirely legal and common. Private citizens also find it a lucrative way to invest their money....buying loans. If the homeowner fails to pay the home goes to the person who loaned the money. Believe me, it happens frequently. There are no claims and counterclaims. There is a contract which is a legal document and it must be adhered to no matter to whom it has been sold to.

I understand it can be different in Australia but that is the way it is here and Jon did a great a great job of explaining the whole situation as it is here. Final note, if you check your mortgage papers, your closing papers I am sure that it states on them that your mortgage may be sold. Check it out.


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Tue 27 Dec 11 #134 
southshoregirl

One further thought: If I wanted to make money in the US I would love to hold a mortgage for someone if I could. I would always have the property and if the buyers didn't pay according to terms I could and certainly would foreclose on them or would turn them into renters and hold their down payment. There would be nothing illegal about doing that at all but I would not feel happy about booting people out of their home.


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Sat 31 Dec 11 #135 
jmaxg
Contributor

Uh-huh.......good of you to chime in. As a multiple home owner/buyer/seller, your world should be particularly illuminating.

Tell us SSG of what you thought of the sub-prime lending scenario from your perspective.

Apart from being the fuel that powered the derivative structure as opportunists figured out that the more they loaned to impossible compliants, the more their insurance claims piled up.......

But more tellingly, what did you feel when the local bag-lady moved in two houses down the street? Was she black? Was she white? Did she smell funny? Did she own an uncomfortable amount of cats?

If so, it was probably Anne Coulter.

Welcome to the American de-regulated housing/financial market.

It's a fact that the rules allowed an agreement with anybody and everybody. To comply with the expanding derivates market, that's exactly what happened. Everybody was loaned to.

Now the "nobility" argue that it's the fault of the hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, that they signed to an agreement knowing quite well they could not comply.

But then again, you could argue differently. If rules existed, you could not loan to such applicants in the first place.

But I guess it's a question of physics and "fuel". For the fire of "derivatives" to burn bright, you have to feed it with something.

I think I mentioned in a previous forum......feeding on yourself is never a good thing. Ask a marathon runner.

And that is exactly what happened here, and is happening here, in the United States of America.


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Sat 31 Dec 11 #136 
kevg
The Grumpinator

Not fair Jmax, SSG merely said she was happy to hold mortgages. To accuse her of ripping off the homeowners isn't really right. As she mentions in her last post there is nothing illegal about foreclosing on people who don't pay. However she also mentions allowing people to continue to use the home as renters. It is a question of how you treat those who default as much as anything.
personally Iwouldn't care if a lady moved in down the street who black/white and smelled, I do myself, but cats are an entirely different matter and should all be shot !!


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Sat 31 Dec 11 #137 
Leo McKern
Member

You@ve done this purely to get a response out of Tabby, Haven't you...


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Sat 31 Dec 11 #138 
TABBYTOES
Contributor

my cats are cleaner and more intelligent than most of the neighbours...and i never noticed kev was black white and smelly!


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Sun 1 Jan 12 #139 
southshoregirl

jmaxg, you would do well to get that chip off your shoulder. If you knew me, REALLY knew me, you would know that I am an absolutely non-biased person. I am friends with all sorts of people and I am blind to their wealth, color, background, etc. None of that matters to me in my friendships as long as they are HONEST. I have, in fact, never held a mortgage for anyone because I am not in a position to do so. I WOULD and I probably will in the future. But I won't hold one for YOU! because you are nasty, always so nasty. I expect people to be nice, at least civil. You leap to conclusions about me ceaselessly and it is not fair. I adore your wife. She is a class act. I would be honored to have her as a friend forever.
I LOATHE Ann Coulter! She is an effete snob. I am not. I am a real person.
If I ever hold mortgages for people I would do it fairly and legally and my protection would be to get a decent down payment on the mortgage. That is only fair and the absence of that down payment was a large part of the collapse of the housing market this country.
There is nothing wrong with a private citizen holding a mortgage. Nothing at all. I am not a usurous person. I would be looking for an investment for any money I might have to invest.
I would suggest that we have a ceasefire in the New Year, jmax. There is no reason for you to attack me all the time. It is really wearing thin.

For your information: I lived at home until I married and my husband already had a home into which I moved. After 15 years we moved t the house I am in now. I then left for a few years and lived in a neighboring town where I bought a 2 bedroom condo while working my ass off as a real estate agent. I sold it for a profit after a few years and moved to Wilmington, NC, where I bought a very wonderful 2 BR condo which I loved but I was unable to stay there because of my back injury. I rented it out for a very fair price and moved home to NY. After 2 years the market in NC had crashed and I took a LOSS on the Wilmington condo. I was affected just as anyone else was.
So, jmax, I got BURNED financially, too! Am I angry and holding onto it forever? NO! I leave it behind and move on. I am just like anyone else. I don't know where the hell you get these ideas about me. I just don't.
GET YOUR MIND STRAIGHT! And then HAVE A HAPPY NEW YEAR!


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Mon 2 Jan 12 #140 
southshoregirl

AND I WOULD NOT allow animals or SMOKING in any rental properties I might own in the future. That is the right of the landlord to decide in the USA. It would pain me to not allow animals but how would I know what sort of condition my property would be in? Some people are responsible and others aren't.


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Mon 2 Jan 12 #141 
USS Palladin
Contributor

Ah there you have it. The key word. The crux of any debate in regards to debt, government, health insurance, etc, etc, etc. RESPONSIBILITY.

Everybody mouths support for it but nobody wants to own up for it. Not my fault that I sold a mortgage to some poor schmuck, not my fault that I fell for the guy selling me a crappy mortgage, and not my fault that now I need the government to bail me out, both sides against the middle. "Oh I am sorry I over leveraged myself because of greed, but you need a financial system, bail me out" or the home owner investor (yes some of them were investors, as not every home was a primary residence), "I won't have a place to live because I can't afford a mortgage that I shouldn't have in the first place, but housing prices where never going to go down, where they?" And since the government has overextended itself by backstopping all these mortgages and guaranteeing banks and mortgages with tax payers money, the only way the government can meet its obligations is by shirking its responsibility by fostering inflation by printing more and more money thus abdicating its responsibility for a sound currency and thus a sound economy. That just doesn't sound responsible either, but if the government won't foster responsibility why should it expect it out of its citizens.

Now I don't have much sympathy for big banks but for the government to force feed them bankrupt mortgage companies in 2008-2009, companies like Countrywide and then turn around in 2011-2012 and say they aren't handling the foreclosure crises correctly is just plain wrong. The banks pretty much let themselves be nationalized with TARP they should have insisted that a toxic asset bank be set up and the bad assets put in there. If banks don't have to tie up their capital backstopping bad loans they can start to loan again, and because greed, being greed, there will be somebody coming along trying to by some big mortgage at .10 on the dollar and they will get a good deal, because after awhile even the dumbest politician/businessman realizes part of something is better than a whole of nothing.


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Mon 2 Jan 12 #142 
kevg
The Grumpinator

"not my fault that I fell for the guy selling me a crappy mortgage"
No, it's more " I can have a mortgage, really, get out of this rat infested dump and have my own house ?"
I do think some people have never been so poor they haven't got two halfpennies to rub together never mind the deposit on a house. These mortgages were a godsend to a lot of people, that many of them didn't pay was a fact of life. The government should have been helping them not "backstopping" the mortgage lenders (which doesn't happen in UK incidently).
I don't pretend to know all the in's and out's of this but why is the government paying the mortgage companies and not the people. "Government for the people by the people", nah it's big business protection, time you had another revolution.


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Mon 2 Jan 12 #143 
Proofreader
Member

I'm getting my musket out.


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Fri 6 Jan 12 #144 
southshoregirl

Who are you shooting, Proofreader?


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Fri 6 Jan 12 #145 
southshoregirl

Kevg, if you can't afford to buy a house, don't buy it! I can't afford plenty of things so I don't buy them and I don't blame anyone else for it.


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Sun 8 Jan 12 #146 
jmaxg
Contributor

Hi folks...glad to be back. I have been off-line (not entirely - Kevvie excepted) because of an awful cold. One of those buggers that causes you to drowse and not be entirely with it.

Speaking to you tonight as Detroit battles on two fronts.....against the Nicks in the NBA and against New Orleans in a wildcard draw in the NFL playoffs.

(Go Pistons and go Lions!)

First up, SSG, get over it will you......PLEASE!

My only reference to you in post#135 above is that you were possibly discerning. But I made no reference as to in what way. The illustrations I gave were black, white and looney but in no particular order.

If you choose to think that I think that you vet people because of the colour of their skin then that is up to you. But that is not what I said. My reference initially was to the "local bag-lady". You would not be alone at feeling uncomfortable if they presented themselves as neighbours in most neighbourhoods.

(kev, I will simply disregard post#136)

Relative to TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) though, Skip (USS Palladin) is right. Under George W. Bush, TARP was basically forced down the throats of the big finance entities and NO provision was put in place whatsoever for freed up funds to then go out again as loans and lines of credit to troubled companies.

Given the circumstances of TARP, it is perhaps hard to see how the government would have been able to demand that. BUT, it's very hard to believe that the subject wasn't even broached. According to some depictions of the events of that time, that is EXACTLY what happened.

(Ref: HBO film "Too Big To Fail")

Anyway, the credit squeeze is still part of the problem relative to the economy.......companies are still finding it difficult to be forwarded operating funds in advance. I can't help thinking maybe that entities that used to insurance based or fund managers that are now "banks" should expect somebody from the government to poke them with a stick and say "remember, you're a bank now".


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Tue 10 Jan 12 #147 
southshoregirl

What am I supposed to get over? You seem to be the one with the problems about all of this stuff.


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Tue 10 Jan 12 #148 
JMK
Editor

Can we all just focus on the issues please.


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Wed 11 Jan 12 #149 
southshoregirl

Well, John, I am sorry you have had a bad cold over the holidays. I can only imagine what it is like to be not entirely with it. For a change up here, I will ask the question of YOU!

What makes you like Obama, what has his Presidency done for your situation that is positive, what that is negative? Do you think he is a well-liked leader of the USA or not and if yes, why, and if not, why not.

Do you think he has been effective in both domestic and foreign policy?

References where available would be great!

Thanks. I hope I live long enough to regret asking this! LOL (And I hope you are feeling better!)


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Wed 11 Jan 12 #150 
Doctor Factenstein
Evil Genius

References for his own opinions?

Interesting.


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Wed 11 Jan 12 #151 
USS Palladin
Contributor

I'd be happy to give him a reference...lol.


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Thu 12 Jan 12 #152 
southshoregirl

He always asks for them. I just want to keep his facts and figures accurate. Nothing hilarious about that, is there? Your reference isn't quite good enough, USS Palladin. Sorry. You are very erudite and know a great deal so you input is always appreciated as is Dr. Factacular's.

Having reread my question to John I see there are definitely places that may warrant facts to back his OPINIONS.

Hey, what do you think about the fellow who said today, when they removed the barricades from Zuccotti Park, that he hoped they could reoccupy and when asked what they wanted to achieve he said "Revolution". What do you all think of that? Are we headed for a revolution? I say they aren't the only ones who want one! lol I think it's coming.


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Fri 13 Jan 12 #153 
jmaxg
Contributor

I think SSG's problem is that when she sees a post that mentions her, she thinks the WHOLE post is about her in some way. Not necessarily the case. An example of which, as with posts above, is as follows....

Anyhoo, JMK is right.....let's get back on track.....

(the cold, BTW, took a second bite outta me.....tricky bugger....then again, it could've been a different cold)

On the republican front, things have been weird....

Various candidates have been riding high, then sinking low. At least two have disappeared altogether. Those being Herman Cain and Michelle Bachmann.

We have since had the Iowa Caucus and the New Hampshire Primary and the results have been interesting, but have overall leaned in the direction of candidate Mitt Romney as he won both.

By the way, for those that don't know around the world, each state has to hold a selection process to choose their favoured candidate. They are either "primaries" or "caucuses".

A primary is a form of selection process closely mirroring that of an election. The Secretary of State of the State that holds a primary organises an official selection process based on voting booths and vote counting.

A caucus is a less formal but nonetheless just as official an event where actual registered members of a political party are called in to official venues at which point a head count takes place. Now, as there might be multiple candidates, then multiple counts take place with each count disqualifying the least favoured candidate. After a candidate is disqualified, their supporters are then allocated to the next highest preferred candidate and so on until a selection is made between the final two left standing. Understandably, it might be envisaged that such an event would be raucous and it probably is. BUT, it could easily seen as controllable and actually effective as long as certain conventions are observed.

(a caucus might be seen as a mini-version of the actual political party convention that takes place when the final federal candidate is chosen and announced. In this case, it will be the Republican National Convention, 2012, to be held in Tampa, Florida)

The caucus, strangely enough, bears a similarity to certain parts of the Australian election process........namely the preferential system. But that's another story.

Anyway, after Iowa and New Hampshire, it's on to South Carolina and from all reports, it's gloves off and all the candidates are entering a political "bloodbath".

Why? Because, as candidate Newt Gingrich is fond of repeating, according to records, every selection made by South Carolina has gone on to become the republican candidate for President of the United States.

There ya go........you know how election teams just love to crunch those numbers.


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Fri 13 Jan 12 #154 
jmaxg
Contributor

By the way, just in case anyone is wondering....

Yes, there are democratic candidates as well that are part of this. But according to the rules relative to each state, they only qualify to be on the ballot in a few states. Only one candidate qualifies in all 50 states.

The democratic candidates are....

Darcy Richarson - born 1955, progressive activist, author, historian, blogger, and Democratic Party strategist from Florida. He is a former Democratic Committee member and former chairman of the New Democrats. Richardson was the first challenger to file to run against Obama in the 2012 New Hampshire primary, and plans on expanding his operation to other states.

Vermin Supreme - performance artist and perennial candidate, from Massachusetts. He has previously campaigned in the primaries for the Democratic Party in 2004 and the New Hampshire primary for the Republican Party in 2008. Supreme has now qualified for the primary ballot in New Hampshire.

Randall Terry - born 1959, pro-life activist and founder of Operation Rescue from West Virginia. In January 2011, Terry announced his intention to challenge President Barack Obama in the Democratic Party primaries for the presidential election of 2012. He intends to run an ad featuring graphic photos of aborted fetuses during Super Bowl XLVI in February 2012. According to the Green Papers, he has qualified on the ballot for New Hampshire and Missouri primaries.

(all the above entries courtesy of Wikipedia)

The only candidate that qualifies to be on the ballot in all 50 states is the current President of the United States, Barack Obama.


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Fri 13 Jan 12 #155 
Doctor Factenstein
Evil Genius

I'd just like to reiterate JMK's point - please focus on the issues. If people persist in discussing each other rather than the issues at hand then I'll have to go and create some kind of gagging order to stop them discussing anything at all for some time.

And nobody wants that. It involves effort.

So, keep it to the issues, please. Thanks.


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Wed 18 Jan 12 #156 
USS Palladin
Contributor

Hmmm....anybody care to comment because this sure seems to me like the fox is in the chicken coop.

Obama Chief of Staffs:

Rahm Emmanuel: Former investment banker with Wasserstein Parella.
Bill Daley: Former head of JP Morgans Midwest Operations.
Jack Lew, ok now this one is good. This is they guy that used to run Citi Banks Alternative Investment Division, basically an hedge fund operation. While Citi was busy selling mortgage derivatives to clients telling them they were a great investment, he was essentially across the hall shorting the same derivatives the bank was telling its customers to buy. Nothing illegal, but ethical.....

Now he has the ear of the President. Makes you wonder why financial reform is/was so weak and the press and fellow Republicans can bash Romney all they want, but why don't they question the President on the fact that his government is essentially run from Wall Street?

Of course this would not be unusual for the U.S. Government nor this President. Larry Summers was his chief economist and when he was Secretary of the Treasury he essentially shut down Brooklyn Born from even discussing regulating aforementioned derivatives.

I return you now to your regularly scheduled programming........


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Sun 22 Jan 12 #157 
southshoregirl

It is curious, isn't it?


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Tue 31 Jan 12 #158 
Doctor Factenstein
Evil Genius

I've just watched a video, paid for by Newt Gingrich and appearing on his YouTube channel which attacks Mitt Romney for, amongst other things, speaking French.

Wow.

I know the ad is about 2 weeks old now but it's the first time I've seen it. Is this really what people make their decision on over in the US? Whether or not a candidate speaks a foreign language?

Wow.


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Tue 31 Jan 12 #159 
kevg
The Grumpinator

That is a very serious allegation, usually it's over whether he takes sugar or not.


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Tue 31 Jan 12 #160 
Doctor Factenstein
Evil Genius

He's from Massachusetts too. Speaks French and from Massachusetts.

Good to see that the GOP candidates aren't afraid to speak out on these big issues.


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Tue 31 Jan 12 #161 
USS Palladin
Contributor

He is a Mormon and learned to speak French before going on a mission to France.

He is actually quite fluent.

And yes it is sad that he is bashed for being fluent in another language.

And yes, only the big issues here.........


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Tue 31 Jan 12 #162 
saguingoira
Editor

Quite a system for selecting "the leader of the free world", a system we're proud of, yessiree!
The GOP race is playing out amonst the nut-case far rightists. Those of us from blue states, those sitting back and being entertained, at least myself, rejoice at the French...and Spanish, in Florida, both Nit and Mit, are using Spanish. Mit a bit better than Nit in my opinion.


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Sat 4 Feb 12 #163 
jmaxg
Contributor

If I was forced to choose between them, then yes....Mit is better than Nit in my opinion.

Good thing I am not a conservative, eh.

Both of them keep shooting themselves in the foot. Newt by publicly claiming that he pinned his hopes on South Carolina, winning it, then realising afterward that their convention delegates are split. Good one Newt! Now Romney is ahead of you 70 delegates to 23! I hope your advisors are volunteers.

With Romney, his problem is basically opening his mouth and letting crap come out. "Corporations are people too!", "I love to fire people..." and "I am not concerned with the very poor..." to name just a few.

The proper overall text of those comments is worth checking out. I had a discussion with the missus during which we both agreed - Romney, for the most part, IS being quoted out of context.

But, as a prominent journalist pointed out, if you can't put the words together that mean what you are trying to say, then what you say is all that is left. In which case, anybody is entitled to interpret anything they like.

Anyway, Nevada is next. The stats say that Nevada will give Romney another win owing to a big Mormon portion of conservative voters. Nevada is another caucus state. But apparently their caucus rules are weird so we shall see.

On another note - Interesting to see the Susan G. Komen Foundation reversal of their planned withdrawal of funds from the Planned Parenthood organisation here in the US. An internet campaign changed their minds.

Good! A whole bunch of new expletives was about to explode from Barry Goldwater's grave and the local security team can only take so much.


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Sat 4 Feb 12 #164 
saguingoira
Editor

Let's be clear: I was speaking above about their relative abilities to speak Spanish. Mit obviously has a lot of trouble speaking English.


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Sat 4 Feb 12 #165 
USS Palladin
Contributor

Geez back to the big things guys...

Obama is a much singer than anybody on the Republican side! :-)

I think Newt is good for the campaign. Some of his ideas are pretty outlandish, but some thinking out of the box doesn't hurt. May hurt his chances, but it is good to hear I think.

I think it is sad that the media can take just part of what a candidate is saying, be it Republican or Democratic and get it completely out of context thus skewing a candidates position in a complete different direction that he or she would have intended.

Komen really stepped in it. Sad really, they have done so much for women's health, and to let themselves be politicized like that.....dumb, dumb, dumb.


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Sat 4 Feb 12 #166 
saguingoira
Editor

You are right to say that singing ability is a bigger thing. In fact, if the President did not have any more going for him than his singing (which fortunately he does), that alone would be enough to win him reelection. I'm putting his "I'm so in love with you..." on my ringtone.
You are also right about Komen. To me the reversal in position is another sign that the Republicans are going to have their asses handed to them in November.
I think you are wrong, however, about Mit Romney being taken out of context. I think that what a person says is what he means. When he says he doesn't care about the poor he may really want to emphasize something else but yet he said it. If he did, indeed, care about the poor he simply would not have said it. And as for the so-called "safety-net", how can he say he wants to strengthen it when he supports the Ryan plan. I think he thinks the safety net is a hammock and the poor are just lying around it in.


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Sat 4 Feb 12 #167 
USS Palladin
Contributor

If you agree that with the premise that perception is more important than reality than you can there is a big gap between saying that you don't care about the poor vs your concern for the poor is not as great as it is for the middle class because the safety net is still better for the extreme poor than it is for the middle class. The latter is what I believe he was trying to state. What I believe he did state had we gotten the whole story.
Either way it was reported out initially with blazing headlines that he didn't care about the poor, not necessarily true. You may disagree about his stance, his level of caring, perhaps that the safety net isn't as good as it should be, that maybe he should care more about the size and scope of the safety net but most of what he said was taken out of context. Maybe his level of concern for the poor isn't what you want to see in a President, that is ok, but why doesn't the media give us his full statement rather than speaking out of context in an effort to generate more hoopla.

Even the President has accepted that the deficits are too large and the Mike Mullen former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs has stated that the greatest national security issue we face as a nation is our deficit. Our kids, our grandchildren and any future generations have no chance for a better life without some sort of budgetary control in Washington. The President sees this, so do the Republicans, unfortunately members of his own party don't.
So if the Ryan plan is too partisan, than what about Simpson-Bowles? That was bi partisan and the democrats balked at that. Raising taxes will not, cannot lift the economy and be the sole way to balance the budget. The way our present tax system is structured is unfair and counterproductive. When 50% of the population doesn't pay income tax there is a problem. When those with capital pay more than 50% of their income there is problem. John Kennedy recognized this as have succeeding administrations. To me the answer is simple: flat tax. Flat tax would ensure that guys like Warren Buffet would pay more than their secretary, which is only fair and that all by paying income taxes had a vested interest in how our government spends or wastes the money it receives. There is a certain degree of insulation that comes from not paying taxes, in fact a great deal of interest in keeping the system the same. When a recent poll showed more and more Americans thinking it was ok to cheat on their taxes, than that alone should be enough to tell us it is broken and time to fix, not only for fairness, but for the future. We loose our status as the holder of the worlds reserve currency, and this will happen, than watch how drastically our standard of living changes and while the Chinese have a cultural affinity of gold, sort of amazing how their gold purchases have picked up in the last year and how they are now buying gold mines in Africa. We are the worlds reserve currency because we have the largest stockpile of gold, do you think maybe they are thinking that they get a nice large stockpile they could get the yuan to be the reserve currency.....

Glad to hear your ideas of deficit reduction, I happen to think anything is on the table, the only thing that is not on the table is ignoring it.


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Sat 4 Feb 12 #168 
saguingoira
Editor

Well, I am confident that with an improving economy and the end of the Bush-era tax cuts that we'll be well on our way to eliminating the budget deficit as we had done about 12 years ago. We have such short memories! When Bush took office there was a budget surplus and we were deciding as a nation what to do with the windfall. Should we invest in infrastructure, pay down the debt or give ourselves a tax break. Well, guess which one we chose.
We really do have to spend more not less, spend as wisely as possible, but spend. We need to invest in infrastructure and education and basic research if we are going to continue to be a great nation.
A flat tax is inherently an unfair tax. The tax burden is borne most heavily on low income people. We all pay the same income tax rates now. It's just that we don't all have the same income.


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Sun 5 Feb 12 #169 
USS Palladin
Contributor

We all pay the same income tax rates now, how so?

There are three tiers of tax rates on income and if that wasn't enough there is the Alternative Minimum Tax. That hardly seems like the same rate. But rate is different than burden and yes taxes on the poor are more of a burden but as we have talked about before, it is their country too

And if we are too spend, how to we pay for it? Clinton paid for his with a tax increase and Bush Seniors agreement with Congress about spending and taxes. Clinton also didn't have a 911 to contend with (Bush wouldn't have had either had Clinton been able to use the Navy Seals as effectively as Obama) and the costs associated with Homeland Security.

Our yearly national debt is now effectively 100% of GDP. I agree about spending on infrastructure, basic research and education, but isn't that why Congress gave all that money to Obama in his first term? Doesn't seem that we have gotten much for the charge on our national credit card. You cannot spend your way out of debt, if you think so I encourage you to do it with your household budget. :-)

There is always going to be a dispute about how the or when the Great Depression ended. Many will say it was the start of WWII, in fact that was what I was taught. But basically all we did was trade more debt for unemployment. If war is a way to employ more people than we need to re think. Many economists think the Great Depression actually ended when Congress acted to lower the tax rate from a maximum rate of 94% on income over $200,000 to just over 86%, slicing it again to 82% in 1948. Still high, but you also have to take into account that corporate income tax was 40% and there was also an excess profits tax to prevent war profiteering.

When Congress cut the above rates they were the first cuts since the 1920's and it sent the message to businessman that they could start to keep some of the money from their businesses. Combine that with pent up demand from servicemen coming home from the war, and you got a growing economy.

We have lower corporate taxes today than back then but apparently they are still among the highest in the world. And since the economy is global some our biggest companies are reluctant to repatriate profits from overseas (no, they should have to pay some tax, I disagree with a lot of corporations on this) but if they could bring that money home.......

In the end freer markets, lower taxes and balanced budgets got the economy moving again and ended the Depression. Higher taxes I don't think will get us where we need to go but fairer ones will and we will have to have higher taxes to handle that debt burden, but if you spread it around, so more folks are paying at least some of it, we won't end up as austere as Greece.

Now I suppose you are going to say that freer markets lead to this mess, but Mr. Clinton understood about free markets, as he was the one that signed Gramm-Leach repealing Glass Steagall and thus ultimately causing the Great Recession. Greed is bipartisan you know. :-)


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Sun 5 Feb 12 #170 
kevg
The Grumpinator

Don't know or care enough about your tax system but I do know a bit about the War and yes it did save your country economically. We started fighting in '39 and by '42 we were broke. I know the books say you came into the War in '41 but it was December and it took you over 6 months to get organised . I shall discuss Kasserine Pass in detail one of these days. Roosevelt was astounded that UK was broke but he hated the Colonial system and wanted UK brought down a peg anyway. Considering where the Roosevelt family's money came from ( drug dealing in China) he had a bit of a cheek claiming the moral high ground. Even before this we had Lend Lease which kickstarted your economy although when you actually research it the system was nowhere near as generous as is usually supposed. The Russians took the stuff and never paid a penny, which I don't blame them for cos they carried the war for 3 years before UK/USA landed in Europe. Nevertheless your economy was booming providing materials for the "free world" without any risk of being bombed. The fact that UK finished paying our bill in early 00's makes me think with friends like that........
By the time USA entered the war (after being attacked and then having war declared by Hitler) they were already fully engaged in war production, which the rest of the world paid for, and the economy was on an upward spiral never seen before.

Do I sound bitter ?? Haha, you betcha, when Hollywood makes films showing how USA saved the world it does make me laugh, you provided goods, we paid for them and then in the last year you threw troops in. Normandy was 50/50 UK/USA troops but not many people realise that. Wonder what would have happened if we'd refused to pay for the stuff, you know, all in it together, brothers in arms and all that, just like the movies say.
Anyway, of course the war saved your economy, it certainly wasn't done by any Presidential activity, if Hitler hadn't declared war on USA would they have fought ? I doubt it, too busy making money.


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Sun 5 Feb 12 #171 
USS Palladin
Contributor

Well, we will all agree to disagree on whether the war pulled us out of the Depression, I will stick with my previous statements as I think more and more economists are coming to that conclusion.

The Russians did pay us back some. Of course the U Boats got some of it. :-)

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/02/us-shipwreck-platinum-idUSTRE8112D320120202

This is just one story, there was also a gold shipment from Russia that was sank.

I don't know if they ever paid in full.

So you don't count North Africa, Sicily, Italy?

Of course we can also talk about the massive UK contribution, troop wise to the War in the Pacific, right? UK now, not Australia or New Zealand.

And thank God for you and me that Hitler, never one to honor a treaty, decided to declare war on the U.S. when he didn't even have the obligation to do so under the Tri-Partite pact.

As to the world paying for it? Next joke. :-)

Here is an article that makes for interesting reading.

http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/2010-01-13-economic-recovery-depression_N.htm


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Sun 5 Feb 12 #172 
kevg
The Grumpinator

North Africa ?? Sorry have I missed something. You mean when the Yanks turned up expecting a walkover, got battered and were used as reserve troops til it was over ? No matter what Patton may have said USA troops were hopelessly outclassed at that time. The USA contingent was used to clear up and gain experience, which they did, eventually.
Sicily ?? When Patton ignored orders and raced for Palermo, such a strategic town it was almost ignored in the planning, thereby making Montgomery's advance against strong German forces even harder.
Italy ?? A slug fest true enough but Clark was certainly one of the poorest generals of the war. Again ignoring orders and racing for Rome and glory, passing up the chance to encircle the German forces retreating to his east which prolonged the war in Italy by almost a year.
Far East ?? Never heard of Burma then, or the Chinese Ledo road. Oh that's right Errol Flynn liberated Burma on his own !! A proper war not a lot of island hopping. Glad to see you appreciate the efforts of the Australian and NZ troops because I don't see them getting a mention anywhere in your war diaries despite liberating the giant island of Papua New Guinea.
Fair play to Canada as well of course for providing troops for Normandy, but they all seem to be Yanks in films.
Actually you are right, the world didn't pay for it, UK did.

"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II_casualties" is very interesting, USA ranks 6th I think in war dead despite fighting for nowhere near as long as anyone else. Someone should have had a word with your generals and told them how to fight a war. Oops, we did but what do we know.
Another interesting point is that several USA War College Lieutenants came up with the amazing fact that the most effective troops in WW2 were the Yanks. A fact greeted with stunned amusement by the other Allies, not to mention the Axis who much preferred to fight Yanks than Russians or British.

Check out Kasserine Pass and Battle of the Bulge for USA fighting capabilities.


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Sun 5 Feb 12 #173 
USS Palladin
Contributor

Well some American generals were showboaters, I agree.
Mark Clark was awful.

Montgomery, please give me a break. Anybody could have defended El Alamein, Montgomery won simply because Rommel couldn't get what he needed out of Hitler. Of course having all those new Sherman tanks, provided by the U.S. didn't help either I suppose......

The issue with Montgomery is his caution. I guess you could look at it the other way and say with Patton rushing to Palermo he relieved the heavy pressure on Montogomery because he out flanked the Germans. Or we could have just watched Monty slug his way through and maybe Sicily would have been taken....in a year.

And when we discuss Monty all we have to do is really bring up Caen. Good job there eh?

The U.S. was involved in Burma, Merrills Marauders were there, but I grant you there where some pretty heroic stands by the Brits at Kohima and Imphal, those were quite amazing, right there with Rorke's Drift. But honestly, you can't possibly dismiss the contributions of Stilwell and his troops, can you?

Geez Kev, the way you make it sound, all we really needed to do was supply you the materiel and the Empire would have kicked ass, but that really wasn't the way it was, was it? :-)

By the way , I do enjoy British made war movies and never get the opinion that you could have won the war by yourselves....


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Sun 5 Feb 12 #174 
kevg
The Grumpinator

Montgomery was an arse, no doubt about it but he looked after his men and didn't waste their lives unlike some Yank generals. Logistics decided the battle ?? Yup what a surprise, only happens in 50% of all battles.
Actually I can and will dismiss the contribution of Stillwell, no more than a bitter old man. His troops were Chinese who did nothing but take weapons and supplies to be stored for the war against the Communists after the round eyes won this one for them. Merrill's Marauders ?? One raid and they were done, hardly more than a company sized outfit anyway, a footnote in history.
Kohima and Imphal were the standout battles, Imphal being won at the Admin Box largely thru the supplies brought in by Yank aircraft who were directed in by Mountbatten. A good all round team effort.
I'm afraid all you had to do was supply us with the material and we could have managed quite adequately.

check your pm's dogbreath


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Sun 5 Feb 12 #175 
USS Palladin
Contributor

LOL..I did get the PM.

Didn't respond right away and now it won't show up.

However...all is good jingoistic caveman! :-)


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Mon 6 Feb 12 #176 
kevg
The Grumpinator

Patton rushing to Palermo he relieved the heavy pressure on Montogomery because he out flanked the Germans ?? No he didn't, he let Monty do the fighting. You could say his outflanking move would have worked without Monty but then the Germans would have shot him to pieces. As Monty broke thru the Germans evacuated and then Patton moved in.
Caen did go to plan, sort of. The initial idea was for the UK/Canadian troops to "fix" the Germans in Caen area and Yanks to breakout further south. Which did happen, just not to timescale Monty thought. Excellent defence by the Germans there, including most of the panzer corps available to the defenders. Yes, it's true I'm afraid, UK troops faced more tanks than the Yanks. But then again we didn't bomb our own top general either, which was sad. For those not in the know just before Normandy Breakout the bombers came over and killed all the general staff of the USA army due to lead the breakout. USA bombers. Anyone can make a mistake.

Sorry I know I'm being pedantic but I've got loads of it !!


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Mon 6 Feb 12 #177 
USS Palladin
Contributor

Fix?...lol. Monty's grandmother could have taken Caen, give me a break.
Monty couldn't because he was too damn cautious.
Hadn't heard the thing about the general staff. I will have to look into that.
Market Garden....wasn't that a Monty idea? That went well.....


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Mon 6 Feb 12 #178 
kevg
The Grumpinator

General McNair was killed by his own sides bombs, he was scheduled to lead Cobra breakout.
I think you may have taken too much notice of Saving Ryan. It was the British and Canadians who were fighting the SS [eventually 5 divisions] and the Tiger tanks. They were drawing the bulk of the German armour onto them, to allow a US breakout in the west. Exactly as planned. Merely fighting for Caen was enough, drawing the bulk of the panzer armies onto them. It should have been taken earlier but that's war. That Bradley was slow off the mark was also undeniable (although he did take over McNair's plans).
A bridge too far, yup. Not our finest hour, however, in the film the Yanks are complaining that the tanks are brewing tea instead of rolling on. Hmmm off you go then chaps, while we wait for our infantry to catch up (very congested road system) you can crack on with your tanks instead. We'll be along shortly to move all the wrecks. Tanks advance with infantry not instead of, unless you want to lose all your tanks.
Germans were amazed to learn Monty had planned Market Garden, far too ambitious for him. Can't put blame on Yanks or British really, just a bit over ambitious.


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Tue 7 Feb 12 #179 
Doctor Factenstein
Evil Genius

Err...sorry to disrupt your conversation about 20th century history but meanwhile back on the topic of the 2012 US Election...

Almost as far back in time, Pall said "You cannot spend your way out of debt, if you think so I encourage you to do it with your household budget."

It's always a rather disengenuous argument to compare national finances with the household budget. It makes for a nice soundbite but it's basically nonsensical. If you spend more this week on groceries then that's not going to bring you any return on your money. The same can't be said for government spending.

Government spending provides jobs and stimulates industry. If the government decide to build a new road then they need to employ (directly or indirectly) lots of workers (manual workers, managers, back-room staff and so on) and they need to purchase the materials to do the building and fund the manufacturing of those materials.

Of course, a portion of the wages they pay get returned to them in the form of taxes. The rest is either spent or saved. Whatever is spent, chances are that the government takes a cut of that spending in the form of indirect taxation. The spending, of course, generates profit for the retail company that's doing the selling. That gets taxed. Profit is only calculated after all the employees of the retail company

It doesn't stop there, of course, becausae the money that was spent in that retail outlet gets paid out in wages (taxed) or dividends (taxed). And so it goes on, in ever decreasing circles, generating slightly less tax each time as people save rather than spend.

The amount of tax you get back will never equal the amount of government spending, obviously, but the influx of cash helps to stimulate the economy and produce growth. Growth, of course, means more tax revenue.

There are two ways to get yourself out of debt. You can reduce your out-goings or you can increase your income. The household analogy never stands up because government, regardless of how many Houses it's made of, doesn't work like a household.


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Tue 7 Feb 12 #180 
scmwns
Editor

One can get closer to making certain parts of the analogy stand if the family is considered to be dysfunctional, working against each other to the extent that present and future resources usually go to items that do not represent a logical consensus. The third way of getting out of debt, or at least easing things up is to spend wisely. That requires an intelligence not really evidenced in the hopefuls or the incumbents.


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Tue 7 Feb 12 #181 
kevg
The Grumpinator

ah well it was good while it lasted


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Wed 8 Feb 12 #182 
southshoregirl

Yeah. If I had carried on like that it would have been stopped much more quickly. And isn't the topic Election 2012- A New World Leader of the Free World? I want to know why anyone thinks the USA is a free nation anymore because it AIN'T!


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Wed 8 Feb 12 #183 
saguingoira
Editor

What do you mean not free? Can't dance nude on your front lawn? Smoke pot in your back garden? What do you want to do?

Thank you Evil Genius for your comments. I've always thought that comparing the national budget to a household budget was dumb dumb dumb.

Glad to get off that worthless argument about WWII. I always thought that the UK and the USA were allies. Millions of people died and I think it highly disrespectful to argue about who were the better fighters etc.


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Wed 8 Feb 12 #184 
kevg
The Grumpinator

Wasn't really arguing who was better just that I'm tired of hearing/seeing how Yanks won it on their own. In reality of course without the Russians we would all have been f****d. Wasn't really arguing about anything, just spouting off in a boring topic. USS's fault anyway, he mentioned the war !!
Does anyone really care who is US Pres ? If he has a majority in the Senate he can do something, if he hasn't (as O'Bama has found) he can't. Now the Russians have woken up again we may need a Pres with balls, not sure O'Bama is the boy for that.


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Wed 8 Feb 12 #185 
Doctor Factenstein
Evil Genius

Feel free to create a new topic to discuss World War II, Kev.

If you don't care about this particular topic, there's no obligation to participate.


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Wed 8 Feb 12 #186 
kevg
The Grumpinator

What ?? Me keep me mouth shut ?? Never !! heheheheehehehehe


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Wed 8 Feb 12 #187 
southshoregirl

I want the Constitution followed, sag, not INTERPRETED by anyone. If changes are needed there are methods for making amendments legally by the people and the Congress. There is nowhere that the President has been given the powers this guy has taken for himself. That is what I meant, sag. I know a bleeding heart like you will disagree but I, fortunately, am able to still have freedom of expression.

I wouldn't mind smoking pot in my back yard either :)


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Wed 8 Feb 12 #188 
saguingoira
Editor

Doesn't the Constitution give the courts the power to interpret the Condtitution? How has the President violated the Constitution in your opinion?


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Wed 8 Feb 12 #189 
USS Palladin
Contributor

Debt is debt.
Difference is that the government can inflate the debt away by printing more money paying off what they owe with money that is worth less. The obligation is met but the citizens are robbed as their money becomes worth less. Families can,t print money and have to individually live with the consequences of their debt.
Using debt to make an investment can be wise should the return on investment work out to be greater than the interest due on the obligation. So that means the Iraq war is good investment if it has made us safer from terrorism.
Most Western governments have used debt foolishly instead of leveraging for growth and investment.
To invest massively in infrastructure is great but if Japan has been unable to get their economy moving for the last twenty years using this technique I fail too see what this is going to do for us.
If the government is using debt to restore confidence a better way would be through changes to the tax system and changes in spending.


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Wed 8 Feb 12 #190 
kevg
The Grumpinator

Trying to be constructive, honest. No manufacturing jobs here anymore cos it's all been moved to Asia. Now a career in waiting tables beckons our kids. Unless you know someone who knows someone. My lad is studying Computer Engineering, thinks he's gonna be a millionaire (stop laughing Stu) cos he's going to Uni !! It's not a university it's a technical college !!
Our world has become obsessed with bits of paper, if you haven't got a degree you are useless. An exam used to be a sign that you could learn, now 98% pass. What is the point of that?
Not quite sure what you mean by "invest massively in infrastructure", to me that's road building or railways? The Japanese have suffered for having "jobs for life" but not anymore as they succumb to western ideals, whatever they are, I think they mean a fair wage for a fair days work, plus a little on top and anything I can steal.
However, is the job of government to balance the books or provide work for the people ?? Lots of countries work to a budget deficit, Italy most famously, so should we really get worked up about not balancing books? So long as people get paid do we care ?
Can't actually think what you lot over there spend your tax money on, having no real benefit system, so I'm gonna have to take an interest and solve your problems, sorry.


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Thu 9 Feb 12 #191 
southshoregirl

For starters, sag, the Obamacare law was passed without even being read and that is what Pelosi said. I think that there are many breaches of our freedoms in that Act and we still don't know what is in there. The bottom line is this. The man, Obama, is out of control with federal spending. There is no job production but plenty of debt. It is a damned travesty. The gaffes are staggering. I can scarcely remember them. I will tell you what he has done in the past day which is a killer for him. He has told Catholics that they and their churches, hospitals, schools must all contribute to the coffers which sustain birth control and abortion. I am not Catholic but if people have beliefs that are supposed to be respected by the Constitution then they should not be imposed! They next big mistake which Obama is about to make is to take away the right of us to own guns. That will do it, sag. You may not care but many, many,many people do and I know Europeans can not understand this, but if you come from Texas, North Carolina, or Arizona, just for example, you CARE and you care a LOT! Mark my word, Mr. Bleeding heart but still my Friend, the day Obama takes away the right of the STATES to allow gun ownership is the day hell breaks loose in this country. I am not even getting into the exorbitant amount of INTENTIONAL debt this man has imposed upon us. I'll let someone else to that.


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Thu 9 Feb 12 #192 
southshoregirl

Kevin, you shouldn't go to college to get a job. You should got to get an education. If you want a job for money go to work for someone when you are about 15 and learn a trade. You will probably make a lot more money in the US by being a skilled tradesman than if you have a college degree anyway. Just be sure you learn to read and clean your fingernails once a day.


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Thu 9 Feb 12 #193 
kevg
The Grumpinator

I did but kids nowadays can't. They are told if they don't get degrees they may as well kill themselves.


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Thu 9 Feb 12 #194 
saguingoira
Editor

I would like to ask Pall what changes in the tax system he'd like to see. Would it be over-all revenue enhancing? Would it change so that the lower and middle income people would have more disposable income with which to stimulate demand?
And spending, I would like to hear how you would reduce spending.

As for the lady from Long Island, you are badly deluded I'm afraid on all of the points you make.


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Thu 9 Feb 12 #195 
Doctor Factenstein
Evil Genius

I'm still trying to work out how the lady from Long Island thinks you can follow something without interpreting it. I'd have thought that understanding what something means is a prerequisite of following what it says.

Pall - yes, debt is debt.

I've never said otherwise. However, government spending is not equivalent to household spending. The spending from a household is generally distinct from its means of income. If I splash out on a new car this month, it doesn't mean that I'm more likely to get a pay rise next month, for example.

I'm sure you can see how government spending can have an impact on future government revenue so I'll leave it at that.

Kev - best of luck to your lad. Y'never know, he might be the next Mark Zuckerberg. All he needs is a good idea (it doesn't need to be his either) and the ability to drive it through and make it happen.

Or, then again, he could always just become a wage-slave schmuck of a code monkey like me.


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Thu 9 Feb 12 #196 
USS Palladin
Contributor

Yes and that is why debt becomes such a political question in both families and in government.

Economics is the study of scarcity and because scarcity causes fear it is maybe a study of that particular human emotion.

Since fear is or can be paralyzing the judicious use of debt wisely applied by a government can do that and I am all for that. We are beyond the fear point now though,we have had QE 1 and QE 2 but we still have a revenue and a spending problem. Sag likes to point out how good it was in the nineties and it was good and not just because we had higher tax rates. Congress has since circumvented it's own rules millions,dare I say billions of times by adding programs and benefits without insuring there is revenue. Unpaid for wars and unfair tax system that does not distribute the burden in a fair way all contribute to this.
More debt now will only cause more pain later. We have both a spending problem and a revenue problem. They both need to get fixed and my contention is that the wider the tax base the more involved (invested) the citizenry would be in seeing their hard earned money get spent. More people paying income tax, not less.


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Thu 9 Feb 12 #197 
USS Palladin
Contributor

Sorry Sag I didn't see your comments.
I thought the Ryan plan had some things going for it short term pain for long term gain.
Simpson Bowles is more balanced and probably a good road map.
Entitlements will have to be cut. Military will have to cut. I feel education will have to be strengthened, research of course. We will never compete with Asia in regards to labor costs so in the next century innovation by leveraging our excellent university system is one of the keys.

Hard to go using the I pad but you have the gist. I am in Panama and it time to head off into the jungle before I go to class.
Cheers.


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Thu 9 Feb 12 #198 
jmaxg
Contributor

Wait a second.......

Post#167 by Skip (USS Palladin).....

"Even the President has accepted that the deficits are too large and the Mike Mullen former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs has stated that the greatest national security issue we face as a nation is our deficit."

I think you mean the national debt, don't you?

Just a little pet hate of mine. I have noticed that during partisan economic discussion on the "talking heads" programs, the words "debt" and "deficit" tend to get intertwined and swapped around when I don't think it's right. I think it's done on purpose. But then again, maybe I'm paranoid.

Anyway, what about that Rick Santorum and the Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri caucuses, huh? Well done Rick!!

Wait another second......what do these words mean.....

"non-binding"

?

*whisper, whisper....

Really?? Well that was a bloody waste of time!

:-)


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Thu 9 Feb 12 #199 
saguingoira
Editor

Using an iPad is useful for focusing the mind and trying to say something reasonably intelligent in as few words as possible.

Can anybody imagine Rick Santorum as leader of the free world?
The mind balks.


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Thu 9 Feb 12 #200 
JMK
Editor

I'm with the doctor on this one. It is not Leader of the Free World, it is President of the U.S.A. The person you elect as POTUS, while undoubtedly having some influence on events here, will not be the leader of my part of the planet and we certainly count ourselves as part of the free world.


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Thu 9 Feb 12 #201 
saguingoira
Editor

My dear, I was being FACETIOUS. Thought that was obvious.


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Thu 9 Feb 12 #202 
JMK
Editor

Well I certainly agree with the sentiment of your comment.


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Thu 9 Feb 12 #203 
southshoregirl

I am not deluded at all. I concur with JMK about the President of the USA being just that....and only that. At this juncture of the Convention of the Bleeding Hearts I take my leave. I may or may not drop in in the future. I wish I were in Panama.


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Thu 9 Feb 12 #204 
saguingoira
Editor

Don't go away mad.

And before I leave for Panama as well, let me leave this discussion with this prognostication: Barack Obama will be re-elected President of the United States as well as a majority of Democrats in the Congress. I think that the independent voter in this country can see through the obvious obstructionism of the Republicans in Congress.


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Fri 10 Feb 12 #205 
USS Palladin
Contributor

Hello,
Another fine day in Panama. Lots of interesting wildlife to be seen, a speedboat ride on the Canal and a much deeper appreciation of hoe the next century will belong to the Chinese despite all their problems.
Deficit vs debt you don't understand that. Ok the government decides to run a deficit it can either print up the money leading to inflation or borrow it in which case it goes to the bond market and asks us, or foreigners, to loan us the money. Not such a bad thing if national debt is owned by U.S. citizens but that isn't the case anymore as more than fifty percent of our debt is foreign owned (think Chinese).
God forbid they don't want to buy anymore or we end up like Greece or maybe Italy, when they don't want to buy your debt anymore interest rates skyrocket and your economy shrinks and your standard of living goes way down. But why worry, our official debt is only one hundred per net of GDP, unofficially it is of course much, much higher.
Interesting to note all the growth down here. Panama City has a skyline that would rival any city in the U.S. Another observation is the incredible number of banks and the number of Americans living down here. Having the canal zone here till twelve years ago, a tropical climate are probably the main draws but I gotta think capital flight is one. The Donald is here with what is really a remarkable building.
So the key to Americas future is returning to growth, if we want to use debt to get us there then we must choose wisely, as the credit card is full.
The President does stand a reasonable chance for re election but it is a long stretch till November and one good employment report isn't going to do it for him quite yet.
Mr Obama is also correct about the U.S. senate. Let the majority rule.


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Fri 10 Feb 12 #206 
jmaxg
Contributor

"Deficit vs debt you don't understand that."

I thought a "deficit" is the amount by which spending has overcome revenue in a given reporting period with the amount calculated being based on last years amount be that a deficit or surplus.

I thought "debt" meant how much you owe overall with a "national debt" meaning how much one country owes to other countries or entities in total.

But what would I know.

One thing though, I hope everyone realises I was being satirical in the naming of this forum.

The American media loves to use that term a lot. But I think everyone knows that, in principal, the US is not THE sovereign nation and countries are still responsible for their own affairs.

But like I said, grandiose terms like that are not uncommon on US TV, radio and print. It's like when the championship of an American sports league is finished. After Superbowl, it seems it is somehow necessary or okay to call the New York Giants the "World Champions".

World champions? Err......not quite.

Same with the NBA (National Basketball Association) and of course, baseball's (MLB) "World Series". America and Canada do not a world make.

And of course, I think FIBA (Fédération Internationale de Basketball Amateur) would have something to say about how many basketball "world championships" there are. Two is enough for the moment I think.

So, keep it in perspective. Some terms are not meant to be taken too seriously and I think most get that.


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Fri 10 Feb 12 #207 
Doctor Factenstein
Evil Genius

Yeah, that's deficit and debt alright.

Although, you could really delete "...with the amount calculated being based on last years amount be that a deficit or surplus." Defecit over a period of time is just that - it's not based on anything except income and expenditure.

I have no problems, incidentally, with the NY Giants being called World Champions. I might have a problem with the Pats but that's another issue. The point is, there's not really anyone outside of the NFL who'd have a realistic hope of claiming that title in the Giants' stead.


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Fri 10 Feb 12 #208 
jmaxg
Contributor

Thanks for that Doc.......I have made the mental adjustment.

With the NFL, "American Champions" is still grandiose enough, don't ya think? I think most people realise that the game is played (on that level) only here in the US so the lofty title of "World Champions" might be best inferred.

I haven't noticed many other countries doing it although I must be honest and admit to not catching up with ALL national championships. It doesn't seem to happen with the AFL (Australian Football League) though.


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Fri 10 Feb 12 #209 
Doctor Factenstein
Evil Genius

Actually, I think "Superbowl winners" is much better than anything champions - but we're straying a bit here, aren't we!

I'm a bit puzzled by the whole non-binding thing with regards to the latest round of primaries. What's that all about?

I know that GOP rules state that only a few states can choose delegates before some time in March but I don't understand what the consequences of this are. Surely when MO, MN and CO are allowed to choose delegates then they'll abide by the results of the primaries? Isn't it just a weird bit of convention? Is Santorum not allowed to count his chickens even though they've just hatched?

What's the deal?


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Fri 10 Feb 12 #210 
jmaxg
Contributor

Ahh.....well, for a start they weren't "primaries", they were "caucuses". So they were GOP head counts as opposed to an actual state organised electoral process.

Apparently, different states carry out this process based on the rules of the party in that state. For instance, Romney's win in Florida guaranteed him 50 delegates at the Republican National Convention because that is what the Florida GOP rules say....you win the primary, you get the delegates.

The CO, MN and MO caucuses are "non-binding" in that those states say the head count is a guide. But there is no guarantee by the head honchos of the GOP in those respective states that their delegates will vote the same way at the convention. They may, for instance, read the polls closer to the convention and instruct delegates to vote for the overall frontrunner (more than likely Romney) and forget the caucus results.


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Fri 10 Feb 12 #211 
Doctor Factenstein
Evil Genius

What a weird system.

I knew the difference between primaries and caususes (although I tend to use "primaries" to refer to them both because I'm lazy) and I'm sure that's all down to a fine tradition. I knew that some states had a winner takes all approach and some went proportional and, again, I'm sure that's rooted in history.

This thing of having a head count which you can then decide to ignore totally though? That's just plain idiotic. Why bother having any kind of caucus/primary if you're at liberty to completely ignore the results?

I'd hope that the non-binding element was just a historical remnant, like the appendix - hanging around but never actually used. I'd hope that unless the caucus winner withdrew from the race, the party would stick with what the people said. I fear, though, that I'd be disappointed.

Democracy, eh? It's a weird beast. Half-elephant, half-donkey and completely insane.


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Fri 10 Feb 12 #212 
kevg
The Grumpinator

Democracy ?? Where did you get that idea from ??


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Fri 10 Feb 12 #213 
jmaxg
Contributor

Well, it would appear that the whole basis of democracy is circumvented under that scenario.

But let us remember that this is a preliminary process with respect to the general election for President of the United States.

A lot of countries have weird processes when it comes to coughing up the final nominee in a general election. In Australia, they have their party pre-selection meetings that hopefully will lead to gaining the party nomination for the federal seat of such-and-such. After the selection, either that nominee got elected or he or she didn't. If they did, they are now part of the federal mechanism of that party, be they the Liberal Party (conservatives) or the Labor Party (democrats/progressives). In that role, you have one of two decisions to make. Either remain a faithful member of your party or aspire to higher office. In which case, you then do what it takes to collect numbers and either aim for a senior position within the sanctum of federally elected members, or make a challenge for leadership of the party overall. If you are successful and become leader of your federal party, and your party gets elected to the majority of the House of Representatives in the next election, you get to become the Prime Minister of Australia.

Too easy, huh.


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Fri 10 Feb 12 #214 
Doctor Factenstein
Evil Genius

Sure, there are a lot of weird processes out there.

I just think the whole non-binding caucus/primary idea is just beyond weird. It's pointless.


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Fri 10 Feb 12 #215 
jmaxg
Contributor

Just waiting for USS Palladin or saguingoira to state it's more complicated than that.


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Fri 10 Feb 12 #216 
jmaxg
Contributor

Remember too states like Florida. The result is the result. You get the delegates.

I also think it would be a good idea if Newt Gingrich and his team would remember that.


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Fri 10 Feb 12 #217 
jmaxg
Contributor

Not that I care if he wins or not, I am just saying.........it's about playing the game.


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Fri 10 Feb 12 #218 
kevg
The Grumpinator

So although they got elected that doesn't mean they are actually elected ? Democracy in action ??


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Sat 11 Feb 12 #219 
jmaxg
Contributor

Well, there is "pre-selection" as opposed to "election".

Not entirely the same, but there are similarities.


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Sat 11 Feb 12 #220 
southshoregirl

We are a Republic. We are not a "democracy". Oh, yes, sag, the Republicans have obstructed the White House and the Democrats from even PRESENTING a BUDGET for over 1000 days. SURE THEY HAVE! Try that in your household sometime! I am not mad. I am just not going to be here if Obama gets re-elected. I have plans to relocate in the chance he gets elected. He is by far the worst president in our history. Rat a tat tat! I did not want to come back here but I was provoked by sag. I don't like his blood all over me....


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Sat 11 Feb 12 #221 
jmaxg
Contributor

I believe Australia has a vacancy. Of course, if I return you might get sent back.

Then again, if I return, I might get sent back.

Australia tends to be really picky.


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Sat 11 Feb 12 #222 
kevg
The Grumpinator

Isle of Man takes rich people ??


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Sat 11 Feb 12 #223 
USS Palladin
Contributor

The selection process is way too weird and lets a few states determine the nominee based on momentum. Iowa having the first go at is a joke. Same could be said of New Hampshire. You really want to know what America wants let those states with the largest electoral votes primary first.
The Australia process does seem a bit off to me though but as you said they are picky, in immigration and in candidate selection it appears.


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Sat 11 Feb 12 #224 
jmaxg
Contributor

Oh, I dunno.....

Our current Prime Minister lost a blue suede shoe and nobody seems to give a crap how wrong that is or how much her security team leader should be fired or shot.

The fact that it went all around the world, our current Prime Minister was somehow cornered in a restaurant.....

This is NOT a female versus male thing. I am wondering who was in charge of what and why that person should be considered to hold their position.

I am so pissed about it. It's amateurish and I know for a fact we are better than that.


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Sat 11 Feb 12 #225 
jmaxg
Contributor

Errr....sorry....that's called a "beef".

It won't happen again.


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Sat 11 Feb 12 #226 
southshoregirl

To be perfectly honest, Jmax, I have a great desire to visit Australia but I am very afraid of things like the box jelly, salties, many poisonous snakes, Sydney funnel web spiders and on and on. I am not afraid of reptiles but I live where there are no poisonous ones and yes, we have black widow spiders, etc, but it is all so benign compared to the Land Down Under. A good visit might sway my opinion but time will tell. As for now I am thinking of a place closer to home if I feel a need to leave. I know Australia is very particular but I probably could get in. Maybe not.


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Sat 11 Feb 12 #227 
Doctor Factenstein
Evil Genius

The USA is a constitutional republic and a representative democracy.

No, it's not a true democracy in that the people don't directly make all decisions relating to government but I think we can all skip past that technicality and use the word "democracy" when talking about the majority of the Western world, can't we?

Pall - you said "You really want to know what America wants let those states with the largest electoral votes primary first." Surely, if you really want to know what America wants, having all states voting at the same time would make more sense?

Generally speaking, I like the US system of having primaries to determine the candidates for each party. I just think it's odd to put an organised vote second to later results from polling organisations.


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Sat 11 Feb 12 #228 
southshoregirl

I agree with you, Stu. Let all the states vote in the so-called primaries at the same time. Gads! If we let the states with the largest electoral votes vote first we will have California deciding an awful lot. I don't really like that idea and I don't think they are representative of most of the country.


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Sat 11 Feb 12 #229 
USS Palladin
Contributor

Primary that is national hmmm........
Wouldnt that effectively turn us into a parliamentary republic?
I still say super regionals are the way to go but I just what two little states to stop making the choices for the rest of us.


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Sat 11 Feb 12 #230 
JMK
Editor

Don't see how that would make you a parliamentary republic, all it is doing is choosing who the candidate will be, not who will get elected. Having all the primaries on the same day and making the decision binding seems like sense to me. The current system sounds very mickey mouse.


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Sun 12 Feb 12 #231 
kevg
The Grumpinator

agreeing with JMK and Jmax and you guess how often that happens !! seems to be you are a democracy until someone you don't want wins then all Hell is let loose. It's fun watching it tho.


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Sun 12 Feb 12 #232 
USS Palladin
Contributor

So having a national primary to determine which two get to run against each other a few months later isn't like like a parlimentary republic with a runoff? Why waste all that effort when we essentially have a two party system. I could see it if we had more viable parties, but we don't.


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Sun 12 Feb 12 #233 
JMK
Editor

My understanding of a parliamentary republic is that there are usually 2 heads of state, a president and a prime minister, with the prime minister being the head of the party with the most votes. In a parliamentary republic the president has less power than your president. In the primaries you are only voting for a candidate for one party, not which party you want so that is quite different I think.


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Sun 12 Feb 12 #234 
USS Palladin
Contributor

I suppose you are correct, not sure about the two heads of stete thing, that could cause problems with diplomatic protocols.
Still gonna stick with the super regional primary thing. Stops small states with atypical demographics from having too much influence.


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Sun 12 Feb 12 #235 
saguingoira
Editor

In fact there are not two heads of state. The Queen through her representative, the Governor-General is the head of state while the Prime Minister is the head of government.
In a presidential republic such as the US both functions, head of state (cerimonial) and head of government are combined in the President.


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Sun 12 Feb 12 #236 
JMK
Editor

What you describe is the system in New Zealand and in most, if not all, commonwealth countries, we are a constitutional monarchy which is a variation of the parliamentary republic. In a full parliamentary republic there is usually a prime minister or chancellor and a president. Examples include Bangladesh, Poland and Germany.


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Sun 12 Feb 12 #237 
saguingoira
Editor

Understood of course. But to my point...there is a difference between Head of State and Head of Government. In all examples you cite the Head of State is not the same character as the Head of Government.


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Sun 12 Feb 12 #238 
JMK
Editor

Agreed.


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Tue 14 Feb 12 #239 
USS Palladin
Contributor

An article for discussion.
I have to admit I like it because this is how I think, obviously not hard enough as this guy is a billionaire. :-)

http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/02/12/billionaire-peter-thiel-is-worried-about-america-s-future.html


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Wed 15 Feb 12 #240 
jmaxg
Contributor

Is it that hard to do a link Pall?? I mean really! I get why kev can't but....

Oh never mind........I counted 'em once though. Just maybe 20 or 30 extra characters and ya got ya link....give or take the extra tab.

Anyway, let me COPY all that and open a new tab and paste it in to the URL field and.....

Oh great......ANOTHER rich libertarian.


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Wed 15 Feb 12 #241 
jmaxg
Contributor

By the way, the above URL in link form, is as follows.....

Yet ANOTHER person bleating why everyone should listen to them because they are stinking rich as opposed to doing an article on a smart "Occupy Wall Street" person that shows no visible means of support (*sigh....click me)


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Wed 15 Feb 12 #242 
kevg
The Grumpinator

Well said that man, I am checking the guy for feet of clay, they all have them it's just a question of where they hide them.


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Wed 15 Feb 12 #243 
sally906
Contributor

Is it possible for a poor person to be president? They all seem to be filthy rich. Do they understand what the poor and middle classes want? Like jobs, health care and food?


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Wed 15 Feb 12 #244 
scmwns
Editor

No.


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Wed 15 Feb 12 #245 
saguingoira
Editor

As a society we do not have to choose between scientific research/innovation and social security and progress. Where are the next innovators going to come from if our people are not given adequate opportunities for good education, jobs, etc.
We can do both.
Insuring the capability of progress for people is not "redistribution", which is a code word for "don't raise my taxes."
Does anyone really believe that the financial industry, for example, doesn't need regulation? Get real!


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Wed 15 Feb 12 #246 
USS Palladin
Contributor

I can see that this is hopeless so time to bow out.

If this is the general feeling in the country overall then I see what I need to do.

Thanks for the insights.


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Wed 15 Feb 12 #247 
saguingoira
Editor

Don't be pessimistic Pall. There's nothing quite so sad a a pessimistic libertarian.

We obviously have problems. We've known for years that social security was facing a demographic problem yet we've done nothing. We know, also, that the cost of medical care could bankrupt our country if we do nothing about it. Some of us, including you, know that we must invest in research if we are to remain competitive.
But I remain optimistic. With a new Congress that will not be so obstructionist, with the demise of the Tea Party control of the Republican Party, we can balance the budget and renew our commitment to inovation, particularly in the field of energy independence.
It is not hopeless, Pall.


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Thu 16 Feb 12 #248 
southshoregirl

Why didn't they balance the budget before the Republicans won the House of Representatives? They couldn't obstruct anything then. The Democrats got the US deeper into debt. You cannot deny that, sag.

Why aren't you upset about Solyndra, the Keystone Pipeline which WOULD have created jobs and helps our economy a lot, and how about putting some tariffs on things imported from China? What's the problem there? We have to pay them to other countries. What's fair is fair.

Why not keep NASA going? Yes, there is an investment but it creates countless jobs and creates countless new technologies. I just don't see where the House of Representatives, which was elected with a majority of Republicans in November 2010, is to blame for the gross mismanagement of the economy with a Secretary of the Treasury who did not pay his own taxes! This country is a joke now! Why not let people have private health savings accounts? Why?

Yes, sag, I am optimistic, too. Our country will be fine because there will be no obstructionism going on by Harry Reid and Obama with his preordained vetoes. None of that. He will lose because he has a terrible record. The WORST record!

You know what I am truly SICK of? Obama's Executive Orders. Every time Congress goes on vacation he passes laws without the benefit of Congressional support. That really bothers me. Is he the new King? It seems that way. Think it over.......maybe we have a monarchy after all.

Now that I just heard that gasoline is over $4.00 a gallon in parts of the country I can just say that I am NOT deluded at all. I am sick of speaking with deluded people. Have fun paying your heating bills and gasoline prices. This President has all the wrong ideas.


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