Democrats & Liberals Archives

King George and His Republican Court

As soon as George was crowned king in 2001, he gathered together his Republican Court consisting of noblemen senators and commoner representatives. He informed them that he was going to make America the mightiest nation on earth and that he would destroy any nation that challenged America. As a divinely-appointed monarch, King George informed them that he will be the bold decider and the Republican Court the loyal approver. King George will proclaim and the Republican Court will affirm.

Although the Republican Court was filled with rich, powerful and strong-willed personalities, wily King George knew how to keep members of the Court loyal. Some time after his crowning, King George addressed the Court:

It is our desire as the monarch of this realm that you, members of this powerful Republican Court, help his majesty in all he wishes to do in order to make his reign magnificent and successful. Loyalty to his majesty will be profusely rewarded. As an example of his majesty's generosity, he has decided to reduce the taxes of noblemen. He has also decided to remove or perhaps reduce death taxes, which are an affront to the whole idea of dynasties. Those noblemen who provide the most valuable offerings to the king, will receive valuable state emoluments as rewards.

After America more or less successfully killed most of attacking barbarians from Afghanistan, King George decided that he will radically transform the Middle East. In the name of democracy, he intended to convert all the Muslim countries in the region to stable, peaceful nations allied to America. He started with Iraq. Alas, like many plans of kings before him, his plans did not work and Iraq is sinking into a sinkhole that is dragging America down the drain.

In this situation, there are many, mostly disloyal Democrats, who are seeking a different course of action. Even some in the Republican Court are beginning to sound disloyal. King George, however, knowing that he is doing God's will, is stubbornly steadfast. It's time to remind the Republican Court of its duties:

Your monarch has decided that to maintain the security of this realm we must persist with our warfare in Iraq. How can our beloved country run from the battlefield in shame and dishonor? Are you willing to see your monarch become a laughing stock and losing face? And for what? For the sake of a few commoner soldiers?

Some in the realm do not believe in spying and torture. How can we be victorious in this war without spying and torture? Spying is the only way to uncover conspiracies against the king. When the Crown catches a conspirator, torture is the only way to uncover the evil plans that have been hatched.

America must stay the course in Iraq. It must use spying and torture to keep the country safe.

Remember, I proclaim and you affirm

Lately, King George is in a funk. Fewer and fewer citizens of America are listening to him. The wild Democrats are seizing on this situation to try to depose the king. Even prominent noblemen in the Republican Court - Senators Warner, Graham and MCain and former minister Colin Powell - are challenging him about spying and torture.

King George is making speeches. He insists he is right and everybody else is wrong. He is losing his temper. He is in the clutches of exasperation and anger. He is a wounded king. Best to depose him.

Unfortunately, there is not much citizens can do to depose King George. However, this November, we can get rid of much of the Republican Court that listens to the king's proclamations and affirms them.

Posted by Paul Siegel at September 15, 2006 6:23 PM
Comments
Comment #181646

I’ll take US torture over Arab torture any day of the week. I’m not a huge fan of the Chili Peppers, but it beats my head being sawed off.

See: http://www.rizzn.com/2006/09/are-chili-peppers-really-that-bad.asp

Posted by: rizzn at September 15, 2006 7:11 PM
Comment #181649

Paul Paul Paul… You’ve got it all wrong. To be a king one must wear a crown. Have you ever seen GB wear anything other than a Stetson? I’ll allow you to call him king of the cowboys but a simpleton ‘king’ just goes too far.

Posted by: Richard Keil at September 15, 2006 7:23 PM
Comment #181650

Richard: Please don’t insult cowboys… they would never permit the hot aired wannabe in their mists…

Posted by: Allen at September 15, 2006 7:27 PM
Comment #181658

To all Democrats
I’ve been reading these blogs for about 3 months now. I’ve seen a lot of name calling on both sides. Can anyone give me one good reason why I should vote Democratic in the upcomming elections?

Posted by: KAP at September 15, 2006 8:00 PM
Comment #181662

KAP: One good reason, the only one that really matters: the Constitution.

Posted by: Allen at September 15, 2006 8:02 PM
Comment #181663

Allen
There are Democrats who Misapply the Constitution the same as Republicans. Like I asked ONE GOOD REASON.

Posted by: KAP at September 15, 2006 8:05 PM
Comment #181664

KAP: Republicans do not misapply the Constitution… they ignore it, they have contempt for it, and they seek its destruction. Period. Perhaps you do not like the Constitution.

Posted by: Allen at September 15, 2006 8:08 PM
Comment #181665

Allen
I believe whole heartedly in the Constitution. But from what I’ve seen and heard from both sides of the political fence it gets me to wounder if either party believe or adhire to it. ONE GOOD REASON

Posted by: KAP at September 15, 2006 8:14 PM
Comment #181670

KAP

You should vote Democrat in this election so that we can have genuine dialog in the political proccess in this country for the next two years. If Republicans retain control of both House and Senate they will continue to dominate the decision making process. If you want a small handful of people making all the hard decisions that will need to be made in the coming two years then vote Republican. If you want people to weigh more than one option, to have more ideas to chose from to solve problems, real give and take discussions to find the best solutions, then vote Democrat.

Posted by: mark at September 15, 2006 8:26 PM
Comment #181671

KAP: I’ve given you the one good reason for which you asked. Your non-responsive responses suggests you were not serious in the asking. Nor, does it appear your claim to “believe wholeheartedly in the Constituion” is sincere.

Posted by: Allen at September 15, 2006 8:27 PM
Comment #181673

Mark
Good points, but what about the far left personalities like Clinton and Pelosi these are the ones that really worry me and probably a whole lot of other people.

Posted by: KAP at September 15, 2006 8:36 PM
Comment #181675

“Clinton and Pelosi these are the ones that really worry me and probably a whole lot of other people.”

Why do you fear these people? They may not represent your beleifs, but do you really get ‘worried” about them? Why?

Posted by: tony at September 15, 2006 8:42 PM
Comment #181676

Tony
You are right they don’t represent my beliefs.
It is the same way many fear the far right.

Posted by: KAP at September 15, 2006 8:50 PM
Comment #181678

“I’ll take US torture over Arab torture any day of the week. I’m not a huge fan of the Chili Peppers, but it beats my head being sawed off.”

Why do you guys insist on comparing how some nuts treat a kidnap victim to how the strongest nation in history treats prisoners?
It’s like saying that since a drug dealer once tortured an undercover cop, that it’s OK for cops to torture any drug dealer in their custody.
Can I also point something out? Iraq, during both wars, captured some of our servicemen. NONE were tortured, or treated badly. Jessica Lynch was given top notch medical care before she was “freed” by our commandos.
Just a few facts.

Posted by: Observer at September 15, 2006 8:51 PM
Comment #181679

“Can anyone give me one good reason why I should vote Democratic in the upcomming elections? “

America works best when power is shared and balanced.
Simple enough?

Posted by: Observer at September 15, 2006 8:53 PM
Comment #181680

“Have you ever seen GB wear anything other than a Stetson?”

I havn’t seen anyone look so out of place in a cowboy hat since Reagan.
All hat, no cattle.

Posted by: Observer at September 15, 2006 8:54 PM
Comment #181683

Observer
Shared and balanced. Good point but is it going to happen?

Posted by: KAP at September 15, 2006 8:58 PM
Comment #181684

KAP -

Do you fear opinions different than your own? If so, what does make for a good democracy?

(It’s not the difference I fear… the current indifference I fear.)

Posted by: tony at September 15, 2006 9:00 PM
Comment #181686

If you vote democratic then you vote for surrender. Dems want terrorists to give only name rank and jihad #. Dems are so worried about Geneava Convention, dont they know that the terrorist dont care, they just behead you. So if you vote Dem you vote French.

Posted by: Thomas at September 15, 2006 9:03 PM
Comment #181688

KAP
I don’t believe you should fear Pelosi and Clinton because they would not be calling the shots. Decisions would be made through compromise, discussion, dialog, give and take; through shared power with checks and balances.

Why do you think that Hillary Clinton is so far to the left? Is Joe Lieberman far to the left? She is right there with him.

Posted by: mark at September 15, 2006 9:08 PM
Comment #181690

Here’s a new bumper sticker -
BUSH - AN OUTRAGE UPON HUMAN DIGNITY

Posted by: Stephen at September 15, 2006 9:10 PM
Comment #181691

Tony
No I don’t fear opinions other than my own. Maybe someone has a better idea than me. Indifference on both sides is scary.

Posted by: KAP at September 15, 2006 9:16 PM
Comment #181692

You’ve got it all backwards, Paul. America is finally a free country and a democracy again under the GOP.

We deposed the oppressive regime of the Liberal ruling class in 1994 when our fantabulous tricknologist Newt seized power with a small vanguard of the faithful.

Then finally, with the forced retirement of Caesar Clinton and the ascension of the Prophet GW, the merciful and compassionate conservative, we can breath free once again!

But, we must be ever vigilent lest the diseased hand of tyranny called Liberalism once again holds the throat of America in it’s tightening grip of death.

Beware, and be wary, for the villainous voices of the left are ever calling America to it’s destruction like the sirens in old sailor’s tales. Give no heed to their seductive propaganda, or their promises of communist utopia. Every nation that has heeded their words has been broken on the reefs of Marxian bankruptcy.

Praise be to GW!

(No need to thank me for the enchanting prose above. It is for your benefit and edification. That is all. Helping set liberals back on the path is all the reward I can hope for.)

Posted by: esimonson at September 15, 2006 9:19 PM
Comment #181694

KAP-
Because nobody ever works hard for a vote when they know they can take it for granted.

Rizzn-
It’s not the music, it’s the volume. It’s also probably the fact that they don’t let the prisoner turn off the music. Imagine that sort of thing non-stop with the volume turned up so loud it hurts your ears.

Thomas-
Fear is the path to the dark side here. You folks are so scared stiff of al-Qaeda, have built it up so much as a legion of unquestioning robot head-cutters and plane-crashers that you can’t feel safe unless we wield absolute control over them.

The real world shows us al-Qaeda members who can be persuaded over to our side by things like promising to give dear old mom a needed operation, or the petty jealousies of politics. Some even cross over for Porn!

Some of these guys are psychopaths, and some of these guys do indeed have airtight conviction. Most of these guys though, happen to be human beings, folks who can make mistakes, end up on watchlists, and even be overcome by brave passengers willing to trade their lives for the terrorists.

If we look at things through the eyes of Bush supporters, then given our current progress, we’re fucked. If we look at things with calmer eyes, then we will see things we can do, perhaps with a little sacrifice, which will make it much more difficult to attack this country again with such impunity. We cannot prevent the possibility, but we can reduce the probability.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 15, 2006 9:37 PM
Comment #181696

Stephen:

I understand there might be more than the musical choice at issue here. Do you not see a difference between the types of torture we choose versus the types of torture the opposition use? It’s not like we’re emulating the Mossad here.

I wrote a bit more about it here in response to others’ comments on the comment I made here: http://www.rizzn.com/2006/09/united-states-torture-policy.asp

This is not a black and white issue.

Posted by: Mark "Rizzn" Hopkins at September 15, 2006 10:09 PM
Comment #181698

KAP,
One good reason?

The War in Iraq.

Republican politicians made this possible with near unanimity. There are some national issues where mistakes cannot be tolerated.

Afghanistan was the right thing to do. Iraq was a mistake. Being wrong even once about going to war is one time too many.

Posted by: phx8 at September 15, 2006 10:14 PM
Comment #181699

I think the comparison of George Bush to a king is mistaken. It would have been more appropriate to call him an Emporer. The one who has no clothes. For no longer can this administration hide behind the lies and falsehoods that got this country into the mess it is in regarding military actions, and foriegn policy. Yes folks, this emporer has no clothes.

Posted by: Ruth at September 15, 2006 10:21 PM
Comment #181700

king bush?!?! & his repulican court?!?! i sense a quite a bit of jeolusy that the GOP had either the better canidate, or was better at rigging the past two elections… boo-freaken-hoo. quit your bitching! get over it, regroup, & better plan. remeber, bush’s time is drawing near an end, so get somebody better than bush in line. & HILLARY IS NOT BETTER! she’s a bitch by ev’ry meaning of that word. & even hardcore bush haters know that!

Posted by: KING NOVACAIN at September 15, 2006 10:26 PM
Comment #181702

Stephen let me see your approach to the terrorists that killed almost 3,000 civilians,men,women, and children is to kill them with kindness? The problem with your theory is that we did nothing to provoke their actions. You see when we had a democrat in office (Bubba) he did nothing to defend our people, the more he didnt do the more they did do. Ofcourse we all know were Bubbas mind was. Thanks to Bubba young school girls are giving Lewinskies cuz Bubba says it aint sex.

Posted by: Thomas at September 15, 2006 10:29 PM
Comment #181707

Ruth please tell me what mess this country is in. We have the best economy in the world. Ruth you libs are all the same. You are the party of but. Yeah this is ok but oh yeah this is ok but the problem is you libs seem to think Americans are the bad guys. If America is so bad Ruth, why are so many people wanting to live hear?

Posted by: Thomas at September 15, 2006 10:48 PM
Comment #181708

Calling the President a “king,” at least of a modified sort, is not totally off the mark. The framers of the Constitution actually debated this point, whether or not to have a monarch, and the office of President is a result of a great deal of debate and compromise.

The Constitution actually includes a role for a Chief Executive, so if Bush (or any other President of any party) actually exercises those powers, he/she is doing exactly what’s spelled out in the Consitution. Failing to do so would be a failure to live up to the presidential oath to defend the Constitution.

There are checks and balances on that power, but using those checks and balances are NOT the right of an opposing political party. You have to get elected first in a democratic process, and that’s where Democrats have been failing of late.

Here’s where and why these debates get so heated:

Every branch of goverment, including the executive, is going to come right up against the limits of their powers and try to push that envelope.

The Executive branch is far from alone in this. Look at how the judiciary and congress have intruded again and again recently into matters having to do with property rights, speech, and even, arguably, matters which are pretty explicity spelled out for the executive—namely, the conduct of war.

The President (whoever that is) always takes the most heat in this process of give and take because he’s the most visible and the easiest to focus on, while when the other branches do the same thing, it’s harder to single out one person as being responsible.

There’s nothing wrong, in my view, with the President taking this heat. It’s proper, and it’s been the case with every single President since the creation of the office.

Nobody with any sense of history can say that this give and take started with Bush. It’s been the case with every single President since the founding of the country.

Posted by: Pilsner at September 15, 2006 10:51 PM
Comment #181710

We cannot ignore the Geneva Conventions just because we are at war with a country whose former leader ignored them. If another country, Geneva Conventions signers or otherwise, did to Americans what we did to prisoners, you can bet your bottom dollar that we would be very quick to point out their GC violations. By humiliating and torturing prisoners, we are no better than others who do. America needs to set the example.

In addition to the Geneva Conventions, there is also the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Degrading or Inhuman Treatment or Punishment from 1985 to take into consideration.

Bush is so adamant on winning this war before he leaves office that he seems to want to re-write the rules and laws just to do so. I support our troops fully and feel it would be a mistake to withdraw too soon but there really needs to be a defined plan of strategy and exit. Maybe it should not be made public for safety’s sake but it would be good to know that there actually is one. Bush does not exude confidence when he speaks of this war.

One last thing…not all Islamics and Muslims are kidnappers, murderers and terrorists. The EXTREMISTS are the ones that are giving Islamics and Muslims a bad name.

Posted by: Catherine at September 15, 2006 11:03 PM
Comment #181713

Mark “Rizzn” Hopkins-
So, we slick our hair back and bring out our new, cool, anti-heroic torture methods. Uh-uh.

RHCP might be useful because its about as far away from the music these guys like as you can get, but for the most part, you could be playing Beethoven or Brahms, so long as it’s loud, intense and incessant. The taste in music isn’t so important as the sensory overload. Instead of inflicting physical pain, you’re going for something more insidious than that: Sensory deprivation combined with constant overstimulus.

Our torture may not leave the marks that others do, but the intention is the same, and so is the result. these aren’t done merely to annoy the person, these things are done with enough suffering inflicted for long enough to essentially put the person into psychological breakdown.

The point is to make the person submissive, suggestible. And everything goes downhill from there. Very young kids, patients under hypnosis, and torture victims all share those qualities. If you’ve paid attention to the media, there’s been all kinds of stories on false memories. We see outlandish things like Satanic Cults that go through babies like kleenex, alien abductions, past life regressions, etc.

Memory is reconstructive, and even under normal conditions, the right words and images in the right sequence can give people memories of things they didn’t really see. The very structure and loading of a question can bring people to remember things that really they only imagined. Once they remember them, though, they become convinced of it. They feel it’s right, even in the face of contradictory evidence.

There is no magic door for others into the memories of the person. It’s not being tough or being soft: the best way to find these things out from them is simply to ask and be answered.

Thomas-
My approach is not about being kind to terrorists, but being humane to terror suspects.

The distinction? We don’t always know one from the other. Also, Torture can work to obscure truth more than it reveals it. There’s a reason we exclude hypnosis and coerced confessions, besides the moral issues- people in suggestive states are prone to confabulate, often by going along with the conscious or unconscious line of the interrogator’s line of questions.

Does it matter whether you’re tough or tender, if you’re just plain wrong?

As for doing something to provoke them? Well, we have supported some pretty heinous dictators, and we did steal poor little Osama’s thunder by defending Saudi Arabia in the place of his Jihadis. Should we had done that? I think so. Our foreign policy should be sensitive to some folks objections, but it shouldn’t be based on avoidance of controversy.

Bill Clinton did a great deal, though not enough. Just read the reports. As for the blowjobs young school girls are giving? It’s not our fault the Right had to spread Clinton’s love life all over the front pages and news shows. Hell, even given that, do you actually think sex was something today’s teenagers just found out about from the news on Clinton?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 15, 2006 11:06 PM
Comment #181717

Catherine, the fallacy lies in your assertion that we are at war with a country. We are not. When we were at war with Iraq in 03 and we captured prisoners, they were treated in total accordance with the Geneva Conventions. In fact, they were given medical and other care well beyond what is spelled out in the Geneva Conventions.

When our soldiers have been captured by the enemy we are currently fighting, there is no question at all whether or not they will be treated according to the Geneva Conventions, and it has nothing to do with how we treat the prisoners we capture.

We already know what will happen. Our soldiers will be mutilated and beheaded. This will be filmed. This will appear on the internet to the delight of our enemy’s supporters. We know this. It has happened repeatedly.

Posted by: Pilsner at September 15, 2006 11:27 PM
Comment #181721

Pilsner,

I’m confused as to why you think we are not at war with Iraq. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, the press, Republicans and Democrats have all said we are “at war” and refer to “the war in Iraq” and also refer to the one in 1991 as “the first Iraq war”, which would mean this is the second Iraq war. Even though Bush falsly claimed that combat was over in ‘03, he still continues to call what we are doing in Iraq a war. Not a conflict — a WAR.

Not all our soldiers that have been captured have beed mutilated and beheaded. A few have made it out alive. You must be thinking of the civilians who are not considered prisoners of war nor are they considered part of this war.

Again, it is the EXTREMISTS that are involved here.

Posted by: Catherine at September 15, 2006 11:37 PM
Comment #181722

Bush may be a King, but the Congress is by no means his cooperating court. They have fought him on many issues. Social Security Reform for example. He pushed that and was rejected by Replublican leadership. He has battled with Congress on Border Security and Judge appointments.

Just because he has only vetoed one bill (for the wrong reason, in my opinion), doesn’t mean he has gotten everything he wanted. He just doesn’t veto bills unless his religious beliefs call for it. If he did the deficit might not be as high.

As for Iraq it is an important issue, but all politicians might be better served by running on domestic issues. I know most of the people I come in contact with care more about tax policy, border security, and social security reform than terrorism. No one is leading the charge for those issues, and someone should take the opportunity.

If the King does what I want, I will support him and his court. Otherwise I will support whoever does what I want. That is what a Constitutional Republic is all about.

Posted by: Jorge at September 15, 2006 11:40 PM
Comment #181724

—-Kap—- I Have a Trick Question for You !
Have you ever voted?

Posted by: DAVID at September 15, 2006 11:49 PM
Comment #181725

Catherine, the armed forces of the nation of Iraq are currently our allies. Iraq has an elected government and a recognized delegate in the United Nations. We do not hold soldiers of Iraq in captivity any more than we hold the soldiers of England or Canada in captivity, so it’s a completely moot point to talk about our responsibilites under the Geneva conventions to Iraqi soldiers. The war is IN Iraq, yes. But the war is not AGAINST Iraq and hasn’t been for over three years now.

Posted by: Pilsner at September 15, 2006 11:52 PM
Comment #181729

I apologize. I misspoke. However, that does not change the fact that we have taken prisoners and treated them harshly, humiliated them and tortured them to a degree. How we (the United States, that is) treat ANY prisoner during any war (and this is a war) is covered under the Geneva Conventions and the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Degrading or Inhuman Treatment or Punishment from 1985. The United States must live up to their end of the “bargain” in how we treat prisoners after we signed the GC’s, regardless of who or where we are fighting.

Posted by: Catherine at September 16, 2006 12:02 AM
Comment #181732

Why do we continue to debate the war in Iraq? Neither side of the debate can be swayed, as they are still fighting over whether we should have gone in. How do we handle it now that we are there? No matter who is in charge, we will not leave. They will suggest “it is too important to get this right”.

Really there are so many more important issues to deal with. These domestic issues might actually affect your life.

Posted by: Jorge at September 16, 2006 12:09 AM
Comment #181739

Catherine, I agree with you up to a point.

I certainly don’t want to see our government torturing prisoners as a matter of policy.

I’ll say right off though that the Geneva Conventions have taken on a life in the popular imagination which have nothing to do with what they actually say.

Most people who bandy about this talk of the Geneva Conventions don’t know what those Conventions actually say and have never actually read them.

According the Geneva Conventions, we’d be entirely within our rights to execute on the spot those we capture who are killing civilians, hiding behind civilians, and fighting a guerilla war while not fighting in the uniform for a governement who is a signatory to the Geneva Conventions.

A great many of those in Guantanomo could be shot right now in full compliance with the Geneva Conventions, and that’s just a fact. The very fact that we debate what to do with them is a result of our already going far beyond what the Geneva Conventions already say.

As for the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Degrading or Inhuman Treatment or Punishment, we really need a better understanding of what it actually means. I hope that the current wrangling in Congress will provide some clarity here.

What, for example, is “severe pain and suffering?”
That’s what the UN Convention says, which the US signed under the expressed condition that it would be followed according to US interpretation.

So I agree that we need to follow it. But we also need, now, to apply as we said we would, definitions to those terms.

From my point of view and my reading of the Convention, we should never kill or permanently injure prisoners in our custody.

That would consitute “severe pain,” and I agree that it should never be done in our name.

Witholding privileges, scaring the hell out of some of them, sleep-deprivation and the like, however, I’m not so sure. It might not be nice, but to me that’s not “severe pain,” and considering the stakes, and that many of these characters could be shot outright under the Geneva Conventions anyway, I think we should give it serious thought.

Posted by: Pilsner at September 16, 2006 12:30 AM
Comment #181743

Pilsner: You may want re-read the Geneva Conventions. Your “interpretation” is in grave error. I’ve taught the damned things for 30 years to military officers and have addressed the Conventions’ provisions as an attorney practicing before courts martial.

The meaning of the Convention’s prohibitions are very clearly spelled out in case law and in statutory law (e.g., the US’s War Crimes Act).

As a signatory, the US is obligated to follow the Conventions whether the “enemy” is or is not a signatory.

As treaties, the Conventions are binding law on the US — as pointed out by SCOTUS this past summer.

Bush’s claim to a lack of clarity in the Conventions is false (and he knows it) and is merely political spin foisted on a public that doesn’t know any better.

Posted by: Dr. Poshek at September 16, 2006 12:54 AM
Comment #181750

I live in New York, and unlike alot of people who live in small towns around this country I am not afraid of a terrorist attack to the point where it becomes the sole issue that dominates my voting strategy. Sure another attack might happen just as I might get struck by lightning tomorrow, but I’m not going to get myself all worked up about it. To me there are many more important issues that our government should be working on, and which I think a Democratic controlled congress would address.

The middle class is being squeezed out and I don’t see the Republicans doing anything about it (THEY HAVE NO PLAN!!!!!!). A Democratic congress would increase the minimum wage to the level it should be, around $7.25, which is still lower than the highest inflation adjusted level we had in 1968 of $7.71 an hour. I am firm believer of demand side economics, and putting more money in the hands of people at the bottom end of the spectrum will mean that it will be put back into our economy and trickle up to everyone else. Now I bet some idiot will respond to this with “Well then why don’t we just raise it to $20 an hour?” That is a stupid response because it would first create a big slowdown to our economy as employers would have to go through huge layoffs just to stay in business, and then it would cause massive inflation. Like most progressives, I support linking minimum wage increases to the CPI index so it would be adjusted annually by small affordable amounts instead of having to pass big raises every 10 years or so to get it back to its inflation adjusted nominal level.

I believe that a Democratic congress will address our trade agreements to slow down the outsourcing that is going on. NAFTA and other agreements should be adjusted to require member nations to have a decent minimum wage, child labor laws, acceptible working hours and conditions, and the right for workers to bargain collectively. These simple rules will slow down the exporting of our blue collar jobs and allow the people of cooperating nations to have a decent job and not be exploited.

A Democratic congress will raise taxes on the wealthy, if you don’t make more than $200k a year you have nothing to worry about. They will make sure the inheritance tax stays in place with exceptions around $2 mil and for family farms. They will increase the dividend tax back to its level under Clinton, people with 401k are exempt so don’t worry. They will work to increase revenue and cut out the pork from the budget, and BALANCE THE BUDGET. Our biggest success of the 90’s was Clinton getting the federal budget under control, the Dems want to take the reigns on this issue and be the party of fiscal responsibility.

A Democratic congress will bring back CHECKS AND BALANCES to our government. This administration has had a rubber stamp for 6 years and its about time we had an inquiry into all the mistakes and fiscal waste that has occurred on their watch.

If you want this country to get back on the right track then vote Democrat. If you are a coward that pisses your pants at the mere mention of terrorism then vote Republican.

Posted by: bushflipflops at September 16, 2006 1:44 AM
Comment #181753

“Observer
Shared and balanced. Good point but is it going to happen?”

It NEEDS to happen.
Think of America as a boat with two outboard motors. If only the right motor has any power, we spin in circles.
If only the left motor has power, we spin in circles.
TOGETHER, we move forward.
We can scream and bicker at the other side and still make progress if each side HAS to have the others vote to do anything major.
Even though I’m on the left, I still wouldn’t want us to have total control, at least not for more than a short period. We too, would become lost and arrogant.

Posted by: Observer at September 16, 2006 2:15 AM
Comment #181757

Not afraid of terrorists? As remote a possibility as getting struck by lightning? Could it be because the current administration is doing its job?
The Dems voted to go into Iraq, too. Did they lie, too? Or did they get fooled by the superior intellect of GWB? Or is W a dumb#$$? Well, he still fooled them.
The reason the Reps have been in power, is because people are tired of the liberals. There is no king here. He as an elected person holding office.
Democracy is working and it works this way. As soon as the Dems get some better ideas, they will get elected. The “Bush Sucks” campaign slogan is not working.

Posted by: JoeRWC at September 16, 2006 3:00 AM
Comment #181758

JoeRWC,

Better Ideas? Did you read my post? I listed some ideas that would make this country better.

The Dems voted for a resolution that would allow the use of force only if several intermediary steps were followed, and as a method of last resort. Then you have to consider the fact that they didn’t see all the evidence Bush saw, they were given cherry picked intel from unreliable sources to make it seem like Saddam had WMD. It was Bush that pulled the inspectors out and rushed to war. Richard Clarke, Paul O’Neill, and others have stated that the Bush regime was planning an Iraqi invasion from their first day in office. Plans for transforming Iraq were written by these neocons years earlier as part of PNAC, 9/11 was the perfect opportunity to start this war while we were all distracted and it would be seen as unpatriotic to disagree with the President. Now that the whole thing is a mess its about time that the Dems showed some balls and started calling out Bush on his crap, but without a majority in either house there is little they can do.

The reason Reps are in power is because they use fear and religion to dupe average Joes like yourself into voting against your own economic best interests so the rich can get richer while the rest of us get the shaft.

Posted by: bushflipflops at September 16, 2006 3:25 AM
Comment #181778

port security

boarder security

a decent minimum wage

federal debt reduction

healthcare

adherance to FISA laws

alternative energy incentives

These are several reasons to vote for the dems.

Posted by: Tom L at September 16, 2006 7:44 AM
Comment #181794

rizzn,

You say you would take American torture over that of terrorists. Both can involve murder; the American version can also involve rape and other forms of sexual humiliation. Here’s a balanced account. Read it all. Note that the most graphic images have not been released.

One can argue that the most severe torture was unauthorized. But what we cannot do is ignore the evidence.

Posted by: Trent at September 16, 2006 9:56 AM
Comment #181816

I Think all of the Republicans posting here should be deemed “Enemy Combatants”. Locked up, not allowed to speak to family, or a lawyer. Sent to a secret torture camp in Morroco, beaten, raped, cut up, electrocuted, drugged, water boarded, and sleep deprived. Only to find out you did nothing, knew nothing, had no information they wanted. Now go home and tell us what you think of Mr. Bush then? They have already done this to American citizens already. Open you eyes They compare democrats to Nazi’s because that is how THEY are acting. Simple reverse ppsychology for simple people who watch FOX and Rupert Murdoch propaganda TV stations. What Constitution?

Posted by: DRC at September 16, 2006 11:47 AM
Comment #181873

“you state none of the 91 gulf war prisoners were misstreated or abused. i don’t remember that being the case, as i recall seeing them on national television looking as if they had been beaten,”

What your remembering is a video of a pilot that sustained facial injuries during ejection.
Any roughing up of our guys was done by locals that got to the pilots before Iraqi officials. If you captured a pilot that just bombed your town, what would YOU do?

“as for jessica lynch i recall her claiming they were about to amputate i believe it was her hand before US forces were able rescueher”

Sorry, no mention of that in ANY story about Lynch. In fact, SHE is now an outspoken anti-Iraq war advocate and states the Pentagon completely made up her “story” in order to drum up support for the war. She was quite well treated, they TRIED to return her to the US army and got shot at for their troubles, and when “rescued” there were NO IRAQI MILITARY at the hospital and no resistance whatsoever.

“if proof have proof of this fair treatment theory please post the link”

Tell you what, why dont YOU provide ANY link concerning Iraq mistreating ANY U.S. POW.
Also, try the “preview” function. It might help with your sentence structure.

Posted by: Observer at September 16, 2006 5:25 PM
Comment #181890

califrep,

who are you to take what doesn’t belong to you. i’d like an answer this time

So you are saying the government shouldn’t tax at all? What is your point here? Everybody pays taxes, those who can afford to should pay more because they benefit from the hard work of those below them who don’t live such comfortable lifestyles. Bear in mind that I’m not advocating a return to tax rates we had in the 1950’s, which was 90% on the highest earners, and still created a booming economy. I would prefer a federal tax rate that increases from 0% on income under $20k a year up to 40% on income over $320k a year. This would raise the income tax on the highest earners by about 5%, and reduce it for people at the bottom. Now don’t start saying those at the bottom don’t pay taxes, they’ll still have to pay social security, as well as state income and sales taxes. Raising the tax on social security was necessary to keep it solvent in the future, and if Gore had been elected in 2000 he would have made sure the social security surpluses were invested to earn interest and not used to pay for other parts of the budget. (Remember the Lockbox?)

You say it was the Republicans that were responsible for balancing the budget under Clinton, Bullshit! If that were true then what is stopping them now? They have total control of our government so the Dems can’t stop them from balancing it. Clinton was the person responsible for balancing the budget, do you recall when he forced Newt and the congress to pass the budget he wanted?

You bring up the same tired and spun argument on the inheritance tax by calling it the “Death Tax”. It is not a tax on the dead person, it is a tax on the income of the inheritors. Take for example a man who starts his own company and ends up owning millions of shares of stock. Without an inheritance tax, when he dies and leaves the shares to his son no taxes will ever be paid on those shares. Combine that with the elimination of the dividend tax that you guys want, and that mans son can live for the rest of his life off of the dividends without ever paying tax on it. This can continue to his son, and his sons son, and so on without any generation having to pay income taxes. Why would you support such an aristocratic system?

Which brings me to the dividend tax. Why should it be counted seperate from income? Why should it have low or no taxes on it? I understand the argument that lower taxes increases investment, but that could be said about every tax, so why do you guys focus on dividends? I said 401k’s are exempt, and that is becuase they are, that was how they were designed so that the average person can build up a retirement fund to go along with social security. If they make some bad investments and lose money at least they have SS, but you guys want it completely privatized so some people will lose everything, while those with the time to do research will do better (In essence, taking the money from those without the time to do research). Plus you guys have no way to pay for privatizing social security, Bush’s plan would double our yearly budget deficits in order to pay for those currently retired and put money into private accounts.

The economic policies you and your kind support are not working for average Americans, and the polls show it. Soon the Dems will be back in power and this country will get back on the right track.

Posted by: bushflipflops at September 16, 2006 8:10 PM
Comment #181895

Paul,
Another well written article with a well placed tongue in cheek. You hit the King on the crown with your summation of the removal of the King’s Republican court. This can be done just by getting out the vote. If you are happy with the past 6 years then vote for a Republican. However, if you believe we went to war in Iraq under some very fuzzy intelligence, tired of the mega wealthy getting huge tax breaks, tired of mega businesses given huge breaks, tired of having the Constitution and International laws broken or ignored, tired of the King appointing incomptent people to vital agencies and tired of a truth optional administration then vote DEMOCRATIC. Vote DEMOCRATIC from the school board, city hall, state legislatutes and congress.

Only then will we have a person who must act like a President and less that a King.

Posted by: C.T. Rich at September 16, 2006 8:54 PM
Comment #181899

califrep:

Your math is a little off. I, too, live in Southern California. According to homegain.com, Los Angeles County average home prices are $310,483. San Diego County is $312,025. Ventura County is $323,436. Riverside County is $191,055. San Bernardino is $166,434. California’s average price overall is $304,168.

My husband and I make about $60,000 per year and are homeowners and are living quite nicely, thank you very much. That said, $200,000 per year absolutely would give me nothing to worry about. Based on your “fuzzy math”, I wouldn’t put too much belief in the other numbers you talk about in your post. I’m guessing $200,000 wouldn’t be enough for you to have no worries because you’re probably deeply in debt.

The inheritance tax is very imoprtant to the economy in short term and long term situations. I quote two very rich men:

Bill Gates, Sr. says, “…here we have a significant ingredient of the Federal revenue stream which people are taking away at the very time that our government is going to need revenue at a level that is unprecedented. We’re talking about $200, $300 billion deficits now. “…repealing a tax in the midst of that situation leads inevitably to the proposition that some other tax is going to have to take its place.” “…if the wealthy don’t pay their share, then working people have to pay a larger share.”

Chuck Collins (Oscar Meyer heir) says, “We should be concerned about the estate tax repeal precisely for the reason we have an estate tax, which is to prevent the wealthy and powerful from writing the rules and changing the rules of our culture and society.”

As far as Clinton and congress are concerned, Clinton’s economic advisors had a big role in shaping the budget that ultimately went to congress to be voted on. Congress doesn’t actually come up with the budget — they VOTE on it.

Thanks, bushflipflops for saying exactly what I was thinking!

I also agree with Observer. The “Preview” function is there for a reason. You don’t have to be a wordsmith but it sure makes it easier for everyone to read when everything isn’t mashed together and spelled wrong.

Posted by: Catherine at September 16, 2006 9:06 PM
Comment #181916

David
YES I DO VOTE. But I don’t vote on any party lines.

Posted by: KAP at September 16, 2006 10:29 PM
Comment #181934

And let us not forget Warren Buffet’s take on the estate tax:

Question: Could you discuss your views on [the estate tax] and how you will allocate your wealth to your children?

Buffett: It really reflects my views on how a rich society should behave. If it weren’t for this society, I wouldn’t be rich. It wasn’t all me. Imagine if you were one of a pair of identical twins and a genie came along and allowed you to bid on where you could be born. The money that you bid is how much you had to agree to give back to society, and the one who bids the most gets to be born in the US and the other in Bangladesh. You would bid a lot. It is a huge advantage to be born here.

There should be no divine right of the womb. My kids wouldn’t go off and do nothing if I give them a lot of money, but if they did, that would be a tragedy. $30 billion will be generated from estate taxes, which will go to help pay for the war in Iraq and other things. If you take away the estate tax, that money will have to come from somewhere else. If not from estate taxes then you inherently get it from poorer citizens.

Less than 2% of estates will pay the estate tax. They would still have $50 million left over on average. I think those that get the lucky tickets should pay the most to the common causes of society. I believe in a big redistribution. Wealth is a bunch of claim checks that I can turn in for houses, etc. To pass those claim checks down to the next generation is the wrong approach.

But for those that think I am perpetuating the welfare state, consider if you are born to a rich parent. You get a whole bunch of stocks right at the beginning of your life, and thus you are sort of on a welfare state of support from your rich parents from the beginning. What’s the difference?

— Andrew Tobias - Money and Other Subjects

Posted by: Dr. Poshek at September 16, 2006 11:39 PM
Comment #181951

Paul,

I wanted to give a reasonable and logical response to your post. However, your post or article or whatever you call it…is sort of a fantasy smear job. There are so few honestly portrayed FACTS in your post (if any)…there is little you have posted that is actually worth applying reasoned discussion or debate. You conveniently twist reality with your fantacy Bush and of course, conveniently leave out factual details that make all the difference.

Poison pen attacks are nothing new to America. But yours seems particularly devoid of genuine content, new analysis or information.


I didn’t set out to “poison pen” your article, but it does seem particularly unremarkable. Which makes it difficult to remark on.

Let me say this. You have something here in this format. If you could only apply some genuine fact and honest reasoning, you might come up with something worth publishing. I’d suggest you keep at it in private until you get one that jives with reality on some level and works.

Posted by: Stephen at September 17, 2006 1:29 AM
Comment #181958

—-Kap- That is a good answer, making your own
informed choices, an discovering the information
needed is not always easy, but the prouder one
feels within them self after voting for the person you truly believe is the right person,
just makes you feel down right proud to be
American. An that, is a good thing.

Posted by: DAVID at September 17, 2006 3:24 AM
Comment #181960

—-Stephen— Perhaps your are a bit Dyslectic or for
what ever your incoherent rant about Paul is
totally uncalled for. You are entitled to your
own opinion, but Facts belong to no one, an it’s
time we all stop criticising. Unless you put forth
a counter opinion, you then become a spin-mister
an you open your self for criticism.

Posted by: DAVID at September 17, 2006 3:46 AM
Comment #181961

—-esimonson—-{YOUR ISLAMIC BLOG>has some of our
posts on it. I for one, would not enjoy any posts
that have on this site show up on your site, I
am sure Rules here would, should, or do not allow
this. At least ask first. Thank you, DAVID

Posted by: DAVID at September 17, 2006 4:41 AM
Comment #181962

—-Paul Segel— You might want to check out, or click on
esimonson name an check out your post on that site

Posted by: DAVID at September 17, 2006 4:56 AM
Comment #181963

DAVID,

Pauls peace is a fatasy smear job. There are no facts to respond to.

Posted by: Stephen at September 17, 2006 5:17 AM
Comment #181966


—-Stephen—- I believe in the past few Mo. we had
this same conversation. It too, was about the KINGS
Crown. An you at that time did not like anyone
applying the term crown towards President Bush.
Do you remember those discussions?

Posted by: DAVID at September 17, 2006 5:41 AM
Comment #182056

During the terms of your two presidents, Slick Willie and the Peanut Farmer, radial Islamists held American citizens captive for a year, bombed the WTC in 93, bombed our miliary base in Saudi Arabia, bombed two US Embassies in Africa, bombed the USS Cole, and, of course, planned 9/11 all during the Slick Willie’s administration.

By the way, is there a Jewish or Christian equivalent for “jihad”, “fatwah”???

Posted by: Centaur at September 17, 2006 3:08 PM
Comment #182088

With any kind of luck, the people of our country will send some of the Jesus Taliban back to the medieval dungeon that they crawled out of and repudiate King George’s twisted agenda. Unfortunately, his legacy lives on and whoever inherits the crown will have to contend with his wretched decisions. Me personally; I don’t see anybody from either side of the political divide who can make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. Sad state of affairs, eh?

Posted by: Craig at September 17, 2006 5:05 PM
Comment #182107

David, Neither in debate or discussion are your tactics accpetable. Let alone if you were a true “liberal” tolerant of others actions.

First you accuse me of being disylectic as if that is a crime or makes me less of a person whos views should be heard. Then of course your attacks continue. Calling me a ranter. Then some vagure reference to whom facts belong…not quite adressing my point that the post was very light on fact and thus made it difficult to respond to.

And of course you finish by apparently indicating you have dipatched me in some other conversation about Kings and apparently I’m thus not to return to these boards and express my opinon?

Are these the educated and enlightened responces you preach for these boards?

In my opinon, the format of this poster has possibilities….that is, the fairy tale approach of “king George”. Howerver it was so light on fact and the facts seem so twisted and fantsy like that it there was little one could actually deal with on a factual basis. When the facts themselves used in the post are fantasy…a fantasy foundation for a fantasy attack…that leaves little one can deal with.

You, of course, ignore the original post and attack those who respond to it. This is what I’m coming to expect of you….you are showing clear patterns here. And you consider yourself to be a leader here? Perhaps you might want to reconsider your approach.

Posted by: Stephen at September 17, 2006 7:02 PM
Comment #182167

Califrep:

You said, “unlike you i live in so. california. 200k is anything but wealthy. in fact the average 3 bdrm house is about 700k.” When you made this comment, you implied that it was the average for the entire state. That may be the average in YOUR neighborhood. There is a big difference between what the average is in your neighborhood and what the state and county averages are. Your neighborhood average is figured into the equation as well but because most other neighborhoods are lower, yours doesn’t have a large impact. Sounds like you’re getting screwed. I live in the county with the highest average and our prices are nowhere near yours. I doubt houses could sell well in your neighborhood knowing there are cheaper places nearby. Just my opinion — don’t jump all over me for it.

I am proud of the fact that I can spell and know the basic rules of grammar. I was not getting off subject. My point was, your posts are difficult to read because you mash everything together. Someone could misinterpret what you are trying to say if they can’t understand what you are writing.

As far as the estate tax is concerned, the government is not taxing the person who is dead. They are taxing the heirs. The money they receive is considered INCOME. You don’t have to EARN money to be taxed on it. Ask any lottery winner. If you drop the inheritance tax, then within a few generations, we will be living in an aristocracy and everyone knows that doesn’t work. We’d end up being ruled by a president that just happened to be the highest bidder or was able to buy (i.e. spend more on campaigning or otherwise) his way into office. Speak all you want about adjusting for inflation. That can ALWAYS be adjusted. What’s happening here is ELIMINATING the estate tax. If we do that, then it will just be made up somewhere else with the lower and lower-middle class picking up the slack.

You’re still confused about the budget. You’re confusing it with passing a bill where congressmen actually propose their own bills. The congress can either pass or reject the budget given to them by the PRESIDENT. If they reject it, it goes back to the president and his people make whatever adjustments might have to be made to make it pass next time. Congress has to negotiate the budget with the Whitehouse. Also, Clinton’s budgets passed in a Republican-ruled congress even though they had little, if any, tax cuts which resulted in an eventual surplus when King Bush took office. If the Republican-ruled congress really did come up with the budgets during the Clinton years, they would have included tax cuts.

Posted by: Catherine at September 17, 2006 11:16 PM
Comment #182193

Catherine,

I cannot spell but I may have a better understanding of the federal budget process than you. The president can propose but it’s congress that composes. The “power of the purse” remains with congress, not the president.

Wikipedia may be of help to you here. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_budget_process

Also, it was Newt G. (Republican) that brought about the balanced budget. Many young people that did not live through those years or pay attention tend to believe far left pro Clinton propaganda rather than bothering to read about that time period and what actually happened.

Clinton was OUTRAGED that Newt forced a balanced budget on him and claimed Newt was trying to keep Clinton from meeting his campign spending promises. Later, Clinton in search of a legacy in light of the endless scandals and foreign policy failures….took credit for the blanced Budget tuat Newt and the Republcian congress forced on him.

I see no hope for a balanced budget if the democrats take control of the congress and I think there may be very little hope if republcans maintain control. What we need is another Newt who rode a wave that took control of congress and reformed congress. It was actually Hillarys massive failure with health care reform that so discredited the democrats and caused a wave for reform to sweep away democratic control of congress. Many of those reforms have been wiped out since Newt has left office. Obviously the Republicans allowed this to happen as they maintain control to this day.

But the presidents power of the budget is very limited, particularly if he is in the minority party. Which was the case of Clinton when the Republicans forced a balanced budget on him. He lacked the ability to reject it and felt to attempt to do so would be political suicide with the mode of the public at that time.

Posted by: Stephen at September 18, 2006 1:52 AM
Comment #182232

KAP,

Can anyone give me one good reason why I should vote Democratic in the upcomming elections?

Democra… cy?

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at September 18, 2006 9:12 AM
Comment #182237

Stephen: Revisionism does not become you. I think you have failed to do any reasearch. Political ideology devoid of a factual basis is what has created the current fiscal disaster over the past nearly 6 years.

The balanced budgets were the direct result of President Clinton’s and congressional Democrats’ promulgation and passing of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 which, among other things, statutorily required balanced budgets. The Act, also, cut taxes for 98% of Americans while incresing it on the the weathiest 2% (percentages rounded), as well as, cut taxes for small businesses. The net result: budget surpluses; reduction in poverty; and a booming economy.

I realize the Bush administration is predicated on a fact-free ideology.

At times like these, Senator Moynihan’s admonition seems particularly apt: “Everyone is entitled to their own opinions ideologies, but they are not entitled to their own facts.”

Posted by: Dr. Poshek at September 18, 2006 9:39 AM
Comment #182239

calrep: You erroneously ascribed to me the quote of Warren Buffet. Please re-read the posting as the quotation’s attribution is clearly stated. Your gripe is with Warren Buffet’s words, not mine.

Posted by: Dr. Poshek at September 18, 2006 9:43 AM
Comment #182241

Stephen: I failed to note the fact that Newt voted against the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 and hence, of the statutory mandate for balanced budgets. Here is the result of the House roll call vote: http://clerk.house.gov/evs/1993/roll406.xml

Posted by: Dr. Poshek at September 18, 2006 9:47 AM
Comment #182244

Stephen: You use the term “honest reasoning” — there is no such term in logic. Rather, you perhaps wished to say, “deductive reasoning,” that is, reasoning where one arrives at a conclusion or inference based upon known facts via an argument which is both valid and sound. This is also known as the scientific method.

Posted by: Dr. Poshek at September 18, 2006 10:03 AM
Comment #182275

KAP,

As for your one good reason, take your pick:

*The constitution - your comment about dems somehow being equally culpable doesn’t fly. True, Lieberman co-sponsored the Patriot Act, but we have since learned he is no Democrat.
Just look at what the Supreme Court has been overturning and who initiated the acts leading to those cases. Maybe not all republicans, but certainly the group representing the party in office now, have NO understanding or respect for American law. None. It’s all pragmatic “Get ‘er done” mentality without any regard for what we have (or haven’t) got left when it’s done.
Name and finish this quote: “If you knock down all the laws to get at the devil and the devil turns on you…”

*The war in Iraq

*The Economy (The dems did a MUCH better job then these twits)

*Foreign Investment - We are borrowing ourselves into abject reliance on being appealing to foreign investment as a result of the debt we are running up while at the same time angering our nearest allies and trade partners at a time when China is coming on ever stronger and the European Union is growing in number and strength as well.

*The lives and wellbeing of our children - this realted to above issues.

Thomas,

Your comment is totally rediculous. I really ought not recognize you by commenting, but it seems to me there are too many who think such *messeges* are not as foolish, self-destructive and insane as they should be considered.

The war in Iraq is NOT, I repeat NOT, making us or the world safer. Why? because there were no WMD’s for us to intervene immediately in Iraq for, there was no presence of Al Qeada in Iraq until AFTER we supplied the battleground for them to send their minions into after us and because the civil war that Iraq has now descended into is a worldwide threat and a training ground for violent terror using, anti-American types who are growing in strength, funding and hate for America as a result of our being there. Ask any veteran of the current conflict over there what they think of the chances of a functioning coalition between Shias, Sunnis and Kurds are! The higher the command of the person you ask, the more complete the picture you will get and the more negative it will sound. Take notice. Then ask yourself whether we are the solution or just a part of the problem.

…then consider which party genuinely has the safety and security of America at heart.

Posted by: RGF at September 18, 2006 12:27 PM
Comment #182300

Good grief…

Ok, califrep, I’ll touch “Cali” for ya. I’ll just wash my hands after.

Here’s something you are clearly not getting: California ‘deregulated’ it’s energy market and the result was rolling blackouts and outright corporate theft which came as a result of market manipulation by ENRON. ENRON then lobbied for, and GOT, a Federal energy bill, which became law and was one of Bush’s first acts as President (he pushed HARD for it on behalf of his friend, Ken Lay). The new energy policy contained 18 out of 21 or 22 provisions that were stilted in favor of ENRON and would have allowed ENRON to manipulate the energy market of the entire country just as they had done in California. By the good grace of GOd, Enron went under the weight of their own corruption before they could achieve that awful goal.

You want to talk about misery being wrought on California? look to the republicans and their corporate supporters.

Now I got to go wash my hands.

Posted by: RGF at September 18, 2006 1:50 PM
Comment #182314

califrep,

That won’t hold water. The surplus was most assuredly REAL. The economy under Clinton was vibrant enough to come back in 2000 after the tech bubble burst in ‘98 and ‘99.

Further, the Dems argued for spending the surplus on paying off national debt for security interest reasons while the reps argued that paying the debt was unnecessary. Look where we are NOW. We are in hock to our eye-lids to China! In order to pay this off, the largest debt and largest deficeit in the COMBINED history of this country, we desparately need to attract foreign investment. Instead, we are pissing off our allies and trading partners at a time when China is coming on ever stronger and the EU is growing by leaps and bounds. We don’t look like the kind of investment we once did.

You appear to have bought into a lot of indefensable republican hype.

Posted by: RGF at September 18, 2006 2:26 PM
Comment #182315

califrep,

How old are you? I don’t get how you could so fail to remember that the Clinton surplus was not a one year thing. It was ongoing for most of his last term in office. It could have been very usefully employed in the service of national security by putting it toward the national debt but the reps continued to argue about what to do with it. That reality makes your assertion that surplus was somehow not real, or merely a projection, completely and obviously false. Oh well…

The rather obvious conclusion is that fiscal responsibility and the republican party are not two things properly uttered together.

Posted by: RGF at September 18, 2006 2:38 PM
Comment #182321

“observer; you stated the POWs weren’t harmed. you made the original statement. i said i don’t remember it going down that way, and asked for proof and still haven’t gotten it, so i guess according to your theory your statement caries no more credibility then mine.”

OK, so your asking me to prove a negative. Where am I going to find an article about something that DID NOT HAPPEN?

“as for my poor gramar, i didn’t know you had to be a wordsmith to participate in this forum. using that in your post was to say the least, pussy !”

Your sentence made absolutely no sense. I wasn’t criticizing your grammar, I was pointing out that if your comments can’t be deciphered, how can we respond? Communication is the whole point of this forum.
As for calling me names, no big suprise.

Posted by: Observer at September 18, 2006 3:08 PM
Comment #182326

califrep:

First, I told you not to go off on me about what I said about your house because I was just voicing my opinion but you didn’t listen.

Second, I gave you all the averages of the housing prices in So. CA in a previous post. I later told you I live in the county with the highest average. Go back to the previous post and figure it out for yourself.

Congratulations on figuring out what a paragraph is. Now go back to what I wrote about an aristocracy. I said, “if you drop [as in eliminate] the inheritance tax, then within a few generations, we will be living in an aristocracy and everyone knows that doesn’t work.” I was talking about the FUTURE. You said, “a hand full of billionaires does no constite an aristocracy in this day and age.” You are talking about NOW. There is a difference!

You are under the impression that cadidates don’t use their own money for campaigning. Although they didn’t win (which is NOT my point), Steve Forbes and Ross Perot used a very large chunk of their own money to campaign (which IS my point). Candidates often use their own money to start their campaign so they can eventually raise money. They don’t get their own money back.

You’re also not listening to what I’m saying about the estate tax. The percentage can always be changed. What I’ve been trying to point out to you is that the tax should not be ELIMINATED. READ WHAT I’VE BEEN WRITING! The tax should be renegotiated, not eliminated.

Although speaking specifically about California does go off subject, I will say this: RFG is right about CA. Also, Pete Wilson (a republican!) signed the energy deregulation bill. No Democrat signed that bill. That was a Republican plan, and it failed and continues to fail. Also, 70% of all profitable corporations in California pay NO TAXES! There’s something terribly wrong with that! That means small businesses are picking up the slack. Also, Schwarzenegger, a REPUBLICAN has done the following to California:

**$2 billion reduction in education spending

**forcing state employees to pay an additional five percent of their wages into their pensions, to pay off state borrowing

**tuition and fees for California university students have increased ten percent for undergraduates and about 40 percent for graduate students

**community college fees increased by a whopping 44 percent, on top of 64 percent increase in a prior Arnold-run year

**higher tuition will cut incoming UC and Cal State freshman classes by 10 percent—7,200 young people who will be denied access to college education

**Arnold also suspensed the cost-of-living adjustments for the working poor and the aged, blind and disabled

I could go on but I’m feeling sick to my stomach. Now I have to go wash MY hands.

By the way, one thing King George did that really pissed me off early in is reign was to offer tax payers a REBATE. WOW! Everyone got a REBATE check in the mail as part of his “tax cuts”. How generous of him! Since I am married, I got a $600 REBATE! Yay! Everywhere on the news you heard about the REBATE. The president himself called it a REBATE. Turned out not to be a REBATE after all. It was but an ADVANCE on the next year’s taxes! Imagine my surprise when I thought I was getting $200 back on my taxes but when you added the REBATE into the equation, I ended up OWING $400. Comment how you want on that but no where did the president make it clear that it WASN’T a rebate! Nor did he make clear that it was an advance that would have to be paid back.

PS — Thank you, Dr. Poshek for backing me up on part of my budget comments.

Posted by: Catherine at September 18, 2006 3:20 PM
Comment #182348

Hmmm…yeah, Richard Armitage. Another Republican breaking the law since his Royal Highness took office. It’s funny how Republicans are quick to point fingers at Democrat “criminals” but don’t seem to look into their own party.

So if liberals are called “Libs” would that mean conservatives are called “Cons”? Very appropriate.

Posted by: Catherine at September 18, 2006 4:15 PM
Comment #182355

califrep,

I don’t know what California you are living in but back in the REAL California, I distinctly remember skyrocketing electricity prices during the whole ENRON period. My bill went from $78 a month at one point to over $700! What was the cap? Infinity?

Read this from that time: http://www.ltg.ca.gov/newsroom/pressreleases/2001/pr050201.asp

And this:
http://ag.ca.gov/newsalerts/2004/04-063.htm

The Enron floks already admitted raising prices. They even had their reps on tape saying how they were out to screw grandma.

What state do you live in? Oh, that’s right — a state of denial.

Posted by: Catherine at September 18, 2006 4:30 PM
Comment #182358

califrep,

You clearly don’t know what deficit and surplus means with respect to our governments budget. A budget surplus is when the government spends less than it collects in a given year. A budget deficit is when the government spends more than it collects in a given year. These yearly surpluses and deficits are then subtracted or added to the total federal debt. The budget during the last 3 years of Clinton’s Presidency had increasing surpluses, and the first year of Bush had a lower surplus probably because his tax cuts weren’t put into effect until midway through the year. Then in 2002 we see huge deficits starting and getting worse each year until a slight improvement last year. See for yourself directly from the CBO here.

If you take away the social security surpluses that were used to pay for other budgetary items, then Clinton still had total budget surpluses in his last 2 years. Gore would have made those social security surpluses off limits if he had been allowed to be President, and there would be no need to worry about its future solvency. Bush has gone back to the old practice of using the social security surpluses to pay for the rest of the budget and still come up short each year. social security surpluses are expected to end around 2018 at which time it will start running deficits. If we had Gore’s LOCKBOX we would be fine, but now it looks like alot of people are going to be screwed.

Just admit that the Republicans are not fiscally responsible.

Posted by: bushflipflops at September 18, 2006 4:40 PM
Comment #182360

calrep: You asked for it… your comment is invalid for the reason that a decedants’s estate is a legal contruction by government and thereby does not create a natural nor inalienable right of inheritence to an estate by any individual.

While inheritence is a tradition within societies of the western tradition, it is not absolute nor without legal limitation. In other societies, a decedant’s property reverts to the community, i.e., government, for distribution.

The American tradition is a hybrid of the two approaches, justly benefitting the community and the so-called individual heirs. As Blackstone points out, and individual’s property rights cease post mortum apart from those rights created by statute and at Common Law. Warren Buffet’s comments reflect an understanding of the law and the underlying moral principles of the law.

Posted by: Dr. Poshek at September 18, 2006 4:42 PM
Comment #182362

califrep,

You contradicted yourself in the same paragraph. First you said, “the price to consumers was still capped”. Then you turn right around and say, “i agee we were gouged by enron” and “enron was able to burn us”.

Posted by: Catherine at September 18, 2006 4:47 PM
Comment #182367

calrep: Budgetary deficit is not the same thing as accrued debt. Deficit is a statement of financial operations relative to a fiscal period, e.g., a year. Debt is a statement of financial status relative to net worth in a financial statement. If one has a budgetary surplus, it yields an increase of net worth on the financial statement. Hence, during the Clinton administration we witnessed budgetary surpluses (increased assets) during that administration’s last two years with concomitant reductions in the national debt.

Posted by: Dr. Poshek at September 18, 2006 4:59 PM
Comment #182372

califrep,

Hey, free country! I’m not taking any of your statements personally against me. Say what you want. That’s what the first ammendment is for.

I never accused you of being a blind follower. I also never said I agreed with everything my party has done.

I did go back and read your post. Along with at least another poster, I explained to you that your posts were very difficult to read so you’ll have to excuse me if I couldn’t translate what you were trying to convey.

My point was — again — the future. If we abolish the estate tax NOW then in a few generation (do you know what a generation is?) we run the risk of becoming an aristocracy. In the FUTURE. Family money will just pile on top of family money, therefore creating an aristocracy. Why is it you find fault with what I am saying when at least two other posters tried to explain the same thing in a different way but you didn’t disagree with them. Like I said, I’m not against restructuring the estate tax. It would just be stupid to abolish it. Dr. Poshek explains it very nicely.

We have no problem living on the $60,000 my husband and I “eak” out per year. You’re the one who said, “200k is anything but wealthy.” Based on that statement, my husband and I must be poor in your eyes. We have everything we could ever want. No credit card debt. Good investments. Good retirement plan. Nice home. You must base success on how much money you make. That’s a shame. We couldn’t be happier.

Posted by: Catherine at September 18, 2006 5:17 PM
Comment #182377

califrep,

I was living in San Diego at the time. SD was hit hardest by the Enron scam. It had nothing to do with what appliances we were using. We were getting screwed. There is a class action lawsuit pending to try to get some of our money back but I’m not holding my breath. If you don’t believe me about the prices, look it up. It’s out there.

Posted by: Catherine at September 18, 2006 5:29 PM
Comment #182385

califrep,

Just so you know, in San Diego, SDG & E’s retail price freeze ended in June 2000. For the next eight months our prices skyrocketed.

Posted by: Catherine at September 18, 2006 6:04 PM
Comment #182518

califrep,

You seem to be unclear about what actualy happened in the Cali energy market and how the scam worked. There was never a need for new power plants so the environmental difficulties you describe are not relevent. Enron bid for and then got contracts to supply various amounts of kilawatt hours to the California power grid and then intentionally designated that power to be delivered via power lines and conduits that were not able to carry anywhere near the load they were contracted to provide. The result was market manipulation, price gouging on an epic scale and flat out fraud on the California energy rate payers. The shortage that was supposedly indicating a need for new power plants was faked. because there was an ‘emergency’ as far as the energy supply was concerned, there were no applicable price caps. The deregulation was actually a manipulation engineered by Enron.

AS for the deficeit: Yes, we had a SURPLUS under Clinton. That means we were spending LESS than we were taking in. I think you are confusing deficeit with debt. Under Clinton, the Democrats argued with much fervor that we should apply the surplus towards paying off our national debt in the interest of NATIONAL SECURITY.

That effort was blocked by the republican congress. It seems the republicans thought it made more sense to become the largest debtor nation in the history of the world.
…in the interest of…WHAT, exactly? National Security????!!!!

Posted by: RGF at September 19, 2006 10:50 AM
Comment #182521

califrep,

You know the whole Plame gate thing offends me mightily. Here’s why: The law designating the release of undercover identity was signed into law by Bush Sr. Rove admitted to it and then argued that Plame’s identity WAS GOING to be declassified later. At the time, Valery Plame Wilson was trying to move up on the career ladder and that move was dependent on her continued status as undercover. She was on a WMD task force for cryin’ out loud! Yet, we hear nothing but Bushie apologists arguing that she was NOT in secret status. She clearly was or she would have no case. You know the case she is pursuing now? The civil case that would be thrown out of court if she was outside the definition of law? Yeah. That one. Further, even if you assume that Bush WAS going to decassify Plame’s position, that is not the same as Plame’s identity ALREADY being declassified, so the whole argument is STILL irelevent and there was still an act of TREASON no matter how you look at it. Then as if that isn’t enough, you gotta wonder, why was Bush going to declassify Plame’s identity as CIA in the rist place? Was THAT politically motivated? …and that is how Bush gets implicated directly in the treason that took place. It doesn’t really matter whether Bush directly mandated the release of Plame’s identity to end her career, he KNEW and he’s the president. The buck stops with him.

Posted by: RGF at September 19, 2006 11:11 AM
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