Democrats & Liberals Archives

Telecom Immunity

Ater the Senate caved into Bush and passed legislation offering immunity from prosecution for telecom companies that “cooperated” with the governement in illegal and warrantless wiretapping of American citizens, the House decided to rebel.

The House held up passage of the legislation. I thought here at last Democrats are standing up for their principles, they are thumbing their nose at Bush, they are acting independent.

Was I wrong! Today we hear that the House Democrats are ready to roll over and give Bush whatever he asked for. They are doing this even though the CCIA (the Computer and Communications Industry Association) is against amnesty. The organization sent a letter to Congress in which it said:

CCIA represents an industry that is called upon for cooperation and assistance in law enforcement. To act with speed in times of crisis, our industry needs clear rules, not vague promises that the U.S. Government can be relied upon to paper over Constitutional transgressions after the fact.

Evidently, House Democrats were merly indulging in a tantrum. They were not given enough time to consider the legislation before going on their recent holiday. So they complained and President Bush complained - almost daily - until now when Democrats are giving Bush whatever he wants.

Why did Democrats make a fuss? If they were going to give in on telecom immunity, they should have done it immediately.

You know, it's not the telecoms that will benefit most from this immunity. It is President George W. Bush, whose illegal activities will be permanenetly secret. Congress is joining the president in turning the Constitution into a throwaway paper.

Posted by Paul Siegel at March 3, 2008 5:07 PM
Comments
Comment #246978

Paul, you are absolutely right! That is why voters MUST send Barack Obama a new Congress to go along with his new presidency. The incumbent Democrats and Republicans in the current Congress will be nothing but impediments to solutions and changes.

The worst thing Democratic voters can do for the new Democratic President is send back to D.C. the same old Democratic Congress. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Vote Out Incumbents.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 3, 2008 5:17 PM
Comment #246986

David
Your right we do need a new congress to go with the new President but I hope it’s not Obama. He is WAY TO LIBERAL and way to inexperienced Like Hillary said the only thing he has is a speech in 2002. I think once the nominations are over if in fact Obama is nominated, I live in a Dem county in Ohio, nobody I talked to wants Obama, I think whoever the Rep. and if a decient independent runs they will eat Obama up and spit him out like yesterdays breakfast.

Posted by: KAP at March 3, 2008 7:29 PM
Comment #246988

I just drove through Ohio for work and their election is tomorrow, I saw a lot of Hillary signs there… only Ron Paul had more visual real estate dedicated. I’m curious to see how that translates at the polls though.

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 3, 2008 7:34 PM
Comment #246996

KAP, you live in a state of voters that allowed its government to chase business and manufacturing out of Ohio. Ohio had the 4th highest corporate taxes in the nation. I wouldn’t trust Ohio voters to elect a national dog catcher. They can’t even vote in their own best interest, let alone the nations. No wonder they aren’t for Obama. He might actually change things for the better and Ohioans would all be bald from scratching their heads so long trying to figure that one out. :-)

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 3, 2008 7:54 PM
Comment #246997

Ron Paul’s translation to the polls is controlled by Diebold(I still voted for him). So much as I’d like Ron Paul to win, or atleast head to a brokered convention, only a voter confontation with the forces that control will bring about the truth in voter machine fraud(see also Louisiana, New Hampshire voting irregularities). And Obama is way too untrust worthy, he’s changing stances on all points. America doesn’t need promises unkept, as seen here:
http://apnews.myway.com//article/20080303/D8V68TDO0.html

As one blogger put it “verbal coinage should never be constituted as change.”

Posted by: dobropet at March 3, 2008 7:59 PM
Comment #247000

Rhinehold, Ohio is Hillary’s. Always has been and will be as they keep looking to recreate the past instead of creating a viable future for themselves.

Texas, on the other hand, is rapidly changing its mind about a lot of things. Even the Republican core in my County quietly discuss whether staying with the GOP for immigration and taxes is viable in the long run considering the GOP’s performance to date. Two neighbors of mine have switched their party affiliation to Independent in as many months. Texas is in flux, and therefore, too close to call in this primary race. Clinton could luck out with the border Hispanic voter turnout (usually very low).

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 3, 2008 8:01 PM
Comment #247006

David
You got that right about Ohio and it’s corporate taxes being high. So that should be a lesson to those who want to raise corporate taxes in the name of creating jobs as so many democrats want to do. I don’t care what party you are you ain’t going to bring jobs anywhere by raising corporate taxes.

Posted by: KAP at March 3, 2008 8:25 PM
Comment #247009

David
Your right about how some people vote here in Ohio. They vote for idiots like Kucinich who hasn’t done anything for Ohio. He kinda reminds me of Obama all Talk. Now we got taxing Ted as Govenor but he hasn’t even suggeted raising taxes YET. Yea we need someone who can get things done here in Ohio. I know for sure it ain’t going to be Obama. I wouldn’t vote for a democrat for dog catcher either. A dem runs Cleveland, two congresspersons and one Senator and ain’t a one of them worth the powder to blow them to hell with.

Posted by: KAP at March 3, 2008 8:51 PM
Comment #247011

KAP,
$38 a year for highway taxes or $400 in tolls? Do the arithmetic before subscribing to the Republiscam philosophy. If you’re the owner, can I get a free pass? No? I guess that means that I don’t have the FREEDOM to participate in society, right?

Posted by: Stephen Hines at March 3, 2008 9:02 PM
Comment #247012

Stephen H.
Did I say anything about Republicans? $38. a year Highway taxes. I pay over $50 a year now and that’s in a democratic county. The only tolls I know about are the Turnpike tolls and I don’t use it. Like in another post I wrote Maybe well get a good independent running for potus. You think maybe Liberman might throw his hat in the mix?

Posted by: KAP at March 3, 2008 9:12 PM
Comment #247022

KAP, the thing about corporate taxes, if you need them, is to balance them against the state’s population’s needs for industry and jobs. There is nothing inherently bad about corporate taxes. There is something very wrong with the amounts if the amounts drive employers from the state to other states.

Nationally, it’s a bit trickier, since our competitors are a mixed lot, some taxing corporations and others not. That is why Fair Trade Agreements are so essential as opposed to Free Trade Agreements negotiated and lobbied for by export and import corporations. You need a third party keeping an eye on the international big picture to prevent greed from gaming the situation to American’s detriment while insuring acceptable deals by foreign nations as best as can be accomplished.

Sometimes, as any bargainer knows, one must be willing to NOT trade for awhile in the face of a poor deal, in order to get a better deal a little down the road.

I personally side with a Flat Tax system that taxes individual wealth and exempts corporations from taxation entirely, but severely stiffens fines for unethical or unAmerican activities and requires American corporations to base themselves in America to include a majority of investors. If their majority of investors are not American, America has lost faith in the corporation and they should take up headquarters elsewhere making room for American competitors to fill that space.

The Flat Tax would cover Universal BASIC Healthcare and remove the burden of health care costs from employers altogether. That would make American companies significantly more competitive without disadvantaging American consumers to any significant degree.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 4, 2008 2:05 AM
Comment #247026

Flat taxes ignore the problem of marginal utility. A rich person can do far more with the money they’ve got left, at any given rate, than a poor person could A poor or middle class person has to spend almost all of their money on necessities. So, effectively, the tax, at a the same rate, creates a higher burden on the average person. This is why, early on, America went with a progressive tax. It’s simply more fair.

Flat taxes are fair in the way that a deregulated economy is fair: that is, they are fair to those who already have have the most resources, the most power already. Is it any wonder billionaire Republican Steve Forbes was the person who first brought it to the public’s attention?

Telecom Immunity is just more of the same. Ultimately, the Republicans believe in trickle-down economics, and trickle-down economy, and what that amounts to is trickle down Democracy, with power in the hands of the few, given at their discretion to the many. This is the elitist heart of Republican policy.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 4, 2008 7:36 AM
Comment #247028

i have a question about the big deal thats being made about the telecom immunity.
If what was done was legal as GWB has said over and over why does there need to be any retroactive immunity at all? immunity from what?

you cant sue someone or a cooperation in this country for following the law and expect to win in a federal civil suit. So this to me seems like an admission that something illegal was done, and good ol GWB is playing a game of CYA.

it seems to me also that if GWB doesnt get his way he could just let it all come out let everyone involved get charged and pardon all of em ensuring individual cooperation and silence at the same time, taking the power out of congress hands.


Seems to me we should have voted a 5th grader into the white house. only saving grace in my book is that i didnt vote for him and although he is my president, he does not represent me!

Posted by: napajohn at March 4, 2008 8:33 AM
Comment #247030

napajohn-

you cant sue someone or a cooperation in this country for following the law and expect to win in a federal civil suit.

I take it you’ve never been sued then. As an example, I was involved in an auto accident where the other driver was ticketed for failure to yield. That did not prevent them from suing me personally for $850k (1985 dollars).

Just as in the O.J. case, the criminality (guilty/not guilty) is immaterial in a subsequent civil case. The burden to prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” is also less for civil cases than it is for a criminal case.

How many prosecutors have filled charges against the telecoms?

Posted by: George in SC at March 4, 2008 9:31 AM
Comment #247034

in a civil case it is a preponderance of the evidence IOW it is more likely than not that a crime was commited. i understand the legality of it all i am after all a crim. justice major not my question.

i agree on your point i recently served on a federal district court grand jury and saw first hand the system. thing is as things stand there is no proof that any particular person was ever spied upon. i happen to feel that is a huge cop out by the SCOTUS. i thank you for responding to the first point i made George but the one thing bugging me most is my second point.

why hold it all up when GWB has the power to pardon everyone involved. congress has said they would pass the bill without the immunity clause. so why has GWB held it up to the point that his pardon abilities will be moot because he will be out of office before anyone is charged now.
is it me or does all this make very little sense?

Posted by: napajohn at March 4, 2008 9:54 AM
Comment #247035

BTW i also was sued in a similar case the other driver failed to yield and caused an accident that involved striking a pedestrian. i was sued for 500k but i won. you didnt mention though what was the outcome of your case?

Posted by: napajohn at March 4, 2008 9:59 AM
Comment #247036
Paul Siegel wrote: Was I wrong! Today we hear that the House Democrats are ready to roll over and give Bush whatever he asked for.
Again?

There’s a solution. Vote smarter.

But repeatedly rewarding these complicit, irresponsible, bought-and-paid-for, corrupt incumbent politicians (in BOTH parties) with 93%-to-99% re-election rates ain’t it, is it?

But watch … come 4-Nov-2008, the voters will reward 98%-to-100% of those incumbent Democrat politicians with re-election.

Voters (in BOTH) parties would be wise, at the very least, to oust the traitors in THEIR own parties, no? But, sadly, we know how it works. Pulling the party-lever is a hard-habit to break.

Had we had a responsible Congress with a backbaone, Bush might not have been so harmful to the nation?

Sadly, this election, voters will probably focus only on the presidential office, and then sabotage their selection for president with another corrupt and irresponsible Congress.

Perpahs enough voters will abandon that bad habit when enough voters are jobless, homeless, and hungry? Even then, that bad habit is extremely difficult to break, because of the voters’ irrational fear mongering and the sole goal of only winning seats for THEIR own party.

At any rate, the voters will have the government that the voters deserve.

And whoever the next president is, what can the next president accomplish if saddled with the same Congress?

Posted by: d.a.n at March 4, 2008 10:18 AM
Comment #247037

napajohn-

Again, this is about the 40 or so civil cases that have been lined up against the telecoms. That I’m aware of there is no criminal case where the President could issue a pardon.

As for my case, it was thrown out on a technicality; the other party’s lawyer did not offer evidence of agency (I was driving a company car).

Posted by: George in SC at March 4, 2008 10:27 AM
Comment #247040
David R. Remer wrote: I personally side with a Flat Tax system that taxes individual wealth and exempts corporations from taxation entirely, but severely stiffens fines for unethical or unAmerican activities and requires American corporations to base themselves in America to include a majority of investors.
I agree, and so do most Americans polled (by a 2 - to -1 margin).
Stephen Daugherty wrote: Flat taxes ignore the problem of marginal utility. A rich person can do far more with the money they’ve got left, at any given rate, than a poor person could A poor or middle class person has to spend almost all of their money on necessities. So, effectively, the tax, at a the same rate, creates a higher burden on the average person.
There are several flaws in that conclusion:
  • (1) Marginal utility does not trump fairness of an equal percentage (which most Americans see as most fair, based on polls). Is a significantly PROGRESSIVE tax curve (above the middle-income level) fair? Most people say NO. In a study by the Tax Foundation
      We then asked people what system they would prefer for collecting federal taxes:
      • the current system with deductions;
      • a flat-rate system with no deductions;
      • or a national sales tax.
      • By nearly a 2 - to - 1 margin, respondents favored a flat-rate system with no deductions over the current system or a national sales tax.
    I have also run some of my own polls and discovered the same thing (i.e. slightly over 2 - to - 1 favored a flat-rate system with no deductions).
  • (2) Marginal utility is a very weak argument, and it is less of a factor when ONLY income above the poverty level is taxed, creating a PROGRESSIVE-to-NEUTRAL tax curve, and greatly reducing the marginal utility (i.e. border) issues, such as the burdens on the poor, and lower income levels.
Stephen Daugherty wrote: This is why, early on, America went with a progressive tax. It’s simply more fair.
Maybe back then (in the past).

But not anymore.
Not today.
Not based on polls showing large margins (2 - to - 1) to to the contrary (in favor of a flat (e.g. neutral) income tax rate).

The current tax system is not PROGRESSIVE. The current tax system is actually quite REGRESSIVE, as evidenced by Warren Buffet who paid 17.7% income tax rate on $46 million (in year 2006), while his secretary paid 30% income tax rate on $60K.

  • PROGRESSIVE-to-REGRESSIVE (the current tax system)

  • 30%
    27% _
    24% _ _ _
    21% _ _ _ _ _
    18% _ _ _ _ _X_ _
    15% _ _X _ _ _ _ _X
    12% _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ X
    09% _X _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _X
    06% _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
    03% _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
    00% X_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
    __$0K $30K 50K 100K __ 200K __ 300K __ 400K __ 500K _ … GROSS INCOME

    Here’s a better way. Simplify the current system to make it PROGRESSIVE-to-NEUTRAL.

  • PROGRESSIVE-to-NEUTRAL (17% Flat income tax only on income above the poverty level)

  • 17% _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _X
    15% _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ X
    12% _ _ _ _ _ _ _ X
    09% _ _ _ _ X
    06% _ _ X
    03% _ X
    00% X
    __$0K $30K 50K 100K __ 200K __ 300K __ 400K __ 500K _ … GROSS INCOME

    As for fairness, a flat (neutral) percentage means that a person # 1 making $200K above the poverty level pays twice the income tax than person # 2 making $100K.
    How is that unfair to person # 2, when person # 1 with twice as much income also paid twice as much tax?

    Also, the much simplified system would be MUCH better than the current, complex, and abused tax system.
    The many complexities in the current system make it ripe for abuse.
    The many complexities in the current system are no accident.

    The Flat 17% Income Tax (only on income above the poverty level, no deductions) is a simplification of the current system.
    It’s not that complicated.
    Several tax systems have been proposed to Congress.
    Iraq has a 15% flat income tax.
    A 17% Flat Income Tax was already submitted many years ago (BILL H.R. 4585; year 1994; source: www.ncpa.org/ba/ba136.html).
    We don’t lack for good ideas.
    Unfortunately, Congress is where good ideas go to die, and what the majority of Americans want is often ignored.

    At any rate, the voters will have the government that the voters deserve.

    Posted by: d.a.n at March 4, 2008 11:27 AM
    Comment #247041

    I would like to read about circumstances of Americans who have been spied upon illegally by our government eavesdropping on their telephone conversations. Can anyone direct me to such material?

    Posted by: Jim M at March 4, 2008 11:54 AM
    Comment #247043

    Jim M.: Since it’s a big secret, who do you suppose will release that information? Huh? Secret is the whole point. Even if approved by the FISA court, the information wouldn’t be released until a charge is made.

    So how is a person to know if they have been spied on? Or anyone for that matter.

    Prove I HAVEN’T been spied on.

    Thanks.

    Posted by: womanmarine at March 4, 2008 12:17 PM
    Comment #247044
    We reject the view that the traditional American principles of justice and fair play have no place in our struggle against the enemies of freedom. Moreover, our investigation has established that the targets of intelligence activity have ranged far beyond persons who could properly be characterized as enemies of freedom and have extended to a wide array of citizens engaging in lawful activity…

    The Committee finds that the domestic activities of the intelligence community at times violated specific statutory prohibitions and infringed the constitutional rights of American citizens. 1 The legal questions involved in intelligence programs were often not considered. On other occasions, they were intentionally disregarded in the belief that because the programs served the “national security” the law did not apply.

    Final Report of the Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities. United States Senate, 94th Congress, 2nd Session, April 26

    Jim M

    That question is easy, try reading the Church Report.

    Posted by: Cube at March 4, 2008 12:25 PM
    Comment #247046

    Hmmmmmm!!!!!
    It seems that the ‘culture of corruption’ is in the Democrat Party too. Just like I’ve been saying. All that was needed for it to come out is for them to get power.
    Now I want all y’all that’s been calling for Bush’s impeachment on this side of the blog to scream just as hard for impeachment of both houses of Congress. Or at least vote the Democrats that voted for this travesty of just out of office.
    Funny how changing the party in control in Congress hasn’t changed a thing. It’s still business as usual up there in DC.
    Washington is a city in need of a good house cleaning. But until folks of both major parties take off their blinders and take a good look at their own party as well as the other it won’t happen.

    Posted by: Ron Brown at March 4, 2008 12:56 PM
    Comment #247047

    Yeah, unfortunately neither party is actually concerned with personal liberty anymore, it’s just a game of setting us agasint each other and playing the resulting strife into a power play.

    Posted by: Rhinehold at March 4, 2008 1:28 PM
    Comment #247053
    Rhinehold wrote: Yeah, unfortunately neither party is actually concerned with personal liberty anymore, it’s just a game of setting us agasint each other and playing the resulting strife into a power play.
    Very true, on both counts.

    These constitutional violations and abuses did not all come about by mere coincidence.

    Jim M wrote: I would like to read about circumstances of Americans who have been spied upon illegally by our government eavesdropping on their telephone conversations. Can anyone direct me to such material?
    womanmarine is right.

    It’s a Catch-22.
    The Supreme Court refused to hear the ACLU’s case.
    It uses the common dodge: “No Standing” .
    So, the Supreme Court refuses to hear the ACLU’s case,
    Claiming that the ACLU has “no standing”,
    Because they can’t prove they were wire-tapped,
    Because the government won’t say who they wire-tapped,
    Because the court won’t make the government confirm they were wire-tapped,
    So no one has standing,
    Because they can’t prove they were wire-tapped.

    And that is a classic “Catch-22”.
    This is the Supreme Courts’ clever way of ignoring issues, making them complicit in the violation of the laws.
    The Supreme Court did the same thing in Walker v. Members of Congress about the flagrant violation of Article V ( foavc.org ).
    The Supreme Court might as well change its name to “The Supreme Catch-22 Court”.

    Ron Brown wrote: Hmmmmmm!!!!! It seems that the ‘culture of corruption’ is in the Democrat Party too.
    Try to tell it to the voters that continue to repeatedly reward the incumbent politicians in the two-party duopoly in Congress with 93%-to-99% re-election rates.

    What is logical about that?
    Why do so many voters do that?

    • (1) Because too many voters fear (irrationally) the OTHER party winning seats. They other party is evil and must be defeated at all costs.

    • (2) Because too many voters believe THEIR party is better. And while that may slightly true, does it justify rewarding bad politicians in one’s own party with re-election.

    • (3) Because too many voters were taught a to pull the party-lever (e.g. by their parents, friends, etc.), that’s the way they’ve always done it, and that’s they way they will always do it.

    • (4) Because too many voters complain out of one side of their mouth about pork-barrel, but think THEIR politician is good for bringin’ home the pork-barrel.

    • (5) Because too many voters have abdicated their responsibility and duty to research the candidates, are blindly loyal, and lazily take THEIR party’s word for it.

    • (6) Because too many voters prefer to fuel and wallow in the partisan warfare, rather then admit that THIER party is almost (if not equally) as bad as the OTHER party.

    • (7) Because too many voters are easily fooled, as evidenced by the fact that 90% of elections are won by the candidate that spends the most money, and 99.85% of all 200 million eligible voters are vastly out-spent by a very tiny 0.15% that make 83% of all federal campaign donations (of $200 or more).

    • (8) Because too many voters have not yet experienced the maximum pain and misery of the consequences of their not-so-smart voting habits. Perhaps the voters will vote smarter when enough voters are jobless, homeless, and hungry? After all, two of the highest anti-incumbent voting periods in America was around the time of the Great Depression and the Civil War.
    It is a very hard habit to break. It’s quite possible that only pain and misery can finally trump apathy, complacency, partisan loyalty, irrational fear, and laziness?

    At any rate, the voters will have the government that the voters deserve.

    Posted by: d.a.n at March 4, 2008 3:06 PM
    Comment #247059

    Bush is just trying to help people stay out of facilities like Coleman, in FL, where Conrad Black, Lord Black of Crossharbour, is now living, and many of Bush’s closest friends and family belong:

    “Black will live in the Low Security Unit, where bars are at a minimum and the prisoners’ daily lives directed towards learning a trade for life after release…Black’s new companions will be prison guards as well as other non-violent low-risk offenders including drug dealers and child pornographers…On arrival Black will have been stripped, searched, given a medical examination and an identification card….less serious infractions, include unauthorised use of the telephone, using abusive or obscene language and “unauthorised kissing or embracing”…One of the reasons he stole so much money was that he genuinely felt the rules did not apply to him.”
    from
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7275494.stm


    Posted by: ohrealy at March 4, 2008 4:09 PM
    Comment #247069

    Ok, so I know I usually don’t write politically based blogs, they are usually focused on scriptural points and experiences that I have. However, this time I am blogging about political aspects. I was listening to Mike Church on the radio the other day and I have to say that he was cracking Sam and I up on our way home from Tennessee. He was so hard core on his beliefs that it was amusing because for the most part we agreed with everything he was saying. I think I have come to the point in my life that the only way for Christians to vote is to do exactly what God said to do. He said, “If my people who are called by my name shall humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways then I will hear from Heaven and I will heal their land.”

    Sounds simple enough doesn’t it? I mean how much wickedness in a Christians life can there possibly be; for Him not to hear us? I wonder how many Christians actually think they have arrived at holiness. I wonder how the “BODY OF CHRIST” expects our country to be united and stand as the UNITED STATES when the church next door won’t even sup with the Pastor across the street whose denomination is different from his. I cannot sit idly by and twiddle my thumbs and watch the devastation of this country come to pass because the church is destroying it. People say you can’t mix church and state….well you know what, you are right. You also can’t mix homosexuality and church, or fornication and church, or blasphemy and church but it’s done all the time. People say you can’t bring religion into politics, that’s funny because politics has destroyed religion and by the way religion is a set way of doing things. So I would say that our whole country is religious and it’s widespread. It’s called desensitized segregation and mediatroversity and that is my word of the day. You know I wonder what it was like back in the day when our government officials didn’t read off of scripts written by someone with totally different views then them. I wonder what it was like when our government officials would sit on wooden benches with their grey hair pulled back deliberating over choices, choices they would make for the nation, for a people of pride and integrity yet at the same time people of honest reproach and humbleness. For days at a time they discuss the future of the American people until they came to an agreement starting each deliberation with prayer.

    Today you have men in the office and men and women running for office whose only goal is to tear the other one down as much as they possibly can to win the hoopla and praises of the people. Who gives the best speech? Who gives the best performance? Who puts the smack down on the other the hardest? Who is going to end the war in Iraq so that our soldiers can come home safely and then we can get bombarded by terrorist? Who is going to stop immigration after millions of dollars has been spent on a virtual wall that was built that the National Guard did not even know about and now doesn’t work? Who is going to stop gas prices from raising so freaking high! Come on give me a break. American’s don’t know how good we have it and that is what started everything to begin with. It all boils down to greed, “I WANT IT MY WAY”. All of it! From prayer being taken out of school to homosexuals standing in pulpits preaching, to women running for president! Why in the world would a homosexual (practicing) want to preach anyway? Why in the world would someone want to take prayer out of school, regardless if they don’t pray or not why would that offend them? Why in the world would a woman want to be the President of a Nation except to PROVE SHE COULD! I used to be proud to be an American now I just pray that America loses her pride. I now can only say that I am humbled to be washed in the blood of Christ because the more and more I see happening in our country today the more and more relevant the Word of God becomes and the more and more I realize just HOW FAR OFF CHRISTIANS in America are.

    People say that Obama is going to be the next president and though we don’t know what is going to happen for certain may I suggest that if you are reading this that you really need to start reading your Bible and preparing for the times that are quickly approaching. Even though the foundation of the Bible may be found void in many different religious groups and beliefs and traditions of men, the Word of God will not return void and God will stand firm on His promises. None of us are promised the breath of tomorrow and none of us know how things are going to unfold from one day to the next so it’s best to know that our standing ground on this Earth is temporal but our Eternal standing place is forever. I pray that the Christians of this once accountable nation come together in unity and fall upon our knees and repent and turn from our wicked ways. It’s time we fall as one on our faces before God and pray that He guide this country and that He positions the person in leadership of our Nation whose main focus is not cutting gas prices but about turning our Nation back to being ONE NATION UNDER GOD.

    Can we turn back to being The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave instead of the Land of Do Whatever You Want and Home of Unfortunate Consequences? I don’t know who I am going to vote for, but I can guarantee one thing, they won’t stop me from serving the God of America who is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob!


    Posted by: Tina Leonard at March 4, 2008 5:39 PM
    Comment #247075


    The technology is available. It is being improved constantly. The technology will be used. How much does the corporations know about you already? Eventually, Big Brother will be watching everyone. It is extremely unlikely that anything will prevent this from happening. There are more than enough law abiding citizens to enable it.

    Eventually, after the system has been fully implemented, many citizens will begin to understand what they have done to themselves. It will be to late then. The corporate government will be able to identify any potential resisters and deal with them. Control of the citizen won’t be like 1984, it will be better.

    Posted by: jlw at March 4, 2008 8:00 PM
    Comment #247077

    KAP,
    Of course it doesn’t affect you personally. I see homeless children and I see vacant housing. Sorry I’m such a wimp, but that affects me personally. Would I be a smart aleck to ask if it affects you like not having toll roads?
    Stephen Hines

    Posted by: Stephen Hines at March 4, 2008 8:28 PM
    Comment #247079

    Stephen H
    I once was one of those homeless people. I lived in a shelter for 6 months. I KNOW WHAT IT IS LIKE. I dug myself out of that pit though. But what has toll roads have to do with being homeless?

    Posted by: KAP at March 4, 2008 9:10 PM
    Comment #247081
    Of course it doesn’t affect you personally. I see homeless children and I see vacant housing. Sorry I’m such a wimp, but that affects me personally.

    Then do something about it! Get like minded folks together and do something about it! But *DON’T* get like minded folks together and force someone else to do something about it. That is immoral…

    Posted by: Rhinehold at March 4, 2008 9:16 PM
    Comment #247087
    Rhinehold wrote: Then do something about it! Get like minded folks together and do something about it! But *DON’T* get like minded folks together and force someone else to do something about it. That is immoral…
    Rhinehold, perhaps there are some things we should all be forced to do, and some we should not?

    Let’s try to put some of it in perspective.
    Which of the following things should we be (or not be) forced to do?

    • (01) pay taxes for law enforcement?

    • (02) pay taxes (i.e. local state, district, county, or parish) for public education ?

    • (03) pay taxes for $57.3 Billion (year 2005; with 4,487 federal employees) for the Dept. of Education (Executive Branch)?

    • (04) pay taxes for the $371 Billion (year 2005; with 2 million federal employess) for the Dept. of Defense (Executive Branch)?

    • (05) pay taxes for the $40 Billion (year 2005; with 180,000 federal employess) for the Dept. of Homeland Security (Executive Branch)?

    • (06) pay taxes for the truly needy (e.g. welfare)?

    • (07) pay taxes for $66.8 Billion (year 2005; with 67,000 federal employees) for the Dept. of Health and Human Services (includes Medicare and Medicaid) (Executive Branch)?

    • (08) pay taxes for the streets, traffic signs, and traffic signals (Executive Branch)?

    • (09) pay taxes for public (free) hospitals?

    • (10) pay taxes for subsidies for farms (some owned and operated by corporations)the ?

    • (11) pay taxes for welfare for foreign nations ?

    • (12) pay taxes for the war on drugs?

    • (13) pay taxes for the border security?

    • (14) pay taxes for the $19.1 Billion (year 2005; with 109,832 federal employees) for the Dept. of Agriculture (Executive Branch)?

    • (15) pay taxes for the $5.8 Billion (year 2005; with 40,000 federal employees) for the Dept. of Commerce (Executive Branch)?

    • (16) pay taxes for the $31.3 Billion (year 2005; with 16,100 federal employees) for the Dept. of Energy (Executive Branch)?

    • (17) pay taxes for the $10.8 Billion (year 2005; with 71,436 federal employees) for the Dept. of the Interior (e.g. land management, Indian arts, park services, minerals, etc.) (Executive Branch)?

    • (18) pay taxes for the $22.0 Billion (year 2005; with 109,000 federal employees) for the Dept. of Justice (e.g. FBI, Attorney General, ATF, prisons, Tax Division, etc.) (Executive Branch)?

    • (19) pay taxes for the $11.9 Billion (year 2005; with 17,347 federal employees) for the Dept. of Labor (Executive Branch)?

    • (20) pay taxes for the $10.3 Billion (year 2005; with 30,266 federal employees) for the Dept. of State (Executive Branch)?

    • (21) pay taxes for the $61.6 Billion (year 2005; with 60,100 federal employees) for the Dept. of Transportation (Executive Branch)?

    • (22) pay taxes for the $10.8 Billion (year 2005; with 115,897 federal employees) for the Dept. of the Treasury (Executive Branch)?

    • (23) pay taxes for the $51.0 Billion (year 2005; with 219,000 federal employees) for the Dept. of Veteran Affairs (Executive Branch)?

    • (24) pay taxes for the Judicial Branch (e.g. Supreme Court, Courts, etc.)?

    • (25) pay taxes for the Legislative Branch (e.g. Senate, House of Representatives, President of the Senate, etc.) ?

    • (26) pay taxes for hundreds of Independent Agencies (e.g. National Science Foundation, NASA, Federal Reserve System, etc.)?

    • (27) pay taxes for dozens of quasi-official Agencies (e.g. Smithsonian, Technology Reinvestment Project, National Consortium for High Performance Computing, etc.) ?

    • (28) pay taxes for dozens of Federal Boards, Commissions, and Committees (e.g. Appalachian Regional Commission, Commission of Fine Arts, U.S. Institute of Peace, etc.) ?

    • (29) pay taxes for hundreds of Tangential Non-Government Agencies (e.g. Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center, The Food and Drug Law Institute, CSPAN, ) ?

    • (30) pay taxes for these top 10 ways the federal government wastes money?

    • (30) pay taxes for hundreds of redundant programs:
      • 342 economic development programs;
      • 130 programs serving the disabled;

      • 130 programs serving at-risk youth;

      • 72 federal programs dedicated to assuring safe water;

      • 50 homeless assistance programs;

      • 45 federal agencies conducting federal criminal investigations.
    The Federal Government is so out-of-control, so bloated, and so wasteful, it may be approaching (if it has not already reached) the point in which is adds no net benefit to society?

    Rhinehold wrote: That is immoral …
    Hmmmm … It’s hard to know where to start. See anything above that government shouldn’t be doing (and forcing tax payers to fund)? Especially with:
    • $9.3 Trillion National Debt?
    • $12.8 Trillion borrowed from Social Security, leaving it pay-as-you-go, with a 77 million baby boomer bubble approaching?
    • $450 Billion PBGC pension debt?
    • hundred$ of billion$ of unfunded liabilities for Medicare?
    • hundred$ of billion$ (or trillion$) of unfunded liabilities for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan?
    • $6 Trillion of state and local government debt?
    • $20 Trillion of total nation-wide personal debt?
    • $48 Trillion of nation-wide debt (about half the nation’s net worth)?
    And the voters wonder why we have so much debt? So much incompetence? So much corruption?

    To say it is out-of-control is actually a gross understatement.

    Yet, the voters repeatedly reward the 535 incumbent politicians in Congress for all of that (above) with 93%-to-99% re-election rates.

    At any rate, the voters will have the government that the voters deserve.

    Posted by: d.a.n at March 4, 2008 10:58 PM
    Comment #247092

    Rhinehold said: Yeah, unfortunately neither party is actually concerned with personal liberty anymore, it’s just a game of setting us agasint each other and playing the resulting strife into a power play.

    Sad but very true. And as long as they can keep us at each others throats they have a playhouse up there in DC that rewards them very handsomely for selling this country down the river to the highest bidder.


    d.a.n said: Try to tell it to the voters that continue to repeatedly reward the incumbent politicians in the two-party duopoly in Congress with 93%-to-99% re-election rates.

    I’ve tried. Believe me I’ve tried. And I’m still trying. Seems folks don’t want to take off the partisan blinders and really see what the duopoly is doing to this country. But I think I’m starting to get trough to my daughter and son-in-law.
    This vote just shows that NO party has a corner on corruption and incompetence. But believe or not I had a Democrat friend defend it today. Either he doesn’t understand what the vote has allowed or he just can’t understand, or won’t admit (or both) that the Democrats can screw the pouch too.

    Posted by: Ron Brown at March 5, 2008 12:12 AM
    Comment #247098


    KAP: Which party controlled Ohio during the 1990’s and most of this decade? Which party still controls the Ohio legislature? Doesn’t it seem rather ironic that the party of low taxes has kept the corporate taxes so high? What possible motive could the Republicans have for keeping the corporate taxes so high? Is it possible that the Republicans used the tax rate to drive the wages down and destroy union jobs?

    Yes, the majority of voters in Ohio were stupid for voting for the Republicans and letting them turn Ohio into a low wage valhalla. Ohio has one of lowest incomes per capita in the nation. thanks to the Republican party and the stupidity of the voters.

    Posted by: jlw at March 5, 2008 1:07 AM
    Comment #247128

    jlw
    It all started with a twit Dem who was running the city of Cleveland. His name is Kucinich, He was the boy mayor who pissed off all the corporate leaders here in Cleveland. As far as unions go I have no use for them, all they did when I belonged to them was they took my money and did nothing, they were USW,UAW, and Rubber workers. We were stupid for voting in Democrats to and some of the people here are still stupid they voted Kucinich in again. Like I said in an earlier post Cleveland has a Dem mayor, I made the mistake of voting for him, now I wouldn’t vote him in for shit house cleaner. Thank God I got smart and moved out of Cleveland and into a city that is run the way it is supposed to be run.

    Posted by: KAP at March 5, 2008 4:03 PM
    Comment #247129
    d.a.n said: Try to tell it to the voters that continue to repeatedly reward the incumbent politicians in the two-party duopoly in Congress with 93%-to-99% re-election rates.
    Ron Brown wrote: I’ve tried. Believe me I’ve tried. And I’m still trying. Seems folks don’t want to take off the partisan blinders and really see what the duopoly is doing to this country. But I think I’m starting to get trough to my daughter and son-in-law. This vote just shows that NO party has a corner on corruption and incompetence. But believe or not I had a Democrat friend defend it today. Either he doesn’t understand what the vote has allowed or he just can’t understand, or won’t admit (or both) that the Democrats can screw the pouch too.
    Ron, I’m sure you have. It’s not easy.

    Oh well. Even if enough voters (anytime soon) fail to stop rewarding Congress with 93%-to-99% re-election rates), there is something else (similar to a built-in self-correction mechanism) that will probably finally convince enough voters to do so (eventually):

    Until then, voters can rest assured that the abuses of the last 30 years will continue to chip away at the future and security of the nation.

    Posted by: d.a.n at March 5, 2008 4:11 PM
    Comment #247131

    End the electoral college, and you will end the duopoly. There have actually been several hundred attempts at reforming the system, but they never get past the senate, since small states want those 2 extra electors. One attempt a few years back passed the USHOR resoundingly, only to be ignored when it got to the Senate.

    Posted by: ohrealy at March 5, 2008 4:26 PM
    Comment #247143

    Now you all know the Tel-com’s aren’t going to obey the law, unless we make them exempt from obeying the law. ————————————————————— Politicians will always serve corporations first, because they’re in real unbelievable need for money (like 20% more than they had last election cycle). I’m a demandsider. We need an amendment to the constitution to make all campaign adds illegal. We’d have to argue over what constitutes a campaign add other wise it would be straight forward. Of course with the dumbing down of America the media would feed people full of mistruths and out right lies, until the people were against it.

    Posted by: Mike the Cynic at March 5, 2008 5:45 PM
    Comment #247167

    d.a.n
    Why folks won’t learn without pain and misery is beyond me. Reckon they just can’t comprehend that it can happen until it does. Then they want to blame whoever is in power at the time. And while these folks are to blame, most the blame rest on the shoulders of the voters for blindly electing and reelecting incompetent corrupt politicians to office.
    I wonder sometimes if folks would learn even with all the pain and misery.

    ohrealy said: End the electoral college, and you will end the duopoly.

    Maybe, maybe not. Ending the electoral college while a good idea won’t necessarily end the duopoly. Replacing politicians that aren’t qualified to hold office will go further to end the duopoly than ending the electoral collage.
    Ending the electoral college will insure that the person that the majority of voters want will be President. As it is the candidate that gets the big states is President.
    Attempts have been made to end the electoral college. But it seems that the only folks that want to do away with it are from the party that doesn’t have the White House. And once they get the White House they’re all of a sudden against it and the other party takes over wanting to end it. Until they get the White House again.
    But even if both parties got together and decided to end it I think it would take a constitutional amendment. After all the electoral college was established by the Constitution.
    Ya reckon 2/3 of the would ratify it?

    Posted by: Ron Brown at March 6, 2008 12:20 AM
    Comment #247204

    Some states are trying to do an end run around the electoral college by commiting their electors to the candidate who wins the majority of the popular vote. It’s called the National Popular Vote Movement.

    http://www.fairvote.org/

    sorry, posted in the wrong thread before.

    Posted by: ohrealy at March 6, 2008 3:40 PM
    Comment #247207
    Ron Brown wrote: Replacing politicians that aren’t qualified to hold office will go further to end the duopoly than ending the electoral collage.
    I agree. That’s the top priority (i.e. ousting the most corrupt and irresponsible incumbent politicians), which requires more education.

    There are MANY issues and problems, but priortization is important too.
    We can chip away endlessly at the edges of countless side-effects if we never address the root cause of so many problems.

    The “electoral college” should be eliminated, along with some other election system problems, and election problems should be (such as the electoral college) on the TOP 10 LIST of abuses cheating most Americans.

    Those are OLD things that need to be stopped, more than NEW things that we need to do.
    It appears cynical, but is anyone disputing the existence of those abuses?

    But, as you [Ron Brown] assert, the biggest problem is US; the voters that repeatedly reward corrupt and irresponsible incumbent politicians, for all of those abuses, with 93%-to-99% re-election rates.

    Ron Brown wrote: Why folks won’t learn without pain and misery is beyond me.
    It is confusing. The illogic and inevitable pain it brings makes no sense at all; that is, until you factor in a dark side of human nature that many people refuse to acknowledge. While it repels the mind, and most people don’t like to acknowledge the dark side of human nature, everything makes perfect sense when it is finally accepted and understood. Then the importance of education about it becomes apparent. And if enough of us finally accept and understand the human factor, and compensate appropriately by carefully designing our systems to include more education, transparency, and accountability, we may eventually be able to make some progress.

    And when logic fails, there is still the other self-correction mechanism: pain and misery

    • QUESTION: When will enough voters finally understand the fundamental problem with repeatedly rewarding corrupt and irresponsible incumbent politicians 93%-to-99% re-election rates?

    • ANSWER: When it finally becomes too painful.
    On the bright side, we have seen some progress over the millennia.
    2.00 steps forward, and 1.99 steps backward.
    Over the last 230+ years, we have :
    • (01) Created the U.S. Constitution

    • (02) Abolished slavery (though it came much later than it should have).

    • (03) Reduced discrimination based on race, religion, color, ethnicity, gender, etc.

    • (04) Developed and entrepreneurial spirit, despite the severely bloated government (www.akdart.com/gov1.html), incessant bureaucratic nonsense, and corruption (one-simple-idea.com/Links1.htm).

    • (05) Increased productivity, ingenuity, and diversity.

    • (06) Created the internet (didn’t Al Gore invent that? Not just the MSM that constantly leaves out the facts, spins the facts, or out right lies)

    • (07) Lead the world in technology, and the U.S. has lead in many ways.

    • (08) Shown generosity to the truly needy.

    • (09) One of the top 26 best countries (of 195 nations world-wide) in the world in which to live-in (though it has been slipping lower).

    • (10) Freedom of speech, and most Americans that are not afraid to speak up about valid issues (one-simple-idea.com/DisparityTrend.htm), and propose solutions, despite some people (bullies) that try to unfairly label them as traitors, America haters, and America trashers.
    But, until enough voters figure it out, there will continue to be 2 classes in this country:
    • (1) One class that derives concentrated power from its concentrated wealth.

    • (2) And the other class that has power only in numbers, and that power is largely ineffective due to their inability to mobilize through organization (such as merely not re-electing irresponsible, bought-and-paid-for incumbent politicians).
    Until enough voters can mobilize to stop empowering and rewarding their tormentors, we will continue to see the many abuses cheat most Americans.
    • Incessant inflation will continue (one-simple-idea.com/DebtAndMoney.htm#Inflation0)

    • The weatlh disparity of the last 30 years will continue (one-simple-idea.com/DisparityTrend.htm#Chart)

    • Incomes will continue to fall (one-simple-idea.com/DisparityTrend.htm#Income)

    • Illegal immigration will accelerate.

    • Health care will become more dangerous and unaffordable (not sure which is worse?).

    • Lawlessness will increase.

    • Wars will rage on (7 wars in the past 90 years)

    • Debt will grow and grow more out-of-control (it is already out of control with $48 Trillion of Nation-Wide debt).

    • Education continue to decline in quality and rise in cost.

    • Election problems will get worse; threatening the voters ability to get an accurate vote-count.

    • Taxes will become more regressive than they already are now (one-simple-idea.com/DisparityTrend.htm#Taxes)

    • Economic instability will increase as the decay of the economy worsens.
    … and the voters will have the government that the voters deserve.

    Posted by: d.a.n at March 6, 2008 4:34 PM
    Comment #247291

    ohrealy said: Some states are trying to do an end run around the electoral college by committing their electors to the candidate who wins the majority of the popular vote. It’s called the National Popular Vote Movement.

    Sounds good to me. Just a couple of questions though.

    Is that the popular vote in that state or the popular vote in the country?
    In order for it to work it’ll have to be the popular vote in the country.

    Will it get by The Supreme Court?
    Ya can bet your last buck (and most likely a borrowed $10,000 or so) that the candidate that wins the electoral vote will challenge a move like that in court.

    I noticed on the link ya provided that both McCain and Obama say they support an instant run off. That sounds good to me but I just wonder if the candidate that just squeaks by with the electoral vote will support it then.


    d.a.n said: and the voters will have the government that the voters deserve.

    We already have the government we deserve because we’ve been lax in keeping it in check.
    We look the other way while it increases deficit spending.
    We ignore the growing national debt.
    We ignore the incompetence and arrogance of our elected officials. Specially when they’re from our party.
    We look the other way while our elected officials play games with the lives and futures of our youngins by sell themselves to the highest bidder for their own political and personal gain.
    We refuse to even try to hold our elected officials responsible of their actions in office.
    And the sad thing is we do this just to make sure our party is in power.
    We already have the government we deserve.
    What we need to do now is work on getting the government we need.

    Posted by: Ron Brown at March 7, 2008 1:16 PM
    Comment #247324

    Ron Brown, its the national popular vote, not the state. The states considering this so fat, are usually in the Democratic column.

    Posted by: ohrelay at March 7, 2008 5:24 PM
    Comment #247346
    Ron Brown wrote:What we need to do now is work on getting the government we need.
    And soon.

    The economic factors are not looking good.

    Americans have an intuition that something is wrong with the economy, but they are not quite sure what it is is. The problem started many decades ago. It has resulted in incessant inflation, debt, and these abuses getting worse; not better. It isn’t just one thing, but they all have something in common.

    I think (over the next 3 years) we will have:

    • (01) more inflation, because of so much debt creating the pressure create more money.

    • (02) more falling incomes

    • (03) more foreclosures and bankruptcies

    • (04) more jobs leaving the country

    • (05) more illegal immigration

    • (06) more economic instability

    • (07) more federal debt

    • (08) more personal debt ($20 Trillion)

    • (09) more energy vulnerability

    • (10) more decay of the public education system

    • (11) more poverty

    • (12) more wealth disparity (1% that owned 20% of wealth in 1975 now owns 40% of all wealth)

    • (13) more pain and misery
    At any rate, the voters will have the government that the voters deserve.

    Posted by: d.a.n at March 7, 2008 7:48 PM
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