Third Party & Independents Archives

The real chill wind thru the Senate today

It’s not the endless speeches from the Democrats claiming how horrible it is we are divided and that the Alito confirmation vote has become so partisan. It’s not the endless speeches from the Repubicans claiming how horrible it is that we are divided and that the Alito confirmation vote has become so partisan. It’s a much deeper chill that is coming from the Senate.

The Senate has demonstrated both Republicans and Democrats have lost touch with America. Right now in this country there are huge issues that confront us as Americans on both a national and a foreign policy basis. Rather than concentrate on these real issues they instead waste hours on postering about Alito. It was obvious the numbers were not going to change after the Judiciary Committee. Yet the vote was stalled until today. A filibuster was talked about even though it was obvious that wasn't going to happen to try to calm some of the Democratic base that was and still is threatening to leave the Democratic Party.

Why? Because the process has become political, both sides are more concerned with creating sound bites to use later to campaign against the other side than actually dealing with the issues at hand. At this very moment both Democrats and Republicans are still re-hashing the why or the why not on the Alito confirmation. It is OVER! It doesn't matter at this point in time if you believe Alito supports the strip searching of ten year old children. If there were ever an example of the phrase "an exercise in futility", it is what I am seeing right now at this very moment on the Senate Floor.

It is what causes the chill of apathy that is the real result of Congress's inability to not only work together but actually work. This does not mean the Democrats should just meekly agree to everything, but it does mean that they should concentrate on what they can do. The average american is shaking their head, turning their back and walking away. With good reason! We have heard this endless he said/she said versions over and over again. We've seen both sides skirt their responsibility for why there is division, spending more times pointing fingers than making real suggestions.

American could do better, stated Senator Patrick Leahy, just a few moments ago. I agree, and let's hope these next elections America does do better, that we concentrate on those who will actually offer suggestions, real plans not just more of the "we are better than the other side". Congresspersons who put the American people first before lobbyists, Congresspersons who are more concerned with making America a better place rather than demonstrating their main skill is beating a subject into the ground. Congresspersons who are schooled in action not rhetoric. Congresspersons who realize that in a two party system, there are going to be times when you can work together, there are going to be times when you cannot, and there comes a time when the votes are counted? It's time to move on to the next goal because despite how important a Supreme Court nomination is? There is alot more work to do, now.

America can do better....

Posted by Lisa Renee Ward at January 31, 2006 10:04 AM
Comments
Comment #118636

Heh.

You do know the only Democrat to actually DEBATE the Iraq War was Senator Byrd. Everyone else was busy showing how patriotic they were.

You do know that everytime the Iraq War got really bad Fox News and the rest would feature Lost White Women and spend HOURS speculating.

You do know that Americans don’t bother to watch International News anymore. Unless its the French Riots cause we just like knowing that other people are bigots too.

You do know that most Americans don’t know who their Congressman is?


We are led by people we deserve to lead us. If our Leaders are fools and idiots, its because we want them that way. We are fools and idiots too.

Before you whine about the stupidity of the Senate, look into the mirror and whine about your own stupidity.

Posted by: Aldous at January 31, 2006 11:13 AM
Comment #118640

BTW… I am in favor of the Democrats fighting Alito. Lost Cause does not mean Bad Cause. There is very real evidence that Alito is what the Democrats portray him as.

Posted by: Aldous at January 31, 2006 11:20 AM
Comment #118641

Maybe, but at this point it there is not much that could have been done.

Wasting time on a Lost Cause, prevents work on Causes that are not Lost.

Posted by: Lisa Renee at January 31, 2006 11:24 AM
Comment #118642

(sorry if this ends up posting twice)

I think what is missing is a true measure for how our elected officials are doing… what is their job performance rating? Hmmm… you can’t tell much from how they vote because there are so many ‘tag on’ measures… you can’t tell by what each side says: beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I guess. DC has become a horrible Narcissistic parade… my god, it’s like we elected a bunch of drag queens. I’ve seen K-2 student act more accountable and decent.

I will vote to vote them all out, and keep doing so until those running for office take their job more serious than their reflections in the camera lens. I saw an interview last night with Delay discussing how every legal issue against him right now is a Democratic ploy. Yes - the democrats do not like Delay, and they have no remorse watching Delay filleted on national TV, but does anyone think the DEMS are actually sophisticated enough right now to pull off such a deep level of conspiracy? Does anyone still believe that Delay is innocent, much less that he is deserving of his job based on his track record? (I will be amazed if he is not re-elected…)

And that brings me to the most annoying issue we face today - blind political observance by the American voters. We also see one side in shock and awe at the other side, but when have we ever seen a true vetting on one’s own side of the isle. Why do we Americans allow such BS to go on, much less support with with such pathetic talking points? If we can allow such childish behavior from ourselves and our leaders, can’t we at least bring back the Arena and let them fight each other with swords? (Could pay off our deficit with the TV rights alone.)

Posted by: tony at January 31, 2006 11:27 AM
Comment #118647
The Senate has demonstrated both Republicans and Democrats have lost touch with America.

That’s a little presumptuous, isn’t it Lisa? I think Alito’s broad interpretation of executive powers granted in the Constitution is a very important and dangerous problem.

to try to calm some of the Democratic base that was and still is threatening to leave the Democratic Party.

Can you tell me who they are? I might think that’s a good thing. :)

America can do better…

(…with Democrats in control of Congress, I’m thinking) Can’t argue with that. :)

Posted by: American Pundit at January 31, 2006 11:40 AM
Comment #118649

Lisa:

Wasting time on a Lost Cause, prevents work on Causes that are not Lost.

Bear with me, as my mindset may simply be from a conservative stance. But I’ll try to explain my thoughts and allow others to throw stones

It appears to me that the left has tried to fight every fight, and in doing so have little ammunition for the fights they could actually win. They bring up so many issues that it becomes easy to paint them as simply crying wolf.

For example, the left has claimed that Bush “talked down” the economy into a recession, that he was AWOL, that he stole the 2000 election, that Republicans rigged the 2004 elections, that Diebold rigged the voting machines, that Bush knew about 9-11 before hand, that it was his and only his information that was mistaken, that he planned to invade Iraq within months of taking office, that Cheney benefits from Halliburton contracts, that he fixed no-bid contracts to increase his wealth, that the war in Iraq is to benefit Bush’s rich oil buddies…..

They claimed Roberts was going to be horrible, that Bolton would be horrible, that Alito would be horrible. They praised Richard Clarke ceaselessly, praised Joe Wilson (who at best is a flawed patriot) ceaselessly, praised Cindy Sheehan ceaselessly….

By engaging on every front, they win on no front. I’d prefer a minority party in the Democrats who choose not to fight at every opportunity, but who judiciously choose the important fights. By giving in on smaller issues they would retain the clout to win the bigger issues. As an example, Democrats filibustered federal judges, which took away their political ability to filibuster Supreme Court justices. While I don’t think the filibuster is the way to go, I’d certainly agree that a Supreme Court position is more important than a Circuit Court position. Yet Democrats squandered their resources on the lesser important issue.

The minority party plays an important role in keeping the other party “honest”. By playing partisan games, Democrats actually risk giving Republicans more power, which is not good for our country.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at January 31, 2006 11:47 AM
Comment #118651

“The minority party plays an important role in keeping the other party “honest”.”

Well, if that can be laid at the liberals feet, then they obviously haven’t done a very good job of it.

“It appears to me that the left has tried to fight every fight, and in doing so have little ammunition for the fights they could actually win. They bring up so many issues that it becomes easy to paint them as simply crying wolf.”

Have you ever considered that the REPs have done such a horrific job they the DEMS are actually ‘tossing’ ligitimate complaints?

Posted by: tony at January 31, 2006 11:55 AM
Comment #118653

Tony

Actaually the things Joe mentions are not legitimate complaints.

You can have a legitimate debate about Iraq, but as soon as you degrade into the Bush lied mantra, you lose. You can have a legitimate debate about the Supreme Court, but when you start talking about back alley abortions etc, you lose.

Joe’s point (I don’t want to speak for him, but this is what I see) is that Dems are almost trying to lose. They prefer to have the talking point to winning the constructive victory and it is not good for the country because it both corrupts the Republicans (who know they can always count on the Dems to screw up and give them elections) and the Dems who stop trying to be constructive.

Posted by: Jack at January 31, 2006 12:05 PM
Comment #118655

AP, have you visited Daily Kos lately as just one example. There are many who are stating they are leaving the party over this. Granted part of that is based on anger but it is happening. I understand their frustration, it’s why I am not either traditional party. Yet just threatening to leave isn’t enough, if you truly want things to change we need viable alternatives.

As far as being presumptious in stating the Senate has lost touch with America? Anyone who has watched them not just in this hearing but prior? Might share my belief.

Joe, I find many of the statements by both sides to be not based on fact but on opinion. I would not have personally picked Alito if I were President but? I’m not the President.

Posted by: Lisa Renee at January 31, 2006 12:08 PM
Comment #118660

Good article re another setback for Bush. This is written in jest, but I think it reflects what Democrats really think.

Posted by: Jack at January 31, 2006 12:27 PM
Comment #118669

Neither side of the isle is concerned with what is best for America. They are only concerned with what is best for their reelection.
Meantime we have a national debt of $8.4 billion and growing, deficit spending is out of control, National security is alomost nonexistant, and the inmates are running the isalium.
There’a only one way to put a stop to all this crap. Start holding our employees responsible for their actions.

Posted by: Ron Brown at January 31, 2006 1:00 PM
Comment #118670

Jack,

That post {Posted by: Jack at January 31, 2006 12:27 PM} shows exactly the total lack of understanding the right wing has of democractic/liberal mores.
It’s your fear of “things not you” being projected onto others. You think because you fear, that we fear. Not true.


tony,

I think the problem is that Bu$hCo is actually so horrible and that so many accusations against them are true, that it’s actually hard for some people (about 40%) to believe they are as bad as they are.

Posted by: Dave at January 31, 2006 1:08 PM
Comment #118673

Both Democrats and Republicans are guilty of the same thing. Ignoring the real issues in favor of their reelection and their financial futures.
Have the Republicans done a horrible job? Yes
Would the Democrats in the same situation do any better? I doubt it, and I’m a Democrat.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at January 31, 2006 1:48 PM
Comment #118678

Dave

I didn’t see it as fear. Fear wasn’t mentioned. I saw it as funny. I do project onto liberals an inablity to see the humor in political life (unless it is at the expense of conservatives).

Posted by: Jack at January 31, 2006 2:06 PM
Comment #118679

Jack - I would agree that the things Joe mentioned are not the real issues… they are sad attempts to flavor the issues in the best light possible for REPs. (“that it was his and only his information that was mistaken”… It was Bush who shared only the most favorable intelligence with Congress… )

We can start a list of real issues that need to be focused on, if you want to… but I think most people understand what is real… and as far as I can tell, the DEMs have been hitting away at them, but it’s hard to stay focused with so many issues needing attention.

You find it amazing that the DEMs have found so much to complain about - I find it amazing that it’s only the complaining that you’re complaining about. Where there’s smoke…

Posted by: tony at January 31, 2006 2:08 PM
Comment #118687

Jack,

I was going to use the word “hate” but decided it was both a bit stronger than I would have intended and would have been a distracting focal point.
As far as the linked text being “funny,”… there was no irony, no cynicism, nothing of humor, it was simply, well…. stupidly purile and attempting what? To be insulting? It doesn’t reflect the opinions of anyone I know so that “it reflects what Democrats really think” is just incorrect. What’s funny in being wrong anyway? For example, Bush was wrong about Iraq, that’s certainly not funny.
Sorry, but I can only dumb down so much but let me try:
Heh……heh..heh….heh… darn turrerists.. Uncle Dick! get me my stash %^*#^$ it!.

Posted by: Dave at January 31, 2006 2:32 PM
Comment #118691

Dave -

I find it amazing how many times I’ve had conservatives tell me how ‘liberals’ think. They’re pretty much 100% wrong, but it’s fun to see their mindset.

Posted by: tony at January 31, 2006 3:00 PM
Comment #118694

tony,

You have a twisted sense of fun :-) heh…heh..heh

Posted by: Dave at January 31, 2006 3:13 PM
Comment #118695

Dave -

It really comes in handy. btw - Are you watching the SOTU speech tonight?

(I think I’ll be in the back yard dragging my ass across the grass… much less painful.)

Posted by: tony at January 31, 2006 3:16 PM
Comment #118697

tony,

I decided to stick nine inch nails into my skull. Much less painful.

Posted by: Dave at January 31, 2006 3:22 PM
Comment #118712

Tony:

I said that “it appears to me that the left has tried to fight every fight, and in doing so have little ammunition for the fights they could actually win.” What that means is that some of the issues ARE legitimate, while others are not. Many of the ones I mentioned should have stayed on the periphery, or should not have been fought over at all. By fighting over so many issues, the left gives the impression they simply want to fight.

Do you have teenagers, and teenage daughters perchance? If you do, you know what I mean. EVERY tiny issue becomes WWIII, so that when a legitimate issue comes around, everyone’s already tired of fighting.

Dave’s comment misses the point entirely: “the problem is that Bu$hCo is actually so horrible and that so many accusations against them are true, that it’s actually hard for some people (about 40%) to believe they are as bad as they are.”

This is the kind of partisan comment from the left that perpetuates the “liberals just hate Bush” thinking. It doesn’t look at the reality that the left has in fact tried to pin so many things on Bush that few if any actually stick. I’m unhappy, for instance, that Bush has not vetoed overspending legislations, such as the Medicare plan and the transportation bill. But as long as Dems waste their ammo on other issues, there will not be the significant discussion that these deserve.

In Viet Nam, there was a saying: “What hill are you willing to die for?” It has gained usage in business these days. Its important not to fight every fight—-some are not worth it, while othersmight be worth it, but are simply unwinnable. Why waste ammo losing an unwinnable fight, only to find that you have no ammo left for the potentially winnable fight?

Jack:

You may speak for me anytime. I’d trade my longwinded comments for your concise and incisive ones any day. I’ll let you know when I first find a commentary of yours that I disagree with—so far, I can’t think of a one.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at January 31, 2006 4:01 PM
Comment #118717

Lisa Marie: I think you are right on about our national representation. It is all about ME first!
If one is going to run for the congess or the senate I would think the person should be thinking about what is right for the country, not what is going to be most beneficial to ME.
However, history tells us this is not so in most cases. Once a person is in office, the temptations become so strong and overriding, most people succumb and become exactly what they thought they were against.
I believe, as David Remer has said so many times, the only way to put a stop to this is to vote out the incumbents until the rookies get the idea that, unless they keep their moral ideals, they will not get to be sophomores.
A third, progressive, united party could make a real killing about now, if they could come up with a truly viable candidate with charisma.
Unfortunately, I can think of no one who fits that bill.
By the way, I was sorry to learn you are a buckeye. :-)
Jack 2 (wolverine)

Posted by: jcp at January 31, 2006 4:21 PM
Comment #118719

I think we all know what Bush will say tonight: “stay the course”

The Democrats’ message would be more palatable if it were spoken by better leaders than those wackos. For instance, America listened to John Murtha and had a depate. When Kennedy, Kerry, Dean, Pelosi, Feinstein, etc. speak it just creates more division. The same can be said for many Republican “characters”.

I think we McCain to run for President in ‘08. Most liberals I know don’t agree with him on many issues, but they respect him nevertheless. He would be far less polarizing, and while not the best choice, a realistic choice.

Posted by: Joseph Ragsdale at January 31, 2006 4:31 PM
Comment #118720
In Viet Nam, there was a saying: “What hill are you willing to die for?” It has gained usage in business these days. Its important not to fight every fight—-some are not worth it, while othersmight be worth it, but are simply unwinnable. Why waste ammo losing an unwinnable fight, only to find that you have no ammo left for the potentially winnable fight?

I would not disagree with that, infact I believe that is good advice for not only government but real life as well. Having five children? It’s similar to what I do on a daily basis, not every battle is worth the price of what it costs to win if it is even winnable. I think both sides at times enter into more of a battle stance rather than “find a common ground” stance.

Posted by: Lisa Renee at January 31, 2006 4:33 PM
Comment #118722

JCP:

I’ve thought perhaps that a third party could include moderates from either of the two major parties. Guys like Lieberman or McCain, who have things in common with both sides. Or perhaps members of the ‘Gang of 14’ who moderated the filibuster issue between the parties.

I don’t see outside forces doing it. Nader’s been around a long time—-never marshalled any real support. Ross Perot had fleeting support, but never enough to be more than a spoiler.

Maybe a third party could emerge from the far fringes of the left or the right, but I don’t see them being successful in a general national election.

Posted by: jeobagodonuts at January 31, 2006 4:35 PM
Comment #118723

joe -

But the issues you mentioned in the previous post are not the ones liberals are fighting for.

9/11 - Why has Bush taken no responsibility for his part in this tragedy. It’s used when politically advantageous, but he was the one in charge when it happened. Why has no one looked into his Administration’s failures?

Pre-war intelligence - Some people say Bush lied, others suggest that he simply hand selected the intelligence that best fit his case for war while down playing or ignoring information that contradicted his case for war. He was the one who said go… Shouldn’t it be his responsibility to make sure his assumptions are correct?

WMDs - Bush made his case for Iraq based solely on this fear. It was this immediate fear that drove the premature end to the weapons inspectors search for WMD (they were pulled out with less than 30 days to complete their work.) It can be said that WMDs getting in the wrong hands would not allow the extra 30 days. Bush was wrong on this, and no matter how much he wants to point fingers at others, it was his choice. I know he now says he takes responsibility for his choice to invade Iraq, but that came 2 years too late.

Abu Gharib - Bush’s initial response to immediately down play this and dismiss it as ‘a few bad apples’ shows he has more concern for limiting effect of bad news rather than getting to the bottom of a problem.

Katrina - No matter how many people can be blamed for failure with this disaster, it was Bush’s appointment of an unqualified friend that lead to such a dismal failure on the Fed side of things. Also, how can anyone vouch for our President being completely in the dark for so long about the largest natural disaster in our country’s history? Failure of leadership. Our local ad net cable news show knew more than he did…

CIA leak - Bush originally stated that he would get rid of anyone within his administration that was involved. When it came out that Rove was involved, he switched his tactic to ‘anyone convicted of a crime.’ Is that the goal of our government to only dismiss people for criminal conviction? Can’t we expect better than that?

Torture - Bush has yet to veto a single bill. His first would be a law banning the use of torture. So - we can have rape and torture rooms because we fly a different flag?

NSA spying – IMO, he broke the law. By his own words he should be removed from office. So far, I’ve seen nothing that justifies his actions on this. Even if his actions are only questionable, should we want our elected officials to ensure that the President upholds the law.

Abramoff - I think Bush refusing to release documents and photos concerning Abramoff’s visits only makes things look bad.

These are the major issues the liberals have been pushing for. Point to one that is irrelevant or a waste of time.

Another way to look at this – tell me some amazing things that he has accomplished.

Posted by: tony at January 31, 2006 4:36 PM
Comment #118724

Jack 2, I live closer to the Michigan border where the Wolverine fans seem to exist in greater numbers than the Buckeyes. I personally root for the Rockets since several of my children attend the University of Toledo.

:-)

I agree with David on the majority of VOID, I also agree with Joe’s statement on picking which battles are worth trying to win. I think there is a tendency by both sides to enter battle stance rather than common ground stance. I fully understand there are times when a battle is necessary, from both parties. This one over Alito though I don’t see as creating a positive outcome by the way the fight was done.

Posted by: Lisa Renee at January 31, 2006 4:38 PM
Comment #118725

jcp:

By the way, M GO BLUE!!

Posted by: jeobagodonuts at January 31, 2006 4:43 PM
Comment #118730

This is the kind of partisan comment from the left right that perpetuates the “liberals wingnuts just hate Bush liberals” thinking. It doesn’t look at the reality that the left right has in fact tried to pin so many things on Bush liberals that few if any actually stick.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at January 31, 2006 04:01 PM

Posted by: Dave at January 31, 2006 5:01 PM
Comment #118731

Both parties in DC have engaged in a shit fight - and I’m tired of them bitching about how the ‘other people’ stink.

Posted by: tony at January 31, 2006 5:06 PM
Comment #118736

Yes, we can and should do much better.

Supreme Court appointments are important, but that doesn’t justify some of the posturing and grandstanding we’ve witnessed.

I actually found the hearings very revealing.
More Americans should be paying close attention, because there were a whole lot of incumbents showing their asses for all to see.

Frankly, after a point, we need to remember that we’ve got other very pressing problems too. But, this entire process provides a great distraction. The petty partisan warfare, as usual, is great for distracting voters from more substantive issues.

tony wrote: Both parties in DC have engaged in a shit fight - and I’m tired of them bitching about how the ‘other people’ stink.

Me too !
They don’t have any priorities at all !
For example, consider some of the many irresponsible things congress is doing while our troops risk life and limb.

Really. I think it’s the worst I’ve seen in my 48 years. Both sides are full of crap, and D.C. needs a good flush.

Posted by: d.a.n at January 31, 2006 5:48 PM
Comment #118743

OK -

So how are politicians and diapers the same?

Posted by: tony at January 31, 2006 7:35 PM
Comment #118744

tony:
“(I think I’ll be in the back yard dragging my ass across the grass… much less painful.)”
Dave:
“I decided to stick nine inch nails into my skull. Much less painful.”

I’m really surprised at you guys. My husband and I always tune in for W’s SOTU’s — because watching his attempt at giving presidential speeches is usually funnier than most stand-up comedy!

Posted by: Adrienne at January 31, 2006 7:39 PM
Comment #118749

Tony, it’s interesting that when you name the nine “major issues liberals are pushing for,” there is not a single policy proposal on your list that addresses any issues that effect average Americans. Every single one of those things is just an anti-Bush story, making it look like all liberals stand for is bashing Bush.

If asked to name their “main issues” and all liberals can think of is stuff like Abhu Ghraib, Katrina and Abramhoff, then maybe it’s time for liberals to stand FOR something instead of just standing against the President.

You’re sadly mistaken if any of these nine “main liberal issues” are of major importance to all but a tiny minority of Americans.

Posted by: sanger at January 31, 2006 8:10 PM
Comment #118751

sanger -

They are called FAILURES! Failures in leadership, failures in ideology, failures in honesty.

These speak directly to Bush’s ability and performance as a leader - and the only word is failure.

Or do you think we should give him a pass because he’s had to ‘work hard.’

btw - when a President’s approval rating is below 40%, you can hardly say that ‘all but a tiny minority of Americans’ stand with you.

Posted by: tony at January 31, 2006 8:23 PM
Comment #118761

Tony, so you agree that alleging Bush’s failures and a single-minded obsession with Bush is all that liberals stand for? Sad.

I’ve never said that Bush should get a pass and don’t believe that he has been given a pass. Whoever the president is, he never gets a pass.

The slowness of progress in Iraq and gas prices, more than anything, have hurt Bush’s poll numbers. Controversy over Katrina, which is now fading, and Bush’s misguided appointment of Harriett Meirs which damaged him with Republicans was also a factor.

Not, primarily, this endless parade of alleged scandals that more often than not don’t stand up in the light of day.

Stuff like NSA eavesdropping, torture, the CIA leak, and Ahbu Ghraib are of minimal importance to most people any way, not while issues such as jobs, security and education are relevant to their everyday lives.

When I say “a tiny minority of Americans,” I’m not talking about those who disapprove Bush for other reasons. I’m talking about those who get all whipped up and excited about blaming him for Ahbu Ghraib or for a supposed CIA leak which a two year investigation never resolved.

Incidentally, Bush’s approval rating is most likely closer to 50%. Arguably the best polling outfit out there, Rasumussen (the only one which managd to predict the 2004 election within a half percentage point for both Kerry and Bush) currently has Bush at 48% and yesterday had him at 50%. The NBC/WSJ poll is the ONLY one that has him at 39%, and there are numerous huge problems with their methodology and transperancy.

Posted by: sanger at January 31, 2006 9:00 PM
Comment #118764

“Tony, so you agree that alleging Bush’s failures and a single-minded obsession with Bush is all that liberals stand for? Sad.”

Wow. You truly have a gift for twisting words. Please, how the hell did you come up with this …? It’s not even worth really pursuing for logic.

As far as “issues such as jobs, security and education are relevant” - please show me where anyone has put these items up for real discussion or serious focus.

His approval ratings… just a sample—-

“PRESIDENT George W. Bush faces the nation with public confidence in his administration at an all-time low.

He goes into his annual State of the Union address with a Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll showing only 43 per cent of Americans approved of his performance - his weakest showing.
Bush received even lower marks for his handling of the economy, healthcare and Iraq especially from women, who the poll found had turned against him on several fronts.”

Different article…

“52% say Bush’s Presidency has been a failure.”

A collection on basic polls: http://www.pollingreport.com/BushJob.htm

…and the point of this whole discussion started (with regard to the nine items) with a previous post that stated “the left has claimed…” and then laid out completely BS issues. I was simply clearing up the issue. My issue with your post: can you so easily disregard these issues simply because they are not policies? You mind not be concerned with them, but I happen to think we should hold the office of the American President to the highest of standards, and this administration has been an abysmal failure.

And you keep going on about ‘all liberals do is …’ as though this some how excuses Bush from his critics or responsibilities.

I asked this before, with no takers… What the hell has Bush done to buy such loyalty from you? In what way has he excelled? Or exceeded expectations? (Or does he just simple play for the right team?)

Posted by: tony at January 31, 2006 9:27 PM
Comment #118767
Incidentally, Bush�s approval rating is most likely closer to 50%. Arguably the best polling outfit out there, Rasumussen (the only one which managd to predict the 2004 election within a half percentage point for both Kerry and Bush) currently has Bush at 48% and yesterday had him at 50%. The NBC/WSJ poll is the ONLY one that has him at 39%, and there are numerous huge problems with their methodology and transperancy.

Quit kidding yourself. The four media polls taken in the last week (NBC/WSJ,Time,ABC/WP,and yes, Fox) all show Bush between 39 and 42. Now maybe Rasmussen is right and these guys (who include some reliable Republican cheerleaders) are wrong, but the only reason YOU BELIEVE Rasmussen is right is because you like the number.

Posted by: Woody Mena at January 31, 2006 9:35 PM
Comment #118769

Tony, it was you and not me that said, and this is an exact quote: “These are the major issues the liberals have been pushing for.”

As far as “issues such as jobs, security and education are relevant” - please show me where anyone has put these items up for real discussion or serious focus.

EXACTLY! That’s my entire point.

When talking about the “major issues the liberals have been pushing for,” which again are YOUR own words, there is no real discussion or focus on such issues. And therein lies the problem. It’s all just scandals and unproven accusations.

You shouldn’t be accusing others of twisting words when you interpret approval ratings as people saying that “Bush’s Presidency is a failure.”

That’s not what an approval rating says, and nobody is asked such as question when taking a poll. Polls can go up and down, and they measure only a snapshot in time.

When Bush appointed Harriet Miers, a great many Republicans disapproved of the decision, and the polls recorded a substantial downtick of approval as a result.

This disapproval did not mean that large numbers of Republicans believed Bush or his presidency was “a failure,” just that they disapproved at that moment of time.

Somehow I doubt that if Bush’s approval rating goes above 50, you’ll suddenly use the same logic, change your tune and start saying that a majority of people believe that Bush is a fantastic success.

Posted by: sanger at January 31, 2006 9:50 PM
Comment #118774

Woody, that’s a fair point, but I really do think that Rasmussen’s system of daily rolling averages and weighted samples which reflect the demographics and party-affilations of registered voters who voted in previous elections is far and away the most reliable. At least this far out from an election, when the other outfits aren’t yet using the same criteria.

Rasmussen was the ONLY polling outfit, after all, which totally nailed the 04 election with almost pin-point accuracy.

Fox, just like all the media outlets, have nothing to do with the pollsters they hire to conduct their surveys. Just look at how the CBS poll shows a higher approval rating than the Wall Street Journal—anybody think that CBS is more biased towards Bush than the Wall Street Journal?

Polling is an extremely inexact science, as the many big media polls which predicted John Kerry winning the 04 election should have taught us. When you’ve got one poll saying 48 and another saying 39, you’ve got to wonder. Too many of the polls out there right now are not providing us with the hard data which led them to the numbers they put out for public consumption and should be taken with a large grain of salt. How are they weighted by party? By gender? By geography? Do they poll registered/likely voters or just whoever happens to answer

I’m not saying all this just to spin some scenario in which Bush is actually enormously popular when poll numbers say otherwise. After all, just last month Rasmussen had him in the low forties. He’s clearly fallen in the polls.

Looking at all of them together, I’d say that Bush is probably around 4-8% less popular now than he was when he was reelected. Much of that popularity in 04 probably had to do with the only alternative being John Kerry. It’s a lot harder to keep those numbers up, I suspect, when you’re the only game in town and you’re not being compared to anyone else.

Posted by: sanger at January 31, 2006 10:22 PM
Comment #118941

——-
Tony, it was you and not me that said, and this is an exact quote: “These are the major issues the liberals have been pushing for.”

and you said…

“Tony, so you agree that alleging Bush�s failures and a single-minded obsession with Bush is all that liberals stand for? Sad.”
———

Surely - you can see a huge difference between these 2 statements (especially in light that I was responding to a previous post.)

“Bush’s Presidency is a failure.” - direct quote, not my words. Poll are what they are – and this is a direct question asked in the poll. You may not like it, but it looks bad to try and dispprove the science of polls when they go against you.

“Somehow I doubt that if Bush’s approval rating goes above 50, you’ll suddenly use the same logic, change your tune and start saying that a majority of people believe that Bush is a fantastic success.”

This is not my point. You said that only ‘a tiny minority of Americans’ are with me… and I was simply proving differently.

As far as the focus on Bush - the things he has failed at are of major importance, so pointing out these failures is simply working to keep the ‘other side honest.’ Also, to ignore or let pass these issues would undermine the country… One would hope for change after major screw ups (we’re still waiting for that.) Also, don’t you think it’s the minority’s job to keep at the heels of the majority? It’s the only leverage available right now.

Posted by: tony at February 1, 2006 7:23 AM
Comment #118950
Polling is an extremely inexact science, as the many big media polls which predicted John Kerry winning the 04 election should have taught us.

You can check here. See “Pollster vote projections”. No non-partisan poll projected Kerry winning. Pew nailed it.

http://www.pollingreport.com/2004.htm#Pollster

You are apparently right about Fox not favoring Bush. Kerry was 2% ahead in their last “trial heat”.

Posted by: Woody Mena at February 1, 2006 7:58 AM
Comment #118960

Tony:

the issues you mentioned in the previous post are not the ones liberals are fighting for


Please don’t try to suggest that the left hasn’t argued over Halliburton or Diebold, or that the left hasn’t claimed that Bush stole the 2000 and 2004 elections. Or any of the other issues that I put into my post. They have, and we all know it. Its easy to prove. Some of the issues are insignificant, others are unwinnable, but the left has taken up the banner on each and every one of them.

Your list of issues is yet another example of taking one side of a story and treating it as fact. I won’t take the time to run through the counter arguments in each case. It’s already been done over and over anyway, but let’s take the NSA wiretapping as an example:

You say Bush is guilty and should be removed from office as a result. You say that you’ve “seen nothing that justifies his actions on this (the wiretapping)”. If so, then you’ve missed out on a large portion of the issue, since legal experts from both conservative and liberal backgrounds are saying that there are valid arguments for both sides. Below is a link to a detailed argument of the issues in the case.

http://volokh.com/posts/1135029722.shtml

My point has been, and still is, that the left has fought so many battles that it has wasted its ammunition. The Alito thing is a prime example. Democrats could not find support for a filibuster, in part because they had already filibustered judges a year ago. Had they not done that, they probably could have mounted a filibuster now. But they couldn’t muster the ammo for BOTH. I’m not saying filibustering is the right or wrong approach, nor am I saying that Dems made the wrong choice by filibustering the earlier judges. What i AM saying is that using the filibuster ammo a year ago limited their ability to use the filibuster now.

The left certainly can and should choose which issues to bring to the forefront. Certain issues are more important to different people than others. There are people who think abortion is the one and only issue, and people who think the war is the one and only issue etc. But by fighting every issue, the left has weakened its position.

They seem to keep thinking they have the knockout punch. Republicans did the same thing with Clinton—they thought that Whitewater exposed his flaws, that Travelgate would bring him down, that the Lewinsky revelations would end his Presidency. The American people, though, tired of the accusations against him, and the partisan nature of the discourse, and Clinton became a sort of underdog, and his popularity increased.

Republicans couldn’t understand how this happened. Yet it did. The left is making the same mistakes now.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at February 1, 2006 8:24 AM
Comment #119003

OK… I am now laughing my ass off. Maybe I was wrong to knock Bush for all of his mistakes… no one needs me to add fuel to the fire, Bush is doing this quite well on his own. (I’m speaking about the whole Sheehan debacle. Wow… what a comedy of fools.) There were a 1000 ways to handle this presidential, or even just ignoring her. But they AREESTED her. Wow. Looks like Barney Fife is working in DC now. Imagine had he respectfully welcomed her last night. He would’ve been the bigget man for it and Sheehan (sitting there in her little protest t-short) would’ve seemed small and futile.

LOL!

Christ - every time I think I’ve seen Bush at his worst, he goes and knocks one out of the park. OK, sanger and joe… it’s in your court now. Try and prove that Bush is not the single biggest joke in DC now.

Sorry, have to leave… need to get some water (my throat is sore from laughing.) Wheeeeew. I’m assuming you guys voted for him – you own him.

Posted by: tony at February 1, 2006 9:45 AM
Comment #119034

I’m not sure what Cindy Sheehan or her constant attempts at reviving her 15 minutes of fame has to do with this.

Nor did Bush have anything to do with her being removed, it’s a written protocol everyone should know, including her. Wearing a protest T-Shirt to the SOTU wasn’t a bright move unless of course you wanted to be dragged out and then start being able to write diaries on Kos again about how badly you were mistreated so the scores of those who support you and hate Bush can revel in a bash fest that serves no purpose.

Or if you want to be asked if you have any dead children, and if you don’t shut up. Given I’ve lost three? I find that whole theme very unproductive but then I find myself moving farther and farther away from many on the left that I used to respect.

Posted by: Lisa Renee at February 1, 2006 11:32 AM
Comment #119060

Lisa -

This has nothing to do with the left. Cindy did what she thought she should do… and who can blame her. The point is that someone completely blew this. Yea - had they let her stay, she would’ve been seen on camera, but Bush would’ve come off gracious and accomodating. Hell, he could’ve even given her a welcome, and made her look petty for wearing something ‘so inappropriate.’ But, as it is, even the REPS can not talk about anything other than Sheehan. Whoever had her arrested gave her more of a PR boost than she had the right to expect. Bush looks even more like he wants to crush any and all dessent, and he lost the battle for any meaning he had hoped to instill through his speech.

Do you honestly think that having her ARRESTED and taken out in handcuffs did anything other than do more damage to Bush?

(I’m still laughing my ass off… but then again, I’m in the PR business and this will serve as an amazing good ‘bad example.’)

Posted by: tony at February 1, 2006 1:40 PM
Comment #119068

That’s OK tony.
I don’t think it is your fault.
Is it just me, or is anyone else having trouble accessing this site and getting page not found, or appearing to freeze up ?

Posted by: d.a.n at February 1, 2006 1:54 PM
Comment #119087

Best Poll site I’ve found

Performs exponentially weighted averages of dozens of major polls over extended periods.
Includes validation rationale.
Is definately anti-Bush but is unassailable (except perhaps by desperate fools) in it’s data.

Posted by: Dave at February 1, 2006 2:09 PM
Comment #119089

I think it might have to do with me copying my post out of an email (for spell checking) and pasting it into the post window. When I don’t do that, the postings seems to work much better.

Posted by: tony at February 1, 2006 2:10 PM
Comment #119125

Sorry Tony, but I don’t think it was funny or productive. If I showed up for the SOTU wearing a protest shirt I’d be escorted out. Nor did I find the humor in the assumption that if you do not have any dead children from the War in Iraq that you had no basis to disagree with anything Cindy Sheehan says or does. I didn’t buy that as an argument months ago, nor do I now.

She is very good at creating media attention, whether that will be helpful or harmful can be debated.

Posted by: Lisa Renee at February 1, 2006 3:04 PM
Comment #119132

Lisa:

I’d agree with you that Cindy Sheehan has nothing to do with this thread. Tony’s mention of her is a wonderful example of the point I’ve been making. Tony wants to claim that he’s interested in substantive issues, yet at the first opportunity, he strays to the most unsubstantive issue—Cindy Sheehan—simply in an attempt to denigrate Bush. As a result, the other issues fade for the moment, and the shrill shriek of empty rhetoric takes over….just as I’ve been saying.

Tony, gotta thank you for the marvelous example. Had it been intended as such, I’d applaud your effort.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at February 1, 2006 3:10 PM
Comment #119136

Lisa -

My humor with all this is such a pathetic way to handle such a situaiton. It was productive - for those who believe in her cause and for her PR. I also have an issue with removing people simply for what they are wearing… it’s petty and unproductive.

The best defense against protestors is to ignore them… give them nothing to work with. There was a KKK rally in a small southern town (35 years or so ago.) People of the city were trying to think of the best way to react to this. They could try and prevent their rally, but then that would motivate them. They could stand on the streets along the parade route and yell at them, but that would encourage them. They decided not to show up. The KKK had a rally in front of less that 100 people. they’ve never propsed another rally there since then.

That’s the point. Be gracious and flexible… if Bush had simply acknowledged her presence, he would’ve won the day easily… and Sheehan would never have another point to argue.

Sheehan - 3
Bush - 0

Posted by: tony at February 1, 2006 3:15 PM
Comment #119165

Tony: Sorry, but I completely disagree with you on this one. Lisa’s right. Anyone doing the same thing would have been escorted away. GWB had nothing to do with it.
I also believe we need reasonable and decent discourse about all of this. We are not at war with one another here.
I disagree strongly with many people, and I have lost my temper on occasion over the right and the left positions, but I try to maintain my composure most of the time and I don’t go around trying to force myself onto others.
Sheehan should have known better and this topic should stop right here.
JCP

Posted by: jcp at February 1, 2006 4:13 PM
Comment #119171

The point - yes, 2 women were asked to leave because they were wearing t-shirts with political statements. One war protesting the war and one was supporting it. One was arrested and one was not. And what was gained from it all - a day full of noise about t-shirts and Sheehan.

Simple policy - be generous to visitors in your (OUR) house and it will reflect well on you. Be pious or petty and it’ll bite you in the ass. Bush completely lost the day because of a stupid decision (I hope it was made without his consent…) Sheehan gained huge amounts of public exposure, which helps her cause…


I still see it:

Sheehan - 3
Bush - 0

Posted by: tony at February 1, 2006 4:24 PM
Comment #119240

Tony:

My humor with all this is such a pathetic way to handle such a situaiton.

I have to agree. :)

Posted by: joebagodonuts at February 1, 2006 6:57 PM
Comment #119260

I’m finding hard to stop laughing the way everyone on the bloggs are so fired about the whole affair - feigned indignation for blah blah blah. To me, it’s like watching the idiot remove a hornets nest with a tennis racket. Yea - it’s sick humor, but still funny as hell.

Posted by: tony at February 1, 2006 7:34 PM
Comment #119271

In case you’re interested…

Chris Mathews (Hardball) was just interviewing Rep. Murtha… and Mathew’s question to him was (speaking about Iraq) - “How do we get out of this horrible campaign?”

To me, Chris has always felt a bit too much like a REP. Any thoughts on his take on Iraq?

Posted by: tony at February 1, 2006 7:50 PM
Comment #119315

Get a grip.
Do what you were supposed to do all along.
Vote out irresponsible incumbents (most if not all incumbents).
That’s all.
If you don’t, and you’re not wealthy, you will suffer, and you should, for tolerating it.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 1, 2006 9:27 PM
Comment #119335

D.a.n., here in the middle column there is always a great deal of talk about the necessity for throwing out all incumbents.

No suprise, I guess, since third party candidates are hardly ever the incumbents and you guys see this a way of giving your favored people a chance.

If you don’t, and you’re not wealthy, you will suffer, and you should, for tolerating it.

It would not surprise me at all that if we were actually to throw out all incumbents, we’d get more instead of fewer people in office who’d favor the wealthy.

If incumbency is the only issue, what’s to guarantee that tobacco, pharmaceutical and insurance company millionaire-executives wouldn’t just finance expensive campaigns to win elections and knock out incumbents?

Posted by: sanger at February 1, 2006 10:26 PM
Comment #119353

I’m sorry Tony, I guess I feel more frustration than humor when silly things like a person not able to follow simple rules becomes the major topic of discussion. There are so many important issues, which just like Congress the Media seems to forget at times. As well as some of us on the blogosphere at time. Sure there is a time to write about fluff so that we don’t all become so deeply political we crack and to laugh, I just don’t think the SOTU is that place.

It goes to my whole theme here though as to it would be nice if they did their jobs. The republican congressperson who’s wife doesn’t know how to follow a dress code wasted quite a bit of floor time complaining about it. My advice to him would be the same as on Cindy Sheehan, get over it and get to work. If you don’t like the way things are? Work to change them, if your only purpose is to complain? Get out of the way.

That to me is the biggest problem I see, everyone has a complaint but very few actually do anything. It’s something I’ve been trying to work on as well, getting out more and becoming more active rather than just sitting behind my keyboard. So far? It’s been pretty rewarding.

:-)

Posted by: Lisa Renee at February 1, 2006 11:17 PM
Comment #119572

sanger,
[] Voters must demand that Congress and the Executive  Branch pass badly-needed, common-sense, no-brainer reforms (e.g. see below) now.
[] Voters must always vote out (or recall) irresponsible incumbents, repeatedly, every election, UNTIL incumbents pass badly-needed, simple, common-sense, no-brainer reforms to peacefully force government to be transparent, accountable, and responsible too!
[] Voters must learn that their responsibility to vote out (or recall) irresponsible incumbents is not just a once-in-a-while thing. It is a daily responsibility. The more transparent government becomes, the more difficult it is for corruption to exist, and the easier that voters’ responsibility becomes to peacefully force government to be accountable and responsible too!
[] Voters must always vote out (or recall) irresponsible incumbents, and demand transparency and simplifications to minimize clever over-complications designed to  reduce transparency, facilitate corruption, create opportunities for self-gain, abuse tax-payers, and abuse the power of the office.
[] Voters must always vote out (or recall) irresponsible incumbents until voters have the much-needed transparency to finally see which incumbents are responsible, and which are not.
[] Voters must always vote out (or recall) irresponsible incumbents until incumbents responsibly address the nation’s most pressing problems.
[] Voters must always vote out (or recall) irresponsible incumbents, because the purpose of voting is to make our lives better.
___________
To say they will simply be replaced with equally (or more) corrupt incumbents is non-sequitur, if voters are responsible and continue to vote out (or recall) irresponsible incumbents, like they were supposed to be doing all along, which is all that I am proposing. Nothing more. No grand schemes. No vast theories. Just plain old, common-sense and responsibility. If we don’t ever learn from our mistakes, we will be doomed to revist those mistakes (again). I’m being realistic. There is historical precedent that humans do learn eventually from their mistakes. Voters have forgotten their responsibility. They are misguided, apathetic, complacent, or resigned to futility and despair to make a difference. What voters don’t realize is that only a few percent of all eligible voters has the power to oust irresponsible incumbents, since most elections are won by only a per percent of the votes. It is not as important who wins the election as it is that incumbents begin to understand who they work for. Also, voters should consider recalls too. They don’t have to wait until the next election.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 2, 2006 11:36 AM
Comment #119589

Back when I called myself a Republican and LBJ was in office I had a tag on the front of my car that showed a comode, a sewer pipe going over a hill, and the Captial dome the other side of the hill. The caption said ‘Flush twice, it’s a long way to Washington’. I thought it was funny then. But the older I get, and the more I see of what IS in Washington, the less funny it gets.
We’ve been flushing to Washington for so long that the town is completely poluted.

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 2, 2006 12:19 PM
Comment #119630

Ron,

Yeah, I used to be Republican too. I’m not knockin’ Republicans. At least, not any more than any other party.

But, except over in the Red column, more and more people are saying: What good politicians ?

OK, there may be a few (maybe).
But, with such a dysfunctional system and a severe lack of transparency, who can really know ? Who are they ?
Have they done anything to distinguish themselves from the typical bought-and-paid-for incumbents ?

That’s why the challenge has gone unanswered for anyone to list 10, 20, 50, or 100 incumbents (much less half of the 535 in Congress) that:

  • do not vote irresponsibly for pork-barrel (while our troops risk life and limb, go without body armor, armor for vehicles, and adequate medical and health care) ?

  • do not vote themselves cu$hy perks and raises (e.g. such as the extravagant retirement plans, funded by tax-payers, that are not part of the same mismanaged Social Security and Medicare systems that tax-payers are relegated to) ?

  • do not ignore problems for fear of risking re-election or defying their big-money-donors ?

  • do not prevent newcomers from passing badly-needed, common-sense, no-brainer, responsible reforms ?

  • do not tempt, pressure, and threaten newcomers with the loss of party support if the newcomers don’t accept the status quo ?

  • do not pander ?

  • do not peddle influence and accept money from big-money-donors ?

  • do not fuel the petty partisan warfare that distracts the nation from our many pressing problems ?

  • do not spend a great deal of time and tax-payers’ money (via allowances) trolling for money for their campaign war-chests ?

  • do not abuse their allowances (provided by tax-payers) to retain their cu$hy, coveted seats of power ?

  • do not look the other way ?

  • genuinely embrace campaign finance reform, election reform, tax reform, or any reform that will create more transparent, accountable, and responsible government, even if it diminishes their opportunities for personal gain ?

  • are fiscally responsible ?

  • deserve to retain their cu$hy, coveted, and prized seats of power ?


  • Unfortunately, the system has become so perverted and dysfunctional, it corrupts almost all within it.

    Study their voting records to see the pork-barrel they voted for while our troops risk life and limb.

    Study the things they do and say.

    Study their attendance records. Study their travel habits and expenses paid for by the tax-payers.

    Study the use of their time, and how much of it is spent raising big-money for their campaign war-chests.

    Study the way they vote themselves raises, special perk$, and cu$hy retirement plans that are not part of the same mismanaged Social Security and Medicare Systems that the rest of us are relegated to (which has been and is still being plundered).

    Study all those things, and you will probably be surprised at what you find.

    If an incumbent really is responsible, then they deserve to stay.
    However, there are very few (if any) that are really responsible.

    Incumbents not only refuse to police their own ranks, but are unable to do so. Incumbents are too entrenched in partisan warfare, fueling it, seducing voters into it, too consumed with collecting money, and too beholding to their big-money-donors. Government should not be FOR SALE. Why can Congress vote themselves a raise and cu$hy perks in a heart-beat, but they can not eliminate the marriage penalty tax ? The irresponsibility of incumbents is threatening the future and security of the nation.

    Therefore, few (if any) of the incumbents deserve to stay in their cu$hy, coveted seats of power, and that is the price that the incumbents should pay for looking the other way.

    Posted by: d.a.n at February 2, 2006 1:08 PM
    Comment #119881

    I with you on that d.a.n, except I cann’t think of any politician that deserves to stay in office. Specially those from Georgia. Sometimes I wish we elected our Representives at large like we elect our Senators. I know of 13 from Georgia that I’d vote against.
    I don’t knock any of the parties anymore. I don’t knock them any less either.

    Posted by: Ron Brown at February 3, 2006 12:37 AM
    Comment #120178

    The wrong politicians are making the appointments, screening the applicants and deciding their (the appointees) fates.

    We need to get out the good old incumbent sweeper and do some cleaning out.

    Posted by: steve smith at February 3, 2006 4:57 PM
    Comment #120517

    Yep! Please remove the sleaze!

    What kills me are those that say:
    What about the good politicians?

    Then, when you ask who they are, the most you ever get are two or three names.

    What’s that telling you?
    That’s disturbing in two ways.
    The level of corruption and the status quo.
    And the number of people who accept it (and empower it).
    It’s very disturbing, because I used to be one of those misguided people.

    So, if there are any good politicians, let’s keep them.
    Let’s find out who they are.
    They ought to stick out like a bloody, sore thumb.
    That’s why the challenge has gone unanswered for anyone to list 10, 20, 50, or even 268 (half of the 535) incumbents in Congress) that are responsible, don’t look the other way, don’t vote on pork-barrel, don’t fuel the petty partisan warfare, don’t troll for money, aren’t bought-and-paid-for, and truly embrace many badly-needed, common-sense reforms.

    So, let’s say someone could actually give us a list of 50 good, honest, and genuinely embrace common-sense reforms.

    Even if there were 50 names (BTW, I’ve tried, and never have come up with more than 10 names), how are voters to know who they are? Like I said, they ought to stick out like a sore thumb. And, the very very few that seem OK don’t always prove to be what they seem (once you start studying their voting records, attendance records, etc.).

    If there isn’t even 50 (9.3%), you have to conclude that the problem is more entrenched than people realize. Especially those that say: But what about the good politicians? Isn’t that an oxymoron (these days)?

    There is one more important thing for people to consider. It is something that is different than previous times. It is this:

    Due to the increased size of everything about the nation (population, economy, GDP, National Debt, etc.), the effects of what we decide now will not be felt for many decades (sometimes, centuries), and decades of fiscal irresponsibility since 1980 has the potential to create a problem that we can’t easily see coming and may see too late to resolve without considerable pain.

    Posted by: d.a.n at February 4, 2006 9:38 AM
    Comment #120544

    Yes d.a.n,

    More to the point, what barometer would be used to determine a “good” politician. We have become so conditioned with the bad that most of us would not know how to determine good.

    That’s why I think http://voidnow.org/ is such a great information tool. It reminds us of how simple it is to be a “good” politician by conduct that represents the people, not the special interests.

    Posted by: steve smith at February 4, 2006 11:03 AM
    Comment #120767

    Does anyone know when the last time was that this country wasn’t in debt?
    My wife says around 1830. I say never.

    Posted by: Ron Brown at February 4, 2006 11:48 PM
    Comment #120993

    Ron,

    National Debt 1791 to 1999

    Your wife was very close, but you are correct. Never is the correct answer, but in 1830 to 1835, the debt was a measely 33,000 (essentially zero) when you consider it was 75 million in 1791 and 68 million in 1851.

    Many financial analysts use the Debt-to-GDP ratio as a rationalization that the National Debt is not too large (currently at 66% and climbing very fast). They then point to other countries with higher percentages of debt-to-GDP ratios. I personally don’t believe Debt-to-GDP should ever (except in war-time perhaps) exceed 33% of GDP, because the interest on the debt costs too much (currently a quarter of every dollar) and destabilizes the economy. And, we all know that government will simply print more money to pay for debt, which destabilizes the economy further. Also, when financial analysts point out that the debt-to-GDP was over 100% during World War II fail to point out that GDP fell during the war which affected the percentage. It fell because a commercial activity was significantly curtailed. There was rationing. We don’t have that now, and we are not in a war now that is even remotely near the scale of World War II. It’s a good thing we’re not in a war of that scale, because of the huge debt we already have now. Also, those same financial analysts that say the debt isn’t too big, fail to account or the large portion of it that is foreign owned. That is dangerous, because they could dump it quickly, or abrupty stop buying it. That in itself could have an economic impact large enough to create a national security problem.

    steve smith wrote: More to the point, what barometer would be used to determine a “good” politician. We have become so conditioned with the bad that most of us would not know how to determine good.

    Yes, Steve, the bar is set so very low. And incumbents outnumber newcomers, and incumbents won’t allow common-sense reforms.

    But, we need newcomers to oust irresponsible incumbents (which will take several elections, since many senators aren’t up for election (with 6 year terms and elections every 2 years) that will simply, to start with, pass a few badly-needed, common-sense reforms to increase transparency and eliminate obvious abuses.

    ____________________________________
    They hang the man and flog the woman
    That steal the goose from off the common,
    But let the greater villain loose
    That steals the common from the goose.

    The Law demands that we atone
    When we take things we do not own
    But leaves the lords and ladies fine
    Who take things that are yours and mine.

    The poor and wretched don’t escape
    If they conspire the law to break;
    This must be so but they endure
    Those who conspire to make the law.

    The law locks up the man or woman
    Who steals the goose from off the common’
    And geese will still a common lack
    Till they go and steal it back.

    English folk poem, circa 1764
    ____________________________________

    Posted by: d.a.n at February 5, 2006 12:11 PM
    Post a comment