Third Party & Independents Archives

April 21, 2006

Credit Where Due

Praiseworthy stories of the week. The Bush Administration’s work with the Chinese. Sen. Edward Kennedy’s unpopular vote at the time, to NOT invade Iraq. The U.S. records the largest drop in annual deaths in at least 60 years. Some planners of the May 1 immigration demonstrations are reconsidering. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks the truth about a popular Republican myth that tax cuts pay for themselves.

The Bush Administration charted precisely the appropriate course in negotiations with China's delegation which produced statements of intent to improve China's participation in the global marketplace, forestalling potential future protectionist actions. The Administration did not issue its trademark ultimatums, but, instead set down some hard cold facts about mutual benefits to be achieved through reforms and leveling of the playing field in international trade. China is the dealer at this card game because the cards are stacked in its favor for the seeable future of international trade. It was prudent of President Bush to seek agreement rather than demand compliance.

Sen. Edward Kennedy said recently that the most principled vote he ever cast in his long tenure in the Congress was his vote against invasion of Iraq. His was virtually a lone voice within Congress, and his own party. It took courage to cast that vote, and now, these years and many regrets later, the American people are realizing that Kennedy's vote was one of principle and foresight.

USA Today reported this last week that the U.S. recorded the largest drop in annual deaths in at least 60 years. This is a testament to the success of America's safety net and health care innovation, which have been available to our senior citizens. Regretfully, unless substantial steps are taken to lower the cost of health care and expand the safety net to accommodate a growing senior population, this record will be short lived indeed. There is no greater problem facing the economy and quality of life in our future than this unsustainable health care system we currently have. While Congress takes yet another vacation, the problem only grows more dire by the day.

ABC News reported the following about the planned May 1 'halt America' demonstration:

Organizers of the movement that has led hundreds of thousands of immigrants onto the nation's streets are split over whether to press ahead with the next big protest, a May 1 national work stoppage and student boycott.

Backers of the protest want to dramatize the importance of immigrants to the U.S. economy by leaving construction sites and restaurants undermanned, crops untended and hotel rooms uncleaned. They also hope empty classrooms will demonstrate that immigration reform is a major issue for future voters.

But others fear such protests will make immigrants look anti-American, annoy the public and alienate lawmakers who are still wavering over how to reshape U.S. immigration policy. They worry, too, that thousands will get fired from their jobs.

Whether they alienate lawmakers or not remains to be seen. But, there is no question they will alienate American citizens, myself included. The idea of illegal foreign nationals bringing our nation to a halt to blackmail the American people into passing laws that will decriminalize their illegal entry into our country, and force Congress to give American jobs to them on demand, goes way beyond what I, and many, many millions of American citizens will tolerate. I praise those planners who are voicing second thoughts about perpetrating this blackmail upon the American citizenry.

Reuters reported this week Chairman Bernanke's words: "Because they increase economic activity, cuts in marginal tax rates typically lead to revenue losses that are smaller than implied by so-called static analyses, which hold economic activity constant," he said. "However, under normal conditions, tax cuts do not wholly pay for themselves." This statement is true, and runs contrary to Republican media myth that tax cuts do not add to deficits. Bernanke is to be praised for speaking truth to power and the American people so they can make an informed choice about our economic future.

As a writer for WatchBlog, I occasionally get the criticism that I never write about anything positive. Some time ago, I took the vow to write occasionally about some positive news and events or persons to be praised. This article is my quarterly installment on that vow. Not that it will silence my critics, but it is nonetheless, an appropriate thing to do.

Posted by David R. Remer at April 21, 2006 09:09 PM
Comments
Comment #142254

David:

Like your points and the general concept.

I’m not willing to give Bernanke much credit for stating the obvious— all you have to do is see the negative effects of Bush’s tax cuts on the deficit and the national debt. The cuts were supposed to create lots of jobs, too, which it didn’t. In fact, they didn’t even keep up with population growth.

As for Kennedy’s lonely profile in courage, he didn’t walk alone. My senator, Ron Wyden D-OR voted against the Iraq debacle as well.

As for Bush’s diplomacy with China—what else could he do, really? They’re holding almost 1 trillon dollars of our Treasury notes. Diplomacy is so much easier when you have few options.

Posted by: Tim Crow at April 21, 2006 09:59 PM
Comment #142259

Tim,
Correct. In fact, 23 Senators voted against the Resolution which resulted in the invasion of Iraq:
Akaka (D-HI)
Bingaman (D-NM)
Boxer (D-CA)
Byrd (D-WV)
Chafee (R-RI)
Conrad (D-ND)
Corzine (D-NJ)
Dayton (D-MN)
Durbin (D-IL)
Feingold (D-WI)
Graham (D-FL)
Inouye (D-HI)
Jeffords (I-VT)
Kennedy (D-MA)
Leahy (D-VT)
Levin (D-MI)
Mikulski (D-MD)
Murray (D-WA)
Reed (D-RI)
Sarbanes (D-MD)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Wellstone (D-MN)
Wyden (D-OR)

One Republican, One independent, and 21 Democrats. Furthermore, the Democratic Senators represent liberals. It’s a roll call of honor. These are the people who made the right call, despite tremendous pressure, relentless propaganda, an impending midterm election, and a thoroughly poisonous political atmosphere created by the Bush administration.

On China, someone made an amusing observation: if the Chinese invaded Taiwan, we’d have to borrow the money from the Chinese to defend Taiwan; and the Chinese have so much money sunk into US debt, they’d have to loan us the money!

It’s the upside of globalization. Interdependence makes war impractical because economies rely too much on each other. Intertwined countries cannot afford war.

For the same reasons, we need to be patient with the Iranians, and draw them into business relationships & a shared perception of international law. Nutjobs like Ahmedinejad and incompentents like Bush will come and go; but relationships even between seemingly hostile, implacably opposed nations & cultures can be nurtured, to result in peaceful relations.

Posted by: phx8 at April 21, 2006 10:29 PM
Comment #142264
The idea of illegal foreign nationals bringing our nation to a halt to blackmail the American people into passing laws that will decriminalize their illegal entry into our country, and force Congress to give American jobs to them on demand, goes way beyond what I, and many, many millions of American citizens will tolerate. I praise those planners who are voicing second thoughts about perpetrating this blackmail upon the American citizenry.

Illegal aliens, and the pro-illegal alien lobbyists, want so bad to believe the U.S. will crumble without them.

It is a total myth, since illegal aliens cost tax payers a net loss of over $70 billion per year ($87 billion by some recent estimates).

Sure, there might be a little inconvenience at first, but we’ll be better off without the crime and abuse of our welfare, education, healthcare, ER, 911, Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, law enforcement, insurance, voting, and prison systems.

Also, how do you put a price on the victims of crime by the increased crime rates due to the massive, uncontrolled, illegal immigration.

But, still, American voters should not direct their anger at illegal aliens (especially, since many are looking for jobs).

Voters should be angry with their do-nothing, bought-and-paid-for incumbent politicians that created this problem, then ignored it for decades, and now attempt to pit American voters and illegal aliens against each other.

That is dastardly. Voters should not tolerate it, and should simply vote out all irresponsible incumbent politicians, always, until no more irresponsible incumbents exist, and politicians finally pass badly-needed, common-sense reforms, and finally start doing something other than fillin’ their own pockets, gettin’ theirs, trollin’ for campaign money, votin’ on pork-barrel, graft, & corporate welfare, fueling partisan warfare, pitting Americans against illegal aliens, and finally start do something that has some net benefit to society.

Posted by: d.a.n at April 21, 2006 11:16 PM
Comment #142272

phx8 would you provide the list of the majority of democrats that voted yes on the resolution? there was quite a few liberals who voted yes, like ms clinton and mr kerry, ms feinstein.and mr daschle the democratic leader of the senate.and many more. btw these people on the noe list most of them voted yes for clinton on all of his military escapades. and your attempt to make them some kind of heroes is hogwash, they voted toeing the party line.the democrats who voted yes put there rears on the line. they knew it then and they know it right now.!

Posted by: jim c at April 22, 2006 12:02 AM
Comment #142277

Jim C:

And how many Republicans put their asses on the line and voted no? They’ve put their asses on the line against the prevailing wishes of the American people, it would seem. Where is their courage to vote against the party line?

Well, we have an election coming up—let’s see who pays the political price for their vote on Iraq.

Posted by: Tim Crow at April 22, 2006 12:23 AM
Comment #142278

Jim C,
http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=107&session=2&vote=00237

The list of Senators voting in favor of the resolution is 77 names long. It includes Kerry, Hillary Clinton, and all but one of the Senate Republicans. It includes McCain, Allen, and many other Republicans. Let us never forget who caused the worst foreign policy blunder in US history.

A lot of Democratic Senators make excuses. The Republican Senators have no excuse for their disastrous decision making. They allowed party loyalty to overcome the duty they owed this country, to all of us, liberal & conservative, Democrat & Republican & Independent alike.

But in defense of the Senators, lying to Congress is an impeachable offense for good reason. The Senators can make it right when the Democrats win a majority in the midterms, and remove Bush from office.

Posted by: phx8 at April 22, 2006 12:24 AM
Comment #142285

I’m not one of them number crunchers that knows everything about everything, but they way I see it is tax cuts can pay for themselves if spending isn’t increased along with them. The problem we face is that spending has kept going up every year.
As a business owner I know that if I lower my prices 10% and increase my spending 60% I’m going to run into a whole heap of trouble down the road.
But our politicians don’t seem to get this.

Posted by: Ron Brown at April 22, 2006 12:50 AM
Comment #142286

“As a business owner I know that if I lower my prices 10% and increase my spending 60% I’m going to run into a whole heap of trouble down the road.
But our politicians don’t seem to get this.”

Ron:

Politicians, they get it—they just know there is no political downside to doing economically foolish things. When the bill comes due, they will be gone. Unless….

Posted by: Tim Crow at April 22, 2006 12:56 AM
Comment #142288

Ron, it is simpler than that. Cut 1 billion in taxes, and the economic stimulus produces a compensating 500 to 750 million in revenues not previously collected because of lower incomes. Net loss in revenue, 250 to 500 million per 1 billion tax cut. Of course it varies depending on many variables, but, Bernanke, a Republican conservative was willing to dispel the GOP myth. That took guts.

There are even rare circumstances when a net surplus can be achieved over a very short period of time. But, generally, as Bernanke said, there is not a net gain, only a net loss in revenue which adds to the deficit. And none of this analysis and number crunching has anything to do with spending. Spending more just widens the deficit as you rightly pointed out.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 22, 2006 01:42 AM
Comment #142289

phx8 that’s absurd ,the worst foreign blunder in the history of this country was, did you forget? vietnam!. started by a democrat kennedy. and ruined by another democrat johnson come on.!

Posted by: jim c at April 22, 2006 01:44 AM
Comment #142290

Tim Crow, if I may modify your sentence: ‘When the bill comes due, they will be wealthy and gone.’

The new scandal hitting the fan is insider trading by Congress persons who play the stock market early based on knowing what legislation is coming out of Committee.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 22, 2006 01:44 AM
Comment #142293

Jim C, wrong and big time. Iraq was the biggest mistake. Here is why. We made the mistake in Korea of sacrificing for an unwinnable civil war in another country. Being it was our first mistake of that kind, it was forgiveable. Then comes Viet Nam, same mistake repeated twice now, but that mistake cost our nation far more dearly than Korea and unquestionably should have been learned from.

Then comes Iraq, same mistake a third time which is unforgiveable, and that makes it the biggest mistake of all time. It is a quagmire, the Administration can find no honorable exit, and can only commit to remain there killing more and more Americans, maiming many times more of them, and wrecking our economic future.

It takes some real super idiots to repeat a mistake they were warned of making a monumental third time. Talk about hubris, arrogance, and inflated egos, to so easily dismiss lessons dearly learned and paid for with American blood, in the name of inventing a different outcome by repeating the same mistakes.

No Iraq is indeed America’s greatest mistake along with the grotesque national debt that is already forcing our nation to compromise with China, and take it in the rear from OPEC. How does it feel Americans to be sodomized by Arab sheiks and leftist S. American socialists everytime you fill your gas tank? Get used to it, there’s plenty more where that came from.

But never forget, your politicians are making out just fine and will be able to afford to leave this country in fine style when it all comes crumbling down around you. They are insider trading the markets based on legislation they fashion in Committee before you or I ever know what’s happening.

If getting screwed like this by foreigners and your own representatives hurts, best stock up on a lot of booze, NFL tapes, cocaine, or whatever your choice of opiate for the masses happens to be. Because getting screwed by them frequently and harder is all you have to look forward to if you don’t vote en masse to kick their incumbent asses out of office and take back control of your government at the ballot box.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 22, 2006 02:13 AM
Comment #142294

Jim C,
It’s debatable, and perhaps worthy of a separate thread. Which is the biggest blunder: Vietnam or Iraq?

Vietnam killed and wounded more people, no doubt. Millions died, and the governments of Laos and Cambodia also fell, resulting in horrendous suffering. US citizens lost faith in the US government, and it took Jimmy Carter to restore the willingness of US citizens to trust, even as the economic bills came due, and the USSR pursued an aggressive expansionist policy.

Many have died in Iraq, and many have been wounded, but we’re still waiting to see just how bad the repurcussions will be. It appears the Shia fundamentalists will dominate the world’s oil supply. Iran will be a dominant force over the Persian Gulf and much of the world’s oil.

In terms of physical pain and psychological damage and death, Vietnam was worse than Iraq. Both were ruinously expensive. The US failure in Vietnam led directly to USSR expansionism, but the USSR overreached in Afghanistan, and Jimmy Carter engineered the policies which led to their defeat in Afghanistan, and the eventual fall of the USSR.

Iraq, however, is far worse for the US in geopolitical terms. An important portion of the world’s oil supply will fall under the contol of Shia muslims. The secular Baathists of Saddam Hussein are being replaced by Islamic fundamentalists. This is a very, very bad development. Finally, Osama bin Laden- remember him?- will claim credit for the defeat of the US in Iraq. This is also a very, very bad development.

In addition, the US will be very reluctant to actively engage the world after the debacle in Iraq. While we won’t become isolationist, we’ll certainly be less inclined to intervene, even if moral ditates demand so.

Is Bush the worst president in US history? We are in a position of comparing him with Hoover, Andrew Johnson, Warren Harding, and Nixon. Bush may top them all before it’s over.

Posted by: phx8 at April 22, 2006 02:16 AM
Comment #142296

phx8, I think you may be wrong about the U.S. not becoming isolationist. I think we will see a presidential candidate in 2008, 12 or 16 run on a protectionist platform and garner a huge number of votes. The further out the election, the greater the number of votes they will get. We are losing our competitive advantage in the global economy and that is alread seeding fertile ground for protectionism among growing numbers of the people.

One of my sisters never graduated from high school. She’s not dumb! But, she is not very well educated. That makes her a readily accessible barometer for me as to what thinking trends are taking place at the blue collar water cooler. Protectionism is coming.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 22, 2006 02:35 AM
Comment #142299

david r agreed on a moral principle all war is wrong. like general sherman said war is hell. but truman had success in korea. remember june 25 th 1950 the north invaded the south he pushed the north back and chinese back. military speaking it was a big victory. now the biggest mistake vietnam was ruined really before it started the french were badly beaten by the north. president eisenhower, btw who brought the peace in korea. said the hell with vietnam and would not involve our troops there. he told president kennedy to stay the hell out, he did not listen. and president johnson talked to eisenhower. also he did not listen and it was the biggest disaster we ever had morally and military. btw bless those vietnam vets.now take iraq, even president clinton said if he was in office longer he would have went in, no other choice. it seems everyone forgot that. you seem to be monday morning iraq. wmd ? they all had the same info on it. mistakes made yes! listen to posters like the mighty eagle he clearly sheds some of the positives out of iraq.listen i pray for everyone over there.and want to get the job done and get the hell out also. but to pull out now would be even worse. it just would open the door for syria, iran, and every extremist to have carte blanche and that scenario would be a thousand times worse for tomorrow.listen we can agree to disagree.btw what i do agree with you is let the people decide in november. and bless our troops in iraq.

Posted by: jim c at April 22, 2006 03:26 AM
Comment #142303

Jim C,

The mistake of Korea and Viet Nam was the argument that it would be worse if we left, as you just made about Iraq. In the end, we left, and no, it did not get worse. N. Korea was bad then, it is bad now, but, not a threat to the U.S. or the world. Viet Nam was Communist then, it still is today, but, not threat to the U.S. or the rest of the world.

History negates your argument that it will be worse. All that will happen if we leave at the end of this year or next Spring, is Iraq will sink or swim, which it is going to do with or without more American deaths, maimed soldiers, and grotesque deficits killing my daughter’s future net pay earnings.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 22, 2006 05:04 AM
Comment #142304

phx8 sorry! but you are giving mr carter way to much credit.i am not saying he was terrible. overall fair. he will never even get close to the top. reagan will. bush has 2.5 years left.

Posted by: jim c at April 22, 2006 05:24 AM
Comment #142306

Jim C, you give Reagan way too much credit. We are seeing the fulfillment of Reagan’s legacy today, and look where it has got us. Another day older and deeper in debt, and no St. Peter to bail us out, to paraphrase an old country song by Tennesee Earnie Ford.

In fact we are headed the way of the USSR which Reagan is erroneously credited for defeating in the Cold War: so deeply indebted to the war machine that the rest of the economy begins to collapse under the weight of massive citizen deprivation of middle class quality of life, massive redirection of consumer wealth into war machine investments and spin offs and deferred tax increases, and loss of competitive advantage in a world market place.

It is foolish for anyone to believe that the words, “tear down this wall” were magical and walls came tumbling down because Reagan spoke them. They came down because the cost of keeping them up became too high. Period. And a lengthy list of Republican and Democrat Presidents get credit for that, from Eisenhauer to Reagan.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 22, 2006 05:42 AM
Comment #142320

David

I think that this morning’s naming of a speaker of the Iraqi Parliment in addition to the president and prime minister is terrific news.

I think we should all keep our fingers crossed (in spite what you may think of President Bush) and hope that this government holds up.

Politics aside,it would do wonders for both the Iraqi psyche and American psyche if this thing moves forward in a positive way.

Again,as I wrote months ago,the seed of democracy,albeit an Iraq-style democracy,just MAY be beginning to germinate.

I consider this positive news…very positive news…

As far as your comments on Senator Kennedy’s position on Iraq,well,I couldn’t disagree more.I have skewered that guy’s performance on this site for months.I still believe that he motivated the insurgency with his vitrol.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at April 22, 2006 09:44 AM
Comment #142327

The increased longevity is good news for old desert rats like me but bad news for the far reich as it spells more entitlement spending for social security and medicare/medicaid. But Shrub et al. have figured out the solution to gut entitlement spending with a double-edged sword. Literally.

Cut out healthcare to the elderly, the disabled, the poor children, and all the other budget benders and both problems are solved. If the neocons can kill off everyone who gets social secirity income or government subsidized medical care there are no more payments for income or life sustaining treatments thereby slashing entitlement spending to the bone. Literally.

However, it won’t help the deficit because what used to be spent for entitlements in the name of humanity will be shifted more to the entitlements of big oil, big business, inoperable defense schemes, and congressional/administration entitlements. This has been the role model of Shrub’s administrative propaganda machine and has worked well based on the tried and true Goebbels principles. Who cares if it’s Draconian as long as entitlements are eliminated. Correction: shifted around.

The most vicious example of this reworked Kommandant Eicke principle popped up in the last budget combat when the far reich wanted to conserve world oxygen by taking it out of medicare/medicaid coverage. There’s so little oxygen in the stench in D.C. little reason could be seen that others might actually depend on it for their very life. They almost succeeded but settled instead by dropping crucial medicines which kept people alive, further decreasing the entitlement obligation. What’s the difference if they suffocate to death or just die in unending agony as long as the Eiche-Rove principle works?

So profiteers should drop their holdings in Linde and buy as much stock as they can in Chinese casket companies.

Posted by: texex at April 22, 2006 10:06 AM
Comment #142331

David,

So many people here are partly right, but mostly wrong.

Since the end of the Civil War, America has been interferring in one area of the world or another, intervening on behalf of the “oppressed”.

The real escalation of this was seen during the Truman administration. It has been one intervention after another in our new role as “policeman of the world”…and we’ve gotten our asses handed to us time after time.

Korea. Stalemate. A very, very expensive stalemate in human lives and dollars. A stalemate we are still enforcing to this day. You want a “quagmire”? THIS is a “quagmire”.

Bay Of Pigs. Lost. Thanks, J.F.K. for no air support. Fidel sends his best wishes.

Viet Nam. Lost. Started with Truman, almost ended with J.F.K., escalated to 1/2 million troops by Lyndon B. Johson, de-escalated by Nixon, and finally ended by Ford. Tore country apart.

Bosnia and Kosovo. Qualified win. Stopped immediate hostilities, failed to end 600 year old war. See “Korea” above.

Iraq and Afghanistan. TBD.

Smaller Police Actions:

Central America 1950-present. Some wins, some losses. By proxy and actual involvement.

Africa 1960-1992. Angola (by proxy)…lost. Congo (by proxy)…lost. Somolia…won by G.H.W. Bush, then lost by William J. Clinton. Sudan…missile shot…no effect.

Middle East:

Lebanon. Lost. Reagan got to see up close and personal how fanatic these guys are. We, the U.S., learned nothing.

Kuwait. Qualified win. We’re still there, aren’t we?

Afghanistan 1999. Missile ineffective.


Now, I’ve only listed a couple of the “police actions” since WW2. Now, with all the “police actions” we’ve undertaken, is it any wonder why our defense budget is overblown? Is it any wonder that we need more and more and more weapons? Do we REALLY want to be “policeman of the world”?

Posted by: Jim T at April 22, 2006 10:24 AM
Comment #142346

Jim
I respectively disagree.

First off,you list forget to mention the Persian Gulf War.I am assuming that “Kuwait” is what you are referring to,but it was a smashing military victory…as was the Iraq invasion,when Saddam was toppled in 17 days.

Maybe we are losing the peace(a theory that I do not yet embrace),but clearly we crushed him militarily.

Your list neglects to mention the many tin-horn dictators the USA pummled(Panama come to mind,Niagarga unter Truman,Grenada under Regan,Haitti…the lsi goes on actually)

I also disagree with you on Vietnam.We never suffered a single military defeat there.If anything it was a politicial defeat…and more people have died there post Vietnam war (read:Cambodia) the during it.

Also neglected was the rebuilding job in Japan,Germany,Italy post WWII…three of the biggest eceommies in the world.

If you’re going to cherry pick,that’s one thing,but also,I think,at least mention the above.

To answer you question:Yes.

Posted by: sicillianeagle at April 22, 2006 12:04 PM
Comment #142347

Jim T, of course. World cop is good for saavy old rich investors. They do all the buying and hording while the paeons do all the dying and goring. Match made in heaven, don’t you think? Keeps our population numbers down too so we can keep the door open at our borders for another kind of paeon to compete to wait on and serve the saavy old rich investors.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 22, 2006 12:12 PM
Comment #142351

Sicilian,
Agreeing with you, the aftermath of Vietnam included the internment & deaths of many supporters of American policy. But if war is politics by another means, then politics could be seen as war by another means. It becomes a question of what is acceptable as a means of settling disagreements, conflict resolution.

Jim C,
Carter deserves credit for what I mentioned earlier, and especially Human Rights. He deserves a great deal of blame for his inability to work with Congress.

Bush doesn’t seem to work with with the Republican Congress at all. It’s not even bad relations, like Carter. There is not relationship. In my lifetime I’ve never seen a President so unengaged with Congress. No vetos, no strongarming proposals, nothing. Bush claimed he would use his ‘mandate’ from the last election to push changes with SSI. For all practical purposes, the idea never even made it to Congress. The Bush domestic agenda began and ended with tax cuts.

I just don’t understand Bush. It’s not even a partisan thing. But why wouldn’t a guy use the presidency to push through programs? Some people have criticized Bush for being all about politics, and not at all about governance, and I suppose that might explain it.

Posted by: phx8 at April 22, 2006 12:51 PM
Comment #142352

David,
Like I said, I’m no numbers cruncher. That’s why I have an accountant.
She tells me if tax cuts are going to pay for themselves spending needs to be cut along with them. Even then it’s no guarantee that they will pay for themselves. But there’s a better chance of it.
But I don’t have to be a bean counter to know that lowering income while increasing spending is a recipe for financial disaster.
The problem we have is taxes have been cut and spending increased. Given the raising debt, deficit spending, and the general idioticy of our elected officials, a tax cut wasn’t the most brilliant idea to come down the pike.
Like most I want like to see a reform of our tax system. I believe that we pay too much in taxes. Especially when you consider that a lot of the money is wasted.
But before taxes can come down we need to get our national debt under control, and get a constantly balanced budget.
Then and only then can a tax cut not hurt our economy

Posted by: Ron Brown at April 22, 2006 12:52 PM
Comment #142361

just a thought here, president eisenhower and president clinton would not lower taxes and they both held the line on spending, results eisenhower had balanced budgets in both terms. and clinton had balanced budgets in the second term. a president has more power than you think.

Posted by: RODNEY BROWN at April 22, 2006 01:46 PM
Comment #142362

oh, yes they both were centrist!

Posted by: RODNEY BROWN at April 22, 2006 01:50 PM
Comment #142369

Sorry, phx8, but IMO the decision to take action against Iraq was the right one. It was the EXECUTION that has been an utter failure.

Please, let’s not try to tie the two together. Because we have chaos and an extracted presence in Iraq has nothing to do with the deicision to go. It is because the administration and execution of this war was flawed and mishandled from the onset. You can’t say ‘see, it’s a failure, we shouldn’t have went’ as it is disengenuous to the situation at the time and the issues at hand when the decision was made, still IMO the proper one.

Time after time I hear things like ‘why aren’t we doing anything about the war crimes and inhumane leader of xxx’ and the US sit’s back and does nothing, or it forges alliances with these despots and hoodlums. Many times in regards to our need for oil. But Iraq was one of those times when we can say we didn’t make a deal with a murderous despot to get cheap oil, we stood up to him and provided the opportunity for the people of Iraq to decide their own fate. Unfortunately, it was bungled, but that doesn’t make the decision to go any less right.

And, before you bring up WMD you should be reminded of two things.

The issues was not that he HAD them but we couldn’t tell if he still had them because of HIS refusal to continue to be a roadblock to the inspection process for his own political gain.

I called for his removal before Bush was elected, back when Clinton decided the same thing, that he was a pariah on the international community and should be removed from power. Finally something was done about it, WMD was only a single issue in a bigger picture, for most people who supported the action.

You are free to say why YOU didn’t support it, I am free to say why I did (and still do) and they are both valid viewpoints. You can try to say that mine isn’t, but that’s really not supportable when the issues at hand at the time are looked at without partsian views.

Ridiculing and discounting those opinions is the reason why the Dems didn’t win in 2004 and despite Bush’s complete inability to be a real leader it may still cost them in 2006, it’s too soon to tell. Until the Dems figure this out, which I doubt they will ever do, they will continue to divide the country and lose any hope of being taken seriously.

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 22, 2006 03:13 PM
Comment #142372

David:

Congratulations! Great to be positive!

Posted by: Paul Siegel at April 22, 2006 03:25 PM
Comment #142373

When you’re wounded and left on Afganistans’s plains,And the women come to cut up what remains,Jest roll to your rifle an blow out your brains An’go to your Gawd like a soldier…..
R. Kipling

Posted by: BillS at April 22, 2006 03:26 PM
Comment #142378

Bills
“You must sometimes fight it our or perish;and if that is the case,why not now,where you stand”
Robert Louis Stephenson


I love your quote and will work it into one of pieces,although I love mine too.

Again,today,a bunch of leaders were nominated by the Iraqis…finally.

This is a good thing.

Thankfully,later today Kerry is making a major speech against the war and 35 years to the day that he spoke out against Vietnam.

Thank God.

Guys like me will spend the next week parsing out his speech and cutting him to shreds.

Good old John Kerry…just what the doctor ordered…on the day Iraq names its leadership….impeccable timing…

Posted by: sicilianeagle at April 22, 2006 04:50 PM
Comment #142380

Sicilian,
Part of the deadlock in forming the Iraqi government involved creating a national ‘unity’ government, and whether to include secular ex-Baathists. Secular. The final result is that this will not be a ‘unity’ government. The secular Iraqis will be excluded.

It was inevitable, but why any American would be happy about this is beyond me, unless the only goal is to withdraw as soon as possible. Oh well. What the hey. This was inevitable from the moment a decision to invade was taken. It’s kind of like clapping hands because we’re speeding towards the edge of a cliff, but we’re making great time. The Shia militias will nail it down; the Death Squads will keep killing Sunni males until the problem is solved. Brutal, but effective.

Oh. al-Maliki really dislikes Israel. But that’s true for most Iraqis, whether Dawa, SCIRI, or backers of al-Sadr.

Rhinehold,
Bush will be impeached because he lied to Congress, among other things. He lied because, while Americans agreed Saddam Hussein was not a good person, few Americans thought that constituted a reason to invade. Convincing Americans required misleading them, and lying to them. The intelligence was fixed around this policy. Important information was withheld from Congress.

Here’s yet another example:

http://www.smh.com.au/news/breaking-news/white-house-knew-there-were-no-wmd-cia/2006/04/22/1145344306427.html

The only hope for Bush is to maintain majorities in both the Senate & the House. Lose either, and Sen Roberts & others will no longer control the committees & stifle the investigations.

Posted by: phx8 at April 22, 2006 05:25 PM
Comment #142385

phx8

Not necessarily.The new prime minister,from what I have read,has friend in the Sunni camp,something the intrim minister didn’t have.Plus,he is pitching himself as a unifier of all.

Maybe I am naive (yah,right) but this option is much better than the alternative,which is continued deadlock.

I never thought we’d get an American clone there…those who did were mistaken,ab initio.

The end of the story is that an Iraqi form of democracy has been born..a toe-hold so to speak.

If you looks at it from an Eastern and not a western perspective,it is really quite an accomplishment,despite what most say.

As far as disliking Isreal….who does in the Mid-East?

It will be a fun next 8 weeks as this government takes shape.I wonder if any one is going to drop a dime on key insurgent leaders.Now that’s the $10,000 question …

Posted by: sicilianeagle at April 22, 2006 05:57 PM
Comment #142390

Thanks Paul. Not something I want to make a habit of during these times of so many errors and incompetencies. But, it is good to remind ourselves from time to time that no body is ALL bad all the time, and no body is good, all the time. Free elections should be about making intelligent decisions about who is distinctly better. At this, time that’s a real tough call for most Americans. My motto is, if in doubt, throw them out!

Can’t hurt, and you might get lucky. Just think of elections like a lottery and vote on the hope of hitting a lucky newcomer who stands heads above the rest in integrity, honesty, and committment to his country’s future. Better odds than the lottery, that’s for sure.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 22, 2006 07:20 PM
Comment #142397

Gee, David is positive about things. What’s next? Bush deciding to become a Democrat?

Good Post, David.

Posted by: gergle at April 22, 2006 08:56 PM
Comment #142406

Sorry, phx8, there is no proof that Bush lied about anything and in fact two seperate investigations have born that out.

http://www.factcheck.org/article222.html

Most people understand this but partisan hacks just can’t seem to let a chance to increase their political power go. So they perpetuate the myth (their own little lie) about the reality surrounding the situation in a way that is intended to confuse and mislead.

Both parties are guilty of this, they both suck and they should both be put out of business. For once I would like to see a party of principle get elected, but that would require the voting public to be able to think, something our federal government has done a good job of preventing with the unconstitutional Department of Education…

But I digress…

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 22, 2006 10:16 PM
Comment #142409

Btw, Phx8, It’s interesting that this ‘information’ comes from a guy hawking his new book. Reliable, I say. And it only mentions that a source said there were no weapons, that doesn’t mean that there weren’t. There were a lot of sources saying a lot of different things, unless you somehow know something that no one else does?

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 22, 2006 10:24 PM
Comment #142419

Rhinehold,
Nice factcheck article from 2004.

It’s 2006 now.

Remember when Reid shut down the Senate using a parliamentary procedure? It was to draw attention to the stonewall put up by Senator Roberts, who was preventing the Senate Intelligence Committee from continuing the second phase of the investigation. The first phase investigated the intelligence agencies. The second phase is supposed to investigate the political side. It has yet to be completed.

We will have to wait and see about this particular source, agreed. But versions of the same story keep popping up- and I’ve heard about this particular story before now.

It appears this source told the truth. However, the Bush administration took information from the Iraqi National Congress, an organization created by the Bush administration in the first place, through the Renton Group; and the Bush administration toute this information as valid, while withholding contradictory information from a better resource, withholding it from the public, if not Congress as well.

Rhinehold, Bush will be impeached if he loses Congress. It’s a long shot, given the nature of incumbency, but it’s a distinct possibility.

If Bush holds onto both House & Senate, his chances for riding out the last two years are good. Pardons will cure any vestigal problems.

We know there were no WMD’s. We know there was no known link to Al Qaida. We have always known there was no link between Saddam Hussein & 9/11. We know Saddam Hussein’s links to terrorism were de minimis by the standards of the Middle East.

This new Iraqi government is worse than Saddam Hussein, isn’t it? You know it is worse. No one wants to come out and say it, because this is a terrible result; a democratic Shia theocracy, very similar to Iran.

The secularists have been shut out. They were no walk in the park either. Allawi was the US candidate. He was a secularist, with the backing of Saddam’s intelligence agency, the Mukhabarat, behind him. The Shias have basically told the US to eff off. Allawi and the ex-Baathists are done.

You wanted Saddam Hussein gone, Rhinehold? You think he was worse than what’s coming?

What I wonder is, will the US keep those so-called permanent bases, or will the Shias kick the US out of Iraq?

Posted by: phx8 at April 22, 2006 11:38 PM
Comment #142420

The Resume of George W. Bush
George W. Bush
The White House, USA

EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE:

LAW ENFORCEMENT:
—I was arrested in Kennebunkport, Maine, in 1976 for driving under the influence of alcohol.

—I pled guilty, paid a fine, and had my driver’s license suspended for 30 days.
My Texas driving record has been “lost” and is not available.

MILITARY:
—I joined the Texas Air National Guard and went AWOL. I refused to take a drug test or answer any questions about my drug use.
By joining the Texas Air National Guard, I was able to avoid combat duty in Vietnam.

COLLEGE:
—I graduated from Yale University with a low C average.
I was a cheerleader.

PAST WORK EXPERIENCE:
—I ran or U.S. Congress and lost.

—I began my career in the oil business in Midland, Texas, in 1975.
I bought an oil company, but couldn’t find any oil in Texas.
The company went bankrupt shortly after I sold all my stock.

—I bought the Texas Rangers baseball team in a sweetheart deal that took land using taxpayer money.

—With the help of my father and our right-wing friends in the oil industry (including Enron CEO Ken Lay), I was elected governor of Texas.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS AS GOVERNOR OF TEXAS:
—I changed Texas pollution laws to favor power and oil companies, making Texas the most polluted state in the Union.
During my tenure, Houston replaced Los Angeles as the most smog-ridden city in America.

—I cut taxes and bankrupted the Texas treasury to the tune of billions in borrowed money.

—I set the record for the most executions by any governor in American history.

—With the help of my brother, the governor of Florida, and my father’s appointments to the Supreme Court, I became President after losing by over 500,000 votes.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS AS PRESIDENT:
—I am the first President in U.S. history to enter office with a criminal record.

—I invaded and occupied two countries at a continuing cost of over one billion dollars per week.

—I spent the U.S. surplus and effectively bankrupted the U.S. Treasury.

—I shattered the record for the largest annual deficit in U.S. history.

—I set an economic record for most private bankruptcies filed in any 12-month period.

—I set the all-time record for most foreclosures in a 12-month period.

—I set the all-time record for the biggest drop in the history of the U.S. stock market.

—In my first year in office, over 2 million Americans lost their jobs and that trend continues every month.

—I’m proud that the members of my cabinet are the richest of any administration in U.S. history. My “poorest millionaire,” Condoleeza Rice, has a Chevron oil tanker named after her.

—I set the record for most campaign fund-raising trips by a U.S. President.

—I am the all-time U.S. and world record-holder for receiving the most corporate campaign donations.
My largest lifetime campaign contributor, and one of my best friends, Kenneth Lay, presided over the largest corporate bankruptcy fraud in U.S. History, Enron.
My political party used Enron private jets and corporate attorneys to assure my success with the U.S. Supreme Court during my election decision.
I have protected my friends at Enron and Halliburton against investigation or prosecution.
More time and money was spent investigating the Monica Lewinsky affair than has been spent investigating one of the biggest corporate rip-offs in history.

—I presided over the biggest energy crisis in U.S. history and refused to intervene when corruption involving the oil industry was revealed.

—I presided over the highest gasoline prices in U.S. history.

—I changed the U.S. policy to allow convicted criminals to be awarded government contracts.

—I appointed more convicted criminals to administration than any President in U.S. history.

—I created the Ministry of Homeland Security, the largest bureaucracy in the history of the United States government.

—I’ve broken more international treaties than any President in U.S. history.

—I am the first President in U.S. history to have the United Nations remove the U.S. from the Human Rights Commission.

—I withdrew the U.S. from the World Court of Law.

—I refused to allow inspectors access to U.S. “prisoners of war” detainees and thereby have refused to abide by the Geneva Convention.

—I am the first President in history to refuse United Nations election inspectors (during the 2002 U.S. election).

—I set the record for fewest number of press conferences of any President since the advent of television.

—I set the the all-time record for most days on vacation in any one-year period.
After taking off the entire month of August, I presided over the worst security failure in U.S. history.
I garnered the most sympathy for the U.S. after the World Trade Center attacks and less than a year later made the U.S. the most hated country in the world, the largest failure of diplomacy in world history.

—I have set the all-time record for most people worldwide to simultaneously protest me in public venues (15 million people), shattering the record for protest against any person in the history of mankind.

—I am the first President in U.S. history to order an unprovoked, pre-emptive attack and the military occupation of a sovereign nation. I did so against the will of the United Nations, the majority of U.S. citizens, and the world community.

—I have cut health care benefits for war veterans and support a cut in duty benefits for active duty troops and their families — in wartime.

—In my State of the Union Address, I lied about our reasons for attacking Iraq, then blamed the lies on our British friends.

—I am the first President in history to have a majority of Europeans (71%) view my presidency as the biggest threat to world peace and security. I am supporting development of a nuclear “Tactical bunker Buster,” a WMD.

—I have so far failed to fulfill my pledge to bring Osama Bin Laden.

RECORDS AND REFERENCES:

—All records of my tenure as governor of Texas are now in my father’s library, sealed and unavailable for public view.

—All records of SEC investigations into my insider trading and my bankrupt companies are sealed in secrecy and unavailable for public view.

—All records or minutes from meetings that I, or my Vice-President, attended regarding public energy policy are sealed in secrecy and unavailable for public view.

**And I Think The US Constitution Is
Just A “GODDAMNED PIECE OF PAPER
“There’s an old saying in Tennessee - I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee - that says, fool me once, shame on - shame on you. Fool me - you can’t get fooled again.”

Posted by: impeach gwb at April 22, 2006 11:40 PM
Comment #142424

betty? aldous?

Posted by: FA STEPHENS at April 22, 2006 11:52 PM
Comment #142427

Thanks, Gergle. I appreciate your taking the time to say that.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 23, 2006 12:10 AM
Comment #142440

I was reading the Washington Post a little while ago about the leaks and the CIA officer fired.

I regard this as positive news. Inpite of very real consequences and retribution there have been several beurocrats recently standing up to the party line and telling the truth.

The revolt of the generals is a sign of that positive American quality of telling truth to power. I suspect there is a perception among those who know that we are on the course to tyranny with this administration. The true patriots have stood and told the truth even though they stand in the line of fire.

With the coming election and the loss of the House looming on the horizon and the threat of supoena power, the mood has shifted in D.C. There is hope for the Republic. I can hear the shredders humming, the hard drives erasing, and an exit strategy forming.

Posted by: gergle at April 23, 2006 02:07 AM
Comment #142444

phx8,
[Sigh] It’s so nice to be back at my computer. I always get a warm fuzzy whenever I have the opportunity to watch you methodically shred your opposition into bits! :^x

David,
What could possibly be wrong with a wee bit of American protectionism at the moment? Everything is being made elsewhere (especially China) and is not being made by us. Don’t you think it would be a good thing to see America begin demanding our own domestic products once more, and start to once again vigorously support the idea of our own domestic industries?
What is your fear regarding a move toward a little protectionism? Aren’t foreign entities making enough quota rents off of us now to support them in grand style — while our people continue to struggle and lose jobs with no end in sight?

Posted by: Adrienne at April 23, 2006 03:06 AM
Comment #142469
Rhinehold, Nice factcheck article from 2004.

It’s 2006 now.

And where is the new evidence to discount it? There are assertions and suggestions but no evidence.

Remember when Reid shut down the Senate using a parliamentary procedure? It was to draw attention to the stonewall put up by Senator Roberts, who was preventing the Senate Intelligence Committee from continuing the second phase of the investigation. The first phase investigated the intelligence agencies. The second phase is supposed to investigate the political side. It has yet to be completed.

Actually, the investigation was taking place during the shutdown, before and after. Reid used the shutdown as a political stunt because of the attention that Judge Alito was getting and the bad press the dems were getting over it, it’s called politics.

In fact, after only two hours a bipartisan panel was assigned to investigate the investigation and were to report back last November about it. Have we heard anything? Don’t you think that if they had found that the investigation was being hijacked and squashed that the roar from Reid and others would have been deafening? Another shutdown, etc?

Hmmmm, it kinds of makes one who isn’t partisanly motivated to think it was more of a political stunt than proof of wrongdoing, as YOU suggest.

We will have to wait and see about this particular source, agreed. But versions of the same story keep popping up- and I’ve heard about this particular story before now.

It appears this source told the truth. However, the Bush administration took information from the Iraqi National Congress, an organization created by the Bush administration in the first place, through the Renton Group; and the Bush administration toute this information as valid, while withholding contradictory information from a better resource, withholding it from the public, if not Congress as well.

Interesting, how do you qualify which source is better than another? My belief is that the administration believed one view of the intelligence over another view and because of this they touted it more than the dissenting information, which they felt was not accurate.

That does NOT equate into ‘knew that the info was wrong and lied and misled in order to get their way’. You can’t have it both ways. You can’t say that they were incompetent in their examination of evidence and then say that they made it all up, the two don’t work together. And to say that they did know, for sure, that there were no WMD and said that there were anyways you have to show PROOF of this.

In the end, what we have is incompetence or falling prey to the machinations of Iraqi Intelligence/Hussain who wanted everyone to believe he had WMD. The alternate view that there were more WMD than we have found but were spirited out of Iraq with the help of Russia is equally as fanciful and requires proof to be taken seriously as well.

Rhinehold, Bush will be impeached if he loses Congress. It’s a long shot, given the nature of incumbency, but it’s a distinct possibility.

I don’t believe he will, even with a loss of majority. There are enough democrats that will require some amount of actual proof and since there is none they will not join the bandwagon. They would need a majority of more than 2 or 3 for that to happen.

We know there were no WMD’s. We know there was no known link to Al Qaida. We have always known there was no link between Saddam Hussein & 9/11. We know Saddam Hussein’s links to terrorism were de minimis by the standards of the Middle East.

Interesting what you ‘know’. Was Clinton wrong then in bombing the al-shia pharmaacutical plant, run by Iraq and al Qaeda? I feel that the jury is still out on some of your assertions stated above, but won’t get into it now. Except to say that downplaying Iraq’s support of terrorism, who at the time was in the top 5 nations supporting terrorism, is an example of how whitewashed you want to make the whole history of the Iraq conflict and excatly my point made previously about how Dems who just ignore the concerns of those that disagree with them and dismiss them out of hand are never going to amount to anything because they aren’t letting themselves to be taken seriously.

This new Iraqi government is worse than Saddam Hussein, isn’t it? You know it is worse. No one wants to come out and say it, because this is a terrible result; a democratic Shia theocracy, very similar to Iran.

Worse than Hussein? You’re kidding right?

The secularists have been shut out. They were no walk in the park either. Allawi was the US candidate. He was a secularist, with the backing of Saddam’s intelligence agency, the Mukhabarat, behind him. The Shias have basically told the US to eff off. Allawi and the ex-Baathists are done.

You wanted Saddam Hussein gone, Rhinehold? You think he was worse than what’s coming?

Yes, I do. You complain that there isn’t full equality in the current Iraqi government, was there anything CLOSE to equality under Hussein? Oh yeah, there was, everyone was equally oppressed, equally tortured and equally subjecated. While the resulting government isn’t entirely perfect first time, it’s better than the US had when it started. I don’t see anywhere in their government where a huge minority of citizens are considered property or half of the citizens being denied all rights to have a voice in the government. The US, because it was able to reinvent itself and grow, just as this government, not under the thumb of a brutal dictator, will evolve and grow as well. At least now they have a chance, they had none under Hussein.

You make my point for me again, you would rather Hussein be in office. That makes my opinion of your views on these matters highly suspect.

Oh, and since the Iranian government is so bad and worse than Iraq was before the war are you suggesting we should be invading Iran now?

Or are you saying that the students and majority of people in Iran are trying to steer the democracy of Iran to a more moderate government and the president is a figurehead with no real power so we should give them a chance through diplomacy to alter their course?

I wonder which it is?

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 23, 2006 12:09 PM
Comment #142470
What could possibly be wrong with a wee bit of American protectionism at the moment? Everything is being made elsewhere (especially China) and is not being made by us. Don’t you think it would be a good thing to see America begin demanding our own domestic products once more, and start to once again vigorously support the idea of our own domestic industries? What is your fear regarding a move toward a little protectionism? Aren’t foreign entities making enough quota rents off of us now to support them in grand style — while our people continue to struggle and lose jobs with no end in sight?

No, what we need is to get the government off of business’ backs so that they can be more fluid and able to provide these goods and services at a cost less than China’s businesses can. That way we can not only do more american business locally but be able to compete globally.

Protectionism is the first step to defeat, keeping companies who are operating inefficiently from realizing this and altering their operating procedures, much like we did for Detroit. Only when real competition is allowed to cocur can the best and brightest be rewarded and available as a model to those new businesses starting out.

But too many people see ‘business’ as an evil and ‘government’ as good, when it is really the other way around. We need more business and less government in order to bring us back into prosperity over our global competitors.

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 23, 2006 12:13 PM
Comment #142477

Rhinehold, Which charges will not lead to impeachment?

Violating Campaign law?

Bribery?

Lying to get us into war?

Breaking the law to evesdrop?

Violating anti-torture laws?

Violating habeus corpus?

Failing to notify the CIA about leaks?

Obstructing Justice for all of the above?

And more importantly, which laws do you think should be abolished to allow our president to avoid impeachment and become an end unto its own political purpose?

Posted by: gergle at April 23, 2006 01:00 PM
Comment #142500

I don’t konw, Gergle.

Do you have hard proof that any of the following occurred? Please provide the evidence as it will make you a national name to provide something no one has been able to do so far.

And I’m not opposed to impeaching the President if there has been a violation of law that follows with the needed requirements. It is just as of yet I’ve heard a lot of accusation and supposition but no evidence.

So please, here’s your chance to make the name for yourself!

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 23, 2006 02:16 PM
Comment #142501

Oh, oh yeah, the main reason I demand hard evidence from the Dems, not just because hard evidence should be required for impeachment, but also because I’ve heard for calls for Bush’s impeachment from BEFORE he was even in office. It’s like a mantra that just gets repeated over and over and over again without anything to back it up except that it makes the Dems feel good that they aren’t in power now. It explains how they lost favor with the american voter, it’s all a conspiracy of the Reps!

Never mind that at a time when most americans hate Bush atm they STILL don’t want a Dem to be in office if they can help it. You’d think that that would have been a big clue…?

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 23, 2006 02:18 PM
Comment #142514

Rhinehold, there is evidence that warrants investigaton. But with a Republican House, such investigations do not occur or, if they do, they are conducted to protect the party, not seek the facts which may lead to negative headlines for the GOP.

Remember that the President has control, either political by appointment, or legal via the Constitution, to hide evidence of his own wrong doing under the cloak of executive privilege or national security. Getting hard evidence can only be accomplished, if it exists, by a Congressional Investigation with subpeona power. And that isn’t happening as the GOP is in self-protect mode.

This fact is not lost on the American public either, accounting for distrust of the President, the Congress, and our future. One party government is subverting the Constitutional checks and balances, since powers were granted in previous years which did not anticipate a one party government. Now that we have a one party gov’t., the checks and balances relegated to an opposition party controlling a branch of gov’t. are for all intents and purposes, non-existent.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 23, 2006 03:48 PM
Comment #142515

“No, what we need is to get the government off of business’ backs so that they can be more fluid and able to provide these goods and services at a cost less than China’s businesses can. That way we can not only do more american business locally but be able to compete globally.”

I think business has pretty much had it their own way for the last 25 years under Republican neocons, with the wholesale shredding of any government oversight on corporations, and lobbyists writing legislation behind closed doors, with no oppositon invited. Wages have stagnated, profits and productivity have soared in most industries—and workers have little to show for it. Tax cuts for the rich have increased
the economic divide dramatically. Corporation after corporation is bailing on their past promises of health insurance and pensions, and the only surge in jobs are in the service sector where wages and benefits are marginal at best.

Protectionism is coming—I’m not necesarily enthusiastic about it—but the American worker is becoming fed up with a government that gives away the farm to corporate interests and gives crumbs to the working class. If the economy collapses from the incredible incompetence and spend-thrift ways of the neocons, there will be hell to pay. I fear it won’t just be the guilty, either.

Posted by: Tim Crow at April 23, 2006 03:49 PM
Comment #142516

Gentlemen,
First of all, anyone who wants to glorify Ted Kennedy, be my guest. He is barely worth opposing anymore. He is a pathetic, empty, shallow man, whose grief over killing an innocent girl, which he can never admit, is destroying him from the inside out.

Second, Invading Iraq wasn’t a bad idea, I would have started with Iran or Syria, but in Iraq we are between the two. The problem is we have become a nation of feminized wimps. When we completely destroyed Germany and Japan. I mean completely, to the point where they did not want to fight anyone, ever again, we didn’t have these problems. Since then we have not fought one single war, or conflict if you will, where WE did not place some form of limitation on ourselves. That is ridiulous. When we fight, it should be all out, no holds barred, complete destruction of our enemy, until THEY surrender absolutely. There is no insurgency after that. Those who would create an insurgency are either dead, or defeated to the point that they realize they cannot win, and further conflict will mean further destruction of THEIR home and country.

Actually, if we were men (not gender men, but the kind of people who cared enough about themselves and their country to defend it), we would have nuked two random, or not so random Muslim cities on Sept 12. Had we done that, we would not need to invade anyone. If we don’t care enough about us, our families and our country to fully protect it, no one else will either.

To those who say that these statements are “war mongering” or worse, just realize, that the deaths caused by two nukes will pale in comparision to the deaths caused by our “sensitive” surgical warfare. No Americans dead either. It actually saves lives to act decisively and early. Unfortunately for us, neither major party has the will to act in this manner.

Posted by: David C. at April 23, 2006 03:52 PM
Comment #142517

impeach gwb,
Good to see another independent thinker here. I think you’d be more comfortable on the socailist blog.

Posted by: David C. at April 23, 2006 03:56 PM
Comment #142522

David C.:

The bellicosity of your post almost defys a legitmate response—almost. That you think the US would get off scott-free from the nuclear attack on two Moslem cities is the height of insanity.

I believe that any engagement Americans decide to inflict on non-belligerent countries should have casualties—then we know we’ve paid the price for our convictions.

Any use of nuclear weapons would have a price beyond description, and that you cavalierly suggest that there would be little or none is unconscionable. Part of your mentality allows for this casual discussion put forth by the Bush administration of bunker-buster nuclear weapons use in Iran. WE HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THE TRUE RAMIFICATIONS OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS USE IN THE MIDDLE EAST WOULD BE. Anybody who says they do is a liar.

But I can assure you this—we use nuclear weapons and the price will be beyond what any rational country would consider a fair one—and the price would take many generations to “pay off”, if ever.

Posted by: Tim Crow at April 23, 2006 04:25 PM
Comment #142525

adrienne, likes the way phx8 chews his opposition to bits! well reading this post it looks like jim c was holding his own until he got tagged teamed. same goes for the eagle. and rhinehold. well at least they had there say. and the people can decide. independent post i wonder. when someone says carter was better than reagan! it makes me wonder!

Posted by: mb at April 23, 2006 04:32 PM
Comment #142527

Dave C,

“… If we were men (not gender men, but the kind of people who cared enough about themselves and their country to defend it), we would have nuked two random, or not so random Muslim cities on Sept 12. Had we done that, we would not need to invade anyone.”

Advocating the extermination of millions of innnocent human beings is disgusting and deserves condemnation. Incinerating innocent people is not proof of ‘manhood.’

Rhinehold,
There were calls for impeachment even before Bush was elected, and any Republican ran this risk. That happened because of the impeachment of Clinton. Those calls were motivated by revenge.

After 9/11, Bush commanded the American people’s support. He continued to command it through the invasion of Afghanistan.

Bush lost that support, and began facing calls for impeachment because of Iraq, among other recent scandals.

Is the new Iraqi government worse than Saddam Hussein? To tell the truth, I’m weary of posting links and covering the same ground about WMD’s & the lies from the run-up to the invasion. But to me, that’s an interesting question:

Is the new Iraqi government worse than Saddam Hussein?

In terms of killing and torturing, it’s hard to come up with metrics. The Shia militias use electric drills on the knees and face before execution. The Baathists seemed more varied in their methods. The Shia militias, the Death Squads, are executing a couple dozen a day. No one knows exactly how many per day were executed under Saddam Hussein.

The new Iraqi government consists of people who will oppose Israel to an extreme degree. No change there.

The new Iraqi government represents the majority of Iraqis, because the majority of Iraqis are Shias. The minority, the Sunnis, are no longer in power, and face suppression for a long time to come. If the majority crushes a minority, rather than vice versa, is that a good thing?

Bush #41 formed a coalition for the First Gulf War. A condition for Sunni Arab participation was that the US not occupy Iraq and take out Saddam. The US complied. We were calling the shots, yet embraced this restriction, & allowed Saddam Hussein to remain in power. Why?

The reason is geopolitics. At the time, Iran was extremely hostile to the US. The same is true today. This new Iraqi government places the Shias in a powerful position. Iranian and Iraqi Shias are about to control a substantial portion of the world’s oil- (or more accurately, their oil, which the world wants)- and given the bad relationship between the US and Iran, placing Iranian-allied Iraqis in power is a terrible idea.

Furthermore, it contributes to the cause of Muslim fundamentalism. Saddam Hussein & the Baathists were secular. This new Iraqi government is anything but secular.

We’re caught making a fundamental mistake. We want to see respect for Human Rights; it may or may not include democracy as a means of government, but the Bush administration confuses democracy with Human Rights.


Posted by: phx8 at April 23, 2006 04:40 PM
Comment #142535

All:

Four reasons not to attack Iran by a former State Dept. official:

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-op-brzezinski23apr23,0,3700317.story?coll=la-news-comment-opinions

Posted by: Tim Crow at April 23, 2006 05:35 PM
Comment #142558

Mb,
Yes, Carter was a better president than Reagan. At any rate, Carter was certainly a more honest president than Reagan. Did you know that, while in office, Reagan increased his personal wealth more than any other president in US history? Knowing how dearly Republicans cherish qualities relating to character, as witnessed in the impeachment of Clinton, such Republicans would certainly prefer Carter over Reagan. Unless, of course, performance is what really counts, in which case Republicans would prefer Clinton over Reagan. But who, oh who, would prefer Bush?

Tag teaming? Well, when a president receives a 33% approval rating (according to the lastest FOX news poll), it more or less suggests for every person who approves of Bush’s performance, two people disapprove. 33%! It’s a remarkably low number. How low, how low; what arrogant yet incompetent boobery, to sink to such depths in the public’s esteem!

Posted by: phx8 at April 23, 2006 07:28 PM
Comment #142568

David C.

People who describe making war as a form of masculinity have much bigger problems than just politics. Latent Homosexuality comes to mind.

Posted by: gergle at April 23, 2006 08:05 PM
Comment #142570

carter has a nuclear sub. kind of ironic the man who set nuclear power back forty years? president Reagan has a aircraft carrier and a airport. carter was a flop and afraid of a rabbit, and 22% interest rates and super high inflation ie the highest misery index ever, yea i know it is someone else’s fault, like ford or ??? and a he was a boob! also! and uses a funeral for a bully pulpit, no class.

Posted by: mb at April 23, 2006 08:16 PM
Comment #142571
Illegal aliens, and the pro-illegal alien lobbyists, want so bad to believe the U.S. will crumble without them.

It is a total myth, since illegal aliens cost tax payers a net loss of over $70 billion per year ($87 billion by some recent estimates).

Theres a flip side to that d.a.n. The increase in the cost of fruit, vegetables, meat, kitchen labor, yard work, etc will go up due to less exploitable labor around. These people “abuse” the healthcare system because they don’t get any form of insurance and don’t qualify for any poverty benefits for insurace, since they are here illegally. If any business had American citizens working as many hours as they do, then they would be compensated with A. higher wages and B. health insurance. What the businesses are doing, by hiring the huge numbers of illegals, is transfering the cost from themselves onto the general tax system. This works because its a net profitable scenario.

I am against having a large illegal population, but I support the hard working people who have made a life for themselves here, and am tired of hearing about how they are abusing American generosity. These are the hardest and most miserable jobs in the country, and these people are paid extremely poorly to do them.

I’ll be out in the protests on May Day, I recomend anyone whos on the fence go out and actually talk to the people these laws will be affecting, then make your decision.

Posted by: iandanger at April 23, 2006 08:18 PM
Comment #142574

Rhinehold, perhaps you are so partisan as to ignore the obvious. Perhaps you want government that tells you which laws it will abide by. Perhaps you want torture and secret prisons to be the face of America. Perhaps you want a federal gov’t spying on Americans at will. Perhaps you want an America rife with corruption. Perhaps you want another America than the one I aspire to be a part of.

Supoenas will bring the facts, but you know that. You choose to be obtuse, perhaps, because you have no other argument.

Posted by: gergle at April 23, 2006 08:29 PM
Comment #142575

phx8,

Tom Friedman made an interesting analysis today. If we stay in Iraq we are playing into Iran’s hands. If we withdraw the Iraqi Shia and Iranian Shia disputes will begin to flair. If we suceed in establishing a democracy in Iraq again Iran loses under pressure to reform.

He didn’t advocate immediate withdraw but at the same time we cannot play an intermediary between warring Iraqi factions.

Personally, I think Bush has hinted at a substantial draw down a few months ago and recently as a political move for the November elections here.

Posted by: gergle at April 23, 2006 08:42 PM
Comment #142577

Sicilian,

“Your list neglects to mention the many tin-horn dictators the USA pummled(Panama come to mind,Niagarga unter Truman,Grenada under Regan,Haitti…the lsi goes on actually)”

Our action in Panama was us removing a cia operative/puppet in favor of the guy who was elected by a very small majority, amid claims of fraud, and whom became more of a drug trafficing liablity than Noriega was. Besides that, Noriega never got to tell his whole story, or I’m sure we’d know a little more about the possibility of CIA drug dealing in order to raise money for the Contras. I don’t know if its true or not, but thats the allegation, only he never testified.

So, Panama: US puppet allows drug trade through his country long enough for the US-DA to crack down on him, we remove him, problem gets worse. Doesn’t really sound like America being the good guy.

Haiti: Hell, I don’t even have break that one down. It was obviously brilliantly succesful, because Haiti is a peaceful thriving democracy now.

Theres a flip side to every situation, and a lot of the “good” we do is actually us cleaning up our own messes.

We also aribtrarily supported dictatorships in Korea (took a long time to get a democracy out of them), Iran (the CIA actually did the leg work, all because we wanted to protect our oil interests. We went so far as to train their secret police, amazing!), Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, The United Arab Emirates, Vietnam (before and durring the war), Taiwan (which was a dictatorship under the Guomindang for a very long time), Iraq (pre-Kuwait fiasco, which Saddam actually thought he had US permission to participate in), and a number of other nations, all for the sake of United States interests.

We’re not standing up for whats right when we support dictators, we’re supporting suppression.

As an American who believes in the ideals of freedom and liberty, I believe that the supposedly liberal foreign policy from the USA over the last 50 years has actually been the combination of the most cynical and realist of views on the value of human life and freedom with the style and form of liberalism, only without any of the ideals.

In other words, its a mess, and we need to start cleaning things up, which means less involvement in the world, less world policing.

Posted by: iandanger at April 23, 2006 08:58 PM
Comment #142592

david r. might just be right about (protectionism coming ie blue collar talk around the water cooler). i have also heard a lot of talk from white collar workers around my water cooler, in my little optical store. offshore outsourcing and free trade. i help a lot of software people.

Posted by: RODNEY BROWN at April 23, 2006 10:31 PM
Comment #142596

Gergle,
Didn’t see Friedman, but yes, we’ll see what happens. I always figured we’d withdraw from Iraq this year. Republicans would benefit immensely if we could draw down by November. In addition, the Army & Marines are stretched thin, and withdrawal would ease the pressure on those services. Finally, I’ve said before, I think the economy will actually be the biggest issue by November. We’ll see. Once again, we’re currently spending a little under $2 billion per week on Iraq- the amount has increased each year- and the financial relief would be useful by November.

We’re entering another hurricane season. Somewhere, I read the Gulf waters are even warmer this year than last, and the upper atmosphere is still, which prevents shearing & aids hurricane formation. An awful lot of people resent spending billion after billion on Iraq, yet leaving so much yet to be done for our own citizens in NO. A major landfall along the eastern seaboard will make the financial situation even more dire.

I’ve always thought the Shias, Sunnis, & the Bushg administration would coordinate the US withdrawal. After all, they want us gone, and we’ll have some powerful incentives later this year.

While I’ll stick with the prediction of withdrawal this year, the buiilding of permanent bases concerns me. Also, the sheer size of the US Embassy in Iraq makes the odds of remaining longer in Iraq more debatable.

Posted by: phx8 at April 23, 2006 11:03 PM
Comment #142599
Rhinehold, perhaps you are so partisan as to ignore the obvious. Perhaps you want government that tells you which laws it will abide by. Perhaps you want torture and secret prisons to be the face of America. Perhaps you want a federal gov’t spying on Americans at will. Perhaps you want an America rife with corruption. Perhaps you want another America than the one I aspire to be a part of.

LOL, quite funny. So basically you can’t come up with any evidence of an impeachable offense and instead you attack me with what I mentioned earlier in my responses, that anyone the Dems can’t convince with shrill screams must just be an unreachable partisan…

Sorry, but let me give you a few facts. I’m a libertarian, I didn’t vote for Bush and have no like for him at all. I only wish that the Dems has put SOMEONE up as a presidential candidate that had some potential of being better, but they have failed the American citizens more than the Republicans have in that respect. I will be glad when he is not president anymore, though I hold out LITTLE hope that either party nominates anyone much better, there’s been little evidence of that happening at all. :(

Anyway, when you decide to actually come up with evidence, please provide it. Otherwise I think you’ve shown yourself incapable of actually debating the issue with reason and intelligence, instead you lash out with emotion and rhetoric. Such a shame.

Supoenas will bring the facts, but you know that. You choose to be obtuse, perhaps, because you have no other argument.

Obtuse… Hmmm, please explain to me how I am being obtuse because I want some evidence before I call for the impeachment of a sitting president. I thought that we held that right in the US dear…

Oh wait, you’re a DEM! The constitution just gets in the way for you… (the same goes for Reps, btw, just in case you think I’m being ‘partisan’).

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 23, 2006 11:19 PM
Comment #142603

Mb,

Carter had his rabbit, but Reagan earned his celluloid immortality with movies such as “Bedtime for Bonzo.”

Did you know Ronald Reagan debuted in Las Vegas with a troop of chimps?

Just out of curiousity, has anyone here on Watchblog ever sunk so low, they played second banana to a chimp?

Posted by: phx8 at April 23, 2006 11:40 PM
Comment #142605
iandanger wrote: Theres a flip side to that d.a.n. The increase in the cost of fruit, vegetables, meat, kitchen labor, yard work, etc will go up due to less exploitable labor around.
No. While some costs of some things would increase, the net loss now to the U.S. tax payers is over $70 billion, and that far exceeds the increased cost of vegetables, and other things, many times over. The profit is mostly for the employers of illegal aliens. Not the tax payers paying for the huge burden on education, healthcare, welfare, Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, law enforcement, voting, and prison systems.
These people “abuse” the healthcare system because they don’t get any form of insurance and don’t qualify for any poverty benefits for insurace, since they are here illegally.
That’s unfortunate, but that is not the tax payers fault? The tax payers are getting used too. Bought-and-paid-for incumbent politicians and greedy CEOs and employers are the ones who profit most. The tax payers are getting raped big time. The only way it is the tax payers fault is for continuing to vote for the same crooked politicians over and over, and allowing crooked politicians and greedy employers to get away with it.
If any business had American citizens working as many hours as they do, then they would be compensated with A. higher wages and B. health insurance. What the businesses are doing, by hiring the huge numbers of illegals, is transfering the cost from themselves onto the general tax system. This works because its a net profitable scenario.
A profit for greedy employers. Not for tax payers. The net loss to tax payers is over $70 billion per year, and that does not even include the cost of the increased crime rates and crime that is typical of massive, uncontrolled illegal immigration.
I am against having a large illegal population, but I support the hard working people who have made a life for themselves here, and am tired of hearing about how they are abusing American generosity.
Then you want to have your cake and eat it too. Sure, most come for jobs, but 32% of illegal aliens recieve welfare and 29% of prisoners are illegal aliens.
These are the hardest and most miserable jobs in the country, and these people are paid extremely poorly to do them.
Sure, because they are being used by greedy employers. And, government is complicit, because Walmart and other greedy employers want more profit. The people that are profiting most are not tax payers. Those profiting most are greedy CEOs and the primary stock holders.
I’ll be out in the protests on May Day, I recomend anyone whos on the fence go out and actually talk to the people these laws will be affecting, then make your decision.
Good. That’s your right. Above, you say “I am against having a large illegal population” , and then you say “I’ll be out in the protests on May Day”. Go figure?

BTW, no one can blame illegal aliens for wanting to come here.
We let hundreds of thousands immigrate legally every year.
But the pie can’t get any bigger.
It is costing tax payers $70 billion per year, after all things are considered (except the cost of crime, which is very difficult to calculate).
No anger should be directed at illegal aliens simply looking for work.
That is a common tactic, along with race, color, and ethnicity, that is used to imply that those that oppose illegal immigration are racists, and it total ignores the many problems stemming from illegal immigration.

But, don’t worry.
Do-nothing, bought-and-paid-for incumbent politicians will never do anything.
And, everyone loves their senators and representatives.
Democrats want more votes to regain control, and Republicans want cheap labor and an underpaid underclass. This entire immigration matter was so important, that congress went on vacation without resolving it. Not that they ever will anyway.

This entire subject will be forgotten immediately after the November elections. It’s a win-win for both Democrats and Republicans, and a lose-lose for American tax payers who fall for the false and lame claim that their vegetables will become more expensive. The American tax payer gets screwed (as usual). Perhaps that is what they deserve though, since they allow it.
Illegal aliens will get amnesty, and we will see 12 million illegal aliens turn into 14, 18, 24, 36, 50 million, and the $70 billion in annual net losses will turn into $300 billion.

Posted by: d.a.n at April 23, 2006 11:58 PM
Comment #142617

phx8, reagan and bonzo it was a good movie. at least he had a sense of humor.but you forgot the film knute rockne all american were he played the role of george gipp ie the gipper!

Posted by: mb at April 24, 2006 01:30 AM
Comment #142621

Rhinehold, I apologize if I’ve mischaracterized your stance. Sometimes reading these threads is confusing.

Actually I’m not a Democrat. Being a realist I would prefer they gain the House to counter some of the shennanigans of the Republicans. Ideally, I’d like to clean out both houses and K street and watch Bush serve time. I know that won’t happen.

Being obtuse… If you don’t recognize that Bush is corrupt and misguided and anti democratic, well then I’ll pray for you, even if I am an atheist.

I had to deal with him as governor here in Texas. He’s a crook and a liar. He is destroying our government. He has the makings of a sick tyrant. Cynical elitism mixed with a father he cannot surpass and a domineering mother.

I don’t recall calling for impeachment. Is he vunerable to it if there is a swing in the house? You bet. I’ll take those odds. Will he avoid it by invading Iran? He may try. I sincerely hope Americans have more sense than to fall for that one again.

If one needs evidence that one is being pissed on while being told it’s raining, frankly, one is an idiot.

Posted by: gergle at April 24, 2006 01:54 AM
Comment #142622

d.a.n.

The net 70 billion dollar loss you estimate does not actually reflect the contributions of the illegals to our economy, because they are being abused in order to produce things cheaply. If you get rid of them, prices on meat and produce will go through the roof, these are things everyone uses, its inescapable. I do my best to purchase conscientiously (I buy from local family farmers and wouldn’t eat factory farm meat even if I did eat meat), but no one can avoid the economic reality that they are a cornerstone of our economy. Yes, they are a net cost to the government, but to our society, their economic contribution is quite large. Go see the people living 12-20 per home, look at how they have to live to stay here and pick our fruit, kill our cattle and clean our lawns, then tell me whom is realling taking one for the team. When your food reaches its real cost, you’ll understand what I mean.

Here is my approach to illegal immigration (I’m actually helping to organize a protest, so don’t associate my approach with everyone elses). We need to secure the border and stop people from comming over, this is certain, but what must be implemented simultaneously is a program allowing people to come to our country if they want to. Dear God, imagine that, allowing the tired huddled masses to come here and make a life for themselves. What I’m saying is build a fence if we must, full fence, virtual fence, whatever works, then create a more realistic green card situation (which would be easier without the influx of illegal immigrants). I have no problem with amnesty if we create a reasonable legal avenue to bring people into this country, make them legal, give them social security numbers, and enforce minimum wage laws wherever the workers are working. You aren’t going to get rid of them, and just because you were born in America does not truly give you any more right to be here than anyone else. Wow, you were born on one side of an imaginary line, this doesn’t make you better than anyone else. America is an ideal, we don’t base citizenship on lineage the way Germany and France do, and considering the problems those countries have with their immigrant worker populations, I wouldn’t try and replicate their approach to the issue.

I’m also against national id systems and biometric identification, because I don’t want the government having any more power to track and monitor its people than it already has. The first step to arbitrary power is giving the government the tools to implement itself upon you. The next step is a person with no respect for the law of the land and limited government. We have one of those in power now, so I’d like him to have as little opportunity to peak into mine or anyone else’s private life as possible.

No national ID’s, no national databases tracking everyone’s movements, net habits, spending patterns, etc. Want to end terrorism, get our troops out of the middle east altogether and find an energy source thats more reliable, then worry about the small chunck of nut job right wing extremists who want to murder the jews and enslave the blacks.

More government = bad.

And thats comming from a member of the green party.

Posted by: iandanger at April 24, 2006 02:08 AM
Comment #142662
iandanger wrote: d.a.n. The net $70 billion dollar loss you estimate does not actually reflect the contributions of the illegals to our economy, because they are being abused in order to produce things cheaply.
Actually, it does reflect everything, and that is a very conservative value, since the cost of the crime and increased crime rates and disease was not included in the calculation. In 1996, it was $24.4 billion. It has tripled in 10 years.
iandanger wrote: If you get rid of them, prices on meat and produce will go through the roof, these are things everyone uses, its inescapable.
I don’t think so. Besides, an underpaid underclass does not justify it. And, if employers are suddenly forced to stop mistreating them, pay taxes, provide healthcare, etc., then the CEOs and employers’ profits will shrink, and you would then have a lot of unemployed to boot.
iandanger wrote: Yes, they are a net cost to the government, but to our society, their economic contribution is quite large.
Not the government. Tax payers.
iandanger wrote: When your food reaches its real cost, you’ll understand what I mean.
That’s fine with me. The cost will be less than the net loss of $70 billion per year, and the untold cost of crime and problems stemming from massive, uncontrolled illegal immigration.
iandanger wrote: Here is my approach to illegal immigration (I’m actually helping to organize a protest, so don’t associate my approach with everyone elses). We need to secure the border and stop people from comming over, this is certain, …
That’s good. Because, some deported criminals have returned dozens of times to commit crimes over and over. Without a secured border, there’s no way to stop that.
but what must be implemented simultaneously is a program allowing people to come to our country if they want to.
In controlled numbers. Crime, chaos, and societel disorder is the typical result of massive, uncontrolled, illegal immigration. History is littered with similar instances.
iandanger wrote: What I’m saying is build a fence if we must, full fence, virtual fence, whatever works,
A monitored chain-link-fence/gravel-road would suffice (cost of about $8 billion, and $10 billion per year there after). That cost is far below the current net losses.
iandanger wrote: then create a more realistic green card situation (which would be easier without the influx of illegal immigrants). I have no problem with amnesty if we create a reasonable legal avenue to bring people into this country, make them legal, give them social security numbers, and enforce minimum wage laws wherever the workers are working.
The amnesty in 1986 of 3 million illegal aliens more than quadrupled the problem. Now we have 12 million.

Do you realize though, once we give them citizenship, and they can go to authorities to report employers who take advantage of the workers, they won’t want to employee them any more. The greedy employers don’t want American citizens. They want illegal aliens that they can abuse.

iandanger wrote: You aren’t going to get rid of them, and just because you were born in America does not truly give you any more right to be here than anyone else. Wow, you were born on one side of an imaginary line, this doesn’t make you better than anyone else.
Never said any one was better than anyone else. That’s not the issue. Neither is race, color, nationality, or ethnicity.
iandanger wrote: America is an ideal, we don’t base citizenship on lineage the way Germany and France do, and considering the problems those countries have with their immigrant worker populations, I wouldn’t try and replicate their approach to the issue.
Of course not (we don’t base citizenship on lineage). But, it should be legal. The issue is that we simply can not let every one that wants to come here. The pie can not be made any larger. Allow every one that wants to come here to do so, and it will be ruined for everyone.
iandanger wrote: I’m also against national id systems and biometric identification, because I don’t want the government having any more power to track and monitor its people than it already has. The first step to arbitrary power is giving the government the tools to implement itself upon you. The next step is a person with no respect for the law of the land and limited government. We have one of those in power now, so I’d like him to have as little opportunity to peak into mine or anyone else’s private life as possible.
iandanger wrote: No national ID’s, no national databases tracking everyone’s movements, net habits, spending patterns, etc.

The government already knows all about you.
They manage (or mismanage) you Social Security.
The problem is, without a reliable identificaiton system, someone can pose as you. Biometrics makes that very difficult. Also, corrupt government is a separate issue.

iandanger wrote: Want to end terrorism, get our troops out of the middle east altogether and find an energy source thats more reliable, then worry about the small chunck of nut job right wing extremists who want to murder the jews and enslave the blacks.
Agreed. It’s time to get out of Iraq. It might reduce terrorism, but it won’t eliminate it. Deeply ingrained hatreds will take decades or centuries to quell.
iandanger wrote: More government = bad.
Agreed. Definitely. But, more reliable identification does not mean more government. Actually, financial institutions will be the first to start promoting new identificaiton systems that will make people’s financial accounts safer, and make identity theft very difficult. Not the government. Those that don’t want anything to do with it will merely be more vulnerable to identity theft (the fastest growing crime in the U.S.). Posted by: d.a.n at April 24, 2006 10:57 AM
Comment #142678

I definately agree that there is a large industry built around exploiting the illegal population, and that criminals and drug dealers walking accross our border is a bad thing, thats why I support a secure border (which is noticeably missing from our politician’s bills), because stopping them from comming over without papers is an important first step. The second step is allowing enough people through legally that only criminals will realistically try and get through our border defenses.

The problem, of course, remains what do we do with the people that are already here. I’m against making them felons, and I’m against attempting to track down and deport all of them, because I don’t think its worth what it would cost. I know you advocate a stringent enforcement of the laws against employing illegal aliens, but I don’t think any sort of national biometric identification system is a realistic goal, simply because the logistics of setting it up would be astonishingly complicated. The fact that our government can’t keep social security numbers straight makes me worry about their ability to actually implement so complicated a system for what is now a nation of 300 million people. It would be expensive and difficult and won’t happen any time soon. Thats why I’m for the earned citizenship plan. If you stay here, you keep working, go to the back of the line, and have a chance to become an American citizen. They’re already here, and the changes that would be necessary to essentially force them out of our country are so large an undertaking that it couldn’t realistically be implemented quickly, even if the congress was behind it. We have to do something about the 12 million or so illegal immigrants that are here, I see earned citizenship as the most probable solution.

Posted by: iandanger at April 24, 2006 12:37 PM
Comment #142737

“adrienne, likes the way phx8 chews his opposition to bits!”

Indeed, I do. The man is no slouch at keeping up with current events and his articulate arguments reflect that fact, along with clear logic and obvious intelligence. Additionally, on occasion he’s also been known to be rather witty and funny. I find it impossible not to admire all that.

“well reading this post it looks like jim c was holding his own until he got tagged teamed. same goes for the eagle. and rhinehold.”

Tag teamed? Please. No serious, well-reasoned argument was ever lost for that paltry a reason. If people can’t take the heat of opposing arguments on a blog, they should stay out of the kitchen.

“well at least they had there say. and the people can decide.”

Yes, we all get to have our say and decide which arguments are better reasoned. In my opinion, phx8 did so, hence a bit of praise seemed warranted.

phx8:
“Just out of curiousity, has anyone here on Watchblog ever sunk so low, they played second banana to a chimp?”

Unfortunately, at the moment the needs of our entire country seem to be playing second banana to the whims of a chimp.

Posted by: Adrienne at April 24, 2006 05:11 PM
Comment #142769
The problem, of course, remains what do we do with the people that are already here. I’m against making them felons, and I’m against attempting to track down and deport all of them, because I don’t think its worth what it would cost.
Yes, that’s a good point and a very important one. We can not deport 12 million illegal aliens. But we should not give them amnesty either because it is unfair to those that try to immigrate legally, and amnesty for 12 million will repeat what amnesty for 3 million in 1986 … the problem will quadruple.

Since we practically invited illegal aliens here, we should show some compassion. Making illegal aliens felons for merely being here illegally is not the solution.

SOLUTION:

  • Secure the borders (cost approximately $8 billion for a road/fence along the southern 2000 mile border, and $10 billion per year for personnel and equipment); That $18 billion is far less than the net losses of $24.4 billion due to illegal aliens in 1996 (net annual losses are now estimated to be about $70 billion per year). That is far less than the $29 billion for pork-barrel in year 2005 and $27.3 billion of pork-barrel in 2004 ;

  • Require ALL employers to use the Social Security Verification System for ALL hires; prosecute violators;

  • Deny ALL illegal alien births automatic citizenship. End anchor-baby blue passports;

  • Deny ALL illegal aliens a FREE K-12 education.

  • Deny ALL illegal aliens ANY and ALL public benefits (e.g. welfare, medicaid, healthcare, Medicaid, Social Security, Medicare, education, tax payer funded college tuitions, etc.);

  • Deny ALL illegal aliens driver’s licenses and in-state college tuition.

  • Deport all incarcerated criminal aliens immediately; after the fence/road is in place;

  • Provide (at our own cost) $300 and pre-paid transporation for each illegal alien that volunteers to return to their homeland; the remainder of illegal aliens will eventually leave on their own or request transporation to return to their homeland, since there will be no more freebies or jobs;

  • Verify ALL voter’s citizenship, before permission to vote.

I know you advocate a stringent enforcement of the laws against employing illegal aliens, but I don’t think any sort of national biometric identification system is a realistic goal, simply because the logistics of setting it up would be astonishingly complicated.
Yes, greedy employers should be prosecuted, because they are complicit in many crimes. Half don’t pay the matching taxes, and take advantage of the illegal aliens. And, how greedy is it to lure illegal aliens here, some risking their life, for sub-minimum wage jobs? Voters are complicit in allowing politicians to ignore the problem. So, we’re all culpable, and we should help finance their return to their homeland.

Regarding biometrics, the government already keeps a lot of data about us. Biometric data is just more data, and the scanning equipment is getting cheaper all the time. The hand-geometry, iris-scanner, and finger-print scanners are already being used by corporations. Iris scan is very quick, accurate, and cheap. So are finger-prints. Those two metrics combined would make it damn hard to falsify or steal someone else’s identity. Also, watch banks and financial institutions start to provide it as an added service for your and their protection against fraud and identity theft.

Posted by: d.a.n at April 24, 2006 07:01 PM
Comment #142825

gergle,
That’s not a very sensitive comment now is it. You might hurt a homo’s feelings by inferring that latent homosexuality is undesirable or weak, and we couldn’t have that, could we?

BTW, for millions of years, men defended their families, clans and countries like men. When they stopped doing that, those families and countries ceased to exist. Only in YOUR mind does homosexuality enter into that equation.

Posted by: David C. at April 24, 2006 10:18 PM
Comment #142827

phx8,
Defending your country, whether “manly” (and to think I took the time to clarify the term when I used it, and selected people just ignore that clarification for their own purposes, lol) or not, is the right thing to do. If we care about our country, we will defend it, vigorously if neccessary. As we are learning the hard way, there are no “innocent” muslims.

Posted by: David C. at April 24, 2006 10:23 PM
Comment #142881

“If we care about our country, we will defend it, vigorously if neccessary.”

Oh, you mean like the Iraqi Insurgents are doing in their country just now?

Nice of you to admit it, you Manly Man, you.

Posted by: Betty Burke at April 25, 2006 05:37 AM
Comment #142942

David C,

You are opperating with a very foolish view of how geopolitics and warafare work. First off, we DID fight an all out war against our enemies, the Iraqi Army, and defeated them resolutely. When Baghdad fell and Saddam disapeared, we had won the war. The insurgency (Definition of insurgent - One rising in REVOLT) is a decentralized resistance trying to remove the United States from occupying Iraq.

There are terrorists in Iraq, but mostly its Iraqis who want us OUT. When you say we should fight them all out, destroying their cities, etc, what exactly do you think that would accomplish. If what you are suggesting is that we destroy cities which the insurgents take, me mostly do, we level half the buildings and leave half the city homeless or jobless, and all this is doing is making things worse. We aren’t dealing with a war anymore, we are trying to give security so a government can take over, but our military isn’t a police force and hasn’t been trained to do the job they are doing now. The army corp on engineers has failed miserably at delivering services to Iraq, and instead of focusing on their strengths, they’re being deployed in areas they are not qualified to deal with. We overpaid contractors who lied and didn’t do the jobs they said they would, and who hired Americans and European supplies for rebuilding, despite the Iraqis having a large skilled and unemployed workforce, and the industry to produce much of what would have been needed for reconstruction.

As it stands the Iraq war was a success, go us, we beat Saddam Hussein. He was using our old military hardware that we had sold to him 20 years ago, not much of a surprise. What we have failed to do is occupy the country, and a series of major screwups have left them far worse off than they were before we got there (anyone who says otherwise can look at the casualty rates, the unemployment rates, and the number of people getting clean water. People were far less likely to be put in a situation where they might die under Saddam).

This is not an issue of the will to fight and kill, this is an issue of establishing order once you topple a government, otherwise you have anarchy. This is why our military force (structured around quick actions not prolonged deployment) has not brought peace to the chaos, there aren’t enough of them to police the country, and they went in to villiages as a military force instead of a peacekeeping police force. Theres a reason cops didn’t use missle launchers and automatic machine guns durring the LA riots, the goal was to bring peace, not to destroy Los Angeles, because what good does bringing peace do when the people you pacify don’t have homes any more.

Now, about tactically nuking certain muslim cities. I don’t exactly know why this would be a good thing, because ordinary citizens of these countries have nothing to do with the problem we see now. We would have necessarily had to attack either Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan (most of the hijackers were Saudi and they trained in Afghanistan). There was no targets for nuclear weapons in Afghanistan, and the Saudis, love them or not, are not a group we can mess with, due to their control of oil, and more importantly, the large quantity of US government bonds they have purchased over the years. They could single handedly sink our currency simply by cashing in.

If you’re talking about anywhere else, that would obviously be an act of war against an uninvolved nation, and would likely lead to our ejection from the United Nations security council, and UN resolutions against US. Do you really think the world would stand for us commiting an act of war against civillians simply because we had had two buildings blown up? You’re talking about the capability to kill hundreds of thousands of people, none of whom would have been involved in the world trade center attack. This is not how warfare works, plain and simple, you cannot arbitrarily attack other nations because of the predominant race or religion, and if you think we could survive the rest of the world turning on us, realize that Japan China and Saudi Arabia all have enough invested in our government that any of the three could single-handedly destroy our currency by cashing in tomorrow. Also realize that if we nuked a city or two at random, we would likely be faced with another oil embargo, which could cripple our economy on its own. The ‘73 embargo was bad enough, we now produce less oil at home and relly on oil for more of our energy needs. The repercussions of this action would have been tremendous.

We aren’t dealing with a conventional enemy, Al Queda is a very difficult organization to pursue because it is not a national entity. Al Queda isn’t even a central authority, its a network Osama Bin Laden established to help train and fund resistance movements around the muslim world. Each movement is its own entity, it is not an Al Queda cell as originally suggested, it is a resistance movement all its own, and the connection to Al Queda is financial and organizational. These groups are fighting against totalitarian governments all over the world, trying to convert people to radical wahabi islam and establish a muslim government similar to what existed in Afghanistan. The problem with this conflict is the same problem we had in vietnam, we want to get the people to stop supporting Al Queda and radical Islam, but what we are doing to secure this is invading countries and leveraging support from dictators to do our fighting on the ground. If we were serious about stopping Al Queda, we would try and encourage democracy accross the region. We would stop buying oil from Saudi Arabia, we would start talking straight with these dictatorships, and support the needs of the people. Instead we are seen as foreign invaders imposing ourselves upon them. This is now how we beat Al Queda. To beat Al Queda, we need to do our part to remove the dictatorships in that region WITHOUT military force. When we act militarily, we are seen as interfering with their self determinism, and are seen as invaders. If we invade, they have the right to resist us. This means that we are creating enemies out of the very people who’s hearts and minds we seek.

Al Queda exists to overthrow dictatorships, we claim we want to do the same, as long as we support dictators accross the middle east, we will be seen as hypocrites and will never win the hearts and minds of the Muslim world.

Posted by: iandanger at April 25, 2006 11:23 AM
Comment #143437

David C. said: “As we are learning the hard way, there are no “innocent” muslims.”

Appears David C. is a prime candidate for buying the concept of exterminating a few million Americans right here at home. I mean our own Muslims are guilty in his own words. He either misspoke, or his Nazi type comment isn’t worth the electricity to display their words.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 27, 2006 02:50 AM
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