It is currently Sat May 30, 2020 9:31 am

All times are UTC




Post new topic This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 3737 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41 ... 187  Next
Author Message
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 5:38 pm 
Offline
Pleasantly Twisted
User avatar

Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2006 6:35 pm
Posts: 8999
Location: Black Creek Bottoms
Quote:
Obama is getting a very small percentage of the white vote except among youth and the highly educated.


That didn't seem to be the case in IA. Nor really in NH. Nor even in NV. And 25% of the white vote in a deep south state for an African-American candidate...OK, compare THAT to Jesse Jackson's share of the same vote 20 years ago.

There are certainly states where Obama is going to struggle to get a large chunk of the white vote. They are functionally identical with the states where Clinton would have to struggle for that exact same vote: that is, the South. The one state I think she has a chance in where he may not is FL, because of its lousy age demographics. On the other hand, I think he can pull a number of Midwestern/Plains/Rocky Mountain purple states over to the blue side of the line, and that's not likely to happen for her.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 5:56 pm 
Offline
1000%
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 12:41 am
Posts: 36340
Faramond, good posts. I don't (as I think you know) completely agree with you, but I think you make very cogent arguments, which definitely help give me keep things in perspective.

_________________
In gratitude forever … .


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 6:06 pm 
Offline
Best friends forever
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 10:33 pm
Posts: 11961
Location: Over there.
Cerin wrote:
Faramond wrote:
Quote:
The Bush administration has been a disaster for the country and for the world.


This is a complete exaggeration.

These are both valid opinions.


Quote:
That doesn't make his administration a disaster.

There are many developments that contribute to the (I believe widely-held) view that this administration has been a disaster. Here are a few off the top of my head:

1. Gutting of environmental protection law.
2. Insertion of unqualified political operatives into every aspect of government resulting in the degradation of government function.
3. Politicization of every aspect of government.
4. Iraq policy that has devastated our armed forces, our standing in the world, and the Iraqi populace, contributed to Mideast instability, greatly strengthened Iran, increased terrorist recruitment and increased the debt-load on future generations.
5. Expansion of Presidential powers that have thrown our government out of balance.
6. Tax cuts for the extremely wealthy that have wiped out a budget surplus and greatly increased wealth inequity in the country.
7. The degradation of long-held values, as represented in Guantanamo, the torture doctrine, the withdrawal of hapeus corpus protections, etc.

You may not agree that any of these developments are problems; I happen to regard the cumulative effect as disastrous. Difference of opinion, both valid.


Well said, Cerin. With point 4 being the most important on "the world stage". Still, it is certainly not necessary for Americans to think of world opinion when electing a president. It is probably even a bad idea: the first duty of the president has to be to the USA, to protect America's interests to the best of his ability.

Having said that, we get into the discussion of just what IS good for American interests. Has Mr. Bush been careful to look after American interests? IMHO, he has failed so dismally that it is tragic.

Ms. Clinton carries a lot of baggage. But her ability or desire or need or whatever the hell it is to be where and what people "want" her to be: is that a bad thing? Maybe she is a consensus-senser.

I admire John McCain a lot, but I think he would be a bad president. I wish the Republicans would nominate Guiliani, or failing him, Romney.

We used to say that the Canadian Conservative party didn't need enemies, as it regularly shot itself in the foot or performed some other act of self-immolation. Looks like the Democrats in the US have the same problem.

_________________
Dig deeper.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 6:31 pm 
Offline
Living in hope
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 12:43 am
Posts: 40006
Location: Sailing the luminiferous aether
vison wrote:
We used to say that the Canadian Conservative party didn't need enemies, as it regularly shot itself in the foot or performed some other act of self-immolation. Looks like the Democrats in the US have the same problem.


Word. :roll:

Faramond, I agree with Voronwë that your views bring some much-needed perspective, whether I find myself able to agree with them or not.

_________________
“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 7:54 pm 
Offline
Reads while walking
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 11:05 pm
Posts: 4656
Faramond, you were taking issue with me, so I just want to say that the reason I think the word "disaster" is absolutely justifiable in this case is the following:

If an earthquake, tsunami, or whatever had killed as many people as our choice to go to war in Iraq has killed, we would call that event a "disaster," and we would be correct to do so.

It appalls me more than I can say that my country has chosen to create what turns out to have been a disaster -- and with ample reason to suspect such a war would be a disaster. :(

What's more, by alienating the rest of the world, we have set the stage for future "disasters" of the man-made sort.

All of this makes me very, very unhappy.

And I would say the same if Bush were a Democrat! It is not partisan politics that is making me criticize Bush at this point.

After all, even in this thread I have explained how unhappy I am about Hillary Clinton's despicable behavior around the war.

I am not first and foremost a Democrat -- I'm "worse" than that! :D I'm a radical Quaker pacifist.

And McCain's position on the war in Iraq is, from the perspective of a rad-Quake-peacelover, dreadful.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 9:10 pm 
Offline
bioalchemist
User avatar

Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 12:08 am
Posts: 11389
Location: the dry land
Teremia wrote:
And I would say the same if Bush were a Democrat! It is not partisan politics that is making me criticize Bush at this point.

After all, even in this thread I have explained how unhappy I am about Hillary Clinton's despicable behavior around the war.


:agree:

I can't in good conscience support a warhawk. Of either party (and Ron Paul is far too libertarian for my tastes).


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 9:12 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2005 8:37 am
Posts: 5297
Location: Melbourne, Victoria
Mitt Romney’s problem doesn’t seem so much his Mormonism (that might be an issue) but his lack of appeal to non-conservatives. John McCain and (to a lesser extent) Mike Huckabee both can pull non-traditional Republican voters over to their side. Romney, though, is more like a conservative John Kerry. He is more acceptable to the entire Republican Party than his competition, but lacks draw outside it. Polls (and my instincts) suggest that Clinton could beat him, although he could probably hold the Reagan coalition together.

Obama is almost certainly more electable than Clinton in the general election. He is still something of an unknown quantity. Conservatives don’t like him for being a liberal Senator, but he doesn’t draw the same visceral hatred that Clinton does. He might win moderate votes, and convince conservatives to stay home. He is also able to appeal to some of the traditionally apolitical (poor African-Americans and young people), and is a powerful orator who can win people over with words. Based on the numbers of primary votes cast so far, he seems to have more appeal in purple and red states – he got more votes than any other candidate, Democratic or Republican, in Iowa and South Carolina, and it’s certainly possible he could win both in the general election.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 9:48 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2007 6:37 pm
Posts: 3728
Location: Engineering a monarchist coup d'etat
Quote:
6. Tax cuts for the extremely wealthy that have wiped out a budget surplus and greatly increased wealth inequity in the country.


That's simply untrue. You may not like how the tax cuts were distributed (remember, they applied across the board, to the middle and working classes as well), but there has been a net increase in tax revenue in every year under Bush. The deficit has exploded thanks to unrestrained spending (for which Bush shares the blame with Congresses of both parties).

----------------------------

BTW, on 'hundreds of thousands of deaths:'
the World Health Organization report lately released concludes total Iraqi violent deaths since March 2003 (including military and insurgents, and from common crime) comes to 151,000- less than a quarter than the Johns-Hopkins/Lancet 'study' (which amounted to a poll of 1200 people) that the anti-war and anti-US crowd love to cite.

The WHO figure makes sense to me, given the tempo of military operations. For the Lancet numbers to be true, there would have to have been 5000 deaths per week- that's two Battles of Fallujah raging nonstop from 2003 onward.


Shirriff note from Prim: The discussion of the Iraq War, which includes response to the second part of this poast, has been moved to the following topic:

viewtopic.php?t=1444


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 12:04 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 2:10 am
Posts: 6264
solicitr wrote:
Quote:
6. Tax cuts for the extremely wealthy that have wiped out a budget surplus and greatly increased wealth inequity in the country.


That's simply untrue.

It is true.


Quote:
You may not like how the tax cuts were distributed (remember, they applied across the board, to the middle and working classes as well), but there has been a net increase in tax revenue in every year under Bush. The deficit has exploded thanks to unrestrained spending (for which Bush shares the blame with Congresses of both parties).

I didn't refer to tax revenue. I referred to cuts in tax rates for extremely wealthy people who didn't need them, to the tune of about a trillion dollars, if I recall correctly. That means that we have a trillion dollars less to spend than we would have had had those wealthy folks not been given their desperately needed tax 'relief'. Yes, rates were cut for everyone, but that amounts to a hill of beans from the less wealthy, compared to what they add up to from the top 1%.

I didn't refer to the deficit, I referred to the surplus, which was wiped out by the tax cuts.

_________________
Avatar photo by Richard Lykes, used with permission.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 2:45 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2007 6:37 pm
Posts: 3728
Location: Engineering a monarchist coup d'etat
If there is an across-the-board tax cut, it benefits the wealthy disproportionately because they pay by far the most taxes in the first place. You say rather bzarrely that the rates are the goal, not the revenue. Sorry: revenue is the only goal. Now, if the goal is to maximize revenue and you can do it by cutting taxes, why not? Do you wish simply to confiscate wealth because you don't like it? Addresing income inequlity in this way is like addressing height inequality by decapitating tall people.

The second part of your response makes no sense. If revenue was enhanced, than there should have been no issue with the surplus. Surplus and deficit are measures of exactly the same thing, revenue vs. expenditures. With no net loss of revenue, in fact an increase, then the culprit is spending.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 6:24 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 2:10 am
Posts: 6264
solicitr wrote:
You say rather bzarrely that the rates are the goal, not the revenue.

I did not say rates are the goal. I was correcting your mistatement of my initial post. I said there were tax cuts, you said there were not. Tax cuts means that the percentage of tax individuals pay is lowered. Bush proposed and Congress passed tax cuts at the beginning of his first term. That means money that would have been paid in taxes was not. We thereby lost a trillion dollars in revenue that we would have had, wiping out a budget surplus of approximately the same amount.

_________________
Avatar photo by Richard Lykes, used with permission.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 6:41 am 
Offline
Living in hope
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 12:43 am
Posts: 40006
Location: Sailing the luminiferous aether
Cerin wrote:
solicitr wrote:
You say rather bzarrely that the rates are the goal, not the revenue.

I did not say rates are the goal. I was correcting your mistatement of my initial post. I said there were tax cuts, you said there were not. Tax cuts means that the percentage of tax individuals pay is lowered. Bush proposed and Congress passed tax cuts at the beginning of his first term. That means money that would have been paid in taxes was not. We thereby lost a trillion dollars in revenue that we would have had, wiping out a budget surplus of approximately the same amount.


That's a valid point. Maybe total income tax revenues did increase, but the money lost that would have been taken in without the cuts still counts in the loss of the surplus and the return of deficits. Presumably (if you aren't into Reaganomics) every nickel of it.

And the increased revenue may be entirely due to the fact that people like my family <waves>, a little toward the upper end of middle class by most measures, saw no cut at all. I own my own small business and pay taxes that are double the rates on ultrahigh investment incomes. I might even call them punitive, on a grumpy day. But then I've got some nerve, trying to make my own way in life.

Cerin wrote:
solicitr wrote:
Colin Powell (as so often) was right: We broke it, we bought it.

No, George Bush broke it but refused to buy it. He made a gift of the IOU to future generations. Other people will be paying for it in countless ways long after he and the rest of the geniuses responsible are dead.


Yup.

_________________
“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 7:00 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2007 6:37 pm
Posts: 3728
Location: Engineering a monarchist coup d'etat
Quote:
I did not say rates are the goal. I was correcting your mistatement of my initial post. I said there were tax cuts, you said there were not. Tax cuts means that the percentage of tax individuals pay is lowered. Bush proposed and Congress passed tax cuts at the beginning of his first term. That means money that would have been paid in taxes was not. We thereby lost a trillion dollars in revenue that we would have had, wiping out a budget surplus of approximately the same amount.


No, no, no. You were mistaken in confusing rates with revenue.

Of course there were tax cuts (actually a reversal of Clinton's tax increases) Where you are wrong is in claiming that they cost the government a trillion dollars. They did NOT. In fact they made the government money, from enhanced revenue resulting from economic growth.

An economy is a dynamicallly recursive system: what economists call elastic. Raising or lowering taxes can and often does have the paradoxical effect of decreasing or increasing the money the government actually collects. It's a maximization curve, something any engineer will be familiar with.

Imagine Acme Co makes and sells widgets. Its goal naturally is to maximize its profits. Now, if Acme underprices its widgets they won't make as much money as they could. Conversely, if the widgets are overpriced than fewer people will buy them and again, Acme won't be as profitable as they ought to be. The idea is to strike the right balance between marginal profit and total volume so as to make the most money, and businesses do this every day of the year.

Tax policy works in a similar fashion: if taxes are too high, they act as a drag on the economy and the government actually collects less tax revenue than it would have had it left well enough alone. Similarly, if they are too low then the gov't makes less than it would otherwise. Unfortunately the Federal Government has been on the back side of the curve ever since World War II, and nobody, not Kennedy nor Reagan nor Bush, has succeeded in cutting Federal consumption to an ideal level of circa 20% of GDP- but of course would be more GDP to take 20% of, and so represents more government income than a higher percentage of a smaller economy.

So again: Bush's tax cuts paid for themselves by creating more than four trillion dollars in taxable economic activity. We would have a surplus yet if Washington didn't spend like a drunken sailor.

Incidentally, the biggest surplus recorded, FY 2000, was less than a quarter of a trillion ($237B).


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 12:27 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 11:59 pm
Posts: 2335
The Democratic Debate is soon. This the big event! Hillary v Barack, mano a womano --- er something like that. I would really consider watching it but I'll likely be busy with other stuff. I hope some others will watch it and say who they think won in this thread. Obama really needs to do well in this debate to make up ground and catch Clinton.

It starts in just a half hour, at 8pm eastern time!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 12:32 am 
Offline
Living in hope
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 12:43 am
Posts: 40006
Location: Sailing the luminiferous aether
Thanks for the heads up, Faramond. Not exactly timed for California's convenience, is it?

_________________
“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 12:36 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 11:59 pm
Posts: 2335
True --- though I think CNN might repeat it later in the evening. Oh yeah, it's on CNN. Forgot to mention that.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 3:06 am 
Offline
1000%
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 12:41 am
Posts: 36340
I saw about half of it. It was remarkably civil. I thought Sen. Clinton came across very well. But (not surprisingly) I thought that Sen. Obama came across brilliantly. And based on the reactions of the crowd, that is how others reacted to. But I haven't seen any analysis yet. One thing that I found interesting is that they were both starting to take on McCain as the presumptive GOP nominee.

But the most overwhelming sense that I got from this debate was the historic nature of the occasion, which they both acknowledged, of having a black man and a woman as the last two candidates vying for a major Presidential nomination.

_________________
In gratitude forever … .


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 3:16 am 
Offline
Living in hope
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 12:43 am
Posts: 40006
Location: Sailing the luminiferous aether
I saw a little more than half of it. Good substance. Hillary seemed more polished overall, but she dodged more, too, and between the two I am more in synch with Obama's positions, in general.

I appreciated the generally cordial atmosphere. Going into the election, it would be unusually nice if the nominee had not already been crippled by the person who came in second.

_________________
“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 5:31 am 
Offline
bioalchemist
User avatar

Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 12:08 am
Posts: 11389
Location: the dry land
There's a climate change teach-in on my campus this week. This evening, I went to see the 11th hour and stuck around for a Q&A session with some local scientists afterward, including the director of the fuel cell group at NREL (and he had some very interesting things to say). Among the questions asked was "Who should we vote for?" The general consensus from the panel was, as far as climate change went, any Democrat and McCain was a good bet and beyond that it comes down to personal taste.

In light of the Obama phenomenon on the Dem side and the McCain phenomenon on the GOP side, I wonder is the establishment in both parties is taking notice. Obama is a rising, populist star, but he's not part of the machine and he's been making a big point of that. He's even been making a point of how he's going to change the machine. I'm not sure the machine likes that idea at all. McCain is, and long has been, a rogue. He does not obediently lay his views aside for the party platform like his peers and he is therefore seen as a loose cannon by the GOP establishment. Last time around, the GOP managed to squash him. Will they manage this time around or are they going to concede to their constituency?

And, on a complete side note, why is it that we don't just have a national primary?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 5:56 am 
Offline
Living in hope
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 12:43 am
Posts: 40006
Location: Sailing the luminiferous aether
Because individual states have a God-given right to be wooed by the candidates. And candidates have a God-given right to be able to campaign in just a couple of states in any given week.

I really wish the whole thing was quicker. By the time I get to vote, the candidate I would probably have voted for most cheerfully will have been out of the race for more than three months.

_________________
“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 3737 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41 ... 187  Next

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group