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Obama's woes after Massachusetts

Mark Mardell | 23:41 UK time, Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Barack Obama speaks at an event in Washington on 20 January 2010After last night's beating at the hands of the people of Massachusetts, President Obama is keeping his head down.

Any public event reflecting on his first year in office would have been both unseemly and uncomfortable. So there wasn't one.

But he did give an interview to ABC in which he rejected a dirty quick-fix on healthcare. He said: "I just want to make sure this is off the table. The Senate certainly shouldn't try to jam anything through until Scott Brown is seated. The people of Massachusetts spoke, he has got to be part of that process."

That last part suggests he is also ruling out simply passing the Senate bill through the House. The speeches have been made, the commentators will continue to sound off, but I suspect the political strategists will take a little time reading the entrails.

It's obviously easy for those with a political agenda to impose their own agenda - to find out what is behind the discontent is less easy. The trouble is that there was little in the way of exit polls (apart from this one I've just found), so it is difficult to answer the core question: why did people who voted for Obama in the presidential election vote for Scott Brown in the Senate race?

Vox pops are no substitute for such research, but I was intrigued by one man who told a BBC colleague: "It was sending the message 'enough is enough'. I mean trying to push this healthcare thing through: do you know what it means? Well do you?"

Mr Obama's woes must in part stem from the fact no-one can answer that question. There are still two different bills, and what impact they would have on individual family finances is a matter of interpretation. Confusion is never a good policy.

The man who's rocked Mr Obama's boat, Scott Brown, is endearingly thrilled about his victory, and sounds as if he can hardly believe it.

His tone is fascinating. He is calling himself an independent, hardly mentioning the word "Republican" but talking about "the people" a lot. Invited to take a free hit at the president, he joked about their mutual interest in basketball and Mr Obama's good sense of humour.

He's strongly opposed to the healthcare bill, but - asked to analyse his victory - he stressed voters' disgust at the pork-barrel politics that allowed the Democrats to get the healthcare bill though the Senate before Christmas.

When the blogs and columns and airwaves are full of bile it is at least interesting that the man who won doesn't want to make it personal.

Comments

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  • 1. At 01:33am on 21 Jan 2010, bayleyco wrote:

    Not sure what "public organization" means (the UN?) but sounds like you are wrong again. Rasmussen Reports did do exit polling. The results are out there. Who is researching this material?

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  • 2. At 01:56am on 21 Jan 2010, anderac wrote:

    I think that the answer to Mr. Brown's victory is not very complicated. Americans elected President Obama largely because they thought he would end the war in Iraq. That has not happened, and he has actually increased the number of troops in the middle east since being in office. They were faced with a large health care "reform" bill that even to the most unsophisticated eye looked as though it was laden with subsidies for big business, something most human beings recognize as fundamentally wrong. At this point in time, the threat of health care "reform" loomed larger than the threat of the middle east, so Americans voted to put an end to the "reform." Possibly, too, Americans remember that a lame-duck president (Bill Clinton) can be a good thing.

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  • 3. At 01:59am on 21 Jan 2010, wcorey wrote:

    Concern about what's in the massive health care reform legislation is the tip of the iceberg in terms of why people voted for Brown.

    The larger reason is growing uncertain about and unhappiness with Obama and the Democrats who control Congress. Obama has broken so many promises that he has little credibility except with committed Democrat party voters.

    Independents don't believe Obama or the Democrats have focused enough on the weak economy. The administration's stimulus package has done little to help, no matter how hard Obama and his people try to claim it has made a huge difference.

    The simple fact is this: Brown was a very attractive candidate for a number of reasons.

    But, it was unthinkable until the last moment that a relatively unknown Republican could win the Senate seat held for nearly half a century by Ted Kennedy in a very liberal state.

    Yet, it happened, and the political ripples are being felt all over the U.S.A. The popular ire was aimed at Democrats who have the power, and the Democrats had better understand this.

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  • 4. At 03:03am on 21 Jan 2010, chronophobe wrote:

    Obama has broken so many promises that he has little credibility except with committed Democrat party voters.

    I keep reading this -- and my jaw drops in wonderment. What promises has he broken, exactly? And if he has, is this really a shocker for you? Every politician I can think of 'breaks promises' at some point or another. Isn't it a bit childish to hold politicians to some kindergarten standard of promise making?

    What really matters is whether or not they stick to the spirit of their campaign agenda. And in this, I don't see how you can fault Obama for trying.



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  • 5. At 03:22am on 21 Jan 2010, MrProgressive wrote:

    Dear Mark,

    Brown's victory does mark a repudiation of Obama which is why the Obama White House has tried to spin the loss as a result of a poor and disorganized candidate, Martha Coakley. That's nonsense. Coakley took a bullet for the president, so to speak.

    Obama ran on a platform of change but the moment he was elected he scrapped his progressive agenda and became Mr. Big Business. His huge bailouts to banks and Wall St. were and are hugely unpopular. He has failed entirely to create jobs and has, unlike FDR, instituted zero programs using large scale public works projects. He abandoned early any real efforts at health care reform, taking "single payer" off the table immediately and instead coming up with a weak "public option" as a compromise. But then he broke his campaign promise to hold all health care reform meetings in public and televise them on C-SPAN and began talking about "insurance reform" after meeting bigwigs from the insurance companies. As Sen. Feingold pointed out, the Frankenstein monster that emerged as the Senate health care bill is exactly what Obama wanted all along but it is not health care reform.

    Obama also ran as a peace candidate but instead escalated in Afghanistan twice (once in February, 2009 with 21,000 troops and again recently with 35,000 more). For this, some lutefisk eating Norwegians decided in January, 2009, less than 2 weeks after he took office, to give him the Nobel Peace Prize!

    Obama has also assembled around him a group of old Washington hacks and Republicans like Robert Gates and Tim Geithner. He broke another promise when he promised to bring fresh new faces to the government.

    Obama is all about vague speechs and promises, which he breaks almost immediately AND does just the opposite of what he says. No one trusts him anymore, and he's a weak, indecisive, inexperienced leader.

    The Democratic party needs to: 1) get rid of Obama's chief adviser, Rahm Emanuel who brought them doom in 1994 as well; 2) get rid of Obama's economic team (Geithner and Summers) and bring in some real Democrats to focus on job creation; 3) scale back the wars rather than expand them; 4) expand medicare to the rest of the population. That's the simple, easy, and economic way to bring about real health care reform.

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  • 6. At 03:37am on 21 Jan 2010, MrProgressive wrote:

    Mark,

    Forgive me but I missed an important point in my long message above.

    Remember that Brown only gets 2 years as this election was to fill the remainder of the deceased Sen. Ted Kennedy's term. So there will be an election in 2012 for a full six year senatorial term. That's important because lots of progressive and liberal Democrats held their noses and voted for Brown (he got over 20% support from Democrats) realizing that he'd be in for only 2 years and that allows them to "send a message to Obama" and to organize behind a more progressive candidate 2 years down the road (someone like Harvard Law Prof. Elizabeth Warren).

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  • 7. At 03:52am on 21 Jan 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Obama's failures in December were very public, very high profile, unmistakable, impossible to conceal. After the furious arguments over national security, the trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed scheduled in New York City, and moving the prisoners in GITMO to Illinois, Nepolitano's statement that the system worked after the suicide bomber nearly killed 290 people on the plane except for luck was all the proof anyone needed that on matters of national security Obama's administration is thoroughly incompetent. One major incident like that which is successful and his presidency will suddenly be in grave jeopardy. He is not persuing America's enemies nearly vigorously enough, in fact he has looked very weak to them and to us.

    That the economy is not getting better, that despite the huge government bailout of large banks, Chrysler, GM, we see unemployment rising. He said it would not get over 8% but it is already up to 10% officially and 17% unofficially. Meanwhile with most Americans worried about their jobs, keeping their homes, paying their bills, their personal finances, those banks are giving out big bonuses to executives thanks to money from the taxpaying public who are largely being crushed.

    The backroom sweetheart deals with the Senators from Nebraska and Louisiana as well as labor unions giving them privileges other Americans won't get from the health care bill in order to get the vote for it passed in the Senate struck most Americans as dirty dealing back room politics as usual, something directly opposite of the openness and transparency Obama promised as a candidate.

    Meanwhile Obama wasted his time with the Copenhagen climate summit, the obvious bribe of the Nobel Peace Prize committee, and other trifles of no value to the American public.

    America has awakened to the reality of a man who does not belong in the White House no matter how much we like him personally. Unfortunately, there doesn't appear to be any obvious alternatives who might do much better as all of our current politicians seem lost and clueless about which direction to go in.

    The government tells us the economy is getting better but I for one don't see it. I'm sure much of the anger voters in Massachussets, Virginia, and New Jersey demonstrated is the result of other Americans not seeing it either. There are a lot of disillusioned disappointed voters out there and they will not take it lying down.

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  • 8. At 03:58am on 21 Jan 2010, chewbacca wrote:

    I think it so bizarre how independent voters who claim to be against the establishment and business as usual still put another republican party candidate in the senate. If they really felt the way they do then they should put an independent in. But oh yeah that person only got 1% of the vote. Its the same with the TEA party people. They claim to be against Republicans too (according to BBC America news Jan 20th) but I don't see anyone talking about Independent candidates... Here we go in the same circle all over again. Nothing is going to get done and America will continue to go nowhere...

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  • 9. At 04:14am on 21 Jan 2010, Orual wrote:

    Is it possible that Massachusetts, having tried out health care "reform" (including mandatory health insurance), has found it wanting?

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  • 10. At 04:21am on 21 Jan 2010, Andy Post wrote:

    Mark:

    "His tone is fascinating."

    Yes and be more fascinated with it, would you? Maybe you can educate the managing editor of Time.

    Listen to the Senator. He speaks for the people of Massachusetts. They just did a poll. No additional polling is required. After all, the fact that you're surprised by his attitude is a pretty good indication that you're not getting the story, don't you think? It's a mystery to you. You should investigate further.

    Get out of Washington. The story isn't in Washington. Congress (and most of the populace of D.C. from what I can tell) is out of touch with the country, and I've got a feeling that the country is in the mood for a little house cleaning.

    Americans want a different type of politician in the Legislature, one that isn't bickering all the time and constantly trying to game the government.

    We always get what we want, too.

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  • 11. At 04:49am on 21 Jan 2010, amerika_first wrote:

    It is indeed ironic that in 1775 or so the minute men of the Massachuttes colony especialy Boston rejected colonial rule. Now it would appear that they have started what the Democrats feared. an upwelling of discontent of imperial rule with little or no regard for the will of the electorate. The last week of the campagin showed that Curt Schilling has more public appeal then the President of the USSA. The independents that swept BHO into office are about to sweep out of office the backroom deal makers. Be it GOP or Democrats, if they are sleazy they need to be tossed out of office. Our system works best when there are checks and balances and not one party in control of both houses and the oval office. Term limits should finally come about.

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  • 12. At 06:26am on 21 Jan 2010, Erik Anderson wrote:

    Massachusetts has universal coverage, as does my state. Many other states do as well, and every state has SChip(State Childrens Health Insurance Program), Medicare for the elderly and Medicaid (for the poor). Interesting tidbit for you Brits about SChip -- in many states they've lowered the requirements so that many adults also qualify for coverage there as well.

    What some people fail to understand is that there was only down side for a Federal health care bill for the citizens of Massachusetts. More taxes in a high tax state, more Federal debt (which is really just deferred taxation), and large cuts to Medicare. Then you toss in the lack of promised transparency, back rooms deals with unions, and multi billion dollar quid pro quo deals for votes and you just make voters hostile. Here is a news flash for anyone who missed the Blago scandal in Chicago (Raum Emanual and David Axelrod, this means you), Quid pro quo deals are considered by the common every day hard working tax paying stiff in the US to be outright graft and immoral.

    So who is uninsured? Well, since most of our health insurance is supplied by our employers, it happens to be people who happen to be between jobs but haven't yet become destitute enough to be considered poor. Or, young people who haven't bought it or found a full time job yet, or non-citizens, or rich people who pay out of pocket. I'd love to shop and own my health insurance, like I own car, home, or life insurance. Employers change plans whenever they can save a buck or two, and I end up changing jobs every 4 or 5 years as well. I think I've had almost every major provider in the market at least once now. The last time I was between jobs was for about 6 months, my wife and I never got through the red tape in the state system, but the kids were insured on SChip at least. So there you go, government inefficiency in action. I'd rather just have my employers pay me the extra $6K and let me shop for my own insurance which I can keep forever if I desire.

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  • 13. At 07:22am on 21 Jan 2010, capecoddah wrote:

    I voted for Brown for many reasons, 40+ years of Ted Kennedy/ Democrat was one of the top. He [u]did[/u] bring some nice pork home, but at what cost? The Massachusetts Democrats are of the Tax-and-spend-and-spend-and-tax variety. STOP IT! We've had enough! In a recession, the Commonwealth raised taxes. Business has moved away. The ruling group has lost touch with most of their constituency.
    Some seemingly trivial, but important gaffes from this election:

    O'Bama: “Anybody can own a truck.” OK, I drive a pick-up with 150k miles on it. It has a snowplow, a dump sticker, and a trailer hitch on it with tools, a bucket of salt/sand and some other work stuff in the bed. WORK. Brown's truck was made in the US by GM, now Government Motors. Coakley drives a Japanese Soccer MOM SUV, should be a small sedan.

    Coakley called Curt Schilling a Yankee fan. She's so out of touch that she forgot he was a Red Sox Pitcher in the World Series and is a vocal Republican supporter. He's not a quiet shy man and is hard to miss. She brought the subject up. Why would she even think of going outside in the cold to meet and shake hands with voters? It was easier to meet with DC lobbyists and unions for money. Taking a vacation instead of campaigning was a nice touch too.

    Ted Kennedy's Seat. That's just so wrong on so many levels. A Senator-for-life isn't what's wanted, much less needed. Mr. Brown needs to keep on the straight and narrow for the 2012 election, and I'm fairly certain he knows that too.

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  • 14. At 07:45am on 21 Jan 2010, steelpulse wrote:

    Mark - I just heard you on the Today programme. It is not news you said. yes it is. I want to hear it all. I get some stuff from watching one TV show and that explained that this situation of Senatorial votes was always worse for the previous Administration. But stuff got done presumably - Bills were passed. I reviewed the last year over there and it all seemed grief. Put simply - both Partys want the best for the USA but seem to be in one rowing boat - and rowing in different directions to get themselves to calmer waters and getting exactly - NOWHERE. Is that a misreading of what is going on?
    Could you just explain here why this 60 vote difference is/was so crucial to everything for the current Administration and was not a problem for the Bush Administration (The Daily Show two nights back).
    I keep coming back to blocks and no shades of grey seemingly between the Republicans and Democrats. Is that wrong? Andrew Jackson's Big Block Of Cheese and Barack Obama's Big Block of GOP?
    So was something put in place recently that makes a difference?
    As for losing interest/as for losing influence. Someone just mispoke on Today after your piece. He meant to say the latter but said the former and was corrected. I prefer the former as an option as far as the USA I hear about over here is concerned. And that may NOT be news but it is worrying.

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  • 15. At 07:46am on 21 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    "it is difficult to answer the core question: why did people who voted for Obama in the presidential election vote for Scott Brown in the Senate race?"

    Well, this exit poll (a bit more helpful than the Rasmussen poll, which hinted at much the same thing once you thought about the percentages for a bit) is rather perplexing.

    The trouble is that as MM says, there is so much bile, we really aren't getting much on the way of 'vox pop' from Obama supporters of 2009 to help us.

    Seems to me, looking at these figures, that many who voted for Obama are not against health care reform per se now any more than they were then, but are not happy, with this one, and more importantly, given the 'not sures' or 'somewhat supports' started off last year a) with no clear idea of what it should entail; and b) have much less idea of what these two bills do now. (But that it has all become such an incomprehensible mess is because of the various compromises Republicans, in the main, have foisted on it.)

    Again, in the economic debate ('Main St v. Wall St' -- sounds like local gang warfare) it does not look as though Democratic (or Obama-supporting) voters are against regulation and reform; only unhappy that effectively, thanks to what looks like the administration siding with (and employing!) the 'establishment'/Republiican attitudes, there hasn't really been any.

    So why did they vote for the Republican? Now it seems that Brown isn't the ogre he might be, just a really nice regular guy . . .For the moment I'm left with two conclusions: that many one-time Obama voters voted Republican as a protest vote against Obama not being radical enough, or maybe just not being clear enough, or a lot of voters voted for Brown because of that centre fold* in Cosmo. . .

    Or did a lot of people who voted for Obama simply not listen to what he was saying? Maybe a lot of Democrats didn't vote for him because of his policies, after all, and many of those of us who thought they had (including Obama!) were misled. Should the next presidential candidate pose nude for Cosmo now in preparation?

    (That's not to say there isn't a huge political division in US voters, and an enormous amount of confusion about Obama's policies and direction. That's probably irremediable; I don't see, somehow, Obama announcing any new radical --'liberal' in the proper sense of the word--policies in words of two syllables on half a page of A4 and telling Congress -- and the Democrats -- to "Stick to this, don't complicate it, don't make it l;ook as though the Republicans own it, just get on and do it.")

    *I've had an idea. Why doesn't the US Congress (along with previous Presidents) pose for a 'Calendar Girls' type 2010 calendar in aid of Haiti? It's not the end of January yet, lots of people probably still don't have one.







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  • 16. At 08:46am on 21 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    8. At 03:58am on 21 Jan 2010, Ben wrote:

    "I think it so bizarre how independent voters who claim to be against the establishment and business as usual still put another republican party candidate in the senate."

    Quite. I've only just (very belatedly) realised that because in the US many voters register as 'Republican' or 'Democrat' that those who don't are referred to as 'Independent' and assumed to be leaning towards neither side of the political spectrum, claimed as 'politically neutral' when many probably aren't when it comes down to it. The terminology is wrong. We really need 'undecided', 'Republican-leaning', 'Democrat-leaning', even 'non-voting'.

    But I can't seem to find anything that makes those distinctions, which seem rather important to me. (Political opinion polls in the UK generally push people who claim not to have a 'party allegiance' into giving an idea which 'side' they're on at the moment, or whether they will vote or not, by asking "If there was an election tomorrow, which party would you vote for?")

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  • 17. At 09:42am on 21 Jan 2010, David Murrell wrote:

    I am not really sure much else can be said about this election, all the views appear to be quite entrenched. To summarise the appear to fall with this spectrum:

    1) President Obama is tantamount to a socialist traitor and it is the people showing their disgust
    2) President Obama has not lived up to his promises and it is the people showing their disgust
    3) No one wants the health bill and this is the people sending Obama a message
    4) This is just what happens in these elections
    5) It is a local thing and the Democrat was a bit rubbish
    6) It is the population not being willing to wait for change and becoming disillusioned
    7) Huh? What are you guys (1-3) talking about?

    This is the 5th thread dedicated to the election, which while important, does seem a tad excessive. Little new information or opinion is coming forth and it is becoming, at times, little more than slanging matches, when it doesn’t divert off into discussions on Jefferson, British gun/knife culture, historical analysis of the constitution etc. Is this the only important subject going on in the states at the moment?

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  • 18. At 10:09am on 21 Jan 2010, MaxSceptic wrote:

    I guess American voters are asking themselves: Other than wining a Nobel Prize for his 'good intentions', what - if any - are Obama's concrete achievements in his first year of office?

    Answers on a (very small) postcard please...

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  • 19. At 10:13am on 21 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    17.David Murrell:

    8) Scott Brown has (well, had, 20 years ago, or whatever) a sexy body and a tan . . .
    9) Martha Coakley looked a bit like Angela Merkel in that photo of her casting her vote.

    (Not that I'm suggesting an electorate would come to a serious decision affecting future legislation based on such things.)

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  • 20. At 10:24am on 21 Jan 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    Marc you are surprisedabout Brown's class? that is who he is. Brown has always been an independent thinkers but I hope you can excuse the gloating by some of the local talkers who very rarely see a Republican win in an upset.

    Your scorn should be reserved by the trio of hate on MSNBC who are still lying and smearing Scott Brown.

    And for those questioning his resume it's far greater than a Ill state senator elected a few years ago.

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  • 21. At 10:35am on 21 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    17. At 09:42am on 21 Jan 2010, David Murrell wrote:

    "Is this the only important subject going on in the states at the moment?"

    Possibly it is. A quick trawl around the US media tells me of 8 shot dead in Virginia, Martin Sheen's wife has pneumonia and a few kiddies got their fingers trapped in pushchairs. (I don't include Haiti, because it's not the USA.)

    Any of those will come back round to the same thing in the end: that amendment; health care in the US; and getting a Consumer Protection Act through . . .Republicans v. Democrats, anybody v. Obama. . .We're stuck!

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  • 22. At 10:38am on 21 Jan 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #5 and 6

    If you are not from Mass than you don't know the whole situation.

    Mass usually elected rep governors and Deval Patrick will be out of a job in 11 months.

    Progressives or extreme liberals do not decide elections here. I hate the progressive term because they are status quo in most issues. If Steve Lynch runs against Brown I could see him winning, if a Bill Delahunt or a Joe Kewnnedy (the Hugo stooge nephew of Ted) run they will not.

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  • 23. At 10:51am on 21 Jan 2010, David Murrell wrote:

    Squirrel – Looking at the two nominees I think Brown was the better of the two, though not sure that he lives up to Magic’s claim of having a better resume that the late Kennedy, then again considering he wasn’t standing against Teddy (for obvious reasons) I am not sure that is relevant.

    If I had been allowed to vote, unlikely I know, I might have voted for Brown. Which ironic since I won’t be voting for another Brown in the UK (yes I know we vote for the party, but that party is tainted by Iraq, which I cannot forgive them for and Brown was an architect of that taint).

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  • 24. At 11:05am on 21 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    21.

    And then I turn up this.

    I do so admire these displays of sensitivity to people's feelings and really good PR, don't you?

    " 'About 100 tents, each capable of holding 10 people, have been erected and authorities have more than 1,000 more on hand in case waves of Haitians leave their homeland and are capturedat sea,' said Navy Rear Adm. Thomas Copeman."

    [My italics]

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  • 25. At 11:23am on 21 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    23. David Murrell:

    I know. . . but. . .Cameron and some of that lot. . .Tactical voting time again? I wish the Libs would get off their hind legs for a change, but I've been waiting for that for so-o-o-o long . . .

    (It's funny, at first I couldn't make out why people seemed to be mentioning our Brown. Thought some posters had been so affected by the 'M'' contingent and all that stuff about our 'Socialist-Islamic-Monarchical Dictatorship' 'they'd finally flipped altogether.)

    It really is Scylla and Charybdis, isn't it? I know one thing for sure: the squirrel conscience is going to be giving me a lot of grief come May or whenever it is. (Oh-oh. That's when I want to be in Italy; must sort out the postal vote stuff, or whatever you need to do.)

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  • 26. At 11:27am on 21 Jan 2010, Brian Golden wrote:

    Cynicism about politicians can be way over the top.

    Fiscal and monetary stimulus has been the life support for the economy and, without it, there would probably have been economic and financial meltdown.

    The Obama fiscal package is huge and undoubtedly had a major impact.

    Its not without risk, nothing is, and the fiscal deficit has soared.

    But do we really believe everything would have been fine without the fiscal stimulus?

    Whatever the costs to come, we learnt the lessons of the Great Depression and avoided a repeat.

    I will happily face these costs than what would have happened...many more jobs lost, lives destroyed and a general air of despair for everyone. And probably fiscal deficits just as bad anyway.

    Surely avoiding that gets some credit?

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  • 27. At 11:33am on 21 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    22. MagicKirin:

    Will Americans ever stop mutilating the meanings of words or concepts? You cannot, no way, not nohow, not nowise, have such a thing as 'an extreme liberal' !!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • 28. At 11:42am on 21 Jan 2010, zaphodian wrote:

    25. At 11:23am on 21 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    I know. . . but. . .Cameron and some of that lot. . .Tactical voting time again? I wish the Libs would get off their hind legs for a change, but I've been waiting for that for so-o-o-o long . . .


    Tactical voting? Who for? Brown's doomed, no-one trusts Cameron & Clegg would be terrified if he had to form a line dancing group let alone a government, it's pathetic, (& we still have to pick one)

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  • 29. At 11:51am on 21 Jan 2010, David Murrell wrote:

    Squirrel – I know, we can complain about the ineffectual US two party system, but our two and a quarter (plus the background noise of the minor parties) isn’t any better. What a choice a political bankrupt Labour party or the wash out Conservatives, I would love to vote to the Libs, indeed I have in the past, but it really is a wasted vote.

    To my eternal shame I voted for Nu Labour in ’97, never again though, not until it has removed all traces of that warmongering shower including our Beloved Leader. What to do when June comes around (it aint going to be May)? Goodness knows, vote for the Cons and hope the best I suppose.

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  • 30. At 11:57am on 21 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    28. At 11:42am on 21 Jan 2010, zaphodian wrote:

    "Tactical voting? Who for?"

    Anybody, Red Squirrels if need be, anything just as long as they only have a tiny majority so they won't ride roughshod over us again.

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  • 31. At 11:58am on 21 Jan 2010, GAK10 wrote:

    Mark,

    I find it fascinating that the only people who can't figure out what the American public is saying and why are the leaders in the Democratic Party and MSM. The reality is this President and the Democratic party are simply ignoring the American public because they think they know better.

    Throw that in with a Stimulus bill that was not spent the way we were told it would be. A massive increase and proposals for increase in taxes and spending. A health care bill that is full of pork and deals for special interests. That is full of backroom bargains and deals. Obama has a far left ideology. He hid that from the general American public and MSM knew it and let it go. The American public voted for someone whom they thought was a Centrist. Not a far-left leaning loon. He ran on hope and change but didn't spell out his definition of what the meant.

    The message is simple.. No more spending, drop the special interest perks in the Health Care bill, no government take over and use market solutions to fix it. Stop raising taxes and give us control over our life again. get the govt the hell out.

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  • 32. At 11:58am on 21 Jan 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Mark, most of the Democrats that voted for Obama will do so again when he runs for re-election, and most - if not all - Republicans that voted against him will do so again in 2012. The voting vote that was pivotal in his victory in 2008 was the Independents, and they are now the ones that are sending him an unambiguous message about how they feel about the course of action he has taken.

    I realize that the opposition to healthcare reform in the USA must be baffling to people in other developed countries, it is for some of us as well, but regardless of reason it is apparent that most Americans are not in favor of significant reform to our healthcare system. From what I can discern from listening to speeches and reading articles on the subject what people want and expect are minor changes to the system, rather than a major makeover. If they just get rid of the pre-existing condition clause, coverage caps, rejection due to chronic illness, limit ever rising premiums, and reduce the amount of co-pays and out-of-pocket expenses most people will welcome the change.

    It will be a long time, if ever, before socialized healthcare is accepted in the USA, and the sooner the Democrats understand that the better off they will be.

    The biggest problem for the Democrats, and the reason for the anger that is apparent throughout the country, is that most people believe too much time and effort is being spent on an issue that, in their opinion, was not critical while focus on economy recovery and efforts to reduce unemployment are on the back seat.

    Another reason for the anxiety that can be found throughout the country is that people have become aware of the risks inherent in having one party in full control of government, and are determined to re-establish check and balances to make sure all voices are heard and all opinions are represented in our policy making process.

    I suspect President Obama got the message this time, and I would not be surprised if the main themes of the upcoming State of the Union Address are economic recovery plans and the need to reduce unemployment levels.

    It may be too late to prevent a transfer of power in the House, but it is not too late to keep the White House in Democratic hands.

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  • 33. At 12:04pm on 21 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #5 Re Nobel Peace Prize

    Mr. Progressive, I don't know what's you beef about pres. Obama getting Nobel Peace Prize for nothing.

    As I recall people like LeDuc-Tho (a Vietnamese communist aparatchik who broke Paris Peace Agreement) and Yasser Arafat (a notorious terrorist leader) were singled out by the Norwegian Parliament for that award as well.

    [forget a tree-hugger who claimed that HIV virus was created by the U.S. to depopulate sub-Suharan Africa to make it ready for white colonization]

    So, Sir, what is your problem?

    And why the shock?

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  • 34. At 12:07pm on 21 Jan 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 26, Brian

    "The Obama fiscal package is huge and undoubtedly had a major impact."

    The meltdown of our economy, including the collapse of the real estate market occurred before President Obama was elected. In fact, it was acknowledged publicly by none other than President Bush in 2007 when he announced that the US economy was on the verge of collapse.

    It is also important to remember who requested and signed the TARP to bailout the banks, and who signed the FY09 budget that ended in September. Hint: It wasn't President Obama.

    When it comes to contributing to our economic malaise the only thing that could be pinned down on President Obama is the stimulus package, which when compared to the size of the national debt, unfunded liabilities, and corporate/personal debts is almost background noise.

    Aside from learning from the fiscal irresponsibility and horrible decisions of the past several decades (except from one very brief break), what we need to do is to focus on solution conducive to restore fiscal integrity, consumer confidence, and job creation. If we analyze our problems carefully and fairly what we will find is that the only ones to blame is us. Don't forget the past, but focus on the future.

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  • 35. At 12:09pm on 21 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re: # 8.



    Fine. And whom would you like to see as an Independent candidate for both: Mass. senatorial seat, and a presidential candidate?

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  • 36. At 12:09pm on 21 Jan 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 24, squirrelist

    "I do so admire these displays of sensitivity to people's feelings and really good PR, don't you?"

    It reminds me of the general that justified our activities in Iraq by asserting that our G_d was better than theirs.

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  • 37. At 12:13pm on 21 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re # 7 Obama not pursuing would-be terrorists.


    You may be right, but Germans don't seem to be doing much better.

    Cf. a "laptop" incident at Munich airport.

    [1000 German policemen in pursuit of a suspect who should have never been allowed to escape from the airport in the first place]

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  • 38. At 12:14pm on 21 Jan 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 22, Magic

    "I hate the progressive term because they are status quo in most issues."

    Make up your mind, are we supporters of the status quo or engaged in reckless change?

    I suspect it doesn't matter, spewing bile and irrational statements seems to work so well that why should anyone care about accuracy or justifications for the assertions being made?

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  • 39. At 12:22pm on 21 Jan 2010, zaphodian wrote:

    30. At 11:57am on 21 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    'Anybody, Red Squirrels if need be, anything just as long as they only have a tiny majority so they won't ride roughshod over us again.'


    It's not going to happen, we'll either get a landslide Con victory, a Lab last gasp win or a hung Parliament, what we need is to know which lot wont make things any worse but given the debts whoever gets in is going to have to. I'd vote squirrel if I could though just so I felt better.

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  • 40. At 12:25pm on 21 Jan 2010, zaphodian wrote:

    32. At 11:58am on 21 Jan 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    'I realize that the opposition to healthcare reform in the USA must be baffling to people in other developed countries, it is for some of us as well, but regardless of reason it is apparent that most Americans are not in favor of significant reform to our healthcare system.'


    You're right that it's baffling & it's also becoming clear that as you say America wants things tweaking rather than changing, from over here though this appears short sighted & will only bring you back to where you are today at some point in the future.

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  • 41. At 12:34pm on 21 Jan 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #23
    , David Murrell wrote:
    Squirrel – Looking at the two nominees I think Brown was the better of the two, though not sure that he lives up to Magic’s claim of having a better resume that the late Kennedy, then again considering he wasn’t standing against Teddy (for obvious reasons) I am not sure that is relevant.

    __________

    If I gave the impression I was comparing Brown to Ted, I am sorry. I was comparing Brown's resume to Obama when he ran for U.S senate.

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  • 42. At 12:55pm on 21 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    squirrelist suspects:

    "or a lot of voters voted for Brown because of that centre fold* in Cosmo"



    Well, even if that was so, wouldn't it demonstrate that Mass. voters prefered a politician who doesn't have anything to hide over somebody who
    did?

    [or perhaps, over politicians who didn't have much to show (for)]
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Dem..er...Romans, what have they ever done for us?

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  • 43. At 12:57pm on 21 Jan 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Magic, Sen. Scott Brown does have quite an impressive record, what I would like to know is why is a pro-choice candidate that also voted for tax increases acceptable to "conservatives" and Democratic candidates with similar records are nothing short of disciples of Lucifer?

    Brown's record:

    Conscience-based opt out of post-rape contraception. (Jan 2010)
    Support legalized abortion, but not partial-birth abortion. (Jan 2010)
    Authored bill for 24-hour waiting period for abortion. (Jan 2010)
    Abortions should always be legally available. (Nov 2002)
    Supported $200K reduction to blind job program. (Jul 2003)
    Opposed $900K for disability & mentoring aid. (Jul 2003)
    Opposed "Turning 22" mental disability program. (Jul 2003)

    On May 8, 2003, Sen. Brown voted for passage of the FY04 state budget, which included fee hikes ranging from $390 million to $700 million a year.

    Are you going to answer the question about progressives supporting the status quo? BTW, there are Thesaurus available on line...

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  • 44. At 1:03pm on 21 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    squirrellist suggests:

    I've had an idea. Why doesn't the US Congress (along with previous Presidents) pose for a 'Calendar Girls' type 2010 calendar in aid of
    Haiti?




    How come Im' not surprised that you have not suggested that Tehran ayatollahs pose for a 'Wet Burka' calendar in aid of discriminated Iranian women?


    P.S. I appreciate though your real appreciation of serious and tangible American help for people of Haiti.

    Can a red squirrel say '82nd Airborne' and 'USMC' without chocking?

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  • 45. At 1:28pm on 21 Jan 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #43

    In regard to progressive label; Progressives oppose: Nuclear energy, off shore drilling revamping Social Security, open shops etc. They refuse to discuss these issues.

    Regarding Brown and I do disgree with him on Cape Wind.:

    He also supports strong interogation of terrorists
    lower taxes
    less big goverment
    The Obama healthplan

    Coakley minus

    A prosecutor who refuses to go after criminal legislators
    let Gerald Amirault rot in jail on flase charges
    did not go after big dig contractors

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  • 46. At 1:30pm on 21 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    St. Dominick recalls:

    It reminds me of the general that justified our activities in Iraq by asserting that our G_d was better than theirs.





    And me of the 'ret'd colonel' who claims that his bunch's g_d is better than ours.



    A propos... David [Murrell], you're getting better&better with establishing certain posters' Zulu time. Respect! :-)))

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  • 47. At 1:34pm on 21 Jan 2010, David Murrell wrote:

    Magic – Oh Obama, to be honest I haven’t compared the two.

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  • 48. At 1:41pm on 21 Jan 2010, ghostofsichuan wrote:

    The situation exist because the Democrats in congress kept kow-towing to the healthcare industry and fell for the game the Republicans always play. The Republicans say just make this change and that change and it will be OK then come back and say what about this or that and again and again until the bill is hollow. Because congress only represents big business and banking and the people have no voice or choice nothing important can get done. Until people demand representation big business will continue to make sure that their interest are the only interest addressed by congress. The media is a cesspool of self-serving pompous circus barkers always trying to sell everyone a ticket to the freak show. Congress is the magic show because it is all illusion...for the good of the people is really for the good of big business and lies are generated to support those positions. Ambitious nations in the East hover like birds of prey waiting for corruption to kill the beast.

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  • 49. At 1:41pm on 21 Jan 2010, arclightt wrote:

    @34 (StD): "Aside from learning from the fiscal irresponsibility and horrible decisions of the past several decades (except from one very brief break), what we need to do is to focus on solution conducive to restore fiscal integrity, consumer confidence, and job creation. If we analyze our problems carefully and fairly what we will find is that the only ones to blame is us. Don't forget the past, but focus on the future."

    Very well written, Dominick. I'd quibble just a bit about the "very brief break" (Congress made no effort to reduce debt during that period, choosing instead to enact new spending, and it was funded by mostly wasting $3 trillion out of folks' 401K funds), but otherwise very sound.

    Question: How do we reassure our leaders nearly daily that we are willing to do the hard things for the sake of the long term, when almost every voice they hear is screaming about this or that short-term "fix"?


    @all: Here are two other thoughts:

    1. Remember the tangled mess that was the "bad mortgages" and the credit-default swaps? How much progress has been made at untangling all that, so that balance sheets are functional again? Any??? Or have we basically chosen to ignore that bowl of knotted spaghetti? How can we ignore that over the long haul and still restore fiscal integrity and consumer confidence?

    Isn't it scary how that seems to have just disappeared from the news?

    2. I recall during the summer of 2002 that the Dow fell to about 7500, and folks were reported cashing out their 401Ks and investing in real estate. That cashing out of 401Ks stopped very suddenly...almost as if someone had turned off a switch. Later I read a report that said that the various mutual-fund investors had grossly overextended themselves, to the point that they could basically pay off 5 cents on the dollar for every dollar of 401K monies they supposedly held.

    I originally discounted this report because I couldn't see how that misreporting could happen, but now I wonder, considering all the shenanigans that went on in the real-estate market, and particularly the credit-default swaps and similar instruments, if the original report was not accurate and that similar shenanigans took place in the basic mutual-fund system as well. In short, I have to wonder just how sound even what we think we know about our retirement savings really is. Perhaps we really have been tiptoeing around a precipice; if that's true, we may really be headed for fun and games in a few years...

    The sun is out here on the Capitol Beltway this morning...a welcome sight! Regards to all.

    Arclight

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  • 50. At 1:56pm on 21 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    36. At 12:09pm on 21 Jan 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 24, squirrelist

    Did you follow the link? That's only the half of it. The 'captured' refugees will be taken to . . . .
    Guantanamo Bay.
    If you are a desperate Haitian with nothing, how are you going to feel when you find out where the kindly US is taking you?

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  • 51. At 1:57pm on 21 Jan 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 45, Magic

    "In regard to progressive label; Progressives oppose: Nuclear energy, off shore drilling revamping Social Security, open shops etc. They refuse to discuss these issues."

    What "progressives" reject is the suggestion that an expansion of our nuclear energy capabilities will solve our energy problems.

    Opposition to off shore drilling in states like California and Florida does not come from liberals, it comes from the majority of the citizens of these states who are afraid of the probability of oil spills, damage to our eco systems and impact on tourism.

    "Revamping" of Social Security has been the focus of Republican and Democratic attention for decades. The system has to be modified to guarantee its survival, but privatizing it is definitely not the solution.

    Unionization is not decided by government, it is decided by workers. Some are in favor of organized labor representation as a tool to increase compensation and benefits, others believe they would be better off without it. In the end, it is up to them to decide, not the government.

    "Progressives" do a lot more than just discuss issues, they draft legislation to support their ideals. The problems is that the true supporters of the status quo are unwilling to allow changes to the, arguably, best systems and services in the world.

    Would you care to explain how increasing fees means lowering taxes and advocating smaller government?

    Bear in mind that I think Brown was a better candidate than Coakley, but he is too liberal for me on social issues and inconsistent on fiscal issues.


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  • 52. At 2:02pm on 21 Jan 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #47
    David Murrell wrote:
    Magic – Oh Obama, to be honest I haven’t compared the two.

    _________________

    There is a famous line when Ted essentially ran jor JFK seat: "If your name was Edward Moore not Edward Kennedy your canidacy would be a joke"

    But the joke was on the people of Mass and the country as a whole.

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  • 53. At 2:03pm on 21 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    39. zaphodian:

    Bad, isn't it? Don't suppose you know where the starship 'Heart of Gold' is at the moment? I've got my towel ready.

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  • 54. At 2:03pm on 21 Jan 2010, zaphodian wrote:

    49. At 1:41pm on 21 Jan 2010, arclightt wrote:

    '1. Remember the tangled mess that was the "bad mortgages" and the credit-default swaps? How much progress has been made at untangling all that, so that balance sheets are functional again? Any??? Or have we basically chosen to ignore that bowl of knotted spaghetti? How can we ignore that over the long haul and still restore fiscal integrity and consumer confidence?'



    Apparently there was a big meeting of financial experts who looked at all the CDS data & established beyond a shadow of doubt that no-one had a clue as to what was to be done, most of them vowed never to mention the subject ever again but legend has it that one of the banks now employs a clerk who's job it is to sit in a small room with all his fingers crossed & hope like hell it doesn't all go sour.

    Feel better now?

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  • 55. At 2:11pm on 21 Jan 2010, zaphodian wrote:

    53. At 2:03pm on 21 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    Bad, isn't it? Don't suppose you know where the starship 'Heart of Gold' is at the moment? I've got my towel ready.


    Great idea but so long & thanks for all the what?

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  • 56. At 2:14pm on 21 Jan 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    The election is one more alert bell in the clarion call announcing the end of America's brief but dangerous flirtation with the extreme left wing of its political spectrum as a protest to the excesses and shortcomings of the Bush administration. What younger Americans are discovering is what older Americans mostly knew all along, that in believing in populist demagogues and electing them to positions of power, the reality is that the cure is even worse than the disease. Whatever the solutions are to America's myriad problems, Obamaism is not the right answer, it is only making things worse. The most remarkable thing is how quickly this has become obvious. It took less than one year.

    The Kennedy clan has by and large been a curse on America, an importation of an Irish mafia family. For those who don't know the history of it, the patriarch Joseph Kennedy made his fortune by illegally importing alcoholic beverages during the period of prohibition. He had strong ties to La Cosa Nostra, the Sicillian Mafia. He was a supporter of Adolf Hitler. He also bought the election of his son John in 1960 when his mafia friends in Chicago used every illegal trick to invent votes in that city which ultiimately gave Kennedy the state of Illinois and the election victory. In truth, Vice President Nixon won that election. It is believed by many that the assassination of President Kennedy was payback for persecution and prosecution of organized crime by the president's brother Robert Kennedy whom the President appointed Attorney General. Had there been any justice in Massachussets instead of the Kennedy power to corrupt the system with their political power and money, Ted Kennedy would have spent much of his life in prison for vehicular manslaughter of Mary Jo Kopekne when driving drunk after a party, he drove off a bridge into the Chappaquidak river leaving here trapped in the car to drown. I for one am not sorry to seen the end of the dynasty of that dispicable clan, nor the undoing of its corruption of politics in Massachussets. It is long overdue.

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  • 57. At 2:15pm on 21 Jan 2010, Simon21 wrote:

    45. At 1:28pm on 21 Jan 2010, MagicKirin wrote:
    ref #43

    In regard to progressive label; Progressives oppose: Nuclear energy, off shore drilling revamping Social Security, open shops etc. They refuse to discuss these issues.

    Regarding Brown and I do disgree with him on Cape Wind.:

    He also supports strong interogation of terrorists"


    Like stalin supported the "French wrestling" of saboteurs by the NKVD?

    Call in "Strong interrogation" you mean torture.

    Stupid euphimisms do not disguise the horror as any survivor of "special action" could tell you.

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

    lower taxes
    less big goverment

    Usual drivel running for office because one objects to government is always farcical. If government is so redundant why try to become part of it.

    Pace orwell - it is surpring how many millionaires spend so much of their time telling us they do not like or do not spend much of their money.

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

    Coakley minus

    A prosecutor who refuses to go after criminal legislators
    let Gerald Amirault rot in jail on flase charges
    did not go after big dig contractors


    But did not pose naked for a magazine for money while running for a party that sprouts family values.

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  • 58. At 2:16pm on 21 Jan 2010, Simon21 wrote:

    42. At 12:55pm on 21 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:
    squirrelist suspects:

    "or a lot of voters voted for Brown because of that centre fold* in Cosmo"



    Well, even if that was so, wouldn't it demonstrate that Mass. voters prefered a politician who doesn't have anything to hide over somebody who
    did?

    [or perhaps, over politicians who didn't have much to show (for)]



    Hmmm where do the sacred "family values" feature in that?

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  • 59. At 2:21pm on 21 Jan 2010, Simon21 wrote:

    33. At 12:04pm on 21 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:
    Re #5 Re Nobel Peace Prize

    Mr. Progressive, I don't know what's you beef about pres. Obama getting Nobel Peace Prize for nothing."


    Because he did not get it for nothing.

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

    As I recall people like LeDuc-Tho (a Vietnamese communist aparatchik who broke Paris Peace Agreement) and Yasser Arafat (a notorious terrorist leader) were singled out by the Norwegian Parliament for that award as well.


    True both men did vastly more for their countries and the world than Obama and many US presidents.

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

    [forget a tree-hugger who claimed that HIV virus was created by the U.S. to depopulate sub-Suharan Africa to make it ready for white colonization]

    So, Sir, what is your problem?

    Your problem sir seems to be fairly obvious and it is the old one is it not sir?

    It is related to your problem with moslems etc is it not ;-)

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  • 60. At 2:23pm on 21 Jan 2010, Daniel ORourke wrote:

    I almost never comment on the editorials of my usual reading (NY TImes) but I must say, Mr. Mardell, that your commentary and analysis is refreshingly concise and direct for this reader. You have a new fan.
    Your thoughts the day after the Mayhem in Massachusetts is spot on I believe. Coakley's demeanor reminded me of Caroline Kennedy's when she "explored" running for HIllary's NY Senate seat: if you're not ready to deal that closely with constituents then step aside. Unfortunately, the stakes were way too high to weather this loss. Can I move to England?
    Daniel O'Rourke
    Michigan

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  • 61. At 2:35pm on 21 Jan 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 49, arclightt

    "Question: How do we reassure our leaders nearly daily that we are willing to do the hard things for the sake of the long term, when almost every voice they hear is screaming about this or that short-term "fix"?"

    Unfortunately, those few leaders with a long term vision are well aware of the fact that most Americans are more concerned with the next paycheck than programs that will benefit our society in the long term.

    One of our greatest weaknesses is our focus on short term gain and our ambivalence to policies designed to help future generations.

    In my opinion, focus on short Vs long term goals is one of the most important factors in the ability of China to move towards global economic dominance and the rapid decline of our privileged position in the world.

    Writing letters, sending messages or calling our elected officials encouraging them to pursue what is best for the future of our country may result in momentary attempts to implement sound policy, but progress would only last until the next election when those officials are ousted for not giving the public what they want today, regardless of long term consequences.

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  • 62. At 2:43pm on 21 Jan 2010, csgators wrote:

    # 15 But that it has all become such an incomprehensible mess is because of the various compromises Republicans, in the main, have foisted on it.)

    Actually the Republicans had nothing to do with the bill(s). They were not invited to participate, this is one of the major reasons the Dems are getting so much backlash. They had complete control and members of their own party trashed the bill. The same thing happed to the "stimulus" bill, just one long list off payoffs to Dem pols.

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  • 63. At 2:43pm on 21 Jan 2010, David Murrell wrote:

    Marcus – While I am no fan of Kennedy senior, I would like to see some evidence to back up your claim he was a bootlegger. I have heard the rumour, apparently originating from Samuel Bronfman a post prohibition business rival, but considering his other business interests and political ambition it seems unlikely.

    The reason I dislike J P Kennedy is because how he actually made his money, as the first head of the SEC he and his cohorts can be seen as partially responsible for the Wall Street Crash, which he avoided be liquidating his holdings just before the event. During prohibition he increased his wealth by forming RKO pictures.

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  • 64. At 2:45pm on 21 Jan 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 50, squirrelist

    "The 'captured' refugees will be taken to . . . .
    Guantanamo Bay."

    Considering the fact that this website has a broad foreign audience, I think it is prudent to point out that the Guantanamo Naval Base has a lot more than a prison camp. It has, in fact, been used for decades as a staging point to house refugees, most of them from Caribbean islands. Some are deported back to their countries, others find safe passage to the USA.

    The question in this case is: will the Haitian refugees receive the same status and enjoy the same privileges afforded to Cubans when they set foot on US soil, or will they be shipped back to their devastated country? The answer to that question will go a long way in defining who we are.

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  • 65. At 2:57pm on 21 Jan 2010, Simon21 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 66. At 3:06pm on 21 Jan 2010, Simon21 wrote:

    61. At 2:35pm on 21 Jan 2010, SaintDominick wrote:
    Ref 49, arclightt

    "Question: How do we reassure our leaders nearly daily that we are willing to do the hard things for the sake of the long term, when almost every voice they hear is screaming about this or that short-term "fix"?"

    This is the problem you get in democracies in their present format.

    it is one reason more and more people are not bothering to vote.


    "In my opinion, focus on short Vs long term goals is one of the most important factors in the ability of China to move towards global economic dominance and the rapid decline of our privileged position in the world."


    China is an excellent example here. It was revelatory after Tianmen Square to listten to a Chinese Dissident who was trying to explain what happened to a youngBC reporter shocked by the carnage of young people.

    The reporter focussed on the youth of the victims. The dissident had to point out that youth was supposed to defer to age in China and the fact that young people (privileged students not field peasants) were "punished" for insulting the geriatrics of the Communist party would not strike the vast mass of the Chinese as odd.

    And of course you have Mao's famous quote on the historical significance of the French Revolution.

    The Chinese in particular look at things in the very long-term.



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  • 67. At 3:12pm on 21 Jan 2010, Simon21 wrote:

    32. At 11:58am on 21 Jan 2010, SaintDominick wrote:
    Mark,
    It may be too late to prevent a transfer of power in the House, but it is not too late to keep the White House in Democratic hands. "

    The Democrats are not in significant trouble until the Republicans come up with viable leaders and something approaching viable policies.

    So far despite desperate attempts of the media to find such things none have been evident - each major candidate is hoplessly flawed and none have any sort of national profile.

    You could look at the UK. Few politicains can have been as inept as Gordon Brown, but his opponent has had to work hard over several years to set him and his party up to make a serious challenge.

    Simply screeching, howling and threatening as the US right does will not win you office of itself.

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  • 68. At 3:14pm on 21 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #45
    In regard to progressive label; Progressives oppose: Nuclear energy...





    Now, ain't it mighty interesting that people who allegedly care so much 'bout global warming are vehemently opposed to the only practical, readily available major energy source that does not generate any green-house gases?


    Nope, actually it aint't. It's typical of the sordid lot.

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  • 69. At 3:21pm on 21 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re:"Aside from learning from the fiscal irresponsibility and horrible decisions of the past several decades (except from one very brief break)"




    And who was responsible for that brief break?

    Wasn't it certain Newt Gingrich [a Republican House Speaker), with Bill the Zipper taking a credit for it later? :-)))

    ["Oh, I remember it well"]

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  • 70. At 3:27pm on 21 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    "True both men [Le Duc Tho and Yasser Arafat did vastly more for their countries and the world than Obama and many US presidents."





    Oh, really?

    Have you been to Vietnam, lately? [I have]

    And as for what Yassir did for Egypt, please ask pres. [Mu]Barack. :-)))

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  • 71. At 3:33pm on 21 Jan 2010, Simon21 wrote:

    68. At 3:14pm on 21 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:
    Re #45
    In regard to progressive label; Progressives oppose: Nuclear energy...





    Now, ain't it mighty interesting that people who allegedly care so much 'bout global warming are vehemently opposed to the only practical, readily available major energy source that does not generate any green-house gases?


    Nope, actually it aint't. It's typical of the sordid lot."


    More typical are those who don't beleive global warming exists (for finacial reasons) but beleive in nuke energy because er er of Global Warning!

    Goodthinkful of what! Come back "1984", all is forgiven.

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  • 72. At 3:36pm on 21 Jan 2010, Simon21 wrote:

    69. At 3:21pm on 21 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:
    Re:"Aside from learning from the fiscal irresponsibility and horrible decisions of the past several decades (except from one very brief break)"


    And who was responsible for that brief break?

    Wasn't it certain Newt Gingrich [a Republican House Speaker), with Bill the Zipper taking a credit for it later? :-)))"

    ["Oh, I remember it well"]"


    But not so well as to get the facts straight. "Newt "crash and burn" Gringrich!"
    (misquote from Lenin via wikipedia ;-( )

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  • 73. At 3:41pm on 21 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #56 MA reminds us:


    "He [ bootlegger Joe Kennedy] also bought the election of his son John in 1960 when his mafia friends in Chicago used every illegal trick to invent votes in that city which ultiimately gave Kennedy the state of Illinois and the election victory."





    This cannot be stressed often enough; especially since JFK "won" by about 100 thousand votes, with many stiffs in Windy City's cemeteries voting for him.

    ["real love never dies"]



    And with Cosa Nostra messengers [it's been amply documented, Mods] paying Virginia, West Virginia and Kentucky sheriffs to persuade their herds to vote for JFK too.


    [I fully realise that many aficionados of a certain major IRA fundraiser from the great state of Massachusetts my take offense]

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  • 74. At 3:47pm on 21 Jan 2010, Simon21 wrote:

    70. At 3:27pm on 21 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:
    "True both men [Le Duc Tho and Yasser Arafat did vastly more for their countries and the world than Obama and many US presidents."



    "

    Oh, really?

    Have you been to Vietnam, lately? [I have]"


    Growing quicker than the US isn't it?

    Remarkable what throwing out a bunch of drug addled crazies who did not know what they wre fighting for does for a country's energy.

    Le Duc Tho one of the statesmen of the whole war.

    "And as for what Yassir did for Egypt, please ask pres. [Mu]Barack. :-)))"


    Yasser Arafat was not President of Egypt (he was not President of Mexico either)


    Sorry!!!!!

    Back to Wikipedia old mate ;-(

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  • 75. At 3:49pm on 21 Jan 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #67

    It may be too late to prevent a transfer of power in the House, but it is not too late to keep the White House in Democratic hands. "

    The Democrats are not in significant trouble until the Republicans come up with viable leaders and something approaching viable policies.
    ______________-

    Another example of your lack of reaility. We would be in much better shape with McCain or Romney in charge. the latter knows far more about the economy than a man who never held a job in the private sector.

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  • 76. At 3:51pm on 21 Jan 2010, Yanked Around wrote:

    Daniel O'Rourke is not alone in wanting to move to the UK. I also look longingly across the sea at times from my Chicago perch. Mr. Mardell makes an excellent point. There was a woeful lack of polling surrounding the Mass. Senatorial election. It has become a subject over which pundits tussle.

    For me, I am finished with a hypocritical Republican party which, like Senator Brown, complains bitterly of having been excluded from the democratic process by an autocratic Democratic majority. How they have changed their tune. Listening to them today, you would think that George W. Bush was a fair minded philosopher king, and that their own legislative tactics were above reproach. If you are curious about their behavior under W, even a cursory review of "The Great Derangement" by Matt Taibbi reveals that precisely the opposite is the case.

    I know that Britain has a vigorous internal debate about the merits of the NHS, and admit that you can fault me, an American, for having a lack of perspective. But perspective is crucial to truth. Let me share mine.

    In America, men and women commit suicide rather than allow their families to endure financial ruin when they suffer catastrophic illness without health insurance. Forty thousand - 40,000! - human beings die in America every year for lack of coverage. Employer based healthcare may not be available to job changers because of their pre-existing conditions. Covered people may see their benefits reduced or eliminated through no fault of their own if their cost of treatment exceeds the profit-based judgement of an insurance company bureaucrat. The list of outrages goes on and on.

    Savage Capitalism really is named correctly. The Republican Party's agenda is to kill healthcare reform with earnest sounding but endless debate while right-wing radio, bloggers, and the omni-present FoxNews whip up false outrage and pander to fundamentalists with irrelevant culture wars distractions.

    I hope Britains know what we face here in the USA. Whatever the faults of your NHS, the honest among us admire the UK, and wish that we were half the nation you are.

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  • 77. At 3:58pm on 21 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    I didn't know that Uliyan (aka Lenin) had a son.

    Now I know. :-)



    BTW. Teng Siao Ping's oldest son lives happily in U.S.

    Just like son of certain Nikita Khrushchev.

    [not to mention pres. Hujintao's daughter and her hubby]

    ["Grass is always greener on the other side of the hill"]



    P.S. have I mentioned that KGB gen. Oleg Kalugin has been living quite happily in Washington Metropolitan Area? :-)))))))))))))))))))

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  • 78. At 3:59pm on 21 Jan 2010, cynic555 wrote:

    Brown's election should be no surprise. Like Obama he was a relatively unknown politician who said things that resonated with the independent voters - he at least gave the voters an opportunity for change.

    Those Republican's who think his election was a validation/support of their party are missing the point - most independents still think Republicans are lower than whale excrement - it's just that they now think Democrats are equally bad.

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  • 79. At 4:03pm on 21 Jan 2010, ranter22 wrote:

    In this case the people are the loving parents.
    The president is the cross child.

    Sen. Brown is just one attribute of the senate and the only one with some sense, enough, so that a fear of separatism was not an issue.
    The Senate will welcome a new CHANGE.
    No, the pres is not impressed, evidently the agenda failed to register on him. If the language and the tone, are both still the same when Sen. Brown Advocates for the ‘maladaptive and naïve’ (lol) voters of this country,(not just MA) the president will definitely-imo-need another job soon. Name calling, by an alleged educated adult, onto the masses of dissatisfied Americans voicing their constitutional rights and preferences, is mirrored by satisfaction for none, mediocrity for all..

    Who will get the house, truck...
    Failing at home to win hearts or minds, Hummm.

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  • 80. At 4:07pm on 21 Jan 2010, Philly-Mom wrote:

    Vernacular Note:
    In these here United States, 'liberal' is a noun, not an adjective. Sry.

    Similarly, the term 'Democrat' was first used as a slur - changing the honorable adjective (Democratic) into a object to be reviled and feared.

    Gotta love the semantics of politicking.

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  • 81. At 4:14pm on 21 Jan 2010, David Murrell wrote:

    Magic – Better with McCain? Probably not, especially not if he had fallen ill, which considering his health, age and stress of the job seem likely or worse died, because then you would have had that lovely Alaskan lady.

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  • 82. At 4:17pm on 21 Jan 2010, Simon21 wrote:

    73. At 3:41pm on 21 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:
    Re #56 MA reminds us:


    "He [ bootlegger Joe Kennedy] also bought the election of his son John in 1960 when his mafia friends in Chicago used every illegal trick to invent votes in that city which ultiimately gave Kennedy the state of Illinois and the election victory."


    This cannot be stressed often enough; especially since JFK "won" by about 100 thousand votes, with many stiffs in Windy City's cemeteries voting for him.

    ["real love never dies"]"


    Who did Kennedy beat? Oh yes tricky (I did nuddin, I tell ya ****xxxx nuddin") Nixon

    What a relief!

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

    And with Cosa Nostra messengers [it's been amply documented, Mods]


    Like all my "quotes" from VI Lenin (Virgil Ian Lenin, Akron sub-mail box repair man, not the other guy some sort of ruskie)

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

    paying Virginia, West Virginia and Kentucky sheriffs to persuade their herds to vote for JFK too.


    Money very well spent! Imagine if Dicky "yes Madame Channault, a few dead GIs? Who cares" Nixon had won.

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

    [I fully realise that many aficionados of a certain major IRA fundraiser from the great state of Massachusetts my take offense]"


    Nah that would mean they take such right wing ranting seriously.

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  • 83. At 4:23pm on 21 Jan 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    " ... why did people who voted for Obama in the presidential election vote for Scott Brown in the Senate race?" (from Mardell)

    This is an easy question. Because in the United States we vote for the person, not the party. A substantial fraction of the electorate is unaffiliated with any party, and many party members are willing to cross over. The Democratic candidate did not have the confidence of enough of the voters, so she lost.

    We also vote for local issues. While pundits concerned with national politics have focused on the significance of the election for the health care bill, voters are not likely to let that be the deciding factor, if it means voting for someone they would not otherwise prefer. The American people are divided on the health care bill, so it isn't important enough to be the deciding factor.

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  • 84. At 4:25pm on 21 Jan 2010, Simon21 wrote:

    75. At 3:49pm on 21 Jan 2010, MagicKirin wrote:
    ref #67

    It may be too late to prevent a transfer of power in the House, but it is not too late to keep the White House in Democratic hands. "

    The Democrats are not in significant trouble until the Republicans come up with viable leaders and something approaching viable policies.
    ______________-

    Another example of your lack of reaility. We would be in much better shape with McCain or Romney in charge. the latter knows far more about the economy than a man who never held a job in the private sector."



    You think McCain and Romney are the republicans great hope!!!!!

    A geriatric failure and a non-entity?

    Sorry what were you saying about reality again?

    "Don't worry Lieutenant Bligh, the men love you I tell you"


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  • 85. At 4:28pm on 21 Jan 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    "If they really felt the way they do then they should put an independent in. But oh yeah that person only got 1% of the vote." (from Ben at #8)

    The candidate with 1% was a Libertarian. Hardly an independent, and certainly not someone to be taken seriously.

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  • 86. At 4:29pm on 21 Jan 2010, Mike wrote:

    The problem is that we the American people are stupid. After all the problems that Obama inherited, how is it possible to expect him to fix everything in a year?? Do people really think we can just pick up and go home in Iraq and Afghanistan and leave these two countries (that we royally screwed over) in a state of violence and chaos?? And why are we there in the first place? Because ages and ages ago... or was that only 10 years ago - most Americans and their elected representatives were convinced that to keep America safe we needed to invade Afghanistan. Then Iraq. The short-sightedness astounds me, and people are showing no signs of developing any sort of critical thinking skills to make it possible to learn from our mistakes.

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  • 87. At 4:32pm on 21 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    " The Supreme Court has ruled that corporations may spend
    freely to support or oppose candidates for president and
    Congress, easing decades-old limits on their participation in
    federal campaigns.

    The court on Thursday overturned a 20-year-old ruling that
    said corporations can be prohibited from using money from
    their general treasuries to pay for campaign ads. The
    decision almost certainly will also allow labor unions to
    participate more freely in campaigns and threatens similar
    limits imposed by 24 states.

    The justices also struck down part of the landmark
    McCain-Feingold campaign finance bill that barred union- and
    corporate-paid issue ads in the closing days of election
    campaigns." [CNN]


    "WEAR PROUDLY UNION LABEL" :-)))

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  • 88. At 4:35pm on 21 Jan 2010, ranter22 wrote:

    Doesn't anyone understand that this is for our own good?
    Why, when our children's children walk the streets of America, they’d like to know that we provided a future replete with medical care of the utmost, greatest, and excellent quality, for them. Yet by that time we will have long ago been dead and buried. All others will have forgotten our noblest pursuit, for them. Should we still be around, we would be asking them 'are we there yet?' on the way to our new-Soilent Green-(the movie) home. We are beings living in the now, because none of us are sure of what the future or even the present has in store for us. We do desire to have a system of excellence for our children. We just don't know that much about things that far ahead. The reality thrown at us within our own moment of time, is so overwhelming, and especially nowadays, that the concern needs to be addressed, not tomorrow, but today.
    Who stole our lives? Who left us this broken mess?
    Our generation of constituents, deal with their generation of leaders, who would compromise, still unborn benefactors.
    Sounds pretty much like one deaf and dumb'ed out
    President who said "There's nothing wrong with this country!" 'What me worry'(mad mag)

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  • 89. At 4:35pm on 21 Jan 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    "The terminology [independent] is wrong. We really need 'undecided', 'Republican-leaning', 'Democrat-leaning', even 'non-voting'." (from squirrelist at #16)

    "Unaffiliated" is the most neutral term. Your other suggestions make assumptions.

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  • 90. At 4:37pm on 21 Jan 2010, arclightt wrote:

    @75 (MK): "Another example of your lack of reaility. We would be in much better shape with McCain or Romney in charge. the latter knows far more about the economy than a man who never held a job in the private sector."

    MK, knowledge of how money and markets really work is necessary knowledge for a leader; however, it's not sufficient in my opinion.

    Our responsibilities as citizens extend beyond just "survival of the fittest". Assuming that's the case, our leadership has to be able to do more than just rubber-stamp whatever policies the loudest or most influential spokesfolks for the "free market" come up with.

    Part of this lies with us, in that in order for our leaders to be successful, we as a people have to be governable by something other than raw force. In this day and age, that requires a level of trust that many of us have a very difficult time sustaining.

    @61 (StD): "Writing letters, sending messages or calling our elected officials encouraging them to pursue what is best for the future of our country may result in momentary attempts to implement sound policy, but progress would only last until the next election when those officials are ousted for not giving the public what they want today, regardless of long term consequences."

    Perhaps, but that only means that we have to keep trying.

    It may also mean that we need to form closer relationships with the leaders, and be willing to look at stuff seriously on their behalf and advise them privately (assuming we have a specialty they are interested in). When the NTIA asked for volunteers to evaluate Broadband Technology Opportunities Program grant proposals, I stuck my neck out and evaluated about 10 of them as NTIA asked. I've never actually had an opportunity to assist in this fashion before, and it was pretty rewarding (no monetary compensation...just the satisfaction of knowing that I actually got to "put my money where my mouth is" and try to help make the system work).

    It may also mean that we need to take this to a different level (e.g. a balanced-budget amendment).

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  • 91. At 4:37pm on 21 Jan 2010, Simon21 wrote:

    77. At 3:58pm on 21 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:
    I didn't know that Uliyan (aka Lenin) had a son.

    Now I know. :-)"


    No more quotes? Sad ;-( "I cry the tears of a clown - wikipedia's let me down."


    BTW. Teng Siao Ping's oldest son lives happily in U.S.

    Does he? Wonderful.

    "Just like son of certain Nikita Khrushchev."

    Why not ask Sergie about Lenin? ;-)

    [not to mention pres. Hujintao's daughter and her hubby]

    ["Grass is always greener on the other side of the hill"]

    P.S. have I mentioned that KGB gen. Oleg Kalugin has been living quite happily in Washington Metropolitan Area? :-)))))))))))))))))))


    No you haven't, but here's the thing, you can keep him in the Washington metropolitan area ;-0.

    The rest of us really don't mind at all.

    No siree, got the odd torturer etc, send him to live in the US!

    Do they get benefits?

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  • 92. At 4:40pm on 21 Jan 2010, Simon21 wrote:

    79. At 4:03pm on 21 Jan 2010, ranter22 wrote:

    Failing at home to win hearts or minds, Hummm. "

    In the US does having one preclude the other? Explains a lot Dick Cheyney for example


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  • 93. At 4:40pm on 21 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #64

    Saint Dominick

    Since many posters here seem to have a problem with Gitmo's coordinates let me help a little by pointing out that it's located next door to a huge forced labour camp/Gulag known as Castro Bros' Cuba.

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  • 94. At 4:43pm on 21 Jan 2010, PartTimeDon wrote:

    At least Massachusetts got to elect their Brown...
    It's a sad day when the US political process outshines ours in the UK.

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  • 95. At 4:47pm on 21 Jan 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    squirrelist (#50) "The 'captured' refugees will be taken to . . . .
    Guantanamo Bay. If you are a desperate Haitian with nothing, how are you going to feel when you find out where the kindly US is taking you?"


    Where would you take them? Guantanamo Bay (a US Navy base) is close, and if it has room and facilities to care for refugees it is better than returning them immediately to the overburdened facilities in Haiti.

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  • 96. At 4:49pm on 21 Jan 2010, Maria Ashot wrote:

    The more I read, the more it emerges that Coakley was truly a weak candidate with a poor record -- and Brown an enormously appealing, effective candidate, with charm, no known skeletons in the closet (the Edwards case will forever spook me in that regard) and no poor record to irritate people with.

    Voters identify with the fresh, clean-cut, energetic & idealistic image. In fact, that was exactly what they most gravitated towards in Obama -- and what he clearly needs to hold on to, to stay viable in 2012.

    The Democrats have some strong leaders, and quite a few intelligent people. But the party as a whole is in complete disarray. In fact, it seems they won in 2008 only because the GOP had nothing remotely competitive, or even decent, on offer, plus had been thoroughly discredited through all the monumental crimes of Bush-Cheney, culminating in the ultimate betrayal: the destruction of global financial resources.

    Right now, the well-oiled GOP spinmeisters are going to try to use the Brown win to drag in as many of their pet names as possible, riding on his coattails. But actually that won't really happen.

    Barbara Boxer, for example, is not actually vulnerable in California. She will win because she is a woman, and CA is not MA -- and above all by running on the environment, which is her brief and actually important to a majority of Californians (if not to a majority of Americans who have yet to figure out that "global warming" is actually a euphemism for "industrial pollution is already killing us").

    So don't assume the highly charismatic & apparently well-meaning Senator Brown will usher in the Rapture for Republicans. He will probably have a brilliant career, if he manages to not emulate Kennedy or Edwards in those tasteless old vices that used to be perceived as "boyish indiscretions" but are now known as "disastrous lapses in judgement". Unless some hideous clay feet emerge, Brown will do just fine.

    But the GOP does not have very many such candidates. That was precisely what stopped them in 2008.

    It is far too soon to tell what the voting distribution will be in another 10 months. But it could be a very interesting year. I do hope, for everyone's sake, that more independent & intelligent souls appear and rise to the opportunity and actually run. Fresh faces will not hurt Washington -- old spin & scheming will.

    May the best keep winning: that would be refreshing.

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  • 97. At 4:51pm on 21 Jan 2010, ChicagoIL wrote:

    Right, Brown is going to come in and sweep Capitol Hill clean. Give me a break. It's the same rhetoric we've been hearing for years... then these new pols get elected and everyone is amazed at how they start talking the same language! Obama is not going to breach the constitution for any policy, not even beloved health care. The solution is so simple, congress must allow the people who want affordable health insurance to purchase the public option, and all the rest who want to keep paying their $800+ monthly premiums to blue cross blue shield should pay as much as they want until they are blue in the face.

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  • 98. At 4:53pm on 21 Jan 2010, ghostofsichuan wrote:

    Marcus the A and others see this as a call for the return of a Republican administration starting wars for oil companies, spying on citizens, increasing government spending, moving jobs to China and letting bankers steal retirement funds from citizens who have worked all their lives and saved. Ah, the good old days of those Republican values.

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  • 99. At 4:56pm on 21 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    You mean, comrade Islamist, you didn't know that Arafat wasn't a so called 'Palestinian', but an Egyptian? Just like Zawahiri?


    Common! Next thing you're going to tell me that Osama ibn Laden (a filthy rich man's sonny, just like that "pants-on-fire" clown) wasn't a Yemeni.

    And that you don't know why a mega-terrorrist "Carlos" was named "Ilich"

    Just as you professed not to know that Iran's current defense minister is on Interpol's "wanted terrorist" list.

    [forget that wanted criminal in charge of Sudan for a moment]

    I think you're much smarter than that.

    And you know very well what you're doing here. And why.

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  • 100. At 4:58pm on 21 Jan 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #81 and 84

    I can't see any edidence that Sarah Palin could do worse than Obama.

    Romney is a sucessful businessman, saved the Salt Lkae City Olympics got an acceptible healthcare plan passed. And if not for the dirty trick by Ted Kennedy and Union thugs would have been our Senator. He crushed the wizards of uhs in the debates.

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  • 101. At 4:58pm on 21 Jan 2010, Simon21 wrote:

    83. At 4:23pm on 21 Jan 2010, GH1618 wrote:
    " ... why did people who voted for Obama in the presidential election vote for Scott Brown in the Senate race?" (from Mardell)

    This is an easy question. Because in the United States we vote for the person, not the party. A substantial fraction of the electorate is unaffiliated with any party, and many party members are willing to cross over."


    Yeh right. And the fact that 60% of a US election is concerned with the tiresome primaries, that no president has not been a member of the major parties for well over 200 years and that the US legislatures contain fewer "independents" than honest reps is proof of this ridulous contention.

    Plus the fact that when you win a seat you are practically assured of a job for life since most US electors (the rapidly dminishing number of them)don't bother voting for anything save the party and the number of reps who ever lose their seats is miniscule.

    Alice in Wonderland stuff

    But do tell us more.



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  • 102. At 5:07pm on 21 Jan 2010, Maria Ashot wrote:

    Memo to Nancy, Democratic Party Leaders, and anyone else interested in keeping America from deteriorating further into a decade of constant vituperative debate that is ultimately counter-productive:

    The real challenge you face is lack of cohesion within your own ranks. Get rid of some of the old thinkers; find viable, exciting new faces with clean records who can adhere to the party platform. Stop shooting yourselves in the foot by trying to be all things to all people.

    The latest assessments suggest it may be 2013 before many Americans feel the economic meltdown is behind them. Until then, household income, personal financial considerations, jobs, education towards jobs, levels of debt (banking policy) will all be Topic One for Most voters in America.

    That will necessarily put pressure on potential immigration reform. It will wane in significance as the voters focus on helping themselves first, before they reach out to the newcomers on the margins. Fair? Unfair? Doesn't matter. As they say on airplanes: "Put on your own oxygen mask first before assisting others with theirs."

    Stop trying to do too much. Gay marriage rights are not the issue that will win either the 2010 election or the 2012 election or probably even the 2014 election. If you allow "gay marriage" to become the issue the GOP uses to smear Democrats, you have only yourselves to blame if you lose: because it is a distraction. To people worried about food for their kids and jobs that can keep them housed, "gay marriage" is frivolous. It reinforces the perception of Californians, for example, or Manhattanites, as delusional hedonists with no actual connection to real life or real people.

    Don't fall into the trap of accepting poison pills from the GOP just so you can pass "something" on health care. It is far more important to wait until you have a better group of people to work with in Congress, and have something of genuine value to the American people that you can vote on, than to create the semblance of reform and actually wind up hitting most of us with even higher costs for even less actual health.

    Stress adversely affects health. You don't fix the health crisis by making more Americans sick with worry.

    The environment won't wait. But you can, also, make it all the way to the November election, keeping a strong pro-health, pro-earth message, and then get the necessary statutes in. In the meantime, remember that a pro-environment America will have many more jobs to offer right there -- jobs that cannot be outsourced, and that include both skilled and not-so-skilled positions, by the millions in fact.

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  • 103. At 5:17pm on 21 Jan 2010, U14284230 wrote:

    94 so gordon brown didn't get elected?
    he was appointed.
    I think his constituents might disagree (though quietly )

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  • 104. At 5:18pm on 21 Jan 2010, zaphodian wrote:

    1. At 2:35pm on 21 Jan 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    "In my opinion, focus on short Vs long term goals is one of the most important factors in the ability of China to move towards global economic dominance and the rapid decline of our privileged position in the world."


    I'm not 100% sure who I'm quoting above so if I've erred then apologies.

    As for China whilst it may become the worlds' largest & most vigorous economy it will have epic problems in becoming anything other than a slave to events, it can produce on a vast scale but has no innovation & without innovation it's just a big factory with no human rights. Innovation requires freedom to think, that's going to really annoy China.

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  • 105. At 5:19pm on 21 Jan 2010, David Murrell wrote:

    Powermeerkat – Technically if Cuba is a Gulag, which it can only be colloquially since the whole country cannot be The Chief Administration of Corrective Labour Camps & Colonies (Glavnoye Upravlyeniye Ispravityel’no-Tudovih Lagyeryey I Koloniy) after all who are the administrating, who imprisoned them? Gulag is taken to be a penal labour camp, a prison a bit like the ones in the US where you have chain gangs. If someone has imprisoned the whole of Cuba then the most likely suspect would actually be the US.

    Really it is time to get over your Soviet obsession, the USSR is gone. Man you are soooooooo 80’s! ;-p

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  • 106. At 5:20pm on 21 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    No need to ask anybody 'bout Uliyan (aka as Lenin)

    The notorious syphilitic and a German agent has been decomposing for too long to be of any relevance to anybody.

    [except to orphaned 'comrades' id est.]


    Now, can we talk about Soso?

    His popularity seems to be growing lately. At least in some quarters? :-)

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  • 107. At 5:22pm on 21 Jan 2010, David Murrell wrote:

    GH1618 – While I have no issue with the refugees going to the naval base, why not the Dominican Republic after all that’s even closer? I am sure the US and others wouldn’t begrudge giving the necessary supplies.

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  • 108. At 5:25pm on 21 Jan 2010, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    # 73 powermeerkat

    "[I fully realise that many aficionados of a certain major IRA fundraiser from the great state of Massachusetts my take offense]"

    You've said this at least once before - I assume it is a reference to Ted Kennedy?

    If so - any actual proof of this allegation? Since as I recall he worked closely with both the Irish government and the SDLP, neither of whom were fans of the IRA

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  • 109. At 5:25pm on 21 Jan 2010, ranter22 wrote:

    # 92 Simon21

    Yep, sometimes if they capture the heart the mind will follow suit.

    If they capture the mind the may heart may still follow

    Capture both:
    And it is either, Affectionate devotion or Ruthless conquering.

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  • 110. At 5:25pm on 21 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    meerkat asksed: have I mentioned that KGB gen. Oleg Kalugin has been living quite happily in Washington Metropolitan Area? :-)))))))))))))))))))


    Simon21 replied: No you haven't, but here's the thing, you can keep him in the Washington metropolitan area ;-0.

    The rest of us really don't mind at all.



    Meerkat: Well, that's good to know. Because you seemed to awfully mind KGB Colonel Alex Litvinenko living in London, didn't ya?

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  • 111. At 5:30pm on 21 Jan 2010, U14284230 wrote:

    97 right on.

    86 right on. (sorry you are not stupid ) but many are.

    89 assumptions or tell more of the truth?
    lol I am amazed at how many of the republicans that were republicans before Obama ran, became independents who just happen to dislike obama.


    78
    most independents still think Republicans are lower than whale excrement -
    lol made me think of whale vomit
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/4642722.stm

    76 Yanked around.
    and in the 76 slot. the posting oof a true patriot.
    I'm with you. except I left the UK to come here.

    It was n ot the healthcare that made it so.


    OR charlie if you turn up. where do you live and what sort of healthcare do you have. as a poor musician.

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  • 112. At 5:30pm on 21 Jan 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    One aspect of this election which hasn't been discussed is why Massachusetts Democrats chose Coakley over Capuano (a Congressman) in the primary. Primary voters in both major parties sometimes choose the weaker candidate for the general election, but that's how democracy works.

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  • 113. At 5:31pm on 21 Jan 2010, U14284230 wrote:

    the voice of an independant;)

    " can't see any edidence that Sarah Palin could do worse than Obama."

    hardly surprising really.

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  • 114. At 5:38pm on 21 Jan 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #96

    I am not from California but Boxer has a lot of negatives.

    Her lack of respect for the military during congressional hearings.

    Her history of obstructionalism

    Her abrasive personality

    I think with Harry Reid she is the most threatened Democratic leader in the senate.

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  • 115. At 5:48pm on 21 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    "If you want things to stay the same, you just have to make it look as though they're changing". [Lampedusa]

    (Might not be perfect, I'm quoting from memory, but you get the idea . . .)

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  • 116. At 5:58pm on 21 Jan 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    David Murrell (#107) "why not the Dominican Republic after all that’s even closer?"

    Actually, it's not closer, by sea, to a port of entry. More to the point is that Dominican Republic is a sovereign country. It's up to them to provide whatever assistance they will.

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  • 117. At 6:13pm on 21 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:


    Re#104
    Zaphodian observes:

    Innovation requires freedom to think, that's going to really annoy China.





    You don't have to 'Google" in China to know that. ;)

    But it's much more serious that that.


    PRS is running out ot arable acreage. Which has been shrinking.

    Due to uncontrolled industrialisation, desertification (cf. Gobi's encroachment), incredible (and growing) contamination of its soil and water, air pollution, etc.

    Having 1.4 billion mouths to feed sure doesn't help.

    Neither do growing independence movements in Tibet, and more importantly, in East Turkestan (which Beijing calls 'Xingjiang').

    [While Tibetans are Buddhists, Uighurs are Muslims and Turkic and they're not going to roll over and play dead, current repressions notwithstanding]

    I hate to tell you this almost exactly on the 40th anniversary of Ussuri clashes- which almost resulted in nuclear exchange between USSR and PRC -

    but China's only hope to acquire more Lebensraum is to regain an almost empty now, currently Russian-occupied Manchuria.


    Sapienti sat.

    Please stand by for further developments.

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  • 118. At 6:38pm on 21 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #105 GULAG

    That's tRudovykh, David [ please, check what 'trud' means in Russian]

    And if Castro Bros' Cuba is a Gulag due to U.S., how come that Cubans have been desperately escaping for decades (whenever they can) to.. ehmm...U.S.? :-)))



    P.S. Hate to tell you that, but IMHO, it's people who still believe in socialism and a socialist system who are living in the 80s.

    Or perhaps in even in 1950s.

    "Das Kapital" without a capital won't succeed.

    And socialism has always been able to generate only one thing: MISERY!


    BTW. How are your funds in Iceland doing?

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  • 119. At 6:39pm on 21 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    95. GH1618:

    I take your point. After the last eight years, I'm positive, were I to be 'captured' from the sea after suffering the worst earthquake in 200 years and told I was being taken to Guantanamo Bay, the first thing that would come into my head would be the need to practice a few nautical expressions. Like 'Splice the mainbrace!' or 'I see the sun's over the yardarm, Cap'n.'

    (I wonder why I bother, sometimes, I really do.)

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  • 120. At 6:42pm on 21 Jan 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 90, arclightt

    "It may also mean that we need to take this to a different level (e.g. a balanced-budget amendment)."

    Absolutely, but judging by our track record on the subject of fiscal responsibility it will take a miracle to pass legislation that forces our government - and by default us - to live within our means.

    I would love to see an Administration with the courage to tell us that if we want the services we currently enjoy we will have to pay for them or accept reductions to ensure revenues and outlays are balanced. Can you imagine what will happen to whomever suggests such a preposterous notion?

    The problems is that neither the "conservatives" nor liberals have any interest in cutting back their pet projects, and the public is content charging and signing IOU's that we have no intention of honoring. A society that worships and survives on credit cards is not about to forego B2 bombers, crusades, or getting everything they see without worrying about how to pay for it.

    We often boast about our sense of fiscal, personal and social responsibility, but in practical terms we don't even know how to spell those concepts.

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  • 121. At 6:43pm on 21 Jan 2010, PartTimeDon wrote:

    104. "I think his constituents might disagree (though quietly )"
    Quiet disagreements are rare in Kirkaldy.

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  • 122. At 6:44pm on 21 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #115 Squirrelist : "If you want things to stay the same, you just have to make it look as though they're changing". [Lampedusa]



    Meerkat:

    "The more things change, the more they stay the same"

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  • 123. At 6:48pm on 21 Jan 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 100, Magic

    "I can't see any edidence that Sarah Palin could do worse than Obama."

    Sarah's intellectual acumen makes Martha look like a genius.

    Unfortunately, education, intellect, honesty and a vision often take a backseat to charisma and looks and, in that regard, Sarah is definitely a political tsunami and someone to keep an eye on...and I don't mean just politically!

    Sorry, this old man is 100% heterosexual and very appreciative of the wonderments of mother nature.

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  • 124. At 6:49pm on 21 Jan 2010, hms_shannon wrote:

    post76 Yanked Around,

    Man that was a sobering post,America must spend time & money on its self.
    The fear of imagined threats,causing that massive military complex to drain
    finances,so that looking after your own is neglected,can not be right.From
    the perspective of over here,the soviets broke by arms spending on a reducing industrial base,do not follow them.You do not need F22s & trident
    systems to sort out the BenGun look alike party...

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  • 125. At 6:51pm on 21 Jan 2010, David Murrell wrote:

    GH1618 - But the Haitian capital port has been destroyed, so you have to transport people either by air or land to get to the ship. As I said I don't have an issue with using the US Navy or their Cuban base, just offering an alternative, one which I understand a number of Haitians are already using.

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  • 126. At 7:06pm on 21 Jan 2010, zaphodian wrote:

    117. At 6:13pm on 21 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:


    but China's only hope to acquire more Lebensraum is to regain an almost empty now, currently Russian-occupied Manchuria.


    China can't afford to annexe any more territory surely? They have more than enough people in China itself to monitor without getting involved with anyone who's been reading unsupervised, imagine if some of them had seen a magazine? What if someone smuggled another comic in? It just doesn't bear thinking about, besides, apart from the gas van all Russia has left is the army these days, they'd probably object.

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  • 127. At 7:07pm on 21 Jan 2010, David Murrell wrote:

    Powermeerkat - Sorry I am actually correct Gulag is exactly the description I gave.

    Look I am not the one who keeps giving the dodgy quotes (dodgy because it seems at least some of them are rubbish) or references to people who have been dead for years. Oh and the 1950's thing smarts, yes I really do want to go back to the 1950's, but there is one small issue I wasn't born until the '70's so my recollection might be off, a bit like some of your quotes!

    Iceland? Fine, thanks for asking I have gotten all the money back I invested, which equals the relevance of your question.... None.

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  • 128. At 7:13pm on 21 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Saint Dominick opines:

    Sarah is definitely a political tsunami and someone to keep an eye on...and I don't mean just politically!




    Now, now, what's wrong Hillary's looks?

    ["It Takes a Village"]


    And she may still become our Commander-in-Chief!

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  • 129. At 7:15pm on 21 Jan 2010, zaphodian wrote:

    25. At 6:51pm on 21 Jan 2010, David Murrell wrote:

    'GH1618 - But the Haitian capital port has been destroyed, so you have to transport people either by air or land to get to the ship. As I said I don't have an issue with using the US Navy or their Cuban base, just offering an alternative, one which I understand a number of Haitians are already using.'


    What you're saying makes sense but it also kind of makes sense for the Americans to use Guantanamo, there's no problems with deciding who's in charge, the place is huge & already equipped to cope with the demands of a lot of tired, injured & hungry people. It also puts it in the news for better reasons than the usual ones as well, the Dominican Republic is close at hand but poor itself, if the burden falls upon it to cope then we'll have two countries to support & not just one. I think that the US is doing sterling work in Haiti but the confusion over who's in charge of who between them & the UN should never have arisen.

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  • 130. At 7:37pm on 21 Jan 2010, zaphodian wrote:

    123. At 6:48pm on 21 Jan 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Unfortunately, education, intellect, honesty and a vision often take a backseat to charisma and looks and, in that regard, Sarah is definitely a political tsunami and someone to keep an eye on...and I don't mean just politically!


    Okay but you really don't mean politically do you? I mean, if Sarah Palin was a political animal she'd be the first to hunt it down :)

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  • 131. At 7:41pm on 21 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    No, David Murrell (#127)


    You don't have a slightest idea what GULAG is.

    Just as you don't have an idea what tRud is.

    You don't even have a clue.

    Of course you don't remember 50's, or even 60s: that's patently obvious.

    ["Don't know much about history"]

    That's why you make references to ideas and ideologies which have been dead not for years, but for decades. [such as socialism]

    But remember also that people who don't remember past are bound to repeat it.



    P.S. By "your" funds in Iceland I meant BRITISH funds in Iceland.
    Where people are going to decide whether to pay their debts or not.

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  • 132. At 7:56pm on 21 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    130. zaphodian

    ROTFLOL

    (Look, we're not supposed to do funny on this blog. People complain.)

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  • 133. At 7:59pm on 21 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re#129

    got to go now, zaphodian, sorry.

    But if you bother to find one of my earlier posts somewhere in this blog addressing specifically an issue Russian military 'might' and Russian military industry, and try to do some research yourself, I'm sure you'll realize that all Russian army is good for these days is FOR attacking a midget like Georgia.

    [Nay, it can't even pacify tiny Chechnya and Dagestan]


    Besides population ratio of PRC vs Russian Federation is 10:1 and

    NOBODY EVER DEFEATED DEMOGRAPHY.

    BTW. Peaceful reconquista of Manchuria by the Chinese has already began many years ago.

    Check for example what's been going on in so called Khabarovski Krai.

    regards,

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  • 134. At 8:15pm on 21 Jan 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 128, powermeerkat

    "And she may still become our Commander-in-Chief!"

    So does Sarah...

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  • 135. At 8:20pm on 21 Jan 2010, zaphodian wrote:

    132. At 7:56pm on 21 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:


    (Look, we're not supposed to do funny on this blog. People complain.)


    Drat, still learning the rules, I loathe complaints :)

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  • 136. At 8:24pm on 21 Jan 2010, zaphodian wrote:

    133. At 7:59pm on 21 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    NOBODY EVER DEFEATED DEMOGRAPHY.

    BTW. Peaceful reconquista of Manchuria by the Chinese has already began many years ago.


    They're sneaky aren't they? It'll still take them years though, it hardly seems worth it.

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  • 137. At 8:50pm on 21 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    135. At 8:20pm on 21 Jan 2010, zaphodian wrote:

    132. At 7:56pm on 21 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote: (Look, we're not supposed to do funny on this blog. People complain.)

    Drat, still learning the rules, I loathe complaints :)


    Well, actually, to be strictly accurate, it's the Yanks who usually complain ; p

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  • 138. At 9:10pm on 21 Jan 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Simple Simian;

    "Who did Kennedy beat? Oh yes tricky (I did nuddin, I tell ya ****xxxx nuddin") Nixon

    What a relief!"

    You must be a fool, you don't know anything about history. Less than two years after the election, Kennedy's weakness and stupidity resulted in a crisis that brought the human race to within hours of total extinction. Not a joke or an exaggeration, study the Cuban missile crisis and find out just how close the US came to total thermonuclear war with the USSR in October 1962.

    Szechuan Chicken;

    If you'd read my other postings, you'd know I've advocated massive printing of money by the United States Treasury and distributing it to American citizens to rekindle the economy, devalue the currency and debt making payback to China in very cheap 80% discounted dollars possible, and very high import tarrifs to keep the money inside the US and imports out. This would stimulate investment inside the US, repatriate entire industries exported abroad to evade American wages, building codes, workplace safety codes, and polution laws. It would likely bankurpt China and Europe which I view as an added benefit.

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  • 139. At 9:26pm on 21 Jan 2010, zaphodian wrote:

    138. At 9:10pm on 21 Jan 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    It would likely bankurpt China and Europe which I view as an added benefit.


    We don't need you to bankrupt us thank you very much, we're doing fine on our own :)

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  • 140. At 9:52pm on 21 Jan 2010, ranter22 wrote:

    It nay be true that many already are dying, some related to lack of proper medical cure or treatment. 'Health CARE' among others buzz words seems to take on a newly taken for granted meaning. The proper title if that's what is truly intended then ought to be "Medical Treatment Unlimited For All." But that's not proper. The trade off then is the inclusion of those without proper access to those who do and should die as well. The death camps scenario has been downplayed, the language has been
    re- scripted. All the same, Peddling faulty wares to the beloved citizens, way to go!
    Lets try not putting too much money into the International Monetary Fund and not draining any from the existing systems. Because all of the currency available to so many other countries is coming from your tax dollars and from your programs, Programs and collections diverted so conveniently with earmarks for on thing and then go elsewhere. Giving money up in times of economic chaos is not unlike treason. Who is letting who down now. While the still living have to go without, the dead and not any longer needful get memorials. Save the Memorials for when the economy is good, there was no rush. Besides the person TK had if not over 100 million, the pretty close. Money in store for national defense and the military funding.
    It really does not make a big difference though because if not from that fund then from screwthe taxpayer pledge fund. Somewhere we lost track of transparency, Oh, that's right we can't see transparent, another buzz word. Tricky used that already " Let me make one thing perfectly CLEAR" "I am not a CROOK" HUH?
    They all need a shot of Pentothal.

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  • 141. At 9:54pm on 21 Jan 2010, ranter22 wrote:

    Only a small amount though, just to set this right, enough to tell the truth.

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  • 142. At 10:10pm on 21 Jan 2010, Pass Torian wrote:

    Come on! Obama's got beating in Massachusetts? Such faulty assessment may lead only to faulty, meaningless conclusions. The right probe of what happened in Massachusetts ought to concentrate on why people of that state rejected Ms. Coakley in favor of Mr. Brown. People of Massachusetts have no problem with identifying Ms.Coakley worthiness for their state so why should the rest of us be kept in dark? Moreover, why the rest of us should be led astray? It has nothing to do with Obama; it is simply a local election with people expressing their sentiments through voting booths.
    It is obvious that Obama administration disappointed many people, on many fronts, but to connect this, in essence, with failure of Ms. Coakley has no valid basis.

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  • 143. At 10:28pm on 21 Jan 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    Next Mass Democratic target Bill Delahunt, Joe Malone is going to run against him.

    I hope that the 10th district will rid itself of Hugo the Dictators second biggest stooge.

    Oh for those who believe Keith Obermann's lie about Brown being a right wing conservative tea bagger. Brown is supporting McCain in Arizona not J D Haworth.

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  • 144. At 10:57pm on 21 Jan 2010, ranter22 wrote:

    Just in case Brown really meant the challenge to Obama, Lets see if we can set the tone early on. This would have Brown, Ayla, McCain, palin, against Obama, Michelle, Biden Pelosi.

    The winner takes 2012.

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  • 145. At 11:10pm on 21 Jan 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ranter22 wrote:
    Just in case Brown really meant the challenge to Obama, Lets see if we can set the tone early on. This would have Brown, Ayla, McCain, palin, against Obama, Michelle, Biden Pelosi.

    The winner takes 2012.

    _________________________

    Well even though McCain can lift his arms above a certain leval, Sarah Barcuda and Ayla played college ball. If they plays 80 style Palin will knock Obama down a few times in the lane.

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  • 146. At 11:31pm on 21 Jan 2010, ranter22 wrote:

    She will have my vote then. But in the meantime it would make for an interesting game. B.Ball isn't one of my very favorite sports, but I wouldn't want to miss that one.
    Should the winner be Pelosi-N- O. well then I'll wait and see.
    I give McCain Props Because he served with distinction.

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  • 147. At 00:03am on 22 Jan 2010, McJakome wrote:

    271. At 10:58am on 21 Jan 2010, zaphodian wrote:
    RE: 265. At 09:10am on 21 Jan 2010, squirrelist
    “Also instead of tort reform why don't they just cap lawyer fees?”

    You are in big trouble my friend. The Shyster family have just taken out a hit on you. Guido will be paying you a call in the near future. Don’t mess with that “family!”

    275. At 12:21pm on 21 Jan 2010, charlieatlantic wrote to @DavidMurrell

    "I am viscerally opposed to Blackwater, and to any private military contractors being employed by a government in place of a traditional state-run army. It is bad policy, it is unconstitutional and it makes accountability almost impossible. None of the examples you cited will find any defense from my corner. I'm in complete agreement."
    Ditto!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    3. At 01:59am on 21 Jan 2010, wcorey wrote:
    “Concern about what's in the massive health care reform legislation is the tip of the iceberg in terms of why people voted for Brown….Yet, it happened, and the political ripples are being felt all over the U.S.A. The popular ire was aimed at Democrats who have the power, and the Democrats had better understand this.”

    In my case it was also aimed at Republicans [the other end of the corrupt catdog party]. This so-called reform, full of pork and unrestrained spending, as well as more money for the insurance companies, was not good. Give us a single-payer, less expensive, optional [but available to anyone who wants it] national insurance plan [or regional or state-by-state]; or at least stop the abuses of the insurance companies and give us a workable universal private insurance plan that some countries like Switzerland have.

    Mostly, I am not angry at Obama, I am angry at the corrupt government of Massachusetts that cut the jobs of fire and police while handing out $150,000 jobs to unnecessary political hacks. Our legislators, politicos and government job holders receive far too much in their “pay packets” and much too generous bonuses [free parking in Boston when the public pays $20 per hour, Cadillac Health Insurance, etc.]!

    Reign them in or give them what the royal governor got!
    Where is Daniel Shays when we need him?

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  • 148. At 02:40am on 22 Jan 2010, Markorion wrote:

    Massachusetts was a disaster, Coakley ran a fairly useless campaign. And now the US will be stuck with it's seriously awful healthcare system for the forseeable future. It's amazing that a country as rich as the US cannot have a functional healthcare system with insurance for all.

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  • 149. At 04:59am on 22 Jan 2010, ranter22 wrote:

    Isn't life in America wonderful. One thing we are is resilient Other countries may be crumbling and falling into a different type of chaos, but we have the patent on the democratic right to self implode if we choose to.
    Not too long ago and with so many safety rules in place, one of our bridges in Boston went dark.
    It wasn't a power outage though, it was a deliberate shutting off. All because the funds to keep a public byway lit weren't available. That people might have been hurt or killed as a result became irrelevant, no money? totally relevant.
    So some came to the rescue from private sources and kept it lit for a while. They must have gotten an infusion from somewhere because it hasn't gone dark since b4 Christmas, oohh, I said a bad word, sorry. I meant holidays.
    Yet some others would have abandoned City Hall and move to a new location, costing , I don't know how much money. This hasn't happened though thanks to G_d, yeah that works.
    We are disposable citizens. Paying taxes, city, state, federal, S.S., HMO's, and into retirement funds among others essential things. For what it seems to be a lifetime, and then we get old.
    Right about then we become a burden to the Governments. They took the money and now they want us to go out peacefully, with dignity, like civilized people. What is so civilized about signing out? What other country has this over civilized requisite. To my knowledge no government anywhere else seeks to control an age group's existence. If you know one please tell me. People themselves may elect to end their time on earth, but as an individual choice.
    No pressure. Anyone who wants to exit this world anywhere on earth can do so. You can't throw them in jail afterward can you. The insurance companies would perhaps not be amenable to suicide because they would have to pay out if it became a law. Maybe staying alive is more expensive, but not to the insurance or life insurance I should point out. Could be that together with the medical establishments, the health insurance companies have struck a deal on this. I can't tell yet.
    What i do know now is that if any of you need any money, like a big big loan, then all you need to do is move to a participating g20 country or a newly accepted developing one, and establish contact with the g8--soon to be g12 or 10-- then tell them you are helping to develop that particular federation place and hitch an agreement with its leader. Soon you will come to possess what you would have never ever dreamed of, if you had stayed in the USA. Billions of dollars to help develop (franchise) Partners in federation of continents and willing participants to oust poverty from the face of the world. Not that there will no longer be poor people there, but that there will be more poor people here. Are you poor now? Just wait a little longer, once those four pillars of the plan start to vertically hold the horizon in place. But truly I love this country. Heck I even like the people sometimes. It would be better if we could just stop being first at everything though. One thing we can't ever be first at anymore is telling a lie.
    Now Scott goes in driving a truck, Patrick came in driving a dodge or Chrysler, I lived right next door to the gilded domed governor's place and have met The governor a few times--not as friends- as he walked by with his body guards. But that was when he was first elected and since then a big Black Cadillac strolls by with him in it. Scott, don't turn your truck in. It is a symbol now. Besides we probably would have to pay for a new one anyway. So go get rich; Be that American in a third world country with the privilege to be a direct liaison and serve, knowing that all of us a home nave unknowingly financed, the reconstruction at the expense of our own destruction, the building of a first federation, of the new intercontinental world order.

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  • 150. At 05:28am on 22 Jan 2010, CuriousAmerican wrote:

    to all the lib "true belivers" out there, I have one very important message for you.....

    nanana...nananana..........(sticking both thumbs in my ears and wiggling all my fingers while making goofy eyeballs and sticking out my tongue)

    I hope Obama keeps up the "good work". He is doing a great job of representing how great libs and democrats are when they have absolute power...If I new he was going to be this great of an epic failure I would have voted for him myself...

    It's looking alot like Jimmy Carter part 2 around here lately...

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  • 151. At 06:17am on 22 Jan 2010, ranter22 wrote:

    Read it here:

    http://www.ft.com/indepth/g20

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  • 152. At 06:48am on 22 Jan 2010, zaphodian wrote:

    147. At 00:03am on 22 Jan 2010, JMM wrote:

    You are in big trouble my friend. The Shyster family have just taken out a hit on you. Guido will be paying you a call in the near future. Don’t mess with that “family!”


    Do you know if it will be am or pm? :)


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  • 153. At 07:29am on 22 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Ref 128, powermeerkat

    "And she may still become our Commander-in-Chief!"



    SaintDominick: So does Sarah...


    Can I chose Angelina? [high motivating skills]

    Or Julia?

    [Julia Roberts at least knew what had to be done to end Soviet occupation of Afghanistan - if you recall the movie, at least;)]

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  • 154. At 08:00am on 22 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    133. At 7:59pm on 21 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    NOBODY EVER DEFEATED DEMOGRAPHY.

    BTW. Peaceful reconquista of Manchuria by the Chinese has already began many years ago.


    zapohoadian remarks: They're sneaky aren't they?
    It'll still take them years though, it hardly seems worth it.



    No, it's worth it. Chinese (mostly Manchurians with strong emotional attachment to their ancestral land) are not exactly looking for riches (although there's plenty of gas off Sakhalin and gold in Kolyma); they are simply looking for a living S P A C E.

    And believe me: there's plenty of almost empty space in both, Primorski and Khabarovski Krai, particularly since local Russians are moving (or even are being moved, for economic reasons) west.

    In 20 years PRC won't even have to use its huge, and quite modern (unlike in 1969) armed forces much:

    Chinese Peoples Liberation Army will 'liberate' Manchuria without any real effort; although, considering vastness of the territory, it'll be a
    Long March.

    [Not that the Chinese won't start marching toward Ural Mts by 2050 :)]

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  • 155. At 08:34am on 22 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #140 ranter wrote:
    Tricky used that already " Let me make one thing perfectly CLEAR" "I am not a CROOK" HUH?



    Are you refering to Dems denying C-SPAN an access to health "reform" proceeding?


    P.S. I don't think Mr. Obama is a crook; he's simply just another lawyer.

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  • 156. At 08:36am on 22 Jan 2010, zaphodian wrote:

    154. At 08:00am on 22 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:


    Chinese Peoples Liberation Army will 'liberate' Manchuria without any real effort; although, considering vastness of the territory, it'll be a
    Long March.

    [Not that the Chinese won't start marching toward Ural Mts by 2050 :)]


    Maybe, but at the moment they're attempting to run a communist state along capitalist lines, over the next few years that may just keep them busier than expected.

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  • 157. At 08:40am on 22 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #152 zaphodian asks (not me): Do you know if it will be am or pm? :)



    Please, repeat your inquiry in Zulu times. :)

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  • 158. At 08:52am on 22 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    zaphoadian observes (#156): at the moment they [Chinese] are attempting to run a communist state along capitalist lines.



    Some people would call is an oxymoron. Although some communist oxes might have a difficulty of understanding a 'moron' part.

    BTW. During my conversations with the Chinese I've found out that they pronounce "Ural" - Ular.

    So let me correct myself:
    By 2050 at the latest they'll start a Long March toward Ular Mts. :)

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  • 159. At 09:15am on 22 Jan 2010, zaphodian wrote:

    157. At 08:40am on 22 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    'Please, repeat your inquiry in Zulu times. :)'




    :) We shouldn't laugh, perhaps pretending that you live somewhere else gives your online persona a greater depth, although for that to work you'd have to be fairly shallow to begin with.

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  • 160. At 09:20am on 22 Jan 2010, zaphodian wrote:

    158. At 08:52am on 22 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    zaphoadian observes (#156): at the moment they [Chinese] are attempting to run a communist state along capitalist lines.



    'Some people would call is an oxymoron. Although some communist oxes might have a difficulty of understanding a 'moron' part.'


    We say Urals, they say Ulars, once the average Chinese peasants realise that they're responsible for their economic boom they're going to want their share of the pie, & they're not going to want to walk a long way to get it either :)


    America may just have sold its' political system (or perhaps ensured that it now comes with a reciept) but at least it sold it, it didn't just run away with it & ordered everyone to shut their brains down.

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  • 161. At 1:22pm on 22 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re#160

    Predictions that the former British colony in America will not make it and eventually will fall upart have been floating aroound for over 200 years.

    Check in another 200 wheter U.S. has indeed collapsed disappeared.

    If EUSSR is still around by then, that is. :-)

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  • 162. At 3:51pm on 22 Jan 2010, Peter wrote:

    " I realize that the opposition to healthcare reform in the USA must be baffling to people in other developed countries, it is for some of us as well, but regardless of reason it is apparent that most Americans are not in favor of significant reform to our healthcare system. From what I can discern from listening to speeches and reading articles on the subject what people want and expect are minor changes to the system, rather than a major makeover. If they just get rid of the pre-existing condition clause, coverage caps, rejection due to chronic illness, limit ever rising premiums, and reduce the amount of co-pays and out-of-pocket expenses most people will welcome the change."

    I'm bloody sure they would. I recently googled terms like co-pay and out-of-pocket expenses to find out what they were. It's appalling that people put up with this state of affairs.

    ... but ... (and it's a big one)

    You have identified most of the problems with the US healthcare system that are apparent to the rest of the word, and they are not minor, nor are they easily fixed, and you definitely can't dom it without detailed legislation controlling what the insurance companies can and cannot do. By definition, this would be a significant reform to your healthcare system. It's not even a case of wanting to have your cake and eat it. You seem to want to eat the cake without ever going to the cake shop.

    > It will be a long time, if ever, before socialized healthcare is accepted in the USA, and the sooner the Democrats understand that the better off they will be.

    Socialised health care, whether it's Single Provider like the NHS or Single Payer like Canada, has the advantage of being simple and easy to explain. Everybody contributes. Everybody is covered. It's also cheaper. If you don't want to go that route, and the US public seems reluctant to even think about it, then you are left with some sort of complex balancing act, like the HCR bills that the Senate and House have passed so far, which are opposed (depending who you ask) for going too far and/or not far enough. Or the status quo, which is, as you explained, dreadful.

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  • 163. At 5:29pm on 22 Jan 2010, Simon21 wrote:

    161. At 1:22pm on 22 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:
    Re#160

    Predictions that the former British colony in America will not make it and eventually will fall upart have been floating aroound for over 200 years.

    Check in another 200 wheter U.S. has indeed collapsed disappeared."

    Didn't that happen when the US elected a black liberal as president?



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  • 164. At 5:35pm on 22 Jan 2010, Simon21 wrote:

    154. At 08:00am on 22 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:
    133. At 7:59pm on 21 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    NOBODY EVER DEFEATED DEMOGRAPHY.

    BTW. Peaceful reconquista of Manchuria by the Chinese has already began many years ago.


    Like the peacefull reoccupation of the US South by Latin America.

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


    No, it's worth it. Chinese (mostly Manchurians with strong emotional attachment to their ancestral land) are not exactly looking for riches (although there's plenty of gas off Sakhalin and gold in Kolyma); they are simply looking for a living S P A C E.


    Ah your only problem is most Chinese are not Manchurians, Han Chinese consider Manchurians to be a minority.

    opps!!!!

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

    And believe me: there's plenty of almost empty space in both, Primorski and Khabarovski Krai, particularly since local Russians are moving (or even are being moved, for economic reasons) west.


    That would be because (hint theres lot of empty space in the Sahara and Antartic too!)

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

    In 20 years PRC won't even have to use its huge, and quite modern (unlike in 1969) armed forces much:

    Chinese Peoples Liberation Army will 'liberate' Manchuria without any real effort; although, considering vastness of the territory, it'll be a
    Long March.


    In 20 years the latinisation of the US will be very advanced. California etc will be Mexican without a reconquista!!!!!!!!


    Hasta la vista!!!!!!!


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  • 165. At 5:38pm on 22 Jan 2010, Simon21 wrote:

    143. At 10:28pm on 21 Jan 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    Oh for those who believe Keith Obermann's lie about Brown being a right wing conservative tea bagger. Brown is supporting McCain in Arizona not J D Haworth."

    Good Mr McCain will need to be supported, especially when getting into his car.


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  • 166. At 5:41pm on 22 Jan 2010, Simon21 wrote:

    138. At 9:10pm on 21 Jan 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:


    "Who did Kennedy beat? Oh yes tricky (I did nuddin, I tell ya ****xxxx nuddin") Nixon

    What a relief!"

    "You must be a fool, you don't know anything about history. Less than two years after the election, Kennedy's weakness and stupidity resulted in a crisis that brought the human race to within hours of total extinction. Not a joke or an exaggeration, study the Cuban missile crisis and find out just how close the US came to total thermonuclear war with the USSR in October 1962. "


    Kennedy's greatest triumph.

    Keep to Roumanian history marcus, you are out of your depth.

    Anyway you think thermonuclear war is a good thing don't you?



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  • 167. At 5:48pm on 22 Jan 2010, Simon21 wrote:

    133. At 7:59pm on 21 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:
    Re#129

    got to go now, zaphodian, sorry.

    But if you bother to find one of my earlier posts somewhere in this blog addressing specifically an issue Russian military 'might' and Russian military industry, and try to do some research yourself, I'm sure you'll realize that all Russian army is good for these days is FOR attacking a midget like Georgia."


    Which the brave US defended so stoutly. Cowardly or what.


    "Besides population ratio of PRC vs Russian Federation is 10:1 and

    NOBODY EVER DEFEATED DEMOGRAPHY."


    Numbers don't cut it old son since the BLR invented over 100 years ago.

    BTW. Peaceful reconquista of Manchuria by the Chinese has already began many years ago.


    And the peaceful reoccupation of the US from Latin America (1 million a year) is progressing even faster.

    You can already see the effects.

    1. The visceral politics

    2. The obsession with guns (just ask the Virginians)

    3. The deeply corrupt and falwed political system.


    Even the ridiculously elaborate dress uniforms of the US military look more like a Bolivian junta then a Western European military.

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  • 168. At 5:55pm on 22 Jan 2010, ranter22 wrote:

    155. At 08:34am on 22 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #140 ranter wrote:
    Tricky used that already " Let me make one thing perfectly CLEAR" "I am not a CROOK" HUH?



    Are you refering to Dems denying C-SPAN an access to health "reform" proceeding?


    P.S. I don't think Mr. Obama is a crook; he's simply just another lawyer.
    -------------------------------------------------

    'Just''another''Lawyer!'

    Say no More.

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  • 169. At 8:36pm on 22 Jan 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #166

    Kennedy also stole the 1960 election with help from chicago mayor Richard Daley

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  • 170. At 8:51pm on 22 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Ref #169

    "Vote early, vote often" Daley even manged to persuade many stiffs in Windy City's cemeteries to vote for JFK.

    [who's finest hour was, of course, the Bay of Pigs fiasco]


    P.S. I also seem to remember JFK involving us militarily in Vietnam.

    And Tricky Dicky ending that involvment.

    "How soon they forget!" :-)

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  • 171. At 10:45pm on 22 Jan 2010, zaphodian wrote:

    161. At 1:22pm on 22 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:


    Check in another 200 wheter U.S. has indeed collapsed disappeared.

    If EUSSR is still around by then, that is. :-)



    I have no doubts that the US will survive, the EU I can take or leave (okay so we're not allowed to vote on it), but so long as a corporation with its' vast resources can be equated to a single person with limited resources you have some interesting times coming up. Since the corporation is required by law to act only in its' own interests but a person is required to limit their actions to within the law this cannot equate, but good luck with that :)

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  • 172. At 11:01pm on 22 Jan 2010, McJakome wrote:

    167. At 5:48pm on 22 Jan 2010, Simon21 wrote RE:
    133. At 7:59pm on 21 Jan 2010, powermeerkat
    "Even the ridiculously elaborate dress uniforms of the US military look more like a Bolivian junta then a Western European military."
    Have you seen what Prince Philip looks like in full military regalia, or the French Guarde Republicaine?

    If you must criticize the US, you could at least use real world information not made up "bumpf" [I do hope that's the correct British, I've been quite puzzled by some of the dialectal variations here. No offense intended, it is a British site, and quite educational, especially linguistically, for us polylinguistically challenged Americans.]

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  • 173. At 11:30pm on 22 Jan 2010, zaphodian wrote:

    172. At 11:01pm on 22 Jan 2010, JMM wrote:

    If you must criticize the US, you could at least use real world information not made up "bumpf" [I do hope that's the correct British, I've been quite puzzled by some of the dialectal variations here. No offense intended, it is a British site, and quite educational, especially linguistically, for us polylinguistically challenged Americans.]


    It's possibly bumph but I know what you mean & assure you that it's not a one way street :)

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  • 174. At 01:16am on 23 Jan 2010, McJakome wrote:

    173. At 11:30pm on 22 Jan 2010, zaphodian wrote RE:
    172. At 11:01pm on 22 Jan 2010, JMM.


    "It's possibly bumph but I know what you mean & assure you that it's not a one way street :)"

    And I know what YOU mean, especially the distortions and outright lies circulated by the insurance industry, and the credible public here, concerning the NHC, "socialized medicine," etc.

    Having lived overseas [though not in the EU/UK areas] and been covered [sometimes by private insurance] in a number of countries, I have to say the reports were ludicrously self serving. So few Americans have overseas experience, though that they have no way to know and judge fairly.

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  • 175. At 02:38am on 23 Jan 2010, McJakome wrote:

    RE: 174. At 01:16am on 23 Jan 2010

    To correct myself I meant to say credulous, though INcredible might have worked.

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  • 176. At 09:11am on 23 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #171

    161. At 1:22pm on 22 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:


    Check in another 200 wheter U.S. has indeed collapsed disappeared.

    If EUSSR is still around by then, that is. :-)



    zaphodian replied:

    I have no doubts that the US will survive, the EU I can take or leave (okay so we're not allowed to vote on it).






    Not that, as you can see from some lunatic/hysterical knee-jerk posts above, some Islamist 'comrades' with a huge inferiority complex wouldn't love to see United States becoming another Mexico.

    Interestingly, however, that's the last thing millions of Mexicans immigrating by hook and by crook to El Norte would like to see happen.

    P.S. That, incidentally, seems to be true also in case of more&more Venezuelans. And Nicaraguans. And Bolivians. Although I wonder why? :-)))

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  • 177. At 09:12am on 23 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #176


    Have I mentioned Cubans as well?

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  • 178. At 10:14am on 23 Jan 2010, zaphodian wrote:

    174. At 01:16am on 23 Jan 2010, JMM wrote:


    And I know what YOU mean, especially the distortions and outright lies circulated by the insurance industry, and the credible public here, concerning the NHC, "socialized medicine," etc.


    If there's a general theme to be picked out from the US/UK differences it would be that the UK tends to be cynical about all of its' politicians where many in the US are only cynical about those politicians they don't support. This unfortunately means that some slogans & soundbites aren't questioned enough which isn't good because all politicians need to be held accountable for their words & deeds.

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  • 179. At 10:18am on 23 Jan 2010, zaphodian wrote:

    176. At 09:11am on 23 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:


    Not that, as you can see from some lunatic/hysterical knee-jerk posts above, some Islamist 'comrades' with a huge inferiority complex wouldn't love to see United States becoming another Mexico.


    There's room for all opinions, even the odious ones, the important thing is to come to your own conclusions & not have them hard wired in by a third party, besides, it's always nice to read what some genuinely mad people believe that they think:)

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  • 180. At 1:27pm on 23 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    176. powermeerkat:

    Let's try and get this sorted for once and for all:

    We are, constitutionally, 'subjects of' Her Majesty, not subject to. There's a profound difference. And outside a textbook on the British constitution, you'll virtually never read the phrase.

    My passport makes no mention of either: I am a 'British citizen'.

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  • 181. At 1:53pm on 23 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    179. At 10:18am on 23 Jan 2010, zaphodian wrote:

    "There's room for all opinions, even the odious ones. . ."

    And don't some take up an awful lot of room?

    "besides, it's always nice to read what some genuinely mad people believe that they think:) "

    Hmm. Find it a bit overwhelming myself, sometimes. . ."Everybody's mad except thee an' me. . . An' ah'm not too sure about thee!"

    (Well known saying from where I was brought up.)

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  • 182. At 9:13pm on 23 Jan 2010, zaphodian wrote:

    181. At 1:53pm on 23 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    Hmm. Find it a bit overwhelming myself, sometimes. . ."Everybody's mad except thee an' me. . . An' ah'm not too sure about thee!"

    (Well known saying from where I was brought up.)


    How far north? :)

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  • 183. At 07:02am on 24 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    squirrelist point out:

    "My passport makes no mention of either [being a British subject" or a "subject to"]: I am a 'British citizen'.



    So, am I to understand that as a citizen of a parliamentarian democracy (please, correct me if I'm wrong) you can vote a royal family out?


    I'am not being sarcastic. Just genuinely curious how British 'citizens' would go about throwing C-Gs out;, if they wanted to, of course.

    [and I'm not suggesting for a moment that they would want to do that]


    Would it entail changing British Constitution?

    And how could that be accomplished?


    P.S. Can your royals be impeached, like, e.g. U.S. presidents?

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  • 184. At 1:50pm on 24 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    183. At 07:02am on 24 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    "So, am I to understand that as a citizen of a parliamentarian democracy (please, correct me if I'm wrong) you can vote a royal family out? . . .Would it entail changing British Constitution? And how could that be accomplished?"

    It's quite easy. A party stands in a General Election with a proposal to abolish the monarchy and establish a republic (or oligarchy, or whatever) they get voted in with a big majority, they pass an Act of Parliament, Monarch signs it into law and retires. That's it.

    There wouldn't be any problem, because it wouldn't get overturned in any court, because it wouldn't contradict any other of the Acts of Parliament or law.

    (Though for a change that important we'd expect to have a referendum on just that single issue after the election, and we'd probably expect the change to need a substantial majority vote, I think. There is a curious constitutional oddity, because the British monarch is also titular head of state of quite a few other countries too; and not long ago, someone pointed out that their citizens would probably have to vote as well as us for it to be properly constitutional for them as well as us. But then, they'd probably accept what we wanted, I imagine.)

    I don't actually know whether we could 'impeach' a monarch like you can impeach presidents;I suppose we could, but they'd have to do something pretty drastic, like starting a civil war or something, there's not a lot they can actually do. It's Prime Ministers that have the power of your president, and yes, Parliament can impeach a PM.

    We did try a King and execute him and had a go at a republic (more than 100 years before your revolution btw) but we've given that sort of thing up; bit too uncivilised, really. Last couple of times we got rid of one it was basically an elected Parliament making them feel unwelcome, so they just left. (They like settling in Paris for some odd reason.)

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  • 185. At 1:53pm on 24 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    182. zaphodian wrote:

    "How far north? :) "

    Same latitude as Moscow, I think, from what I remember of Geography at school :- D

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  • 186. At 4:37pm on 24 Jan 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    184. At 1:50pm on 24 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote an informative and humorous post.

    The thing about it is that once the Sovereign has executed the legislation, who signs the next piece of legislation? Clearly Parliament can pass legislation requiring the Sovereign to abdicate in favour of another. But the larger question of abolition of the Monarchy, generally, would leave a hole in the center of the doughnut. That certainly would require a Constitutional change.

    Ah, the delightfully quirky and so very English nature of it all: sophisticated Constitutional law, for a country that has no specifically defined Constitution.

    That, cricket, and Morris dancing.

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  • 187. At 4:21pm on 25 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #184

    squirrelist, thank you for your explanation.

    However, in view of it I have an additional question:

    You write:

    "It's quite easy. A party stands in a General Election with a proposal to abolish the monarchy and establish a republic (or oligarchy, or whatever) they get voted in with a big majority, they pass an Act of Parliament, Monarch signs it into law and retires. That's it."





    Fine.
    But what happens if a monarch REFUSES to sign it into law and retire?

    What happens then, (both: formally and technically)?

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  • 188. At 11:31pm on 25 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote:

    187. At 4:21pm on 25 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    But what happens if a monarch REFUSES to sign it into law and retire? What happens then, (both: formally and technically)?

    Haven't a clue. Can't imagine it. It's been a very long time since a monarch refused to sign any bill passed by Parliament. Must be getting on for 200 years at least, if not 300. (Sorry the course and exam I took at school on the History of the British Constitution's a bit hazy now.) The last one signed the Instrument of Abdication OK without too much argument.

    I suppose that in practice we'd have to have elected a President or Doge or Gonfaloniere or whatever in advance ready for the takeover anyway, so I suppose in that case the cops would arrest the monarch and put them on a boat to St Helena or somewhere. . .Can't see us doing a Ceausescu thing in the courtyard of Buck House, really, or sharpening any axes in the Tower Armoury. Anyway, we abolished the death penalty long ago.

    Parliament could actually order the arrest, I think, because constitutionally it's still 'The High Court of Parliament'* though I don't think it's actually acted as a court since, er, not sure . . . the impeachment of Warren Hastings in 1780 something, maybe.

    *You really are asking me to remember a lot I've not thought about for ages. I think it's technically "The High Court of Parliament in Westminster Assembled" if it's to do that sort of thing. And I suppose then the Speaker of the House would tell the Sergeant-at-Arms to actually do the feeling the collar and the "Are you coming quietly or do we have to put the cuffs on?" bit.

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  • 189. At 00:28am on 26 Jan 2010, McJakome wrote:

    188. At 11:31pm on 25 Jan 2010, squirrelist wrote something that gave me quite a start. I thought you wrote that your parliament had impeached Warren Harding while sitting as a court. I must get some new glasses, and read more slowly. Although he might have deserved impeachment, the reaper got him first.

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  • 190. At 12:12pm on 27 Jan 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #188
    squirrelist.

    thanks.

    BTW I've been to St. Helena (quite a nice place)

    Although I haven't been exactly 'sent' there.

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  • 191. At 4:31pm on 27 Jan 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    "Anyway, we abolished the death penalty long ago." (from squirrelist at #188)

    Not so very long ago. The death penalty for treason was ended in 1998:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/7288516.stm

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  • 192. At 4:41pm on 27 Jan 2010, U14309841 wrote:

    So what happens to an american that refuses to swear the oath of allegiance?
    Not something required of those "subjects" of the UK.
    PS what happens to an american male that does not sign up for the draft.
    They are not allowed state funding for collage and a few other issues.

    Freedom?

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  • 193. At 10:20pm on 27 Jan 2010, Sara Linder wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 194. At 10:21pm on 27 Jan 2010, Sara Linder wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 195. At 5:00pm on 29 Jan 2010, McJakome wrote:

    192. At 4:41pm on 27 Jan 2010, personanongrata wrote:
    "So what happens to an american that refuses to swear the oath of allegiance?
    Not something required of those "subjects" of the UK."

    There is no legal requirement to do so except as part of the naturalization swearing in ceremony [and that has been watered down considerably, new Americans were formerly required to renounce their previuous allegiance, now some can keep dual or even triple allegiance].

    Or, of course, upon entering the military or government service. Is it logical to not require it of those people or to not be sure that they mean it?

    The shooting at Ft. Hood seems to support a need to be sure that those who take that oath do so in good faith [which 99.99% do].

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  • 196. At 5:32pm on 29 Jan 2010, U14309841 wrote:

    so what would happen at school if one left and refused to say the oath?
    curiosity.
    and still that draft issue(sexist only applies to men, not Hillary's daughter;)
    15-35 or 45, what is the age that you have to be to register for the draft.
    that registration that if you do not do it, will prevent you from getting financial assistance for collage.


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  • 197. At 11:00pm on 29 Jan 2010, McJakome wrote:

    196. At 5:32pm on 29 Jan 2010, personanongrata wrote:
    "so what would happen at school if one left and refused to say the oath?
    curiosity."
    Some people have religious objections to saying it [Amish, Quakers, 7th Day Advent [not sure], conscientious objectors, and others] and no one bothers them.

    This is a very large country, if you want to know how ordinary people would react, I couldn't possibly speak for more than a few of the 300,000,000+ inhabitants. We are diverse on this as on other subjects as well. Refusal would undoubtedly be more tolerated or criticized in different places.

    Personally, I was so disgusted by the unconstitutional Xtofascist behaviour of the Bush Regime that I made a promise to myself that if requested or required I would hapily use the version I learned in school, without the additional "under God."

    I don't think anybody not on the Faux "news" network would be too critical, nor would I fear for my safety, because of government or citizen action.

    My turn. Is standing at attention during and/or singing "God save the Queen/King," or toasting His/Her Majesty no longer observed in the UK and the Commonwealth? Would anyone be looked askance at for not participating in the tribal ritual?

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  • 198. At 11:42pm on 29 Jan 2010, McJakome wrote:

    178. At 10:14am on 23 Jan 2010, zaphodian wrote:
    RE: 174. At 01:16am on 23 Jan 2010, JMM
    “If there's a general theme to be picked out from the US/UK differences it would be that the UK tends to be cynical about all of its' politicians where many in the US are only cynical about those politicians they don't support. This unfortunately means that some slogans & soundbites aren't questioned enough which isn't good because all politicians need to be held accountable for their words & deeds.”

    There is an old [or at least not recent] saying about that, “He may be an SOB but he’s our SOB.” This is why they are so Piranha-like in their hunger for pork. When they bring home the bacon, they secure the votes of their selfish and/or parochial constituents.
    Apologies for the non-Kosher, non-Halal post.

    RE: 184. At 1:50pm on 24 Jan 2010, squirrelist

    Was the “Rump Parliament” really legitimate as it was not the whole parliament, much less “The King in Parliament?” Some really dodgy things have gone down in Britain from time to time. Of course with the Bush years fresh in memory, I’m not flinging rocks at your glass house for fear of my own windows; I’m just saying. Both countries are united in Anglo-Saxonhood [at least in French Eyes].

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  • 199. At 10:24pm on 30 Jan 2010, U14309841 wrote:

    197 jmm no one is asked to say an oath to the queen in the UK unless they want to serve the Queen.
    never.
    the national anthem, sure people generally stand still (unless they are marching I suppose don't know. never had to think about it.
    but you miss the other question. I have been asking about registering for the draft. something not required in the UK
    if males (sexist) refuse in the USA they can be denied access to educational opportunities(grants/loans).
    Both sexist and against our freedom right?



    I accept that the oath if one is allowed to not say it is OK if not a little brainwashy;)


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  • 200. At 02:01am on 31 Jan 2010, McJakome wrote:

    199. At 10:24pm on 30 Jan 2010, personanongrata wrote:
    “…the other question. I have been asking about registering for the draft. something not required in the UK if males (sexist) refuse in the USA they can be denied access to educational opportunities (grants/loans).”

    There is no draft now, though I think males have to register in case one is ever enacted again. I was called up during the Vietnam War, and was given an odd status 2Y [I think] one can be called up only in case of invasion. Registration was only necessary between 18 and 35 [I think].

    I agree with you that it is sexist for only males to be required to have such service. I believe there should be compulsory national service for most young people [many schools already require some kind of “volunteer” public service]. The voluntary part of public service is that you can choose what you do rather than being put into the military. Germany is actually allowing their young men to choose other than military service, or so I’ve heard.

    I am not sure if there is any punishment, since there is no actual draft. And there is conscientions objector status. I don’t have a problem with denying refusers government jobs and handouts. There are hiring preferences for those who have served, my Peace corps benefit was short lived and minor compared to soldiers, as it should be.

    I didn’t have to do anything except wait for the Russian invasion, but I joined the Peace Corps, and it was the best decision of my life. I have lived and worked in six countries and have visited another 37 or so. I am sure I got more out of it than what my service contributed.

    I wasn’t ignoring your question, just waiting to see if someone younger with more current knowledge would answer you.

    The US needed such things as the oath because we are not a single people with a single ethnicity, common religion, etc. Without such things we would have become a mostly English speaking version of the Balkans.

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  • 201. At 1:41pm on 31 Jan 2010, RomeStu wrote:

    Has anyone else noticed how the really anti-Obama crowd have re-written themselves as "anti-government" as if they secretly hated all the previous govts and are just now saying so?

    Seems to me like just more spin, and a clever way to get around the fact that Obama is trying to clean up the mess made by their ex-poster boy "W".

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  • 202. At 3:45pm on 31 Jan 2010, McJakome wrote:

    201. At 1:41pm on 31 Jan 2010, RomeStu wrote:
    "Has anyone else noticed how the really anti-Obama crowd have re-written themselves as "anti-government" as if they secretly hated all the previous govts and are just now saying so?"

    Yes, but it's the same tactic whichever party happens to be in control at the moment. This is the reason so many Americans seem to hate the government, both parties tell them, in turn, that it is the problem, not the solution to problems.

    Americans have been suspicious of government since before the American Revolution, after all. Massachusetts' dissolved parliament refused dissolution and instituted itself as the de facto if not de jure government of the colony in 1774. In the previous century they arrested and deposed a royal governor. So it doesn't take mutch to push that button.

    I believe, and hope, the corporatist-GOP-FOX-Blue Dog-special interests have gone too far this time, and that the people will turn on them when they realize that they have been fooled.

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  • 203. At 5:59pm on 31 Jan 2010, U14309841 wrote:

    Jmm I personally don't think holding peoples access to collage hostage because of their refusal to sign up for the illegal sexist draft is OK.
    And they do get refused even state funds for collage.

    I think that if a girl doesn't have to sign up for the draft (active or not) no boy should have to.

    Simple.

    we had a very few people say there should be a draft for these wars today.
    WHY. it was a war that was decided by old people. Not those asked to fight.

    The draft registration should be abolished.

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  • 204. At 6:03pm on 31 Jan 2010, U14309841 wrote:

    PS Jmm thanks for the answer. reasonable;)

    Stu I'm with Jmm.
    I said this before though. americans will reject the MA, Adreinnys and get angry.
    especially those that I have met that did go fight in these wars.
    a few of them seem angry at the old folk who keep throwing the baby out.

    the" corporatist-GOP-FOX-Blue Dog-specials "(*like that) are on the wrong end of a generational divide.

    when they seek care who will be there for them and their selfish politics.or politics of selfishness.

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  • 205. At 8:49pm on 31 Jan 2010, McJakome wrote:

    203. At 5:59pm on 31 Jan 2010, personanongrata wrote:

    "Jmm I personally don't think holding peoples access to collage hostage because of their refusal to sign up for the illegal sexist draft is OK.
    And they do get refused even state funds for collage."

    Perhaps I wasn't clear enough. At least part of America's current problems is a culture of self-centeredness, sometimes blatant selfishness. You hear "Gimme, because I want it," not because I have earned it or deserve it[in objective terms].


    Even these anti-government nutcases want to keep getting social security, medicare, free roads, free public libraries, fire department, police department, postal service, etc. What they object to is paying for it with taxes or with other contributions to the society.

    A friend of my brother was a real shirker of this type. He had a fake drivers licence and fake plates on his car. He said it was a matter of principle because the right to drive, which is a necessity, should not be taxed. He did not want to consider that he was just avoiding paying for the roads and services that he was using; and of course the rest of us were paying his share.

    I would make at least the first years of college [all of junior college] free, but expect the recipients to perform some kind of community service in lieu paying for it. Native Americans and veterans of the Police, fire, EMS and military should not have to pay nor perform any such service.

    I hope this makes my opinion clearer. We have too many entitlements as it is, we do not need more. As I said, I think I benefited more from my voluntary service than the people I was helping; so it is not as if I am suggesting that people be required to do something not at all in their own interest.

    I actually agree that a draft is not a good idea, especially if spoiled rich kids get a pass and immunity from service. Women should not get a pass either. I hope that clears things up a bit.

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  • 206. At 9:02pm on 31 Jan 2010, U14309841 wrote:

    Cheers Jmm.
    clears it up.
    I'm with you in many ways though on education no. I don't think there should eb any restrictions on LOANS. which is what they do.
    I know someone who unlike our resident charlie felt strong enough to not register for the draft. and he had to drop collage dreams until he can afford it.
    (highly unlikely considering the over emphasis on degrees in the USA(ie they think a university degree is more important than trade knowledge (which despite some peoples thoughts can include quite a varied syllabus .
    especially in a country who's manufacturing skills are in the hole.

    lets hope the draft requirement is dropped.
    and good on Obama for ensuring that not only those military that served get an education choice but if they so choose the daughters or wives or sons or husbands get the right to go to collage.

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