Comments for http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html en-gb 30 Thu 29 Jan 2015 05:29:18 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html McJakome http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=99#comment159 Tea Party tipping point? Maybe yes, maybe no.I am more interested in the Tea Party tipping amount.If they truly believe in self-reliance, and as wait staff in the US get most of their income NOT from handouts from the employer but from the tipping of [hopefully] satisfied customers, please find out how much and how frequently they tip. If they truly value people working hard for a living and depending on their own efforts rather than help and handouts, then they will tip well and frequently. If they are selfish "elitests" who accord little value to people's hard work then they will tip little and "stiff" often.Just ask the wait staff.PS Welcome to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Don't be all work and no play, feel free to combine the two. You can enjoy yourself in this tourist town [weather permitting, they say New England was called that because it shares a frequency of bad weather with Olde England] whilst working. Surveying the wait staff could be enjoyable work. Having had the intolerant Puritans, we are more "liberal" because history teaches us where such extremes leads. Freedom of religion not only exists here it flourishes, our numerous churches, synagogues, and mosques are filled more than once per sabath [despite the malicious rumors of Godless Liberal Commies waging a "War on Christianity" here].We celebrate our revolution and 230 year old constitution. You can see people dressed as patriot and Red Coat, and Brits are very much welcome these days.I would like to recommend the best seafood restaurant and other things, but I might run afoul of the no promotion rule. I'll just trust that someone with your years of experience is experienced at finding such on your own. Have a good and productive stay.JMM Tue 26 Oct 2010 02:33:07 GMT+1 Interestedforeigner http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=98#comment158 158 UKW.Well, that didn't work as well as hoped, did it?Let me put my mind to this. Sun 17 Oct 2010 17:37:58 GMT+1 hms_shannon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=98#comment157 156. At 3:15pm on 15 Oct 2010, Interestedforeigner Re my post at 157Well that was a fat lot of good,still the fact that some one wanted to helpwas a tonic,thank you,what would be even better if a prayer went up now & again for the Children & volunteer helpers In Moldova.Best wishes,UKW... Sat 16 Oct 2010 14:42:28 GMT+1 hms_shannon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=97#comment156 153. At 11:57pm on 14 Oct 2010, Interestedforeigner Many thanks for the info on Vancouver island,that will be put to good useearly summer 2011 all being well.Many many thanks,for thinking of others,I work through a Baptist Ministerwho has worked in that area for over 20 years.He knows were its at,over in Romania/Moldova,& finances food & medical care for needy Mums & children.Over there he makes a doller go a long way.He is,[Personal details removed by Moderator]All the cheques I send via him are addressed[Personal details removed by Moderator]He is the genuine article,& never talks about who gives what,Its justbad form... Sat 16 Oct 2010 08:01:58 GMT+1 Interestedforeigner http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=96#comment155 Dear UKW:If there were a way to assist you anonymously in Brasov, I might very well do it.As for Vancouver Island, well, it's been a long time. Here are some suggestions:Take the boat between Prince Rupert and Port Hardy down the inside passage. Rupert is twice as rainy as Glasgow - now that's saying something.Go to Cape Scott in mid-July, where it's 45 F in the morning, and you stand in the moist air in the forest. Pretty remote. Port Alice, Coal Harbour, Gold River. All old logging and fishing settlements. Lonely, remote, damp, and beautifulGo to Cathedral Grove, just east of Port Alberni, then take hwy 4 to Ucluelet and Tofino. Lots of places to stay near Tofino. Apparently good - though dangerous - surfing. The beach is 7 miles long, bald eagles everywhere, still some driftwood, water about 10C - 12C. Stunningly beautiful. I have never been there during a Winter storm, but it must have an awesome beauty then.Go down the awful road through Sarita River to Bamfield, and Pacheena. Go to any of the islands in Barclay sound. If you book years ahead you can get a permit to follow the West Coast Lifesaving trail that runs from Pacheena through Brown's Inlet on Nitinat lake, through the abandoned ghost town of Clo-oose. The path ends at Port Renfrew. This is a dangerous and difficult path, but it is surpassingly wild and beautiful. Just like out on the ocean, or looking at the huge prairie sky, it is where nature is so large, and man is so small.Lots of wonderful things to see and do on that island. Fri 15 Oct 2010 14:15:40 GMT+1 hms_shannon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=96#comment154 153. At 11:57pm on 14 Oct 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:One of the things I really like in Europe is that public transport is clean, convenient, frequent, fast, and safe. (We're talking Switzerland, Germany, and Austria for the most part. London transport is not so clean, nor is the RATP.) Even the tiniest -dorf in Switzerland is served by regular Postauto.---------------Describing London public transport thus,you are very gracious.Most of myover seas visits have been to the US & once to Vancouver & Vancouver island,my next big trip is to explore Vancouver island.I have not experienced main land European public transport at all.I know this may sound odd,but Europe is so foreign,but I have driven right across Europe.That road trip included France,Germany,Austria,Hungary & Romania to deliver aid to a town called Brasov,& have no wish to do that again!.When I help out over there its so much easier to fly,& if the truth be known my air fare given to them is of more use,than me being there. For me its wide open spaces & no crowds,may be I should have been a Canadian... Fri 15 Oct 2010 11:55:51 GMT+1 xingfantrade http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=95#comment153 This post has been Removed Fri 15 Oct 2010 09:44:49 GMT+1 Interestedforeigner http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=95#comment152 151. At 10:11pm on 14 Oct 2010, ukwales wrote:Just by the by,fuel in the UK is £1,20 per litre,$1.92 per litre.So an imperial gallon £1.20 x 4.546 = £5.455 per gallon $8.72 per gallon.------------Ah, Imp. Gal: A real man's unit of measure. Not the wussy US Gal.In any event, $ 8.72 / Imp. gal. = $ 7.63/ US Gal. The thing about it is this, the vehicle manufacturers usually quote highway or mixed values, rather than urban-only-sitting-in-traffic numbers. With the Prius you get substantially better performance in city driving (I have managed as much as 72 mpg) than on the highway (tough to do better than 56 mpg in Summer).----------As for higher prices and obsolescence here, the thing is that for half a century our entire civilization has been built around the car, and, therefore, implicitly, around low fuel gasoline prices. It is not at all uncommon for people to commute 60 - 80 miles to work (one way). Even though 80% of us live in urban areas, only a handful of urban centers have what might even remotely be considered effective urban transport.One of the things I really like in Europe is that public transport is clean, convenient, frequent, fast, and safe. (We're talking Switzerland, Germany, and Austria for the most part. London transport is not so clean, nor is the RATP.) Even the tiniest -dorf in Switzerland is served by regular Postauto.By European standards, no city in this country is well served by public transport. Even here, in a city of 6 million, in the middle of a conurbation that is approaching 9 million, for the most part, you can travel radially, but not laterally.There is no network of S-bahn short distance rail to adjacent centers. There is no interconnecting Post-Auto network. There is, in fact, not even a proper rail connection to the airport, nor are there real plans for any such connection any time soon.There is, then, no real alternative to driving your car, and our urban densities are very low, which means both that distances are going to be large, and that it will be difficult to provide cost effective public transit alternatives. You can't really walk because it's too far, so we're all fat; and you can't ride your bike because, for the most part, it's way too dangerous. So you drive because there is no practical alternative.And if it isn't anywhere close to working in the largest, most densely populated urban centers in the country, it's going to be a long time before there's going to be any change in Halifax, Quebec City, Sudbury, K-W, Saskatoon or Kelowna.Halifax, and K-W-Guelph-Cambridge are middle sized cities roughly comparable in size to, say, Zurich, (or cities and clusters like Akron, Toledo, Dayton, Omaha, Scranton-Wilkes-Barre-Harrisburg, Salt Lake City, Charlotte-Raleigh Durham)So raising gasoline prices here, and in America, inevitable though it must eventually be, and although it would do a great deal of good if done by taxes before it is done by market pressures, would also imply huge social change and dislocation.Nobody is even remotely prepared to grasp that nettle.So change is only going to come when it is forced upon us, kicking and screaming, when there is no other choice, at the highest possible price. Thu 14 Oct 2010 22:57:33 GMT+1 LucyJ http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=94#comment151 Uk wrote: So if an American product is this good in Europe why not mirror that back in the US? ------------------------------------------------------------------------The only thing is that many Europeans prefer smaller cars...While many Americans prefer larger cars or trucks...But we both love our race cars :) Thu 14 Oct 2010 21:52:41 GMT+1 hms_shannon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=93#comment150 148. At 2:30pm on 14 Oct 2010, Interestedforeigner Just by the by,fuel in the UK is £1,20 per litre,$1.92 per litre.So an imperial gallon £1.20 x 4.546 = £5.455 per gallon $8.72 per gallon.With fuel costing so much over here miles per gallon is crucial,among thebest selling vehicles VW Golf blue motion with an 68 to 74 mpg.Ford focus ECOnetic 64 to 70 mpg.Both vehicles have a 1.6 diesel engine.List price for the Ford £14,000 & the VW £19,500,by playing one against the other a discount is possible.On my visits to the US I just knew that if they had to suffer UK fuel prices a lot of vehicles would be obsolescent due to poor mpg. BTW the Ford Focus is every bit as good as the VW including reliabilityso if an American product is this good in Europe why not mirror that backin the US?.I came from a time that buying American was buying quality & value for money,Ford & Vauxhall (GM) still have that standing here... Thu 14 Oct 2010 21:11:25 GMT+1 Recession_Beater_33 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=93#comment149 What did George Bush and his Religious Right friends do to the American moral landscape – touting the virtues of democracy to the known world while at the same time, living a hypocritical lie immersed in the politics of greed, corruption and destabilization?♦ Welcome ♦ Time Is Running ♦ Jihad http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-sJVfzya0E Thu 14 Oct 2010 17:52:33 GMT+1 AndreaNY http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=92#comment148 143. Curt Carpenter:"The judge doesn't ask you sweetly to respect the bench: he or she will insist on it, and you'd better conform. "The government can insist, but so can voters. Society can be improved by collective effort, but it can also be improved by individual effort. It is a mistake to focus entirely on only one of these.The government's role in my view is to support those who absolutely cannot, encourage those who want to but can't yet, push those who can but won't and to get out of the way of those who can and do.And I cannot get this one thought out of my head: That the money of those who earn it belongs to them. The government has to earn the right to take ever-increasing amounts. It does this by demonstrating it will spend it wisely. There's that word, "earn", again. If it weren't so difficult to earn one's wealth, perhaps I'd have a different perspective on who is entitled to it.Whether spent on wars or government services, in the end, it does come down to money. Thu 14 Oct 2010 14:08:47 GMT+1 Interestedforeigner http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=91#comment147 146. At 07:33am on 14 Oct 2010, powermeerkat wrote:"Toyota? IF, Toyota?""A myth of Toyotas (inc. Lexus) being reliable cars ..."____________Now I am reduced to having to shill for an automaker. How ignoble. There's an irony in that, for sure.Every Toyota I have owned has been an excellent car. They have been phenomenally reliable. They are easy to service. Their parts are relatively expensive, though. That is my personal experience with them.The Prius is not that good a winter car since its performance drops off strongly as a function of temperature; and if you're going on a long road trip it handles it fine, but that isn't what it is designed for. It has blind spots, and you need to be careful about them. It can be tricky to drive on slippery road surfaces until you get used to it: the electronic traction control system will not let you deliberately induce "drift", and you can't turn it off. Not like the good old days.Having said that, even on its worst, coldest day, the car still has much better fuel performance than any car we have previously owned operating under the same conditions, it's just as warm inside, and it performs no worse in slippery conditions than our old rear-wheel drive vehicles, where we usually carried cinder blocks in the back in Winter.But in the city? It has served our needs superbly. It is a commuting car par excellence. It can be parked anywhere. In city driving it uses half as much fuel as our former sedan, and about a third as much as our old SUV. It looks small on the outside, but it is big on the inside. The hatch-back gives it really good carrying capacity for an allegedly "small" car. We don't have to worry that much about Winter, because our climate is a lot like Chicago: it never gets really cold here, and it only snows a few times a year. I have been very pleased with the low cost of maintenance. When it rolls away silently it has that smooth-as-silk electric motor flat torque curve that I just love.Never owned a better car. Thu 14 Oct 2010 13:30:00 GMT+1 Recession_Beater_33 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=91#comment146 The Politics Of “Never Again”: The White Backlash Now as America approaches its mid-term elections, Obama has become the target of mud-slinging – where the evidence is ridiculously shambolic. In his own words recently, he said: “They talk about me like a dog.” Something Black folks know only too well.♫ ♬ ♪ ♩ How Long Blues ♫ ♬ ♪ ♩ The Genius After Hours ♫ ♬ ♪http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xf72p8_y-y-y-y-how-long-blues-y-y-y-y-the_music Thu 14 Oct 2010 11:38:39 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=90#comment145 "If the public didn't want those cars, then why have Toyota, Honda, Volkswagen, Nissan, Mazda, and Hyundai steadily gained market share in North America"Toyota? IF, Toyota?A myth of Toytotas (inc. Lexus) being reliable cars was destroyed in the U.S. by hundreds of thousands of Corollas, Camrys, etc. actually endagering their drivers and passengers by having "minds of of their own" [accelerating even if you hit the brakes]. Thu 14 Oct 2010 06:33:43 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=90#comment144 PoeticUSMCWarVet_LivinginChina wrote:meerkat why do I get the feeling you've pegged me for a "commie sympathizer?"I don't.It's just that I don't see anything of any real significance happening in the Far East right now which could in any dramatic way affect United States.Unlike in Central Asia, including, prominently, Pakistan.P.S. What do you study in PRC: Cantonese, Mandarin, Tibetan or Uighur? Thu 14 Oct 2010 06:27:19 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=89#comment143 The last desperate effort to save Harry Reid et consortes: http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-10-12/obamas-risky-home-stretch-campaign/ Thu 14 Oct 2010 06:23:18 GMT+1 Curt Carpenter http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=88#comment142 142. At 00:11am on 14 Oct 2010, AndreaNY wrote:"Not exactly. Trust and respect have to be earned by the government. It cannot get them from anyone else by demanding them. Money on the other hand..."No, AndreaNY, I think you know better than that -- or should. Trust and respect can indeed be DEMANDED by your government every bit as much as your government can demand your money. You've obviously never been either a) subjected to a draft, or b) involved in a judicial proceeding. The judge doesn't ask you sweetly to respect the bench: he or she will insist on it, and you'd better conform. You can, if you have the strength of your convictions, REFUSE to give the government (that is, society) what it demands of course, but the penalties for doing so are similar whether we're talking about money, trust or respect. And the penalty will be that the government will deprive you of your liberty for a time. Like it or not, you are a part of a community that can, and most certainly will, -demand- a certain (hopefully minimal) level of cooperation and participation. It's the not-much-discussed flip side of the social contract.You seem to be stuck in a mindset that can't see beyond the -economic- dimensions of government, as I tried to express earlier. When did you lose your human interest in justice for all, the quest for a "level playing field" for all citizens, and the idea that society -can- be improved through collective effort (not always economic, by the way)? No one is arguing -against- wise government spending (or motherhood, or healthy babies). But I'd like to get you to consider, if I can, that a) there are other, non-economic functions of government that serve the general welfare, and b) that there is more to building a just, vibrant society than just taxes and government spending.It's only a zero-sum game if you conceive of it that way. IMHO. Thu 14 Oct 2010 05:11:50 GMT+1 AndreaNY http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=88#comment141 140. Curt Carpenter:"There are a lot of things in life that don't conform to an economic paradigm, and many American seem to have lost sight of this simple fact. If you get more justice from your government, I won't necessarily get less: justice doesn't fit a zero-sum model. If you get more trust from your fellow citizens, I won't necessarily get less -- and so on.In that context, governments can indeed give something without first taking it from someone else. Or so it seems to me."***********Not exactly. Trust and respect have to be earned by the government. It cannot get them from anyone else by demanding them. Money on the other hand...I would argue that since the government is taking the hard-earned money of its citizens (and in the US hard work is limitless), the government has an obligation to spend that money as carefully as possible. No one would make the claim that the government spends wisely. And, now, few can make the claim that there's any end in sight to spending. Wed 13 Oct 2010 23:11:35 GMT+1 LucyJ http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=87#comment140 PoeticUSVet wrote: Human nature - we always fear what we do not understand. You don't have to enjoy rap music to understand it, you dig? Why would you not wish to understand the motivations of your fellow human beings?Moreover, if we do not understand the ways of our Middle Eastern brothers, how will we ever convince them to be a little bit nicer to their ladies? Are you content to live in your own little White America fantasy world while women who are not so different from yourself suffer because we, the white people with the power, do not want to understand their plight and endeavor to help them?And what about the far east, LucyJ? Do you have any notion of what is happening here on the other side of the world from Midwest USA, and how these events will shape your future?-----------------------------------------------------------------------No, I neither enjoy rap music nor understand it, nor want to understand it. I can tell lots just from the images of the women in their videos. But I will tell you I LOVE Motown, which is awesome, respectful and has good advice. I also like Hootie and the Blowfish. And Beyonce has an amazing voice- her version of At Last at Obama's inauguration was truly excellent. Yes, there are good black artists. Rap and rap's culture is just not my thing. I like words I can understand, I like music with guitars and pianos and harmonicas and trumpets and trombones...:)I do not wish to understand the motivations of other certain human beings when it involves robbery, theft, killing, harming, maiming, bad drugs like meth or heroin, gangs, violence, disrespect, hatred, degrading females, etc. I also refuse to watch that movie, Precious. Maybe its a true story. Maybe it will help someone. Maybe Oprah loves it. SO what?Who wants to watch a movie about the worst of the worst?Not I.The Middle Eastern men are what they are. All you have to do is talk to someone like colonelartist, who seems to be set in his ways. To change, they have to want to change, there has to be a reason and currently, there is none. I think its probably hopeless that things will get better for ME women, but I pray and hope that I am not right about that and that things will improve for them. My great aunt is a mid-wife who helped deliver many Afghan babies and care for their mothers. She spoke very well of the Afghan women, said they were incredibly nice, smart and kind to her, but that the way some of them were treated by the men ans especially the men's mothers was questionable. She said that if we left, things will just go back to the way they were and I could tell by the plea in her voice that she does truly care for those Afghan women, just as much as she does the Indians on the Indian Reservations, as she also helps them with mid-wifery and medical so-ons. (is part Indian herself.)Yes, very content with small-town America. Its the land I love and I will stand beside her. Feel safe, comfortable, warm.Well, why can't the rough neighborhoods take care of themselves?We take care of ourselves...Why is it that our towns can clean up our neighborhoods, yet they can't clean up theirs?If it was us, it wouldn't be that way...because we wouldn't take it.Finally, your q on the far east and how it is affecting us.I feel that buying so many products from there, shipping jobs overseas, shipping our techonology, heavy equipment over there, accepting mass amounts of foreign students over American students, etc. is all negatively affecting us, as we are basically selling ourselves out. If it was a little or moderate, it would still be all good. But since it is massive, it is not so good.All they want from us is everything we have... Wed 13 Oct 2010 22:30:45 GMT+1 Curt Carpenter http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=86#comment139 137. At 7:32pm on 13 Oct 2010, andyparsonsga wrote:"...No government can give anything without first taking it from someone else, there is nothing free, someone has to pay for it."An interesting statement. Could it be at the heart of the American right's anger and frustration?Is collective, cooperative action, via a "government," a zero-sum game as andyparsonsga clams? Is a society doomed to having only one fixed pie, such that my slice of it is going to shrink if another man's slice gets bigger (the essence of a zero-sum perspective)?There are a lot of things in life that don't conform to an economic paradigm, and many American seem to have lost sight of this simple fact. If you get more justice from your government, I won't necessarily get less: justice doesn't fit a zero-sum model. If you get more trust from your fellow citizens, I won't necessarily get less -- and so on.In that context, governments can indeed give something without first taking it from someone else. Or so it seems to me. Wed 13 Oct 2010 22:15:29 GMT+1 Interestedforeigner http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=86#comment138 138. At 7:53pm on 13 Oct 2010, Scott0962 wrote:"I would put some of the blame on government policy makers who forced the automakers by way of CAFE standards to make small cars that offered lower profit margins and which the public didn't want (at least not until gas went over $4 a gallon)." ____________There is a huge non-sequitur here.First, the CAFE standard wasn't raised until long AFTER the companies were in trouble. Those companies have been in trouble for 20+ years.Second, all of their competitors faced the same standard, and, moreover, their foreign competitors have rather higher shipping costs.Toyota, which also operates in a high cost manufacturing environment, has done comparatively well.Similarly, if I am not mistaken, BMW is having the best year of sales in North America that it has ever had.The problems at GM, Chrysler, (and, yes, for many years Ford), had nothing to do with raising the CAFE standard.Third, a better case might be made that the corporate mind-set that made them resist for so many years any increase in the CAFE standard (just as they had resistedthe introduction of seatbelts,the introduction of airbags;the introduction of catalytic converter;the introduction of the original CAFE standard;the introduction of zero emissions vehicles ...)had rather much more to do with their troubles.------------As for the public not wanting smaller cars, that's got to be an uphill argument, too.If the public didn't want those cars, then why have Toyota, Honda, Volkswagen, Nissan, Mazda, and Hyundai steadily gained market share in North America? This trend goes back to the early 1960's, and it has been relentless, and one-way.Why did America impose "voluntary export restraints" on Japan for a time?Why was (and is) Toyota able to charge a price premium on its cars? I.e., the profit margin on the average Toyota sale, as a percentage of the sale price, was, and I believe still is, higher than for comparable GM products.If nobody wanted those cars, then none of this would have happened.----------To me, a lot of this is summed up in the relative fates of the GM EV-1 and the Toyota Prius. Compare:GM was handed a priceless advantage, but squandered it.Toyota made a clever decision about what reasonable market compromise might be made available, now, and ran with it.GM collected its run of EV-1's, and crushed them.Toyota has sold over a million Prius, and took a huge jump on the market.I would have bought an EV-1, but I couldn't.So I bought a Prius, and, overall, it has turned out to be the best car I ever purchased. It is a superb city car.(And if I had some mad money to spare, I would buy a Tesla Roadster. I tried almost three years ago, but they wouldn't sell them here. Don't have and mad money anymore.)No, GM shot itself in the foot, all by itself.------------And, finally, at the end of the day I think that the artificial suppression of gasoline prices in the US ultimately became a subsidy and a crutch for the big three that did more harm than good. It led them to adopt a ghettoized approach where they retreated from one sector of the vehicle market after another, always retreating to heavier, less efficient vehicles.So, when trouble finally came, they were in the weakest position. We produce more automobiles here than Michigan, and we used to have 400,000 jobs in the auto sector. We have lost 130,000 full time manufacturing jobs here in the recession - I know about this, because manufacturing in this Province is my livelihood. Car plants and a lot of part suppliers have closed, and those jobs aren't ever coming back. The companies that pulled through the best seem to have been Toyota, Honda, and, to some extent, Ford.We pay the equivalent of about $ 4.10 - $ 4.20/US Gal. for fuel here, and it hasn't done any harm. Nobody really notices the difference. If the US had done the same, American finances, and American industry, would now be way, way better off. The policy of low gas taxes was, and is, a mistake.It's a tough addiction to break.Try $0.05/month, for 36 or 48 months. Wed 13 Oct 2010 20:59:57 GMT+1 Scott0962 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=85#comment137 re. #124. At 04:41am on 13 Oct 2010, Curt Carpenter wrote:"Seriously: is there ANYONE on the conservative right that has even ONE idea for a workable industrial policy for the Great Lakes region? We know you're all -against- the government's effort to save 100,000-plus auto worker's jobs there -- but what, if anything, are you FOR?"I'm not against jobs for autoworkers, I am against government subsidies to private industry for the express purpose of saving companies that have been so poorly run they're on the brink of collapse which was what happened to GM and Chrysler. Ford managed to stay in business without a government bailout so it wasn't a question of American car companies not being able to compete woith foreign competition, nor was it a matter of high labor costs since I'm guessing all three American automakers had roughly similar labor contracts. I would put some of the blame on government policy makers who forced the automakers by way of CAFE standards to make small cars that offered lower profit margins and which the public didn't want (at least not until gas went over $4 a gallon). I'm not sure what can be done to help the auto industry until the economy turns around and consumer confidence picks up. I'll give the administration points for trying but I'd rather give them points for succeeding which unfortuantely hasn't happened.If it makes you feel any better I own two vehicles, both American made. I bought the last one, a RAM 1500, in August 2008 when auto sales were in a slump; my way of stimulating the economy and supporting our domestic auto industry.By the way, I noticed on my 98 Dakota that a union made label was prominently displayed inside the door, that label was missing on my 08 Ram. Any idea why the change? Wed 13 Oct 2010 18:53:18 GMT+1 andyparsonsga http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=85#comment136 78. At 09:38am on 12 Oct 2010, The Toothbrush Man wrote:Thanks for the exposition. But you haven't told me anything new."And as you say, perhaps what is most important about the Constitution is what has been left out of the Constitution. No mention of free healthcare - taken to be a right in every other first world country, but not in the US.I am sorry, but as you say, it is a working legal document. And yet the US conservative right wing consider it as sacred and as immutable and as perfect as the Bible, handed down from high by the Founding Fathers as though God himself/herself had done so."Please provide a list of those first world countries where healthcare is free. No government can give anything without first taking it from someone else, there is nothing free, someone has to pay for it. To my knowledge every national healthcare systems is paid for by a form of taxation upon the productive members of that society. And if it is my responsibility as a productive member of society to provide healthcare as a right to an unproductive member, what are my rights and what are their responsibilities?The Constitution is (supposed to be) the basis of our form of government and therefore sacred. It is irrefutable that the Founding Fathers (those extremely intelligent people you deride) knew that the Constitution would have to evolve, which is why they went to great lengths to include Article 5 and why to date there have been a total of 27 Amendments. It appears to me that today's politicians should have the courage of their convictions to apply Article 5 if they want to bring in changes or laws that circumvent the very document that is, as I said previously, the very basis of our form of government. Wed 13 Oct 2010 18:32:58 GMT+1 Ewan19 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=84#comment135 Article in The Observer newspaper a couple of days ago had evidence that elements of The Tea Party in America are expressing a serious interest in funding the EDL in England. They agree on the EDL's claim that it stands against the 'islamification' of England.EDL members have already been over to New York to speak to representatives, while a rabbi and other tea party members are coming over to hold a rally in the near future.That's my view of the tea party solidified. As nothing but right-wing nuts determined to ruin the lives of the poor in America. Wed 13 Oct 2010 17:46:38 GMT+1 AndreaNY http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=83#comment134 134. BluesBerry:That's pretty funny. Obama and democrats cannot even answer those questions. Wed 13 Oct 2010 15:06:26 GMT+1 BluesBerry http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=83#comment133 It’s amazing to me how the Tea Party movement has become so important, so distracting. It makes you wonder who benefits from all this distraction.Here’s a recipe for American Tea:1. lots of angry, alienated voters +2. deep recession 3. powerful rhetoric =a hugely distracting political movement. How far can a hugely distracting political movement go? We'll find out in November, 2010. I could be wrong but I can’t believe this movement will go far.Why?There’s no leadership, no clear voice; therefore, there is plenty of disorganization, plenty of rhetoric that all gets mixed together in prevalent winds that sweep up huge audiences. The media plays the game. Tea Party supplies sound-bites and the news grabs onto them like diamonds. All these diamonds are fake – a collection of tightly packed American fears and anxieties.Where is the party line?What would Tea Party candidates do about the foreclosure catastrophe LOOMING, LOOMING, LOOMING?Would the Tea Party candidates do about the proposition for one world currency, and it ain’t the American dollar?What would the Tea Party do about the huge imbalance in trade with China?What would the Tea Party do about the American trillion-dollar deficit?Well…ah…They would take back the Constitution!In short, what we have is a Tea Party that is all distraction and no solutions. They may get votes for Republican candidates, but then what…Amricans will get up the next morning and realize that nothing has changed. You can go from Democrats to Repulicans, but the country is really ruled by power, and power is money. Wed 13 Oct 2010 13:32:45 GMT+1 PoeticUSMCWarVet_LivinginChina http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=82#comment132 meerkat why do I get the feeling you've pegged me for a "commie sympathizer?"I thought my phallic tank joke was pretty darn funny and at least somewhat clever, moderators.I must assume the t-word is a no-go. Nobody outside of the UK even knows what the hell that means. Come on, I can say hell but not t**ger? Wed 13 Oct 2010 07:22:39 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=81#comment131 " And what about the far east, LucyJ? Do you have any notion of what is happening here on the other side of the world from Midwest USA, and how these events will shape your future?"Yep, a third generation of Kim dynasty is about to take over in North Korea, a country suposedly ruled by its proletariat.Just like in PRC. :-)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))) Wed 13 Oct 2010 07:05:04 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=81#comment130 "McCarthy used Communism, Tea Party uses Socialism."Sen. McCarthy had no clue.Communist/Soviet penetration of American top echelons of power (incl. FDR's close advisors) and leading American institutions was much greater than McCarthy ever imagined.As we know now. And which no commie sympathiser can deny any longer. Wed 13 Oct 2010 06:51:32 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=80#comment129 Lucy: "This supercomputer, named "Blue Waters," aims to be capable of performing one quadrillion calculations per second. If completed, this would make Blue Waters three times faster than today's fastest supercomputer."Which is currently operating at 1.5 petaflops at Lawrence Livermore Lab.No supercomp of any other industrralized country comes even close to that. Wed 13 Oct 2010 06:47:10 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=80#comment128 "The consitution didn't hold back the Wright brothers and it didn't stop us from creating an airline industry that serves us every bit as well as Europe's nationalized airlines serve them."Not really, since those European airlines are no strike more often than not.[cf. Greek airlines, Alitalia, Air France, BA, etc.)With leading US private airlines, such as, e.g., United and Delta being the biggest (and having most connections) in the world. Wed 13 Oct 2010 06:42:24 GMT+1 PoeticUSMCWarVet_LivinginChina http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=79#comment127 This post has been Removed Wed 13 Oct 2010 06:40:45 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=78#comment126 "The original thoughts behind gun ownership may not apply"Oh, really?And what about a possibility of our a central government turning oppressive and tyranic?No signs of that whatsoever, right? ;) Wed 13 Oct 2010 06:37:44 GMT+1 Sam Tyler http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=78#comment125 #125Sir,taken as such.Ron#99I want one.Craven Wed 13 Oct 2010 04:51:48 GMT+1 BienvenueEnLouisiana http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=77#comment124 Ron Craven, I was being sincere; no need to apologize for grammatical errors. : ) Wed 13 Oct 2010 03:52:28 GMT+1 Curt Carpenter http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=76#comment123 123. At 02:58am on 13 Oct 2010, Scott0962 wrote:"Yep that's right. I sympathize with your position with a family to support but I feel no moral obligation to subsidize your familiy indefinitely because you made a decision to stay put in an area where you can't find work. You had a choice and you made it, if you're unhappy with the outcome of that choice it's not my fault." +++++++++++++++++++++++Thanks for the edit. Never pays to rush, but I had to see where God would take America tonight. I don't think anyone's interested in either your sympathy or your subsidies: we might be interested in your ideas -- if you had any -- for solving a set of difficult urban/social problems like those that plague Gary, Indiana. But not interested at all in more platitudes about corrupt politicians buying votes, the wages of bad individual choices or creeping socialism. We have sanctimony enough of our own.Seriously: is there ANYONE on the conservative right that has even ONE idea for a workable industrial policy for the Great Lakes region? We know you're all -against- the government's effort to save 100,000-plus auto worker's jobs there -- but what, if anything, are you FOR? Wed 13 Oct 2010 03:41:17 GMT+1 Scott0962 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=76#comment122 re. #120. At 02:03am on 13 Oct 2010, Curt Carpenter wrote:116. At 00:29am on 13 Oct 2010, Scott0962 wrote:...stuff.Well, I've read through your comments several times Scott0962, but I keep arriving at the same conclusion: your "cure" for the ills affecting Gary, Indiana and other cities is: give up.Then you toss in the usual moan about politicians "throwing money" at the problem to "buy votes."In short, nothing new here, much less anything constructive. But why should you care, anyway? YOU'RE not a guy trying to keep his family of five together from one day to the next in Gary, Indiana. Besides, in your view if that guy was -smart- and -self-reliant- like YOU are -- he'd LEAVE, right?!------------Yep that's right. I sympathize with your position with a family to support but I feel no moral obligation to subsidize your familiy indefinitely because you made a decision to stay put in an area where you can't find work. You had a choice and you made it, if you're unhappy with the outcome of that choice it's not my fault. Wed 13 Oct 2010 01:58:31 GMT+1 Scott0962 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=75#comment121 re.# 103. At 7:17pm on 12 Oct 2010, _marko wrote:To Scott0962 #100RE: propping such cities up with government provided dollarsIt would be interesting to see if you agree that this philosophy should be extended to the state level. In the USA many poorer states are subsidised by other states. In the effort to achieve smaller government and presumably in line with Tea Party philosophy, would you like to see a gradual reduction and elimination of this aid, so that individual states are more financially independent?---------Excellent question. Yes, I would. I believe it is damaging to our federal system of government for states to become reliant on Federal money as invariably it allows the Federal government to dictate policy to the states on matters that the constitution does not give authority to the Federal government. An excellent example is education, nothing in the constitution gives the Federal government the power to dictate education standards to the states but having accepted Federal education money they're caught in the trap and have to dance to Washington's tune.Of course this is the fault of state elected officials as much as it is Federal ones. They have regarded Federal grants and "matching funds" as free money that they get to spend while Washington D.C. takes the blame for taxing it from their citizens, and those of other states. All the while they have been slowly surrendering the states' authority to the Federal government. Left unreversed this will change the states from partners of the national government as intended under our constitution to mere instruments of its will.Think the Tea Party exagerates when it says the Federal government has strayed from the powers granted it by the constitution? Congress has taken upon itself the power to dictate what kind of toilet we can sit on in our own home, a power over the most intimate details of our lives that our founders surely never imagined our Federal government to have. Congress has also assumed the authority to not only regulate interstate commerce but to actally order citizens to engage in commerce as directed under penalty of law--that's why half the state attorney generals in the country are suing the Federal government over the mandatory insurance provision of the new health care law.The Tea Party is just the latest incarnation of the people's need to maintain eternal vigilance in order to preserve our freedoms from a government that occasionally needs to be reminded it exists to serve us, not rule us. Wed 13 Oct 2010 01:21:04 GMT+1 PoeticUSMCWarVet_LivinginChina http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=75#comment120 ref#112 LucyJ wrote - "And the truth is, I don't understand black culture.Not only that, I don't want to understand. All you have to do is watch a rap video and see why. Can't understand lyrics. No music, except drum beats.As a white female, rap music scares me just as much as traveling to the Middle East...Why? Look how they treat their women...Look how Kanye treated Taylor Swift..."First of all, Kanye is to black culture what Glenn Beck is to white culture - a tremendous embarassment. Here are two men totally devoid of talent who have somehow managed to be extremely successful. How do they do it? Well, Kanye sells tons of music to people who have bad taste, and Beck sells an ungodly amount of vague, B.S. ideology to people who have bad taste.Human nature - we always fear what we do not understand. You don't have to enjoy rap music to understand it, you dig? Nearly all of it is total garbage, but there is some, particularly from the late 80s and early 90s, that carries a message that is worth understanding, even to people who live in backward Midwest societies where cultural integration is considered undesirable.Why would you not wish to understand the motivations of your fellow human beings? The time when we could live in isolation from people who are different from us is dying fast. If you don't believe me, then perhaps you've been listening too much to Glenn Beck. Just because you can't see black people or the middle east when you look out your window or walk down your street, does not mean that what happens to those people and in those places does not impact the quality of your life and the prospects for your future. Globalization is not going to go away if you ignore it.Moreover, if we do not understand the ways of our Middle Eastern brothers, how will we ever convince them to be a little bit nicer to their ladies? Are you content to live in your own little White America fantasy world while women who are not so different from yourself suffer because we, the white people with the power, do not want to understand their plight and endeavor to help them?And what about the far east, LucyJ? Do you have any notion of what is happening here on the other side of the world from Midwest USA, and how these events will shape your future? Wed 13 Oct 2010 01:04:56 GMT+1 Curt Carpenter http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=74#comment119 116. At 00:29am on 13 Oct 2010, Scott0962 wrote:...stuff.Well, I've read through your comments several times Scott0962, but I keep arriving at the same conclusion: your "cure" for the ills affecting Gary, Indiana and other cities is: give up.Then you toss in the usual moan about politicians "throwing money" at the problem to "buy votes."In short, nothing new here, much less anything constructive. But why should you care, anyway? YOU'RE not a guy trying to keep his family of five together from one day to the next in Gary, Indiana. Besides, in your view if that guy was -smart- and -self-reliant- like YOU are -- he'd LEAVE, right?!This is all so typical of the "I've got mine, Jack" right that I don't know why I find it remarkable anymore. But I do.Keep up the good work. You're a poster boy for the reality of "compassionate conservatism."Which is a pretty easy sermon for YOU to preach, since you aren't IN Gary with a family of four to try to keep together. t/, nothing can be done and anything that someone might try is just fraudulent vote-buying by clueless politicians.re. #102. At 6:49pm on 12 Oct 2010, Curt Carpenter wrote:100. At 5:35pm on 12 Oct 2010, Scott0962 wrote:"But listen: the fact that cities have come and gone in the past doesn't make it a good thing, does it? For the people that live there, I mean?"When the jobs are gone they're gone" is pretty glib, even for our "I've got mine, Jack" Republican friends. Climb down off your high horse and do something uncharacteristic of your crowd: tell us what you'd to to "provide a cure" for Gary, Detroit, Flint and a growing number of other of our rust belt cities struggling to cope. Or would you rather just close your eyes, stick your fingers in your ears and hope they decay sooner rahter than later so you don't have to be offended by their continuing, troubling existence?"Shoot, if the answers were easy politicians would have found them by now don't you think? The condition of the economy isn't helping but even when that turns around it might take huge tax incentives to overcome business' reluctance to invest in an area so obviously in decline. Job retraining for unemployed workers can help but there have to be jobs available for those retrained workers or its just a fancy way to extend unemployment benefits.The most likely outcome is these areas will continue to decay while politicians continue to throw money at them to buy the votes of the residents whose votes may be their most marketable commodity now. And of course those with the most brains and ambition will leave to seek opportunities elsewhere which won't help stop the downward slide. Wed 13 Oct 2010 01:03:32 GMT+1 PoeticUSMCWarVet_LivinginChina http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=73#comment118 ref#108, SaintDominick wrote - "One of the most common characteristics for Democrats is our lack of party discipline and our inclination to criticize our party, our leadership, and often support the opposition. In my case, I plan to vote for Charlie Crist, the Republican Governor of Florida who is running as an Independent for Mel Martinez' old Senate seat. I am doing that because I think he is the most qualified and because I am not impressed with the Democratic candidate (Meek)."By voting for Charlie Christ to be a Senator in Washington, you are not only supporting the opposition of the Democratic party, you are supporting a man who is nothing more than a career politician and a grandstanding clown who would sell his own mother into prostitution in order to retain some form of tangible power. The man did nothing the whole time he was governor of Florida. I was in charge of one of his security teams for two years at the capitol building in Tallahassee (the capitol city of Florida, for those of you unfamiliar with Yank geography), and I had many opportunities to listen to Chirst running his mouth behind closed doors - I tell you, the man is an unequivocal dirtbag and certainly one of the last people we need representing us (Floridians) in DC. Because Charlie Christ is only interested in representing one person, and that person is Charlie Christ. If you don't like Meek, that is perfectly understandable. The man is the emobdiment of his moniker. But please, don't be one of the Florida voters responsible for sending the Tan Man to the next level, when it is clearly time for his political career to die. Wed 13 Oct 2010 00:48:07 GMT+1 AndreaNY http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=73#comment117 115. SaintDominick:"My earlier comment referred strictly about the use of hyperbole, name calling, or illogical claims such as calling President Obama and his policies socialist. "**************You cannot deny the government's involvement in industry has grown. You cannot deny that it grew very quickly in multiple areas. You cannot deny that the specifics of its involvement have yet to be defined. You cannot deny that the process followed in this involvement was the not the process promised.Yet you would deny Americans the right to react to the government's behavior as they see fit. Well, that's not yours to deny. It's just more hyperbole about the hyperbole.You may label entire groups based on your tiny sample of interactions but that doesn't mean your labels are true for the entire group. Besides, that's kind of "Tea Party" of you, isn't it? Wed 13 Oct 2010 00:30:31 GMT+1 Scott0962 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=72#comment116 re. #104. At 7:21pm on 12 Oct 2010, dceilar wrote:Scott @100It should come as no surprise that cities can also die when the industry that drove them moves out for whatever reason. It makes no difference how hard working or wonderful the inhabitants were, when the jobs are gone they're gone. Factories close, people are laid off, property values and city tax revenues decline and crime rates go up. Trying to prop such cities up with government provided dollars is a sop to the voters still there but it come sat the expense of voters elsewhere and it cannot bring back the vitality of the city, it merely treats the symptoms rather than providing a cure. If new industry is not found to replace what was lost the downward spiral will inevitably continue.I sense much self-loathing there. I also notice that you agree that the economy determines society, or to put it more pointedly, the base determines the superstructure. You agree with Marx more than you think.Homelessness is coming to be the destiny of the world. But it doesn't have to be that way. Read up about Liverpool's Albert Docks and London's Canary Wharf - both rejuvenated by that commie Thatcher in the eighties. 'Individuals can and do shape history' (Marx also said that).-------You're mistaken about the self loathing. I can see my country's flaws without hating it or myself thank you very much. As for agreeing with Karl Marx, I'm willing to admit that even Marx may have got something right once in a great but history has already debunked most of his work. Marx underestimated the possibility that change to improve the lot of the working class could come via democratic means, led by organized labor organizations and a free press as happened here in America and the UK instead of through violent revolution fed by class differences like Russia. Oh sure, there were violent clashes between labor and capitalists here but when the excesses of both sides were reported people were repelled by them and demanded government impose compromises to put a stop to it. Wages and working conditions improved, the right of workers to collective bargaining and to form unions was recognized and government took a role to act as mediator when necessary. Enlightened capitalists like Henry Ford even recognized that workers were also consumers and that increasing their purchasing power led to more products being sold and higher profits for factory owners. Marx seems to have totally missed the possibility of such a win-win scenario in democratic countries."Individuals can and do shape history": Marx was merely stating the obvious. Even in his time history was full of examples of individuals making a difference. Wed 13 Oct 2010 00:10:44 GMT+1 Scott0962 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=71#comment115 re. #102. At 6:49pm on 12 Oct 2010, Curt Carpenter wrote:100. At 5:35pm on 12 Oct 2010, Scott0962 wrote:"But listen: the fact that cities have come and gone in the past doesn't make it a good thing, does it? For the people that live there, I mean? "When the jobs are gone they're gone" is pretty glib, even for our "I've got mine, Jack" Republican friends. Climb down off your high horse and do something uncharacteristic of your crowd: tell us what you'd to to "provide a cure" for Gary, Detroit, Flint and a growing number of other of our rust belt cities struggling to cope. Or would you rather just close your eyes, stick your fingers in your ears and hope they decay sooner rahter than later so you don't have to be offended by their continuing, troubling existence?"Shoot, if the answers were easy politicians would have found them by now don't you think? The condition of the economy isn't helping but even when that turns around it might take huge tax incentives to overcome business' reluctance to invest in an area so obviously in decline. Job retraining for unemployed workers can help but there have to be jobs available for those retrained workers or its just a fancy way to extend unemployment benefits. The most likely outcome is these areas will continue to decay while politicians continue to throw money at them to buy the votes of the residents whose votes may be their most marketable commodity now. And of course those with the most brains and ambition will leave to seek opportunities elsewhere which won't help stop the downward slide. Tue 12 Oct 2010 23:29:08 GMT+1 SaintDominick http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=71#comment114 Ref 111, Andrea"You can dispute the definition of socialism, but it doesn't change the fact that most Americans want a more limited role for their government.Call it whatever you want. Nitpick over the dictionary definition. Argue away. It's really not about the definition of socialism."My earlier comment referred strictly about the use of hyperbole, name calling, or illogical claims such as calling President Obama and his policies socialist. I don't have a problem with people that articulate their disagreement, or offer opinions, that are different than mine. You would be surprised if you knew how many Republican causes and policies I support, but I can't stand some of the immature comments I read in this and other blogs.BTW, the US government has not taken over banks, financial institutions, GM or Chrysler. Most, if not all, are being traded in the stock market and remain icons of capitalism. Some were placed in receivership when they became insolvent and their collapse threatened the integrity of our economy. Placing insolvent companies in receivership is nothing new, has absolutely nothing to do with socialism, and quite often helps failed corporations recover and become prosperous.I think it is also important to remember that the TARP (aka bank bailout) was proposed, drafted, and signed by former President Bush, not Obama. The reason the TARP funding appears in the FY09 budget is because the appropiations took place after October 1, 2008...before President Obama was elected!I think it is also important to point out that without the TARP, money from the Fed and the stimulus package the talk today would have been about how to get out of the second Great Depression. Tue 12 Oct 2010 22:50:39 GMT+1 GeoffWard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=70#comment113 .McCarthy used Communism, Tea Party uses Socialism.People create the bogey of 'the Other' to create a climate of fear, thereby achieving some undeclared aim of social manipulation leading to social control.Why, *at this time*, does the conservative Right feel the need to assert the tenets of the Right by using such illogical extrapolations of the beliefs of their political 'opponents' that beggar belief?The Democratic party of the US is distinctly Right of Centre; as is the Republican party. There seems very little understanding in the USA about what a REAL socialist administration looks like. Tue 12 Oct 2010 22:28:58 GMT+1 LucyJ http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=70#comment112 andy wrote: UGA, Texas A&M, UT, Auburn, UF, Georgia Tech, Duke, Vanderbilt, Notre Dame, Emory etc. ------------------------------------------------------------------------University of Illinois is one of the most prestigious schools not only in USA, but in the world...http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_IllinoisOne exerpt:The university hosts the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), which created Mosaic, the first graphical Web browser, the foundation upon which Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Internet Explorer are based, the Apache HTTP server, and NCSA Telnet. The Parallel@Illinois program hosts several programs in parallel computing, including the Universal Parallel Computing Research Center. The university is currently collaborating with IBM and the National Science Foundation to build the world's fastest supercomputer.[28] This supercomputer, named "Blue Waters," aims to be capable of performing one quadrillion calculations per second. If completed, this would make Blue Waters three times faster than today's fastest supercomputer. The university whimsically celebrated January 12, 1997 as the "birthday" of HAL 9000, the fictional supercomputer from the novel and film 2001: A Space Odyssey; in both works, HAL credits "Urbana, Illinois" as his place of operational origin.So don't tell me we aren't smart or don't count!!!K', not to brag, but just one more exerpt:In the 24 February 2004 talk as part of his Five Campus Tour (Harvard, MIT, Cornell, Carnegie-Mellon and Illinois),[30] titled "Software Breakthroughs: Solving the Toughest Problems in Computer Science," Bill Gates has mentioned that Microsoft hires more graduates from the University of Illinois than from any other university in the world.[31] Alumnus William M. Holt, a Senior Vice-President of Intel, also mentioned in a campus talk in 27 September 2007 entitled "R&D to Deliver Practical Results: Extending Moore's Law"[32] that Intel hires more PhD graduates from the University of Illinois than from any other university in the country. Tue 12 Oct 2010 22:23:06 GMT+1 LucyJ http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=69#comment111 92. d,Yes, very heartbreaking, but everyone knows that Gary, Indiana is one of the most crime-ridden, dangerous, poorest cities in the Midwest.It is hard for me to relate to Gary, Indiana as a Midwest town, because all the Midwest towns I know have hardly any crime (except meth) and are majority white. And the truth is, I don't understand black culture.Not only that, I don't want to understand. All you have to do is a watch a rap video and see why. Can't understand lyrics. No music, except drum beats.As a white female, rap music scares me just as much as traveling to the Middle East...Why? Look how they treat their women...Look how Kanye treated Taylor Swift... Tue 12 Oct 2010 22:10:13 GMT+1 AndreaNY http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=68#comment110 109. SaintDominick:"Regarding the claim that the Obama administration and democrats are trying to turn the USA into a socialist country, would you mind offering some evidence? I am sure our european friends need a good laugh..."***********I am sure our European friends are much more familiar with socialism than Americans. You can dispute the definition of socialism, but it doesn't change the fact that most Americans want a more limited role for their government.Call it whatever you want. Nitpick over the dictionary definition. Argue away. It's really not about the definition of socialism. Tue 12 Oct 2010 21:35:30 GMT+1 dceilar http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=68#comment109 Curt @97I forgot to thank you for the links you gave. The Michigan Central Station was a beautiful building. Given America's relatively 'shallow history' you would have thought they [the government] would try to restore their cultural heritage for future generations. All they are going to get is GW Bush's debt. God help the youth of America. Tue 12 Oct 2010 21:22:38 GMT+1 SaintDominick http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=67#comment108 Ref 107, crash"The tea party are not a bunch of seething racist's nor some kind of christian zealots,it's people who are tired of the two faced back slapping political hacks determined to turn the US into some socialist mirror image of the EUSSR."People of all ethnicities, nationalities, religions, gender and age demonstrate in favor or against things and policies that are important to them or affect them in some way. The reason the Tea Party got a reputation of racism and religious intolerance is because of the overt demonstrations of ethnic prejudice they showed until a couple of months ago when somebody must have told them to tone down their rhetoric to avoid a backlash.When you see people walking around with toy monkeys on their shoulders holding signs calling for our President's deportation to Kenya, when people shout racist insults during demonstrations, and when people engage in the demonization of other religions it is difficult not to consider them racist or religious zealots.Are all TP members racists and religious zealots? Absolutely not, but there is little doubt, based on what most of us have seen either on TV or in demonstrations in the places where we live that there are many racists and zealots among them and that those that demonstrate alongside them do not seem to mind their expressions of hatred.Trying to equate the behavior of people that have been enslaved, lynched, abused, ostracized and persecuted for centuries with that of the people that oppressed them and retain most of the wealth and power in our country is absurd. There is a difference between those that fight for a return to the way things were and those that fight for equality and the same rights and opportunities that the majority enjoys.Regarding the claim that the Obama administration and democrats are trying to turn the USA into a socialist country, would you mind offering some evidence? I am sure our european friends need a good laugh... Tue 12 Oct 2010 21:13:16 GMT+1 SaintDominick http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=66#comment107 Ref 88, Magic"No the problem is that you and other Obama defenders will not brook any criticism of Obama."I am a registered Democrat and I support President Obama, but I disagree with most of his foreign policy initiatives. I deplore his decision to delay our departure from Iraq, the escalation of the war in Afghanistan, and reneging on his promise to close the prison camp in Gitmo. One of the most common characteristics for Democrats is our lack of party discipline and our inclination to criticize our party, our leadership, and often support the opposition. In my case, I plan to vote for Charlie Crist, the Republican Governor of Florida who is running as an Independent for Mel Martinez' old Senate seat. I am doing that because I think he is the most qualified and because I am not impressed with the Democratic candidate (Meek). The tendency of Democrats to break party ranks contrasts with the sheepish party discipline of Republicans who march in lockstep behind their leaders and consistently embrace party policies and orthodoxy regardless of how illogical or counter productive it may be."I have met several Tea Party members and they are quite rational far more than the majority of Obama supporters who still blame George Bush or believe that foriegn money and and economic cabal control the Tea Party."A member of my family is a Tea Party and he sounds exactly like you. "Its not hatread, although I have contempt for the spoiled entitlement that many of his inner circle demand of the rest of us."You could have fooled me. Then again, since I have never expressed regret because a politician or leader I don't like was not assassinated, since I prefer to offer opinions that can be backed up with facts, or at least logic, I guess I will have to assume that there must be other motives for the tone, style and lack of objectivity for the insults and the claims you make repeatedly in this blog, which are available for anyone to read. Tue 12 Oct 2010 20:39:47 GMT+1 crash http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=66#comment106 Why is it that when a group of white people protest some thing they are called racists or the christian right extremists,yet if a group of hispanic,black,muslim people demonstrate there is always some one prepared to run out and defend their right to do this ? The tea party are not a bunch of seething racist's nor some kind of christian zealots,it's people who are tired of the two faced back slapping political hacks determined to turn the US into some socialist mirror image of the EUSSR. Tue 12 Oct 2010 19:08:40 GMT+1 publiusdetroit http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=65#comment105 Take a good, long look at the City of Detroit. You will see a community where the people became divided by hatred and fear to the extent they could no longer work together for the well-being of their community. It has taken 43 years of mindless distrust and raving hatred to turn a once vibrant city into a smoking, ravaged ruin. Proof that a house divided cannot stand.The people in the City of Detroit turned against each other. One group trying to dominate the other. There was little compromise. The groups could not adapt to the changing conditions nor reach out for some accord; only wanting to go back to some fabled time of once was. They tore each other apart, and they blindly tore apart their city.Now all that is left is a sad, filthy ruin not fit for anyone.Detroit is a warning to our nation. Divide and fall. Tue 12 Oct 2010 18:51:22 GMT+1 andyparsonsga http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=65#comment104 29. At 10:52pm on 11 Oct 2010, John wrote:"In my opinion the British press reads far too much into American poliics. Most Americans do not understand what liberalism, socialism or capitalism mean and adhere to political parties like football teams. There is no left/right issue here, the Tea-party is left-wing or right-wing depending on the issue and how it suits them. They are pro individual freedom on guns and taxes, yet in favour of state imposition of draconian laws regarding gays and women's rights. Stop pretending they are an extreme-right organisation and accept the truth of the matter:The Tea party is a front for the politicised Christian movement in the USA, hardly surprising in a country where so many people do not even accept the basic fact of evolution and a massive proportion of the population believe their president is a non-American muslim. These people are not conservatives, they are not even trying to uphold the constitution. They want to re-write and remove any mention of America's original secular history and create a Christian theocracy. The USA is becoming increasingly divided between the largely prosperous and educated seaboard states in mainly Democrat control and the relatively backward midwest and bible belt states in Republican control. The Tea party represents a failure in the USA to tackle Christianity and the dangers it can cause if allows to fester and spread in an environment of low living standards and poor education."In my opinion John, and I will admit that my opinion is based purely upon your musings above, you have absolutely no idea of the American people, its political processes, demographics or anything else to do with this country.As in 1976, there is a groundswell of popular opinion against the established East and Left coast "Country Club Republican" party, as well as incumbent politicians irrespective of their party affiliation. The general feeling within those of the Tea Party movement is that this, and previous administrations have granted themselves powers that have allowed them to consistently legislate outside of the constraints placed upon them by the Constitution.The Tea Party movement is not just a bunch of "Christian, right wing nut jobs" but includes a substantial percentage of both independent voters and those who have historically voted for the Democrat party. Nor is it an organization populated entirely of 50 year old "monochromatic" white collar workers as the likes of Nancy Pelosi and Keith Olberman would have everyone believe. The common denominator is that they are sick of "Washington politics as usual", of professional politicians whose only priority is to be re-elected, of legislation replete with pork, social engineering, out of control Federal spending, lobbyists and the kow-towing to special interest groups, often to the detriment of the majority of US citizens.The Tea Party is decentralized, it is a network of small groups with a loose affiliation to similar fiscal principles. It has no national leadership, charter or by-laws. The groups are localized, with each having their own identities and priorities. They steer clear of controversial social issues, although some in the group speak in inflammatory terms about topics like, gay rights, abortion or immigration, the main focus is, and always has been fiscal responsibility, limited government and free markets.Your comment about "not even trying to uphold the Constitution" is laughable and I would suggest that like many Europeans you have no idea of the difference between a Constitutional Republic and a Democracy, let alone what is contained in the Constitution.As to your claim that the "The USA is becoming increasingly divided between the largely prosperous and educated seaboard states in mainly Democrat control and the relatively backward midwest and bible belt states in Republican control", I would suggest that you do some research. Seaboard states both on the east and west coasts can hardly be called "prosperous", in fact the vast majority of them, as well as many of the Democrat controlled mid-west cities and states, are facing huge deficits as businesses relocate to more business and tax friendly locations. As to education you should perhaps look at the mess that is the Californian and New York educational systems, also why not try looking at the top flight mid-west and "Bible belt" universities such as UGA, Texas A&M, UT, Auburn, UF, Georgia Tech, Duke, Vanderbilt, Notre Dame, Emory etc. Tue 12 Oct 2010 18:41:23 GMT+1 dceilar http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=64#comment103 Scott @100It should come as no surprise that cities can also die when the industry that drove them moves out for whatever reason. It makes no difference how hard working or wonderful the inhabitants were, when the jobs are gone they're gone. Factories close, people are laid off, property values and city tax revenues decline and crime rates go up. Trying to prop such cities up with government provided dollars is a sop to the voters still there but it come sat the expense of voters elsewhere and it cannot bring back the vitality of the city, it merely treats the symptoms rather than providing a cure. If new industry is not found to replace what was lost the downward spiral will inevitably continue.I sense much self-loathing there. I also notice that you agree that the economy determines society, or to put it more pointedly, the base determines the superstructure. You agree with Marx more than you think.Homelessness is coming to be the destiny of the world. But it doesn't have to be that way. Read up about Liverpool's Albert Docks and London's Canary Wharf - both rejuvenated by that commie Thatcher in the eighties. 'Individuals can and do shape history' (Marx also said that). Tue 12 Oct 2010 18:21:05 GMT+1 _marko http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=63#comment102 To Scott0962 #100RE: propping such cities up with government provided dollarsIt would be interesting to see if you agree that this philosophy should be extended to the state level. In the USA many poorer states are subsidised by other states. In the effort to achieve smaller government and presumably in line with Tea Party philosophy, would you like to see a gradual reduction and elimination of this aid, so that individual states are more financially independent? Tue 12 Oct 2010 18:17:40 GMT+1 Curt Carpenter http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=63#comment101 100. At 5:35pm on 12 Oct 2010, Scott0962 wrote:..."You seem to make the assumption that cities are founded and never die. That's simply not true."++++++++++++++++++++Really? Wow! I feel a whole lot more enlightened now, and it's all down to your keen historical insights! "History provides us with numerous examples of cities that have perished..."Just a little pompous, don't you think? (But never mind: we all like to indulge in a little puffery from time to time. I do.)But listen: the fact that cities have come and gone in the past doesn't make it a good thing, does it? For the people that live there, I mean? "When the jobs are gone they're gone" is pretty glib, even for our "I've got mine, Jack" Republican friends. Climb down off your high horse and do something uncharacteristic of your crowd: tell us what you'd to to "provide a cure" for Gary, Detroit, Flint and a growing number of other of our rust belt cities struggling to cope. Or would you rather just close your eyes, stick your fingers in your ears and hope they decay sooner rahter than later so you don't have to be offended by their continuing, troubling existence? Tue 12 Oct 2010 17:49:04 GMT+1 AndreaNY http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=62#comment100 98. Scott0962:Government over-reached and now it is getting a smack down. Never a pleasant thing for the ones getting smacked. The natural reaction is to blame everyone else/circumstances and fight back. That's what democrats are doing. They'll have to pull a rabbit out of a hat to convince voters they can create jobs. I just don't see it happening. Voters don't really care about the partisan accusations at this point. They want something substantive on the economy. Democrats talk about middle class finances a lot, but even the middle class knows it's not by them that jobs are created. Tue 12 Oct 2010 16:50:13 GMT+1 Scott0962 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=61#comment99 re. #97. At 4:59pm on 12 Oct 2010, Curt Carpenter wrote:92. At 4:04pm on 12 Oct 2010, dceilar wrote:...The BBC's Paul Mason has just written an interesting blog post on a town in the Mid-west - Gary, Indiana: Unbroken spirit amid the ruins of the 20th Century . All quite heartbreaking for a number of reasons. It seems the town has been left to nature and ghosts.++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++Thanks for the interesting link. See also http://www.photojpl.com/themes/detroit-ruins/ or http://seedetroit.com/pictures/mcsweb/.It's images like these that you'd think would be animating American working men and women all over the country. But instead, we have a TEA party that (it seems to me) wants to put the blame for our Garys and Detroits on -- who else? -- working men and women just like themselves! Steel workers and auto workers that had the temerity to abandon "rugged individualism" in favor of collective bargaining and a union counterpoise to corporatism. Permit me two other points. The small number of jobs -created- by federal stimulus dollars in Gary sounds awful. But it overlooks the number of jobs -saved- by those dollars, which deserve to be included in the accounting.And finally: I think that nightmare images like those of Gary, Detroit, Flint and other once-prosperous centers ARE driving a good deal of the TEA party angst. But the fear is producing a bizarre sort of self-destructive response. -----------------You seem to make the assumption that cities are founded and never die. That's simply not true. History provides us with numerous examples of cities that have perished; some by acts of war, some because the trade routes they were on shifted, some because the natural respources they were established to exploit ran out and others because of natural disasters or changing climate. Some died quickly like Herculaneum and Pompeii, others died a lingering death.It should come as no surprise that cities can also die when the industry that drove them moves out for whatever reason. It makes no difference how hard working or wonderful the inhabitants were, when the jobs are gone they're gone. Factories close, people are laid off, property values and city tax revenues decline and crime rates go up. Trying to prop such cities up with government provided dollars is a sop to the voters still there but it come sat the expense of voters elsewhere and it cannot bring back the vitality of the city, it merely treats the symptoms rather than providing a cure. If new industry is not found to replace what was lost the downward spiral will inevitably continue. Tue 12 Oct 2010 16:35:57 GMT+1 Scott0962 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=61#comment98 re. #91. At 3:43pm on 12 Oct 2010, Ron Craven wrote:"As in Europe you can own a shotgun and hunting rifle, but not a tank."Actually, in some states you can own a tank (at least an old one) but the weapons may not be in firing condition. There are people who collect and restore old military vehicles including tanks and half tracks just as other people enjoy restoring and flying old Spitfires or Mustangs. Tue 12 Oct 2010 16:08:13 GMT+1 Scott0962 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=60#comment97 What the politicians of both parties hate about the Tea Party movement is that the Tea Partiers have this absurd notion that policial parties should serve the interests of the people instead of those of the political elites. Small wonder then that Democrat and Republican politicians and media allies take aim at the Tea Party and attempt to ridicule and belittle it every chance they get--if such an idea caught fire with the voters a lot of them would have to go out and found real jobs. Tue 12 Oct 2010 16:01:39 GMT+1 Curt Carpenter http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=60#comment96 92. At 4:04pm on 12 Oct 2010, dceilar wrote:...The BBC's Paul Mason has just written an interesting blog post on a town in the Mid-west - Gary, Indiana: Unbroken spirit amid the ruins of the 20th Century . All quite heartbreaking for a number of reasons. It seems the town has been left to nature and ghosts.++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++Thanks for the interesting link. See also http://www.photojpl.com/themes/detroit-ruins/ or http://seedetroit.com/pictures/mcsweb/.It's images like these that you'd think would be animating American working men and women all over the country. But instead, we have a TEA party that (it seems to me) wants to put the blame for our Garys and Detroits on -- who else? -- working men and women just like themselves! Steel workers and auto workers that had the temerity to abandon "rugged individualism" in favor of collective bargaining and a union counterpoise to corporatism. Permit me two other points. The small number of jobs -created- by federal stimulus dollars in Gary sounds awful. But it overlooks the number of jobs -saved- by those dollars, which deserve to be included in the accounting.And finally: I think that nightmare images like those of Gary, Detroit, Flint and other once-prosperous centers ARE driving a good deal of the TEA party angst. But the fear is producing a bizarre sort of self-destructive response. Tue 12 Oct 2010 15:59:48 GMT+1 Scott0962 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=59#comment95 re. #3. At 7:20pm on 11 Oct 2010, The Toothbrush Man wrote:"At the heart of the Tea Party, she says, is adherence to the constitution and a belief that Obama's economics are taking America away from this document. She says:This progressive agenda has progressed to the tipping point in the United States, where we either stand up for the constitution of the United States or we accept socialism, tainted with Marxism."I am always struck at the parallels between the ideology of the US right wing and religion. Namely :- an unquestioning belief in scripture/US constitution). The fact that the US constitution is 200+ years old, written in a time before light bulbs, and is totally inappropriate in a world of modern health care, electricity, iPhones, airplane travel, nuclear weapons, spaceships, etc. - doesn't seem to tar it's appeal. It's a similar story with ancient religious scripture.--------------------What's inappropriate about it? Our constitution was designed to establish a system of government where that government derived its just powers by the consent of the people, it was never intended to give that government authority to run our lives for us.Let's look at your examples. Light bulbs? Invented here so obviously the constitution didn't hold us back.Modern health care? Show me a nation on earth that has more modern health care than the USA. What you're talking about if universal health care which many Americans equate with socialism, a political system we have not adopted. If it works for you, wonderful--but don't try to cram it down our throats.Electricity: we have it and its produced by quasi-government run utilities so don't tell me our constitution held us back from it. Ever heard of the Rural Electrification Adminstration? A government program that brought electricity to those parts of America too far out in the boondocks ot make it worthwhile for commercial electric companies to run power lines. Doesn't sound like the constitution held back progress there either. iPhones: OK, I have no idea what the consitution has to do with iphones but anyone who can aford one can buy and use them here so I don't see how the consitution is holding us back there.Airplane travel: you're kidding, right? The consitution didn't hold back the Wright brothers and it didn't stop us from creating an airline industry that serves us every bit as well as Europe's nationalized airlines serve them. Nuclear weapons: I don't follow your logic, what has the consitution to do with the development of weapons of war? Where do you think it should draw the line? Nuclear weapons? Tactical missiles? Tanks? Machine guns? Ironclads? How long would our country keep its freedom if our constitution held us back in such a manner while allowing our enemies free reign to pursue new weapon technology?Spaceships: I'm pretty sure our constitution didn't hold us back in space technology either so why the relevance of your reference escapes me.Obviously having a written consitution has not held America back from being a modern nation in spite of the age of the original document. I rather doubt an Englishman would say Magna Carta is irrelevant to the governance of his country because of the age of that document and its centuries older than our constitution. And you forget that the founding fathers knew their creation might need adjustments over time and built in a mechanism to allow the consitution to be amended if enough people thought it important enough--and it has been amended 27 times since its adoption. The first ten amendments form our bill of rights expressingly stating rights of the people that government may not interfere with and stating that any powers not expressly delegated to government are reserved to the states and the people. Another one of those amendments abolished slavery. An amendment established the rights of citizenship. Yet another ensured that the states cannot take away rights granted by the Federal consitution. Others abolished race and sex as qualifications to vote, banned poll taxes, established the line of presidential succession, gave 18 year olds the right to vote, and established the laws limiting Congressional terms and pay. And of course there was the failed experiment with prohibition, started and ended by consitutional amendment. An amendement also established the Electoral College, a quaint old custom that could easily be replaced in this era of modern communications but which we never get around to replacing because quite frankly we'd rather keep it as it is than let the politicians play with the process.So don't try to tell Americans their constitution is an old outmoded scrap of parchment irrelvant to governing a nation on the modern world. It's working just fine, thank you. Tue 12 Oct 2010 15:56:28 GMT+1 AndreaNY http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=58#comment94 8. LATERALBOX :First i would like to state that ive always scorned anyone who used the "its because im black argument", but in this case its blindingly obvious because of the widespread ridiculous rumors, slurs and personal attacks on Obama********Check your facts more carefully. One-quarter of Obama's supporters say he isn't a Christian. What's their excuse?What's blindingly obvious to anyone who isn't enamored of his policies is that he has expanded government beyond the comfort level of many Americans. He has also alienated businesses, large and small, to the point where they're willing to vote republican just to stop him.Criticism of Obama is really not that hard to understand, but you have to be willing to question his policies, which many of his supporters are not willing to do. Passing sweeping legislation without any details was not the smartest move on his part. Too bad he didn't have anyone with business experience to help him assess what the impact of his moves would be on business. Because of his inexperience or arrogance, he probably didn't think he had to care. Voters will change that perspective, I'm sure. Tue 12 Oct 2010 15:52:39 GMT+1 AndreaNY http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=58#comment93 62. MarcusAureliusII:The Democrats are scared and desperate. They are saying that the Republicans are being propped up by foreign interests, especially from China but they have no hard proof. And since it is their assertion, it's up to them to prove it. **************Desperate people do desperate things. "Hope and Change" has become "Frighten and Alarm".The "foreign money" claim will quietly disappear because it is being challenged in so many places. Bob SScheiffer on CBS Face the Nation said this to Axelrod:“If the only charge, three weeks into the election that the Democrats can make is that there’s somehow this may or may not be foreign money coming into the campaign, is that the best you can do?”All this chatter about the Tea Party is irrelevant and just more partisan bickering. The problem for the democrats is their loss of independents. Tue 12 Oct 2010 15:28:30 GMT+1 dceilar http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=57#comment92 Ron Craven & Toothbrush ManAt last. An intelligent and grown-up debate about the US Constitution. Thank you. Tue 12 Oct 2010 15:18:15 GMT+1 dceilar http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=56#comment91 LucyJ @38The BBC's Paul Mason has just written an interesting blog post on a town in the Mid-west - Gary, Indiana: Unbroken spirit amid the ruins of the 20th Century . All quite heartbreaking for a number of reasons. It seems the town has been left to nature and ghosts. Tue 12 Oct 2010 15:04:11 GMT+1 Sam Tyler http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=56#comment90 #78Brush,You seem to be a little confused. No one holds the Constitution as immutable, it is a document that states it's own mutability.Claiming that the one piece of the Constitution that has been repealed as being ridiculous is, umm, ridiculous. An Amendment to the constitution is very difficult to pass and needs broad public support, that's why there are so few and why when you read themk each makes a lot of sense. The Temperance movement, no matter how dumb we think it is today, was popular at the time of prohibition, just as repeal was when everyone realized how dumb it was. That is the beauty of our Constitution, it allows our Democracy to evolve.As for the second amendment, in a country where the wildlife can kill you and hunting is necessary to control the deer and other unchecked species populations the ownership of firearms is necessary. The original thoughts behind gun ownership may not apply, but the right to bear arms is still relevant. It is also relevant for personal protection in many states that are unincorporated and where the State police, often a long way away, are your only law enforcement. There was a highly publicised case last year in Tennessee where a homicidal maniac and convicted murderer broke into a womans home while she was on the 911 call begging for the police to arrive. She shot and killed him. As in Europe you can own a shotgun and hunting rifle, but not a tank. Where the line is drawn inbetween is where the debate continues. While the US undoubtedly has a higher homicide rate than more 'civilized' countries, but we live in a safer society as a whole with lower rate of violence, especially assaults and violence between young men, and in particular burglary. Justin Webb's book has some interesting thoughts around this, but net net if you break into my house you run a high risk.You are correct that there is no mention of free healthcare. Nor does the constitution of the Fifth Republic or the non existant UK constitution, nor any of note, give such a right. Because such a thing really isn't a right anywhere. So no, it doesn't say something no other constitution says and was never intended to say. Such a thing would be passed as a law through Congress.A Constitution isn't about establishing a list of things people may or may not think they are entitled to. It's about establishing a framework for Government. As such they don't come any better. As for folks holding it up as almost sacred, that's up to them. There are plenty of wingnuts who find deep meaning in Winnie the Pooh. That doesn't denigrate AA Milne, it just means that it's notable enough for wingnuts to bang on about it. If you want to criticize the crazies you point out, politely, that what they think is in the Constitution (all that God stuff and economic policy) isn't and they should go read it. You don't say that Eeyore should be on Zoloft and is a poor role model for children. That's, well, crazy.Sam Tue 12 Oct 2010 14:43:03 GMT+1 ghostofsichuan http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=55#comment89 Tea Party jingles for the small minded. Lower taxes, less governments, less regulations...sounds nice but what do they mean..specifically? Less education dollars? No oversight of banking and business so we can have a repeat of the financial collapse? Less safety, benefits and pay for workers? It is a complex world and the simple-minded always think that what they call "common sense" (a term used by those who don't want to be concerned about the facts)is all that is needed to run the largest economy in the world and most diverse country. People voting against their own interests. The Chamber of Commerce, remember they are the ones who said that giving China MFN status would produce American jobs and are now filtering Chinese money into political campaigns, continue to represent the real interest of big business, less of everything but profit by ownership. Tue 12 Oct 2010 13:45:25 GMT+1 Interestedforeigner http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=55#comment88 84. At 12:39pm on 12 Oct 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:"If this process is not one of moving towards socialism then what is it?"__________In essence?Receivership. Tue 12 Oct 2010 13:39:31 GMT+1 MagicKirin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=54#comment87 ref #83Really? Should we assume tha those Tea Partyers that walk around with toy monkeys on their shoulders holding signs calling for Obama's deportation to Kenya are just practicing for Halloween? Are those that consider a birth certificate insufficient proof of citizenship only pursuing theoretical points to debate in Law School? Are the people that claim President Obama can not deliver a speech without the aid of a teleprompter, after he delivered a 32 minute speech at the UN without a teleprompter or a piece of paper to read just kidding? The vitriol and overt hatred that people like you, most members of the Tea Party, and some Republicans demonstrate time and again has nothing to do with policy, the root of your hatred is well understood in the USA and hiding behind a veneer of righteousness is not going to dissuade too many Americans from the truth. The problem, obviously, is that you are not alone and that many share the same animosity you do.____________No the problem is that you and other Obama defenders will not brook any criticism of Obama.I have met several Tea Party members and they are quite rational far more than the majority of Obama supporters who still blame George Bush or believe that foriegn money and and economic cabal control the Tea Party.Its not hatread, although I have contempt for the spoiled entitlement that many of his inner circle demand of the rest of us. Tue 12 Oct 2010 13:17:13 GMT+1 LucyJ http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=53#comment86 Hey, did anyone hear about the guy that threw a book at Obama?Apparently, it was an Obama supporter who wanted him to have a copy of his book...seems bizarre to me...why not just slide it across the stage or something, no need to throw it!I mean, look, I disagree with some Obama policies, but I will never, I repeat, never throw a book or anything else at our President, no matter how much I agree or disagree... Tue 12 Oct 2010 13:03:34 GMT+1 LucyJ http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=53#comment85 PoeticVetinChina wrote: Hardly comparable to putting a black man in the position of Commander In Chief, particularly when we've never done that before. Besides, Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice are probably two of the least black black people in the histoy of America. ------------------------------------------------------------------------You think the Tea Party is unintelligent, yet make comments like this?C'mon now, man...President Obama was born to a white woman and black man...so this makes him black, but not black black like you suggest, which, I guess means someone born to both black parents?To what degree of black is black or black black considered? Tue 12 Oct 2010 13:00:49 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=52#comment84 "Besides, Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice are probably two of the least black black people in the history of America."???????Have you ever seen them from up close?Unless some Black Panthers' aficionados imply that a son of poor Jamaican immigrants and a daughter of a Negro pastor from segregated Alabama are "whities".[For European posters:In inner city school environment 'whities' are those African-American kids who apply themselves and study hard rather than pushing drugs, and dream of careers as physicians, scientists, engineers, lawyers rather than as rappers or baskeball players.]It seems that for those who continue to play a racist card ('us' versus 'them') even blacks are not the same. Tue 12 Oct 2010 12:52:54 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=51#comment83 SB;"As a Brit living in the USA, the use [or abuse] of the words socialism and communism just makes me laugh."Socialism is where there is government ownership of the means of production and distribution. The Obama administration has taken ownership and control of General Motors, it took control of Chrysler, it tried to control Ford, it practically took ownership of many large banks, it is taking control over the health care sector which is one sixth of the US economy, it is trying to take control over the energy sector, and on and on. All of this at taxpayer expense. In some ways Obama has gone further down the road of socialism in two years than Hugo Chavez has in over 8. If this process is not one of moving towards socialism then what is it? Meanwhile the private economy continues to suffer as Obama threatens to raise taxes to pay for his hair brained schemes that don't work. A lot of clear thinking Americans have said enough. If they don't have the right answers, they know that Obama's policies are the wrong answers. And we've seen a sharp turn to the left in many other areas where the government wants to intrude on our lives. The Tea Party's position is that the so called mainstream Republicans are no better. McCain proved that when he co-authored and sponsored the Kenned McCain immigration bill that went down in flames thanks to a groundswell protest from the overwhelming majority of Americans. Obama would not lift a finger to enforce our southern border until Arizona revolted. California's government lives in the same unreality as Argentina's did and with the same results. It's been doing that for thirty years and now the bottom has fallen out. It's now or never. It is time for the American people to take their country back from the politicians and their friends who bought them into office with their money. Tue 12 Oct 2010 11:39:43 GMT+1 SaintDominick http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=51#comment82 Ref 75, Magic"How hard is for you and other supporters of Obama to understand we are against him because of policy and ideology."Really? Should we assume tha those Tea Partyers that walk around with toy monkeys on their shoulders holding signs calling for Obama's deportation to Kenya are just practicing for Halloween? Are those that consider a birth certificate insufficient proof of citizenship only pursuing theoretical points to debate in Law School? Are the people that claim President Obama can not deliver a speech without the aid of a teleprompter, after he delivered a 32 minute speech at the UN without a teleprompter or a piece of paper to read just kidding? The vitriol and overt hatred that people like you, most members of the Tea Party, and some Republicans demonstrate time and again has nothing to do with policy, the root of your hatred is well understood in the USA and hiding behind a veneer of righteousness is not going to dissuade too many Americans from the truth. The problem, obviously, is that you are not alone and that many share the same animosity you do.Vigoroud political sparring is not new in American politics, and I doubt it will go away any time soon, what is different this time is the skin pigmentation of the man seating in the Oval Office. The woman that shut herself in her house for several days after Barack Obama was elected President of the United States did not do it because it was hot in Nevada, she did it because the notion of having a black man in the White House, who was not a domestic servant, was so offensive to her that she could not show her face in public.There are many people - including fellow bloggers - who have a legitimate difference of opinions with the direction of President Obama's policies, and who present their arguments in a professional and civil manner, you are not one of them. Tue 12 Oct 2010 11:35:14 GMT+1 LATERALBOX http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=50#comment81 79 MKthe thrust of the article was not just that Obama was just not quite good enough to be head of Harvard Law School, i would have found that a perfectly acceptable argumentBut it was pages and pages of vitriolic dispariging remarks about Obamas education and achievments labelling him a bigger village idiot than the last presidentit was immediately followed by rantings from its supporters thatObama is a moslem, a marxist,controlled by jews,unpatriotic,etc etc none of which youve attempted to answerthe irony is that anybody this side of the pond can see that Obama is a typical acedemic, educated, middle class, middle of the road politician not unlike Blair and Cameron Tue 12 Oct 2010 11:03:26 GMT+1 PoeticUSMCWarVet_LivinginChina http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=50#comment80 ref #76 powermeerkat wrote "I know, all truly intelligent ones moved to Hujintao's China, right? :-)"Do not mistake my motives, fellow blogger. I am here because we (USA) will be fighting an industrial war with these people long before I am beyond the age of being able to participate in it, and after tours in Iraq and Afghanistan I've come to appreciate the value of speaking your enemy's language.ref#77 powermeerkat wrote "P.S. I recall that in G.W. Bush's Administration the Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Secretary of State and the president's National Security Adviser were black.Unlike now. :-)"Having a bunch of Afro-Americans working beneath the white guys who have all the real power is nothing new to the people whose ideologies I mock. Hardly comparable to putting a black man in the position of Commander In Chief, particularly when we've never done that before. Besides, Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice are probably two of the least black black people in the histoy of America. Or so I'm told by my black friends, I'm white. Maybe I can do some sort of counter-infiltration against the Tea Party when I go back to the States? My mom is just like Sarah Palin (albeit a lot smarter) - She raised a combat vet, and they can't take that away from her. Tue 12 Oct 2010 10:22:32 GMT+1 Kit Green http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=49#comment79 I am reminded of this:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brazilianization Tue 12 Oct 2010 08:55:34 GMT+1 MagicKirin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=48#comment78 ref #40LATERALBOX wrote:37 MKThe rubbish journalism i am refering to is the www.westernjournalism.com you reccomendedyou now make yourself look more stupid because youre regurgitating rubbish on Obamas lack of education whilst being unaware that its not journalism but right wing propagadahow can Obama be, as stated by the article supportersa marxist moslem supporter in disguise controled by jews!_____________The thrust of the article was that Obama's grades at Colubia at Columbia did not merit entrance to Harvard Law School and that his record as a student would not noormally elected him head of Harvard Law Review and his tenure was undistinguished.How hard is for you and other supporters of Obama to understand we are against him because of policy and ideology.How long will you the despicable race card to attack reasoned opposition to him? Tue 12 Oct 2010 08:52:56 GMT+1 The Toothbrush Man http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=48#comment77 60. At 03:13am on 12 Oct 2010, Ron Craven wrote:"Before you go writing off the Constitution as irrelevant to our times it is worth examining it's actual contents, sources and applicability. This will be a long post but one I hope many of the folks here will take the time to read, including those who took civics in High School and think they know it. Or skip to the last paragraph."Thanks for the exposition. But you haven't told me anything new.The 2A is simply ridiculous - the number of preventable deaths in the US testifies to this. The 18A was added to the Constitution after what was essentially a right wing coup by the evangelical right wing - the same right wing that want "to get back to the original meaning of the Constitution". And as you say, perhaps what is most important about the Constitution is what has been left out of the Constitution. No mention of free healthcare - taken to be a right in every other first world country, but not in the US.I am sorry, but as you say, it is a working legal document. And yet the US conservative right wing consider it as sacred and as immutable and as perfect as the Bible, handed down from high by the Founding Fathers as though God himself/herself had done so. Tue 12 Oct 2010 08:38:34 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=47#comment76 For the 2012 presidential election, one of the questions could be, “Is Barack Obama a Muslim?”A. Yes B. No C. I am scared of black people."Such people obviously would not vote for the Republican Party.Because its chairman is black.P.S. I recall that in G.W. Bush's Administration the Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Secretary of State and the president's National Security Adviser were black.Unlike now. :-) Tue 12 Oct 2010 06:38:34 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=46#comment75 PoeticUSMCWarVet_LivinginChina wrote:Unfortunately, as a native I can confirm that there are a great many people in the US who are not particularly intelligent themselves.I know, all truly intelligent ones moved to Hujintao's China, right? :-) Tue 12 Oct 2010 06:34:04 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=46#comment74 "Why are we still spending billions to garrison troops in Germany, Japan, Korea, Spain, Italy, Turkey, UK etc?"PHleeease!Are bases in countries like Japan, Italy and Turkey are not there to protect those countries: they're there to allow us quick access to strategically important potential theaters of operations.E.g. How long would it take UASF bombers to get to places like nuclear enrichment centers in Iran like Natanz, if there was no Incirlic?[Ditto for Aviano and Diego Garcia] Tue 12 Oct 2010 06:24:36 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=45#comment73 "the red states have a higher murder rate than the bluethe red states have a higher divorce rate than the bluethe red states high a higher rate of out of wedlock births than the bluethe red states have a higher rate of teenage pregnancy than the blue"finaly somebody who still believes that "better dead than red" :-))) Tue 12 Oct 2010 06:13:35 GMT+1 publiusdetroit http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=45#comment72 Also on the Action Is Brewing website under the group's logo are the words, "Fiscal Responsibility, Accountability, Transparency". Members have complained about "...behind close door forums without allowing other AIB group members to vote on their choices.". The website does not list the names of officers, nor give any indication of the number of members. Not very transparent there. Tue 12 Oct 2010 06:13:34 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=44#comment71 "The Fed should print money like it's going out of fashion so as to devalue the dollar to such an extent that China will face economic and social hardship, even a legitimacy crisis."It already does. And a totalitarian regime which keeps a Nobel Peace Prize laureat in jail, and his wife incommunicado under house arrest does not deserve any breaks.At least of all, unlimited access to its biggest export market by far - United States. Tue 12 Oct 2010 06:07:44 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=43#comment70 "Imagine a campaign strategy based upon calling the opposition "Nazis" - but without a shred of evidence."We don't have to.We witnessed this epithet being used repeatedly against G.W. Bush. Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, etc. By "usual suspects". Tue 12 Oct 2010 06:02:00 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=43#comment69 "They [Taxed Enough Already movement] may make the GOP unelectable and inadvertently help Obama."Hope springs eternal. :) Tue 12 Oct 2010 05:58:47 GMT+1 publiusdetroit http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=42#comment68 MM writes-"Later I meet the founder of "Anger Action Is Brewing" (the "Anger" is crossed out), Debbie Landis, who supports Angle but has fallen out with the Republican Party. She says the Tea Party is about fiscal conservatism rather than any one party, and that around 30% of her members are Democrats."Interesting that Debbie Landis states she has "fallen out with the Republican Party". Action Is Brewing accepted a $2,300 donation from, then, Republican candidate John Chachas shortly before the Primary elections; then, according to some members of Action Is Brewing, Ms. Landis unilaterally endorsed Mr. Chachas in the name of Action Is Brewing. This endorsement has caused a row within her organization. Perhaps Ms. Landis endorsement of Mr. Chachas put her and her group on the outs with the Republican Party.The Meetup site indicates that Action Is Brewing has a membership of 29 people.Or perhaps it's because the group has a misleading claim on home page of their website that they are the recipient of the 2010 Salvatori Prize for American Citizenship from the Heritage Foundation; although the prize was issued to "The Tea Party Movement" in general without any special recognition of any one individual, nor group.One has to wonder whether the Action Is Brewing group is actually endorsing Sharron Angle, or whether Ms. Landis made another unilateral endorsement in the name of the group? Tue 12 Oct 2010 05:53:08 GMT+1 Sam Tyler http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=41#comment67 #64BEL, Some typos, apologies. Also, last but one paragraph has a grevious error. Instead of Citizens it should say 'folks in the United States'. This was a grievous error.Apologies,Craven Tue 12 Oct 2010 04:56:23 GMT+1 Curt Carpenter http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=41#comment66 61. At 03:35am on 12 Oct 2010, PoeticUSMCWarVet_LivinginChina wrote:...Ah: insightful AND entertaining as well! A nice combination for a change. Tue 12 Oct 2010 04:09:03 GMT+1 qmrfc67 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=40#comment65 Socialism tainted with Marxism!Is that like Catholicism tainted with Christianity? Tue 12 Oct 2010 03:45:52 GMT+1 mithralouise http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=40#comment64 The base of the American right-wing/tea party movement is people who make important decisions based on their feelings instead of research and logical thinking. This is how actors and failed businessmen get into the White House. Tue 12 Oct 2010 03:21:14 GMT+1 BienvenueEnLouisiana http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=39#comment63 Beautifully written, Ron Craven; well done. Tue 12 Oct 2010 02:48:48 GMT+1 Stephen Baldwin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=38#comment62 "This progressive agenda has progressed to the tipping point in the United States, where we either stand up for the constitution of the United States or we accept socialism, tainted with Marxism."As a Brit living in the USA, the use [or abuse] of the words socialism and communism just makes me laugh. Most Americans have never met a real socialist like Tony Benn or Michael Foot, and these terms are bandied about as part of scare tactics imho. I'm convinced that even a chunk of the professional/aspiring political class in this country really don't even know the definition of the terms. To say that the current administration is socialist or pseudo socialist is just a joke to a Brit or a European. Tue 12 Oct 2010 02:41:05 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=38#comment61 The Democrats are scared and desperate. They are saying that the Republicans are being propped up by foreign interests, especially from China but they have no hard proof. And since it is their assertion, it's up to them to prove it. In three weeks we'll see just how ready Americans are to "throw the bums out." Tue 12 Oct 2010 02:35:52 GMT+1 PoeticUSMCWarVet_LivinginChina http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/10/mid_terms_tea_party_nevada.html?page=37#comment60 Firstly, having visited Vegas a number of times to attend the annual Marine Corps birthday celebrations, I must say that "glorious absurdity" is a rather brilliant description of that filthy place, although I think perhaps you might've gone with "glorious obscenity." At any rate, Vegas is quite a city and I highly recommend visiting - once.To write off the Tea Party as a bunch of loud-mouthed racists oversimplifies the complexity of the giant house of cards the Tea Party has become; however, the foundation of this house is most certainly blind ignorance, and the attendant racism that permeates a substantial portion of the Tea Party is merely a manifestation of that ignorance. Others have drawn some poignant comparisons between the Tea Party's enthusiasm and religious zealotry, so I won't go on about that.I think it's particularly hilarious that Michael Steele believes embracing extremism will provide a boost to his ailing party. I don't know what USA he lives in - or rather, in what gilded nook of wealthy America he has sequestered himself - but in the US of A I know, a good portion of voters are not firmly committed to vote for a particular party until the respective candidates have been announced. At any rate, it seems no power on Earth can prevent Michael Steele from eliciting speech that belies his complete and utter lack of intelligence.Unfortunately, as a native I can confirm that there are a great many people in the US who are not particularly intelligent themselves. The Bush administration invested so much energy into scaring the hell out of these people for eight years; once Obama got into the White House a lot of people who missed out on all the Hope & Change rhetoric couldn't find an appropriate outlet for all of that residual fear. So what do people of (at best) moderate smarts do when they don’t even know why they’re scared anymore? They get upset, of course. And I think if there’s one word you can use to blanket the Tea Party without over-generalizing anybody, it’s “upset.”I really think we should consider administering a rudimentary IQ test to US citizens as a prerequisite for voting eligibility. Think of how many public-sector jobs that would create! For the 2012 presidential election, one of the questions could be, “Is Barack Obama a Muslim?” A. Yes B. No C. I am scared of black people. Tue 12 Oct 2010 02:35:42 GMT+1