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3701  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: October 30, 2008, 03:08:48 PM
***Not that I care one way or another about the clothes, bigger issues exist, but Hillary and Obama pay for their own clothes;
they are not asking the DNC to pay for them.  In contrast, $150,000 in political donations paid for Palin's wardrobe.***

Do you really think that distinction if true is the issue?

It was really all about humiliating and embarrasing Palin.  Besides Hillary and co. had 100 million from years of people throwing money to them along with their political aspirations.  Palin doesn't have that kind of money - at least yet.


3702  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: October 29, 2008, 06:45:29 PM
"Doug,

My thoughts,

"It's true that too many Americans feel like they are running in place economically.  I think the reason is because of certain runaway costs rather than low income, an important distinction IMO.  Incomes are high and growing at least until recently"

They don't just feel this way - whatever the reason whether increase costs or incomes not rising fast enough - they are running in place.


"If Reagan mantras have been worn out lately it's from false use not because they are no longer true." 

Reagan also remained oddly silent while money was hemmorrhaging out the window with the Savings and Loan mess.   Thanks to his kindness we have quadruple the number of illegals in the US.  How many of their offspring (now citizens) vote for members of his party?

"but conservatism has suffered IMO from a leadership and salesmanship gap for a long time."

I think simple Reaganism is not the answer alone.  What about the costs of education, health care, energy?  Free markets are not controlling these costs (although one could argue the greens have suppressed energy growth such as nuclear power and offshore drilling).  And this is a huge reason the Republicans are in the tank.  I don't want Obamanomics. He is an angry nut job IMO.  But also IMO the republicans  neeed to come up with more ideas and salesmenship but not the latter alone.

 
3703  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / buchanan on BO's first 100 days on: October 28, 2008, 05:10:37 PM

   
   
   
 
Oh and he forgets that B Frank also has already called for an immediate 25% cut in military spending.

 
Comments Obama's First 100 Days
by  Patrick J. Buchanan

10/28/2008 

Undeniably, a powerful tide is running for the Democratic Party, with one week left to Election Day.

Bush's approval rating is 27 percent, just above Richard Nixon's Watergate nadir and almost down to Carter-Truman lows. After each of those presidents reached their floors -- in 1952, 1974, 1980 -- the opposition party captured the White House.

Moreover, 80 percent to 90 percent of Americans think the nation is on the wrong course, and since mid-September, when McCain was still slightly ahead, the Dow has lost 4,000 points -- $5 trillion to $6 trillion in value. Continued
Leading now by eight points in an average of national polls, Barack Obama has other advantages.

Not a single blue state is regarded as imperiled or even a toss-up, while Obama leads in six crucial red states: Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Ohio, Missouri and Colorado. Should McCain lose one of the six, he would have to win Pennsylvania to compensate for the lost electoral votes. But the latest Pennsylvania polls show Barack with a double-digit lead.

Lately moving into the toss-up category are Nevada, North Dakota, Montana and Indiana. All voted twice for George W. Bush.

Not only is Obama ahead in the state and national polls, he has more money, is running far more ads, has a superior organization on the ground, attracts larger crowds, and has greater enthusiasm and more media in camp. And new voter registrations heavily favor the Democrats.

Though Congress is regarded by Americans with a disdain bordering on disgust -- five of six Americans think it has done a poor job -- Democratic majorities are certain to grow. Indeed, with Democrats favored by 10 points over Republicans, Nancy Pelosi's majority could grow by 25 seats and Harry Reid could find himself with a filibuster-proof majority of 60 senators.

Democrats already have 49, plus two independents: Socialist Bernie Sanders and Independent Joe Lieberman. Their challengers are now ahead in New Hampshire, Virginia, North Carolina, New Mexico, Minnesota, Oregon and Colorado, with a chance of picking up Georgia, Alaska, Kentucky and Mississippi.

We may be looking at a reverse of 1980, when Reagan won a 10-point victory over Jimmy Carter, and Republicans took the Senate and, working with Boll Weevil Democrats, effective control of the House.

With his tax cuts, defense buildup and rollback policy against the "Evil Empire," Reagan gave us some of the best years of our lives, culminating in America's epochal victory in the Cold War.

What does the triumvirate of Obama-Pelosi-Reid offer?

Rep. Barney Frank is calling for new tax hikes on the most successful and a 25 percent across-the-board slash in national defense. Sen. John Kerry is talking up new and massive federal spending, a la FDR's New Deal. Specifically, we can almost surely expect:

-- Swift amnesty for 12 million to 20 million illegal aliens and a drive to make them citizens and register them, as in the Bill Clinton years. This will mean that Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona will soon move out of reach for GOP presidential candidates, as has California.

-- Border security will go on the backburner, and America will have a virtual open border with a Mexico of 110 million.

-- Taxes will be raised on the top 5 percent of wage-earners, who now carry 60 percent of the U.S. income tax burden, and tens of millions of checks will be sent out to the 40 percent of wage-earners who pay no federal income tax. Like the man said, redistribute the wealth, spread it around.

-- Social Security taxes will be raised on the most successful among us, and capital gains taxes will be raised from 15 percent to 20 percent. The Bush tax cuts will be repealed, and death taxes reimposed.

-- Two or three more liberal activists of the Ruth Bader Ginsberg-John Paul Stevens stripe will be named to the Supreme Court. U.S. district and appellate courts will be stacked with "progressives."

-- Special protections for homosexuals will be written into all civil rights laws, and gays and lesbians in the military will be invited to come out of the closet. "Don't ask, don't tell" will be dead.

-- The homosexual marriages that state judges have forced California, Massachusetts and Connecticut to recognize, an Obama Congress or Obama court will require all 50 states to recognize.

-- A "Freedom of Choice Act" nullifying all state restrictions on abortions will be enacted. America will become the most pro-abortion nation on earth.

-- Affirmative action -- hiring and promotions based on race, sex and sexual orientation until specified quotas are reached -- will be rigorously enforced throughout the U.S. government and private sector.

-- Universal health insurance will be enacted, covering legal and illegal immigrants, providing another powerful magnet for the world to come to America, if necessary by breaching her borders.

-- A federal bailout of states and municipalities to keep state and local governments spending up could come in December or early next year.

-- The first trillion-dollar deficit will be run in the first year of an Obama presidency. It will be the first of many.

Welcome to Obamaland!
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mr. Buchanan is a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Churchill, Hitler, and "The Unnecessary War": How Britain Lost Its Empire and the West Lost the World, "The Death of the West,", "The Great Betrayal," "A Republic, Not an Empire" and "Where the Right Went Wrong."

3704  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: October 28, 2008, 04:47:26 PM
Hi Doug,

"Or do we mostly hear that someone spent too much on new clothes for Palin"

I had to wonder if anyone ever question how much Hilary spends on clothes, jewelry, and make up artists.

Every single time  I saw her she wears different top of the line pants outfits.

I am not clear if she ever wore the same carefully chosen outfits twice.  One can only imagine the team of fashion consultants she paid off.   Trying to look like the Presidents of old with her fluffy collars and all.  But that is fine.  No one made and issue of it and neither did I.   It is just the hypocrisy and hatred of Palen by the lefty media that is not.

3705  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: October 28, 2008, 12:42:03 PM
JDN,

Well I meant early on it seems the Jews BO had associated with appear to be "radicals" or far left and simply all those who now support him among the larger overall Jewish community.

" I think the vast majority of Jewish voters are intelligent and conscientious."

Yes, but I believe you underestimate many Jew's hatred for all things Republican.

As a Jew who is familiar with the very ardent party affiliation of most Jews and their total hatred for anything Repbublican you overestimate their willingness or even emotional ability to cross over to the Republican side.  If it helps you understand what I mean try to consider the absolute visceral hatred some Blacks have for Republicans.  Many Jews are the same in this regard.  They *will not* open up in this way.  They will put misgivings aside to vote for a guy who is now saying things he has never said to vote party lines.

And no I am not saying Jews who support BO hate the US.  But I have not been made aware of Jews of the political center or the right who he has associated with prior to late in his campaign.  But I have not studied his life history so I could be wrong as to this point.

I am in the minority among my fellow Jews as for my leanings to the right.  Maybe I am like Jackie Mason.
3706  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: October 28, 2008, 10:54:56 AM
JDN,
Yes but this is not news.
Jews have for decades been overwhemingly Democratic.
I've posted before that for many Jews the Republicans are as evil as Hitler.
So what is your point?

Many older Jews in Florida reportedly are afraid of BO.
That is where this Sarah Silverman comes in and is doing the (for me) embarassing "great schlep" to Florida thing.

And actually a almost 2 to one margin is less than 66 percent which is less than the historical 75% of Jews who vote Democratic.
So actually the number you pose is actually a *drop* for Democrats among Jewish voters.

Getting most Jews to vote Republican would be as difficult as getting most Blacks to do that.

I guess they either believe BO will protect Jews or want to believe or don't care since he is from their party.   I don't know that BO will not do this but I am highly suspicious and would not risk the survival of Israel to a PResident who has apparantly had roomates and friends who are very much against Israel as has been his spiritual mentor WRight.  I think it reasonable to assume he must have had some agreement with them on this regard.  While there may be scant evidence for this there is absolutely zero evidence he disagreed with the anti Israel people until he was way into his campaign and the Jews around him convinced him he must do so for Jewish votes.

Remember how he will distance him from his friend and mentor of decades REv Wright.  What makes anyone think he wouldn't do the same to Jews if political puch comes to shove?  Just thinking out loud.
3707  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: October 28, 2008, 09:29:08 AM
"Elect us, hold us accountable, and make a judgment and then go from there. But I do tell you that if the Democrats win and have substantial majorities, Congress of the United States will be more bipartisan," said Pelosi

I am not sure anyone other than Pelosi could make such a statement.

A house divided cannot stand.  With Pelosi who is the least bipartisan and thus the most partisan conspiring pol there is, there is no hope of any bipartisanship.   I suspect BO will cruise way left as well.  He may be more conspiring then all of them.  But he might surprise us as he probably wants to be the popular king so he may just continue to kiss up to the pollsters data.
We'll see.
3708  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: October 27, 2008, 07:32:31 PM
I don't equate centrism with populism.

3709  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / I agree wholeheartedly with your post on: October 27, 2008, 04:59:19 PM
SB,
Yes, yes, yes.

I agree with your commentary 100%.

Reagan *is* over.  They are wrong.  The country has moved left - though hopefully still right of center wherever that is exactly.

I am surprised by Blankley  who I thought was more practical but not by Rush who simply doesn't get it. 

"Could it be possible that the reason that we lack Reagan-style conservatives in elected office today is that they are having trouble getting elected?"

Absolutely.

That is the reason why Romney who ran on "Reagan ideals" did not excite a single person who was not from the far right.

You hit the nail on the head.  Rush and the religious right are pulling the Republican party off the cliff.  In fact they may have already done it.  I don' t personally disgaree with them or have any avarice towards the religious rights views but they are NOT mainstream.  They cannot keep winning with the population becoming more minority, with the middle class struggling harder and harder and more and more people happier than hell to have government add them to the doles.

Wake up.  Latinos are not Reagan Dems.  Younger people are not Reaganites either.  Blacks appear to be hopeless targets for the Republicans thought they must try.  And women?  Impossible to understand as always cry

The majority in the middle, left of middle and right of middle are screwed.  Now we go from Rush Limbaugh right to Pelosi, Bama radical left.

Why can't we get a party that is truly in the middle that represents most Americans???

To hell with the fringes before they send us all to hell.

Give me centrism or give me death!!!  wink

3710  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: October 27, 2008, 03:41:11 PM
yet the more we see a cost problem the more we move in the opposite direction.

Yes your so right.  The "government" fix will exponentially increase costs not reduce them IMO.
The "fix" is in.

You think we have illegals crossing the border now? 
3711  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: October 27, 2008, 12:43:36 PM
Well this in no surprise.

Jew hating Farrakhan calls BO the "messiah".

Is it a coincidence that the only Jews BO has associated with are US hating liberals/radicals?

The answer cannot be no.

I would like to put Sarah Silverman on the front lines between Israel and Hamas and Hezbellah and ask her to put her life on the line by trusting a person (BO) who has historically spent his entire adult life hanging out with haters of our country and Jews.

Oh I guess that little twirp is wiser than her grandparents who lived through the holocaust - yes?

Well again I guess we can only hope BO really is the second coming of Lincoln - only time will tell.





3712  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: October 27, 2008, 11:27:26 AM
"offset by savings from Mr. Obama’s proposals to reduce health spending"

Cutler and there is another Massachussetts liberal type - his name eludes me now - are getting everyone covered first and figuring about how to pay for it later.  Right or wrong I don't know but they are not being honest with all the ramifications of what they advocate.  But what else is new with liberals?

Health spending will not be reduced by expanding coverage to all without increasing people's personal responsibility for the costs as well.  I don't hear them say anything about this.  Not one iota.  Amazing isn't it?

The fastest way to reduce the costs of health care is to transfer costs to patients.  You would be surprised how quickly people will refuse tests not absolutely necessary or opt for generics as soon as they learn they will have to pay more.

But there is some blame for all.  The insurers, the providers (doctors and hospitals), administrators, politicians, pharmaceuticals, device makers, acadamia, lawyers, cottage industries and more.
3713  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: October 27, 2008, 10:17:11 AM
"Unfortunately he speaks to the choir"

I meant Mark Levin , not BO.

Levins message does not get out to the general public.

Can you imagine if the DEms subvert freedom of speech and get the fairness doctrine back into law - which they WILL do if McCain can't stop them.

The media which would be their only check will also be controlled by the government.  How doumb the young are.  They have no clue.  They just dream of love peace and equality while their parents foot the bills.
3714  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: October 27, 2008, 09:56:44 AM
Thank you Mark Levin on talk radio to opening my eyes to how leftist and truly Marxist BO is.  Unfortunately he speaks to the choir and the mainstream garbage media (who by the way is making fortunes on this election campaign by not doing their job) has ignored BOs hazy, fuzzy, past.

He obviously doesn't like our country the way it is or the principles it was founded on and kept it great for 200+ years.
Neither did/does his angry wife.

MSM did not do their job in getting his real past into the open.
He surrounded himself with radicals for one reason and one reason only.  He agrees with them. This is not rocket science.

I may be sorry that the Hill didn't win.  BO may just be far worse.

Ths country has fallen for him hook line and sinker.  Yet the country is right to be disgusted with the Republicans too. 

I can only hope it is not too late for McCain but it probably is.  The MSM and Academia who are teaching our young the propapaganda gobbly goop that the US is to be despised has contributed to this.





3715  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: October 27, 2008, 09:35:51 AM
Thanks for the responses.  I think this is a fundamental problem for the Republicnas that needs to be addressed soemhow in some fashion before they can ever regain power.  Maybe we can come up with ideas.  WE need new leaders in the Rebuplican ranks.  Is anyone out there?

I am pleased with the bombshells on Drudge this morning.

I don't think most people in this country realize that BO is a marxist and a socialist and what they are actually voting for.

IF he gets in with full power in the House and Senate and can pack the court with judges who liberally interpret the constitution in ways that is not equal to all Americans we are headed for the end of AMerica as we now it and will second rate status.

As Mark Levin has apply put:

BO's philosophy is a form of reparations.  I don't think America really understands that and of coursse the mainstream media wants to ignore this in their hatred of Bush and Republicans in general.


I am terrified at the thought of a Dem controlled government with the likes of crazy loons like Pelosi and Reid, and BO.  I am terrfied for our great country and our future.   The younger generation has no clue what they are doing and who they are giving power to and what it means to their future.  As they said in ancient Greece - "youth is wasted on the young".

And BO will get everything he wants  with them controlling all of governement.  I can just hear it now - oh how he is such a compromiser and he gets all sides to work together - even though the Dems are ramming everything throught for hims with a helpless opposition.

Yes  - "clusterf..k" is right.

3716  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: October 25, 2008, 11:59:58 AM
Crafty,
you keep responding to this with a comment agaisnt taxing the rich as have others on the board.

I am not advocating taxing the rich to give to those who don't contribute.

I am saying that there is a growing welth dipsparity in the US and if the Rebpublicans do not address this in some fashion they will continue to swim against the dmeographic currents and may never recover.

I don't want to punish succesful people.  Hell I would like to be one of them.

There has to be some other answer to this.

Ignoring this has resulted in the Demcocrat tsunami in my opinion.

The Republicans today are in part not those of 1980 because they tried no to alienate the "middle class".  They treid to reach out to Latinos and immigrants.  So they got incredibly careless with spending thinking they won't turn off the majority.

Well that didn't work, that didn't attract more voters.

They must rethink the whole thing out.

There must be another way to raise the living standards of the majority of Americans who are running in place and indeed slowly slipping behind while that has not been true for the rich..

They can ignore it at their own peril.

People I think are tired of REagan's mantra philosopy and ideals.  They want action.  They want results.
3717  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Wealth trends since the 1990s on: October 24, 2008, 05:08:32 PM
Well here is one source of what I am talking about.  I am not a fan or advocate of wealth confiscation and redistribution but there must be a fair way of getting the middle and bottom echelons to do better along with the top.

As Clinton used to say the problems in this world stem from the haves vs. the have nots.

Despite his tax raises he noted how the wealthy got wealthier faster then the others.
 
We may be seeing a "peaceful" revolution in the US

http://www.cbpp.org/4-9-08sfp.htm

*** All Reports by DateAll Reports by Date

A state-by-state examination of trends in income inequality over the past two business cycles finds that inequality has grown in most parts of the country since the late 1980s.  The incomes of the country’s highest-income families have climbed substantially, while middle- and lower-income families have seen only modest increases.

In fact, the long-standing trend of growing income inequality accelerated between the late 1990s and the mid-2000s (the latest period for which state data are available).

On average, incomes have declined by 2.5 percent among the bottom fifth of families since the late 1990s, while increasing by 9.1 percent among the top fifth.

In 19 states, average incomes have grown more quickly among the top fifth of families than among the bottom fifth since the late 1990s.  In no state has the bottom fifth grown significantly faster than the top fifth.

For very high-income families — the richest 5 percent — income growth since the late 1990s has been especially dramatic, and much faster than among the poorest fifth of families.

Similarly, families in the middle of the income distribution have fallen farther behind upper-income families in many states since the late 1990s:

On average, incomes have grown by just 1.3 percent among the middle fifth of families since the late 1990s, well below the 9.1 percent gain among the top fifth.  Income disparities between the top and middle fifths have increased significantly in Alabama, California, Florida, Illinois, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, and Texas.  Income disparities did not decline significantly in any state.

The benefits of economic growth were broadly shared for a few years in the late 1990s — the only period in the past two decades for which this was true — but this broad-based growth ended with the 2001 downturn.  Once the effects of the recession were left behind, the trend toward greater inequality quickened, as the incomes of the richest families climbed while those of low- and moderate-income families stagnated or declined.

Methodology

This analysis uses the latest Census Bureau data to measure post-federal-tax changes in real incomes among high-, middle- and low-income families in each of the 50 states between the late 1980s, the late 1990s, and the mid-2000s — similar points in the business cycle (“peaks”).

In order to generate large enough sample sizes for state-level analysis, the study compares combined data from 2004-2006 with data from 1987-1989 and 1998-2000.  The study is based on Census income data that have been adjusted to account for inflation, the impact of federal taxes, and the cash value of food stamps, subsidized school lunches, housing vouchers, and other government transfers, such as Social Security and welfare benefits. 

Realized capital gains and losses are not included, due to data limitations.  As a result, our results show somewhat less inequality than would be the case were we to include realized capital gains.

In this analysis, changes in income inequality are determined by calculating the income gap — i.e., the ratio between the average family income in the top fifth of the income spectrum and the average family income in the bottom fifth (or the middle fifth) — and examining changes in this ratio over time.  These changes are then tested to see if they are statistically significant.

States fall into one of two categories:  (1) those where inequality increased (that is, the ratio increased by a statistically significant amount), or (2) those where there was no change in inequality (the change in the ratio was not statistically significant).  It also would be possible for a state to fall into a third category — states where inequality decreased by a statistically significant amount.  In this analysis, however, no state experienced a decline in income inequality.
 


Specifically, real wages for low- and moderate-income families grew more slowly in 2002 and the first part of 2003 and then began to decline; on average, they are now the same or lower than they were in 2001.  The highest-income families also saw declines in real income during the 2001 downturn (due both to the broad sweep of that recession in the job market and to the loss of realized capital gains), but their incomes grew rapidly once they recovered from these losses.  The federal tax cuts of the early 2000s, which were targeted primarily on wealthy families, helped widen the income gap between the wealthiest families and those with low and moderate incomes.

An examination of income trends over a longer period — from the late 1980s to the mid-2000s — shows that inequality increased across the country.

In 37 states, incomes have grown faster among the top fifth of families than the bottom fifth of families since the late 1980s.  No state has seen a significant decline in inequality during this period.  Nationally, the richest fifth of families have enjoyed larger average income gains each year ($2,060, after adjusting for inflation) than the poorest fifth of families have experienced during the entire two decades ($1,814).

Middle-income families have also lost ground compared to those at the top.  In 36 states, the income gap between the average middle-income family and the average family in the richest fifth has widened significantly since the late 1980s.


Top 5 Percent of Families Pulling Away Even Faster

The widening income gap is even more pronounced when one compares families in the top 5 percent of the income distribution (rather than the top fifth) to the bottom 20 percent.  The higher one goes up the income scale, the greater is the degree of income concentration.

In the 11 large states analyzed, the average income of the top 5 percent of families rose by more than $90,000 on average.  (In three states — New Jersey, New York, and Massachusetts — the increase exceeded $100,000.)  By contrast, the largest increase in average income for the bottom fifth of families in these states was only $3,000.  In New York, for example, average incomes grew by $108,000 among the top 5 percent of families but by less than $1,000 among the bottom 20 percent of families.

In the 11 large states for which this comparison is possible, the incomes of the top 5 percent of families have increased by 34 percent to 91 percent since the late 1980s.  By contrast, the percentage increase in incomes of the bottom fifth of families in these states ranged from no change to 20 percent over the same period.[1]


Wide and Growing Gap Separates High-Income Families from Poor and Middle Class

The resulting disparities between the incomes of high- and low-income families are substantial.

In the United States as a whole, the poorest fifth of families have an average income of $18,120, while the top fifth of families have an average income of $132,130 — more than seven times as much.  In 22 states, this top-to-bottom income ratio exceeds 7.0.  (In the late 1980s, in contrast, just one state — Louisiana — had a top-to-bottom ratio exceeding 7.0.)  The states with the biggest increases in income disparities since the late 1980s are Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Alabama, New York, Kentucky, Maryland, Kansas, New Jersey and Washington.

The average incomes of the top 5 percent of families are 12 times the average incomes of the bottom fifth.  The states with the largest such gap are New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Mississippi, New Jersey, Tennessee, New Mexico, Alabama, California, and Virginia.

Similarly, income gaps between high-income and middle-income families have grown.

In over two-thirds of states, incomes have grown faster over the past two decades among the richest families than among families in the middle of the income spectrum — more than twice as fast, on average.  In the remaining states, incomes have grown at about the same rate for the middle and top fifths of families.

The states with the largest gaps between high-income and middle-income families are Oklahoma, Mississippi, California, New York, Texas, New Mexico, Florida, Arizona, Louisiana, and Virginia.


Causes of Rising Inequality

Several factors have contributed to the large and growing income gaps in most states. 

Growth in wage inequality.  This has been the biggest factor.  Wages at the bottom and middle of the wage scale have been stagnant or have grown only modestly for much of the last two decades.  The wages of the very highest-paid employees, however, have grown significantly.

Wage inequality is growing for several reasons, including long periods of high unemployment, globalization, the shrinkage of manufacturing jobs and the expansion of low-wage service jobs, and immigration, as well as the lower real value of the minimum wage and fewer and weaker unions.  As a result, wages have eroded for workers with less than a college education, who make up approximately the lowest-earning 70 percent of the workforce.  More recently, wages have been relatively stagnant even for college-educated workers (up only 2.5 percent between 2000 and 2007), in part due to the bursting of the tech bubble, but also due to the downward pressure on wages from offshore competition.

Only in the later part of the 1990s did this picture improve modestly, as persistent low unemployment, an increase in the minimum wage, and rapid productivity growth fueled real wage gains at the bottom and middle of the income scale.  Yet those few years of more broadly shared growth were insufficient to counteract the two-decade-long pattern of growing inequality.  Today, inequality between low- and high-income families — and between middle- and high-income families — is greater than it was in the late 1980s or the late 1990s.

Expansion of investment income.   Forms of income such as dividends, rent, interest, and capital gains, which primarily accrue to those at the top of the income structure, increased substantially during the 1990s.  (Our analysis captures only a part of this growth, as we are not able to include capital gains income due to data limitations.)   The large increase in corporate profits during the recent economic recovery has also contributed to growing inequality by boosting investors’ incomes.

Government policies.  Government actions — and, in some cases, inaction — have contributed to the increase in wage and income inequality in most states.  Examples include deregulation and trade liberalization, the weakening of the social safety net, the lack of effective labor laws regulating the right to collective bargaining, and the declining real value of the minimum wage.  In addition, changes in federal, state, and local tax structures and benefit programs have, in many cases, accelerated the trend toward growing inequality emerging from the labor market.


States Can Mitigate the Growth in Inequality

Growing income inequality not only raises basic issues of fairness, but also adversely affects the nation’s economy and political system.  The country has now entered a new economic downturn — quite possibly a recession — and already there are unmistakable signs that low- and middle-income workers will be hard hit.  The uneven distribution of the country’s prosperity over the last two decades has left families at the bottom and middle of the income scale ill-prepared to weather this latest downturn.  While the recent decline in the stock market is affecting the incomes of the wealthiest families, they have more savings to cushion the impact, and, if the 2001 experience is repeated, their incomes will again bounce back strongly.

A significant amount of increasing income inequality results from economic forces that are largely outside state policymakers’ control.  State policies, however, can mitigate the effects of these outside forces.  State options include:

Raise, and index, the minimum wage.  Until Congress acted in 2007, the federal minimum wage had not been adjusted for inflation for almost ten years, and its real value had fallen considerably.  Even with the 2007 increase, however, the minimum wage is not indexed to inflation — that is, it will not automatically keep up with the rising cost of living — so its value will begin to erode again after 2009 unless Congress acts.  In addition, its value still falls well short of the amount necessary to meet a family’s needs, especially in states with a high cost of living.  States can help raise wages for workers at the bottom of the pay scale by enacting a higher state minimum wage and indexing it for inflation.

Improve the unemployment insurance system.  In 2007, the share of unemployed workers receiving benefits was only 37 percent — a sign that the current unemployment insurance system does not reflect the realities of work and family today.   The current economic downturn makes it all the more urgent that federal and state policymakers act to make more jobless workers eligible for unemployment assistance by modernizing the system.

Make state tax systems more progressive.  The federal income tax system is progressive — that is, it narrows income inequalities — but has become less so over the past two decades as a result of changes such as the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts.  Nearly all state tax systems, in contrast, are regressive.  This is because states rely more on sales taxes and user fees, which hit low-income families especially hard, than on progressive income taxes.  (The income inequality data in this report reflect the effects of federal taxes but not state taxes.)

Many states made their tax systems more regressive during the 1990s.  Early in the decade, when a recession created budget problems, states were more likely to raise sales and excise taxes than income taxes.  Later in the decade, when many states cut taxes in response to the strong economy, nearly all chose to make the majority of the cuts in their income taxes rather than sales and excise taxes.

States now appear to be on the brink of another fiscal crisis, and a new round of tax increases is both likely and appropriate if the economy remains weak and the fiscal crisis deepens.  Economists recognize that tax increases and other revenue measures, especially if targeted to high-income taxpayers, can be a reasonable alternative to spending cuts, and can actually be less harmful for a state’s economy than big spending cuts.

There are many ways a state can increase taxes in a way that makes its tax system more progressive at the same time.  For example, it can reduce its reliance on sales taxes by increasing its income tax on a temporary or permanent basis.  If states instead turn to increases in sales taxes or fees to balance their budgets, they can offset the impact on those least able to pay by enacting or expanding tax credits targeted to low-income taxpayers.  For example, more states could follow the lead of the 23 states that have adopted state earned income tax credits.

States can also improve the progressivity of their tax systems by not enacting at the state level the corporate tax cuts included in the federal economic stimulus package and by restoring state estate taxes eliminated as a result of the phase-out of the federal estate tax.

Strengthen the social safety net.  Federal and state changes to programs that assist low-income families have contributed to the increase in income inequality in recent years.  While welfare reform efforts in the mid- and late 1990s succeeded in helping more families move to work, they often made it harder for very poor families unable to find jobs or work consistently to get income assistance — and intensive job preparation and training — they need both to make ends meet in the short run and to become employable over the longer period of time.

States can take steps — such as improving assessment procedures and establishing job preparation programs for those with barriers to employment — that will make their assistance programs more responsive to those at the very bottom of the income scale while maintaining the work-focused nature of the program.

States can also strengthen their social safety nets by providing low-wage workers with supportive services such as health coverage, child care, and transportation.  In addition, they can provide intensive case management and other services to help current and former welfare recipients maintain their current jobs, move into better jobs, or obtain the education and training needed for career advancement.

While these are all useful steps, state policies are only one of a range of factors that have contributed to increasing income disparities over the past decade.  If low- and middle-income families are to stop receiving steadily smaller shares of the income pie, federal as well as state policies will have to play an important role.

TABLE A:
TOP TEN STATES FOR SELECTED INCOME INEQUALITY MEASURES
 
Greatest Income Inequality
Between the Top and the Bottom, Mid 2000s   Greatest Income Inequality Between the Top and the Middle, Mid 2000s
  1. New York       1. Oklahoma   
  2. Alabama       2. Mississippi   
  3. Mississippi       3. California   
  4. Massachusetts       4. New York   
  5. Tennessee       5. Texas   
  6. New Mexico       6. New Mexico   
  7. Connecticut       7. Florida   
  8. California       8. Arizona   
  9. Texas       9. Louisiana   
  10.Kentucky       10.Virginia   
Greatest Increases
in Income Inequality Between the Top and the Bottom,
Late 1980s to Mid 2000s   Greatest Increases in Income Inequality Between the Top and the Middle,
Late 1980s to Mid 2000s
  1. Connecticut       1. Connecticut   
  2. Rhode Island       2. Oregon   
  3. Massachusetts       3. Oklahoma   
  4. Alabama       4. Maryland   
  5. New York       5. California   
  6. Kentucky       6. New York   
  7. Maryland       7. New Jersey   
  8. Kansas       8. Rhode Island   
  9. New Jersey       9. Washington   
  10. Washington       10. Mississippi   
Greatest Increases
in Income Inequality
Between the Top and the Bottom, Late 1990s to Mid 2000s   States Where
Income Inequality Increased Between the Top and the Middle,
Late 1990s to Mid 2000s
  1. Mississippi       1. Mississippi   
  2. Alabama       2. New Mexico   
  3. New Mexico       3. Missouri   
  4. Connecticut       4. Illinois   
  5. Indiana       5. Alabama   
  6. Illinois       6. Florida   
  7. South Dakota       7. California   
  8. West Virginia       8. Texas   
  9. South Carolina           
  10.Massachusetts           

Click here for PDF of full report.


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

End Notes:

[1] An analysis of the average income of the top 5 percent of families was conducted for 11 large states that have sufficient observations in the Current Population Survey to allow the calculation of reliable estimates of the average income of the top 5 percent of families.  These states are California, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas.
 
  To ask questions, or send comments, write to bazie@cbpp.org
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
820 First Street, NE, Suite 510
Washington, DC  20002
Ph: (202) 408-1080
Fax: (202) 408-1056
 

 
 
3718  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Greenspan on: October 24, 2008, 12:10:56 PM
Isn't it refreshing for a high profile person to admit he made a mistake?

My opinion of Greenspan just went up ten fold.   Just a little honesty.  That's all it takes sometimes.   We so rarely get that from people we vote to be our "leaders".

Compare that to most of the coward politicians, Frank, Dodd et al.

3719  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / We need a new republican party on: October 24, 2008, 08:58:11 AM
I'm afraid the country isn't interest in all the philosophy we are throwing around this board.

I will state one more time that as long as the country's wealth keeps getting concentrated to a smaller and smaller percentage of the population we will get exactly what we are seeing.

The Republicans of 2000 and later are not the Republicans of 1980 for this very reason.

Unregulated trickle down economics does not work for the majority of Americans who are working 60 hours per week, two peopel per household pulling in money, savings rates of effectively zero, and people still can't apy their bills.

Comprende?Huh

Lawyers and philosophers can talk about ideals. constitutional abstracts all you want but the Republicans need to stop and rethink and retool what they are about.  Reagan is dead and so is some at least of his theories.
3720  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena on: October 21, 2008, 08:47:34 AM
Why is it that JKF is remembered for only the "missle crises" and not the Bay of Pigs.
Wasn't JKF the skipper who drove his PT boat right under the bow of a Japanese destroyer?
Wasn't he the guy who first sent advisors to Vietnam getting us involved over there?
I remember my history professor in college saying he couldn't really conclude whether JFK was a good President or not because he wasn't President long enough.

But all that said, BO is no JFK. 
The Democrats of 1962 are not the Dems of 2008.
And at least Carter served in the Navy.
BO served in liberal academia and community organizing.

OF course we will likely have Joe the blowhard help him save us from foreign threats.
3721  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Coming Clusterfcuk on: October 20, 2008, 02:06:39 PM
Watch them vote in overwhelming numbers for Barack Obama. He is their future

And that is what Rachel Maddow is all about - her agenda.
3722  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena on: October 20, 2008, 09:45:47 AM
Crafty
Freki,
I understand your views.
Truth is neither of you get it.

Truth is the power wealthy people have at their disposal is unjust and there is nothing ordinary people can do about it.  That is the point. That is what you apparently don't get.

No I am not against a class of people.

And yes it is a problem when 1% of people control 90% of wealth.  You think that is good?

And yes it is a problem when 40% pay no taxes.

The answer isn't necessarily wealth redistribution which is not what I am advocating.
3723  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Freki - thnx - for your response - c mine on: October 19, 2008, 01:53:47 PM
Freki,
I am not against acheivement but poeple of great wealth do without any question have the deck stacked in their favor.
They can pay for the best research, accountants, lawyers, PACS, political connections, hire people to research their competition, set up accounts over sea, use their wealth to attract people with all the clout, best connections to politicians, get inside information and generally bribe people to get whatever they want them to do.

People from this board and previous boards I have posted know how my wife and I have been the victim of people in the music industry.  My wife is a genius at writing music lyrics and she has for the last 10 years or more had them stolen in dozens of ways.
Policeman, lawyers, postal service, Fedex, UPs employees, lock smiths, bank personel, neighbors, air conditioning people, oplumbers, gardeners and on and on and on have been bribed to participate, look the other way or I guess be silent while they keep taking songs from our house via hacking into computers, bribing people with access or generally picking licks to get in our house.  Thes well financed and connected professional crooks from the top of the music business to the bottom have certainly done everything in their power from even letting my wife Katherine from even getting credit or maoney from even one song.

Almost every singer in the business has sung her lyrics and most of them claim they wrote it.  Bon Jovi, and you name them. 

You apparantly  have no idea what people with a lot of money can get away with the rest of us can't.

Neither did I till I saw the power of money first had as a relentless victim of it.  If you have something someone with this kind of power has, or you step on the "wrong toes" they will likely be able to walk right over you.

The rich who keep getting richer *is a huge problem*.  And yes they *certainly do* hold all the cards.
At the same time an increasingly growing class of people who seem quite content to sit back and let the rest of us who work hard every day and take care of their needs is *just as huge a problem*.

There must be some kind of way to balance both these extremes out but I don't know how.  BO is full of shit imo and will simply expand the probelm by growing the class of "what are you going to do for me group".
3724  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Yes I agree on: October 19, 2008, 11:12:38 AM
GM,
Yes, it is really sickening for those of us left of center to see the MSM blatant and unrepentant bias.

I get really angry when the leftist lawyers pour over Joe plumbers tax records and dig up some probably bogus BS that he has been neglegent paying $1000 in backk taxes like that is some sort of scandal or he is a criminal because he probably couldn't wade through the sickening morass of tax laws and may not have been able to afford an accountant's fees to audit his taxes.

Mind you that 40 or 45% of people in the US don not pay taxes.  Now that is a Goddam outrage!

How much was it determined that Charlala Rangel Owed?  The same guy who will have an army of liberal lawyers getting him off the hook (led by the honorable Mr. Lanni Davis).

Of course once the Dems solidify control of our government (not theirs) the Charles Rangel scandel thing will disappear from the face of the Earth (to of course the more important "issues" that face our nation) and he will be appointed chairman of several committess get honors for his service and possibly a Noble Prize (aka Pau Krugman, Algore, et al).

The Republican party is wasted.  Forget Reagan, Roosevelt.  They are in the past, dead and buried, and most people today know nothing of Rossevelt and are already too young to remember Reagan.

We need more people like Newt who can look to the future and start thinking a whole new strategy that will save our country that is not big government.  I just hope it is not too late by the time the libs have promised and given everything away to the lazy what is government going to do for me crowd.  All people must pay taxes - if even $100/year.

Yet I do also agree with the left that it is a gigantic unsustainable problem that 1% of the population controls 90% of the wealth.  Even if that number is exaggerated it is probably something of that order and that is fu2345ck up. 


But endless and increasing give aways to those who take and do't create wealth is certainly not the answer.

6 to 18 months from now the giveaways will all be spent byt the 40% at the bottom and we will be right back to where we started.

I don't have the time to try to come up with the answer.  We need new blood and thinkers in th Republican side who can.

And fro God's sake we need candidates who can articulate and speak on their feet.  Not Bob Dole's, not George Bushes, and McCians.

IMO - The articulation skills of Clinton and BO were without a doubt the saviors of the Democratic party of the last 18 years. ( to the demise and chagrin of the speechless and hapless Republicans.

This must not happen again.

As for Sarah Palin - I feel she could have a great future if she gets the right handlers who sharpen her skills, base of knowledge and broaden her appeal to other women - althgough her stance on abortion remains an obstacle with many women.
3725  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: October 18, 2008, 08:26:24 AM
It is truly amazing.  Every time I log on to the Yahoo web page there is another assoicated press article trying to make McCain look inept.  Now they criticize him for "Joe" the plumber.  And of course they dismiss Joe as not licensed.
Not once do we hear anything about BO's flip flops, his changes of opinion aka Clinton with direction of whatever the polls tell him to say.  Not once do we hear anything critical about him. 

Oh well.   WE are destined to be a weaker country I guess.  Yes in the beginning BO will look wonderful flying around with photo ops from adoring fans and foreingners who want us weaker.   I fear that by the time the majority of Americans have waken up it will too late.  The Republicans need new leadership and ideas and people who CAN articulate and can string the ideas together into some coherent strategy that appeals to more people.  The old conservatism is too simplistic IMO.


http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081018/ap_on_el_pr/mccain_s_search_analysis
3726  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Coming Clusterfcuk on: October 17, 2008, 12:47:11 PM
And this is exactly what the American public has to be reminded of a hundred times a day.

That if McCain doesn't get in this country and our freedoms are gone for many years if not forever.

And that is also why the MSM fears the negativity from th Republicans - because they know this is true and they want it though most Americans I doubt do.
3727  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: October 17, 2008, 08:30:57 AM
A recent ap/yahoo poll suggests that McCain "popularity" has dropped precipitously.

Frankly I don't believe it.  What I do believe is that this is propaganda designed to throw McCain off his negative attacks because BO is vulnerable.  The MSM can't have that.  Many want us to fall for the dishonest fluff hook line and sinker.
3728  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Plumber Joe the greater man than the BO on: October 16, 2008, 08:25:02 PM
I love it - the new Republican party's hero

Joe the plumber.

I think this guy would be a instant shoe-in for a Senate seat from a red state. cool
He has my vote.

Lets see...

common sense logic
honesty
here is where I really stand
I support and talk UP my country
My country has done a great humanitarian service in Iraq
I believe in freedom from government tyranny
I don't like socialism

vs

intellectualizing
ivory tower I know what is best for everyone whether they like it or not
dishonesty
deception
pretend I am something I are not
pretend I am a patriot
I think my country stinks
I think my country is shameful
I need to bebuild our country the way I see fit

3729  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Saul Alinsky influenced BO on: October 15, 2008, 10:42:14 AM
My thanks to Mark Levin talk radio host on 77AM dial 6 to 8 nightly for pointing this out.
1960's radical (unfortunately a socialist Jew aka Marx - since I am Jewish and disgusted whth these people) who started "COMMUNITY ORGAINZING" and whose philosophy is redistributing wealth influenced greatly the BO guy.
Some of BO's phrases are verbatum right out of this guys writings.  "They cling to their guns and their religion" is undeniably taken right out of Alinsky's writings.  To change those people you have to become one of them.  In other words to change conservative America you have to pretend you are one of us.  Thus BOs pretending to love and care for America and his hiding his past.

BO is a flaming liberal who will expand big government and change the freedoms that made and would keep this country great.  This HAS to be what McCain emphasize all Americans listen to Mark Levin - not just right leaning citizens like me.  And don't get me wrong.  Levin is not pleased with McCain or W for that matter but the alternative is in his opinion a potential disaster for the future and direction of this country.  I couldn't agree with him more.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saul_Alinsky
3730  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: October 15, 2008, 10:31:36 AM
GM,
I have met Egyptian and Lebanese Christian Arabs who agree with what you say.  They tell me the Muslim Arabs are not tolerant of them.
Many hate the Hamas Hezballah and the Palastinians who are intent on making trouble for everyone.  They dislike the Arab Muslims in their own countries who are intolerant and control the Christian minority.





3731  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Black antisemitism on: October 15, 2008, 10:27:12 AM
Well most of you have probably seen this.  I give credit to JJ only for his honesty in this matter.  Black anger and hatred of Jews and Israel is fron and center.  BO has surrounded himself with folks who feel this way.  It seems the only Jews he had surrounded himself with were far left radicals and socialists.   Yet the mess with economy is sweeping him into the white house.  If hillary was running McCain would be 15 points behind.
BO can faint distancing himself but I don't get any Jews who would support him.  Yes the "schlep to Florida" with this Sarah Silverman.  I hate to say it but some of these Jews make me ashamed.


****  Jackson: Expects Obama to stop "putting Israel's interests first" in making Mideast policy.

Last updated: 12:34 pm
October 14, 2008
Posted: 1:35 am
October 14, 2008

EVIAN, FRANCE


PREPARE for a new America: That's the message that the Rev. Jesse Jackson conveyed to participants in the first World Policy Forum, held at this French lakeside resort last week.

He promised "fundamental changes" in US foreign policy - saying America must "heal wounds" it has caused to other nations, revive its alliances and apologize for the "arrogance of the Bush administration."

The most important change would occur in the Middle East, where "decades of putting Israel's interests first" would end.

Jackson believes that, although "Zionists who have controlled American policy for decades" remain strong, they'll lose a great deal of their clout when Barack Obama enters the White House.

"Obama is about change," Jackson told me in a wide-ranging conversation. "And the change that Obama promises is not limited to what we do in America itself. It is a change of the way America looks at the world and its place in it."

Jackson warns that he isn't an Obama confidant or adviser, "just a supporter." But he adds that Obama has been "a neighbor or, better still, a member of the family." Jackson's son has been a close friend of Obama for years, and Jackson's daughter went to school with Obama's wife Michelle.

"We helped him start his career," says Jackson. "And then we were always there to help him move ahead. He is the continuation of our struggle for justice not only for the black people but also for all those who have been wronged."

Will Obama's election close the chapter of black grievances linked to memories of slavery? The reverend takes a deep breath and waits a long time before responding.

"No, that chapter won't be closed," he says. "However, Obama's victory will be a huge step in the direction we have wanted America to take for decades."

Jackson rejects any suggestion that Obama was influenced by Marxist ideas in his youth. "I see no evidence of that," he says. "Obama's thirst for justice and equality is rooted in his black culture."

But is Obama - who's not a descendant of slaves - truly a typical American black?

Jackson emphatically answers yes: "You don't need to be a descendant of slaves to experience the oppression, the suffocating injustice and the ugly racism that exists in our society," he says. "Obama experienced the same environment as all American blacks did. It was nonsense to suggest that he was somehow not black enough to feel the pain."

Is Jackson worried about the "Bradley effect" - that people may be telling pollsters they favor the black candidate, but won't end up voting for him?

"I don't think this is how things will turn out," he says. "We have a collapsing economy and a war that we have lost in Iraq. In Afghanistan, we face a resurgent Taliban. New threats are looming in Pakistan. Our liberties have been trampled under feet . . . Today, most Americans want change, and know that only Barack can deliver what they want. Young Americans are especially determined to make sure that Obama wins."

He sees a broad public loss of confidence in the nation's institutions: "We have lost confidence in our president, our Congress, our banking system, our Wall Street and our legal system to protect our individual freedoms. . . I don't see how we could regain confidence in all those institutions without a radical change of direction."

Jackson declines to be more concrete about possible policy changes. After all, he insists, he isn't part of Obama's policy team. Yet he clearly hopes that his views, reflecting the position of many Democrats, would be reflected in the policies of an Obama administration.

On the economic front, he hopes for "major changes in our trading policy."

"We cannot continue with the open-door policy," he says. "We need to protect our manufacturing industry against unfair competition that destroys American jobs and creates ill-paid jobs abroad."

Would that mean an abrogation of the NAFTA treaty with Canada and Mexico?

Jackson dismisses the question as "premature": "We could do a great deal without such dramatic action."

His most surprising position concerns Iraq. He passionately denounces the toppling of Saddam Hussein as "an illegal and unjust act." But he's now sure that the United States "will have to remain in Iraq for a very long time."

What of Obama's promise to withdraw by 2010? Jackson believes that position will have to evolve, reflecting "realities on the ground."

"We should work with our allies in Iraq to consolidate democratic institutions there," he says. "We must help the people of Iraq decide and shape their future in accordance with their own culture and faith."

On Iran, he strongly supports Obama's idea of opening a direct dialogue with the leadership in Tehran. "We've got to talk to tell them what we want and hear what they want," Jackson says. "Nothing is gained by not talking to others."

Would that mean ignoring the four UN Security Council resolutions that demand an end to Iran's uranium-enrichment program? Jackson says direct talks wouldn't start without preparations.

"Barack wants an aggressive and dynamic diplomacy," he says. "He also wants adequate preparatory work. We must enter the talks after the ground has been prepared," he says.

Jackson is especially critical of President Bush's approach to the Israel-Palestine conflict.

"Bush was so afraid of a snafu and of upsetting Israel that he gave the whole thing a miss," Jackson says. "Barack will change that," because, as long as the Palestinians haven't seen justice, the Middle East will "remain a source of danger to us all."

"Barack is determined to repair our relations with the world of Islam and Muslims," Jackson says. "Thanks to his background and ecumenical approach, he knows how Muslims feel while remaining committed to his own faith."

Amir Taheri's next book, "The Persian Night: Iran Under the Khomeinist Revolution," is due out next month.***





 
3732  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: October 14, 2008, 10:14:01 AM
The only outrage is from the RNC.   Silence from BO that has paid an organization to round up voters for Democrats.
You want to talk about "disenfranchised" voters.  What a joke. 



Vote drives defended, despite fake names
By Richard Danielson, Times Staff Writer
In print: Tuesday, October 14, 2008


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mickey Mouse tried to register to vote in Florida this summer, but Orange County elections officials rejected his application, which had an ACORN stamp on it. 
 Mickey Mouse tried to register to vote in Florida this summer.

Orange County elections officials rejected his application, which was stamped with the logo of the nonprofit group ACORN.

Tow truck driver Newton Bell did register to vote in Orange County this summer. In the hands of ACORN, his paperwork went through without a hitch.

Two cases, two outcomes, each with a connection to ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.

Nationwide, ACORN is a favorite GOP target for allegations of voter registration fraud this year.

That's not new. Similar complaints followed the 2004 elections. A criminal investigation in Florida found no evidence of fraud. ACORN even has a cameo role in the scandal over the 2006 firings of several U.S. attorneys by the Bush Justice Department.

Under attack again, ACORN leaders defend their work. Often, they say, things are as not simple as they're portrayed.

Take Mickey Mouse.

Yes, that's their logo. But they say their workers routinely scanned all suspicious applications.

"We don't think this card came through our system," said Brian Kettenring, ACORN's head organizer in Florida.

With more than 450,000 member families nationwide — 14,000 in Florida — ACORN is a grass roots advocacy group focused on health care, wages, affordable housing and foreclosure.

Bell, the truck driver, certainly, is more representative of ACORN's work in Florida than the cartoon mouse is.

This year, ACORN signed up 1.3-million voters nationwide and about 152,000 in Florida, mostly in Orange, Broward and Miami-Dade counties. ACORN estimates it flagged 2 percent of its Florida registrations as problematic because they were incomplete, duplicates or just plain bogus.

That's enough to give headaches to election officials and to provide ammunition to Republican activists.

Brevard County elections officials have turned over 23 suspect registrations from ACORN to prosecutors. The state Division of Elections has received two ACORN-related complaints, in Orange and Broward counties.

ACORN wasn't active in the Tampa Bay area. Last week, however, Pinellas County elections officials gave local prosecutors 35 questionable registrations from another group, Work for Progress.

The GOP accuses ACORN of registration fraud all over the country. In Las Vegas, authorities said the group's petitions included the names of the starting lineup of the Dallas Cowboys.

"This is part of a widespread and systemic effort … to undermine the election process," says Republican National Committee chief counsel Sean Cairncross, who describes ACORN as a "quasicriminal organization."

No, Kettenring said, it's more like Wal-Mart.

"Some percentage of Wal-Mart workers try to get paid without doing their work or steal from their employer," he said.

Some ACORN workers, he said, have simply made up names.

Maybe, elections officials say, but it's still annoying.

"We did experience a significant amount of problems, enough that we did contact the group to express some of our frustration with their work," said Linda Tanko, Orange County's senior deputy supervisor for voter services.

ACORN's problems included applications with unreadable handwriting, missing information, signatures that didn't match those on file, altered dates of birth or Social Security numbers, applications for people already registered to vote and names that appeared repeatedly, often with different addresses.

ACORN said it terminates canvassers who forge applications. In Broward County, it fired one worker after he turned in applications with similar handwriting and brought the matter to the attention of the Supervisor of Elections Office.

Pay to gather registrations started at $8 an hour, and the goal was 20 signups per day. The organization did not pay by the signature or pay bonuses for volume. The organization also tried to follow up on each registration, calling the person listed to confirm that the form is accurate.

In most states, ACORN must turn in every form that is filled out. "We must turn in every voter registration card by Florida law, even Mickey Mouse," Kettenring said.

Well, not yet, said Jennifer Krell Davis, spokeswoman for the Florida Department of State.

Florida does have a law saying third-party voter registration groups must turn in every form without regard to things like party affiliation, race, ethnicity or gender. So far, however, the state has not written the rules to implement it.

In Florida, ACORN is best known for its 2004 effort to lead a petition drive to raise the minimum wage. The FDLE looked into voter fraud allegations then and found no laws were broken.

ACORN also played a role in the firing of one of nine U.S. attorneys dismissed in 2006.

In New Mexico, U.S. Attorney David Iglesias was fired "because of complaints by elected officials who had a political interest in the outcome" of, among other things, a Republican voter fraud complaint against ACORN, according to an internal Justice Department report last month.

This year, 39 members of the House of Representatives have asked Attorney General Michael Mukasey to investigate ACORN.

One of those, Rep. Tom Feeney, R-Oviedo, also has written to supervisor of elections offices in Central Florida seeking "all ACORN-related registration of voters within the last two years."

Republicans also accuse Sen. Barack Obama of trying to distance himself from ACORN, which he represented in a federal lawsuit in 1995.

ACORN's political action committee has endorsed Obama, but the group says its voter registration efforts are nonpartisan.

And the McCain campaign's complaints now are puzzling, ACORN says, because two years ago McCain was the keynote speaker at an immigration reform rally ACORN co-sponsored in Miami. "In 2006," Kettenring said, "we were working together."

Richard Danielson can be reached at danielson@sptimes.com or (813)269-5311.



3733  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Along the same vein... on: October 11, 2008, 12:33:44 PM
Another example of what a stupid leadership we have in this country and how we give it away is that the election is probably being influenced big time by foreigners.  BO's campaign is flooded with donations from foreigners.  How much is unclear but it is probably quite large.   AS Bob Grant the radio host from NY would point out here is an article to this effect.  He also asks that we contemplate why our enemies including Hamas and Hugo Chavez support BO?   Do I need say more.  Just like we *give* away citizenship to children born here of illegals we are giving foreing powers access to controlling our elections via small campaign donations that don't have to be reported.   We already know Chinese are funneling tons of small donations through surrogates.
God this country is going down the garbage can and even simple fixes can't get done due to politics, political correctness, and pandering for votes.     

Foreign Money FLOODS Obama Campaign

Secret, Foreign Money Floods Into Obama Campaign

Monday, September 29, 2008 9:23 PM

By: Kenneth R.
Timmerman Font Size

More than half of the whopping $426.9 million Barack Obama has raised has come from small donors whose names the Obama campaign won't disclose.
And questions have arisen about millions more in foreign donations the Obama campaign has received that apparently have not been vetted as legitimate.
Obama has raised nearly twice that of John McCain's campaign, according to new campaign finance report.
But because of Obama's high expenses during the hotly contested Democratic primary season and an early decision to forgo public campaign money and the spending limits it imposes, all that cash has not translated into a financial advantage - at least, not yet.
The Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee began September with $95 million in cash, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC).
The McCain camp and the Republican National Committee had $94 million, because of an influx of $84 million in public money.
But Obama easily could outpace McCain by $50 million to $100 million or more in new donations before Election Day, thanks to a legion of small contributors whose names and addresses have been kept secret.
Unlike the McCain campaign, which has made its complete donor database available online, the Obama campaign has not identified donors for nearly half the amount he has raised, according to the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP).
Federal law does not require the campaigns to identify donors who give less than $200 during the election cycle. However, it does require that campaigns calculate running totals for each donor and report them once they go beyond the $200 mark.
Surprisingly, the great majority of Obama donors never break the $200 threshold.
"Contributions that come under $200 aggregated per person are not listed," said Bob Biersack, a spokesman for the FEC. "They don't appear anywhere, so there's no way of knowing who they are.
"

The FEC breakdown of the Obama campaign has identified a staggering $222.7 million as coming from contributions of $200 or less. Only $39.6 million of that amount comes from donors the Obama campaign has identified.
It is the largest pool of unidentified money that has ever flooded into the U.S. election system, before or after the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reforms of 2002.
Biersack would not comment on whether the FEC was investigating the huge amount of cash that has come into Obama's coffers with no public reporting.
But Massie Ritsch, a spokesman for CRP, a campaign-finance watchdog group, dismissed the scale of the unreported money.
"We feel comfortable that it isn't the $20 donations that are corrupting a campaign," he told Newsmax.
But those small donations have added up to more than $200 million, all of it from unknown and unreported donors.
Ritsch acknowledges that there is skepticism about all the unreported money, especially in the Obama campaign coffers.
"We and seven other watchdog groups asked both campaigns for more information on small donors," he said. "The Obama campaign never responded," whereas the McCain campaign "makes all its donor information, including the small donors, available online.
"

The rise of the Internet as a campaign funding tool raises new questions about the adequacy of FEC requirements on disclosure. In pre-Internet fundraising, almost all political donations, even small ones, were made by bank check, leaving a paper trail and limiting the amount of fraud.
But credit cards used to make donations on the Internet have allowed for far more abuse.
"While FEC practice is to do a post-election review of all presidential campaigns, given their sluggish metabolism, results can take three or four years," said Ken Boehm, the chairman of the conservative National Legal and Policy Center.
Already, the FEC has noted unusual patterns in Obama campaign donations among donors who have been disclosed because they have gone beyond the $200 minimum.
FEC and Mr.
Doodad Pro

When FEC auditors have questions about contributions, they send letters to the campaign's finance committee requesting additional information, such as the complete address or employment status of the donor.
Many of the FEC letters that Newsmax reviewed instructed the Obama campaign to "redesignate" contributions in excess of the finance limits.
Under campaign finance laws, an individual can donate $2,300 to a candidate for federal office in both the primary and general election, for a total of $4,600. If a donor has topped the limit in the primary, the campaign can "redesignate" the contribution to the general election on its books.
In a letter dated June 25, 2008, the FEC asked the Obama campaign to verify a series of $25 donations from a contributor identified as "Will, Good" from Austin, Texas.
Mr. Good Will listed his employer as "Loving" and his profession as "You.
"

A Newsmax analysis of the 1.4 million individual contributions in the latest master file for the Obama campaign discovered 1,000 separate entries for Mr. Good Will, most of them for $25.
In total, Mr. Good Will gave $17,375.
Following this and subsequent FEC requests, campaign records show that 330 contributions from Mr. Good Will were credited back to a credit card. But the most recent report, filed on Sept. 20, showed a net cumulative balance of $8,950 - still well over the $4,600 limit.
There can be no doubt that the Obama campaign noticed these contributions, since Obama's Sept. 20 report specified that Good Will's cumulative contributions since the beginning of the campaign were $9,375.
In an e-mailed response to a query from Newsmax, Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt pledged that the campaign would return the donations. But given the slowness with which the campaign has responded to earlier FEC queries, there's no guarantee that the money will be returned before the Nov. 4 election.
Similarly, a donor identified as "Pro, Doodad," from "Nando, NY," gave $19,500 in 786 separate donations, most of them for $25. For most of these donations, Mr. Doodad Pro listed his employer as "Loving" and his profession as "You," just as Good Will had done.
But in some of them, he didn't even go this far, apparently picking letters at random to fill in the blanks on the credit card donation form. In these cases, he said he was employed by "VCX" and that his profession was "VCVC.
"

Following FEC requests, the Obama campaign began refunding money to Doodad Pro in February 2008. In all, about $8,425 was charged back to a credit card. But that still left a net total of $11,165 as of Sept. 20, way over the individual limit of $4,600.
Here again, LaBolt pledged that the contributions would be returned but gave no date.
In February, after just 93 donations, Doodad Pro had already gone over the $2,300 limit for the primary. He was over the $4,600 limit for the general election one month later.
In response to FEC complaints, the Obama campaign began refunding money to Doodad Pro even before he reached these limits. But his credit card was the gift that kept on giving. His most recent un-refunded contributions were on July 7, when he made 14 separate donations, apparently by credit card, of $25 each.
Just as with Mr. Good Will, there can be no doubt that the Obama campaign noticed the contributions, since its Sept. 20 report specified that Doodad's cumulative contributions since the beginning of the campaign were $10,965.
Foreign Donations

And then there are the overseas donations - at least, the ones that we know about.
The FEC has compiled a separate database of potentially questionable overseas donations that contains more than 11,500 contributions totaling $33.8 million. More than 520 listed their "state" as "IR," often an abbreviation for Iran. Another 63 listed it as "UK," the United Kingdom.
More than 1,400 of the overseas entries clearly were U.S. diplomats or military personnel, who gave an APO address overseas. Their total contributions came to just $201,680.
But others came from places as far afield as Abu Dhabi, Addis Ababa, Beijing, Fallujah, Florence, Italy, and a wide selection of towns and cities in France.
Until recently, the Obama Web site allowed a contributor to select the country where he resided from the entire membership of the United Nations, including such friendly places as North Korea and the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Unlike McCain's or Sen. Hillary Clinton's online donation pages, the Obama site did not ask for proof of citizenship until just recently. Clinton's presidential campaign required U.S. citizens living abroad to actually fax a copy of their passport before a donation would be accepted.
With such lax vetting of foreign contributions, the Obama campaign may have indirectly contributed to questionable fundraising by foreigners.
In July and August, the head of the Nigeria's stock market held a series of pro-Obama fundraisers in Lagos, Nigeria's largest city. The events attracted local Nigerian business owners.
At one event, a table for eight at one fundraising dinner went for $16,800. Nigerian press reports claimed sponsors raked in an estimated $900,000.
The sponsors said the fundraisers were held to help Nigerians attend the Democratic convention in Denver. But the Nigerian press expressed skepticism of that claim, and the Nigerian public anti-fraud commission is now investigating the matter.
Concerns about foreign fundraising have been raised by other anecdotal accounts of illegal activities.
In June, Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi gave a public speech praising Obama, claiming foreign nationals were donating to his campaign.
"All the people in the Arab and Islamic world and in Africa applauded this man," the Libyan leader said. "They welcomed him and prayed for him and for his success, and they may have even been involved in legitimate contribution campaigns to enable him to win the American presidency..."

Though Gadhafi asserted that fundraising from Arab and African nations were "legitimate," the fact is that U.S. federal law bans any foreigner from donating to a U.S. election campaign.
The rise of the Internet and use of credit cards have made it easier for foreign nationals to donate to American campaigns, especially if they claim their donation is less than $200.
Campaign spokesman LaBolt cited several measures that the campaign has adopted to "root out fraud," including a requirement that anyone attending an Obama fundraising event overseas present a valid U.S. passport, and a new requirement that overseas contributors must provide a passport number when donating online.
One new measure that might not appear obvious at first could be frustrating to foreigners wanting to buy campaign paraphernalia such as T-shirts or bumper stickers through the online store.
In response to an investigation conducted by blogger Pamela Geller, who runs the blog Atlas Shrugs, the Obama campaign has locked down the store.
Geller first revealed on July 31 that donors from the Gaza strip had contributed $33,000 to the Obama campaign through bulk purchases of T-shirts they had shipped to Gaza.
The online campaign store allows buyers to complete their purchases by making an additional donation to the Obama campaign.
A pair of Palestinian brothers named Hosam and Monir Edwan contributed more than $31,300 to the Obama campaign in October and November 2007, FEC records show.
Their largesse attracted the attention of the FEC almost immediately. In an April 15, 2008, report that examined the Obama campaign's year-end figures for 2007, the FEC asked that some of these contributions be reassigned.
The Obama camp complied sluggishly, prompting a more detailed admonishment form the FEC on July 30.
The Edwan brothers listed their address as "GA," as in Georgia, although they entered "Gaza" or "Rafah Refugee camp" as their city of residence on most of the online contribution forms.
According to the Obama campaign, they wrongly identified themselves as U.S. citizens, via a voluntary check-off box at the time the donations were made.
Many of the Edwan brothers' contributions have been purged from the FEC database, but they still can be found in archived versions available for CRP and other watchdog groups.
The latest Obama campaign filing shows that $891.11 still has not been refunded to the Edwan brothers, despite repeated FEC warnings and campaign claims that all the money was refunded in December.
A Newsmax review of the Obama campaign finance filings found that the FEC had asked for the redesignation or refund of 53,828 donations, totaling just under $30 million.
But none involves the donors who never appear in the Obama campaign reports, which the CRP estimates at nearly half the $426.8 million the Obama campaign has raised to date.
Many of the small donors participated in online "matching" programs, which allows them to hook up with other Obama supporters and eventually share e-mail addresses and blogs.
The Obama Web site described the matching contribution program as similar to a public radio fundraising drive.
"Our goal is to bring 50,000 new donors into our movement by Friday at midnight," campaign manager David Plouffe e-mailed supporters on Sept. 15. "And if you make your first online donation today, your gift will go twice as far. A previous donor has promised to match every dollar you donate.
"

FEC spokesman Biersack said he was unfamiliar with the matching donation drive. But he said that if donations from another donor were going to be reassigned to a new donor, as the campaign suggested, "the two people must agree" to do so.
This type of matching drive probably would be legal as long as the matching donor had not exceeded the $2,300 per-election limit, he said.
Obama campaign spokesman LaBolt said, "We have more than 2.5 million donors overall, hundreds of thousands of which have participated in this program.
"
3734  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: October 11, 2008, 09:13:09 AM
Doug,
I hear you, but please consider this,

Are there more small business owners than government employees, union people, and citizens who rely on government doles (or want more thereof) and immigrants who come in a jump on the dole bandwagon (of course not all of them - but enough)?  I doubt it.  McCain is preaching to the minority.  BO is preaching to the majority.   End of story.

I just don't think simply saying we need to cut taxes is enough with BO out there preaching his lies for months with "I am cutting taxes for 90% of the folks in this country".  I have yet to hear McCain or anyone else come out with enough of a response to that simple line that is going to turn the undecideds from the BO.  I did hear Dick Morris fianlly say something to this effect on O'Reilly the other night.  Whatever one wants to say about him, he is very nimble at adjusting the arguments to the polls.  McCains advisors or perhaps McCain himself still have not gotten it.
The BO campaign has done a MUCH better job of responding to and countering the Repubs arguments than the other way around.

Are there more small business owners than government employees, union people, and immigrants who come in a jump on the dole bandwagon (of course not all of them - but enough)?  I doubt it.  McCain is preaching to the minority.  BO is preaching to the majority.   End of story. 

McCain either better have a great case to squash the "I am going to cut taxes for 90%", and "what has been done for the last eight years is not working" arguments in this last debate or it is definitely over.
3735  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: October 10, 2008, 04:35:46 PM
Crafty,

"Pathetic unprincipled populist pandering by McCain as he tries to poach on BO's natural turf.  It is no coincidence that he is diving in the polls"

I agree with you but this is how elections in the US in 2008 are won.
We have a gigantic class of people who rely on government, many who work for government, and have who increasing power at the polls.
It appears the only other option Repubs have had is to go negative and try to scare this gigantic "what are you (gov.) going to do for me" segment of our populous away from the Crat candidates who promise to rob the successful to give to them.

3736  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena on: October 10, 2008, 09:51:55 AM
The problem is the WSJ and the others who point these things out are probably preaching to the choir who already know and believe this.

The MSM either ignores this or puts it on page 35.

To me the trio of Pelosi, Reid, BO seems like the US as we have known it for 200 years is over.
I do agree that it is a problem when the top 1% own something like 90% of the wealth.
And it is similary a problem when 40% of the population does not pay taxes.

Yet we never hear this.

Until this is somehow addressed this country will continue to be divided IMHO.





3737  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Doubt timing is a coincidence on: October 09, 2008, 07:39:56 PM
Another example of enemies taking advantage of our present weakness.

I guess they are watching the US election polls.  The guy McCain who said he would be Hezbollah's "worst nightmare" is probably not going to win against the guy who scoffs at being called naive or "Green around the ears" and  "we must not take the military option off the table" BO.

BO obviously instills fear into the eyes of our enemies. 
Putin probably is thinking he looked into the eyes of BO and sees a creampuff who caves in to any and all poll.  BO just goes with the flow.

Well who wants to make war when we can all just make love....
3738  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Stock Market on: October 09, 2008, 07:30:47 PM
From Scott Grannis' site:

"The total loss from '29 to the eventual bottom in '32 was 90%".

Yes and the market didn't return to its 1929 level till 1954.
Lets see, in 2033 I would be ____ years old.  wink

3739  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: October 07, 2008, 01:44:50 PM
Only the liberal media could come up with this crap about McCain.  The "maverick" label supposedly came from a couple of ultra liberal family members named Maverick.  So of course the logic goes, how dare McCain who is a Republican call himself one.  I recall the label was no problem when McCain was for campaign finance reform at a time when it would have hurt the cans more then the crats.

Leave it to the times to print this. 

By JOHN SCHWARTZ
Published: October 4, 2008
There’s that word again: maverick. In Thursday’s vice-presidential debate, Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska, the Republican candidate, used it to describe herself and her running mate, Senator John McCain, no fewer than six times, at one point calling him “the consummate maverick.”

Skip to next paragraph
 
BRAND Samuel Augustus Maverick
But to those who know the history of the word, applying it to Mr. McCain is a bit of a stretch — and to one Texas family in particular it is even a bit offensive.

“I’m just enraged that McCain calls himself a maverick,” said Terrellita Maverick, 82, a San Antonio native who proudly carries the name of a family that has been known for its progressive politics since the 1600s, when an early ancestor in Boston got into trouble with the law over his agitation for the rights of indentured servants.

In the 1800s, Samuel Augustus Maverick went to Texas and became known for not branding his cattle. He was more interested in keeping track of the land he owned than the livestock on it, Ms. Maverick said; unbranded cattle, then, were called “Maverick’s.” The name came to mean anyone who didn’t bear another’s brand.

Sam Maverick’s grandson, Fontaine Maury Maverick, was a two-term congressman and a mayor of San Antonio who lost his mayoral re-election bid when conservatives labeled him a Communist. He served in the Roosevelt administration on the Smaller War Plants Corporation and is best known for another coinage. He came up with the term “gobbledygook” in frustration at the convoluted language of bureaucrats.

This Maverick’s son, Maury Jr., was a firebrand civil libertarian and lawyer who defended draft resisters, atheists and others scorned by society. He served in the Texas Legislature during the McCarthy era and wrote fiery columns for The San Antonio Express-News. His final column, published on Feb. 2, 2003, just after he died at 82, was an attack on the coming war in Iraq.

Terrellita Maverick, sister of Maury Jr., is a member emeritus of the board of the San Antonio chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas.

Considering the family’s long history of association with liberalism and progressive ideals, it should come as no surprise that Ms. Maverick insists that John McCain, who has voted so often with his party, “is in no way a maverick, in uppercase or lowercase.”

“It’s just incredible — the nerve! — to suggest that he’s not part of that Republican herd. Every time we hear it, all my children and I and all my family shrink a little and say, ‘Oh, my God, he said it again.’ ”

“He’s a Republican,” she said. “He’s branded.”

3740  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena on: October 06, 2008, 04:48:09 PM
I agree with you.  It's just that it isn't looking too good for McCain.
So what else can I do if we are getting BO than hope he won't be the angry leftist minority guy once he gets into office?
3741  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / BO = Lincoln, I hope so. on: October 06, 2008, 01:49:46 PM
Well let's hope BO is the next coming of Abe Lincoln.  I think we need old Abe right about now.  (I'd rather not have FDR).

3742  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: October 06, 2008, 10:01:47 AM
Doug,
Great post.  The bias is eaily there.  All these questions begin the premise that everything BO says is o target and the repsondent can agree or try to disagree.  I didn't watch the debate so I don't know but I would be willing to bet there were no such manipulated questions that could benefit McCain.

McCain was foolish not to demand she be withdrawn as moderator.

That all said, the Republicans tried and failing answer to economic woes which for the last 3o years, is deregulate, lower taxes is woefully no longer enough.  When 1% of the population wons 90% of the wealth in this country there is clearly something wrong.

The game is clearly corrupt and rigged.  I see it in the music "industry" which is nothing more than organized crime.

The Republicans fail to address this and until they do they will always be fighting the uphill battle. 

I have not yet heard one Rebublican leader address this.  Trickle down economics is *not* enough.   
3743  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Palin phenomenon on: October 04, 2008, 12:05:21 PM
***OTOH Katie Couric, give me a fcuking break***

Yes. Like these questions she gave Sarah:  are you for the morning after pill?
So are you for the morning after pill?  After a hesitation from Sarah, Couric asks her when do you beleive life begins?
Answer: "at conception"
Couric now having completed the ambush asks:  so again, are you for the morning after pill?

Wow Katie that is great journalism. rolleyes
My question to Couric:
Which crat operative gave you those questions or did you come up with that ambush all on your own?

 
3744  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / The "Executive physical". ahem on: October 02, 2008, 08:36:07 PM
Kind of funny actually.  From the new New England Journal of Medicine and very aprepo (sp?) with the times of public outrage against the corporate executive now demoted to the status below that of used car salesman:
 
 
****Executive Physicals — Bad Medicine on Three Counts

Brian Rank, M.D.
 
In corporate boardrooms throughout the United States, executives are wrestling with the management of health care costs. They are demanding health care services that are effective and evidence-based and that don't entail excess or unjust costs. They are meticulously assessing insurers and providers on all these counts as never before. And rightly so. There's some irony, then, in the fact that many of these executives leave these boardrooms for days at a time to take part in one of modern medicine's most expensive and least proven approaches to care: the executive physical.

If you want to have an executive physical (and have the money to pay for one), you won't have to look far. These services are marketed heavily by many of the country's largest and most highly regarded health systems and hospitals, including the Mayo Clinic, the Cleveland Clinic, and dozens of others. Although the specific components of these programs vary, certain traits are common. Most involve a dedicated block of time — a day or two — during which the executive undergoes an extensive and comprehensive battery of in-depth medical tests and evaluations, with results made available immediately. Most such physicals are marketed as a yearly event. Most cost thousands of dollars and are not covered by insurance. Many of the centers that provide them tout an environment of exclusivity, personal attention, and luxury of the type one might expect to see at a four-star hotel or high-end resort. Those who undergo these physicals clearly appreciate the indulgent touches, such as complimentary bathrobes and slippers or the performance of the whole process in a so-called VIP area.1

It's easy to understand the appeal of the executive physical to companies and their executives. With executive compensation high and competition for top talent fierce, it's not surprising that companies want to do everything they can to protect the investment they make in senior management. Nor is it surprising that the executives themselves, with heavy demands on their time, would be drawn to the convenience of one-stop shopping, the pampering, and the peace of mind that the executive physical seems to represent. Like a four-star hotel, the executive physical is, at least outwardly, "the best" — just what executives are accustomed to getting.

It's also easy to understand why the executive physical appeals to the hospitals and systems that offer it. The physical represents an opportunity for the provider to show off its ability to serve high-profile patients with the most advanced testing available. It also represents a new and attractive revenue stream.

Nevertheless, in my view, the emergence of executive physicals is not a good thing. It's not good for the patients who undergo them, it's not good for the companies that pay for them, and it's not good for the health care system overall. As an example of progressive medicine, the executive physical fails on three important counts: efficacy, cost, and equity.

Inherent in the provision of this service is the notion that the most health care is the best health care. If a standard physical exam entails three tests, the thinking goes, then an exam with a dozen tests must be better. Similarly, an exam that takes 2 days must be better than one that takes an hour. Of course, there is no evidence for either premise, and indeed a growing body of research suggests quite the opposite — that unnecessary testing may cause more harm than good, owing to false positive findings, unwarranted follow-up visits and costs, needless worry, and harmful side effects of the tests themselves.

Consider, for example, the inclusion in many executive physicals of a computed tomographic (CT) scan of the heart to determine the executive's calcium score. Although most patients would probably find information gleaned from this examination interesting, it is rarely meaningful as a predictor of disease. In its current summary of recommendations, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force concludes that the potential harms of routine screening for coronary heart disease in low-risk adults exceed the potential benefits.2

Among the battery of screening tools that executive physicals include with little regard to medical evidence are whole-body CT scans, electrocardiograms, and chest radiographs. As clinicians, we should be applying increasingly rigorous standards of justification and efficacy to every test we request for our patients. Our goal should be to limit tests to those warranted by medical evidence to improve health, lengthen life, and do more good than harm. The executive physical seeks, by its very structure, to broaden testing, under the false assumption that more is better.

According to a 2006 study by Wennberg et al.,3 evidence-based medicine does not play a role in governing the use of supply-sensitive services — services whose supply has a major influence on their use. Wennberg said of the study, "Three issues drive the differences in the cost and quality of care. Variation is the result of an unmanaged supply of resources, limited evidence about what kind of care really contributes to the health and longevity of the chronically ill, and falsely optimistic assumptions about the benefits of more aggressive treatment of people who are severely ill with medical conditions that must be managed but can't be cured."

Executive physicals also reinforce a related misperception — that costlier is better, that a $3,000 examination must be worth more than one that costs 1/10 of that amount. This is an indefensible idea that should not be promoted by the health care industry. Even as individual hospitals sell these services for exorbitant fees, gratuitously overusing our health care resources, our system as a whole is appropriately straining in precisely the opposite direction, toward cost-effectiveness, transparency, competition, and accountability. With its outrageous cost and unproven efficacy, the executive physical is almost a parody of the high-cost, low-return procedures that prudent companies rightly want clinicians to eliminate for other employees.

But perhaps the most lamentable idea perpetuated by the executive physical is the implication that some patients — namely, those who have the ability to pay out of pocket or with company resources — are more worthy of effective, respectful, and personalized treatment than others. Much good work is being done these days to identify and reduce health care disparities that are based on income, race, geography, or other demographic factors. The executive physical runs exactly counter to these efforts, suggesting that a company is justified in paying thousands of dollars to maintain the health of its wealthy senior executives while relegating the masses to something less.

As efforts to reform the health care system continue, the executive physical is a perfect example of what American medicine should be working to expunge: the expensive, the ineffective, and the inequitable. Perhaps if it didn't fail on all three of these counts, allowances could be made for it as a whimsical extravagance that satisfies certain people's need for exclusivity. As it stands, however, there is little to excuse it. As an industry, we can't expect to get credit for working to make health care affordable and effective for all if we're offering the "best" health care, for a price, to a few — when it isn't.

Dr. Rank is the medical director of HealthPartners Medical Group and Clinics, Minneapolis. The HealthPartners Medical Group does not have an executive physical program.

References


Brink S. For the busy exec, a $2000 physical. Los Angeles Times. February 18, 2008:F1.
Screening for coronary heart disease. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, February 2004. (Accessed September 12, 2008, at http://www.ahrq.gov/clinic/uspstf/uspsacad.htm.)
Wennberg JE, Fisher ES, Sharp SM, McAndrew M, Bronner KK. The care of patients with severe chronic illness: a report on the Medicare program by the Dartmouth Atlas Project. Lebanon, NH: The Trustees of Dartmouth College, 2006. (Accessed September 12, 2008, at http://www.dartmouthatlas.org/atlases/2006_Chronic_Care_Atlas.pdf.)

 The New England Journal of Medicine is owned, published, and copyrighted © 2008 Massachusetts Medical Society. All rights reserved. *********
 
3745  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Can McCain surmont the left media? on: October 01, 2008, 12:32:49 PM
Hey Doug,
I didn't see your post till just now and posted on the "media thread" a similar article about the moderator for the VP debate.

I coulldn' t agree with you more.  Of course she is a major BO fan.  She is not going to have a book about him if she dislikes him.

The media bias is so depressing as is the prospect of the far left controlling all three houses.

I just don't see McCain as having the persuasion skills to turn this around in the face of an obvious leftist and pro-BO media onslaught and unless Palin can come through as some sort of genius.....it looks like BO is our next President.  cry angry shocked sad 

As soon as he wins he will move left - far left. 

Funny thing, I don't blame W as much as the corrupt and totally failed recent Republican majority in the House and Senate for this debacle.  I don't know if the Republicans can ever win back trust and respect of the majority.  Too many of them on the take, bought out, just like the crats.

I don't even know who could have stopped the credit crises.  Even those who spoke up about FannieFreddie were up against a whole oraganized gang of theives bought out by the lobbyists that no regulation could have gotten enough wide spread support to pass it seems.

To watch Frank, Dodd, BO getting taking credit (the new talking points is that the newer versions of the bailout plan meet the criteria as set forth by BO - as if he had anything to do with it) is just nauseating.  Why Dodd had a sweetheart mortgage deal as did BO who became a millionaire after he became a Senator!  Yet the media is silent. 



3746  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / VP debate moderator is a huge BO fan on: October 01, 2008, 08:56:43 AM


 


I would give serious consideration to cancelling the debate if I were with McCain's camp.  This is really ridiculous.  I also noticed Couric's interviews with Palin are "gotcha" journalism.  Conservatives only voice is talk radio and a few on Fox - such as Hannity (who I actually think is way too partisan and "talking point-like").

ELECTION 2008
VP debate moderator Ifill releasing pro-Obama book
Focuses on blacks who are 'forging a bold new path to political power'

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Posted: September 30, 2008
8:35 pm Eastern


By Bob Unruh
© 2008 WorldNetDaily



Gwen Ifill

The moderator of Thursday's vice-presidential debate is writing a book to come out about the time the next president takes the oath of office that aims to "shed new light" on Democratic candidate Barack Obama and other "emerging young African American politicians" who are "forging a bold new path to political power."

Gwen Ifill of the Public Broadcasting Service program "Washington Week" is promoting "The Breakthrough," in which she argues the "black political structure" of the civil rights movement is giving way to men and women who have benefited from the struggles over racial equality.

Ifill declined to return a WND telephone message asking for a comment about her book project and whether its success would be expected should Obama lose. But she has faced criticism previously for not treating candidates of both major parties the same.

During a vice-presidential candidate debate she moderated in 2004 – when Democrat John Edwards attacked Republican Dick Cheney's former employer, Halliburton – the vice president said, "I can respond, Gwen, but it's going to take more than 30 seconds."

(Story continues below)

       


"Well, that's all you've got," she told Cheney.

Ifill told the Associated Press Democrats were delighted with her answer, because they "thought I was being snippy to Cheney." She explained that wasn't her intent.

But she also was cited in complaints PBS Ombudsman Michael Getler said he received after Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin delivered her nomination acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn., earlier this month.

Some viewers complained of a "dismissive" look by Ifill during her report on Palin's speech. According to Getler, some also said she wore a look of "disgust" while reporting on the Republican candidate.

At that time she said, "I assume there will always be critics and just shut out the noise. It is surprisingly easy."

Ifill, who also works with her network's "NewsHour," is making preparations to moderate this week's debate between the two candidates for vice president, Palin and Democratic Sen. Joe Biden.. She told BlackAmericaWeb.com she thinks debates "are the best opportunity most voters have to see the candidates speaking to issues."

She said she is concerned only about getting straight answers from candidates.

"You do your best to get candidates to answer your question. But I also trust the viewers to understand when questions are not answered and reach their own conclusions," Ifill told BlackAmericaWeb.

"Four years ago, when neither John Edwards nor Dick Cheney proved capable of answering a question about the domestic epidemic of AIDS among African-American women, viewers flooded me with reaction," she said.

She said she will make her own decisions about what questions to ask, adding "the big questions matter."

In the Amazon.com promotion for her book, Ifill is described as "drawing on interviews with power brokers," such as Obama and former Secretary of State Colin Powell.

In an online video promoting her book, she is enthusiastic about "taking the story of Barack Obama and extending it."

It focuses on four people, "one of them Barack Obama of course," she said.

"They are changing our politics and changing our nation," she said.

On Amazon.com, Ifill is praised for her "incisive, detailed profiles of such prominent leaders as Newark Mayor Cory Booker, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, and U.S. Congressman Artur Davis of Alabama."

"Ifill shows why this is a pivotal moment in American history," the review says.

She told AP her view of Obama: "I still don't know if he'll be a good president."

She also describes how she met him at the 2004 Democratic convention and since then has interviewed the Illinois senator and his family.

She also boasted that by the time of the debate, "I'll be a complete expert on both" Palin and Biden.

The debate will be held at Washington University in St. Louis, which has posted information about the evening's events online.

Ifill's profile there describes her as a longtime correspondent and moderator for national news programs and includes her service as moderator of the 2004 debate between Edwards and Cheney.

However, there's no mention of her upcoming book. Nor does the website for the Commission on Presidential Debates, which is organizing the meetings of the candidates, mention her book.
3747  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: September 29, 2008, 10:45:01 AM
***But the investment mistakes would surely have been less extreme, and ultimately their damage more containable, if not for the enormous political support and subsidy for mortgage credit. Beware politicians who peddle fables that cast themselves as the heroes***


Have you seen Pelosi, Dodd, and Frank come out fo their weedend meetings congratulating themselves and of course pointing out how *they* fixed Bush's bill?  And The two gentlemen praise the madam speaker on how *she* and she alone came oup with the solution to an impasse.

I doubt I was not the only one enraged by this circus.

The Financial mess is a Godsend for BO.   Perhaps Israel will not wait for the election to bomb Iran to try to focus the attention more on foreign policy threats and help (?) McCain.  Not that I think they should but just wondering.

While our country is distracted N. Korea is back to making bombs, Venezuela is now starting a nuclear energy program.  The timing is perfect for our enemies.  And best of all for them we have BO looking like he is going to cruise in and spend the next 4- 8 years weakening our country abroad.  But the good news is more of us will speak French and we will be loved by all.
3748  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Blankley on the MSM's propaganda on: September 25, 2008, 03:32:58 PM
Tony Blankley is a reasonable guy in my opinion, but I couldn't agree with him more.  MSNB/CNBC have given up any pretenses of objectivity and are just propaganda outlets for the crats.  Tony is also correct about the Economist's review of the Freddoso book which actually surprised me.  I beleive the Economist pieces are almost always tilted to the left and clearly are wraped to the advantage of the crats.  So it very much surpirsed me when I read the piece on the Freddoso which essentially agreed that BO's ties with Ayers is a huge eye opener to extreme left this guy is coming from and how his handlers have reconstructed him out of thin air to be a reconciliator which is completely at odds with his political life.  As for BOs gaffs - yes generally not one peep from the MSM about them.   Hey did anyone hear Biden's comments about FDR coming out and speaking to the citizens of the US after the 1929 crash on television - before he was President and before TV was invented?  grin

BLANKLEY: Media covering for Obama
Obama remains unknown
Tony Blankley
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
The mainstream media have gone over the line and are now straight out propagandists for the Obama campaign. While they have been liberal and blinkered in their worldview for decades, in 2007-08 for the first time, the major media are consciously covering for one candidate for president and consciously knifing the other. This is no longer journalism — it is simply propaganda. (The American left-wing version of the Volkischer Beobachter cannot be far behind.) And as a result, we are less than seven weeks away from possibly electing a president who has not been thoroughly and even half way honestly presented to the country by our watchdogs — the press.

The image of Barack Obama that the press has presented is not a fair approximation of the real man. They have consciously ignored whole years in his life, and showed a lack of curiosity about such gaps that bespeaks a lack of journalistic instinct. Thus, the public image of Mr. Obama is of a "Man who never was." I take that phrase from a 1956 movie about a real life WWII British intelligence operation to trick the Germans into thinking the Allies were going to invade Greece, rather than Italy, in 1943. Operation "Mincemeat" involved the acquisition of a human corpse dressed as a Maj. William Martin, R.M. and put into the sea near Spain. Attached to the corpse was a brief-case containing fake letters suggesting that the Allied attack would be against Sardinia and Greece.

To make the operation credible, British intelligence created a fictional life for the corpse — a letter from a lover, tickets to a London theater, all the details of a life — but not the actual life of the dead young man whose corpse was being used. So, too, the man the media has presented to the nation as Mr. Obama is not the real man.

The mainstream media ruthlessly and endlessly repeats any McCain gaffes, while ignoring Obama gaffes. You have to go to weird little Internet sites to see all the stammering and stuttering that Mr. Obama needs before getting out a sentence fragment or two. But all you see on the networks is an eventual one or two clear sentences from Mr. Obama. Nor do you see Mr. Obama's ludicrous gaffe that Iran is a tiny country and no threat to us. Nor his 57 American states gaffe. Nor his forgetting, if he ever knew, that Russia has a veto in the United Nations. Nor his whining and puerile "come on" when he is being challenged. This is the kind of editing one would expect from Goebbels' disciples, not Cronkite's.

More appalling, NBC's "Saturday Night Live" suggested that Gov. Sarah Palin's husband had sex with his own daughters. That scene was written with the assistance of Al Franken, Democratic Party candidate for Senate in Minnesota. Talk about incest.

 
Democratic presidential candidate Sen.Barack Obama, D-Ill., greets supporters before his speech in downtown Charlotte, North Carolina on September 21, 2008. (UPI Photo/Nell Redmond)

But worse than all the unfair and distorted reporting and image projecting, is the shocking gaps in Mr. Obama's life that are not reported at all. The major media simply has not reported on Mr. Obama's two years at Columbia University in New York, where, among other things, he lived a mere quarter mile from former terrorist Bill Ayers— after which they both ended up as neighbors and associates in Chicago. Mr. Obama denies more than a passing relationship with Mr. Ayers. Should the media be curious? In only two weeks the media has focused on all the colleges Mrs. Palin has attended, her husband's driving habits 20 years ago and the close criticism of Mrs. Palin's mayoral political opponents. But in two years they haven't bothered to see how close Mr. Obama was with the terrorist Ayers.

Nor have the media paid any serious attention to Mr. Obama's rise in Chicago politics — how did honest Obama rise in the famously sordid Chicago political machine with the full support of Boss Daley? Despite the great — and unflattering details on Mr. Obama's Chicago years presented in David Freddoso's new book, the mainstream media continues to ignore both the facts and the book. It took a British publication, the Economist, to give Mr. Freddoso's book a review with fair comment.

The public image of Mr. Obama as an idealistic, post-race, post-partisan, well-spoken and honest young man with the wisdom and courage befitting a great national leader is a confection spun by a willing conspiracy of Mr. Obama, his publicist David Axelrod and most of the senior editors, producers and reporters of the national media.

Perhaps that is why the National Journal's respected correspondent Stuart Taylor has written that "the media can no longer be trusted to provide accurate and fair campaign reporting and analysis." That conspiracy has not only photo-shopped out all of Mr. Obama's imperfections (and dirtied up his opponent Mr. McCain's image), but it has put most of his questionable history down the memory hole.

The public will be voting based on the idealized image of the man who never was. If he wins, however, we will be governed by the sunken, cynical man Mr. Obama really is. One can only hope that the senior journalists will be judged as harshly for their professional misconduct as Wall Street's leaders currently are for their failings.

Tony Blankley is a syndicated columnist.
3749  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: September 23, 2008, 09:27:14 AM
BTW, yes and Greenspan has a new book.  I wondeer what Scott Grannis thinks of Greenspan.  I do not have the background to evaluate him one way or the other.  I would think he did his best and hindsight is always the best opinion even if it is right that he bears some responsibility for the present problems.   Gotta love all the political books that always seem to make the circuit just before a national  election.
The endless parade of Woodward books before every election is boring.

Anyway the main reason for my post:

Here it comes. The Hillary/Dem dream of socialism gets a boost. The end of our free capatilist system as we know it:
 
**** Sep 23, 2008 10:10 am US/Eastern
Sen. Clinton: 'No Doubt' Obama Will Win
New York Democrat Says Taxpayers 'Could Be Left Holding The Bag' With $700 Billion Government Program
Suggests Country Look At Some Great Depression-Era Type Of Governmental Entity
NEW YORK (CBS) ― Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton said Tuesday she worries that taxpayers could be left "holding the bag" with plans for a $700 billion government program to stabilize the country's distressed financial markets.

Interviewed on Tuesday morning on CBS's "The Early Show," she said she agrees that the situation is critical and that something must be done quickly. She said, "the house is on fire and we've got to call the fire department and put the fire out." But Clinton also said that Congress should not "give the Treasury a blank check" to straighten out the problem.

"What we also have to do is make sure that homeowners get some relief, that it's not just for the banks and the lenders," she said. Clinton added that "we also must begin to look at the root cause of this, which is these mortgages that people cannot afford."

The senator said she didn't think all responsibility for solving these problems should be vested in the Treasury Department, suggesting that "once we get through this immediate crisis," the country should look at some Great Depression-era type of governmental entity to deal with it.

"If we just turn this over to Treasury, I worry about what the outcome would be," she said in an interview on NBC's "Today" show.

She blamed part of the problem on "predatory lending and subprime lending" in the housing market.

Clinton said Tuesday that Barack Obama is going to be elected the next president and that she has "no doubt" about it.

"Barack Obama is being advised by the same peopole who got us out of the ditch in 1993," she said. "I think our ticket is well-equipped for handling the mess that they're going to inherit. Let's make no mistake about it: this is going to be one of the most difficult presidential transitions."

Clinton also said that while she recognizes that race and gender play a role in the minds of voters as they make their presidential choices, she believes enough people want change from Republican policies to put Obama over the top in November.

On CBS's "The Early Show," she was asked what she thought about Republican Sarah Palin's vice presidential candidacy. She said she thought any woman is going to face certain issues and questions but that "the bottom line is who is on top of the ticket."

Clinton called Republican presidential nominee John McCain a friend, but said that he has a record of supporting deregulationof business.

"Barack Obama's going to win. No doubt ... if anybody looks at the mess we're in today," she said.

She also said that she thinks Obama is best suited to straighten out the country's economic problems.

 
(© 2008 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)*****


3750  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: September 22, 2008, 10:11:00 AM
***It would enable the Treasury, without Congressionally approved guidelines as to pricing or procedure, to purchase hundreds of billions of dollars of financial assets, and hire private firms to manage and sell them, presumably at their discretion There are no provisions for — or even promises of — disclosure, accountability or transparency***

Well that would be nuts.  One could only imagine the billions that would be stolen.

 shocked huh angry rolleyes sad
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