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3751  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.

3752  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....
3753  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

3754  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. 

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.”

3755  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?
3756  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).

3757  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: October 06, 2008, 10:01:47 AM
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.   
3758  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?

3759  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.


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
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

 The New England Journal of Medicine is owned, published, and copyrighted © 2008 Massachusetts Medical Society. All rights reserved. *********
3760  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 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. 

3761  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").

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 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 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, 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.
3762  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.
3763  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.
3764  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.)*****

3765  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
3766  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: September 20, 2008, 12:47:07 PM
Yes, it was about the hypocrisy of the politically correct media (synomous with "MSM" and to a large degree with the "left wing media").

I thought there was a political correctness thread.  Is there an easier way to find it rather than having to go throught all the thread headings.  Can on search for the thread title?
3767  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: September 20, 2008, 11:30:55 AM
My point wansn't about silly legal subtles it was about the idea that its ok by the msm for people to make outragiously offensive remarks about whites, or conservatives or christians etc, but if low and behold someone makes the same type of offensive remarks against their favorite victims of the day be it gays, hispanics, blacks, jews, etc then it is plastered all over the news media and that person's career as a comedian is over.

What was the name of the Seinfeld guy again?  That was not pulbic airways and the msm furor over his disparaging comments about blacks ruined his life like it almost did with Imus who btw made.

BTW I am not, and never was a fan of Imus or Seinfeld or his colleague.  I am also not a fan of Jews who think it ok to have comedians speak like this in a Jewish Community Center and it is ok because it is about a republican or conservative who like I have posted before they despise more than Nazis in their misguided bigotry.

That said you can give me the "I don't aprove of ... humor", *but* we have freedom of speech in the US  all you want.  You won't change my outrage at this crap.  ANd don't think that lets them off the hook.  "Oh but it is their right..."  It doens't let you off the hook either, but I am not going to change your mind. sad
3768  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / political correct? on: September 20, 2008, 09:15:12 AM
Remember the press expressing immediate and united outrage when anyone says anything nasty about blacks. What was that guys name commedian last year, or Imus, etc.

Lets see the outrage from MSNBC, CNN et al over this:

Sandra Bernhard: Palin Would Be Gang-Raped By Blacks in Manhattan
By Tim Graham (Bio | Archive)
September 19, 2008 - 07:59 ET 

The Washington Post isn’t the only daily D.C. newspaper to rave about Sandra Bernhard’s anti-Palin ranting. Wednesday’s Washington Examiner joined in, with the headline "Comedienne delivers enraged optimism." Barbara Mackay claimed "in the end, oddly and subtly, Bernhard’s message is positive."

That’s not the impression you’d get from the blog of Theater J, where Bernhard is appearing. It has video of Bernhard calling Palin "Uncle Women," a "turncoat b—h" and a "whore." One complaint on the blog that Bernhard crosses a line of political incorrectness draws a defense from Ari Roth of Theater J that really drops the curtain on how coarse this show is:

In fact, the play wears its politically VERY correct heart on its sleeve with its indictment of America as "A Man’s World, It’s a White Man’s World, It’s a F–ked Up White Man’s Racist World" and can only be suggested to be racist in its content if one is hell-bent on protecting White Folk for Sandra’s blistering indictment.When Sandra warns Sarah Palin not to come into Manhattan lest she get gang-raped by some of Sandra’s big black brothers, she’s being provocative, combative, humorous, and yes, let’s allow, disgusting.

The fact that the show has a few riffs like this does not — to my mind — make it a "disgusting show." there’s too much beauty, variety, vitality, and intelligence to label the entire show as "disgusting." I’ll agree with you that we produced this show because we did find it to be edgy — because we wanted to give right wing conservative Jews a good run for their money by being on the receiving end of some blistering indictments from Sandra.Does it go over the edge sometimes? On the gang-rape joke, yes. Sure. Not much else. It goes over the edge and then comes right back to the cutting edge. [Profanity editing is mine.]

Forgive me if gang-rape jokes don't greet my ears as oddly and subtly positive, as the Examiner suggests, and forgive me if gang-rape jokes aren't "a rotating sprinkler that a spectator washes in most happily," like the Washington Post insists.

Roth insisted to the complainer that the D.C. Jewish Community Center is loving their Bernhard show, and partied with Bernhard on opening night. They’re in tune with her right-bashing rage:

We’re proud of our producing -- proud of Sandra’s sense of timing -- taking the fight out to the house and to the street beyond, channeling so much of our rage and frustration at the bizarre recent twists of fortune since Karl Rove trotted out Sarah Palin for John McCain to briefly meet and then get in bed with.Sandra’s face is hanging 10 feet tall in a banner over the DCJCC steps and we’re proud that she’s a new emblem and ambassador for our theater and our center. She’s not the only one who represents us. But her large heart, her generous talent, and her big mouth are all a big part of who we are.

"Who we are" at this theater clearly isn't someone who's interesting in presenting anything other than rage. The video itself, presented like a commercial for the show, explains who the show is intended to please. The average person probably wouldn’t find it the least bit funny. But if you really, really hate Sarah Palin or Christian conservatives, this show is for you. Here’s some of what she says in the promo:

Now you got Uncle Women, like Sarah Palin, who jumps on the s--t and points her fingers at other women. Turncoat b---h! Don’t you f--kin’ reference Old Testament, bitch! You stay with your new Goyish crappy shiksa funky bulls--t! Don’t you touch my Old Testament, you b---h! Because we have left it open for interpre-ta-tion! It is no longer taken literally! You whore in your f--kin' cheap New Vision cheap-ass plastic glasses and your [sneering voice] hair up. A Tina Fey-Megan Mullally brokedown bulls--t moment.

Is it too broad an interpretation to suggest that when Bernhard attacks Palin's "new Goyish crappy shiksa funky bulls--t," she means the New Testament? It sounds like she's telling the Christian to stay away from "her" Old Testament, as if Christians don't have an Old Testament in their Bible. It's quite clear that the D.C. Jewish Community Center is not attempting an interfaith dialogue with this rantfest.

Here is the video. Decide for yourself:

—Tim Graham is Director of Media Analysis at the Media Research Center

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September 19, 2008 - 08:06 ET by Texndoc
Is there anyone who supports Obama who could read this and think to themselves :"Wow, this only means good things down the road!" ?   I suggest the "she's a Rove plant" defense.  Her and her pal Madonna.

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September 19, 2008 - 08:16 ET by Burgher
This says more about her 'brothers' in Manhattan than is does about Gov. Palin.

Berntard is derainged, her hatred of all things consevative ( and possibly good) has blackened her soul. I see no redeaming quilities in someone who would wish violent sexual violation on anyone.

Hide the scissors she may hurt herself.

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This says more about her
September 19, 2008 - 09:26 ET by DontFeedTheTrolls
This says more about her 'brothers' in Manhattan than is does about Gov. Palin.

Actually, I think this says more about Bernhard and what, exactly, she thinks of blacks, i.e., they are violent criminals. Must be her circle of friends.


Keep the ILLEGALS out, join NumbersUSA to send free faxes to your reps.

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"Comedy" :  The genre
September 19, 2008 - 08:14 ET by motherbelt
"Comedy" :  The genre  that gives liberals the artistic license to say vicious things about conservatives that, if reversed, would be called "hate speech."

Sandra Bernhard is not, and never has been, funny. But then again, liberal humor never is.

When Don Rickles made fun of everyone, everyone knew he was a good guy underneath, so they laughed with him.

These liberal comedians today do nothing more than spew schoolyard taunts and ridicule at others.

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September 19, 2008 - 08:48 ET by danybhoy

1st things 1st, I lve Don Rickles, he is still 1 of the funniest people I have ever seen, on TV anyway.

As for Sandy Bernhard, she is a liberal trapped by classic racial & gender stereotypes.  Bernhard seems to think that black guys are into gang rape, I would think the NAACP would be axing her for an explanation. They should be, but I won't hold my breath.

I believe we have been given a look into Sandra Bernhard's true views & beliefs. She seems to hate herself for being a white chick, & has a thing about gang rape with a racial component. Quit while you are behind Sandy , YOU ARE PROJECTING. Now go away.


"'s still We The People, Right?"  Megadeth 

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Speaking of racist
September 19, 2008 - 09:16 ET by general company
Good grief this woman insults every Blackman, and will probably recieve praise for it. Maybe she is jealous, Sahra has a great family a good man and all she has is her hate. Never could understand what Dave saw in her, she has always been gross. 


"Television is a freak show" Bernie Goldberg

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September 19, 2008 - 08:27 ET by Kirk Turner
Insulting conservatives is a time-honored method for failing stars to rejuvenate their careers. Nothing could be more definitive of the values of left-wing culture in America. They are mean-spirited, small-minded losers.

Sandra Bernhard is no-talent never-was hack who became famous for a few appearances on Letterman in the 80s. She keeps her name in the news by doing outrageous things every so often because "the talent thing" never worked for her.

Ignore her and she'll go away--it is our outrage that keeps her alive.

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Geez!! I didn't know
September 19, 2008 - 08:38 ET by MrDebater
Sarah was still alive. I thought she fell into a black hole of irrelevancy 25 years ago. I guess it took her all that time to figure out that she could resurrect herself by bashing conservatives...that's always a career booster! I guess being a dopey lesbian pig has lost it's glamour...since being gay is no longer "edgy".

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Sandra Berhardt is yet another atheist low-life
September 19, 2008 - 08:39 ET by c5then
She doesn't practice her supposed religion, she uses it to get into places that otherwise would shun her. The only thing "jewish" about her is her poor humiliated parents. As far as her embracing the Tanak, she's probably a modern day YezahBa'al.

But more to the point, she is laughed at as much or more then she is laughed with. As far as clout and authority, she has none. Whatever she says has to be vile and disgusting just to get any notice at all, because otherwise she is completely irrelevant.


You want change? Give me a dollar.

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Hmmm...what about Black Men Raping White Women?
September 19, 2008 - 08:39 ET by Guy Arthur Thomas
Never minding Bernhard's comments that if made by a conservative the Axis Media (comprising the old and new liberal establishment of Print, Television and Internet) would of course found this racist and enter Spike Lee.

But what provokes such thoughts in Bernhard? Even the absurd oft is born in some element of reality. What about BLACK MEN RAPING WHITE WOMEN?

What are the statistics of:

Of All White Women Raped, What Percent Are Raped By Blacks?

Of All Black Women Raped, What Percent Are Raped By Whites?

Maybe it is an unpleasant question but one must be bold enough to discover where Bernhard derived such a concept.

The answer to terrorism IS war. Next Please!

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The "Borking" of Palin
September 19, 2008 - 08:52 ET by ahusser
Aside from the obvious viciousness and offensiveness of what's her name's remarks the "Borking" of Palin continues unabated. Palin really struck a nerve in the dim camp. The drooling hyperbolic hysterical frenzy of spewed filth and hatred towards Palin has reached a fever pitch. Haven't seen such lefty fireworks since the nomination hearings of Clarence Thomas. You can tell when the dims are scared because the spew meter is off the charts. 

" civilization, no matter how rich, no matter how refined, can long survive once it loses the power to meet force with equal or superior force." - Bernard Knox

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What a foul mouthed female
September 19, 2008 - 08:58 ET by Clear thinker
What a foul mouthed female cretin, trying desperately to get attention.

Sandra B. is NOT the kind of woman that feminists want representing them. Oooops, my mistake, I think she is the perfect example.

Don't worry Gov. Palin you are miles ahead of this woman in class, intelligence, integrity, and morality, so Sandra should be a ZERO threat to you. 

Hate Rush Limbaugh Week - Again



Making Fun of AGW   

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Aye, seems this wench has
September 19, 2008 - 08:59 ET by Hero Squad
Aye, seems this wench has been sippin' a bit too much of the grog, and is speaking out of her hornpipe, just to appeal to the lowest bilge rats in the galley. Arrgh!


"Rapscallions only be insistin' that a scrum be halted when they are afraid of walking the plank if it continues." - Cap'n George Will 

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LOL! 'Tis slipped my mind
September 19, 2008 - 09:30 ET by Mean Gene Dr. Love

'Tis slipped my mind that today is international talk like a pirate day! Arrr! I'll be gettin' 50 lashes wit a cat-o-nine tail for that one!

"An armed society be a polite society. Manners be good when one may have t' aft up his acts with his life." --Midshipman Robert A. Heinlein, "Beyond This Horizon", 1942

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Those Jews will be laughing....
September 19, 2008 - 09:00 ET by sjanus11
At the D.C. Jewish Community center even more when Isreal is whiped off map   Woaaa good one, barry nice talking ya did there. Fortunatly, that's just a visit from barry future, When Sen Glenn and Gov Palin Win, The Isreal , Iran problem will already be taken care of, Mark my words, Isreal is gonna act before election to take out Nuke sites on the of chance barry actually wins,. You did see recent sale of ours to Israel of smaller Bunker Busters, which are very acurate, And Isreal has plenty of Big Bunker busters, Or hell once the shell has been cracked , just a couple of well Placed Tactical Nukes would put there enrichment back 10 yrs.,,, Big boom, lot's of smoke, and fire, Old bearded ones say hey candle light not so bad....Please stop bombing us           Steve


"If your 20 and not a Liberal, You have no Heart. If you are 40 and not a Conservative, You have no Brain"    Sir Winston Churchhill

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So, the Left is now pro-rape?
September 19, 2008 - 09:03 ET by lotr
So, am I to take it that the Left (including the Democratic Party) is now pro-rape?

I guess it's a good thing that Palin is pro-gun.

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rape issue
September 19, 2008 - 09:06 ET by Agnostic
Don't forget the media just attacked Gov Palin a few days ago for having a weak stand against rape problems in Alaska. A statement like this even if condemned could bring that issue more publicity.

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The marquee outside Theater
September 19, 2008 - 09:07 ET by BuxomAnnieMcGreggor
The marquee outside Theater J must read something like... "Come see BANGIN' DAMN UGLY on display!" ...ask about senior and gang rapist discounts.



"We retort..... you decide."

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You know what they say ...
September 19, 2008 - 09:08 ET by 10ksnooker
You can't rape a 38.

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NOW is the time to discuss
September 19, 2008 - 09:14 ET by billb
NOW is the time to discuss the pig/lipstick controversy!

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Jewish slapstick!
September 19, 2008 - 09:26 ET by Kansasgirl
Wow, libs really love to hate.

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I think, in keeping with
September 19, 2008 - 09:29 ET by DontFeedTheTrolls
I think, in keeping with the sensationalism evident in the MSM, the headline should read:

Prominent Democrat Says 'Obama Should Rape Palin'


Keep the ILLEGALS out, join NumbersUSA to send free faxes to your reps.

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A Mirror Image
September 19, 2008 - 09:36 ET by TakeaRight
Look into her face, Democrats, and there you will see yourselves. Sandra Bernhard is a portrait of the modern American liberal.

Are you proud?

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Sandra who?
September 19, 2008 - 09:32 ET by HockeyKid
Sandra who?

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"in the end, oddly and subtly, Bernhard’s message is positive."
September 19, 2008 - 09:33 ET by JohnMcGrew
Excuse me?  Never before could I imagine that gang rape could be spun as a "positive" message.  If anyone on the right dared utter such a thing, there'd be demonstrations demanding a "hate crime" procecution.

Thank you, and keep it up Sandra and friends in the media. It's stuff like this that's causing the likelyhood of an Obama administration to evaporate more daily.

Login or register to post comments Email this page         Ep. 2-02, September 19
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3769  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / SG site on: September 19, 2008, 06:37:58 PM

Thanks nice site.

It is laid out a little like DGs site.   I guess I should have listened to Scott two days ago and bought a liitle more.

3770  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: September 16, 2008, 09:11:53 AM
Well here is that Cutler guy again.   Does one find it interesting he is a 'Harvard economist' advising how health care should be distributed?  I am sure he is a die hard political neutral (sarcasm emphasized).  From New England Journal on Cutler and the rest of the "experts".   BTW, remember "prevention" is not always synonomous with lower costs.   

***Volume 359:1085-1087  September 11, 2008  Number 11
Speaking Truth to Power — The Need for, and Perils of, Health Policy Expertise in the White House

Jacob S. Hacker, Ph.D.
 President Harry Truman once famously wished for a one-handed economist, because the ones advising him were forever saying, "On the one hand . . . but on the other hand. . . ." President George W. Bush went one appendage further: "If [these economists] had three hands they'd say, on the one hand, on the other hand, and then on the third hand."1 Yet presidents keep coming back to economists and other policy experts, especially in the fiendishly complex field of health care. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama leans on Harvard economist David Cutler; his larger stable of health advisers includes Austin Goolsbee and Jason Furman, both economists. Republican John McCain relies on economics Ph.D. Gail Wilensky, as well as on the former director of the Congressional Budget Office, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, another economist.

Economists are not, of course, the only experts to which presidents and presidential aspirants turn. On health care, Obama and McCain are advised by lawyers, doctors, holders of public-policy degrees, and the occasional noneconomist social scientist. What remains constant is the role these advisers occupy, a role awash in ambiguity, opportunity, and risk. The adviser is the president's ally — in the lingo of organizational economics, an "agent" serving the interests of a "principal." Yet as a bearer of specialized knowledge, the adviser is also responsible to a larger profession, to its values and commitments, and ultimately to the ideal of expertise itself.

The adviser, in short, must both "speak truth to power" and aid in the exercise of power, both offering unbiased intelligence and acting as a very biased assistant. It is fashionable to pretend these two roles are the same, but they are not. An expert adviser has special knowledge, training, and skills — all of which are needed more than ever in the White House. The question is whether these talents can really be used, or be useful, in the bare-knuckles world of American politics — and, more important, whether the values they embody can be upheld when science, advocacy, and democracy collide.

Consider the travails of noted health policy expert Len Nichols. As Hillary Clinton battled for the Democratic nomination, Nichols joined a conference call for reporters set up by her campaign. The topic was an Obama advertisement charging that Clinton would force people to buy insurance "even if they can't afford it." On the call, Nichols likened the ad to "having Nazis march through Skokie" — a depiction the Clinton campaign immediately disavowed. Shortly thereafter, Nichols apologized for letting his "passions" overwhelm him. The head of the New America Foundation, where Nichols works, declared his comments "regrettable," not least because the foundation "does not endorse or advise any campaign in an official capacity."2

Nichols's sin — besides the obvious rhetorical offense — was to cross the line between expert and partisan. Politics is about power more than truth, about winning more than being right. But expertise is about truth more than power, and being right is the whole point. The authority of the expert cannot survive long when expert judgment is seen to hinge on grudges or biases. The abiding concern of the expert adviser is how to maintain independence while acting as a faithful ally and advocate — how to make power serve truth while still serving the principal.

Yet the greater, and more vexing, problem is far less recognized: the limits of expertise itself. When the Clinton administration's health plan died in 1994, many dismissed its health policy advisers as naive. And yet the closest of these advisers were not just highly regarded health policy experts, they were some of the most knowledgeable the White House has ever seen. Paul Starr, who had masterfully dissected the past failure of national health insurance, left Princeton to help write the plan. Scores of other experienced policy gurus — including Len Nichols — lent their wisdom. Even Ira Magaziner, the much-maligned policy wonk who oversaw the president's gargantuan health care task force, had more than a passing familiarity with health and economic policy. All of them had studied the lessons of history — and ended up repeating them anyway.

The modern presidency demands expertise. The rise of a massive, interconnected executive branch, the ever-increasing complexity of public policy, the "permanent campaigns" of contemporary elections, with their endless issues, talking points, and proposals — all make the president's job as much about fostering and managing competing information streams and creating communities of allied expertise as about fulfilling the authoritative role President Bush evocatively termed "the decider." Contemplating Dwight Eisenhower's arrival, Harry Truman foresaw the challenge for the former general as presidential impotence: "He'll sit here, and he'll say, `Do this! Do that!' And nothing will happen."3 But the more basic challenge may be to decide what to do on issues as varied and complex as global warming and stem-cell research, health care financing and financial-market regulation. Here expertise is invaluable, unavoidable — and sometimes, as the failure of the Clinton plan reminds us, perilous.

Health policy experts can do more sophisticated analyses than ever, and there are more of them than ever, too — in policy schools, departments of economics, schools of public health, think tanks, private foundations, and government. But the progress in quality of expertise has not been matched by progress in thinking about the role of the expert or about how policy advice can and should be adapted to the political realities that those receiving advice inevitably confront. Policy experts are brilliant when it comes to designing proposals but often horrible at thinking through the ways in which their proposals will be refracted through the political prism. Subtle visions of policy are wedded to crude caricatures of politics, and, not surprisingly, those visions all too often either fail to become reality or fail to work.

Worse, the expert's claim to authority can undercut the more important wellspring of democratic leadership: the demands and wishes of the people. Experts are habitually disdainful of what ordinary citizens believe. People have opinions; experts have facts. When a well-regarded economist complains that democratic policy choice should be restricted because "irrational" voters endorse all sorts of harmful nostrums — whether trade protection or farm price supports (he might have added health insurance with low deductibles, drug price controls, and free choice of doctors) — he may be out on a limb.4 But the tree is one that many policy experts climb.

Ironically, then, the failure of the Clinton administration's plan was made more, not less, likely by the amount of policy expertise poured into its design. The Clinton advisers sought the ideal policy synthesis. Though aware of political realities, they treated them as problems of policy design, to be managed within the confines of the president's blueprint rather than incorporated into a political strategy that would make the president's goals and ideals, not a 1342-page bill, the guiding light of congressional debate. And the advisers designed the proposal knowing full well that many of its elements, such as greater emphasis on tightly managed health plans, were at odds with what most of the public professed to want. That was a problem for the political consultants, who would try to figure out how to "sell" Americans on what was good for them. The result was a fiasco — and a cautionary tale about the limits of expert presidential advice in an age that demands it.

This time around, health policy advisers — whatever their formal background, and whether two-handed or more Vishnu-like — would do well to take a different tack. We badly need health care experts in the White House who offer advice based on evidence and analysis, not prejudice. But even the best experts need to know when to defer to the political process, to see the purpose of their craft as facilitating democratic debate rather than providing final answers once Americans have decided on the questions.

Winston Churchill once said that "scientists should be on tap, not on top."5 That is a good starting point. But sometimes presidential policy experts should also have the good sense to get out of the way.

Dr. Hacker reports receiving advisory board fees from Pfizer and speaking fees from America's Health Insurance Plans, both of which he reports donating to charity. No other potential conflict of interest relevant to this article was reported.

Source Information

Dr. Hacker is a professor of political science at the University of California at Berkeley, codirector of Berkeley Law School's Center on Health, Economic, and Family Security, Berkeley, CA, and a fellow at the New America Foundation, Washington, DC.


President Bush discusses economy, trade. Washington, DC: The White House, May 2, 2008. (Accessed August 22, 2008, at
Melber A. Clinton surrogate compares Obama ad to Nazi march [updated]. The Nation. February 1, 2008. (Available at
Neustadt RE. Presidential power: the politics of leadership. New York: Wiley, 1960.
Caplan B. The myth of the rational voter: why democracies choose bad policies. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2007.
Rose N. Churchill: an unruly life. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1994.

3771  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Neocons and Palin according to Buchanan on: September 16, 2008, 08:52:57 AM
Buchanan on his opinion of the neocons and their bid to influence Palin:   
****Will the neocons who tutored George W. Bush in the ideology he pursued to the ruin of his presidency do the same for Sarah Palin?

Should they succeed, they will destroy her. Yet, they are moving even now to capture this princess of the right and hope of the party.

In St. Paul, Palin was told to cancel a meeting with Phyllis Schlafly and pro-life conservatives. McCain's operatives said Palin had to rest for her Wednesday convention speech.

Yet, on Tuesday, Palin was behind closed doors with Joe Lieberman and officials of the Israeli lobby AIPAC. There, according to The Washington Post, Palin took and passed her oral exams.

"Palin assured the group of her strong support for Israel, of her desire to see the United States move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and of her opposition to Iran's aspirations to become a nuclear power, according to sources familiar with the meeting."

AIPAC's mission, like that of Likud, is to goad America into launching air and missile strikes on any and all Iranian nuclear facilities.

AIPAC went away happy. Purred spokesman Josh Block, "We were pleased that Gov. Palin expressed her deep personal commitment to the safety and well-being of Israel."

Heading home to Alaska to prepare for her interview with Charlie Gibson, Palin was escorted by Randy Scheunemann, McCain's foreign policy guru and, until March, a hired agent of the Tbilisi regime.

Scheunemann's lobbying assignment: Bring Georgia into NATO, so U.S. troops, like 19-year-old Track Palin, will be required to fight Russia to defend a Saakashvili regime that has paid Randy and his partner $730,000.

Reportedly, a phone conversation was held between Saakashvili and Palin, in which Palin committed herself to the territorial integrity of Georgia, though South Ossetia and Abkhazia have declared independence and been recognized by Moscow, which now has troops in both.

Also on Palin's plane was Steve Biegun, formerly of Bush's National Security Council, and Scheunemann's choice to tutor her. Of Biegun, Steven Clemens of the New American Foundation says, "He will turn her into an advocate of Cheneyism and Cheney's view of national security issues."

During her interview with Gibson, Palin often took a neocon line. Three times she said that, should Israel decide to attack Iran, the United States should not "second guess" Israel's decision or interfere.

This contradicts U.S. policy. Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the joint chiefs, has warned Israel not to attack Iran, as the United States does not want a "third front." And the Pentagon is withholding crucial weapons the Israelis want and need to carry out any such attack.

Palin also volunteered that the Russian invasion was "unprovoked," though Georgia attacked South Ossetia first. She followed up by saying that Georgia and Ukraine should be brought into NATO.

Would that mean America would have to go to war with Russia on behalf of Georgia in any new conflict, asked Gibson.

"Perhaps so," said Palin.

Scheunemann should get a fat severance check from Saakashvili for that one.

One ex-White House aide at American Enterprise Institute, asked by Tim Shipman of the Daily Telegraph if AEI sees Palin as a "project," replied: "Your word, not mine. ... But I wouldn't disagree with the sentiment. ... She's bright, and she's a blank page. She's going places, and it's worth going there with her."

In fairness to Palin, on issues like NATO membership for Ukraine and Georgia, her answers reflect the views of the man who chose her. She has no option at present but to follow the line laid down by Scheunemann.

But make no mistake. Sarah Palin is no neocon. She did not come by her beliefs by studying Leo Strauss. She is a traditionalist whose values are those of family, faith, community and country, not some utopian ideology.

Wasilla, Alaska, is not a natural habitat of neoconservatives.

And her unrehearsed answers to Gibson's questions reveal her natural conservatism. Asked if she agrees with the Bush Doctrine, Palin asked for clarification. "In what respect, Charlie?"

Gibson: "Do we have the right of an anticipatory self-defense?"

Yes, said Palin, "if there is legitimate and enough intelligence that tells us that a strike is imminent against (the) American people, we have every right to defend our country. In fact, the president has the obligation, the duty to defend."

Exactly. The intelligence must be legit and the threat "imminent."

Interviewed by Alaska Business Monthly in March 2007 on the surge, Palin said, "I heard on the news about the new deployments, and while I support our president, I want to know that we have an exit plan in place."

That is not the language of empire or "benevolent global hegemony."

Palin may disappoint many conservatives in the next seven weeks by having to parrot the McCain-neocon line on NATO expansion, NAFTA and a "path to citizenship" for illegal aliens. But the battle for Sarah's soul is not over.

For, again, the lady is no neocon. Nor is the husband Todd, First Dude of Alaska and former member of the "Alaska First" Independence Party.

3772  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: September 15, 2008, 04:30:01 PM
Zogby electoral college - gap is closed.  Looks like the usual red vs blue map:
3773  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Interesting change in news here on: September 15, 2008, 03:51:16 PM
This contradicts a report in the JP a few days back that the US refused to deliver the bunker bustin bombs to the Israelis.

I wonder how much of a success this could be if Israel goes alone?

If only we were more energy "independent" we wouldn't have to be concerned as much about the "backlash".  We can thank the greens and their accomplices in the Democratic party (and some Cans) who refused to let us drill offshore and to pursue nuclear energy for this predicament at least in part.
3774  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / McCain far more "bipartisan" than the BO man on: September 15, 2008, 03:46:17 PM
This tends to highlight BOs fraudulant claims that he is "post" partisan:


Sen. John McCain's record of working with Democrats easily outstrips Sen. Barack Obama's efforts with Republicans, according to an analysis by The Washington Times of their legislative records.

Whether looking at bills they have led on or bills they have signed onto, Mr. McCain has reached across the aisle far more frequently and with more members than Mr. Obama since the latter came to the Senate in 2005.

In fact, by several measures, Mr. McCain has been more likely to team up with Democrats than with members of his own party. Democrats made up 55 percent of his political partners over the last two Congresses, including on the tough issues of campaign finance and global warming. For Mr. Obama, Republicans were only 13 percent of his co-sponsors during his time in the Senate, and he had his biggest bipartisan successes on noncontroversial measures, such as issuing a postage stamp in honor of civil rights icon Rosa Parks.

3775  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WOW! on: September 11, 2008, 03:22:04 PM
***The latest USA Today poll has Republicans up by four points on the question:
Who do you support, the Republican or the Democrat for Congress in your district?***

I must be dreaming.  grin

Although I must admit it's not like the cans deserve to win anything in the Houses this year.
To say they were a letdown is an understatement.  I don't go quite as far as Lou Dobbs but I do agree with a lot of his views at least in principal.
3776  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / "Swift Boat" politics on: September 10, 2008, 02:18:50 PM
The Dems keep pushing this Swift Boat buzz line as though most Americans are upset about the questions raised about Kerry during the last campaign.  I really wonder if anyone but the choir really cares.

And now we hear comparisons of Kerry with McCain as though they are the one in the same because they both admiringly served during VietNam.   But that is where the comparison ends.  The "Swift Boating" of Kerry was not a criticism of his serving but a criticism of his coming back to the US and denigrating this country, and other service men.  McCain never did that.   Additionally Kerry also questionably got a purlple heart and some sort of recognition for bravery while he was a Senator for what sounded like a scratch.  One thing some Americans may never forgive is someone who has a history of denigrating this country and then later having the nerve to run for the Presidency.     Correct me if I am wrong but that is why Kerry lost.   And that may be why the Bama loses (if he does).   Perhaps more this than his "inexperience".

Obama accuses Republicans of 'swift boat politics'Story Highlights
NEW: Sen. John McCain's camp says Sen. Barack Obama using "schoolyard insults"

Obama slams Republicans for making people "sick and tired of politics"

McCain campaign critical of Obama's line about "lipstick on a pig"

Obama launches "Alaska Mythbusters"; McCain starts "Palin Truth Squad"

Next Article in Politics »

 Read  VIDEO
(CNN) -- Sen. Barack Obama on Wednesday accused Sen. John McCain's campaign of engaging in "lies" and "swift boat politics" in regard to his comment about "lipstick on a pig."

Sen. Barack Obama dismisses GOP criticism about his reference to "lipstick on a pig."

 1 of 2  "Spare me the phony outrage. Spare me the phony talk about change," Obama said at the start of an education event in Norfolk, Virginia.

"We have real problems in this country right now. The American people are looking to us for answers, not distractions, not diversions, not manipulations. They want real answers to the real problems we are facing.

"I don't care what they say about me. But I love this country too much to let them take over another election with lies and phony outrage and swift boat politics. Enough is enough," he said, referring to how Swift Boat Veterans for Truth launched attacks against Sen. John Kerry in the 2004 presidential race.

Obama said the McCain campaign was doing the type of thing that makes people "sick and tired of politics."  Watch Obama dismiss "the latest made-up controversy" »

Responding to Obama's comments, McCain spokesman Brian Rogers said, "Barack Obama can't campaign with schoolyard insults and then try to claim outrage at the tone of the campaign.

"His talk of new politics is as empty as his campaign trail promises, and his record of bucking his party and reaching across the aisle simply doesn't exist."

Don't Miss
Palin backed 'bridge to nowhere,' then opposed it
McCain camp slams Biden on special-needs kids
Ticker: Is Palin influencing white women?
Obama's heated response came after the McCain campaign said the Democrat owes the GOP vice presidential nominee, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, an apology for invoking an adage on the campaign trail Tuesday: "That's not change," Obama said, saying McCain's policy views were similar to President Bush's. "That's just calling something the same thing something different. You know you can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig."

McCain's campaign said Obama's remarks were offensive and a slap at Palin -- despite the fact that the senator from Arizona used the phrase last year to describe a policy proposal of Sen. Hillary Clinton's.  Watch how tensions are rising on the campaign trail »

Within minutes, the McCain campaign announced a conference call focusing on the remark, which it said was a deliberate reference to Palin's line: "You know the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull? Lipstick." Read more about the "lipstick" controversy

Palin used the line in the opening remarks of her acceptance speech at last week's GOP convention, and she frequently uses it on the campaign trail.

Earlier Wednesday, Obama's campaign announced it was launching "Alaska Mythbusters," a group of Alaskans that the campaign says will "set the record straight" about Palin.

Former Alaska Gov. Tony Knowles and Bob Weinstein, mayor of the city that would have been home to the "Bridge to Nowhere," planned to discuss Palin's record in a conference call later Wednesday.

Obama's group comes the day after McCain deployed the "Palin Truth Squad" to fight future attacks on his vice presidential nominee.

It was launched as The Washington Post reported Tuesday that Palin had billed the state a per diem for 312 days she spent at home and requested reimbursement for plane rides and hotel rooms for her husband and children.

The newspaper noted that officials said the claims were justified under existing state regulations. The McCain campaign said that Palin had reduced yearly travel expenses by roughly 80 percent of the amount spent by her predecessor, former Gov. Frank Murkowski.

Meanwhile, after Obama made his remarks criticizing Republicans, he moved on to discussing his plan for the education system. At the Virginia event, Obama repeated proposals he laid out Tuesday, which included doubling funding for charter schools and investing in early-childhood education. Read more about Obama's plan for public education

Obama has put a lot of emphasis on Virginia, a Republican stronghold he hopes to turn blue.

Obama kicked off his general election campaign in Virginia in June.

Virginia hasn't voted for a Democrat since President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964, but for more than a year, Obama's campaign has cited the state's 13 electoral votes as part of its argument that he can reshuffle the electoral map this fall.

Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine was long considered one of Obama's top vice presidential contenders, and the state played a big role at the Democratic National Convention last month, with Kaine's predecessor, Mark Warner, delivering the keynote address.

Following his Virginia event, Obama was set to tape an appearance for the "Late Show With David Letterman" and then head to Washington to speak before the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Gala.

Obama's running mate, Sen. Joe Biden, was in New Hampshire for a town hall meeting. New Hampshire is also a tossup state, with four electoral votes at stake.

On the Republican side McCain and Palin were in Fairfax, Virginia, for a rally.

The campaign moved the rally from a northern Virginia high school to a nearby park following complaints from some officials, who said that holding a partisan event on school grounds violated local school board policy.

However, McCain's campaign said Wednesday that the main reason for moving the event was to accommodate the demand for tickets.

3777  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Bama's cracking up on: September 10, 2008, 10:44:50 AM
Well the mostt recent panicky comments from the Bama man ain't helping his case that he is ready to lead.

This is not made up.  This is not a lie.  He said it.  It came straight from HIS mouth.  This guy can't take the heat or the truth about himself.  And I don't believe a guy who calls Wright his father figure and mentor actually loves this country as much as he actually loves himself.  And that goes for Michelle too.  Now if only McCain can continue to show emotion and passion like he did in his speech and Palin doesn't mess up - the game is over.  If you asked me this before the Rep convention I would have never thought it.  It is a miracle - so far - but still have a long way to go.   As Mark Levin says - watch for the last minute political hit on Palin - that she used her influence to get a state trooper fired - he says this will be the Dems October "surprise" hit on Palin.  I don't think it will work though.

*****Obama accuses McCain camp of lies, phony outrage By NEDRA PICKLER, Associated Press Writer
3 minutes ago
NORFOLK, Va. - Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama on Wednesday accused Republican John McCain's campaign of using "lies and phony outrage and Swift-boat politics" in claiming he used a sexist comment against vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

Calling it "the latest made-up controversy by the John McCain campaign," Obama responded to the Republicans' charge that he was referring to Palin when he used the phrase "lipstick on a pig" at a campaign stop Tuesday.

"I don't care what they say about me. But I love this country too much to let them take over another election with lies and phony outrage and Swift-boat politics. Enough is enough," he said.

Obama's reference was to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, an outside group that in 2004 made unsubstantiated allegations about Democratic nominee John Kerry's decorated military record in Vietnam.

On Tuesday, Obama criticized McCain's economic policies as similar to those of President Bush, saying: "You can put lipstick on a pig ... it's still a pig. You can wrap an old fish in a piece of paper called change. It's still going to stink after eight years."

The McCain campaign contended that the comments were directed at Palin, the GOP's first woman on a presidential ticket. In her acceptance speech last week, she had referred to herself in a joke about lipstick being the only difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull.

Accusing Obama of "smearing" Palin in "offensive and disgraceful" comments, the McCain campaign demanded an apology — though McCain himself used the folksy metaphor a few times last year, including once to describe Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's health care plan.

The McCain campaign on Wednesday issued an Internet ad that said Obama was talking about Palin and said of Obama: "Ready to lead? No. Ready to smear? Yes."

Obama began a discussion of education at a Norfolk high school on Wednesday by assailing McCain's campaign.

"What their campaign has done this morning is the same game that has made people sick and tired of politics in this country. They seize on an innocent remark, try to take it out of context, throw up an outrageous ad because they know that it's catnip for the news media," Obama said.

Obama's campaign has accused the GOP camp of engaging in a "pathetic attempt to play the gender card." In an e-mail to reporters Wednesday, the campaign noted two other instances of McCain using the phrase "lipstick on a pig" and its use by other Republicans such as House Minority Leader John Boehner and Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl.****

3778  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena on: September 09, 2008, 12:29:44 PM
Gotta love this.  Now we should give a hoot what the "world" thinks.  In a way I would be more likely to choose what the world does not want.  I vote for a President for my country not for the benefit of other countries.  What a joke.  Does any one else question the motives of this stuff - I believe the world wants OBama because he is weak and will cave to their wishes.  Seems simple to me.  So if anything we should not vote for him based on this.  This should be twisted around by the cans.

****World wants Obama as president: poll
Posted 4 hours 34 minutes ago

US Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama may be struggling to nudge ahead of his Republican rival in polls at home, but people across the world want him in the White House, a BBC poll said.

All 22 countries covered in the poll would prefer to see Senator Obama elected US president ahead of Republican John McCain.

In 17 of the 22 nations, people expect relations between the US and the rest of the world to improve if Senator Obama wins.

More than 22,000 people were questioned by pollster GlobeScan in countries ranging from Australia to India and across Africa, Europe and South America.

The margin in favour of Senator Obama ranged from 9 per cent in India to 82 per cent in Kenya, while an average of 49 per cent across the 22 countries preferred Senator Obama compared with 12 per cent preferring Senator McCain. Some four in 10 did not take a view.

"Large numbers of people around the world clearly like what Barack Obama represents," GlobeScan chairman Doug Miller said.

"Given how negative America's international image is at present, it is quite striking that only one in five think a McCain presidency would improve on the Bush administration's relations with the world."

In the United States, three polls taken since the Republican party convention ended on Thursday (local time) show Senator McCain with a lead of 1 to 4 percentage points - within the margin of error - and two others show the two neck-and-neck.

The countries most optimistic that an Obama presidency would improve relations were America's NATO allies, including Australia (62 per cent).

A similar BBC/Globescan poll conducted ahead of the 2004 U.S presidential election found that, of 35 countries polled, 30 would have preferred to see Democratic nominee John Kerry, rather than the incumbent George Bush, who was elected.

A total of 23,531 people in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Kenya, Lebanon, Mexico, Nigeria, Panama, the Philippines, Poland, Russia, Singapore, Turkey, the UAE, Britain and the United States were interviewed face-to-face or by telephone in July and August 2008 for the poll.

- Reuters****
3779  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / This is a good start. on: September 08, 2008, 03:22:33 PM
The following is pretty much what I suspected.  Kind of obvious really.  Another one pushing her agenda on the rest of us.

Speaking of ridiculously biased MSNBC, here's another:

****From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Rachel Maddow

Born Rachel Anne Maddow
April 1, 1973 (1973-04-01) (age 35)
 United States
Occupation Radio host
TV host
Partner Susan Mikula
Rachel Anne Maddow (born April 1, 1973) is an American radio personality and political pundit. She is the host of The Rachel Maddow Show on Air America Radio and an MSNBC TV show host.[1]

Contents [hide]
1 Education
2 Radio career
3 Television career
4 Personal life
5 References
6 External links

[edit] Education
A graduate of Castro Valley High School in Castro Valley, California, Maddow later obtained a degree in public policy from Stanford University in 1994. She then received a Rhodes Scholarship in 1995 and used it to obtain a D.Phil. in political science from Lincoln College, Oxford University.[2] Her political activism has focused on AIDS and prisoners' rights, especially the prevention of the spread of HIV and AIDS in prisons. She is an outspoken advocate for gay and progressive issues.

[edit] Radio career
Maddow got her first radio hosting job at WRNX (100.9 FM, Amherst, Massachusetts) when the station held a contest for a new on-air personality.[3] She was hired on the spot to co-host WRNX's then premier morning show, The Dave in the Morning Show. She later went on to host Big Breakfast on WRSI, in Northampton, Massachusetts, for two years. She left the show to join the newly created Air America in March 2004.[2] There she hosted Unfiltered along with Chuck D and Lizz Winstead until its cancellation on March 31, 2005.[4] Two weeks later (April 14), her own two-hour-long program, The Rachel Maddow Show, began airing; it was expanded to three hours on March 10, 2008. It currently airs live from New York from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. ET on weekdays, with David Bender filling in the third hour for the call-in section when Maddow is on TV assignment.

[edit] Television career
Maddow was a regular panelist on MSNBC's Tucker. During and after the November 2006 election, she was a frequent guest on CNN's Paula Zahn Now. In January 2008, Maddow was given the position of MSNBC political analyst and is now a regular panelist MSNBC's Race for the White House with David Gregory and MSNBC's election coverage, as well as a frequent contributor on Countdown with Keith Olbermann.[2]

On April 4, 2008, Maddow was the substitute host for Countdown with Keith Olbermann, her first time hosting a news program on MSNBC. Maddow described herself on air as "nervous," but Keith Olbermann complimented her work and she was brought back to host "Countdown" on May 16, 2008; that day, Countdown was the highest rated news program in the key 25–54 year old demographic.[5] For her success, Olbermann awarded Maddow the 3rd ranking in his regular segment, "World's Best Persons" on the following Monday, calling her "World's Best Pinch-Hitter."[6] Maddow filled in again on Countdown for eight-and-a-half broadcasts while Olbermann was on vacation in July 2008 (including the latter half of the July 21 show).[7] Maddow has also filled in for David Gregory as host of Race for the White House.[2]

It was announced on August 19, 2008, that Maddow will take over the 9 pm ET time slot on MSNBC on September 8, 2008, replacing Dan Abrams.[8] The name of her new show will be 'The Rachel Maddow Show'.[9]

[edit] Personal life
Maddow lives in Manhattan and Western Massachusetts with her partner, artist and accountant Susan Mikula.[10][11] The couple met in 1999, when Mikula hired Maddow, who was then working on her doctoral dissertation, as a gardener for her country house. They moved in together a year and a half later.[10]****

3780  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Buchanan on: September 04, 2008, 08:41:02 PM
It must have been years since Buchanan was this excited. 
I gotta love this line:
"He has made an extraordinary gesture to conservatives and the party base, offering his old antagonists a partner's share in his presidency. And his decision is likely to be rewarded with a massive and enthusiastic turnout for the McCain-Palin ticket"
  The article: 
***The risk John McCain took last Friday is comparable to the 72-year-old ex-fighter pilot knocking back two shots and flying his F-16 under the Golden Gate Bridge.

McCain's choice of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to be his co-pilot was the biggest gamble in presidential history. As of now, it is paying off, big-time.

The sensational selection in Dayton, Ohio, stepped all over the big story from Denver -- Barack Obama's powerful address to 85,000 cheering folks in Mile High Stadium, and 35 million nationally, a speech that vaulted him from a 2-point deficit early in the week to an 8-point margin. Barack had never before reached 49 percent against McCain.

As the Democrats were being rudely stepped on, however, Palin ignited an explosion of enthusiasm among conservatives, Evangelicals, traditional Catholics, gun owners and Right to Lifers not seen in decades.

By passing over his friends Joe Lieberman and Tom Ridge, and picking Palin, McCain has given himself a fighting chance of winning the White House that, before Friday morning, seemed to be slipping away. Indeed, the bristling reaction on the left testifies to Democratic fears that the choice of Palin could indeed be a game-changer in 2008.

Liberals howl that Palin has no experience, no qualifications to be president of the United States. But the lady has more executive experience than McCain, Joe Biden and Obama put together.

None of them has ever started or run a business as Palin did. None of them has run a giant state like Alaska, which is larger than California and Texas put together. And though Alaska is not populous, Gov. Palin has as many constituents as Nancy Pelosi or Biden.

She has no foreign policy experience, we are told. And though Alaska's neighbors are Canada and Russia, the point is valid. But from the day she takes office, Palin will get daily briefings and sit on the National Security Council with the president and secretaries of state, treasury and defense.

She will be up to speed in her first year.

And her experience as governor of Alaska, dealing with the oil industry and pipeline agreements with Canada, certainly compares favorably with that of Barack Obama, a community organizer who dealt in the mommy issues of food stamps and rent subsidies.

Where Obama has poodled along with the Daley Machine, Palin routed the Republican establishment, challenging and ousting a sitting GOP governor before defeating a former Democratic governor to become the first female and youngest governor in state history.

For his boldness in choosing Palin, McCain deserves enormous credit. He has made an extraordinary gesture to conservatives and the party base, offering his old antagonists a partner's share in his presidency. And his decision is likely to be rewarded with a massive and enthusiastic turnout for the McCain-Palin ticket. Rarely has this writer encountered such an outburst of enthusiasm on the right.

In choosing Palin, McCain may also have changed the course of history as much as Ike did with his choice of Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan did with his choice of George H.W. Bush. For should this ticket win, Palin will eclipse every other Republican as heir apparent to the presidency and will have her own power base among Lifers, Evangelicals, gun folks and conservatives -- wholly independent of President McCain.

A traditional conservative on social issues, Palin has become, overnight, the most priceless political asset the movement has. Look for the neocons to move with all deliberate speed to take her into their camp by pressing upon her advisers and staff, and steering her into the AEI-Weekly Standard-War Party orbit.

Indeed, if McCain defeats Barack, 2012 could see women on both national tickets, and given McCain's age and the possibility he intends to serve a single term, women at the top of both -- Sarah vs. Hillary.

The arrival of Palin on the national scene, with her youth, charisma and vitality, probably also portends a changing of the guard in Washington.

With Republicans having zero chance of capturing either House, and but a slim chance of avoiding losses in both, a Vice President Palin, with her reputation as a rebel and reformer, would surely inspire similar revolts in the Republican caucuses.

As Thomas Jefferson said, from time to time, a little rebellion in the political world is as necessary as storms in the physical.

The Palin nomination could backfire, but it is hard to see how. She has passed her first test, her introduction to the nation, with wit and grace. And the Obama-Biden ticket, having already alienated millions of women with the disrespecting of Hillary, is unlikely to start attacking another woman whose sole offense is that she had just been given the chance to break the glass ceiling at the national level.

Her nomination, which will bring the Republican right home, also frees up McCain to appeal to moderates and liberals, which has long been his stock in trade.

With his selection of Sarah Palin, John McCain has not only shaken up this election, he may have helped shape the future of the United States -- and much for the better.

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."

    Reader Comments: (250)

Here are a few of the comments submitted by our readers. Click to view all Report Abusive Post
Right on, Pat ! This lady is a winner
and a future President !
Sep 03, 2008 @ 03:14 AMGino, Rio Rancho
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Sara is going to gut Biden like a salmon and skin Obama like a moose. Yahoo! I never thought, I would vote for a ticket with McCain on it. Pat we love you for those exchanges with Oberman and mathews.
Sep 03, 2008 @ 04:04 AMJohnny, Pewaukee Wi.
Report Abusive Post
Thank the Lord that Sarah has little or no experience!!!
Consider what Bush's master puppeteer (Dirty Dickie) has wrought - endless wars
(; bankrupting banks; Marie Antoinette collapsing economy; etc. etc.
Both McWar & Obama are owned by the Bilderbergs, Trilateralists, CFR (Michelle is a member)& Joe Biden declared himself a ZIONIST. Unfortunately, if Sarah tries to clean up the DC corruption (as she apparently did in Alaska), she better bring her current state security staff with her to Washington.

Sep 03, 2008 @ 04:21 AMART, VA BEACH, VA
Report Abusive Post
With his selection of Sarah Palin, John McCain has not only shaken up this election, he may have helped shape the future of the United States -- and much for the better.

Pat I love you.. But, I couldn't disagree with you more. When McCain selected Sarah Palin as his V.P... This just showed me how John McCain thinks when things get tough. I don't think I want him thinking for me..

Here is the reason why Senator Obama is going to be our next President of American. The people are finally starting to catch on to what is happening in Washington D.C..

I know Senator John McCain has never meet a FREE TRADE AGREEMENT he didn't like, just like President Bush (another four years of Bush). The American people want their high paying jobs back.

I know Senator Obama will bring all those Free Trade Agreements up before the new Congress for debate and just maybe the American people may win the debate this time.

This would force Big International Companies to move back to America all these Plants and good paying jobs they move to CHINA.
Sep 03, 2008 @ 04:29 AMHarry Dingey, Baguio City, Philippines
Report Abusive Post
My Friends America is on the verge of total of a Collapse because of NAFTA and the WTO Free Trade Agreements.

Look around you, all the Big Financial Banks are failing, your house value has drop 30%, the American Dollar has lost 50% of its value and all the higher paying jobs are being move to China.

When you find yourself in a HOLE. “STOP DIGGING”.

Has anyone thought about the repercussions of the lost of all those high paying jobs transfered to China.

Well to start off with all of the America workers will eventually be working for a lot less money. That means the government will end up short of revenues.

You could very well wakeup one morning and the government say, we don't enough money to continue paying you that month Social Security Check any longer. And by the way your Medicare payments will be also be discontinued too.

If you think for one minute this is not a possibility. When America has loss all this income revenues, where will our government get the money to pay for these services?

I live in the Philippines and see exactly what happens. The American people will be the first ones to lose their Benefits..

I really can not believe that anyone is stupid enough to vote for a candidate that tells him he wants to move his job to China.

Then at some point he and his family may be be required to sleep in the street and may be in the soup line. If there is a soup line available.

You people better wakeup before you lose everything.
Sep 03, 2008 @ 05:22 AMHarry Dingey, Baguio City, Philippines
Report Abusive Post
When John Mcain introduced Sarah Palin on Friday at Wright State it was the most excited I've been about an announcement since Pope Benedict XVI was elected in 2005. I wanted to be there since WSU is only minutes away but, unlike liberals, I actually work for a living so I watched on TV (FOX of course!) at work while having lunch. I knew it was going to be a good day because my priest gave the invocation at the McCain rally at WSU!

When Sarah Palin came out and spoke I was so happy. I bawled like a little girl at a Hannah Montana concert during her speech, too, because I realized this country is going to be iin good hands for a long time. She spoke like we do at the water cooler, not using the high sounding language of DC policyspeak.

John McCain just stood there, content to let his VP nominee have the spotlight, and I saw another side of him at that moment. Unlike the left who deal with the cult of personality, John McCain knows this election is not about him. It's about us.

You're on notice, Joe Biden. I can't WAIT for the VP debates because Sarah Palin is going to clean your clock. In fact, I'm going to Jungle Jim's near Cincinnati and buying some moose burgers to grill for the occasion.
Sep 03, 2008 @ 05:47 AMJohn Florio, Fairborn, Ohio
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I wish I knew how Harry Dingey makes those incredibly long postings.

Several reasons why Palin is a HOME RUN, in no particular order:

1) Because BOTH she and McCain have a son who either was, is, or will be in Iraq, they have tremendous credibility on the war issue. Leftists are fond of saying that those who support the war don't want to send their own children to fight it. Well, they CAN'T say that about McCain or Palin, or Biden either, for that matter.

2) As a major politician -- which she is now because of her candidacy -- NOBODY has EVER had more credibility on Right-to-Life issues than she.

3) She gets an A+++ rating from NRA for being rabidly pro-gun.

4) Her husband is a classical skilled union manual laborer. Any working class partisan other than the pinky-ring union bosses should readily relate to her and her family.

5) She SUPPORTS ANWR. And she may even be able to get McCain to change his RIDICULOUS opposition to ANWR.

6) Gov. Palin's family situation has attracted a lot of blogging attention in the past few days.

Although it could not have been intended to be so, I hold that her family situation will be of TREMENDOUS APPEAL to the average American family.

ALL parents, and especially dads, who have daughters, have either themselves experienced unwed teenage pregnancies or are petrified that it's going to happen to them.

They will relate VERY well to Gov. Palin.

7) The women's vote. McCain needed to reach out beyond the Party base AND to unite it if possible.

He could NOT do that by the traditional Great White Hopeless male pick, who MIGHT at best help him with a state or two. Instead, THIS year, McCain needed someone who could help in in EVERY state.

This is the year when the Hitlery supporters had screamed that it is past time to elect a woman for president. Did they REALLY mean that, or did they really mean it's time to elect a LIBERAL woman for president?

I suspect it is some of yes, some of no. And in this case, McCain picks up votes in every state he'd not ordinarily get.

I never throught McCain would go past the GOP establishment. I always thought that in the end, he'd pick a safe, nice, but useless Great White Hopeless male GOP hack, like the Party itself did in 1996 when it picked Sen. Bob Dull.

Cool McCain himself has said that whomever he picks will receive greater than normal scrutiny because of his own age and his diminished health (courtesy of the Hanoi Hilton).

Gov. Palin therefore has an EXCELLENT chance of becoming president someday. Even if McCain makes it through 4 years, odds are he'd not run again, so she then becomes the Heir Apparent for 2012, which she again becomes in the event the McCain ticket loses this year.

Are women serious about wanting one of their own to be president? Here's their shot!

Sep 03, 2008 ***   
3781  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: September 04, 2008, 04:22:56 PM
*Sarah Palin knocked my socks off FWIW*

Yes mine too.  Gulianni was the best I ever heard him as well.  A definite sigh of relief from me.  The rage from the mostly leftist commentators was palpable and obvious.
The glares, the stares from the likes of Rachel from MSNBC, and Easton from Fortune mag (Fox I think) who were both desparately trying to come up with something negative to say.  Even the 360 guy Anderson had to admit, "well" we didn't mention Obama's speech writer like we are doing with Sarah P. as he and John King were amazingly questioning theirs as well as the newsmedias fairness. smiley

Buchanan was drunk with excitement.  Maybe Reaganism isn't dead.  But with the country's demographics ever changing...
And the people who come here now aren't like the immigrants of our fathers and forefathers.  Now they expect and demand benefits.  So the demographics may still be insurmountable.   grin
3782  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: September 02, 2008, 02:13:00 PM
The predictable from a woman of the left.  At least Palin won an election against an incumbent.   What election has Hillary won?

Oh yes.  And Obama has all his support because of his qualifications.   rolleyes Has this or would this lady ever support anyone from the right?  I doubt it. 

 September 2, 2008
 A woman — but why this woman?
Susan Reimer
September 1, 2008
Sen. John McCain and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the presumptive Republican nominees, greet supporters in Washington, Pa. (Getty Images / August 30, 2008)

So. This is what being pandered to feels like.

John McCain picked Sarah Palin, governor of Alaska and mother of five, to be his running mate to woo women like me.

He seems to think that my girlfriends and I are so disappointed that an utterly qualified woman is not going to be president that we will jump at the chance to vote for an utterly unqualified woman for vice president.

You gotta love a guy who thinks things are that simple.

• More news Women already outvote men in this country, and it isn't because we like voting for all those women on the ballot.

Does McCain think we will be so grateful for a skirt on the ticket that we won't notice that she's anti-abortion, a member of the NRA and thinks creationism should be taught alongside evolution?

His selection of Sarah Palin is insulting on so many levels that I am starting to feel like the Geico caveman.

You want to look like a maverick and like you think outside the box? Pick a woman for a running mate.

You want to look good to the evangelicals? Choose a running mate with a Down syndrome child.

(When James Dobson, the conservative Christian radio host who fancies himself a kingmaker, jumped up to say that the selection of Palin means he can now "pull the lever" for John McCain, I almost felt sick. I don't know what I'll do if she trots out the story of her 5-month-old baby to shore up the Republican base.)

Palin's personal story is very compelling, but it reads more like a movie pitch than a resume for national leadership.

Champion high school athlete, beauty queen. Married to her high school sweetheart. Car-pooling supermom who went from PTA activist to mayor of her tiny (population 9,000) Alaskan town.

Fisherman, sportswoman, hunter. Speaks truth to power in a state corrupted by oil. Has a son headed to Iraq. A woman who made the decision to carry to term a baby she knew to be developmentally disabled.

She makes John McCain, Naval Academy graduate, fighter pilot and prisoner of war, look like just another grouchy, old, rich white guy.

Oh. Right. He is.

And that's the other point here. McCain is 72. He has had at least four go-rounds with melanoma, a deadly cancer.

Under the circumstances, the decision to choose this woman over the likes of, say, Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson looks less like a stroke of genius than a stroke. It looks crazy. It looks wacky.

And that's the other part of this decision that is so infuriating.

If you are going to pick a woman for the sake of picking a woman, can you at least make it a credible choice?

Can you at least make a choice that doesn't give the gag writers for Jay Leno and Jon Stewart the month off?

(The jokes started immediately: She won't be able to hold her own against Joe Biden in a vice presidential debate. But wait until the swimsuit portion of the competition.)

Can you at least make a choice that doesn't have Rush Limbaugh panting? (He called Palin a "babe." It was another memorable moment in the ascent of women in this country.)

Barack Obama was the editor of the Harvard Law Review, for heaven's sake. And the best McCain can do is a woman who minored in poly-sci at the University of Idaho?

Palin might do just fine during the campaign. And she might do an excellent job of going to diplomatic funerals. (Which McCain once said is the only job description for the vice presidency.)

But it is more likely that she will be in over her head, and all the women McCain thinks he is courting will be cringing for our sister instead. And then we will be furious at him for setting one of us up to fail.

It isn't just that Palin might look bad campaigning against the likes of Biden or Obama.

It's that she already looks bad compared to the likes of Hillary Clinton.

3783  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: August 29, 2008, 03:02:15 PM
For those who say illegals are paying their fair share let me say this.

A hospital I work at is going to go bankrupt and close down.   Roughly 25% of the patients at the money losing division of the hospital (there are two) are illegal.   25% of the obstetrics is for illegal aliens.

The state won't make up the difference in  losses and the insured patients cannot and there are many legal but indigent patients who are going to lose their hsopital.

Well, I say get these people out of our country.  I say go after those here who employ them.

Immigrants who came here years ago didn't get or didn't expect freebies. Now they do.  The OB wards are merry go rounds for illegals.  How dare them?  And how stupid is this country?

3784  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: McCain on: August 29, 2008, 02:56:40 PM
Your right about the experience issue.  So now we have an inexperienced man picked because he is black and an inexperienced woman picked because of her sex.  The whole election process has in my opinion become a three ring circus.

With regards to Michelle O her statement that she "loves this country" is not going to "put to rest" questions about their both hating whites, Jews, and America in general as of course the Dems would like.

So what is really in her college thesis that we are not being allowed to see?

This is heresay but the doubts are rightly and justly going to linger:

***According to, Princeton was asked to put a restriction on the distribution of any copies of the Michelle Obama (Michelle la Vaughn Robinson)senior thesis. Princeton was asked to say that the thesis could not be made available until November 5, 2008.
However, when the thesis was published on a political web site , Princeton decided to lift the restriction.


In her senior thesis at Princeton , Michelle Obama, the wife of Barrack Obama stated that America was a nation founded on crime and hatred. Moreover, she stated that whites in America were ineradicably racist.  The 1985 thesis, titled 'Princeton-Educated Blacks and the Black Community' was written under her maiden name, Michelle LaVaughn Robinson.
Michelle Obama stated in her thesis that to whites at Princeton, it often seems as if, to them, she will always be black first. However, it was reported by a fellow black classmate, 'If those whites at Princeton really saw Michelle as one who always would be black first, it seems that she gave them that impression. 
Most alarming is Michelle Obama's use of the terms separationist and integrationist when describing the views of black people. Mrs. Obama clearly identifies herself with a separationist' view of race. By actually working with the black lower class within their communities, as a result of their ideologies, a separationist may better understand the desperation of their situation and feel more hopeless about a resolution as opposed to an integrationist who is ignorant to their plight.
Obama writes that the path she chose by attending Princeton would likely lead to her further integration and/or assimilation into a white cultural and social structure that will only allow me to remain on the periphery of society, never becoming a full participant. Michelle Obama clearly has a chip on her shoulder. Not only does she see separate black and white societies in America , but she elevates black over white in her world.

Here is another passage that is uncomfortable and ominous in meaning:
There was no doubt in my mind that as a member of the black community, I am obligated to this community and will utilize all of my present and future resources to benefit the black community first and foremost.
What is Michelle Obama planning to do with her resources if she is first lady?The following passage appears to be a call to arms for affirmative action policies that could be the hallmark of an Obama administration. Predominately white universities like Princeton are socially and academically designed to cater to the needs of the white students comprising the bulk of their enrollments.

The conclusion of her thesis is alarming. Michelle Obama's poll of black alumni concludes that other black students at Princeton do not share her obsession with blackness.  But rather than celebrate, she is horrified that black alumni identify with our common American culture more than they value the color of their skin.  I hoped that these findings would help me conclude that despite the high degree of identification with whites resulting from the educational and occupational paths that black Princeton alumni follow, the alumni would still maintain a certain level of identification with the black community. However, these findings do not support this possibility.
Is it no wonder that most black alumni ignored her racist questionnaire?  Only 89 students responded out of 400 who were asked for input. Michelle Obama does not look into a crowd of Obama supporters and see Americans. She sees black people and white people eternally conflicted with one another.
The thesis provides Mrs. Obama's world view, seen through a race-based prism. This is a very divisive view for a potential first lady that would do untold damage to race relations in this country. Michelle Obama's intellectually refined racism should give all Americans pause for deep concern.
PS: Yes, taxpayers funded her scholarships****

3785  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / energy recovery - water desalination company on: August 28, 2008, 08:37:52 PM
This could also have been posted under the "water" thread:

The Motley Fool's take on energy conversion which as a process to desalinate salt water 10 times cheaper then competitors.
The Cabot green newletter has been recommending it and that is why I bought some.  As long as there is no improved competition this sounds like a long term winner.

****A Different Path to Green Profits
By Toby Shute
August 27, 2008 Comment (0) Recommend (0)
In response to the soaring energy costs of recent years, investors have flocked to all sorts of supply-driven solutions to our little energy problem. From First Solar (Nasdaq: FSLR) to American Superconductor (Nasdaq: AMSC) to VeraSun Energy (NYSE: VSE), there are countless ways to play the emergence of energy alternatives -- some more sound than others.

Compared to supply-side issues, energy efficiency is the low-hanging fruit along the path to a greener future. A McKinsey study last year found that some very simple steps could slash energy demand growth among U.S. households by a full third by 2020. I've been thinking about this theme for some time now, and I've kept my eyes open for investable ideas.

Aside from smart power meter providers like Echelon (Nasdaq: ELON), I hadn't come up with a whole lot -- until the IPO of Energy Recovery (Nasdaq: ERII).

Not a drop to drink
The Energy Recovery (or ERI) story actually begins with another resource that's just as precious as petroleum. According to the UN, more than 1 billion people lack access to water, and global consumption is expected to double every 20 years. Water issues have the potential to lead to all manner of conflicts and catastrophes in the decades ahead if solutions aren't found, pronto.

Since about 97.5% of the world's water is seawater, that's a natural place to start. Seawater desalination has been around for decades now, but it's traditionally been quite energy-intensive. Folks like the Saudis could always afford that trade-off, but the broader market for desalination plants was pretty limited until the cost started dropping significantly.

Two key factors have driven down the cost of increasingly popular seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) technology: more efficient membranes from the likes of General Electric (NYSE: GE) and Dow Chemical (NYSE: DOW), and the introduction of energy recovery devices.

I won't go into the details of how they work (here's a video for the curious), but Energy Recovery's energy-saving pressure exchangers are apparently the hottest thing going when it comes to such devices. The company keeps landing large contracts in places like China and the United Arab Emirates, and sales are growing at a furious clip. ERI's hardly starved for capital, but it must have seemed like a natural time to sell some shares to the public.

But is it time to buy?
Of course, a company that grew its top line by more than 75% last year won't come cheap. On a trailing basis through the recently reported June quarter, ERI is valued at around 46 times earnings. This is one spicy seawater stock.

At the industry level, I can't really think of anything that would disrupt the increasing adoption of SWRO around the globe. Individual plants will be delayed or canceled, undoubtedly, but that's just a bump in the road. Desalination is an overarching trend that seems powerfully persistent.

I do have concerns at the company level, however. The key question, for me, is the durability of ERI's business model.

First and foremost, because ERI lives and dies by its pressure exchangers, the company needs an insurmountable competitive moat in this realm. I don't think it has one. I know the company has spent more than a decade developing this device. But what's to stop a company like GE from waking up one day and deciding to develop its own such doohickey, in a fraction of that amount of time?

Granted, that's what patents are for, and ERI has a handful. But the company's description of the patents -- " specific proprietary design features of our PX technology" -- makes it sound as though they're not particularly broad-based. In addition, these patents begin to expire in 2011. The company has filed for a new set, but I don't have more information than that.

Somewhat related to ERI's extreme product concentration is the company's lack of recurring revenue. One of the firm's stated strategies is to increase aftermarket sales, but it simultaneously acknowledges that the durability of its PX devices, which have only one moving part, may preclude a bustling aftermarket business. Rather than a razor-razorblade model operative here, aftermarket sales appear to be more incidental.

The Foolish bottom line
Having spent the better part of my weekend studying seawater desalination, I'm very bullish on the big picture here. As SWRO becomes big(ger) business, however, ERI will face intense competition, and I don't see enough of a barrier to entry to justify its premium valuation today.****

3786  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: August 26, 2008, 12:16:09 PM
Just another way of saying what is claimed by many.  That is she didn't win the nomination because she is a woman.
3787  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: August 26, 2008, 11:11:03 AM
"isn't there a limit on a forum searching for truth?"

Everything I posted is the truth.

Oh I get it. She is not a liar.  She is not a criminal.  She is not manipulative.  She is not selfish.  And they are not grooming Chelsea for politics.   And Chelsea is not cleaning up as a hedgefund insider.

I get it - she is not liked because she has a vagina.

3788  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The endless Clintons on: August 26, 2008, 09:26:41 AM
I find it amazing how the Clintons still make it about *them*.

This country just cannot be rid of them.  That is why I felt Limbaugh was wrong to try to down BO and up Hillary in the nomination process.  Any time we get a chance to dispose of these two criminals we should.  We will not be rid of them in my life time.

Is any Republican not glad its BO and not the Clintons now?  How would you like it if McCain was running against Shrillary?  I would take BO as my opponent any day.

It is amazing all the gals who run around saying she lost because of sexism.  Oh I get it.  It's not that she is a lying stinking manipulative selfish thief.  It is because she is a woman.  Right, and she "broke through 18 million ceilings".  This country is f***.

Now of course hedge fund Chelsea is being groomed to continue the clan of grifters.
3789  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: August 23, 2008, 09:24:20 AM
Biden is on record saying BO ain't ready and he would be honored to run against or *with* McCain.
This is unbelievable.

Wans't this the guy who cheated on his resume or some exam to get into law school.  We already went through this guy?

Well just months back he said BO is "clean and articulate" which was widely condemned by the same crats as racist who will of course tell us why Biden is the greatest since Julius Ceasar (except of course the "gift from GOd" who is the BO)

ON another note:

Doesn't all this endless BS just make you want to move to  Alaska and turn off the TV and radio and not read newpapers or get online sometimes?
3790  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: August 18, 2008, 10:49:31 AM
"Andrea Mitchell reported on “Meet the Press” that “the Obama people must feel that he didn’t do quite as well as they might have wanted to in that context. ... What they’re putting out privately is that McCain ... may have had some ability to overhear what the questions were to Obama.”

Kristol doesn't mention that Andrea Mitchell felt compelled to point out that McCain was speaking to his base while BO was not.  To me this displayed her bias and apparent need to temper BO's unequal performance compared to McCain with another excuse. 
3791  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / olympics on: August 13, 2008, 09:14:01 AM
Great to watch.  Even the commercials are tasteful

Congratulations to Mr Phelps.

However I couldn't help notice that he appears to have all the physical traits of Marfan's syndrome (like Larry Bird):
3792  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Brent Bozell on Helen Thomas on: August 10, 2008, 06:29:17 PM
And they wonder why people to the right of center on the political spectrum flock to Fox news and listen to talk radio?   We have no where else to go if we want balanced news and journalism.

It's like today on "Meet the Press". Someone points out that talking has not helped the situation in Georgia which is opposite of Obama's claims and then you have this guy Dionne literally jumping into the conversation as fast as possible to fix this thought to one in align with the candidate he loves and says this situation actually shows why the US needs to talk more with its European allies in order to deal with the Russian-Georgian problem "so Obama's approach is still completely correct". 

Are we to take this spin from a supposedly objective "journalist" by not simply changing the channel?  Needless to say I turned off Meet the Press as fast as possible.

Yet Helen Thomas denies any of this.  And of course she gets honored.  Will there be an HBO documentary honoring Robert Novak who sounds terminally ill? 

***Doubting Helen Thomas
by L. Brent Bozell III
August 6, 2008 Tell a friend about this site

At a screening of a forthcoming HBO documentary honoring liberal journalist Helen Thomas in Washington, Thomas was asked whether most White House reporters are liberal. “Hell no!” she thundered. I’m dying to find another liberal to open their mouths [sic]. Where are they?”

Is this Grande Dame of Journalism serious? The answer, of course, is yes. Since Ms. Thoms is dying to find vocal liberals in the news media, the least we can do is point her in the right direction.

Let’s see...

ABC’s Claire Shipman says the taxpayers, not the politicians, should sacrifice to close the budget deficit: “If every American were to pitch in $2,000, we could pay off this year's deficit.... Or, if we handed over, each of us, 500 gallons of gasoline or, in terms we could all really understand, if every American gave up 666 lattes for a year, we could pay off this year's deficit.”...Dan Rather predicts Big Oil will try to manipulate the election for John McCain: “The people who can affect the price of oil would prefer a Republican presidential candidate. Watch the price of oil. If it goes down, which it may very well, it could help John McCain quite a bit.”

The Associated Press swoons: “It's not only Obama's youth, eloquence and energy that have stolen hearts across the Atlantic. Obama has raised expectations of a chance for the nation to redeem itself in the role that Europe has loved, respected and relied upon.”...CBS’s Mark Phillips melts in Berlin: “The 200,000-plus crowd confirmed his rock star status, and his more cooperative sounding rhetoric was what the crowd wanted to hear.”...Alessandra Stanley of the New York Times rejects charges of pro-Obama bias with this doozy: “Mr. Obama's weeklong tour of war zones and foreign capitals is noteworthy because it is so unusual to see a presidential candidate act so presidential overseas.”

On “Meet the Press,” NBC’s Tom Brokaw prods Al Gore: “How can you, given the passion that you feel about this issue, turn down the idea that you could be in the administration as a Vice President or as an energy czar or as both?”...With a straight face, retiring New York Times reporter Linda Greenhouse claims, “President Clinton played to the center, not the left, in selecting Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen G. Breyer.”...NBC labels the late Jesse Helms an “outspoken ultra-rightist,” but waxed about Howard Metzenbaum as a “populist” who “always fought for the little guy.”

NBC’s Matt Lauer presses Barack Obama – as not liberal enough, quoting hotheads at the New York Times: “Senator Obama is not just tacking gently toward the center. He’s lurching right when it suits him, he's zigging with the kind of reckless abandon that's guaranteed to cause disillusion, if not whiplash.”...New polls from battleground states delight MSNBC’s Chris Matthews: “I'm thrilled with this. Obama's strength in the Northeast, the West Coast and the Great Lakes.”

CBS’s Katie Couric sees bias now: “However you feel about her politics, I feel that Senator Clinton received some of the most unfair, hostile coverage I’ve ever seen.” … And Time’s former Washington Bureau Chief Margaret Carlson pens, “If there’s anything we need to rescue us from the last eight years, it’s brains, good judgment and experience. Obama has the first two. Gore has all three.”

NBC’s Lee Cowan waxes, "In victory and in defeat Michelle Obama had always been there, dressed as brightly as her husband's smile"....In reference to John McCain’s wife Cindy, New York Times reporter Alessandra Stanley writes: “As the Equal Rights Amendment faded as a cause and conservatism made a comeback, Republican spouses became ever more careful to stay three steps behind their men and the times.”

Former ABC reporter Linda Douglass, now an Obama spokesperson, reveals the obvious: “I have fundamental differences with John McCain on the issues and always have. I don't have any problem criticizing John McCain." …AP reporter Charles Babington cheers: “Obama is something special, a man who makes difficult tasks look easy, who seems to touch millions of diverse people with a message of hope that somehow doesn’t sound Pollyannaish.”

Conservative columnist Bob Novak tells it like it is: "I've been covering presidential campaigns since 1960. I have always said I have never seen the media as much entranced by a candidate than when they were in my very first campaign, in 1960, when they were for JFK. But I'm telling you right now, the enchantment with Obama beats the JFK syndrome."

But Helen Thomas, the so-called Dean of the White House press corps, doesn’t know any liberals in the news media.

3793  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / "Autocratic" democracy vs "liberal" democracy on: August 10, 2008, 06:03:50 PM
I thought this is a fascinating thought piece:

Liberal democracy vs. autocratic democracy:

***Patrick J. Buchanan
Democracy -- A Flickering Star?

In his 1937 "Great Contemporaries," Winston Churchill wrote, "Whatever else may be thought about (Hitler's) exploits, they are among the most remarkable in the whole history of the world."

Churchill was referring not only to Hitler's political triumphs -- the return of the Saar and reoccupation of the Rhineland -- but his economic achievements. By his fourth year in power, Hitler had pulled Germany out of the Depression, cut unemployment from 6 million to 1 million, grown the GNP 37 percent and increased auto production from 45,000 vehicles a year to 250,000. City and provincial deficits had vanished.

In material terms, Nazi Germany was a startling success.
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And not only Churchill and Lloyd George but others in Europe and America were marveling at the exploits of the Third Reich, its fascist ally Italy and Joseph Stalin's rapidly industrializing Soviet state. "I have seen the future, and it works," Lincoln Steffins had burbled. Many Western men, seeing the democracies mired in Depression and moral malaise, were also seeing the future in Berlin, Moscow, Rome.

In Germany, Hitler was winning plebiscites with more than 90 percent of the vote in what outside observers said were free elections.

What calls to mind the popularity of the Third Reich and the awe it inspired abroad -- even after the bloody Roehm purge and the Nazi murder of Austrian Chancellor Dollfuss in 1934, and the anti-Semitic Nuremberg laws -- is a poll buried in The New York Times.

In a survey of 24 countries by Pew Research Center, the nation that emerged as far and away first on earth in the satisfaction of its people was China. No other nation even came close.

"Eighty-six percent of Chinese people surveyed said they were content with the country's direction, up from 48 percent in 2002. ... And 82 percent of Chinese were satisfied with their national economy, up from 52 percent," said the Times.

Yet, China has a regime that punishes dissent, severely restricts freedom, persecutes Christians and all faiths that call for worship of a God higher than the state, brutally represses Tibetans and Uighurs, swamps their native lands with Han Chinese to bury their cultures and threatens Taiwan.

China is also a country where Maoist ideology has been replaced by a racial chauvinism and raw nationalism reminiscent of Italy and Germany in the 1930s. Yet, again, over 80 percent of all Chinese are content or even happy with the direction of the country. Two-thirds say the government is doing a good job in dealing with the issues of greatest concern to them.

And what nation is it whose people rank as third most satisfied?

Vladimir Putin's Russia.

Moscow is today more nationalistic, less democratic and more confrontational toward the West than it has been since before the fall of communism. Power is being consolidated, former Soviet republics are hearing dictatorial growls from Moscow and a chill reminiscent of the Cold War is in the air.

Yet, wrote the Times, "Russians were the third most satisfied people with their country's direction, at 54 percent, despite Western concerns about authoritarian trends."

Of the largest nations on earth, the two that today most satisfy the desires of their peoples are the most authoritarian.

High among the reasons, of course, are the annual 10 percent to 12 percent growth China has experienced over the last decade, and the wealth pouring into Russia for the oil and natural gas in which that immense country abounds. Still, is this not disturbing? In China and Russia, the greatest of world powers after the United States, people seem to value freedom of speech, religion or the press far less than they do a rising prosperity and national pride and power. And they seem to have little moral concern about crushing national minorities.

Contrast, if you will, the contentment of Chinese and Russians with the dissatisfaction of Americans, only 23 percent of whom told the Pew poll they approved of the nation's direction. Only one in five Americans said they were satisfied with the U.S. economy.

Other polls have found 82 percent of Americans saying the country is headed in the wrong direction, only 28 percent approving of President Bush's performance and only half that saying they approve of the Congress. In Britain, France and Germany, only three in 10 expressed satisfaction with the direction of the nation.

Liberal democracy is in a bear market. Is it a systemic crisis, as well?

In his 1992 "The End of History," Francis Fukuyama wrote of the ultimate world triumph of democratic capitalism. All other systems had fallen, or would fall by the wayside. The future belonged to us.

Democratic capitalism, it would appear, now has a great new rival -- autocratic capitalism. In Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America, nations are beginning to imitate the autocrats of China and Russia, even as some in the 1930s sought to ape fascist Italy and Nazi Germany.

The game is not over yet. We are going into extra innings.****

3794  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Overweight epidemic trends on: August 08, 2008, 09:44:25 AM
First of all it *is* genetically and physiologically for all adult Americans to become overweight.  Second there are medicines and combinations of medicines that will turn this trend coming.  Probably within five and certainly within ten years we will start to see thse medicines coming to the market place.  So the answer lies in the pharmaceutical industry. 

I've read other evaulations that point out the trend towards heavier weights is starting to level out.  That is not to say we don't have a "huge" problem or we shouldn't do more to right this.

But wild extrapolations like this make for good pc correct policy fodder.  The "food" police are a wing of the "green" police.  They are part of the same weed family whose natural habitat is San Fransisco.

****All U.S. adults could be overweight in 40 years

By Amy Norton Wed Aug 6, 3:12 PM ET

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - If the trends of the past three decades continue, it's possible that every American adult could be overweight 40 years from now, a government-funded study projects.

The figure might sound alarming, or impossible, but researchers say that even if the actual rate never reaches the 100-percent mark, any upward movement is worrying; two-thirds of the population is already overweight.

"Genetically and physiologically, it should be impossible" for all U.S. adults to become overweight, said Dr. Lan Liang of the federal government's Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, one of the researchers on the study.

However, she told Reuters Health, the data suggest that if the trends of the past 30 years persist, "that is the direction we're going."

Already, she and her colleagues point out, some groups of U.S. adults have extremely high rates of overweight and obesity; among African- American women, for instance, 78 percent are currently overweight or obese.

The new projections, published in the journal Obesity, are based on government survey data collected between the 1970s and 2004.

If the trends of those years continue, the researchers estimate that 86 percent of American adults will be overweight by 2030, with an obesity rate of 51 percent. By 2048, all U.S. adults could be at least mildly overweight.

Weight problems will be most acute among African-Americans and Mexican- Americans, the study projects. All black women could be overweight by 2034, according to the researchers, as could more than 90 percent of Mexican-American men.

All of this rests on the "big assumption" that the trends of recent decades will march on unabated, Liang acknowledged.

"This is really intended as a wake-up call to show what could happen if nothing changes," she said.

Waistlines aren't the only thing poised to balloon in the future, according to Liang and her colleagues. They estimate that the healthcare costs directly related to excess pounds will double each decade, reaching $957 billion in 2030 -- accounting for one of every six healthcare dollars spent in the


Those financial projections are based on Census data and published estimates of the current healthcare costs attributed to excess weight -- and they are probably a "huge underestimate" of what the actual costs will be, Liang said.

The findings highlight a need for widespread efforts to improve Americans' lifestyles and keep their weight in check, according to the researchers. Simply telling people to eat less and exercise more is not enough, Liang noted.

Broader social changes are needed as well, she said -- such as making communities more pedestrian-friendly so that people can walk regularly, or getting the food industry to offer healthier, calorie-conscious choices.

"It really needs to be more than an individual effort," Liang said. "It needs to be a societal effort."

SOURCE: Obesity, online July 24, 2008.****
3795  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: McCain on: August 08, 2008, 08:53:58 AM

Good points and especially good forward thinking which I didn't do on this point:

***the reality is that he will be working with a Pelosi-Reid congress and none of his good proposals (from my point of view) will become law.  His bad ideas (from my point of view) will be welcomed, celebrated and implemented.***

Wasn't the SS cap in the 60K plus range about 15 or 30 years ago and in the 80 plus range around 10 years ago? What is the mechanism for this continued increase?

It is hard to know what McCain intends when he states everything is on the table.  But we know where BO comes from notwithstading what he is saying.

3796  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Sugarland aka I need a nose job on: August 08, 2008, 08:45:45 AM
Sugarschmucks the girl with the voice that needs a nose job and her lacky sidekick with the dumbest looking hat in memory - why even the rappers who wear their ball caps on sideways look cooler then this guy....  Sorry my anger spills out.

This group, though, I can say the same for most of the country singers in the last 8 years (though we realize this went back to probably at least 1992), who claims they wrote songs that were exactly like writings stolen from Katherine.  Well here it states they were part of a larger band that apparantly went no where.  Suddenly in 2002 the remaining two members became musical/lyrical geniuses and became big stars.  Doesn't it sound more plausible that they were given the lyrics, someone else came up with the melodies (crummy anyway IMO) and they got "in" with the right group of thugs that control the industry and as the front people are promoted all over the place.  They weren't just discovered with incredible talent that they possessed in secret for years, they didn't just become creative geniuses, but, I allege, made deals with the band of thugs who steal the material to be the front people for the behind the scenes group of scumbags that rip off others.

The previous member of the group could easily come out and say she has no idea where in tarnation thes other two suddenly started writing hits but she won't.  She wants in so she will play along.

****Sugarland founder files $1.5M lawsuit against band

52 minutes ago

ATLANTA - A founder of the country band Sugarland is suing the two current members of the popular group for $1.5 million.

According to a lawsuit filed late last month in U.S. District Court in Atlanta, Kristen Hall was to get a cut of the group's profits even after she left in 2005 for a solo career. The lawsuit says Hall, who founded the band in 2002, has an agreement with Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush to equally share profits and losses.

Hall says in the lawsuit that she has been excluded from the group's profits since she left.

Sugarland's publicist referred calls to the band's attorney, Gary Gilbert, who was unavailable for comment.

The band's album, "Love on the Inside," released last month, is No. 1 on Billboard music charts.****
3797  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: McCain on: August 07, 2008, 09:24:30 AM
Certainly doesn't sound good so far.

"half of which is deducted from employee wages up to $102,000" - no one seems to point out this is *already* a hefty increase from where it was around 10 years ago.

***McCain Irks Republicans With Confusion Over Social Security Tax

Edwin Chen Thu Aug 7, 12:01 AM ET

Aug. 7 (Bloomberg) -- On June 10, John McCain lambasted Barack Obama for advocating a new Social Security payroll tax on the wealthy.

``In a time of real crisis, the last thing we want to do is raise people's taxes,'' the Republican presidential candidate said in an interview on Bloomberg Television.

That echoed his refrain throughout the campaign's primary season: As president, he would oppose all tax increases, including those on wages that fund Social Security.

On July 27, he struck a different note.

Asked on ABC Television if he'd consider raising payroll taxes to keep the pension program from going bankrupt, McCain said, ``Everything has to be on the table if we're going to reach a bipartisan agreement.''

That, too, was consistent with his frequent references during the campaign to a 1983 Social Security deal brokered by President Ronald Reagan, House Speaker Tip O'Neill and economist Alan Greenspan, who led a bipartisan commission. What McCain never mentions in his praise of that panel is that it urged hefty tax increases on businesses and employees. McCain, then a newly elected congressman, voted for the proposals.

These contradictions reflect a central conundrum for the Arizona senator: He's seeking to both placate conservatives -- suspicious of him because of his willingness to buck the party in areas from climate change and campaign finance to President George W. Bush's tax cuts -- and project himself as an independent ready to work with Democrats on many of these issues.

Wave of Retirements

No debate underlines the candidate's dilemma more than how to shore up Social Security, which will pay benefits to almost 50 million Americans this year.

Some conservatives are infuriated when raising taxes is even discussed. In an open letter the day after the July 27 interview, the Club for Growth said McCain's remarks were ``shocking'' given his earlier ``adamant'' opposition to higher taxes.

Yet experts argue that saving the system is possible with only some combination of a tax increase and benefit cuts. In 2005, Bush proposed private savings accounts yet refused to negotiate on taxes. The effort died -- even in a Republican- controlled Congress.

Social Security, facing a tidal wave of baby-boomer retirements, is projected to run out of assets by 2041. The solutions to its insolvency are ``well-documented,'' said John Rother, an executive vice president at AARP, an advocacy group for older people. They include raising the payroll tax as well as the age of full eligibility.

Must Include Both

``A plan capable of passing Congress would have to have some of both,'' Rother said.

The payroll tax totals 12.4 percent -- half of which is deducted from employee wages up to $102,000, and half paid by employers.

Obama, 47, an Illinois senator and the Democratic presidential candidate, would boost the tax by continuing to apply it to incomes up to $102,000 as well as to those earning $250,000 and over. Incomes between $102,000 and $250,000 wouldn't be touched.

While McCain, 71, hasn't detailed his own plan, spokesman Tucker Bounds says he thinks Obama ``is absolutely wrong.''

Getting Testy

The tax-benefit dilemma has not only thrown McCain into rhetorical contortions, it's also caused him to get testy when pressed to explain.

During a campaign bus ride last week in Missouri, a reporter said his July 27 comment presumably meant McCain wasn't ruling out raising taxes.

``That's presuming wrong,'' McCain said in cutting him off, according to the Washington Post.

Still, he has a history of being open to new Social Security taxes.

In a ``Meet the Press'' interview in 2005, McCain unequivocally endorsed the idea of levying such taxes on high- income earners, saying he could support that ``as part of a compromise.''

Then, as he closed in on the Republican nomination between last December and February, he pledged at least four times to oppose all tax increases, including Social Security levies.

``I will not agree to any tax increase,'' he told the Wall Street Journal in December. On Feb. 3, he vowed on ``Fox News Sunday'' and CBS's ``Face the Nation'' to veto any higher taxes. ``No new taxes,'' he declared on ABC two weeks later.

Confusing Surrogates

His shifting rhetoric has entangled even some surrogates. In a Bloomberg interview in July, adviser Carly Fiorina ruled out Social Security tax increases on ``middle-and working-class'' Americans, but said if a bipartisan coalition is ``creative enough'' to fashion levies on wealthier people, that may be acceptable.

Other aides insist the candidate opposes new taxes and only wants to avoid declaring any option non-negotiable.

``He's committed to tackling entitlements by seeking a real bipartisan solution,'' said Mark Salter, a confidant. ``You can't do that with preconditions.''

Some tax-cut proponents remain optimistic McCain won't let them down.

Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, said he ``didn't go nuts the way some other conservatives did'' over McCain's July 27 remarks because he's been reassured by the senator's aides.

``McCain's saying: `Yes, let's talk about everything,''' he said. ``But that does not mean he'll agree to raise taxes.''

Just in case, Norquist is keeping handy the clips of McCain pledging on national television to not raise taxes.****

3798  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Agree on: August 07, 2008, 09:00:04 AM
***But to win, Mr. McCain must also make a compelling case for electing John McCain. Voters trust him on terrorism and Iraq and they see him as a patriot who puts country first. But they want to know for what purpose?

In the coming weeks, he needs to lay out a bold domestic reform program.***

I couldn't agree more.

McCain has to respond to the redistribution of wealth argument BO is giving us.

NOt have some stuffy wealthy guys like Forbes et al, or Kudlow telling us how it will hurt our ecocomy and hence all of us, or not saying his tax hike on gains or dividends will hurt more ordinary citizens.  He has got to explain to the majority of Americans why "taxing the rich and giving more to them" is really a con job from BSABO (bull shit artist Barack Obama).

And he has to do it in a way that a listener will think, "you know he makes sense".  I have not heard this yet.  If we see another lame Dole performance out of him in the RNC then it's over.  We know BO will be given to read a glorious and marvelous sounding speeche at his convention that will highlight a *new* course for America ("we know the last eight years is not working") with a new dawn etc etc ad nauseum.

Yet BOs lack luster performance in the polls gives me some hope.  I remember how the other darling of the crats - BC never got above 50% in the elections.
3799  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The cost of Ex-Presidential protection on: August 04, 2008, 08:36:04 AM
I always thought it was good to have the Secret Service protect ex Presidents for the rest of their lives but shouldn't we be questioning if tax payers should foot the bill in this day and age where ex pols go out and earn big dollars exploiting their former "public service"?

Why should tax dollars go into paying for a security detail for wealthy exes?

I remember when some in the leftist media made a big stink out of Reagan going to Japan to make a speech for $2milliion but that is tip money now for these guys.

If wealthier citizens should be paying higher taxes than wealthier Presidents like the Clintons should not get all these tax payer perks.
3800  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Campaign finance reform - McCain on: August 01, 2008, 09:19:49 AM
I don't know why I haven't heard anyone clarify ***why*** McCain was popular with the newsmedia, or as this article claims (which I doubt) with Hollywood types.  The reason was as far as I know:  his support for campaign finance reform.

When McCain was strong in support of this (I am too BTW since politics is just too corrupt the way it is) it was clearly seen as something that would support the Democrats because Republicans always out raised the crats.  So supporting reform would have hurt Republicans.  So cans were against it and the liberal media, and some in Holier-than-thou-wood loved him.  Now it is not his big issue and he is the Republican candidate and as could easily have been predicted the liberals who loved him have left him in the dust and turn around and claim he has flip flopped.  As usual the self serving in the media and the rich and famous LA and NYC liberal hypocrits try to BS their way out of liking him.  But they only liked him from the start because McCain's views often differed from the Republican "cause".

Bottom line, Hollywood and the liberal media are full of it as usual.

I have no problem with the ad. 

John McCain ad irritates many in Hollywood
Rick Hilton, Kathy Hilton

Dan Steinberg / Associated Press

MCCAIN BACKERS: Socialite Kathy Hilton, left, and husband Rick Hilton.
E-mail Picture
The celebrity backers of Barack Obama say they are not like Paris and Britney.
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
7:04 PM PDT, July 31, 2008

TO HOLLYWOOD it smacked of desperation.

That's why the reaction to a new John McCain ad attempting to portray Barack Obama as a kind of mindless celebrity -- likening him to Paris Hilton and Britney Spears -- drew collective yawns and shrugs of irritation from politically active members of the entertainment industry.

"I didn't think McCain could look silly," mused Norman Lear. "But that ad diminishes him and makes him look silly."


    * And the stars support .... whom?
      And the stars support .... whom?

Just for a start, industry types say the ad is wrong: In the Hollywood lexicon, Obama is not a celebrity. He's a rock star. (Note to McCain strategists: That's the difference between Jessica Simpson and Bono.)

Then there's the small inconvenience that Paris' parents, Rick and Kathleen Hilton, are supporters of McCain's Republican presidential bid. According to federal campaign records, they gave the maximum $4,600.

No word on their plans for the general election, but this much is certain: Their daughter has never paid to attend an Obama campaign fundraiser. (It's unclear whether she's even met the senator, or whether she's even registered to vote. The same goes for Spears.)

McCain's latest attempt at discrediting his handsome, photogenic young rival particularly galls stars and executives with a memory, because only eight years ago, McCain was a fixture in Hollywood fundraising circles when he tried to raise money from the very people his ad now ridicules.

At the time, dozens of people in Hollywood -- including Lear, Harrison Ford, Quincy Jones, Berry Gordy and Michael Douglas -- gave to McCain because they thought he was a Republican celebrity ď with a great personal story. And, dare we say, some celebrities, namely Warren Beatty, even became friends with the Arizona senator.

But the truth is most of Hollywood won't return McCain's calls nowadays because many of the stars and executives he initially impressed now believe the maverick stance they found so attractive was just a pose. Hollywood doesn't object to a good pose -- unless, of course, it doesn't work.

(For his part, McCain said at a recent appearance that he stands by the ad and is proud of the way his campaign has been conducted).

Meanwhile, Hollywood is gearing up for pro-Obama events -- concerts, parties and galas -- between now and November.

A soundtrack CD with songs dedicated to Obama is in the works (think of all that musical hope available for download to your iPod.) A black and white ball is planned for Aug. 21 in Beverly Hills where celebrities are being invited to celebrate Obama's candidacy.

(The candidate, however, will not actually be there. He will be busy working on his acceptance speech, which he'll deliver four days later at the Democratic National Convention in Denver.)

Some of the celebrities who've already signed up to attend the ball, which is being organized independently of Obama's campaign, include: Lucy Liu, Ashley Judd, Jessica Alba, Don Cheadle, Khaled Hosseini, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Dennis Haysbert, Kathy Griffin, Zach Braff, Regina King, Hill Harper, Ben McKenzie, Melanie Brown and "many executives and industry professionals," according event chairwoman Asal Masomi.

"The theme of the gala will focus on celebrating diversity and promoting cultural awareness," Masomi said, adding that Obama's campaign is expected to send a representative.

Some of Obama's strongest celebrity backers, like George Clooney, have been careful to keep their distance because they don't want to compromise the candidate's image as a serious politician. Moreover, as many in the industry have noted, the Obama campaign has been especially careful about vetting stars before they're allowed to work the campaign trail on the senator's behalf.

"Surrogates and high-profile supporters have their place in the campaign," said Democratic strategist Michael Feldman, a former advisor to Al Gore. "They can help draw crowds, raise money and communicate enthusiasm for the campaign. Like every other asset, they need to be leveraged carefully."

The fact of the matter is that for all his popularity in the entertainment industry, Obama has kept Hollywood at a friendly but slight distance. He's hardly waded into the scene with the sort of relish that Bill Clinton did in the 1990s.

"Celebrities are coming onboard because they're excited about Obama, like the rest of America," said Hollywood publicist Howard Bragman. "It's not because he's pandering to them." Bragman called the McCain ad "inauthentic."

"Anyone who knows and listens to Barack Obama doesn't think he's empty-headed," said Bragman, who has known more than his share of vacant skulls. "All this feels very Roveian to me."

Like many in Hollywood, Bragman thinks this is the bottom line: "McCain is trying to use Obama's popularity against him, but guess what? Obama is popular."

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