Thursday Open Thread

“In war, you can only be killed once, but in politics, many times.”

–Winston Churchill

154 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Sir Robin says:

    The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has $54.6 million on hand, compared with $8.4 million raised by the National Republican Congressional Committee.

    Now why is this?

    • notachanceatall says:

      ….Republicans are fiscal conservatives and Democrats believe they can just spend, spend, spend and the government will take care of them.

      What else do you want to know?  

      • Sir Robin says:

        What this picture shows us is that Democrats can raise money because they’re SUPPORTED. Republicans are having a difficult time raising money because they are NOT SUPPORTED. Or, Democrats can save money…..thus the larger sums in the bank, as opposed to Republicans who SPEND money, thus the smaller amount in the bank. Which way would you like your sandwich cut?

        If Republicans are such fiscal conservatives, then why is it that:

        “The current fiscal year’s deficit will be $477 billion, a record. The ten-year deficit, through 2013, will total $2.4 trillion, $1 trillion more than the $1.4 trillion projected last august. And by 2013, the national debt will rise sharply, from $3.9 trillion last year to $6.4 trillion then.”

        Help me out here. What was the fiscal condition of the country after 8 years of a Democratic presidency?

        • redstateblues says:

          Record surplus!

        • notachanceatall says:

          retorical. So if you already knew the answer then why did’ja ask it?

        • DrewKerin says:

          Help me out here. What was the fiscal condition of the country after 8 years of a Democratic presidency?

          by: Sir Robin @ Thu Aug 14, 2008

          Regardless of which party has the presidency, it is the Congress that controls the purse strings.  More of the credit, or blame, lies with them than whoever is president.

          The last six years of Bill Clinton’s presidency, saw a Republican majority in both Houses of Congress.  I’m sure the fiscal condition would have been much different, if he could have had a Democratic controlled Congress for even one full term.  Remember Hillary’s failed budget busting health care program?

          The last time the U.S saw a Democratic president, with both chambers of Congress run by Democrats, for an entire presidential term was Jimmy Carter during 1977-1981.  By the end of his term, the nation was staring at double digit inflation, double digit unemployment, and double digit interest rates.

          • redstateblues says:

            With OPEC shutting us out, right? The economy is more complicated than government, and things take time to affect the overall state of the economy. Take right now for instance, we are facing tough times because of a 30-year failure to find renewable energy sources.

            • Laughing Boy says:

              How did they shut us out?  They are running at more capacity than they did during Clinton’s term.

              China and India growing so much are 90% of the reason for increased prices.

              • redstateblues says:

                You would see I was talking about the 1970s.

                • Laughing Boy says:

                  And you are correct in your point.

                  But absent that new technology, don’t you think we need to cultivate efficient domestic energy to bridge the gap?

                  • redstateblues says:

                    Then yes, but all this offshore oil exploration is not going to produce anything that will be usable by us until 2028.

                    If we could drill our way out of the energy problems we face, I would be all for it, but everything I’ve seen and read tells me that it is just not a reasonable solution.

                    However, I do like T. Boone Pickens’ plan of cultivating our natural gas supply into a gap-bridging effort while we make the renewable technology more efficient.

                • DrewKerin says:

                  … both Houses of the U.S. Congress were controlled by the Democratic party.  They did not even heed President Carter’s admonition that our energy dependence on foreign oil was “the moral equivalent of war.”

                  Should Barack Obama get elected president, his biggest obstacle in “changing the way things are done in Washington” will be the Democrats in Congress. They are in the majority and are not the least bit interested in changing the way things are done there. It was a lesson Carter learned the hard way, as will Obama if he gets that far.

            • DrewKerin says:

              The economy is more complicated than government, and things take time to affect the overall state of the economy.

              by: redstateblues @ Thu Aug 14, 2008

              Just how involved do we want the federal government to be in the economy?

              The Feds have a nasty habit of showing up… and never going away.  The growing and unprecedented role of the federal government in education is a perfect example.

              I’m old enough to remember Nixon wage and price controls in the early 1970’s.  That didn’t accomplish anything.

              Government is not real helpful in fostering the growth of most businesses.  Ask any small businessman.  They overregulate and seek to tax the endeavors of entrepreneurs.  

              I’m not saying they have no role whatsoever, but it should be as limited as possible.  It’s the businesses that provide most of this nation’s jobs, not government.

              • redstateblues says:

                It’s just hard to do that after the corporate scandals of the last decade. Without government intervention in those cases, there would have been even more widespread corruption.

                • DrewKerin says:

                  I really want to agree with you.  It’s just hard to do that after the corporate scandals of the last decade. Without government intervention in those cases, there would have been even more widespread corruption.

                  by: redstateblues @ Thu Aug 14, 2008

                  Unlike most Republicans, I am not anti-union.  I grew up on UAW benefits with parents who were registered Republicans.  (My dad was an industrial electrician for General Motors.) My 84 year old mother, who never worked a day for GM, still receives those benefits.  (She has a $5 dollar co-pay for her prescriptions!)  I am still very much undecided on Amendment 47.

                  I’m not convinced that all corporations really care about their employees.  Making employees part-time, or making them independent contractors, is simply not investing in the people who work for you.  

                  I recall the bitterness surrounding the King Soopers strike back in the 1990’s.  I have never looked at their slogan “Our people make the difference” the same way since.  Apparently, the grocery chain didn’t think so back then.

                  I still won’t fly United because I think they outright cheated their pilots out of their existing pensions.  The least the airline could have done was offer them stock options after torpedoing their pensions.

                  Large companies shipping jobs overseas may improve the corporate bottom line, but it definitely hurts the country at large.  If retailers are concerned about the poor back-to-school sales, just wait until they see how miserable the Christmas shopping season is going to be.

                  You can’t lay off employees and limit their earnings, then wonder why so few people are buying your products.  It’s because too many other companies are doing the same thing.  Where do these companies think customers come from?

                  But I am also not convinced unions are altruistic either.  The Teamsters, the United Mine Workers, and the Sanitation Workers back East all have had scandals that rivaled any corporate ones.

                  Unions do put pressure on workers in their industry to join.  I saw that in education.  For the ten years I taught school in Colorado, I was a member of CEA and NEA.  I joined for three reasons:  

                  1) Liability insurance and legal protection. (School districts don’t offer that to individual teachers, and a lot of teacher join for just that reason alone.)

                  2) I didn’t trust the upper echelons of the administration to be straight with the elected school board.  (As a former city council member, I’ve learned that a lot of information is filtered — with a definite slant — by city administrators and school superintendents to city councils and school boards, respectively.)

                  3) I wanted to make sure there was a Republican presence within CEA, which I still consider to be a wholly owned subsidiary of the Democratic Party.  (I annoyed them enough that they finally put me on the 4th Congressional District contact team when Hank Brown, then Wayne Allard, held the office.)  

                  With all that said, there needs to be a balance between corporations and unions.  While government control is necessary, it needs to be as limited as possible.      

                  • parsingreality says:

                    I have to confess puzzlement, though, why anyone who benefits so greatly from union/progressive policies would be a Republican. Historically, the R’s have fought the benefits your mother receives, for instance, tooth and nail.  

                    Don’t forget, if one is a Dem and the Dem candidate for whatever isn’t to your liking, you can still vote, um, Green.  

                  • Fidel's dirt nap says:

                    I agree with Parsing – what you outlined is very well thought out IMHO.

      • BlueCat says:

        Right up until this election it’s always been Repubs raising the most money.  The internet has allowed Dems to collect enough money from small contributors, ordinary people to compete with Repubs, the TRUE party of the elite, who have always had more huge contributions from the rich, not that there aren’t rich Dem contributors too but  Repubs have always had and still have a huge advantage there.  

        Also the national debt has consistently gone up under Republicans and come down under Dems for decades.  The whole idea that Republicans are more responsible with tax payer money is now and always has been a  myth unsupported by a single scrap of concrete evidence.

        Repubs had years of complete domination under Bush in both the executive and legislative branches and the result  has been the most waste, biggest debt and deficit and most incompetence in running government institutions in this nation’s history.  Period. That an getting us into a completely unnecessary and counter productive war and bringing us to a position of impotence in the face of a resurgent Russia grown rich on oil profits courtesy of tough talking Republican hawk policy.

    • DrewKerin says:

      The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has $54.6 million on hand, compared with $8.4 million raised by the National Republican Congressional Committee.

      Now why is this?

      by: Sir Robin @ Thu Aug 14, 2008

      I have no doubt that a generic Democrat candidate will outraise a generic GOP candidate in this election cycle.  But a lot of Republicans will not contribute to the NRCC because of the embezzlement scandal, involving the former treasurer, that was uncovered earlier this year.  Most Republican contributors to congressional campaigns donate their money directly to the candidate’s campaign.

    • Sir Robin says:

      U.S. Troops Deployed Abroad Reject McCain’s Iraq Plans, Donate 6:1 To Obama

      Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has repeatedly claimed that he can speak for the interests of U.S. troops and best represent what they want. During a November 2007 debate, for example, McCain said:

      I want to – and I want to tell you something, sir. I just finished having Thanksgiving with the troops, and their message to you is – the message of these brave men and women who are serving over there is: Let us win. Let us win.

      Moreover, he has charged that Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL), “who does not understand what’s happening in Iraq or fails to acknowledge the success in Iraq, would rather lose a war than lose a campaign.”

      But a new analysis by Open Secrets finds that the U.S. military is increasingly rejecting McCain as its spokesman. Obama has received nearly six times as much money from soldiers deployed overseas. Even anti-war libertarian Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), who has suspended his campaign, has received more than four times as much as McCain:

      Despite McCain’s status as a decorated veteran and a historically Republican bent among the military, members of the armed services overall – whether stationed overseas or at home – are also favoring Obama with their campaign contributions in 2008, by a $55,000 margin. Although 59 percent of federal contributions by military personnel has gone to Republicans this cycle, of money from the military to the presumed presidential nominees, 57 percent has gone to Obama.

      McCain leads Obama by $4,000 in Marine Corps donations, although in all the other branches – including in the Navy, in which McCain served – Obama is leading “by significant margins.” Army Specialist Jay Navas cited Iraq war policies as a key reason he gave to Obama: “We’ll complete our duty – I’m deploying next year – because it’s a commitment I made to the nation, not to a president. But we all know that Iraq was a big mistake.”

      Not only is Obama’s withdrawal plan – redeployment within 16 months – seemingly more popular amongst U.S. troops, but is also favored by Iraqi government officials. Even many wealthy donors in the United States who contributed to Bush in 2004 have been reluctant to donate to McCain because of his Iraq policies.

      h/t Think Progress

      • Half Glass Full says:

        What’s the matter with our combat soldiers and sailors, that they’re not supporting McCain but instead supporting that secret Muslim arugula-eating sissy?

        They need to get with the program and become as patriotically pro-war and militaristic as their neocon supporters like McCain here back home.

        This is sickening: the military supporting Obama? It almost makes me want to throw away that fading magnetic “Support the Troops” ribbon on my Ford Excursion. Because if the troops aren’t going to support themselves, why should I?

    • One Queer Dude says:

      when they should have earmarked (poor choice of words) for CO-4

    • redstateblues says:

      in these states is his plan to punish companies who ship jobs overseas. I think that will resonate with voters, especially since John McCain doesn’t have a plan for outsourcing.

      • notachanceatall says:

        As long as manufacture goods and services can be made cheaper overseas, companies will exploit the opportunity to make more for less.

        Imposing punishments on companies that take advantage of this will only drive those companies out of the country. Companies that end up leaving take their economic impacts with them. That takes monies out of our national economy. This country loses because we want to punish capitalism. Makes no sense does it.  

        • DavidThi808 says:

          Is from one of the most ineffective presidents who presided over one of the most corrupt administrations in our nation’s history. Interesting choice…

        • ThillyWabbit says:

          Right now companies use twisted interpretations of the tax code (and sometimes just blatant giveaways) to get tax breaks for sending their jobs overseas. That’s in effect punishing employers who keep their workforce in America. That needs to stop.

          • notachanceatall says:

            But beating the employer with a stick to get them to stop is not the answer to fixing the problem. There needs to be some sort of enticement to encourage any company from exploiting this ‘loophole’.

            Punishing a company that wants to improve their bottom line by exploiting overseas business is not the answer.  

            • redstateblues says:

              There needs to be some sort of enticement to encourage any company from exploiting this ‘loophole’.

              Like what? They have been creating the job vacuum and now they need to be rewarded, or inticed? I don’t think so. Draw a line in the sand and tell them they no longer get their tax breaks. They have to create jobs in America, or there will be consequences.

              • notachanceatall says:

                How does this stop a company from looking somewhere else for a break. On company is under any obligation to create American jobs! They are obligated to create jobs and we want Americans to fill them.

                So do you want companies to implement quotas then? Somehow that does not seem American now does it.

                Until a viable business model is created to entice companies to keek jobs from moving off shore this conundrum will continue to exist. Punishing a company to get results will never be a viable result to cure this action.  

            • Arvadonian says:

              We won’t tax the hell out of you if you don’t export jobs.

              Here’s the punishment/stick:

              You export jobs, we tax the hell out of you!  You import toys with lead based paint in them that make our kids sick, we not only fine you, we send your executives to prison.  You import foods that sicken our family members and our pets we will fine the crap out of you and send your executives to prison.

        • redstateblues says:

          That makes no sense. The only reason they do it is becuase it is financially benficial. If you take away that benefit, then they are not going to do that any more. The idea of every American company leaving our shores is tantamount to treason. Of course, I’m sure, the right blames those pesky unions for making American workers so “spoiled” by those awful, job-killing benefits.

        • Sir Robin says:

          I’m having a difficult time making sense of that statement. Can you explain how capitalists, who move companies out of the country to take advantage of lower wages elsewhere, are punishing capitalism?  

          • Laughing Boy says:

            You grossed over $7 million last year.  

            How much did you pay in taxes on your profits last year?  

            Which country has the highest corporate tax rate in the world?

              • redstateblues says:

                Laughing stock doesn’t want to educate himself. He wants to change the constitution so Bush can run for a third term.

              • Laughing Boy says:

                There is nothing on that site to learn, other than the depths of anger and sickness people like you display.

                Like this:

                Daily Kos: ‘If God Can Give Robert Novak a Brain Tomour then Why Cant He Give All of Them One’

                • Sir Robin says:

                  Do you have a learning disability?

                  • Laughing Boy says:

                    Ready to apologize about the remarks you made out of nowhere about my wife?

                    Didn’t think so.  You are angry and sick to say the things you do.  Sorry, but the truth hurts.

                    Now, I read your silly article on Kos.  You really need to get out more.

                    Listing Saudi Arabia and Syria at the top of the “corporate tax list” as an apology for the US having the highest corporate tax rates?  Sheesh.  I’m sure Nazi Germany had pretty high rates if that’s how you want to look at it.

                    I am indeed talking of State and Federal rates combined.  You have to pay both, right?

                    But you know these things.  You are a wealthy capitalist.  

                    What’s the name of your company again?

                • Danny the Red (hair) says:

                  Some don’t.

                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L

                  It is clear the US has a low relative tax burden.

                  Now you can choose to cut Corporate taxes, but in order to balance the budget you must raise taxes on individuals.

                  Many “conservative” (who are not actually conservative at all) like to say that tax cuts increase tax revenues.  At very high tax levels this is true, but at the relatively low levels this is demonstrably untrue as show by the relative budget deficits under Reagan v. Clinton.

                  Others propose cutting spending, but the spending cuts would be a rounding error compared to the proposed tax cuts and would lead to further deficits and further devaluation of the $.

                  I would be happy to cut nominal corporate tax rates if it was revenue neutral, and that would require either cutting out the loopholes (the US has more loopholes than any OECD country.  This would bring us in line with most other countries.

                  If you intend to cut rates and leave the loopholes in place, you are going to have to raise taxes elsewhere.  Corp taxes provide about 15% of federal revenue.  

            • BlueCat says:

              but since 65% of our corporations don’t pay any and  many of the rest get out of paying most that’s a meaningless technicality. American corporations do just fine with their tax situation. No tears need be shed for them.

              • Laughing Boy says:

                They would be able to aid the economy by doing more business, hiring more people if the rates were lower?

                • BlueCat says:

                  65% pay NOTHING.  NOTHING is pretty low.  Besides the whole trickle down theory has been discredited eversince Reagan. Bush the first had it right when he called it voodoo economics.  

                  Front loading benefits to the wealthy corporate  elite at the very top has NOT resulted in more better paying jobs.  Mostly it’s resulted in corporate raiders slashing jobs.  

                  It is no coincidence that with a CEO in the White House (albeit one who is pretty dumb and was never had success as a CEO) and a rubber stamp congress through most of his two terms, the American middle is shrinking like crazy while a tiny elite is getting all the benefit. This is not translating to lifting all boats. Quite the opposite.  

                  Reaganomics has had it’s fullest most unfettered opportunity to do its thing and has been a complete disaster for the great American middle.  You can’t blame this mess on anyone else but those who have been firmly in charge most of the past decade or at the very least, when not quite holding all the majorities, able to block anything they don’t want.

                  • Laughing Boy says:

                    They pay payroll taxes and the employees pay income taxes.  Profits taxes are about 1/5 of business taxes collected.

                    They certainly don’t pay “NOTHING”.

                    • BlueCat says:

                      You’re the one who specified corporate taxes and I wouldn’t get into payroll taxes if I were you.  The middle and low income worker gets the short end of the stick on that one more than any other.

                      Apparently you have no answer to the inconvenient fact that 65% of corporations pay no corporate taxes at all, most of the rest don’t pay much so you’re  resorting to apples and oranges.

                      In any case, the Bush tax policy has NOT created a healthier economy for those of us who aren’t in the tiny wealth and power elite.  Period.  Case closed.

                    • Laughing Boy says:

                      You are looking at the wrong information.

                      Do you really want to try to make the point that 65% of all US corporations pay no taxes to the government at all. State or Federal?

                      How many times do you want to tax the revenue?

                    • parsingreality says:

                      It’s not taxes that the research and my original posting was referring to. It was very specifically income taxes.

                      As both our esteemed David and the article pointed out, many corporations are LLC’s and Subchapter S.  Income from these corps becomes individual income. And these corporation types did not exist a couple of generations ago.  

                      But what was left, still, paid NOTHING in income taxes.  Many of these same corps, I would presume, get tax breaks and even subsidies.

                      Federal income from corporations was once upon a time 35%.  It’s now 7%.  How is that good?  They use the roads and schools and have their collective backs covered by the military and the police. And the legal fallacy of being “persons” doesn’t equate to kids going to Iraq.

                    • Laughing Boy says:

                      I just look at it as another chance for the government to tax business, when I don’t think that’s the best thing for our economy.  

                      We have had record tax receipts with the cuts.  I know there are major rebuttals on the laffer curve, but I still believe to the core of my being that if you leave the market the fuck alone, the market will take care of itself.  More taxes on business is bad.  

                      I especially think the “big oil” windfall taxes are particularly disingenuous because they are an easy target when oil is at $130/barrel.

                    • parsingreality says:

                      the solution to increasing government revenues is to eliminate all taxes.

                      Thats the logical extension of voodoo economics.  

                    • Laughing Boy says:

                      and not what I mean.  There’s a balance.  But I’d be more inclined to cut things like the department of education and most all earmarks before I’d raise taxes that will likely lead to stagnation of some extent.

                      Oh, yeah.  Ban the unions.

                      Just kidding.  But what would you think about getting rid of the education unions and starting them again from scratch – anyone ever involved in a capacity other than ‘member’ would be ineligible.  I’d think that might fix the priorities rather quickly.

                    • Mr. Toodles says:

                      A sort of DeBa’athification of the teachers union will not help the teachers union (please recognize I am using this an example not trying to pick a fight about Iraq). In my opinion, it will effectively kill the unions. People who pay their dues and are not actively involved in day to day running, possibly do not even know what services are provided, are not going to know what the priorities are.

                      The people who know all the little minutia are essential to running a large organization. Getting rid of them lets the people who oppose the organization run roughshod over those that know little. Essentially, it will roll back any protection the teachers enjoy now.

                      I know there are bad teachers who have tenure, but there are also a shit-load of teachers who work extremely hard and need tenure and union financial protection from frivolous lawsuits and all the other amenities teachers need. If you want to scrap the bad teachers and attract new, great teachers you shouldnt offer them less protection and a weakened negotiation team.  

                    • Laughing Boy says:

                      It’s the fact that teaching the students efficiently and successfully hasn’t been the primary mission of the union in a long time.

                      Look at Bruce Randolph as an example – the teachers, parents, and administrators of that school had to go to war against the union to make some changes that would benefit the students.

                      ?!?!?!

                    • parsingreality says:

                      So, anyone know what that alleged magic sweet spot is?  Of course not.  

                      The Scandinavian countries tax at something like 50%.  But in turn they get “free” health care, housing assurances, long unemployment insurance, etc.

                      Taxes re-disbursed just wind up back in circulation.  They don’t disapper down some black hole.  Exceptions would be buying government stuff from China and military expenditures overseas.

          • notachanceatall says:

            who would move their work overseas and take advantage of the lower wages and higher profits. This help?

            • Danny the Red (hair) says:

              are not always the same as the strategic interests of Corporations.

              Corporations serve the national interest by creating jobs, creating wealth, innovating and paying taxes.  The government needs to balance these goals when building a tax policy.

              Giving incentives to companies to offshore jobs serves only the goal of creating wealth to the detriment of all the other goals.  

              While creating wealth is laudable, it creates its own problems when income differentials grow so large that large segments of the population do not participate in the growing economy.

              Before someone goes back to how unamerican this is.  Corporations were never envisioned as the center of American economic life when this country was founded.  Even up to 100 years ago corporations were relatively few in number and had to organize as trusts to operate interstate.  Teddy Roosevelt recognized that corporate power was a threat to US soveriegnty and took steps to control them to serve the strategic interests of the US.

              It is a mistake to assume that the interests of corporations are the interests of the american people.

              • BlueCat says:

                Corporations don’t care about national security.  It’s up to the people through their elected government to mind that particular store. Often corporate interests are not just different but completely opposed to national interests. Corporations are not interested in patriotism except to have the Republican party use jingoism to get their pet politicians elected.  

        • parsingreality says:

          We’re fucked if we let things continue, business as usual.

          We’re fucked if we try to keep the jobs here.

          Either way, they are going to China.

          So, if that’s the case, let’s just do nothing.  Or let’s try to stanch some of the job bleeding.  

          When the CEO’s start losing their jobs to Bangladore, we’ll see some real change.  

          • redstateblues says:

            When the CEO’s start losing their jobs to Bangladore, we’ll see some real change.  

            The equivalent of that is getting taken over by foreign interests. Anheuser-Busch anyone?

  2. Laughing Boy says:

    What an incredible load of horseshit.  From the network that brought you the cute little gree peacock in the corner – because they care.  From today’s News:

    LET THERE BE LIGHT: Not sure if this is in keeping with the DNC’s “green” platform, but the cable news network MSNBC is asking that all office buildings and residences that are visible behind Union Station looking east leave their lights on till midnight Aug. 25-28.The network will be broadcasting live until midnight our time with the city skyline as a backdrop. More info: Rich Grant, 303-571-9450.

    Maybe some of you should call Mr. Grant and tell him about all the Polar Bears he’ll be responsible for murdering.

  3. ColoradoPolitical says:

    I bet Mo Udall is turning over in his grave,

    Mo was an ultra liberal but not a flip-flopper.  Offshore drilling is just another Udall flip-flop.  

    New poll to be released this afternoon by Rasmussen will show this is one tight race.

  4. DrewKerin says:

    but it was the most recent article I could find online.  

    That being said, I don’t think it is a stretch that the trend probably still holds true. I seriously doubt that Democrats, who have contributed an extraordinary amount to Obama’s campaign (as well as Hillary’s), and to the DNCC — as was noted above — are also throwing money to the DNC as well.

  5. bob ewegen says:

    If you want to sound off on our blog post about the roan, here’s the link:

    http://blogs.denverpost.com/

  6. DrewKerin says:

    I have to confess puzzlement, though, why anyone who benefits so greatly from union/progressive policies would be a Republican. Historically, the R’s have fought the benefits your mother receives, for instance, tooth and nail.  

    by: parsingreality @ Thu Aug 14, 2008

    Well, I don’t necessarily equate being pro-union with being pro-Democrat.  Apparently, my parents didn’t either.  

    My dad, who passed away in 2001, couldn’t stand the Kennedys.  He never could believe that a family, as wealthy as they were, could ever identify with the working class.  I don’t think he ever voted for a Democratic presidential candidate.  My mom voted for Bill Clinton in 1996 and John Kerry in 2004, but she’s one of those over age 65 voters that are now solidly behind John McCain.  She’s considering Mark Udall in the Senate race, but I’ve got plenty of time yet to convince her otherwise.  She backed Bob Schaffer over Pete Coors in the 2004 GOP primary for the Senate.  

    Where I grew up… north central New Jersey… had a bearing on my political leanings.  The county I was raised in — Somerset — was overwhelmingly Republican.  

    Back then in New Jersey, Democrats were… how should I put this delicately… sleazy.  Republicans were also mostly Rockefeller Republicans.  I remember the two men who were New Jersey’s U.S. senators during my boyhood.  

    One was Democrat Harrison “Pete” Williams, who served from 1959 until 1982…when he was sent to federal prison for four years after being convicted of taking bribes in the Abscam scandal.

    The other senator was Clifford Case, who served from 1955 to 1979.  He proudly was known as a liberal, not moderate, Republican.  He was the last Republican senator elected from New Jersey.

    My congressman was Peter Frelinghuysen, Jr., a Republican who served from 1952 to 1975.  (There wasn’t much turnover in New Jersey’s congressional delegation in those days.)  Amazingly, Frelinghuysen is still alive at age 92 now.  

    I’ve lived in five states — NJ, Missouri, Washington, Texas, and Colorado, as well as the country of Mexico — so my political philosophy has been shaped by many factors from a variety of places.

    I do hold many conservative views: pro-life, pro 2nd amendment, pro-vouchers, opposed to illegal immigration, and supporting a partial privitization of Social Security.  But I have always considered myself a Republican first and a conservative second.  I’m a big believer of the late Lee Atwater’s “Big Tent” theory.  Ronald Reagan and Hank Brown are my political heroes.  I think Douglas Bruce and Dick Wadhams are an embarrassment to the party.

    If you are going to be effective in politics, you need to choose one of the political parties, stick with it, and work within it.  I have a lot more respect for Democrats than I do for “Independents.”

    • parsingreality says:

      Yes, parties can be good or corrupt in various geographies and points in time.

      But overall, working persons have benefited most under Democratic regimes than Republican.  You are smart enough to know the various laws that have been passed since 1932 to help the common man; I won’t point out.

      RR started the destruction of the New Deal philosphies and the middle class.

      Regardless, I do like your sig line…

      • DrewKerin says:

        Democrats, particularly under FDR and LBJ, did establish a lot of the social nets we benefit from today.  But Democrats also want to gather as much of the people’s money (taxes) as they can, then dole it out in ways their style of government deem appropriate.  I don’t like that.

        School vouchers are a good example.  The argument becomes we can’t use government money to potentially support religious based schools.  But the government money was the people’s money before the government took it in as taxes.  The government rarely generates any money on its own.  It takes it away from people and businesses, then has the audacity to say it is government money.

        Governments that collect money, then provide all the services to the people make me very nervous.  It makes the people dependent on the government, and that is never good.

        • parsingreality says:

          I know that “independence” is a great American ideology, but I prefer emperical evidence and experience.

          The people living in Scandinavia don’t seem to suffer from any particular character defects from their “nanny states.”  In fact, they “suffer” from caring about one another, if anything.  

          After the disasters of their socialistic economy experiments, they seem to have found a very effective road to travel.  Their economies are booming.

          And no one worries about health insurance…

          • DrewKerin says:

            According to the World Health Organization, the rate of suicides, per 100,000, is higher in Finland (38.7 Male, 10.7 Female), in Denmark (24.3 M, 9.8 F), and in Sweden (20.0 M, 8.5 F) than it is in the United States (19.3 M, 4.4 F).  Norway is ranked right behind the USA at (19.1 M, 6.2 F).

            Maybe “nanny states” are not conducive to one’s mental health outlook after all.  

            • parsingreality says:

              but offer the thought that Scandinavia may be more accurate in reporting than here.  After all, our unemployment rate always looks better than theirs, but we don’t report in the same manner in order to cook our domestic books.

              Your rates are also counter to some research that’s been done in Australia and in the US.  Suicide rates go up as more conservative governments come into power.  

              • DrewKerin says:

                http://fathersforlife.org/heal

                It would seem more repressive governments lead to a higher suicide rate.

                • Mr. Toodles says:

                  And doesnt match up with what WHO has on their website (I checked the US and Finland only). The rate is roughly the same, but they have different years for different countries. Maybe I am picking nits here, but the fathers for life source just doesnt inspire a lot of confidence.

                  • DrewKerin says:

                    There would be no point in doing that.  I suspect that those figures were not the most recent ones.  I used that link because it was the first one that ranked suicides by country, and not alphabetical order, on Google.  

                    Below is the link to the WHO’s 2007 stats, which is in alphabetical order.  The numbers are slightly different, but the pattern is the same.

                    http://www.who.int/mental_heal

                • parsingreality says:

                  …are important, you know.

                  A democratically run government with a lot of social programs is not a “repressive government.” You might find yourself, personally, constrained, but in Scandinavia we are certainly not talking China or Cuba.

                  You know, if it is so terrible in Sweden, I presume they would steer the ship of state in a different direction.  No democracy with universal health care (i.e., all democracies except the US) has ever regretted their decision to NOT emulate the US model.  

            • parsingreality says:

              I kept some of the information I referred to on my computer.  I will try to summarize or link as I am able to.

              OK, here’s a summary page on research showing increased suicides under conservative rule: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/low/he…  If anyone is interested in the full page with a lot more detail and some important charts, BC me, paulv THAT paulv.net .

              A study of dominant political parties and suicide rates: http://arts.bev.net/roperldavi…  

              “Whatever factors cause the large disparity for suicide rates between the various states also cause those states to tend to vote Republican. I believe that the main factors are:

              Capitalism rules: Every person looks after his own welfare, including his mental health.

              Minimum government: Government is to stay out of the lives of people, including helping people with their mental health.

              Low taxes: Keep the taxes as low as possible, leaving little to care for the mentally ill.”

              He also has a fascinating analysis of many factors of well being by state corelated to the 1996 presidential votes. http://arts.bev.net/roperldavi

              Long story short is that Republican/Conservative governments are, with a few exceptions, not good for your well being. Or, being well.  

          • DavidThi808 says:

            Look at where the vast majority of really ground-breaking stuff comes from. Here in the good old U.S.A.

            • parsingreality says:

              I’m not sure how much of that is due to the level of government support of the populace.

              The fact is that Americans have always been incredibly innovative, right back to the colonial days. When I see what we have done in terms of innovation compared to the rest of the world, well, we have all the gold medals.  

              Certain cultures cherish and reward ideas.  Most don’t.  

  7. DavidThi808 says:

    from the Boulder Daily Camera

    A University of Colorado regent candidate who withdrew from the race because of a family medical emergency is donating the $12,000 he raised on the campaign trail so the school can award scholarships.

  8. Laughing Boy says:

    I’m sure you could reverse the parties and it would be just as funny…

    A woman in a hot air balloon realizes she is lost. She

    lowers her altitude and spots a man fishing from a

    boat below.

    She shouts to him, ‘Excuse me, can you help me? I

    promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but I

    don’t know where I am.’

    The man consults his portable GPS and replies, ‘You’re

    in a hot air balloon, approximately 30 feet above a

    ground elevation of 2346 feet above sea level. You are

    at 31 degrees, 14.97 minutes north latitude and 100

    degrees, 49.09 minutes west longitude.

    She rolls her eyes and says, ‘You must be a

    Republican!’

    ‘I am,’ replies the man. ‘How did you know?’

    ‘Well,’ answers the balloonist, ‘everything you tell

    me is technically correct, but I have no idea what to

    do with your information, and I’m still lost. Frankly,

    you’re not much help to me.’

    The man smiles and responds, ‘You must be a Democrat.’

    ‘I am,’ replies the balloonist. ‘How did you know?’

    ‘Well,’ says the man, ‘You don’t know where you are or

    where you’re going. You’ve risen to where you are, due

    to a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise

    that you have no idea how to keep, and now you expect

    me to solve your problem. You’re in exactly the same

    position you were in before we met, but, somehow,

    now it’s my fault.

  9. DavidThi808 says:

    Take a look at this story from Birmingham, England.

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