McCain v Obama

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Re: McCain v Obama

Postby You Can Call Me Ray » Thu Aug 07, 2008 4:08 am

I am not going to leave this one lie, Ryan. Especially since you were the one who brought up the "ethics" issue. I would now like you to directly address the ethics of Mr. Obama with respect to taxation and another set of evidence I presented from another WSJ article earlier in this thread:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1216596 ... pa_mostpop

Barack Obama says he's going to cut taxes for those at the bottom, but that's also going to be a challenge because Americans with an income below the median paid a record low 2.9% of all income taxes, while the top 50% paid 97.1%. Perhaps he thinks half the country should pay all the taxes to support the other half.


So the specific questions for you are:

1) Do you think it is ethical for the upper 50% of wage earners, who have worked hard to make that wage, to have to pay 97.1% of all income taxes while the lower 50% of wage earners only have to pay 2.9%?
2) Moreover, do you think Mr. Obama is putting forward an ethical plan that wishes to REDUCE that 2.9% tax burden on the lower 50% and make the upper 50% pay even MORE?

Let me say that I am always willing to help my fellow man who I judge to need my help, and deserve my help. That is my own personal ethos. However, I think it is terribly unethical for the government to indiscriminately take my hard-earned money and just as indiscriminately distrubute that money to people who may not even deserve it. That is an act of an unethical government.

So please answer these questions of ethics.
Ray
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Re: McCain v Obama

Postby ryguy » Thu Aug 07, 2008 2:10 pm

You Can Call Me Ray wrote:That is not how Mr. Obama is "selling" it, now is it? And even that addition is tenuous, at best. What you have not addressed is how you measure it. And that will forever be your stumbling block (and Obama's) because you continue to ignore other companies that make much more excessive profits.


Why would I care about other companies...from what I've heard he's only talking about oil companies...

Reuters story here

RALEIGH, North Carolina (Reuters) - Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said on Monday he would impose a windfall profits tax on U.S. oil companies as he sought political gain from Americans' pain over high gasoline prices.

Launching a two-week focus on the economy after clinching the Democratic presidential nomination, Obama drew a sharp contrast between his economic policies and those of John McCain, his Republican rival in the November election.

"I'll make oil companies like Exxon pay a tax on their windfall profits, and we'll use the money to help families pay for their skyrocketing energy costs and other bills," the Illinois senator said.


So where are you getting this stuff about windfall taxes on ALL companies, Ray?

Now you are just playing the emotional game, Ryan. My question remains how you measure it an apply it. Not whether it meets some ethical standard. I will still await yours (or Obama's) means for levying such a tax fairly. Unless you think that because you interpret oil company behavior as "unethical" that you think two wrongs will make a right and we should be unethical in how we levy such a tax...?


Actually...yes I do. When a murderer murders children, we put the murderer out of his misery, yes? When a person steals from the bank, we catch him and "steal" the money back (according to your definition of "two wrongs" anyway). In my opinion we're just taking back what was already ours to begin with.

If people tamper with the market, they should go to jail. No ifs, ands, or butts. Please remember there is a difference between allegations and being convicted as guilty.


You know as well as I do (I hope) how oil speculation works, and how the loopholes exist for oil companies to play games. If not, I'll take the time to describe speculation - but it's been in the news quite a bit lately so I assume you already know how it works.

How quickly your brush over the operative words: (1) They were cleared, Ryan. That means "not guilty". (2) Those dissenting from the decision (and there was only 1) stated his opinions. But again, make no mistake, if someone actually is convicted, then they should pay reparations and go to jail.


Being cleared only means that there were enough conservatives (like yourself, Ray) who buy into the corporate lies...probably because, like you, they can afford to own a fair number of shares of stock in the oil companies. Vested interest, eh?

It is most interesting when you see just how much oil companies are already paying in taxes! They are paying more in taxes than their profits. So now whose "profit" is unethical? Do you really think it is ethical for government to demand a GREATER share of money from selling a commodity than the business itself makes in profits? But there is more to learn from history in that article:


You are talking about normal operating income/expenses/profit....the last two to three years have hardly been "normal." Thanks to a combination of Bush handouts to the oil companies...they've realized tremendous profits at a time when families can't pay for damn FOOD because they can't afford overpriced oil (prices which are not accurately reflecting true supply/demand...a point you gloss over).

Obama charged that McCain's support for extending President George W. Bush's tax cuts means he is in favor of $2 trillion in corporate tax breaks, including $1.2 billion for Exxon Mobil Corp.

"If John McCain's policies were implemented, they would add $5.7 trillion to the national debt over the next decade. That isn't fiscal conservatism, that's what George Bush has done over the last eight years," Obama said.


So history already tells us what will happen. But Obama either did not learn from history, or he is purposefully being unethical in not sharing this history. You wanna talk ethical, eh? Are you going to defend ANY politician (esp. Obama) as "ethical" Ryan? But wait, the best is yet to come:


I don't believe it's the same proposal Ray, but I'll get into that in a subsequent post...we can compare Obama's proposal to what was proposed in the past and determine if it really is the same thing....and not just Republican pundits attempting to draw parallels between the two. You can find them everywhere, screaming from the rooftops that this is the same as the Carter administrations efforts in the 70's...so I did predict your response..lol...

But what I would LOVE to discuss (because people really need to see this) is how the oil companies can't explain their own profits in 2005. From The Nation.

It was a great quarter for the oil industry, but Wednesday was not a great day. For the first time this year, top executives from ExxonMobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, BP and Shell Oil were summoned to Capitol Hill for a little Q&A with Congress. Big Oil's soaring profits, at a time of record gas prices last month, meant sagging poll numbers for the Republican leadership--a reality even Senate majority leader Bill Frist couldn't ignore when he hastily called for hearings shortly after ExxonMobil announced $9.9 billion in third-quarter profits, the largest take in US corporate history. Four companies are expected to collectively pocket $100 billion in profits this year.

[snip]

After all, the Bush Administration and the Republican Congress have reliably provided favors large and small to Big Oil, paving the way to unprecedented prosperity. In the last year alone, they've blocked meaningful action on global warming and significant investment in renewable energy sources, sought to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for oil drilling, inserted $2.6 billion in tax breaks into the energy bill and cleared the way for new, regulation-lite oil refineries by holding open a five-minute floor vote in the House for forty-eight minutes. Big Oil responded in kind, donating $13.3 million to Republican Congressional candidates in the 2004 election cycle.

[snip]

When the execs pointed to rising global demand, decreasing supply, worldwide speculators, disruptions from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and nettlesome domestic regulations, Domenici replied: "I'm not sure my constituents will be pleased with that answer." In fact, the Big Five failed to take responsibility for much of anything. The situation today strangely parallels the Enron debacle; energy companies complained about excessive regulation when the real cause was a manipulation of supply. A lengthy question-and-answer session with senators bore out this inflexibility.

[snip]

Could oil companies voluntarily donate 10 percent of their profits toward heating assistance for low-income Americans, as suggested by Senate Finance Committee chairman Charles Grassley?

James Mulva, ConocoPhillips: "That's not a good precedent for the industry to fund."

Was a 24-cent increase in the price of gas over a twenty-four-hour period following Hurricane Katrina unconscionably excessive?

Raymond: "We have nothing to say about the price at the pump.... I don't know if that data is accurate."

Had we not experienced Hurricane Katrina, would the profits be even higher?

Raymond: "That's a hard question to answer."

And so on.



I don't believe I have ever said supply was down. But there is the other side of the equation, now isn't there? Demand is most certainly up... and supply is not being increased at anywhere near the levels to offset the greater demand. The result is a net shortage in supply due to increased demand. And to (once again) ask you to address why folks like you want to pick on "big oil" rather than OPEC, take a look at this:


You know that OPEC is supplying enough oil...there simply aren't enough refineries...why is that? Maybe this should give you some clue:

Associated Press Story

(snipped section is ONLY to save space...read the whole article for a great example of how big oil manipulates prices.)

That's why the rumor sounded so wrong here in California's lower San Joaquin Valley, where petroleum has gushed up more riches than the whole gold rush. Why would Shell Oil Co. simply close its Bakersfield refinery? Why scrap a profit maker?

The rumor seemed to make no sense. Yet it was true.

[snip]

Whatever the truth in Bakersfield, an Associated Press analysis suggests that big oil companies have been crimping supplies in subtler ways across the country for years. And tighter supplies tend to drive up prices.

The analysis, based on data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, indicates that the industry slacked off supplying oil and gasoline during the prolonged price boom between early 1999 and last summer, when prices began to fall.

[snip]

It turns out that the industry exerts quite a bit of control over supply.

For one thing, it decides to invest in new wells and refining equipment - or not to. Though reserves have kept pretty steady, the oil industry taps those resources to varying degrees from year to year. The long price run-up first took off as the number of new wells abruptly dropped by a total of 59% in 1998-'99, federal records show.



Is it LEGAL Ray?? Of course it is, right now anyway....but SHOULD it be legal? I don't think so.

One consumer advocate, Mark Cooper, refers to industry-induced supply bottlenecks as "strategic underinvestment." He views references to "discipline" in annual corporate reports as a code word for going easy on supplies.

"Anytime someone talks about 'discipline,' this suggests to me that they have market power. They're choosing what investments to make," says Cooper, research director for Consumer Federation of America.

There's evidence he may be right. A 2001 study by the Federal Trade Commission reported that some firms were deciding to "maximize their profits" by crimping supply during a Midwestern gasoline price spike. One executive told regulators "he would rather sell less gasoline and earn a higher margin on each gallon sold."

This year, the FTC reported that some oil companies were storing oil, instead of selling it right away, to await higher prices anticipated in the future.


The industry has shelved an average of 21% more unrefined oil from the start of 2004 through last June, the AP analysis indicates. Last spring, stocks of shelved crude reached their highest level in eight years, despite the fabulous riches at hand in high prices then.

Such a strategy could conceivably extend to drilling, too. "If you think prices 10 years from now are going to be $100 a barrel, you might not be that enthused about producing as much as you can now," suggests energy economist Allan Pulsipher at Louisiana State University.

However upsetting to drivers, such tactics are usually viewed as legal. "A decision to limit supply does not violate the antitrust laws, absent some agreement among firms," regulators wrote in one FTC report.

Also, individual companies are freer to bottle up supplies without fear of losing business to competition, because fewer companies now control a production choke point: refining. Thanks to mergers, the top 10 companies now control three-quarters of national refining capacity, up from half in the early 1990s.

"A handful of very large companies realize it's in their mutual interest to keep prices as high as possible," says Tyson Slocum, an energy expert at the consumer group Public Citizen, founded by Ralph Nader. "I don't think they're sitting around a table smoking cigars and price fixing, but I think there are sophisticated ways to manipulate the market."



I'll get to the next post when I have more time.

-Ry
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Re: McCain v Obama

Postby ryguy » Thu Aug 07, 2008 3:04 pm

You Can Call Me Ray wrote:So the specific questions for you are:

1) Do you think it is ethical for the upper 50% of wage earners, who have worked hard to make that wage, to have to pay 97.1% of all income taxes while the lower 50% of wage earners only have to pay 2.9%?


Yes I do...because the percentages being used are being used in such a way as to manipulate the public understanding of the truth.

I'll clear that up for people reading this. Using arbitrary numbers, probably nowhere near accurate amounts, but the amounts don't matter.

Let's make it as simple as possible. You've got two wage earners. One makes $250,000 per year. The other one makes $25,000 per year. Let's forget tax brackets for now and just say they both pay about 20% in taxes. The larger wage earner pays $50,000 in taxes, and the lower wage earner pays $5,000.

Now...a Republican, like yourself, comes along and says...is it FAIR that the person making $250,000 pays 91% of the $55,000 in collected taxes??????? Yeah...ok then. Conveniently leaving out the fact that the larger wage earner has $200,000 left to live on...while the lower wage earner only has $20,000 to live off of. See how quoting just percentages don't tell the whole story?

I, like yourself (I assume), pay more in taxes than most people who live around here. And you know what? I'm totally ok with that. Because I remember where I came from, and who helped me get here. It wasn't all me....I had a lot of people who sacrificed to help me pay my way through school, and I left behind a lot of people who were working 50 to 60 hours a week for wages that no human should be asked to live off of. They are lucky if they can buy enough food to feed their kids. And there's no way out for them...they can't afford the education (many of them didn't attain high enough grades for scholarships), and they weren't born into a family so that things were handed to them on a silver platter...life just dealt them a poor hand.

Anyone with a social conscience, who has made it higher up in payscale, should be happy to throw some of those larger earnings into the public bucket that pays for services that help those people who are stuck at the bottom. Yes, some people abuse the system. But it's a gross misrepresentation of the lower-class that most of them do. They don't. It's a sick and twisted view created by right-wing conservatives.

2) Moreover, do you think Mr. Obama is putting forward an ethical plan that wishes to REDUCE that 2.9% tax burden on the lower 50% and make the upper 50% pay even MORE?


Yes - the way the system is currently set up - the rich are getting richer, and the poor are getting poorer. Those of us in the middle who are struggling to climb up into the higher "class" are getting pulled back down into the "poorer". Obama's plan, as you've quoted above, targets the "far-upper" class...and the middle class will be helped with lower taxes. Yes, if you make over $200,000 or so...you probably might have to consider you'll pay slightly more taxes. But is it really that difficult to give up a boat, or a second or third vacation home? ffs...I get so sick of wealthy people whining about taxes...

So please answer these questions of ethics.
Ray


No problem...any other questions feel free to ask.
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Re: McCain v Obama

Postby You Can Call Me Ray » Fri Aug 08, 2008 3:20 pm

ryguy wrote:Why would I care about other companies...from what I've heard he's only talking about oil companies...

(snip)
So where are you getting this stuff about windfall taxes on ALL companies, Ray?


Thank you for reinforcing my point (and the point of the WSJ article that started this debate). So then you are admitting this is an unfair tax, one that other industries with much greater profit margin will not have to pay? No level playing field here, right Ryan? So then you are just admitting this is a money-grab by government?

You know as well as I do (I hope) how oil speculation works, and how the loopholes exist for oil companies to play games. If not, I'll take the time to describe speculation - but it's been in the news quite a bit lately so I assume you already know how it works.


You really are being selective here, Ryan, and you appear to either be ignoring the economics of speculation in markets, or you are actually ignorant of the mechanics. Speculation is a short-term effect... 3-4 months at the outside. The reason is that when one speculates they are enacting a spot-price for oil in the future. That price has a closing date where you either have to buy the oil, or sell it to someone else at that price. We have seen prices for oil climbing for years now. C'mon Ryan...ask any economist and they will tell you that speculation cannot do that. Only one thing can do that and that is supply and demand. People speculate because the gasoline market is regularly cyclic. Every year it goes up starting in March and comes back down in the August/September timeframe...that is because of our DEMAND driven by the summer driving season! But the big question is: So not only are you proposing unfair windfall profit taxes, but are you now saying that you are going to PREVENT people from speculating? Another new law? And I suppose you would ONLY levy that on oil speculation, right? So again you are going to stack the deck against one, specific industry? Do you realize what this will do to people who WILLINGLY take risks in that industry? Please answer that question. I would like to know if you understand what this sort of pressure does to people who take big risks to make a profit.

You are talking about normal operating income/expenses/profit....the last two to three years have hardly been "normal." Thanks to a combination of Bush handouts to the oil companies...they've realized tremendous profits at a time when families can't pay for damn FOOD because they can't afford overpriced oil (prices which are not accurately reflecting true supply/demand...a point you gloss over).


I did not gloss over it. I just addressed it above, in fact. But you bring up "normal". What is "normal", Ryan? Yes, oil companies are making profit margins of 8-10% NOW! And actually, that *IS* quite a normal profit margin. But you think it is excessive. Let's hearken back to the 90's, OK? Things were also pretty far from "normal" for oil companies back then, weren't they? Are you aware of what their profit margins were like back then? Try 4-5% depending on which oil company you look at.

We give handouts and incentives to farmers when times are tough for them. But for some reason we demonize "big oil" and get upset when their profits are so low that they are not taking risks and exploring for oil, but instead relying on foreign supply. So we give them incentives (just like farmers) but people get upset. It is instructive to compare FOOD and OIL because, as you point out, they are both things we NEED to survive...one more than the other. Why is it that we never seem to demonize farmers, Ryan? Yet they are "speculating" right now because of the nonsense passed by Congress regarding ethanol!! It is a documented FACT that this is driving food costs up drastically, and this is causing people to not be able to afford FOOD much less OIL! Why are you not so upset about that as well? Perhaps the farmers will need to be slapped with a "windfall profits tax" for growing corn instead of wheat so they can improve their profits by selling it to make ethanol?


I don't believe it's the same proposal Ray, but I'll get into that in a subsequent post...we can compare Obama's proposal to what was proposed in the past and determine if it really is the same thing.


Please do. Compare away! But I don't think you will be able to, because once again your are highlighting (but not addressing) one of the major points of the WSJ article: The lack of specifics by Obama! If you are so sure it is not the same as the Carter-legacy disaster, then why is Obama not providing specifics? He uses words like "reasonable share of profits". I'll tell you why he is not enumerating specifics: Because the truth would cause him to lose ground against McCain. Honestly, Ryan, you really are buying into what a politician (in an election year) is saying as if it is fair and balanced truth, instead of an election year ploy! Why is it that when Obama accused Hillary or McCain of using "gimmicks" with the gas tax holiday, you believed it, but now when Obama is employing a gimmick, you are buying into it without question? It is a ploy to get elected, Ryan, nothing more. And the ignorance of the effects of such a tax on the US oil industry's ability to compete with NATIONALIZED oil companies on the world market is just downright irresponsible!

But what I would LOVE to discuss (because people really need to see this) is how the oil companies can't explain their own profits in 2005.


It is time to cut your legs out from under you on this one. I have been waiting for you to rise to the bait, and you did...it took some time, but you finally went for it:

See how quoting just percentages don't tell the whole story?


And this rubs both ways, and I think you know it. Why is it that the mainstream media LOVES to report and hype oil company profits in TOTAL DOLLARS ONLY??? I'll tell you why: Because it is good sensationalism that will stoke the fires of "corporate greed". So here we see they are NOT reporting percentages and instead reporting whole dollars, because it serves their intention. However, when you talk to economists and ask them "what is more relevant to measuring excessive profits? Whole dollars in profits or profit margins?" Of course all economists agree the proper measure is profit margins because it takes into account the growth in a company's cost basis in an inflationary environment (which the oil industry is facing right now, in case you didn't want to admit it! LOL).

So the point you make about only reporting percentages does not tell the whole story is actually the counterpoint being made by the WSJ when it comes to whole dollar reporting of profits. The WSJ is pointing out the fury being stoked by not focusing on profit margins, but rather pointing to whole dollars as a means to incite hatred of big oil. That is despicable. For clearly 8-10% profit margin is far from excessive and greedy!! But when you couch it in whole dollars, and thus hide the increased costs of doing business, NOW who is being unethical in their reporting? No one in the general public was worrying about the oil companies when their profit margins were barely breaking 5% through the 90s!

But we have come full circle, and it is really pointless to go on because you have already admitted that this is a targeted "take from the big, bad oil companies" ploy. What you have not admitted yet is that it is just a POLITICAL ploy to get the more uninformed voters (uninformed about macroeconomics) to say "hell yeah! I'm voting for Obama so he STICKS IT TO those oil companies!". The reality, Ryan, is that oil companies are just like farmers in that they provide us with a critical commodity that we need for modern life. But where they differ from farmers is that they take on a LOT greater risk than farmers. Farmers know that if they plant their crop that it will grow. The risks they take are NOT in FINDING the product. The only risks they take are that Mother Nature may wipe out their product before they can harvest it and sell it on the market. Oil companies have MUCH greater initial risk because they do not know if each time they ploy the earth if they will even GET a product!

If you were HONESTLY worried about the poor people, you would be concerned about the LONG TERM effects of such poorly-crafted ideas as "windfall profits taxes" targted against a single industry. It is clear you are NOT thinking about the entire macroeconomic picture, nor what the oil companies response will be to draconian Robin Hood measures such as this. But, of course, folks like you will then just re-engage and mount a bigger attack on them when the results you expected do not come to pass, and the poor people are in even worse straits. And where does this all ultimately lead if you insist upon meddling in commodity markets and artificially restricting profits to fix a supply and demand issue? Well, frankly it leads to where so many other countries have gone: Nationalizing their entire oil infrastructure. And, in turn, that is what leads to socialism.

In fact, that is what people like Hugo Chavez have done. I hope you enjoy his policies, because that is the road you are saying we should go down.... and more than just rabid Republicans have pointed out that Obama is the most socialist-sounding candidate we have ever seen get the DEM nomination in years. No doubt he is further to the left of even Hillary!! (Not that I would want her style of socialism either!)

The thing that is most despicable to me (and yes, VERY unethical!) is our governments inability to control its spending!! Rather than do what poor (and wealthy!!) people do in tough times, and cut spending, our government continues to spend and spend and spend us into debt... and when they want to spend more, they dig deeper in OUR POCKETS!! (Yes, the oil companies are US because over 90% of the ownership of big oil are mutual funds...people's retirement plans!). In case you are wondering, my disgust is aimed at BOTH Republican pols and the Dems! Because it is quite clear NEITHER of these parties can control spending! It is time to cut spending before we milk more out of private business (which passes it on to the consumer). Two years ago DEMS took control of Congress with promises to make things better for the downtrodden. HAVE THEY GOTTEN BETTER FOR THESE PEOPLE? NO! The reason is because it is SPEND SPEND SPEND!

There is one major similarity between microeconomics and macroeconomics, namely, that if you wish to improve your bottom line you FIRST CUT COSTS (spending). Politicians on both sides of the aisle can't seem to do that. And I am sick of it. The poor will NEVER be helped out of their hole as long as the GOV spends away the capital of our nation!

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Re: McCain v Obama

Postby You Can Call Me Ray » Fri Aug 08, 2008 3:37 pm

Time to move back closer to the thread subject line: McCain v Obama...

In my last post to Ryan, I pointed out the windfall tax is just another election year gimmick to get people to emotionally side with Obama and hopefully cast their vote for him. Glenn Beck points out yet another case where Obama shows he is not so much about change, but is just a regular old politician employing election year gimmicks:

http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/08/07/ ... index.html

But, facts aside, Obama seemed to be stunned that Republicans would dare ridicule an idea as revolutionary as checking your tire pressure. "They're making fun of a step that every expert says would absolutely reduce our oil consumption," he complained.

No, what they're making fun of is that a guy who, less than two months earlier, was against the gas tax holiday because it was a "gimmick," has suddenly embraced what is essentially a gimmick.

No one, including John McCain, disputes that keeping your tires inflated will help you get better gas mileage. But so will emptying your trunk, buying a hybrid, not using the heat, and driving naked. The point is that none of those things are solutions; they're unsustainable gimmicks that distract people from solving the underlying crisis. They're also exactly the type of things that Obama once claimed he was against.


Obama and McCain are not all that different. They are both politicians, and both are supported by the same two parties that have always been more about their own power than empowering the American people. I am sick of it...both of them. Just because I happen to like McCain a little bit more than Obama does not mean I think he is the best conservative for the job!

Ross Perot presented charts...and he was constantly made fun of for using his charts. But you know what? Business RUNS ON CHARTS because they show facts in the form of trends. Politicians hate charts because they are unemotional. And both parties just want to stir your emotions to get your votes.

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Nazi Pelosi

Postby You Can Call Me Ray » Mon Aug 11, 2008 2:48 pm

Current Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi used to decry what she called "heavy-handed Republican tactics" that suppressed dissenting votes from the DEMs. Moreover, she pledged that she would not "stoop to such tactics" while DEMs controlled the House. But fear not, she is a politician and if there is one thing we can count on with politicians is that they will break their pledges. With her actions below to attempt to silence opposing members of her House, I think she more qualifies to be called Nazi Pelosi than ever before:

http://www.politico.com/blogs/thecrypt/ ... lking.html

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and the Democrats adjourned the House, turned off the lights and killed the microphones, but Republicans are still on the floor talking gas prices.

Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and other GOP leaders opposed the motion to adjourn the House, arguing that Pelosi's refusal to schedule a vote allowing offshore drilling is hurting the American economy. They have refused to leave the floor after the adjournment motion passed at 11:23 a.m., and they are busy bashing Pelosi and her fellow Democrats for leaving town for the August recess.

At one point, the lights went off in the House and the microphones were turned off in the chamber, meaning Republicans were talking in the dark. But as Rep. John Shadegg (R-Ariz..) was speaking, the lights went back on and the microphones were turned on shortly afterward.

But C-SPAN, which has no control over the cameras in the chamber, has stopped broadcasting the House floor, meaning no one was witnessing this except the assembled Republicans, their aides, and one Democrat, Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (D-Ohio), who has now left.

Only about a half-dozen Republicans were on the floor when this began, but the crowd has grown to about 20, according to Patrick O'Connor.

"This is the people's House," said Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-Mich.). "This is not Pelosi's politiburo."

Democratic aides were furious at the GOP stunt, and reporters were kicked out of the Speaker's Lobby, the space next to the House floor where they normally interview lawmakers.

"You're not covering this, are you?" complained one senior Democratic aide. Another called the Republicans "morons" for staying on the floor.

Update: The Capitol Police are now trying to kick reporters out of the press gallery above the floor, meaning we can't watch the Republicans anymore. But Minority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) is now in the gallery talking to reporters, so the cops have held off for a minute. Clearly, Democrats don't want Republicans getting any press for this episode. GOP leaders are trying to find other Republicans to rotate in for Blunt so reporters aren't kicked out.

Update 2: This message was sent out by Blunt's office:

"Although this Democrat majority just adjourned for the Democrat 5-week vacation, House Republicans are continuing to fight on the House floor. Although the lights, mics and C-SPAN cameras have been turned off, House Republicans are on the floor speaking to the taxpayers in the gallery who, not surprisingly, agree with Republican energy proposals.

"All Republicans who are in town are encouraged to come to the House floor."

Update 3: Democrats just turned out the lights again. Republicans cheered.

Update 4: Republican leaders just sent out a notice looking for a bullhorn, and leadership aides are trying to corral all the members who are still in town to come speak on the floor and sustain this one-sided debate.

Also, Republicans can thank Shadegg for turning on the microphones the first time. Apparently, the fiesty Arizona conservative started typing random codes into the chamber's public address system and accidentally typed the correct code, allowing Republicans brief access to the microphone before it was turned off again.

"I love this," Shadegg told reporters up in the press gallery afterward. "Congress can be so boring. ... This is a kick."



So much for not using heavy-handed tactics! All this to suppress offshore drilling and nuclear. We have an energy problem, and Pelosi promised "reasonable means to reduce gas prices" back during the 2006 campgain. So far, NOTHING from her and her party. And her party's nominee, who once scorned gimmick, is now apparantly of the belief we can save our way out of this by inflating our tires...a gimmick.

Don't get me wrong... the Republicans squandered their chance at a majority with equally piss-poor tactics. But we heard how it was not gonna be this way with Nazi Pelosi! She is just as bad, if not worse, than her Republican counterparts. Once again, POLITICIANS ARE THE PROBLEM! And anyone who thinks Obama is actually about change, and not simply towing the DEM party line... had better think twice before they pull that lever.

Like I said in another thread, I only dislike McCain less than I dislike Obama. But how bad is it that I have to choose the lesser of two evils? What does this say about how politicians and their lust for power have ruined our once-proud country? The DEMs AND the Repubs are equally bad with their tactics. I really wish we had a strong independent candidate to choose from. Someone with business acumen, which neither of the primary party candidates can claim to have. Hell, I would rather see Cindy McCain as prez before John!!!

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Re: Politicians ARE THE PROBLEM!

Postby skylar » Mon Aug 11, 2008 3:28 pm

Well, whatever the case may be, Obama's already won the race as far as I'm concerned; McCain's too old anyways. But I do hope and expect that Obama will be picking Wesley Clark as his running mate. I know that sounds a little far fetched but I'm sensing that Obama will be choosing Clark as his V.P. which, IMHO, would be a good thing.
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Re: Nazi Pelosi

Postby ryguy » Mon Aug 11, 2008 4:07 pm

You Can Call Me Ray wrote:But how bad is it that I have to choose the lesser of two evils? What does this say about how politicians and their lust for power have ruined our once-proud country? The DEMs AND the Repubs are equally bad with their tactics. I really wish we had a strong independent candidate to choose from.

Ray


THAT, right there, cuts right to the root of the problem. I've been feeling the way you described for the past 8 years/2 elections. I do feel that the candidates are a tad better than the choices we were offered the last two times. But that comes down to personal opinion and tolerance levels for political b.s. - which they all spout...every last one of them.

Obama and Clark...that would be pretty cool...

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Who is NOT the Decider?

Postby You Can Call Me Ray » Tue Aug 12, 2008 1:06 am

And now we see the type of decider that Hillary Clinton is (or rather is not, by this story). It seems we now see that she does not enjoy a strong presidential capacity to make a decision and go with it. Bash Bush all you want, but decisions were made. Some may not like many (most) of them, but rarely was there much hemming and hawing...

http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/08/11/ ... index.html

"What is clear from the internal documents is that Clinton's loss derived not from specific decisions she made but rather from the preponderance of the many she did not make," Green wrote. "Her hesitancy and habit of avoiding hard choices exacted a price that eventually sank her chances at the presidency."


Avoiding hard choices. Just what we do NOT need in a President. Clearly, we dodged several bullets in Edwards and Hillary. With respect to the DEMS, I will concede that Obama is the lesser of the two evils vying for that party's top spot. But the thing to take note of is how Obama has shifted his "message" to align with Hillary since he captured the nomination. I still maintain that McCain is the lesser of two evils for the general election. Mostly because he has known warfare in a way that Obama never has and never will. We are in a war with Islamic extremists. One candidate suffered through torture as a POW... the other one was schooled in an Indonesian Muslim school. Some may say that makes Obama a better candidate because he may "know our enemy better". I maintain it simply makes him more likely to be sympathetic with our enemy. And you don't win wars (esp. asymmetric wars like terrorism) by being sympathetic to enemies. Our enemies are certainly not sympathetic to us!

I don't like choosing McCain, but I see Obama as making a bad economy worse with his tax policies that have been shown to be fruitless in the past. Who was it that said: "It's the economy, stupid!"

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Re: McCain v Obama

Postby Access Denied » Tue Aug 12, 2008 3:47 am

Hey Ray, I’d like to keep the discussion related to the current election in one place so I moved your latest posts and the reponses to this thread.

You Can Call Me Ray wrote:But the thing to take note of is how Obama has shifted his "message" to align with Hillary since he captured the nomination.

Really? I didn’t think they were that different to begin with… nor did the pundits.

I see his recent shifts on Iraq and offshore drilling as an attempt to align himself more with the middle and the will of the people… that’s a good thing in my opinion.

You Can Call Me Ray wrote:One candidate suffered through torture as a POW... the other one was schooled in an Indonesian Muslim school. Some may say that makes Obama a better candidate because he may "know our enemy better".

:roll:

CNN debunks false report about Obama
http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/01/22/obama.madrassa/

Since you seem to be fond of mud slinging, how soon we forget eh?

McCain’s questionable invovlement as one of the “Keating Five” in the Savings and Loan crisis of the late 80s…

Glenn and McCain: cleared of impropriety but criticized for poor judgment
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keating_Fi ... r_judgment

And Cindy McCain getting busted by the Feds…

Prescription drug addiction
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cindy_Hens ... _addiction

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Re: McCain v Obama

Postby You Can Call Me Ray » Tue Aug 12, 2008 4:33 am

Access Denied wrote:Hey Ray, I’d like to keep the discussion related to the current election in one place so I moved your latest posts and the reponses to this thread.


No problem.

You Can Call Me Ray wrote:But the thing to take note of is how Obama has shifted his "message" to align with Hillary since he captured the nomination.

Really? I didn’t think they were that different to begin with… nor did the pundits.

I see his recent shifts on Iraq and offshore drilling as an attempt to align himself more with the middle and the will of the people… that’s a good thing in my opinion.


But doesn't it make you wonder what he will REALLY do? More importantly, doesn't it make you wonder which promises he will ignore, and which he will actively do the opposite?

You Can Call Me Ray wrote:One candidate suffered through torture as a POW... the other one was schooled in an Indonesian Muslim school. Some may say that makes Obama a better candidate because he may "know our enemy better".

:roll:

CNN debunks false report about Obama
http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/01/22/obama.madrassa/

Since you seem to be fond of mud slinging, how soon we forget eh?


I'll expect the apology now, Tom! :) You will note nowhere in my quote did I use the word "madrassa". It seems you inferred it, but I did not imply it. My words are accurate in accordance with the CNN story you cite. As such, my point is still valid.

McCain’s questionable invovlement as one of the “Keating Five” in the Savings and Loan crisis of the late 80s…

(snip)

And Cindy McCain getting busted by the Feds…
:P


As I said, I consider him the lesser of two evils. Not that I particularly like him. Hell, he has been known to conspire with Ted "can I drive you home" Kennedy! :shock: Just kidding. Actually, the fact that McCain has at least shown willigness to work with people across the aisle tells me he at least wants to get things done, and does not ALWAYS cling to "what my party says goes." Can't say I can see the same tendency in Obama.

And as for Cindy McCain, you cannot argue the facts of how she expanded her father's company. My point about her was that she has run a business, and knows how to read (and apply) charts. We laughed-off Ross Perot, but what our country needs as a President right now is, first and foremost, an economist and proven businessman. The benefits of such a person is that they normally do not succeed if they choose poorly in the people they surround themselves with. An economist/businessman might not have the foreign policy smarts, but you can bet he would know what he didn't know, and know how to find the best person who does know, and sign that person up for the Sec of State job.

It is time to stop putting lying, conniving, Party-Politics-Promoting Politicians in the top seat. What is wrong with trying a businessman? What about an ass-kicker and name-taker like Teddy Roosevelt? Political Correctness is partially responsible for where we are. We need a serious dose of (fiscal) reality! Not that we have much of a choice at this point (again...per design!) :roll:

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Re: McCain v Obama

Postby Access Denied » Tue Aug 12, 2008 5:47 am

You Can Call Me Ray wrote:I'll expect the apology now, Tom! :) You will note nowhere in my quote did I use the word "madrassa". It seems you inferred it, but I did not imply it. My words are accurate in accordance with the CNN story you cite. As such, my point is still valid.

OK Hillary I will apoligize as soon you admit your sole reason for bringing it up was intended to cast doubt on his true intentions by associating him with Muslims. :) Sheesh, he was only like 6 years old at the time.

You Can Call Me Ray wrote:Actually, the fact that McCain has at least shown willigness to work with people across the aisle tells me he at least wants to get things done, and does not ALWAYS cling to "what my party says goes."

You mean like on illegal immigration? Sorry but in my book that’s boderline treason (pun intended).

You Can Call Me Ray wrote:Can't say I can see the same tendency in Obama.

I just gave you two examples.

You Can Call Me Ray wrote:And as for Cindy McCain, you cannot argue the facts of how she expanded her father's company. My point about her was that she has run a business, and knows how to read (and apply) charts.

And look good doing it. She doesn’t run the company, the CEO does. Thankfully Cindy McCain will not be running the country.

You Can Call Me Ray wrote:An economist/businessman might not have the foreign policy smarts, but you can bet he would know what he didn't know, and know how to find the best person who does know, and sign that person up for the Sec of State job.

Thanks for pointing out that the Cabinet and Presidential Advisors (who all is brought to the table) are just as important (if not more so) then the role of the President.

So given that we don’t have a viable candiate with business credentials at the moment, why install a career politican who’s done exactly what in his 20+ years as opposed to somebody who’s essentially a blank slate?

You Can Call Me Ray wrote:What is wrong with trying a businessman?

Because conflict of interest rules prevent the Presidency from becoming a for profit venture? Where’s the incentive? :)

You Can Call Me Ray wrote:What about an ass-kicker and name-taker like Teddy Roosevelt?

You mean like Arnold said he was going to do for us in California?

You Can Call Me Ray wrote:Political Correctness is partially responsible for where we are.

Agreed.

You Can Call Me Ray wrote:We need a serious dose of (fiscal) reality! Not that we have much of a choice at this point (again...per design!) :roll:

Per design? How do you figure?
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Re: McCain v Obama

Postby You Can Call Me Ray » Tue Aug 12, 2008 3:14 pm

Hi AD:
Access Denied wrote:
You Can Call Me Ray wrote:I'll expect the apology now, Tom! :) You will note nowhere in my quote did I use the word "madrassa". It seems you inferred it, but I did not imply it. My words are accurate in accordance with the CNN story you cite. As such, my point is still valid.

OK Hillary I will apoligize as soon you admit your sole reason for bringing it up was intended to cast doubt on his true intentions by associating him with Muslims. :)


Well of course I will admit to that. I chose my words very carefully. However, the "casting doubt" part is a judgment call. My point was, I think, well stated. Given he had a Muslim early education, this could actually make him more sympathetic to all Muslims, including those who are radicalized, even though is school may have not been a madrassa. At least moreso than McCain.

Sheesh, he was only like 6 years old at the time.


Are you saying we don't "imprint" and form our values systems until later in life? I hope not. Because even as much as I rail on the Catholic Church, I have always maintained they have a superior focus on education. Much of my values system stems from my time in Catholic Schools from 4th grade through high school.

I'll take that apology now. :) I never said madrassa!

You Can Call Me Ray wrote:Actually, the fact that McCain has at least shown willigness to work with people across the aisle tells me he at least wants to get things done, and does not ALWAYS cling to "what my party says goes."

You mean like on illegal immigration? Sorry but in my book that’s boderline treason (pun intended).


Yeah, I wasn't too keen on the substance of it myself, to tell the truth.

You Can Call Me Ray wrote:Can't say I can see the same tendency in Obama.

I just gave you two examples.


I don't call those reaching out and working with the other party. I call those examples changing your stance after the nomination is won as a means to pander for votes. What I was talking about is that McCain has a long history of reaching out and co-sponsoring legislation in at least an attempt to craft bi-partisan laws:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/stor ... d=92111942

Both have cast themselves as politicians who are willing to work across the aisle. Republican Arizona Sen. John McCain points to his long record of doing just that in the Senate, while Democratic Illinois Sen. Barack Obama showcases his rhetorical ability to bring people together.


You see... with McCain, he has actually done it. With Obama it is all about talk. His record does not even show much working with the other side of the aisle. He points to ONE bill, and the divide was far from huge. You can read about it in the story above. Here is another quote from it:

Comparing Obama and McCain on bipartisanship is a little like comparing apples and oranges. Obama has only been in the Senate for three years, and he voted with his party 97 percent of the time.

McCain — who has been in the Senate since 1987 — voted with his party just 83 percent of the time.


If he gets elected, we will see how much he works with the other side. Given that if he does get elected, he may have a totally DEM Congress, so he won't HAVE to work with the other side, and we will see more political represssion (you know, the stuff Nazi Pelosi said she would NOT "stoop to"?)

So given that we don’t have a viable candiate with business credentials at the moment, why install a career politican who’s done exactly what in his 20+ years as opposed to somebody who’s essentially a blank slate?


We are in an asymmetric war. One candidate knows all too well about asymmetric war. He will certainly not be as careless as Bush, and yet he knows and has the perseverence to take it to the enemy. Not sit down with them and negotiate.

You Can Call Me Ray wrote:What about an ass-kicker and name-taker like Teddy Roosevelt?

You mean like Arnold said he was going to do for us in California?


He's a blowhard. He is no Teddy Roosevelt. He came from Hollywood. A businessman with a proven track record of success is what is needed to cut the FED budget. Do you agree this HAS to be a priority? Cutting back SPENDING?

You Can Call Me Ray wrote:We need a serious dose of (fiscal) reality! Not that we have much of a choice at this point (again...per design!) :roll:

Per design? How do you figure?


Both parties are always hard at work to promote the people they (the party elite) want. I think there are MUCH better choices amongst the ranks of both parties than the people we are left to choose from. Smart people...mostly the people who are altruistic and would do the job just for the sake of a job well done, rather than personal fame and power... these are the people who often refuse to go through the meat grinder.

I always liked the idea of drafting a President. Heck, we do it to soliders in a time of need! :)

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The Bottom Line

Postby You Can Call Me Ray » Tue Aug 12, 2008 3:24 pm

From the article I shared above:

Both have promised to practice a new kind of politics without demonizing their opponents. But so far, the candidates or their surrogates have been attacking each other's character, mental competence and military record.

Each candidate has described the other's positions as stupid, delusional or confused, and it's only July.

For two candidates who each claim to represent something new and different, they are running campaigns that look a lot like politics as usual.


My point being: To all those who are currently in the honeymoon period with Barack, he banters on about "change" but it is all a political ruse. First, he adheres primarily to DEM party standards (unless he needs to stand apart to pander for votes). Second, and most important, he has been VERY short on DETAILS of how he will change things (if he even can). It reminds me of the SouthPark episode from last season on the homeless issue. All the homeless people walk around saying "change? change? change!"... sounds like Obama to me! :)

I am not buying ANY of the politics either of these candidates are selling. It is the same old crap.
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Re: McCain v Obama

Postby Access Denied » Thu Aug 14, 2008 8:55 am

You Can Call Me Ray wrote:Are you saying we don't "imprint" and form our values systems until later in life?

I don’t know… I didn’t… or at least I rebelled against what I was taught a LOT more and longer than most… that is until doing so taught me some very hard lessons…

You Can Call Me Ray wrote:I'll take that apology now. :) I never said madrassa!

I know you didn’t but not just yet…. :) Not until you explain exactly why you think going to a public school in Jakarta, Indonesia for 2 years makes a difference for Obama on the Iraq issue given…

[from the article I linked to]

This is a public school. We don't focus on religion," Hardi Priyono, deputy headmaster of the Basuki school, told Vause. "In our daily lives, we try to respect religion, but we don't give preferential treatment."

Vause reported he saw boys and girls dressed in neat school uniforms playing outside the school, while teachers were dressed in Western-style clothes.

[snip]

"It's not (an) Islamic school. It's general," Winadijanto said. "There is a lot of Christians, Buddhists, also Confucian. ... So that's a mixed school."

Sounds pretty “middle class” to me.

By the way, my comment about “how soon we forget” was intended to be in reference to the McCains… my apology for not making that clear. I should have separated it more.

You Can Call Me Ray wrote:You see... with McCain, he has actually done it. With Obama it is all about talk. His record does not even show much working with the other side of the aisle. He points to ONE bill, and the divide was far from huge.

And I say so what? Is that the only way to get the job done?

You Can Call Me Ray wrote:We are in an asymmetric war. One candidate knows all too well about asymmetric war. He will certainly not be as careless as Bush, and yet he knows and has the perseverence to take it to the enemy.

Well if it were it me I’d give them six months to start getting along and if they don’t I’d nuke the place… fair warning.

You Can Call Me Ray wrote:Not sit down with them and negotiate.

See above. I’d deal with Israel and Iran the same way… except I would turn Jerusalem into a Swedish owned and run theme park called “Holy Land” and start charging admission.

You Can Call Me Ray wrote:A businessman with a proven track record of success is what is needed to cut the FED budget. Do you agree this HAS to be a priority? Cutting back SPENDING?

Yes but it shouldn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out how to balance a checkbook.

The problem in my opinion is special interests, political correctness, and pork… and I don’t see how that’s going to change anytime soon. As I said before the only reason I like Obama more than McCain is I believe he’s still “young” (naïve?) enough to have a conscious and at least try to do the right thing… even if it can’t be done.

I could be wrong though… then again I’m not too worried about the election.

You Can Call Me Ray wrote:Both parties are always hard at work to promote the people they (the party elite) want. I think there are MUCH better choices amongst the ranks of both parties than the people we are left to choose from.

Sure but I think it’s different this time in that the Clintons were favored by the party elite… it’s not often we get a candidate with so much grass roots support like Obama who came from pretty much out of nowhere. I’m thinking Carter was the last?

But yeah, the two party system stinks…

You Can Call Me Ray wrote:Smart people...mostly the people who are altruistic and would do the job just for the sake of a job well done, rather than personal fame and power... these are the people who often refuse to go through the meat grinder.

Never volunteer for anything…

You Can Call Me Ray wrote:I am not buying ANY of the politics either of these candidates are selling. It is the same old crap.

Good… that means you’re smarter than the audience it’s intended for. I try not to react to it.

What pisses me off is while all this political posturing is going on nothing is getting done in Washington...
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