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Should Barack Obama be reelected?

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Should Barack Obama be reelected?

maxwell edison
Yes or no, and why?
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    NO.

    boxfiddler Moderator

    For the same reason Romney shouldn't be elected. Any two political parties with the power to lock out a viable third party candidate need their power strangled. Gary Johnson, Libertarian, is currently on the ballot in 47 states, and in litigation against the DNC/RNC power mongers to make the remaining three. Go Gary.

    Screw the Dems and Reps. This is a mess both parties made, and I'm sick to death of both of them.

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    AnsuGisalas

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proportional_representation
    That's the only way to have a viable third, let alone fourth, fifth etc. party.
    And that, in turn, is the only way to keep wingnuts on both sides from getting more influence than they're supposed to have.

    The good news is, it's super effective: You have First-past-the-post representation as an inheritance from British rule, New Zealand used to have it too, for the same reason. In 1994, NZ passed a new law to go to mixed-member proportional representation instead.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mixed-member_proportional_representation
    And already from the next election, in 1996, the two-party system was bust - no party has been able to rule without a coalition since.

    Some states have popular demand referendums as an option, right? You could get the ball rolling today, if'n you really want it.

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    Deadly Ernest

    as in this wiki article

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

    We have it in Australia and currently have a minority government where the independents have the sway of power in the federal government. The downside is the minority government has to cater to all sorts of minor rubbish issues to keep the independents on side.

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    AnsuGisalas

    if a vote for a candidate can lessen their chances at winning, that's messed up.

    First Past the Post is worse though, since it in theory allows 51% of cast votes to get 100% of representation. Good for getting things done, but so is dictatorship... and arguably, I think a good many Americans would like their government to get *less* done, not more.

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    Deadly Ernest

    the first vote. If no one has over 50% then they take the person with the least votes and redistribute those votes, repeat until someone has more than 50% of the votes.

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    No.

    CharlieSpencer

    I don't think he's been particularly effective. On the other hand, Mitt Romney hasn't given me any reason to think he'd be an improvement, so I may stick with the devil I know. Barry SHOULDN'T win, but he WILL.

    I wish presidential candidates would stop promising what they will do if elected. They never acknowledge that the president doesn't work in a vacuum, and none of his (her?) promises or proposals are going anywhere without Congressional cooperation. That's where the 'business experience' advantage falls down; business leaders don't have to negotiate their decisions. Carter and Bush Jr. were both businessmen and history isn't regarding either as a shining light. Maybe the head of a non-profit would be better, with more consensus building skills. Reagan, one of the most highly regarded presidents of my lifetime, started his elected career as a union leader.

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    Deadly Ernest

    I look at the list and decide who I think is the worst possible candidate and vote for them last. Then review the list and repeat the previous steps until I got none left.

    The sad thing about the US electoral system is if people do NOT want Obama, they HAVE to get out and vote for someone else or the small minority that do want Obama will win through lack of opposition.

    Remember, for evil to win, all it takes is for good people to do nothing.

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    CharlieSpencer

    "...the small minority that do want Obama will win through lack of opposition."

    Depending on what polls you read, Obama is preferred by a slight majority. Mind you, pollsters usually only talk to 'likely voters', but I suspect the preferences break down the same way among non-voters. The sad thing is those people who don't vote but want to ***** about office holders and their policies. Regardless of which candidate is chosen, he could win 100% of the votes cast and would still have been selected only by a minority of those eligible. People in emerging democracies will walk two days and stand in line for two more to vote; here we won't come out if there's a 70% chance of rain; gods forbid it should snow. I think Max has questioned whether we want people that easily discouraged to participate in the first place. Somedays I agree, some I don't.

    Another sad thing is that the process of running for office has become so demeaning that many qualified individuals refuse to consider candidacy.

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    boxfiddler Moderator

    if we don't put a stop to some things pretty soon, we're hosed. 'Our' government is increasingly bought and paid for by corporate and banking interests. Any day now I expect national debt to reach the point we can't even cover the interest on it. Obama spits out Executive Orders like he's wielding a royal sceptre, and I expect the same from the glaringly ambitious and probably sociopathic Romney. Google hallmarks of facism and 12 of 14 on a list are in progress. Never mind, here's the link: http://www.ratical.org/ratville/CAH/fasci14chars.html

    Oh, and let's not leave out war. Iran is next. How many of our youth are we going to waste on oil?

    And let's not leave out our growing hypocrisy on human rights. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/25/opinion/americas-shameful-human-rights-record.html?_r=0

    Police state, anyone? http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/19-signs-that-america-is-being-systematically-transformed-into-a-giant-surveillance-grid

    I'm sick, just sick over what this nation is becoming.

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    Deadly Ernest

    1. His whole upbringing and life has stressed good fiscal management and care of finances; thus I don't see him being a big spender on airy-fairy projects. If anything, he may be a bit too tight on the spending, but he has plenty of experience in senior management from his own businesses.

    2. He's not a sociopath and is very down to earth, again, most of that is from the upbringing and life he's lived. I expect he's going to be very careful in studying things before pushing them out. However, I do expect there's a few things he's been studying for many months that he'll probably push out as soon as he deems it practicable to do so.

    As to the bit about fascism, you do realise that 13 of those 14 items also apply to socialist dictatorships too.

    I'm glad I don't have to vote in this election, but faced with a choice of Romney or Obama, I see Mitt as the lesser of two evils by a huge margin. The most evil thing about Romney is the part and party leaders he has to work with, while Obama has all that in spades and is also a proven liar who does NOT have the best interests of the USA or its citizens in mind in any decision he makes.

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    boxfiddler Moderator

    Despite Dem/Rep efforts to silence it. I don't have to choose between Obama and Romney.

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    Deadly Ernest

    anyone but those put up by the two major parties to have a real chance of being voted in? I don't think so, what it may do is to water down the votes for one candidate.

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    boxfiddler Moderator

    On whether or not the Electoral College follows the will of the people as it should, or is as corrupt as the rest of the system.

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    CharlieSpencer

    With no rapid mass communication, there was no way for potential presidents to reach all the people. Electors were chosen based on their ability to represent the basic desires of those who sent them to the capitol, but those senders were usually state legislatures, not the mass electorate. Because of the inability to communicate from the capitol to those legislature, they were expected to exercise their best judgement.

    One day maybe we'll get around to a direct popular vote for president, but we've got bigger problems in the process than that one.

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    boxfiddler Moderator

    Different things. It was also assumed that electors would 'exercise independent judgment' when voting. And that Prez and Veep would be running independently of one another.

    *http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electoral_College_(United_States)

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    maxwell edison

    Only one candidate wins any given state primary election, and as representatives of each state, they are beholden to their respective State Constitutions. Whatever latitude they may or may not have is spelled out in their State Constitutions. As far as I know, only two states, Maine and Nebraska, allow for casting split votes.

    And quite frankly, it's not up to you to tell people of other states how they manage their own elections, just like its not the place of others to tell you and your state how to cast your vote(s). We have 50 separate state elections, not a national election.

    By the way, the will of the people seldom speaks with one monolithic voice. This "people", for example, would be opposed to ending or changing the Electoral College system. It would be the final nail in the coffin to individual state's rights. I'd also support repealing the 17th Amendment for the same reason.

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    CharlieSpencer

    "This 'people', for example, would be opposed to ending or changing the Electoral College system."

    I see the Electoral College as the exercise of states' right at the expense of individual rights; just this "people's" opinion.

    I don't see the coffin nailed shut while the 10th is still on the books.

    I don't have feelings about the 17th either way.

    I'd love to see the 22nd either repealed or applied equally to all federal elected offices.

    I notice you haven't weighed in yet on your original topic.

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    maxwell edison

    We can certainly agree to disagree (as I don't think I've ever swayed anyone at TR to actually to consider another point of view), but if you go back to the founders' intent, the House of Representatives was intended to represent the people of each state, while the Senate was intended to represent the state itself. It was an brilliant concept, if you ask me (which you didn't), but it was circumvented with the passage of the 17th amendment.

    Personally speaking, I don't think the people of Colorado (for example) should be able to tell the people of South Carolina (for example) how to conduct their own state's business. The 17th Amendment actually made that possible; and if the Electoral College were to be eliminated, then it would become common practice.

    It forces one to consider one's underlying principle: do you believe in a stronger federal government or stronger state governments? Considering the reality that most issues concerning New Jersey (for example), have entirely different considerations than similar issues in Utah (for example), I'm inclined to favor more local control.

    Stronger Federal Government, or a stronger State Governments? I choose the latter, because I see their respective roles as quite different. Which do you choose?

    (Not to mention the introduction of the progressive movement in America at the time of the passage of both the 16th and 17th Amendments.)

    P.S.

    Re: You said, "I see the Electoral College as the exercise of states' right at the expense of individual rights; just this "people's" opinion."

    I'm curious. When did the electors of South Carolina fail to cast their votes as dictated by the individuals of South Carolina?

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    maxwell edison

    Re: I notice you haven't weighed in yet on your original topic.

    Do you really have to ask? (insert smiley face here)

    P.S. For those who don't know, I don't do "emoticons". I leave that to my Australian friend! (Insert raving laughter here!)

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    CharlieSpencer

    that was just pulling your chain.

    Last week was the 30th birthday of the emoticon.

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    CharlieSpencer

    I don't see the question of federal vs. state government as an 'either / or' one. It depends on the individual issue in question. I think states would better manage those issues that fall entirely within their borders, but those are becoming fewer. Should Missouri be allowed to dump raw sewage in the Mississippi River just upstream from their border with Arkansas? if not, do you expect the states would work that out for themselves without federal intervention?

    States aren't choosing each others' representatives, or telling them how to run their elections below the federal level. 3/4 of state legislatures agreed to change the method of selecting senators; they willing ceded that power to the electorate. The Senate is still made up of two people from each state, preserving the balance of equal representation. Does being chosen directly by the people make senators less responsive to their states' needs than being chosen by the home legislatures?

    You asked if a federal government should be stronger than state governments. Should state government be stronger than its citizens?

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    maxwell edison

    Come on, Palmetto. You know good and well what I'm talking about. And quite frankly, I really don't want to get into discussions in which you're probably just playing devil's advocate.

    Fair enough?

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    CharlieSpencer

    I freely confess to playing Devil's advocate, and I understand if that's not what you're interested in. Fair enough.

    However, I don't 'know good and well' what you're talking about. If my example doesn't demonstrate there are cases when the federal government should be stronger than the state, then I'm completely misunderstanding the basis for the entire question. I don't mind that, but I dislike it when others assume what I 'know good and well'. Fair enough?

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    maxwell edison

    ..... over the course of many years and hundreds of discussions in which you and I both participated, that you might have at least gotten a sense of how I view the respective roles of state and federal government. I suppose I was mistaken.

    Not having the time or desire to explain fully, suffice it to say that I lean more towards the Federalist system as originally designed by Madison, Jefferson, et al, rather than the command and control system we have today.

    One short example: Let the states handle their own public education systems, and get the federal government pretty much out of it. I don't think it a coincidence that education costs have increased, while student performance has decreased, since the creation of the Department of Education. One of many reasons, to be sure, but one of the biggest.

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    RFink

    If the 26 states that sued to block Obamacare were serious, they'd appoint their presidential electors to Romney.

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    boxfiddler Moderator

    my mangling of my thoughts.

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    maxwell edison

    It's all good.

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    maxwell edison

    Viable, in this context, implies there's a reasonable chance of succeeding. Gary Johnson is not a viable candidate. In fact, it's a 100 percent certainty that he will lose. There's a 100 percent certainty that he will not win a single state, not even his home state of New Mexico. It's a 100 percent certainty that he will not receive a single electoral vote.

    Viable? I don't think so.

    There IS a 100 percent certainty, however, that a vote for Gary Johnson will help Barack Obama get reelected.

    I love sticking to one's principle, something I try to do in all my arguments. But mixed with healthy dose of reality is the only way to ultimately advance such underlying principle - AND fend off an opposing principle from being advanced further.

    ..... AND fend off an opposing principle from being advanced further.

    ..... AND fend off an opposing principle from being advanced further.

    Not only do libertarian-thinking people want to maintain a good offense, but if we don't even field a defensive team, we're doomed. And this is the time to put our best defensive team on the field.

    Otherwise, cutting off one's nose to spite one's face comes to mind.

    It's time to play defense, boxy, even if for just the one second it will take to cast a vote for the ONLY viable candidate against Barack Hussein Obama, and that's Mitt Romney. ONE SECOND, that's all. And then put your offense back on the field!

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    Any candidate on enough state ballots to potentially earn enough electoral votes to take the Presidency should be considered viable.

    The objective, Max, is to shake the complacency of the major parties enough that they stop listening so much to the money and start listening more to the people. If enough Americans disillusioned with the defective and deficient options being presented to them by the two major parties know there's an alternative, it's entirely possible that enough will not consider the top two lines, vote responsibly, and make that alternative viable.

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    AV .

    It always benefits one of the two mainstream parties, in this case probably Obama.

    I know its a protest vote, but in the end it has unintended consequences. The only candidate that will pay attention to the huge national debt is Romney. Obama doesn't seem to think it is a problem and he will keep on spending. A vote for Gary Johnson takes away a vote for Romney that has a real chance to win this election. Gary Johnson can't win. At most he can get a couple of percentage points, but that will take away votes from Romney and guarantee an Obama victory.

    Obama has had his chance and produced dismal results. Romney could be better. He has some real world experience, where Obama is just an academic lecturer. I think Romney is worth a shot. We already know what we have with Obama and thats pretty much nothing, why not?

    Gary Johnson isn't going to do anything for this country. He'll never be elected, but Mitt Romney can and he really has a good background for turning around failing companies. His experience translates to this country in a way and I'd like to see him have the chance to do it.

    I've never been a fan of his, but I'm pretty concerned about the debt. Of the two candidates, Romney has more of a focus on it. I just see Obama spending more money that we don't have.

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    The problem is not that Obama is spending, but what he is spending on. For the last 30 years we've been spending too much on the wrong things and haven't been spending enough on the right things.

    Our national infrastructure is falling apart. Every day I work, I drive across bridges that are 40, 50, or 60 years old (or older!) and look it. I've voluntarily changed the routes I use between some of my stores because of the poor quality of the roads in the original routes. I've had to change the route I take between two of my stores because one of the bridges on the old route is in such bad shape, its load rating was reduced from 20 tons to 3 tons (2 tons/axle), which is less than the 8050 pound max gross of my 1/2-ton van! There are no plans to replace that bridge because there are no transportation funds. Where are those funds?

    I'd like to see Obama start spending on infrastructure! He actually tried once, but the Republicans shot it down because the bill he pushed would have increased taxes. What hypocrisy! I'd like to see the legislators who say they are patriotic Americans (when their actions put the lie to that claim) show less concern for their re-election and more concern for the country itself.

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    Romney's campaign has even said they were going to lie and didn't care if others knew: "We're not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers."

    And given Romney's attitude toward the little people (the 47% who are moochers and takers), I can't see where he has the best interests of the American people in mind either.

    The problem, Ernest, is that it's impossible for a politician to tell the truth and get elected;it's been proven again and again. This is particularly true in America, where the people would rather swallow a lie than face the truth.

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    Deadly Ernest

    and only the truth. However, track records to date do support Romney to be more truthful than Obama. The real worry for some will be knowing if he gets up this time but can't get another term afterwards, what's going to stop Obama from going hog-wild?

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    that's kept him from getting much more done this term than the Affordable Care Act: Republicans in Congress.

    As of right now, I don't see control of the House changing to the Democrats. As long as the Republicans control either the House or the Senate and Obama is President, there will be nothing significant passed that Obama might favor, regardless of the cost to the country. The Repubs have shown their willingness to do that over the past two years and if Obama is re-elected, the rhetoric has them more than doubling down on that over the next four

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    boxfiddler Moderator

    ending this 'Executive Order' crap, and getting rid of NDAA and Patriot Act.

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    in the number of executive orders issued.

    On the others, as I said, no matter his position on the issues, the Republicans are in opposition, regardless of the cost to the country. Hmmm. Maybe he should come out in favor of those two...

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    AnsuGisalas

    Far as I know, Obama has told less outright pants-on-fire lies, but has an incredibly sinister track record on a select number of policies.
    Romney on the other hand, is incompetent, a mormon, incapable of empathy, a known China-lover and Netanyahu's pawn.

    No offense to Mormons, but I've read those scriptures...

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    Deadly Ernest

    they have a strong work ethic and are much closer to what the average working man does and wants than a lawyer like Obama. Romney has built his own business from scratch over many years, so he can't be that incompetent. And he has empathy for those who are prepared to work and better themselves, but none for those who want a totally free ride and hand out, which is what Obama wants to offer everyone. Sadly, the Obama bread and circuses route has a major issue when the bill gets presented for payment and no one has the cash to pay out.

    Obama claims to love the USA but does NOT show respect for the flag or the national anthem, and he has stopped US businesses to give business to other countries.

    Now back to the original question - in many elections I've seen or studied, I've seen candidate after candidate get chewed up at the polls and elsewhere because they dared tell the truths, especially the hard truths. The voters don't like it when someone says, well, I ain't gunna give you any new big handouts cause we ain't go the money in the treasury, but will re-elect someone who offered them handouts and didn't deliver them by later saying they didn't have enough bucks.

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    Deadly Ernest

    Romney has worked with his hands and with his mind to make his living.

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    AnsuGisalas

    What's your sample?
    All anyone has to know about Mormonism is that it's a special kind of crazy. Sure, it's not Westboro style, but it's not far from some of the only slightly less crazy Baptist movements (yes, I know it's not a Baptist movement).
    Say no to cultists.

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    Deadly Ernest

    apply to the Mormons, then the Salvation Army, Amish, Puritans, and all Protestant groups are cults. I suggest you take time to read the history of all the religious groups and their teachings before you write them off as cults. Or do you see All religions as cults, in which case Islam is a cult too. Come to think of it, both the Mormon Church and the Moslem Church started out the same way - with a person saying they had a vision from God and gathering a few followers.

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    Bill Gates, the Two Steves (Jobs and Wozniak), Sergey Brin, and even Barack Obama all started from scratch.

    But Mitt Romney had to (**GASP** ) sell stock for living expenses while in college. I can't think of anybody who wouldn't want to start with that kind of scratch.

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    AnsuGisalas

    Founded by an obvious charlatan, it is so full of absurdity, it's actually worse than Scientology.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Smith

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    Deadly Ernest

    Nick, dig deeper as Mitt was working after school and during summer while in school. I know quite a few people in the USA who did that and then invested the money so they could use it to pay for the college education.

    Ansu, over the years I've looked heavily into all the religions and I know a lot more about the Mormons than you realise. If you claim Joseph Smith is a charlatan, then you have to apply the same to William Booth, the founder of every Protestant Church, St Linus and every Pope since, Muhammad, Buddha, and the founder of every other church, and some would also include Jesus known as the Christ. In each case they claim a vision or enlightenment from God and then gathered a group of like minded people around them.

    I disagree with your analysis of Romney, but even if I did, I'd rather have someone like that in charge of the US than a liar who's a pawn of Moslem extremists and set on destroying the USA.

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    But I wasn't lucky enough to have AM stock given to me by my father.

    www.samefacts.com/2012/01/income-distribution/mitt-romney-and-ann-the-students-struggling-so-much-that-they-had-to-sell-stock/

    Not from the horse's mouth, but from the mare...

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    Deadly Ernest

    quote

    “The stock came from Mitt’s father. When he took over American Motors, the stock was worth nothing. But he invested Mitt’s birthday money year to year — it wasn’t much, a few thousand, but he put it into American Motors because he believed in himself. Five years later, stock that had been $6 a share was $96 and Mitt cashed it so we could live and pay for education.

    end quote

    In short, Mitt's father took Mitt's money and invested it - not the same as a gift of money from dad, is it? Income derived from the investment of Mitt's money. And also:

    quote

    “Remember, we’d been paying $62 a month rent, but here, rents were $400, and for a dump. This is when we took the now-famous loan that Mitt talks about from his father and bought a $42,000 home in Belmont, and you know? The mortgage payment was less than rent. Mitt saw that the Boston market was behind Chicago, LA and New York. We stayed there seven years and sold it for $90,000, so we not only stayed for free, we made money. As I said, Mitt’s very bright.

    end quote

    Took a loan and then earned the money to pay it back.

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    AnsuGisalas

    First of all, what?!? What news do you follow, man?

    And Romney can't call anybody a liar anymore; he's lied even more often than Obama, which is saying a lot... and even Fox called Ryan's acceptance speech out for being a load of bull.

    So, if we must go to the kind of hyperbole you're spouting, Romney is a liar who's a pawn of China and set on selling out the USA, for personal profit.

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    The sentence before your selection reads: "Neither one of us had a job, because Mitt had enough of an investment from stock that we could sell off a little at a time." That single sentence blows any claims of working after school out of the water.

    At that time, not many Americans had a father who could buy them stock; heck, it's still that way. NONE of my classmates when I was in college had money of their own; we were all there on scholarships, loans, help from Mom & Dad, or our own sweat. None of us were able to sell stocks to make living expenses. I know any birthday money I got while growing up never exceeded five dollars. I suspect Mitt's "birthday money" greatly exceeded that amount.

    I grew up with nothing but family. What I've had since I was about 15, I have worked for and earned. No financial help from Mom, Dad, or anybody. If Mitt had done that, I might believe he understands what it's like to start from nothing. I'm sure he thinks he does. But the record speaks for itself: any claim that Mitt Romney is a self-made man who started from nothing falls flat in the face of the facts.

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    Deadly Ernest

    I said after school, not after college, meaning his time while in high school and before that - you guys use different names for them to us, so I'm not sure which.

    However, even you own reference makes it clear he had money generated by his own money obtained early that his father invested for him. Which means his old man did not pay for his college for him.

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    CharlieSpencer

    First, they're all liars.

    Second, if you're referring to Obama, I'd like evidence of his pawnship.

    Third, both candidates have 5 bullet points in their standard campaign speeches. Four of the five are the same for each candidate. Where they differ on those problems are their proposed solutions. Neither is set on destroying this country, and the inaction of Congress will result in more damage than either candidate can inflict as head of the executive branch.

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    Where did that "birthday money" come from? His parents? And how much was it? I'm pretty sure it was more than the three or four dollars I got on my birthday every year. It was probably more than the $100 a year I was able to earn from my paper route.

    How many of us had fathers that could purchase American Motors stock for us? Or, for that matter, any kind of stock?

    "After school" in the US is usually interpreted to include all schooling, including college.

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    Deadly Ernest

    parents, grandparents, and older siblings if they have any. However, we also know he did work after school while in high school and he would have had some income from that and also added that to the mix. As to how many parents can buy shares? Well, here in Australia it could be done through any solicitor or investment service during the period we're talking about. My dad was a truck driver, but mom had some money they saved invested in shares bought through a local solicitor, and that was in western Sydney, Australia in the 1950s.

    edit to fix typo

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    At least not where I was. You had to buy shares through a registered brokerage and you had to do it in blocks, not in single or fractional shares. Most brokers wouldn't talk to you unless you were what is today referred to as an accredited investor. I tried to buy Microsoft and IBM in 1985 with a large chunk of a re-enlistment bonus; the very few brokers who would talk to me told me my $3000 wasn't enough money for me to be an investor.

    And I just noticed this line from the middle of your quoted text: "But he invested Mitts birthday money year to year it wasnt much, a few thousand..." A "few thousand" year to year in birthday money? That's definitely NOT starting from nothing.

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    Deadly Ernest

    and it indicates his total initial investment was a few thousand; I saw that as money saved in the bank for many years while growing up, plus any other savings he would have added to it over the years. Regardless of arguing about how much he had been given at any one time, and how much he had earned and added to it before it was invested, it shows he had been saving his money while younger, and taken advice and help on investing it. In short, he started showing sound fiscal management at a young age - something the Mormons teach their children, and that puts him miles ahead of Obama in money management.

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    But what about other people's money?

    - He bailed his company out using federal funds, screwing the FDIC and Americans for $10 million. http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-federal-bailout-that-saved-mitt-romney-20120829
    - His time at Bain Capital was marked by off-shoring, bankruptices, and job losses. Profitable businesses (e.g. Ampad, Dade Behring) were driven into bankruptcy by the debt loaded onto them by Bain Capital. Factories were closed and jobs were moved overseas. Workers and management took it in the shorts as severance and retirement promises were broken.
    http://www.enewspf.com/opinion/36131-fact-check-romneys-tenure-at-bain-was-defined-by-layoffs-bankruptcies-outsourcing.html
    - Even while running numerous previously successful companies into the ground, Bain Capital and its investors cleaned up.

    If this is how he plans to run the U.S. government, I don't want him within 100 miles of D.C.

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    CharlieSpencer

    Is Mormonism any less legitimate a religion than one based on a self-contradictory monotheism with a three-part god? Can an organization not overcome its origins (assuming they're in question)? Was Smith any more of a charlatan than Jesus claiming people can rise from the dead?

    To this atheist, they all look equally unjustifiable. Only your history keeps me from flagging your post.

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    AnsuGisalas

    Is that no atheist could ever get elected President of the USA (any more).
    That makes the (de facto requirement) that presidents claim to found their lives on irrational and outmoded belief systems very interesting.

    The roots of the US constitution and bill of rights are as atheist as that time period could support. Had Darwin lived in the US a few hundred years earlier, the picture would have been entirely different.
    Even Newton was fooled by the clockmaker fallacy - finding the principle for the taking of shape of plants and animals changed all that.

    Not everybody has heard that the aptly named "Jefferson Lies" by David Barton was pulled by its publisher, on account of the overwhelming evidence against his uneducated claims.
    Turned out the "Jefferson Lies" was just David Barton telling lies about Jefferson.

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    DelbertPGH

    The Book of Mormon does not tell the whole story of Mormons. I lived in a small town in Colorado where 20% of the people were Mormons. They believed in community, family, cooperation, hard work, saving, and restraint. If you take delight in human complications, they are nearly the most boring people on earth, because they work so hard (and pretty successfully) to make themselves and their environment uncomplicated. They almost eternally find the bright side of any problem, and sit their with an infuriating smile on their faces, happier and more content than anyone around them. They struck me as decent to a fault.

    The selling point of their religion (which they are honor-bound to proselytize) is the brilliant support their community gives to families and individuals, and not any revelations contained in their weird book.

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    AnsuGisalas

    You could say the same nice things of Moonies or Scientologists... Cultists work hard for the common good, that's part of the package. Their idea of the common good is, however very different from normal peoples ideas. You cannot deny that belonging to a cult, or indeed to any institutional religion is a sign of impaired judgment and should be counted against a candidate, not for them. Unless you're shopping for drones to keep the media busy while the shadow government does its thing. If that's what you want, then a religious man is your guy.

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    Deadly Ernest

    cultists too - after all, they have the same basic set of values as the Mormons. Also, the Salvation Army is younger and started life as a very militant anti-alcohol group.

    Also, the Muslims are much the same as they're based on much the same texts, just with a few twists added around 600AD.

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    AnsuGisalas

    If you follow a book, you're a religion. But if you follow a culture, you're a cult. The difference is, a person can follow a book, even if they're not accepted by the people in the culture.
    A person can not be a Mormon when the Mormons have cast them out and shun them.
    So mormons are a cult. Westboro baptists are a cult too.

    That's how the "cult" got put into "culture".

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    Deadly Ernest

    didn't like. But for most of the last few hundred years they just excommunicated the, ie, they cast them out. If you define following the teachings of their scriptures as a key component, then the Catholics and most of the protestant churches are cults as many of their doctrinal rules violate the teachings of the Bible.

    I guess you also call the Salvation Army a cult too, for the way they behave.

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    AnsuGisalas

    So I will refrain from judgment.
    But the thing is, it's not necessary that the whole of the belief be encapsulated in the book. However, if it's not possible to be a part of the belief system without being a part of the belief community, then it's a cult. Jews are Jews whether they practice or not, so that's not a cult. Most protestants are protestants because they were baptized, but don't have to do any particular things to remain protestant. Catholicism has definite Cult-like features, but again, there are non-practicing catholics, too.
    Non-practicing Mormons are ex-Mormons, although the community stigma is so great that many ex-Mormons keep up appearances and stay part of the cult activities, even though they don't believe in it any more.

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    Deadly Ernest

    you're very wrong. There are many ex-Mormons, that is people who have left the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for many reasons, and they're on good relations with the current members. The only time they run into difficulty is if they've done something to be ex-communicated, and it's just as bad as being ex-communicated by the Roman Catholic Church or any church. To be ex-communicated you have to do things like publicly trash basic doctrine type stuff.

    By Protestant, I was meaning al the Protestant churches like the Baptists, Anglicans, Wesleyan, Methodists, Uniting Church, etc - in short all the spin offs from the Roman Catholics.

    There have also been spin offs from the Mormons where small groups went their own ways because they disagreed with the Mormon church leaders of the day.

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    They are probably the most Christian organization out there, as they stay very close to the teachings of Christ in their activities. This includes most churches and all the major Christian sects.

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    Deadly Ernest

    you see some of their members?

    I ask as they were not much into being tolerant or turning the other cheek in the beginning, and their doctrine is till very intolerant of some things not in the Bible, as are many of their members, but not all.

    They started as a violent temperance organisation against all forms of alcohol, despite Jesus drinking wine at every meal.

    I know every church has a lot of very good people in it, and some not so good, and I'm not really going on against any that much. However, if Ansu sees the Mormons as a cult, then the SA that's 60 years younger and has a violent start would be a cult as well.

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    AnsuGisalas

    "I view the years I spent as a Mormon as a kind of mindrape. Mormonism gave me a terrible self-image (I could not live up to the impossible, "perfect" expectations) that I am only recently recovering from. The farther I get away from that church, the better".

    -The fact is, Mormons don't socialize with known ex-mormons except as trying to recapture them. That's no basis for belonging to a culture.

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    boxfiddler Moderator

    are also 'shunned'. So, really, we want this guy for Prez? Gods. WTF has this nation become?

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    Deadly Ernest

    the years. I've never seen the sort of shunning you're talking of. I did recently see a US show on Mormons, supposedly a balanced news report, but it was all about a very small off-shoot sect that refuses to have anything to do with mainline LDS Mormons that Romney belongs to.

    I also know a lot of ex-Catholics, and if you want to see shunning at its most hideous, see what the members of a heavy Roman Catholic area do when shunning an ex-Catholic - if they stay in the area they can't get service or business from any Catholic in the area.

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    Neither you nor I were very well educated when we were born,nor were we capable of being educated. Did that not change?

    I refer to their actions and policies of the several decades through today, not the policies of a century ago. I disagree with some of their policies, but overall, they do more with less for those in need than most other charitable organizations of their type.

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    TheChas

    In relation to:

    "Obama spits out Executive Orders like he's wielding a royal sceptre"

    I suspect you have been caught by one of many false emails going around. As per the records at the Federal Register, Barack Obama has signed 148 executive orders. This puts things pretty much in line with the approximately 300 each for both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

    Chas

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    maxwell edison

    Greetings from the Rocky Mountain region! Good to see you.

    You are spot on about people getting caught up on false emails and such. But I have to also throw in false claims by politicians, false or misleading news reports, etc.

    It is so challenging to separate what's true from what's false; what's being spun, and which way; what's being stretched, and how far.

    People have to actually try to become (and stay) informed. It takes real time and real effort. Most people don't want to spend either, being content to be spoon-fed the lies, half-truths, and such.

    My advice to anyone who wants to be truly informed (politically speaking)? With the exception of watching a speech, a debate, or something like that, but in its entirety, and without the usual pundit chit-chat that precedes and follows, turn off the damn TV

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    boxfiddler Moderator

    that for decades Presidents have been wielding EO's like a royal sceptre. I think the practice needs to be stopped. There just haven't been THAT many 'special circumstances' in the last few decades.

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    CharlieSpencer

    when you say, 'I could be wrong..."

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    maxwell edison

    .... when he says he could be wrong.

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    maxwell edison

    Overused, and perhaps abused - and more so as time goes by.

    Based on the comments I've see so far, it's obvious that people either overlook, do not understand, or have not learned that we have three separate, but equal, branches of government: Executive (the White House); Legislative (Congress: i.e. The House of Representatives and the Senate - which were also intended to have different functions); and the Judicial (the courts). None is beholden to the other; none is accountable to the other. (But ALL are both beholden and accountable to our Constitution.)

    The Presidential Executive Order might be considered the Trump Card to be played in the case of a governmental stale-mate - as long as the order doesn't violate the provisions as allowed by the US Constitution.

    It's understandable that you, Ernest, as an Australian, might be uninformed as to the particulars regarding our government, but to witness the pure ignorance of American citizens is most troubling to me.

    Nonetheless, as I suggested, the Presidential Executive Order is a necessary evil, because - BY DESIGN - Congress cannot usually "shoot from the hip", so to speak (a little western USA lingo, there); while the President is sometimes forced to do so.

    Examples: Harry Truman (my favorite Democrat of days gone by), putting the nation's railroads in the control of the US Army because of a crippling strike. Ronald Reagan, firing ALL the air traffic controllers for the same reason. (Gee, BOTH leftist, union-generated problems.)

    But yes, I agree. It's been both overused and abused - by presidents of both parties.

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    Deadly Ernest

    to give the president capability to act and have things done in an emergency when there wasn't time to study and debate things, that it wasn't meant to be used for any of the day to day activities or running of the country.

    If you think you got it bad, the person who makes the big decisions in out federal government sits in a position that doesn't even exist in the constitution - the Prime Minister, or as I often says - the Prime Sinister.

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    maxwell edison

    I really like the way you think.

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    CharlieSpencer

    And the legislature being out of session for a scheduled absence shouldn't be an acceptable interpretation of 'emergency'. That excuse gets used by chief executives a lot, especially when Congress hasn't passed what presidents want.

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    Deadly Ernest

    the system, regardless of who does it.

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    boxfiddler Moderator

    Bingo! Those pooheads have way too many vacation days.

    (I prefer a term besides poohead but the filters won't let me use it. Grrr....)

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    boxfiddler Moderator

    is barely hinted at in the Constitution. I, for one, rue the day that Congress, and voters accepted it as legitimate.

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    john.a.wills

    The first criterion for good governance is that government do nothing against its own purpose. So, first, what is the purpose of government? All U.S. high-schoolers are told an answer which will probably do for a first pass, although most of them forget it quite promptly.
    Second, what are the governments with which I am concerned (starting with the UN and working down) doing contrary to that purpose? The question here is not how they are failing in that purpose, nor with which of their policies I disagree, nor yet which of their current or imminent actions are bound to have bad results.
    That will be enough to decide between the presidential candidates this time around, and probably among many other candidate sets too. The rest of the algorithm, which I will not here give, concerns candidates who come out equally good or bad under the steps so far.

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    AV .

    Its time to try someone new. Here is a list of why I will vote for Mitt Romney. Third party can't win and most certainly, it is a vote for Obama, who is out of ideas on how to bring this country back.

    1. Mitt Romney is a successful businessman. He built Bain Capital from the ground up and he is a rich man today because of it. If he can use his business accumen to stimulate the business sector in this country, the country will be just as successful.

    2. Mitt Romney is a man of faith. He served as a Missionary for several years with the Church of LDS. Maybe some would dismiss that as not being a real Christian, but I can't question his committment and service to helping humanity.

    3. Mitt Romney is a family man. He has raised his family and understands what that entails. Yes, he is a man of means, but it takes more than money to raise a family and go through all the trials and tribulations of that.

    4. Mitt Romney understands the dire consequences of carrying so much debt for this country. He wants to make sure that we don't end up like Greece where we can't fufill our promises with entitlements and he will offer alternatives to future retirees that will enable them to have solid retirement options.

    5. Mitt Romney understands our relationship with Israel. They are our only true ally in the region. He will treat them like that.

    6. Mitt Romney will keep this country strong by not cutting our military strength. He will expect countries that we send billions of dollars to to earn that money with results that benefit this country.

    7. Mitt Romney will stand strong and prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power.

    8. Mitt Romney will regenerate our committment to NASA, but do it in a way where he utilizes private enterprise to replace government spending. I think its horrible that we now have to "hitch a ride" from the Russians if we need to go into space. We lost the space program under President Obama.

    9. Mitt Romney chose Paul Ryan as his running mate and it shows his committment to conservatism. Paul Ryan is such a courageous man to have put his ideas forth in a budget that everyone rejected initially, but he was honest about the depths of our problems. Together, they can get us back on track.

    10. I think Mitt Romney is a fine man and just to stand up to the process of running for president says a lot about him. I don't know anyone who could do that. When I compare him to Barack Obama, I find Obama to be extremely lacking. He is more content to go on the talk shows and and he avoids talking about the real issues. If we have a President Romney, we're going to get down to the business of the country. He can solve our problems and he has a proven track record. He will be able to work with Congress on both sides of the aisle because he has such a record of success.

    Those are my reasons after looking at all of the media coverage of both candidates and looking at their backgrounds.

    AV

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    CharlieSpencer

    1. Businessman - as I noted earlier, people who build their own businesses don't have to build consensus. The skills to build a profitable business don't necessarily apply to running a government.

    2, 3 - Religion and family man. So's Obama; no difference. Neither are proof of the ability to effectively govern.

    4 Debt - How exactly is he going to reduce the debt? Does he really think it can be done without raising taxes?

    5. Israel - This is a non-issue for me. I confess I don't understand the importance of this country to our foreign policy. I understand the importance to politicians seeking the Jewish vote, just as I understand how the Cuban expatriate vote drives our policy toward that country; it's all about the campaign donations. Sorry, but I can't get past the notion that modern Israel was carved out so the WW2 allies could ease their guilt over the Holocaust at the expense of those already on the land. I'm open to enlightenment.

    6 - Military - Romney wouldn't be sworn in before the sequestration cuts take effect, so I don't know what he can do about that. Both parties are equally guilty of wasting defense dollars by buying unneeded big ticket weapons systems in order to keep manufacturing plants running back home; see Congress's current demand to buy several hundred more M1 tanks the Army says it doesn't need or want. We could do to cut our military strength, especially those troops and dollars we waste deploying them to permanent bases in Europe and the Pacific.

    7 - Iraq as a nuclear power. It hasn't become one in the last four years, so I'd say Obama was pretty successful on that count. How EXACTLY is Romney going to prevent it.

    8, NASA - as big a fan as I am of the space program, this is a non-issue for me. We lost the space program long before Obama. It takes years to develop a manned launch system. Replacements for the shuttle should have been under development starting in the last Clinton or first Bush Jr. administrations. It's coincidence that the shuttle program ended while Obama is in office; it would have ended during this admin regardless of who was elected in 2008.

    9 Paul Ryan - the vice presidency isn't worth a bucket of warm spit. Veep candidates are chosen strictly to attract those voters who are lukewarm about the head of the ticket. "It's not a great entree, but look at that side dish!" Ryan lost me when he criticized Obama for not taking action on something he wasn't authorized to take action on, a budget recommendation that Ryan himself voted against sending to Congress, the body that could act on it.

    10. The rigors of campainging - plenty of people have stood up to the process of running; Obama did, and is doing so again. At least two people make it through the entire campaign season every four years. I stood up to the rigors of the Army's Officer Candidate School, but that doesn't automatically mean I made a good officer. (And I didn't.) I think part of the problem is the many indignities candidates have to put up with as part of that process. Fund raising, baby kissing, and other forms of pandering probably discourage many better qualified people from tossing their hats in the ring.

    Regading Iraq and Israel, I see Romney as more likely than Obama to have energy policies that will continue our dependence on oil; all oil, not just foreign. if we ever wean off oil, we won't have to care about having an ally in the region or if Iraq can nuke its neighbors.

    But it doesn't matter; Mitt Romney has already written me off, along with those servicemen who get paid so little they're eligible for food stamps and don't make enough to pay taxes.

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    AV .

    Mitt Romney understands government as well as business. He was governor of MA. If you look at his resume and what he brings to the table and compare it to Obama's, it will leave you shaking your head and wondering how Obama ever got elected to begin with. Clearly, he did it with his eloquent speeches.

    Our economy has not recovered from the recession. The jobs picture is still dismal and the country is now $16 trillion in debt. Obama's policies have not worked. Why vote for the status quo? Who wants four more years of excuses? We need a new approach.

    With the debt, Romney won't raise taxes to increase revenue, but he will reform the tax code to make us more competitive in the global economy. Our corporate tax rate of 35% is one of the highest in the world. By lowering that, companies will start investing again in the US. That will create more jobs and that will mean more taxpayers and more revenue. To me, its a better plan that what Obama has for lowering the debt. His "tax the rich" mantra might sound good in a campaign speech, but in reality that will not be enough to even put a dent in the huge amount of debt that we owe.

    Israel is our only true ally in the region and its important for us to defend them to keep some kind of stability and maybe one day broker a Palestinian/Israeli peace agreement. The UN created Israel in 1948 and the US had a large role in its creation. We can't just walk away. We have an obligation to work with the Arab nations to help Israel gain the acceptance of its neighbors.

    Theres no doubt that we waste lots of money on military spending, but I see a President Romney being more careful at how the money is spent. I would expect him to scrutinize the budget and find ways to reduce spending and increase efficiency. Thats something that Obama doesn't seem willing to do.

    I'm thinking you mean Iran instead of Iraq. Obama has implemented sanctions, but they are not tough enough to be effective. Releasing viruses like Stuxnet to target their nuclear program was a good idea, but allowing people in his administration to leak what should be classified information about it to the press is just not acceptable. In the game of cat and mouse, Romney will threaten them with military action and could even support surgical strikes on suspected nuclear sites. I think he would draw a very clear line in the sand.

    Even though the shuttle program would have ended, there is never any talk from Obama about space. I guess his plan is to give up.

    The reason I like Paul Ryan is because he has the willingness to tackle the tough problems that Obama doesn't seem to want to look at. Obama never did anything with the Simpson-Bowles commission's recommendations. Ryan introduced a budget, maybe not a perfect one, but a starting point. I think he adds a lot to the ticket.

    One main difference between Obama and Romney is that Obama is a media darling. Its a good thing, because he would never be able to defend his record. Romney isn't a good politician and he isn't as glib as Obama, but his successes in life speak volumes to me about what he could do for this country. Yes, I totally agree that our political process is awful. All the negative ads and personal attacks take the place of a real discussion about the real issues.

    If something isn't working, it makes more sense to me to try something different.

    AV

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    CharlieSpencer

    Nixon, Carter, and Bush the First were governors too; they didn't work out too well. Reagan and Clinton did well, so it looks like the gubernatorial experience is only two for five in the last 50 years.

    Why do we give a hoot about the region, other than oil? What about obligations to those displaced by our actions? Perhaps we should concentrate more on making allies other allies in the region, ones that are more representative of the local population as a whole.

    You're right, I meant Iran. As to military action, I haven't decided if that's advisable; there's the question of what do you do after that? I think Obama demonstrated his willingness to authorize surgical strikes with the bin Laden attack, emphasizing our security over our relationship with Pakistan (an even more questionable ally).

    If you like Romney because he will privatize space exploration, how can you say Obama is giving up by not increasing the federal involvement? Manned space exploration is a minor issue for me; I see unmanned exploration as cheaper and yielding more results.

    If Ryan is willing to tackle tough problems, why didn't he run for the head of the ticket? Obama didn't do anything with S-B because the entire commission was set up BY Congress to make recommendations TO Congress, not to the executive branch. Recommendations Ryan voted AGAINST; how can Ryan criticize Obama for not taking action on what the Ryan didn't want in the first place? I'd call him a hypocrite, but a Veep candidate's only job is to toss chum to the faithful sharks. Name a vice since WW2 that's accomplished one thing besides attending funerals.

    I agree with those who say we are not better off than four years ago. But the economy is better off than it was 3.5 years ago. While the collapse was rapid, it took time to set it up. it's going to take time to bring it back. I don't think it will be affected by the occupant of the White House as much as the (in)actions of Congress. With the current view party faithful have of compromise as surrender, I don't see either candidate as being able to build a consensus for his plans in either chamber. At least we live in a country where we're free to have this discussion.

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    AV .

    Well, maybe Romney would turn out to be one of the better ones. He still is better than Obama. Geez, we need some fiscal discipline in this country or we will go the way of Greece.

    The only reason we give a hoot about the region is because of oil and the fact that they hate us. We buy their allegiance and even after doing that, they still hate us. We need to have some kind of presence over there because of Al-Qaida and other factions like them. As we know now, plots developed over there can directly affect our safety here.

    You know at some point Israel is going to do something about Iran's nuclear program. I don't think they'll check with us first either. We would be drawn into it, but I don't know what will happen after that.

    Obama should have been pushing on Congress to work on adopting some of the recommendations in SB, but he can't work with Congress. Thats his excuse for everything that doesn't get done and to me thats unacceptable. Mitt Romney was able to do it in MA, Chris Christie does it in NJ. It can be done, but he has to get his hands dirty and he doesn't want to do that. Ryan voted against SB in its first incarnation because it raised taxes but did nothing to address healthcare spending, one of the biggest causes of our deficits. So SB wasn't perfect, but it was the job of Congress and the President to find a way to fix it so it could be implemented.

    To me, it looks like the recession never ended and that there is no end in sight. The President could have a direct affect on how Congress operates if he would just lead. He won't. Instead he has given up trying and continues to spend money that we don't have. If Romney was able to work across the aisle in MA to get things done, maybe he can do the same in the White House. Its worth a shot, to me.

    If you ever get a chance you should read The Amateur by Edward Klein. He conducted 200 interviews with friends, colleagues and others that know or have deaIt with Obama in the past. It really offers a lot of insight into the Obama White House.

    AV

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    that Obama has rarely had as President: a cooperative legislature.

    Romney supported essentially the same social policies in Massachusetts as Obama has as President. And given the behavior and attitudes of the tea party-supported legislators in the House, I don't think Romney would have had any better luck getting more moderate policies through Congress than Obama has.

    The entire Republican campaign this year is based on the concept that giving money to people makes them dependent on government, but giving money to businesses doesn't make them dependent on government. What mental midget came up with that?

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    Deadly Ernest

    US Congress and the Senate for the last decade. But, from what I have seen, Obama's party has had the majority control of them both for the last six years or more, according to many of the media reports I've seen. So Bush didn't have the support of the Congress and Senate for his full term, while Obama has.

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    boxfiddler Moderator

    has been by the slimmest majority, which enables Republicans to effectively filibuster to death whatever Obama tries to accomplish. 'Control', in this nations politics, requires larger numbers than Obama has had.

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    CharlieSpencer

    Senate rules boil down to requiring a 60% majority to pass anything.

    Control is overrated. Here in South Carolina we've had Republicans in the governor's mansion for the last three terms. None of them have been able to get along with the Republicans in control of both houses of our legislature. The current gov came OUT of the legislature and promptly proceeded to **** off her former colleagues.

    Part of the problem is our post-Reconstruction constitution heavily favors the legislature. That body is reluctant to allow any governor (or county, or school district, or any other agency) the authority necessary to do their jobs responsibly. By 'responsibly', I mean be held accountable for the job they do without the hindrance of "The legislature won't let me do that."

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    Deadly Ernest

    filibuster regardless of the size of the majority

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    AnsuGisalas

    So the distribution of votes does matter. Especially if one bloc is voting on the person behind the bill, rather than on whether the legislation is acceptable and needed.
    And I think it's very very strange that the Republicans have blocked job creation bills during a recession.
    Just to get rid of a president.

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    since the mid-term elections in 2010.

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    Deadly Ernest

    had control for several years before that and were responsible for creating the things Obama blames Bush for?

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    From the 1994 midterm electrions until 2006. Dems then had control for four years.took control back for the first two years of Obama's term.

    To be honest, I didn't see the Democratic leadership in those four years do anything different from the previous Republican leadership. I just think Republicans are much better at whining about things they can't control or don't like.

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    maxwell edison

    I'm curious. With the exception of Solyndra, which has been brought up in another thread, which specific business have been "given money"?

    And for the sake of the question, I don't consider taking less money from business equals giving them money.

    Just name a few.

    I'm not saying it doesn't happen (Solyndra), but speaking in specifics usually presents a better argument than speaking in generalities - generally speaking, that is.

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    CharlieSpencer

    the auto industry has pretty much paid back its bail out, some of it at a decent rate of return. I'm not sure what the status is of the money loaned to Wall Street, but I know some of it has been paid back.

    How about crop subsidies, especially those cases where we paid to NOT grow certain crops? The whole ethanol mandate was a gift to the corn lobby. The Brazilians use switch grass and get something like a fourteen-fold yield over corn. We've mandated converting food to fuel.

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    maxwell edison

    Government does not - and should not - GIVE money to business (legitimate and PRIVATE business). Of the instances you cite:

    "Wall Street": Wall Street is not a business. When you say "giving money to Wall Street", it's just the same as saying "giving money to business". AGI is a specific business, to be sure. So I'll throw that one out there for you. However, any private business in the financial sector that had to be "given money" was ONLY because of that business's incestuous relationship with government. Government backed mortgages that were granted with government required criteria, Fanny and Freddie, etc. Had government never interjected itself into the mortgage business to begin with, the mortgage crisis wouldn't have happened in the first place.

    "The Auto Industry" I don't know about you, but I'm not convinced of what really was "paid back". Creative bookkeeping, selective reporting, etc., makes me suspicious of the claim. Moreover, the government still owns about 40 percent of the new GM shares that were issued, while the original shareholders and bond holders got screwed. That doesn't sound like pay back to me. The Labor Union was what was really bailed out. GM should have been allowed to go through bankruptcy reorganization. Ford didn't accept any money, and I don't hear anything about Chrysler.

    "Crop Subsidies": I'm with you, brother. I've been calling that "government GIVING money to business" for years; and I, TOO, have been calling for it to end. I'm glad to see we agree on that count.

    You made my point, however, that government DOES NOT "give money to business" as people on the left so often rally against - EXCEPT when it's to finance the left's pet projects - union bailout, mortgage bailout, and green energy bottomless pits.

    Great, Palmetto, I agree. Stop giving money to business. PERIOD!

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    CharlieSpencer

    Odd as it may seem, that was my intention. I was trying to make the point that the money people say was 'given' to banks and auto manf's. was actually loaned or used to purchase ownership (stock). The paybacks may involve creative accounting, but the stated intent was that these were loans, not grants, gifts, etc.

    Do we consider research grants as gifts? They often go private companies and payback is not expected. Those companies often profit from the results of the research, although not exclusively.

    Yeah, we're clicking on this one. Mark it on your calendar.

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    The total value of bad mortgages is usually given as somewhere in the $1.7 trillion range. If that was all that was lost, it would have slowed things down, but not caused the shakeup in the financial markets that it caused. What caused the problem was a combination of the mortgage-backed securities ($10 trillion), the credit default swaps used to hedge against losses in those securities ($40 trillion-plus), and unethical behavior by the financiers (bundling mortgages they didn't own, getting AAA ratings when they knew the packages were already going bad, etc.).

    And at no time were banks or other mortgage lenders told they HAD to relax lending standards: they did that on their own in the chase for the almighty dollar.

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    I've never understood the reluctance to tax business, particularly since businesses can reduce taxable income dollar for dollar by reinvesting in the business. Yes, a business passes the tax expense on to consumers. So what? A business passes all expenses on to consumers, plus the added value that gets called "profit"; that's how a business stays in business.

    I'm talking any kind of subsidy or tax break available to one company or industry that is not available to all businesses, regardless of size or location: crop subsidies, oil exploration subsidies, sales or property tax breaks from state and local governments, etc. I'm particularly talking the breaks given to those in the financial industry: carried interest, capital gains, and so forth. Wall Street may have done much for America, but looking at 2007-2008 and the aftermath, it's quite obvious they have done quite a lot TOO America, as well. And a large percentage of financial executives and speculators have paid tax (if they paid tax at all!) at a lower rate than you or I.

    As far as I'm concerned, income is income, regardless of the source, and should be taxed at the taxpayer's marginal rate. Revise the tax code responsibly. Eliminate all but the most basic business deductions: advertising is an acceptable cost of business, but lobbying isn't. Encourage actual investment by returning to the old capital gains tax method that excluded a percentage of the gains based on the length of the investment. Reduce speculation by instituting a tax on financial transactions. Encourage home ownership, if you want, by allowing a mortgage interest deduction, but only on a first home valued at or less than 200% of the local median. If you want to encourage savings, exempt the first $500 of interest from taxation. Basic deductions, basic exemptions. A personal income tax code that can be understood by a fifth-grader with a reading disability; a business income tax code that can be understood by a high-school senior with an accounting class under her belt. All those tax lawyers and accountants can go find real jobs.

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    AV .

    Aside from his social policies, I think Romney is more moderate than some of the Tea Party supported legislators, but one core principle that they share is that he doesn't want to raise taxes on anyone. He would revise the tax code instead and that would be an acceptable way for Republicans to increase revenues.

    Obama insists on raising taxes on the rich knowing full well that it will not produce the kind of revenue needed to even make a dent in the deficit. He knows the Republicans will not accept that either, yet he won't try any other way to find a common ground. Instead, he uses their refusal to raise taxes on the wealthy to paint them as favoring the rich. It just isn't true. Obama incites class warfare to cover up his own inability to get anything done for the country. We don't need to raise taxes, we need to stop spending and we need a president that will find a way to work with Congress. It can be done.

    When my Governor Christie came into office, this state was almost bankrupt after years of Democratic governors. He went through the budget for the state, line by line and eliminated all kinds of wasteful spending here. He balanced the budget without raising anyone's taxes. That needs to happen on the federal level, but Obama won't do that. Instead, he just keeps spending. Romney would do what Christie did on the federal level and thats whats needed. We have too much government waste of taxpayer dollars. If Obama gets re-elected, we'll be looking at a $20 trillion deficit at the end of his term. That makes me ill to think about.

    There are too many people on welfare in this country and we can't afford it. 47% of the people in this country live on some kind of social welfare program and don't pay taxes. Thats ridiculous and sad.

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    CharlieSpencer

    "47% of the people in this country live on some kind of social welfare program and don't pay taxes."

    First, you're misquoting. Mitt said 47% of people don't pay FEDERAL INCOME taxes. (He also misquoted; it's 47% of HOUSEHOLDS, not people.) Most of those pay other taxes - sales, property, gasoline, and state income, along with the 'not a tax' Social Security deduction. Plenty of working people don't pay income taxes because the tax law doesn't require them to. The tax law doesn't require Romney to pay the full income tax rate on his investment income either; what's the difference if all are obeying the law? If the law permits a lower or no tax rate, that isn't Romney or the non-payers' faults; it's that of Congress, who passed the laws.

    Second and worse, you're perpetuating Mitt's mistaken assumption that if a person doesn't pay federal income taxes then he or she must by default be on welfare. Some of those legally not paying income tax including retirees; others are lower ranking enlisted military personnel. While it indeed ridiculous and sad that we don't pay soldiers enough for them to be in the minimum tax bracket, I don't think they are who you meant.

    We differ on raising taxes. I don't see any way we can balance the budget, much less start paying down the debt, without raising taxes, and not just on the 1%. I'll state publicly and for the record that I'm willing to have mine raised IF that increase is mandated for debt reduction. I'm also willing to have my Social Security deduction increased, benefits reduced, and retirement age raised IF Congress pays back the IOUs it's written to the SSA and explicitly bans itself from writing any more.

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    AV .

    Romney said "All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to healthcare, to food, to housing, to you name it. "

    I'm sure, they don't pay federal income taxes because they have low incomes or none at all, but they are also recipients of welfare programs.

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2012/09/20/romney_and_the_welfare_state_115500.html (heres an excerpt)

    "In 2011, Social Security had 49.6 million recipients and Medicare 45.6 million, most of them overlapping. There were 5.2 million Americans with unemployment compensation and 3.2 million with veterans' benefits. An estimated 107.2 million people received "means-tested" benefits available to those with low incomes. Medicaid had 80.5 million beneficiaries, food stamps 48.3 million and WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) 23.1 million. Among households with means-tested benefits, almost a third received three or more."

    Aside from seniors and veterans, why do we have 48+ million people on food stamps? That program was meant to give a helping hand, not be a lifestyle. This is a serious problem for the country and its just getting worse. I wonder if given the choice between a low paying job or just sitting home and collecting benefits equal to that low paying job, if many of them would decide to just sit home.

    Everyone wants to condemn Romney for his statements, but he wasn't lying. People in need are one thing, but the bottomline is that 53% of the country is paying a whole lot more to fund these programs.

    You know, I agree with you about raising taxes if it goes to paying down the existing debt. I would also agree to reduced SS benefits. I don't trust them though and think they will just use the extra money to pay for an even bigger government than we have now.

    AV

    edited to put the quote marks back in on Romney's quote

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    81.9% of taxpayers paid payroll tax, meaning they are employed. That means that 28.3% of American workers don't earn enough in a year to have to pay income tax. The remaining 19.1% receive a mix of Social Security (earned) benefits, Veterans (earned) benefits, welfare, food stamps, and other federal aid.

    The difference between your outlook and mine may be the response to the numbers.

    You asked "Why do we have 48+ million people on food stamps?"

    I ask "What kind of country are we that 48+ million people have to use food stamps?"

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    Deadly Ernest

    just going from what's being said, I've seen some comments about percentages of population and others on percentages of taxpayers and others on the percentages of households. Please keep in mind that population numbers are different to those of residents, to those of citizens, to those of adults, to those of households, to those of workers, and to those of taxpayers. Sure, there are some overlaps and but none are subsets of others. I am NOT a US citizen, resident, householder, worker, or population, BUT I do pay US taxes because I use a publishing house in the USA to sell my books and they deduct US income tax from my royalties.

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    AnsuGisalas

    Israel is your only obligation in the region, and why you keep meddling there.

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    AnsuGisalas

    1: Mitt Romney is an unscrupulous businessman; his wealth from Bain Capital rests on "Heads-I-win, tails-you-lose". Not a good fit for a president.

    2:Mitt Romney is a member of a mumbo-jumbo sect, for god's sake, how PC can you get? And why is it that people insist on saying it's a good thing to be "religious"? By saying it's good that he's religious, you're saying it would be bad if he was a rational person. And even among religions, Mormonism is messed up. Baptizing dead people and building massive spacechurches is not "helping humanity".

    3: Mitt Romney, when confronted with gay and lesbian families who pleaded with him to see how they were harmed by differential treatment, said "I didn't know you guys had families". He's a person who is entirely capable of shutting his heart and mind to compassion and reason, all because it doesn't fit his preconceptions.

    4:Romney's and Ryan's plans involve making more debt, in exactly the same way as Dubya and Obama, but without the job creation efforts of the latter. They totally subscribe to the idiotic notion that the rich drive the economy, no matter the piles of evidence to the contrary. And the rich thrive under deficits.

    5: Mitt Romney absolutely doesn't understand Israel, or he'd ask for something in return for the support you flush down that hole. Blank checks don't help anything, only serve to prolong conflicts. Obama is unpopular in Jerusalem because he has insisted on a peace process. And Netanyahu doesn't want one. Simple as that.

    6: "He will expect countries that we send billions of dollars to to earn that money with results that benefit this country." You just said the opposite when it was about Israel.

    7: Oh please. How? With another false flag operation and another war?

    8: Romney will redirect the Space Program to sending a probe to the planet Kolob. Republicans have been gunning for the space program for years. NASA keeps bringing these unfortunate facts to the table. The Shuttle Program was formally scheduled for mandatory retirement in 2010 in accord with the directives President George W. Bush issued on January 14, 2004 in his Vision for Space Exploration.

    9: Paul Ryan held an acceptance speech that even Fox News called dishonest. Nuff said, that guy's main credential is being able to lie faster than a horse can run. Not a good sign in a VP pick.

    10:If you like Mitt Romney, fine, that's your preference... but don't justify it by distorting reality.

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    chdchan

    Obama can be good to be around for more a while. He is also scandal-free with good personal traits.

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    maxwell edison

    Solyndra? Fast and Furious? Ignoring Israel? Lying about why our ambassador was assassinated? Lying about the “Arab Spring”? Lying about his “life story”? Lying about the cost and impact of “Obamacare”? Telling the Russians that he would be “more flexible” after the election? ?????? I could go on.

    Want to try again?

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    CharlieSpencer

    I don't regard Solyndra as a scandal as much as a wasted investment. I don't regard not making a trip to Israel as 'ignoring' it, but then I think it plays too large a role in our foreign policy anyway. I would agree that he's mismanaged the relationship. I don't regard Obama's statements on Ambassador Roberts as any more or less scandalous than those Romney initially made before he got the facts. Mistakes and misstatements aren't automatically scandals and lies.

    Arab Spring? Any more of a scandal than the Bush administration changing it's story three times on why we invaded Iraq?

    Fast and Furious was a poorly run mistake, and the administration has admitted it. But the number of lost weapons is a drop in the flood of weapons that went south before and since, and I'll bet the agent killed wasn't the first shot with a weapon that originated on this side of the border. Tragic, but if that mistake was a scandal, what was invading Iraq?

    Okay, Obamacare; you got me there. Every damn one of them distorts the truth about his or her program. Is post-election flexibility any more scandalous than Congress kicking the budget can down the road every two years to see if their party gains an advantage? Any more scandalous than Ryan accusing Obama of doing nothing with the budget committee report than the Pres. wasn't authorized to do anything with in the first place, a report committee member Ryan specifically voted against sending to Congress, the body that could act on it? Any worse than repeating the old saw about government doesn't create jobs while lining up at the trough to send money to contractors back home?

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    maxwell edison

    Your premise is that it was "an investment". My premise is that it was a political payoff.

    An "investment", by definition, is intended to produce positive returns. Any one who cares to admit reality will acknowledge that spending money on wind power will not produce positive returns in any sense of the word. Not to mention they litter the landscape with eyesores that are only marginally effective, and will never recoup the dollars put into them.

    If you want to call it a "wasted investment", go ahead. But it's only making excuses for something that many of us have always maintained was a massive waste of money - only enriching political bedfellows.

    You call it a waste; I call it a scandal.

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    CharlieSpencer

    We apparently have differing definitions of the word, and / or differing levels of outrage as to when to use it. I don't see Solyndra as any more (or less) scandalous than all the other pet projects federal and state officials feed, and less expensive than many. We've got a couple of state legislators trying to ram through an interstate extension nobody wants, one they themselves prioritized below four other unfunded maintenance projects in their county.

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    maxwell edison

    ...... Dreams From My Real Father.

    Which book is more accurate?

    And on the same subject, in Dreams From My Father, Barack Obama mentioned a guy named Frank over thirty times as an important mentor in his life, someone he visited several times a week for many years.

    Frank who?

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    CharlieSpencer

    But you've brought much better ammunition to this point than i expected. I thought you were going to trot out the 'birther' argument. I willing accept your position on this point.

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    maxwell edison

    I asked a couple of simple questions and you throw out the "birther" pejorative? What's next? Racist?

    Aren't you even the slightest bit interested? Frank who? If you haven't already, you really should read the book - both of them. But if you do, don't get the digital form of Obama's book. Because in the digital version, he removed all references to "Frank".

    There's all kinds of "lies" in this world, including lies of deception, lies of omission, etc.

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    CharlieSpencer

    Googing the expression

    'dreams from my' father Frank

    yielded multiple results mentioning 'Frank Marshal Davis', so that answered the last name question. Beyond that, no; I'm no more interested in delving into Obama's influences and upbringing than I am that of any other candidate. Not everyone is influenced to the same degree by their backgrounds; I know plenty of preacher's kids who are now in different faiths, plenty of Democratic children with Republican parents.

    i mentioned 'birther' only because i was pleased to see you brought better arguments to support your 'lying about his past' than the one I'd expected. Sorry for the knee-jerk assumption; I know you're aware of far better reasons to criticize Obama than that straw-man. He wouldn't be my first choice either; I just don't view Romney as an improvement.

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    maxwell edison

    .... who would you consider an improvement? Not that it matters; at this point, it will be one or the other. I was actually a Newt supporter in the primaries. But, of course, I'll support Romney in the general. I'm not the "sour grapes" kinda' guy who says if my guy doesn't win, then....... (like the Ron Paul supporters).

    But as one of those party questions, if you could pick any person living today to put into that office to fix the mess, who would it be?

    I'd have to think about that one. Maybe NJ Governor, Chris Christie.

    Of all past presidents? George Washington would be my first pick. I'd love to see him scold Congress, and then go on to scold the American people for their (our) culpability.

    Anyone dead who wasn't president? I'd pick Benjamin Franklin. Maybe Barry Goldwater for a more modern perspective, and the last true libertarian-minded presidential candidate from a major party.

    Past presidents of the modern era? If I had to pick a Republican, it would be Reagan. A Democrat would be Harry "give 'em ****" Truman.

    I do disagree with you, however, about Romney. Mitt Romney will be exponentially better than Barack Obama.

    (Re: "will" - insert the crossing my fingers smiley face here.)

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    CharlieSpencer

    I like some of his ideas, but he's too much of a loose cannon. He'd make a great cabinet secretary. Since Christie wasn't running, i didn't investigate his positions. Ron Paul's economic policies bother me, especially his obsession with the outdated gold standard.

    I wouldn't mind four more years of Reagan, although he wasn't as conservative as he's being portrayed, especially fiscally. Frankly, I could almost accept another Clinton term, at least he acknowledged that 'It's the economy, stupid' and left with minimal increase in the debt. I have to give LBJ credit; he was effective in pushing through what he wanted. I'd love to have seen what Colin Powell might have done.

    I find it difficult to image how figures from further back in history would respond to current problems, but I can't image how Nixon or Clinton would have handled the War of 1812 either.

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    AnsuGisalas

    they're using you, that doesn't mean you have to be at beck and call... playing hard to get is OK.

    And Bibi was trying to affect the election, serves the flucker right to get to eat some crow. As he did, once Romney's 47% quote hit the news.

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    HAL 9000 Moderator

    Doesn't really matter who wins the election as whoever it eventually is they will be a Politician and will Lie To and Cheat the voters.

    Just an observation though I can not believe that the current president is solely to blame for the current mess. You need to remember that he inherited a Complete Disaster and at every attempt to do anything he has been resisted by the Congress and Senate.

    There is a Rabid Bunch in the current system who are willing to destroy the country for their own personal political ends and to score cheap points.

    They to me are the ones who need to be done away with are are no better than any other radical that we may have the misfortune to run into. After all what the difference between a Rabid Tea Party Person and Rabid Muslim? Both are willing to destroy everything that they see for their own ends and to be perfectly honest it's only the religious ones who have any sort of justification to be like that. They did after all see the West stand back and do nothing in Bosnia and at the same time claim that they where there to keep the peace and protect the Muslims from the Rabid Christians who where trying to Exterminate the entire Religion from the area.

    Genocide by anyone is unacceptable.

    Col

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    maxwell edison

    Re: Doesn't really matter who wins the election....."

    Yes, it matters; it matters a lot.

    Re: " ....... as whoever it eventually is they will be a Politician and will Lie To and Cheat the voters."

    Will be a politicians? Yes, by necessity.

    But to automatically lie and cheat because of it? While we all have every good reason to be cynical and suspicious, it's not always the case. In the case of Mitt Romney, if you have some inside information in that regard, please share it with us. I'm one of the biggest cynics of government, but I'll stop short of calling a person (Mitt Romney, in this case) a liar and a cheater unless I specifically know of instances in which he (or she) engaged in such behavior. But rest assured, I, too, have my eye on him, and the first time I catch him lying and cheating, I'll pounce!

    Segue: I never could understand why people who distrust ALL politicians on one hand, support bigger government on the other? You've seem to be the type of bloke who supports big government programs, which means you knowingly put your fate into the hands of those you deem all liars and cheaters. That doesn't make sense to me. I don't trust government either; but I don't shoot myself in the foot by wanting them to have anything to do with my own private affairs.

    Re: "Just an observation though I can not believe that the current president is solely to blame for the current mess."

    Nope, he's not. Did I ever say he was? In fact, if you've been paying attention over these past ten years, you've seen me say that "this mess" have been decades in the making. (See segue) Haven't you been paying attention?

    Re: "You need to remember that he inherited a Complete Disaster ......"

    Related to my previous comments.

    Re: "..... and at every attempt to do anything he has been resisted by the Congress and Senate."

    First of all, give me some specific examples, since you obviously follow our Congressional sessions closer than most Americans. Second of all, if "every attempt" he's made would actually make things worse (which is what I maintain), why shouldn't it be resisted? If we keep doing the same things, but more of them, that got us into this mess in the first place, wouldn't that make matters even worse? Or are you expecting someone to just better manage the mess?

    Re: "There is a Rabid Bunch in the current system who are willing to destroy the country for their own personal political ends and to score cheap points."

    And I want to get them out of the White House. But for my own sake, would you please give examples of who, what and when, as you see it to be?

    Re: "After all what the difference between a Rabid Tea Party Person and Rabid Muslim? "

    Now you're just being silly.

    Regarding all your "Rabid" groups in Bosnia, or whatever, and that "genocide by anyone is unacceptable", therefore what? If "the west" did nothing, why didn't your very own Southern Hemisphere step up and do something? (Not to acknowledge that I even know what in the heck you're talking about.)

    Max (insert winking smiley face here)

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    CharlieSpencer

    at the level of the interest in US politics expressed from outside our borders. I couldn't tell you who heads the Aussie government, how he or she is chosen, or when that's next scheduled to happen again.

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    maxwell edison

    All eyes are on us, the U.S. Personally speaking, I'm pretty embarrassed at what we're showing them. But then, my vision of America wouldn't please them either. They seem to want an America that looks and acts like them (socially speaking, that is). I want an America that doesn't look like them. And speaking of George Washington (as I mentioned in my other message), people should recall his comments about getting involved in foreign entanglements and following foreign models of government / social structure.

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    JamesRL

    From a Canadian perspective, to use an old analogy, we are the mouse sleeping beside the elephant. When the elephant sneezes, we get pneumonia....

    We are your largest trading partner, and vice versa(yes more trade than China). When fewer houses are built in the US, our lumber mills go quiet and our lumbermen, mill workers and truckers get laid off. When you make the border more "secure" you slow down trade across our border. Many of us work for American companies doing business in Canada.

    What is often scarier is that our governments copy US government policy changes. When you subsidize corn grown for ethanol, we do the same. When you invest in GM, our government did the same, or risk the prospect of having all GM jobs in Canada go south.

    So yes many Canadians watch what goes on down south. We should, it affects our lives and our livelihood.

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    They were going to ensure Obama was a one-term President. With very few exceptions, their actions since then have made it clear that that is their overriding goal.

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    CharlieSpencer

    Who was it that said he was going to make health care reform into Obama's Waterloo even before the president had put a proposal on the table? Boehner? Too much concern over what's good for the party, not enough over what's good for the country.

    This whole budget debate is another example. Both parties scream we're going over a cliff (one they put us on the road to, by the way, because they wouldn't man up and legislate), but they decide to wait until we're eight weeks closer to it before discussing it. Gods forbid they should do something that might result in either party getting credit before November. "We need to go home to run for re-election!" If they'd do something, anything, they'd all be shoo-ins. Instead they'll wait until December, when the lame ducks won't give a quack and whichever party will become the minority will even more obstructionist.

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    AV .

    John Boehner was almost able to broker the "grand bargain" that put everything on the table. That was the closest that our Congress came to working together with Obama.

    Republicans will never work with Obama and thats why we need someone else. Romney could turn the page, hopefully. He isn't a conservative's dream candidate, but at least he has a better chance of getting something done.

    Our Congress is just interested in re-election and for sure, we need term limits for Congress. Why are people like Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Charlie Rangel, etc., still in Congress? They shouldn't be. We're never going to get different results with the same old political hacks that have been there forever. We need new voices and new ideas from different people.

    AV

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    CharlieSpencer

    "Republicans will never work with Obama ..."

    That's EXACTLY what I'm talking about. Is it him in particular or would they not work with any Democratic president? It make any difference that some of what he's proposed are things the Republicans supported during the Bush years. Some portions of the health care act are exactly the same as what Republicans suggested as alternatives to what they didn't like in Clinton's health care plans.

    But I don't see that as a reason 'why we need someone else'. You could just easily argue the inverse, that we need to change the House so the membership will work with him. The Democratic Senate is no more likely to work with Romney than the Republican House is with Obama. Both parties in both branches need to quit worrying about their standings and think more about the country.

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    AV .

    Clearly, the Dems and the Republicans have two different visions for this country, but leadership ability counts. Obama has a hands-off approach and doesn't make the effort to build relationships. Compare his leadership style with Bill Clinton. Clinton was able to accomplish a lot in his presidency because of his ability to build relationships. Obama doesn't do that.

    That is a fatal flaw in the Obama presidency. I don't think we would be at this juncture now if Hillary had been elected. In my estimation, she would have made a far better president than Obama.

    When I look at Mitt Romney, I see someone that has proven he can work across the aisle. Chris Christie does it in NJ and he has no easy road here. It can be done, but not if we have someone like Obama. All he does is offer excuses as to why he can't get the job done. The truth is, he just doesn't have the leadership skills.

    Thats why we need to try someone different.

    AV

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    CharlieSpencer

    "Clearly, the Dems and the Republicans have two different visions for this country, ..."

    I don't give elected federal representatives or party leadership of either party the credit for vision beyond what will benefit their respective (dis)organizations.

    There doesn't appear to be anyone here except the five or six usual suspects, and we all know where each other stands. I'm probably out of this discussion, but I'll see ya at the polls.

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    robo_dev

    Obama Stimulus package....bad
    Tax cuts are stimulus packages, and that is what the Bush tax cuts were.

    McCain proposals on Immigration reform...good
    Obama proposals on immigration reform....bad

    The Health Care Mandate was INVENTED by a guy at the Heritage Foundation! It was a 100% Republican idea. Was nearly the idea that sunk the whole thing.

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    robo_dev

    Boehner's grand bargain failed because HIS guys would not vote for it, not Obama.

    Facts are a pesky thing.

    Was Eric Cantor on board with this grand bargain? No.

    Boehner has no control over the tea-soaked Republican caucus. They all signed their silly little Grover Norquist certificate, and middle class be damned, will let the nation fail before doing ANYTHING that even hints of compromise.

    Deficit reduction is needed....that was a good time to do it....but
    Republicans took the ball and ran home to mommy.

    Obama reached across the aisle many times...on the stimulus, on banking reform, on immigration reform and what happened...he lost some fingers.

    For anyone with even a third of a brain who witnessed the paralyzing and unpatriotic obstruction of the Republicans in Congress and can accuse Obama of not reaching out to THEM?

    That's like blaming the Jews for the rise of Hitler.

    McCain supported immigration reform, until Obama was in charge of it.

    The 2002 Bush stimulus package....brilliant idea, says Paul Ryan. Obama Stimulus...not so much. Tax cuts are a form of economic stimulus, thus the Bush tax cuts were a stimulus too. (Effective? No)

    I admit I have never heard the argument that Romney should be elected because Republicans would work with him...seriously? That's like saying the solution to crime is to fire the police and put the criminals in charge of law enforcement. Crime rate: now 0%.

    New ideas from different people? And you're pro-Romney?

    Seriously?

    Some of his advisers are people like Sununu and Dan Senor. Richard Williamson, Bush's special envoy to Sudan.

    Dan Senor, our man on the ground in Iraq, Israel fan-boy and author of a book that basically says Israel is so great because Jews are better, more military spending is a good thing, and by the way, let's level Iran. Brilliant.

    Romney is George W Bush with slightly less foreign policy experience, and the only 'new idea' on the horizon is whether America will unilaterally attack Iran or let Israel be our proxy.

    What happens when you get a rookie at foreign policy and surround him with neocons? Two wars.

    Romney's only tax policy I've heard is extending the Bush tax cuts. On what planet does that count as a new idea?

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    AV .

    I think the elephant in the room is the huge deficit of $16 trillion. The Tea Party Republicans, and they were a divisive group, would not accept the grand bargain because it meant raising taxes. Many Republicans signed the Grover Norquist pledge, which I don't agree with, never to raise taxes. There was another way, however, that would have been acceptable to Republicans and that was through tax reform. Eliminating tax deductions. Obama never pursued that avenue because he couldn't keep the lines of communication open. Sure Eric Cantor was arrogant and full of himself, but it was up to Obama to find a way to make it work and he didn't. He's pretty arrogant himself.

    Obama focused on dividing the country instead and by focusing the argument on taxing the so called rich people making over $250k per year. That isn't rich in some parts of this country. Also, it doesn't solve the problem because it would never have been enough money to even make a dent in paying down the deficit. I know that and so does he. I think Obama has no idea of how to solve our problems, but he is good at promising things that he knows are going to fall apart after he leaves office. The American dream has a new meaning nowadays.

    No one wants to hear the truth, but $16 trillion in debt and its mostly from entitlement programs, going up by the minute. Doesn't this sound like Greece to you? Whats going to happen when all the baby boomers retire? Uh-oh.

    You can fault the Tea Partiers in Congress for their aggressiveness and I did too at one time, but seriously, they had a point. Maybe they didn't make it eloquently, but we have to address the debt. Obama is not going to do that. He instead tells people what they want to hear, but we're running out of money to support those ideas. Obama has no idea how to stimulate the economy.

    Obama spent almost a trillion dollars in his stimulous programs and our unemployment rate is still too high. Why? Because it was all temporary jobs, gimmick programs like Cash for Clunkers. It was a stopgap measure in bad times, yet when it came to building the Keystone Pipeline, something that could have been more lasting, he vetoed that for environmental red tape reasons. Republicans voted for it.

    The Bush tax cuts were a flop and did nothing to stimulate an economy going downhill and now they are a bone of contention. Still, if you get rid of them you will probably damage the economy.

    Seriously, there is plenty of blame to go around, but one day someone will have to put the breaks on the spending. Thats where Romney comes in. My thought is that he will cut the size and scope of government and reform our entitlement programs. It has to happen because we can't afford it anymore. Something has to give and if you look at Romney's record, he is a turnaround guy in the business world. He is a success and he built that company. To me, I'm ready to try something new. This country is in dire straits. Am I a diehard Romney fan, absolutely not, but he looks a whole lot better than four more years of nothing but excuses as to why we can't.

    AV

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    maxwell edison

    Try principle over politics. Anyone who continues to blame Bush for current failed policies - four years after Bush - is either extremely partisan or extremely ignorant. Which are you?

    Both, by the way, is an acceptable answer.

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    boxfiddler Moderator

    We've a humongous industry built around war. If we don't, we'll bust 'em all and send 'em to jail. 'We' got a kick *** prison industry, too.

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    then denying the change count as lying?

    Does using jobs lost before Obama even took office in his claim that Obama has presided over the worst job loss in history count as a lie?

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktivist/2012/08/29/mitt-romney-tells-533-lies-in-30-weeks-steve-benen-documents-them/

    Have fun.

    This is not to say that Obama or the Democrats have been devoid of mendacity, but merely to point out that that Romney has...ummm...let's say...stretched the truth to the breaking point a few times.

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    JamesRL

    Changing a position when new facts come to light, or even when further study is done is not a bad thing. I know some of my personal opinions on policies have changed after my perspective has been broadened. Thats is a sign of maturity.

    But it is much harder for office holders and parties to do the same thing, especially when it comes to election promises. It means that politicians should be much more careful than they are about making promises.

    In the 80s, Canada replaced a tax on wholesale goods (13%) with a goods and services tax (7%). The wholesale tax was hidden, the GST was very visible to the consumer and applied to services which was new. A number of politicians and the Liberal party campaigned in the election to get rid of the tax. When their party was elected, the tax was not repealed. A number of politicians quit. But most stayed on, arguing that since the tax had been implemented,a number of things had come to light. They were unwilling to give up power and the chance to implement a large number of changes they wanted to make, just because they changed direction on one. Who was right? Depends on your perspective.

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    but it has to be done.

    I've changed my position on several issues because the facts contradicted what I thought. It wasn't pleasant to do, because emotions were involved, but no matter how uncomfortable it makes you feel, if you ignore the facts, you lie to yourself.

    I've known several people who ignored the facts in favor of what they felt. I was there when the facts slapped one of them in the face. When he realized the truth, he got the same look Wile E. Coyote gets when he realizes he's been walking on air...

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    JamesRL

    During that same election, the same Liberal party slammed the Conservative government's program to chose a new shipboard and S&R helicopter, calling it a Cadillac when we needed a Chevy. The total cost of the program at the time was $7 billion. They get elected. They find out that there is a cost of $1.5 billion to cancel. If they cancel, the jobs in aerospace that came with the contract would evaporate. And the helos that were in place were already well pas their prime.

    They cancelled it anyway. The older helos did crash, with some deaths. And in the end, about a decade later, they chose a slightly less optioned version of....the same helicopter, because it still met the DoD criteria the best. And with inflation they paid about the same.

    A very high price, in dollars and lives, for no good reason, except for the fact that it had been an election promise.

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    Deadly Ernest

    you currently have Obama pressuring the federal government to take action against a state, I think it's Arizona for passing a state law that helps to support and reinforce a federal law that Obama appears to not want acted upon but is NOT taking action to change the law.

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    CharlieSpencer

    Action has already been taken, and the courts have already ruled on this. Portions of the AZ law were deemed legal and are being enforced; other portions were struck down.

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    Slayer_

    No matter who you vote for, your stuck with crap.

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    Slayer_

    Who has the bigger pile? Who smells the least?

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    boxfiddler Moderator

    as a bad plan. You gotta let 'em eff it up first, if you're going to determine who makes the biggest mess.

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    Deadly Ernest

    playground, so just examine the evidence that's available and go from there.

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    strongly suggests the removal of both sides from the playground.

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    Deadly Ernest

    sure sounds like time to arrange for another big one in Boston.

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    The political powers that be crashed it.

    So now we're going to try a Third Party...

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    Slayer_

    I can see it happening....

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    Deadly Ernest

    be a great improvement, regardless of how well it goes.

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    maxwell edison

    ..... that's REALLY available not only "strongly suggests", but absolutely dictates that "the removal of both sides from the playground" is a mere pipe-dream. It's like pissing up a rope thinking you're not going to wet yourself.

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    maxwell edison

    ..... evidence that people simply do not understand their own system of government and the political process that elects their own representatives. And if they claim to understand it, then they're in denial of the reality of it.

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    Not both, at least. But the radicals in the Republican party seem determined to marginalize that party by rooting out all voices of dissention (i.e. "Rinos"). If they succeed, the Republican party of today will lose all relevance and become just one more fringe party for the remaining few years of its existence.

    What will rise from the ashes I don't know, but it will take at least a presidential term to do so.

    As for denying reality, maybe that is the case. But haven't you yourself complained about the "these are your only choices, deal with it" attitude from the major parties?

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    AnsuGisalas

    The two party system is entirely and wholly based on the first-past-the-post election system. That's all.
    Go to proportional, and you'll be rid of it right away. After that, once the binary fallacy evaporates, people can finally stop voting for the lesser evil.
    And since there are ways to start that reform from a popular level, by voter demand, there's no excuse for just going from election to election using a fundamentally flawed system.
    Nothing will get better that way.

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    maxwell edison

    You go on an on about how we could change our electoral college system, etc.; others go on and on in reply; all you have to do is this or that; all you have to do is blah, blah, blah.

    I can understand why you don't have a clue, Ansu (although the reason why you'd engage yourself in such idiotic conversation to begin with continues to be elusive), but the others?

    Regardless of anyone's hopes, dreams, and desires regarding the US Electoral system, to change it would require no less than a constitutional amendment. Any other discussion about it is no more than an exercise in meaningless self indulgence.

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    Deadly Ernest

    Constitutional Amendment process, just organise another successful revolution.

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    AnsuGisalas

    just to get rid of Obama.

    Whatever happened to "principle", Max?

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    maxwell edison

    No, I didn't repeat myself (notice upper case versus lower case).

    I'm a libertarian. Boxfiddler, I presume, as well as others, are Libertarians.

    While a libertarian is a subset of being a Libertarian, being a Libertarian is not necessarily a subset of being a libertarian. I'm always consistent in my principles as a libertarian, and always cognizant of the reality that being a staunch Libertarian is, more or less, an effort in futility. The Libertarian will always be on the outside looking in (or trying to force themselves in); while the libertarian can easily get inside by playing the reality game. (Reality = We have a two-party system; we can debate the merits of it till the cows come home, but in the meantime, face reality!)

    Principle + Reality = libertarian

    Principle + Wishful Thinking = Libertarian

    And libertarians actually have a chance to win elected office, while Libertarian's chances of winning are reduced the bigger the office happens to be. A Libertarian has ZERO chance of winning the presidency, for example, but a slight chance to win a seat in the US House of Representatives. A libertarian candidate, on the other hand, has a reasonable chance to win both.

    And then there's the "majority party" reality. While a libertarian will choose one or the other, the Libertarian chooses neither.

    A libertarian is a player in the arena. A Libertarian is a spectator complaining about the rules.

    Don't like the rules? Want to change the rules?

    A libertarian has a chance of changing the rules, while a Libertarian has no chance.

    Oh, and a bit of irony. Those being associated with the "Tea Party" movement, are actually the libertarian-minded people who want to change the Republican Party from within, taking it back to its more libertarian roots. But the Libertarians out there criticize and ridicule them for being "too extreme". Go figure!

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    Why are they so set on shoving their social views down the throats of everybody else? Seems to me that's not a very libertarian thing to do...

    Isn't one of the principles of libertarianism "as few laws as necessary" to support a functioning society? To claim that government is "too intrusive" when it comes to setting taxes and requirements for business, then turn around and claim government needs to intrude into personal decisions very strongly resembles my understanding of hypocrisy.

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    maxwell edison

    First of all, Nick, you paint with a broad brush. Second of all, what you see as "Tea Party" and what I see as "Tea Party" might look entirely different. You might have an MSNBC view, for all I know, so it's pointless discussing what it is or isn't. Moreover, the name "Tea Party" has been hijacked, used, abused, over-used, misused, and anything else to the point of almost making it meaningless.

    You do illustrate, however, a contradiction I also see in many libertarians - social issue libertarians or fiscal issue libertarians? I can only speak for myself, but I tend to be both; and since I care less about the social issues and more about the fiscal issues, there ya' go, I fall into the conservative / Republican coalition because that's where my driving issue (fiscal libertarianism) can be best advanced.

    Regarding social issues, Roe v Wade isn't about to be overturned any time soon, regardless of any electoral outcome; I don't really give a rip about gay marriage, and I'm just put-off by most people on both sides of that issue, so they both make it easy for me to not give a rip; and my state is about to pass a marijuana legalization measure (at least I predict passage), so there's certainly a growing climate of libertarianism out there.

    The difference between libertarians and Libertarians is in their respective thinking on how to best advance it. And conservatives (not to be confused with Conservatives) are much better bed partners in my equally important driving issue - keeping the creeping, destructive hand of socialism from advancing any farther than it already has (or is it, any further?).

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    maxwell edison

    The sad thing is, you probably believe it.

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    maxwell edison

    His recent foreign policy blunders:

    Ignoring Israel and disrespecting that nation's Prime Minister.

    He lied about what the "Arab Spring" really was - and he helped them by using American troops without Congressional approval. (I never bought into that "Arab Spring" crap.)

    A complete meltdown in Libya, which led to the deaths of several Americans, including our Ambassador - and he then lied about it to cover up said blunders.

    His lied about what really happened (blaming some obscure video that no one had ever heard about), and he was actually the cause of even MORE unrest throughout the region because of it.

    The same kind of blunders in Egypt; and now he wants to give a half billion dollars to the Muslim Brotherhood who took over that nation (with BHO's help, of course).

    His "scheduled time table" to remove American troops from Afghanistan (irrespective of any suggestion that they should be removed). We now are seeing a consequence of that announcement. Afghan soldiers who were trained by the Americans, and who worked along side of the American soldiers, are now facing a future where they will be accountable to those previous adversaries all by themselves. How many of those Afghan soldiers will want to get back into the good graces of the Taliban and/or Al-Qaeda? What better way to show it than to kill American soldiers?

    And the American soldiers killed on Barack Hussein Obama's watch FAR EXCEED that of his predecessor.

    http: // icasualties.org / oef /

    His predecessor also seemed to care more about the soldiers, by the way. His predecessor respected the soldiers enough to at least give up playing golf, while BHO is constantly chasing that little white ball around the links.

    Bragging about killing Osama bin Laden, and actually using it as a campaign slogan (Osama is dead, but GM is alive). Which resulted in protests in Libya, as well as across that region, with people chanting, "We're ALL Osama, Obama!"

    He leaked national security secrets for the same reason, announcing to the world what else was found in the bin Laden compound.

    Dramatically reducing the size of the United States Navy, while the Chinese are dramatically increasing the size of theirs.

    Not to mention, bowing down before a Saudi King; or giving the Queen of England an official state gift that consisted of an iPod with his speeches, or........

    Barack Hussein Obama is a foreign policy disaster for the United States.

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    robo_dev

    With a bit of cut and paste, the talking points of FNC become your intelligent and non-partisan viewpoint :)

    The whole issue in Libya is like the rain. If it rains, it's Obama's fault. Take half the facts, put a spin on them, regurgitate and repeat.

    His campaign slogan CAUSED the protests in Libya? really

    Bush left office handing off TWO wars to Obama, and the mess in Afghanistan was just getting started, so blaming Obama for more American deaths is simply reprehensible.

    The whole golf thing...seriously?

    For Bush, 967 days, or 32% of his total time in office, was spent on vacations or retreats. Obama's time spent golfing, a couple of hours each time, adds up to approximately .010% of the time he has been in office...woooo.

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    maxwell edison

    Bush and Fox News? That's it?

    Bush is long gone; and if anything, Fox News gets its talking points from me!

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    AV .

    The Obama Administration knew beforehand that the Ambassador thought he was on the Al-Qaida hit list from his personal journals and they didn't provide him with more security or get him out of there. Why not?

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    AnsuGisalas

    Oh, that's right, there isn't one. And not because it was taken offline, there never was one listed. The US has its diplomatic sites concentrated in the capital, Tripoli, as would be expected.
    So, did the Ambassador request protection for this stay in Benghazi? Or did he relocate to Benghazi because of the threat or because Benghazi is known to be a US-friendly area?
    That's all still under wraps. So far, your accusation is premature.

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    American soldiers killed on Obama's watch far exceed those killed under GWB? How the aitch-ee-double-hockey-sticks do you come up with that outrageous claim?

    Oh. Now I see. By completely ignoring the war-of-choice in Iraq. How mainstream media of you, Max.

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    NO.

    boxfiddler Moderator

    For the same reason Romney shouldn't be elected. Any two political parties with the power to lock out a viable third party candidate need their power strangled. Gary Johnson, Libertarian, is currently on the ballot in 47 states, and in litigation against the DNC/RNC power mongers to make the remaining three. Go Gary.

    Screw the Dems and Reps. This is a mess both parties made, and I'm sick to death of both of them.

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    AnsuGisalas

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proportional_representation
    That's the only way to have a viable third, let alone fourth, fifth etc. party.
    And that, in turn, is the only way to keep wingnuts on both sides from getting more influence than they're supposed to have.

    The good news is, it's super effective: You have First-past-the-post representation as an inheritance from British rule, New Zealand used to have it too, for the same reason. In 1994, NZ passed a new law to go to mixed-member proportional representation instead.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mixed-member_proportional_representation
    And already from the next election, in 1996, the two-party system was bust - no party has been able to rule without a coalition since.

    Some states have popular demand referendums as an option, right? You could get the ball rolling today, if'n you really want it.

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    Deadly Ernest

    as in this wiki article

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

    We have it in Australia and currently have a minority government where the independents have the sway of power in the federal government. The downside is the minority government has to cater to all sorts of minor rubbish issues to keep the independents on side.

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    AnsuGisalas

    if a vote for a candidate can lessen their chances at winning, that's messed up.

    First Past the Post is worse though, since it in theory allows 51% of cast votes to get 100% of representation. Good for getting things done, but so is dictatorship... and arguably, I think a good many Americans would like their government to get *less* done, not more.

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    Deadly Ernest

    the first vote. If no one has over 50% then they take the person with the least votes and redistribute those votes, repeat until someone has more than 50% of the votes.

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    No.

    CharlieSpencer

    I don't think he's been particularly effective. On the other hand, Mitt Romney hasn't given me any reason to think he'd be an improvement, so I may stick with the devil I know. Barry SHOULDN'T win, but he WILL.

    I wish presidential candidates would stop promising what they will do if elected. They never acknowledge that the president doesn't work in a vacuum, and none of his (her?) promises or proposals are going anywhere without Congressional cooperation. That's where the 'business experience' advantage falls down; business leaders don't have to negotiate their decisions. Carter and Bush Jr. were both businessmen and history isn't regarding either as a shining light. Maybe the head of a non-profit would be better, with more consensus building skills. Reagan, one of the most highly regarded presidents of my lifetime, started his elected career as a union leader.

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    Deadly Ernest

    I look at the list and decide who I think is the worst possible candidate and vote for them last. Then review the list and repeat the previous steps until I got none left.

    The sad thing about the US electoral system is if people do NOT want Obama, they HAVE to get out and vote for someone else or the small minority that do want Obama will win through lack of opposition.

    Remember, for evil to win, all it takes is for good people to do nothing.

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    CharlieSpencer

    "...the small minority that do want Obama will win through lack of opposition."

    Depending on what polls you read, Obama is preferred by a slight majority. Mind you, pollsters usually only talk to 'likely voters', but I suspect the preferences break down the same way among non-voters. The sad thing is those people who don't vote but want to ***** about office holders and their policies. Regardless of which candidate is chosen, he could win 100% of the votes cast and would still have been selected only by a minority of those eligible. People in emerging democracies will walk two days and stand in line for two more to vote; here we won't come out if there's a 70% chance of rain; gods forbid it should snow. I think Max has questioned whether we want people that easily discouraged to participate in the first place. Somedays I agree, some I don't.

    Another sad thing is that the process of running for office has become so demeaning that many qualified individuals refuse to consider candidacy.

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    boxfiddler Moderator

    if we don't put a stop to some things pretty soon, we're hosed. 'Our' government is increasingly bought and paid for by corporate and banking interests. Any day now I expect national debt to reach the point we can't even cover the interest on it. Obama spits out Executive Orders like he's wielding a royal sceptre, and I expect the same from the glaringly ambitious and probably sociopathic Romney. Google hallmarks of facism and 12 of 14 on a list are in progress. Never mind, here's the link: http://www.ratical.org/ratville/CAH/fasci14chars.html

    Oh, and let's not leave out war. Iran is next. How many of our youth are we going to waste on oil?

    And let's not leave out our growing hypocrisy on human rights. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/25/opinion/americas-shameful-human-rights-record.html?_r=0

    Police state, anyone? http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/19-signs-that-america-is-being-systematically-transformed-into-a-giant-surveillance-grid

    I'm sick, just sick over what this nation is becoming.

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    Deadly Ernest

    1. His whole upbringing and life has stressed good fiscal management and care of finances; thus I don't see him being a big spender on airy-fairy projects. If anything, he may be a bit too tight on the spending, but he has plenty of experience in senior management from his own businesses.

    2. He's not a sociopath and is very down to earth, again, most of that is from the upbringing and life he's lived. I expect he's going to be very careful in studying things before pushing them out. However, I do expect there's a few things he's been studying for many months that he'll probably push out as soon as he deems it practicable to do so.

    As to the bit about fascism, you do realise that 13 of those 14 items also apply to socialist dictatorships too.

    I'm glad I don't have to vote in this election, but faced with a choice of Romney or Obama, I see Mitt as the lesser of two evils by a huge margin. The most evil thing about Romney is the part and party leaders he has to work with, while Obama has all that in spades and is also a proven liar who does NOT have the best interests of the USA or its citizens in mind in any decision he makes.

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    boxfiddler Moderator

    Despite Dem/Rep efforts to silence it. I don't have to choose between Obama and Romney.

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    Deadly Ernest

    anyone but those put up by the two major parties to have a real chance of being voted in? I don't think so, what it may do is to water down the votes for one candidate.

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    boxfiddler Moderator

    On whether or not the Electoral College follows the will of the people as it should, or is as corrupt as the rest of the system.

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    CharlieSpencer

    With no rapid mass communication, there was no way for potential presidents to reach all the people. Electors were chosen based on their ability to represent the basic desires of those who sent them to the capitol, but those senders were usually state legislatures, not the mass electorate. Because of the inability to communicate from the capitol to those legislature, they were expected to exercise their best judgement.

    One day maybe we'll get around to a direct popular vote for president, but we've got bigger problems in the process than that one.

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    boxfiddler Moderator

    Different things. It was also assumed that electors would 'exercise independent judgment' when voting. And that Prez and Veep would be running independently of one another.

    *http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electoral_College_(United_States)

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    maxwell edison

    Only one candidate wins any given state primary election, and as representatives of each state, they are beholden to their respective State Constitutions. Whatever latitude they may or may not have is spelled out in their State Constitutions. As far as I know, only two states, Maine and Nebraska, allow for casting split votes.

    And quite frankly, it's not up to you to tell people of other states how they manage their own elections, just like its not the place of others to tell you and your state how to cast your vote(s). We have 50 separate state elections, not a national election.

    By the way, the will of the people seldom speaks with one monolithic voice. This "people", for example, would be opposed to ending or changing the Electoral College system. It would be the final nail in the coffin to individual state's rights. I'd also support repealing the 17th Amendment for the same reason.

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    CharlieSpencer

    "This 'people', for example, would be opposed to ending or changing the Electoral College system."

    I see the Electoral College as the exercise of states' right at the expense of individual rights; just this "people's" opinion.

    I don't see the coffin nailed shut while the 10th is still on the books.

    I don't have feelings about the 17th either way.

    I'd love to see the 22nd either repealed or applied equally to all federal elected offices.

    I notice you haven't weighed in yet on your original topic.

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    maxwell edison

    We can certainly agree to disagree (as I don't think I've ever swayed anyone at TR to actually to consider another point of view), but if you go back to the founders' intent, the House of Representatives was intended to represent the people of each state, while the Senate was intended to represent the state itself. It was an brilliant concept, if you ask me (which you didn't), but it was circumvented with the passage of the 17th amendment.

    Personally speaking, I don't think the people of Colorado (for example) should be able to tell the people of South Carolina (for example) how to conduct their own state's business. The 17th Amendment actually made that possible; and if the Electoral College were to be eliminated, then it would become common practice.

    It forces one to consider one's underlying principle: do you believe in a stronger federal government or stronger state governments? Considering the reality that most issues concerning New Jersey (for example), have entirely different considerations than similar issues in Utah (for example), I'm inclined to favor more local control.

    Stronger Federal Government, or a stronger State Governments? I choose the latter, because I see their respective roles as quite different. Which do you choose?

    (Not to mention the introduction of the progressive movement in America at the time of the passage of both the 16th and 17th Amendments.)

    P.S.

    Re: You said, "I see the Electoral College as the exercise of states' right at the expense of individual rights; just this "people's" opinion."

    I'm curious. When did the electors of South Carolina fail to cast their votes as dictated by the individuals of South Carolina?

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    maxwell edison

    Re: I notice you haven't weighed in yet on your original topic.

    Do you really have to ask? (insert smiley face here)

    P.S. For those who don't know, I don't do "emoticons". I leave that to my Australian friend! (Insert raving laughter here!)

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    CharlieSpencer

    that was just pulling your chain.

    Last week was the 30th birthday of the emoticon.

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    CharlieSpencer

    I don't see the question of federal vs. state government as an 'either / or' one. It depends on the individual issue in question. I think states would better manage those issues that fall entirely within their borders, but those are becoming fewer. Should Missouri be allowed to dump raw sewage in the Mississippi River just upstream from their border with Arkansas? if not, do you expect the states would work that out for themselves without federal intervention?

    States aren't choosing each others' representatives, or telling them how to run their elections below the federal level. 3/4 of state legislatures agreed to change the method of selecting senators; they willing ceded that power to the electorate. The Senate is still made up of two people from each state, preserving the balance of equal representation. Does being chosen directly by the people make senators less responsive to their states' needs than being chosen by the home legislatures?

    You asked if a federal government should be stronger than state governments. Should state government be stronger than its citizens?

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    maxwell edison

    Come on, Palmetto. You know good and well what I'm talking about. And quite frankly, I really don't want to get into discussions in which you're probably just playing devil's advocate.

    Fair enough?

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    CharlieSpencer

    I freely confess to playing Devil's advocate, and I understand if that's not what you're interested in. Fair enough.

    However, I don't 'know good and well' what you're talking about. If my example doesn't demonstrate there are cases when the federal government should be stronger than the state, then I'm completely misunderstanding the basis for the entire question. I don't mind that, but I dislike it when others assume what I 'know good and well'. Fair enough?

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    maxwell edison

    ..... over the course of many years and hundreds of discussions in which you and I both participated, that you might have at least gotten a sense of how I view the respective roles of state and federal government. I suppose I was mistaken.

    Not having the time or desire to explain fully, suffice it to say that I lean more towards the Federalist system as originally designed by Madison, Jefferson, et al, rather than the command and control system we have today.

    One short example: Let the states handle their own public education systems, and get the federal government pretty much out of it. I don't think it a coincidence that education costs have increased, while student performance has decreased, since the creation of the Department of Education. One of many reasons, to be sure, but one of the biggest.

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    RFink

    If the 26 states that sued to block Obamacare were serious, they'd appoint their presidential electors to Romney.

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    boxfiddler Moderator

    my mangling of my thoughts.

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    maxwell edison

    It's all good.

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    maxwell edison

    Viable, in this context, implies there's a reasonable chance of succeeding. Gary Johnson is not a viable candidate. In fact, it's a 100 percent certainty that he will lose. There's a 100 percent certainty that he will not win a single state, not even his home state of New Mexico. It's a 100 percent certainty that he will not receive a single electoral vote.

    Viable? I don't think so.

    There IS a 100 percent certainty, however, that a vote for Gary Johnson will help Barack Obama get reelected.

    I love sticking to one's principle, something I try to do in all my arguments. But mixed with healthy dose of reality is the only way to ultimately advance such underlying principle - AND fend off an opposing principle from being advanced further.

    ..... AND fend off an opposing principle from being advanced further.

    ..... AND fend off an opposing principle from being advanced further.

    Not only do libertarian-thinking people want to maintain a good offense, but if we don't even field a defensive team, we're doomed. And this is the time to put our best defensive team on the field.

    Otherwise, cutting off one's nose to spite one's face comes to mind.

    It's time to play defense, boxy, even if for just the one second it will take to cast a vote for the ONLY viable candidate against Barack Hussein Obama, and that's Mitt Romney. ONE SECOND, that's all. And then put your offense back on the field!

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    Any candidate on enough state ballots to potentially earn enough electoral votes to take the Presidency should be considered viable.

    The objective, Max, is to shake the complacency of the major parties enough that they stop listening so much to the money and start listening more to the people. If enough Americans disillusioned with the defective and deficient options being presented to them by the two major parties know there's an alternative, it's entirely possible that enough will not consider the top two lines, vote responsibly, and make that alternative viable.

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    AV .

    It always benefits one of the two mainstream parties, in this case probably Obama.

    I know its a protest vote, but in the end it has unintended consequences. The only candidate that will pay attention to the huge national debt is Romney. Obama doesn't seem to think it is a problem and he will keep on spending. A vote for Gary Johnson takes away a vote for Romney that has a real chance to win this election. Gary Johnson can't win. At most he can get a couple of percentage points, but that will take away votes from Romney and guarantee an Obama victory.

    Obama has had his chance and produced dismal results. Romney could be better. He has some real world experience, where Obama is just an academic lecturer. I think Romney is worth a shot. We already know what we have with Obama and thats pretty much nothing, why not?

    Gary Johnson isn't going to do anything for this country. He'll never be elected, but Mitt Romney can and he really has a good background for turning around failing companies. His experience translates to this country in a way and I'd like to see him have the chance to do it.

    I've never been a fan of his, but I'm pretty concerned about the debt. Of the two candidates, Romney has more of a focus on it. I just see Obama spending more money that we don't have.

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    The problem is not that Obama is spending, but what he is spending on. For the last 30 years we've been spending too much on the wrong things and haven't been spending enough on the right things.

    Our national infrastructure is falling apart. Every day I work, I drive across bridges that are 40, 50, or 60 years old (or older!) and look it. I've voluntarily changed the routes I use between some of my stores because of the poor quality of the roads in the original routes. I've had to change the route I take between two of my stores because one of the bridges on the old route is in such bad shape, its load rating was reduced from 20 tons to 3 tons (2 tons/axle), which is less than the 8050 pound max gross of my 1/2-ton van! There are no plans to replace that bridge because there are no transportation funds. Where are those funds?

    I'd like to see Obama start spending on infrastructure! He actually tried once, but the Republicans shot it down because the bill he pushed would have increased taxes. What hypocrisy! I'd like to see the legislators who say they are patriotic Americans (when their actions put the lie to that claim) show less concern for their re-election and more concern for the country itself.

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    Romney's campaign has even said they were going to lie and didn't care if others knew: "We're not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers."

    And given Romney's attitude toward the little people (the 47% who are moochers and takers), I can't see where he has the best interests of the American people in mind either.

    The problem, Ernest, is that it's impossible for a politician to tell the truth and get elected;it's been proven again and again. This is particularly true in America, where the people would rather swallow a lie than face the truth.

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    Deadly Ernest

    and only the truth. However, track records to date do support Romney to be more truthful than Obama. The real worry for some will be knowing if he gets up this time but can't get another term afterwards, what's going to stop Obama from going hog-wild?

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    that's kept him from getting much more done this term than the Affordable Care Act: Republicans in Congress.

    As of right now, I don't see control of the House changing to the Democrats. As long as the Republicans control either the House or the Senate and Obama is President, there will be nothing significant passed that Obama might favor, regardless of the cost to the country. The Repubs have shown their willingness to do that over the past two years and if Obama is re-elected, the rhetoric has them more than doubling down on that over the next four

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    boxfiddler Moderator

    ending this 'Executive Order' crap, and getting rid of NDAA and Patriot Act.

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    in the number of executive orders issued.

    On the others, as I said, no matter his position on the issues, the Republicans are in opposition, regardless of the cost to the country. Hmmm. Maybe he should come out in favor of those two...

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    AnsuGisalas

    Far as I know, Obama has told less outright pants-on-fire lies, but has an incredibly sinister track record on a select number of policies.
    Romney on the other hand, is incompetent, a mormon, incapable of empathy, a known China-lover and Netanyahu's pawn.

    No offense to Mormons, but I've read those scriptures...

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    Deadly Ernest

    they have a strong work ethic and are much closer to what the average working man does and wants than a lawyer like Obama. Romney has built his own business from scratch over many years, so he can't be that incompetent. And he has empathy for those who are prepared to work and better themselves, but none for those who want a totally free ride and hand out, which is what Obama wants to offer everyone. Sadly, the Obama bread and circuses route has a major issue when the bill gets presented for payment and no one has the cash to pay out.

    Obama claims to love the USA but does NOT show respect for the flag or the national anthem, and he has stopped US businesses to give business to other countries.

    Now back to the original question - in many elections I've seen or studied, I've seen candidate after candidate get chewed up at the polls and elsewhere because they dared tell the truths, especially the hard truths. The voters don't like it when someone says, well, I ain't gunna give you any new big handouts cause we ain't go the money in the treasury, but will re-elect someone who offered them handouts and didn't deliver them by later saying they didn't have enough bucks.

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    Deadly Ernest

    Romney has worked with his hands and with his mind to make his living.

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    AnsuGisalas

    What's your sample?
    All anyone has to know about Mormonism is that it's a special kind of crazy. Sure, it's not Westboro style, but it's not far from some of the only slightly less crazy Baptist movements (yes, I know it's not a Baptist movement).
    Say no to cultists.

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    Deadly Ernest

    apply to the Mormons, then the Salvation Army, Amish, Puritans, and all Protestant groups are cults. I suggest you take time to read the history of all the religious groups and their teachings before you write them off as cults. Or do you see All religions as cults, in which case Islam is a cult too. Come to think of it, both the Mormon Church and the Moslem Church started out the same way - with a person saying they had a vision from God and gathering a few followers.

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    Bill Gates, the Two Steves (Jobs and Wozniak), Sergey Brin, and even Barack Obama all started from scratch.

    But Mitt Romney had to (**GASP** ) sell stock for living expenses while in college. I can't think of anybody who wouldn't want to start with that kind of scratch.

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    AnsuGisalas

    Founded by an obvious charlatan, it is so full of absurdity, it's actually worse than Scientology.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Smith

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    Deadly Ernest

    Nick, dig deeper as Mitt was working after school and during summer while in school. I know quite a few people in the USA who did that and then invested the money so they could use it to pay for the college education.

    Ansu, over the years I've looked heavily into all the religions and I know a lot more about the Mormons than you realise. If you claim Joseph Smith is a charlatan, then you have to apply the same to William Booth, the founder of every Protestant Church, St Linus and every Pope since, Muhammad, Buddha, and the founder of every other church, and some would also include Jesus known as the Christ. In each case they claim a vision or enlightenment from God and then gathered a group of like minded people around them.

    I disagree with your analysis of Romney, but even if I did, I'd rather have someone like that in charge of the US than a liar who's a pawn of Moslem extremists and set on destroying the USA.

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    But I wasn't lucky enough to have AM stock given to me by my father.

    www.samefacts.com/2012/01/income-distribution/mitt-romney-and-ann-the-students-struggling-so-much-that-they-had-to-sell-stock/

    Not from the horse's mouth, but from the mare...

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    Deadly Ernest

    quote

    “The stock came from Mitt’s father. When he took over American Motors, the stock was worth nothing. But he invested Mitt’s birthday money year to year — it wasn’t much, a few thousand, but he put it into American Motors because he believed in himself. Five years later, stock that had been $6 a share was $96 and Mitt cashed it so we could live and pay for education.

    end quote

    In short, Mitt's father took Mitt's money and invested it - not the same as a gift of money from dad, is it? Income derived from the investment of Mitt's money. And also:

    quote

    “Remember, we’d been paying $62 a month rent, but here, rents were $400, and for a dump. This is when we took the now-famous loan that Mitt talks about from his father and bought a $42,000 home in Belmont, and you know? The mortgage payment was less than rent. Mitt saw that the Boston market was behind Chicago, LA and New York. We stayed there seven years and sold it for $90,000, so we not only stayed for free, we made money. As I said, Mitt’s very bright.

    end quote

    Took a loan and then earned the money to pay it back.

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    AnsuGisalas

    First of all, what?!? What news do you follow, man?

    And Romney can't call anybody a liar anymore; he's lied even more often than Obama, which is saying a lot... and even Fox called Ryan's acceptance speech out for being a load of bull.

    So, if we must go to the kind of hyperbole you're spouting, Romney is a liar who's a pawn of China and set on selling out the USA, for personal profit.

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    The sentence before your selection reads: "Neither one of us had a job, because Mitt had enough of an investment from stock that we could sell off a little at a time." That single sentence blows any claims of working after school out of the water.

    At that time, not many Americans had a father who could buy them stock; heck, it's still that way. NONE of my classmates when I was in college had money of their own; we were all there on scholarships, loans, help from Mom & Dad, or our own sweat. None of us were able to sell stocks to make living expenses. I know any birthday money I got while growing up never exceeded five dollars. I suspect Mitt's "birthday money" greatly exceeded that amount.

    I grew up with nothing but family. What I've had since I was about 15, I have worked for and earned. No financial help from Mom, Dad, or anybody. If Mitt had done that, I might believe he understands what it's like to start from nothing. I'm sure he thinks he does. But the record speaks for itself: any claim that Mitt Romney is a self-made man who started from nothing falls flat in the face of the facts.

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    Deadly Ernest

    I said after school, not after college, meaning his time while in high school and before that - you guys use different names for them to us, so I'm not sure which.

    However, even you own reference makes it clear he had money generated by his own money obtained early that his father invested for him. Which means his old man did not pay for his college for him.

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    CharlieSpencer

    First, they're all liars.

    Second, if you're referring to Obama, I'd like evidence of his pawnship.

    Third, both candidates have 5 bullet points in their standard campaign speeches. Four of the five are the same for each candidate. Where they differ on those problems are their proposed solutions. Neither is set on destroying this country, and the inaction of Congress will result in more damage than either candidate can inflict as head of the executive branch.

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    Where did that "birthday money" come from? His parents? And how much was it? I'm pretty sure it was more than the three or four dollars I got on my birthday every year. It was probably more than the $100 a year I was able to earn from my paper route.

    How many of us had fathers that could purchase American Motors stock for us? Or, for that matter, any kind of stock?

    "After school" in the US is usually interpreted to include all schooling, including college.

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    Deadly Ernest

    parents, grandparents, and older siblings if they have any. However, we also know he did work after school while in high school and he would have had some income from that and also added that to the mix. As to how many parents can buy shares? Well, here in Australia it could be done through any solicitor or investment service during the period we're talking about. My dad was a truck driver, but mom had some money they saved invested in shares bought through a local solicitor, and that was in western Sydney, Australia in the 1950s.

    edit to fix typo

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    At least not where I was. You had to buy shares through a registered brokerage and you had to do it in blocks, not in single or fractional shares. Most brokers wouldn't talk to you unless you were what is today referred to as an accredited investor. I tried to buy Microsoft and IBM in 1985 with a large chunk of a re-enlistment bonus; the very few brokers who would talk to me told me my $3000 wasn't enough money for me to be an investor.

    And I just noticed this line from the middle of your quoted text: "But he invested Mitts birthday money year to year it wasnt much, a few thousand..." A "few thousand" year to year in birthday money? That's definitely NOT starting from nothing.

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    Deadly Ernest

    and it indicates his total initial investment was a few thousand; I saw that as money saved in the bank for many years while growing up, plus any other savings he would have added to it over the years. Regardless of arguing about how much he had been given at any one time, and how much he had earned and added to it before it was invested, it shows he had been saving his money while younger, and taken advice and help on investing it. In short, he started showing sound fiscal management at a young age - something the Mormons teach their children, and that puts him miles ahead of Obama in money management.

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    But what about other people's money?

    - He bailed his company out using federal funds, screwing the FDIC and Americans for $10 million. http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-federal-bailout-that-saved-mitt-romney-20120829
    - His time at Bain Capital was marked by off-shoring, bankruptices, and job losses. Profitable businesses (e.g. Ampad, Dade Behring) were driven into bankruptcy by the debt loaded onto them by Bain Capital. Factories were closed and jobs were moved overseas. Workers and management took it in the shorts as severance and retirement promises were broken.
    http://www.enewspf.com/opinion/36131-fact-check-romneys-tenure-at-bain-was-defined-by-layoffs-bankruptcies-outsourcing.html
    - Even while running numerous previously successful companies into the ground, Bain Capital and its investors cleaned up.

    If this is how he plans to run the U.S. government, I don't want him within 100 miles of D.C.

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    CharlieSpencer

    Is Mormonism any less legitimate a religion than one based on a self-contradictory monotheism with a three-part god? Can an organization not overcome its origins (assuming they're in question)? Was Smith any more of a charlatan than Jesus claiming people can rise from the dead?

    To this atheist, they all look equally unjustifiable. Only your history keeps me from flagging your post.

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    AnsuGisalas

    Is that no atheist could ever get elected President of the USA (any more).
    That makes the (de facto requirement) that presidents claim to found their lives on irrational and outmoded belief systems very interesting.

    The roots of the US constitution and bill of rights are as atheist as that time period could support. Had Darwin lived in the US a few hundred years earlier, the picture would have been entirely different.
    Even Newton was fooled by the clockmaker fallacy - finding the principle for the taking of shape of plants and animals changed all that.

    Not everybody has heard that the aptly named "Jefferson Lies" by David Barton was pulled by its publisher, on account of the overwhelming evidence against his uneducated claims.
    Turned out the "Jefferson Lies" was just David Barton telling lies about Jefferson.

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    DelbertPGH

    The Book of Mormon does not tell the whole story of Mormons. I lived in a small town in Colorado where 20% of the people were Mormons. They believed in community, family, cooperation, hard work, saving, and restraint. If you take delight in human complications, they are nearly the most boring people on earth, because they work so hard (and pretty successfully) to make themselves and their environment uncomplicated. They almost eternally find the bright side of any problem, and sit their with an infuriating smile on their faces, happier and more content than anyone around them. They struck me as decent to a fault.

    The selling point of their religion (which they are honor-bound to proselytize) is the brilliant support their community gives to families and individuals, and not any revelations contained in their weird book.

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    AnsuGisalas

    You could say the same nice things of Moonies or Scientologists... Cultists work hard for the common good, that's part of the package. Their idea of the common good is, however very different from normal peoples ideas. You cannot deny that belonging to a cult, or indeed to any institutional religion is a sign of impaired judgment and should be counted against a candidate, not for them. Unless you're shopping for drones to keep the media busy while the shadow government does its thing. If that's what you want, then a religious man is your guy.

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    Deadly Ernest

    cultists too - after all, they have the same basic set of values as the Mormons. Also, the Salvation Army is younger and started life as a very militant anti-alcohol group.

    Also, the Muslims are much the same as they're based on much the same texts, just with a few twists added around 600AD.

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    AnsuGisalas

    If you follow a book, you're a religion. But if you follow a culture, you're a cult. The difference is, a person can follow a book, even if they're not accepted by the people in the culture.
    A person can not be a Mormon when the Mormons have cast them out and shun them.
    So mormons are a cult. Westboro baptists are a cult too.

    That's how the "cult" got put into "culture".

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    Deadly Ernest

    didn't like. But for most of the last few hundred years they just excommunicated the, ie, they cast them out. If you define following the teachings of their scriptures as a key component, then the Catholics and most of the protestant churches are cults as many of their doctrinal rules violate the teachings of the Bible.

    I guess you also call the Salvation Army a cult too, for the way they behave.

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    AnsuGisalas

    So I will refrain from judgment.
    But the thing is, it's not necessary that the whole of the belief be encapsulated in the book. However, if it's not possible to be a part of the belief system without being a part of the belief community, then it's a cult. Jews are Jews whether they practice or not, so that's not a cult. Most protestants are protestants because they were baptized, but don't have to do any particular things to remain protestant. Catholicism has definite Cult-like features, but again, there are non-practicing catholics, too.
    Non-practicing Mormons are ex-Mormons, although the community stigma is so great that many ex-Mormons keep up appearances and stay part of the cult activities, even though they don't believe in it any more.

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    Deadly Ernest

    you're very wrong. There are many ex-Mormons, that is people who have left the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for many reasons, and they're on good relations with the current members. The only time they run into difficulty is if they've done something to be ex-communicated, and it's just as bad as being ex-communicated by the Roman Catholic Church or any church. To be ex-communicated you have to do things like publicly trash basic doctrine type stuff.

    By Protestant, I was meaning al the Protestant churches like the Baptists, Anglicans, Wesleyan, Methodists, Uniting Church, etc - in short all the spin offs from the Roman Catholics.

    There have also been spin offs from the Mormons where small groups went their own ways because they disagreed with the Mormon church leaders of the day.

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    They are probably the most Christian organization out there, as they stay very close to the teachings of Christ in their activities. This includes most churches and all the major Christian sects.

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    Deadly Ernest

    you see some of their members?

    I ask as they were not much into being tolerant or turning the other cheek in the beginning, and their doctrine is till very intolerant of some things not in the Bible, as are many of their members, but not all.

    They started as a violent temperance organisation against all forms of alcohol, despite Jesus drinking wine at every meal.

    I know every church has a lot of very good people in it, and some not so good, and I'm not really going on against any that much. However, if Ansu sees the Mormons as a cult, then the SA that's 60 years younger and has a violent start would be a cult as well.

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    AnsuGisalas

    "I view the years I spent as a Mormon as a kind of mindrape. Mormonism gave me a terrible self-image (I could not live up to the impossible, "perfect" expectations) that I am only recently recovering from. The farther I get away from that church, the better".

    -The fact is, Mormons don't socialize with known ex-mormons except as trying to recapture them. That's no basis for belonging to a culture.

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    boxfiddler Moderator

    are also 'shunned'. So, really, we want this guy for Prez? Gods. WTF has this nation become?

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    Deadly Ernest

    the years. I've never seen the sort of shunning you're talking of. I did recently see a US show on Mormons, supposedly a balanced news report, but it was all about a very small off-shoot sect that refuses to have anything to do with mainline LDS Mormons that Romney belongs to.

    I also know a lot of ex-Catholics, and if you want to see shunning at its most hideous, see what the members of a heavy Roman Catholic area do when shunning an ex-Catholic - if they stay in the area they can't get service or business from any Catholic in the area.

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    Neither you nor I were very well educated when we were born,nor were we capable of being educated. Did that not change?

    I refer to their actions and policies of the several decades through today, not the policies of a century ago. I disagree with some of their policies, but overall, they do more with less for those in need than most other charitable organizations of their type.

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    TheChas

    In relation to:

    "Obama spits out Executive Orders like he's wielding a royal sceptre"

    I suspect you have been caught by one of many false emails going around. As per the records at the Federal Register, Barack Obama has signed 148 executive orders. This puts things pretty much in line with the approximately 300 each for both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

    Chas

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    maxwell edison

    Greetings from the Rocky Mountain region! Good to see you.

    You are spot on about people getting caught up on false emails and such. But I have to also throw in false claims by politicians, false or misleading news reports, etc.

    It is so challenging to separate what's true from what's false; what's being spun, and which way; what's being stretched, and how far.

    People have to actually try to become (and stay) informed. It takes real time and real effort. Most people don't want to spend either, being content to be spoon-fed the lies, half-truths, and such.

    My advice to anyone who wants to be truly informed (politically speaking)? With the exception of watching a speech, a debate, or something like that, but in its entirety, and without the usual pundit chit-chat that precedes and follows, turn off the damn TV