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Bush, Cheney and the Neo-Con Job

By Peter Warren ·
For those who believe Bush, Cheney and their neo-con Republican allies honor the men and women who serve in the US armed forces, take the time to visit these web sites:
http://www.saluteheroes.org/redesign/,
http://www.lastwishfoundation.org/, http://www.fallenheroesfund.org/fallenheroes/index.php,
http://www.iava.org/index2.html.

Can anyone defend a Republican party that sends young men and women to war, but drags its feet and pinches pennies on benefits for the wounded and for the families of the dead? (http://usa.mediamonitors.net/content/view/full/12861), (http://democrats.senate.gov/dpc/dpc-new.cfm?doc_name=tp-108-1-405).

It would be one thing if we were broke. But while non-governmental organizations struggle to help veterans; the neo-con Republican administration and Congress are:

? directing billions in sweetheart contracts to their friends at Halliburton, http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/04/25/60minutes/main5510**.shtml?CMP=ILC-SearchStories,

? allowing big oil to reap unprecedented windfall profits without requiring reinvestment either in oil production capacity or funding of alternative energy research (http://money.cnn.com/2005/10/28/news/economy/windfall_tax/), and

? in the ultimate irony, throwing hundreds of billions at the wealthiest among us (http://www.ctj.org/html/gwb0602.htm), without requiring the sacrifice of so much as one thin dime of this tax windfall to help veterans and their families.

Yes, the neo-con Republicans were FINALLY embarrassed into passing some increases in veterans? healthcare benefits, (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/07/29/politics/main712817.shtml). But it?s still not enough! Instead of insisting that ALL of us share the sacrifice, the burden of adequate funding is left to non-governmental organizations, which must continue to fight with the government and ask for contributions in order to raise money.

The same neo-con ?warriors? who send OTHER families? children to war have shown their true priorities. Wildly irresponsible tax breaks for the wealthy come before adequate funding for veterans? benefits. The Republican Party, the so-called party of national security, wraps itself in the flag, while it uses and betrays American soldiers and their families. Now that?s a neo-con job!

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line item veto moves too much power from reps to pres

by Absolutely In reply to Line item veto

The Senate and Congress are supposed to send eachspending bill to the President, who sings or vetoes it "as is". I think a line item veto is advertised as a way to control spending, and that rules governing earmarks are a much better way to accomplish that goal, without changing the balance of power among the branches.

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Perhaps

by TonytheTiger In reply to line item veto moves too ...

but if the proposal is really good for the country, you would think it would stand on its own, and not have to be put in with something else. Or maybe the inverse is more true... that if it couldn't stand on it's own, it's probably not a good idea.

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DEFINITELY.

by Absolutely In reply to line item veto moves too ...

adunlap: "but if the proposal is really good for the country, you would think it would stand on its own, and not have to be put in with something else. Or maybe the converse is more true... that if it couldn't stand on its own, it's probably not a good idea."

I think that, also, is a better argument for no earmarks and no last-day additions to any bills, than for a line-item veto. The LIV may help to reduce spending, but it certainly addresses the issue less directly, and with more potential for ill side effects.

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Where do you find leaders like that?

by AV . In reply to "faulty intelligence" = S ...

Yes, I understand your point, but I don't think the selection of leaders we have is up to the task.

Our leaders are determined by who has the most money and connections. People that could really lead this country can't compete with that. Add Corporate America's influence to that. The Bush Administration represents them, not the American people. Look at our trade deficit. Bush is signing a free trade agreement every other week to satisfy the demand for cheap foreign labor.

The American people need to send a wake up call to all of our elected officials. Sure, we can vote out the Republicans in Congress this year, but look at the Democrats. They don't even have a position.

What we really need is a viable third party to shake them both up.

Our current elected officials live like kings. They travel all around the world, get wined and dined, all at our expense. When they retire, they park themselves on K Street and become lobbyists, making even more money. Not bad for a public servant.

I think we need a strong 3rd party in this country to send a message that we're mad as **** and we're not gonna take it no more. No expensive campaigns, no corporate money, no lobbyists. I only wish someone would step up to the plate.

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Leading many things - "the selection of leaders we have"

by Absolutely In reply to Where do you find leaders ...

The "selection of leaders we have" includes every member of society. If the best people for the job are not motivated to take the job, you increase the salary, or the fringe benefits, or improve the working conditions in private enterprise. In government, I have used bold to specify the approach that I suspect would be most effective for attracting and retaining the best candidates.

Is "The Apprentice" or the response to Hurricane Katrina more important to you? If a television program is not more important, then why do you contribute to sending Donald Trump the message that his talents will most benefit him as an entertainer? If he is indeed an intelligent strategist, planner, etc., as he must be based on his demonstrated business acumen, the collective is to blame for its own misfortune because we have voluntarily spent our money disproportionately on frivolity instead of on using our spending power to direct the greatest talents among us to the most important tasks we want performed on our behalves (sp?).

AmericanVoter: "Our leaders are determined by who has the most money and connections."

Absolutely: I believe only very few, very mean-spirited Republicans truly vote according to those standards. I know, you mean that your choices are limited by those dynamics. Well, vote for a third party. Do you know the single reason why none have a chance?

BECAUSE ALMOST EVERYBODY WHO WOULD REALLY PREFER A GREEN, LIBERTARIAN, OR INDEPENDENT DECIDES INSTEAD TO VOTE FOR SOMEBODY WHO THEY BELIEVE "has a chance".

I sincerely apologize for the shouting, but polls do not ask about support for third parties during major scandals, and do not treat them as viable alternatives, and WILL NOT until the public decides to treat them as viable alternatives. AmericanVoters must lead, because all politicians really know how to do is pander to your emotions, reflexes, and most predictable responses to simplistic stimuli. Truly, they are not nearly as intelligent as you. They can, barely, understand language, and the concept that "winning" elections is preferrable to "losing" them. Other than that, they can barely figure out what you want to hear well enough to tell it to you half the time. So, tell them clearly.

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Money and favors

by AV . In reply to Leading many things - "th ...

Our entire system is corrupt, so even well-intentioned politicians become corrupted by it.

Sure, anyone of us could run for office not affiliated with the Dems or Republicans, but the playing field isn't level.

Big money campaign donations to those parties from lobbyists, big business and wealthy individuals make the difference. You can bet those donations come with strings attached. If donations were not allowed, it might be a very different story. Thats why a third party does not have a chance in this country unless it becomes just as organized as the Dems or GOP.

Sure, I can vote for one of the third parties that already exist, but its like throwing your vote away because they have no chance of winning. Exactly what you say. They don't have the PR. The spin machine. They don't have the clout or the backing.

I think we need campaign finance reform and lobbying reform so that it makes it possible for other parties to compete on the same level as the Dems and GOP. I think they should all compete on the issues alone. Politicians should not be allowed to accept private campaign donations. Campaigning should be streamlined and taxpayer funded. No conventions, no dinners, no lavish trips. Maybe that would take the corruption out of the system and we'd have a government for the people instead of for those that paid.

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A third political party

by jardinier In reply to Where do you find leaders ...

It won't happen. I have no idea of the system for voting in your Congress, but for the presidential election, a vote to a minority party or independent is a vote wasted. (Ask Max -- he voted for Ross Perot).

In Australia, with our preferential voting system, you can give your first preference to the candidate of your choice, and the second usually to the candidate for the major party which you prefer (or dislike the least).

If the candidate of your first choice does not gain enough votes to win in the particular electoral district, your second choice will then count as your primary vote.

Wealth IS an issue in America because it determines how much money can be spent on the campaign.

In Australia personal wealth is never a factor. Our last opposition leader, Mark Latham (who had to resign because of ill health) came from a working class family and was only able to obtain his Economics degree at university because of a scholarship.

There is no mention of political parties in the Australian Constitution, and I understand that there is no mention in the US Constitution. In both countries for the sake of some stability in government, two major parties have developed, representing roughly the right and left wings of the political spectrum.

Italy is a modern-day example of how it is impossible to have stable government with a number of minor parties.

In Australia, the main conservative party (named the "Liberal" Party) has never had the numbers to govern on its own, and so has a long-standing coalition with the National Party (formerly the Country Party until the pollies realised there was more personal advantage in supporting mining companies than primary producers).

Currently we have the unfortunate situation of the Prime Minister having control of both houses of parliament (House of Representatives and Senate) and the Opposition in chaos because of factional infighting.

Usually minority parties and independents control the Federal Senate, as they can vote in accord with either of the major parties, and can also demand amendments before passing any bill.

Minority parties in Australia have come and gone. They have served a useful purpose in providing a balance in the senate, but currently there is no minority party that can exert any influence.

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I'm curious

by AV . In reply to A third political party

I don't really know much about how politics work in Australia. How much campaigning do the politicians do and where does the money come from? Do you have lobbyists?

I think having a primary and secondary selection is an interesting concept. In America, you can only vote for one person, but if that person only garners 5% of the vote, it could actually take away votes from the lesser of two evils main-stream candidate and you could end up helping someone that you never would want to win. I think thats why people don't even look at third party candidates.

When you say "Currently we have the unfortunate situation of the Prime Minister having control of both houses of parliament (House of Representatives and Senate) and the Opposition in chaos because of factional infighting" it mirrors the situation we have here with the Bush Administration and Democrats. One party has ultimate control and those opposing sit at the sidelines or struggle to even have a voice in government.

There just aren't enough checks and balances with that kind of scenario. Its one party rule.

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"lesser of two evils" fallacy

by Absolutely In reply to I'm curious

Consider three candidates.

Only one of those three is best for the job (of President, or Crawford, TX dog-catcher, or any other job).

The least of the three evils is to vote for the best candidate. Any other vote is not the least evil option available to you. If you don't vote for the best candidate, how will the System evey know which one you think is best?

Don't be short-sighted. The System needs change badly enough that a vote against both the Democrats and the Republicans is the best option, and will be until another party is a serious contender for all offices.

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What a predicament

by AV . In reply to "lesser of two evils" fal ...

I think voting against the Dems and Republicans is the best option too, but mainstream America isn't going to do that until there is a viable 3rd party.

I hope that someone will step up to the plate and be the next Ross Perot.

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