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If George Bush was a baseball player who would he be

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Postby jeffc_76 » Mon May 03, 2004 3:33 am

osb wrote:i appreciate your willingness to debate this topic... let me reply

first of all, like i said before, i don't really see any big difference in the two major groups we have that are constantly vying for the upperhand in America... i think that they both distort the truth to fit their own agendas and they make every election an 'us versus them' proposition.... with that being said though, i usually tend to agree more with the democrats over the republicans. to me it seems that most of the people in the republican hierarchy believe that they were sent to do "God's work" and to disagree, question or even debate their positions gets you labeled as "unpatriotic" or as a "liberal"(somehow, somewhere that turned into a bad word... thank you mr hannity & mr o'reilly), or even worse, A BUSH BASHER!!!.... the absolute smugness and condescention with which they speak at press conferences is absolutely sickening...

first of all, bush says he cuts taxes, but he forgot to mention that 25% of americans were left out of his tax cut plan... he says that he cut taxes for "those that paid taxes". well, everyone that works pays taxes for social security and medicare, yet 15.1 million people that work and PAID TAXES got nothing... secondly, when speaking of his tax cuts he sites a national average that each family can expect, yet this number is also skewed by the amount of money cut from the taxes that a relatively small amount of people at the top of the tax scale pay... his number was around $1600, when in actuallity the average american only recieved a $500 tax break. while americans making $200,000 and up were awarded an average tax break of more than $45,000!!!... yes, bush cut taxes... for the rich, and remember, the last time we had a huge tax cut president, Ronald Reagan, the NEXT year he increased taxes to more than what they were BEFORE he lowered them... why? to pay for the massive national debt he got us into... kinda sounds like deja vu all over again... and lets not get into the discretionary spending increases bush has allocated since he's been in office... even his own supporters have been amazed at the rate he's spending money... i mean a 250 billion dollar budget surplus to a 600 billion dollar deficit in 4 years? and at the same time, how many people have lost their jobs?

as far as defense, i agree republicans have always been the party of defense spending... but what are they going to do now that the cold war is over? "hey, lets try to tie saddam and osama together and invade iraq"... i agree it's sickening that most of americans have forgetten about 911, but add our president to that list... he left afganistan like a red headed stepchild out in the cold to go after his daddy's nemisis saddam... and he and his administration trumped up the evidence in order to do so, knowingly or unknowingly, it doesn't matter much now does it?... he's forgotten about terrorism just like the rest of americans... conveniently until it's time to run for reelection and then, of course, it becomes a major part of his platform... and what about homeland security? he favors an open border policy with mexico... he wants to cut funding for first responders... if he wants to prove to me that he is tough on terrorism, then he should go to where the terrorists are and wage war there and stay the course, not invade a sovreign country unilaterally with trumped up evidence and at the expense of you and i and our fellow citizens and soldiers when he can't find osama...

as far as affirmative action, i agree, it sucks, but instead of just doing away with it and instead of using buzz words like "quota" that bush seems to like so much to scare people, why don't we try to fix it?

as far as i'm concerned, it's time for bush to go... he's spent his entire life screwing up time after time with little or no consequence being paid, well, he's screwing with how many lives now? ... i think it's time for that to change...


yea, I guess I do consider "liberal" a bad word. It implies a looseness in the spending of public funds, often on programs that only benefit a small fraction of the electorate, and a softness on other issues such as crime. It infuriates me every time I read about how some little kid was kidnapped and murdered and almost invaraiably the monster that did it was convicted of a viloent crime before. Conservatives typically support tougher sentencing and also support the ultimate penalty for the ultimate subhuman f***s. I could go on but I'll focus on rebutting the points you made above.

While not a tax expert, I do understand that the Bush tax cut was across the board. The selling point was that anyone paying taxes would get a tax cut. The fact that it included the wealthy seemed to be a major gripe for some. I really don't see this as a problem. I could look up figures but sufffice it to say that most tax revenue comes from a relatively small group of tax payers. It really isn't fair to endlessly penalize our most successful with higher and higher taxes. Isn't part of the American dream financial success? Liberals like to wage class warfare and it isn't productive. Allow me to generalize - they are in love with the lazy and they want to punish the successful. But the biggest problem I have is their definition of what "wealthy" really is. Recent democrat tax initiatives all seem to define wealthy as gross annual income of 50-60k or more. I would argue that that's upper middle class. A college graduate with a good degree can make that in his first job. Good money, but not wealthy and certainly deserving of a tax cut when our federal government so graciously reduces our insanely high taxes by a tiny sliver. You just can't call someone making 50k who has student loans and a mortgage to pay the same thing as someone that's a multi-millionaire with 2 homes, a yacht, and a garage full of luxury cars. But the dems like to redefine wealthy and then include POOR in the "middle class" so their programs that only help the poor sound better to the real middle class when they go to the polls. I am not wealthy by any definition you come up with as my student income is $0.00. But I would like to be and I think that eventually I will be. Hard work should not be penalized by a socialistic infatuation with redistributing wealth from those that have it to those that do not. Capitalism is about going out and making things happen for yourself. It rewards ambition, creative thought, and hard work.

You make some good points about the war in Iraq. While hindsight is 20/20 and it appears that the crisis was not the imminent threat our intelligence lead us to believe, the world is still a better place w/o Saddam Hussein in power. And keep in mind that the war in 1991 ended because Hussein SURRENDERED to the coalition and agreed to obide by certain conditions. He repeatedly ignored many of those conditions in the 12 years that followed including ejecting weapons inspectors years before we removed him from power for good. We would have been well within our rights to resume the use of force against him at any time he was not in compliance with the terms of his surrender. We opted not to until last year but imo, the timing is irrelevant and describing it as us attacking a sovereign nation is simply not accurate. HE attacked a sovereign nation which we proceeded to liberate and HE was forced to surrender to remain in power himself. But enough about the semantics of it, I support the war in principle because I would rather err on the side of caution in removing a perceived threat than wait for a nuclear/chemical/biological weapon to be detonated in the US or against US interests abroad. We know that Saddam had WMD before. Did he desroy them all as he claimed? Did he move them to Syria? Who knows. All he had to do was provide evidence that he did destroy them and he would still be in power murdering his own people today. oh, did I say murder? The fact that we removed a brutal dictator that murdered his own people is almost ignored because of some paranoid fear that we're over there to take free oil. By removing Saddam, we also were able to begin restoring some semblance of an economy in Iraq where the people have suffered under a UN embargo that was necessary as long as Hussein was in power. But I won't try to sell the war as a soley humanitarian mission. We were there primarily for our own interests and in this case our security. Why is it that when we send our sons and daughters over to Somalia and Bosnia to die for causes that have little or no impact to our interests, the same nay-sayers of the situation in Iraq have no complaints? But then when we use force for our own interests, in this case security, we get compared to Hitler? Simply put, the interests of France and Germany, of Europe in general, of the world in general do not necessarily coincide with the interests of America. The leaders of those countries are going to strive for what is in the best interests of the people they represent, as they should. But our president, should first and foremost do what he thinks is best for AMERICA, not what is best for France, and not what is best for anyone else. In this case, there was a threat, we went in and removed it. I also don't buy the argument that by stomping out one threat, we instigate more. The people that attacked us already hate us sufficiently imo to do as much damage to us as they are capable. We cannot expect them to go away by ignoring them. Their hatred of us stems from our support of Israel and unless there is a major shift in US-Israel relations, that hatred will continue. Another area where hindsight is 20/20 only in this case it is 50 years later. Would the world have been better served if Israel wasn't formed? That's a subject for another discussion. But the hatred of radical Islamics toward America and the West in general is nothing new (see Iran hostage crisis '79, Pan Am bombings, etc.) What's new is their capacity to inflict massive damage. If preemptive attacks are necessary to avert these, even if sometimes our perceived threats don't always turn out to be as dangerous as we thought originally, I am in full support.

Since I'm working on a book already, I'll be short on the quota thing. I don't think any part of the problem is creating buzz words like "quota". The problem is exactly that - quotas. The 80% diversity candidate policy I mentioned before was a quota. You can sugar coat it and call it something else but it isn't going to change what it is, an absolutely unfair policy that favors certain groups of Americans over others, that in no way rewards qualifications but instead rewards something arbitrary. It's wrong, it's inefficient, and it breeds more racism. When you say "fix it", I wholeheartedly agree. But my "fix" is the removal of these policies and their replacement with a policy that states that race/gender/sexuality/etc. cannot be considered for hiring, college enrollment, promotions, etc. They should be strictly based on qualifications and then nobody has any reason to be bitter if they are passed over.
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Postby ironman » Mon May 03, 2004 9:58 am

Absolutely Adequate wrote:Ozzie Canseco - Not talented enough to make the show, but got there through family connections.


I like this one best.

I'd say Darryl Strawberry or Steve Howe for the cocaine references.
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Postby DK » Mon May 03, 2004 8:23 pm

Super GM wrote: ;-D ;-D ;-D ;-D He's just like the pitching staff of the team he used to own....Useless ;-)


Super GM! Where in heaven's name have you been? ;D

Glad to see you back.
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Postby wrveres » Mon May 03, 2004 9:18 pm

Absolutely Adequate wrote:
osb wrote:
jeffc_76 wrote:
Madison wrote:Hey! I happen to like Texas. }:-)

As much as I'm not a fan of Bush, I don't think Kerry would be a better alternative. We're pretty much out of luck in this election in my humble opinion. :-/


Couldn't have said it better myself. Bush, like anyone, has his faults, but Kerry's record on issues like defense and taxes is downright scary.



typical right wing spin... FYI, his record on defense is comparable to cheneys, who advocated dropping many of the plans kerry has been villianized for... as for taxes, unless you make 200,000 bucks or more, i wouldn't worry about it...


You can find out the mostly-spin-free truth at www. factcheck.org. In actuallity, Kerry has voted for every single military expendeture for a decade, and wasn't exactly Joe Peacenik before that. He also advocates cutting taxes even more on the middle class. But there's no getting some people to look at the facts, you know?

Oh, and if Bush were a baseball player he'd be Eddie Gaedel - a footnote good only for laughs.


so you are a Kerry guy now? What happened to Dean? I thought you were a Big Deaniac ... Just go where ever your union tells ya huh ... :-]
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Postby wrveres » Mon May 03, 2004 9:38 pm

Here ya go, you want taxes ?
Take a look at this chart ..... and this is from a "Liberal" site ...



http://www.cbpp.org/4-12-04tax.htm
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Postby osb » Mon May 03, 2004 11:01 pm

wrveres wrote:Here ya go, you want taxes ?
Take a look at this chart ..... and this is from a "Liberal" site ...



http://www.cbpp.org/4-12-04tax.htm



i'm not sure which side of this discussion you're on, but since you cited this site as "liberal" i'd assume that you're not a "liberal" anyhow, i'm just wondering whether you read it all the way through or not, because it basically supports what i said above...

"As these data indicate, the recent income tax cuts reduced taxes for middle-income families. Even so, the bulk of the benefits from those tax cuts have accrued to high-income households.

The combination of the tax cuts enacted in 2001 and the tax cut enacted in 2003 is giving households that make more than $1 million a year an average tax cut of more than $120,000 in 2004, according to new analysis by the Urban Institute-Brookings Institution Tax Policy Center. This is nearly 200 times the size of the average tax cut that families in the middle of the income scale are receiving.
A disparity persists even when the tax cuts are measured in terms of their effect on after-tax incomes. The Tax Policy Center data show that in 2004, the tax cuts will increase the after-tax incomes of the top one percent of households by 5.3 percent and raise the after-tax incomes of the “millionaire” group by 6.4 percent. By contrast, for families in the middle of the income scale, the tax cuts will raise after-tax incomes just 2.3 percent."

so what was your point again?
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Postby osb » Tue May 04, 2004 12:21 am

jeffc_76 wrote:
yea, I guess I do consider "liberal" a bad word. It implies a looseness in the spending of public funds, often on programs that only benefit a small fraction of the electorate, and a softness on other issues such as crime. It infuriates me every time I read about how some little kid was kidnapped and murdered and almost invaraiably the monster that did it was convicted of a viloent crime before. Conservatives typically support tougher sentencing and also support the ultimate penalty for the ultimate subhuman f***s. I could go on but I'll focus on rebutting the points you made above.

While not a tax expert, I do understand that the Bush tax cut was across the board. The selling point was that anyone paying taxes would get a tax cut. The fact that it included the wealthy seemed to be a major gripe for some. I really don't see this as a problem. I could look up figures but sufffice it to say that most tax revenue comes from a relatively small group of tax payers. It really isn't fair to endlessly penalize our most successful with higher and higher taxes. Isn't part of the American dream financial success? Liberals like to wage class warfare and it isn't productive. Allow me to generalize - they are in love with the lazy and they want to punish the successful. But the biggest problem I have is their definition of what "wealthy" really is. Recent democrat tax initiatives all seem to define wealthy as gross annual income of 50-60k or more. I would argue that that's upper middle class. A college graduate with a good degree can make that in his first job. Good money, but not wealthy and certainly deserving of a tax cut when our federal government so graciously reduces our insanely high taxes by a tiny sliver. You just can't call someone making 50k who has student loans and a mortgage to pay the same thing as someone that's a multi-millionaire with 2 homes, a yacht, and a garage full of luxury cars. But the dems like to redefine wealthy and then include POOR in the "middle class" so their programs that only help the poor sound better to the real middle class when they go to the polls. I am not wealthy by any definition you come up with as my student income is $0.00. But I would like to be and I think that eventually I will be. Hard work should not be penalized by a socialistic infatuation with redistributing wealth from those that have it to those that do not. Capitalism is about going out and making things happen for yourself. It rewards ambition, creative thought, and hard work.

You make some good points about the war in Iraq. While hindsight is 20/20 and it appears that the crisis was not the imminent threat our intelligence lead us to believe, the world is still a better place w/o Saddam Hussein in power. And keep in mind that the war in 1991 ended because Hussein SURRENDERED to the coalition and agreed to obide by certain conditions. He repeatedly ignored many of those conditions in the 12 years that followed including ejecting weapons inspectors years before we removed him from power for good. We would have been well within our rights to resume the use of force against him at any time he was not in compliance with the terms of his surrender. We opted not to until last year but imo, the timing is irrelevant and describing it as us attacking a sovereign nation is simply not accurate. HE attacked a sovereign nation which we proceeded to liberate and HE was forced to surrender to remain in power himself. But enough about the semantics of it, I support the war in principle because I would rather err on the side of caution in removing a perceived threat than wait for a nuclear/chemical/biological weapon to be detonated in the US or against US interests abroad. We know that Saddam had WMD before. Did he desroy them all as he claimed? Did he move them to Syria? Who knows. All he had to do was provide evidence that he did destroy them and he would still be in power murdering his own people today. oh, did I say murder? The fact that we removed a brutal dictator that murdered his own people is almost ignored because of some paranoid fear that we're over there to take free oil. By removing Saddam, we also were able to begin restoring some semblance of an economy in Iraq where the people have suffered under a UN embargo that was necessary as long as Hussein was in power. But I won't try to sell the war as a soley humanitarian mission. We were there primarily for our own interests and in this case our security. Why is it that when we send our sons and daughters over to Somalia and Bosnia to die for causes that have little or no impact to our interests, the same nay-sayers of the situation in Iraq have no complaints? But then when we use force for our own interests, in this case security, we get compared to Hitler? Simply put, the interests of France and Germany, of Europe in general, of the world in general do not necessarily coincide with the interests of America. The leaders of those countries are going to strive for what is in the best interests of the people they represent, as they should. But our president, should first and foremost do what he thinks is best for AMERICA, not what is best for France, and not what is best for anyone else. In this case, there was a threat, we went in and removed it. I also don't buy the argument that by stomping out one threat, we instigate more. The people that attacked us already hate us sufficiently imo to do as much damage to us as they are capable. We cannot expect them to go away by ignoring them. Their hatred of us stems from our support of Israel and unless there is a major shift in US-Israel relations, that hatred will continue. Another area where hindsight is 20/20 only in this case it is 50 years later. Would the world have been better served if Israel wasn't formed? That's a subject for another discussion. But the hatred of radical Islamics toward America and the West in general is nothing new (see Iran hostage crisis '79, Pan Am bombings, etc.) What's new is their capacity to inflict massive damage. If preemptive attacks are necessary to avert these, even if sometimes our perceived threats don't always turn out to be as dangerous as we thought originally, I am in full support.

Since I'm working on a book already, I'll be short on the quota thing. I don't think any part of the problem is creating buzz words like "quota". The problem is exactly that - quotas. The 80% diversity candidate policy I mentioned before was a quota. You can sugar coat it and call it something else but it isn't going to change what it is, an absolutely unfair policy that favors certain groups of Americans over others, that in no way rewards qualifications but instead rewards something arbitrary. It's wrong, it's inefficient, and it breeds more racism. When you say "fix it", I wholeheartedly agree. But my "fix" is the removal of these policies and their replacement with a policy that states that race/gender/sexuality/etc. cannot be considered for hiring, college enrollment, promotions, etc. They should be strictly based on qualifications and then nobody has any reason to be bitter if they are passed over.




in the first line of your reply you indicate that a liberal is someone that advocates a "looseness" of federal spending... well, what has bush done? he's only spent more money than any single president in our history... and even more outrageous is that while he spends so loosely he's cutting money in areas such as clean water pollution control projects, money for local governments to pay for wastewater, sewage and drinking water facilities, rural development programs, new energy resource development, education, and the CDC ... and then he goes out and gives tax cuts so he can win a few uneducated voters in november that were duped into believing he's all about the little guy...

next you speak of crime and how conservatives favor the death penalty while liberals do not... you speak of a young child that is kidnapped and murdered... and i agree, someone like that should pay the ultimate price for his actions, but how do you tie those two points together? are you saying that if democrats where in the white house, they would repeal the death penalty? last time i checked that was a largely a state mandate... or are you saying that the reason why the guy was out in the first place is because of liberal soft-handedness? well, regardless, bush has gone on a rampage trying to cut a clinton initiative to add 100,000 more cops to our nations streets...

no, i don't have a gripe that his tax cuts included the rich... i have a gripe that his tax cuts cut taxes MORE for the wealthy than those of middle class or lower and that his tax cuts left out a segment of the population that probably NEED a cut, no matter how miniscule it may be, WORSE than anyone else... and no it's not the amount of money given back to those that are wealthy, it's the fact that those wealthy had a LARGER percentage cut than everyone else.... true, the wealthy pay more money in taxes, but if these tax cuts are left in place, the top 1% would get 52% of the tax cuts... this means that by 2010 1.4 million people would be getting roughly 120 BILLION of the 230 BILLION tax cut while the lowest 40% would get nothing... how is that fair?

and no, the democrats do not see 50-60,000 in annual income as "rich" i believe the number is more like 200,000 a year... whereas the conservatives see "rich" as being over 1 million

as far as the war, i agree and i'm sure most people do, that the world is a better place without saddam... but you can't just whipe the slate clean and leave it at that... bush alienated our allies and basically paid for this "coalition" we supposedly have in place... not only that, but we are paying for this war... you and me and everyone else, it's our troops that are coming home in boxes draped in flags... and why? and where are we going next? north korea? iran? syria? those countries all fall under the same criteria, they have oppressive regimes, the all have weapons of mass destruction or WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION RELATED PROGRAMS, as mr bush said in his state of the union address... where does it end?

my point is that while our attention is in iraq, the real people that can hurt us are in europe, asia, and even here in the us... the next attack on us will be from someone that was already within our borders, just like 911... THAT is where our attention needs to be, not on invading a country that had no ties to osama and held virtually no imminent threat to us...

BTW where is osama anyway? he's the one that needs to be in a prison awaiting the gas chamber... how much you all want to bet that come oh, i'd say Oct 25th, that all of a sudden osama turns up...

as far as the whole affirmative action subject goes, i'm with you, it's broke, it doesn't work, but i still don't think we can just get rid of it... would people really be hired and admitted into colleges soley based on their qualifications if there were no guidelines? and most of the time aren't those guidelines in place because someone actually was discriminated against?
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Postby jeffc_76 » Tue May 04, 2004 2:07 am

osb wrote:in the first line of your reply you indicate that a liberal is someone that advocates a "looseness" of federal spending... well, what has bush done? he's only spent more money than any single president in our history... and even more outrageous is that while he spends so loosely he's cutting money in areas such as clean water pollution control projects, money for local governments to pay for wastewater, sewage and drinking water facilities, rural development programs, new energy resource development, education, and the CDC ... and then he goes out and gives tax cuts so he can win a few uneducated voters in november that were duped into believing he's all about the little guy...

next you speak of crime and how conservatives favor the death penalty while liberals do not... you speak of a young child that is kidnapped and murdered... and i agree, someone like that should pay the ultimate price for his actions, but how do you tie those two points together? are you saying that if democrats where in the white house, they would repeal the death penalty? last time i checked that was a largely a state mandate... or are you saying that the reason why the guy was out in the first place is because of liberal soft-handedness? well, regardless, bush has gone on a rampage trying to cut a clinton initiative to add 100,000 more cops to our nations streets...

no, i don't have a gripe that his tax cuts included the rich... i have a gripe that his tax cuts cut taxes MORE for the wealthy than those of middle class or lower and that his tax cuts left out a segment of the population that probably NEED a cut, no matter how miniscule it may be, WORSE than anyone else... and no it's not the amount of money given back to those that are wealthy, it's the fact that those wealthy had a LARGER percentage cut than everyone else.... true, the wealthy pay more money in taxes, but if these tax cuts are left in place, the top 1% would get 52% of the tax cuts... this means that by 2010 1.4 million people would be getting roughly 120 BILLION of the 230 BILLION tax cut while the lowest 40% would get nothing... how is that fair?

and no, the democrats do not see 50-60,000 in annual income as "rich" i believe the number is more like 200,000 a year... whereas the conservatives see "rich" as being over 1 million

as far as the war, i agree and i'm sure most people do, that the world is a better place without saddam... but you can't just whipe the slate clean and leave it at that... bush alienated our allies and basically paid for this "coalition" we supposedly have in place... not only that, but we are paying for this war... you and me and everyone else, it's our troops that are coming home in boxes draped in flags... and why? and where are we going next? north korea? iran? syria? those countries all fall under the same criteria, they have oppressive regimes, the all have weapons of mass destruction or WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION RELATED PROGRAMS, as mr bush said in his state of the union address... where does it end?

my point is that while our attention is in iraq, the real people that can hurt us are in europe, asia, and even here in the us... the next attack on us will be from someone that was already within our borders, just like 911... THAT is where our attention needs to be, not on invading a country that had no ties to osama and held virtually no imminent threat to us...

BTW where is osama anyway? he's the one that needs to be in a prison awaiting the gas chamber... how much you all want to bet that come oh, i'd say Oct 25th, that all of a sudden osama turns up...

as far as the whole affirmative action subject goes, i'm with you, it's broke, it doesn't work, but i still don't think we can just get rid of it... would people really be hired and admitted into colleges soley based on their qualifications if there were no guidelines? and most of the time aren't those guidelines in place because someone actually was discriminated against?


Much of the money spent has been on defense and the war on terror which in my view was necessary post-9/11. I'm not going to try to argue that deficit spending is a good thing because I don't like it any better than you. That said, if Republicans held a strong enough majority to create the budget they want without the dems filibustering, I think there is still a lot of waste that could be cut out (national endowment for the arts, anyone?) But that probably won't happen any time soon and instead, taxes will have to get raised again at some point to pay down the deficit. Better to do this when the economy is going strong, however, and it doesn't hurt the taxpayer as much. Anyway, in response to the Bush tax cut not being inclusive, this chart would seem to suggest otherwise.
http://cgi.usatoday.com/money/general/2 ... xtable.htm
As far as tax cuts for the wealthy, Bush's philospohy is that nobody should pay much more than 1/3 of their income in federal taxes. In my opinion, that's a fair rule of thumb. Another link shows how the 2003 cut accelerated the tax cuts that were passed in 2001. http://www.resourceanalyst.com/Taxation.htm Overall, the '01 and '03 tax cuts lowered taxes for everyone and the less you make, the less your tax rate is.

The war in Iraq was not popular with everyone but who did we alienate? France? I would argue that they are hardly an ally as of late and their government disapproved for their own (financial) reasons. Well, that's fine. As I said, I expect their governments to strive for what's in their interests. I also expect mine to do the same for me. We set an important precedent, that we will not be handcuffed by the UN when it paralyzes itself. We saw a threat, we went in and confronted it. Our real allies chose to fight alongside us. Our fairweather friends stayed home and ate some cheese :-D Iran, Syria, North Korea? I'm not a mind reader but I think Bush HOPES that Iraq will serve as an example. If/when we believe they have WMD and/or we prove they are knowingly harboring terrorists, hopefully the threat of force will be enough to get compliance. Otherwise, yes, we could use force against any of them. But there's a whole range of magnitude if that happens and Iraq was the most extreme case where we fight the military head on and attempt to replace the regime. We attacked Hussein several times between the first Gulf War and the most recent, mostly with air strikes. The same strategy could be used on the other trouble spots if necessary instead of an all out regime change. If their rulers desire to stay in power, that type of force or hopefully even the threat of it, would be enough for them to comply. Saddam was a delusional maniac and unfortunately, removing him was probably the only way to solve the problem one and for all. But, yes, North Korea's Kim Jong worries me. He's already in violation of UN rules regarding his nuclear plants and he's been in violation I think almost 2 years now. Personally, I would have taken an even tougher stance that Bush has because this is absolutely unacceptable imo.

The terrorists responsible for 9/11 were already here in the US but most originated from Saudi Arabia and were trained in Afghanistan. Therefore, I don't think of it as a domestic problem. We can do nothing abroad and hope that our last lines of defense here at home catch future attackers, or we can strike them before they come here. I believe the second option better ensures the security of our citizens. Had we done more (Clinton and Bush both) before the attacks, they would not have happened. Clinton is especially to blame here because CIA had tracked bin Laden and while they were almost always hopelessly a couple days behind his secretive movements, they once were able to locate him and Clinton would not approve the strike because of concerns for collateral damage. So instead of MAYBE killing innocents in Afghanistan, over 3000 Americans lost their lives. He can't be held responsible because hindsight's 20/20 and had he known the threat was as serious as it was, I'm sure he would have OK'd the strike. But he was soft instead of decisive and Americans died as a result. It's also worth mentioning that as far as democrats go, Clinton wasn't that bad as he was a moderate with some willingness to use force. Kerry, on the other hand is far from a moderate and his voting record speaks for itself. Back to bin Laden....if you're implying that he's already captured and they're just waiting for a timely announcement, I'd have to say I'm a bit surprised because your intelligent arguments would suggest that you're above that kind of paranoia. Our troops are still searching in Afghanistan (and Pakistan) as they have been since Operation Enduring Freedom began, which contrary to some people's misconception, did not stop when operations in Iraq began. He's still out there somewhere and hopefully we'll find him.

edit - almost forgot my #1 pet peeve. Yes, quotas were put in place because of discrimination, but it is replacing one form of discrimination with another. Reverse descrimination is every bit as wrong as any other. As I said, simply remove them and enforce a law that DEMANDS people be considered based on qualifications and that other factors (race,gender,sexual orientation,etc.) cannot be considered. I really do think that would work and I think most people today WANT just that. And you just know the ACLU, NAACP, etc. will be just waiting to sue any company, school, etc. that appears to be doing otherwise. Quotas are really just a cop out. By having them, it's saying that we don't think that minorities can earn the same things based on merit. I think we can both agree that we would like to see better schools and I would make that a priority, but lowering standards and setting arbitrary quotas is simply unfair.
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Postby osb » Wed May 05, 2004 2:21 am

but his tax cut IS non inclusive... take a look at the second page you highlighted... it leaves those people at the lowest two income brackets paying the same tax they were scheduled to in the previous tax cut of 2001... you're right, the lower your income, the smaller the percentage of tax you pay, but why come out and trumpet your plan (bush) as a tax cut for everyone? and yes it does accelerate the tax cuts enacted in 2001, but who does that help the most? the top tax bracket gets a reduction of 4% in one year... to me it is obvious that this tax cut was meant to help the rich MORE than anyone else, no matter how you put it...

i agree that people should only pay so much in taxes, but don't you think this is the wrong time to be going around and cutting 350 billion in taxes? when are we going to pay for this? after bush is gone, that's when... and when we do pay for it there will be interest added in... i just think that this kind of loose spending is much less than responsible... since when did republicans favor deficit spending? i know, you don't, but most of your political leadership seems to have just gone and ditched one of their core values, being the supposed party of the balanced budget...

right now we're at war, we're trying to fight the war in iraq AND the war on terror... don't you think that this is even more of a reason for us to have a responsible spending plan in place? bush is bankrupting our country and just like his whole life, he's not going to be around to have to pay the price when the time comes...

as far as the war in iraq goes, yes bush did alienate france along with russia, germany, china and india to name a few... this war is doing nothing but fostering MORE anti-american sentiment around the world... sooner or later we'll start seeing more coalitions of the non-willing gaining more influence as more nations choose to join international pacts to try to take us down a notch as far as worldwide influence is concerned... bush thinks he can prevent this from happening by simply weilding MORE power worldwide(MORE WAR... YAAAY!)... this premise goes completely against the philosophy the united states was founded on, that unchecked power will eventually be abused...

as far as our nation doing what is in our best interests, since when did we only worry about ourselves? we're the USA, we're the lone world power on this planet, don't we have a responsibilty to do what is right for EVERYONE? not just us? again, i agree that saddam being gone is good for everyone, but the way it was done is a joke... and for us to be paying more than 90% of the costs as far as funding and lives lost is wrong in my opinion...

you say the UN will not handcuff us, well, we have handcuffed ourselves... we're in iraq to stay... we'll be there until you and i are old men and why? so we can go around saying we're liberators? we're going to be there forever, how is that liberating? what would it be like right now in america if france had stayed after the war for independence? we will and we already have been seen as occupiers... we will be putting our servicemen in harms way for years to come needlessly... if bush had done this right, he could have built a coalition like his father did in the first gulf war... one that would have given more troops, more money and would not be comprised of largely american faces... but no, he was too impatient, he wanted to get in there and get it done in time for the election this year...

it doesn't matter where someone was trained, what matters is where they attack... to say that since terrorists are not being trained here, they aren't our problem is wrong... we need to up our security HERE, we need to know who is in this country and why... this goes hand in hand with preemptive strikes against TERRORISTS... and what has bush done? he's decreased funding for homeland security... he has shifted our attention overseas to a war he tried to tie to wmds and al qaeda... the fact is that he knew he would have lost even more support if he hadn't struck so soon, we would have found no wmds and no link to bin laden...

clinton didn't take him out in afganistan because there were emmisaries from jordan in the same area... not just because he was afraid of taking out a few citizens... jordan has long been one of our few allies in the middle east, he couldn't just give orders to take everyone out and risk losing a critical ally... remember, bin laden had not done anything even remotely close to 911... if you want to talk about placing blame, you need to look at how bush handled bin laden before 911... it's simple, he didn't... osama was clintons #1 priority as far as possible threats to the US... and the bushies did nothing about it until what, 2 days before the attacks... like i just said, bin laden had done nothing to warrant major attention, but if he was clintons #1 priority, don't you think that bush could have had just a tad more interest than he displayed... couple this with the fact that there were numerous warnings and grumblings that something was going to happen in the weeks and months before the attacks... nothing was done...

i know that the operations in afganistan are still ongoing, but the funding and troops for those operations has been cut severely with the war in iraq taking center stage... the taliban is coming back into power in some areas and the farmers are back to planting their poppy fields... like i said, it's been forgotten... why? because bush can't find osama... and no i wasn't serious about bin laden being held for an election time unveiling, but stranger things have happened, no?... if that is so hard to believe, then why is it that the day after 911 a private plane flew around the US and picked up bin ladens family members living in america and flew them out of the country? this all while every other plane in the country was grounded...

like i said stranger things have happened and it's important to keep a healthy skepticism about our people in power...
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Postby jeffc_76 » Wed May 05, 2004 9:37 pm

The '03 tax relief was merely an acceleration of the '01 tax cut which was originally not to be fully phased in until '10. Any brackets that remained unchanged simply meant that those brackets had already reached their new lower levels. It's very misleading to say that the poorer income levels were left out. If anything, Bush (and Congress who passed it) realized that the lower incomes needed more immediate relief so they phased in those tax cuts more quickly. Again, '03 was simply an acceleration of the '01 tax cut which was all-inclusive. Liberals like to say that the rich are saving more money. Well, of course they are. If person A is paying $1000 in taxes and person B is paying $10 in taxes, even a modest tax cut for person A compared to a massive tax cut for person B is going to save person A more money.

As I said, I don't like the deficit spending. But let's try to keep things in perspective. We were already an economy in recession, with the technology boom finally imploding and the stock market beginning one of its worst plummets since the Great Depression before Bush took office and then 7 months later there was the terrorist stike which worsened the economic situation even further. If there ever was a time where deficit spending was justified, it is now. If you really want to save money, vote for more Republicans in Congress which actually has a lot more influence on spending than the president. Then we can start creating budgets that are less wasteful.

I really doubt I can convince you to support the war in Iraq. It's a matter of priorities and it appears yours are different. While you would appear to value appeasing the international community more, I value decisive resolution of our security threats. As you said, we are the lone superpower. I should remind you that that is the case both militarily and economically. Other people harbor resentment for that reason alone. It's basic human nature. They are envious of our power and our wealth. It's the same reason why people hate the Yankees. As I alluded to earlier, we are a fairly gracious superpower, frequently sending our money and more importantly spilling our blood for causes that have little value to our national security (e.g. Somalia, Bosnia, $ for AIDS in Africa, etc.) Meanwhile our citizens and private charities are equally generous for international causes. So, the point is, we are a very generous people, despite our great wealth and power. But our security is not a matter for us to be humble. France and Germany showed their true colors in the UN discussions before Iraq. There was simply no value in continuing down that road further. France has veto poiwer in the UN and they made it very clear that they would veto any resolution authorizing the use of force in Iraq. They wouldn't even agree to it, when it was tied to a time table, and only triggered after further non-compliance by Saddam Hussein's regime. Bush negotiated for their support for months and they would not budge. How much longer should this have gone on? Months? Years? All while our intelligence was telling us that Hussein could be only months away from developing a nuclear weapon? A genocidal mad man that gassed his own people, murdered 10's of thousands AFTER the first Gulf War, and launched scud missiles at civilians in Israel. This is not the kind of head of state that deserved the benefit of the doubt. Consider what would be at stake if we waited too long and those intelligence fears were true.

I also don't agree that Iraq will drag on for decades, unless you count a small presence their on military bases as we have in Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Kuwait and elsewhere. We need to help Iraq rebuild its own security force and let them elect a new government.

Homeland security is an important component of combatting terrorism. It really is our last line of defense. Considering there are still terrorists out there, here and abroad, and there hasn't been a repeat attack since 9/11, I have to credit them with doing a very good job. We know that the terrorists didn't lay down their agenda to destroy the US. Our people must be doing something right. That said, I wouldn't want to rely on them completely. When there is a terrorst camp overseas feeding the flow of attackers, it needs to be taken out, and to hell with any international objections. That's interesting about the Jordanian emissaries in Afghanistan. I was not aware of that but my first question would be what were they doing there? Also, if getting Bin Laden was Clinton's #1 priority, I'd have to say he did a pretty poor job executing it. 9/11 may not have happened yet but the embassy bombings and USS Cole did and the most Clinton did publicly was launch some cruise missiles at abandoned terrorist camps in Sudan and Afghanistan. He was indecisive. He was ineffective. Bush vowed he was tired of the US appearing soft by swatting at flies like that. I have to believe that if Bin Laden was unfortunate enough to be outed again by CIA, that he and his entourage would have been removed from existence.

I don't keep track of the funding in Afghanistan but it only makes sense that it would be less now than it was when there was a full scale, nation-wide operation taking place there. Our primary focus there now is on wiping out the remnants of the Taliban and Al Qaeda still functioning there and much of that is localized. Supposedly, Bin Laden is believed to be in the rugged region on both sides of the Afghanistan/Pakistan border. This is where Pat Tillman unfortunately lossed his life and is where much of our focus is presently. It's a special forces operation and from a cost perspective, pales in comparision to a full scale operation like operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

I do not believe Bush is perfect. I don't agree with everything he stands for and I don't agree with everything he's done (or not done). I would have made a greater show of force after 9/11 in Afghanistan. I would have demanded more from the Saudi's in dismantling the breeding grounds for hate mongering, anti-West, radical Islam. I also would have tried to put the burden of post-war security in Iraq on the Iraqi military, rather than branding them as accomplices to Saddam Hussein. I also think his stances on abortion and separation of Church and state are highly questionable. But I only need to show that he is the better candidate for the job than John Kerry. Like it or not, it's effectively a two party system and those are the choices. I give Bush a B grade for his views, a B grade for his effectiveness, and an A grade for his effort. He truly does believe that his cause is just and that his course of action is the right one. He has surrounded himself with tremendous people. Overall, our nation is in great hands. On the other hand, let's take a closer look at the other candidate. In an independent review by the National Journal, Kerry was ranked as the MOST liberal of every person in the Senate in 2003. He's "earned" that dubious distniction 3 other times since 1984, and has consistently placed among the most liberal. In '03, on 138 votes concerning social issues, Kerry was a perfect 138/138 in voting for the liberal side. Think about what this means in terms of a Kerry administration. He would almost certainly appoint federal judges, and worse Supreme Court justices, that share his same extremist left ideology. You can kiss affirmative action reform, illegal immigration reform, and other much needed reforms good bye. And you can be sure that such liberal leaning judges will further poison our already embarrassing criminal justice system. More moratariums on capital punishment, more excuses for violent offenders, more second (third, fourth, etc.) chances for repeat offenders, more emphasis on criminal rights over victim's rights. I could go further but I will leave it at that for now.
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