SIX DAYS LEFT! — Brooklynian

SIX DAYS LEFT!

We have a chance to take back the House and the Senate, which was unheard of even two months ago. Go do something about these people!

www.callforchange.org
_____________________

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2006/11/1/64317/1169 (link to story below)

Truth Hurts
by DarkSyde, Wed Nov 01, 2006 at 03:43:17 AM PST

The GOP once again went after Decorated combat veteran Senator John Kerry yesterday. The 101st Fighting Keyboardists and assorted neocon shills may be conspicuously absent when their country is in need, yet they're always on duty, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, to smear any survivors. But this time, the good Senator took the gloves off.

"I'm sick and tired of a bunch of despicable Republicans who will not debate real policy, who won't take responsibility for their own mistakes, standing up and trying to make other people the butt of those mistakes. It disgusts me that a bunch of these Republican hacks who've never worn the uniform of our country are willing to lie about those who did." Sen. John Kerry 10/31/06

VP Dick Cheney - several deferments, by marriage and timely fatherhood.
Karl Rove, occasional Deputy Chief of Staff and alleged full time smear artist, escaped the draft and did not serve
Secretary of State and former NSA Condaleeza Rice - did not serve
Republican Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist - did not serve.
Republican Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert - did not serve.
Republican Former House Majority Leader Tom Delay - did not serve.

Rush Limbaugh - did not serve
Sean Hannity - did not serve
Ann Coulter - did not serve
Bill O'Reilly - did not serve

I could go on and on with this list. To note all the GOP politicians and Republican pundits who both did not serve and who now happily smear those who did, would take up several front pages. And this craven GOP breed of prestige parasites are particularly loathsome because once off stage and out of frame, they will insidiously cut VA benefits in favor of corporate welfare and tax cuts for billionaires. Not to mention they spooked us into war against the wrong country.

Meanwhile, our troops are being killed and maimed in Iraq for the colossal blunder and subsequent ass covering of the Republicans. Taxpayers have been fleeced of the better part of half a trillion dollars. And until the Republicans are sent packing, there is no end in sight.

Comments

  • Kerry should have kept his mouth shut. I know, you know, a lot of people know the quip was aimed at Bush. However, after taking a bitch slapping from the GOP and Swift Boat Vets, giving in not four hours on Election Day after John Edwards said on national television that they weren't going to let Election 2000 happen again, and now apologizing to the troops for something that wasn't aimed at them, well it makes the Dems look like spineless pussies. Of course the GOP are going to jump all over him. He invited it. And if the GOP plays its cards right they will make an impact. As much as I hate too say this, it may be an October Surprise for the GOP.
  • You may be right, but I don't think it's going to make that much difference. People all over the country (not just us left-lib-commie New Yorkers) have been getting very angry about the war for months now, and Foley has helped to make the evangelicals feel a bit duped. There are so many competitive Congressional races now, you can't keep track without a scorecard, and now that Webb has pulled ahead of Allen in Virginia (at least for today), we're in spitting distance of maybe, just maybe, taking the Senate.

    I think we'll still get the House, and that Americans really aren't so stupid that they'll believe the GOP's lies and smears again. Just disgusted. People are feeling abused, and a slip of the tongue isn't going to change that. And Kerry, and lots of other people, are doing their best to make sure that his point isn't lost: this was the wrong war, in the wrong place, and it was based on lies. I think 105 American deaths in Iraq in October (a total of 2,819 so far, as of today) are more important to most people than whatever the GOP wants to say about John Kerry. If they're not, then no election can save us.

    I hope you're wrong about the effect of his words. Either way, we have to do what we can to ensure the best possible outcome, and that is to do some work this weekend and on election day to get out the vote.
  • Iowagirl, there's no doubt the Dems (aka "we") will make substantial gains next Tuesday. I would not be surprised at all if they take both Houses, and in fact the only thing preventing that is egregious gerrymandering (although this occurs on both sides).

    However, I wouldn't get too excited. They won't be able to overcome a filibuster and Bush will veto most of their bills. They will be able to shape the national dialogue, and will have the ability to direct congressional investigations.

    On that note, though, I wonder what it is exactly that the Dems plan to set as their agenda. The Clinton Dems are essentially extinct at this point, driven to far-left populism in reaction to Bush's far-right conservatism. You mentioned a couple issues that in particular I doubt will improve under Dem rule. 1) corporate welfare. Expect that to grow, particularly in the form of billions funneled to Archer Daniels Midland and other agribusinesses, under the ill-advised state-sponsorship of corn ethanol, which is a false savior. 2) fleecing taxpayers. The Republicans have increased non-military spending by more than any administration since LBJ, so they're certainly awful on this front, but do you really expect taxpayers to benefit from Dem rule? If so I'd love to hear your logic, as no matter how I figure it, taxes will have to rise under the left agenda, and I doubt this will mean just for the top 1%. Furthermore, since the dollar is so weak in NY, we New Yorkers get killed in any progressive tax scheme that goes by nominal dollar amounts, since $100K here might put us at the very top of the nat'l level, but is not a sign of stupendous wealth for a family income in Manhattan.

    Finally, the Iraq War. Truly a catastrophe and a tragedy, awful in every respect. I would love to see something get done, but what will Dems really do? At least perhaps they can bring a change of leadership, hold some top dogs accountable, etc., but I doubt they'll be bringing our boys home anytime soon. I'd love to see us get out of Iraq, but the possibility of that country becoming dominated by our enemies or completely devolving into civil war are so strongly counter to our national interests that I can't see any administration pulling out for quite a while. This is definitely Bush's fault, but it's just the unfortunate reality that we face.
  • I guess it wasn't clear enough in my first post that I didn't write most of it; it was a post from Daily Kos yesterday (the link was at the top of the article). I don't pretend to understand tax policy or strategy, or even think about it as much as I do stem cell research, the environment, reproductive rights or veterans' benefits (my husband's a VA doc). You know far more about it, finance being your field.

    My main hope, which is the reason I've been doing what I can to change the balance of Congress back, is that not only will a Democratic majority with subpoena power finally conduct meaningful oversight, but that a Dem majority will be able to stanch the bleeding somewhat. Our democracy has been seriously damaged under this administration, and I remain hopeful that we can undo some of that damage. For me, that's the first priority.

    And you know they're in trouble when they resort to mocking Michael J. Fox, or when they call Illinois Congressional candidate Tammy Duckworth, an Iraq vet who lost both her legs there, a cut and run Democrat.

    This is Nancy Pelosi's plan for the first 100 hours:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/06/AR2006100600056.html

    Day One: Put new rules in place to "break the link between lobbyists and legislation."

    Day Two: Enact all the recommendations made by the commission that investigated the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

    Time remaining until 100 hours: Raise the minimum wage to $7.25 an hour, maybe in one step. Cut the interest rate on student loans in half. Allow the government to negotiate directly with the pharmaceutical companies for lower drug prices for Medicare patients.

    Broaden the types of stem cell research allowed with federal funds _ "I hope with a veto-proof majority," she added in an Associated Press interview Thursday.
    ________________________

    If we win, it's got to be better than it's been. It certainly can't be worse.
  • Here's a link that will show state-by-state, candidate-by-candidate what their voting records/stances are on the major issues:

    http://www.ontheissues.org/default.htm
  • iowagirl wrote: Allow the government to negotiate directly with the pharmaceutical companies for lower drug prices for Medicare patients.
    Out of curiosity, can you clarify what this means? How does the govt purchase drugs for Medicare patients now? Is this essentially saying they'll try to get some large scale, bulk rates for drugs, or is it just a euphemism for price controls? I have no clue about the health care industry, so I'm just curious.
    If we win, it's got to be better than it's been. It certainly can't be worse.
    I agree.
  • Flexichick wrote: Here's a link that will show state-by-state, candidate-by-candidate what their voting records/stances are on the major issues:

    http://www.ontheissues.org/default.htm
    This site has a ton of spyware. My computer just got completely infected!!
  • iowagirl wrote: Allow the government to negotiate directly with the pharmaceutical companies for lower drug prices for Medicare patients.
    I don't know a lot about the legislation that changed Medicare Part D, but I do know this:

    One provision of the bill strictly prohibits the government from negotiating with the pharmaceutical companies to get cheaper drugs for Medicare patients. This benefits only the pharmaceutical companies and has resulted in higher health care costs for seniors. In addition, a "doughnut hole" was created so that once a Medicare patient reaches a certain amount, I think aboiut $2,500, s/he is required to pay full price for his/her medication up until another, higher amount. The result is that many people then have to choose whether to eat or pay for their medication, and I wish I were exaggerating.

    You may wonder why the government should negotiate with the pharmaceutical industry to make drugs affordable. Well, the Department of Veterans Affairs has been doing it for a very long time, and veterans can afford their medication.

    This excerpt from an article by Louise Slaughter, MPH (a great Congresswoman from upstate), in the New England Journal of Medicine, describes how and by whom the law was written. She says it far more succinctly than I could:

    http://content.nejm.org/cgi/reprint/354/22/2314.pdf?ck=nck

    Serious conflicts of interest on the part of the bill’s primary authors were common. The chairman of the Commerce Committee, Representative Billy Tauzin (R-La.), coauthored the bill while negotiating a $2-million-per-year job as a lobbyist for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), the drug industry’s trade organization. The top Republican aide on a subcommittee involved in writing the legislation also left his position soon afterward to lobby for PhRMA. Thomas Scully, the administration’s top Medicare official, deliberately understated the program’s projected cost by $134 billion, and when the chief actuary of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) objected, Scully reportedly threatened to fire him if he shared his true estimate with Congress. Soon after the legislation passed, Scully resumed his career as a health care–industry lobbyist.

    Read the whole article. It'll make you go make more phone calls to get out the vote.

    I hate these people.
  • escap wrote: [quote=Flexichick]Here's a link that will show state-by-state, candidate-by-candidate what their voting records/stances are on the major issues:

    http://www.ontheissues.org/default.htm
    This site has a ton of spyware. My computer just got completely infected!!

    Wow. Sorry about that. Nothing weird happened when I went there. I guess my spyware software is working
  • Maybe "completely infected" was an exaggeration, as a scan I ran came up clean. I got a ton of pop-ups, though, which are usually blocked by mozilla and made me nervous.

    Iowagirl, thanks for the info. I knew about that donut hole problem. If the govt is forbidden from negotiating prices, does that essentially mean they just pay whatever the pharma cos ask for? This strikes me as one of the many policy issues that ought to be decided by nonpartisan, non-elected committees of experienced, highly qualified experts. Unfortunately, policy is in the hands of the kind of conflict-ridden, corrupt fools that you describe. Sigh. :?
  • escap wrote:

    If the govt is forbidden from negotiating prices, does that essentially mean they just pay whatever the pharma cos ask for? This strikes me as one of the many policy issues that ought to be decided by nonpartisan, non-elected committees of experienced, highly qualified experts. Unfortunately, policy is in the hands of the kind of conflict-ridden, corrupt fools that you describe. Sigh. :?
    1) Yes.

    2) Exactly.

    3) Three days left!
  • What an ass "darksyde" is. Sorry Iowagirl not everyone is for the cut n run party. So nice of you to assume so. Hmm, no mention of Bubba's service record. Kerry as a combat veteran is a joke. He entered only to pursue his political career and nothing more. That liberal elitist spent 4 months trying to rack up phony awards then came home and trashed every single one of the brave men who served with him. Accusing them of torture, rape and other despicable acts. Tried to make it look like he threw his medals over the white house fence as well. Did you happen to know he has a place of honor in the Vietnamese Communist War Remnants Museum? Probably not if you read trash from the dailykos.


    You and Darksyde do know we have an all VOLUNTEER military don't you. These brave men and women are proud to VOLUNTEER and serve their country. This despite all the trash talk from the left. Kerry and his latest intentional attack, last year he accused our troops of terrorizing women and children in their homes or how about Dick Durbin comparing our troops to the likes of Pol Pot and on and on. Ever hear of one positive comment about our troops from someone on the left?

    And no, the Republicans haven't cut veterans pay. We have strong economic growth thanks to the President's tax cuts. The deficit is the smallest in four years and still shrinking. The unemployment rate is at 4.4%. Find that anywhere else.

    A win for the democrats is a win for the terrorists. Ask yourself who the terrorists want to win. A party who will keep on fighting the war on terror or a party who will cut n run and cause the terrorists to take over and undo all the good our brave troops have done. All the millions of people we have liberated will be free no more. How many more 9/11's do you want?


    And finally, nobody mocked Michael J. Fox. Get real. MJF admitted in his book and in an interview to Diane Sawyer he doesn't take his medicine to show the affects of his disease. Rush was only pointing this out. MJF admitted he hasn't even read the admendment he is backing. Did you know Cardin voted AGAINST stem cell research? Probably not. This President is the one who has dome more for stem cell research than any other. Nobody is saying that private funding can't be had. Ask yourself why nobody wants to do this? The Stowers are putting millions into this amendment. Follow the money.
  • I don't intend to answer all your Republican talking points, and I particularly don't want to waste time two days before the election. I do not assume everyone agrees with me; if it were true that everyone did, we wouldn't be in the fix we're in.

    However, VA benefits HAVE been cut: eligibility requirements have changed, so every vet cannot assume that s/he will get services at the nation's VA hospitals. And in order to do so, those who are eligible are now required to pay an annual $250 fee. Services have been cut as well: hospitals are being closed even as more veterans are being created.

    2,831 of our trrops have died in Iraq since the beginning of the war. Virtually everyone I know is proud of the troops and grateful that they are willing to risk their lives for our country every day. The troops are not the problem; it is this war that is the problem. Rumsfeld blames the troops ("You go to war with the army you have, not the army you wish you had") while not providing them with the equipment they need.

    You mention September 11. Iraq is not Afghanistan. Iraq had nothing to do with September 11, and Osama is still at large. That is not the fault of the troops.

    As for Michael J. Fox, I haven't read his book, nor have I seen the interview you mentioned. Parkinson's causes muscle rigidity and makes talking difficult; it is the medication that allows communication, unfortunately causing those tremors. Fox's behavior in the ads you may have seen and WERE mocked by Limbaugh was caused by his medication, not the lack thereof.

    America's scientific community has always been in the forefront of research, usually federally funded. It is infuriating that Bush's only veto was the stem cell bill, which was actually passed by two Republican houses. It became clear to everyone at that point which was more important to this "President:" politics, and not science. (Remember Terri Schiavo?)

    Now I'm off to do more work to do what I can to save our democracy. Good luck on Tuesday.
  • Eggcream wrote:


    And no, the Republicans haven't cut veterans pay. We have strong economic growth thanks to the President's tax cuts. The deficit is the smallest in four years and still shrinking. The unemployment rate is at 4.4%. Find that anywhere else.

    END QUOTE




    Prior to the Neo-Conservative take over of the Republican Party there was not much difference between the two parties debt philosophy, they both worked together to minimize it. However the debt has been on a steady incline ever since the Reagan Presidency. The only exception to the steep increase over the last 25 years was during the Clinton Presidency, where he brought spending under control and the debt growth down to almost zero.



    Comparing the borrowing habits of the two parties since 1981, when the Neo-Conservative movement really took hold and government spending really has gone out of control, it is extremely obvious that the big spenders in Washington are Republican Presidents. Looking at the only Democratic President since 1981, Mr. Clinton, who raised the national debt an average of 4.3% per year; the Republican Presidents (Reagan, Bush, and Bush) raised the debt an average of 10.8% per year. That is, for every dollar a Democratic President has raised the national debt in the past 25 years Republican Presidents have raised the debt by $2.59. Any way you look at it Conservative Republican Presidents can not control government spending, yet as the graph above clearly shows, President Clinton did.

    In 2002 Bush’s increase of the debt was 24 times greater than Clinton’s last year in office, 430 billion v. 18 billion. In a matter of only two years neo-con leadership had managed to get spending completely out of control.

    http://www.cedarcomm.com/~stevelm1/usdebt.htm

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/fy2006/pdf/hist.pdf

    http://brillig.com/debt_clock/


    Are you on eaggcream crack, homie?
  • Leeho, I think you need to edit your post, since you quoted yourself.

    I don't agree with much that eggcream said, but (since there are no other decent arguments going on right now on this board) isn't it the case that congress spends money, not presidents? In that case, shouldn't the credit for reigning in of the deficit during the 90's go to the Republican Congress? Sure, Clinton deserves credit for signing and executing the bills they passed, and for whatever role he played in pushing through legislation, but perhaps even more so for his ability to seek a central ground and work with Republicans. In contrast, the Congress that passed massive spending increases and irresponsible tax cuts in the 80's was majority Democratic. Admittedly, presidents strongly shape the agenda, but they can't write laws or appropriate funds; that's congress's role. Furthermore, I don't have the #s handy but no one doubts that the economic boom of the 90's along with the "peace dividend" were the main reasons for the strong budget picture.

    The Bush administration and post bubble congress have been atrocious on this front, and if dems are going to suddenly turn into deficit hawks I will be cheering them on wildly from the sidelines. But just keep in mind that even non-military spending has risen at near record clips, and much of this spending and projected spending are dominated by prime Democrat causes like social security and health care, followed by agricultural subsidies, education and infrastructure. Of course the war is a certified fiscal catastrophe, but even if the Dems miraculously manage to get us out of that one (unlikely in the near term), do you really expect them to be the party of fiscal restraint? Yes, they may raise taxes, and this may help the deficits somewhat, but tax revenues have been absolutely soaring for several years now so that's clearly not the key problem, and with a downturn in the business cycle just around the corner, will they really be able to push through a large tax increase, even for the "rich"?

    Just to clarify, I think Clinton did a great job as president overall, and Bush has been a nightmare. But the democratic minority does share some responsibility for our current budget situation, and looking forward I have serious doubts as to how long their self-anointed deficit hawk persona will hold water. I hope so, since the GOP has apparently abandoned that principle, but I am not optimistic.
This discussion has been closed.