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The Blue "L's" and the Red "C"'s

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Gosh Rooster, thanks I think? Not sure whether your response was intended in a backhanded way but I must say that among my first thoughts were "gee, that would be like me saying that most conservatives are vapid, rhetoric spewing, closed minded, power grabbing, xenophobic elitists who understand far less about the world than they pretend to know." (This is not, in fact, my view: I know, like, and respect plenty of conservatives who are lovely, thoughtful people who - in my view - have none the less reached the wrong conclusions in most instances.)


All sides of the political spectrum have their share of idiots...and alas the media seems to give them ample coverage. Personally I think we're better served by talking with "real" people rather than getting a skewed version of the other side via media soundbites.


I hope this is just one of those times when reading intent into a post is difficult.



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Kahuna, TheScout, I'll agree that governments can be terribly inefficient. But, to borrow from Winston Churchill's pronouncement about democracy: it's the worst thing there is, except for the alternatives.


By the way I've lived in other countries where the government takes a far more active role in social services like health care and I've had cause to use those services. Never had anything but an excellent, quick, and efficient experience, myself. Stories of long waits for elective procedures are true in some cases but frequently they are actually urban legends. On the other hand, I've also been in need of emergency health care in the USA...at one point when I was just starting school and couldn't afford insurance...now that was a nightmare. So on the whole I'm willing to put up with "inefficient" government attempts to address social problems, if the alternative is that the problem continues unabated.


Of course in these other countries we paid higher taxes too but at least people were fairly clear on what the bargain was and there was widespread consensus on the terms. You pay x amount in taxes because you get x services in return. Here in the US, people seem to have missed that connection; everyone wants something and nobody wants to pay taxes to support it.




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Winston Churchill also once said


"The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of the blessings. The inherent blessing of socialism is the equal sharing of misery."


I don't know what countries you have had experience in but several points. I live on the Canadian border and our paper just did a feature several weeks ago about the problems the plague of problems Canadas public health system. Furthormore, many of the socialist European countries find it much easier for such government initiatives because they are ethnically and racially homogeneous, relativly wealth, and much smaller and compact than the United States.

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First, I meant what I said to you as a compliment. You did present a good logical argument.


As to my quip about other liberals, I was focused on those in the movement that speak for the Democratic Party - Kennedy, Dean, Pelosi, and the like. In general, I like all people despite their party affiliation. However, I do feel that those who speak for the left are out in left field. You are welcome to feel the same way about conservatives, but I would argue that there is much more evidence to support my claim.


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I like Milton Friedman best: "The government solution to a problem is usually as bad as the problem."


The countries you mention are all going down the tubes trying to raise enough taxes to pay for all their social programs. Some of those programs are better than others, but they all cost. We can see today the result of our government's entitlement programs as populations age and birthrates drop.


A nation like ours must have a safety net, but beyond that we need to look out for ourselves and each other.

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Good point. Such systems would never be possibe in the US. Think of how much the federal, local, and state governments are paying for entitlements now. They are busting budgets on all levels.


In our paper today it said that all pork spending amounts for $97 million, 1 % of the federal budget, projected Iraq spending is another 2 %. The rest of it is the problem. The federal budget has huge structural problems.

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"The federal budget has huge structural problems."


Amen brother and not the least of which is going to be social security. It outrages me beyonf belief that the Dems stood and gave themselves a standing ovation at the State of the Union Address because they had thwarted the Administrations plan for Social Security. I am not say that the Administrations plan was the best answer, but for the Dems to kill it, brag about it and then not address it is beyond belief. What do we tell scouts who are Life and lagging on Advancement? DO something because the clock is ticking? WHat has any recent administration done for Social Security ? the pig in the python hits in 10 years!

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One has to give Bush the credit for his Social Security Program. Like it or not he put his neck on the line for it.


A President can not work magic by himself though. Democrats AND Republicans in Congress showed little determination to put ANY plan through.

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I do give the President credit for at least trying to get Social Security on the table for discussion. Unfortunately his initial attempt at a "solution" was such a disaster it was the members of his own party that basically it "was dead on arrival" in Congress. I agree though the Dems didn't help themselves with such a sophmoric response during the State of the Union speech.


There are only 3 things that can be done to resolve the upcoming social security shortfall internally. Raise taxes, cut benefits or some combination of the two. There is no magic. Red or Blue, C or L, Dem or Rep. We need to fess up and the sooner the better.



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Rooster: You are welcome to feel the same way about conservatives, but I would argue that there is much more evidence to support my claim.


I consider myself a conservative leaning independent, so I goet to shake my head at both sides of the aisle. I shake my head a lot when people like Ted Kennedy open their mouth. But liberals don't have the market cornered when it comes to opening their mouth and inserting their foot. While I am no Hillary fan, I think this is a good example of the conservative side going over the top.




Likely Challenger Lashes Out at Clinton

Feb 13 2:28 PM US/Eastern



AP Political Writer




Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's likely Republican Senate race challenger charged Monday that the New York Democrat's criticism of the Bush administration "aids and abets our enemies" in the battle against terrorism.


John Spencer's comments to reporters came after a fiery speech to the state Conservative Party leadership in which, during a defense of the Patriot Act, he also attacked the administration of former President Bill Clinton.


"I wish we had it before 9-11," said the former mayor of Yonkers. "And, I wish we had an administration in Washington that wasn't an appeasing, liberal, whining administration in the 90's that allowed the terrorists to build up the way they built up."


There was no immediate comment from the former first lady.


Polls show Spencer trailing far behind Clinton in her bid for a second Senate term, and she has a huge fundraising advantage as well. She is a potential 2008 Democratic presidential candidate.


Asked after his speech about his criticism of Clinton _ who voted to authorize sending troops to Iraq but who has been highly critical of President Bush's conduct of the war _ Spencer said she "puts politics first in our war on terror and our troops second."


Spencer said that while there was a way to properly criticize the conduct of a war _ he cited Republican Sen. John McCain _ "You shouldn't do it with such divisive and blame-America-first methodology, and that's what she does, which aids and abets our enemies."


Lumping Clinton with Sens. John Kerry and Edward Kennedy, Spencer added, "They seem to salivate at what they hope would be bad news for the Bush administration, and that's divisive for our nation."


Meanwhile, the Spencer campaign unveiled a video advertisement that is running on its Web site. The ad attacks Clinton for her criticism of the Bush administration's warrantless domestic surveillance program.


"I'm running for Senate because I won't play politics with our security," Spencer says in the ad.


The campaign Web site _ http://www.spencerforsenate.com _ encourages viewers to contribute so Spencer can afford to run such spots on regular TV.


As of the end of December, Clinton's campaign had $17 million in the bank while Spencer had just $243,000.


"We're going against the International Bank of Clinton," Spencer told the Conservative Party leadership.


Spencer and his lesser-known rival for the GOP Senate nomination, tax attorney William Brenner, appeared before the Conservative Party leaders where they gave short speeches and took some written questions from the audience. No Republican has won statewide office in New York without Conservative Party support since 1974.


On one issue, Spencer agreed with Clinton and most other New York politicians _ that more anti-terrorism money should be coming to the state.


"I don't think terrorists are going to go after the potato farm in Idaho," Spencer told the Conservative Party leadership.


Spencer said it was "lunacy" to think Clinton could not be beaten and that he would do so with "persistence and tenacity."


"We must remove this woman," he told the Conservatives.



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Here's the problem with your comparison -


John Spencer who? Is Spencer a household name? How many times has he been elected to office? How many folks would recognize his name if he was brought up in conversation? So, you find this conservative who's a desperate want-a-be, and he makes a few comments that you think are harsh (which by the way, I can't dispute not knowing much about the race in New York).


On the other hand, Kennedy, Kerry, Pelosi, and Dean are leaders of their party. They are not only recognizable, but the party faithful lift them up as models. Even Jimmy Carter, given his recent comments at Coretta Scott King's funeral, deserves little respect. The leadership of the Democratic Party is full of them. You had to do some research to find Spencer.

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Nah, I just picked it off of one of the conservative website I read daily. In this case, the Drudge Report where anti-Hillary articles are posted on an almost daily basis.


I held this up as a quick and dirty example. I could go hunting and find you articles where Republican leadership have said some pretty nasty things about Democrats and vice versa, but I really don't have time. As I said, I'm somewhat neutral to the political party games and recognize the rhetoric from both sides. I'd dare say that there are far more conservative books, radio and TV shows out there calling liberals anti-American, troop hating, terrorist loving traitors than there is on the flipside. Both side have dirty hands. Arguing which one's hands are dirtier is kind of beside the point.

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I have to agree. The Democratic Party is pure chaos right now. It's sad. In the last election, Bush was in position for Kerry to walk up and snatch the presidency from him. But the Democratic Party has lost touch with its voters. And it's even worse these days. Now, the only thing that appears to unite the Democrats is a mutual dislike of Republicans and Bush.


The Republicans and the Bush administration have really divided this country. But the Democrats have done an astonding job of dividing themselves.


So I don't believe Kennedy and Dean speak for the average Democrat. But in that case, who does speak for them?

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Rooster, you're right that this challenger is not a big national name and he might be off the deep end (judging from the article posted, I'd say he is anyway). But that's beside the point. If you really want to pick big names and talk about how they stick their feet in their mouth and swallow up to their knees, we can find plenty of those folks from both the liberal and conservative ends of the spectrum too.


And an interesting little point about the Conservative party in NY: they often endorse Democratic candidates over Republicans. It is one of those weird local twists.


Zahnada I'd have to agree that the Dems don't seem to have a good national voice or message coming from Congress right now. But then again most successful presidential candidates come from the states, not Congress, and are not all that well known nationally prior to starting their campaigns for President. Bill Clinton was a classic example of this - honestly, how many people would've picked the governor of Arkansas as a likely two term president, in 1990?





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