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    Greg and Beth

    the political and personal musings of two
    mountaineers living in west-central Florida
    Thoughts on Rudy '08 Comment
    Gregory Morris, 4/30/07 1:00:01 am
    From Rudy's website, concerning 2A:
    "...he protected people by getting illegal handguns out of the hands of criminals."

    Of course, there should be no such thing as "illegal handguns", and he should know that. The only thing that should be illegal is a criminal illegally possessing or using a handgun. This tells me that Rudy, doesn't have a firm grasp on the 2A issues here. Regardless of what he says, I'm sure he will always think "guns are bad", just like any bleeding-heart liberal.

    He also wants to require trigger locks, which should be a matter of personal responsibility, not gov't regulation. I can't use my firearm in self defense if I have to fumble around in the dark finding a key and trying to unlock it. If someone breaks into my house, my gun will be in my hand with the hammer cocked in a matter of seconds.

    I will give him credit, the end of that section is as follows:
    "Rudy understands that what works in New York doesn’t necessarily work in Mississippi or Montana."

    Ok, great. Maybe he thinks the federal gov't should stay away from firearms legislation. That is a smart statement to make when you are dealing with a populous (and a well funded NRA) that will kill your candidacy for giving an opponent the opportunity to say "Vote for me or else he'll take away your guns!"

    As far as his other policies... let us see.

  • Fiscal discipline... everyone says they will reduce spending, but they all just spend more, and make the gov't bigger and bigger. If he makes a hard promise to balance the budget, even out the trade deficit, and reduce the size of the gov't, then that will earn him a check on the "pro" side of my pro/con list.
  • Cutting taxes... he cut some taxes in NYC. I'm all for tax cuts. Every republican promises tax cuts, but they rarely amount to much (although I guess Bush's helped some.)
  • Terror, Iraq, Etc... nobody wants to lose the war on terror. However, some people say they are in it to win, then try to handcuff our military. He is a lawyer, not a military commander, and I think he'll trust our military commanders. Plus, he's definitely got the "been there, done that" badge, when it comes to dealing with terror... I figure that'll win him a few votes.
  • Abortion... why the hell is this a political issue? He states that with the exception of a few "reasonable restrictions", abortion is between the woman, her doctor, her family and her God. It is between a woman, her doctor/family/god. But The same reason I don't like "reasonable restrictions" on firearms applies the same here. When the gov't legislates something that is none of their business, there are always unforeseen consequences... and they always amount to the further eroding of our rights.
  • Gay Marriage... same deal here. This is not a political issue, and it pisses me off when people even bring it up. In my humble (yet correct) opinion, the federal gov't should recognize legal unions between two people (for tax purposes, etc.) They should not recognize marriages. There should be no legal concept of marriage. When Beth and I were married, it was her, me and God. The ceremony was for us to announce our commitment to our family and friend, and to be joined within our church. If a church is ok with marrying gay couples, that's up to them. Marriage is between two people and God, not between two people and the gov't.
  • Education... his line here is fluff. More money, blah blah blah. Nobody in the gov't has a clue how to fix our schools. I say leave it up to the states. Even better, privatize the system.
  • Global Warming... He seems to be right in the middle. There is global warming, but how much of it are we causing? That makes sense to me. Don't overreact (ala Al Gore) to something we don't understand. At the same time, he thinks we should cut back on pollution for the sake of cutting back on pollution. That's a "pro" checkmark. What I'd like to see him do is counter the democrat's "tax pollution" stance with "tax breaks for cutting pollution".
  • Healthcare... He is firmly against socialized healthcare. Another "pro". I'm all for helping people acquire access to healthcare, but not at the expense of quality healthcare for those who can afford it now.
  • UN... I'd like to see him stand up to the corruption in the UN a little more. He specifically says that the UN will cease to be relevant if they don't stand up to countries that support terrorism. I'm not sure that is enough. The UN should be gutted, and rebuilt with less beaurocracy, and some way to publicly audit where they are spending their money (especially aide money.) The UN needs to be a place for open international debate, not petty political squabbling.
  • Death Penalty... Pro. Check!
  • Evolution... Giuliani says he can accommodate the theory of evolution in his Christian belief structure. That tells me at least he is a rational human being.

    The one thing I really want a politician to have on their websites is a bullet called "personal responsibility". Unfortunately, we are following Europe into a nanny-state mentality. "It is OK to sue someone because I am stupid." "It is OK to blame anyone other than myself when I screw up." "When my kids misbehave, it is not my fault."

    That's all for now. Tune in next week when I analyze the Hillary '08 website "On the Issues" section... oh wait, there isn't one. I had to go to Wikipedia to get a list of where she stands on each major issue. I'll give you a sneak-peek summary now:
  • Take away everyone's guns
  • Raise taxes
  • Grow the Gov't
  • Spend more money
  • Cripple businesses
  • Socialize everything
  • Handicap our military
  • Seek revenge on conservatives

  • [Comments are closed after a month.]

    Re: Thoughts on Rudy \'08
    Gregory Morris, 3/28/07 10:41:07 am

    Oh, and I like libertarians (no capital "L"). Ron Paul seems to vote against pretty much everything, which is precisely what any federal elected official should do.
    Re: Thoughts on Rudy \'08
    Matt, 3/29/07 4:39:29 pm
    Test post.
    Re: Thoughts on Rudy \'08
    Matt, 3/29/07 4:40:41 pm
    Oops, sorry about the test. Onto the way too long post...

    As a bleeding-heart liberal who believes that all Constitutional Amendments should be equally enforced I resent that remark. ;) Seriously, this is the one issue the left is so stupid about. I don't like guns either but it's naive to not see that Pandora's Box is open and all gun laws do is punish innocent people. Aside from that, it's the 2nd Amendment! I want all of my rights enforced, not just the ones the a certain administration likes. Democrats gift this issue to Republicans and it's crazy stupid.

    As for Rudy, I'll be impressed if Rudy can get passed the socially-conservative evangelical block of Republicans and win the nomination. I can't imagine it will happen.

    Fiscal discipline:
    The Republican candidate is going to have to convince voters they are committed to fiscal discipline as their track record is outrageously poor. The last three Republican presidents (Reagan, Bush, W) are responsible (or will be when Bush II leaves in '08) for 80% of our national debt. Cheney better be right when he said, ""deficits don't matter." otherwise the Republicans gave the next generation quite a credit card bill.

    Tax cuts are great but not when the vast majority are going to the uber-rich. I'd be happy to see Bush's tax cuts replaced with equal tax cuts on the first 100,000 or 200,000 of income instead. That way the money would be going back into the economy (people who need the cash, spending it on goods) rather than it just sitting around earning interest for people who won't be as likely to spend. Also, there is a moral question about sending our military to war while we are getting tax cuts. If we they were getting the proper equipment maybe I wouldn't have a problem with it.

    Middle East:
    I don't see the parallels, that to be fair, so many do, between Rudy's handling of 9/11 and trying to manage foreign policy. I think he'd be a great FEMA director though. Also, I don't see any vision about how Rudy, or anyone for that matter, is going to get us out of Iraq and defuse tensions in the middle east as a whole. I'm intrigued by Biden's proposal to break up the country into separate controlling entities. If there is any good story out of Iraq it's Kurdistan which seems to be very independent, peaceful and has a booming economy. Reward regions that want peace and stability. Again though, such a complicated issue.

    Abortion & Gay Marriage:
    100% with you on abortion and gay marriage. I cannot understand what government has to do with a religious marriage? Who a church allows to marry should be at their discretion. A legal union should be available to anyone for any reason (and they should be able to get out of it with easy for any reason). Right now it's pure discrimination. This is a shockingly easy issue to sort out.

    Education to the states is fine as long as if they don't meet standards then the government has to step in to maintain a standard. Logically, it seems that a good step would be to make it easier to fire poor teachers while raising pay (which I think states would try). It seems (but I really don't know) that teachers have tenure, in a sense, once they have a job in the system. Once that happens, where is the incentive to improve?

    For me, the environment is the #1 issue. If oil wasn't valued as it was we wouldn't be at war in the Middle East, we wouldn't be in bed with the real extremists, the Saudi dictatorship, we wouldn't be having a fit over Chavez in Venezuela, Iran, Russia, etc. Oil money fuels terrorism and enables very bad governments. Plus we are making ourselves sick by polluting our air and water. I do agree that Gore does go for the fright angle too much, Manhattan will be underwater, etc. but I think that he's right that's we'll be leaving our grandchildren a dirty world if we don't do something. I'm waiting for some candidate to see the benefits of destroying OPEC and the leverage that the middle east countries have by finding an alternative. It will have to be a drastic step something like Tom Friedman has been writing about, a $1-2/gallon tax on gas and carbon credits. Unfortunately, I don't think anyone has the political will to make this happen. California tried to do something on a much smaller scale this past election and Exxon spent the money to make sure it was defeated. Oh well, we'll probably figure this out eventually.

    Health Care:
    I disagree about Health Care. I think like every other western country that all Americans should have the right to basic health services. We are the outliers on this one. I know the libertarian side of you is screaming at me (and maybe it should) but I think it's an issue of fairness as the richest country in the world. If our system was more efficient I might change my mind but it's not and it's not clear that there aren't better (more efficient on the dollar) health systems, for all citizens, in some socialized countries (not France ;) ). I know it's not our fault but the amount of people without health insurance is staggering (40 mil?). We already have socialized medicine in a sense with Medicare and Bush was certainly on board with funding that! ;)

    UN corruption need checked. It's out of hand.

    Death Penalty:
    If an innocent person has ever been killed by the state via the death penalty then it has no place in our society. That's a mistake that cannot be made. I want to see guys who rape and torture kids dead just as much as the guy but as long as our system isn't perfect and innocent people are being pulled out of jails because of new evidence then I don't see how we can morally have a death penalty. I think that's why the governor of Illinois put a moratorium on it, it was found out that someone who was probably innocent was killed. That sickening, we can't allow that.

    It's sad that Rudy's position on evolution would make him incompatible with a large block of the Republican party but Big Tent and all I suppose.

    Hill the Pill:
    Come on, Greg. I'm no fan of Hillary but please my eyes couldn't roll any farther into the back of my head.

    - Take away everyone's guns... hyperbole often?
    - Grow the govt? Maybe, but it was her husband who is the only recent pres with a good record on that issue.
    - Spend more money? I can't imagine how she could spend anymore than we are spending now, again Bill was as good as it's been on this issue so I don't see why you think Hillary would be any worse than a future Republican.
    - Cripple businesses... rolleyes
    - Socialize everything... rolleyes
    - Handicap our military..... roooooooooooooolleyes, are you kidding? Have you seen the state of our military lately? Even if all Hillary did was get out of Iraq then at least we'd have troops to deploy to another theater if, god forbid, need be.
    - Seek revenge on conservatives.... well, okay, you have this one right but considering the stunning amount of corruption, ineptitude and perhaps treasonous activities of the current administration that has already been leaked out, you know there is going to be more coming out post-2008 so Hillary, Congress or whoever will be looking into it. So I think you are right about this.

    All in all, it seems like we have some choices. I think that the Democratic nominee will win, not because they inspire people but because the Republicans have been soooooo amazingly bad. It will be the 2006 elections all over again. Right now my vote would be with Obama but we'll see. Should be interesting to see what different ideas people come up with!

    Hope you guys are enjoying Tampa, keep blogging and tell Beth I say hey!
    Re: Thoughts on Rudy \'08
    Gregory Morris, 3/30/07 11:35:13 am
    Damn. you weren't kidding about it being a long post :)

    "...vast majority are going to the uber-rich."
    First of all, Bush's tax cut put money into my pocket. I don't give a damn about the "uber-rich"... that isn't where the real tax dollars come from anyway... it is me, you, the middle class. Penalizing someone for being rich (as rich, left-pandering politicians love to try) is blatantly un-American. Instead of taxing rich people more to "make it more fair", let's just give tax breaks where it will help our economy, and encourage people to do the "right thing".

    "...he'd be a great FEMA director though."
    We need someone with these qualifications more than anything, I think. I'm not sure Rudy is any more qualified than anyone else to handle the middle-east, but do you think Iran is going to get along with Hillary any better? I want someone in power who has the guts to put America first, and frankly, that isn't and never will be a democrat.

    "...that teachers have tenure..."
    There are too many problems with our education system to enumerate... but I do agree with you about the ability to fire bad teacher as being paramount. But before we can do that, we need to reign in the corrupt unions that keep the poorly performing teachers where they are. But this is all just a first step. Education needs to be privatized. Free market capitalism works. I'd prefer to be able to "Fire" a broken education system.

    "...leaving our grandchildren a dirty world..."
    The world is already dirty, lets focus on fixing real problems. Pollution is a problem, but reactionary politics based on pseudo-science isn't going to help anything, and it will hurt our economy. I'd love to see the world move away from oil, but that isn't going to happen until the technology is there, and the market encourages it. Using taxes to force change doesn't work. Instead, why not just give tax breaks to people/corporations when they pollute less? That gives them the same incentive without hurting businesses that have a harder time keeping up (the same businesses that will be happy to relocate to Mexico to avoid the regulations and taxes.)

    "a $1-2/gallon tax on gas and carbon credits"
    Thats the problem with democrats: trying to use taxes to fix a problem. It sounds good in theory, but so does communism. Taxes just give people an incentive to try and beat the system. Let's increase tax breaks for owners of hybrid or natural gas cars. Let's give tax breaks to companies who move to cleaner technologies. At the same time, people who violate environmental law should see jail time. If you are the CEO of a company, and that company illegally dumps mercury into a river, go to jail. If you lie about it, double your jail time. We have laws like that, but they are rarely enforced, and often the worst offenders get off the hook with a fine. I prefer the "if you make a mess, you have to clean it up" mentality.

    "We already have socialized medicine..."
    The gov't does a lot... more, in fact than i think they should. Regardless, how can any sane individual believe a bureaucracy can make good decisions about MY medical care? Only MY doctor and the private industry can do that. If we are going to hand out medical care, let us simply say "we will pay for your medical expenses from your birth to your 18th birthday" or something like that. In addition, deregulation of insurance and the medical industry (except where safety is concerned) would make health care more affordable. And while I'm on my tax-break kick... offer tax breaks to companies who offer coverage for their employees!

    Death penalty: Well, the problem with leftist weenies is they really put too much value on the life of a single person. I'm going to sound like an insensitive prick here, but if 1 convicted innocent dies for every 100 executed murderers, but those executed murderers are kept from murdering another 100 innocent people, I'll trade one innocent for 100 innocents. Yeah, I'm a bastard. We need to be tougher on criminals in general. That doesn't mean making more laws to make more acts criminal. That means no 5-year sentences for murderers and gang members. That means forced labor for criminals (look at me getting medieval!) That means fixing our CJ system so people who really hurt other people get put away. While I'm at it, I might as well say that a huge step towards fixing the problems of murderers getting out of jail too early can easily be fixed by decriminalizing drugs. If every kid who gets caught with a bag of weed gets a fine instead of jail time, boom! less crowded prisons. It is still illegal. People still get punished for it. But if I decide to use marijuana in my own home, and I don't hurt anyone but myself, why should that be a jail-worthy offense? At the same time, if I use PCP and go on a spree of violence, then it is my violent acts that should be punished, with no way of "pleading insanity" (Sorry judge, I was totally baked... I had no idea I was taking a sledge hammer to that person's head.)

    So i like to "hyperbolize" about candidates i severely dislike, how does that make me different from anyone else who talks about politics? Hillary _will_ in fact sign any anti-gun bill put in front of her. Sadly, that is true for just about anyone who might be elected president, republicans included (just don't talk about it before the election!)
    Growing the gov't - don't assume Hillary is Bill. I kinda liked Bill, but mostly because he was entertaining, and well spoken. Hillary, on the other hand, lacks the charisma of her husband, and isn't nearly as laid-back (another good quality in a president... must have been all the um... er... job satisfaction... *cough*)
    Spending more... no democrat can resist the urge to spend more. It makes people like them, because the average person doesn't see that they are fucking the country in the long term. Spending More == More Votes. Bush, unfortunately is worse than most liberals. That's why I'd rather see Rudy or (I can pray, can't I) Ron Paul get elected.
    Cripple business... ok, more hyperbole. But don't deny that she'd be happy to raise taxes on industry, forcing more companies out of the country. "Let us tax the rich corporations" is the Democrat's battle-cry. But rich corps are rich for a reason, and I am totally OK with that.
    Socialize everything... if you haven't noticed, the USA isn't so much a capitalist representative democracy as it is a semi-socialist democracy. Think about it... as a country, we've gone from state-centric, minimal laws, personal rights/responsibility to a borderline federal-centric nanny-state, where there is nothing left untaxed and unregulated. I think Congress is mostly to blame for this, but that is why we need an executive with the balls (*ahem*) to veto a bill based on the fact that it is unnecessary. No such candidate exists (except Ron Paul), so once again we're stuck with the option of choosing the lesser of two evils.
    Military... What is the purpose of getting out of Iraq? How will that help us? I don't ever want to get "out" of Iraq, I want Iraq to become stable enough that we can have a good trading partner and ally in the region. In case you didn't notice, we still have military bases in Germany and Japan. I'm perfectly ok with having an indefinite presence there, so long as things keep getting better. If we leave now (or in a year, or in 2 years) the country will fall apart. If "all Hillary does" is "get out of Iraq", then she will be the worst president we've ever had, and that my friend, is not hyperbole.

    What I always want to see is opposite parties in control of the White House/Congress respectively. It is then ideal to have a republican president since we have a democratic congress. Having a republican congress and a republican president was bad. Having a democratic president now will be bad. There must be a check, and there must be a veto. Bush didn't veto anything until the dems took congress (i'm pretty sure.) To be honest, I think that if 50% of bills aren't vetoed, then something is wrong.

    Why can't we find a strong, well-spoken, constitutionalist, true economic conservative, and true social liberal? Don't they exist? Oh wait... anyone with those qualifications is too smart to run for office :)

    I'll work on Obama next. I don't know much about him other than he is A) Liberal B) Young C) Charismatic D)Anti-Gun and E) has a name that frankly, is gonna be hard to put into the White House. It pisses me off to even mention that, frankly, but America is jam-packed with morons.
    Re: Thoughts on Rudy \'08
    Matt, 3/30/07 9:16:40 pm
    I don't want to penalize anyone for being rich, hopefully we'll both be so successful one day. Tax rates are about what finding a good balance for the economy. Unless you are for a flat tax then you are looking at what rate of progressive tax rate is the best. The Bush admin felt that previously it was skewed to favor the poor and middle-class too much so they focused on relieving some of the burden on the rich. Sure, getting more money in our pocket is always going to feel good but you have to look at it from a broader perspective of where you think income equality should be. How should taxes effect that. Again, if you are for a flat tax then this is a non-starter. Otherwise, Bush is taking us into uncharted territory as far an income inequality goes.

    Here is a graph I saw recently to back that up:

    From what I've read it leads to more disenfranchised poor people and less social mobility. I think there is a reason why Warren Buffett is warning us about the tax policies that Bush has enacted.


    Perhaps and no I don't think any president will have a better shot with Iran than any other. But whaaaat... what are you talking about? What does party have to do with putting America first? Let's be on the level here, both parties serve the country's interest otherwise they wouldn't get such large vote totals from America. We as voters aren't THAT dumb. Both parties serve to improve the country (at least they think they are), sure some get corrupted but it usually because they have too much power, something that the democrats certainly didn't have in the past few years and really do not have now. I think that statement is pretty out there and unfair.


    I'm with you on education. Again, we get to back to that power issue. Power does corrupt and the teacher's lobby have too much. To be fair, I'm sure it's difficult to judge teaches on a quantitative level but it's way to hard to get rid of the bad ones. You're right, the free market rolls along and the education industry hasn't caught on. Hopefully states will take more risks... well the "risks" probably aren't really risky are they but I understand people worrying about the kids that lose in the market because of adults making bad decisions. Still, I think it will be those who stick by the status quo of current educational systems that lose out.


    Pseudo-science? Where are you getting this from? The vast majority (has to be well over 95%) of scientists agree this is reality and I do not believe the economy is going to be hurt in the long-run. Well sure, any company that sticks with fossil fuels are going to suffer but that's progress. Poor old newspapers, why oh why did they internet have to come along. Those who recognize they are ENERGY companies will be fine. Look at Chinese cities, they are having crippling pollution problems (you don't think that's bad for business?) but at the same time the solar energy companies are making bank and are leading the world in innovation.

    I think we kind of agree about helping out businesses that avoid polluting. You are right about relocating business to avoid this thing too, that's an issue. Though, of course using taxes to force change works. If we had a $2/gallon tax (perhaps going towards energy research?) on gas you don't think that auto manufacturers would see the opportunity to find an alternative? It would be shocking. I just think it's something that we need to push forward. I agree that, eventually, it will take care of itself but this is where government can step in and push things forward.


    LOL taxes fix lots of problems, like Nazi and terrorists for instance. :) And communism sounds like shit. We're all the same? How boring! Yeah, but I'm with you on the rest on this because it's a serious issue. Pollution hurts business.


    But aren't insurance companies bureaucracy (even HMO's) even worse than government? I mean, Medicare is a pretty sweet deal for old people. Yeah, this is a shitty issue. I really don't think that your employer should have anything to do with your health insurance. Talk about getting away from the free market. What a massive waste of time for a business. All in all, I don't know the right answer about this one. I just have a hard time being so well off as a country and not being able to provide basic health to everyone. The government answer probably sucks but looking at the state of the current system it's damned if you do, damned if you don't.


    Leftist weenies... pfft.. we're aren't fascists Greg, they were pretty tough on crime and how did it turn out? Sorry, one innocent person dies and that's seriously, seriously fucked up because there are other sane options like locking murders up for LIFE and I'm not saying murder shouldn't be anything else but that, no parole. Death penalty must be perfect for it to exist and it's not. So shouldn't be an option. It's the anti-thesis of our values.

    I wanted to bring up the war on drugs in my last post but I thought I was pushing my post length as it was. Totally agree. What percentage of prisoners are there because of non-violent, drug offenses? Add up the prison expense + the money on policing? We are talking BILLIONS a year for policy that has been nothing but failure. It's insane. Milton Friedman owned this issue, would recommend some of his talks on this.


    Well, I think it takes away from your argument. She might be President! Better to be rational about what she really says to better convince someone who might vote for her not to.

    ALL politicians (other than Ron Paul, who might be the lone exception) have to fight the urge to spend more for the reasons you state, this isn't just democrats. Again, look at the last four presidents. Three republicans who spent like crazy and one democrat who balanced the budget (probably against his ideals but he did it because he knew it was right). I don't think you are being fair by saying it democrats more than republicans.

    Well sort of, earlier in the century we were very-state run but less and less now which is good.

    Hmm.. Iraq is tough to find the right answer. I can't disagree with the fact that if we leave Iraq it goes to shit but it's a quagmire as it is. Are we making things better by being there? Iraqis don't seem to think so, maybe I disagree with them but it's certainly not clear who is right on this. Eventually a president will have to get out (military bases aside) because it's unsustainable. I mean we can't afford the cost! Aside from any foreign policy considerations. So I think your statement is hyperbole. Now, throwing massive amounts of money and oh yeah, American lives into a war that was completely unnecessary, actually inflaming the War on Terror and putting us into the point where we are now? Politicizing 9/11, maybe knowingly lying about the rational for going to this war (yellow cake in Niger, WMD's, etc.). Calling those who disagree unpatriotic instead of trying to rationally disagree with their argument (and in retrospect the dissenters were right)! Even aside from the corruption, I think those might be the ingredients for the worst administration (not president) we're ever had. I think the worst president was maybe Harding. :)


    I don't see why having a democrat as president would be bad. I agree that having one party with too much power is trouble and the republicans have been a disaster in that sense. Good thing we have now have a democratic congress.


    Pfft, keep dreaming. Two party system is clearly inefficient but who in power is going to admit that? Once you are there you have such a strong incentive to maintain the status quo. Parliamentary government anyone?

    Sounds good, sounds kind of like Bill aside from the name. ;) Good discussion! Looking forward to it. Damn where did the last 30 minutes go?
    Re: Thoughts on Rudy \'08
    Gregory Morris, 5/11/07 2:55:44 pm
    "Tax rates are about what finding a good balance for the economy."
    No. Taxes are about me agreeing to contribute some of my wealth to an elected government to provide for national defense and public order. Only the most economically retarded person would suggest that taxes are a way to "level the playing field." I'm not entirely against a flat tax either... there are just problems with that concept that need to be addressed, and it doesn't seem like any candidates are even interested in talking about that.
    "Bush is taking us into uncharted territory as far an income inequality goes. "
    There are always rich people and poor people. Sometimes there are more middle class people, sometimes there are less. None of these facts will ever change. What uncharted territories? "Social mobility" is a complete bullshit term. Everyone has a shot at the American dream, some just have to work harder. Life isn't fair.
    Putting America first... When I say "America First", I mean it in the most absolute sense. I'm all for stability in the world, but not acting on a threat because Germany, France or Russia thinks we shouldn't... Screw them. That is not in America's interest. How many democrats were screaming that we should follow the UN's advice regarding the war in Iraq? I'm not saying that I was a supporter of the war from the onset, but to even suggest that the UN is the solution when it comes to fast, or correct, actions is at best naive, at worst insane.
    "Where are you getting this from?" For something to qualify as science, you have to follow the scientific method, which means not jumping to a conclusion before you have all the data. I'm not saying our nation's scientists are not doing good work, but there are too many variables and problems with their theories, which by the way, they spout as absolute fact. Scientists can have opinions too, regardless of their truth, but people tend to assume that what a scientist says has some rigorous scientific work behind it. This isn't always the case. A lot of scientists say "yes, the globe is getting warmer" and "yes, the greenhouse effect is causing it", but nobody knows for sure that A) we caused it and B) it is a bad thing (i.e. - Gore's warning of NY being under water in X years...)
    I agree we should ditch fossil fuels, and move onto more clean technology, but not based on a knee-jerk reaction to some "scientific" theories. We should do it because it is the right thing to do, to keep our world cleaner. That being said, anyone who says "solar energy will save us" (or any other technology) is delusional. Industry needs to diversify our energy solutions, because having a single point of failure (oil, or solar, or whatever) is not a good idea. We need to make sure the industry has an incentive to make things better. You say add taxes, I say cut taxes. The difference is that you think the government, and not the free market, should be the primary mover for change.
    The state of our current healthcare system is good. We don't provide the best health care for everyone free of charge, and I'm OK with that. It isn't my job to pay for someone else's healthcare. Sorry, I'm being an ass again :) On the other hand, there are lots of free clinics, and support for poor people to get basic health care.
    Regarding locking up murderers for life... right now, that is actually a cheaper solution, since it is so expensive to execute someone. I'd like to see it get cheaper. And I'm not saying we should execute people for lesser crimes (ala fascism), just for the worst of the worst crimes, and more to the point, multiple offenders. I do, however like what a few states have tried to pass, where multiple-conviction rapists can be executed. That's just me though.
    I'm not saying the democrats are worse spenders than republicans when it comes to presidents. I'm saying all politicians are bad spenders. But there are some fiscal conservatives left in congress, but they usually get overpowered by other political issues, so "cutting spending" never makes it onto the floor. One of the reasons I am in favor of tax cuts is that it will (eventually) force less spending in the gov't. Democrats (not talking about Bill Clinton, but perhaps Hillary) would prefer to balance the budget by raising taxes. The republican party is just about the same anymore, which is why I don't call myself a republican, just an economic conservative/constitutionalist/libertarian. Hehehe, I still think that federal income tax is unconstitutional :)
    "Iraqis don't seem to think so"???? Someone believes too much of what he sees on the news. Most Iraqis want to have peace and prosperity. It is simply a small group of radicals, many of whom are not even Iraqis, who are causing the problems.

    I agree that our current position there is unsustainable, but thats why we need to push hard now, and try to even things out a bit before we "run out of time". At the same time, saying "we'll be out in a year" just ignores the reality of the situation.

    And I'm really tired of people who accuse Bush of lying to start this war. He hasn't been brought up before congress for impeachment... I'm thinking that means somebody in the intelligence committee knows more about what is going on than the average congressman. I work closely with the intelligence community. There are things they simply can't tell the general public because it will put soldiers lives at risk. I'm OK with secrets. It does make our president's job harder though. I don't, however, condone calling someone unpatriotic just because they disagree about the war. But people who know the entire story are probably a little less likely to question the president's motives.
    Right, having all republicans in power was bad. But that would go the same for all democrats. I just prefer to keep the politicians fighting amongst themselves so less laws get passed. Whenever a president signs anything sent to him by congress, that tells me there isn't an important check of power.
    Yeah, I didn't start with Hillary on my most recent post, because I was researching Obama. I really didn't know much about him until recently.

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