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12201  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Worst personality flaw of the preceding member on: April 02, 2006, 02:19:42 pm
uses commas insteads of decimal points
12202  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of Otto von Bismarck on: April 02, 2006, 02:18:07 pm
A reminder of unpleasant realities... and the perils of militarism
12203  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: jill carroll on: April 02, 2006, 02:02:12 pm
Boy was i wrong on on this one

At the time of my previous comments on this thread
1) I was unaware of her other comments besides the captors not abusing her
2) I was unaware all of the comments were made while in iraq, to iraqi parties

After learning of those things I thought she might change her tune when she got to Germany-- and she did.
12204  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / U.S. Presidential Election Results / Re: Why is Indiana so damned Republican? on: April 02, 2006, 01:57:26 pm
People seem to forget that the Republican party was not founded as a pro-abolition party, but as an anti-slavery party.  There were a number of northerners who were not against slavery because they thought it was immoral to kepp slaves, but because they did not wish to compete with black labor.  That's why Indiana and several other Midwest States had such strict laws.  They didn't wan't any black to come there and take their jobs, and they didn't care if they were slave or free.

Northerners often tend to convieniently forget their own racist past and present and make the South a scapegoat for all American racism.
Agreed.  The common phrase I've heard is
"in the South they don't care if they [blacks] live near them, as long as they don't get uppity; in the North they don't care if they get uppity, as long as they don't live near them"

So, according to one common explanation of the term, a variation of 'latte liberalism' was indirectly responsible for the emancipation proclaimation. Wink
12205  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Religious politicians on: April 02, 2006, 01:41:26 pm
Of politicians that make a big deal about their religion, which ones are for real and which are just faking it to get votes? In the for real column, I put Jimmy Carter, Sam Brownback, Joe Lieberman, and Rick Santorum. Big fakers include George W. Bush, Tom Delay, and the Blunts. I can't put my finger on why, but I know these guys are full of crap.

^^^^ I agree with this list entirely.

Howard Dean's behavior is only a reflection of the fact that no openly agnostic or atheist politician has a prayer in hell of being elected president in this country. I think there was a poll not too long ago that said something like half of all Americans would never vote for an atheist President, far higher than any religious group. Open agnostics and atheists are the most persecuted group in America, when it comes to running for office.

...so I guess that makes it OK to fake religious devotion in order to get votes?

Uh, Bush is the one who wears it on his sleeve trying to convince people that hes really some huge Christian, as part of his "folksy southern" persona. There's nothing genuine about the man, or his image. Roll Eyes
12206  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Religious politicians on: April 02, 2006, 01:23:19 pm
Of politicians that make a big deal about their religion, which ones are for real and which are just faking it to get votes? In the for real column, I put Jimmy Carter, Sam Brownback, Joe Lieberman, and Rick Santorum. Big fakers include George W. Bush, Tom Delay, and the Blunts. I can't put my finger on why, but I know these guys are full of crap.

^^^^ I agree with this list entirely.

Howard Dean's behavior is only a reflection of the fact that no openly agnostic or atheist politician has a prayer in hell of being elected president in this country. I think there was a poll not too long ago that said something like half of all Americans would never vote for an atheist President, far higher than any religious group. Open agnostics and atheists are the most persecuted group in America, when it comes to running for office.
12207  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Budget committee kills pay-go amendment on: April 02, 2006, 01:12:49 pm
By David S. Broder
Sunday, April 2, 2006; Page B07

...The key Democratic amendment was disposed of in less than 20 minutes, with nary a show of emotion on either side. The handful of reporters in attendance dozed through a lethargic debate between Democrat Dennis Moore of Kansas and Republican Patrick McHenry of North Carolina.

Moore and other Democrats were trying to reimpose the budget rule known as "pay-go." That requirement simply says any spending increase or tax cut is to be offset by a comparable saving to avoid increasing the deficit, unless a supermajority of 60 percent of the lawmakers votes to make an exception.

The rule was in effect from 1991 to 2002 and contributed directly to whittling away the deficits and moving the budget into surplus.

But after Bush became president, Congress discarded the rule -- an action that Alan Greenspan and many other fiscal conservatives deplored.

In the Senate on March 14, Democrats tried to revive the rule and failed on a 50 to 50 tie vote. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, the Republican chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, led the effort to defeat it, arguing that it would inevitably force a tax increase. Gregg was not the least embarrassed when Sen. Kent Conrad, the North Dakota Democrat who offered the amendment to bring back "pay-go," quoted Gregg's own words from a 2002 debate.

Four years ago, Gregg said: "If we do not do this, if we do not put back in place caps and pay-go mechanisms, we will have no budget discipline in this Congress, and, as a result, we will dramatically aggravate the deficit, which, of course, impacts a lot of important issues but especially impacts Social Security."

When Conrad quoted those words, Gregg replied: "I was right then, and I am right now. Times change, and the dynamics of what is happening around here change substantively."

That argument was replayed in the House Budget Committee, with Republicans unanimously opposing the reimposition of the pay-go rule, while Democrats supported it. The roll call on the amendment was 15 yes, 21 no -- unmentioned in the news accounts reporting the 22 to 17 vote that sent the whole bill forward.
12208  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: jill carroll on: April 01, 2006, 03:18:21 am
Nobody gives a sh!t if group A slaughters group B or vice-versa.

The point is that they're both enemies of America, or should ideally be.
12209  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Smart Kids Found to Undergo Delayed Brain Development on: March 31, 2006, 01:30:30 pm
The pattern of brain growth during development may figure more importantly than overall brain size when it comes to intelligence, according to a new study. Scientists have found that the smartest kids start off with a relatively thin cerebral cortex--the outer layer of the brain associated with thought and other higher order functions--which thickens rapidly by age 12 before undergoing the same general diminishment as that of their peers of average intelligence.

"Brainy children are not cleverer solely by virtue of having more or less gray matter at any one age," says Judith Rapoport of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) in Bethesda, Md. "Rather, IQ is related to the dynamics of cortex maturation."

http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?chanID=sa003&articleID=0003381E-AE30-1429-ABEF83414B7F0000
12210  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Secret to a speedy recovery: no prayers, please on: March 31, 2006, 01:25:54 pm
PRAYERS offered by strangers had no effect on the recovery of people undergoing heart surgery, a large study has found.

In fact, patients who knew they were being prayed for had higher rates of post-operative complications, perhaps because of the expectations the prayers created, the researchers findings have suggested.

Because it is the most scientifically rigorous investigation of whether prayer can heal illness, the study, begun almost a decade ago and involving more than 1800 patients, has for years been the subject of speculation.

http://smh.com.au/news/world/secret-to-a-speedy-recovery-no-prayers-please/2006/03/31/1143441331996.html
12211  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: jill carroll on: March 31, 2006, 11:07:46 am
Well I dont know who you were talking about... Tom Fox I would say was more expressing his religious convictions than making an anti-US statement. And given that a huge majority disapprove of the way things are handled now and a plurality of Americans favor rapid pullout, it's a question of who is really "on the side" of the American people. Carroll was primarily over there to cover events as a journalist.

Anyone who goes into Iraq takes responsibility because they know the risk, but it's easy to see why journalists and others would still have reason to go there. It's not like they're there on vacation.

In any case I've said what I've wanted to say
12212  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: jill carroll on: March 31, 2006, 10:59:04 am
It seems like a situation that ended well and we should be happy for her rather than upset because this deprives the neocons a chance to stir up more hatred?. Roll Eyes

Hatred of whom?

Iraqis

Oh please, Beet.  Isn't it the neocons who told us what wonderful people Iraqis were, if only the yoke of Saddam Hussein were lifted from them?  How the Iraqis would in short order have a Jeffersonian democracy?

No, it's not the Iraqis in general, but al-Qaeda terrorists that we should hate.  When somebody is out to kill you, a little hatred of them can be quite a healthy thing.  The idea that we should give the benefit of the doubt to vicious killers who have attacked us, and want nothing more than to launch more attacks, is pure liberal idiocy, and moral equivalency at its worst.

I agree entirely with you dazzleman. I'm just pointing out the tendency to pounce on things vindictively when things like this (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/search?m=all;o=time;s=tom%20fox) happen but suddenly become suspicious and disbelieving when things like this (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/search?m=all;o=time;s=jill%20carroll) happen. The difference of course is that event #1 feeds into the hatred cycle perfectly while event #2 introduces unwanted complexity.
12213  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: jill carroll on: March 31, 2006, 10:41:50 am
It seems like a situation that ended well and we should be happy for her rather than upset because this deprives the neocons a chance to stir up more hatred?. Roll Eyes

Hatred of whom?

Iraqis
12214  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Americans Want More Health Care Investment by Government on: March 31, 2006, 10:41:11 am
We always talkabout more government involvement, but no one talks about less.  That's a fresh idea that ought to be further examined before deciding it's a bad one.

People have been talking about 'less' government for a long time, in this context and others. The only problem is that once you actually vote the bastards in, they tend to have a hard time implementing it...
12215  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: jill carroll on: March 31, 2006, 10:34:25 am
It seems like a situation that ended well and we should be happy for her rather than upset because this deprives the neocons a chance to stir up more hatred?. Roll Eyes
12216  Election Archive / 2006 Gubernatorial Election Polls / Re: CA-Gov: Arnold back in the driver seat. on: March 31, 2006, 08:05:46 am
The problem with California is that
1) state legislators have little experience because of overly draconian term limits. they depend too heavily on the leadership of one or two people
2) elections aren't competitive
3) it takes two-thirds of the vote to pass practically anything substantive, and this requires consensus on all issues

Under these constraints its hard to see how even the most herculean efforts can expect success (see this). Between this and Proposition 13 (where two people who own identically valued homes right next to each other, and one guy pays 20 times more property tax than the other guy) this is easily one of the worst governed states in the nation, if not the very worst. Its strength of entrepeneurship and talent is actually hurting it when it covers over big problems and prevents reform. But when the state goes into recession again, and it will, the sh!t will hit the fan.
12217  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of women who have abortions and later... on: March 30, 2006, 02:33:19 pm
You and I seem to have entirely different views on this. I'm seeing the pro-lifers mainly as people who want to change the law, yes for moral reasons, and see people punished when that law is broken. The law is made for moral reasons, but the punishment is based on the fact that the action is illegal. For these the moral punishment and the legal punishment are seperate. They want a legal punishment once the action is made illegal, and not to legally punish anyone who did it before that point. The moral punishment, seeing as most of the pro-lifers are religious, is judged and administered by whatever god they worship, and that they have no place administering a moral punishment as mortals. These types aren't hypocrites by your logic because they are willing to submit themselves to any punishment their god decides to give them.

Well that's a stretch. I wouldn't say most pro-lifers do not believe in secular, earthly justice.

Quote
You on the other hand seem to be seeing them as mainly people who want them punished entirely for moral reasons in both Heaven and Earth, so people should be punished regardless of the law. The Earthly punishment they advocate is almost entirely for legal reasons. However, I would assert that these people are in the minority - that is, they probably already are administering punishment regardless of the fact that the action is legal. These types are the abortion clinic bombers.

Interesting interpretation. Therein lies a fundamental contradiction in between what pro-lifers say and what they do, more broadly than the topic at hand. If I was living in WW2 Germany, the only reason that you would not find me planting bombs at concentration camps is 1) I probably would fail 2) I probably would get myself killed. If someone were to succeed, I'd support them, even if they killed a few innocent furnace operators along the way. If I knew I had 40% of the population supporting me, I'd join riots every day until the regime either collapsed or launched a bloody crackdown. Most pro-lifers put up arguments with very extreme interpretations (look at the "Genocide" Awareness Project) for example, but they generally tend to treat it as just another hot-button issue. Interesting thing about human psychology and our society, I'd say.
12218  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of women who have abortions and later... on: March 30, 2006, 01:54:06 pm
Ok, I'm just going to leave it at this - have you ever performed a legal action you didn't consider immoral, then later decided that it was immoral and should be made illegal and that a punishment should be given to anyone who performs the action? If yes, did you punish yourself for it?

Not that I know of, but if you have any specific examples, you should bring them up, like Yaks did. I have probably done something I've thought immoral in the past and didn't punish myself for (though I consider things like speeding, littering, etc to be laws of incentive and utility, not laws of morality), but in those cases I would admit to my hypocrisy.
12219  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of women who have abortions and later... on: March 30, 2006, 01:39:59 pm
It's only hypocritical if they want to retroactively punish other people if they managed to make it illegal, but not themselves.

That would also be hypocritical.

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Far as I can tell, they just want to change the rules.

No, they stake a claim to a moral position by which some action is said to deserve a specific punishment. Changing the rules is just a corollary to that.

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You seem to be making no distinction between a legal but immoral act and an illegal immoral act. You can't punish the former, but you can the latter - and all you are able to do is change the law so that it becomes the latter. Any punishment for the former is between the person who did the deed and their god.

I agree, but it is you who are making no distinction between whether the government should punish someone and whether that person deserves punishment. According to the pro-life argument, all women who have abortions deserve punishment, whether the government administers it or not.

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If you littered on a road where it wasn't illegal, but then decided that people who litter there should pay a fine of $500, stopped the littering, and then managed to make it illegal, would you go and pay the $500 fine for your actions that were legal at the time? I highly doubt it. You're advocating a punishment for BREAKING A LAW, which is exactly what the people we're talking about are doing. When an action, whether or not it is considered immoral, becomes law the rules of punishment change.

You're clinging to legalism, which is not what this is about. The pro-life argument is not an argument about enforcing the law. Nor is it primarily a utilitarian argument whose goal is primarily to incentivize people not to do something, like littering fines are. It is a moral argument. And these people who live full lives after doing some action that their moral stance says deserves punishment for, are being hypocritical.

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Would it change things for the next generation? Yes, but that doesn't change whether or not things should be changed. When abortion became legal everywhere, was it 'fair' to the previous generation of women who never had that opportunity? Why should the new generation have received these opportunities and freedoms that their ancestors never got?

Well the ancestors should have also gotten them, of course. And in this case, the 'ancestors' should also get the punishment.

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Again, exactly what would you propose the women in the position described in this thread do? Should they advocate retroactive punishement so that people will be punished for deeds they had no reasonable expectation to be punished for? No? What else could they do to avoid being hypocrites by your logic? If you can't come up with something, then maybe you should just drop it.

They can do whatever the heck they want to do. They could confine themselves to one room and make themselves miserable for a fixed number of years, but I'm pro-choice so I think that's absurd. But if they don't do that, they should realize that every moment of their lives, they are living in a way that, according to their professed philosophy, is unjust.
12220  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of women who have abortions and later... on: March 30, 2006, 01:02:40 pm
You could agree to it all you want - the government will still not punish you in that case. So arguing that you should be imprisoned for 10 years would be kind of pointless, don't you think? All you could do is argue that it should be illegal and that there should be a punishment for it, and that if you did it again after that you should be given the punishment. I don't know what other options you would have.

...there isn't a moral distinction. But there is a legal distinction...

And exactly what would you suggest a person who is in the situation this thread describes do when they can't be punished for the action since it was legal at the time?

I'm not saying the government should punish them (though theoretically they could choose to confine themselves voluntarily as mental punishment), I'm just saying it's hypocritical. I agree that there's an instrumental problem in actually laying out a punishment. Of course, the hypocrisy has real consequences, because if they get their way, other women would not be able to follow the path they did. Let's face it, even if these people are 100% genuine, which there is never a guarantee of, feeling guilty for something and being locked up for something are completely different things. Maybe these 'pro-life' women would change their mind if they were actually faced with a felony charge that would take them away from their boyfriends/families, children, jobs, homes, for years? These women want to lock up other women for doing exactly what they did, yet they only accept 'feelings of guilt' for themselves. These are NOT the same standards, and if abortion ever was banned, it would be extremely unfair for later generations of women.
12221  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of women who have abortions and later... on: March 30, 2006, 12:28:23 pm
No, I'm not. In your little scenario the judge let you get away with an illegal act because you changed your mind. NOBODY here seems to be arguing that someone do something illegal, change their mind, and not be held accountable. You brought this into play with the scenario you chose.

Then it was a mere technicality. Suppose it's that killing some person is legal. Suppose I kill that person. Then the next day, I say I think people who do what I did ought to serve 10 years in prison, because I think that's the just punishment for committing the act. Now... given that I think it's the just punishment, why don't I agree to the punishment for myself?

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Exactly where did I mention pro-lifers of any stripe supporting retroactive punishment for abortions performed while legal and then refusing to accept that punishment if the one while legal? If you can point it out, your argument might have merit. Until then it's excrement.

The reason pro-lifers don't support that is because there is a constitutional prohibition on ex post facto laws. However, the pro-life position makes no moral distinction between abortions performed while legal and those performed while illegal. In fact they're always clamoring about how so many 'unborn babies' have supposed been 'killed' in the past 30 years. What I'm saying is that taking such a moral position while refusing to accept the consequences for oneself is hypocritical.

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The issue wasn't about killing me - it could have been an anonymous random person for all I care. I still assert that the form of argument you chose was pure excrement and did not consider any of the context of my argument. Why you even decided to launch this argument against me I can't even fathom, because I made NO MENTION about punishment issues, nor did the original quote from me, so why the hell would you even bother with that completely out of context argument?

Because your reply seemed to suggest that this was only about changing one's mind rather than taking responsibility for your actions. The rest of your post was just following off of that one error.

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As far as the topic, I am talking about what the topic is - opinion of women who have abortions and later become pro-life. In other words, a type of person who is pro-choice, changes their mind, and becomes pro-life.

Yes, and apples and oranges are both a type of fruit...
12222  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of women who have abortions and later... on: March 30, 2006, 11:10:36 am
What people seem to be missing here is that the issue at hand is not about whether changing one's mind but taking responsibility for one's actions in accordance with one's beliefs.

My knee-jerk reaction was to say yes, it's hypocritical. Then I gave the matter some thought.

I am my father's third child and third son. He believed in spanking until I was about 13. So I would get the occasional spanking. Not that I was abused by any stretch of the imagination, it's just that I was occasionally physically disciplined. He had a change of heart with regard to spanking, and now believes that it is a terrible thing to do to a child. Does this make him a hypocrite? I don't think so... he looked back and decided that spanking wasn't the best way to handle the situations. Indeed, he would probably support a law making spanking illegal.

So, to summarize, he engaged in a legal act (spanking his child), later decided that his act was wrong, and would now support illegalizing that act.

Similarly, these women engaged in a legal act (abortion), later decided that their acts were wrong, and would now support illegalizing the act.

Now, my dad is a flaming hypocrite in many ways, but I've never thought him hypocritical on this issue. In fairness then, I must ignore my knee-jerk recation to call these women hypocrites and say that they are not.

Yaks, I'd say there's a (subtle but signifcant) difference between what your father did and what these women are doing. In your father's case, if he spanked you yesterday, felt that spanking should be illegal today, yet was unwilling to accept whatever punishment that he would support for other spankers himself, then yes, your father would be a hypocrite.

However, I think most readers of this thread assume that the spanking took place decades ago, and that if spanking is made illegal it would have a statute of limitations of the type that are applied to crimes of a lesser degree of seriousness-- that is, because of the statute of limitations your father would not be punished. That is not hypocritical, because it applies the same standards for both your father and others. The pro-life position on abortion however, is that abortion is the killing of a person. This generally does not carry with it a statute of limitations. If a pro-life woman who had an abortion is willing to submit to whichever punishment she deems necessary for others, she is not a hypocrite. But if she is now "living the good life" and eschews any punishment, she is hiding behind the constitution proscription of ex post facto laws. Morally, she is not applying the same standards to herself as she would to others under her preferred laws. That is hypocritical.

Dibble:

This argument you have here is pure excrement - whether you would have considered killing me justified or not doesn't change the illegality of it. Because it's illegal to murder someone you would be punished whether you honestly changed your mind or not. If you did make an honest change, you would readily accept your punishment for breaking the law - in the abortion scenario presented in this thread, the women don't have any legal consequences but they do have a heavy guilt to burden their thoughts.

You're mixing up the standard of comparison vs. the policy up for debate. Legality vs. illegality is the latter, not the former. The pro-life position is not that abortion is wrong because it's illegal-- that would be silly since it's not illegal. It's that abortion should be illegal because it's the killing of a person and that women should be punished for it. Thus if there was a law that said "the killing of John Dibble is legal", and I went out and killed you, then claimed to have changed my mind about whether my actions was right, yet refused to accept punishment, I would rightfully be called a hypocrite.

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Furthermore, your argument here has NOTHING to do with hypocrisy. Hypocrisy is not practicing or practicing against what you preach. A pro-lifer having and abortion is a hypocrite. A pro-choicer who has an abortion, comes to regret it, and changes her mind and becomes pro-life is not so long as she never has an abortion again. In your scenario, you'd only be a hypocrite if your views were false and/or you murdered again.

The issue is not about changing one's mind but taking responsibility for one's actions in accordence with one's own currently professed beliefs (Anyway, you seem to be discounting the possibility of changing one's mind more than once).

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You should be ashamed of yourself for putting up such a stupid argument - you're too intelligent to do this, and it not only insults me that you'd put up this kind of BS, it degrades you. Do you really think people can't make honest changes in their opinion or something? Have you never changed your mind on any issue, or changed your views on what is right and wrong?

I was only joking about the shooting you, Dibble. Tongue I seem to be an abrasive debater at times but it's never personal. Tongue You're a great debater and we've had some great discussions- that's why I replied to your post. Seriously though, your making a mistake if you think the issue is about changing one's mind. The thread title is not "Opinion of people who change their minds from pro-choice to pro-life". Unfortunately most of the replies here seem to be unable to tell the difference.
12223  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of women who have abortions and later... on: March 29, 2006, 03:06:42 pm
I find there's nothing hypocritical about these kinds of people - people are allowed to change their minds on things, you know.

So if I come to your house, shoot you dead, and then as the cops are closing in I say "oops, I changed my mind, I've decided murder is wrong" the judge will tell me "of course dearie now that you have killed Dibble you have perspective on what it's like to kill. Instead of putting you in prison we shall simply respect your wise opinion!"

"Oh, and you must be suffering from a terrible depression. How awful!"

And dont you dare judge me. I'm allowed to change my political view on whether killing Dibble is justified. And if I change it to the 'correct' position I don't have to be held culpable at all.
12224  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: U.S. Tells Taiwan Not to Count On Us Defending Them... on: March 29, 2006, 12:04:38 pm


While I don't think we would attack China, I think the US might vouche for Taiwan in a humanitarian sense.  This might include moving ships into the area to provide a buffer between the two governments, but it would be under a flag of neutrality while Rice and other foreign diplomats fly into the region to talk down the two sides from war.

That is a very sensible policy. This game is all about expectations. The US benefits from the status quo because Taiwan is de facto independent already. If either side thinks they can change the status quo and get away with it, they will, and it would be a big, big problem for this country. Fortunately, I dont think that will happen, because people are sane.
12225  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: question for republicans on: March 29, 2006, 11:52:16 am
I would gladly swap Clinton for Mikulski or Sarbanes any day of the week and twice on sunday.

What's wrong with Mikulski? She's not a very visible Senator so I dont know much about her.
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