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25801  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Americans want universal health coverage, group says on: June 09, 2006, 03:44:01 pm
Just what I need.  A 6 to 8 month wait for an MRI.

Why don't you guys try it in The People's Republic of California and then get back to us.  Let us know how that works out.  I'm sure Meathead Reiner can sell that tax increase just like he sold Prop 82.

In 2004, there was a health care Proposition with a lot of support from small businesses.
25802  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Americans want universal health coverage, group says on: June 09, 2006, 03:39:37 pm

Wow . . . look how big the US is compared to the rest of those countries listed.  What, do you think that this would be a linear scale?  Maybe we could all live to 130 years then once we switch to socialistic health care.  Roll Eyes  There are so many falacies with that graph it's funny.

What falacies? So what about all the countries like Singapore and Japan that spend much less on health care AND live longer?
25803  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Americans want universal health coverage, group says on: June 09, 2006, 03:32:55 pm
Major Democratic politicians tend to be consistantly to the right of the American people on this issue. A Pew poll showed 65% agreeing that the government should guarantee insurance for all, even if it means raising taxes. Only 30% were opposed. I wonder if Hillary will have any health care plans, or if she doesn't want to remind people that Congress wouldn't pass her last plan.


Once the general public sees the size of the tax increase which they must pay for universal health care, they'll change their tune quickly. 

Yeah, we're really kicking ass on the life-expentency / health care spending curve.

25804  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Americans want universal health coverage, group says on: June 09, 2006, 03:27:21 pm
Major Democratic politicians tend to be consistantly to the right of the American people on this issue. A Pew poll showed 65% agreeing that the government should guarantee insurance for all, even if it means raising taxes. Only 30% were opposed. I wonder if Hillary will have any health care plans, or if she doesn't want to remind people that Congress wouldn't pass her last plan.
25805  General Politics / Political Debate / Interesting dialogue going on between liberals and libertarians on: June 09, 2006, 05:07:00 am
The Libertarian Dem
Quote
It's no secret that I look to the Mountain West for the future of the Democratic Party, people like Brian Schweitzer and Jon Tester. But I also look to candidates like Jim Webb in Virginia and Paul Hackett in Ohio.

And what is the common thread amongst these candidates?

They are all Libertarian Democrats.

Ack, the "L" word! But hear me out.

Traditional "libertarianism" holds that government is evil and thus must be minimized. Any and all government intrusion is bad. While practical libertarians (as opposed to those who waste their votes on the Libertarian Party) have traditionally aligned themselves with the Republicans, it's clear that the modern GOP has no qualms about trampling on personal liberties. Heck, it's become their raison d' etre.

The problem with this form of libertarianism is that it assumes that only two forces can infringe on liberty -- the government and other individuals.

The Libertarian Democrat understands that there is a third danger to personal liberty -- the corporation. The Libertarian Dem understands that corporations, left unchecked, can be huge dangers to our personal liberties.

Libertarian Dems are not hostile to government like traditional libertarians. But unlike the liberal Democrats of old times (now all but extinct), the Libertarian Dem doesn't believe government is the solution for everything. But it sure as heck is effective in checking the power of corporations.

In other words, government can protect our liberties from those who would infringe upon them -- corporations and other individuals.

So in practical terms, what does a Libertarian Dem look like? A Libertarian Dem rejects government efforts to intrude in our bedrooms and churches. A Libertarian Dem rejects government "Big Brother" efforts, such as the NSA spying of tens of millions of Americans. A Libertarian Dem rejects efforts to strip away rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights -- from the First Amendment to the 10th. And yes, that includes the 2nd Amendment and the right to bear arms.

So far, this isn't much different than what a traditional libertarian believes. Here is where it begins to differ (and it shouldn't).

A Libertarian Dem believes that true liberty requires freedom of movement -- we need roads and public transportation to give people freedom to travel wherever they might want. A Libertarian Dem believes that we should have the freedom to enjoy the outdoor without getting poisoned; that corporate polluters infringe on our rights and should be checked. A Libertarian Dem believes that people should have the freedom to make a living without being unduly exploited by employers. A Libertarian Dem understands that no one enjoys true liberty if they constantly fear for their lives, so strong crime and poverty prevention programs can create a safe environment for the pursuit of happiness. A Libertarian Dem gets that no one is truly free if they fear for their health, so social net programs are important to allow individuals to continue to live happily into their old age. Same with health care. And so on.

The core Democratic values of fairness, opportunity, and investing in our nation and people very much speak to the concept of personal liberties -- an open society where success is predicated on the merit of our ideas and efforts, unduly burdened by the government, corporate America, or other individuals. And rather than always get in the way, government can facilitate this.

Of course, this also means that government isn't always the solution to the nation's problems. There are times when business-government partnerships can be extremely effective (such as job retraining efforts for displaced workers). There are times when government really should butt out (like a great deal of small-business regulation). Our first proposed solution to a problem facing our nation shouldn't be more regulation, more government programs, more bureaucracy.

The key here isn't universal liberty from government intrusion, but policies that maximize individual freedom, and who can protect those individual freedoms best from those who would infringe.

I am very much a Libertarian Dem, and this is exactly what my next book will be about. It's progressivism for a new century. And that's what this new breed of Democrat is building in the Mountain West and Virginia and Ohio.

Update: Ha, framing... Yeah, "Lib Dem" reads just like "liberal democrat". So I edited.
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/6/7/131550/7297

CATO writer answers Markos on "Libertarian Democrats"
Quote
Markos's Libertarian Dem diary from yesterday garnered a lot of attention from Libertarian Blogesphere.

I found a thoughtful article from CATO writers particulary interesting, helpful and worthy of attention from Kossacks.

http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/...

snips:

"Kos rightly points out that libertarians have very little in common with the GOP in its present incarnation. So what is to prevent libertarians from siding with the Democrats in elections?"

more:

    * ztn's diary :: ::
*

First he says the studies on personality traits show that liberals and libertarians are remarkably similiar in showing strong signs of "openness to experience" something very absent from most conservative-leaning voters.

He says "the barrier between liberals and libertarians has almost entirely to do with different answers to empirical questions about the way markets and governments function."

and then:

"The thing that keeps me from throwing my lot in with Democrats has everything to do with their consistent underestimation of the efficacy and justice of institutions that make the most of the information carried by market prices, and their consistent overestimation of the efficacy and justice of bureaucratic political management. Love markets more, and love the state less, and libertarians may come a knockin`."

In other words, a little flexibility in means can lead to much better ends. We can't be so rigid. We need to communicate this willingness to innovate and let go of talking points.

In responding the Kos's words on "the corporation" we see te most concise and brilliant rebuttal:

"I think Kos underestimates just how wary of corporations libertarians generally are. Classical liberal political economy tells us that the greater the scope and power of state coercion, the stronger the incentive for economically powerful private interests, such as corporations, to use it to their own advantage, squashing competition, consolidating advantage, and channeling taxpayer dollars into corporate coffers. Libertarians have never believed in leaving corporations unchecked. The way you check corporations is by taking political power off the table."

That alone should really jar some liberals into reconsidering the way they approach corruption and corporatism. This why I push for simpler taxes that cannot be manipulated with ACCE$$!

He asserts that taking some openly libertarian positions on matters of corporatism, PORK, frivolous spending, minimum income policies and I'll add small business regulations and simplfied tax reform among others, libertarians would
come in droves.

Jesse Walker from Reason is much more concise:
http://www.reason.com/...

1.Be good on the issues where the left is supposed to be good: social issues and foreign policy.

2.When you talk about tolerance, mean it...for everyone, no excpetions even hunters and smokers! Go after tobacco subsidies..leave smokers alone.

3.Don't be a slave to the bureaucracy!!!!!!!!!!!

"there are ways to achieve progressive goals without expanding the federal government, and if you're willing to entertain enough of those ideas, you'll be more appealing than a "free-market" president who makes LBJ look thrifty. You could talk about the harm done by agriculture subsidies, by occupational licensing, by eminent domain, by the insane tangle of patent law. And no, I don't expect you to call for abolishing the welfare state -- but maybe you'd like to replace those top-heavy bureacracies with a negative income tax?"
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/6/8/181842/0837?detail=f

Both diaries have several hundred comments of discussion.
25806  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: Post random maps here on: June 09, 2006, 04:49:16 am


Hint: It has to do with the Senate.
Actually, I made a couple mistakes. Nebraska and Florida should both be blue.
Anybody want to guess?
Okay, since nobody wants to guess, I'll just say what it is. Each state is colored according to the political affiliation of the last incumbent Senator to lose reelection. I think Kansas should also be blue, though.
That's a pretty cool idea.
Some of these are pretty long ago, I suppose?

Interesting. Note that losing the primary counts. In NH, Smith was the last Republican incumbent to lose when he lost the 2002 primary. Durkin, a Democrat, was the last to lose a general election, in 1980.

Alaska is weird. Current Presidential candidate Mike Gravel beat an incumbent Democrat in the 1968 primary, and served 2 terms before he himself lost the primary. Alaska has had 2 Republicans since his term ended in 1981. Who would have thought that both incumbent Alaska Senators defeated would be Democrats who lost in the primary?
25807  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: most respected poster on atlas on: June 09, 2006, 04:35:01 am
The thought of BRTD being the most respected Democratic poster on the Forum is a bit worrying given all he does is talk strip-joints and kind of hero-worships Opebo

There are certainly many posters worthy of respect on the Forum regardless of party or ideology, which makes it a pretty good place to be Smiley

This question should be open-ended Smiley

Dave

Well, I probably would have voted for someone other than BRTD if there had been the right choices. The thing is, his competition is MODU and Dazzleman here.
25808  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: California satan day election results on: June 09, 2006, 04:25:12 am
The general election campaign is in full gear.

Here's Angelides with Westly and the State Assembly Speaker.



Anyways, some people on this forum may be underating Angelides. He was the California Democratic chair from 1991-1993. California basically changed from a Republican state to a Democratic state in that period. DiFi won a Republican Senate seat, while the other seat went to liberal Boxer. In the previous 10 Presidential elections, California had only gone for LBJ in his blowout landslide. California is now a safe Democrat state.
25809  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: California satan day election results on: June 09, 2006, 04:16:39 am
An awful lot of fuss about the whopping 700 voters in Alpine County!   Since .00564% of the state's voters live there, it could be crucial!

It's an interesting topic of discussion because it used to be an extraordinarily Republican county and now it is not.  What's the big deal?
Well from what I understand it's basically 40% Mormon, 25% Peyotist, and 30% young tourism industry workers who were probably mostly born in the Bay Area and the northern part of the Central Valley. (adds to 95% because there's bound to be some people who don't fit in)... and the recent growth (huge in percentage, though small in numbers) is in the last of these figures. Hardly surprising it changed hands, then. Wink

I assume that Mono county is similar?
25810  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Are you educated? Want to make some big bucks? on: June 09, 2006, 04:07:47 am
Bachelors degrees by state:

http://www.census.gov/statab/ranks/rank19.html


Massachusetts is highest at 36.7%. West Virginia is lowest at 15.3%.


Some other interesting stuff

MA, HI, CA, NY, and RI use the the least energy per capita.
http://www.census.gov/statab/ranks/rank30.html

NY actually ranks only 7 in state government revenue.
http://www.census.gov/statab/ranks/rank24.html










25811  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Montenegrin referendum on: June 09, 2006, 03:05:12 am
They declared themselves independent on the 3rd.  So far only one country has recognized them, but it's Iceland (which recognized them yesterday), which is tops in a number of desireable statistics such as freedom of the press.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montenegro

25812  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Central Banks get their act together on: June 09, 2006, 02:22:28 am
Lowering unemployment is a lot more important than lowering inflation.

If you were aspiring to become Chairman of the Federal Reserve, you would have just killed your chances with that statement.

Well it's a pity that no one who has power over the process cares about the working poor, and the economic stimilous that high employment creates.
25813  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Central Banks get their act together on: June 09, 2006, 02:21:37 am
The Treasury Department sets dollar valuation policy, not the Federal Reserve.
If ignorance was bliss, you'd be having an orgasm by now.  The Federal Reserve reports to no one.  It isn't part of the government.  There's nothing federal about it and there are no reserves.

In case you haven't noticed, you are choosing to act like an ass, so please allow me to retort:

Your comments regarding whether or not the Federal Reserve should exist and whether it is actually "federal" were NOT the topic of this thread.  So, responding to me as if I were addressing those issues is ignorant.  At least introduce your tangential remarks as topics that should be discussed, instead of acting as if youre giving an intelligent response.

Furthermore, it is an established fact that the Federal Reserve does indeed exist and that it derives its authority from the U.S. Congress, the legislative branch of the United States federal government, which just so happens to be the overseer of the Federal Reserve.

I, however, MADE it the discussion.

$10 in 1780: $10
$10 in 1916: $16
$10 in 2006: over $1,900

Your precious federal reserve steals more money from Americans than any other organization, even the government.

That shows that the Hungarian Pengo had more inflation in one week than the US dollar has had in 226 years.
25814  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Central Banks get their act together on: June 09, 2006, 02:16:51 am
Lowering unemployment is a lot more important than lowering inflation.
25815  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Ann Coulter Blasts 9/11 Widows on: June 09, 2006, 02:15:18 am
What I find funny is how she made those comments that the terrorists should have hit the New York Times building...but now that her book is number 2 on their best sellers list, she can't stop bragging.

Republicans only pretend to dislike the media. She herself said "We have the media".
25816  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: The Hill: Burns frames race against Tester on: June 09, 2006, 12:20:56 am
I would have thought Burns preferred Tester, as he polled better against him and Tester is more liberal than Morrison.

Can we get over this myth that spineless "moderate" Democrats some how consistantly run better than Democrats with principles who are unafraid to make a stand?
25817  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Cloture on Dick Kempthorne's nomination for Sec. of the Interior passes 85-8 on: June 09, 2006, 12:17:13 am
A truly horrible person, but what do you expect from an extreme anti-environmentalist like Bush?
25818  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: 4 Senate "Democrats" prove they absolutely hate the poor on: June 08, 2006, 11:02:57 pm


Quote
You may have heard tales of family farms and small businesses broken up to pay taxes, but those stories are pure propaganda without any basis in fact. In particular, advocates of estate tax repeal have never been able to provide a single real example of a family farm sold to pay estate taxes. - Paul Krugman this month


In other words, provide a real example, or stop spreading your propaganda.

Well, the uber-liberal Washington Post does provide some:

Quote

In 2000, according to the Congressional Budget Office, 1,659 farms were liable for the tax, but fully 1,521 of these had sufficient liquid assets to pay without selling any land. In 2000, likewise, 485 taxable estates included a small business, but 321 of these could pay the tax without selling any of the firm.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/06/05/AR2006060501360.html

Note that in 2000, one-third closed.  That does not take into account how many had to lay off or fire employees, nor how many had to decide to cancel plans for expansion or hiring more employees.

Farming is less problematic, where less than 10% had to be sold.

Quick question, I've you were inherit a business with $10,000,000 in assets, how much more money is now in your bank account?

So where's the single real example of the family farm? Oh, BTW, when that article was written the estate tax exemption was only $675,000. The Democratic plan was to permantly increase that to $2 million. The Republican plan that was passed will have it decrease to $1 million in 2010, so that they could claim that it didn't cost trillions of dollars.
25819  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: 4 Senate "Democrats" prove they absolutely hate the poor on: June 08, 2006, 10:52:47 pm
You know, I wish they had voted differently. But JFern, the thing you never get is that these senators don't represent you or me or the left wing of the Democratic Party; they represent the people of their state and likely acted accordingly.

The estate tax affects under a percent of estates. These "Democrats" are not representing their states.

You know, I wish they had voted differently. But JFern, the thing you never get is that these senators don't represent you or me or the left wing of the Democratic Party; they represent the people of their state and likely acted accordingly.

True, plus their votes didn't affect the outcome of the legislation. If they have to make votes I don't agree with in order to get reelected, and those votes don't actually affect the passage of any bills, I'd much rather have that than have them vote the "right" way and lose their bid for reelection as a result.

These guys voted for cloture on a permanent repeal of all estate taxes. Next, they'll probably have a bill that reduces estate tax revenue by 90%, call it a comprimise bill and get the votes of these anti-poor extremists plus a few more DINOs.
25820  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: 4 Senate "Democrats" prove they absolutely hate the poor on: June 08, 2006, 10:45:11 pm

I thought the Democratic party was suppose to be the working man's friend; I guess not.



That hasn't been the case for a very long time.  They stopped being the working man's friend around the time they started advocating high taxes on the middle class, racial preferences, forced busing, and soft treatment of criminals.

Haha, we're niot the working man's friend because we support taxing Paris Hilton and other extremely rich people's estate, instead of letting them get all the assetts without paying a dime. Hilarious.



Funny, I don't remember saying anything about Paris Hilton.  Nice dodge.

How am I dodging? This bill would have permanently and completely repealed the estate tax. I have documented statistics on how few "small businesses" this affects, and have asked if you can name a single one that had to be sold. Meanwhile all I get back lying right-wing propaganda.
25821  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: 4 Senate "Democrats" prove they absolutely hate the poor on: June 08, 2006, 10:38:17 pm

I thought the Democratic party was suppose to be the working man's friend; I guess not.



That hasn't been the case for a very long time.  They stopped being the working man's friend around the time they started advocating high taxes on the middle class, racial preferences, forced busing, and soft treatment of criminals.

Haha, we're niot the working man's friend because we support taxing Paris Hilton and other extremely rich people's estate, instead of letting them get all the assetts without paying a dime. Hilarious.

25822  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: 4 Senate "Democrats" prove they absolutely hate the poor on: June 08, 2006, 10:36:39 pm
I support calling it income and taxing it at the appropriate rate.

^^^^^^^^^^

Yeah, that's the best overall way to look at it. I'd support eliminating the estate tax if it was simply rolled into the regular tax structure.

I have no problem treating it as income if the heir sells it.  He takes it over he's technically going to "inherit" several million dollars.  He runs the business, he doesn't see a penny of it; it is all tied up in the equipment and assets of the business.

The current inheritance tax says, in effect, sell the business to pay taxes.

The numbers don't back up your propaganda.

Quote
At an exemption level of $3.5 million ($7 million per couple), as will exist in 2009, fewer than 100 family businesses and only 65 farm estates would have paid any estate tax.
http://www.cbpp.org/5-31-06tax2.htm
25823  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: 4 Senate "Democrats" prove they absolutely hate the poor on: June 08, 2006, 10:31:44 pm


Some people win the lottery too.

meaning......HuhHuh??

Just because someone gets lucky doesn't mean that we should change the tax laws just for them.

The exemption is $2 million for an individual, $4 for a couple, and then you pay taxes on the value over that. I fail to see how this is at all unreasonable.

The local middle aged couple that owns the dry cleaning store on Broad might very well be one of those with $4 million in assets.  Maybe they have a nice house in the suburbs that they've saved up for 20 years to pay, but they's been showing up to work six days a week for the last 20 years to get it, or more likely sent their kids to college.

These are not exactly hereditary peers.

Do you have any idea how much net worth is tied up even in a small business?  If you are talking about something like a single owner small (10-15 employee) construction company, you are easily talking about more than $4 Million in equipment and supplies.  One statistic I saw was that the average is $13 million in assets for a small company.

Take something like a mini-mart.  The physical plant, and inventory, is more than $4 million.  Same with a mechanic that owns a repair shop.  That is all counted.

Same with farmers; they might be sitting on top of $10 million dollars worth of land, but they have huge costs in maintaining it.

These people are not the idle rich.  These are hard working, oven not particularly well educated, not high living, people.

I thought the Democratic party was suppose to be the working man's friend; I guess not.



Nice try, but
Quote
You may have heard tales of family farms and small businesses broken up to pay taxes, but those stories are pure propaganda without any basis in fact. In particular, advocates of estate tax repeal have never been able to provide a single real example of a family farm sold to pay estate taxes. - Paul Krugman this month


In other words, provide a real example, or stop spreading your propaganda.
25824  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Voting Booth / Re: *New* SDP ENDORSEMENTS on: June 08, 2006, 10:23:16 pm
President (Please choose 3 in order of preference):
1)Ebowed/Q
2)Yates/Hawk
4)Berger/King

PLEASE CHOOSE ONE FOR THE FOLLOWING RACES:
Northeast Senate
1)jerusalemcar5 (SDP)

Mideast Senate

3)None of the Above

Southeast Senate
1)Captain Vlad


Midwest Senate
1)BRTD (SDP)


Pacific Senate
3)None of the Above
25825  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: A rich man ... on: June 08, 2006, 10:20:13 pm
Appearantly it's only immoral for poors to avoid paying taxes.
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