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Platypus
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« Reply #1425 on: June 28, 2004, 09:48:32 pm »

Election Prediction Project's final numbers:

LPC 121
CPC 105
NDP   29
BQ     52
Ind      1

They've done pretty well for the minor parties, but not with the Lib/Con...
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« Reply #1426 on: July 08, 2004, 12:42:15 pm »
« Edited: July 08, 2004, 12:54:28 pm by jmfcst »

I was out of town Thurs thru Tuesday, so I wasn't able to post that only 115k jobs were added in June, compared with an average of 300k/month for the last three months.  The June 115k number was less than half of what was expected by Wall Street.

Only time and a couple more reports will tell if this below average number is a trend.  If it does become a trend, then we can probably say hello to President Kerry.
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« Reply #1427 on: July 08, 2004, 12:53:58 pm »
« Edited: July 08, 2004, 12:56:02 pm by jmfcst »

So I ask you again, why are we asking for permanent tax cuts for those making over $200K a year, with this much deficit spending, whose interest costs alone will put presure on meeting the demands of the retiring Baby Boomers, at a time of war, with increasing defense spending for the war of terror?

Where is their sacrifice?


1st) Why are you asking only those making more than 200k/year to "sacrifice" for the war effort?  Are we not all in this together?  And aren't the 200k/year earners STILL, even after the tax cuts, paying more of a percentage of their income in Federal taxes?

2nd) the purpose of the armed forces is to sacrifice so that the whole of the nation can go on living normal lives.  Their purpose is to stand guard, ready to commit violence in order for us to sleep peacefully at night.

3rd) The credit of the US is more than adequate to meet the needs of the armed forces - the armed forces aren't hurting because American aren't taxed "enough" - an M-16 works the same way regardless of how it was purchased, cash or credit.

(Sorry for the late response to your post, which I missed until now.)
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« Reply #1428 on: July 08, 2004, 12:54:36 pm »

I was out of town Thurs thru Tuesday, so I wasn't able to post that only 115k were added in June, compared with an average of 300k/month for the last three months.  The June 115k number was less than half of what was expected by Wall Street.
It will certainly be interesting to see how this "plays" and whether it continues.

115K is very borderline and can be "politicked" a lot.

On the pro-Bush side, this number is not horrible, and it adds on to the robust job growth seen in previous months.  So, while it was under estimates, jobs continue to be created at a fair pace.  Not bad.

On the flip side, these numbers came in massively under estimates.  Furthermore, an issue I've raised on this forum before... job creation rates like this barely keep pace with the influx of new workers (minus retirees or others exiting the work force).  In other words, this rate of job creation merely keeps the economy stable, it doesn't help.

The two questions are... Who wins the political spin game?  And do these numbers continue to decline, hold steady, or rebound in the coming months?
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mddem2004
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« Reply #1429 on: July 08, 2004, 01:58:10 pm »

So I ask you again, why are we asking for permanent tax cuts for those making over $200K a year, with this much deficit spending, whose interest costs alone will put presure on meeting the demands of the retiring Baby Boomers, at a time of war, with increasing defense spending for the war of terror?

Where is their sacrifice?


1st) Why are you asking only those making more than 200k/year to "sacrifice" for the war effort?  Are we not all in this together?  And aren't the 200k/year earners STILL, even after the tax cuts, paying more of a percentage of their income in Federal taxes?

2nd) the purpose of the armed forces is to sacrifice so that the whole of the nation can go on living normal lives.  Their purpose is to stand guard, ready to commit violence in order for us to sleep peacefully at night.

3rd) The credit of the US is more than adequate to meet the needs of the armed forces - the armed forces aren't hurting because American aren't taxed "enough" - an M-16 works the same way regardless of how it was purchased, cash or credit.

(Sorry for the late response to your post, which I missed until now.)

I heard that April and May job numbers were revised downward as well.......35,000 fewer in May, didn't catch how many fewer in April.

You obviously didn't catch the meaning of my question regarding those making over $200,000 a year. I'm not asking for "only" the wealthy to sacrifice....I'm asking them to Start sacrificing. Yes they pay a larger percentage in taxes (thank god for a progressive tax code) but they and their businesses also benefit disproportionally for Federal spending as well (subsidies for Agri-business, infrastructure investment, college educated employees, etc.).

Permanent tax cuts benefiting disproportionally the top 2% of income earners, in an era of massive red ink (which will effect the future solvency of Soc Sec.) and a "War on Terror".......its not just bad fiscal policy.....its morally wrong.

Although I don't have any numbers....it would be interesting to see how many of our troops now in Iraq actually come from those familys making over $200,000. My money is on its less than 2%.....



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« Reply #1430 on: July 08, 2004, 03:09:47 pm »


It's "morally wrong" that we don't tax people even more than they are now just because they were successful?  *scratches head*  Man, I sure hope I never get outside of the "Middle Class" status if people with that mentality take over the government.  

I strangely remember a time when people who were unfairly taxed by their government getting "mildly upset" and caused some "random acts of violence."  Care to relive history again?  If you want to raise taxes, raise it on all of us, not just a select few.  THAT would be fair.
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« Reply #1431 on: July 08, 2004, 03:26:17 pm »
« Edited: July 08, 2004, 03:29:20 pm by jmfcst »

I heard that April and May job numbers were revised downward as well.......35,000 fewer in May, didn't catch how many fewer in April.

The revisions still show very vibrant job growth for April and May, and the revisions were small, unmeaningful - certainly less troublesome than June's overall number.

---

You obviously didn't catch the meaning of my question regarding those making over $200,000 a year. I'm not asking for "only" the wealthy to sacrifice....I'm asking them to Start sacrificing.

Yeah, I know, and that's your problem.  You don't feel that a $50k/year tax bill on a $200k salary is a "sacrifice".  Obviously you don't feel that those making $200k/year have enough skin in the game, yet they are the very people that are taking almost all the risks, creating almost all the new businesses, driving almost all the innovation, creating almost all the new jobs, and basically paying for your government services...they are the ones who said, "I will equip myself with the skills to pay my own way, even if that means I must retool my skills every 2-3 years by spending 15-20 hours a week, apart from work, to continually reeducate myself."

---

Yes they pay a larger percentage in taxes (thank god for a progressive tax code) but they and their businesses also benefit disproportionally for Federal spending as well (subsidies for Agri-business, infrastructure investment, college educated employees, etc.).

The vast majority of those making 200k/year don't own large businesses, though a good portion are self-employed.  And self-employment brings with it MUCH higher taxes than working on a W-2.  The self-employed play TWICE the Social Security tax compared with those on W-2's and they have to pay 100% of their medical premiums....AND, they are NOT eligible for Unemployment Insurance if they become unemployed.

The self-employed not only face higher tax rates and added costs, they also have no safety net waiting to catch them if they fail.  

Your own paycheck is paid by one of these types of individuals; unless, of course, you're living off the tax-payer’s dime.  But since those making more than 200k/year pay most of the taxes, they also provide most of the salaries of those working for the government.

---

Permanent tax cuts benefiting disproportionally the top 2% of income earners, in an era of massive red ink (which will effect the future solvency of Soc Sec.) and a "War on Terror".......its not just bad fiscal policy.....its morally wrong.


Correct me if I am wrong, but the top 2% pay an even higher share of federal income taxes AFTER the tax cuts were put into place.

Also, I don't see how you can use a morality argument...what is your tax code morality based on?  It certainly is not based on the Christian/Judeo beliefs since the biblical tax code was a flat tax of 10%.

---

Although I don't have any numbers....it would be interesting to see how many of our troops now in Iraq actually come from those families making over $200,000. My money is on its less than 2%.....

We have an all volunteer force.  The reason why more lower income people join the army is not because they are more patriotic than their higher income counterparts, rather it is because the lower incomes are in greater need of the monetary/educational benefits the armed services provide.  And those military benefits are front and center in every recruiting campaign.

When Reagan came into office, he stopped the outflow from the military by boosting military pay, not by delivering a good patriotic speech.

Is there anything wrong for a recruit to seek military service for the purpose of gaining the military benefits?   Absolutely not!  They offer to risk their lives for our protection and we open to them a world of opportunity by shaping them into highly motivated and responsible individuals while funding their education.

 
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mddem2004
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« Reply #1432 on: July 09, 2004, 07:57:01 am »

Considering that fully 1/3 of the jobs created in the past  few months are seasonal/temp/low wage and non-benefited I would say it is significant. Junes numbers were less than what is needed to absorb new entrants to the work force, and Mays numbers were barely enough if we are to make a dent in the job loses over the last three years.

Last weeks numbers also showed that the average gross wage of $15.29 (I think the .29 is correct) is the same level as that of November 2001. Yet as we all know over those 31 months......inflation (even though low), rising health care costs, energy prices, costs of higher education, etc, etc, etc....have gone up. The American middle class IS losing ground.

And yet....it was also reported with the release of these job numbers, that the differential between corporate gross profits and workers wages are at an all time record high. Corporate America clearly is not hurting in this "recovery".

--------
Your arguments on the self employed I generally agree with, they are to be applauded. Yet your argument that the wealthy "will equip themselves with the skills necessary to pay their own way etc etc etc....." those making 200k a year have the means to be able to do so. Working 80 hours a week just to get by leaves little room to re-tool yourself every 2-3 years.

--------
MODU, jmfcst........Let me clarify my position on taxes and my "morality" statement.

I have always believed that the Republicans have gotten the issue of tax relief ass backwards. If you want to cut taxes....fine.....cut spending first or at least on a simultaneous 1 for 1 basis. Cutting taxes without cutting spending first or at the same time, as we have seen under Reagan, Bush 41, and Bush 43 only produces unsustanable red ink. That red ink increases the amount of intersest owed on that debt which in turn puts pressures on the "purchasing power" of our federal tax dollars. That pressure will, as we've seen, crowds out federal spending on programs that are ....yes....necessary to help maintain a vibrant middle class let alone assist those that truly need help. Anybody can run on cutting taxes, we need bi-partisan political will to cut spending as well, and there hasn't been any of that since the mid to late 90's.

The numbers I've seen on Bush's initial 1.3 trillion tax cut showed that 42% of that amount went to the top 10% of income earners, and the bulk of that 42% went to the top 2%. Fine.....The problem is that this huge tax cut has produced huge deficits, which in turn has increased the interest payments to our debt, which in turn is crowding out spending on programs that are necessary for the middle class to remain vibrant. In effect the lower and middle classes are paying the price for the top ends tax cuts.

Take my own state of Maryland. In 2002 Bush did not increase federal aid to the states in a time of recession (I heard but don't know for sure that was the first time in decades this has not occured). The states (which all except Vermont must have balanced budgets) either had to cut spending (in Maryland higher education took the hit among others) raise taxes or reduced its commitments to local governments. Local governments hense had to use its only real income generator.....raise property taxes. Now of course the slowing economy effected all this as well, yet Bush's tax cuts which went in my view well overboard to the top end, played a major role in so many states winding up in the red.

Taken together.....yes......I stand by my statement...... that cutting taxes on the top 2% IS immoral IF that is in the end paid for by the middle and lower classes.  

Take just higher education as an example. In the 2003-04 school year the average tuition hike was 14%......14%!!! You tell me who is better able to keep pace with cost increases like that....the family of 4 who makes $200K or the family of 4 who makes $50K.

We have had a progressive tax system in this country for many decades now.....and you know what.....it has worked pretty well in the long run for both the middle class and affluent alike. But in a time of war, recession, and run away increases in health care and higher education..... the two things that keep people in the middle class.....we have no business maintaining Bush's cuts to the top 2% if it results in more red ink.
 
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MODU
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« Reply #1433 on: July 09, 2004, 08:42:41 am »


State tuition rates were raised at a higher rate over the last two years since most states hadn't increased their rates annually with the national inflation rates.  Just so happened to occur when the states were hurting for cash that they realized how "cheap" their tuition actually was.  This was merely a revenue generating manuever rather than to cover increasing costs, so they could pull more Chapter 4 funds from the federal government to cover more of the operational expenses of the schools, allowing the states to use the excess funds to cover their shortfalls.
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« Reply #1434 on: July 09, 2004, 09:41:34 am »

Your arguments on the self employed I generally agree with, they are to be applauded. Yet your argument that the wealthy "will equip themselves with the skills necessary to pay their own way etc etc etc....." those making 200k a year have the means to be able to do so. Working 80 hours a week just to get by leaves little room to re-tool yourself every 2-3 years.

Actually, those making 200k/years gained their initial skills PRIOR to earning the big bucks by working 80 hours a week.  

As far as those just getting by...it should be obvious that if you work 80 hours a week at two low-skill jobs, you're not going to get anywhere.  What is needed is to work one job while studying to increase your skills that will enable you to get higher paying work.  If that requires cutting back by living in public restrooms and eating mayonnaise sandwiches, then the thing to do is: live in public restrooms and eat mayonnaise sandwiches with a attitude that looks forward to better opportunities.

--------

MODU, jmfcst........Let me clarify my position on taxes and my "morality" statement...The numbers I've seen on Bush's initial 1.3 trillion tax cut showed that 42% of that amount went to the top 10% of income earners, and the bulk of that 42% went to the top 2%. Fine.....The problem is that this huge tax cut has produced huge deficits...yes......I stand by my statement...... that cutting taxes on the top 2% IS immoral IF that is in the end paid for by the middle and lower classes.  

When the rich pay an every increasing percentage of federal income taxes, even more so after Bush's tax cuts, I don't know how you conclude that the middle and lower class is going to end up paying off the debt.

Also, if the current system had been replaced in 2001, while the budget was still in surplus, by a revenue neutral flat-tax (say 17%), then, by your definition, it would be "moral" since it didn't produce deficits.  And since such a "moral" flat 17% tax would be a HUGE tax break to the wealthy, much greater than Bush's current tax cuts, it demonstrates the contradiction of you logic by your simultaneous claim that the rich have YET to sacrifice by paying their fair share.
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« Reply #1435 on: July 09, 2004, 12:56:53 pm »


The self-employed play TWICE the Social Security tax compared with those on W-2's.


Not quite true.  The tax is the same, but half of the Social Security Tax is hidden from the non self-employed since it never appears on theiir paycheck.  Of course, since it is a hidden tax, it makes Social Security seem like a great deal unless you realize that you have paid twice as much as you think you have.
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mddem2004
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« Reply #1436 on: July 09, 2004, 04:42:15 pm »

Your arguments on the self employed I generally agree with, they are to be applauded. Yet your argument that the wealthy "will equip themselves with the skills necessary to pay their own way etc etc etc....." those making 200k a year have the means to be able to do so. Working 80 hours a week just to get by leaves little room to re-tool yourself every 2-3 years.

Actually, those making 200k/years gained their initial skills PRIOR to earning the big bucks by working 80 hours a week.  

As far as those just getting by...it should be obvious that if you work 80 hours a week at two low-skill jobs, you're not going to get anywhere.  What is needed is to work one job while studying to increase your skills that will enable you to get higher paying work.  If that requires cutting back by living in public restrooms and eating mayonnaise sandwiches, then the thing to do is: live in public restrooms and eat mayonnaise sandwiches with a attitude that looks forward to better opportunities.

--------

MODU, jmfcst........Let me clarify my position on taxes and my "morality" statement...The numbers I've seen on Bush's initial 1.3 trillion tax cut showed that 42% of that amount went to the top 10% of income earners, and the bulk of that 42% went to the top 2%. Fine.....The problem is that this huge tax cut has produced huge deficits...yes......I stand by my statement...... that cutting taxes on the top 2% IS immoral IF that is in the end paid for by the middle and lower classes.  

When the rich pay an every increasing percentage of federal income taxes, even more so after Bush's tax cuts, I don't know how you conclude that the middle and lower class is going to end up paying off the debt.

Also, if the current system had been replaced in 2001, while the budget was still in surplus, by a revenue neutral flat-tax (say 17%), then, by your definition, it would be "moral" since it didn't produce deficits.  And since such a "moral" flat 17% tax would be a HUGE tax break to the wealthy, much greater than Bush's current tax cuts, it demonstrates the contradiction of you logic by your simultaneous claim that the rich have YET to sacrifice by paying their fair share.

Ya know....your "Let them Eat Mayonnaise" logic is errily similar to Reagans "Ketchup is a Vegitable" mentality......

I'll let our comments stand and let readers judge for themselves if "Living in Public Restrooms" is the proper public policy our government should pursue for familys struggling to get ahead.....
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« Reply #1437 on: July 09, 2004, 05:08:55 pm »


The self-employed play TWICE the Social Security tax compared with those on W-2's.


Not quite true.  The tax is the same, but half of the Social Security Tax is hidden from the non self-employed since it never appears on theiir paycheck.  Of course, since it is a hidden tax, it makes Social Security seem like a great deal unless you realize that you have paid twice as much as you think you have.

What?

If you are on a W-2, then your employer pays half the SSI tax and you pay the other half.

If you are self-employed, then you pay ALL the SSI (FICA) tax.

Therefore, instead of a W-2 worker paying around 7.5% in SSI  and the employer paying the other 7.5% in SSI tax, the self-employed person pays the whole 15%.

You're splitting hairs.  The bottom line is that I, being self-employeed, pay twice the Social Security tax was someone working on a W-2 since their employer pays the other half

A self-employed person making 80k/year is paying 7.5% more in taxes than he would if he was was making 80k/year on a W-2

That's a difference of $6000 in take home pay.

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« Reply #1438 on: July 12, 2004, 10:31:28 am »

Mississippi's electoral laws make a close race even more interesting:
If no candidate gets over 50% it goes to the Democrat dominated State House.
In other words, Barbour could end up ahead of Musgrove by a decent margin, but still lose.

Lousiania is also very close.
The GOP seem to have the advantage in Kentucky...but only just.

All three are worth a watch.

Actually, here's the way our electoral law works: The winning candidate must win a majority of the popular vote and a majority of the State House districts. If that doesn't happen, then the election goes to the lesgislature. In fact, that happened back in 1999.  Musgrove was running against former U.S. Representative Mike Parker. Musgrove won the popular vote, but each candidate won 61 House districts. Musgrove won the election in the Legislature.
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #1439 on: July 12, 2004, 11:21:54 am »

I blame AP Smiley
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« Reply #1440 on: July 13, 2004, 02:33:25 pm »


How come only Yahoo seems to be covering this (on their finance page, not main website page):

"U.S. Trade Gap Falls Unexpectedly"

"WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. trade deficit narrowed unexpectedly in May as stronger growth by U.S. trading partners and the weak dollar helped propel exports to record levels, according to government data on Tuesday."

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=568&ncid=749&e=1&u=/nm/20040713/bs_nm/economy_dc

You would think that at least FOX News would carry it on their main page.  I'm very disappointed in the Media (as always).
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« Reply #1441 on: July 14, 2004, 07:35:13 am »


New CNN/Gallop poll out:

http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/07/13/poll.economy/index.html

"Poll: More optimism about economy, country's direction"

"Americans are more optimistic about the nation's economy and less dissatisfied about the overall direction of the country, but their improved mood has not affected President Bush's approval ratings, according to a Gallup poll released Tuesday."

It's a start.  What is the lag that we keep hearing?  4-6 months?  Sounds about right when you consider the good economic/job numbers started in March.
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« Reply #1442 on: July 14, 2004, 11:21:31 am »


The self-employed play TWICE the Social Security tax compared with those on W-2's.


Not quite true.  The tax is the same, but half of the Social Security Tax is hidden from the non self-employed since it never appears on theiir paycheck.  Of course, since it is a hidden tax, it makes Social Security seem like a great deal unless you realize that you have paid twice as much as you think you have.

What?

If you are on a W-2, then your employer pays half the SSI tax and you pay the other half.

If you are self-employed, then you pay ALL the SSI (FICA) tax.

Therefore, instead of a W-2 worker paying around 7.5% in SSI  and the employer paying the other 7.5% in SSI tax, the self-employed person pays the whole 15%.

You're splitting hairs.  The bottom line is that I, being self-employeed, pay twice the Social Security tax was someone working on a W-2 since their employer pays the other half

A self-employed person making 80k/year is paying 7.5% more in taxes than he would if he was was making 80k/year on a W-2

That's a difference of $6000 in take home pay.

Nope, the employer in this case isn't paying $80K for hiring the person, he's paying $86K of which $6K never shows up on the employee's W-2 so he doesn't realize that there's an extra $6,000 that he would presumably get if the hidden tax wasn't there.  So the comparable self-employed person would have to be making $86k/year not $80k/year.  The self-employed person still comes off worse because his taxes are calculated based on an income of $86K instead of an income of $80K, but not as badly as you implied.
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« Reply #1443 on: July 14, 2004, 12:05:13 pm »
« Edited: July 14, 2004, 12:05:59 pm by Gov. NickG »

How about this story:

Retail Sales See Biggest Drop in 16 Months


And the stock market continues to be stalled...
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Ben.
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« Reply #1444 on: August 02, 2004, 01:15:11 pm »

You underestimate quite how homophobic the Hate Mail is...(they have published an article called "how gay is my valley". Not funny, not clever, homophobic and possibly racist), and as Bryant is the M.P for Rhondda(and a good one from what I've heard) being attacked by a Tory newspaper is like christmas coming early(the Tories lost their deposit(5%) in Rhondda last election)
Of course Bryant is used to homophobic attacks;
Plaid's attempt to stop him getting elected in 2001 revolved around calling him "exotic".
Bryant won 68% of the vote on a low turnout.

If the Hate Mail wants to bang on about M.P's sexual preferances, they should look at Paul Marsden(and that IS worrying)

I have a very strong dislike of Bryant he is overall a very slimy and sycophantic individual who is viewed as such by many within the Party and importantly most Labour MPs... that said many MPs are ambitious and that isn’t a crime, but he annoys me a great deal that said I have heard him speak and he has made one or two very good  points.

It is interesting that such an Ultra-Blairite should attract the admiration of Migrendel who want Clare Short as Prime Minister (LOL, as she sinks deeper and deeper into a vain stupor of sanctimonious, hypocritical denounctions of the government)… I would advise Migrendel to look at Alan Simpson as the most credible hard lefty within the Parliamentary Party and Peter Hain as the only viable candidate for the leadership form the “soft left”.    

Of all the young stars of the party (and I don't count Bryant amougst them) Ben Bradshaw is most likely to be the first Gay Prime Minister.... that said there are a brace of equally talented junior members of the government who will be vying with him for that in the future... having met Bradshaw I'm a great supporter of his and genuinely like the guy, personally I have always thought that Blair should have promoted him to Leader of the House when Cook resigned… but ah well…

Al. What was your opinion of Alan Milburn?    
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« Reply #1445 on: August 02, 2004, 01:33:22 pm »

You underestimate quite how homophobic the Hate Mail is...(they have published an article called "how gay is my valley". Not funny, not clever, homophobic and possibly racist), and as Bryant is the M.P for Rhondda(and a good one from what I've heard) being attacked by a Tory newspaper is like christmas coming early(the Tories lost their deposit(5%) in Rhondda last election)
Of course Bryant is used to homophobic attacks;
Plaid's attempt to stop him getting elected in 2001 revolved around calling him "exotic".
Bryant won 68% of the vote on a low turnout.

If the Hate Mail wants to bang on about M.P's sexual preferances, they should look at Paul Marsden(and that IS worrying)

I have a very strong dislike of Bryant he is overall a very slimy and sycophantic individual who is viewed as such by many within the Party and importantly most Labour MPs... that said many MPs are ambitious and that isn’t a crime, but he annoys me a great deal that said I have heard him speak and he has made one or two very good  points.

It is interesting that such an Ultra-Blairite should attract the admiration of Migrendel who want Clare Short as Prime Minister (LOL, as she sinks deeper and deeper into a vain stupor of sanctimonious, hypocritical denounctions of the government)… I would advise Migrendel to look at Alan Simpson as the most credible hard lefty within the Parliamentary Party and Peter Hain as the only viable candidate for the leadership form the “soft left”.    

Of all the young stars of the party (and I don't count Bryant amougst them) Ben Bradshaw is most likely to be the first Gay Prime Minister.... that said there are a brace of equally talented junior members of the government who will be vying with him for that in the future... having met Bradshaw I'm a great supporter of his and genuinely like the guy, personally I have always thought that Blair should have promoted him to Leader of the House when Cook resigned… but ah well…

Al. What was your opinion of Alan Milburn?    


Bryant tells people what they want to hear... and he's very good at it. He does often come over as annoyingly zealous though and I reckon he'd (literally) kill to become a minister... but he's good at constituancy work (including a really bizarre Early Day Motion in praise of "Mr Creamy" an ice cream company that employs people in the Rhondda) from what I hear... and as his seat is in the Valleys he doesn't really need to bother with it.
Which is a good thing.
I've a mixed opinion of Milburn as well... he's very clever and all that, but again he comes off as too eager to please.
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kevlar85
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« Reply #1446 on: August 03, 2004, 08:37:26 am »

I can't honestly believe the Labour Party will elect another Blairite as leader when Blair goes. I think the successor to Blair will undoubtedly be Brown, he has the values to win over the party and the record to win over Middle England.

A more interesting discussion is who from the next generation of MPs is a contender. I think the leader after Brown will be a woman (one of the 97 Blair babes, no doubt), Labour hasn't had a female leader yet and to be honest I don't think the British public are ready for a black or gay PM for a few decades yet, sad but I think true due to the undue influence of the right-wing press. For example, could you imagine The Sun and Mail's reaction to Labour leader Chris Byrant?

I think the good thing Blair has done for Labour has broken it out of its old chains so that it can target it's policies at Middle England and introduce a fair few Old Labour type policies by stealth eg; minimum wage, increased workers rights, even increased taxes for public services.

So if it is to be a female leader, as I believe it will be, who? Patricia Hewitt would be good although, I think by the time the vacancy arises after Brown, too old. Yvette Cooper is obviously a contender, although someone I know who lives in her constituency says that she isn't that popular so maybe an increased profile would bring flaws to light? I have to say that Caroline Flint has impressed me recently, putting up a good defence of the anti-terrorism leaflet and is a good media operator, she also has a safe seat so is a safe bet to still be around by the time of the contest (a lot of Blair babes are in marginals), so in my opinion she's the best bet... after Brown of course.
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Ben.
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« Reply #1447 on: August 03, 2004, 09:33:06 am »

I’d agree with you that Cooper (a ultra loyal Brownite and wife of Ed Balls) and Flint (a protégé of Bluncket’s) are the two women from the younger generation of Labour MPs most likely to one day contest the leadership.

Pat Hewitt while a Blairite is popular within the Labour Party and has long and solid record and while I think that Brown will retain her in a Government lead by her (to appease Blairites and also because of her ability) I think that by the time a vacancy for the leadership re-emerges she will be too old, she could of course contest the leadership when Blair goes but I think she (along with Straw and Blunckett)are more likely to back Brown the three contenders who most likely will challenge Brown are John Reid, Alan Simpson and Peter Hain and all three will probably lose however I could see both Hain and Hewitt contesting the deputy leadership in the near future.      
David Milliband, David Lambey, Hillary Benn, Douglas Alexander, Alan Milburn (older than the others) and Ben Bradshaw are all other members of the younger generation who might one day vie for the leadership after Brown term has come to an end.        
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #1448 on: August 03, 2004, 09:49:32 am »

I suspect that Cooper will be overshadowed by Balls moving in next door Wink
But both Cooper and Flint benifit from having nice safe seats... as you've said most of the "Blair Babes" hold traditional marginals (and in some cases seats that Labour have no business holding) and Flint's been getting a lot of airtime recently.

Some M.P's I'd like to see do well:

Kim Howells
Huw Irranca-Davies
Mark Tami
Tom Watson
Peter Bradley
Kevan Jones
Steve Hepburn
David Milliband

Howells for P.M! Cheesy
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Ben.
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« Reply #1449 on: August 03, 2004, 12:21:35 pm »

I suspect that Cooper will be overshadowed by Balls moving in next door Wink
But both Cooper and Flint benifit from having nice safe seats... as you've said most of the "Blair Babes" hold traditional marginals (and in some cases seats that Labour have no business holding) and Flint's been getting a lot of airtime recently.

Some M.P's I'd like to see do well:

Kim Howells
Huw Irranca-Davies
Mark Tami
Tom Watson
Peter Bradley
Kevan Jones
Steve Hepburn
David Milliband

Howells for P.M! Cheesy

Kim Howells Huh

Don't know much about him...

David Milliband is mooted to be Blair's preferred successor after Brown's tenure and both he and Milburn seem set for promotion (well its a return for Milburn) at the next reshuffle (probably in September) and hopefully someone decent can replace f****** Ian McCartny... Peter Hain or Pat Hewitt being the strongest candidates IMHO, them or some younger MP hailing from the centre left of the Party (“Soft Left” Robin Cook, Peter Hain territory.. to placate activists and Trades Unionists in equal measure).    
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