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pudge's Journal: Sunday Thoughts 138

Journal by pudge

Doorbelling

I went to 61 houses over a few hours on Saturday, asking the people within to vote for Rossi and Bush. We went to mostly "friendlies," houses with people who identified somewhat with the GOP or Bush, because as you've all heard, this election is largely about getting the base out. We had dozens of people in the county going to dozens of precincts, and hopefully it helps.

Wrong Number

I got an automated call asking me to vote for State Senator Don Benton. But I am not in his district. I am about 200 miles from his district. There are at least six districts between his and mine. He should ask for some of his money back, if he's paying by the call.

$200,000? Really?

John Kerry was asked in the second debate, "would you be willing to look directly into the camera and, using simple and unequivocal language, give the American people your solemn pledge not to sign any legislation that will increase the tax burden on families earning less than $200,000 a year during your first term?" Kerry answered, "Absolutely. Yes. Right into the camera. Yes. I am not going to raise taxes."

The problem is that his own economic plan calls for increasing taxes on people who make far less than $200,000: it would "restore (the) top two tax rates," and the second highest tax rate begins at $143,500 for individuals and $174,700 for married couples.

Maybe to Senator Kerry those numbers are close enough, but the people who get stuck in between who he says, and who actually, will get increased taxes probably disagree.

Also, note that Kerry also claims that "middle-class taxes will go down" if he is elected, despite the fact that there is nothing at all in his plan that would lower middle-class taxes. He has some tax credits for children and education, but those do not apply to the middle class specifically, and many in the middle class won't get those cuts at all.

Don't believe what Kerry says about taxes. OK, don't believe what any politician says about taxes, but especially Kerry.

The New York Times Editors are Stupid

The New York Times, in an editorial recently, wrote, "Nearly four years ago, after the Supreme Court awarded him the presidency, Mr. Bush came into office amid popular expectation that he would acknowledge his lack of a mandate by sticking close to the center. Instead, he turned the government over to the radical right."

This one paragraph just shows how drastically unintelligent the paper's editors are, or how little they think of their readers.

First, Bush was not awarded the Presidency. This is a bald-faced lie, and anyone who believes it should spend more time reading newspapers instead of writing them.

Second, being elected is a mandate, by definition: it is authorization from the electorate to act. He was given a mandate by the people, period, when he was elected. There is no reasonable sense in which was not given a mandate.

Third, and perhaps worst, they imply that if there is a lack of mandate, a representative should therefore act how he thinks people who voted against him want him to act. But an elected official is obligated to act in what he thinks are the best interests of the country, not how he thinks other people want him to act, whether they voted for him or not. That the Times thinks Bush should not do what he thinks is best for the country makes no sense on any level.

Fourth, to imply the right-wing views of the President are "radical" is to say that the majority of the people in this country who agree with most of those views are "radical," which strips the word "radical" of any useful meaning.

Look, like the President, don't like him, whatever. But don't be stupid about it.

Families

A couple of weeks ago, John Edwards was asked a question in the debate about Mary Cheney, Dick Cheney's daughter, who is homosexual. Edwards responded, complimenting the Cheneys. The following week, John Kerry was asked a question about homosexuality, and he responded by bringing up Mary Cheney out of the blue, when she had not been mentioned, and trying to co-opt her feelings to provide his answer.

Mary's parents, Dick and Lynne, complained, as most parents would. Some people have said this anger at Kerry is feigned, but the panelists on The Chris Matthews Show this weekend got it right: pro-gay-rights conservative David Brooks said this is not about homosexuality, but about using the child of an opponent to score political points; moderate Bob Woodward said that there should be a rule in politics that children are off-limits; liberal Chris Matthews agreed. On This Week, Governor Ed Rendell (D-PA) said it was a mistake. Pundit after pundit, Democrat after Democrat, have said Kerry made a mistake.

I wasn't going to bring this up, because while Kerry really blew this one -- and in my opinion, the reason he brought her up was to hurt Bush with far-right voters who might be offended at the fact that Mary Cheney is gay -- it's not a big issue in my mind. There are so many more important things to talk about, like, say, the economy and war.

But two things changed my mind. First, Elizabeth Edwards -- wife of John Edwards -- attacked the Cheneys and said she thinks they are ashamed of their daughter. The wife of the VP candidate is not a huge deal, but building on that, this morning on Fox News Sunday, Kerry spokesman Joe Lockhart attacked Lynne Cheney, calling her "intolerant" for saying in response to Kerry's remark, that Kerry "is not a good man." On Meet the Press, Kerry advisor Bob Shrum echoed Lockhart's sentiments.

These people clearly Do Not Get It. They do not get that family is sacred (not in the "protect marriage from gay homosexuals" sense, but in the aforementioned and widely recognized "my family is off-limits to you" sense). They do not get that you don't get to decide if the line has been crossed, only the family does. They do not get that if you cross the line, the mother is going to come after you with her righteous anger, and that you have no defense against it, so you better just shut up and take cover. They do not get that attacking the mother in return is fruitless, because the mother is always right, period.

The Kerry position is that he was not trying to do anything wrong. I think he's lying, but I would be willing to drop it, forget about it, and accept that as a pseudo-apology, if it weren't for the fact that his campaign is continuing to attack the Cheney family, even through this morning. And I wonder what this says about the real family values of the Kerry campaign.

Yes, that's a low blow, but is it not well-deserved?

Other Low Blows

And I wonder if this is not a sign of Kerry's desperation. It's not just the family thing: for example, there was Edwards' recent statement that Kerry would cure diabetes and Alzheimer's and make the lame walk again. He is manipulating people, giving false hope to victims and their families. But what do we expect from a trial lawyer?

Then Kerry said this week that a draft would be more likely under Bush, despite no logical evidence supporting this. He said, well, Bush wants to use the military everywhere, which means we need more troops, which means a draft is more likely. But Kerry is talking about increasing the troop numbers more than Bush would, which necessarily means by Kerry's own logic -- that 'increased troop needs' == 'draft is more likely' -- that a draft is more likely under Kerry, not Bush.

Of course, a draft is not likely under either one. The Pentagon does not want it, the people do not want it, the Congress does not want it, and the Presidential candidates don't want it. There is literally no one with any power who wants it to happen.

Further, the military had hundreds of thousands more volunteers in it a couple decades ago, and there's no reason to think we can't get back to that level if necessary, if there's a real need, without a draft. This is just scare tactics from Kerry.

Not that the Bush campaign hasn't engaged in some scare tactics of their own, most notably the Cheney remark about how another terrorist attack might be more likely with Kerry as President. I didn't interpret it the same way many people did, but most people seemed to.

But if Kerry ever had any high moral ground in this campaign -- which I never believed to begin with -- he's tossed it in the garbage now.

This discussion was created by pudge (3605) for no Foes, but now has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Sunday Thoughts

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  • by thing12 (45050)
    If you hire the 40-50k more troops ahead of time, then you won't need a draft if the time comes when you need to use those troops. It's simple. If reason presented itself to invade Iran, how would we do it right now? Sure, we're positioned well and could invade on two fronts - actually three including the coast. But we don't have the troops to do it and maintain an adequate force in either Iraq or Afghanistan. Thus far Bush has not supported increasing the size of our all-volunteer-army - Kerry has. S
    • by pudge (3605) *
      If you hire the 40-50k more troops ahead of time, then you won't need a draft if the time comes when you need to use those troops. It's simple. If reason presented itself to invade Iran, how would we do it right now?

      So how would Kerry do it? Don't be daft.
      • The same way you get more workers in any field - by making it more attractive to be part of the armed forces. Raise pay/benefits. And specific to the military, do more keep the troops safer during combat (technology, etc...). Sure, 40k may sound like a big number, but it's not that many considering that something like 5 million people graduate high school each year. Convince an additional .2% of each graduating class for the next 4 years and you're done.

        • by pudge (3605) *
          You're missing the point. You said, "how would we do it right now?" You were not talking about down the road. Bush's administration can and most likely will work on increasing recruitment too, but that is for down the road. Right now, both have the same problem, and I asked how would Kerry do it? You did not supply an answer.
          • I don't think I'm missing the point -- Bush isn't even talking about increasing the size of the military when it clearly needs to be done, your conjecture that he most likely will has no basis. If he thought it needed to be done, he would have begun work on it earlier - avoiding the need for a draft later. Of course, the only *immediate* way to increase the size of the military would be through a draft.
            • by pudge (3605) *
              Bush isn't even talking about increasing the size of the military when it clearly needs to be done

              First, no, it does not clearly need to be done, and second, he is not talking about it, but that doesn't mean he isn't doing it. The fact is there are current efforts to increase enlistment etc.

              Second, you were talking about how to get troops we might need to go into Iran *right now*. And when you answered, you talked about how to get troops a year or so from now.

              avoiding the need for a draft later

              Plea
              • First, no, it does not clearly need to be done, and second, he is not talking about it, but that doesn't mean he isn't doing it. The fact is there are current efforts to increase enlistment etc.

                It seems clear to me. And I should have mentioned that the real problem is not in enlisting the low end soldier. It's at the high end where after an enormous training outlay by the military and a few years on the job you've got special forces flipping to private security because it pays 4x as much. When the mis

                • by pudge (3605) *
                  I'm not lying. I'm stating my opinion that there would be a need for a draft if our military had to engage in another major conflict prior to its size increasing.

                  You just admitted people might volunteer, and you're still sticking to the lie that a draft would be necessary?
                  • You just admitted people might volunteer, and you're still sticking to the lie that a draft would be necessary?

                    I'm playing the odds - yes I believe it's the most likely scenario. My original post ended with who is more likely to need a draft, Bush or Kerry -- can you give me your opinion on that? Or are you not even willing to concede that it's possible that our military will need a draft?

                    • by pudge (3605) *
                      My original post ended with who is more likely to need a draft, Bush or Kerry -- can you give me your opinion on that? Or are you not even willing to concede that it's possible that our military will need a draft?

                      I am saying if there is a need, it would only be because of some unforseen crisis, and the need would hit both equally. Most likely, if there is a need, we will have enough volunteers to not need a draft at all. Volunteers are better than a draft. They supply everything a draft does, plus a lo
                    • I am saying if there is a need, it would only be because of some unforseen crisis, and the need would hit both equally. Most likely, if there is a need, we will have enough volunteers to not need a draft at all. Volunteers are better than a draft. They supply everything a draft does, plus a lot more.

                      Gotcha - point taken. I totally agree that conscripted soldiers are not nearly as good as their willing counterparts. As it stands the reserves and national guard are being conscripted into longer tours of a

                    • by pudge (3605) *
                      As it stands the reserves and national guard are being conscripted into longer tours of active duty than they bargained for -- and I know they signed up for it.

                      If you know they signed up for it, why do you say they were "conscripted," which means they were forced against their will?

                      I don't think that a draft would hit Kerry the same as Bush becaues Kerry wants to do more to prevent the need for it.

                      That is irrelevant to your initial statement, which is how to get more troops *right now*, since his meas
  • I got a kick out of the NY Times editorial. It's first sentence started with:

    "Senator John Kerry goes toward the election with a base that is built more on opposition to George W. Bush than loyalty to his own candidacy. But over the last year we have come to know Mr. Kerry as more than just an alternative to the status quo."

    The NY Times then spendt 1½ paragraphs praising Kerry, 16 paragraphs ripping on Bush, and then only 4 more praising Kerry again. To go from claiming that Kerry's strength is
  • Remember this? (Score:2, Informative)

    by jamie (78724)

    "Why is Chelsea Clinton so ugly?

    Because her father is Janet Reno."

    - John McCain, June 1998, at a Republican Senate fundraiser

    Remember that joke? The media is so firmly in the right wing's pocket that it would not even print it at the time. Remember that next time someone tells you the press is jumping on Kerry because sex sells and it can't resist unwise comments about lesbian children.

    Oh, and in a demonstration of gallantry that apparently is now passe, Bill Clinton forgave [msn.com] McCain, and Washington, so

    • Remember that next time someone tells you the press is jumping on Kerry because sex sells and it can't resist unwise comments about lesbian children.

      Again, I am not defending the press. I do think the press is making too much of this.

      Bill Clinton forgave McCain

      McCain apologized. Kerry did not. On the contrary, he sent his spokespeople to attack the family, not apologize to them.

      A Senator mentioned the Vice-President's campaign manager, not unkindly, in passing.

      He mentioned her because she was h
      • McCain apologized. Kerry did not. On the contrary, he sent his spokespeople to attack the family, not apologize to them.

        Oh now come on! There no comparison: One is an unprovoked and extremely unpleasant attack on a child, the other is drawing attention to a family member (and not in any critical way of that family member) whose public persona is entirely consensual. From what I can see, Jamie's raised it to show examples of more extreme versions of what the Republicans are pretending the whole Cheney's

        • the other is drawing attention to a family member (and not in any critical way of that family member) whose public persona is entirely consensual

          I don't give a damn what he is saying or what his intentions are. DO NOT TOUCH THE FAMILY.

          That said, it seems clear to me, and agreed upon by many people of both sides of the aisle, that Kerry's purpose was to hurt the Bush-Cheney ticket with far-right voters. It's typical Kerry-Edwards strategy: pretend to compliment you while I stab you in the back. Like sa
          • If his purpose was so benign, as you say, why did he ATTACK the family further when they complained? Why did he bring up Mary Cheney instead of one of dozens of other prominent gay people he knows? Sorry, the facts just don't agree with your analysis.

            The word "benign" doesn't appear anywhere in my analysis, so the words do not agree with your analysis.

            My guess would be that he brought up Mary Cheney because any further criticism from Bush would have to be more measured and, as a result, Bush would have

            • My guess would be that he brought up Mary Cheney because any further criticism from Bush would have to be more measured and, as a result, Bush would have had difficulty falling into the gutter, it being harder to attract those with the worst base instincts with simplistic rhetoric designed to appeal to them when you know you're going to be victimising someone you know.

              So you believe Kerry was using his opponent's daughter as a political pawn, which amounts to the same thing I am criticizing.

              Mary Cheney,
              • Bullshit. Her status in the campaign is an excuse, not a justification. He did not bring her up because of her status in the campaign, but because she is his daughter. Let's keep our eye on the ball.

                And how would you know? Do you think Kerry would have brought her up if she was under 21? If she was 31 but not "out"? If she was 31 and had been "outed" against her will? If she was 31 and a private individual with no public role in the campaign?

                There's a hell of a lot of "excuses" here, any one of which,

                • And what can you do to change that?

                  If nothing else, because he identified her as Cheney's daughter, not as a member of the campaign. Stop wasting our time.

                  "Fuck you"?

                  Did I stutter?

                  First you have the audacity to suggest that abusing children - real children, people under 18, people with no consent, who cannot rightly be regarded as part of a political process - is somehow not as big a crime as making a positive comment about an opponent's daughter

                  In the context I am referring to, yes. I know you
    • it can't resist unwise comments about lesbian children.

      On that note, can we stop refering to Cheney's 31 year old daughter as a "child"? I understand using the word in phrases like "Cheney's child", but not out of that phrasing. She isn't a child, she's an adult lobbyist.

      I thought the attacks on Chelsea, together with the follow up attacks on the Bush twins, were disgraceful. But drawing attention, positively, to someone who's voluntarily put themselves in the public eye, who continues to do so, and wh

      • On that note, can we stop refering to Cheney's 31 year old daughter as a "child"?

        No.

        I understand using the word in phrases like "Cheney's child", but not out of that phrasing.

        That is the only way I have been using it, and since it IS THE POINT, I will continue to use it.

        But drawing attention, positively, to someone who's voluntarily put themselves in the public eye, who continues to do so, and who, at 31, is certainly old enough to have made the decision herself, is hardly comparable.

        Yes, in this
        • That is the only way I have been using it, and since it IS THE POINT, I will continue to use it.

          I was addressing Jamie's use of the word "child" which was on it's own, away from the text "Dick Cheney's". Ms Cheney is 31 years old, she's not, by any stretch of the imagination, a child. I'm curious to know why you shouted "THE POINT" - do you mean that she is a child, or do you just mean she's Dick's daughter? If the latter (which I think is what you meant), you probably shouldn't have written it that way.

          • If the latter (which I think is what you meant), you probably shouldn't have written it that way.

            If I mean she is his child, I should not write that she is his child? Uh ... what?

            Ok, you and I clearly have different value structures if you think that humiliating non-consenting children in public is somehow "better" than mentioning an adult public figure who happens to be the daughter of an opponent.

            It was worse in a certain way, in its *purpose*, which was to score political points.

            The latter is fa
            • If I mean she is his child, I should not write that she is his child? Uh ... what?

              No, you shouldn't write "No" in response to the comment "On that note, can we stop refering to Cheney's 31 year old daughter as a "child"?", and it's a little ambiguous to write "since it IS THE POINT, I will continue to use it." in response to "I understand using the word in phrases like "Cheney's child", but not out of that phrasing." because "it IS THE POINT" could refer either to "Cheney's child" or "out of that phrasin

              • And McCain's comment was what exactly?

                I already distinguished it in the comment you are replying to. Do not respond as though I didn't.

                And was Kerry's point to score political points or to cut off the possibility of Bush or Cheney appealing to certain groups who cannot control their base prejudices?

                Yes.

                Why would these people vote Republican in the first place? Spell it out of me. ... And what can you do to change that?

                No. It is completely beside anything I am talking about. The fact is they do
    • You all need to get a life. A Senator mentioned the Vice-President's campaign manager, not unkindly, in passing. Quit whining, you posers.

      I was reading and with you (well, not 'with you', but 'respected the comment') until I got to this point. If I had mod points, I'd mod you as a troll.

      Can't see why it had to get nasty like that...
      • Can't see why it had to get nasty like that...

        Because focusing on this offhand remark is insane. The President of the United States of America, in that same debate, lied about whether he is concerned about catching the guy who murdered three thousand Americans on September 11th. For the media to pay more attention to the Senator's comment about the director of vice presidential operations for the Bush-Cheney re-election campaign being a lesbian is a sign of a deep national sickness.

        • But that's the ways of politics. You can't come into Pudges journal and expect him to say "Well, Kerry really kicked the GOP's ass today!"

          Politics (now-a-days, anyways) is about showing you the wrongs of the opposing party and sidesteps the wrongs of your own party.

          Once you realize it, you know there is no point in arguing. You aren't voting for Bush, and pudge isn't voting for Kerry. Neither of you are going to change the other's mind. I guess arguments are healthy, but I just don't like to see'm g
        • Because focusing on this offhand remark is insane.

          And as I said, I was not going to bring it up, except Kerry's own people kept it alive by attacking the mother.

          The President of the United States of America, in that same debate, lied about whether he is concerned about catching the guy who murdered three thousand Americans on September 11th.

          You are incorrect. He was wrong about whether he SAID he was concerned, not whether he is actually concerned.

          For the media to pay more attention to the Senator'
  • The problem is that his own economic plan calls for increasing taxes on people who make far less than $200,000: it would "restore (the) top two tax rates," and the second highest tax rate begins at ... $174,700 for married couples.

    Maybe to Senator Kerry those numbers are close enough, but the people who get stuck in between who he says, and who actually, will get increased taxes probably disagree.

    Yeah, that's the Republican Party, bravely standing up for the little guy earning $175,000.

    You know that n

    • The point is, what right does the government have to their money? What benefit is Kerry going to provide by confiscating more of these people's money? I heard a gem the other day from one of my RL friends

      If your so concerned about the uninsured, find someone without insurance via your church, school, salvation army, whatever, pick them up and take them to a local insurance provider, and pay their premium.
      It's grassroots and doesn't rob Peter (me) to pay Paul (Joe Uninsured), I'm all for it. John Ker
      • Re:Tax brackets (Score:2, Insightful)

        by jamie (78724)
        If you think U.S. taxes are robbery, then leave. Only idiots get mugged and hang around the crime scene.

        You don't, of course, actually think that. You recognize that taxes are the price we all pay for the enormous, absolutely necessary services that government provides. You're just looking for some rhetoric that might save you a couple of bucks. But when you exaggerate, you lose credibility.

        • 43% of the Federal budget is going to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, none of which have a constitutional mandate, ergo, they are theft of taxes from the Treasury.
          • Payroll taxes!?

            Ye gads Mr. Privatize the Fire Department. You stop paying any more Social Security after $60,000 and Medicare/Medicaid goes to 1% with matching at that level of income +.

            And if you want to take that check away from the elderly, good luck to you.
            • Did I say anything about privatizing Firefighting, no, and I realize that simply killing the entitlement hog all at once would put grandma under the bridge, but why not be honest and say, you were born after 1990, you aren't getting Social Security, sorry, but plan for your own retirement. As for medicare/medicaid/unemployment/welfare, let the government provide catostrophic coverage, otherwise, fend for yourself.
            • Actually, SS tax threshhold has increased, it is over $80K now.
      • I'd like you to find any country that doesn't tax its citizenry and still maintains a high quality of life.

        Good luck, and have fun when you get there... the roads most likely suck, I wouldn't eat the beef, make sure to have personal protection as the police force will suck and disputes may spiral into violence (as courts aren't likely to be funded). Also, don't drink the water unless you have chemical treatments for it which can be quite expensive and aren't very efficient.

        There are a host of other thing
        • I'm not talking about essential government services, roads, military, police, I'm talking about the vast range of entitlement spending that eats 43% of the federal budget in a year.
      • You know the easiest way to avoid taxes and make sure that at least a portion (the portion beyond what funds national and state services that you actually use) of your money is funding issues that you believe in?

        Give the maximum to charities and take the deductions.

        You would be surprised how giving 15-25% of your income to your church, and/or organizations like

        • Why not let me donate to those groups up front if I want to, why take my money, have languish away in a federal account for over a year while I wait on a return. Why continue to feed the inefficent beast that is the federal entitlement system?
          • The people that complain are the people that don't give by and large. Talk to person after person that gives a significant percentage of their earnings to charity and few worry about taxes or the tax structure.
            • The people that complain are the people that don't give by and large. Talk to person after person that gives a significant percentage of their earnings to charity and few worry about taxes or the tax structure.

              You are completely making that up.
            • What do you call 'significant'? I give approximately 10% of my take-home to a few charities and I've done so since I got my first full time job (nearly 20 years ago) Before then, I was 'homeless'. I was living on about $200/mo, going to a local JC, and could only afford a hotel room maybe twice a week.

              Taxes are not only too high, their spending by our government is mismanaged.

              I can list a PRIME example of how our money is mismanaged... Prop 1A (Los Angeles). If a city council member (Gloria Molina) h
          • why take my money, have languish away in a federal account for over a year while I wait on a return

            Better question - why not stop complaining and take some responsibility? Just lower your witholding to match your estimated tax. As a matter of course, you should do that at the start of every tax year.

            • Good advice, and actually my federal "returns" aren't that large to begin with, but the total tax taken is freaking nuts considering the value of services I get from Uncle Sam.
              • Yeah, I assumed you meant refund. There's a lot that can be done to improve the way the fed spends its money. For one thing, I believe that federal expenditures on a state-by-state basis should match the taxes collected from those states whenever possible. As it sits, densely populated states subsidize their sparsely populated cousins by a ratio of about 4:3. In terms of federal expenditures in their states, North Dakotans get three times the value from their taxes than people in new New Hampshire do
        • This is essentially what Bush had in mind with his Faith and Community based initiatives. The truth is the government is really bad at managing money. Everyone knows that. A person who truly cares about others should be against federal funding of most social programs because so little money actually gets to where it is needed. Some would argue that even if only a little money makes to the poor that's a good thing. I think just the opposite. Lauding millions of dollars of government funding to help XYZ
    • You know that number is for taxable income, right? How many families pulling in $200K, do you suppose, can't find a measly $25K worth of deductions?

      Everyone who talks about taxes uses taxable income. So you are saying Kerry is lying by not talking about taxable income? Either he does not mean $200K of taxable income, which means he is lying through omission, or he is exaggerating the number, which means he is lying.

      And since Kerry has publicly stated that he plans to lower taxes on the middle class, t
      • NO. There is NO KERRY PLAN to reduce taxes for the middle class. This is FALSE. It does not exist. I've scoured his economic plan and there is nothing in there. I noted this in the very journal entry you are replying to.

        In his plan, he says specifically that he wants to "repeal tax cuts benefitting those earning more than $200,000 while expanding middle class tax cuts". I read very clearly to mean expand the 'middle class' tax bracket to include people with incomes up to 200k and repeal the tax cuts in

        • I read very clearly to mean expand the 'middle class' tax bracket to include people with incomes up to 200k and repeal the tax cuts in the brackets above that.

          He has never come out and said that. You are speculating. Everyone else who has commented on this reads "while expanding middle class tax cuts" means renewing them when they expire (which has already been done for the bulk of them anyway).

          You're putting words into his mouth. If you can show me one place where he actually says he will expand the
          • He has never come out and said that.

            Search and ye shall find -- last week a spokesman for the campaign clarified the position [washingtontimes.com]:

            Jason Furman, a spokesman for the Kerry campaign, reiterated yesterday that the Democratic presidential nominee "is going to extend the tax cuts to every tax unit making up to $200,000 of adjusted gross income."

            Kerry himself did not say it - but I'll accept his spokesman because that's what spokesmen do. Anyway that's where the "middle-class taxes will go down" comes from.

            • I asked for a quote that said they would be expanding the third highest tax bracket. You did not do that.

              Anyway that's where the "middle-class taxes will go down" comes from.

              It's a complete and total lie.
              • I asked for a quote that said they would be expanding the third highest tax bracket. You did not do that.

                It says that the "tax cuts will be extended to every tax unit up to 200k". So lets recap the Kerry campaign statements so far: he's going to roll back the cuts in the top two brackets and extend cuts up to 200k. Yes the language could be more specific - but it could only mean one of two things: move the line between the 2nd and 3rd brackets, or create a new bracket between them. Either way it means

                • It says that the "tax cuts will be extended to every tax unit up to 200k".

                  Which is just repeating the lie that the tax cuts apply to them when they don't. I require seeing something specific that says they will change the third bracket to include those people.

                  it could only mean one of two things: move the line between the 2nd and 3rd brackets, or create a new bracket between them

                  You forget the third option: that it is a lie.

                  I've given you evidence to prove it

                  You have not. You have given me evide
                  • You forget the third option: that it is a lie.

                    It's only a lie if it's intentionally misleading. He's said what he wants to do (rollback the tax cuts on the top two brackets / top 2% / whatever else he's said), and then wrapped conditions around it (only for those families with incomes higher than 200k). The two are not mutually exclusive. The only reason you say it's a lie is because he hasn't shown exactly how he's going to do it. That does NOT make it a lie. I'm sure he wants not only to be electe

                    • It's only a lie if it's intentionally misleading.

                      Yes, so it is a lie.

                      The only reason you say it's a lie is because he hasn't shown exactly how he's going to do it.

                      Nonsense. I refer you to his economic plan [johnkerry.com], page 8, where he lists what he is going to do. Under "offsets", right at the top, he talks about Bush's tax cuts, and he says "restore top two rates." That means he will make those two brackets what they were before Bush lowered them, and there is no mention of shrinking the second bracket/widen
                    • I've looked at his plan too - he has the 200k condition in there as well -- prominently on page 7, in fact. The reference to 'Restore top two rates' is there - taken in the context of the whole 9 page document - means to restore the top two rates for those making over 200k per year (by whatever means). Taking something out of context and calling it a lie is, at best, wrongheaded. Instead why don't you just prove that he can't raise enough revenue? It's a more credible argument.

                      The Kerry's 177B and Bus

          • The Tax Policy Center has a few good sources too. One broken down by tax unit [taxpolicycenter.org] (which shows the 200k mark) the other broken down by size of income tax change. [taxpolicycenter.org]
  • These people clearly Do Not Get It. They do not get that family is sacred (not in the "protect marriage from gay homosexuals" sense, but in the aforementioned and widely recognized "my family is off-limits to you" sense).

    This is almost too funny. I wonder why this same rule wasn't applied for McCain when his daughter's (who is adopted) race was used by the Rove machine to imply McCain's infedelity and knock him out of the Primaries when Bush ran the first time? This is a completely BOGUS argument from

    • This is almost too funny. I wonder why this same rule wasn't applied for McCain when his daughter's (who is adopted) race was used by the Rove machine

      That never happened. It just didn't. It's another Democratic lie that you've been hoodwinked into believing.

      It is true that McCain was attacked over his daughter. It is not true this had anything to do with Rove or the Bush campaign.

      Further, I acknowledged that the right sometimes plays dirty; did you not read my post? My point there was that the Democ
  • Further, the military had hundreds of thousands more volunteers in it a couple decades ago, and there's no reason to think we can't get back to that level if necessary, if there's a real need, without a draft. This is just scare tactics from Kerry.

    This was in a time without the promise of perpetual war (ie when does the "war on tahrror" ever stop). Sure when had hundreds of thousands of troops volunteering when the chance of getting their legs blown off or dieing from and IED attack was pretty remote.

  • http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2004 / 09/24/MNG3J8UFR91.DTL [sfgate.com]

    More troops needed, new study warns
    Current, anticipated operations at risk, outside experts say
    Thom Shanker, New York Times
    Friday, September 24, 2004

    Washington -- A Pentagon-appointed panel of outside experts has concluded in a new study that the U.S. military does not have sufficient forces to sustain current and anticipated stability operations, like the festering conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan and other missions that migh

    • Any discussion of what we will have to do to build U.S. troop strength has to start with why our armed forces are tied down in Iraq.

      No, it doesn't. That's nonsense. It's a related but separate issue. The fact is we are there and have to deal with it, and there's no requirement to ponder why we are in that situation to discuss it, unless you're considering changing it.
      • The fact is we are there and have to deal with it, and there's no requirement to ponder why we are in that situation to discuss it, unless you're considering changing it.

        That's why I'm voting for Kerry. He's going to change the situation--he'll get us out of there. Oh, wait. He won't? He will do the exact same thing Bush will do.*

        KERRY: Yes, we have to be steadfast and resolved, and I am. And I will succeed for those troops, now that we're there. We have to succeed. We can't leave a failed Iraq.

        From [debates.org]

  • So where was the parental outrage when Alan Keyes, a major figure in their party and a senatorial candidate called all homosexuals, and specifically their daughter, "selfish hedonists?" I would find the Cheneys' reaction a lot more geniune if they had said anything in response to truly bad comments rather than Kerry's simple statement of fact.
    • The funniest thing about this whole fake bruhaha is having people like Rush Limbaugh, and Sean Hannity having to step up and "defend the honor" of Cheney's openly gay daughter. You can hear it in their voices that they are bothered by this line of reasoning/attack but can't quite seem to extricate themselves from it. You'll notice their careful use of language in framing the discussion as well. Priceless.

      If nothing else, the focus on the politics of homosexuality and homosexual unions has shifted to a

    • Alan Keyes is a minor figure and what he said was not national news, let alone broadcast live to millions of people. And most importantly, Keyes was -- as was my MAIN POINT that every one of you critics of me is completely ignoring -- not using the child of his opponent to score political points.

      I don't care if Kerry was talking about baseball cards. "I know Mary Cheney collects baseball cards, and under my administration, baseball cards will be tax-free!" Do not use the child of your opponent to score
      • Keyes a minor figure? Oh please. He's a former Republican presidential candidate who was major enough to debate the other candidates. He's major enough to be selected by the party to carry his carpetbag to Illinois to run for Senate. His name is probably known by more people nationwide than the majority of sitting Senators.

        Maybe it wasn't national news when that backwater paper the Chicago Tribune first reported it but it certainly has become so. I can't find a case of it but I assume some reporter somewhe
        • At worst, Kerry could be using the classic right wing tactic of "tying," mentioning two unrelating things to build an association in the mind of the listener.

          A) "unrelated" rather than "unrelating"
          B) I shouldn't have written it at all because the two things don't have to be completely unrelated, the tactic is intented to create or reinforce a specific association.
        • Keyes a minor figure?

          Do you have any sense of context? John Kerry is running for President, and very well might win. Alan Keyes is running for Senate in Illinois, has no chance of winning, and most other Republicans don't even like to talk about him. Yes, in this context, Keyes is very minor.

          Maybe it wasn't national news when that backwater paper the Chicago Tribune first reported it but it certainly has become so.

          No, it hasn't. In Blogfuckistan it was big news, but outside of that and Illinois, n
          • I disagree with everything you wrote about Keyes, I'll leave it at that.

            Kerry is using the daughter of his opponent to score political points. The parents are speaking out about how wrong this is.

            OK, so you're saying they're upset not because Kerry brought up their daughter's gayness but that he mentioned her at all. Let's say Mary is a member of a union and keep in mind that a lot of people don't like unions. Even better, she's not just a member but a union leader. Now let's say Kerry was talking about
            • I haven't found a quote from the Cheneys themselves but some news outlets have said the problem is with invading their family's privacy but that would be a lie. Mary's sexual orientation was already a publicly known fact, a fact diseminated by Mary, the media, and her parents.

              You really don't get the point here. The point is it is wrong for politicians to bring their opponents children into the discussion. Period. Just because some facts about them are widely known doesn't mean they don't deserve priva

              • You really don't get the point here.

                Say Chelsea Clinton had been overweight.

                You really didn't read my whole message. Being overweight (like me) is almost universally held to be a negative so bringing it up would be picking on a child (and unlike Mary, Chelsea actually *was* a child in 1996) with an unfortunate condition. Based on previous statements, neither John Kerry nor the Cheneys believe homosexuality to be an unfortunate condition.

                Please respond to my "union leader" thought experiment, I think t
                • Point taken on the age of the children--that certainly does make something wrong even worse. I used obesity just off the top of my head because there are people who argue either sides of the genetics vs. choice. The negative perception vs. that's just who they are is true of both--though certainly to varrying degrees. But I think we're getting stuck looking for analogies when there may not be any that quite fit and it's becoming a distraction from the issue instead of helping to resolve it.

                  Regardless

                • You really didn't read my whole message. Being overweight (like me) is almost universally held to be a negative so bringing it up would be picking on a child (and unlike Mary, Chelsea actually *was* a child in 1996) with an unfortunate condition. Based on previous statements, neither John Kerry nor the Cheneys believe homosexuality to be an unfortunate condition.

                  He read that, I'm sure. But you don't get that this is entirely irrelevant, on two levels. First, many voters favoring Bush do think it is unfo
            • I disagree with everything you wrote about Keyes, I'll leave it at that.

              I stated facts, and only facts. That you disagree with facts is pretty sad.

              OK, so you're saying they're upset not because Kerry brought up their daughter's gayness but that he mentioned her at all.

              Not that he mentioned her, but that he was using her to gain points for himself. Yes. Duh.

              And why wasn't Cheney an "angry father" at his debate when Edwards mentioned his daughter?

              Two reasons. First, because Edwards didn't bring
    • Thanks. That link was an interesting read--not for the reasons you might think however. It was an excellent example backing pudge's complaints about him being biased. I hadn't seen too much of it--some but I didn't bother looking that hard either. But that list which seems to be trying to make a non-partisan point (because has no obvious markings that it is opinion) is clearly a selective list which presents very partial information in order to draw conclusions which aren't justified.

      I agree, a major

  • It seems that Cheney has mentioned Mary homosexuality in the political arena, in response to a direct question about gay marriage way before the VP or Presidential debates.

    In Davenport, Iowa, on August 24th. A partial transcript:

    Q We have a battle here on this land, as well. And I would like to know, sir, from your heart -- I don't want to know what your advisors say, or even what your top advisor thinks -- but I need to know what do you think about homosexual marriages.

    THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, the

    • It seems that Cheney has mentioned Mary homosexuality in the political arena

      This fact has absolutely nothing to do with anything I've said on the issue. That you think it does means you are not understanding me.

      Timothy Noah hits it on the head:

      I won't dispute that Kerry was using Mary Cheney to score a political point.


      That should be the end of the story right there, for anyone not too biased to deny it. Kerry used his opponent's child to score political points. He was therefore wrong.

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