was a bipartisan bill, as one of the co-sponsors, Sen Snowe, Olympia J. [ME], is a member of the GOP.
Olympia Snowe votes with Democrats more than Republicans. She was one of the only three Republicans in the Senate and House that voted on the $787 billion spending bill. One of those "Republicans," Arlen Specter, is now a Democrat.
Here is a visualization which performs an energy minimization mapping to group politicians by their voting record.
You can clearly see where Olympia Snowe votes in relation to the two parties. Saying this bill is bi-partisan is a more than a bit of a stretch.
Actually seeing as churches are tax exempt for property taxes and income taxes and often sit on prime real-estate while pocketing millions of dollars I would say that they do quite well for themselves.
The issue isn't about the money, but I agree with the hypocrisy of the tax exemption situation. The issue is that we have concocted this monolith known as public education. Since there is no diversity of choice, people will inevitably fight for control of the monolith. Anyone who doesn't think that people should bring up issues important to them in this public situation is effectively saying--"Hey, we're happy to take your money, but not for you to have representation. Sit down and shut up."
Let's just imagine that instead of corporations, we had "The Public Company System" that was supported by tax dollars. Inevitably, people are going to fight for what the system should produce. Instead of allowing people to produce whatever they want, we'll have this one company produce some relative percentage of every good we need.
This leads to your statement about equal time for Wiccan beliefs. I don't know if you're trying to create some reductio ad absurdum, but I really think it backfires. Why should everyone be represented minimally in one system, when they can be represented totally in another?
Why should we force people to live the "average," or "equal time" belief system, when we could just let them live their own? Public education forces this living-the-average scenario.
Name one case where a scientist has seriously demanded that any church give equal time to preaching evolution!
Name one church that has ever argued that they're entitled to $5000-$7000 a year per school child by governmental force.
The issue here is freedom, and the cause of this problem is compulsory public education. To everyone who exclaims "but they shouldn't be able to teach that in public school," I would ask why you believe in forcing people to monetarily support an institution they don't believe in.
That's a lot more intense moralizing than the creationists. Really, whose system here is more practically malicious?
There are over 50 TRILLION dollars of these CDS out there carried by banks who use them as collateral to make loans. They are actually worthless at this time so these banks are in reality bankrupt. That is why banks can not loan right now.
This is very misleading. The $55 trillion dollar figure is the "notional" value of the CDS contracts. Most of these contracts cancel each other out. I believe the residual discrepancy between these opposing ~$27 trillion dollar freight trains is expected to be a maximum of $1 trillion. Big, but not catastrophic. Here is more info: http://seekingalpha.com/article/65104-a-misleading-chart-on-credit-default-swaps
I will agree with the poster though, the media is in fact being very pollyannish about the possible downsides that still exist. What we have heard about is the "subprime" mortgage crisis. That however, is just the tip of the iceberg--we have 4 years worth of high default rates on option-ARM and alt-A mortgages which will be unpleasant, to say the least.
Look here for more details: http://www.businessweek.com/the_thread/hotproperty/archives/2007/11/the_reset_probl.html
Most worrisome of all, the government is involved now. More than likely they'll print U.S. currency into oblivion to pay for all of this "stimulus" and trying to keep house prices artificially high.
I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them. -- Isaac Asimov