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LisaW



Joined: 05 Apr 2007
Posts: 173

PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark wrote:
Those figures are still not helpful for this discussion since a miniscule percentage of the U.S. population holds a massive percentage of the country's total wealth.
The percentages I'm saying to compare are:

Total income taxes paid
-----------------------------
Gross income

Not adjusted gross, not theoretical marginal rates, etc. How much is a person PAYING (after all tricky deductions and special treatments) in total income taxes as a percentage of TOTAL income. Compare those two numbers within U.S. populations and you see why I say current tax laws favor the rich.
As income taxes I include all taxes withheld or owed (and PAID) based on incoming money from wages, investments or any unearned income: Federal, state, social security, Medicare, capital gains, inheritance, SDI, etc. I do not include sales taxes, which are always regressive (harder on lower incomes).


No matter how you look at it, a very small part of the people are paying the majority of the federal income tax. However much a "percentage" that is of their gross has nothing to do with it ... the 1% of the highest earners pay 39% of all federal income tax. The upper 1%. The lower 38%(+ or -) not only don't pay, they get money sent to them. Just how much more of a "tax cut" do you want for those lower 38%? How about a 100% cut for them? Because, they are already paying nothing so make that another 100% of that nothing. Works for me.

President Kennedy cut taxes and tax revenues increased. President Reagan cut taxes and tax revenues increased. President Bush cut taxes and tax revenues increased. When President Carter raised taxes, revenues decreased.

This is not rocket science, but it does require an open mind.
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Cora



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 1129
Location: Bremen, Germany

PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Irish economic boom of the 1990s was largely due to the fact that Ireland joined the EU and being a poor country, got money from all sorts of economic aid programs (paid for by tax payers in all member countries), which they managed to invest somewhat smarter than some other countries.
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KarenS



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 870
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 9:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LisaW wrote:
And to KarenS -- who seems to loathe and fear Christians -- the "religious right" isn't against stem cell research. Hardly. In fact, President Bush has advocated for it. What we are against is fetal stem cell research because nothing has shown that fetal stem cells provide anything more than adult. Keeping the stem cells from a umbilical cord for future use by the child is one thing. Taking "aborted fetuses" and experimenting leads to the day when someone will be paid for their aborted fetus and eventually to someone getting pregnant just to abort the fetus.



What a waste of fetal stem cells when they could be used in medical research. They are fertilized in fertility clinics and those that are not used are then destroyed. This is a total waste. My friend who happens to be pretty conservative, usually votes Republican is paralyzed from a stroke she had in 2005. She tells me that fetal stem cell research could possibly lead the way for improving her life. So it's interesting that she now supports fetal stem cell research. I guess it makes a difference when your life is affected. Does the aborted fetuses research for profit happen that often or is this a fear tactic among the pro-life movement? Even if it were to happen, so what.

Hypocritical Christians annoy me. They say one thing and do something else and justify their actions as being approved by God. I don't understand this attitude of not wanting to help the downtrodden. Nor their attitude of their money being the end all, be all. A lot of this goes back to Reagan when the born again fundamentalists Christians(BAFC) hitched their wagon to Reagan and pursued materialism over God because it was the anti-socialist thing to do. Instead they became capitalists. Passages from the Bible to support the acquisition of material goods at the expense of helping people became the order of the day. Instead of helping the downtrodden, they suddenly became "Old Testament" to justify turning their back on the teachings of Christ.
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LisaW



Joined: 05 Apr 2007
Posts: 173

PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2008 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KarenS wrote:


Hypocritical Christians annoy me. They say one thing and do something else and justify their actions as being approved by God. I don't understand this attitude of not wanting to help the downtrodden. Nor their attitude of their money being the end all, be all. A lot of this goes back to Reagan when the born again fundamentalists Christians(BAFC) hitched their wagon to Reagan and pursued materialism over God because it was the anti-socialist thing to do. Instead they became capitalists. Passages from the Bible to support the acquisition of material goods at the expense of helping people became the order of the day. Instead of helping the downtrodden, they suddenly became "Old Testament" to justify turning their back on the teachings of Christ.


I can say I'm a Super Model ... doesn't make me one. You can't just say "I'm a Christian" -- if you are or aren't is not always visible. You have a problem with Chrisitians, all of them, apparently, even though only some small few seem to have caught your ire. Makes you a bigot, madam.

And, if "hypocritical Christians" annoy you, you must be incensed with Barack Obama. He sat in a church for 20 years and didn't hear racist comments? He's lied about his associations? He didn't really know William Ayers ... he just lived down the street. Of course, they served on boards together, visited in each other's houses, and Ayers channeled a few million dollars to Obama in his "activist" days. Oh, at let's not forget "our children went to school together" -- yeah, sure, Ayer's kids are grown and Obama's are, what, 7 & 9? But Barack said it. Must be true.

He's also a lousy parent -- he took his young daughters to that same church and let them hear that racist prattle, as well as generations of other young black people, perpetuating the the idea that if someone is "of color" in this country and not a multimillionaire, it's all "whitey's fault" and not because they didn't bother to go to school, pay attention in school, apply themselves and think of the future, not just the immediate pleasures of the present.

There's nothing wrong with being a capitalist. Nothing. And, the "downtrodden" are best helped by having jobs available for those willing to work. The old "I can give a man a fish and he'll eat today, or I can teach a man to fish and he'll eat everyday" concept. "The War on Poverty" has spent trillions to help uplift the downtrodden, and yet, there are all these "downtrodden". Had that money actually been given to people instead of however it was spent, they would have had a small fortune ... well, until they stupidly spent it on $600 handbags, $1000 shoes ala the VISA card holders after Katrina.

You have a real Pollyanna attitude. Take a look at people and the real world, not this Socialist Utopia you envision. Even the Pilgrims couldn't make socialism work .. and they were a small group of like minded people.
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LisaW



Joined: 05 Apr 2007
Posts: 173

PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2008 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LisaW wrote:


And, Barack's slide into stealing from everyone has started showing. It was "anyone who made over $250,000" -- of course he never really defined whether that was net or gross which are two very different things (although, he did use the term "revenue" which, as an attorney, he should know means gross). Within the last couple of days, that's slipped to $200,000. How soon until everyone realizes he cannot give "95%" of the people taxcuts (although, of course, to the current crop of Democrats in Washington a "cut" is just "not taking as much as we'd really like" as opposed to actually cutting) -- mainly because about 40% of the people are currently not paying income taxes ("Payroll" taxes, yes, Income, no). Soon, that number will slip to $175,000 and then to $125,000 and not long after that to $25,000. Has to ... even if you confiscated everyone's current monetary worth and evenly spread it, you are not going to produce a country of wealthy ... and you still have to tax to run the government.

Wake up, People!



Yep -- started as $250,000

Then the infomercial this past week: $200,000

And then Joe Biden: $150,000

And then the Obama spokesman: $120,000

Not even mentioning Obama already voting twice to raise taxes on those making $46,000 and above already ... okay, I'll mention it

He hasn't even won yet, and that number is quickly sliding lower and lower.

Rolling Eyes
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Cora



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 1129
Location: Bremen, Germany

PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2008 9:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LisaW wrote:

And, if "hypocritical Christians" annoy you, you must be incensed with Barack Obama. He sat in a church for 20 years and didn't hear racist comments? He's lied about his associations? He didn't really know William Ayers ... he just lived down the street. Of course, they served on boards together, visited in each other's houses, and Ayers channeled a few million dollars to Obama in his "activist" days. Oh, at let's not forget "our children went to school together" -- yeah, sure, Ayer's kids are grown and Obama's are, what, 7 & 9? But Barack said it. Must be true.

He's also a lousy parent -- he took his young daughters to that same church and let them hear that racist prattle, as well as generations of other young black people, perpetuating the the idea that if someone is "of color" in this country and not a multimillionaire, it's all "whitey's fault" and not because they didn't bother to go to school, pay attention in school, apply themselves and think of the future, not just the immediate pleasures of the present.


There is plenty of racist and other hateful (e.g. homophobic) prattle preached in predominantly white or predominantly hispanic churches, not to mention in the places of worship of other religions. And people take their children to these places all the time. Why single out Obama and the church he used to attend, when it has been confirmed that there have been some very problematic things preached in the church attended by Sarah Palin and her family? And who knows what is being preached in the churches attended by John McCain or Joe Biden?

Quote:

Had that money actually been given to people instead of however it was spent, they would have had a small fortune ... well, until they stupidly spent it on $600 handbags, $1000 shoes ala the VISA card holders after Katrina.


I may be mistaken, but as far as I recall those 600 USD handbags or 1000 USD shoes were isolated incidents and at least a few of them were due to unscrupulous people enlarging press photos of Katrina victims holding up their brand-new credit cards and using the numbers of those cards to commit fraud. You can't really blame the Katrina victims for those incidents of fraud, though you could blame the news outlets for not obscuring the credit card numbers.
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LisaW



Joined: 05 Apr 2007
Posts: 173

PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 12:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cora wrote:

There is plenty of racist and other hateful (e.g. homophobic) prattle preached in predominantly white or predominantly hispanic churches, not to mention in the places of worship of other religions. And people take their children to these places all the time. Why single out Obama and the church he used to attend, when it has been confirmed that there have been some very problematic things preached in the church attended by Sarah Palin and her family? And who knows what is being preached in the churches attended by John McCain or Joe Biden?


Because those racists and hateful people are not running for President of the United States?

Cora wrote:
LisaW wrote:

Had that money actually been given to people instead of however it was spent, they would have had a small fortune ... well, until they stupidly spent it on $600 handbags, $1000 shoes ala the VISA card holders after Katrina.


I may be mistaken, but as far as I recall those 600 USD handbags or 1000 USD shoes were isolated incidents and at least a few of them were due to unscrupulous people enlarging press photos of Katrina victims holding up their brand-new credit cards and using the numbers of those cards to commit fraud. You can't really blame the Katrina victims for those incidents of fraud, though you could blame the news outlets for not obscuring the credit card numbers.


I'm sure there was fraud with idiots who showed off their card numbers ... just like there have been fraud situations when people have copied numbers from cards sitting at a cash register, waiting for them to be authorized. However, there were Katrina "victims" who, instead of using the cards for basic needs, to get themselves back on their feet, saw them as the means to buy outlandish items. Just like there are still Katrina "victims" living in hotels and getting room service.
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Laura V



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 302
Location: UK

PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 4:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lisa W wrote:
Because those racists and hateful people are not running for President of the United States?
So far, it seems to me that you haven't actually provided any quotes of what Rev. Wright said, you've just described his words as "racist prattle." It may be worth noting both that Obama has distanced himself from Wright and that McCain had originally "actively courted [Hagee's] support, in order to improve his standing within the evangelical community." Here's more background on the Rev John Hagee:
Quote:
US presidential hopeful John McCain has rejected the backing of a Church leader who said Hitler was carrying out "God's will" in chasing the Jews from Europe.

It comes after the comments by evangelical preacher Rev John Hagee, which were made in the 1990s, re-emerged on a US news website.

In a sermon, Rev Hagee said the Nazi leader was carrying out a divine plan to gather Jews into the Holy Land.

The Republican candidate described the comments as "crazy and unacceptable".

Senator McCain had been criticised for seeking the endorsement of the controversial minister.

Rev Hagee has also described the Roman Catholic Church as "the great whore" and a "false cult system", as well as suggesting that Hurricane Katrina was God's retribution for homosexual sin. (BBC)
McCain, like Obama, is running for President. McCain, like Obama, has denounced a pastor/preacher with whom he was closely associated.

On the topic of Katrina victims:
Quote:
When the storms displaced nearly one million people, the federal government rushed to provide temporary housing in hotels, on cruise ships and in trailers.

Within months, many of the hundreds of thousands of people living in the trailers and mobile homes reported strange illnesses such as breathing problems, burning eyes, blood disorders and even death.

"It's just the sickness. I can't get rid of it. It just keeps coming back," Gina Bourranie who was pregnant with her now 15-month-old daughter when she lived in a FEMA trailer, told the AP. (PBS)
The fear is that
Quote:
tens of thousands of youngsters [...] may face lifelong health problems because the temporary housing supplied by the Federal Emergency Management Agency contained formaldehyde fumes up to five times the safe level.

The chemical, used in interior glue, was detected in many of the 143,000 trailers sent to the Gulf Coast in 2006. But a push to get residents out of them, spearheaded by FEMA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, did not begin until this past February. (MSNBC)
As reported by the Washington Post in 2007
Quote:
The Federal Emergency Management Agency since early 2006 has suppressed warnings from its own field workers about health problems experienced by hurricane victims living in government-provided trailers with levels of a toxic chemical 75 times the recommended maximum for U.S. workers, congressional lawmakers said yesterday.

A trail of e-mails obtained by investigators shows that the agency's lawyers rejected a proposal for systematic testing of the levels of potentially cancer-causing formaldehyde gas in the trailers, out of concern that the agency would be legally liable for any hazards or health problems. As many as 120,000 families displaced by hurricanes Katrina and Rita lived in the suspect trailers, and hundreds have complained of ill effects.
Another extremely worrying aspect of the situation is that as of this month
Quote:
A government study to track the health of children who lived in FEMA trailers after Hurricane Katrina is still stuck in the planning stages, three years after families first began complaining about health problems related to formaldehyde in their temporary homes. [...]

The Centers for Disease Control, which is supposed to conduct the study, hasnít figured out how it will find the children, many of whom moved out of the trailers months or even years ago. It also hasnít settled on a scientific methodology, according to interviews and documents obtained by ProPublica, a nonprofit investigative newsroom.

Before the work can actually begin, the study must be approved by the White Houseís Office of Management and Budget. The CDC also must get money from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to fund the study. The final bill could reach $87 million, according to Michael McGeehin, who is leading the study. (ProPublica)

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KarenS



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 870
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LisaW wrote:
LisaW wrote:


And, Barack's slide into stealing from everyone has started showing. It was "anyone who made over $250,000" -- of course he never really defined whether that was net or gross which are two very different things (although, he did use the term "revenue" which, as an attorney, he should know means gross). Within the last couple of days, that's slipped to $200,000. How soon until everyone realizes he cannot give "95%" of the people taxcuts (although, of course, to the current crop of Democrats in Washington a "cut" is just "not taking as much as we'd really like" as opposed to actually cutting) -- mainly because about 40% of the people are currently not paying income taxes ("Payroll" taxes, yes, Income, no). Soon, that number will slip to $175,000 and then to $125,000 and not long after that to $25,000. Has to ... even if you confiscated everyone's current monetary worth and evenly spread it, you are not going to produce a country of wealthy ... and you still have to tax to run the government.

Wake up, People!



Yep -- started as $250,000

Then the infomercial this past week: $200,000

And then Joe Biden: $150,000

And then the Obama spokesman: $120,000

Not even mentioning Obama already voting twice to raise taxes on those making $46,000 and above already ... okay, I'll mention it

He hasn't even won yet, and that number is quickly sliding lower and lower.

Rolling Eyes



Your post sounds just like the Robo call I just got from the McCain-Palin campaign. I listened to it so I would know what's being said and it sounded just like this post.
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xina



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 6:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your post sounds just like the Robo call I just got from the McCain-Palin campaign. I listened to it so I would know what's being said and it sounded just like this post.[/quote]


LOL....Never have I been so happy to just have my cell and not our land lines anymore. I missed the fun of all those annoying Robo calls. Rolling Eyes
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Cora



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
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Location: Bremen, Germany

PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 7:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LisaW wrote:

Because those racists and hateful people are not running for President of the United States?


Sarah Palin is running for vice president of the US and attended a problematic church from which to my knowledge she has not yet distanced herself. Plus, Laura V pointed out that John McCain was also involved with a problematic preacher, from whom he did distance himself (I was not aware of this). So that leaves only Joe Biden to whose church no one has raised any objections.

As for the Katrina victims, see all the excellent links and quotes provided by Laura V. Never mind that the Katrina situation was a complete f-up from the start, first of all because the authorities neglected building levees capable of withstanding the sort of flooding expected from a major hurricane and because there was no proper evacuation plan. Then, the US disaster relief organizations completely f-d up the clean-up to the point that the German disaster relief organization had to send heavy duty pumps (payed for by German taxpayers) to help out, because the US authorities didn't have the necessary equipment. Which is sad for one of the richest countries in the world.

Germany is hit by storms and floods with relative regularity. Sometimes the dykes don't hold and people lose their homes, which is sad. However, those people are not still living in trailers two years later. But the last major f-up was in the early 1960s where some 200 people died in a flood because the authorities did not evacuate in time. The authorities learned from those mistakes and have very efficient evacuation plans with special measures targeting the elderly, poor people and immigrants. Plus, we have a very effective federal disaster relief organisation (the same people who helped out after Katrina).

Besides, the health hazards associated with formaldehyde - the substance which is causing all those health problems with Katrina victims - have been well documented since the 1980s at least. The stuff is strictly controlled in Europe and furniture, etc... containing too high levels of formaldehyde is regularly recalled. So how could the stuff even get into trailers in sufficient quantities to cause health problems, considering the US is generally known to be very stringent about product safety?
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Sterling_95



Joined: 04 Oct 2008
Posts: 212

PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2008 4:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
What a waste of fetal stem cells when they could be used in medical research. They are fertilized in fertility clinics and those that are not used are then destroyed.


Well, I know that some people don't favor IVF either, due to that reason. And there are women who will willingly take on the fertilized eggs and carry them to term. It's not something that is exclusively fundamental Christian either. I know a woman who is a Wiccan with MS and she is strongly against fetal stem cell research

I don't know if I agree with the stance, but it makes sense if you think that a fetus is baby from very early on. And it's one of those tricky ethical areas that isn't as black and white as one would think. After all, criminalizing unauthorized organ harvesting is just wasting organs that dead people aren't using anyway, but most people are uncomfortable with grave robbing.

I'll admit - I'll probably vote for Obama tomorrow, but I am not blinded to the man's faults, so I can see where LisaW is coming from. The tie with Ayers, although not huge, is one that gives one pause, given Obama's ties to PLO leaders and Rekzo. Obama's opposition to the Born Alive act frankly gives me the heebie jeebies, because pro-choice or pro-life, once that baby is out of the mother's body, I can see no compelling argument for denying it care. The Freedom of Choice act, which Obama has pledged to sign, has several clauses that infringe upon state legislature and go further than what even most pro-choice advocates would be comfortable with. The Employee Free Choice Act, another Obama sponsored bill, contains provisions just ripe for exploitation. He keeps moving about the figure eligible for tax cuts. He's been caught contradicting himself numerous times, on nuclear energy, the surge, Iran, etc. He's accepted money from dodgy sources and spent an obscene amount for a man who supposedly deplores waste and big money. He's a politician, and I expect him to recant on several promises and screw up in quite a few areas. I'm just hoping that he won't screw up too badly.

I admired McCain before this whole election, and so did a great deal of the media. He was the maverick, the one who could reach across lines, etc, etc. I don't think he's changed that much, and to be honest, when listening to them during the debate, I thought their stances often sounded very similar. So he's given in and pandered. I feel that the only reason that Obama hasn't pandered is that he's had the advantage of a short record and therefore, people can project their hopes upon him. He's the perfect photogenic, congenial blank slate.

So in short, I don't feel that McCain or Palin is as awful as they have been painted, and Obama has gotten a free pass, which will stop as soon as he finds himself in the hotseat. Good luck to whoever gets the presidency - I don't envy you
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Tee



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2008 8:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sterling_95 wrote:
Good luck to whoever gets the presidency - I don't envy you

Not a good time to be in that seat; that's for sure. You brought up something that reminded me of a presidential election way back, Sterling_95. You said that you have a feeling that neither McCain nor Palin are as bad as they're painted to be. In the '60s, Republican Barry Goldwater was touted as the war candidate; ads made him the person to fear if he ever got to the White House because of all that he said he would do when he got there. (As a Democrat, I swallowed it all--hook, line and sinker.) He never hesitated to speak his mind and he often said things he later wished he hadn't. Actually, people came to realize later that a lot of what he said and how we should be handling certain world issues was the truth, some of the very things that people feared him for during the campaign. Goldwater once said he would have voted against himself in 1964 if he believed everything that had been written or said on radio and television about him. Responding to a reporter's question what it might feel like to wake up as president some day, Goldwater remarked, "Frankly, it scares the hell out of me."

So, you've got it right. It's definitely not a good time to be in that seat these days either. Lots of tough stuff ahead for the country and the world and I don't envy either man who may win today.


Last edited by Tee on Tue Nov 04, 2008 9:25 am; edited 1 time in total
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Margaret



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2008 9:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
once that baby is out of the mother's body, I can see no compelling argument for denying it care.


That's true. And I believe the hospitals have to provide care, that's already standard procedure...so don't trust the spin being put on this one.
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Sterling_95



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2008 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
That's true. And I believe the hospitals have to provide care, that's already standard procedure...so don't trust the spin being put on this one.


The Federal act passed in 2002, so that's why it's standard operating procedure. It has been legislature for the past 6 years. But Obama voted against it twice. It's a matter of public record, and he admitted that he voted against it. His claim is that the legislative bill contained language that would have put restrictions on Roe vs Wade, but the legislative bill is identical in language to the Federal bill. The relevant wording is: "Nothing in this section shall be construed to affirm, deny, expand, or contract any legal status or legal right applicable to any member of the species homo sapiens at any point prior to being 'born alive' as defined in this section." Here is a link to the text of the Act.

http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=107_cong_bills&docid=f:h2175enr.txt.pdf

And here is a link the full text of the legislation, co-sponsors, cost estimates and other information. This one is straight from the Library of Congress

http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d107:H.R.2175:

I did my homework on this one, to make sure I wasn't getting spin from either party. It still gives me the creeps. Obama's next press release was that he believes that defining viability as being less than 9 months would lead to restrictions on abortion, but I know several people who were once premies, including my husband and my mother.
Quote:

Not a good time to be in that seat; that's for sure. You brought up something that reminded me of a presidential election way back, Sterling_95. You said that you have a feeling that neither McCain nor Palin are as bad as they're painted to be. In the '60s, Republican Barry Goldwater was touted as the war candidate; ads made him the person to fear if he ever got to the White House because of all that he said he would do when he got there. (As a Democrat, I swallowed it all--hook, line and sinker.) He never hesitated to speak his mind and he often said things he later wished he hadn't.


That's a good example, Tee. I remember reading biographies of Johnson and seeing the irony that Goldwater was painted as the hawk when Johnson would be the one chased out due to an unpopular war
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