Your socialism, individual responsiblity and personal freedom theme suffers from a fatal philosophical imbalance. It is the fatal flaw of all libertarian utopians.
My support for this goes waaaay back to an episode of "Firing Line" where Buckley had Mortimer Adler as his guest. Adler pointed out that there were three great political ideas; liberty, equality and justice. Of those three justice was the primary ideal. You can imagine too much liberty, which would be a state of anarchy. You can imagine too much equality, which would be communism.
It is impossible to even imagine too much justice. The proper hierarchy of these three great political ideas is a triangle with justice at the top and equality and liberty at the base. It is only when equality and liberty are tempered with justice that we can even imagine a just society. If either equality or justice is elevated above justice the result is an unjust and unstable society.
The honorable William F. was at a loss for words and I have never heard or read of a rational rebuttal to this paradigm.
Patrick Henry, has just illustrated the answer to Chris' original post. The Republican supply siders and neo-cons have a different world vision. The two views are irreconcilable. Each side believes the other side is misguided at best and at worst maliciously intent on the destruction of American values, if not the end of western civilization as we know it. Each vision is undergirded by a completely different set of values.
Here is my response to your points Patrick Henry:
Education Reform: (1) Testing is not a reform and (2) it can not even be effective because it is underfunded. This program is a token.
Faith Based Community Initiatives: A nice idea, but completely under funded. Even if it was adequately funding faith based initiatives are not capable of adequately addressing contemporary social problems. This is also a token program,
Medical Savings Accounts and Social Security: The amount of funding required to achieve these two free market reforms is several trillion dollars each. It is virtually impossible to achieve either goal because we don't have several trillion dollars.
Tax Cuts: I saved the best for last. President Bush's tax cuts have made all of the above issues irrelevant. With our current massive budget deficits, our current acount deficit from trade, the Automatic Mandatory Tax problem and exiting unfunded liabilities for Social Security and Medicare there is no chance that any of them will be funded.
Our combined deficit from these problems is between $28 and $58 TRILLION dollars. What Republicans are incapable of acknowledging is that the reforms that they would like to see from government are just as expensive as the reforms that Democrats would like to see.
The plain truth is that Bush has guaranteed that neither party will be able to implement any reforms. The next administration is going to be stuck with addressing the Automatic Mandatory Tax problem and reforming Medicare and Social Security. If these two massive problems are adequately addressed (a HUGE assumption for either party) there will not be either the time or resources to address any other problem.
To address the accusation that taxing people who earn over $200k is socialism Patrick Henry, please take a look at my post The rich get the gold mine and the middle class gets the shaft on the main page. Rich people were not over taxed during the 90's. They seemed to do quite well actually. If Clinton's tax rates were so economically destructive then how do you explain the economic boom we had?
As a fiscally conservative Ex-RINO I believe that the only rational vote is for Kerry and gridlock. Republicans will filibuster Kerry's programs and Kerry will veto any extension of Bush's tax cuts. There is no other way to return America to fiscal sanity.
The focus on Iraq distorts the "vision" the neo-cons have for America.
World War IV exactly the way the neo-cons describe the current war. They envision a long term permanent war against Islamic-fascism that was first described by Samuel Huntington in "The Clash of Civilizations" a couple of decades ago.
The fundamental problem with their world vision has been attacked by Francis Fukuyama in The National Interest. There is a civil war brewing in the neo-con ranks between Charles Krauthammer and Fukuyama because Iraq didn't turn out quite as ideally as promised.
Here is one paragraph from his critique of Krauthammer's "global realism" in The National Interest June '04 issue (subscription required):
Towards the end of his AEI speech, Krauthammer speaks of the United States as being in the midst of a bitter and remorseless war with an implacable enemy that is out to destroy Western civilization. This kind of language is appropriate as a description of Israel's strategic situation since the outbreak of the second intifada. The question is whether this accurately describes the position of the United States as well. Are we like Israel, locked in a remorseless struggle with a large part of the Arab and Muslim world, with few avenues open to us for dealing with them other than an iron fist? And in general, does a strategic doctrine developed by a small, vulnerable country surrounded by implacable enemies make sense when applied to the situation of the world's sole superpower, a country that spends as much on defense as the next 16 most powerful countries put together?
The "War on Terror" is a misnomer for the neo-con vision. Iraq is not a diversion from Afghanistan, it is a diversion from their grand plan for strategic military dominance in the Middle East as a pathway to world wide dominance. They really did expect Iraq to be a "cakewalk" and if it had been they would have invaded Iran by now.
Their trump card is that even Democrats do not want to believe that our foreign policy is in the hands of madmen.
With Rove at the head of the Republican party, they have gone an all out offensive offensive. I think there's a reason we haven't heard from Bill Bennett, moral arbiter of outrage.
I think this election may turn on whether the media and the undecided voters really are sick of negative campaigning. I'm convinced that Sinclair Broadcasting's announcement that they are showing the Stolen Honor movie is a long planned effort by Rove.
These are all well orchestrated events that Rove has had mapped out for months, possibly even years.
Sinclair Broadcasting is doing a terrible job of getting advertisers for their web sites. The most successful site I found was KOVR in Sacramento: Isuzu, Cingular, Kia, Yahoo, ITT and Heald College
I found this contact for Isuzu :
Isuzu Motors America, Inc.
16323 Shoemaker Ave.
Cerritos, CA 90702
Hours: 6 am to 5 pm (PST)
Monday - Friday
The rest of their sites had very few or no advertisements. The only advertisers I found on multiple sites were Geico and ITT. I admit that I ran out of steam as I moved towards the East coast because there were so few stations that had any advertisers at all. The following is a list of the stations that I did check that had advertisers on their web site. Would these advertisers be a good place to start?
KABB & KRRT San Antonio
Please do not send the same e-mail to multiple KOVR 13 departments; all e-mail will be distributed to the proper parties.
?subject=DEWEY'S RECIPES COMMENT/QUESTION"KOVR Kitchen
?subject=HUMAN RESOURCES COMMENT/QUESTION"Human Resources CLICK HERE FOR JOB LISTINGS
?subject=I-TEAM COMMENT/QUESTION"I-Team with Jon Baird
?subject=NEWS COMMENT/QUESTION"News Department
?subject=SPECIAL ASSIGNMENT COMMENT/QUESTION"Special Assignments
?subject=WEB COMMENT/QUESTION"Website Department
We should probably limit our emails to the programing department.
The Point - Mark Hyman
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To make a comment about a recent commentary, or anything else, you can either go to The Point archives or fill out the form below.
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Truth, Lies and Red Tape
Our "Truth, Lies and Red Tape" Team is based in Washington DC. It investigates misuse of government resources and any other issues important to our viewers.
To view Truth, Lies & Red Tape on the web, select a report from the list below.
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Not every station I visited had "The Point" and "Truth, Lies and Red Tape" features, but it seems to be one of the centralized "news" features that Sinclair is channeling to its affiliates.
This is our "opportunity to help [Sinclair Broadcasting] get to the truth." I think that Mark Hyman and Sinclair Broadcasting want to hear from us this weekend.
I went to the KOVR13 website and they had a prominent Isuzu ad at the bottom of the page. Other advertisers were Cingular, Kia, Yahoo, ITT and Heald College.
Each Sinclair station probably has simlar ads on their website. Would this be a good way to narrow and target Sinclair advertisers? I think Isuzu would be the best advertiser choice to target for KOVR. I'm going to take a look at the other sites and see what I can come up with.
I found this contact for Isuzu for example:
Isuzu Motors America, Inc.
16323 Shoemaker Ave.
Cerritos, CA 90702
Hours: 6 am to 5 pm (PST)
Monday - Friday
It would be nice to have an email address to bomb their mail box. If there's somebody who knows more about this than I do, please offer suggestions.
I'd like to bomb the email box of Sinclair advertisers over the weekend so they had a very unpleasant surprise when they got to work Monday morning.
America just got another chance to see that Bush's accusations about Kerry being weak and being a flip flopper who can't be trusted are wrong. Kerry was more relaxed and friendlier in this debate just like he was last time.
Kerry had a better command of the facts and the issues. He was more Presidential once again. Remember when the spin was that Kerry did better the less the voters saw of him? Not any more. The more America sees Kerry the better he looks, both standing on his own and compared to Bush.
About half of Bush's talking points attacking Kerry just collapsed tonight. What can we expect next week?
Bush still has 60 minutes of material for a 90 minute debate. I haven't heard any commentator who thinks Kerry won on style, but Bush won on substance. Let's see. If Kerry wins on style AND substance, I wonder who won?
Bush has the same five or six talking points that he uses to answer every question. Next week Bush will:
1.)Accuse Kerry of being the most liberal Senator
2.) Remind us we are at war
3.) Remind us of 9-11
4.) Remind us of the recession
5.) Oh yeah, it's hard work
Bush will not have any new lines next week either. Kerry provided fresh answers and new information this week and he will again next week.
I was also working on a post last night about the Forbes 400 and got sidetracked.
The website doesn't go back that far, but in "Wealth and Democracy" Kevin Phillips has a 1982 list that only has about 18 billionaires. By 1996 they were up to I think 80, and Phillips says that the top 1% had 10 times as much wealth as they had in 1982.
Billionaires had a rough patch because of the .com meltdown and only held their own at about 80 billionaires between 1996 and 2000.
Even the Forbes 400 shows that from 2000 to 2004 the number of billionaires increased to over 400.
We now have at least four times as many billionaires as a result of the Bush tax cuts, but working families are barely holding even.
How many more multi-billioniares do we need before some of it starts to trickle down to hard working middle income families?
That is an actual screen shot. It has also been posted at dailykos. MSNBC corrected it later.
If MSNBC is going to pimp Kudlow on outsourcing and jobs a little disclosure seems to be in order. I specifically recall Kudlow saying on Kudlow and Cramer that the Bush dividend tax cuts would do very little to increase jobs. Bush tax cuts were NOT geared towards increasing jobs, even though he approved the dividend tax cuts for other reasons.
Kudlow is capable of being honest on occasion, just not this close to an election.
On the matter of whether or not the Bush administration actually favors outsourcing, Lou Dobbs named a group in his book "Exporting America". I am at work and don't remember the name, but it had former advisors to both Cheney and Bush on the board. They made the argument that it is unconstitutional for states to pass laws limiting or restricting outsourcing.
Their argument was that when states passed laws restricting outsourcing they were interfering with U.S. foreign policy. It seems to me that linking the Bush administration to a group that makes this kind of outrageous argument would be devastating.
Maybe somebody could use this for the after debate spin. I distinctly recall Lawrence Kudlow saying that the Bush tax cuts would not do much to increase jobs. He was talking about the tax corporate dividend tax cuts.
The transcripts of Kudlow & Kramer will prove that he doesn't believe his own nonsense. Tax cuts do not automatically create jobs. Never have, never will. And Kudlow knows it and has admitted it.
I think the worst jobs record since Truman meme is played out. Everybody has heard it. Kerry needs to add a new wrinkle.
Bush has a litany of excuses for why his tax cuts have not produced more jobs. The number one excuse is 911. Bush's first "temporary" tax cut was in March 2001. Bush has predicted MILLIONS of jobs with every single tax cut since 911. Kerry needs to present a quick simple list of each jobs prediction for each tax cut. Jobs Watch has some good charts for the last tax cut: linked text
A quick simple argument would go like this:
In 2001 George Bush predicted X jobs. In 2002 Bush predicted X Million jobs, in 2003 Bush predicted X Million jobs, in 2004 Bush predicted X Million jobs. That's a total of X Million jobs that Bush predicted would result from his tax cuts.
The Bush tax cut policy was once referred to as Vodoo Economics. It was true then and it's true now. The simple economic truth is that tax cuts by themselves don't create jobs. If they did Bush would have created X Million jobs.
Jobs are created by investing in America and investing in American workers. Imagine how many real jobs would have been created if the X TRILLION dollars Bush has given to multi-millionaires and multi-billionaires had been invested in improved education and improved infrastructure like roads and bridges.
Instead of giving companies tax cuts to ship jobs overseas, we should be giving companies tax cuts for investing in American workers and American jobs.
The beauty of this argument is that it uses Bush's own predictions against him and they made all except the first prediction with full knowledge of 911 and the WAR ON TERROR. Their excuses won't wash because they were already known factors when they made the jobs predictions.
The real beauty is that it matches Bush 43 with Bush 41. I think this will bring out the little Shrub demons and facial ticks. Bush knows in his heart and the core of his soul that he doesn't match up to the old man.
I hope that someone on Kerry's staff has read "Unsustainable: How Economic Dogma Is Destroying American Prosperity" by Fingleton. First he destroys the false philosophical base of supply side economics and then lays out the groundwork for a new industrial policy that will rejuvenate the economy.
Lou Dobbs has some gems as well in Exporting America. "What the current administration calls 'insourcing' is really just foreign direct investment in the United States." We are letting foreign companies buy access to American consumers by opening a plant here, but they will not allow American companies the same access to their markets. At the same time, American companies are transferring their technology, experience, manufacturing know how to the Pacific Rim.
American companies are literally shipping our manufacturing base and our technological advantage overseas and we don't even get access to their markets in return.
I think a remark to the effect that Bush 41 would not have invaded Iraq on the flimsy evidence that Bush 43 relied on. Although it is true, the problem is that Rove can wheel out Bush 41 to defend the Iraq invasion.
This is definitely a Bush vulnerability. Bush 41 does not measure up to the old man and he knows it. There are demons hiding in this dark corner.
Maybe some complimentary remarks about the fiscal discipline of Bush 41 and his restraint in foreign policy and restraint in not going all the way to Baghdad. This can be dangerous territory, but if it is framed right and well presented a comparison to the old man just might bring out little Shrub's demons.