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Old 04-09-2006, 09:50 PM   #91
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Its not that its impossible for a women to win, its just that being a women is at least a slight disadvantage in the current climate. But, such a slight disadvantage can be removed if the person holds political views aligned with the those likely to exhibit some level of racism or sexism.
You're painting a really lovely view of the Republican party and Republican voters.

Grim.
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Old 04-09-2006, 10:31 PM   #92
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Every new Republican scandal increases the possibility of Democratic success. How many are yet to come to light? Refusing to see the reality of what's going on in Iraq isn't going to help the Bush machine's popularity, nor will trying start yet another fruitless war that we can't afford, let alone win. Bush is the face of the Republican party, and as much as they might try to distance themselves from him now, their rubber-stamp voting records can't be erased.
The Reality currently in Iraq that few people on either the left or right see, is that US casualties have fallen for 5 consecutive months now. The longest period of decline before was only 2 months. The insurgency in Iraq has not grown at all since April 2004 when the United States suffered its worse casualties.

The new Iraqi military will effectively control 75% of Iraq, conducting all the patrols and responding to any security problems by the end of the summer of 2006. By the end of 2006, the Iraqi military will finally be at its planned size.

A US military Captain who has spent the majority of the past three years in Iraq says the difference between then and now is like night and day. When the Saddam statues came down in Baghdad, the US military was handling ALL security public functions. Childern were not going to school. Now the schools are open and are running better than they did before the war and it is the Iraqi Army and Iraqi Police force that is most often seen on the streets of many cities.

While formation of a new government has stalled, if the Iraqi's can get over this last hurdle, the situation will improve even more. Civil War will not benefit anyone except Al Quada. Those who think the current situation is a Civil War need to study up on the Bosnian and Rawandan Civil Wars.

As long as US casaulties continue to drop, the Iraqi government is finally able to break the current deadlock, Americans will become less and less concerned with the situation there. If the United States over the next two years is able withdraw a significant number of troops because the improving situation and the Iraqi government gets over its current deadlock, Bush's poll numbers will indeed rise and the poor poll numbers will be forgotten.

The United States has enough combat brigades outside of Iraq to successfuly invade Iran and overthrow the regime. It also has the money to pay for it as well. Current defense spending as well as the cost of the work in Iraq is only 4.5% of USA GDP. The Reagan administration spent more on national defense in peacetime at 6% of GDP in the 1980s, than the current Bush administration is spending on defense, Iraq and Afghanistan. If you want to know what an expensive war is, I refer you to World War II, where USA national debt after four years went from a 20% of GDP to 150% of GDP.

The real question with Iran is military action warrented in this particular situation? Would the benefits of removing the regime in Iran justify the cost of doing so? As for the Airstrikes that are being contemplated, they would be very cheap comparitively, but would likely only push the problem down the road a few years at best, unless the United States continually bombed as facilities were being rebuilt.

Bush will be in office another three years, and most Senators are not up for election in November 2006. That leaves just the House Of Representives for the mid-term election as the only place where a significant change could occur. But it is a mid-term election which primarily appeals to hardcore voters and not the general public. The Republicans do a much better job at getting their base out which is why they may remain in control of the House Of Representives even with current poll numbers.
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Old 04-09-2006, 10:35 PM   #93
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Thats why we have the annual United Nations Human Development Report to give an accurate picture of the standard of living for nearly all countries around the world.


oh, good. that settles it. and this is totally relevant to what i was talking about.

case closed!

don't worry, y'all; be happy!

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Old 04-09-2006, 10:44 PM   #94
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oh, good. that settles it. and this is totally relevant to what i was talking about.
You should, instead, chuckle at the subtext:

1 Norway 0.963
2 Iceland 0.956
3 Australia 0.955
4 Luxembourg 0.949
5 Canada 0.949
6 Sweden 0.949
7 Switzerland 0.947
8 Ireland 0.946
9 Belgium 0.945

Most of these nations are perceived bastions of liberalism. And Iceland, for instance, has the highest tax burden of all the nations in the world: an average of 45%.

And you know how much America makes fun of Canada. Yet, they're five places ahead of us.

Somehow, I don't think lavishing the top 1% with more tax cuts is ever going to put us closer to #1.

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Old 04-09-2006, 10:56 PM   #95
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Originally posted by anitram


You're painting a really lovely view of the Republican party and Republican voters.

Grim.
I think that there is a small amount of racism and sexism in both parties, but the Republicans tend to have more of this than the Democrats. In any event, the vast majority of people in both parties are not sexist or racist.
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Old 04-09-2006, 11:14 PM   #96
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Originally posted by melon


You should, instead, chuckle at the subtext:

1 Norway 0.963
2 Iceland 0.956
3 Australia 0.955
4 Luxembourg 0.949
5 Canada 0.949
6 Sweden 0.949
7 Switzerland 0.947
8 Ireland 0.946
9 Belgium 0.945

Most of these nations are perceived bastions of liberalism. And Iceland, for instance, has the highest tax burden of all the nations in the world: an average of 45%.

And you know how much America makes fun of Canada. Yet, they're five places ahead of us.

Somehow, I don't think lavishing the top 1% with more tax cuts is ever going to put us closer to #1.


Melon
I don't think tax cuts for the top 1% in the United States is a good idea either, but tax cuts for the middle class are definitely necessary and effective.

Also take a look at these countries that rank below the United States:

11 Japan 0.943
12 Netherlands 0.943
13 Finland 0.941
14 Denmark 0.941
15 United Kingdom 0.939

16 France 0.938
17 Austria 0.936
18 Italy 0.934
19 New Zealand 0.933
20 Germany 0.930

21 Spain 0.928

These countries could also be considered as bastions of liberalism at least in the same sense that countries 1-9 are, but they rank behind the United States in standard of living.

As far Canada lets not forget that nearly half of their economy is dependent upon exports to the United States.

As for Iceland, its not to difficult to be #2 when you only have 299,388 people and NO armed forces at all.
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Old 04-09-2006, 11:19 PM   #97
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oh, good. that settles it. and this is totally relevant to what i was talking about.

case closed!

don't worry, y'all; be happy!

You said that you did not think that unemployment numbers were comprehensive enough to offer a total assessment on US economic health. Well, the United Nations would definitely agree which is why they consider a large number of factors in compiling the annual Human Development Index.
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Old 04-09-2006, 11:54 PM   #98
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Originally posted by STING2

Also take a look at these countries that rank below the United States:

11 Japan 0.943
12 Netherlands 0.943
13 Finland 0.941
14 Denmark 0.941
15 United Kingdom 0.939

16 France 0.938
17 Austria 0.936
18 Italy 0.934
19 New Zealand 0.933
20 Germany 0.930

21 Spain 0.928

These countries could also be considered as bastions of liberalism at least in the same sense that countries 1-9 are, but they rank behind the United States in standard of living.

As far Canada lets not forget that nearly half of their economy is dependent upon exports to the United States.

As for Iceland, its not to difficult to be #2 when you only have 299,388 people and NO armed forces at all.
You dodged my question again earlier but at least you've come around to your same pointless comparison to those HDI countries below the US. So I'll come back to it...

Since military spending in the US accounts for the lionshare of the budget and univeral healthcare does the same in countries 1-9, are you still prepared to write off the comparison to the "hundreds" of other factors measuring HDI?

Here's one while we're analysing indices...Human Poverty Index last reported in 2003. Top rank goes to least poverty, USA ranks 17...SEVENTEEN. And guess which single measure keeps them from falling far lower...low long term unemplyment.

So while you started this thread to puff up low unemployment, you're right about one thing, the working poor will continue to ensure that the nation with the highest income will also have a comparably mediocre standard of living and abysmal poverty index as compared to its peer group in the developed world.
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Old 04-10-2006, 01:26 AM   #99
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I don't buy this. You've given one psuedo-benefit of renting. What you've suggested is an oversimplification. Renting an apartment in Chicago, New York, Boston, even in Champaign, IL hardly allows for saving. I know plenty of renters stressed out b/c they are unable to save any money doing it.
No. There will always be some who, based on earning power alone, will never be able to purchase a home.

There are plenty of people who can choose between the two, and jump on the "golden treadmill" based on the conventional wisdom that a mortgage is always better than rent.
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Old 04-10-2006, 01:29 AM   #100
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Words spoken by someone who hasn't rented an apartment in the last decade.

Rental costs on the coasts surpass mortgage payments in the Midwest. Yet the wages certainly don't keep up.

Melon
Sorry. Dead wrong. I've rented for over five years.

And my comments regarding the Orange County housing market (as I was replying to BAW, an Orange Country resident) are quite accurate.
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Old 04-10-2006, 09:57 AM   #101
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You said that you did not think that unemployment numbers were comprehensive enough to offer a total assessment on US economic health. Well, the United Nations would definitely agree which is why they consider a large number of factors in compiling the annual Human Development Index.


you've still missed the point.

but i've found it's rather pointless arguing in this thread, since all that happens is a blanket of out-of-context numbers and assertions (you know, like the whole "only 6 provinces in Iraq are in the mist of a civil war" ignoring the fact that those 6 provinces include the largest city and have well over 35% of the nation's entire population, and when this is brought up, the answer is "only 6 provinces in Iraq are in the midst of a civil war" ... but that's a whole other story, but a perfect example of the futility of attempting discussion in threads like these).
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Old 04-10-2006, 10:58 AM   #102
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By corollary, does that mean threads bemoaning a rise in unemployment rates are pointless as well?
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Old 04-10-2006, 11:49 AM   #103
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By corollary, does that mean threads bemoaning a rise in unemployment rates are pointless as well?


no.

it has nothing to do with the subject, and everything to do with the manner in which the subject is discussed, or more appropriately, not discussed.

a quality thread can happen on any subject. the quality arises from the content of the posts.
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Old 04-10-2006, 01:41 PM   #104
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You dodged my question again earlier but at least you've come around to your same pointless comparison to those HDI countries below the US. So I'll come back to it...

Since military spending in the US accounts for the lionshare of the budget and univeral healthcare does the same in countries 1-9, are you still prepared to write off the comparison to the "hundreds" of other factors measuring HDI?

Here's one while we're analysing indices...Human Poverty Index last reported in 2003. Top rank goes to least poverty, USA ranks 17...SEVENTEEN. And guess which single measure keeps them from falling far lower...low long term unemplyment.

So while you started this thread to puff up low unemployment, you're right about one thing, the working poor will continue to ensure that the nation with the highest income will also have a comparably mediocre standard of living and abysmal poverty index as compared to its peer group in the developed world.
The US Defense Budget is a fraction of the annual government budget at around 20%. As a percentage of GDP, the defense budget alone is less than 4%. US military spending does not account for the lionshare of the US Budget!

Mediocre standard of living? The United States ranks at #10 when it comes to standard of living, that is NOT Mediocre.

Sure, you might find a statistic here and there, that alone might support your misconcieved notion of American standard of living, but the goal of the Human Development report is to measure overall standard of living for the average person living in that country. While the United States may have a slightly higher rate of poverty then some of the countries that it is ahead of, the AVERAGE person living in the United States is still better off period, and that is what the main goal of the Human Development report. The most important statistic is the annual human development index which considers all of these factors, not just one.
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Old 04-10-2006, 01:55 PM   #105
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you've still missed the point.

but i've found it's rather pointless arguing in this thread, since all that happens is a blanket of out-of-context numbers and assertions (you know, like the whole "only 6 provinces in Iraq are in the mist of a civil war" ignoring the fact that those 6 provinces include the largest city and have well over 35% of the nation's entire population, and when this is brought up, the answer is "only 6 provinces in Iraq are in the midst of a civil war" ... but that's a whole other story, but a perfect example of the futility of attempting discussion in threads like these).
Well, why don't you state your point. The numbers I've presented are important and significant compared to the many unsubstantiated claims made about how poor the United States is, or how Bush has never accomplished anything, or that Iraq is a Civil War, Bush may in fact be Satan and so on.

There is NO Civil War in Iraq at this point. A couple of militia groups and Insurgents groups planting bombs here and there, and killing a few dozen people from time to time does not constitute a Civil War. This is a country of 25 million people. Far worse violence occured under Saddam but no one claimed Iraq was in the middle of a civil war.

US military officials in Iraq have from the very start stated that there is no civil war and have correctly sited the fact that there have been hundreds of Mosque bombings and execution style killings since 2003.

Once again, if you want an example of a civil war between 3 ethnic groups, I refer you to Bosnia.
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