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Old 07-17-2011, 09:40 PM   #241
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Well, actually, the US constitution is far more secular than most European constitutions and offers far better protections to atheists, agnostics and secularists.

Britain has an officially established Christian church and bishops sit, unelected, in one of its legislative houses. Germany mandates taxpayer funded dowries to a mainline Christian church. In Ireland, to this day, although the Catholic Church is no longer officially recognised as pre-eminent by the constitution, most primary schools are officially run by the Catholic Church. None of these situations are remotely conceivable in the US, precisely because of the US's constitutionally mandated separation of church and state. Few other countries on the planet provide such strong legal protections for the rights of non-believers.

It's the US, at its core, that has a secular world view, not Europe. That's part of the reason it was founded. Perhaps you are living in the wrong continent.
All true except the last bit. The Founders of our country did reject state-sponsored religion and all its trappings. But from the Declaration on they recognized an authority above the State, the need for freedom of religion and conscience to give legitimacy to a government, and that only a citizenry reliant on faith and virtue could hope to succeed at self-government.

I think they have been proven right on all 3.
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Old 07-18-2011, 04:00 PM   #242
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Americans aren’t happy with anybody in Washington, from President Obama to Congress, but Republicans have the highest disapproval, hitting 71 percent, according to a CBS News poll released today. As CBSNews.com’s Tucker Reals writes, “Americans are unimpressed with their political leaders’ handling of the debt ceiling crisis, with a new CBS News poll showing a majority disapprove of all the involved parties’ conduct, but Republicans in Congress fare the worst, with just 21 percent backing their intransigent resistance to raising taxes.”

President Obama had the highest approval ratings in the poll (43 percent), but still had more people disapproving (48 percent). As the poll discovered, regardless of party affiliation, there’s disapproval for everyone:

Even half of the Republican respondents (51 percent) voiced disapproval of how members of their own party in Congress are handling the talks. Far fewer Democrats expressed disapproval of their own party’s handling (32 percent) or President Obama’s (22 percent) of the urgent quest to raise the nation’s debt limit ahead of a looming default on Aug. 2 if action isn’t taken.
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Old 07-18-2011, 05:02 PM   #243
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Americans aren’t happy with anybody in Washington, from President Obama to Congress, but Republicans have the highest disapproval, hitting 71 percent, according to a CBS News poll released today. As CBSNews.com’s Tucker Reals writes, “Americans are unimpressed with their political leaders’ handling of the debt ceiling crisis, with a new CBS News poll showing a majority disapprove of all the involved parties’ conduct, but Republicans in Congress fare the worst, with just 21 percent backing their intransigent resistance to raising taxes.”

President Obama had the highest approval ratings in the poll (43 percent), but still had more people disapproving (48 percent). As the poll discovered, regardless of party affiliation, there’s disapproval for everyone:

Even half of the Republican respondents (51 percent) voiced disapproval of how members of their own party in Congress are handling the talks. Far fewer Democrats expressed disapproval of their own party’s handling (32 percent) or President Obama’s (22 percent) of the urgent quest to raise the nation’s debt limit ahead of a looming default on Aug. 2 if action isn’t taken.
Meh. CBS is part of the MSM and are obviously biased towards free-thinking liberal scum.

So glad that NewsCorp is here to balance out that viewpoint with its famously interestingly-worded polls:



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Old 07-18-2011, 10:39 PM   #244
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most depressing thing i've heard all week

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A group of House GOP freshmen will appear at the White House tomorrow morning with a letter demanding the president present a written plan detailing his ideas for deficit reduction.

“Because you have not presented any written detailed proposal to raise the debt ceiling, our constituents are left in the dark as to what specific cuts you propose as well as what taxes you are planning to raise,” the letter, which was signed by 64 House Republicans, says.


New York freshman Rep. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.) who is leading the effort, will be joined by his colleagues Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) Tim Griffin (R-Ark.), Steve Southerland (R-Fla.) and Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) among others.

Last week another group of House lawmakers, mostly freshmen, wrote a letter to the president asking that he prioritize Social Security and military benefits in the event of a default. During the spending debate this spring they wrote letters and held daily press conferences near the Senate chamber to put political pressure on Democrats. Their latest press event comes as the House GOP prepares a vote on a controversial measure to balance the budget, cap federal spending at 18 percent of GDP, and cut another 1.8 trillion in spending over ten years.
that's YOUR JOB, ASSHOLES. We've seen Congress defer all warmaking responsibility to the Executive Branch, and now these sheep want Obama to make their bed for them as well. The Legislative Branch has ceased defending its own prerogatives, which collapses the whole three branch structure. Even the McConnell "compromise" is fundamentally designed to allow Congress to jeer the President without bothering to take any responsibility of their own for handling the debt ceiling.

We need a parliamentary system.
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Old 07-20-2011, 10:54 AM   #245
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It’s official: the American people are more dissatisfied -- and even angry -- with Washington than they’ve been in nearly two decades.

Roughly 80 percent of Americans in a new ABC News-Washington Post poll out today say they are fed up with the way the federal government is working. That’s a jump from 11 points since last month and the highest it’s been since 1992.

As talks to avert default on the nation’s debt obligations continue without a clear path to compromise, ABC pollster Gary Langer points out that “the opposition party’s taking even more heat than the president.”

“While President Obama for the first time has fallen under 40 percent approval for handling the economy, the Republicans in Congress do even worse, 28 percent approval,” Langer writes. “On handling the deficit, it’s a weak 38 percent approval for Obama, but a weaker 27 percent for the GOP. And on handling taxes, Obama has 45 percent approval, the GOP, 31 percent.”

Other key points from the poll:

-- President Obama has a 47 percent overall job approval rating. ("That’s better than it might be, given the economy and the public’s palpable annoyance with Washington," according to Langer.)

--Obama leads the congressional Republicans in trust to handle the debt debate -- 48 percent to 39 percent. Fifty-eight percent say the president hasn’t done enough to compromise on the deficit, while 77 percent, say the same about the Republican leaders.

-- Forty-seven percent of Americans think large spending cuts will create jobs, while 44 percent think spending cuts will actually result in job losses.

-- Eighty-two percent of Americans foresee serious harm to the U.S. economy overall if the debt limit isn’t raised.

-- Sixty percent of American say a default would cause serious harm to their own financial situation.
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Old 07-20-2011, 05:37 PM   #246
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most depressing thing i've heard all week



that's YOUR JOB, ASSHOLES. We've seen Congress defer all warmaking responsibility to the Executive Branch, and now these sheep want Obama to make their bed for them as well. The Legislative Branch has ceased defending its own prerogatives, which collapses the whole three branch structure. Even the McConnell "compromise" is fundamentally designed to allow Congress to jeer the President without bothering to take any responsibility of their own for handling the debt ceiling.

We need a parliamentary system.
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House passes 'Cut, Cap and Balance' bill

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The U.S. House on Tuesday passed the so-called "cut, cap and balance" measure backed by conservative Republicans that would impose strict caps on all future federal spending while making it significantly tougher to raise taxes. The plan opposed by President Barack Obama now goes to the Senate, where Democrats are expected to defeat it.
The "sheep" in the House have done their job. Now let's see if the Democrat controlled Senate can do theirs. But seeing as how they couldn't even be bothered to put a budget to paper the past two years I highly doubt it.
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Old 07-20-2011, 05:42 PM   #247
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Sure, if you think that putting forth a bill that you know has no chance in hell of passing (and for good reason) is "doing your job".

Washington is collectively bullshit. This is an EXCELLENT example of why.
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Old 07-20-2011, 05:58 PM   #248
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If this is all it takes for the tea party to say they're doing their job then we are ALL screwed.
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Old 07-20-2011, 06:00 PM   #249
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The Tea Party - and why on earth are we calling them that when they are bloody Republicans and run on GOP tickets is beyond me - is a disgrace and is no longer even a relevant group when it comes to discussions. You have 60 members of the house (actually, at least 60) who will NOT vote to raise the debt ceiling NO MATTER WHAT. This is not a serious faction, nor do they have one brain to share between them, apparently.

So the world goes on without them at the negotiating table. Frankly, a fantastic outcome.
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Old 07-20-2011, 07:05 PM   #250
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So the world goes on without them at the negotiating table. Frankly, a fantastic outcome.
And the can gets kicked a little further down the road.
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Old 07-20-2011, 11:59 PM   #251
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The "sheep" in the House have done their job. Now let's see if the Democrat controlled Senate can do theirs. But seeing as how they couldn't even be bothered to put a budget to paper the past two years I highly doubt it.
Aren't all budget bills required to originate in the House?
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Old 07-22-2011, 06:49 PM   #252
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This game of chicken is getting truly ridiculous.

Apparently, Boehner has "called off negotiations" with the president, and will now only work the senate leadership.

Obama quickly scheduled a press conference to tell his side of it.

And Boehner is going to give a press conference as well around 7:15.

Every body plays politics--I groan when I hear Obama speak about the American people blah blah--but the Republicans have taken their determination to ruin Obama politically too far. I am more disgusted with them than I ever have been.
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Old 07-23-2011, 04:30 AM   #253
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I've never really understood the American aversion to paying taxes. No one really likes it but the Americans have a visceral hatred of it. I supposed the fact outside of a stupidly large military* the American's don't see too much return for their tax dollars, the infrastructure in the states is poor, there's little in the way of a medical or social safety net and the public school system lags behind most of the rest of the world. One really wonders what you are spending the money on.


*Yes, it is stupidly large, the US has 24 Aircraft carriers in service, including the WASP and Tawara class VTOL carriers which are roughly analogous to the UK's invincible class carriers. Brazil who now, following the decommissioning of the UK's aircraft carriers, have the next highest amount of carriers have 2. China and Russia both have one each. To put it in further context, the UK has the 4th biggest Armed Forces in the world, and the US Marines (which isn't even a separate branch) have more men, ships and aircraft at their disposal than the entire UK armed forces.Unless you're planning to fight the rest of the world at once, you simply don't need to spend that much money 'defending' yourself. Outside of North Korea the US is the most militarised country on Earth.
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Old 07-23-2011, 11:19 AM   #254
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*Yes, it is stupidly large, the US has 24 Aircraft carriers in service, including the WASP and Tawara class VTOL carriers which are roughly analogous to the UK's invincible class carriers. Brazil who now, following the decommissioning of the UK's aircraft carriers, have the next highest amount of carriers have 2. China and Russia both have one each. To put it in further context, the UK has the 4th biggest Armed Forces in the world, and the US Marines (which isn't even a separate branch) have more men, ships and aircraft at their disposal than the entire UK armed forces.Unless you're planning to fight the rest of the world at once, you simply don't need to spend that much money 'defending' yourself. Outside of North Korea the US is the most militarised country on Earth.
The only reason I advocate for keeping a large number of carrier fleets in service is if we close more of our land bases.
We have allies around the world, if the shit hits the fan, let's use their bases. Aircraft carriers give the U.S. military a versatility that land bases don't. Why we still have bases in Europe is beyond me.
I'm for cutting defense spending (a lot), but it is one of the few domestic manufacturing and jobs programs the U.S. government (and Republicans) still supports.
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Old 07-23-2011, 01:18 PM   #255
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Why we still have bases in Europe is beyond me.
X10 for South Korea.
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