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May 23, 2010
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""Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld sent President George Bush top secret wartime memos with cover sheets that mixed Scripture and battle photos to cast the Iraq invasion as a holy Christian crusade.

Rumsfeld, not a man who wore religion on his sleeve, appeared to be trying to manipulate - or curry favor with - the Bible-quoting Bush, according to an explosive story in GQ.

Some Pentagon analysts worried that if the memo covers leaked, they would inflame the Islamic world, undercut Washington's Arab allies and bolster those who claimed America was out to Christianize the Muslim world."""

http://articles.nydailynews.com/2009-05-18/news/17923556_1_memos-defense-secretary-donald-rumsfeld-gq
 
Mar 17, 2009
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rhubroma said:
If I'm not mistaken that's radicchio di treviso in your avatar. Which is what I ate with my pasta tonight along with creamy goat cheese and walnuts. And a nice bottle of Chianti Classico. ;)
good eye, it's nice to see that someone appreciates good food. i wish i were dining as well as you this evening.
 
Dec 21, 2010
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auscyclefan94 said:
To be honest, I wouldn't say it that bad in Australia when you look at other countries. Maybe corrupt is not a right word to describe Politics in Australia atm but in saying that I can't wait till the horrible government Australia has in at the moment is gone. We'll have to wait another 2 years:(. Totally incompetent and is controlled by independents and the Greens because the Labor could only make the 76 seat majority required to form government. Basically the greens leader is running the country. Gillard (Aus PM) is just a puppet. One of the main reason so many people voted for her last time was because she was the 1st ever female PM in Australia. All the feminists got behind her which makes me vomit because I hate the concept of feminism. Funnily enough, 6 weeks before she got the job as PM she said that the chances of her becoming PM were likely as herself playing in the Forward line of her favourite team in the AFL (Australia's main football code).6 weeks later, she backstabbed the current PM and took over his job..
I've never quite understood how people can say that Bob Brown is running the country. None of Labor's policies are the same as the Greens. Yes they both think a Carbon Tax is the best way to reduce emissions, but Labor's goal is only 5% by 2020 (Need you be reminded that the Coalitions' goal is also 5% by 2020), while the Greens' is 40% by 2020. And, at the moment, Labor is officially opposed to same-sex marriage (at least until the national convention). But the Greens only have 1 member in the lower house who has no more power than any of the other Labor-aligned independents. They have balance of power in the senate but that is no different to when the Democrats had the balance of power, people had just forgotten what parliament was like before the Coalition had a senate majority in their own right.

In any case, if the Greens are in power as you say, they are doing a **** poor job of it, since Labor are trying to flank the coalition from the right on the (non-)issue of asylum seekers.

Yes there are some issues with policy implementation, but it's really no worse than any other government, it's just that the Murdocracy does not relent. Something like 97-98% of schools had no qualms with the BER scheme.

Furthermore, you do not actually vote for the prime minister, you vote for your local member, who then selects the prime minister from their party. So, if they, on a (factional) whim, want to change their leader, they can. Granted, the Australian public are, on the whole, ignorant of this.

You don't seem to understand feminism, so I'll just let the ridiculousness of your comment stand as is.
 
If the Greens are running the government then why is it pushing for offshore processing of asylum seekers and targets on RE and GHG reductions way below those of the Greens.

I can't wait for a change, then we can have some real policies such as "stop the boats" and "no great big new taxes (whilst maintaining spending and a surplus?)".
 
If the Greens are running the government then why is it pushing for offshore processing of asylum seekers and targets on RE and GHG reductions way below those of the Greens.

I can't wait for a change, then we can have some real policies such as "stop the boats" and "no great big new taxes (whilst maintaining spending and a surplus?)".
 
The Howling Fantods said:
Didn't the tories say they'd cut $70 bn of "waste".:rolleyes:
Sure, why not.

DOCCEE - Climate change does not exist and energy efficiency is just a plot against big energy corporations.

Treasury & DoF - It's the intention of a policy not how much it actually costs which matters.

Productivity Commission - We already know that command and control policies are the best way of dealing with externalities and that resource rents belong to the mining companies. The Coalition is clearly an expert on economic efficiency so I don't see why we need the PC.
 
May 23, 2010
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"""We're gonna tell the EPA we don't need you monkeyin' around and fiddlin' around and gittin' in our bidness on every kind of regulation that you can dream up. Yer doin' nothin' more than killin' jobs. It is a cemetery for jobs at the EPA and Mr. Cain hit the spot tonight when he said you need to put someone in there who's gonna be a pro jobs, pro American Administrator and tell 'em every day this is gonna be about creatin' jobs in America.""" Rick Perry


yeee hawwww...He forgot to say "you betcha"

PS... This guy was the texas region EPA administrator during the bush years..

"""Even by baseball monopoly standards, the capitulation of Arlington Mayor Richard Greene was abject. In October 1990, Mayor Greene signed a contract that guaranteed $135 million toward the stadium's estimated price of $190 million. The city would earn a maximum of $5 million annually in rent, no matter how much the Rangers reaped from ticket sales and television (a sum that eventually rose to $100 million a year). Amazingly, the Rangers could buy the stadium after the accumulated rental payments reached a mere $60 million -- and the property acquired so cheaply would include not just a fancy new stadium with a seating capacity of 49,000, but an additional 270 acres of valuable land.

When Mayor Greene signed on to this giveaway deal, he was simultaneously negotiating with federal authorities to settle a massive lawsuit against him, in yet another savings-and-loan bust. Greene had formerly been president of the Arlington branch of Sunbelt Savings Association, described by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram as "one of the most notorious failures of the S&L scandal."

Sunbelt had lost an estimated $2 billion, and cleaning up the mess there cost the feds about $297 million. Around the same time that Greene signed the deal enriching the Rangers syndicate, federal officials agreed to let him pay $40,000 to settle the Sunbelt case -- scarcely enough to cover the costs of the negotiation -- and walk away. "George had no knowledge of my problems; there is no connection," he assured the New York Times in September 2000. """
 
Feb 16, 2011
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Not sure if anyone's discussed this previously, but I find the work of psychologist Jonathon Haidt really interesting on the stalemate between 'hawks and doves', liberals and conservatives.

Haidt researches the psychological foundations of morality; he claims that people are genetically predisposed to seeing the world differently in the moral sense.

Read an extract here http://psycnet.apa.org/psycinfo/2009-05192-002

Haidt identifies what he calls five foundational moral concepts: Fairness, Care, Loyalty, Purity and Authority.

Self-identifying liberals put Fairness and Care well above the other three, with Purity last. Self-indentifying conservatives weigh the five more or less equally, but interestingly, put Fairness last. They also feel violence is justified more readily.

I guess we can all stop arguing now :eek: It's biology!
 
Jun 16, 2009
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Ferminal said:
If the Greens are running the government then why is it pushing for offshore processing of asylum seekers and targets on RE and GHG reductions way below those of the Greens.

I can't wait for a change, then we can have some real policies such as "stop the boats" and "no great big new taxes (whilst maintaining spending and a surplus?)".
I am not a fan of Abbott but would much rather them in than the current government with the current situation of Aus Politics.
The Howling Fantods said:
I've never quite understood how people can say that Bob Brown is running the country. None of Labor's policies are the same as the Greens. Yes they both think a Carbon Tax is the best way to reduce emissions, but Labor's goal is only 5% by 2020 (Need you be reminded that the Coalitions' goal is also 5% by 2020), while the Greens' is 40% by 2020. And, at the moment, Labor is officially opposed to same-sex marriage (at least until the national convention). But the Greens only have 1 member in the lower house who has no more power than any of the other Labor-aligned independents. They have balance of power in the senate but that is no different to when the Democrats had the balance of power, people had just forgotten what parliament was like before the Coalition had a senate majority in their own right.

In any case, if the Greens are in power as you say, they are doing a **** poor job of it, since Labor are trying to flank the coalition from the right on the (non-)issue of asylum seekers.

Yes there are some issues with policy implementation, but it's really no worse than any other government, it's just that the Murdocracy does not relent. Something like 97-98% of schools had no qualms with the BER scheme.

Furthermore, you do not actually vote for the prime minister, you vote for your local member, who then selects the prime minister from their party. So, if they, on a (factional) whim, want to change their leader, they can. Granted, the Australian public are, on the whole, ignorant of this.
RE voting for a prime minister: Even though the people vote for someone who is not necessarily the leader of a party, Australia is a representative democracy where the people who are elected in each seat are the representatives of the people in each electorate in Parliament and they supply the number of seats for whichever party to form government. Whoever forms government needs to have 76 seats in the House of Reps or they will not form government. Due to the fact that Julia Gillard is the leader of the Labor Party, she and her party's policy making is what the reputaion of each member of each electorate's effectiveness is as the people expect that the member will implement proper policies that the people want and what the country needs. Please tell me who is the figure head of all the policies of a government? The Prime Minister being Julia Gillard. So with Julia Gillard doing a bad job, ultimately it is a representation of how well each Labor Party member does.


ON the Greens, It was pretty much Brown's idea on the ETS to implement such a policy. Gillard is only supporting it because she HAS to. May I remind you of the Mining Tax? Guess who was behind that? Yes, Bob Brown. Other programs regarding Solar energy were from the Greens. Gillard was originally all for a flood levy but then she did a backflip and I think you know the answer by now why that is. Then we hear the Greens and Labor complaining about the media being so against them. Maybe if they weren't so bad at doing their job maybe the newspapers wouldn't bag them so much. Maybe people should look back to when Julia Gillard became Prime Minister. As much as she was and still is criticised for backstabbing Kevin Rudd, many females got behind her in the media because she was the first female Prime Minister. So basically people are backing her because of her gender! Unbeleievable!
 
Nov 2, 2009
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auscyclefan94 said:
Reading past posts of yours Ferminal, I am surprised you of all people would be sticking up for the greens/communist party.
Calling the Greens "communist" is laughable. Most of their philosophical positions were mainstream in Australian politics twenty to thirty years ago. THAT's how far things have shifted to the conservative right in the past two decades and THAT's how much neo-liberalism has come to dominate and curtail Australian political discourse in recent times.
 
Dec 21, 2010
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auscyclefan94 said:
RE voting for a prime minister: Even though the people vote for someone who is not necessarily the leader of a party, Australia is a representative democracy where the people who are elected in each seat are the representatives of the people in each electorate in Parliament and they supply the number of seats for whichever party to form government. Whoever forms government needs to have 76 seats in the House of Reps or they will not form government. Due to the fact that Julia Gillard is the leader of the Labor Party, she and her party's policy making is what the reputaion of each member of each electorate's effectiveness is as the people expect that the member will implement proper policies that the people want and what the country needs. Please tell me who is the figure head of all the policies of a government? The Prime Minister being Julia Gillard. So with Julia Gillard doing a bad job, ultimately it is a representation of how well each Labor Party member does.


ON the Greens, It was pretty much Brown's idea on the ETS to implement such a policy. Gillard is only supporting it because she HAS to. May I remind you of the Mining Tax? Guess who was behind that? Yes, Bob Brown. Other programs regarding Solar energy were from the Greens. Gillard was originally all for a flood levy but then she did a backflip and I think you know the answer by now why that is. Then we hear the Greens and Labor complaining about the media being so against them. Maybe if they weren't so bad at doing their job maybe the newspapers wouldn't bag them so much. Maybe people should look back to when Julia Gillard became Prime Minister. As much as she was and still is criticised for backstabbing Kevin Rudd, many females got behind her in the media because she was the first female Prime Minister. So basically people are backing her because of her gender! Unbeleievable!
You overestimate the role of the Prime Minister. Policy is formulated by the executive as a whole. See how Bowen has been given free rein w/r/t asylum seeker policy now. In the westminster system, the executive and the legislature are effectively one and the same. With Gillard instead of Rudd (or Shorten/Smith/Crean/Combet/anyone else) the ministers are the same, bureaucracy, legislators. The leader is nothing more than the salesman (saleswoman), or, as you say, the figurehead; nothing more. Which is why I don't understand why people make such a stink about replacing the leader.

ETS: Platform of all three major parties at the 2007 election. Tony Abbott, 18 December 2008, "An emissions trading scheme probably is the best way to put a price on carbon." Abbott supported it then. The only reason he opposes carbon pricing now is because he thinks he HAS to, as it's the road to government.

Mining Tax: Introduced by Labor before 2010 election, on Treasury's advice.

Solar Energy: On platform of all major parties.

And yes, many women got behind her because she is female. But, many men oppose(d) her because she is the first female prime minister. (See the explicitly misogynistic posters carried by the ageing crowds at anti-carbon tax rallies, see referring to the Prime Minister in media as "Julia" [c.f. Rudd, Howard])
 
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Shocking. Another bloated government hole to throw tax dollars in to.

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=46114

TSA Creator Says Dismantle, Privatize the Agency

“The whole program has been hijacked by bureaucrats,” said Rep. John Mica (R. -Fla.), chairman of the House Transportation Committee.

“It mushroomed into an army,” Mica said. “It’s gone from a couple-billion-dollar enterprise to close to $9 billion.”

As for keeping the American public safe, Mica says, “They’ve failed to actually detect any threat in 10 years.”
The fledgling agency was quickly engulfed in its first scandal in 2002 as it rushed to hire 30,000 screeners, and the $104 million awarded to the company to contract workers quickly escalated to more than $740 million.

Federal investigators tracked those cost overruns to recruiting sessions held at s**** hotels and resorts in St. Croix, the Virgin Islands, Florida and the Wyndham Peaks Resort and Golden Door Spa in Telluride, Colo.

Charges in the hundreds of thousands of dollars were made for cash withdrawals, valet parking and beverages, plus a $5.4 million salary for one executive for nine months of work.

Other over-the-top expenditures included nearly $2,000 for 20 gallons of Starbucks Coffee, $8,000 for elevator operators at a Manhattan hotel, and $1,500 to rent more than a dozen extension cords for the Colorado recruiting fair
Asked whether the agency should be privatized, Mica answered with a qualified yes.

“They need to get out of the screening business and back into security. Most of the screening they do should be abandoned,” Mica said. "I just don’t have a lot of faith at this point,” Mica said.

It's hard to imagine that our government would have a hard time finding places to cut Federal spending. But I suppose there is zero motivation to run a tight ship when politicians can raise revenue whenever they want. Don't be efficient, there's no need.
 
Spare Tyre said:
Calling the Greens "communist" is laughable. Most of their philosophical positions were mainstream in Australian politics twenty to thirty years ago. THAT's how far things have shifted to the conservative right in the past two decades and THAT's how much neo-liberalism has come to dominate and curtail Australian political discourse in recent times.
Sounds like every Western, free-market democracy.
 
Scott SoCal said:
Shocking. Another bloated government hole to throw tax dollars in to.

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=46114

TSA Creator Says Dismantle, Privatize the Agency

It's hard to imagine that our government would have a hard time finding places to cut Federal spending. But I suppose there is zero motivation to run a tight ship when politicians can raise revenue whenever they want. Don't be efficient, there's no need.
On the other hand, it's hard to imagine the robber barons would have a hard time putting more earnings in their employes pay checks. But I suppose there is zero motivation to run a less top heavy ship when the corporate business owners can raise their own year end bonuses whenever they want and justify labor and wage cuts on a sluggish economy.

Don't stop being greedy, there's no need.
 
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rhubroma said:
On the other hand, it's hard to imagine the robber barons would have a hard time putting more earnings in their employes pay checks. But I suppose there is zero motivation to run a less top heavy ship when the corporate business owners can raise their own year end bonuses whenever they want and justify labor and wage cuts on a sluggish economy.

Don't stop being greedy, there's no need.
Yep. Just by starting a business and turning the lights on automatically means there is enormous wealth. That and enormous greed. I know I squeeze every bit of production out of my people right before I fire them.

It would be cool though to run my business into the ground and then just demanding and getting more money from my customers to keep me in the lifestyle I've become accustomed to. Sweet deal.

Ultimate greed = wasteful and poorly run government... in my most humble opinion.
 
auscyclefan94 said:
Reading past posts of yours Ferminal, I am surprised you of all people would be sticking up for the greens/communist party.
I hardly prefer the Greens to anyone. The only parties who I have ever preferenced them ahead of are the CDP, DLP, Nationals, FF etc. I do not know what Communism has to do with any of this, I thought the CP disappeared decades ago? Although I thought the slur most commonly used on the Greens these days was "watermelons", or anti-Semites.

I was pointing out the differences between the policies of the Greens and the ALP. I do not need Tony Abbott or the media to tell me that "the government is run by the Greens" when it is very easy to look at their policies and positions myself and pick out how different they are in most areas.

In saying that, if an election were held tomorrow I would preference the ALP ahead of the LP and probably have the Greens in the middle of the two.

auscyclefan94 said:
ON the Greens, It was pretty much Brown's idea on the ETS to implement such a policy. Gillard is only supporting it because she HAS to. May I remind you of the Mining Tax?!
Carbon pricing has been proposed by the ALP for how many years now? Five? I seem to remember the Coalition also supporting it at one stage.

The mining tax was raised by Henry, who was appointed by the Coalition government. Whether Bob Brown had the idea before then or not is irrelevant as the Government's action came as a direct result of the Henry Review. I am very disappointed by the cherry-picking of the Henry Review, but that is another matter.
 
Scott SoCal said:
Yep. Just by starting a business and turning the lights on automatically means there is enormous wealth. That and enormous greed. I know I squeeze every bit of production out of my people right before I fire them.

It would be cool though to run my business into the ground and then just demanding and getting more money from my customers to keep me in the lifestyle I've become accustomed to. Sweet deal.

Ultimate greed = wasteful and poorly run government... in my most humble opinion.
Keep plugging away.

Ultimate greed = destructive and scandalously run oil industry, arms production, insurance and pharmaceutical companies, financial banking and the stock market, industrial agriculture in foreign vassal states, big business off-shore consumer production, cruise line and private yacht builders, mining industry in Africa, automobile industry, industrial real estate, campaign financing, mega campaigns, etc., etc., etc...in my most humble opinion.

PS: We can't hope for more a more efficient state while it is the hands of the business cartel and their cronies the bureaucrats.
 
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Wow, more Obama stupidity...

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Obama-Moots-Limits-on-Tax-bloomberg-1619743580.html?x=0&sec=topStories&pos=7&asset=&ccode=

President Barack Obama proposed curbing the amount of interest from municipal bonds that top earners can exclude from their taxable income, a step that may diminish demand for state and local-government securities.

The president’s $447 billion job-creation plan would pare the tax break for municipal-bond interest to 28 percent for couples earning more than $250,000 a year. Such tax-exempt interest is currently worth 35 percent for earners in the top tax bracket because that’s the amount they would otherwise have to pay on their income.
“We’re very much opposed” to limiting the tax exemption, said Mike Nicholas, chief executive of the Bond Dealers of America, a Washington-based lobbying group for banks that underwrite municipal bonds. “You’re going to end up punishing state and local governments.”
The Government Finance Officers Association, which represents public borrowers, said it was concerned about any move to limit the tax exemption for municipal securities.

“Limiting the amount of tax-exempt interest that can be deducted would likely affect demand and therefore increase debt- issuance costs for all governments who need to access the bond market,” said Susan Gaffney, a lobbyist in Washington for the group.

So, to sum up... Barry wants to reduce the tax benefit for the purchase of municipal bonds (debt instruments to build schools, parks.... you know, enlightened things) apparently unaware of who actually purchases these bonds thus driving up the cost for local municipals to raise revenue for these public projects so then requiring more assistance from the Feds via increase in either borrowing or taxes.

Cut-off-nose-to-spite-face.
 
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rhubroma said:
Keep plugging away.

Ultimate greed = destructive and scandalously run oil industry, arms production, insurance and pharmaceutical companies, financial banking and the stock market, industrial agriculture in foreign vassal states, big business off-shore consumer production, cruise line and private yacht builders, mining industry in Africa, automobile industry, industrial real estate, campaign financing, mega campaigns, etc., etc., etc...in my most humble opinion.

PS: We can't hope for more a more efficient state while it is the hands of the business cartel and their cronies the bureaucrats.
Yes. Agreed. Shut those industries down. Immediately, if not sooner.
 
Jun 22, 2009
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No reports on last night's 'debate'?

The fact that Perry can get away with some of the truly idiotic things I've seen him quoted as saying, and still be well in front in the polls, just goes to underline the truly tragic state of affairs amongst the right-wingers.
 
May 23, 2010
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Scott SoCal said:
Wow, more Obama stupidity...

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Obama-Moots-Limits-on-Tax-bloomberg-1619743580.html?x=0&sec=topStories&pos=7&asset=&ccode=








So, to sum up... Barry wants to reduce the tax benefit for the purchase of municipal bonds (debt instruments to build schools, parks.... you know, enlightened things) apparently unaware of who actually purchases these bonds thus driving up the cost for local municipals to raise revenue for these public projects so then requiring more assistance from the Feds via increase in either borrowing or taxes.

Cut-off-nose-to-spite-face.
bond insurance and credit default swap angles against muni bonds are notorious.. Even the fed holds cds on public debt instruments.
 
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