1. #101
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    From this morning's Boston Herald:

    Kerry might boost Hub firms
    By Andrew Miga
    Sunday, September 12, 2004

    WASHINGTON - If Sen. John F. Kerry [related, bio] captures the White House this fall, several politically connected Bay State legal, lobbying and consulting firms could see their stock in Washington soar, cashing in on their close ties to the Bay State senator.

    Leading the Kerry parade in the power corridors of Washington would be the law firm of Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, the Dewey Square Group, and Perkins Smith and Cohen, a Beacon Hill law firm.

    The senator's younger brother Cameron works for Mintz Levin, but he is not a lobbyist. Cam Kerry has emerged as a key adviser to his brother this election season.

    Kerry's former chief of staff, David Leiter, works for ML Strategies, a Mintz Levin affiliate.

    The firm, which has a lucrative Washington lobbying arm and several high-powered telecommunications clients, for years has ranked among Kerry's major donors.

    Firm officials have given $102,051 to Kerry this election cycle, according to the Center for Public Integrity, a campaign watchdog group.

    Perkins Smith and Cohen is home to Robert Crowe, a longtime Kerry pal and a member of Kerry's inner circle. Crowe is Kerry's chief fundraiser at the Democratic National Committee and is assumed to be a prime prospect to head the party if Kerry is elected.

    Crowe's firm drew fire from Republicans after reports it lobbied for scandal-plagued Enron Corp.

    Dewey Square, Boston's powerhouse Democratic public affairs consulting firm with a thriving D.C. branch, is headed by veteran operative Michael Whouley, one of Kerry's closest aides and the person campaign insiders credit for the senator's comeback victory in Iowa. Whouley, former Vice President Al Gore's top political strategist who has long been an informal Kerry adviser, recently rejoined the campaign as Kerry's top field chief.

    Dewey Square, whose client roster includes General Motors and Northwest Airlines, is known for ``grasstops lobbying,'' building support for clients at the local level. Top Dewey Square officials such as Chuck Campion and Charles Baker are also longtime Kerry advisers.


    So George W. Bush gets waffled by people who say he is in favor of big business, but no one criticizes Kerry for being in the pocket of his own variety of special interests. Lawyers and the petty, useless litigation are just as much of a contributor to the increased cost of living, health care, product purchases, and everything else in life. But I guess it is OK for this part of our economical problems to persist.
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  2. #102
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    Originally posted by FireLt1951
    JOHN KERRY VOTING RECORD: THE LIST

    Thanks for the list. Will print out and use accordingly.

    As far as the title of this thread.

    The CBO projects the national debt will be close to $10 trillion. The fiscal conservative moniker currently in charge of both the Executive and Legislative branches of govt has become an oxymoron.

    None of us on this board would run our families in this manner where we continually just keep borrowing more money to provide. Yet the party in charge does just that.

    And please don't throw out how the debt is a small portion of GDP compared to other eras. That will be a valid argument when the debt isn't being paid off with dollars from the US Treasury.

    That argument is like saying you are going to borrow money based upon your neighbor's credit rating.
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    So is it only the Republicans responsible for the deficit? Let us not forget that the Demcrats must also vote for the budget every year. If they pass a budget with a deficit, then EVERYONE who voted for it is responsible, not just the leadership of the conrolling party. Are you just as upset at the Dems that voted for this budget for doing so as you are the Republicans? Don't shirk the question, just answer it. I have asked it several times and only 1 person has ever told me their answer.

    The U.S. government will NEVER pass a balanced budget amendment. If they do they will face some increased fiscal responsibility. In doing so, they have to be under pressure from some special interest groups for not getting them money. This is bad for being an incumbent and trying to keep your job so you can continue to fleece the citizenry.

    None of us on this board would run our families in this manner where we continually just keep borrowing more money to provide.
    Actually, on a smaller scale we do, that is why we have credit cards (which are actually loans), mortgages, car loans, home equity loans, blah, blah, blah. We borrow the money now to pay for larger purchases with the promise to pay it with future earnings. Do I like having to operate this way? Heck no. Do I like the federal government doing so? Heck no. But to say that we, as families do not operate this way is wrong.

    And if you think that if we do not pay it off it won't be passed to future generations, you are wrong. It is passed to your estate, and your children to pay it off if you die. Just like a federal deficit.
    "Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like." Will Rogers

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    Originally posted by DaSharkie
    So is it only the Republicans responsible for the deficit? Let us not forget that the Demcrats must also vote for the budget every year. If they pass a budget with a deficit, then EVERYONE who voted for it is responsible, not just the leadership of the conrolling party. Are you just as upset at the Dems that voted for this budget for doing so as you are the Republicans? Don't shirk the question, just answer it. I have asked it several times and only 1 person has ever told me their answer.
    Yes I am. But the Republicans now control the majority in both houses. So yes, they are the final arbiters of what goes to the President.

    So they have to bear the brunt of responsibility.

    Remember. Their platform is for fiscal responsibility and smaller govt. And under their adminstrations exactly the opposite occurs.
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    So they have to bear the brunt of responsibility.
    No they do not. Everyone is equally responsible for voting for the budget, if they did so. Those that did not vote for the budget have less blame. We, as the citizenry, also have some blame for electing the same group of thieves and liars every few years.

    Thank you for at least answering the question. Most are not willing to answer the question or go on some ranting diatribe about it.
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    Originally posted by DaSharkie


    No they do not. Everyone is equally responsible for voting for the budget, if they did so. Those that did not vote for the budget have less blame. We, as the citizenry, also have some blame for electing the same group of thieves and liars every few years.

    If the GOP were truly interested in being fiscally responisble they could easily pass a balanced budget since they have the votes to approve of disapprove any legislation they desired.

    But you are correct. As distasteful as some may think, those elected are a reflection of us.
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    If the GOP were truly interested in being fiscally responisble they could easily pass a balanced budget since they have the votes to approve of disapprove any legislation they desired.
    The same could be said for the Dems as well. Do you notice that even though each party cries about deficits, no one has proposed bringing up the balanced budget ammendment again? This is weak and pathetic on the parts of both parties, their membership, and their leadership.
    "Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like." Will Rogers

    The borrower is slave to the lender. Proverbs 22:7 - Debt free since 10/5/2009.

    "No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session." - New York Judge Gideon Tucker

    "As Americans we must always remember that we all have a common enemy, an enemy that is dangerous, powerful and relentless. I refer, of course, to the federal government." - Dave Barry

    www.daveramsey.com www.clarkhoward.com www.heritage.org

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    If the GOP were truly interested in being fiscally responisble they could easily pass a balanced budget since they have the votes to approve of disapprove any legislation they desired.

    No, they don't.

    If the Dems can hold up judicial nominations, they can hold up fiscal appropriations. Takes 60 votes in the Senate to insure legislation can pass that body, and neither party can consistently muster enough swing votes to do it.
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    US household wealth swells to record in 2nd qtr--Fed

    WASHINGTON, Sept 16 (Reuters) - U.S. household wealth swelled to a new record in the second quarter of 2004, while borrowing outside the financial sector grew at a slower pace, the Federal Reserve said on Thursday.

    In its quarterly "Flow of Funds" report, the Fed said household balance sheets increased 1.4 percent to $45.907 trillion in the second quarter, compared with an upwardly revised $45.270 trillion in the first quarter of this year.

    First-quarter household wealth was initially reported at $45.153 trillion, which had been a record high.

    Much of the increase in household net worth came from rising real estate values. The Fed said the market value of household real estate, which includes owner-occupied homes, second homes and vacant land, rose 2.9 percent to $15.713 trillion in the second quarter.


    The value of U.S. stocks were nearly steady at $6.066 trillion in the second quarter, compared to $6.072 trillion in the first quarter. Mutual funds nudged 1.7 percent higher.


    Total U.S. borrowing, excluding the financial sector, rose at a seasonally adjusted 7.7 percent annual rate in the second quarter, slightly slower than its upwardly revised 9.1 percent growth in the first quarter. First quarter non-financial debt was initially reported growing 8.6 percent.


    The Fed said the slowdown in debt growth was nearly evenly distributed across all the major non-financial sectors, including the federal government, households, non-financial businesses and local governments.


    Household debt grew 9.5 percent in the second quarter, cooling somewhat from its 11.3 percent expansion in the first quarter. Mortgage debt grew 11.1 percent in the second quarter compared to 13.1 percent in the first quarter.


    The total level of non-financial debt outstanding at the end of the second quarter was $23.220 trillion, in seasonally adjusted terms.

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    Originally posted by GeorgeWendtCFI
    [B]US household wealth swells to record in 2nd qtr--Fed

    Much of the increase in household net worth came from rising real estate values. The Fed said the market value of household real estate, which includes owner-occupied homes,
    fodder for higher property tax..
    Last edited by StoveBolt; 09-17-2004 at 09:02 AM.
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    Originally posted by Dalmatian90
    No, they don't.

    If the Dems can hold up judicial nominations, they can hold up fiscal appropriations. Takes 60 votes in the Senate to insure legislation can pass that body, and neither party can consistently muster enough swing votes to do it.
    You're confusing two different procedures and in the process revealing your ignorance of government.

    Keep on going.
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    Exclamation the truth about Judicial nonimations

    Actually it is against the laws of the congress to call for a fillibuster on Presidental nonimees.. if you were to look the the laws that govern congress you would see that there is only to be a yes or no vote to appoint them and majority wins. If you want to go back and look at it I believe that 3 of Bush's nonimees were actually voted in but then refused. The purpose of congress to decide if the nonimees gets in is just to check the persons record and make sure that they are able bodied and skilled enough to do the job.

    Also just a little known tidbit of info you do not have to be a judge or a lawyer to get appointed to the supreme court. You just need to be a citizen of the U.S.A.

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    You're confusing two different procedures and in the process revealing your ignorance of government

    No, I'm not on either account.

    Judicial nominations are forwarded to the Senate Judiciary Committee. SJC looks for the approval of the nominee's state's Senators and a rating by the American Bar Association. The ABA is just a guideline, and frankly I'm not sure on whether Senate rules require the consent of the two state Senators or if it's become a courtesy overlooked in politically-charged appointments.

    Never the less, in the SJC approves, it is forwarded to the floor of the Senate.

    Once on the floor, it must pass with a simple majority unless the nomination is being filibustered. If it's being filibustered, i.e. debated endlessly, it takes 3/5 majority (currently 60 votes) to pass a motion of cloture to end debate. If 60 Senators vote to end debate, it's almost assured that the matter will have the support of 51 to pass.

    Now, let's look at the budget process.

    Most government spending -- thanks to entitlement programs -- are considered "non-discretionary" and funded by the authorizing legislation itself.

    Most government programs though (since entitlements are dominated by a few huge programs) are done through a two-step process. One is the authorization bill that creates the program. The second is an appropriation bill that funds it. That's why you get discrepancies like an authorization to spend $1billion on the FIREAct, but only appropriation to spend $500million or whatever it is. Maybe it's a poor analogy, but think of it as a credit card -- here's your credit limit, but then you can choose to spend less.

    Some of the entitlements are done through a hybrid process, specifying what must be funded by then relying on annual appropriations to meet that mandated service.

    The House & Senate each have Appropriations Committees, each with a number of sub-committees. They make the recommendations to the floor, the floor votes on it.

    But wait, once again on the Senate floor was an appropriation bill comes up it takes a simple majority vote to pass unless it's filibustered in which case it takes a Motion of Cloture to move the bill to a vote...the motion as mentioned above needing 60 votes to pass.

    Any party that can muster 41 votes against any act of the Senate -- whether it's a Nomination or a Appropriations Bill or any other matter -- can effectively block it if they choose to do so.

    So, SC, could you point out where I'm ignorant of the workings of government in this case?
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    Actually it is against the laws of the congress to call for a fillibuster on Presidental nonimees.

    Unless they succeded in the effort this summer to do away with it, that's absolutely wrong. And I can't imagine the Democrats allowing it to go through right now. Nor do I think the Republicans would've even had hearings on it if they thought that pig could fly.
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    Originally posted by Dalmatian90
    You're confusing two different procedures and in the process revealing your ignorance of government

    Any party that can muster 41 votes against any act of the Senate -- whether it's a Nomination or a Appropriations Bill or any other matter -- can effectively block it if they choose to do so.

    So, SC, could you point out where I'm ignorant of the workings of government in this case?
    Unfortunately you still are. Yes it only takes 41 votes to filibuster. But only if the party involved chooses to filibuster. Which is not always the case. To pass a budget appropriation takes a simple majority.

    So are you now saying the current hemorraging of budgetary red ink is the fault of Democrats because they choose not to filibuster? This is absurd logic. It is akin to robbing a bank because someone left the vault open.

    But coming from conservatives, it has become SOP. And in case you hadn't noticed, the GOP is closer to cloture than the Dems. Do you believe there will be more or less deficit spending when that occurs?
    Last edited by scfire86; 09-18-2004 at 09:50 AM.
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    scfire, it's amazing how you have degraded from posting some decent, though provoking arguments to name calling. Heat in the kitchen getting to you?
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    Originally posted by SPFDRum
    scfire, it's amazing how you have degraded from posting some decent, though provoking arguments to name calling. Heat in the kitchen getting to you?
    Well since we're using Truman analogies. Here is one of my more favorite quotes of his.

    "I don't give 'em hell. I just tell them the truth and it sounds like hell."
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    scfire86...I'm going to ask you a simple question:

    Show me where in my posts I have demonstrated an ignorance of the process and procedures of government.

    NOT you're opinion, the facts.

    I have stated quite clearly the procedures for nominations and appropriations, and quite clearly that either can be blocked by filibuster. Normally it is the threat of filibuster that will keep controversial bills back in committee rather than waste time on the Senate floor unless it's to make a political point, or there exists legitimate belief that the filibuster can be broken.

    May I quote, again, the statement of yours that I originally replied to:
    If the GOP were truly interested in being fiscally responisble they could easily pass a balanced budget since they have the votes to approve of disapprove any legislation they desired.

    I have laid out the process of appropriations in the Senate, and that the Democrats still normally have sufficient votes to filibuster any legislation.

    So, whose factually wrong here?

    Under the rules of cloture, can the 48 Democratic Senators voting together block nomination or appropriation bill?

    I pointed out a factual mistake in what you wrote. I do not care for being insulted "You're confusing two different procedures and in the process revealing your ignorance of government." Am I missing something here, was there something else I was wrong on?
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    Originally posted by Dalmatian90
    scfire86...I'm going to ask you a simple question:

    Show me where in my posts I have demonstrated an ignorance of the process and procedures of government.

    NOT you're opinion, the facts.

    Factually you are correct. The Dems have the votes to filibuster an appropriations bill. Your original premise was that Dems are just as much to blame for deficit spending as the GOP. That is nonsense. Appropriations bills are passed by a simple majority which is currently the GOP. Soooooo, the GOP could pass a balanced budget irrespective of the Dem vote.

    To say that Dems are at fault for deficit spending because they don't filibuster is ludicrous. Yes they could filibuster. And they could also shut down the govt. As Newt Gingrich found out in '94 or '96 (I forget) that is a dangerous tactic. For one thing the govt isn't just partially shut down. It all shuts down. Little things like the DoD, FBI, CIA, FEMA. Things that would put the public at risk. I am amazed you would advocate such a thing as a tactic given that I presume you work in the public safety arena. I believe most Dems (including myself) would rather go along with the GOP's fiscal irresponsibility than accept the risk of the alternative. We're just weird that way in putting people first.
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    So are you now saying the current hemorraging of budgetary red ink is the fault of Democrats because they choose not to filibuster?

    Nope. As I addressed in my last post, it was a correction of your post that the Republicans had the votes to pass any legislation they want.

    The current red ink -- we have had deficits for approximately 47 of the last 50 years, and the current deficits do not reach the scale of some of the past ones. 20 of those 50 years have been under Democratic presidencies; I believe 30 or more of those where under Democratic Congresses, though I'm not going to go google that fact at the moment.

    The deficit is partly a structural issue (things like Social Security "Trust" funds assure they'll always be a deficit as long as the only politically acceptable place to loan the money is the federal government).

    Then there is the large part of the deficit that is political spending. And that ranges from pork barrel projects, "Feel Good" programs like COPS and FIRE Act that spend federal money on local programs so it can look like the Feds are doing something about a problem that shouldn't be theirs to begin with, to the entitlement programs used to help swing large classes of votes "Hey, sure, we'll give you a Prescription Drug Plan!"

    Then there is the current strategy to "Proposition 13" the Federal Government. Proposition 13 being the California initiative that severely limited property taxes -- with one positive effect being to encourage regionalization/district consolidation/joint powers authority to spend limited tax dollars more wisely. On the downside of course were artificial restrictions of gov't spending when it would have been truly beneficial, and the growth of "oddities" in the tax system like adjacent properties having wildly disparate tax bills and the encouragement of fixed-amount assesments instead of value-based property tax; as well as the growth of nuisance taxes like local sales taxes (do any California communities have local income taxes, too?). It's radical surgery, the fiscal equivelant of stomach stapling, and I don't agree with it...but unfortunately there is an element of the Republicans who are willing to try the same strategy on a national level by making permenant the income tax cuts in an attempt to reduce gov't spending by reducing revenues.

    It's a situation until both major political parties get their act together and are strong enough to work cooperatively again that will continue to spawn weird taxation & spending patterns. Until then we're left with an ineffective, unorganized Democratic party bickering with a Republican party that acts like it has a huge inferiority complex causing it to bluster and bluff continually.
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    Your original premise was that Dems are just as much to blame for deficit spending as the GOP.

    Um, what was this "original premise" of mine?
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    Originally posted by Dalmatian90

    It's a situation until both major political parties get their act together and are strong enough to work cooperatively again that will continue to spawn weird taxation & spending patterns. Until then we're left with an ineffective, unorganized Democratic party bickering with a Republican party that acts like it has a huge inferiority complex causing it to bluster and bluff continually.
    If you believe that even blind squirrels find a nut from time to time I will accept the notion we have achieved that nirvana known as 'common ground'.
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    Things that would put the public at risk. I am amazed you would advocate such a thing as a tactic given that I presume you work in the public safety arena.

    No, they don't put the public at direct risk.

    You are protected by your local and state police officers, by your local firefighters.

    Areas of public risk funded by the feds continued to be funded during the "government shutdowns" during the days of Gingrich & Clinton. Soldiers stayed on station, air traffic controllers continued to direct airplanes.

    At it's height, what, 30% of Federal employees where furloughed for a month? I'm pretty sure that 100% of the Federal gov't isn't related to public safety; I'm pretty sure that even 60% was more than enough to ensure public safety.
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    Originally posted by Dalmatian90
    Areas of public risk funded by the feds continued to be funded during the "government shutdowns" during the days of Gingrich & Clinton. Soldiers stayed on station, air traffic controllers continued to direct airplanes.
    And it was one of the biggest mistakes Gingrich ever made. I doubt anyone from either party would ever do that again.
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    Originally posted by scfire86


    And it was one of the biggest mistakes Gingrich ever made. I doubt anyone from either party would ever do that again.
    Gingrich did that? I seem to remember how he was shoved into the corner by thje Democratic mutt named Clinton and had no choice.

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