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  1. #1
    Senior Member Dalmatian90's Avatar
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    Default Miscellaneous political thoughts...

    Missing our annual banquet tonight with the flu...hopefully I can get to Fire Officer II class tomorrow 'cause I'd hate to have to find another class for a makeup. Anyway, that leaves me with way too much time on my hands...

    -- SC mentioned that counties don't matter until dirt can vote. Someways it's true, but it can also be an indicator. If you have a bunch of small jurisdictions voting Republican, you have more local Republicans in office...learning how to run Town & County Committees that have the political majority; learning what it's like to be the Mayor, the Councilman; to be a State Represenative. While they may be serving small places, you get more people cutting their teeth, you get more rising as the cream of the crop.

    -- Which is one reason it's important for people to become politically involved on the local level.

    -- I have a strong feeling we've entered a 40 year cycle of the Republicans being the dominant political party like the Democrats were from 1955-1995 (roughly). The good news from some are we are already 10 years into it so you only have 30 more to suffer

    -- I *hope* we can get by some of the more immature stuff the Republicans pulled in the last decade. They really do like us! As I said before, some of the things like the "gov't shutdown" and the Clinton impeachment were as much caused by insecurity of some of the Republican leadership as being necessary battles.

    -- The nationwide "Rural Disconnect" is striking. Used to be the GOP had the rural counties in the north, the Democrats had the rural counties in the south. The Democrats have become largely urban, with the major stretches of rural areas like Vermont that have converted Democrat being places a lot of Urbanites like to move to escape the big city. I suspect a gradient map that showed not only who voted red & blue, but did so in shades of pink and robin egg blue would give a more accurate assesment though.

    But one of the strength's of the American Democracy, is knowingly or not, the founding fathers and others over the years created a democracy where the primary difference...is geography rather than a "group." Our parties are forced to be appeal to (or at least be tolerable to at least 20%) of all the various groups in a single place. Go to other nations with 3,4,5,6 significant political parties that polarize along group-interests...well, I just don't like the way they work.

    -- May Bush use the political capital wisely. And that doesn't go just for domestic issues -- our major Western, Liberal Democracy allies now also know they can't pout and wait for a Democratic administration to negotiate with. And Bush has the luxury of being able to compromise a bit easier without domestic political consequences for him, or for that matter given how the Republican vote turned out and actually increased it's support in most groups and states across the board, without severe consequences to the party. GWB is a smart man, strong headed yes, to the point and very much dependent on advisors certainly. A bit intellectually lazy, probably. And even I like to joke about his smarts sometimes, but push comes to shove, he's got the brains 'cause you don't rise to the level he has without some wits (and good advisors!) He has the position today to start mending fences that he didn't have this summer.

    ---------
    And finally, I leave you with four words:
    McCain/Guilliani '08
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  2. #2
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    Dal, the Democrats would probably be back in the running tomorrow if they got back to the core values that gave them the power in the 50's-60's. They were truly the working man's party and it would be hard to argue that many of their platform planks are good for the country.

    However, the party has been hijacked by a lunatic, radical borderline communist fringe. The likes of Michael Moore, Barbara Streisand, Whoopi Goldberg et al simply do not represent the beliefs of most Democrats. Clinton's minions do way more to hurt the party's chances nationally then they do to help them.

    Morality polled as the number one issue among voters. You can argue the morality thing until the cows come home, but what is important is that they didn't poll taxes, the economy, homeland security, social security or any of those issues number one, it was morality. There is a message there that, at least from what I hear and read in the last three days, the libs don't get.

    Pres. Bush is popular for many things, but one thing you hear over and over again is that he is a man of principle. He does not act based on polling data. He acts based on his core values and beliefs. When he says something, he means it. When he makes a decision, he sticks to it. That is what some people mistake for being arrogant and strong headed.

    And I share your hope that the "political capital" is spent wisely as well.

  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber mohican's Avatar
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    I don't see impeachment of a president for lying under oath as immature

    The fast "rural disconnect" you talk about, Dal, was partially a result of the fact that non of the Dems crossed the aisle to evict Clinton from the whitehouse.

    You can bandy about all day long whether Nixon lying or Clinton lying was worse, but in the end, the Dem Senators supporting the lie in lockstep alienated many in the heartland. The fact that the Arkansas Bar Association making him the first disbarred POTUS drove the point home.

    And Daschle being sent packing is a strong, pointed message.

  4. #4
    Forum Member DaSharkie's Avatar
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    You can banty about all day long whether Nixon lying or Clinton lying was worse
    True, but remember that not only did Nixon lie, he was in full knowledge of an illegal breaking and entering as well as an attempted surveillance operation. Neither actions were excusable.

    the Dem Senators supporting the lie in lockstep alienated many in the heartland.
    True, in the long run. This is why Gore never used Clinton to support his run for the Presidency.

    The fact that the Arkansas Bar Association making him the first disbarred POTUS drove the point home.
    Don't forget about the Supreme Court's actions too. Merely a formality, but still a point.

    And Daschle being sent packing is a strong, pointed message.
    True again. I think the Dems are going to be reeling from the loss of the Presidency and trying to find a broad spectrum candidate. They'll also be reeling from the loss of seats in both houses of Congress, not to mention the reeling from the loss of Daschle.

    While a fairly narrow defeat, it is still a resounding smack in the face to a politician that tries to show one face at home and one face in DC, especially in a seat of leadership. You are not in congressional leadership tp represent the nation, you are there to represent your constituency.
    "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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  5. #5
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Thumbs up OK, That Said,.....................

    Here's what I want over the next Four Years. In no particular order, except number 1.

    1. A "Summit Meeting" of the top Education Experts, Business Leaders, and Political Leaders from across the Country. Our nations school systems are NOT providing quality education. FIX IT.

    2. A Fully Authorized, Fully Funded, Fire Act Grant Program that is restructured to Provide Equipment and Training ONLY. This program should be continued so that every Fire Station in America has equipment that meets OSHA/NFPA/everybodyelse standards, and remains so. There should not be a single frontline apparatus in the country that is more than 15 years old.

    3. A restructuring of our nations judicial system, with a goal of reducing Civil Suits by 90%. This would include a broad brush approach to rewriting Product Liability laws. (Remember the stupid one who sued McDonalds over the hot coffee? Ban that type of action. People MUST take responsibility for their own actions, or lack thereof)

    4. A Transportation policy that would cap over-the-road trucks at trips of 250 miles or less. Loads that go farther go by Train. And a REASONABLE cost sharing plan that would require the Airlines to help pay the cost of operating the nation's air traffic system.

    And that's a start. This great nation desperately needs a lot of overhaul.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Dalmatian90's Avatar
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    While a fairly narrow defeat, it is still a resounding smack

    What makes that narrow defeat resounding was the Dem's putting in their all-out effort against what should've been a President in a weak position. Certainly resounding for their left flank that they nominated a left-flank liberal against a President many where unhappy with on both sides of the aisle...and still lost ground in nearly every demographic best we can tell from the polls.

    As to HWood's rail plan, I'd give a little more leeway, but I would support a major improvement in express freight rails as a Federal public works project. There's a number of freight corridors that are at/over capacity now, never mind dedicated tracks for long haul expresses. (And by the way for those non Road Geeks/Railfans out there, part of the railroad problem today with capacity is a lot of "unneeded" rail capacity near the major cities became ROW for interstate highways).
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  7. #7
    Forum Member stm4710's Avatar
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    The goverment cut the railroads throat and beat them like a red headed step child by not getting rid of the Stagger act/ICC sooner. Railroads also cut thier own throats by reduceing viable infastructre and single tracking. Right off the top of my head I can think of 13 sideings SP cut out on the Cascades division, which are 26 more trains that can not operate at one time. New Englands rails are in shambles and we still build more highways.

    I think the best start would be not to split Amtrak,let Amtrak govern its self and have congress give what they say they will deliver. Also decrease the amount of highway/trucking lobbyists in the halls of congress.

  8. #8
    Forum Member DennisTheMenace's Avatar
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    Originally posted by stm4710
    Also decrease the amount of highway/trucking lobbyists in the halls of congress.
    How about decrease the number of lobbiests for public servents and firefighters? Just like in a court of law, EVERYONE deserves the representation, and you should be able to get the best that you can.

    Railroads have always been slow to adapt since the 1910's. The government gave them the means to create themselves, they have allowed themselves to faulter.
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  9. #9
    Forum Member stm4710's Avatar
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    Railroads have always been slow to adapt since the 1910's. The government gave them the means to create themselves, they have allowed themselves to faulter.
    I never said they were innocent.
    Some good flops would be the railroads telling the war board to go **** off in WW1 which lead to the USRA and regulation in the first place. Others include Penn Central----to rival companys that hated each other mereged into one----right Harve!

    Some others would be the mergers of Union Pacific and Southern Pacific in 97------the western part of the nations rail traffic came to an abrupt halt. And the spilting of Conrail between CSX and Norfolk Southern-----I still dont get why a perfectly profitable and viable company was taken over?

  10. #10
    Senior Member Dalmatian90's Avatar
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    Railroads have always been slow to adapt since the 1910's. The government gave them the means to create themselves

    Yep. Of course times were simpler when you could give land-grants to help finance them! The transcontinental railroad was huge federal investment -- although most of the federal part was paid for in land and not cash. (Plus guarantees on the interest of the loans that actually provided the cash).

    Local/State/Federal monopoly rights given, too.

    The railroads aren't harmless by any means in their collapse. Time is money, and if they weren't responsive to customers, customers moved to trucks for simpler/cheaper/quicker shipping.

    But as part of an overall strategy of how we make our economy more competetive, and as part of an overall energy strategy, looking at how to help the railroads create express freight sure has big potential for economic improvment in the long term on a national level. Not that the Feds need to build/own rail...but it may be as simple as like in 1861, guaranteeing the interest on the loans for ventures beyond the risk the market would normally want to bear.
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  11. #11
    MembersZone Subscriber mohican's Avatar
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    Talking French Kiss?


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