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Author Topic: Poofed
Mike Smith
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I guess Mr Norman didn't like the exposure of "The One's" laziness and disrespect to our troops, so he deleted the entire thread to hide the information.
OK. I understand...

http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2012/08/obama-honored-fallen-seals-by-sending-their-parents-a-form-letter-signed-by-electric-pen/

And some people do not want to vote for a real American because he might cut some Amtrak money.

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Mike Smith
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And here is that American's speech from last night:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/rnc-2012-mitt-romney-speech-to-gop-convention-excerpts/2012/08/30/7d575ee6-f2ec-11e1-a612-3cfc842a6d89_print.html

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smitty195
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I am so jazzed and excited after this week's convention! Absolutely incredible speeches. Paul Ryan's and Marco Rubio's speeches were, wow, I can't even describe them because they were so incredible. It's so nice to have adults in the room (so to speak). Next week, it's the teenage rebellion party that gets to complain and whine about the gov't not handing out enough money for abortions and paying the cost for Sandra Fluke's birth control (yes, she is a featured speaker).

On a train related note, I have to wonder if either Obama or Biden will bring up either Amtrak OR rail transportation at all. Biden was "Mr. Amtrak" four years ago, but we haven't really heard him mention it again (unless I've missed it). And Obama of course used Amtrak and PV's to ride into DC on. Will there be any follow-up or talk about Amtrak funding? What about high speed rail? I kinda doubt it will come up, but then again, maybe it will. I'm just looking forward to watching the freak show next week. I'll be popping popcorn every night and having a ball with this!

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Gilbert B Norman
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At first, it was my intent to avoid comments at this topic, but the urge to do was nevertheless there.

First I acknowledge "nuking" the topic noted by Mr. Smith, and I gave fair warning such was going to occur - albeit through "A Google a Day" exercise.

I would like to present to those who choose to participate at this topic what I consider to be the most fair and balanced opinion piece I have had the privilege to read during this election cycle. This is David Brooks' column appearing in Today's Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/31/opinion/party-of-strivers.html

It would be one thing if our, or for that matter any, society could be comprised of a "let's roll' (9-11-01) rather than a "help, help" (8-31-05) membership, but the fact remains it is not as illustrated by this Brief Passage from Mr. Brooks' work:

  • Today’s Republicans strongly believe that individuals determine their own fates. In a Pew Research Center poll, for example, 57 percent of Republicans believe people are poor because they don’t work hard. Only 28 percent believe people are poor because of circumstances beyond their control. These Republicans believe that if only government gets out of the way, then people’s innate qualities will enable them to flourish.

    But there’s a problem. I see what the G.O.P. is offering the engineering major from Purdue or the business major from Arizona State. The party is offering skilled people the freedom to run their race. I don’t see what the party is offering the waitress with two kids, or the warehouse worker whose wages have stagnated for a decade, or the factory worker whose skills are now obsolete.

    The fact is our destinies are shaped by social forces much more than the current G.O.P. is willing to admit. The skills that enable people to flourish are not innate but constructed by circumstances.
But we can only hope that whoever is up on that podium raising his right come Jan 20, will take Mr. Brooks' thoughts with him, and that those comprising "the opposition' will find more constructive pursuits than merely planning to defeat "the guy" or his chosen successor as the case may be come 2016
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RR4me
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Checked in to read the new thread; checking out now.
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TBlack
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GBN,
I have a lot of respect for David Brooks' thought process, but in this column he's only presenting half a picture. To be fair, he should now show what the Dems are offering. From my point of view, I don't particularly like either offering, but I only get 2 choices.

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Mike Smith
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GBN, Brooks is way off base. Why should the GOP offer anything?

When I was young and dumb, I was poor. Carter helped make me poorer with his complete botch of the government's role in our economy, and inflation eating up my $1,000 a month salary (with 3 new kids).

What did I do? Continued to learn my job so I could become more valuable to the companies I worked for, got a second job, then got a third weekend job. I matured, I became more valuable, and I became middle class. The GOP had absolutely nothing to do with that, other than stop the bleeding Carter caused. Yes, Reagan was the first Republican I ever voted for. The first person I voted for (Congressional) was Barbara Jordan.

If individuals are given the opportunity to advance, they will. If they are constantly beat down by democrats insisting that government should take care of them, not allowing them to take care of themselves, they will NEVER advance.

Our destinies are shaped by us, if we are allowed to shape them and have a desire to shape them.

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George Harris
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I think Brooks is being simplistic and attempting to use too broad a brush. Most people recognize that people can get poor or stay poor for many reasons. There are a lot out therer that are young and able sitting around crying gimme, gimme. for these I have no sympathy. There are also people that I know that have tried hard but have been beaten by circumstances, but are doing the best with what they can get.
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Iron Mountain
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Dear Mr. Norman,

On the positive side, isn't it great that so many smart informed folks with such diverse views participate in this forum? And what is so heartening about the expression of views is that most are united by their interest in passenger trains. I understand your decision to deep six the thread. Our passions were becoming a bit contentious. That is OK too. It simply demonstrates how much we care about the future of our country. We should be passionate.

All in all I think Amtrak is a survivor. It doesn't have big special interests but it does have a remarkable grass roots "lobby" that is a formidable force regardless who gets the white house.

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Jerome Nicholson
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quote:
Originally posted by Mike Smith:
I guess Mr Norman didn't like the exposure of "The One's" laziness and disrespect to our troops, so he deleted the entire thread to hide the information.
OK. I understand...

http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2012/08/obama-honored-fallen-seals-by-sending-their-parents-a-form-letter-signed-by-electric-pen/

And some people do not want to vote for a real American because he might cut some Amtrak money.

Until now, I've refrained from commenting on the political posts here unless they pertained to trains because we are a diverse group united by our love for trains.
But Mike Smith's use of the term "Real American" struck a nerve. What, exactly, did he mean? I want to know, lest I get the wrong idea. Let me get personal here. I'm 62 years old, born and raised in Richmond, VA. Through my formative years I've been referred to as "colored", "negro", "black", and some other words I won't put here. it wasn't until I took a trip to Europe in my 20's that a white man called me an "American". What makes the Republican nominee a "real American", as opposed to the current President? Are you one of the people still questioning his birth in the United States? That's interesting, considering John McCain was born in Panama, and Mitt Romney's father was born in MEXICO!And no one on your side questioned either of them being an American.
George romney was born on a Mormon polygamist ranch in the Mexican State of Chihuahua, and no one said that should disqualify him. Mitt Romney spent the Vietnam War riding bicycles in the south of France on a religious deferrment, as a Mormon missionary. Then when he learned that Ann, his future wife, was dating other guys, his religion took a back seat and he came home. what makes him a "real American"? I remember when Gerry Cooney fought Larry Holmes for the Heavyweight Boxing title, and SOME people were saying , "For the first time in 30 years, (since Rocky Marciano retired), we'll have a real American Champion!" Just what did they mean?
I'd hate to get the wrong idea, it's just that when delegates to the GOP convention threw peanuts at a black camerawoman working for CNN and say, "This is how we feed the animals!", it's easy to jump to conclusions.

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Mike Smith
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Obama hates the USA. His every action screams that fact. It does not matter to me whether his skin color is as white as Edgar Winter or as black as Yaphet Kotto, it is his defective brain that I seriously dislike. He was not raised in the USA. The people that raised him hated and still hate the USA. His friends and author of his books have blown up property of the USA. His preacher of 20 years has damned the USA. He is not a real American.

Mitt Romney clearly loves the USA. He has long-standing roots in our Nation, and he has been successful and spread his wealth around, without the government forcing him to do it. That makes Romney a real American.

And that peanut throwing incident died a quick media death because the "people" that did it were not RNC delegates, but they were gate crashers from the DNC.

You touched on a subject that irritates me. In Texas, we have some La Raza idiots claiming that hispanics will own Texas within 20 years. What these race baiters do not understand is that most Latinos in Texas are real Texans. They are a part of the Texas heritage, and they call themselves Texans, not Hispanic-Americans.

My two hunting buddies would never call themselves Italian-American or African-American. They self-identify as Texans, same as I do. Or American... no hyphen.

And congratulations Jerome on reaching 62. I hit that number in May.

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smitty195
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I spend a minimum four hours each day doing nothing but reading and/or watching news programs (mostly reading, though). It's so frustrating to read and hear comments not only here, but everywhere in my daily life. I'm not going to take the time to pick apart things that have been said because I know that it will not change any minds. But most of the anti-Romney/pro-Obama things mentioned are simply wrong---factually wrong---not wrong in my opinion, but wrong as to the facts. If I did not have the time to go in-depth every day to get to the truth (which is getting harder and harder with each passing day, as media and journalism dies a slow death), I would NEVER know the truth and I would probably be equally misinformed. If all I had time to do was catch an evening news program and read the headlines of the NY Times or Washington Post, I can only imagine how dumb my opinions would sound. There is SO MUCH MORE to the stories than what is being reported, and it's the GOPs job to get the truth out there (but they are doing a fairly poor job of it). If the GOP would do something such as, perhaps, put together a one hour factual video with NO opinion or commentary but "just the facts, ma'am", that would be really fantastic.

I personally believe that most people (liberals especially) live their lives in a conservative manner--but they just don't know it. Just like the once-Democrat gal who spoke at the RNC convention (the Hispanic gal from NM---I'm drawing a blank on her name)--she was a lifelong Democrat who came from a lifelong Democrat family. But as she explained in her speech, they went to a dinner part to just "humor" the host (who was a Republican) and as they got to talking, all of a sudden there were question marks floating above their heads. Her and her hubby, after dinner, said to each other, "Ya know, I think we might be Republicans". And I believe that applies to most people, because they live their life as conservatives yet they preach something else (one look at their tax returns would be the beginning of proving this).

But alas, it is extremely frustrating to see that the crooked and lying mainstream media have succeeded very well in brainwashing people with lies. Just like the "Fact Check" websites that are out there today---they are all mostly leftist-run groups who lie in explaining the "lies" from the RNC speeches. It's really amazing to witness this massive brainwashing. There is a good article I read yesterday called, "Fact checking the fact checkers" which really sheds a lot of light on this topic.

All I KNOW is that in November, we must do the right thing and get rid of the current occupant of the White House. Those who will vote for them, I honestly believe are totally unaware of who that man truly is---and if you did know, you would be shocked. Go see "2016" and get informed.

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Ocala Mike
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quote:
Originally posted by smitty195:


I personally believe that most people (liberals especially) live their lives in a conservative manner--but they just don't know it.



I wasn't going to jump back in here, but this is a real head-scratcher. I didn't know that there were conservative and liberal life-styles. Can you elaborate on what you mean?
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smitty195
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Sure. You have a home budget or you try to live within your means. You worked your whole life, and probably bought a home (proudly). You worked hard to have what you have today. When you do your taxes, you take deductions (also known to liberals as "rich people getting out of paying taxes).

This topic actually requires a conversation to explain fully, because anyone can nitpick every word that I write. But the overall theme is that you work hard for your rewards in life, and you don't expect the gov't to bail you out at every step along the way.

"The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, but that they know so much that isn’t so." - Ronald Reagan

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Railroad Bob
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GBN- I always listen when David Brooks is speaking over at PBS and other places. He is one of the best of the "moderate" conservatives, I'd say...

I've been a lifelong student of politics and have never seen anything quite like our current climate.

I have faith the country will not crumble, whether we go Elephant or stay Donkey. What really concerns me are the potential Supreme Ct. appointments, which could truly be the lasting legacy of a Romney first term or Obama second term.

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smitty195
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quote:
Originally posted by Railroad Bob:


I've been a lifelong student of politics and have never seen anything quite like our current climate.


Nor have I. I work with the elderly on a regular basis as part of my job, and I have asked many of them if it has ever been like this in their lifetime. So far, I have gotten a 100% response of "No". It doesn't matter what side of the aisle they are on---the responses are all the same. Obama was supposed to be the smartest man in the room (he's actually the least qualified person in every room he walks into), he was supposed to be post-paritsan, post-racial, and a great unifier. But thankfully, I think that most Americans have learned the lesson that you don't elect a "nobody" to office. It blows my mind when I really sit and think about how this guy got elected, considering the fact that we knew very little about him. And what we did know was extremely disturbing. This big mistake will be corrected in ~65 days. I'm certain of it.
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TwinStarRocket
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Well Smitty, every penny I ever received in life came from a paycheck except 2 months of unemployment and now a year of Social Security (for which I even feel a bit like a freeloader). I bought one home I could easily afford on a below average household income. I proudly paid my taxes and never made (or borrowed) near enough money to ever itemize deductions. And I do not begrudge anyone less fortunate to benefit from my tax payments. I was raised in a strong Republican business owner family in a Republican neighborhood. I was an enthusiastic supporter of Barry Goldwater in 1964 and George Romney in 1968. These were people who you could believe told the truth.

Ironically, George Romney broke with his party to become a strong supporter of civil rights and later an opponent of the Vietnam war. He stood on principle. Too bad about his son.

I don't think George Romney would have allowed disrespect for a President at his convention. Nor would he have chosen who to call an American by where they were raised as a child and who happened to be around them.

But on issues, why do I favor Barack Obama? The Ryan budget does not add up. Romney's is too vague. The Affordable Care Act DOES effectively deal with Health Care problems and people in MA like it. People who want the government out of everything but reproduction and still want to start wars are hypocrites. And I watched almost all the Republican Convention and really longed for a George Romney.

I find nothing in Barack Obama's past, his writings, his actions, or his policies that make him less American than Mitt. I did read enough about "2016" to know it has nothing new in it. But just to be fair, if there is a similar film about Mitt being a "Manchurian Candidate" for polygamists, I will also reject that.

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Ocala Mike
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quote:
Originally posted by smitty195:


You have a home budget or you try to live within your means. You worked your whole life, and probably bought a home (proudly). You worked hard to have what you have today. When you do your taxes, you take deductions


I do all of the above, so I still don't understand your point. I believe you are trying to paint a picture in black and white that is better described with subtle shadings. People can't always be labelled and neatly pigeon-holed.
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Geoff Mayo
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As a new immigrant to the US and ineligible to vote, I can safely sit on the fence and watch with amusement at the shenanigans going on. What interests me, coming from the UK style of politics, is how staunchly blind many people are: "My family are republocrats, so I'm one too!". Doesn't matter what they stand for, whether the party has changed over the years, if the voter grew up with a particular bias then it seems to be a permanent fixture of their lives. And the over-effusive praise from people for convention speeches was quite a surprise to me too!
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smitty195
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You went from the UK to Victorville? Welcome to the USA! If the Las Vegas train ever comes to fruition, it's supposed to begin/end in Victorville.

How do you like the hot hot hot summers there so far? [Smile]

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Mike Smith
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While I strongly disagree with a couple of you and mildly disagree with several of you, I do appreciate you posting your thoughts on this coming election.
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Vincent206
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I've come to believe that free markets work best when they are well regulated. For 30 years the GOP has been telling us that we need to cut taxes and deregulate the economy to unleash the power of American ingenuity. So we did cut taxes and we did deregulate large parts of the economy--and what did we get? Enron, WAMU, Lehman Brothers, AIG, the too-big-to-fail bank bailouts, the automotive industry bail out, etc. And now the GOP wants me to buy another cup of their Rootin' Tootin' Raspberry Kool-Aid!?! No thanks I'll stick with what we've got.
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Iron Mountain
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It is obvious there is no lack of apathy from you folks. That is good.

We all face the difficult process of deciding whom, as president, meets our idea(s) best, as to what is right and good for the country and subsequently ourselves. Part of the difficulty is that our choice, due to our system of electing leaders, is invariably a binary one. And how can one person truly know all and do all and represent the interests of all? For most of us, I believe, it becomes a process of the lesser of evils. Do I have a better idea? No. What we do in this country appears to be the best thing that has ever happened to the civilized world. And the "binary choice" spawns a large ancillary bureaucratic structure to respond to the many different needs and wants. I don't see smaller government happening.

I don't think that it is possible to separate politics and the railroad industry. Big, impacting, important systems, in this case transportation, are going to be intertwined with government. I think of the railroads contribution to the defeat the Union at Bull Run and later to the defeat of the Confederacy. Lincoln and the rails made western expansion possible. The Iron Chancellor used the rails to help him to victory over the French in the Franco-Prussian War. Without the rails logistical ability our WWII efforts would have been seriously impaired. Truman's breaking of the railroad strike. Governement involvement with railroads is the rule everywhere. Maybe that makes it alright to have spirited discussions here concerning politics as long as we don't resort to ad hominem attacks on those we don't like. Usually the facts are sufficient.

Our process of electing presidents is a rough and tumble affair. It always has been. I don't think we as a nation are much different than we ever have been when it comes to politics. If anyone embraces the fairy tale that those people many years ago were above anything smacking of unethical, violent, dishonest, you need to go back to the history books.

Yes there have been instances of better bipartisan cooperation in the past. We need more cooperation now. I think Obama set the tone of intractability when he blew off the Simpson-Bowles commission's recommendations. Part of the reason he got elected was his promise to be the most bi-partisan president.

I see the Tea Party as reactionaries to a Democrat controlled senate and whitehouse who have not willing to cooperate. I know my liberal friends reverse that view. But I say look at the chronology of Obama's tour of duty.

Bill Moyers of PBS fame, whom I think is very biased toward the left, had a guest on by the name of Mike Lofgren. Briefly, he quit the Republican Party and became an Independent. His new book, "The Party Is Over" is very critical of both parties. His thesis is that both Democrats and Republicans are in bed with big corportions. The Republicans and Abramoff is part of the scandalous story. Obama and Pharma and Obama Care is more of the same. The middle class is paying the price. No good answer except maybe a powerful new third party needs to rise.

I want to refer to a commentary by Don Phillips of Trains Magazine, October 2012. I imagine many of you have already read it. Phillips' point is that the HSR situation in California is dripping with political messiness. He exposes a Democrat Assemblyman and the Editor of the LA Times as contributing heavily to the problems and, in my opinion, possible demise of the HSR project in California. The actions of these two, disrupted efforts by SCNF, a French HSR company, and a Japanese HSR entity's attempts to contract with California to build its HSR. We as a country don't have that kind of expertise anymore. I think this is interesting and noteworthy in that it was liberal Democrats, the politician and the LA Times editor, who were blocking progress in HSR development. We all know who usually is demonized for this. But as I noted before no one is blameless. Let's be blalanced in our criticism. By the way the attack by the Assemblyman was based on SCNF's alledged involvement with NAZI killing of French Jews.

A while back Trains had a long article on HSR around the world. The upshot was that in most other countries, that are more advanced than us in this arena, have developed true partnerships between government and the private sector. It seems that many, not all, of our government/private sector partnerships are unseemly liasons whose interest is to rob the people of much as possible. This process scares me. And I think it is a manifestation of the discarding of ethical teaching. Whatever happened to honor? I hope we can turn things around. I remind myself that one rotten apple can spoil the barrel.

Sports is a great example. Remember Grantland Rice's comment, that it is not whether you win or lose but how you play the game that matters? The point is if you play the game to the best of your ability, without cheating, you will probably do pretty well.

Our current situation economically frightens me. The finger pointing is fruitless. Both sides share responsibility. I weary of Obama and the lefties blaming GW Bush for everything. In reality Jimmy Carters's administration set the stage for the real estate fiasco. Add Barny Franks and others and Fannie Mae and the disaster was inevitable. The Bushes kept us in the Mideast War. War is so expensive. Too expensive. Factor in deregulation of Wall Street, which was not the sole action of GW Bush, I think that Clinton had a hand in that, and a few made millions and most of the rest of us will pay for it for a long time.

I am pushing the big 70. I think that I and the baby boomers are going to be more and more insistent on a viable passenger rail service. As much as I hate to admit it Father Time slowly keeps taking things away from me. I can't see as well at night anymore. Night driving is becoming more difficult. My back dictates that I be able to get up and move around or lie down occasionally when traveling. Interstate driving is becoming more challenging even with my Garmin. I find I don't react as quickly as I used to. And the truck traffic has made much of the car driving experience tense if not down right nerve wracking. I don't fly. The answer: passenger trains!

Amtrak will continue to survive. And it might be good if it was modified and reformed. It certainly has room for improvement. Citizens write your govenors, representatives and senators both state and federal and make it clear to them that investing in passenger rail infrastructure is good for all.

Mr. GBN, I find D. Brooks and T. Friedman (moderate conservative and moderate liberal) to be similar in that they never seem to get the gestalt of the situation. Both are very smart guys with good things to say but for me always incomplete. I like Charles Krauthammer as a good conservative example.

Mr. Railroad Bob, I paid close attention to paragraph organization. Hope that helps.

Mr. Mike Smith, My point about Romney and the "two Cadillacs for his wife" story was not one of economics but rather public perception. Romney is not at his best when trying to be folksy. The criticism is that he is above the fray and detached. I think that his business expertise is exactly what we need. And I think the convention helped his image.

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Mike Smith
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Vincent, you are going to trust our current group of politicians to regulate the private industries in our society??? That is scary!

Iron Mountain, I disagree with the lesser of two evils scenario. I vote for the person that is closest to my philosophy. This election, the Republicans could have nominated Yosemite Sam and Donald Duck, and I would have voted for them, based on my above philosophy.

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TwinStarRocket
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IM, I can really relate to the pushing 70 comments in your excellent post.

As an addendum to your railroad history, I remember reading that one of Hitler's great miscalculations was his belief the US could not fight a war on two fronts. But thanks to a (private) railroad system that was possibly the best in the world, we could move men and equipment across the continent with surprising efficiency. And cooperation between government and private industry in this case was extremely successful.

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TBlack
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Vincent,
I'd like to help you straighten the record. Most of the business failures that you've cited weren't caused by de-regulation; some of them didn't cost the taxpayer a dime; and one (AIG) the government will turn a $20 billion profit. And some folks will try to make a case that WAMU's problems were the result of the gov't telling it what to do.
There's a fine line between regulation and EFFECTIVE regulation. Most of what's been legislated lately is CYA on Congress's part and doesn't protect the economy anymore than previously; it only adds additional overhead and expansive gov't. (e.g. Consumer Protection Agency).

TSR: It's too early to tell whether our MA experiment in healthcare is successful. Yes, we have virtually 100% coverage, but the real problem is the cost. Our governor has just established a price control panel to enforce price stability. I'll be polite and say it's too early to tell whether that is successful. But I need to point out that, where price controls have been tried before, they've never worked.

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smitty195
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quote:
Originally posted by Mike Smith:
This election, the Republicans could have nominated Yosemite Sam and Donald Duck, and I would have voted for them, based on my above philosophy.

And to quote Mark Levin, "I would vote for a can of orange juice over Barack Obama."
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Geoff Mayo
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quote:
Originally posted by smitty195:
You went from the UK to Victorville? Welcome to the USA! If the Las Vegas train ever comes to fruition, it's supposed to begin/end in Victorville.

How do you like the hot hot hot summers there so far? [Smile]

Thank you! The wife has relatives here, I work from home, she can work nearly anywhere, Victorville is cheap, so VV it was! Yes it does get rather hot which is off putting going out in the middle of the day but I prefer it to the rather mixed weather in the UK where it can be 90 max one day and 70 max the next, not to mention four seasons in one day.

--------------------
Geoff M.

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TwinStarRocket
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Unfortunately "can of orange juice" was never included in a poll.

In 2008, Obama's strategists successfully defined him primarily as the most "not Bush" of all candidates and won. Unfortunately, all of the negative campaigning and polarization works. Clint Eastwood's empty chair might even be a contender.

In 1998, Jesse Ventura won a gubernatorial debate in Minnesota against two big names from the major parties. After their false claims and statistics and carefully crafted talking points that turned into a heated argument over one question, he simply replied "We can all see who is above all this."

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smitty195
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And poor Jesse....he has turned into a nut job. I think he lives on some beach in Mexico and never shaves or gets a haircut. He's got a weird TV show that's all about conspiracy theories. I watched the one on the Federal Government planning to take all of us little citizens into custody in "detention camps". And guess what? Yup----he went to Amtrak's Beech Grove Shops and said that this was one of the detention camps. KOOKY!!!
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George Harris
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Ah, Smitty: A few years back someone with a conspiricy and "detention camp" theory had pictures of the inside of railway cars with hold down chains. He said, "see they are already building the railroad cars to haul the people. It will start soon." I looked at the pictures and said, "these are the insides of automobile carriers and the change are to keep the cars from bouncing around." For some reason he did not talk to me about these conspiricy theories or much of anything else after that.
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George Harris
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quote:
Originally posted by Geoff Mayo:
As a new immigrant to the US and ineligible to vote, I can safely sit on the fence and watch with amusement at the shenanigans going on. What interests me, coming from the UK style of politics, is how staunchly blind many people are: "My family are republocrats, so I'm one too!". Doesn't matter what they stand for, whether the party has changed over the years, if the voter grew up with a particular bias then it seems to be a permanent fixture of their lives. And the over-effusive praise from people for convention speeches was quite a surprise to me too!

Geoff: Maybe the whole thought process is different is attitude and method. Consider than it the UK people "STAND" for office and in the US they "RUN" for office. Just a little thought to chew on.
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Railroad Bob
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That's an interesting comparison, George- I've always admired the brilliant UK system; the ebb and flow of their parliamentary politics. Fortunately we can see "Prime Minister's Questions" here on the PBS network. No matter how "heated" it might get- the House of Commons seems to maintain a certain civility in its affairs...

Plus the Royal Families- which many Yanks are riveted by, since we don't have them. They do get involved in occasional hijinks, such as the Prince Harry naked pics affair, but none can deny one of the greatest sitting Queens of all time-- HRH QE II. I've seen her in person one time, years ago in Los Angeles. Quite a presence, Elizabeth has...

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Gilbert B Norman
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Messrs. Smith and Smith, I disagree with your thoughts that the election will be a landslide; rather it will be a nail biter between one who "hasn't delivered" and the other who simply "hasn't connected". I can only hope that we are not addressing a "Gorebushoff-II"; one of that debacle in a lifetime is simply one too many.

By the way, let me suggest watching the proceedings, as well as the debates, on CSPAN. You will find yourself in a "we report, you decide" environment. If you miss a major Convention address, they are carried at their website in their entirety (I fell asleep just as Michelle was beginning to speak - not because of her, but my bedtime is 830P CT; I envy you Lefty Coasties on this point).

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Railroad Bob
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Avid CSPAN junkie here, GBN...

Even the esoteric stuff that pops up on CSPAN Two and Three, there you may find the sometimes sleeping RR Bob. I do "break away" at times for pop stuff such as Hell on Wheels and Breaking Bad...(!) I'll admit politics are certainly in the front seat these days though... <whew>

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smitty195
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GBN: Ohhhhh I hope we don't have another "Bush v. Gore" scenario. I don't think we could take that again.
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Mike Smith
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we shall see who is the best guesser in 2 short months. I base my "landslide" prediction on the economy being in the toilet and the intensity of the people that want to get a real American back into our White House.
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TBlack
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I'm with GBN on this. It's gonna be close either way. Not a great scenario.
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Ocala Mike
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Not into predictions, but I would like to see this scenario, probably insuring another 4 years of inaction:

BO wins the electoral vote, but loses the popular vote.

Dems gain a handful of House seats, but Reps maintain control.

Reps pick up one or two Senators, but nobody's got a filibuster-proof majority there.

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Mike Smith
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Wishful thinking Ocala.

Conservatives are HIGHLY motivated to vote, liberals are not.

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