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Need some help with the elections
Old 01-09-2008, 08:30 AM   #1
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Need some help with the elections

I try to be informed about things, but I don't go and read every candidates website to know where they stand. Last night I was impressed with a few people (we watched CNN till close to midnight).

Can anyone tell me how a Republican became governor of Masschusettes (Romney)? Is he for real?

Second, can anyone from Carolina tell me how Edwards (a democrat which appears to have a high tax profile-meaning he likes to increase taxes) succeeded in a state where I think low taxes are expected?

My choices before last night would have been Edwards or McCain. I liked some of what Romney said (not much) but being a Massachusettes Republican suggests I need to know more.

Anyone have comments on any of the above?
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Old 01-09-2008, 08:39 AM   #2
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Mitt won the election because he had no competition in Jane Swift, she was handed the job when Cellucci was appointed to Ambassador of Canada.
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Old 01-09-2008, 08:58 AM   #3
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I'm from North Carolina, don't live there now. Nobody I know there wants to see Edwards as president. Still, somebody must have voted for him to be a senator.
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Old 01-09-2008, 09:20 AM   #4
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And nobody in Houston wanted George W. Bush to be President--and this is where George Sr. lives! Houston is a Democratic, blue collar town, really....but he won the election.
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Old 01-09-2008, 09:34 AM   #5
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I hate to admit that I'm also somewhat uninformed about the various candidates. My question.....have any of them stated that they would inforce the existing law that would punish employers for knowingly hiring employees with non matching SS numbers?.....meaning illegal immigrants.
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Old 01-09-2008, 09:38 AM   #6
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Anyone notice the NH voter on CBS News last night: "I'm going to vote for Romney. He looks like a president."
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Old 01-09-2008, 09:48 AM   #7
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OrchidFlower,
Half truth! Houston is Democratic, Harris County, which Houston is in, is Republican. All Judges, all of the other county offices, DA, Tax Assessor, County Clerk, District Clerk all republicans, and I believe George W. carried Harris County. In fact I doubt if the City of Houston vote was broken out.
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Old 01-09-2008, 12:34 PM   #8
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One of the things that's going to sway my decision this election is foreign policy. I'm having a hard time finding any real foreign policy information from the candidates. They all spout stuff about Iraq and while that's important, it's not the only thing going on in the world.

I'd like know how the candidates stand on other foreign policy issues such as:

Do they support Kosovo's independence?
Would they support Taiwan if it declared independence?
Would they continue with Bush's Missile Defense Shield in Eastern Europe?
How do they feel about the situations in Ukraine and Georgia?
Do they have concerns about the Russian/German Nord Stream project?
Would they continue to deepen ties with India?
Would they change policy regarding Cuba?
What about our ties with Latin America?
Would they continue the status quo with Israel?

The list could go on and on, but the point is there is more to foreign policy than just Iraq. Sadly I'm sure a few of the candidates wouldn't be able to find any of those countries I mentioned on a map.

Edit: Richardson has quite a lengthy write up regarding his foreign policy.
Bill Richardson for President | Issues | Foreign Policy
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Old 01-09-2008, 01:12 PM   #9
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Used to live in MA and Romney is, for lack of a better word, extremely slick.
He manages to pull off "slick", though, without seeming oily. That is his great success.

On the flip-flop scale he is at about 3,000 megaKerrys.
He's anti-abortion AND pro-choice!
(I actually understand this, but "average America" or at least R party neanderthals and various media pundits hear this and their heads explode)
He raises taxes yet lowers them!
He's a floor wax AND a dessert topping!

He knows how to milk mileage out of anything under the sun. I can tell you I got sicker of hearing how he singlehandly "saved" the Olympics (from fellow-Mormon mafia self-dealers.. so I wonder if even some aspect of that wasn't staged.. do not underestimate him!) than I did of hearing Guliani say "9/11" or answer fake cell-phone calls from wifey-pie#3.

He can say anything and its opposite and make it sound sincere. I think a lot of the time he IS sincere and has sold himself! He's into trying to 'close the deal' and hence is willing to make concessions (some real, some completely mendacious) which makes him seem more moderate than he is.

I think his governorship (while less of a seat-warming exercise than that of the previous Mass.-Republican-governor-who-thought-he-could-be-president, Weld) was always calculated just as a stepping-stone in his inevitable and fore-ordained presidential run. I don't get the feeling people know or remember the fact that his father was also an R-governor-then-presidential-candidate, but it smacks of the same privileged dynasty overtones we have seen with the Bushes. He has been groomed for this (and no-one in the field, certainly, is as well-groomed as he!).

I think on some level this reflects a certain dutiful meticulousness, which is sorta how he presented himself running for Governor, but he is really really fake in a lot of cheesey ways that he could easily avoid.. inventing whole stories about how he and the wife and kids all had this big Ozzie-and-Harriet family conference about him deciding to run (this was conveniently filmed by a professional crew!). Meanwhile (of course) it was all a done deal with professional consultants and the like.. HE's a consultant. That he expects people to swallow some of this stuff is almost endearingly naive. Almost. When it's not insulting, that is.

He's a salesman, and an LBO artist. Some substance, lots of veneer. I knew some folks that went to work for Bain, and they were all relentlessly smiling, upbeat workaholics and serious "suits". They could not wrap their head around the idea of an "externality", mind you.. but they were paid megabuck$ to turn off certain brain cells.

Quote:
Can anyone tell me how a Republican became governor of Masschusettes (Romney)? Is he for real?
By way of background, since there's no chance in this lifetime of MA ever having a Republican-majority legislature, they saw fit to elect a raft of R governors after Dukakis imploded definitively. King was nominally a Democrat, but AFAIcouldtell was a Republican in sheep's clothing (they dumped him to get Dukakis back for a second, non-consecutive, term; King was Reagan's "favorite Democratic governor"!).

Not to make this too long, but here is Romneyism in a nutshell:
------------------------
Topic: His health care plan in MA
(the nitty-gritty particulars of which I won't go into since I don't know enough about it as it got instituted after I left the US; the jury will have to remain out until it has something of a track record anyway)


Romney:
Quote:
"In her plan, we have government insurance instead of private insurance," he said at a press conference in New York, held before Clinton had even unveiled her proposal. "In her plan, it's crafted by Washington; it should be crafted by the states. In her plan, we have government Washington-managed healthcare. Instead, we should rely on private markets to guide healthcare. And in her plan, you see increased taxes. The burden should not be raised on the American people."
http://www.boston.com/news/nation/ar...mass_solution/

Reality: Romney-care in MA works as follows. You are forced to buy a plan. The lowest-cost plan for a family of 4 (not subject to low-income subsidies) is $9400 (for a random zip code and low-risk occupation I picked). If you do not buy an approved plan, there are monetary penalities that you will rack up. To me, money that the government forces you to pay is a tax. But in the Romneyverse.. since you are paying for it separately, and not actually putting "MA/US Treasury" on the check... it's miraculously NOT A TAX! It's a COMPLETELY INVISIBLE $9400 "non-burden". See how that works!? It's easy when you know how!

More reality: Romney-care has a bunch of lower-tier options that they subsidize on a sliding scale for low-income people. You have to apply for this, so there is a new state organ that deals with processing these applications). It's basically a mini-Mass.-Medicare, and I'm sure the providers will be just as thrilled to see those "Commonwealth Care" cards in their patients' hands as they are to see Medicare cards. But just you wait; Mitt will say HRC-care will create more "government bureaucracy" if he already hasn't.

Quote:
Romney's plan "would also seek to lower premiums by urging states to deregulate their insurance markets to encourage competition."
Super Reality Check! (beeebooobeeebooobeeebooo): How can you "de-regulate" a forced-purchase system and have it make any sense at all? It completely obviates the point! Are they going to offer $1.39/year policies that cover only ingrown toenails?

[edit: I might be reading this last bit wrong in that he might actually be, on the national level, stumping for the current hodgepodge/status quo of every state doing its own thing; I have to admit to not researching what he is currently saying to voters these days. It would be perfectly, exquisitely, within keeping for him to try to BOTH win brownie points touting the MA plan to voters by implying (but not promising) that's his vision for the US.. AND curry favor with Republican hardliners by saying "don't worry.. only for those commies in MA, though..". That would be a Classic Mitticism!]

Since everyone in MA is to be covered, the ins. costs are necessarily going to be higher, all else being equal. The ins. co.s are guaranteed their slice of the pie, so Romney/Republicans are happy on that front, but to those who were paying somewhat less before due to cherry-picking, and those who chose to forego insurance altogether to save $10k/year are indeed paying a kind of tax. TANSTAAFL. (Romney will give you that free lunch, though, by gum!)

The Romneyverse is of myriad and subtle, frequently warped, dimensions.

That said, if I had to vote for a Republican, I'd pick Mitt over McCain in a heartbeat. I'm not ready for the Iran bombing to start just yet, thanks..
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Old 01-09-2008, 04:38 PM   #10
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Thanks you just convinced me to vote for Romney!
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Old 01-09-2008, 04:57 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by jIMOh View Post
I try to be informed about things, but I don't go and read every candidates website to know where they stand. Last night I was impressed with a few people (we watched CNN till close to midnight).

Can anyone tell me how a Republican became governor of Masschusettes (Romney)? Is he for real?

Second, can anyone from Carolina tell me how Edwards (a democrat which appears to have a high tax profile-meaning he likes to increase taxes) succeeded in a state where I think low taxes are expected?

My choices before last night would have been Edwards or McCain. I liked some of what Romney said (not much) but being a Massachusettes Republican suggests I need to know more.

Anyone have comments on any of the above?
I think you need to go to all the candidates' websites to hear from them direct as to what each believes. Maybe try Realclearpolitics.com for a wide range of articles from all sides expounding on politics.

That will be your best education on finding a candidate in tune with what you think important.

If you're serious about making an informed choice, that is.
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Old 01-09-2008, 06:36 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by ladelfina View Post
But in the Romneyverse.. since you are paying for it separately, and not actually putting "MA/US Treasury" on the check... it's miraculously NOT A TAX!
Also having lived in MA most of my life, I can clearly see this is a "fee" not a tax, and any state politician may create as many "fee's" as humanly possible while still declaring that they're lowering taxes.
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Old 01-09-2008, 08:58 PM   #13
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The list could go on and on, but the point is there is more to foreign policy than just Iraq. Sadly I'm sure a few of the candidates wouldn't be able to find any of those countries I mentioned on a map.

Edit: Richardson has quite a lengthy write up regarding his foreign policy.
Bill Richardson for President | Issues | Foreign Policy
Better find someone else. Richardson is withdrawing from the race.
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Old 01-09-2008, 09:17 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trek View Post
One of the things that's going to sway my decision this election is foreign policy. I'm having a hard time finding any real foreign policy information from the candidates. They all spout stuff about Iraq and while that's important, it's not the only thing going on in the world.

I'd like know how the candidates stand on other foreign policy issues such as:

Do they support Kosovo's independence?
Would they support Taiwan if it declared independence?
Would they continue with Bush's Missile Defense Shield in Eastern Europe?
How do they feel about the situations in Ukraine and Georgia?
Do they have concerns about the Russian/German Nord Stream project?
Would they continue to deepen ties with India?
Would they change policy regarding Cuba?
What about our ties with Latin America?
Would they continue the status quo with Israel?

The list could go on and on, but the point is there is more to foreign policy than just Iraq. Sadly I'm sure a few of the candidates wouldn't be able to find any of those countries I mentioned on a map.

Edit: Richardson has quite a lengthy write up regarding his foreign policy.
Bill Richardson for President | Issues | Foreign Policy
Trek I subscribe (but in truth don't always read) to Foreign Affair magazine a wonkish bi monthly publication. in 2007, each issue has contained a couple of candidates lengthy essays. I have read or skimmed them. Many of them were written last summer before the surge. As I McCain guy, I would definitely recommend reading his essay since it addresses most of of your questions even Georgia and Ukrainie.

Hillary's is pretty thorough but maddenly short on specifics, Huckabee looks like it was written by some undergrad majoring in international relations.


The cool news is much to my surprise they are all on the web right here
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Old 01-09-2008, 10:49 PM   #15
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Trek I subscribe (but in truth don't always read) to Foreign Affair magazine a wonkish bi monthly publication. in 2007, each issue has contained a couple of candidates lengthy essays. I have read or skimmed them. Many of them were written last summer before the surge.

...............The cool news is much to my surprise they are all on the web right here
Thanks for the link clifp. As to foreign affairs views, now one can hear it straight from each horse's mouth. Good meal for the grist for those wanting to deliberate on this area in selecting out a favorite candidate.
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Old 01-10-2008, 01:51 AM   #16
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Trek I subscribe (but in truth don't always read) to Foreign Affair magazine a wonkish bi monthly publication. in 2007, each issue has contained a couple of candidates lengthy essays. I have read or skimmed them. Many of them were written last summer before the surge. As I McCain guy, I would definitely recommend reading his essay since it addresses most of of your questions even Georgia and Ukrainie.

Hillary's is pretty thorough but maddenly short on specifics, Huckabee looks like it was written by some undergrad majoring in international relations.


The cool news is much to my surprise they are all on the web right here
Clifp - Thanks very much for the link! That will make for good reading today and hopefully help push me in one direction or the other.
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Old 01-10-2008, 04:36 AM   #17
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Quote:
Also having lived in MA most of my life, I can clearly see this is a "fee" not a tax, and any state politician may create as many "fee's" as humanly possible while still declaring that they're lowering taxes.
Well, a "fee" is usually something connected with use. This IS connected with use, and you do get something for it; I'm not saying that's not the case. But when every single resident HAS to pay it or face penalties... it's so much closer to a tax than other such "fees" that it's a distinction without a difference, to my mind.

The proof of Romney's manipulative genius will be seeing whether he can continue bashing HRC effectively on the "raising taxes" front, given his preference for "fees" of this nature. Or rather, will the rest of America look into it and figure out the shell game?

CFB: should I gather you concur with the rest of my assessment? What's your take on the Mittster?

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Old 01-10-2008, 08:15 AM   #18
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Clifp - Thanks very much for the link! That will make for good reading today and hopefully help push me in one direction or the other.
Those did make for a good read this afternoon and were very helpful. They confirmed some things I already suspected about a few candidates as well as enlightened me about about some things I didn't suspect about a couple others.

Overall it made my choice easier to make this year. Thanks!
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Old 01-10-2008, 08:56 AM   #19
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Last night I googled universal health care to see what came up.

One issue appears to be "universal health care" vs "universal health coverage". John Edwards web site gave his opinions on how universal health coverage could be handled.

Only one candidate supports universal health care funded at the federal level (he was a democrat). It also appears few republicans think either universal care or universal coverage is on their agenda (none according to one website I read).
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Old 01-10-2008, 09:02 AM   #20
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Well, a "fee" is usually something connected with use. This IS connected with use, and you do get something for it; I'm not saying that's not the case. But when every single resident HAS to pay it or face penalties... it's so much closer to a tax than other such "fees" that it's a distinction without a difference, to my mind.
I was jollin' you. Of course its a tax. I was just trying to be clever but apparently was too straight faced.

Quote:
CFB: should I gather you concur with the rest of my assessment? What's your take on the Mittster?
I dunno, I havent got that much knowledge of the MA health program. I'd heard it well covered people under a certain generous income level with subsidies, and that employers were footing most of the rest of the cost.

As far as MA politicians, I found the political process in that state to be ridiculously riddled with corruption, back scratching and wallet grabbing. While i'm sure there are other areas where the BS is as bad or worse, I'd have to say that if someone tried to pull off the "big dig" in california, there'd be a long series of heads on the tips of sticks leading up to it by now.
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