Re: You will love this.
@gough whitlam wrote:
Written by Mike Carlton from the Sydney morning herald.
One of my new year's resolutions was to ignore the Republican primaries in the United States, but I have broken it already.
They have a horrible, irresistible fascination, not unlike watching a funnel web spider crawling across your lounge-room carpet. All those spray-on tans, those spray-on first names - Mitt, Newt, Rick, Ron - and worse, those spray-on opinions confected out there on the lunar right. These people have spun so far off any rational policy axis that they make George W. Bush look like a Roosevelt liberal.
Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, is the most worrying, if only because he's likely to be the winner to go up against Barack Obama. He made his multimillions as a rip'n'gouge venture capitalist, or whatever the buzz phrase is these days, preying on the carcasses of struggling companies and turning fat profits by the traditional method of sacking half the workforce and flogging off the bare bones of what was left.Advertisement: Story continues below
The American ABC television network and The Washington Post newspaper reported this week that Romney has an estimated $US33 million stashed in the notorious tax haven of the Cayman Islands. Pushed by his Republican rivals to reveal his financial dealings, he has admitted only to paying "close to 15 per cent" tax. All perfectly legal, of course, but morally bankrupt in a nation where the thieves of Wall Street have destroyed the savings of the middle class.
The rest of the field looks even nastier. Newt Gingrich, the ultimate Washington insider, postures as an advocate of small government and "family values", but is a thrice-married serial adulterer who, bizarrely, was forced to make a public pledge last month "to uphold the institution of marriage through personal fidelity to my spouse and respect for the marital bonds of others''.
Then you have Rick Santorum, a former senator from Pennsylvania and religious hardliner who frets incessantly about Darwinian evolution, abortion, sexual morality and euthanasia. Infamously, he once compared gay sex to "man on child, man on dog". Google his surname and you'll find the algorithm directs you, first up, to a hilariously sleazy neologism that has no place in a family newspaper.
But even Santorum pales against the maddest of the lot, the Texas congressman Ron Paul, who wants to chainsaw half the government in Washington and return the US dollar to the gold standard, and who believes the United Nations is a vast global conspiracy to deprive America of God and guns.
Commonly but inexplicably described as a "libertarian", he is, in fact, another wacko moraliser infamous for pronouncing that "homosexuals, not to speak of the rest of society, were far better off when social pressure forced them to hide their activities".
On the economic troubles besetting the US, Paul thinks only that "it's amazing that people don't understand that the more the market is involved and the smaller the government, the lower the price, the better the distribution, and the higher the quality." Apparently he has never heard of Lehman Brothers.
Yes, it's true that Obama has been a disappointing President, but any one of this Republican lot in the White House would be a disaster.
WHILE we're on about matters American, it would be helpful if they could let us know where our new war is going to be.
With Iraq turning into such a wonderful success, and an equally convincing triumph for democracy undoubtedly on the way in Afghanistan, it is high time to decide who we will take on next. I say "we" because, as ever, Australia will tag along as the dutiful ally.
North Korea looked possible for a while. It would have been the moment to strike when the Dear Leader, Kim Jong-il , dropped off the twig and was replaced by his fat, pasty and apparently catatonic youngest son, Kim Jong-un. But nuking Pyongyang might have upset the Chinese who, while no doubt as baffled by the North Koreans as the rest of us, would nonetheless have to stick up for them.
(For those of you who miss the elder Kim, there is a wonderful reminder of his immortal genius for leadership at a website named "Kim Jong-il Looking At Things".)
With the Kim family out of the equation, then, the obvious candidate for our next war has got to be Iran. Nobody likes the Iranians at all, not even the Russians, who have been supplying their nuclear know-how.
They are barking mad, which always helps when you need a casus belli and, as an added plus, the Israelis have already made a splendid start against them by assassinating a nuclear scientist in Tehran every month or so.
As the aforementioned Rick Santorum said just the other day, it is "a wonderful thing" to hear of another dead Iranian nuclear expert.
More needs to be done, though. Air strikes to begin with, I would suggest, and then a full-scale land invasion in due course. Even with the Obama cutbacks, this year's US defence budget runs out to about $US700 billion. You can't have all that money sitting there doing nothing.
ANOTHER new year's resolution of mine is to collect the predictions of our noisy public economists to see how they stack up against what actually happens down the track.
My guess is that they'll be wildly inaccurate, as usual. For example, if the economists assure us the bottom will fall out of commodity prices in the next six months, you can pretty much bet they'll go through the roof.
The current fashion in the trade is to predict that unemployment will blow out this year. This is accompanied by loud cries for "flexibility" in the workplace, which is code for making it easier to sack people.
On Thursday, the omnipresent Chris Richardson, of Deloitte Access Economics, was warning that Australia should brace for the "ugliest" of times if Europe can't sort out its financial woes.
"A GFC Mark II," he suggested.
Ho hum. Been there, done that. Two years ago, Richardson told us the federal budget was "buggered", that the economy would "unwind scarily fast" and that a recession was inevitable. Oh, and unemployment would hit 7 per cent last year.
Wrong, wrong and wrong. Let the good times roll.
The rank and file socialists sure seem to be shaking in their boots over the rise of the Conservative movement. Sure as the sunrise, it is coming. It is like a huge snow avalanche. It has been building for years and years, the edges are slipping and the entire slope is about to come crashing down upon the heads of those whom built it. Revolutions are seldom pretty, but they are very effective in conducting true change.
(I cut you some slack on pointing out your spelling..... see, I am a nice guy )
Re: Hey 3020
You remind me of an interesting question. Bear in mind, this could apply to any president/candidate, so try and broaden your mind beyind Obama:
Question: Is there a line or area that we shouldn't go into a candidate's history? And is there a limit for how far back to go?
I hope also that the answer is not something like "It's just the media" because we are the consumers of the media and the people who love to hear what they dig up.
They should all be treated and vetted the same.
Re: Hey 3020
You didn't answer the question, but I will draft from your reply that you believe there are no limits as long as we pry equally deeply into every candidate. I guess you thoght I was baiting you.
Re: Hey 3020
I believe the most important things to look at is who are his advisors, his $upporters, in other words who has their strings attached. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the media has the sheeple's attention diverted to some gossipy subjects.
Re: Hey 3020
With the internet, I don`t see how there can be any secrets anymore. It`s up to the individual voter as to if they`ll accept the "birth certificate" or the "open marriage" explainations. The culture will pretty much accept and forgive anything, it`s always the coverup that gets `em. Herman Cain had said from the git go "I like white women and there`s been alot of `em" he`d probably be the front runner today. Newt turned the tables on the newsman that questioned him and added 20 points to his poll numbers, people like a fighter that`s all I can figger. That all said if I knew that all it would take for Newt to win against Obama would be me writing his campaign a check for $10,000...I`d do it, I could ill afford it but this election is the proverbial fork in the road. $10,000 now to have 4 years of freedom that we may never see again would be worth many times more and Newt is my least favorite Repub in the running.
I have a high school friend that buys and sells houses. He has a self directed IRA and uses that money to buy the houses then fixes them up and sells them at substantial profits. He's an apolitical guy and probably never votes. Probably never has. However because he makes quite large profits on his IRA none of it is taxable.
Most Americans are either ignorant or lazy when it comes to making money. They figure if they show up at the job site that's sufficient. No doubt a condition created by our public school system where by you show up and you graduate just like the kid that get's straight A's. Then you or they complain about those who put in the extra effort and time rather than watching American Idol.
"The Romneys' investments in funds established in the Cayman Islands are taxed in the very same way they would be if the Romneys held their shares of the fund investments directly in the US rather than through a Cayman fund.
Nothing is changed from four years ago in relation to these funds. Governor and Mrs. Romney's assets are managed on a blind basis. They do not control the investment of these assets. The assets are under the control and overall management of an independent trustee.
Furthermore, only the sponsor of the fund decides where it is established. That responsibility is totally outside the control of a passive investor like Gov. Romney or the trustee of this blind trust.
Also, in regards to the Unrelated Business Income Tax: Governor Romney’s IRA is tax deferred, just like the IRA’s of every other American. Its investments are in compliance with rules created to keep it tax deferred, just like it was intended to be."
Re: Hey 3020
Stephen Colbert said in MorningJoe a couple af days ago regarding teh question to Newt about his open marriage proposal to his wife that just about everyone in politics screws around on their wife and at least Newt had the decency to ask first.
Re: Hey 3020
Religion to a degree. Family and children to a degree. Weight and looks. Eating habits. Some medical issues. Not much really. It's easier to define it on a case by case basis because you never know what is going to come up, but you know something that is barking up the wrong tree when you hear it. We need to pay more attention to a candidate's politics than their persoal life. That goes for Newt too IMHO. Most of what I need to know about a candidate comes from their platform, speeches, voting record, bill sponsorships and campaign contributors. As for money, you made a point above, but I think their tax returns may be our business since most all of them have to release them and we don't want people who cheat on taxes in charge. There's proobably more I am forgetting about.