Shuck and Jive

Opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of the congregation I joyfully serve. But my congregation loves me!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Pick Your Prez

I really like Mark Peacock's blog Appalachian Treks: Exploring the Mountains of Eastern Tennessee, Western North Carolina, and Southwest Virginia. He treks takes great pics and offers insights about our beautiful part of the country.

But I am linking to his blog today for political reasons. He has three quizzes you can take to find the president who is right for you.

USA Today's Candidate Match Game

Public Radio Select a Candidate

Washington Post Choose Your Candidate

7 comments:

  1. Dennis Kucinich. There is none more qualified.

    I was considering voting for Edwards in the primary, and though I still believe he would make a great president, the fact that Edwards said nothing about the Des Moine Register's blacklisting of Dennis in the Iowa debate they sponsored shows me that his integrity is substantially flawed. He should have been the first one taking a stand. The integrity of our election process should have been defended.

    I cast more blame on Edwards because I would expect such skulduggery from Hillary, Obama and the others. Not from Edwards. There's no excuse.

    Dennis Kucinich is now the one and only candidate I will actively support.

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  2. John Edwards is already in deep doo doo with the Des Moines Register. Thom Hartmann says (and I largely agree) that Edwards is being set up for the "Dean Scream" treatment. In 2004, Howard Dean was the darling of the media until he openly criticized the corporate masters (specifically defense contractor GE owning NBC) to (I think) Tim Russert. Very quickly, the "Dean Scream" became the weird political story of the day (with media pundits on all networks making comments about his sanity) and the campaign effectively derailed.

    John Edwards has a similar message about monopolies and talks about enforcing the Sherman Antitrust Act in regards to media companies. Note that in 2004, the Register, which is owned by Gannett Company (the largest newspaper publisher in the United States) endorsed Edwards. This time, it's Hillary.

    Listening to Bill Richardson on Randi Rhodes, I do get the impression that the Dem candidates were kind of side-swiped by the debate organizers. They didn't realize until afterwards the different treatment that Alan Keyes and Dennis Kucinich received. I think they could have been more vocal, but the paradoxical thing is that John Edwards could be screaming and hollering about it, but if the news media doesn't cover it, we don't hear about it.

    Much as I like Mike Gravel's candor, I think that the debate organizers were probably justified in leaving him out. He maxed out his credit cards and declared personal bankruptcy to fund his campaign, and that points to him just not being a serious candidate. Kucinich, while still a long shot, is a serious candidate (certainly as serious as Ron Paul).

    To paraphrase Molly once again: "in the primaries, I vote to change the world. In the general, I hold my nose and vote for that hairsbreadth of difference that will mean support for the needy."

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  3. In case anyone is even remotely interested, this is how I came out:

    USA Today
    1. Kucinich
    2. Gravel
    3. Edwards

    Minnesota Public Radio
    1. Kucinich (25)
    2. Dodd (22)
    3. Clinton (21) (!!!!!)
    4. Edwards (20)
    5. Gravel & Richardson (19 each)

    Washington Post
    Democrats:
    1. Edwards (40)
    2. Dodd & Richardson (26)
    4. Obama (10)
    5. Clinton (9)

    Republicans:
    1. Giuliani (49)
    2. Paul (23)
    3. Huckabee (13)
    4. Thompson (11)
    5. McCain (10)
    6. Romney (5)

    As to the final list (WP Republicans), my reaction was a hearty "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!" I chalk it up to Giuliani having slightly-less-than-atrocious views on The Gay, The Abortion and The Brown People, but I had to hold my nose a LOT doing the R survey.

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  4. Hi All:

    I'm inerested to learn more about your views on why you believe that Government is not too big and that the IRS and income tax is fine to have.

    I believe that the income tax is morally wrong because it steals from some to give to others.

    I also would like to know your views on what you believe the proper role of Government is.

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  5. Abraham Lincoln put it best at the end of the Gettysburg Address by describing "government of the people, by the people, for the people".

    In short, in a democratic republic, government is us.

    It's the whole "We, the People" thing.

    Yes, we need government to function as a society. We've decided collectively that commerce is a good thing, so we've invested our tax dollars in infrastructure: power grids to run factories and offices, phone and fiber-optic cables to enable communication, roads to transport goods, courts to enforce contracts, law enforcement to protect property, etc. etc. etc.

    We decided collectively in the 1800s that an educated populace is a good thing, as they could be more productive and successful in life, so we pooled our tax dollars to provide education, even for those who couldn't afford it.

    We decided collectively that we need a strong military to protect our borders, so we put our tax money together to buy the guns and train the troops in case of war.

    Now for almost the first century, the United States did not collect income tax. Rather, the government's source of revenue was through tariffs and excise taxes. Lincoln instituted the first income tax to help pay for the Civil War, and it's widely agreed that a graduated, progressive income tax is the most effective and fair way to raise revenue.

    Sales taxes and other "flat taxes" are regressive, meaning that the impact of taxation is felt more by the poor. If a flat 25% income tax were imposed, someone earning minimum wage ($5.85/hr), s/he would pay $232 of the $928 per month s/he earned. That would be a big bite out of the food budget. However, if someone is making $1 million per month, s/he would also pay 25%, but with $750,000 left, s/he would not be searching dumpsters for food.

    It's also worth noting that we currently have a 15% capital gains tax in the US, meaning that those who earn their livings sitting by the pool waiting for the dividend check to arrive (such as Paris Hilton or George W. Bush) pay only 15%, while working stiffs pay as high as 35%.

    The fact is that government does essential things for commerce and industry as well as individual people, and it's gotta be paid for somehow. The system we employ must not penalize the poor for being poor, and it should require more from those who have benefited greatly from the American dream.

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  6. Thanks flycandler,

    I was hoping to have more of a philosophical discussion, but that's fine.

    I used to believe everything you wrote about the income tax as well, but then I watched Russo's documentary, America:Freedom to Fascism, which can be watched on the web if you google it.

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  7. Huh? I thought it was a philosophical discussion, talking about the concept of the Commons and government of the people, by the people, for the people.

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